Please visit our sponsor!

In This Edition

Chris Walker says, "DOJ Subpoenaed Docs Back In June, Prior To Mar-a-Lago Raid On Monday."

Ralph Nader says to, "Beware The Corporations And Lawmakers Trampling On Our Established Norms."

Leonard Pitts Jr. says, "Let's Talk About The Things They Will Not Learn."

Jim Hightower sings, "Work Your Fingers To The Bone - Whadda Ya Get? Boney Fingers."

Megan Cardona explains, "How Climate Change Can Cause Viruses Like Monkeypox."

John Nichols finds, "Wisconsin Primary Results Are Full Of Good News For Mandela Barnes."

James Donahue says, "Humanity In Self-Destruct."

David Swanson reports, "UK Pushes Mountain Destruction On Montenegro As Green Policy."

David Suzuki returns with, "Hot Profits, Hot Temperatures And Necessary Solutions."

Charles P. Pierce reports, "Rudy Giuliani Prepares To Enter The "And Find Out" Phase Of His Fucking Around."

Juan Cole explains, "Why Fightin' Joe Biden May Be The Most Consequential President In Forty Years."

Robert Reich considers, "Big Donors, Small Donors, And The Fight For Democracy."

Thom Hartmann concludes, "What Starts In The Arctic Doesn't Stay In The Arctic..."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department Andy Borowitz reports, "Trump Dismisses Fears That He'd Build Nukes: 'I Couldn't Even Build a Wall,'" but first, Uncle Ernie exclaims, "Finally Some Good News!"

This week we spotlight the cartoons of Mr. Fish, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Ruben Bolling, Susan Walsh, Joe Raedle, Frazer Harrison, Markus Spiske, Spencer Platt, Olivier Douliery, Mandela Barnes for Senate, Abaca Press, Myriams-Fotos, Brandon Bell, Jim Hightower, Twitter, Pixabay, Pexels, AFP, Unsplash, Shutterstock, Reuters, Flickr, AP, Getty Images, YouTube, and Issues & Alibis.Org.

Plus we have all of your favorite Departments -

The Quotable Quote -
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."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., and the House Democrats with her, celebrate after Pelosi signed the
Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 during a bill enrollment ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022.

Visit me on Face Book

Finally Some Good News!
By Ernest Stewart

I see where there is finally some good news to report on global warming, no thanks to the Rethuglicans who all opposed it. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 on Friday, clearing the way for President Biden to sign the biggest investment in combating climate change in the nation's history.

The legislation was an unexpected resurrection of some pieces of Biden's Build Back Better agenda, pulled together in a surprising deal by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., the most rat wing member of the Democratic caucus. The bill moved quickly: A deal was announced on July 27, it passed the Senate on Aug. 7 and cleared the House only days later.

With four Republican House members not voting, the bill was passed with unanimous support from House Democrats but no Republican votes. The Senate vote was also divided along party lines at 50-50, with all Rethuglicans in opposition and Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.

The Inflation Reduction Act will assign $369 billion to the mitigation of climate change over 10 years by making electric vehicles more affordable, developing clean energy and improving energy efficiency in everything from home appliances to industrial processes.

It also fulfills a longtime Democratic campaign promise of lowering prescription drug prices by allowing Medicare to directly negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, which would cap out-of-pocket drug costs for older Americans.

It will also provide subsidies for Obamacare premiums set to expire, keeping health care costs down for many Americans.

Funding for the bill will come from raising taxes on some corporations that make over $1 billion annually in profits, taxing corporate stock buybacks and funding the Internal Revenue Service to better go after tax cheats. The total legislative package is projected to lower the federal deficit by as much as $300 billion over the next decade.

The act is more than a year and a half in the making. In its final weeks, it wasn't clear if its climate plan would survive, as Democratic holdouts Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona prevented the party unity required to get the package through Congress. But Democrats quickly united to pass the bill after Manchin and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer struck a surprise deal on July 27.

"This isn't about the sky, or the polar bears," Jonathan Foley, executive director of Project Drawdown, a climate nonprofit, said adding, "This is about you and your pocketbook, your jobs, the air your kids breathe, the town you live in, our national security."

There maybe hope full us after all?


05-25-1969 ~ 08-11-2022
Thanks for the film!

02-21-1958 ~ 08-13-2022
Thanks for the film!

04-30-1973 ~ 08-13-2022
Thanks for the film!

08-29-1959 ~ 08-15-2022
Thanks for the music!

08-07-1940~ 08-16-2022
Thanks for the laughs!

03-24-1939 ~ 08-16-2022
Thanks for the film!


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


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)

A great egret stands near former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort on February 11, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida.

DOJ Subpoenaed Docs Back In June, Prior To Mar-a-Lago Raid On Monday
By Chris Walker

Federal investigators quietly retrieved classified documents from former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in June after obtaining a grand jury subpoena to return the documents to the National Archives, months prior to the search warrant that was executed on the property earlier this week.

Trump voluntarily complied with the subpoena request and met with federal officials that month as they arrived at his estate in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump allies have said that the subpoena request - and the fact that Trump allowed federal officials to retrieve the documents - is proof that he's been cooperative with the Department of Justice (DOJ). They've also claimed that the raid on Mar-a-Lago earlier this week was an overreach.

"After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate," Trump said in a statement on Monday.

Trump's level of cooperation isn't clear, however, and the search warrant suggests that the former president may have misled officials about the documents remaining on the premises or stopped cooperating with the investigation altogether.

Trump greeted investigators but did not personally show them around Mar-a-Lago when they came to retrieve the documents in June. His lawyers did show investigators where Trump had kept the documents, including in a private storage locker in his basement. They also turned over security footage from the building.

The investigators removed all items with "top secret" designations or higher from Mar-a-Lago that day, and told the former president he needed to secure his storage locations better.

The search on Monday came about due to evidence collected by the DOJ - including information the agency received from an unknown informant - that suggested more classified documents with national security implications remained at Mar-a-Lago. Because they weren't removed when investigators came in June, it's possible the department wasn't aware that these documents were there.

The subpoena in June required Trump to turn over any classified documents, giving credence to the possibility that authorities were not yet aware of the 12 boxes taken from Trump's residence earlier this week.

"National security docs were seized from Mar-a-Lago back in June," Sunlight Reports's Don Lewis noted in a tweet. "So looks like this week's raid seized docs that were hidden in June."

According to sources with knowledge of the DOJ's actions, the documents that remained at the Mar-a-Lago estate after June were so sensitive in nature that the department felt compelled to act fast, prompting their raid earlier this week.

(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.

Apple CEO Tim Cook attends an event on July 15, 2021 in West Hollywood, California.

Beware The Corporations And Lawmakers Trampling On Our Established Norms
The blasphemy of yesterday has become commonplace today.
By Ralph Nader

Norms, in a society or culture, are the accepted ways of behavior we grow up observing and learning in our everyday lives. Norms are rarely backed up by laws, though when norms are grossly violated, calls for legislation may ensue.

In our country, voluntarily recognized fundamental norms have been breaking down. The chief impetus for this collapse is the ascending supremacy of commercial power over civic values. The surrender of the latter to the former in sector after sector has spelled the decline of our country as measured by its own promise and pretensions. Compared to seventy years ago, there are almost no commercial-free zones anymore. Almost everything is for sale-or should be in the minds of dogmatic free market fundamentalists and its apologists like Milton Friedman and his disciples.

