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In This Edition

Chris Walker says, "Schiff Says There's Plenty Of Evidence DOJ Could Use To Charge Trump."

Leonard Pitts Jr. wonders, "Just How Long Will Trump World Fall For This Long, Long Con?"

Jesse Jackson considers, "Jan. 6 committee And Trump's 'Big Lie.'"

Jim Hightower sees, "Enthroning Corporate Power Over America ."

William Rivers Pitt says, "Jan. 6 Hearings Offer Damning Evidence Of 'Culmination Of An Attempted Coup'."

John Nichols exclaims, "Coup! Coup! Coup!"

James Donahue concludes, "The Human Soul Is More Than An Electrical Impulse."

David Swanson reports, "The U.S. Government Locked Up This Californian Family, Then Insisted They Join The Military."

David Suzuki says a, "Groundbreaking Report Outlines Canada's Quick Path To Clean Power."

Charles P. Pierce compares, "The Bipartisan Gun Bill Is A Good Start Like Tying Your Shoes Is A Good Way to Start A Marathon."

Juan Cole overlooks a, "California Milestone."

Robert Reich explains, "How Joe Biden Can Help Workers Without Congress."

Thom Hartmann says, These Trump-Led Seditionists Must Be Punished In Court-And At The Ballot Box

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department The Onion reports, "New Abortion Waiting Period Law Requires Women To Spend Night In Creepy Old House On Hill," but first, Uncle Ernie sez, "Wildfires Are A Symptom of Global Warming."

This week we spotlight the cartoons of Jeff Koterba, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Tom Tomorrow, Anna Moneymaker, Luca Bravo, Susan Walsh, Jabin Botsford, Brendan Smialowski, Peter Zay, Chip Somodevilla, CBS 8 San Diego, Evelyn Hockstein, Washington Post, Jim Hightower, Twitter, Pixabay, Pexels, AFP, Unsplash, Shutterstock, Reuters, Flickr, AP, Getty Images, Chicago Sun*Times, You Tube, and Issues & Alibis.Org.

Plus we have all of your favorite Departments -

The Quotable Quote -
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Wildfires Are A Symptom of Global Warming
Global warming strikes again!
By Ernest Stewart

"A daunting task, lies ahead for scientists and engineers to guide society towards environmentally sustainable management during the era of the Anthropocene." ~~~ Dr. Paul F. Crutzen

Last summer, wildfires swept across some 22 regions of Russia, blanketing the country with dense smoke and in some cases destroying entire villages. In the foothills of Boulder, Colo., wildfires exacted a similar toll on a smaller scale.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. Thousands of wildfires large and small are underway at any given time across the globe. Beyond the obvious immediate health effects, this "biomass" burning is part of the equation for global warming. In northern latitudes, wildfires actually are a symptom of the Earth's warming.

"We already see the initial signs of climate change, and fires are part of it," said Dr. Amber Soja, a biomass burning expert at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) in Hampton, Va.

And research suggests that a hotter Earth resulting from global warming will lead to more frequent and larger fires.

The fires release "particulates" -- tiny particles that become airborne -- and greenhouse gases that warm the planet.

What is 'biomass burning'? It's the burning of living and dead vegetation. It includes human-induced burning as well as naturally occurring fires.

A common perception is that most wildfires are caused by acts of nature, such as lightning. The inverse is true, said Dr. Joel Levine, a biomass burning expert at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

"What we found is that 90 percent of biomass burning is human instigated," said Levine, who was the principal investigator for a NASA biomass burning program that ran from 1985 to 1999.

Levine and others in the Langley-led Biomass Burning Program travelled to wildfires in Canada, California, Russia, South African, Mexico and the wetlands of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Biomass burning accounts for the annual production of some 30 percent of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a leading cause of global warming, Levine said.

Dr. Paul F. Crutzen, a pioneer of biomass burning, was the first to document the gases produced by wildfires in addition to carbon dioxide.

"Modern global estimates agree rather well with the initial values," said Crutzen, who shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1995 with Mario J. Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland for their "work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone."

Northern exposure

Whether biomass burning is on the rise globally is not clear. But it definitely is increasing in far northern latitudes, in "boreal" forests comprised largely of coniferous trees and peatlands.

The reason is that, unlike the tropics, northern latitudes are warming, and experiencing less precipitation, making them more susceptible to fire. Coniferous trees shed needles, which are stored in deep organic layers over time, providing abundant fuel for fires, said Soja, whose work at the NIA supports NASA.

"That's one of the reasons northern latitudes are so important," she said, "and the smoldering peat causes horrible air quality that can affect human health and result in death."

Fires in different ecosystems burn at different temperatures due to the nature and structure of the biomass and its moisture content. Burning biomass varies from very thin, dry grasses in savannahs to the very dense and massive, moister trees of the boreal, temperate and tropical forests.

Fire combustion products vary over a range depending on the degree of combustion, said Levine, who authored a chapter on biomass burning for a book titled "Methane and Climate Change," published in August by Earthscan.

Flaming combustion like the kind in thin, small, dry grasses in savannahs results in near-complete combustion and produces mostly carbon dioxide. Smoldering combustion in moist, larger fuels like those in forest and peatlands results in incomplete combustion and dirtier emission products such as carbon monoxide.

Boreal fires burn the hottest and contribute more pollutants per unit area burned.

'Eerie experience'

Being near large wildfires is a unique experience, said Levine. "The smoke is so thick it looks like twilight. It blocks out the sun. It looks like another planet. It's a very eerie experience."

In Russia, the wildfires are believed caused by a warming climate that made the current summer the hottest on record. The hotter weather increases the incidence of lightning, the major cause of naturally occurring biomass burning.

Soja said she hopes the wildfires in Russia prompt the country to support efforts to mitigate climate change. In fact, Russia's former president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, last month acknowledged the need to do something about it.

"What's happening with the planet's climate right now needs to be a wake-up call to all of us, meaning all heads of state, all heads of social organizations, in order to take a more energetic approach to countering the global changes to the climate," said Medvedev, in contrast to Russia's long-standing position that human-induced climate change is not occurring.


01-10-1945 ~ 06-10-2022
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12-24-1935 ~ 06-15-2022
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(c) 2022 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, philosopher, 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. My most recent book is, The Red Kings Horror (2022)

Rep. Adam Schiff speaks to reporters outside of the House Chambers in the U.S. Capitol Building on May 12, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

44 Percent Of GOP Voters View Mass Shootings As Part Of Living In 'Free Society'
By Chris Walker

On Sunday, a member of the House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack said that the Department of Justice should consider investigating - and possibly indicting - former President Donald Trump and his allies in the plot to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) said on ABC's "This Week" program that, while the Justice Department has been looking into some of Trump's actions, "there are certain actions, parts of these different lines of effort to overturn the [2020] election, that I don't see evidence the Justice Department is investigating."

The department needs to "make a decision about whether it can prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt the president's guilt or anyone else's," Schiff added. "But they need to be investigated if there's credible evidence, which I think there is."

Trump's efforts to overturn the election began before Election Day, Schiff noted.

"The evidence is very powerful that Donald Trump began telling this 'big lie' before the election ... that lie continued after the election and ultimately led to this mob assembling and attacking the Capitol," he said.

