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In This Edition

Chris Walker returns with, "Trump Describes FBI's Mar-a-Lago Search As "Dark Times" For The Country."

Ralph Nader sends a meesage, "To The New York Times - 'We Thought We Knew Ye.'"

Leonard Pitts Jr. wonders, "Do We Dare To Be Hopeful?"

Jim Hightower says to, "Whip Inflation Now!"

William Rivers Pitt finds, "The Secret Service Text Cover-Up Keeps Getting Bigger."

John Nichols says, "It's Not Just Kansas-Voters Nationwide Are Pro-Choice."

James Donahue wonders, "How Scary Is Our World?"

David Swanson reports, "Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Passes Resolution Urging Congress To Move Funds Out Of Militarism."

Medea Benjamin returns with, "While Cuba Deals With Blazing Fire, The U.S. Heartlessly Watches And Waits."

Charles P. Pierce says, "The Senate's Sausage-Making Is Enough To Turn Us All Vegan."

Juan Cole examines, "The Great Pivot: Why Dem Green Energy IRA Will Steamroll Fossil Fuels and Help Save the Planet, Despite Manchin."

Robert Reich reports, "Trump's GOP Embraces Orban's Racist Eugenics."

Thom Hartmann asks, "What Is It That Republicans Actually Do Love?"

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department The Waterford Whispers News reports, "Jan 6th Hearings Latest: Trump Cried In Bedroom For Hours, Demanded Crown," but first, Uncle Ernie exclaims, "It's One Or The Other, Or Both!"

This week we spotlight the cartoons of Theo Moudakis, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Ruben Bolling, Brandon Bell, Dave Kaup, Brendan Smialowski, Kent Nishimura, Yamil Lage, Brandon Bell, Yogendra Singh, Jim Hightower, Twitter, Pixabay, Pexels, AFP, Unsplash, Shutterstock, Reuters, Flickr, AP, Getty Images, YouTube, and Issues & Alibis.Org.

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It's One Or The Other, Or Both!
By Ernest Stewart

I see where the term "global warming" appears for the first time in print on August 8, 1975, with the publication of Wallace Smith Broecker's paper "Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?" in the journal Science.

Five years earlier, in 1970, Broecker, a researcher at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, published a study of ocean sediment cores that revealed the Ice Age had seen rapid transitions in its climate, with ice sheets taking tens of thousands of years to develop in freezing temperatures, followed by sudden warm periods that melted the ice.

Broecker built on this discovery in his 1975 paper, which hypothesized that the Ice Age's rapid fluctuations had been caused by changes in "thermohaline circulation:" the ocean currents and wind systems that move heat from the equator up north towards the poles and transport cold water toward the equator. Broecker later named this the "Great Ocean Conveyor." He believed that rapid changes in climate were once again possible if this conveyor belt were changed or "turned off."

Broecker argued that there was an increasingly likely scenario for this to happen: the ongoing rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide content created by fossil fuel emissions would soon begin to warm the planet, in turn warming surface waters in the ocean and melting ice into fresh water. This would reduce the waters' density, thereby preventing cold water from sinking, altering ocean currents and effectively shutting off the conveyor belt. If that were to happen, he postulated, Europe would grow cooler as it did during the Ice Age. The more disruptive effect would come from unpredictable "on-and-off flickers" in global temperature. As Broecker put it in 1998, "the climate system is an angry beast and we are poking it with sticks."

His assessment of global warming trends remains relevant today. In 2017, a Columbia University publication found that as the planet was warming, fresh water was entering oceans at a higher rate. Which means, that after global warming runs it's course in a hundred years or so we'll be rapidly entering a new ice age. So if the coastal flooding don't get you a mile high ice sheet covering about half of the Earth will!


05-04-1950 ~ 08-08-2022
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Until the next time, Peace!

(c) 2022 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, philosopher, author, stand-up comic, dj, actor, political pundit and managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. and like us when you do. Follow me on Twitter. My most recent book is, The Red Kings Horror (2022)

Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Hilton Anatole on August 6, 2022, in Dallas, Texas.

Trump Describes FBI's Mar-a-Lago Search As "Dark Times" For The Country
By Chris Walker

On Monday, former President Donald Trump denounced an FBI-executed search of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, decrying it as political "persecution."

"These are dark times for our Nation," Trump wrote in his statement, which was published as the FBI was conducting the search. Trump described his home as being "under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents." The search was conducted after the Department of Justice (DOJ) obtained a warrant to enter the former president's home to investigate whether he had mishandled and inappropriately removed documents from the White House, according to Politico. Such warrants must be signed by a federal judge, and some legal experts have suggested that, because of Trump's political status, the warrant would also require the approval of all levels of the department, including from Attorney General Merrick Garland, though the DOJ wouldn't confirm whether or not he had authorized the search.

After several hours, the FBI seized an undisclosed number of paper records from Mar-a-Lago.

Despite the fact that Trump has been obstinate and unaccommodating throughout several investigations he has faced over the past few years, the former president claimed in his statement that he had been "working and cooperating" with investigators prior to the raid.

"Nothing like this has ever happened to a [former] President of the United States before," Trump said, a statement that is factually correct.

Trump called the search of his home a "weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don't want me to run for President in 2024."

"They even broke into my safe!" Trump said.

The search occurred several months after the National Archives retrieved other documents from the property. Earlier this year, federal authorities removed multiple boxes of records - including some that contained documents with a "top secret" classification - that Trump had taken from the White House to Mar-a-Lago in an apparent violation of the Presidential Records Act.

Legal experts defended the search.

"The FBI could only execute a search warrant if a federal judge found probable cause that a crime was committed and that evidence of that crime would likely be found at the place to be searched...Given that this was the property of a former president, a judge unquestionably took that responsibility very seriously," said Noah Bookbinder, a former federal prosecutor and current president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "No one was casual about this."

"The fact the search apparently didn't leak until basically when word came from Donald Trump himself shows the FBI and the Justice Department conducted this search by the book and a high degree of integrity," journalist and historian Garrett Graff tweeted about the investigation.

Asha Rangappa, a former FBI special agent, suggested that the raid had national security implications.

"Having unsecured classified documents at [Mar-a-Lago] presents an ongoing national security threat - especially given the amount of traffic going through there," Rangappa said. "No doubt foreign governments are sending intel agents there."

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

To The New York Times - "We Thought We Knew Ye"
By Ralph Nader

In 1980 we produced a report titled How to Appraise and Improve Your Daily Newspaper: A Manual for Readers, authored by David Bollier, one of our precocious interns, who had just graduated from Amherst and went on to become an expert on the Commons (See, I thought about this past initiative to empower readers/consumers while contemplating what is happening in recent months to the print edition of the New York Times.

The editors call it an historic revamping in the digital age that is absorbing a growing, aliterate younger generation. I call it a frantic overreach replacing serious content with excessive photography and graphics slouching toward stupefaction. (The digital Times is doing very well).

I spend serious time reading the New York Times in print - marking up at least 30 selections daily and sending them to a variety of advocates, scholars and groups. I started reading this august newspaper at the age of ten.

Until the Internet Age of verbal incommunicados, I extended my reading experience by speaking frequently with New York Times editors, reporters and opinion-writers. Many a story idea flowed from these conversations.

Many a change for a better country resulted. What, why and how the New York Times has moved so heavily into a vast visual mix of magazine styles and supplemental entertainment for its various sections are open questions. There is a daily Arts Section, but not a single weekly section devoted to Civic activities, which should invite an extensive assessment by journalism critics and serious journalists.

Also useful would be an evaluation of the many other New York Times' commercial ventures - launched by the desperate management to make up for the loss of print advertising - (space and classified) revenues.

