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In This Edition

Dahr Jamail warns, "Ocean Acidification Could Amplify Climate Disruption."

Uri Avnery watches, "The March Of Folly."

Glen Ford concludes, "Shaun King Is "All In" With The FBI And CIA."

Harvey Wasserman examines, "Trump's Space Force: Military Profiteering's Final Frontier."

Jim Hightower is, "Trapped In The Donald's Cuckoo Nest."

John Nichols presents a must read for voters in Michigan, "Abdul El-Sayed Is Running For Governor Of Michigan On A Platform That Embraces The Future."

James Donahue sends out good vibrations in, "Researchers Look At Psychic Functioning."

William Rivers Pitt returns with a must read, "Here's an Incredible Offer, Donald: Resign."

Heather Digby Parton proves, "They're Trying To Kill Us."

David Suzuki says, "We Can't Hide From Global Warming's Consequences."

Charles P. Pierce reporta, "The Interior Department Announced (By Accident) That Everything Is for Sale."

David Swanson demands we, "Tell Israel To Allow Thinking In Its Schools."

Jane Stillwater explores, "Rosie The Riveter, Public Transit, Climate Change And YOU."

EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler, wins this week's coveted, "Vidkun Quisling Award!"

Robert Reich says it's, "A Time For Integrity."

Eugene Robinson reminds you, "Vote In The Midterms-Or Be Part Of The Problem."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department The Onion warns, "Dozens Of White Houses Materialize From Temporal Vortex As Trump's Changing Account Of Putin Meeting Tears Apart Space-Time" but first Uncle Ernie introduces, "President Jabberwocky."

This week we spotlight the cartoons of Mr. Fish, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Ruben Bolling, Tom Tomorrow, Joe Raedle, Quinn Dombrowski, Michael Buck, Noah Flora, Tom Williams, Alex Wong, Joyce N. Boghosian, 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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President Jabberwocky
With apologies to Lewis Carrol
By Ernest Stewart

"Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe."" ~~~ Lewis Carrol

"We project that unmitigated climate change (RCP8.5) could result in a combined 9-40 thousand additional suicides (95% confidence interval) across the United States and Mexico by 2050, representing a change in suicide rates comparable to the estimated impact of economic recessions, suicide prevention programmes or gun restriction laws." ~~~ Marshall Burke

"The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." ~~~ George Orwell ~ 1984

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another." ~~~ Charles Dickens

Every day, a new nightmare surfaces from the White House. Not since Ray-Guns have we faced such a delima; a president with full blown Dementia at the helm. At least Ronnie had Nancy and her astrologers to run the country, now all we have is the first Bimbo who, as she has proven, will do anything, and we mean anything, for a passport and a buck!

"Despite the constant negative press covfefe," ~~~ Donald tRump. Covfefe indeed! As Harvey Wasserman points out in this weeks article not since Ray-Guns has a president decided what we need is to take our nukes up into space, you may remember how that worked out? As bad as the rest were since Ray-Guns no president was that stupid, not even Dubya, who you'll remember has the brains of a duck.

Of course, tRump saw that there was a treaty to be broken, and if there is one thing tRump loves to break are treaties and as we pointed out before there is the 1967 space treaty, that we signed that tRump wants to break so his pals in the armaments industry can make even more money that their trillion dollar a year current salary.

Of course, that is just one of his many bright ideas to destroy this country and the rest of the world too. Every day a new nightmare scenario. Just one question, America. Does anyone know where we can get a vorpal blade that goes snicker-snack?

In Other News

I see where according to a new study global warming is leading more people to commit suicide.

Stanford University scientists say they have identified a connection between climate change and mental health, suggesting that abnormally hot temps prompt more suicides. If trends persist, there could be an additional 21,000 deaths in the US and Mexico alone over the next three decades, according to their study, which was published in Nature Climate Change on Monday.

Lead researcher Marshall Burke said, "When talking about climate change, it's often easy to think in abstractions. But the thousands of additional suicides that are likely to occur as a result of unmitigated climate change are not just a number, they represent tragic losses for families across the country."

The study compared suicide rates in abnormally hot months with those in months with average temperatures. Burke and his colleagues looked at five decades of suicides and the temperature when each death took place.

The authors stress that rising temperature and climate change should not be viewed as direct motivations for suicide. Instead, they point out that temperature and climate may increase the likelihood amid other factors.

Solomon Hsiang, study co-author and associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley said, "It appears that heat profoundly affects the human mind and how we decide to inflict harm."

Burke added, "Suicide is one of the leading causes of death globally, and suicide rates in the US have risen dramatically over the last 15 years. So better understanding the causes of suicide is a public-health priority."

The more we study global warming the more we see the many other factors, that aren't obvious, that it brings to the planet and mankind!

And Finally

Did you here about der fuhrer's speech to the VFW the other day? In his address to the convention in Kansas City, Trump defended his decision to slap tariffs on the U.S.’s trading partners. As Trump told the crowd that "it’s all working out,"" he warned those in the audience against believing what they see in the news. tRump said: "Just remember, what you are seeing and what you are reading is not what's happening" I'm just surprised that he didn't end the speech with, "I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane." In other words, "who are you going to believe, America, me or your lying eyes."

And while we're at it: War is Peace. Slavery is Freedom. And Ignorance is Strength! Good luck with that you double thinkers! Yes, America, we're pretty much screwed!

Our only hope is turning the House and Senate blue come November. If not both at least one or you ain't seen nothing yet. If we don't there maybe no America to save by 2020. If you aren't registered to vote go today and register. If you are already register go and see if you still are and haven't been removed from the lists. If they have removed you remind them that it is sedition, to do so, and the penalty for sedition is death! Raise hell and call the newspapers or your local TV if you must. And all you who like to sit out the elections ask yourself this. "What will I tell the children about why daddy or mommy didn't vote" Strapped into a white box car on the way to a new Happy Camp is just a bit too late for them and you. Think, First, they came for the Latinos, and I didn't speak out because I was not a Latino, Then they came for...!

Keepin' On

That check in the mail was apparently just a rumor. Wasn't it Shakespeare who said "Man doth not live by rumors only, he must have bread?" Or something to that effect? Methinks that all of "The Usual Suspects must have died off?" I haven't heard from one of them since April so I guess we'll need to depend on the "newbies" if we're going to proceed at all.

Gone are those golden daze of yore when a couple of folks with money, not that white money, but the folding kind, would step up and pick up our publishing tab for the year. Those indeed were the daze, but I fear those daze have come and and gone; so it's up to all of you to step up and pay your fair share of keeping us active, fighting the good fight for you and yours. Can you name any other group that does what we do without taking a dime? Most take a six or seven figure salary. The difference is, all I owe allegiance to is to you, and not those who can afford to pay a 6 or 7 figure salary.

Ergo, please visit this site and follow the directions therein; and, against all odds, we'll be here for you every week with the latest news; whether good or bad, you can always deal with the truth; but you need to know what it is; and you'll find it here! Where else can you find it?


05-16-1967 ~ 07-19-2018
Thanks for the film!

01-05-1938 ~ 07-23-2018
Thanks for fighting the good fight!


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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) 2018 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.

A researcher from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, places a piece of Orbicella faveolata coral into a holding tank on May 20, 2016, in
Miami, Florida. The sample was collected from an area of living coral reef off the South Florida coast by researchers working on the effects of warming and ocean acidification on coral.

Ocean Acidification Could Amplify Climate Disruption
By Dahr Jamail

One of the more serious impacts of human-caused climate disruption occurs when seawater absorbs excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. When this occurs, the carbon dioxide reacts with the water to form carbonic acid, which then ultimately reduces its pH level. For much of the marine life in the oceans, the consequences of this will be dire.

"Animals that have a calcium carbonate shell such as, corals, coralline algae, pteropods, bivalves and gastropods are negatively affected by ocean acidification," said Richard Feely, a senior scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. "In some cases, their shells are weakened or actually dissolve while the animal is still alive. Fish behavior is also impacted by ocean acidification such that some species lose their ability to navigate or avoid predators."

Acidifying oceans have already killed valuable oysters within the Pacific Northwest where Feely lives. "Oyster larvae are dying in the shellfish hatcheries along the West Coast," he said.

Feely, who also holds an affiliate full professor faculty position at the University of Washington School of Oceanography, has been studying ocean acidification for nearly half a century. He moved to Seattle in 1974 and started a chemical oceanography program at NOAA. Feely ultimately went on to become one of the first scientists to measure how seawater was storing excess carbon dioxide and has, from the beginning, been one of the leading scientists studying ocean acidification.

The pH scale measures acidity, and 7.0 is neutral, whereas higher readings are more "basic" and lower readings are more "acidic." Historically, Earth's oceans averaged a pH of 8.2, but this is predicted to fall by as much as 0.4 by 2100. Since the pH scale is logarithmic, one pH unit represents a tenfold change. The ocean's pH level has already dropped from 8.2 to 8.1, which represents a 25 percent drop within just the past century.