Attorney General Merrick Garland hasn't yet indicated how he will act once the committee's findings are presented in full. The committee itself doesn't have the power to charge an individual with crimes. Although it does have the ability to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department, some committee members have suggested they will not do so.

One possible law that Trump could be charged with violating is 18 U.S. Code sec. 2384, which deals with seditious conspiracy. According to that statute, it is illegal "to oppose by force the authority [of the government]," and "by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States."

Trump's incitement of a mob of his loyalists on the morning of January 6, 2021 - and his refusal to act until several hours after his followers attacked the U.S. Capitol building - could arguably fit within the parameters of that law.

Schiff's comments on Sunday came days after the January 6 committee held its first public hearing during prime time television hours on Thursday. During that hearing, committee members suggested that overall, the commission believes that Trump's actions were criminal.

"January 6th was the culmination of an attempted coup," committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) said during the hearing.

During this week's public hearings, the committee is set to demonstrate that Trump was well aware that his public claims of election fraud were inaccurate, but spread them in an effort to retain power.

(c) 2022 Chris Walker is based out of Madison, Wisconsin. Focusing on both national and local topics since the early 2000s, he has produced thousands of articles analysing the issues of the day and their impact on the American people.

Donald J. Trump delivers remarks at a rally hosted by the Alabama Republican Party in Cullman, Alabama on August 21, 2021.

Just How Long Will Trump World Fall For This Long, Long Con?
Don't you feel kind of stupid right now?
By Leonard Pitts Jr.

"Everybody plays the fool" The Main Ingredient, 1972

I won't bother reasoning with you.

As I've said before in this space, it's my opinion that you folks who support Donald Trump are, by definition, incapable of that function, so it's foolish to even try. You may think that's harsh. I think it's time-saving.

But I do have a question for you: Don't you feel kind of stupid right now? Doesn't the revelation that it was all a con leave you feeling like a sucker? Doesn't simple human pride have you smarting, at least a little bit?

Or maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about. After all, Fox "News" and other elements of the conservative media omniplex have studiously avoided giving much attention to the hearings of the House select committee investigating the attempted coup of Jan. 6, 2021. For the rest of us, they've become must-see TV, but you've likely been shielded from them.

So you may not have heard Monday's revelation that not even members of Trump's own inner circle-his daughter, his aides, his attorney general-believed his absurd claim that he was cheated out of the 2020 election. Lawyer Eric Herschmann thought it was "nuts." Attorney General William Barr feared your guy was "detached from reality."

But-and here's the part that relates to you-even though his own people told him quite clearly that there was no election fraud, he still told you something else: a bizarre fable about a vast and byzantine conspiracy involving Democrats, Republicans, poll workers, truck drivers, a polling machine manufacturer and-who knows?-maybe Bigfoot on the grassy knoll. We all know how that lie brought thousands of you to the National Mall in the attack on the U.S. Capitol. What is less often discussed is that he also used this lie to tap folks like you for donations to the tune of a quarter of a billion dollars.

It bears repeating: a quarter . . . of a billion . . . dollars.

As the committee established in a video presentation, you were told in relentless email solicitations that your money was needed to stop the so-called "left wing mob" from stealing the election. Your donations, he claimed, would go to something called the Official Election Defense Fund. But as Trump officials now admit, no such fund ever existed. Your money went elsewhere, including to the "Trump Hotel Collection."

So yeah, to quote Denzel Washington in "Malcolm X": "You been had! You been took! You been hoodwinked! Bamboozled!"

That should make you angry, but it probably doesn't. Over 40 years of research has firmly established an odd fact about us humans. If we are deeply invested in a belief, we find it almost impossible to admit-even to ourselves-that we are wrong. Indeed, if confronted with incontrovertible proof that we've made a mistake, we'll double down on the mistake rather than embrace the truth.

Which is scary, because who has ever been more deeply invested in anything than you are in Trump? But as it says in the wise old song quoted above, "Falling in love is such an easy thing to do, and there's no guarantee that the one you love is gonna love you."

Donald Trump doesn't love you. He is a con man from Queens who cares about nothing that doesn't line his pockets or fatten his ego. Hundreds of you are now imprisoned or facing indictment because of him. And he's taken you for a quarter of a billion dollars, besides. But sure, you go right on believing in him. Everybody plays the fool.

Some of us more than others.

(c) 2022 Leonard Pitts Jr. won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2004. He is the author of the novel, Before I Forget. His column runs every Sunday and Wednesday in the Miami Herald. Forward From This Moment, a collection of his columns, was published in 2009.

A video with former President Donald Trump plays as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues its hearings on June 13.

Jan. 6 committee And Trump's 'Big Lie'
Will voters reward those who spread the lie or hold their representatives accountable? We need a new surge from idealists and reformers to overcome the cynics that put democracy at risk.
By Jesse Jackson

The House Select Committee on Jan. 6 has detailed what at some level we already knew. Trump lost the election. He knew it. His advisers knew it. His Justice Department knew it. The courts confirmed it. There was no evidence of voter fraud. Trump lied - and continues lying to this day.

No one likes a sore loser, but Trump would not accept that he lost. He railed about fraud so often that he convinced his followers that the election must have been stolen. He used the false claims to raise a stunning amount of money - $250 million - for an election defense fund that was a fiction. He used the money for his political and personal purposes. He not only misled those who believed in him, he ripped them off. So it goes.

That's not the real scandal. We have had a sense about Trump for a long time. Even his supporters understood he was a scoundrel, they just mistakenly thought he was their scoundrel.

Those who got misled and fooled aren't really the problem. The problem is the cynical politicians who echoed the lies - and knew better. They not only re-enforced the lies, they acted on them.

Across the country, Republicans used Trump's lies not just to demand recounts of ballots in various states, they used them to change the law in very specific ways. They made voting more difficult, particularly for working and poor people who live in urban areas. They reduced early voting days, ended voting on Sunday, limited voting places in urban areas, made vote-by-mail more difficult, demanded new forms of ID that discriminated against students and minorities, and more.

Second, they made the possibility of distorting the vote more likely. They got rid of non-partisan election officials and replaced them with partisans. They gave state legislatures greater power to overturn elections simply because they don't like the results, regardless of how the majority voted. By 2024, as many as 20 of the 50 states will run under election orders that are much more exposed to partisan manipulation.

Third, at the national level, they blocked every effort to reform the process. They blocked revival of the Voting Rights Act, which used to enjoy bipartisan support. They blocked efforts to perfect the electoral system and protect it from partisan meddling. They blocked reforms that would make it easier to register, harder to gerrymander districts, and set national standards for the country.

The cynicism of these politicians is clear. They assume that Americans won't let issues of democracy define their vote. They assume that not only will they pay no political cost for undermining democracy, they will be rewarded for it. The Trump lies fuel the anger of the Republican base - and dismay those who oppose those lies. The former are more likely to vote; the latter more likely to be turned off.

Are these Republican cynics right? Pollsters suggest they are. Voters are concerned about the price of food and gas, jobs and the economy, crime, and other concerns that impact their daily lives. They assume the existence of democracy. They assume that the debates over reforms are questions of partisanship, not patriotism.