However, here I wish to register an objection to the very recent unseemly, inexplicable collapse of the Times' historic editorial and op-ed pages that are arguably the most significant two pages in all of our country's mainstream journalism.

The implosion of these pages started some months ago when I noticed that op-eds were displacing the previously sacrosanct space for the Times' daily editorials. From the usual three editorials taking up the left half of the page (the rest of the page was reserved for letters-to-the-editor), emerged op-eds such as the tepid exchanges between professed "liberal" Gail Collins and "conservative" hawk Bret Stephens (whose earlier Wall Street Journal writings argued for illegal wars and imperial armed violence overseas). Now in addition to each having a weekly column, they engage in strained exchanges in the weekly opinion feature "The Conversation." What is the point of using precious space in the New York Times to showcase Bret seeking agreement on current news topics with the more moderate Gail, especially compared to featuring vibrant, fresh columns the editors could be seeking from more freelance contributors? (See some little covered subjects listed on Reporters Alert:

The pages are getting more exclusive. Preference for the remaining space not occupied by regular columnists now goes to writers who have been signed up for Times podcasts and Times newsletters. This paper is pointing toward a journalistic monoculture, keeping out of its pages knowledgeable, experienced writers on many important, ignored subjects and positions.

It keeps getting worse. In the last week or so the former editorial space was taken up with a long demand for New York City to teach children how to swim. (Important, but belonging to another section). The entire editorial page was recently an artistic portrayal of the headline "The Choices My Mother Could, and Couldn't, Make." (Good for another section). And just this August 3, 2022, another full-page article titled "Liz Cheney is Prepared to Lose Power, and It Shows" replaced editorials with a gigantic picture of the legislator's face.

Is it not enough that photographs and graphics have taken up huge spaces (in the Business Section, and in the various Sunday sections) where paying readers used to receive content? The editorial and opinion pages that used to be a haven of print, with no photographs taking up space for precious content, are now also losing space to gratuitous graphics - art over function.

To be sure this is a visual age. But there is such a thing as much too much. Visuals have replaced the incisive Sunday Business Section articles by Gretchen Morgenson, consumer features by Joe Sharkey and others. Now there are photographic/print articles that have some serious readers shaking their heads and asking what are they doing in the Times Business Section.

Page two of the daily Times often has reporters explaining how they got their break-through stories, including glimpses up front and personal. I may have missed it, but no such explanations were printed giving the real reasons for thinning down the editorial and op-ed pages.

I never thought that the Washington Post - owned by Jeff Bezos - would ever overtake the Times in presenting serious content. They now have, especially comparing its Sunday Outlook Section with its remodeled counterpart the Times Sunday Opinion Section. The Post readers still receive three editorials a day. The Post also devotes a full page on Saturday to letters-to-the-editor, unlike the Times.

As for editorials, I noticed one, just one, in a recent six-day period, demurely tucked in the lower quarter of the opinion page. Whatever happened to the dozen or more full-time editorial writers who robustly championed serious issues? Have they been laid off, reassigned or what?

The Times still produces remarkable, pioneering features such as its spectacular series on the illegal predations and burning of the critical Brazilian Amazon Forest. It publishes other domestic muckraking stories so good that they beg the formation of a citizen group just to extend this newspaper's exposure of wrongdoing and to push for reforms.

But there are also bizarre forays, such as the eleven full biographical pages on Fox's Tucker Carlson (which he used as a promotion).

There are many other regular strange journalistic misadventures, filled with over-visualizations surrounding puzzling choices of subject matter. For instance, the Times is hung up on narrative features about little-known, extreme right-wing groups and ventures. The subjects love it. They raise money off this coverage, becoming a big act for their followers. Readers are left wondering whether anything is happening on the progressive side of the political ledger in this election year.

What should be done? Open a couple of pages for long-time readers, who have a comparative perspective, to express their opinion of these changes. Have the editors give us the reasons for these changes, beyond self-reinforcing surveys.

Of course, the Times needs to react to what the new generations of readers want to read (hopefully uplifting the quality of its many such pages). Nonetheless, its most basic mission is to offer the readers what they need to know about this tormented world of ours in the far fewer print pages they are allocating for that purpose.

Years ago, it used to be said "You can always tell a Times man, but you can't tell him much." Please reverse your slide toward mediocrity and recover a sense of your own special significance in an unceasingly deteriorating journalistic culture of print, radio and television and social media.

(c) 2022 Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. His latest book is The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future. Other recent books include, The Seventeen Traditions: Lessons from an American Childhood, Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism: Build It Together to Win, and "Only The Super -Rich Can Save Us" (a novel).

Do We Dare To Be Hopeful?
By Leonard Pitts Jr.

"Dare we hope?"

That was the rather plaintive response of a man on Twitter when news broke that Kansas voters had rejected an attempt to remove the right to abortion from their state constitution. We are talking about a fire-engine-red state. It went for Donald Trump in 2016 and repeated the error in 2020. In fact, Kansas has supported only one Democratic presidential candidate - Lyndon Johnson - in over 80 years.

Yet, that same Kansas just voted to preserve abortion rights. And at 60 percent to 39 percent, it wasn't even close.

"Dare we hope," indeed. Dare those of us who think an ideological and illegitimate Supreme Court committed judicial malpractice when it overturned Roe v. Wade take the vote as a reason for optimism that women's rights to control their own reproductive future might yet be preserved? You can't blame people for being hesitant. This has been a brutal season for progressive values.

Voting rights, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, even contraceptive rights ... somehow, it's all once again up for grabs. And people who fought and won those fights are understandably exhausted at the idea of having to do it all over again. A recent poll by the Washington Post and the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University found that, while 65% of Americans disapprove of the court's decision, supporters of abortion rights are far less likely than opponents to vote in this fall's midterm elections.

Which underscores how deep and abiding is their fatigue. Through its willingness to smash the rules, both written and unwritten, the Republican Party has managed to dispirit better than half the electorate. Like apartheid South Africa, they have made the majority seem politically irrelevant.

But if they really are irrelevant, then how do you explain Kansas?

The problem with progressives is that many have forgotten the need to fight for the long term. Consider that the right-wing battle to overturn Roe started almost 50 years ago and the battle to curb African-American voting rights took about as long. Yet progressives are disappointed because they turned out in record numbers in a single election two years ago and don't yet have everything they wanted? Indeed, a few months ago, one talk-show host pleaded for liberals to show up at the polls, but apologetically compared hearing such appeals to eating ground-up glass.

Poor babies. Conservatives spent half a century not getting what they wanted on abortion rights. Yet, one struggles in vain to recall when anyone ever had to beg them to vote, much less apologetically. They seem to understand what progressives often don't. Which is that human-rights battles - and reproductive freedom is certainly one of those - are not like baseball games where final victory comes with the last out. Human-rights victories must be safeguarded and preserved or else they are subject to being overturned. The good news is that the same goes for human-rights defeats.

For what it's worth, the victors in Kansas say they won that battle by knocking on over 60,000 doors, making over 600,000 phone calls and raising over $6.5 million.

So, dare we hope their victory has meaning? Well, that depends on where we go from here.

If progressives knock on enough doors, make enough phone calls and raise enough money?

If we finally accept that rights are never fully won and must always be defended?

If we are resilient and tough over the long haul?

If we vote?

Then, yes. We dare.

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

Whip Inflation Now!

By Jim Hightower

Republican politicos are all over Joe Biden for failing to stop inflation. Perhaps you wonder, though, what these squawkers would do if they were in charge?