As oceans absorb increasing amounts of our industrial emissions of CO2, their pH is expected to drop to a staggering 7.7 pH by 2100, according to professor of marine chemistry Aleck Wang at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Wang told National Geographic that by 2100, "you are going to start seeing calcium carbonate shells dissolve. It's not going to be that far away." Most scientists studying the impacts of ocean acidification agree that by killing off the types of organisms Feely mentioned (corals, oysters, types of phytoplankton, etc.), major portions of the oceanic food chain could be greatly impacted.

Feely told Truthout that key marine organisms and ecosystem services face contrasting risks from the combined effects of ocean acidification, warming and sea level rise, and that even under the most stringently controlled CO2 emissions scenario, warm water corals and mid-latitude bivalves "are considered to be at high risk by 2100."

"Under our current rate of CO2 emissions, most marine organisms are expected to have very high risk of impacts by 2100 and many by 2050," Feely said. "These results are consistent with evidence of biological responses during high-CO2 periods in the geological past. Impacts to the ocean's ecosystem services follow a parallel trajectory."

Ecosystem Impacts

Seiji Nakaya is a coral biologist who coordinated and recently completed the Palau International Coral Reef Center's research program on climate disruption's impacts on coral reefs. Now working back in Japan, Nakaya shared with Truthout his concerns about ocean acidification's impact on global fisheries.

Nakaya explained several ways the impact will be felt. "Acidification will inhibit growth of … organisms that have calcium carbonate skeleton such as shellfish, crustaceans and sea urchins," he said. "It will impact fisheries by inhibiting growth of planktons with calcium carbonate, such as pteropods, [which] are bases of food chains to sustain fish populations, and acidification will inhibit growth of corals, damaging the dimensional structure of coral reefs that fish or prey of fishery-target species inhabit."

Feely shared similar concerns and pointed out how corals, bivalves and other organisms are negatively affected by acidification, as it also reduces their competitiveness with non-calcifiers. He added how in some parts of the ocean that already have naturally low pH - like upwelling areas, the polar regions and in mid/deep waters - ocean acidification can even result in the "net dissolution of carbonate shells and skeletons (i.e. cold-water coral reefs) and loss of associated habitat."

Feely pointed out there are some positive impacts from acidification - species like blue crabs, lobsters and shrimp actually grow thicker shells that could make them more resistant to predators, according to one study - and that some biological responses can be exacerbated by other factors like oceanic warming, deoxygenation and metal pollution.

"As a result, many uncertainties remain in our understanding of the impacts of ocean acidification on organisms, life histories and ecosystem responses," he said.

But Feely has been concerned about the negative impacts for a long time.

"Over the past 20 million years, ocean ecosystems have evolved in a very stable pH environment," Feely told in 2009. "I'm worried that if concentrations of carbon dioxide continue to rise, the ocean could undergo large and rapid changes in pH."

In 2004, Feely had published two critically important articles in the journal Science that showed the ocean had already absorbed roughly one-third of the carbon dioxide emitted by humans, and had caused changes in the seawater.

According to Feely, high latitude and upwelling regions of the oceans are already "seriously affected by ocean acidification," and he said that he and his colleagues are "already observing dissolution of pteropod shells in the Arctic and Southern Oceans, and also upwelling regions along the West Coast of North America."

Rich Childers is the Ocean Acidification Policy Lead for the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, where he monitors ocean acidification's impacts on wild stock populations in Washington's marine waters. To Childers, acidification's impacts on global fisheries is "the million-dollar question" that resource managers and researchers are struggling with.

"Of great concern to resource managers is how ocean acidification is and will impact planktonic species (both plant and animal) that are key organisms in marine primary production and large-scale food webs," Childers told Truthout. "A likely scenario is that future impacts to marine life from ocean acidification will result in 'winners' and 'losers' at the organism level, and a resulting change in marine community structures."

Similar to Feely and Nakaya, Childers described acidification's impact of reducing the carbonate ion and other essential minerals utilized by calcifying marine organisms to produce shells as a "great concern to resource managers and ecologists."

Childers told Truthout that, beginning in 2005, "Pacific Northwest oyster hatcheries in Washington and Oregon experienced oyster seed production failures resulting from arrival of low-pH (more acidic) seawater. This low-pH seawater was corrosive to shell-forming organisms, including the young oysters being produced in the hatchery."

Increasing Concerns

Nakaya told Truthout one of his most serious concerns about acidification's impacts was that it could cause a negative feedback by "reducing the capacity of seawater that can absorb atmospheric CO2 by affecting CO2 fixing organisms, which in turn increases atmospheric CO2. This may intensify climate change." Nakaya pointed out that there is no way to reverse acidification quickly, "except for reducing emission of CO2, and we don't know how serious the impact of ocean acidification will be in future." Childers pointed out that ocean acidification has the potential to "seriously influence survival of marine wild stock populations and compromise and/or change marine ecosystems on both large and small scales."

He said that while the end results are unclear at this time, "Clearly, ocean acidification will have negative impacts to some marine species and potentially to large-scale ecosystems."

Feely believes that successful management of the impacts of ocean acidification entails the reduction of human-caused CO2 emissions and "societal adaptation by reducing the consequences of past and future ocean acidification."

The latter of these entails the direct mitigation of acidification by reduction of atmospheric CO2 emissions, which he sees as also the least risky.

Feely addressed the idea of climate geo-engineering techniques based on solar radiation management and said that these efforts "will not directly abate ocean acidification since CO2 levels would continue to increase anyway.

He went on to add, "Techniques to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, by either biological, geochemical or chemical means, could directly address the problem, but are not yet well-developed." And of those, "They seem likely to have additional environmental consequences, or may be very costly, or may be limited by the lack of CO2 storage capacity."

Feely's deepest concerns about ocean acidification are that so many ecosystem processes that humans depend on for food and survival are already impacted by both oceanic warming and acidification, and the risks of these impacts to these services only increases with continued CO2 emissions, which currently show little signs of slowing down.

"[The impacts] are predicted to remain moderate for the next several decades for most services under stringent emission reductions," Feely said. "But the business-as-usual scenario would put all ecosystem services at high or very high risk over the same time frame."

A 2015 study warned that ocean acidification could cause dramatic changes to phytoplankton, the basis of the entire oceanic food web.

According to a 2016 study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, CO2 is being added to the atmosphere at a minimum of 10 times faster than it had during a major warming event roughly 56 million years ago that caused a major planetary extinction event.
(c) 2018 Dahr Jamail, a Truthout staff reporter, is the author of The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan (Haymarket Books, 2009), and Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq (Haymarket Books, 2007). Jamail reported from Iraq for more than a year, as well as from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey over the last 10 years, and has won the Martha Gellhorn Award for Investigative Journalism, among other awards.

The March Of Folly
By Uri Avnery

ONE CAN look at events in Gaza through the left or through the right eye. One can condemn them as inhuman, cruel and mistaken, or justify them as necessary and unavoidable.

But there is one adjective that is beyond question: They are stupid.

If the late Barbara Tuchman were still alive, she might be tempted to add another chapter to her groundbreaking opus "The March of Folly": a chapter titled "Eyeless in Gaza".

THE LATEST episode in this epic started a few months ago, when independent activists in the Gaza Strip called for a march to the Israeli border, which Hamas supported. It was called "The Great March of Return", a symbolic gesture for the more than a million Arab residents who fled or were evicted from their homes in the land that became the State of Israel.

The Israeli authorities pretended to take this seriously. A frightening picture was painted for the Israeli public: 1.8 million Arabs, men, women and children, would throw themselves on the border fence, break through in many places, and storm Israel's cities and villages. Terrifying.

Israeli sharpshooters were posted along the border and ordered to shoot anyone who looked like a "ringleader". On several succeeding Fridays (the weekly Muslim holy day) more than 150 unarmed protesters, including many children, were shot dead, and many hundreds more severely wounded by gunfire, apart from those hurt by tear gas.

The Israeli argument was that the victims were shot while trying to "storm the fences". Actually, not a single such attempt was photographed, though hundreds of photographers were posted on both sides of the fence.

Facing a world-wide protest, the army changed its orders and now only rarely kills unarmed protesters. The Palestinians also changed their tactics: the main effort now is to fly children's kites with burning tails and set Israeli fields near the Strip on fire. Since the wind almost always blows from the West to the East, that is an easy way to hurt Israel. Children can do it, and do. Now the Minister of Education demands that the air force bomb the children. The Chief of Staff refuses, arguing that this is "against the values of the Israeli army."

At present, half of our newspapers and TV newscasts are concerned with Gaza. Everybody seems to agree that sooner or later a full-fledged war will break out there.

THE MAIN feature of this exercise is its utter stupidity.

Every military action must have a political aim. As the German military thinker, Carl von Clausewitz, famously said: "War is but a continuation of politics by other means."

The Strip is 41 km long and 6 to 12 km wide. It is one of the most overcrowded places on earth. Nominally it belongs to the largely theoretical State of Palestine, like the West Bank, which is Israeli occupied. The Strip is in fact governed by the radical Muslim Hamas party.