A likely result is that Trump's Big Lie may end up discrediting him, but not the Republican politicians who joined in echoing it and cowered before Trump's wrath. To date in the Republican primaries, those who stood up to Trump have not fared well, while those who kowtowed to him have done better.

That is where we are. The Jan. 6 Committee will prove its case: Trump lied and tried to overturn an election he knew he lost. Now voters have to decide. Will they reward those who spread the lie or hold their representatives accountable?

Many commentators say that the committee has put Trump in the dock. In fact, it is our democracy that is in the dock. Will it be defended or deformed? Will it end strengthened or undermined? We need a new surge from idealists and reformers to overcome the cynics that put democracy at risk.

(c) 2022 Jesse Jackson is an African-American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988 and served as shadow senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997. He was the founder of both entities that merged to form Rainbow/PUSH.

Enthroning Corporate Power Over America

By Jim Hightower

"Equal Justice Under Law." That's the noble principle carved into the marble fa├žade of the temple-like Supreme Court building.

Today, though, six right-wing, corporate-dominated activist judges control the present Court, and they're implementing an elitist creed mocking that ideal. By putting the interests and power of the wealthy over the rest of us. They're turning "justice" into an antidemocratic concept of "just us." In ruling after ruling, today's supremes are political operatives taking power from the many to further-empower and enrich the few.

One huge change occurred in 2010, when the five Republican judges decreed that corporations be given a Constitutional right to spend unlimited sums of their cash to dominate our elections - and to pack our courts with judges who serve them. Sure enough, a majority of Supremes are now in harness to the corporate agenda.

Consider their constant push to rig the rules against workers. While the federal judiciary has aided corporate bosses for decades by chipping away at hard-won legal protections for working families, the chisel has become a jackhammer in the last few years. The Supreme Court's Republican majority routinely pounds precedents, logic, truth, and the Constitution itself to demolish the structural pillars of labor rights and organizing.

In a 2018 case, for example, the GOP judges undermined the funding of unions by arbitrarily striking down their process for collecting dues-a practice the court itself had authorized 41 years earlier. As Justice Elena Kagan bluntly put it in her dissenting opinion, there was no reason for the court to barge into this matter of long-settled law ... except that the Republican majority simply didn't like the previous decision and overruled it "because it wanted to."

This is not justice, it's raw politics - yet another open-and-shut case of black-robed partisans supplanting America's hallowed rule of law with their own anti-labor whim.

(c) 2022 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

A video of former President Donald Trump speaking during a rally near the White House on
January 6, 2021, is shown on a screen at a hearing held by the Select Committee to
Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 9, 2022, on
Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Jan. 6 Hearings Offer Damning Evidence Of 'Culmination Of An Attempted Coup'
By William Rivers Pitt

First things first: If you have not seen Thursday night's January 6 committee hearing in full, here it is. Watch that now, save this article for later. It's not going anywhere.

Given how much political content I consume on a yearly basis, it's natural for much of it to fade in time. I don't have enough RAM in my processor to manage it all. Some moments will always linger, though (and here I date myself): Nixon's bananas farewell address to his staff; Carter in a sweater talking about the energy crisis; Reagan's eulogy for the Challenger astronauts; Bush Sr.'s "Read my lips" pledge; Wendy Davis's filibuster; Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Barbara Boxer's objection to Ohio's 2004 electors; Clinton's demand to "Save Social Security first"; the pure fear in George W. Bush's eyes after he was informed of 9/11; Obama's 2004 convention speech; Donald Trump at the podium before the January 6 assault; and more. If these moments did not all change history, they made history at least roll over in bed.

A new space has been set aside in my little cathedral of memory. So long as I retain one functioning neuron, I will remember Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi lowering the boom on this entire disgraceful affair with one simple, elegant and altogether damning statement: "Any legal jargon you hear about 'seditious conspiracy', 'obstruction of an official proceeding', 'conspiracy to defraud the United States' boils down to this: January 6th was the culmination of an attempted coup."

Equally impressive was the performance of Rep. Liz Cheney, who labored last night under a unique set of circumstances. Cheney is one of only two Republicans on the commission (the other being Rep. Adam Kinzinger). She resisted the Trump wave within her party and was all but excommunicated for it. If her hopes for reelection in Wyoming come November were slim before, they are ashes now... and that is worth recognizing. We hear the term, "The hill you choose to die on" often enough. Last night, Liz Cheney chose her hill and did not blink.

Under virtually every circumstance imaginable, I am constitutionally incapable of praising a Cheney; that neuron burned out more than 20 years ago. This Cheney's policy positions are the stuff of my personal nightmares, but in this moment and with so much on the line, she came through like Adlai Stevenson at the United Nations when the Cuban missiles were revealed: "As you hear this, all Americans should keep in mind this fact: On the morning of January 6, President Donald Trump's intention was to remain president of the United States despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his constitutional obligation to relinquish power."

Given the content of her apostasy, Cheney's finest moment came when she called down the judgment of history itself upon the heads of every Republican who abandoned reason and the country for a taste of Trump's table scraps: "Tonight I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible. There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain."

Peter Baker of The New York Times summed up the proceedings succinctly: "In the entire 246-year history of the United States, there was surely never a more damning indictment presented against an American president than outlined on Thursday night in a cavernous congressional hearing room where the future of democracy felt on the line."

When I say watch it yourself, I do mean it. There were almost too many astonishing revelations put forth to be recounted by any second party; you have to experience it firsthand, listen to the gasps from the audience when Trump is quoted as saying the insurrectionists seeking to murder Mike Pence had the right idea, and watch as grown men weep in the gallery as they recall their own experiences on that bleak day.

Ivanka Trump believes Bill Barr, who thinks the stolen election narrative is "bullshit." Rep. Scott Perry went spelunking for a presidential pardon after trying to insert a Trump mole into the Justice Department as part of the larger plot to overturn the election. The scramble to make it seem like Trump was "in charge" after Pence took all the needed actions to regain control of the situation. The fact that Trump was deemed "too dangerous to leave alone" by his aides. The clear connective tissue between militia groups like the Proud Boys and the efforts to overturn the election results... and with every revelation, lined up one after the other, came a sense of genuine horror, again, that such a thing had come to pass.

"What I saw was just a war scene," recounted former U.S. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who was beaten unconscious by the mob. "It was something like I'd seen out of the movies. I couldn't believe my eyes. There were officers on the ground. They were bleeding. They were throwing up. I saw friends with blood all over their faces. I was slipping in people's blood. I was catching people as they fell. It was carnage. It was chaos. I can't even describe what I saw. I never in my wildest dreams did I think that as a police officer - as a law enforcement officer - I would find myself in the middle of a battle."

Before the hearings are concluded, the commissioners will seek to establish the following:

Trump deliberately spread false information about the election.
Trump sought to install allies at Justice to "support his fake election claims."
Trump put enormous pressure on Mike Pence to make him try to overturn the election results.
Trump similarly harassed various state election officials and legislators to overthrow the results.
Trump's legal team "instructed Republicans in multiple states to create false electoral slates and transmit those slates to Congress and the National Archive."
Trump invited a mob to Washington, D.C., and deliberately turned them loose on the Capitol.
Trump appeared to be enjoying the violence as it was taking place, and took no action to stop it for hours.
... and as Axios pointed out in its email newsletter this morning, "Note the first word of each of those sentences."