No need to wonder - just look back to 1974, when Americans were being pummeled by price spikes that topped 12%, nearly double what we're enduring today. But by Gollies, President Gerald Ford and his Republican contingent in Congress met the challenge head-on with a new magical program of economic uplift they called WIN - Whip Inflation Now! But it was nothing - just a political slogan with no magic and no action behind it. Price controls? Antitrust action? No, no, GOP Inc. didn't want to offend, much less punish, corporate titans for a little profiteering, so they shifted the blame for inflation to consumers, demanding that families just say no to price gouging.

Ford himself went on national TV, urging fellow citizens to join him in buying "only those products and services priced at or below present levels." The core of the Republican "program," then, was telling hard-hit wage earners to battle the monopolistic behemoths of Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Food, et al on their own by simply refusing to pay inflated prices for the gasoline, medicines, groceries, and such that-hellllooooo-they had to have.

As a reward, everyone who signed a form promising be an "Inflation Fighter" was sent a nifty WIN button, indicating their patriotic participation. Sure enough, Americans responded enthusiastically - with an avalanche of ridicule. Even Ford's own top economic advisor, Alan Greenspan, was whopper jawed by the GOP's idea that the substance of their policy was a political button: "It was surreal. ...I said to myself. 'This is unbelievable stupidity.'"

Yet, this time, Republican leaders are more surreal, not even pretending to have solution... and we don't even get a button.

(c) 2022 Jim Hightower's latest book, "If The Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates,"is available in a fully revised and updated paperback edition. Jim writes The Hightower Lowdown, a monthly newsletter chronicling the ongoing fights by America's ordinary people against rule by plutocratic elites. Sign up at

A secret service agent stands watch as then-President Donald Trump speaks during a rally on September 25, 2020, in Newport News, Virginia.

The Secret Service Text Cover-Up Keeps Getting Bigger
By William Rivers Pitt

The growing super-scandal surrounding text messages from 1/6 that were deleted by the Secret Service, Homeland Security and now the Department of Defense leaves one grasping for adjectives that fit the moment. Journalist Seth Abramson was unequivocal on Tuesday - "Biggest Cover-up in American History" - and I am hard-pressed to dispute him.

"So now we have missing Secret Service texts that could establish contacts between Donald Trump and the domestic terrorists of Stop the Steal, missing DHS texts that would reveal secret lobbying by Trump's 'legal team,' and possibly missing Pentagon texts about *martial law*," Abramson wrote on Twitter. "The *practical* question, now: do Americans have a moral right to presume the worst about Trump entities that deliberately destroyed federal evidence regarding January 6? Has the USSS, DOD or DHS left us with any choice but to assume the deleted texts would be incriminating?"

A moral right? At this juncture, can people reasonably do anything other than expect the No, the trick here isn't convincing people that a pack of Trump-tied insurrectionists scrubbed evidence of their crimes from government devices. The trick is getting people to overcome the amazing gravitational pull of "too much already!" and summon the will to act, to make Congress act, to decide that this seemingly eternal Trumpian farce be halted and broken once and for all. This far, no farther.

It was bad enough when the Secret Service announced it had deliberately deleted all texts from the day before and day of the insurrection. When pressed, they managed to come up with one (1) text message related to the inquiry. The situation screamed "cover-up!" and carried genuinely ominous overtones of potential Secret Service involvement in Donald Trump's efforts to overthrow the 2020 election by way of riot.

On July 29, it was reported that Homeland Security watchdogs knew of the deletions in December, and began in February the process of recovering them, only to have that process abruptly terminated by Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari. "Cuffari, a former adviser to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R), has been in his post since July 2019 after being nominated by Trump," reports The Washington Post. A separate Post report details accusations leveled against Cuffari in 2003, when he "was accused of misleading federal investigators and running 'afoul' of ethics regulations while he was in charge of a Justice Department inspector general field office in Tucson."

On August 1, "Two influential House Democrats called on Monday for two officials at the Department of Homeland Security's independent watchdog to testify to Congress about the agency's handling of missing Secret Service text messages from the day of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, accusing their office of engaging in a cover-up," according to The New York Times. Joseph Cuffari is one of the two officials so called.

Not shady enough yet? Try this on for size, courtesy of CNN:

The Defense Department wiped the phones of top departing DOD and Army officials at the end of the Trump administration, deleting any texts from key witnesses to events surrounding the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, according to court filings.

The acknowledgment that the phones from the Pentagon officials had been wiped was first revealed in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit American Oversight brought against the Defense Department and the Army. The watchdog group is seeking January 6 records from former acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller, former chief of staff Kash Patel, and former Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, among other prominent Pentagon officials - having filed initial FOIA requests just a few days after the Capitol attack.

At least the Watergate burglars had the sense to pull their stunt in the dead of night. These clowns are out there in broad daylight trashing crucial evidence pertaining to an attempted coup, and have done so within the walls of the Secret Service, Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.

Not only is this cover-up massive, it is altogether audacious, brazen, almost arrogant... and why not? This is Washington D.C., right? Nobody ever gets into actual trouble here, unless you took a bus from out of town to participate in the Capitol riot. Then, you're probably busted. The ones who summoned you there and turned you loose? A few deleted texts later and they're enjoying a steak at the Capitol Hill Club, irony definitely intended.

Consider all this when you hear Trump and his people promote their plans for "Schedule F": the deliberate replacement of merit-based government employees with people loyal to Trump. Feed this into any "what could happen?" algorithm and smoke will belch from the computer vents.

"Schedule F involves nothing less than the obliteration of vast swaths of the federal workforce," I wrote last week, "who would reportedly be replaced by employees loyal to Trump and his madding MAGA horde. It is the realization of Steve Bannon's war on the administrative state, combined with Trump's apparently bottomless need to inflict chaotic pain in the name of revenge, and would damage the function of the federal government for generations."

Those deleted texts must be recovered. I have to believe there is a way. "Nothing is ever really deleted" is what they've been telling us for years now.

Nothing except, perhaps, the truth.

(c) 2022 William Rivers Pitt is a senior editor and lead columnist at Truthout. He is also a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of three books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know, The Greatest Sedition Is Silence and House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation. His fourth book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co_written with Dahr Jamail, is available now on Amazon. He lives and works in New Hampshire.

Abortion supporters Alie Utley and Joe Moyer (R) react to the failed constitutional amendment proposal
at the Kansas Constitutional Freedom Primary Election Watch Party in Overland Park, Kan., on August 2.

It's Not Just Kansas-Voters Nationwide Are Pro-Choice
The Kansas landslide is a reminder that, even in red states, voters will protect abortion rights.
By John Nichols

Donald Trump won Kansas by a 15-point margin in 2020, sweeping 100 of the state's 105 counties as the presidential candidate of a Republican Party that has for decades pledged to overturn the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that protected abortion rights. So a lot of folks just presumed, prior to Tuesday's Kansas vote on whether to remove protections for abortion access from their state Constitution, that the anti-choice position would prevail.

But the first statewide vote on abortion rights since the conservative supermajority on the Supreme Court overturned Roe didn't go as the right had planned. Kansans voted 59-41 to maintain legal barriers to Republican efforts to ban abortions. Hailing a "huge and decisive victory," Rachel Sweet, the campaign manager for Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, which successfully promoted a "no" vote in Tuesday's election, announced, "The people of Kansas have spoken. They think that abortion should be safe, legal and accessible in the state of Kansas."

Pundits who are now treating the Kansas vote as "a stunning upset" and "a surprising victory" had assumed that conservative voters would support what was widely understood as an effort to clear the way for an abortion ban. But while the pro-choice margin was striking, the win for abortion rights was not exactly a shocker. In fact, it followed a pattern that's been noted for decades by savvy observers of voting trends.