Let's be specific. When I was a schoolboy in the nineteen forties, the top CEOs of the Fortune 300 largest companies kept their pay at about 12 times the salary of the average worker in their business. If any CEO had sought to increase that ratio to 50 or 300 times, he would be roundly condemned from the pulpits to the boards of directors, to civic and charitable groups. In those days, CEOs also did not want to arouse the anger of their industrial labor unions or encourage workers to demand more pay in response.

Now CEOs of major companies pay themselves, via a rubber stamp board of directors, 300 or more times the average worker's salary. Some are more extreme, such as Apple's CEO Tim Cook, whose pay package this year comes down to $833 a MINUTE on a 40-hour week. Hardly a squeak of objection is heard from anyone. Hey, you didn't know? Grab whatever you can get is the mantra of greedy CEOs. Absent any laws on maximum income, scratch one norm for tossing modest pay equity out the window (See, The Case for a Maximum Wage by Sam Pizzigati, 2018).

By contrast, it used to be an unchallenged norm to pay women less for doing the same work as men. No more. In 1963 the Federal Equal Pay Act made it illegal to pay women lower wages than men.

It used to be against strict social norms for companies to sell directly to children, bypassing their parents to exploit youngsters' vulnerabilities. For one, little kids cannot distinguish between ads and programming. Now commercial marketing directly to children-junk food and drink, toxic medicines and cosmetics, harmful toys, violent entertainment videos, and more-is a business approaching a half trillion dollars a year. The iPhone doubles down as a gateway to this electronic child molestation.

The blasphemy of yesterday has become commonplace today.

Gambling used to evoke strong moral condemnation, thereby driving it underground to the back of newsstand stores, often called the "numbers racket." Now gambling is at your fingertips via your computer. State governments run lotteries. Business is moving big time into sports gambling. Casinos are everywhere.

The norms against gambling were promoted by organized religion. When the churches started allowing big bingo in their basements, the defenses against above-ground, organized gambling (apart from Las Vegas) began to crumble. The gambling boosters claimed it would produce tax revenue and help the elderly. This deception was part of the pitch by the builders of the first casinos in Atlantic City, NJ. Now gambling casinos are described as economic development engines, however fraudulent that assertion is seen by economists. Far from age-old stigmas, a failed gambling czar was selected (by the Electoral College) as U.S. president in 2016. He broke more norms and laws daily than all previous presidents, and until recently has gotten away with these violations.

College sports stars have started selling their likenesses and other emblems-something that for years was verboten and cause for expulsion.

Historically, there have been cruel norms beyond avarice. Some were ensconced into law-such as legalized slavery before the Civil War.

Child labor in dungeon-like factories was not only legal, it was accepted as a norm. It has been illegal for almost a century since the law memorialized the new norm that youngsters should be going to schools instead of going to sweatshops.

It's good to think about norms-big and small-as yardsticks of what kind of society we want. Not doing so, over time, can result in deeply recognized norms such as protecting the personal privacies of the young and old, smashed to smithereens by Facebook, Instagram, and other Internet barons who make huge profits by getting, for free, their customers' detailed personal information every day, which is then sold to advertisers.

Because of the unbridled political power of corporatism and other lawless forces, the rule of law cannot begin to catch up with protecting good norms or replacing cruel norms. This challenge first rests on ourselves, on our reinvigorating civic and educational institutions, on our bar associations, our faith groups, and on each family circle.

That is why it is so important for active citizens who strive to get, for example, health, safety, and economic protection standards made into law by petitions, lawsuits, marches, writings, or lobbying not to despair when they so often lose these battles. For even if they do not prevail, they are keeping alive the public, decent, respectful underlying norms of our society that can be advanced and ultimately provided with legal protections.

You must have some crucial norms you see being fractured or weakened. Speak up about them, otherwise you'll find them going, going, gone. It is time to reverse the lowering of expectations by people. Even big historic norms are under systemic assault, like the vendors' drive to reject cash/check for payments by the incarcerating credit card, payment system Gulag. Or the Trump GOP's massive lies about voter fraud in order for dangerous Republican extremists to enact legislation to obstruct voting and honest vote counting.

(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).

A young boy held a poster of George Floyd in Minneapolis after former Minneapolis police
officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison for the May 2020 murder of Floyd.

Let's Talk About The Things They Will Not Learn
By Leonard Pitts Jr.

"They" meaning K-12 students in Tennessee. Not that the Volunteer State is alone in passing laws and standards to restrict the teaching of African American history. To the contrary, a number of states - Oklahoma, Texas, Florida and more - lately have done the same.

But Tennessee snagged my attention with news of the penalty it plans to impose on schools that disobey this edict.

The state Department of Education warns that such schools might lose up to $5 million in funding if found to have "knowingly violated" the new law which, among other things, forbids any teaching that suggests "an individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or another form of psychological distress solely because of the individual's race or sex."

The sheer wrongheadness of it is stunning. When, in the entire history of teaching history, has any competent person ever taught students they "should" feel bad because of what they are?

No, the transparent fear here is not that anyone will tell white kids they should feel bad, but that they will regardless, if taught how people who look like them have historically treated people who don't.

So the state that once prosecuted a science teacher for teaching science (the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925) now persecutes history teachers for teaching history.

And here, its supporters will point out that the new law does allow for what it calls the "impartial" teaching of historical oppression, but that's a fig leaf with holes in it. How, exactly, might one "impartially" discuss spectacle killings or the auction of human beings?

Besides, no matter how "impartial" one strives to be, the facts are what the facts are and they carry emotional mass, so there always is a chance, even a likelihood, a white kid - or Black one, for that matter - will be left feeling, as they say, some kind of way.

Working through that could be the beginning of enlightenment, of deeper commitment to liberty and justice for all. Except that some of us are hell-bent on protecting those kids - and let's be real: It's the white kids whose feelings engender this concern - from doing that emotional heavy lifting.

Which means there are things they won't learn.

They won't learn how redlining and predatory lending squashed Black people into urban ghettos while white ones were ushered into pleasant suburbs from which Blacks were barred.

They won't learn how white people massacred Black ones by the thousands and even overthrew duly elected governments in the name of white supremacy.

They won't learn how law enforcement has historically been a tool of racial oppression, from the patrollers of the slavery era to the convict leasing of the postbellum years to Bull Connor in 1963 to Derek Chauvin last year.

And they will not learn the degree to which America always has been a conspiracy to enrich and empower people who are white at the expense of those who are not.

If you are African American, this tender solicitude, this willingness to bury your story for someone else's comfort, is likely more than a little infuriating.

But that is what's now being demanded, and a $5 million penalty only underscores how serious is that demand and how threatened are the people making it? Learning what really went on in this country might hurt some white child's feelings, and for some of us, apparently, that's a price too high to pay.

Sure, Black people have gone through some things. But let's not lose sight of what's really important here.

(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.

Work Your Fingers To The Bone - Whadda Ya Get? Boney Fingers

By Jim Hightower

This 1960s song mocking the vaunted virtue of working hard is being sung today with new meaning by all kinds of employees - from factory workers to teachers... and even a few upper-floor executives.

The rebellion here is not merely over low pay, but particularly about the unrelenting nature of work itself - the all-consuming "job imperative," as if that's your life: Go 40 to 60 hours a week 50 to 52 weeks a year for half a century or more... then die. Is that all there is? Is that all we are?