As for Trump himself, well, it was just another evening spent rewriting history in his typical bog-standard fashion: "January 6th was not simply a protest," he puled on his pet platform. "It represented the greatest movement in the history of our Country to Make America Great Again."

That's nice, Donnybrook. Have fun storming the castle. Hey, at least he didn't try to blame everyone in the country for January 6 the way House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy did before the hearing had even begun. I swear, these two were born for each other.

Was history made last night? Has anything changed? That is for time and Attorney General Merrick Garland to ultimately decide. Some 50 years of grim and disappointing history suggest all this will go down as just another television show, but who knows. Whatever else it was, last night's hearing was deeply compelling. I slept very poorly after it was over, and I suspect I am not alone in that.

(c) 2022 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.

US Representative Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House committee investigating the
Capitol riot, speaks during a House Select Committee hearing to Investigate the
January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, in Washington, D.C., on June 9.

Coup! Coup! Coup!
Now that Bennie Thompson has labeled the attack on the Capitol a coup attempt, we can begin a real discussion of Donald Trump's crimes
By John Nichols

United States Representative Bennie Thompson opened the extraordinary prime-time hearing of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol with precisely the right message, and precisely the right language.

The message was that the deadly January 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump "was not a spontaneous riot." It was the product of a conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and to keep Trump in office as an illegitimate pretender to power. And, the chairman of the January 6 Committee explained, "Donald Trump was at the center of that conspiracy. And ultimately, Donald Trump, the president of the United States, spurred a mob of domestic enemies of the Constitution to march down to the Capitol and subvert American democracy,"

Then the Democratic congressman from Mississippi said what every member of Congress should have said on the day that Trump called upon his supporters to "fight like hell" in order to position him not as an elected president but as an authoritarian strongman who had seized power:

Any legal jargon you hear about seditious conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States boils down to this: January 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup. A brazen attempt, as one rioter put it shortly after January 6, "to overthrow the government." The violence was no accident. It represented Trump's last stand, most desperate chance to halt the transfer of power.
With those words, Thompson brought clarity to a conversation that has suffered for the better part of a year and a half because the media and political elites have adopted language so cautious that it has obscured the reality of what happened on January 6, 2021.

It was always an attempted coup.

Now, finally, the chairman of the congressional committee that has been charged with getting to the bottom of a conspiracy to install an illegitimate president has labeled it as such. This matters because, until the investigators get the language right, America cannot have an honest discussion of what happened on the day that supporters of a man who had lost the 2020 election by 7 million votes stormed the US Capitol in a violent effort to prevent the certification of the Electoral College votes that were to confirm that defeat.

This was not a military coup d'etat in which the generals of the armed forces employ their weaponry in order to remove the duly elected president or prime minister of a country. This was a self-coup, another form of coup d'etat, in which a leader overrules the other branches of government in order to assume illegitimate and illegal power.

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, the scholar of fascism and authoritarian leaders who teaches history at New York University, immediately recognized the significance of the committee chair's statement. "Kudos to Chairman Thompson for calling it a coup," she said, shortly after Thompson finished his remarks. "Some still call it a riot, which does not capture the larger political design of overturning our democracy."

Trump's defenders mocked the turn of phrase, and the hearings in general. "It tells you a lot about the priorities of our ruling class that the rest of us are getting yet another lecture about January 6 tonight-from our moral inferiors, no less," said Tucker Carlson on Fox News, the only major news network that did not carry the hearings live. More hysterical than usual, Carlson ranted that "they are lying and we are not going to help them do it."

But there was no denying the accuracy of the term that Thompson employed.

PolitiFact, the independent fact-checking operation run by the Poynter Institute, noted Thompson's coup reference and pointed out that the Coup D'etat Project at the University of Illinois' Cline Center for Advanced Social Research, which monitors coups around the world, had determined that the storming of the Capitol "was an attempted coup d'etat: an organized, illegal attempt to intervene in the presidential transition by displacing the power of the Congress to certify the election."

It was a coup attempt. Referring to it as such opens a new chapter in our discussion of the high crimes that Donald Trump committed on January 6, 2021.

(c) 2022 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 Human Soul Is More Than An Electrical Impulse
By James Donahue

Professor McFadden

I recently read that a Professor Johnjoe McFadden, of the School of Biomedical and Life Sciences at the University of Surrey, in the UK, was looking for an electronic explanation for the conscious mind.

McFadden entertains a theory that our thoughts are electromagnetic fields that radiate into space around us like radio or television signals.

In a sense, we think the professor may be quite right about our ability to transmit messages via human energy fields, but there seems to be something more to it than mere electrical waves.

Consciousness is what makes us 'human,'" McFadden said. Language, creativity, emotions, spirituality, logical deduction, mental arithmetic, our sense of fairness, truth, ethics, are all inconceivable without consciousness.

McFadden and Neurobiologist Sue Pockett, in New Zealand, have joined forces in a developing a theory that tries to simplify everything. They suggest that the brain's electromagnetic field is consciousness. Nothing more than that. Their theory is that the brain's electromagnetic field is not just an information sink, but it can influence our actions, pushing some neurons towards firing and others away from firing. This influence, McFadden proposes, is the physical manifestation of our conscious will.

The conscious electromagnetic information field is, at present, still a theory. But if true, there are many fascinating implications for the concept of free will, the nature of creativity or spirituality, consciousness in animals and even the significance of life and death, McFadden said. The theory explains why conscious actions feel so different from unconscious ones - it is because they plug into the vast pool of information held in the brain's electromagnetic field, he said.

This is pretty heady stuff for most folks to grasp. It is obvious the two professors were trying to disprove the existence of a soul, or life after death. Once the brain they describe shuts down in death, all those neurons quit firing, the electrical signals shut down, and the conscious person existing inside that body ceases to be.

For them the future is just inky blackness. That may be all right for Professor McFadden and Ms. Pockett, but anyone who has been dead and then brought back to life, or those who have learned how to leave the body at will, cannot accept this idea.

The universe is teeming with life. It is everywhere, both in our heavy three-dimensional universe, and in parallel dimensions. We appear to live with the spirits of the dead, who walk among us. We are surrounded by fourth dimensional spirits, entities we call angels and demons, that manipulate our thoughts and sometimes even fight among themselves over our future.

Some of us are very ancient souls, who have been in and out of this world many times, and in many different forms over a time span of thousands of years. Others among us are younger souls, with only a few memories of past existences. Still others are but children, making their first journey through this dark place.

Then there are bodies walking around this world that have no souls. They are possessed beings, occupied by demons or perhaps other life forms using the spare body to experience some of the sensations of touch, taste, and even pain that only we on this planet can have.

Once you go into the parallel worlds, you must learn to communicate telepathically because there is no sound.This is the only place where words written down on a page can relay messages from one person to another.

The soul is not just an electrical impulse or a radio wave that allows us to telecommunicate with one another or tap into the collective consciousness. Our brains, however, use energy fields to accomplish all of this.