When reproductive rights issues are on the ballot, even in Republican-leaning states, well-organized and unapologetic pro-choice campaigns have established a winning record. That's what happened in South Dakota in 2006, when voters rejected a sweeping abortion ban by a 55-45 vote, and where they did the same thing two years later-in a presidential election year-by roughly the same margin. That's what happened in Mississippi in 2011, when voters opposed a so-called "personhood" amendment to the state Constitution, which sought to eliminate reproductive rights, by a 58-42 vote. That's what happened in Florida in 2012, when, by a 55-45 margin, voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have prohibited the state from spending public funds for abortions or health insurance that covers abortions. That's what happened in North Dakota in 2014, when voters rejected a so-called "right-to-life amendment" by an overwhelming 64-36 margin.

There have been some setbacks over the years, often by narrow margins, in states such as West Virginia, where a 2018 amendment that said "nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion," won by a 51.73 to 48.27 vote. But, by and large, when anti-choice proposals are on the ballot, voters tend to protect abortion rights. And that's reasonably likely to be case in states across the country now that the Supreme Court has delivered its ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

The Kansas victory on Tuesday resulted from grassroots boots-on-the-ground organizing and honest engagement on the issue. Television ads urged Kansas voters to reject a "strict government mandate" that "puts a mother's life at risk" and that could "ban any abortion with no exceptions." But this wasn't just a media campaign. Pro-choice activists mounted an energetic grassroots organizing drive that reached out to a wide range of communities, including those in historically Republican rural counties-a number of which voted "no" on Tuesday. In some western Kansas counties, support for the pro-choice position on the ballot question ran more than 25 points better than the 2020 vote for Joe Biden.

As the 2022 election season unfolds, activists in other states can learn a good deal from the Kansas activists who spoke bluntly about how banning abortion will take away fundamental rights, criminalize health choices, and prevent doctors and nurses from providing necessary care.

Framed in those terms, the fight to preserve abortion rights takes on a dynamic character as an electoral project. Hillary Clinton said Wednesday, "Abortion rights are crucial. Abortion rights are popular. Abortion rights are a winning issue." It is, indeed, likely, to be a winning issue in other states-Kentucky , California, Vermont, and Michigan-that hold referendums on reproductive rights this fall. It could also be a winning issue in contests between pro-choice and anti-choice candidates for governorships, attorneys general positions, and control of legislative chambers and the Congress.

This is something Republicans have understood for some time.

When Trump debated Joe Biden in the fall of 2020, the Republican president bristled at the Democrat's suggestion that the election should be considered a referendum on reproductive rights.

Barely 10 minutes into the first televised clash between the two candidates, Biden stated, "The point is that the President also is opposed to Roe v. Wade. That's on the ballot as well and the court...that's also at stake right now." Before Biden could finish, Trump interrupted him. "You don't know what's on the ballot. Why is it on the ballot?" asked the 45th president. "Why is it on the ballot? It's not on the ballot."

Why was Trump so fretful? Because he's a cynical politician who used a promise to pack the Supreme Court with anti-choice judges as a tool to secure the Republican nomination in 2016, and to maintain support among social conservatives even when his own actions were morally reprehensible and should have been seen as politically disqualifying. But Trump did not want to have to face the consequences of his position, or of his actions, after he nominated three high court justices who would, indeed, vote to overturn Roe.

The same goes for a lot of other Republicans. That's why in Kansas GOP legislators and operatives schemed to put their confusingly worded constitutional amendment on the ballot in an August primary, where turnout was expected to be low and where Republican contests for governor and attorney general were the big draws. Pro-choice organizing that sought and secured a high turnout upended their calculations. When all the votes are counted, the 2022 Kansas primary election turnout will very nearly double the turnout for the comparable primary in 2018.

As Democrats look to November, they would be wise to take their cues from Kansas abortion rights activists. Abortion is not the only issue that brings people to the polls and influences how they vote. But if party activists make the case that abortion is on the ballot in November, if they boost turnout from pro-choice voters, and if Democratic candidates can achieve even a small measure of the swing seen in Kansas, the 2022 political calculus could be dramatically improved for Biden and for his party.

(c) 2022 John Nichols writes about politics for The Capitol Times. His book on protests and politics, Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street, is published by Nation Books. Follow John Nichols on Twitter @NicholsUprising.

How Scary Is Our World?
By James Donahue

Columnist William Blum writing for Counterpunch once put forth an interesting question. He wrote: "Is the world actually so much more evil and scary today than it was in the 1950s of my upbringing, for which I grow more nostalgic with each new horror? Or is it that the horrors of today are so much better reported, as we swim in a sea of news and videos?"

Indeed, as a child of the 1950s, I also recognize Blum's nostalgia for "the good old days." But it is true, when we think back on it, those days weren't really as good as we now think.

We lived then under the threat of the Cold War and possible nuclear attack at any moment. People were building bomb shelters in their back yards and basements. We were fighting nonsensical wars first in Korea and then in Vietnam. Young men faced the draft and potential death on the battlefield right after high school. Civil rights was a big issue, especially in the south, and black leaders like the Rev. Martin Luther King and Malcom X were calling for black freedom before they were both murdered.

Television was coming of age in those years and great news anchors like Edward R. Murrow, Douglas Edwards and the team of Chet Huntley and David Brinkley kept us informed of world events.

Sure, we had reason to fear in those days, but at home, the propaganda machine had us all lulled into believing that in America, we were safe from the horrors of the world around us. We recognized ourselves as a "superpower" after winning World War II, we had our favorite general, "Ike" Eisenhower leading us from the White House, the middle class was coming into reality, good paying jobs were plentiful, and life was good.

I remember trotting off to college just because my parents encouraged it. And college was cheap enough that I could pay for tuition and books from what I could earn each summer and I covered my rent by working in the food commons on campus. My parents sent a check for $10 every week which covered my personal needs and there was usually enough left over to buy some beer during those college parties on the weekends.

Cars were cheap then. My first car, a three-year-old Chevrolet sedan, cost me $300. I earned the money growing strawberries on the family farm. We drove on highways that had no speed limit signs. None of the cars were equipped with seat belts or anti-smog equipment. The air was still clean in those days and we could see the stars shining like diamonds on a clear night.

Yes it was a good time to be growing up in the United States. Obviously people in other parts of the world didn't share in our rapture, but we were all so sheltered by our personal pleasures, the propaganda handed out by our teachers, our government and our churches, that we believed our nation was the greatest on Earth. I remember wondering why people all over the world didn't want to live the lifestyle we were enjoying.

The concepts of imperialism, oppression and oligarchy were unknown to us then. We knew the blacks had it bad in certain areas. I remember the Mexican farm workers coming into the farming areas each summer to hoe beans and sugar beets and pick fruit. I read stories about drug addiction and poverty occurring in the cities, but never saw these things as a blight on our great nation.

I never dreamed that the grand lifestyle we enjoyed in those days would ever slip out of our grasp. But it did.

And now the news, which is being hammered into our heads on our televisions, our radios, our computers, our newspapers and our politicians, is so grim, we tremble in our shoes. We take pills to help us sleep. We turn to drugs and alcohol to escape in the only safe place we have left . . . our minds.

But is Blum right? Are things in this world any worse today than they always have been, or is that sea of news in which we swim causing our paranoia?

Well, we didn't have a dying planet in 1950. Our ice caps weren't melting. Our seas were not filled with plastics and dying sea life. The food we ate was pure and lacking the genetic modification that is occurring today. Our politicians still represented the folks who elected them. The opportunities for achievement were available for anybody with a good idea and jobs were available for anybody that wanted one.