In the past, masses of Palestinian workers from Gaza streamed into Israel every day. But since Hamas assumed power in the Strip, the Israeli government has imposed an almost total blockade on land and sea. The Egyptian dictatorship, a close ally of Israel and a deadly enemy of radical Islam, cooperates with Israel.

So what does Israel want? The preferred solution is to sink the entire strip and its population into the sea. Failing that, what can be done?

The last thing Israel wants is to annex the Strip with its huge population, which cannot be driven out. Also, Israel does not want to put up settlements in the Strip (the few which were set up were withdrawn by Ariel Sharon, who thought that it was not worthwhile to keep and defend them).

The real policy is to make life in Gaza so miserable, that the Gazans themselves will rise and throw the Hamas authorities out. With this in mind, the water supply is reduced to two hours a day, electricity the same. Employment hovers around 50%, wages beneath the minimum. It is a picture of total misery.

Since everything that reaches Gaza must come through Israel (or Egypt), supplies are often cut off completely for days as "punishment."

Alas, history shows that such methods seldom succeed. They only deepen the enmity. So what can be done?

THE ANSWER is incredibly simple: sit down, talk and come to an agreement.

Yes, but how can you sit down with a mortal enemy, whose official ideology totally rejects a Jewish State?

Islam, which (like every religion) has an answer to everything, recognizes something called a "Hudna", which is a lasting armistice. This can go on for many decades and is (religiously) kept.

For several years now, Hamas has been almost openly hinting that it is ready for a long Hudna. Egypt has volunteered to mediate. Our government has totally ignored the offer. A Hudna with the enemy? Out of the question! God forbid! Would be terribly unpopular politically!

But it would be the sensible thing to do. Stop all hostile acts from both sides, say for 50 years. Abolish the blockade. Build a real harbor in Gaza city. Allow free trade under some kind of military inspection. Same for an airport. Allow workers to find employment in Israel, instead of importing workers from China and Romania.Turn Gaza into a second Singapore. Allow free travel between Gaza and the West Bank by a bridge or an exterritorial highway. Help to restore unity between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

WHY NOT? The very idea is rejected by an ordinary Israeli on sight.

A deal with Hamas? Impossible!!! Hamas wants to destroy Israel. Everybody knows that.

I hear this many times, and always wonder about the stupidity of people who repeat this.

How does a group of a few hundred thousand "destroy" one of the worlds most heavily armed states, a state that possesses nuclear bombs and submarines to deliver them? How? With kites?

Both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin pay us homage, the world's fascist dictators and liberal presidents come to visit. How can Hamas pose a mortal danger?

Why doesn't Hamas stop hostilities by itself? Hamas has competitors, which are even more radical. It does not dare to show any sign of weakness.

SOME DECADES ago the Arab world, on the initiative of Saudi Arabia, offered Israel peace under several conditions, all of them acceptable. Successive Israel governments have not only not accepted it, they have ignored it altogether.

There was some logic in this. The Israeli government wants to annex the West Bank. It wants to get the Arab population out, and replace them with Jewish settlers. It conducts this policy slowly, cautiously, but consistently.

It is a cruel policy, a detestable policy, yet it has some logic in it. If you really want to achieve this abominable aim, the methods may be adequate. But this does not apply to the Gaza Strip, which no one wants to annex. There, the methods are sheer folly.

THIS DOES not mean that the overall Israeli policy towards the Palestinians is any more wise. It is not.

Binyamin Netanyahu and his hand-picked stupid ministers have no policy. Or so it seems. In fact they do have an undeclared one: creeping annexation of the West Bank.

This is now going on at a quicker pace than before. The daily news gives the impression that the entire government machine is now concentrating on this project.

This will lead directly to an apartheid-style state, where a large Jewish minority will dominate an Arab majority.

For how long? One generation? Two? Three?

It has been said that a clever person is able to extricate himself from a trap into which a wise person would not have fallen in the first place.

Stupid people do not extricate themselves. They are not even aware of the trap.
(c) 2018 Uri Avnery ~~~ Gush Shalom

Shaun King Is "All In" With The FBI And CIA
By Glen Ford

Shaun King is an activist in a bubble, hobbled by a shrunken worldview that makes him an ally of the same forces of racial and economic repression he purports to oppose.

The stunted nature of King's politics was laid bare in a July 18 article in The Intercept. He had just seen President Trump "willfully dodge and deny the overwhelming evidence that Russia tried to intervene in the 2016 election." Trump had shirked "his responsibilities as president" and "sided with Putin," in King's view, by "saying he could see 'no reason' why Russia would ever do such a thing." Worst of all, "When asked whether he trusted his own intelligence agencies or Putin," Trump rambled incoherently about Hillary Clinton's email servers.It was possibly "the lowest moment of any presidential press conference in modern American history," King wrote. That Trump would "proudly" stand next to his Russian counterpart "just days after 12 government agents from that country were indicted for interfering in our elections and defend that president was a betrayal. Even I felt betrayed."

However, the 38-year-old former pastor thinks the episode in Helsinki represents a teachable moment for white people, who are now experiencing the kind of truth-denial by persons in authority that Black Americans have confronted throughout our history in this country. "To be black in America," wrote King, "is to constantly be told that what you know - the facts you've actually experienced, the life you've actually lived, and all of the pain and problems and injustice that comes with that life - only matters when a white person in authority says so."

King harkened back to his initiation into activism, as a student at Morehouse in 1999. The murder of Amadou Diallo, cut down in a 41-bullet fusillade by New York City cops, who were subsequently acquitted, taught King that: "Facts be damned. Justice is often administered by the powerful, for the powerful."

Unfortunately, Shaun King didn't learn very much, after all. When it comes to the powerful denizens of the FBI and the CIA, or federal special prosecutors, or corporate communications outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, MSNBC and CNN, King is a true believer -- if the target is Trump or Putin. Grand juries that routinely fail to indict killer cops, even when the murders are caught on video, become paragons of justice and virtue in King's mind when manipulated to indict Russians. Intelligence agencies that tell galactic lies about non-existent Iraqi "weapons of mass destruction," setting the stage for the extermination of millions, or whose top spies brazenly (and feloniously) lie to Congress about spying on the entirety of the U.S. population, become vectors of truth when they offer "assessments" -- but no proof, whatsoever -- that Russia "meddled" in the U.S. electoral process.

For Shaun King, Trump's willingness to stand in physical proximity to the leader of the other nuclear superpower while failing to signify "trust" in these same intelligence agencies marks "the lowest moment of any presidential press conference in modern American history" -- lower apparently, in King's estimation, than George W. Bush's declaration to the press that his FEMA chief was "doing a helluva job" aiding victims of Katrina, or President Bill Clinton's press conferences announcing his intention to abolish welfare "as we know it," or introducing his "anti-crime" bill that would send, literally, millions of African Americans to long terms in prison. King's activist awakening occurred in 1999, but it seems not to have shocked his moral sensibilities when President Obama named Wall Street operatives Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers to top economic positions, even though these same financial interests had just tanked the global economy and wiped out generations of Black wealth.

King did not believe that presidential press conferences had reached historic low points when Obama stood with national security advisor Susan Rice, the person most intimately involved in the U.S.-sanctioned slaughter of over six million Congolese under presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, the worst genocide since World War Two – that is, the worst bloodbath "in modern American history." King probably isn't even aware of the scope of the Congolese genocide, despite his years as a journalist, since the presidents he holds in such relatively high esteem have done all in their power to cover it up with the complicity of the same corporate media that King trusts to inform him on "Russiagate." Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon's many press conferences on Vietnam -- replete with lies that led to the deaths of at least three million people -- do not rank nearly as low in King's historical assessment as his sense of "betrayal" at Trump's meeting with Putin. This shows where King's head is at – and where it's not. King is fully respectful -- in awe, really -- of the legitimacy of the CIA, the assassins of Lumumba and countless other foreign leaders, and the most prolific regime-changers on Earth, and the FBI, the "neutralizers" of COINTELPRO, who assassinated Fred Hampton and who are now working whatever program targets "Black Identity Extremists," which may or may not include activist Shaun King. When these professional liars, disrupters and regime changers turn their tools on Trump and Putin, their words become golden for King.

King bemoans the fact that white racists only recognize Black perceptions as true "when a white person in authority says so," yet he accepts the proof-less Russiagate "assessments" of the white people in authority at the CIA and the FBI. That's strange and contradictory behavior for a self-described "Black Lives Matter" activist. In their platform on issues, the Movement for Black Lives warns that intelligence agencies are not Black people's friends. "The Edward Snowden leaks in 2013 revealed a vast surveillance apparatus constructed by the FBI and NSA that collects information on everyone in the U.S.," says the Movement for Black Lives policy statement, under the heading, End the War on Black People. "These leaks popularized the idea that surveillance is happening, but has been largely framed as having a universal impact. The reality is that surveillance has always existed and continues to be concentrated within targeted communities of color namely Black, Arab, and Immigrant; and activists who challenge state and corporate power."