The soul is a special energy force. It is a light. It is a piece of the great force we refer to as God. It is connected to our bodies by the spirit, which is the conscious memory of who we are. I was once told that the spirit is the glue that connects our soul with the body. With thousands upon thousands of human spirits all sending out energy fields, we generate the great mental library that Jung called the collective unconsciousness. Every thought is stored there.

Those of us who have souls are part of The Light. When these bodies die, we can leave the body and fly off into the light if we choose. We once had the opportunity to return again, if we wished. Or we could stay in the light, experiencing the joy of our being.

If the dark forces succeed in destroying this planet and all of the humans living on it, however, there may no longer be a collective unconsciousness. Most humans seem to be unaware of just how unstable this situation is. They believe that a "savior" will drop down out of the clouds at the last moment to save them. This is a total fabrication designed to make the masses sleep until it is too late.

The zero hour appears to be near. I find it strange that people in general have no idea just how precious every day, every hour, or every minute of their existence in this place is. They take daredevil chances, racing their cars at high speed, paying to ride breathtaking thrill rides, jumping from airplanes with parachutes, or carrying suicide bombs into a building full of people.

When death comes, and they no longer have these bodies to use, they will miss the experience. Enjoy the ride this time around. Because of what we have done to this planet our future is changed. Once we leave this time we may not have the chance to return.

(c) 2022 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 U.S. Government Locked Up This Californian Family, Then Insisted They Join The Military
By David Swanson

The U.S. government took a family away from its house, jobs, schools, and friends, locked up all of its members, and then began ordering the male family members of the proper age to join the U.S. military and head straight off to war.

This wasn't last month. This was in 1941. And it wasn't at random. The family was of Japanese ancestry, and the incarceration was accompanied by the accusation of being subhuman creatures but also of being disloyal traitors. None of that makes it acceptable or irrelevant. The relevance is demonstrated by the questioning state of mind in which you just read the headline above. Was the family from south of the border? Were they Muslim? Were they Russian? Evil and abusive practices have been around since long before the abuse of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and are still around today.

This week, the New York Times, published a few new photographs from Guantanamo and claimed that this was something new, even though people had for decades seen very similar and very famous photographs of prisoners in orange at Guantanamo, protesters had worn orange and put the photos on giant posters, violent anti-U.S. fighters had worn orange. Terrorists had said they were acting in response to the outrages at Guantanamo. Of course, someone just wants to generate clicks to the New York Times website, but there's never a penalty for erasing horrors or for treating them as exceptional.

Back to the family in California. A newly published memoir by Yoshito Kuromiya, with a foreword by Lawson Inada, Preface by Eric Muller, and edited by Arthur Hansen, is titled Beyond The Betrayal: The Memoir of a World War II Japanese American Draft Resister of Conscience. Kuromiya recounts how his family was snatched up from their lives in California and put into a camp beyond barbed wire in Wyoming. In the camp, white - and therefore trustworthy and admirable - teachers instructed the young members of the inferior group on the glories of the U.S. Constitution and all the wonderful liberties it creates. And Yoshito was ordered to join the U.S. military and kill or die in World War II (full humanity and trustworthiness not required).

As the book's title rather gives away, Yoshito Kuromiya refused. Many refused together, and many obeyed together. There was quite a debate, as you might imagine. Should one go and kill and die in the horrific stupidity of war? And should one do so for a government that treats you like this one did? It's never crystal clear to me, and perhaps it never was to the author, whether he objected to all war. He writes of how horrible it would have been to participate. He also writes that he might have joined in the senseless murder under other circumstances. Yet he also, years later, expresses his support for Ehren Watada's refusal to participate in the war on Iraq. Perhaps those, too, were just the wrong circumstances. But Kuromiya writes that he regrets not having established at the time of WWII the legal right to refuse war, and he cannot be unaware what a fatal blow to the institution of war that would have been. Nor could he have been unaware that he had resisted the only war of the countless U.S. wars in the past 75 years that most people will even try to defend as morally justifiable.

Kuromiya's memoir gives us context. He recounts his parents' immigration and struggles prior to WWII. He says that he'd always been geographically contained by poverty, prior to being contained by guards and fences. After the war, he describes the reversal of things, with the white flight from neighborhoods that Japanese Americans managed to move into. He also recounts the differences of opinion among prisoners, and among guards. He describes the prison in Washington State to which he and other conscientious objectors were sent, including the relatively positive aspects of it, and including the prison guards who would have to stay there longer than the prisoners.

Kuromiya and his fellow resisters went to court and were ruled against by a racist judge, and then had any prospects for a favorable ruling ended by Truman's pardoning of draft resisters. The U.S. government later admitted its wrong in incarcerating all those families. There's a monument in Washington, D.C., swearing that they won't do it again. But the government has never admitted that there was anything wrong with a draft. In fact, were it not for buffoonishly sexist Republicans, the Democrats would have long since added women to draft registration. Nor has the U.S. government, as far as I know, publicly admitted anything particularly wrong about the combination of locking people up and then drafting them. In fact, it still lets courts give convicts a choice of the military over other punishment, lets immigrants be denied citizenship unless they join the military, lets anyone at all lack access to education unless they join the military to acquire funds for college, and let's kids grow up in such dangerous neighborhoods that the military looks like a safer option.

Kuromiya's account of what he faced is not what you'll read in a school-board-approved history text. It's a first-person witnessing of what happened without any watering down by the heroic greatness of FDR or the all-excusing evil of the Nazis. Nor are Kuromiya's inconvenient thoughts omitted. He wonders why German- and Italian-Americans were not treated as Japanese-Americans were. He recognizes that the U.S. government took steps to get into a war with Japan, leaving the reader to wonder whether that ability to see past some of the propaganda, not to mention the ability to see Japanese people as human beings, may have influenced Kuromiya's actions - and to wonder what similar abilities might have meant if more widespread.

(c) 2022 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.

Canada can reliably and affordably meet rising demand as we shift from fossil fuels to clean electricity.

Groundbreaking Report Outlines Canada's Quick Path To Clean Power
By David Suzuki

A David Suzuki Foundation study found Canada's Prairie provinces could be energy superpowers.

It's not because of their diminishing supplies of polluting, climate-altering coal, oil and gas - or even uranium for nuclear power. The Prairies have an abundance of cleaner, less expensive energy: sun and wind.

Southern Saskatchewan and southeast Alberta get more sunshine than anywhere else in Canada, with some communities seeing more than 2,400 hours a year. According to a CBC article, "The rest of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are not far behind, racking up over 2,000 hours per year." That's almost twice as much as some areas along the Pacific coast!

A lot of wind also blows across the flat Prairie landscapes. In fact, most farms into the 20th century had windmills, mainly to pump water.

Now, people on the Prairies are harnessing this natural bounty to fuel a clean-energy revolution - creating jobs and helping steer us away from the vagaries of volatile international oil markets and prices. Alberta, especially, is shifting from being the leading producer of fossil fuels to a renewable energy powerhouse - despite its government's single-minded focus on outdated fuels. That government's enthusiasm for markets, however, has created a good climate for renewable energy developers.