The conclusion: Life at least in the United States is no longer as great as it once was. We as a nation are slipping into the sea of turmoil that has gripped the world for centuries. We have fallen into a trap carefully prepared by the greedy few that now control just about everything. They have thrown us all into lives of servitude.

(c) 2022 James L. Donahue is a retired newspaper reporter, editor and columnist with more than 40 years of experience in professional writing. He is the published author of five books, all dealing with Michigan history, and several magazine articles.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Passes Resolution Urging Congress To Move Funds Out Of Militarism
By David Swanson

Tuesday evening in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, five residents, including Brad Wolf, spoke in support of a resolution, which the City Council then passed by unanimous vote. The text of the resolution is as follows:






WHEREAS, the United States is a member state of the United Nations which has ratified the Charter of the United Nations which states, "We the peoples of the United Nations [are] determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and so reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small...;" and

WHEREAS, the United Nations declared September 21 as the International Day of Peace with the goal of strengthening the ideals of peace and promoting non-violence; and

WHEREAS, Congress approved a $778 billion military budget for Fiscal Year 2022, which consumes 51 percent of every federal income tax dollar, and consumes an estimated 52 percent of the entire federal discretionary budget; and

WHEREAS, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the United States taxpayers in 2020 paid more for their military than the combined military expenditures of China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, India, France, the United Kingdom, and Japan; and

WHEREAS, according to the Political Economy Research Institute of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, spending $1 billion on domestic priorities produces "substantially more jobs within the U.S. economy than would the same $1 billion spent on the military;" and

WHEREAS, Congress should reallocate federal military outlays toward domestic human and environmental needs: fund low income housing, eradicate food insecurity, fund superior education from pre-school through college, convert the United States to clean energy, build high speed rail between U.S. cities, finance a full-employment jobs program, and increase non-military foreign aid; and

WHEREAS, promoting non-military solutions to global problems could reasonably be expected to reduce individual reliance on guns and violence in Lancaster City in addressing personal disputes and acts of desperation.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Lancaster recognizes the International Day of Peace on September 21, 2022 and urges Congress to honor the spirit of the International Day of Peace by dramatically cutting military spending and reallocate taxpayer funds taken from United States citizens and apply them toward the above-mentioned domestic needs.

AND, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Council of the City of Lancaster requests the Clerk provide this resolution to the federal elected officials who represent Lancaster City.




Bernard W. Harris Jr., City Clerk

Danene Sorace, Mayor

(c) 2022 David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015 and 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

Flames and smoke rise from a massive fire at a fuel depot sparked by a lightning strike in Matanzas, Cuba, early on August 8, 2022. - Aircraft, firefighters and specialists from
Mexico and Venezuela arrived in Cuba on August 7 to help put out a massive fire at a fuel depot that has left at least one person dead, 121 people injured and 17 firefighters missing.

While Cuba Deals With Blazing Fire, The U.S. Heartlessly Watches And Waits
The Biden administration is watching a potential ecological disaster 90 miles from the U.S. coastline without offering meaningful assistance to contain it. By Medea Benjamin

By now, the images of the oil explosion that erupted in the Cuban province of Matanzas on Friday, August 5 and continues blazing have become international news. When lightning struck an oil tank in Cuba's largest oil storage facility, it quickly exploded and began to spread to nearby tanks. As of now, four of the eight tanks have caught fire. Dozens of people have been hospitalized, over 120 have been reported injured, at least 16 firefighters are still reported missing and one firefighter has died.

This latest disaster-the largest oil fire in Cuba's history-comes at a time when Cuba is currently undergoing an energy crisis due to soaring global fuel costs, as well as over-exploited and obsolete infrastructure. The raging fire will undoubtedly further exacerbate the electricity outages that Cubans are suffering from as a result of the on-going energy crisis that is occurring in the middle of one of the hottest summers on record globally.

Almost immediately, the Cuban government requested international assistance from other countries, particularly its neighbors that have experience in handling oil-related fires. Mexico and Venezuela responded immediately and with great generosity. Mexico sent 45,000 liters of firefighting foam in 16 flights, as well as firefighters and equipment. Venezuela sent firefighters and technicians, as well as 20 tons of foam and other chemicals.

The U.S., on the other hand, offered technical assistance, which amounted to phone consultations. Despite having invaluable expertise and experience with major fires, the U.S. has not sent personnel, equipment, planes, materials, or other resources to its neighbor that would actually help minimize the risk to human life and the environment. The U.S. Embassy in Havana instead offered condolences and stated on day four of the blazing fire that they were "carefully watching the situation" and that U.S. entities and organizations could provide disaster relief. They even posted an email,, for people who want to help, saying "our team is a great resource for facilitating exports and donations of humanitarian goods to Cuba or responding to any questions." But people who have contacted that email for help receive an automated response in return, telling people to look at their fact sheet from a year ago.

Contrast this to Cuba's response to Hurrican Katrina in 2005, when the Cuba government offered to send to New Orleans 1,586 doctors, each carrying 27 pounds of medicine-an offer that was rejected by the United States.

While the U.S. government pays lip service to helping in Cuba's emergency, the truth is that U.S. sanctions on Cuba create real and significant barriers to organizations trying to provide assistance to Cubans, both in the United States and abroad. For example, Cuba sanctions often require U.S. organizations to get Commerce Department export licenses. Another obstacle is the lack of commercial air cargo service between the U.S. and Cuba, and most commercial flights are prohibited from carrying humanitarian assistance without a license. Cuba's inclusion in the State Sponsor of Terrorism List means that banks, in both the United States and abroad, are reluctant to process humanitarian donations. And while donative remittances (which can be sent for humanitarian purposes) have been recently re-authorized by the Biden administration, there is no mechanism in place to send them, as the U.S. government refuses to use the established Cuban entities that have historically processed them. Moreover, payment and fundraising platforms such as GoFundMe, PayPal, Venmo and Zelle, will not process any transactions destined or related to Cuba due to U.S. sanctions.

In any case, the response to this disaster should come primarily from the U.S. government, not NGOs. An Obama-era Presidential Policy Directive specifically mentions U.S. cooperation with Cuba "in areas of mutual interest, including diplomatic, agricultural, public health, and environmental matters, as well as disaster preparedness and response." Despite the 243 sanctions imposed by the Trump administration-and overwhelmingly maintained by the Biden White House-the Policy Directive appears to remain in effect. In addition, Cuba and the United States signed a bilateral Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Agreement in 2017 prior to Trump taking office, which the U.S. noted means both countries "will cooperate and coordinate in an effort to prevent, contain, and clean up marine oil and other hazardous pollution in order to minimize adverse effects to public health and safety and the environment." The agreement provides a roadmap for bilateral cooperation to address the current humanitarian and environmental disaster. In addition, the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, which is part of USAID, "is responsible for leading and coordinating the U.S. government's response to disasters overseas," including sending technical experts as they have in more than 50 countries. Neither OFDA nor any other part of USAID, which spends approximately $20 million annually in regime change funding in Cuba (primarily to Florida-based groups), have offered humanitarian aid thus far.

As Congress takes important steps to advance legislation to address climate change and disasters, the Biden administration is watching a potential ecological disaster 90 miles from the U.S. coastline without offering meaningful assistance to contain it, both to protect the Cuban people but also to mitigate any potential marine damage to the narrow strait that separates the two countries.

Withholding assistance at this critical time indicates to Cubans, Cuban Americans and the world that the Biden Administration is not really interested in the well-being of the Cuban people, despite statements to the contrary. This is an opportunity to show compassion, regional cooperation, environmental responsibility, and, overall, to be a good neighbor. It is also an opportunity for the Biden administration to finally reject the toxic Trump administration policies towards Cuba and restart the broad bilateral diplomatic engagement that was so successfully initiated under the Obama administration.