Amazingly, this existential, truly-revolutionary question is one that millions of hard-working people throughout our top-down corporate system are asking themselves, their families, and friends. Why are we working like this, why does it matter, what else is there?

Airline pilots, for example, have stunned the industry by prioritizing non-monetary demands in their current contract negotiations with the big Four monopolistic airline giants. The bosses have offered 14 percent pay hikes, but pilots are demanding something more meaningful: Structural changes to improve their quality of life. They're routinely frustrated by management's inept scheduling, inadequate staffing, and onerous work rules that leave them stressed out, dangerously fatigued, and often stranded far from home. The bottom line is not to get another dollar, but being able to plan and enjoy a non-work life. "You absolutely cannot address quality of life with money," says the president of the pilots' union at Southwest Airlines. "You're never going to pay someone enough for a lost piano recital with their daughter or a lost baseball game."

There are many compromises required to make a living these days, but we humans are finally beginning to say: Enough - you can buy my hard work, but not my life.

(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

Some shifting disease patterns can be attributed to climate change, one expert said.

How Climate Change Can Cause Viruses Like Monkeypox
By Megan Cardona

Global warming may be a contributing factor in the spread of diseases like monkeypox to non-endemic areas.

Monkeypox was designated a global health emergency by the World Health Organization on July 23.

While the monkeypox virus is endemic, or commonly found, in some West African countries, the first reported cases in 2022 had no established travel links to endemic areas, according to the WHO. The first 2022 case of human monkeypox was reported on May 17 in Portugal.

Increase in disease happens when there's crowding or more people moving to an area, exposing them to new diseases, said Heidi Brown, associate professor at The University of Arizona, but there are also shifting disease patterns that can be attributed to climate change.

Brown researches vector-borne and zoonotic diseases, spatial epidemiology and climate change.

Warming has the impact of speeding up virus replication, increasing the probability of humans coming into contact with diseases or disease vectors, she said.

In her own words, Brown answers questions on the spread of infectious diseases and how science deals with the outbreaks.

Will climate change cause the spread of more viruses like monkeypox?

The evidence that's out there suggests pretty strongly that we will start to see changes in the distribution of the diseases that we see. The idea of humans encroaching on animal habitat, if you're thinking specifically about zoonosis, yeah we expect to see more of those interactions.

We also see human diseases just from crowding. When you have climate refugees that don't have places to go to, we'll start to see some of these changes in disease patterns.

The evidence weighs pretty strongly that we'll see more infectious diseases and different ones in different places. But then each disease has its own transmission cycle, mode of transmission, so we'll see, I think, variability in the different diseases, in what kinds of diseases we might expect to see versus diseases that might not change because of climate change.

We will start to see pretty significant changes in infectious disease incidents and numbers of cases, and most importantly where they're happening.

Is current science equipped to handle changes in infectious diseases?

I don't do vaccine development, but I think that what we saw with COVID was phenomenal. I don't think that most of us appreciate how phenomenal it was to go from "What the heck is this?" to a vaccine that was so effective, so quickly and so safe.

Maybe pre-COVID if [I had been] asked that question I would be like "I don't know, it takes a long time to get vaccines developed and make sure they're safe" and I would have those caveats. But I am inspired by those groups, those teams that came together and figured out how to safely make a vaccine to be able to do this.

I also don't think we should minimize the other components that will be important to disease control, so hand washing and maintaining that and thinking about surfaces and communities adopting the capacity to recognize social distancing.

As terrible and depressing as COVID has been, I also think there's also components of it that are maybe inspiring or should be inspiring to us. As we look forward, it will be hard because the diseases are changing and if we don't fully adopt, then we create breaks that the virus, the pathogen, whatever that organism is going to slip through.

(c) Megan Cardona is a service journalism reporter at the Star-Telegram covering policy, government programs, community resources and more to help residents navigate everyday life in Tarrant County and North Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2020, where she worked at the campus paper, The Shorthorn, for two years.

Wisconsin Primary Results Are Full Of Good News For Mandela Barnes
Ron Johnson's Democratic challenger shows strength where the incumbent US senator shows vulnerability.
By John Nichols

Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes formally secured a key Democratic nomination in his bid for the US Senate Tuesday. The win for Barnes came after three top Democratic rivals, who had spent roughly $25 million on their campaigns, acknowledged in late July that Barnes was ahead, folded their campaigns, and endorsed the lieutenant governor.

In an eight-candidate field, where several rivals were still actively campaigning, Barnes won more than 77 percent of the vote. The three Democrats, who had endorsed Barnes after they had earned substantial totals in early voting, took another 19 percent.

Barnes swept every one of Wisconsin's 72 counties. In a number of counties, he took more than 80 percent of the vote-winning especially wide margins in Dane and Milwaukee counties, as well as in the rural counties where Barnes, an ardent advocate for family farmers, focused much of his attention as an elected official and candidate.

But there was more to the victory than the headlines that announced "Barnes wins Democratic Senate primary in Wisconsin, finalizing showdown with Ron Johnson" and "Wisconsin Dems rally behind potential history-maker Mandela Barnes in lead-up to key race." A progressive backed by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, as well as the Working Families Party and Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Barnes is part of a new wave of millennial candidates. And if he defeats Republican incumbent Ron Johnson in November, he would become the first Black senator from Wisconsin. A Barnes win-along with a win by Democrat John Fetterman in Pennsylvania-would give Democrats a wide enough majority to govern with a boldness that has been impossible in an evenly split Senate, where Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have refused to overturn the filibuster.

"A 50-50 Senate is just not enough." says Barnes, who bluntly declares, "Let's be clear: the filibuster has been weaponized by the GOP-and they're destroying our democracy."

With stakes so high, the Wisconsin race will be a blockbuster, with tens of millions spent and charges and countercharges flying from not just the candidates and parties but also outside groups. The limited polling available puts Barnes slightly ahead. The Democrat leads Johnson 46-44, according to a pre-primary survey conducted by Marquette University Law School's well-regarded polling operation. In that survey, Barnes trailed among Republicans but narrowly led with independents. Predictably, the lieutenant governor was far ahead among Democrats in the one-on-one matchup with Johnson: 91 percent to 5 percent.

What was notable in that survey was that Johnson did not show quite as much strength among Republicans as Barnes did among Democrats. The incumbent got support of just 86 percent among GOP voters. Those numbers suggested that there was something of a Republican enthusiasm gap for Johnson. That could be consequential in a state where four of the past six presidential races have been decided by under 25,000 votes, and where the most recent races for governor and attorney general were determined by under 30,000 votes.

Has Johnson turned off a significant number of the folks who are supposed to form his base, with his scandals and conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic and vaccinations, as well as elections and a host of other issues? Is it possible that Johnson could suffer a fall-off in support among more moderate and responsible Republicans-as did the senator's close ally, Donald Trump, in 2020, when Wisconsin flipped to Democrat Joe Biden?

The numbers from Tuesday's primary were even worse for Johnson than those from the Marquette Poll.

Johnson faced a little-known Republican primary challenger named David Schroeder. A semi-retired former educator and postal worker, Schroeder entered the race with a declaration that "I have become increasingly embarrassed and disgusted with how I have been misrepresented in Washington by the incumbent. I am running to replace him because he does not represent the economic, political, or societal interests of the majority of his constituents."