In Vulcan County, north of Lethbridge, Canada's largest solar farm is nearing completion. Covering 13.5 square kilometres (3,330 acres), the Travers Solar Project will have 1.3 million solar panels producing 465 megawatts, enough electricity to power 150,000 homes. It's also created about 800 direct jobs.MO<> Also in Vulcan County, the 300-megawatt Blackspring Ridge Wind project was completed in 2014, and last year, the 353-megawatt Whitla Wind project southeast of Lethbridge beat out Blackspring to become Alberta's largest wind facility.

Saskatchewan now gets 25 per cent of its power from renewable sources, with 20 per cent from hydro and the rest from wind. With several projects underway - including one solar and three wind facilities - that's increasing. Three more solar and one wind project are also in planning stages, along with several community-based installations. Saskatchewan has also started building a battery storage facility in Regina.

"Shifting Power: Zero-Emissions Electricity Across Canada by 2035," by the David Suzuki Foundation with independent researchers from the University of Victoria, shows that, by investing in wind and solar generation, and improving interprovincial transmission and upgrading energy efficiency, Canada can reliably and affordably meet rising demand as we shift from fossil fuels to clean electricity.

That means creating a more interconnected grid so that, for example, "as a weather system with strong winds moves across the prairies, Alberta can export excess electricity generation to Saskatchewan or British Columbia when windy conditions prevail to the west and then import power from Saskatchewan as the storm moves east. When B.C. is importing wind power from Alberta, it can scale back hydroelectric generation, keeping its hydro reservoir capacity for later use."

The study shows that the grid maintains reliability so electricity is there when and where it's needed and that costs are comparable to business-as-usual and get lower as the grid is cleaned with renewables and fuel costs are eliminated. Other studies show that shifting away from fossil fuels for cars and home heating reduces household costs.

As with all energy developments, there are impacts, although not nearly as many or severe as with fossil fuels. Renewable energy projects, including energy storage infrastructure, require space and materials, many of which have to be mined. They've also been associated with human rights abuses in parts of the world - especially mining and hydro developments.

These issues must be addressed in the same manner as all human activities and the products that support them - by ensuring things last longer, that they and their components can be recycled or re-used, by manufacturing materials and situating infrastructure in ways that are less damaging to the environment and communities, and by ensuring that equity, justice and shared decision-making are inherent.

The Foundation's study is accompanied by a companion report, "Decarbonizing Electricity and Decolonizing Power: Voices, Insights and Priorities from Indigenous Clean Energy Leaders," by Neegan Burnside and Dean Jacobs, which sets out six principles for upholding Indigenous rights and ensuring Indigenous communities benefit from a transition to emissions-free electricity.

The future of energy is renewable - especially on the Prairies!

(c) 2022 Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

The Bipartisan Gun Bill Is A Good Start Like Tying Your Shoes Is A Good Way to Start A Marathon
The killing of a retired Wisconsin judge was only one of many acts of gun violence over the weekend.
By Charles P. Pierce

The Washington Post ran an altogether remarkable paragraph on Monday to kick off its coverage of the bipartisan agreement on gun violence that emerged over the weekend. This was it.

A bipartisan group of senators announced Sunday that it had reached a tentative agreement on legislation that would pair modest new gun restrictions with significant new mental health and school security investments - a deal that could put Congress on a path to enacting the most significant national response in decades to acts of mass gun violence.

It could do that. It could also provide a lake of stew, and of whiskey, too, that you can paddle around in a big canoe. Even assuming that the plan passes the Senate at all, which is still not a mortal lock, to assume that this is some sort of stepping-stone toward more toothsome gun control regulations seems to be wildly optimistic. Remember those heady days when the Affordable Care Act was supposed to put us all on the road to universal healthcare and Medicare For All? All that's actually happened is that the ACA has been fighting for its own life ever since. Republican governors even refused the FREE MONEY!!! available to them to expand Medicaid coverage, and then they bragged about it. Keep that part of the story in mind as we go along here.

I do not in any way mean to disparage the hard work done by Senator Chris Murphy and the others to pry the agreement they got out of the Republican morass that is the Senate minority caucus. The provisions of the bill are certainly helpful with regard to a number of the country's problems. The difficulty comes when one realizes that one of the problems being addressed is decidedly not Too Many Damn Guns, and also, that there are a number of self-destruct mechanisms built in to the agreement.

Under the tentative deal, a federal grant program would encourage states to implement red-flag laws that allow authorities to keep guns away from people found by a judge to represent a potential threat to themselves or others, while federal criminal background checks for gun buyers younger than 21 would include a mandatory search of juvenile justice and mental health records for the first time.

Other provisions would prevent gun sales to a broader group of domestic violence offenders, closing what is often called the "boyfriend loophole:" clarify which gun sellers are required to register as federal firearms dealers and, thus, run background checks on customers; and establish new federal offenses related to gun trafficking.

I trust that I don't have to explain the problem with a program to "encourage" states to do things, especially when those states are run by conservative Republican governors and conservative Republican legislatures. Generally, history tells us, this money, assuming the state even accepts it, ends up in the general budget, and/or someone's cousin's concrete and asphalt business. Hell, just light that money on fire on Main Street and shoot it full of holes.

However, this pale pastel of a framework is the only kind of bill with a ghost of a chance of bringing along 10 Republicans in the Senate. And even so, the flying monkeys went predictably ballistic. Rep. Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician who claimed the former president* was the Slenderman, leaped to the electric Twitter machine to lose most of his shit.

I WILL NOT support the horrendous anti 2nd Amendment bill that's being proposed in the Senate. It's AWFUL! This is a MASSIVE violation of your Constitutional rights, and it MUST be rejected!
Rep. Andy Biggs chimed in with the customary paranoia:
The House's recently passed gun control legislation would not have prevented the Uvalde or Buffalo mass shootings. This legislation is part of a broader goal to take all of our guns and erode the Second Amendment.
And Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene gabble-gooble-red-flags-gobble:
There should be ZERO votes for red flag laws in the @HouseGOP. Stop helping Joe Biden and the Democrats hurt Americans. The people will not forget.
And so on.

I hope the thing passes. But I'm not going to fall for the alleged magical powers of the word "bipartisan" to turn chickenshit into chicken salad. This is a good start in the same way that making sure your shoes are tied is a good start to a marathon.