(c) 2022 Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK: Women for Peace, is the author of the new book, Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection. Her previous books include: Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control; Don't Be Afraid Gringo: A Honduran Woman Speaks from the Heart, and (with Jodie Evans) Stop the Next War Now (Inner Ocean Action Guide). Follow her on Twitter: @medeabenjamin

Senate votes on amendments to inflation reduction act over the weekend

The Senate's Sausage-Making Is Enough To Turn Us All Vegan
Meanwhile, the shebeen is quarantined.
By Charles P. Pierce

A brief public service announcement: The COVID has come to call here at the shebeen, so service is likely to be slower than normal over the next five or six days. So far, it's been merely the mother of all head colds. Paxlovid is on board, so maybe I will be able to pass some groundbreaking climate-crisis legislation some time in the next few days.

The weekend exercises in the Senate were somewhat revelatory as Sen. Kyrsten Sinema rode to rescue of unearned income, which should tell you all you need to know about the price of her politics. Meanwhile the Republicans strung things out with some kindergarten amendments that were embarrassments to representative democracy all the way back to Articles of Confederation. There were 37 of them, over 15 hours, many of them stretching the common definition of "dilatory" to limits heretofore unknown to the English language. (To be entirely fair, Sen. Bernie Sanders submitted a few amendments as well, and the Senate had to take time to send them down in flames, too.)

The rest of the long night was taken up by points of order, and if I attempt to catalogue all of them, I will certainly relapse severely, so-take my word on this-the ultimate lessons of the weekend are: A) money power still talks too loudly in our government, since so much of the serious maneuvering had to do with the provisions regarding taxes, who pays them, and how much; and B) the Senate needs to look seriously at its procedures before the opinion becomes general that the institution is a superannuated relic that belongs on a shelf in the Smithsonian.

And now the whole things descends to the next ring of legislative hell: the House of Representatives, where the real Republican reptile farm resides.

None of this is good for my health.

(c) 2022 Charles P. Pierce has been a working journalist since 1976. He is the author of four books, most recently 'Idiot America.' He lives near Boston with his wife but no longer his three children.