Sharply critical of Johnson, Schroeder noted that the incumbent "was banned from Facebook for spreading harmful misinformation" about treatments for Covid-19 and "in violation of his oath of office...volunteered to deliver a list of fraudulent electors to the Vice President, personally participating in an attempt to overturn a free and fair election, by nullifying not just the votes of his perceived political opponents but all of our votes in the State."

Johnson's spent more than $15 million, blanketing the airwaves with ads. Schroeder spent almost nothing and rarely appeared on TV. There were no debates or town hall forums featuring the two Republicans. Yet, on Tuesday, Schroeder won nearly 110,000 votes and took 16.3 percent of the GOP total. In more than a dozen counties, Schroeder won over 20 percent of the vote. In several counties, he won over 25 percent.

So it looks like Johnson is vulnerable among Republicans. How vulnerable remains to be seen. But in a state that, historically, has been closely divided, that's a problem for the incumbent, especially in the rural western Wisconsin counties where Barnes won some of his best totals. Consider Iowa County, where Barnes won 82 percent against multiple active and inactive opponents on Democratic side, while Johnson gained just 73 percent of the vote against a single opponent on the Republican side. In neighboring Richland County, Barnes won 81 percent of the Democratic vote, while Johnson secured only 75 percent of the GOP vote.

Perhaps the lieutenant governor should start a "Republicans for Barnes" campaign.

(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.

Humanity In Self-Destruct
By James Donahue

A book by American ecologist Dr. Ellis Silver caused a stir among the scientific community. Silver suggests that humans are not of this Earth and may have been placed here thousands of years ago by an alien race as a punishment because of our inability to get along.

In a sense, Silver argues, we are all in a kind of prison. He does not believe we have a chance of being released from this mess until we learn how to lay down our weapons and reach out to one another in love and kindness.

While many humans consider themselves "civilized," our actions demonstrate our failure, to date, to show our alleged alien captors that we have really learned our lesson. Even the appearance of great teachers like Jesus, Mohammad, the Buddha and Krishna, who all established religious followers under the commandment of loving our fellow man, failed to achieve the goals they were sent here to do.

If anything, the establishment of various religious belief systems helped divide humanity even further. Instead of hating people because of the different color of their skin, their ethnic and language differences, and territorial issues, we now found that people who did not worship God in the way we chose to be heathens and without value.

We have conducted terrible campaigns designed to attempt to rid the world of the types of people that were either offensive to what we believed, or because they were simply in our way as we set about to create "empires" of our own kind. Hitler attempted to eradicate the Jews. Americans did the same thing with the Native Americans. The Christians conducted the "crusades" against unbelievers throughout the Middle East and Europe. Catholics and Protestants in Ireland were at war with each other for years. The white Europeans made slaves of African blacks. The African tribes have set about hating and murdering one another for years. Now the Christians are at war with the Islamic people of the Middle East under the guise of a "war on terror."

This sickness runs so deep that we have virtually destroyed our planet in our quest to destroy one another. We have invented such heinous weapons of war that we can virtually destroy entire nations at the push of a button. And in doing so, we may succeed in destroying ourselves and all living things on the planet. We have come that close to annihilation of everything.

Now, as it was during the Dark Ages, we have established a deadly separation of humanity by creating differences in wealth. A small number of very wealthy people have seized the last remaining resources and consequently the wealth in the world. The others find themselves in slavery to those who rule through control of the money. Consequently, the masses are organizing for rebellion, which could be very bloody.

Such a revolution would involve pitchforks fighting against the powerful military industrial complex. It would be the story of David and Goliath all over again.

In the meantime, the careless manufacture of a nuclear electric generating complex at Fukushima, Japan, has gone out of human control following a massive earthquake and tsunami that caused two of the four plants to go into total melt-down. Scientists at the site are even now trying to carefully separate hundreds of highly radioactive cores that could explode at the wrong touch and thus cause the entire complex to explode. They warn that such an event could wipe out all life in the Northern Hemisphere of the world.

Tons of radioactive waste and water have been pouring into the Pacific Ocean at Fukushima since the disaster began eleven years ago. It has polluted the ocean and all the sea life.

The terrible explosion at the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil well drilling site in the Gulf of Mexico, and British Petroleum's decision to further pollute the waters by dumping tons of chemicals designed to "hide" the oil by sending it in small parts to the bottom of the sea, has virtually killed sea life in the gulf and parts of the Atlantic Ocean, and sickened many people who live and work along the gulf coast.

These two events and many smaller but similar disasters have left the great oceans of the world filled with toxic chemicals, the animals dying, and have upset the balance of life on the planet. Now the dolphins and whales are found to be dying from a "mysterious" illness that scientists cannot explain.

We have stripped our great forests, poisoned our land, filled the skies with toxic gasses from industrial pollution, and shamelessly allowed factories to spew tons of carbon dioxide into our skies. So much CO2 has collected that people are choking from lung diseases and we have created a greenhouse effect that is now warming our planet. Some scientists warn that we may already have reached a point of runaway warming and that the heating cannot be reversed, even if we stopped burning fossil fuels everywhere, immediately, which we will not be able to do.

Now the heating earth is melting the great ice caps at the North and South Poles, which in turn is releasing high concentrations of Methane, a more toxic gas than CO2.

World leaders meeting in Warsaw to discuss proposed cuts in greenhouse gases released from coal burning factories were wrangling over who cuts what and how much to cut. The worry is that forcing such restrictions will destroy industry and subsequently wreck the wealth now enjoyed by the power figures that control the world. Their efforts appear to be a bit late and far too short to do any good now. The world these "leaders" want to continue controlling is rising up to bite them all in the ass.

What these idiots have forgotten, if they ever understood it at all, is that the Earth is a sentient being. And it appears that she has had enough of humanity. The great typhoon that leveled portions of the Philippine Islands, the massive earthquake that destroyed the plants at Fukushima, that bands of violent tornadoes and harsh winter storms that are now marching across the landscape of much of the world, may be only the beginning of the hardships looming for this world.

The Great Mother, who has nourished us for so many thousands of years, seems to have decided it is time to clean house. We may expect billions to perish in the years to come. It is a terrible scenario but one that we blindly brought upon ourselves.

Indeed, Dr. Silver may be quite right when he wrote that humans were sent to Earth as a form of imprisonment. We were sent to either learn to get along and love one another or suffer in the hell of our own making. It looks like that latter is now happening.

(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.

UK Pushes Mountain Destruction On Montenegro As Green Policy
By David Swanson

For years now, the people of Montenegro have sought to protect the Sinjajevina mountain plateau from the destruction to be brought by creating a military training ground vastly larger than the entire military of Montenegro could ever use. The NATO nations for whom the project actually exists have sought to keep their roles quiet. But after people put their bodies in the way in October 2020 and prevented the use of their mountains for war training, a popular movement rapidly grew. In recent months it has threatened to make permanent the protection of their environment and way of life. The European Union and the Prime Minister of Montenegro promised them success in July. The Ministry of Ecology added its support a week later.

Quick, something must be done!

Presumably without asking the opinion of the people of the United Kingdom, British Ambassador to Montenegro Karen Maddox has now stepped in to fend off the continuation of many centuries of peaceful and sustainable pastoral living on Sinjajevina. She has informed the poor ignorant Montenegrins that the Salisbury Plain and Stonehenge are more, not less, natural because of the occupation of that area by a military training ground - a peaceful and integral part of the ecosystem for over a century. In other words, the residents of Sinjajevina could protect it even more than they are now if only they would agree to exploding lots of weaponry on it - sheep-friendly weaponry no doubt. UK military experts have jetted into Montenegro to authoritatively make the case.