(c) 2022 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 -

"Let us wage a moral and political war against war itself so that we can cut military spending and use that money for human needs."
~~~ Bernie Sanders

California Milestone
State for First Time briefly Generates 103% of its Electricity from Renewables
By Juan Cole

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) - On one day in May, Lauren Sommer at NPR reported, California ran for several hours on 103% renewable electricity, which means it generated enough electricity from wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and battery to fulfill the entire needs of the state plus to be able to export a bit to neighboring states. While it has come close on several occasions this spring, this was the first time the state even momentarily got all its electricity from renewables.

It is a largely symbolic victory, since in 2021, non-hydro renewable sources of electricity came to 34%. Hydro that year only provided 7%, down from 21% in 2017. So 41% of the state's electricity was from renewables in 2021. The state wants to up this proportion to 60% by 2030, which would require a much faster rollout of renewables than is currently the case. Late spring in California is an especially propitious time for renewables, since there is plenty of sunlight and the days are long, and winds are high.

If California were an independent country, it would have the fifth largest GDP in the world, after Germany.

Last year, solar (both utility-scale and rooftop solar) provided fully 25% of the state's electricity. Some 6% came from geothermal plants. Wind only supplied 10% of the state's electricity.

CBS 8 San Diego: "California ahead of clean energy goals"

California has 11 new gigawatts of wind and solar in the pipeline for 2022. The solar installations were momentarily threatened by a Commerce Department ban on solar panel imports from four Southeast Asian countries, but President Biden just allowed those imports for the next two years while attempting to turbocharge US solar panel production. It therefore seems likely that California will bring in the 11 gigawatts of new renewables. California now has 15.5 gigawatts of solar and 6 gigawatts of wind capacity, so this would be an increase of 50% in just one year.

Renewables are becoming so central to California's economy that unions have gotten interested in training and representing workers in those fields, as with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Engineers in San Diego. President Biden is insisting that new solar panel plants receiving federal subsidies in the U.S. be unionized.

One place California could much expand its renewable capability is offshore wind. Winds typically blow more reliably out at sea, and offshore floating wind turbines can't be seen or heard by residents.

Brownstein recently announced:

"On May 26, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced proposed auctions for offshore wind leases in two wind energy areas (WEAs) off California's north and central coasts: the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area and Humboldt Wind Energy Area. The "proposed sale notice" (PSN) proposes to offer multiple lease areas for sale in each wind energy area, with two proposed areas in the Humboldt WEA and three in the Morro Bay WEA.

The PSN estimates that the Morro Bay WEA could support approximately 3 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy, while the Humboldt WEA could support an additional 1.5 GW.

The proposed lease sale will be conducted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which is the federal agency responsible for offshore leasing in federal waters.

California now has about 6 gigawatts of wind power. So 4.5 new gigs of offshore wind would almost double the current capacity.

The big challenge is rapidly to build out energy storage, whether in the form of megabatteries or pumped hydro or molten sand. At the moment, California switches to methane gas when the sun goes down, and will need to do so until energy storage capacity is massively built out.

This year, the state faces another problem, which is that the Southwest megadrought, which has been exacerbated by humans burning coal, gas and petroleum, has produced only low levels of mountain snow, and it is snow melt that fills the reservoirs of hydro-electric dams. Hydro power will be way off this summer, threatening rolling brownouts, and the only immediate alternative is to depend more heavily on methane gas. NPR's Sommer quotes gas industry sources who believe that the state won't be able to get off gas entirely for decades, but I think that is way too pessimistic.

California wants to go green, and if its government is genuinely committed to that goal and willing to spend the necessary funds, the technology is already sufficient to make that happen. A lot of gas can be replaced by geothermal and heat pumps, for instance, and pumped hydro and megabattery storage are still only in their infancy in the state..

(c) 2022 Juan R.I. Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment. He 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.

How Joe Biden Can Help Workers Without Congress
By Robert Reich

Did you know Joe Biden can help American workers right now, even without Congress? He can sign three executive orders, affecting a fifth of the economy and transforming millions of workers' lives.

Biden has made campaign promises to support workers. Here are 3 ways he can fulfill that promise.

First: require that the federal government contract only with unionized companies whenever possible. This would give workers more bargaining power in every industry from healthcare to telecoms to food service to tech to defense.


Btw, if you'd like my daily analyses, commentary, and drawings, please subscribe to my free newsletter:


Back in the last century when I was secretary of labor, the Chamber of Commerce sued me for trying to do something similar. The Clinton administration had issued an executive order barring federal contracts with companies that permanently replaced striking workers. A federal court struck it down, ruling that the administration hadn't shown that the executive order was necessary to save the government money.

The way to ensure this executive order holds up is to include evidence that unionized companies save the government money. And that's not hard to do.

Unions may deliver higher wages but they also have been shown to deliver higher productivity. And higher productivity saves the government money.

Secondly, discourage union busting. Biden can require that federal contracts go only to companies that pledge to remain neutral in efforts to unionize.

Companies routinely use an arsenal of union-busting tactics. Some are blatantly illegal. A third of companies fire employees who try to form a union. They harass and intimidate their workers. About half threaten to close up shop or slash wages and benefits.

Why should taxpayers subsidize companies that illegally quash unions?

Third, deny federal contracts to companies that break labor laws. Biden can require bidders on federal contracts to disclose any labor violations in the past 3 years. This would just be reinstating Obama's executive order, which Trump revoked.

Companies that break the law and hurt workers shouldn't be rewarded with lucrative federal contracts.

A policy like this helps workers everywhere. One study found that when the Labor Department announced penalties for violating safety standards, other companies in the industry improved their safety standards.

Taken together, these three executive orders will improve the lives of millions of Americans.

(c) 2022 Robert B. Reich is the Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He 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

Proud Boys march in support of President Donald Trump in Washington, DC, December 12, 2020.

These Trump-Led Seditionists Must Be Punished In Court-And At The Ballot Box
Sedition is the word for what we call-during times of war-treason. Trump and his Republican and media allies are in it up to their necks.
By Thom Hartmann

"I have said that any man who attempted by force or unparliamentary disorder to obstruct or interfere with the lawful count of the electoral vote should be lashed to the muzzle of a twelve-pounder gun and fired out of a window." -General Winfield Scott, 1861

Last night the January 6th Committee's co-chair Liz Cheney told us that "Representative Scott Perry sought a pardon" along with "multiple other members of Congress" for their participation in the attempted coup, their sedition against the United States of America.

They understood they had committed a crime. And they wanted Trump to give them absolution, to prevent them from being prosecuted, to keep them out of jail.

Technically, to commit treason requires that a country be at war. "Giving aid and comfort to the enemy during time of war" is as bad as it gets. It's the worst possible crime against your country.

Sedition, attempting to obstruct or overthrow your government by force, is the peacetime equivalent of treason.

Sedition is a word with which most Americans are not familiar. We haven't had an American politician or armed group try to commit sedition in the United States since 1861, so it's not a word that we normally use or see in the media.

But sedition is what this is all about. An attempted coup to overthrow our government and replace its duly elected leader, Joe Biden, with Donald Trump.

Multiple Proud Boys and other white supremacist militias have been charged with conspiracy to commit sedition, and now we know why. Assembling near the Washington monument at 10 o'clock in the morning and then marching from there to the Capitol without even attending Trump's rally to lead the assault on that building is clearly sedition.

Trying to hang the Vice President of the United States and kidnap or murder the Speaker of the House to stop the peaceful transfer of power is clearly sedition.

And participating in organizing the entire thing, as Donald Trump, Mark Meadows, and other senior members of his staff appear to have done, deserves the 20 years in prison that a sedition conviction brings.