In other words, the national security state is a greater danger to Black people, person for person, than anybody else in the country -- not to mention its crimes against people of color around the world. But Shaun King believes every word these agencies say about Trump and Putin -- and he will denounce YOU if you challenge their veracity. King is making his stand -- with the FBI and CIA.

If King were a smarter fellow, I would suggest that he attend the Black Is Back Coalition national conference in St. Louis, August 11 and 12, whose theme is, "There is no peace: Africa and Africans are at war. U.S. to the world: Comply or Die!" The conference "recognizes the unrelenting war that is being made by the U.S. government against Black people -- on the continent of Africa and throughout the U.S. -- in every aspect of our lives." Shaun King sometimes makes noises indicating that he is aware this war is going on, and that the intelligence agencies of the state -- under presidents of both corporate parties -- are main actors in this ongoing aggression. But, at this juncture in history, King is "all in" with the FBI and the CIA. So, he won't be wouldn't be welcome in St. Louis.

Shaun King may be an "activist," but he is not part of the Black Radical Tradition of W.E.B. Dubois, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Black Panther Party. Even Dubois once toyed with accepting the offer of a commission in U.S. Army Intelligence, during World War One, when it was massively spying on and disrupting Blacks and socialists. But Dubois lived long enough to reject such collaboration, and so became a target of the state. Maybe Shaun King's worldview will mature in the future. But right now, the brother ain't ready.
(c) 2018 Glen Ford is the Black Agenda Report executive editor. He can be contacted at

Trump's Space Force: Military Profiteering's Final Frontier
The heavens are going to be littered with radioactive debris
By Harvey Wasserman

The Commander-in-Chief, President Donald Trump, has announced a new mission into the realm of martial excess. It is one is that will surely enrich the aerospace industry while spreading the global battlefield to a new dimension.

Trump is calling for the creation of a new Space Force as a sixth branch of the U.S. military, to militarize the heavens.

"It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space," Trump told a meeting of the National Space Council in mid-June. "We must have American dominance in space."

To this end, the President has taken a page from Ronald Reagan's Star Wars playbook. Reagan's scheme, according to a recent article by Karl Grossman, was built around "nuclear reactors and plutonium systems on orbiting battle platforms providing the power for hypervelocity guns, particle beams and laser weapons."

Grossman, a journalism professor at State University of New York/College at Old Westbury and author of the book The Wrong Stuff: The Space Program's Nuclear Threat to Our Planet, has been reporting on the militarization of space for decades, says the move will likely spur a new international competition to weaponize space.

In an interview, Grossman told me that "the Russians and Chinese are hesitant because of the high cost. But if the Americans proceed with this, all bets are off. They're not going to sit for it. They're going to get up there before you know it."

"It will all be nuclear," Grossman adds. "It's the ultimate nightmare."

Trump's move contradicts the letter and spirit of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which was won after years of epic negotiations, mostly during the Vietnam War. The landmark United Nations accord brought the Soviet Union, China, the United States, and 120 other nations together in a monumental agreement to designate space as a global commons, reserved for peaceful purposes.

"States Parties to the Treaty undertake not to place in orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in outer space in any other manner," the treaty states.

"The Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used by all States Parties to the Treaty exclusively for peaceful purposes. The establishment of military bases, installations and fortifications, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of military maneuvers on celestial bodies shall be forbidden."

Now Trump has instructed the Pentagon "to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces; that is a big statement. We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force, separate but equal, it is going to be something."

The proposal for a Space Corps as part of the Air Force could likely pass in the House but faces tougher going in the Senate.

"There's a lot of resistance to this," says Grossman, "because a lot of the current work is located in Colorado Springs, and in Huntsville, Alabama. So there's geographical lobbying from the Pentagon because they thought a new Space Corps might be competition to some of the vested interest in those towns."

"It's hard to know how much this would cost," says Grossman. An article in Roll Call has estimated "$500 billion or more in the coming decade."

"The real cost will depend on how greedy the aerospace companies are," Grossman says. "So much of space is now private business, with Elon Musk and Bezos and all kind of companies talking about making a buck out there."

Representative Trent Franks, Republican of Arizona, seems to agree, telling Roll Call that "a big payday is coming for programs aimed at developing weapons that can be deployed in space."

According to Franks, "It was a Democrat mindset that caused us to step back from space-based defense assets to ostensibly not 'weaponize space,' while our enemies proceeded to do just that, and now, we find ourselves in a grave deficit. In every area of warfare, within the Geneva Conventions, America should be second to none. That includes satellite warfare, if it's necessary. We cannot be victims of our own decency here."

The 1967 Outer Space Treaty was the result of worldwide recognition that war is incredibly costly in terms of lives and resources-and that more needed to be done.

"The U.S. led the effort to de-weaponize space in the wake of Sputnik," says Grossman. "I was told by Craig Eisendrath of the State Department that the U.S. feared the Soviet presence in space. As a model they used the Antarctic Treaty, which banned weapons down there."

Since the mid-1980s, key players at the United Nations have tried to expand the ‘67 accord. The Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space Treaty, proposed in 1985, would have banned from space all weapons, nuclear and otherwise. Canada, Russia, and China pushed hard for its ratification. But no American president has been willing to sign it. The United Nations committee working on it was dissolved in 1994. In 2008, China and Russia submitted an updated draft to the U.N. General Assembly which the United States alone has continued to oppose (Israel has abstained). Even Putin, at their infamous Helsinki presser, chided Trump about it.

Now Trump is heading where no President since Reagan has gone before. "My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a warfighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea," he says.

"Trump's plan, like Reagan's, involves laser beams, particle beams and hypervelocity guns, all of which will have to involve nuclear power," says Grossman. "If there's a shooting war it will be Chernobyls and Fukushimas in the sky. Some of it will come down, which will be catastrophic. And some will take millennia to fall, which means the heavens are going to be littered with radioactive debris."

As Grossman sees it, "Of all the many, many terrible things the Trump Administration is doing, opening space to war will be the most destructive."
(c) 2018 Harvey Wasserman is co-founder of the global grassroots No Nukes movement and author or co-author of twenty books, including Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth (, and The Last Energy War (Seven Stories Press). His radio show "California Solartopia" is broadcast at KPFK-Pacifica 90.7 Los Angeles.

Trapped in The Donald's Cuckoo Nest
By Jim Hightower

Insanity reigns. The inmates are now officially in charge of the national asylum.

Hidebound Donald Trump partisans keep insisting that their man is not certifiably insane, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary. But surely some of them finally must admit that his snatching immigrant children from their parents' arms at the Mexican border and incarcerating the tykes for weeks in warehouse cages far away from any contact with mom and dad - is the epitome of Kafkaesque insanity.

Trump's political assault on kids, toddlers, and even infants is so cuckoo crazy that it's infectious. In June, for example, Fox News Trumpateer Laura Ingraham dismissed reality by declaring that the children's holding cells "are essentially summer camps." Then, her sister Fox News commentator, Ann Coulter, babbled that the reality of Trump troopers seizing and terrifying kiddos was not actually happening: "Those child actors weeping and crying on all the other networks 24/7 right now, don't fall for it, Mr. President."

For his part, our immigrant-bashing Mr. President began to rant like a dotty old geezer that he would not allow "these people" be given any legal avenue to address their plight. "No Judges or Court Cases," he barked in a series of tweets. "Tell the people 'OUT,' and they must leave, just as they would if they were standing on your front lawn."

This is Jim Hightower saying... Old Man Trump is not only a callous grump, but he's also gone completely screwy about the essential role of the rule of law in our nation. In fact, if you stood on the front lawn of his Mar-a-Lago resort, he might have you removed by force, but you'd have access to a court to plead your case and seek justice. That's the American way, whether an autocratic property owner likes it or not. Unless, of course, his highness arbitrarily nullifies 230 years of legal protections for the people's democratic rights.
(c) 2018 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

Abdul El-Sayed speaks during a June 2018 debate between Michigan Democratic candidates for governor.

Abdul El-Sayed Is Running For Governor Of Michigan On A Platform That Embraces The Future
The visionary candidate has a plan to close the digital divide, save net neutrality, and achieve digital democracy.
By John Nichols

When John Kennedy ran for president in 1960, he accepted the Democratic nomination with a stark declaration: "Today our concern must be with that future. For the world is changing. The old era is ending. The old ways will not do." The 1960s were only beginning, but the young senator from Massachusetts was convinced that the new decade would be a time of momentous change. Kennedy secured a transformational election victory that year because he convinced the American people that he and an evolving Democratic Party had a dramatically better understanding of what that future should look like than Richard Nixon and the Republicans.

The Democratic Party of today desperately needs to renew its franchise as a party of the future. This is its greatest challenge and, unfortunately for the party and for the country, few if any prominent Democrats have proven to be up to the task.

That is why grassroots Democrats search so ardently for new leaders, for contenders who recognize, as Kennedy in 1960, that "The times are too grave, the challenge too urgent, and the stakes too high-to permit the customary passions of political debate."