The people of Sinjajevina are having none of it. The Civil Initiative Save Sinjajevina responds that while the Montenegrin Ministry of so-called Defense "says that the goal of the visit was to exchange experiences, get useful advice and suggestions, with a special emphasis on civil-military cooperation," they see a "persistent bypassing of domestic scientific institutions and independent international scientific researchers, and ignoring pastoral communities that have been living and using Sinjajevina for centuries." They accuse the Ministry of trying "to seize the land from its real owners – livestock farmers, and turn it into a training ground, which contradicts the numerous promises of Prime Minister Dritan Abazović that Sinjajevina will not be a military training ground, as well as the efforts of Ministry of Ecology and the Agency for Nature and Environmental Protection to protect this area."

They also accuse Ambassador Karen Maddox of essentially (my words) not knowing her ass from her elbow: "The statement that the key factor in the preservation of Salisbury Plain was the fact that this area has been used for military exercises for a long time cannot be applied to Sinjajevina in any case, and it misleads the public. In Great Britain, the country where industrialization and urbanization have almost completely destroyed the wildlife, it is understandable that the prohibition of access to people in the area of Salisbury Plain, where military exercises have been carried out for a long time, has led to a certain renewal of the wild life. In contrast, the Montenegrin mountains, especially Sinjajevina, have remained almost untouched by the processes of urbanization and hypercapitalist expansion, and the biodiversity and richness of this ecosystem are a direct result of the sustainable presence of people, i.e. livestock communities, which are the best and only guarantor of its protection and preservation. . . . Montenegro is territorially 17.6 times smaller than Great Britain and does not have the luxury of 120 square kilometers of unique mountain pasture in Europe to turn it into a training and shooting range, and to neglect its citizens and deprive them of their age-old hearths."

I don't think the people of the UK are too arrogant or ignorant to grasp what's happening here. In fact, I suspect that Karen Maddox and the UK's "experts" know exactly what they are doing. But it isn't bringing environmentalism to the heathen. It's serving the weapons profiteers at all costs, and pushing quack "science" to do it.

Save Sinjajevina continues: "These experts are sent by the Ministry of Defense of one of the leading members of the NATO alliance, and they cannot in any way be considered an independent and impartial voice of science. Doesn't Montenegro have its own intellectual strength and dignity to manage its own resources? Why are the domestic and independent international scientific communities being bypassed? Examples such as Larzac in France and the Dolomiti d'Ampezzo Nature Park in Italy, where scientific research and democratic processes have protected precious nature and people and prevented the devastation of those areas by turning them into military training grounds, are more adequate examples to be compared to Sinjajevina. In the light of this latest attempt by the Ministry of Defense, in cooperation with British experts, to implement the decision on the military training ground on Sinjajevina we cannot [fail] to recall the statements and convictions of the former Minister of Defense Predrag Bošković and other military officials that the training ground in question is only for the Montenegrin army."

Ha! The Montenegrin army as an excuse is little better than the need to save the mountain by destroying it. The Montenegrin army could rehearse against its nonexistent enemies in a small park. This is 2022, people! Are we not going to expect at least plausible BS from our living imperialists?

Save Sinjajevina points out that the Montenegrin Ministry of Ecology and the Agency for the Protection of Nature and Environment proposed Sinjajevina as a protected area, that the European Parliament decisively expressed its disappointment that despite the initial progress, the issue of Sinjajevina has not yet been resolved, but that Montenegrin Minister of "Defense" Rasko Konjević upon his return from the summit of the NATO alliance in Madrid, stated that the Ministry and the Army of Montenegro are preparing military exercises for Sinjajevina.

"How is it possible that the voice of Great Britain, which has left the European Union, is heard, while the recommendations and laws of the European Union, with which we are in accession negotiations, are ignored? Why are the Constitution of Montenegro, the Aarhus Convention, the Berne Convention, the Emerald Network and Natura 2000 being forgotten? Where are the democratic principles and the participation of citizens in deciding on vital life issues?"

Perhaps they've left to buy more weapons for spreading democracy? A democracy that would deem it absurd to even consider asking the people of the UK whether they want their government pushing militarism and "green" mountain destruction on Montenegro. Save Sinjajevina points out that it "recently submitted to the Government and the European Union a petition with more than 22,000 signatures demanding the immediate cancellation of the decision on the military training ground and the declaration of Sinjajevina as a protected area."

"Citizens of Montenegro gathered around the idea of preserving Sinjajevina and its herders are not a political organization. This civic initiative brings together people of the most diverse political beliefs, but they all share the same understanding of public interest and common good, they all equally understand the need to protect the nature and resources of Montenegro. Our demands are based in the Constitution of Montenegro as an ecological state, in EU laws and international conventions, in the principles of true democracy. Supported by numerous citizens of the world and international organizations including World BEYOND War, International Land Coalition, and ICCA Consortium, as well as independent scientific workers and institutions, we will not give up on our legitimate demands, democratic rights and fight for the abolition of the harmful decision on the military training ground and the final protection of Sinjajevina and its people."

Damn right!

(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.

In the first three months of 2022, the 28 largest fossil fuel companies made close to US$100 billion.

Hot Profits, Hot Temperatures And Necessary Solutions
By David Suzuki

As parts of the world reel under unprecedented heat, oil companies are raking in unprecedented profits. In the first three months of 2022, the 28 largest fossil fuel companies made close to US$100 billion.

In the second quarter, Exxon made US$18 billion, Shell and Chevron close to $12 billion each and BP $8.5 billion - much higher than their record first quarter profits.

A recent study shows the oil industry has raked in profits of $3 billion a day, or $1 trillion a year, for the past 50 years. As the Guardian notes, "These profits are driven not by some fantasy of free enterprise and perfect competition, but by the exact opposite - cartels, mega-corporations and the regulatory capture of governments, conspiring to create a market free of both competition and of a price that reflects the actual cost to the world of the product that is being sold."

Using those companies' products as intended - that is, burning oil, gas and coal - contributed to heating never before experienced in some countries. In the U.K., temperatures climbed past 40 C in July for the first time - 10 to 15 degrees warmer than normal. In the U.S., 92 all-time highs were recorded up to July 16. Globally, 188 heat records were broken. In Verkhoyansk, Russia, the temperature hit 38 C on June 20, the highest ever documented in the Arctic. Canada has also experienced record high temperatures.

This has brought increasing wildfires, severe health problems and death, warming and increasingly acidic oceans, melting ice sheets, rising sea levels, more intense and frequent tropical storms, mass evacuations, flooding and more.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has driven oil prices and profits higher, again demonstrating that our fossil fuel habit destabilizes social order and economies as well as the climate.

"It is immoral for oil and gas companies to be making record profits from this energy crisis on the backs of the poorest people and communities, at a massive cost to the climate," UN secretary general Antonio Guterres said, urging governments to "tax these excessive profits, and use the funds to support the most vulnerable people through these difficult times."

Noting that "Household budgets everywhere are feeling the pinch from high food, transport and energy prices, fuelled by climate breakdown and war," Guterres also called on governments to manage fossil fuel demand and to offer "social, technical or financial support" to help developing nations shift to renewable energy.