Last night's Committee hearing laid out the crimes committed on the ground, at the time, around and in the Capitol on January 6th. As time goes on, we will learn more about those around Trump who participated in the planning and execution of this crime, or failed to do anything to stop it.

Five people died that day, and soon thereafter three police officers died as a result of its violence. Sedition, attempted murder, destruction of property, assault on police officers: all these crimes were committed in an attempt to overthrow the government of the United States.

It's truly breathtaking.

And when we turned to Fox "News" during the breaks, we saw Sean Hannity, a close ally of Trump's, whining that Nancy Pelosi had not called out the Capitol Police when the National Guard, who were under the direct control of Donald Trump, were positioned just a few miles away but had been forbidden to assist or even move on that day under order of Donald Trump's Acting Secretary of Defense.

Checking Fox News at the end of the hearing, we watched Laura Ingraham assert that what we saw was not, definitely not, an attempt to overthrow the election and the government of the United States. She asked, for example, how a man putting his feet on Nancy Pelosi's desk could be overthrowing the government?

So now, it appears that we have three levels of criminality here, or at least culpability.

There was a man at the top, Donald Trump, who helped organize and encourage the entire operation.

There were elected Republican officials, ranging from members of the US House of Representatives and the US Senate all the way down to individual state houses forging Electoral College certificates, who organized and executed the political part of the crime.

There were the white supremacist militia members, loyal followers of the viciously racist president, who organized violence intended to stop the counting of the electoral college vote, even if that meant the murder of America's Vice President.

And there are those in the media and their allies in Congress who are committed to an ongoing cover-up of the crime.

George Washington, in his farewell address of 1796 (ghost written by Alexander Hamilton), warned us of this moment.

Should the time ever come when a "faction" of politicians or Americans put their party interest above that of the nation, he warned us, it would create a "spirit of revenge," that could be so severe it would provoke "cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men" to "usurp for themselves the reins of government; destroying afterwards the very engines, which have lifted them to unjust dominion."

Writing that he was offering "warnings of a parting friend," Washington told his and future generations:

"The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you."
In the next sentence, he added a warning:
"But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively, though often covertly and insidiously, directed..."
This is exactly what we have seen with Donald Trump and his allies in Congress and the media, the "batteries of internal" enemies of America trying to stop the peaceful transfer of power that is the hallmark of a functioning democracy.
"[I]t is of infinite moment," Washington warned us, "that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity..."
For over 200 years, with the exception of the Civil War era, this has dictated our political dialogue.

Democrats, Republicans, and members of other political parties have, for two-and-a-half centuries, disagreed about things but kept that disagreement respectful and tried to deal with issues and disputes in an open and honest fashion.

That all came to an end with the Reagan revolution, because the Supreme Court legalized political bribery and it became "normal" in America for politicians to put their loyalty to their donors and their donors' industries and causes above the interests of our nation and its people.

In service of their overlords, Republicans have frozen Congress and forward movement for forty years now. It's gotten so bad we can't even deal with the ongoing slaughter of our own children or the climate change threat to all life on Earth.

In the final part of that warning sentence, outgoing President Washington told us that we must be:

"[W]atching for [our nation and its democracy's] preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts."
We now have entire media organizations devoted to alienating one portion of the country from another and enfeebling the sacred ties that once bound America into a single, united nation.
"[T]here will always be reason," Washington warned us, "to distrust the patriotism of those who in any quarter may endeavor to weaken its bands."
And how would that happen? Washington warned us about politicians who would nakedly lie about the behaviors and motivations of their political opponents:
"One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts."
Our constitution calls for a peaceful transfer of power when a new president is elected. It lays out the specifics of the process, a process that Trump, his allies in Congress, and the white supremacist militia members sought to disrupt in their effort to destroy the government of our country.>{?} In that same paragraph, George Washington spoke to this moment:
"Respect for [our nation's] authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all."
Yet Trump; his allies in Congress; the white supremacist militia he pulled together and directed as an invading army against our capital; and his handmaids in the media ignored that sacred obligation. They spit upon it.

Trump's crimes against our nation, attempting to raise an armed force to overthrow our government and murder our Vice President, is the most severe crime against our nation since the oligarchs of the Old South seceded from the union and began the Civil War.

Trump's allies tried to steal the electoral college ballots, murder the Vice President and Speaker of the House, and stop the installation of Joe Biden as President. Again, President Washington and Treasury Secretary Hamilton were prescient:

"All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency."
"Fatal" as in deadly to democracy, destructive of our nation itself.
"They serve to organize faction," Washington wrote, "to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community..."
Well aware of the vital importance of democracy, but also cognizant of its fragility, Washington added:
"[C]unning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion."
As if they had dreamed of Donald Trump rising to power in the United States, Alexander Hamilton and George Washington told us: "The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.

"But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty." Always be on alert for politicians who want to seize absolute power in America, President Washington told us. Beware those "more fortunate" rich people who corrupt our nation for their own gain.

"A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position."
Laws can be changed, the Constitution can be amended, as times and events demand. The nation will grow and mature, necessitating these changes. But never, ever try to make such changes with a mob attack in the capital building:
"If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this... is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed."
Make no mistake.

Donald Trump and his allies within the Republican Party and it's allied media, embrace foreign despots like Viktor Orban and suggest his despotic Hungarian government should replace our Constitution and be a new model for America.

They make excuses for Donald Trump's crimes and his attempt to overthrow our government, and actively act against the interests of democracy or our nation.

They have tried to destroy our democracy.

They have torn apart our nation.

In seeking pardons from Trump, they prove they knew the gravity of their crimes.

They are continuing that effort to this day. If anything, they are doubling down on it.

Last night, Congresswoman Liz Cheney said:

"Tonight, I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain."
But the judgment of history is less urgent than the crisis we face today. Republicans are already preparing for a repeat in 2024 as, in state after state, they rewrite our election laws, purge voter lists, and organize armed militias to intimidate the remaining voters at the polls.

They must be punished, and punished severely, both at the ballot box and in the courts.

Anything less continues this existential danger to our democratic republic, and we may not survive their next seditious attack.

(c) 2022 Thom Hartmann is a talk-show host and the author of "The Hidden History of Monopolies: How Big Business Destroyed the American Dream" (2020); "The Hidden History of the Supreme Court and the Betrayal of America" (2019); and more than 25 other books in print.

The Cartoon Corner -

This edition we're proud to showcase the cartoons of
~~~ Jeff Koterba ~~~

To End On A Happy Note -

Have You Seen This -

Parting Shots -

New Abortion Waiting Period Law Requires Women To Spend Night In Creepy Old House On Hill
By The Onion

JACKSON, MS-In an effort to make sure all patients understood the severity of the procedure, Mississippi passed a new waiting period law Thursday requiring all abortion seekers to spend the night in a creepy old house on the hill.

"That house, the old Taylor house, that's where any woman who wants an abortion will have to go to think things over," said Gov. Tate Reeves, who noted that the dilapidated old mansion had sat empty ever since the entire family who lived there had been found brutally murdered in their beds and covered in blood over 100 years ago.

"They say a neighborhood kid snuck in a few years ago on a dare, and he was never quite the same. Killed himself not too long after. Anyone seeking an abortion will have to first slip through the rusted gate and spend the night all by themselves. No phones, no company. And no matter what happens, you can't leave-or else you're not getting that abortion."

At press time, Reeves added that if women listened closely, they would be able to hear the sound of a fetal heartbeat coming from beneath the floorboards.

(c) 2022 The Onion


Issues & Alibis Vol 22 # 20 (c) 06/17/2022

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