If today's Democratic Party is ever going to get ahead of the debates of the moment, a new generation of Democratic leaders must recognize what Kennedy recognized: that there are "new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people." This will, necessarily, require them to wrestle with the questions that arise at the intersection of technology and democracy. That's what makes the candidacy of Dr. Abdul El-Sayed for governor of Michigan so remarkable, and so exciting.

The 33-year-old Rhodes scholar who gained national prominence as the crusading director of the Detroit Health Department has mounted a gubernatorial campaign that embraces the future-and that confirms the recognition he earned from the University of Michigan in 2017 as an alumnus "whose achievements carry on Michigan's traditions of intellectual creativity and academic endeavor, of civic engagement, and of national and international service."

El-Sayed's campaign talks about the future with a confidence that distinguishes him from the vast majority of candidates of both parties-who are focused, at best, on the present and, at worst, on "great again" strategies for stumbling backward. That confidence is displayed in the position-paper specifics of a campaign that does not hesitate to explain that there really are solutions for today's greatest challenges: an ambitious 24-page plan for establishing a Medicare-for-All health-care system in Michigan, a 37-page strategy for taking the profit motive out of education policy, and a 25-page plan for transitioning to a renewable-energy economy.

"The details matter," declares the El-Sayed campaign. "So we wrote policies with them."

The details do matter, especially when they are employed to address issues that too many elected leaders neglect. While there are plenty of Democrats, and even a few Republicans, who express concern about expanding broadband Internet access and maintaining net neutrality, there are few if any who recognize so clearly as does El-Sayed the fundamental challenges, and the genuine opportunities, of this contested moment.

As someone who has written or co-written a stack of books about media and democracy issues, and who has engaged with these issues for a very long time, I can name only a handful of politicians who understand what is at stake in today's technology debates. And I have never encountered a first-time candidate who has a better sense of how to address them than El-Sayed. His "MI-Fi" plan to develop "Internet for All" in Michigan is tech-savvy and visionary. It is also doable-structurally, legally, and financially.

El-Sayed understands that "Broadband is the electricity of the 21st century. Access to fast and reliable internet services is essential to economic growth, education, healthcare, and quality of life." He understands that unequal access to the internet is not just a communications issue but also an equity issue and a democracy issue. And he understands that these realities demand a response that gets around the lobbying power of the communications giants that choose profit over providing equal access to the future.

"Big corporations and internet monopolies like Comcast are more interested in their bottom line than making sure that Michiganders have access to the affordable internet that they deserve. They have become the biggest lobbyists in Lansing and D.C., taking home millions of dollars in salary and pumping millions more into corporate politicians that sell out the public," explains the candidate's outline for a fair and humane digital destiny. "All Michiganders deserve access to the internet. That means internet that is affordable, fast, and reliable. That's why we are proposing the first state-operated internet service provider in the country called MI-Fi. Now more than ever, a large-scale investment in building publicly owned and operated broadband is the best-and perhaps only-way to close Michigan's digital divide and provide every resident with access to high-speed internet."

El-Sayed proposes to create the nation's first state-operated Internet-service provider with an eye toward expanding access in rural and urban communities across Michigan. The plan would close the state's digital divide. And it would protect net neutrality at a moment when "the First Amendment of the Internet"-the promise that all communications will be treated equally, especially when it comes to the speed at which they travel-is under assault by Donald Trump's Federal Communications Commission.

The essence of the plan is summed up in an answer to the question: "Why Publicly-Owned Broadband?"

For too long, private ISPs have controlled not only the pace, path, and speed of broadband expansion but also the price, reliability, and quality of broadband connections-even though many of these connections are subsidized by public funds through public-private partnerships. That is why the El-Sayed plan for a fully connected Michigan focuses so much on the public provision of broadband. Much like with a public health insurance option, introducing a public broadband option is the best-and possibly the only-way to break up the broadband monopolies and alter the market enough to ensure that every household in Michigan has access.

Traditional public-private partnerships leverage public funds to incentivize private ISPs to invest in areas that would otherwise be unprofitable to serve. But often these partnerships leave both the state and the people powerless. The ISPs not only own whatever broadband infrastructure is built, but also control the price and quality of the internet provided. More importantly, public-private partnerships do nothing to change the profit motives that kept these same ISPs from serving certain areas-particularly rural areas. In the worst circumstances, these partnerships can actually help private ISPs create monopolies in previously unserved areas. Public-public partnerships (where the state partners with local governments to establish publicly-owned broadband networks in their communities) solve the problems in public-private partnerships. They also offer significant advantages for Michiganders in terms of equity, competition, quality, and control of service.

This is not a complicated agenda. This is a practical plan. It strives to "prioritize the needs of Michiganders over the corporate profits of internet monopolies like Comcast." And it does so by promoting competition, oversight with an eye toward serving the public interest, and support for an embraces of cutting-edge technology.

Establishing and maintaining digital democracy should be at the top of every candidate's agenda. Unfortunately, while most Republicans have sold out, most Democrats are unwilling or unprepared to entertain visionary plans for putting technology on the side of the people rather than the profiteers. That's what distinguishes Abdul El-Sayed. He sees the future coming, and he wants to make it work for all of us.
(c) 2018 John Nichols writes about politics for The Nation magazine as its Washington correspondent. 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.

Researchers Look At Psychic Functioning
By James Donahue

It seems strange how it takes science a long time to catch up to things that most people already know. We are addressing that "prickly" feeling we get in the back of the neck when we sense someone is watching us from a dark alley, window, or even a closed circuit video camera. We've always sensed it. We don't know why we know but we sense that someone's eyes are watching us.

Knowledge like that defies logic.

Not long ago a team of researchers at Freiberg University in Germany, headed by Dr. Stefan Schmidt, looked at this phenomenon and team members say they found evidence that humans really do have a "sixth sense" about being watched.

It took two different experiments repeated a thousand times before the Freiberg team reached this conclusion. That sounds like a lot of unnecessary work when their findings compare perfectly to common mythology.

The experiments were done in two phases.

The first, called "remote staring," involved two volunteers seated in separate rooms. One watched the other by way of a closed circuit television monitor that was periodically turned on and off by a third operator under controlled conditions. The person being watched did not know when the camera was on or off. The test subject was connected to electrodes that recorded changes to electrical activity of the skin.

The second part of the experiment, called "direct mental interaction," was similar except it was done without the camera. In this experiment, the "antagonist" was required to simply use mental concentration to make the "victim" feel uncomfortable and then relaxed during specific times he or she was seated in the sealed room. The team used a complex statistical scale to grade the studies based on the paranormal effect recorded. The electronic monitor proved repeatedly that in both experiments, the group recorded "a small but significant effect," Schmidt wrote in an article published by the British Journal of Psychology.

Those of us familiar with the paranormal recognize the power of the human mind. When the brain is fully activated, that is with both left and right hemispheres of the bicameral brain in balance, it is possible for human thought to bend and move objects, effect human behavior or even help bring about healing.

To the opposite extreme, anger can sometimes send energies off that cause negative effects. I recall an incident where a person became so angry the energy shut off several strings of lights in a building. The power remained off for several hours in spite of attempts to repair any problems that might be causing the electrical failure. Later, however, the power returned as mysteriously as it left, and everything was back to normal.

A few years ago, my late wife Doris and I were experimenting with mind power. By working together, we made a hanging light in the closed room sway.

On another occasion, while Doris and I were being mentally bombarded with bad energy that we believed was coming from a woman in our building that practiced black witchcraft, we experimented with mentally shielding ourselves and sending the energy back to its source. It was not long before we heard this woman moan from an adjoining room. The sense of being mentally assaulted disappeared. We were quite sure the experiment worked.

Some years ago, Czech psychologist Milan Ryzl experimented with two telepathic people located many miles apart. The sender attempted to make the receiver uncomfortable with thoughts of being buried alive. The experiments ended when the victim developed a severe attack of asthma.

In yet another Czech experiment, it was noted that one person concentrating on another could also induce a rise in blood pressure.

All of this goes back to that old warning about karma. As the story goes, we need to be careful about our thoughts because the energy we send out can sometimes cause harm to others. It also can come back on us.

The experiments also appear to explain the power of collective prayer.
(c) 2018 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.

President Donald Trump waves during a meeting of the National Space Council at the East Room of the White House June 18, 2018, in Washington, DC.

Here's an Incredible Offer, Donald: Resign
The UK protests should be an inspiration to Americans resisting Trump
By William Rivers Pitt

In this age of government by distraction and destruction, stories of towering importance have a way of getting left by the side of the road as we march in ceaseless order toward whatever doom awaits us. For a time on Thursday, to note only the most recent example of this phenomenon, it appeared as if the White House was actively considering sending a former US ambassador and several other officials to Russia for interrogation as part of Putin's "incredible offer" in Helsinki.

Outrage erupted in all corners with an immediacy that underscored the preposterous nature of the idea itself, and never mind the fact that White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders indicated it was actually being discussed at the highest levels. The shouting did not last half the day, because minutes before the Senate passed a non-binding Omnibus Wow What a Bad Idea Donald resolution by the nip-and-tuck vote of 98-0, the White House released a statement saying Trump "disagreed" with Putin's "incredible offer" and that it wasn't going to happen.