The Quotable Quote -

"For many, the American dream has become a nightmare."
~~~ Bernie Sanders

The Great Pivot: Why Dem Green Energy IRA Will Steamroll Fossil Fuels and Help Save the Planet, Despite Manchin
By Juan Cole

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) - The Democrats in the Senate Passed the Inflation Reduction Act on Sunday, with its nearly $370 billion in new spending on the green energy transition. The Democratic majority in the House of Representatives is such that the bill will certainly be passed into law at the end of this month when the congressmen came back from recess. This is an epochal achievement, and may be the beginning of the end of the climate emergency.

We are standing at the beginning of another Industrial Revolution, one destined to reshape the lives of humanity as vitally as did the rise of the steam engine.

Although it is true that Senator Joe Manchin (and, for all we know some other Dem senators) slipped some goodies into the bill for Big Carbon, those are small potatoes compared to the massive sums devoted to climate change amelioration. And, those funds come on top of billions that were in last fall's Infrastructure Act for setting up charging stations around the country for electric vehicles, supplying schools with electric buses, and emissions reductions at ports and airports.

One reason that the green energy billions matter far more than any residual federal support for fossil fuels is that American energy is no longer a level playing field. It is starkly tilted against fossil fuels, both because of price structures and because of state government policy in big important states like California and New York.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the US added 15 Gigawatts (GW) of new electricity generating capacity in the first six months of 2022. It broke down this way:

Wind: 5.2 GW
Solar: 4.2 GW
Battery storage: 1.7 GW
Methane Gas: 4.3 GW
So that's 11.1 new green energy gigawatts vs. 4.3 new fossil fuel gigawatts. That's in two quarters where wind and solar installations faced supply line and component difficulties and so fell off a little. And they still were 62% of new electricity generating capacity, with wind at 34% all by itself.

So what happens if the government comes in with tax write-offs and billions for research and development, allowing solar panels and batteries to become much cheaper and more efficient?

Washington Post: "Senate passes Inflation Reduction Act after marathon debate" And that's not all. In the same six months, the US retired 8.8 GW in electric generating capacity, three-fourths of it coal plants, then some gas plants and 9% of the retirement was nuclear. Despite a slight uptick this year because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and subsequent high methane gas prices, coal is doomed and will decline to almost zero in this decade. Methane gas is also doomed but may last a little longer.

Methane "natural" gas is already a loser in many US markets because a new gas plant generates electricity for 6.5 cents a kilowatt hour. Wind power is 4 cents a kilowatt hour this year, much cheaper than gas. Utility-scale solar in the US can be had for as little as 6 cents a kilowatt hour, already cheaper than gas and falling in cost rapidly. Wind and solar, it is true, are intermittent, and need battery or pumped hydro back up, but it would still be cheaper just to pop for the latter than to build new gas plants. Not to mention that gas plants emit tons of carbon dioxide, which is wrecking the planet. If you figured that into the cost of gas, which you should, it would be 50 cents a kilowatt hour.

What of the rest of this year? Even before the IRA passed, the EIA expected nearly 30 gigawatts of new electric capacity to go up in the US by the end of this year, with nearly half of it being from solar (13.6 GW) and a fifth being from wind (6 GW). A further 4.5 GW in battery storage is also expected. Many of these projects will come online in December to get this year's tax breaks. Many of the solar panels to be installed this year were made in China or in Southeast Asia, and there were bottlenecks caused by a Commerce Department investigation of the latter, which President Biden has solved for the next two years.

So, new electricity generating capacity in the US will double the rest of this year and 82% of it will be wind, solar and battery, i.e. green.

So that was the landscape before the IRA passed. It should be obvious what is going to happen next. Energy companies will have a choice of putting in gas plants at high cost and a low government subsidy or putting in solar and wind at a low cost and high government subsidies.

Leveraging research and development money is also crucial. The cost of solar power has plummeted 90% since 2002. But panels are still only about 20% efficient. New techniques and materials can double their efficiency and cut their cost in half. All that is needed is that someone pay for the research. And the US government under the Democrats just volunteered $2 billion for research at National Labs, plus all the private research that will be impelled by government support for the green energy sector.

Remember that many of the 50 states, even Republican states like Louisiana, have their own investments in a switch to green energy. New York is going big into offshore wind, as is Louisiana. The IRA has money in it to encourage states to go in that direction, again leveraging processes already in play.

As big wind and solar corporations emerge with their own lobbyists, the Republican Party's attachment to the declining fossil fuel corporations will be weakened and then broken, and by the end of this decade we could see hawking green Republicans in the House and Senate backed by companies like Xcel.

So pay no attention to the naysayers and doomsters and nitpickers. The IRA is great good news, because it will fill out the sails of a ship that was already racing ahead of the competition. It will likely cut US emissions by about 40% from 2006 levels, and it is possible that the innovations it provokes will take us even further, to meet President Biden's goal of a 50% cut.

A new world is dawning, one in which humanity dodges the huge hail of bullets of the climate emergency. If we can get to zero carbon by 2050, the oceans will take up all the carbon dioxide we've put into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution, and temperatures will almost immediately stop rising, and then gradually will fall back to the preindustrial normal. The rest of this century will still be very challenging, but those challenges can be met if we can avoid tipping the climate into a state of chaos.

(c) 2022 Juan R.I. Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment. He is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He has written extensively on modern Islamic movements in Egypt, the Persian Gulf and South Asia and has given numerous media interviews on the war on terrorism and the Iraq War. He lived in various parts of the Muslim world for nearly 10 years and continues to travel widely there. He speaks Arabic, Farsi and Urdu.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC held at the Hilton Anatole on August 04, 2022 in Dallas, Texas.

Trump's GOP Embraces Orban's Racist Eugenics
The authoritarian Hungarian leader's rhetoric is familiar to anyone who lived through the Nazi holocaust, but prominent American Republicans have rushed to his defense.
By Robert Reich

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addressed a crowd of thousands of American admirers in Dallas, Texas on Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Orban described Hungary and America as "twin fronts" in a struggle against globalists, progressives, communists, and "fake news."

To fully comprehend Orban's influence on the Trump Republican Party, you need to understand the Orban has stripped Hungary of its democratic institutions and demonized immigrants. But that's not all. He has also embraced a form of eugenics, in which he claims that the future of the West is threatened by the "racial mixing" of white Christian Europeans with others.

On July 23, Orban put it bluntly in a speech at the 31st Balvanyos Summer Free University and Student Camp:

The internationalist left employs a feint, an ideological ruse: the claim - their claim - that Europe by its very nature is populated by peoples of mixed race. ...

[We] do not want to become peoples of mixed-race. This is why we fought at Nandorfehervar/Belgrade, this is why we stopped the Turks at Vienna, and - if I am not mistaken - this is why, in still older times - the French stopped the Arabs at Poitiers.

Today the situation is that Islamic civilization, which is constantly moving towards Europe, has realized - precisely because of the traditions of Belgrade/Nandorfehervar - that the route through Hungary is an unsuitable one along which to send its people up into Europe. This is why Poitiers has been replayed; now the incursion's origins are not in the East, but in the South, from where they are occupying and flooding the West.

Orban's words and phrases were familiar to anyone who lived through the Nazi holocaust. After the speech, one of Orban's closest advisers resigned, calling it "pure Nazi."

Prominent American Republicans have rushed to Orban's defense. On Wednesday, when Orban stopped off at Trump's (Saudi-sponsored) golf tournament on the way to the CPAC conference, Trump called him a "friend," adding "few people know as much about what is going on in the world today." That evening, Tucker Carlson smirked on his Fox television show, "So Viktor Orban is now a Nazi because he wants national borders?" (Last year, Carlson did a special broadcast from Budapest during which he praised Orban's Hungary as a model for America.) And, of course, Orban gave yesterday's keynote at CPAC.

Eugenics was popular at the turn of the last century. Developed largely by Sir Francis Galton - supposedly as a method to improve the human race - it called for arranging reproduction within the human population to increase characteristics regarded as desirable and minimize the undesirable. After the adoption of eugenics by the Nazis to justify their treatment of Jews, disabled people, and other minority groups, eugenics was discredited as unscientific and racially motivated.

But eugenics has been reborn under another guise - that of white Christian nationalism. It is now presented as the scourge of "racial mixing" between white Christians of European descent, and others.

It is a small leap from the invasions of Europe by Turks and Arabs centuries ago to the present generation of immigrants swarming over borders and "invading" white Christian nations. In Republican primary races this year, few issues have come up more frequently in TV ads than immigration - all featuring the word "invasion." It's pure Orban.

"We're gonna end this invasion," says Blake Masters, the Republican candidate for the Senate from Arizona, in one ad. "Invasion" is featured in ads for Gov. Brian Kemp in Georgia, Senator Rick Scott in Florida, and Kari Lake (now in a close race in the Republican primary for governor in Arizona).

And, of course, for the past six years Trump has warned that America is being "invaded" by immigrants.

The word "invasion" has a long history among white nationalists. It has been widely used by supporters of the "replacement theory" - the baseless conspiracy theory that Jews or elites are intentionally replacing white Americans with immigrants and people of color. Both Blake Masters and J.D. Vance, the Republican candidate for the Senate from Ohio (each the beneficiary of $15 million in campaign funding from far-right billionaire Peter Thiel and of a Trump endorsement) claim that Democrats are deliberately trying to "import" immigrants in an attempt to "replace Americans who were born here."

The racist tropes of "invasion" and "replacement" are intended to stoke fear and drive votes. They also fuel violence. Three years ago, a white gunman opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, killing 23 people, most of them Latino. The suspect was motivated by what he called a "Hispanic invasion" of people coming to the U.S. illegally. The man suspected of killing 10 Black people earlier this year in Buffalo was also motivated by the replacement theory.

The bogus science of eugenics, popular at the turn of the last century but since disgraced and forgotten, has now morphed into white Christian nationalism - which, at its core, is nothing but ugly racism. Along with Trump's big Lie, it defines today's Republican Party.

(c) 2022 Robert B. Reich is the Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. His latest book is "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few." His web site is

What Is It That Republicans Actually Do Love?
If this was just routine political corruption by a few rogue politicians, it would be a problem but not a crisis - however - this cynical embrace of strongman oligarchy has put America itself at risk
By Thom Hartmann

Republicans claim to "love America," but what does that mean?

They sure don't love our religious freedom. America was founded in 1789 as the first secular republic in the history of the world, an accomplishment the Founders and Framers reveled in. Secular literally means "not religious" or "not based in religion."

But Republicans will openly tell you that they hate secularism and want, instead, the opposite of the core value on which this country was founded: instead, they want to put the interests of a particular religion (and only one sect within that religion) above all else.

While our Constitution explicitly says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." Marjorie Taylor Greene recently said, "We need to be the party of nationalism and I'm a Christian, and I say it proudly, we should be Christian nationalists."

Republicans will tell you that they love "working people" but they hate unions, the only institution in America that exclusively works on behalf of working people. Every single state that has adopted union-destroying "Right To Work For Less" laws has been Republican-controlled when these vicious anti-worker laws were passed.

Republicans say they love "opportunity" and "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps," but to take advantage of most genuinely meaningful economic opportunities in America these days requires a college education, and they'll also be the first to tell you they hate college professors, students, free university education, and stand behind policies that have created a nation of college-debt peons. And now they're banning and burning books, while driving teachers out of the profession in state after state.

Republicans say they love "democracy" and a "republican form of government" (to quote this nation's Founders), but they hate the idea of everybody voting. Republican-controlled states - and exclusively Republican-controlled states - have passed literally hundreds of laws over the past few years to make it harder and harder for people to participate in our democratic republic by voting or even getting citizen referendums on the ballot.

Every year they purge millions of voters - predominantly in Democratic-heavy areas - off the voting rolls (since that practice was legalized by 5 corrupt Republicans on the Supreme Court in 2018).

Republicans say they love the American tradition of political dissent, but hate people protesting the police murders of unarmed Black people. "BLM," in fact, has become a slur on Fox News and in Republican circles.

Republicans say they love the police, but have gone out of their way over the years to militarize our police forces, but hate any efforts to get weapons of war and "cop-killer bullets" off our streets. They openly promote, in fact, armed militia movements that are illegal in all 50 states and openly brag that one day soon they'll be the vanguard of a "second civil war" in which they'll be killing cops and politicians. Not to mention their ongoing defense of the January 6th attackers who killed two capitol police officers and put another 140 in the hospital.

Republicans say they love entrepreneurs and small, local businesses, but they hate laws that protect small businesses from predatory pricing and monopoly by corporate behemoths. Every effort at anti-trust enforcement since 1983, when Reagan instructed the DOJ and SEC to stop enforcing the anti-trust laws for all but the most egregious violations, have been opposed by Republican lawmakers.

Republicans say they love the flag, but, as Jillian Berman notes at Huffington Post: "Ninety-four percent or $3.6 million worth of the flags imported into the U.S. last year came from China, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau." While most flags are "made in the USA," the materials they are made from, in many cases, also come from China.

Republicans claim to love nature, but oppose every effort to protect our parks, wild places, and environment. When Reagan's Interior Secretary James Watt was asked why he was selling off federally owned wild-lands to mining and drilling companies for pennies on the dollar, he said the environmental destruction wouldn't matter because Jesus was going to return any day now and "make all things new."

Along those same lines, Republicans claim to love Jesus, but they hate his teachings. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus warned against praying in public, but Republicans are the first to grab a microphone and jump on stage to lead a prayer. In the Matthew 25 Parable of the Goats and Sheep, Jesus explicitly says that the only way to hang out with him in heaven is to feed the hungry, clothe and house the homeless, have compassion on those in prison, and heal the sick, yet every effort to do any of those things are shot down by Republicans in Congress and state legislatures.

Republicans claim to "love our fellow man" but are the first to demonize people because of the color of their skin, the country they came from, or the religion they practice if it's not fundamentalist white supremacist Christianity.

And, for Republicans, the "fellow man" part of that appears to literally only apply to men. They're passing laws all across the nation to insert police, judges, and even vigilantes into the private decisions women must make around birth control, pregnancy, and abortion.

Republicans claim to love the family and support the difficult work of raising children. But they don't stop at wanting to control, regulate, and maintain power over women, non-white people and non-Christians: now they're using the power of law, police, and guns to go after parents who support their queer kids. From publicly trashing and shaming such children, to threatening to imprison their parents, to threatening to lock up the kids in institutions or foster care, Republicans are spreading their hate of loving families from coast-to-coast.

Republicans claim to love the poor, the sick, and the elderly, as genuine Christianity commands. But 12 Republican-controlled states still refuse to offer Medicaid health care to low-wage working people, they vote against every effort to expand low-income housing, and have been waging a 42-year war against Social Security and Medicare.

Their most recent effort in the GOP's "War On The Elderly," the Medicare Advantage scam started by George W. Bush in 2003, has already succeeded in stealing (yes, the Inspectors General say the money was stolen) hundreds of billions from the Medicare trust fund while issuing literally millions of denials of care to seniors.

Republicans claim to love the American system of government, which requires bipartisanship to accomplish meaningful things for the American people. But they refuse to even use the correct name for the Democratic Party (a name given it by Thomas Jefferson - it's the oldest political party in the world), instead preferring the 1950s slur Joe McCarthy popularized when he said that "Democratic" sounds too nice and instead Republicans should call it "the Democrat Party, with emphasis on the 'rat'!"

Along those same lines, Republicans are going out of their way to demonize their fellow Americans to stir up internecine hatred and violence. Marjorie Taylor Greene recently told a GOP group, "[Democrats] hate me and slander me and my country as they hate you and slander you and the America you stand for."

Similarly, using language characteristic of a violence-inciting demagogue rather than a statesman, Ron DeSantis sent me an email yesterday that said:

"Our enemy is out of the shadows, and they are not limiting their attack on our values and our culture to the halls of government. We've seen the woke mob attack institution by institution as they look for more ways to impose their radical agenda on the American people."
Republicans claim to love the 10th Amendment and the "states' rights" it enshrines, but they hate Democratic-controlled states providing sanctuary to refugees fleeing violence, offering safety to women seeking abortions, and maintaining high minimum wages and environmental standards.

Republicans claim to love "fiscal responsibility" and hate "welfare" but Blue states consistently support Red states to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars every year. As an "AP Fact Check" laid out:

"Mississippi received $2.13 for every tax dollar the state sent to Washington in 2015, according to the Rockefeller study. West Virginia received $2.07, Kentucky got $1.90 and South Carolina got $1.71.

"Meanwhile, New Jersey received 74 cents in federal spending for every tax dollar the state sent to Washington. New York received 81 cents, Connecticut received 82 cents and Massachusetts received 83 cents."

Republicans will tell you they love "life," but relentlessly promote and protect the two industries manufacturing the only products in the world that "cause death when used as directed": cigarettes and guns. They also fetishize using the power of the state to murder Americas through the death penalty.

Republicans claim to love products made in America, but are the first to defend the GATT/WTO/NAFTA "free trade" agreements negotiated by the Reagan and GHW Bush administrations. When Trump tried his little China tariff stunt he didn't even bother to have it go through Congress where it may have actually had the effect of encouraging US-based manufacturing; instead he did it through executive orders that only last a few years and are just performance art. (And they backfired at that.)

Republicans claim to love democracy and hate autocracy, communism, and dictatorships. But they embrace Hungary's white supremacist dictator Viktor Orban, vote against aid to help democratic Ukraine fight off Russian war crimes, and repeatedly have sabotaged and voted against Democratic legislators efforts to bring our manufacturing back from Communist China to the US (the CHIPS act being the most recent example).

So, all their high-sounding rhetoric aside, what is it that Republicans actually do love?

The evidence is pretty clear. They embrace illegal wars, tax cuts for billionaires, subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, religious bigotry, violence, weapons of war, foreign autocrats, and white supremacist racists.

Republicans also love raking in millions every year in "campaign contributions" to their Super PACs that they can keep after they leave office (Trump walked away with three-quarters of a billion dollars).

And, of course, they're big fans of the $2+ billion spent by billionaires and giant corporations in the last federal election to support GOP candidates and ballot measures.

In other words, Republicans, when you simply look at their rhetoric and votes, most love racism, religious bigotry, political corruption, bribery, and autocracy. Everything else is just talk.

If this was just routine political corruption by a few rogue politicians, it would be a problem but not a crisis. Tragically, however, this cynical embrace of strongman oligarchy has corrupted an entire political party, and is thus putting our system of government at risk.

If we truly value America continuing as a democratic republic, all truly patriotic Americans must repudiate today's corrupt Republican Party.

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

The Cartoon Corner -

This edition we're proud to showcase the cartoons of
~~~ Theo Moudakis ~~~

To End On A Happy Note -

Have You Seen This -

Parting Shots -

Jan 6th Hearings Latest: Trump Cried In Bedroom For Hours, Demanded Crown
By The Waterford Whispers News

FRESH evidence submitted to the January 6th committee has heard of another 3 or 4 hundreds treasonous acts committed by Donald Trump in yet another mundane, boring run of mill and predictable hearing.

However, tidbits have emerged that are far more interesting than the head of the Secret Service unlawfully deleting phone call logs and text messages from the day in question or the fact the service agents detailed to Mike Pence rang loved ones in the belief they would be killed by a rioting mob.

"Once Trump saw that the mob would not successfully overturn legitimate election results he locked himself in his room," said one witness, "he cried for hours and demanded we make him a king's crown. He also asked us to see if 'Ivanka had milk' as that always soothed him when he was upset."

While crowds rioted and injured 140 police officers Trump aides scrambled to make him a crown from tinfoil which they turned a goldish colour by using the former presidents fake tan spray cans.

"It still wasn't enough to placate him. We had begged him to make a statement to quell those rioting and baying for blood at the Capitol but instead we had to have a fake coronation ceremony. He wielded a sceptre made of glued together Diet Coke cans and we had to chant 'long live the King'. He smashed a framed revolutionary era US flag and wore that as a cape too," confirmed the aide.

Elsewhere, a record number of Trump supporting anti-vaccine Covid deniers have confirmed they finally wished Covid was real after news of President Biden's positive Covid test.

(c) 2022 The Waterford Whispers News


Issues & Alibis Vol 22 # 31 (c) 08/12/2022

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