Oil companies say they're investing in the transition: "Today's results show that BP continues to perform while transforming," CEO Bernard Looney said. "We do this by providing the oil and gas the world needs today - while at the same time, investing to accelerate the energy transition."

Are they? The world's biggest oil and gas companies spend less than one per cent of their budgets on green energy. Most of the money is going to share buybacks and shareholders. Executives, meanwhile, say the way to address rising prices is to pump more oil. "I assure you that Chevron is doing its part to help address these challenges by increasing capital expenditures to $18 billion in 2022, more than 50% higher than last year," Chevron chief executive Mike Wirth wrote to U.S. President Joe Biden.

Industry executives have successfully lobbied for ever-increasing subsidies and tax breaks, including $151 billion from G20 governments for COVID-19 recovery, and they've been spending hundreds of millions a year on efforts to block and delay climate policies.

That has more people calling not just for windfall profits taxes, but also measures such as a "Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty." Tzeporah Berman, international program director at and treaty initiative chair, argues this would "end the expansion of oil, gas and coal, phase out existing production to limit warming to manageable levels and accelerate a fair energy transition where wealthy, fossil fuel-producing nations lead and support other countries so there is affordable, clean energy from sun, wind and water for everyone."

Those who profit from coal, oil and gas can't be trusted to address the climate crisis and ensure a livable planet for our children, grandchildren and generations to come. Governments must take their global commitments seriously and stop supporting the fossil fuel industry while doing everything to facilitate a rapid transition to cleaner energy.

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

Rudy Giuliani Prepares To Enter The "And Find Out" Phase Of His Fucking Around
Lindsey Graham is also going to have to testify before a Georgia grand jury.
By Charles P. Pierce

Things are popping down at Fani Willis' grand jury down there in Georgia, the one that's looking at the high-end efforts to ratfck the 2020 presidential election.

First, as a federal judge has told Sen. Lindsey Graham that he's going to have to show up to dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge in person. From USA Today:

U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May ruled that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had "shown extraordinary circumstances and a special need for Senator Graham's testimony on issues relating to alleged attempts to influence or disrupt the lawful administration of Georgia's 2020 elections."
Judge May also explained to Graham that his argument against appearing was as full of stuffing as the Christmas goose.
"The Court finds that there are considerable areas of potential grand jury inquiry falling outside the Speech or Debate Clause's protections," May ruled. "Additionally, sovereign immunity fails to shield Senator Graham from testifying before the Special Purpose Grand Jury."
While the tear gas was still hanging in the air at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, Lindsey, you stood in the Senate chamber and said that you were done with the former president*. Well, he's clearly not through with you. And he never will be.

Cheer up, though, at least you're not in as much trouble as one of your erstwhile wingmen is.

Also from USA Today:

Georgia prosecutors have notified lawyers representing Rudy Giuliani that the personal attorney to former President Donald Trump is now a target of the widening election interference investigation led by the Fulton County district attorney. Giuliani attorney Robert Costello told USA TODAY that prosecutors made the notification Monday to local defense attorneys in Atlanta. The former New York mayor, who is scheduled to testify before a special grand jury in Atlanta later this week, had made wide-ranging claims that voting systems altered Georgia ballots, while ignoring a hand-count audit that confirmed President Joe Biden's victory in the state.
As Not-Your-Lawyer, Rudy, I'd say it's time to start singing at the top of your lungs, because it's getting deeper by the hour. From the Washington Post:
As they worked to overturn Trump's 2020 election defeat, the lawyers asked a forensic data firm to access county election systems in at least three battleground states, according to the documents and interviews. The firm charged an upfront retainer fee for each job, which in one case was $26,000. Attorney Sidney Powell sent the team to Michigan to copy a rural county's election data and later helped arrange for them to do the same in the Detroit area, according to the records. A Trump campaign attorney engaged the team to travel to Nevada. And the day after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol the team was in southern Georgia, copying data from a Dominion voting system in rural Coffee County[...]"The breach is way beyond what we thought," said David D. Cross, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, who include voting-security activists and Georgia voters. "The scope of it is mind-blowing."
I've thought for a while that the Georgia investigation might be the slow blade that penetrates the shield. But my god, the former president* is not worth all this. Nobody is, but him especially.