Before the DC journalists could gin up yet another day's worth of "What fresh hell was this?" coverage, the Trump administration abruptly announced that national security adviser John Bolton had been instructed to invite Vladimir Putin to the White House in the fall. In the eyes of many after the debacle in Helsinki, this was the equivalent of Tokyo inviting Godzilla back for a rematch. Almost immediately, the fact that a sitting president had entertained the idea of handing present and former US officials over to the tender mercies of Russian interrogators was lost in the slipstream of the newest astonishment.

I would like to linger with the curious story of former ambassador Michael McFaul and the other US officials involved for a bit longer, because this was far more than just another dizzy day at 1600 Pennsylvania. Something incredibly serious happened here, an ominous accent in a larger symphony of deceit and treachery that will have each and every one of us on the dangle until it is resolved.

Some background: A Russian lawyer named Sergei Magnitsky exposed "a $230 million fraud against the Russian treasury carried out by a criminal organization operating in collusion with corrupt Russian officials," according to The Daily Beast. What he uncovered, in the main, was a Russian money-laundering scheme that was unprecedented in scope. For his trouble, Magnitsky was tortured and beaten to death in a Russian prison and then posthumously tried and convicted of the very crime he had uncovered.

One of Magnitsky's clients, billionaire financier Bill Browder, wanted justice for Magnitsky, so he pushed for what became the Magnitsky Act in Congress, a series of sanctions against Russian oligarchs that have real teeth, and were later compounded by similar sanctions from the UK, Estonia, Canada, Latvia and Lithuania. For local reference, the infamous "Trump Tower" meeting during the 2016 campaign was about getting those sanctions lifted after Trump won.

Russian officials - corrupt to the core and beholden to powerful oligarchs - despise the Magnitsky Act and want Browder's ass, along with the ass of anyone who helped him get the Act passed into law. Putin's "incredible offer" involved exactly that, with the seemingly enthusiastic support of the president of the United States.

The list of people Putin wants to interrogate includes former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul; Jonathan M. Winer, former US deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement; David Kramer, formerly the president of Freedom House and assistant secretary of state for human rights under George W. Bush; and senior Senate human-rights staffer Kyle Parker.

An incredible offer, indeed.

This has been a revelatory week, to say the least. The word "Would" became "Wouldn't," and saying "No" twice now means "Go." This obvious broad-daylight mauling of the language was undertaken to obscure the vivid tableau of a US president genuflecting before a Russian strongman who - it seems ever more likely - might just have some damaging secrets tucked away in the Lubyanka Building on the other side of the world, and that was before former ambassadors were sized up for shipment to Moscow.

The stench is becoming obvious. As much as all this is about Russian hacking campaigns against US elections and critical infrastructure, as much as it is about what special counsel Robert Mueller may uncover in the fullness of time, I believe this is also all about the money. I believe the president of the United States has been beholden to dirty Russian money - and the illicit laundering of it through shady real estate ventures - for a great many years.

I believe we all saw the distilled essence of this on Monday in Helsinki, which was compounded by Trump's "Would-Wouldn't" and double "No" when asked if Russia was still interfering in our elections, and compounded again when he seriously entertained handing over a former US ambassador to Russia for interrogation. It's all out there in the open now, and the public is no longer wondering if their president is in the bag for Putin. Now, they're wondering how deep the bag goes.

Something must be done, goes the hue and cry. The Republicans in Congress must find their spines and stand up to Trump, or some Republican Senators must defect to the Democrats and end the timorous tyranny of Mitch McConnell. Impeachment must be on the table, in combination with a political strategy to defang or oust Mike Pence, as well. Someone somehow must do something, and soon, because this cannot be allowed to continue.

I have another incredible offer for Donald Trump: Resign. Immediately. In the face of his rapidly collapsing credibility, he must be questioning how long his die-hard supporters will be able to protect him and how much time it will take to tear down the velveeta walls of his crumbling redoubt. He should resign, and take his band of brigands - among them Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and Sarah Huckabee Sanders - with him.

Impossible? Article II Section iv of the Constitution reads, "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." Resignation en masse avoids a trial.

Trump never should have run for president in the first place, and he of all people should know it by now. He loves signing his name, and now has the opportunity to do so one last time to end his presidency, before it is ended for him.
(c) 2018 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.

They're Trying To Kill Us
By Heather Digby Parton

Republicans hate California. And we aren't fond of them either. So, they're going to try to stop us from breathing clean air:

The Trump administration will seek to revoke California's authority to regulate automobile emissions -- including its mandate for electric car sales -- in a proposed revision of Obama-era standards, according to three people familiar with the plan.

The proposal, expected to be released this week, amounts to a frontal assault on one of former President Barack Obama's signature regulatory programs to curb greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. It also sets up a high-stakes battle over California's unique ability to combat air pollution and, if finalized, is sure to set off a protracted courtroom battle.

The proposed revamp would also put the brakes on federal rules to boost fuel efficiency into the next decade, said the people, who asked to not be identified discussing the proposals before they are public. Instead it will cap federal fuel economy requirements at the 2020 level, which under federal law must be at least a 35-mile-per-gallon fleet average, rather than letting them rise to roughly 50 mpg by 2025 as envisioned in the plan left behind by Obama, according to the people.

As part of the effort, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose revoking the Clean Air Act waiver granted to California that has allowed the state to regulate carbon emissions from vehicle tailpipes and force carmakers to sell electric vehicles in the state in higher numbers, according to three people familiar with the plan.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will likewise assert that California is barred from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from autos under the 1975 law that established the first federal fuel-efficiency requirements, the people said.

I'm so old that I remember when the right fetishized states' rights.
(c) 2018 Heather Digby Parton, also known as "Digby," is a contributing writer to Salon. She was the winner of the 2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism.

Umbrella used for shadeFestivalgoers shade themselves from the sun during a heatwave.

We Can't Hide From Global Warming's Consequences
By David Suzuki

Over the past few months, heat records have broken worldwide.

In early July, the temperature in Ouargla, Algeria, reached 51.3 C, the highest ever recorded in Africa! Temperatures in the eastern and southwestern United States and southeastern Canada have also hit record highs. In Montreal, people sweltered under temperatures of 36.6 C, the highest ever recorded there, as well as record-breaking extreme midnight heat and humidity, an unpleasant experience shared by people in Ottawa. Dozens of people have died from heat-related causes in Quebec alone.

Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East have also reached all-time record temperatures. In Northern Siberia, along the Arctic coast, the temperature was over 32 C on July 5, much hotter than ever recorded.

Unusually high temperatures in the Arctic are causing sea ice to melt, exposing more dark sea areas, which absorb more heat than ice, causing feedback loops. Those are exacerbated by melting permafrost releasing more methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. All of it is weakening the polar jet stream, which in turn affects temperatures in mid-latitudes.

As U.S. meteorologist and geoscientist Nick Humphrey explains, "The weakening is causing the polar jet to become much wavier, with greater wave 'breaks' and blocking patterns where waves sit in the same place for weeks [and] promote extreme weather patterns (extreme cold relative to normal as well as extreme heat, very wet, and drought conditions)."

Atmospheric carbon dioxide has spiked to 408 parts per million, global average temperatures have risen 1.8 C since 1880, Arctic ice is declining at 13.2 per cent per decade, sea levels are rising 3.2 millimetres a year on average and it's all accelerating as we continue to pump more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and destroy more carbon sinks like forests and wetlands.

According to NASA, "Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with 16 of the 17 warmest years on record occurring since 2001. Not only was 2016 the warmest year on record, but eight of the 12 months that make up the year - from January through September, with the exception of June - were the warmest on record for those respective months."

As equatorial zones heat up, creating drought, water shortages, agricultural losses and inhospitable conditions, we can expect to see more refugees fleeing to cooler areas with better resources.

As equatorial zones heat up, creating drought, water shortages, agricultural losses and inhospitable conditions, we can expect to see more refugees fleeing to cooler areas with better resources.

Despite the calamity unfolding before our eyes, many people and organizations still cast doubt on climate science and scientists, and politicians and governments fight against the very measures critical to addressing the crisis and ensuring the planet's climate remains stable enough for good human health and survival.

Although some people argue that climate always changes, NASA scientists explain that evidence of past warming from ice cores, tree rings, ocean sediments, coral reefs and layers of sedimentary rocks show that "current warming is occurring roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming."

We've known about the heat-trapping properties of CO2 and other gases since the mid 1800s. Again, NASA points out, "There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response."

The reasons we've failed to adequately confront the problem have nothing to do with lack of evidence or solutions. We have an abundance of both, but industrial interests and their supporters in media and politics (along with those who have been duped into denial) have actively worked to downplay the problem and hamper progress.

In our book Just Cool It!, we outline numerous known and emerging ways for governments, institutions, industry and individuals to resolve the climate crisis. Many solutions are being employed or developed, but not fast enough to forestall catastrophe. In Canada, we have federal and provincial governments hell-bent on expanding fossil fuel infrastructure and development to reap as much profit as possible from a dying industry and to satisfy the vagaries of short election cycles. The fossil fuel industry continues to receive massive subsidies, including a multi-billion-dollar taxpayer bailout for an American pipeline company, while clean energy receives far less support.

It's frightening to contemplate global warming, the changes required to confront it and the consequences we face in the coming years. But stalling solutions and continuing our fossil fuel addiction will only make the inevitable that much worse.
(c) 2018 Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co_founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Senate Appropriations Committee

The Interior Department Announced (By Accident) That Everything Is for Sale
Just in case you had any doubts about Ryan Zinke's commitment to national monument protections.
By Charles P. Pierce

The age-old question about Republican governance-"Stupid or Evil?"-has sharpened over the last couple years, as even some Republicans have struggled to find the answer. (What the hell? It's easier than actually doing something about it.) Rarely, though, is there a question for which the answer is so clearly, "Both." The Washington Post, however, has managed to find one of those in connection with Ryan Zinke, the Secretary of Interior and Scott Pruitt's Scott Pruitt.

The thousands of pages of email correspondence chart how Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his aides instead tailored their survey of protected sites to emphasize the value of logging, ranching and energy development that would be unlocked if they were not designated national monuments. Comments the department's Freedom of Information Act officers made in the documents show that they sought to keep some of the references out of the public eye because they were "revealing [the] strategy" behind the review.
It's no surprise that this administration* is selling off the country's natural patrimony for parts. But what makes this particular episode noteworthy is how we found out about it: the crackerjack staff at Interior told us.
These redactions came to light because Interior's FOIA office sent documents to journalists and advocacy groups on July 16 that it later removed online. "It appears that we inadvertently posted an incorrect version of the files for the most recent National Monuments production," officials wrote July 17. "We are requesting that if you downloaded the files already to please delete those versions."

The Bears Ears national monument in Utah, shrunk by the Trump administration.
Aaron Weiss, a spokesman for the advocacy group Center for Western Priorities, said in an email that the "botched document dump reveals what we've suspected all along: Secretary Zinke ignored clear warnings from his own staff that shrinking national monuments would put sacred archaeological and cultural sites at risk." Nothing but the best people! Never not going to be funny. "Trying to hide those warnings from the public months later is disgraceful and possibly illegal," Weiss added. The revelations in the documents are bad enough on their own. The Interior Department is turning into a Sam's Club for various industries.
The inadvertently released documents show that department officials dismissed some evidence that contradicted the administration's push to revise national monument designations, which are made under the 1906 American Antiquities Act. Estimates of increased tourism revenue, analyses showing that existing restrictions had not hurt fishing operators and agency reports finding that less vandalism occurred as a result of monument designations were all set aside. On Sept. 11, 2017, Randal Bowman, the lead staff member for the review, suggested deleting language that said most fishing vessels near the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument "generated 5% or less of their annual landings from within the monument" because it "undercuts the case for the ban being harmful."
Blowing the whistle on yourself is an acquired skill.
(c) 2018 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...

"Politics have no relation to morals."
~~~ Niccolo Machiavelli

Tell Israel To Allow Thinking In Its Schools
By David Swanson

Israel has passed a law allowing its Minister of Education to ban from its schools any person or group who criticizes Israel - apparently something that no teachers or students in Israel are supposed to do either (though some do). The hasbara, or pro-war propaganda, spin on this is that it is protecting Israel's brave Troops from (rhetorical) "attacks." But one of the chief targets of the law is understood to be Israeli troops who speak about what it is they do. And the law explicitly identifies for banning from schools those who advocate "legal or political" actions, which tend to be taken against those who make laws and political decisions, not against Troops.

Are recruits told that their military training will reduce them to such pitiful beings that they will magically suffer if children in a school somewhere speak critically of Israeli government policies?

If Israel were doing nothing wrong, if it had the ability to show with reasonable argument that it was doing nothing wrong, it would not need to go to such efforts to shield its young people from undesirable viewpoints. If it were trying to educate them to be thinkers and pursuers of justice, it would welcome all viewpoints. Instead it is banning advocates for peace and nonviolent rational debate and conflict resolution - violating basic principles of liberalism and also violating the law.

As Pat Elder has pointed out to me, Israel is party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, which makes the minimum age for military recruitment 18, while allowing 17-year-olds to voluntarily enlist, as Israel does, if . . .

(a) Such recruitment is genuinely voluntary;
(b) Such recruitment is done with the informed consent of the person's parents or legal guardians;
(c) Such persons are fully informed of the duties involved in such military service;
(d) Such persons provide reliable proof of age prior to acceptance into national military service.

But how can this be voluntary and fully informed in a state where anyone who mentions the actual "duties involved in such military service" is banned from entering any school?

When Israel ratified the above Protocol, it added this language:

"The Government of the State of Israel maintains the following safeguards in respect of voluntary recruitment into the armed forces so as to ensure that such recruitment is not forced or coerced: . . . Clear and precise explanation of the nature of the duties involved in military service is provided to both the person and the person's parents or legal guardian."

Clear and precise? What about true or accurate or complete?

What does Israel have to hide?

Well, nuclear weapons. Maintaining the threat of ending the world will be the task of some recruits.

Apartheid. Israel just passed another law to encourage the creation of Jewish-only towns, or what the United States calls sundown towns (Get your [black/Palestinian] ass out of [town name] before sundown). That will require help from military recruits.

Arming Nazis. Israel can't get enough weapons to Nazis in Ukraine without the work of some of its well-educated recruits.

Genocide. Israel is gradually killing the entire population of the territories it seizes and occupies. An open discussion by honest seekers of truth and understanding might end up including some slight questioning of the morality of this.

That won't happen in Israeli schools, unless the world condemns fascism EVERYWHERE it arises. Here's an email address for the Ministry of Education:
(c) 2018 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.

Rosie The Riveter, Public Transit, Climate Change And YOU
By Jane Stillwater

Last week I stayed up late two nights in a row while happily stepping into the vividly-described world of Betty Reid Soskin's wonderful new memoir, "Sign My Name to Freedom."

The last several chapters in Soskin's book tell us all about her work at the "Rosie the Riveter" Home Front National Park in Richmond CA, and her descriptions of the park and its museum are so enticing that I immediately ran right out there. I caught the bus -- and public transportation dropped me off practically right at the museum's front doorstep, even better than Uber. Plus I get my best reading done on public transit. Plus subways and buses are doing a lot toward preventing climate change from raging too far out of control too soon (please wait until after I die before allowing it to destroy the world!)

Another thing Soskin writes about in her book that thoroughly moved me were her descriptions of the amazingly unified cooperation between every single man, woman and child in America in order to "do the damn thing" and win World War II, making the world safe from German fascism (although unfortunately WW II didn't manage to keep us safe from American fascism. Sigh.)

At the end of her book Soskin also points out that if Americans could so completely mobilize and commit themselves in the battle against Hitler, then surely we Americans can also completely mobilize and commit ourselves against an even greater danger -- climate change. Think about that for a minute. But don't think too long. Our last window of opportunity is rapidly closing. Now is the time to act.

Like what happened all across America back in the 1940s, we all gotta sacrifice in the face of a huge common danger and act outside of our own individual self-interest in order to save the whole freaking human race.

According to climate-change expert Robert Hunziker, there are currently three (3) ecological monsters heading our way. "The three monsters are: (1) A State Shift in the biosphere [AKA a planetary tipping point from which there is no recovery]; (2) Human-caused greenhouse gases which alter the planet, disrupting the Holocene Era of 10,000 years of Goldilocks' climate, not too hot, not too cold; and (3) Collapsing ecosystems 100% due to human footprint, inclusive of excessive toxic chemicals galore, worldwide."

But does all this horrific new information leave us with any hope for the human race at all? Yes it does -- but only if we mount an immediate, all-out assault on extinction prevention. And, to quote Rosie the Riveter, "We can do it!" We just have to. There is no other rational choice.

PS: The number-one cause of climate change right now is "war." Sorry guys but America, Israel, NATO and the Saudis need to hand over all their "war" toys to the scrap drive if the human race is ever to survive.

And everyone in America seems to be working overtime to hype up the chances of "war". All of FaceBook is currently blowing up with hatred of Russia. Hating Russia is not gonna save us. I already lived through the 1950s and do NOT want to do it again. Be careful what you wish for. McCarthyism sucked eggs. No one was "saved" by hating Russia then and it's not gonna work now either.

Plus I also would prefer not to get fried like an egg on my own sidewalk by a Hot War with Russia, China and/or Iran either -- just because some greedy warmongering idiots in the media know not what they do.

And let's also consider all those "liberal" Americans who had the good sense to be horrified by that dangerously trumped-up 1950s Cold War and then horrified again by those pricey and wholly-invented 21st century "wars" on Iraq, Libya, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Honduras, Ukraine and Afghanistan. Unbelievably, they too are falling for all of this new "hate Russia" crap. Perhaps they just can't wait to get blown up and/or radiated to death by a thermonuclear "war" on Russia -- but I can. Isn't being seriously endangered by climate change scary enough?
(c) 2018 Jane Stillwater. Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world. And while you're at it, please buy my books!

The Dead Letter Office...

Heil Trump,

Dear Deputy Gruppenfuhrer Wheeler,

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 John (the enforcer) Roberts.

Without your lock step calling for the repeal of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, your plan to destroy the environment so the 1% can make another penny, 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 07-27-2018. We salute you Herr Wheeler, Sieg Heil!

Signed by,
Vice Fuhrer Pence

Heil Trump

A Time For Integrity
By Robert Reich

To: Senators Jeff Flake, John McCain, Bob Corker, and Susan Collins

From: Robert Reich

Senators, I write you not as a Democrat reaching out to Republicans, or as a former cabinet member making a request of sitting senators.

I write you as a patriotic American concerned about the peril now facing our democracy, asking you to exercise your power to defend it.

A foreign power has attacked our democratic institutions and, according to American intelligence, continues to do so.

Yet the President of the United States is unwilling to fully acknowledge this, or aggressively stop it. Most of your Republican colleagues in the Senate will not force his hand. As a result, because your party has control of the Senate, there is no effective check on the President - or on Putin.

What is America to do? We will exercise our right to vote on November 6. But by that time our system may be compromised. The President must be constrained, now. Putin's aggression must be stopped, now.

If just two of you changed parties - becoming Independent, and caucusing with the Democrats - the Republican Party would no longer have a majority in the Senate. The Senate would become a check on the President, as the Framers of the Constitution envisioned it would be. And the President could be forced to defend the United States, as the Framers intended.

I implore you to do so.

There is precedent. I'm sure you remember Jim Jeffords of Vermont, who served as a Republican senator from 1989 until 2001. He then left the GOP to become an Independent and began caucusing with the Democrats. Jeffords' switch changed control of the Senate from Republican to Democratic.

Jeffords left the Republican Party because of issues on which he parted with his Republican colleagues and the Bush administration. As he said at the time, "Increasingly, I find myself in disagreement with my party... Given the changing nature of the national party, it has become a struggle for our leaders to deal with me and for me to deal with them."

I knew and admired Jeffords years before he switched parties. We worked together on a number of initiatives when I was secretary of labor. He was a humble man of principle and integrity. He retired from the Senate in 2007, and died in 2014.

I appeal to the four of you to follow his noble example.

The stakes for the nation are far higher than they were in 2001. The issue today is not one on which honorable people like Jeffords may reasonably disagree. The issue now is the fate of our system of government.

All of you recognize the danger. All of you have expressed deep concern about what is occurring.

Senator Flake recently introduced a non-binding resolution acknowledging Russian involvement in the 2016 elections, expressing support for the Justice Department investigation and calling for oversight hearings about what happened in Helsinki. But Flake's fellow Republicans blocked that resolution, and it failed.

Senator McCain said the President has "proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin;" that Trump "made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world;" and that the President has "failed to defend all that makes us who we are-a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad."

Senator Corker has likened the Republican Party to a "cult," and conceded "it's not a good place for any party to end up with a cult-like situation as it relates to a President that happens to be of purportedly of the same party."

Moreover, the three of you have decided against seeking reelection. You have no reason not to follow your consciences.

Senator Collins represents a state that has had a long and distinguished history of independent-minded politicians (the other current senator from Maine, Angus King, is an Independent). Her constituents will surely forgive her if she leaves the Republican Party.

There is a scene in Robert Bolt's play "A Man for All Seasons," in which Thomas More, having angered Henry VIII, is on trial for his life. After Richard Rich commits perjury against More in exchange for the office of attorney general for Wales, More says: "Why, Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world . . . But for Wales!"

You have not pledged yours souls to the Republican Party. You have pledged yourselves to America. Now is the time to deliver on that pledge.
(c) 2018 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

Donald Trump celebrating the 2017 passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with, from left,
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence.

Vote In The Midterms-Or Be Part Of The Problem
By Eugene Robinson

Last week it was Russia, Russia, Russia. This week began with a bombastic, all-caps screed about Iran-and, of course, more wailing about the purported "Mueller Witch Hunt." In between was a stray tweet about football and the national anthem, just to stir the racial pot. President Trump is wagging the dog so hard, I fear he will injure himself.

Through it all, we must keep our eyes on the prize. There is just one realistic way to constrain this lunatic administration and hold it accountable: Vote in November to snatch control of Congress away from the quisling Republicans and hand it to the Democrats.

If I sound like a broken record on this subject, too bad. You can shut me up by generating a gigantic midterm turnout and flipping at least the House. Otherwise, prepare to be reminded, repeatedly and perhaps obnoxiously, that I told you so.

You have no idea when special counsel Robert Mueller is going to finish his investigation, and neither do I. But we all should know by now that when Trump boasted during the campaign about being able to shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and still not lose support, he must have been talking about the GOP majorities in Congress.

We know the drill. Trump says or does something so far beyond the pale that any other president would have been investigated, censured or even impeached. A few Republican members of Congress go public with measured words of criticism; many more acknowledge privately that the president is dangerously out of control. Trump changes the subject via Twitter, and the complaints abruptly stop. Nothing happens. Nothing at all.

It is possible that Mueller will reveal something so shocking that even House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will choose country over party. But it is not likely.

In our history, only two presidents have been impeached; neither was convicted and removed from office. Only one president has resigned before the end of his term. Wildly improbable things do sometimes happen-Trump becoming president, for one-but the odds are that we will have to endure this madness until January 2021.

Presciently, the framers of the Constitution gave Congress the power to check an erratic or power-mad president. But Congress has to be willing to use that power, and Republicans seem afraid to do so. We can only hope that Democrats are up to the task.

We also must hope that the Democratic Party is able to play a winning hand between now and November. This is not a trivial question.

Democrats occupy the mayor's offices in two-thirds of the nation's 50 biggest cities, but that is the zenith of their power. Republicans live in the governor's mansions in two-thirds of the states and enjoy a similar dominance in control of state legislatures. On the federal level, the GOP has a large-but not unassailable-majority in the House and a narrow two-vote edge in the Senate.

Republicans have been shameless in perpetuating their hegemony through gerrymandering and voter suppression, but Democrats can systematically level the playing field-once they achieve power. To do so, they need to win elections.

And to win elections, they need new faces, new ideas and a new attitude. Fortunately, all three are present-and must not be quashed.

Democrats should keep in mind the classic definition of insanity: doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. This is an emergency, and while the party should be true to its values, it can ill afford litmus tests on the left or the right.

If a candidate in, say, West Virginia or Montana is not as fervently pro-choice as the party's mainstream, or does not make gun control a marquee issue, then so be it. If a candidate in an immigrant-rich district in California, Texas, Florida or New York favors reorganizing Immigration and Customs Enforcement in light of its excesses, that's fine as well.

There will be plenty of time to worry about the 2020 presidential election. Right now, the Democratic Party's exclusive focus should be on registering new voters and ensuring that constituencies with a habit of voting only in presidential years-especially minorities and young people-come out in November.

Are you registered? Do you not just plan to vote but swear you will vote? Do you know where your polling place is? If the answer to any of these questions is no, you are not part of the solution. You're part of the problem.
(c) 2018 Eugene Robinson writes a regular column for The Washington Post.

The Cartoon Corner...

This edition we're proud to showcase the cartoons of
~~~ Mr. Fish ~~~

To End On A Happy Note...

Have You Seen This...

Parting Shots...

Dozens Of White Houses Materialize From Temporal Vortex
As Trump's Changing Account Of Putin Meeting Tears Apart Space-Time
By The Onion

WASHINGTON-Revealing that the physical world could no longer bear the weight of numerous contradictory realities, sources confirmed Friday that dozens of Whites Houses have begun to leak from a temporal vortex as President Trump's rapidly changing story of meeting Putin tears apart space-time.

"A White House is blinking in and out of reality atop the Washington Monument, and another has materialized inside the wall of a Georgetown apartment building-it appears the fourth dimensional plane is collapsing in on itself as Trump's untenable, competing statements rupture the very foundation of time and relativity," said astrophysicist Maria Steagall, who confirmed an entire unit of the Army National Guard was instantly vaporized attempting to enter the vortex, and several members of the White House press corps were reportedly stretched out for the entire length of the Milky Way Galaxy and then collapsed to the size of a single atom after simply trying to make sense of the president's conflicting remarks.

"One witness reported seeing 6,000 Mike Pences pouring out of a small wormhole in the Cabinet room before suddenly vanishing. Countless universes are colliding and folding over each other every time Trump disputes his earlier statements; this is one of the greatest traumas the fabric of the universe has suffered since the Big Bang. In fact, the sheer heat being created by all these Putin stories battling each other to stabilize space-time may cause a black hole to form at the Earth's core, causing the planet to implode."

At press time, scientists studying the vortex had confirmed that Trump was President in every single Earth reality and would be forever.
(c) 2018 The Onion

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Issues & Alibis Vol 18 # 29 (c) 07/27/2018

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