(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 -

"Social Security, which transformed life for the elderly in this country was "socialist." The concept of the "minimum wage" was seen as a radical intrusion into the marketplace and was described as "socialist." Unemployment insurance, abolishing child labor, the 40-hour work week, collective bargaining, strong banking regulations, deposit insurance, and job programs that put millions of people to work were all described, in one way or another, as "socialist."
~~~ Bernie Sanders

Why Fightin' Joe Biden May Be The Most Consequential President In Forty Years
By Juan Cole

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) - Joe Biden has been easy for the pundit class to write off. He isn't, unlike Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, a great speechifier. He overcame his childhood stutter, but he still sometimes hesitates just as he gets to an applause line. He is still the little guy who got picked on, still scrapping to come back from behind. But what a scrapper! Supporters used to say of Harry Truman, also a man from the working class, "Give'm hell, Harry." Now Joe is givin'em hell.

Biden's achievements are by now legion, especially compared to his predecessors. Aside from a big tax cut for his rich buddies, Trump accomplished nothing. Nothing. All that big talk about redoing US infrastructure and making La Guardia like Dubai's airport was so much hot air. Mostly he seems to have sat around in his pajamas watching Fox "News." He constantly talked up his own alleged achievements. But he lied. The trade deficit with China was the same when he went out of office as when he came in. The percentage of the US economy devoted to manufacturing shrank on his watch. He so badly mishandled the pandemic that he lost 22 million jobs, more than any president in history.

The Republican Party did not let Barack Obama accomplish much of lasting consequence with the exception of Obamacare, which passed before he lost Congress in 2010.

George W. Bush squandered trillions on his fruitless Middle East wars and accomplished little domestically before his anti-regulation policies pushed the economy off the cliff in his last year of office. What is it with Republican presidents and losing millions of jobs?

Bill Clinton was a good manager of affairs but his tilt to the right made it impossible for him to do anything that would structurally improve the country. In fact he weakened the social safety net.

Biden came into office under the cloud of the pandemic and Trump's lackadaisical response to it, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. It is true that Biden had the advantage that the vaccines had been developed, in part with Trump's investment in Moderna. (Pfizer marketed the German Biontech vaccine). But under Trump, few federal resources had been mobilized and one leak suggested that Jared Kushner deliberately hurt New York's response to punish it for voting Democratic.

Biden mobilized the US military to provide vaccinators, because there were too few civilian ones, and coordinated with states and localities. In 6 months he got those adults vaccinated who were willing, and began the process whereby getting Covid for most of people was no longer life threatening. As for the die hard Trumpist old people who refuse to get vaccinated, they are harming themselves and those around them.

Biden's pandemic intervention is estimated to have saved a million lives.

Biden put America back to work, getting the unemployment rate down to levels not seen since the Woodstock Music Festival and the craze for paisley.

So much production had temporarily cut back during the pandemic that when consumers wanted to buy again, there were bottlenecks that caused inflation. These supply problems are easing, though prices of staples remain too high. In some instances, Vladimir Putin's war on Ukraine caused spikes that won't be easy to overcome, both in energy prices and in wheat prices. Still, gasoline prices have fallen steadily for two months now.

Biden charged the Department of the Interior to jumpstart the US offshore wind industry, with a goal of 30 gigawatts by 2030, by leasing federal waters offshore to private companies. We will see some new, enormous wind farms come on line in as little as four years, some of the biggest in the world.

Biden glad-handed and wheedled to get the bipartisan $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed, which will among other things build out electric vehicle charging stations throughout the country and help schools buy electric buses, along with investments in bridges (10% of which seem to be on the verge of falling down) and other key infrastructure. It even has $65 billion in it to ease access for all Americans to the internet, which should increase productivity.

Biden got a new industrial policy with the $52 billion in the CHIPS Act for revving up a US-based semi-conductor industry, which is key to progress in fighting climate change, as well. He arranged funding for veterans suffering the after-effects of toxic burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Then this month he succeeded in encouraging Democrats in the Senate to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, which he will sign this week, with $369 billion for the green energy transition. It will also make seniors' medicines cheaper and help the 40% of the country stricken by long-term drought owing to the climate emergency adopt resiliency measures.

Despite leftist criticisms of Biden, much of the big legislation he signed has a bias toward union labor, something we haven't seen in recent decades.

This presidency does not look like Trump's, or Obama's, or Bush's, or Clintons. It may not be Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, but it is probably the closest we've come in the succeeding 56 years.

Biden may just keep the Senate this fall, what with the Republicans putting up goofballs like Mehmet Oz and Herschel Walker and Ron Johnson.

Trump's cascade of legal problems may have temporarily given him a lift, but they will likely eventually cripple him as a national politician if they have not already.

And Democrats may benefit this fall from a strong backlash among their voters and even many suburban Republican women against the misogynist Supreme Court and male politicians' interference in women's health care, with the anti-abortion decision and state laws. We got a glimpse of that in Kansas this summer.

Joe Biden should not be underestimated. He is powerfully reshaping the country, along with the rest of his party, and preparing us for the challenges of the twenty-first century. Write him off at your peril.

(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.

The extraordinary growth of small donors to Democrats is all about justifiable fears of what Republicans will do with more power.

Big Donors, Small Donors, And The Fight For Democracy
Big donors are giving more to Republicans. More small donors are giving to Democrats. Where will this lead?
By Robert Reich

Notably, the Inflation Reduction Act didn't attract a single Republican vote in the Senate. (And at least one Democratic senator-Kyrsten Sinema-made sure its tax provisions wouldn't raise tax rates on rich individuals.) Why?

Small donors are ramping up their giving to Democrats because they're aware of how nuts the Republican Party has become on issues ranging from abortion to democracy.

We talk a lot about money in politics, but there's a huge and growing difference between the big money (campaign donations of $1 million or more), most of it pouring into Republican coffers and small money (individual donations of $200 or less), mainly pouring into the Democrats. (Corporations have been giving to both sides, in roughly equal measure.)

The significance of this difference is growing.

With the midterms elections looming, the gap between the two sources is larger than ever. Democrats are far outpacing Republicans in small-dollar donations. The most recent reports (through June 30) show, for example, that:

-In Georgia, incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock has raised $14 million in small donations; Republican senate candidate Herschel Walker has raised only about $8 million in small donations.

-In Florida, Val Demings, the Democratic challenger to Senator Marco Rubio, has raised more than $24 million in small donations; Rubio himself has reported $12.7 million in small donations.

-In Arizona, Democratic Senator Mark Kelly's re-election campaign has raised nearly $23 million from small-dollar donors. His GOP challenger, Blake Masters, less than $2 million from small donors.

But the GOP's big money donors are making up the difference.
-Billionaire Peter Thiel has so far poured over $25 million into the races of Blake Masters in Arizona and J.D. Vance in Ohio.

-Kenneth C. Griffin, the CEO of giant hedge fund Citadel, is bankrolling Republican super PACs to the tune of nearly $50 million.

-Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman of giant hedge fund Blackstone, has so far contributed a combined $20 million to the main House and Senate Republican super PAC.

-Banking heir Timothy Mellon (descendant of the robber baron Andrew Mellon) has so far contributed $10 million to the main House GOP super PAC.

-Ditto billionaire Patrick R. Ryan.

-Miriam Adelson (whose husband, Sheldon Adelson, was one of the GOP's most generous contributors until his death last year) just made her first $5 million donation. The list goes on.

-And, of course, Rupert Murdoch, Charles Koch, et al.

Small donors are ramping up their giving to Democrats because they're aware of how nuts the Republican Party has become on issues ranging from abortion to democracy. Trump has pulled into the GOP white supremacists, Christian nationalists, QAnon paranoids, xenophobic cultists, antisemites, misogynists, and right-wing militias. Plus a StarWars cantina of grifters, crackpots, and thugs who-as the January 6 attack showed-pose a clear and present danger to American democracy.

Big donors are ramping up their giving to Republicans because they now have so much money that any Democratic-led tax increase on them (or Republican-led tax cut for them) will invariably have large financial consequences. The Inflation Reduction Act reveals just how much damage Democrats could do to the bottom lines of the rich.

Many big donor billionaires (e.g., Peter Thiel) are trying to justify their donations as "libertarian," but they know damn well the current Republican Party has nothing to do with personal freedom. It's busy intruding on reproductive rights, pushing book bans in libraries and classrooms, barring young transgender people from playing on certain sports teams or using certain bathrooms, refusing to allow teachers to talk about aspects of American history they don't want young people to know, and actively suppressing votes.

Liberty my foot.

No, the billionaires aren't libertarian. They want only one thing: more tax cuts.

The extraordinary growth of small donors to Democrats is all about justifiable fears of what Republicans will do with more power. The growth in big dollars to Republicans is all about greed.

What do you think?

(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 Starts In The Arctic Doesn't Stay In The Arctic...
The Best of the Rest of the News
By Thom Hartmann

- Did America have a true "Manchurian Candidate" in the White House for four years? A literal agent for one or more foreign governments and/or international organized crime figures? According to numerous reporters and authors, Donald Trump had gone from doing business with the American Mafia in the 70s and 80s to laundering money for Russian oligarchs in the 90s and early 2000s. Reporter Tim Robbins' A Brief History of Donald Trump and the Mafia published in 2016 by Vice News gives insight into Trump's mobbed-up early years, and Jeff Stein's 2019 Donald Trump's Mafia Connections: Decades Later, Is He Still Linked to the Mob? for Newsweek raises even more questions, leading into his laundering money for Russian oligarchs and other international organized crime figures.

As David Cay Johnston wrote for Politico, "[H]e'd hired mobbed-up firms to erect Trump Tower and his Trump Plaza apartment building in Manhattan, including buying ostensibly overpriced concrete from a company controlled by mafia chieftains Anthony 'Fat Tony' Salerno and Paul Castellano. That story eventually came out in a federal investigation, which also concluded that in a construction industry saturated with mob influence, the Trump Plaza apartment building most likely benefited from connections to racketeering. Trump also failed to disclose that he was under investigation by a grand jury directed by the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn..."

Johnston adds, "Within a few years Donald J. Trump had made friends with the city's most notorious fixer, lawyer Roy Cohn... Among other things Cohn was now a mob consigliere, with clients including 'Fat Tony' Salerno, boss of the Genovese crime family, the most powerful Mafia group in New York, and Paul Castellano, head of what was said to be the second largest family, the Gambinos." (all emphasis mine)

After his multiple bankruptcies and the failure of his casinos in the late 1990s, some reports indicate Trump was largely bailed out by Russian oligarchs running money through his real estate operation, and today the government of Scotland is looking into possible secret and illegal Russian money-laundered financing of one of his golf courses there.

The Mueller Report documented both the multiple ways Putin and his government worked to get Trump elected president, and identifies ten specific instances of Trump himself committing the federal crime of "obstruction of justice" while trying to cover up his involvement with the Russians.

Now we find that he left the White House with documents that could be worth billions to foreign governments and, just a few months later, the government of Saudi Arabia gifted $2 billion to the Trump family (and nobody is saying how many millions or even billions they gave Trump himself to use Bedminister to feature their sportswashing LIV golf tournament). Yesterday we learned that the FBI is investigating Trump for possible violations of the Espionage Act, which could land him in prison for decades. Watch this space.

- Are death threats now a normal tool of politics for Republicans? Prior to Donald Trump's arrival on the political scene in the 2015 Republican primary, threats of political violence were largely confined to the fringes of rightwing conspiracy fever swamps and among white supremacists like members of the Klan and radicals like Tim McVeigh. But one of the hallmarks of fascist politics is the use of violence and threats of violence to intimidate political opposition and cow the public, and, in this regard, Trump has delivered in spades. From telling ralliers that he'll pay their lawyer fees when they assault protestors, to telling police to be "rough" with suspects, to now provoking threats against a judge and an attack on the FBI office in Cincinnati, violence has followed Trump throughout his political career.

With fascist politicians, this is normal. When Hitler began his political career he was accompanied by violent brawler gangs who eventually came together under the umbrella of the civilian volunteer Brownshirts; Mussolini had his own militia groups who he whipped together into his volunteer civilian Blackshirts; Orban's Hungarian partisans regularly threaten violence against Roma people and refugees; Bolsonaro's thugs gleefully beat up Lula supporters in Brazil; Duterte bragged about his rogue Philippine police loyalists murdering thousands of "criminals" and opposition figures; Pinochet's goons threw liberals out of helicopters. Trump is running the same playbook with Trump-aligned white supremacist gangs like the Proud Boys, Three Percenters, Oathkeepers, etc. The big question today is whether political violence will continue after Trump leaves the political scene, or if the Republican Party will come to its senses and return to simply shilling for billionaire tax cuts and more air and water pollution. Can the political violence genie be put back in the bottle? Listening to this guy isn't encouraging: Twitter avatar for @RepSwalwellRep. Eric Swalwell @RepSwalwell

- There're YUGE pro-democracy protests happening in Brazil: will Bolsonaro survive the backlash against the authoritarian dictatorship he tried to set up? Brazilian strongman Jair Bolsonaro had tried to reinvent Brazilian politics along the violent, fascist lines pioneered in South America by Chile's CIA-supported dictator General Augusto Pinochet. But citizens of that country, having been led prior to Bolsonaro's reign by progressive President Lula, aren't having it. Protests have erupted across the nation, and with presidential elections coming up in October Bolsonaro is running far behind Lula in the polls. Thus, in true Trump fashion, he's claiming that if (when) he loses the election it'll be because of "voter fraud" and electronic voting machines, and that he will refuse to recognize the will of the voters. Governments across South and Central America are bracing for a coming political explosion.

- Republican politicians who openly and enthusiastically reject democracy are winning primaries in the most important swing states, setting up a very dangerous 2024 if they can carry 2022 elections. In Minnesota, Big Lie enthusiast and antisemite Kim Crockett will be the GOP candidate to become that state's top election official, Secretary of State (SOS). In Arizona, the GOP SOS candidate is Mark Finchem, who not only claims the election of 2020 was stolen from Trump but marched on the Capitol on January 6th. Amy Loudenbeck, another Trump-humper, is the Republican candidate for SOS in Wisconsin, and the top candidate for SOS in Michigan is Kristina Karamo, who claims Dominion voting machines handed Biden his victory in that state. In Nevada, Jim Marchant - who wants sheriffs to show up to suppress the vote at polling places in minority neighborhoods - is running for SOS, and in Pennsylvania the candidate for Governor, Doug Mastriano, promises to appoint an SOS who would have handed that state's vote to Trump in 2020. These are major threats to democracy in America and every American should be very, very alarmed. And registered to vote!

- How "Christian" is it to expel a 5-year-old orphaned girl from school because the aunt who adopted her when her parents died is lesbian? This tragic behavior by a so-called Christian school in Louisiana does not reflect the Christianity I grew up with and learned when I was trained and ordained in 1972. Apparently the people running this school have never bothered to read the Sermon on the Mount or the Parable of the Goats and the Sheep, which most Christians believe are at the core of Jesus' teachings. And to add insult to injury, these hypocrites are demanding that we pay their property taxes for them!

- Geeky Science! What starts in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic... In 2019, the IPCC reported that the Arctic is warming about twice the rate of mid-latitudes like where most Americans live. New research, though, published this past week finds that the Arctic is warming as much as 4 times faster, radically speeding up problematic weather changes ranging from droughts to floods to violent storms. Keep an eye on this research: this will affect all of us and determine the habitability of the planet we're leaving to our children and grandchildren. Along the same lines, thankfully Congress was able to pass major legislation this week to reduce emissions here in the United States. This is a big deal, given that we are the world's largest emitter of CO2. Sadly, not one single Republican in the House or Senate voted to save our planet.

- Crazy Alert! Trump is calling the Qanon crowd to his side. When Trump announced the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago on his Nazi-infested social media platform "Truth Social," he put the video over a music bed of the Qanon theme song. It's a sign of desperation, but also a dangerous shout-out to this fringe and often violent cult.

(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
~~~ Mr. Fish ~~~

To End On A Happy Note -

Have You Seen This -

Parting Shots -

Donald Trump standing by a microphone.

Trump Dismisses Fears That He'd Build Nukes: "I Couldn't Even Build a Wall."
By Andy Borowitz

PALM BEACH (The Borowitz Report)-Amid fears that he might have possessed information helpful to building nuclear weapons, Donald J. Trump sought to reassure Americans by declaring that he "couldn't even build a wall."

"This business of me building nuclear weapons is a joke," he said. "You look at my record. I had four years to build a wall and I didn't get it done. I put my record of not building things against anyone's."

Further reassuring the public, Trump added, "From what I understand about building nuclear weapons, it involves a lot of reading. There's math, there's science. Not gonna happen."

Trump said that if "there's anyone you should worry about building nukes, quite frankly, it's Joe Biden."

"Sleepy Joe has been on a building tear," he said. "He's building roads, he's building bridges, he's building microchip factories. This should never be allowed to happen in our country."

(c) 2022 Andy Borowitz


Issues & Alibis Vol 22 # 32 (c) 08/19/2022

Issues & Alibis is published in America every Friday. We are not affiliated with, nor do we accept funds from any political party. We are a non -profit group that is dedicated to the restoration of the American Republic. All views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the views of Issues & Alibis.Org.

In regards to copying anything from this site remember that everything here is copyrighted. Issues & Alibis has been given permission to publish everything on this site. When this isn't possible we rely on the "Fair Use"copyright law provisions. If you copy anything from this site to reprint make sure that you do too. We ask that you get our permission to reprint anything from this site and that you provide a link back to us. Here is the "Fair Use"provision.

"Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors."