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In This Edition

Chris Walker reports, "Lacking 10 GOP Votes, Senate Negotiators Delay Marriage Equality Vote."

Ralph Nader wonders, "Who Is Raising Our Children?"

Leonard Pitts Jr. asks, "What Do The Book Banners And Burners Fear?"

Jim Hightower explores, "The Embarrassment Of Modern Corporate Managers."

William Rivers Pitt finds, "Trump's Top-Secret Document Hoard Included Nuclear Weapons Data."

John Nichols says, "New Hampshire's GOP Senate Nominee Wants To Take Away the Right To Elect Senators."

James Donahue explains, "The Fresco Solution For Saving The World."

Jake Johnson reports, "Sanders Says GOP Plot To Tank Student Debt Relief Will 'Hurt Them Politically.'"

David Suzuki returns with, "Water Runs Through The Climate Crisis."

Amy Goodman reports, "Climate Change Makes Storms Worse. We Must Cut Emissions."

Juan Cole reports on the, "Climate Crisis And The Age Of The Super-Typhoon: Storms Batter Puerto Rico, Pakistan, Japan, And Shanghai."

Robert Reich says, "Trump's Latest Threat Is A Doozy And Requires Four Responses."

Thom Hartmann concludes, "Racist Governors Abbott And DeSantis Deserve Jail Time."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department The Waterford Whispers News says," Are You Grieving For The Queen Enough? Consult This Checklist," but first, Uncle Ernie sez, "Here Comes A Triple Dip La Nina."

This week we spotlight the cartoons of Rob Rogers, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Ruben Bolling, Anna Moneymaker, Mikhail Nilov, Stringer, Mary Schwalm, Brandon Bell, Paul Morigi, Jose Rodriguez, Democracy Now, Anadolu Agency, Paul Hennessy, The Waterford Whispers News, Jim Hightower, Twitter, Pixabay, Pexels, AFP, Unsplash, Shutterstock, Reuters, Flickr, AP, Getty Images, You Tube, and Issues & Alibis.Org.

Plus we have all of your favorite Departments -

The Quotable Quote -
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To End On A Happy Note -
Have You Seen This -
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Here Comes A Triple Dip La Nina
Global warming strikes again!
By Ernest Stewart

"Climatologically, what ends your hurricane season is too much wind shear, so La Nina tends to prolong the hurricane season since it tends to reduce shear, of course, last year is an example of La Nina prolonging the season... on steroids!" ~~~ Phil Klotzbach

In global warming there are two naturally recurring weather patterns which are important to understand: La Nina and El Nino-the two opposite phases of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation.

In 2022, we are headed into a third year of a La Nina event, in which cool waters dominate the central and eastern tropical Pacific. The pattern affects atmospheric circulation, keeping the main rains over southern Asia and the Indonesian region, and with associated record-breaking marine heat waves in the North and South Pacific. In North America, it typically means the southern half of the US is drier than normal.

In the Southern Hemisphere, that marine heat wave over the South Pacific led to the warmest and wettest meteorological winter (June-August) on record in New Zealand, with several major floods. Rain was 141 percent of "normal," and nationwide temperatures averaged 2.5 degrees F (1.4 degrees C) above the 1981-2010 average. The exceptionally high sea surface temperatures not only contributed to warmer temperatures on land but also fed atmospheric rivers and provided extra moisture to onshore winds and storms.

The La Nina cooling in the tropical Pacific can readily reverse, with an El Nino pattern effectively pumping heat out of the ocean and into the atmosphere. A preliminary analysis colleagues and I conducted suggests that the global ocean heat content is at record-high levels. Exceptionally warm deep waters in the tropical western Pacific right now suggest prospects for the next El Nino event in 2023, potentially resulting in more global temperature records in 2024 as some ocean heat returns to the atmosphere.

August 2022 had a distinct La Nina weather pattern, with cold waters in the tropical Pacific and intense marine heat waves in the North and South Pacific. The temperatures are compared to the 1991-2020 average.

All La Ninas are not the same, however. Because of how sea temperatures responded to the heat in the extratropics, the environment today is very different than it was two years ago. Warmth in the North Pacific could have consequences for the "pineapple express" and other West Coast US storms this coming winter.

The natural variability component means that we should not simply expect more of the same every year. This La Nina began in September 2020.

The La Nina climate pattern is a natural cycle marked by cooler-than-average ocean water in the central Pacific Ocean. It is one of the main drivers of weather in the United States and around the world, especially during late fall, winter and early spring.

It's the opposite to the more well-known El Nino, which occurs when water in the Pacific Ocean is warmer than average. Though this would be the first "triple dip" La Nina this century, it's not unprecedented for the pattern to last more than nine months to a year, which is typical for a La Nina. As we likely go into an El Nino next year and global temperatures get a boost, extremes will shift to new locations.


11-06-1939 ~ 09-18-2022
Thanks for the film!

10-18-1947 ~ 09-19-2022
Thanks for fighting for mother earth!

06-20-1956 ~ 09-21-2022
Thanks for the music!


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.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) speaks during a news conference after a policy luncheon with Senate Democrats at the U.S. Capitol Building on September 7, 2022.

Lacking 10 GOP Votes, Senate Negotiators Delay Marriage Equality Vote
By Chris Walker

Senators are delaying a vote on a bill codifying the right to marry for same-sex couples until after the 2022 midterm elections, citing their inability to garner support from just 10 Republicans needed to defeat an expected filibuster.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), the lead sponsor of the legislation, said she still believes the bill, called the Respect for Marriage Act, could pass in the chamber.

"I'm still very confident that the bill will pass, but we will be taking the bill up later, after the election," Baldwin said, according to Politico.

The move surprised many lawmakers who were expecting a vote as soon as next week. But Baldwin, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), and other lawmakers on the Senate negotiation team said they didn't want to put the bill up for a vote before they knew for sure they could get the 10 GOP votes needed for it to pass.

In order to persuade undecided Republicans, the legislation will likely include "common-sense language that respects religious liberty and Americans' diverse beliefs" while passing marriage equality protections into law, the group of Senate negotiators said in a statement. They added:

We've asked Leader Schumer for additional time and we appreciate he has agreed. We are confident that when our legislation comes to the Senate floor for a vote, we will have the bipartisan support to pass the bill.
The change in tone from the bipartisan team of Senate negotiators is noticeable, as they had previously expressed confidence that the bill would be up for a vote sometime this month, or even as early as next week.

Democrats and LGBTQ advocates have deemed the bill necessary in wake of the Supreme Court ruling earlier this summer that undid the abortion protections established in Roe v. Wade. In a concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas said the Court should reexamine every Supreme Court ruling that was based on privacy rights protections- including Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 ruling from the Court that recognized marriage equality throughout the U.S.

Thomas "opened the door for the Supreme Court" to undo these protections, Schumer said in a statement last week.

Although the bill still doesn't have the support of the 10 GOP senators needed to pass, it does have the support of American voters overall, with nearly 6 in 10 saying they want it to become law, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll published this week. Fewer than 3 in 10 Americans say they don't want the bill to pass.

Some social media users expressed doubt that waiting until after the midterms was the right call.

"I think it's a mistake to wait until after the midterms to vote on marriage equality," said political writer and activist Charlotte Clymer on Twitter. "I don't trust Senate Republicans to do the right thing in either victory or defeat. I hope I'm wrong."

Others noted that the stakes in this year's midterm races are now higher.

"Let's make no mistake- if we lose control of the Senate, gay marriage protection is DOA!" tweeted author Amy Siskind. "We must mobilize the vote: the Supreme Court has all but said overturning Obergefell is next!"

(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.

Who Is Raising Our Children?
Liberating Tweens From Corporate Tentacles
By Ralph Nader

Consider the harmful, grasping tentacles by corporations around the bodies and minds of youngsters through relentless direct marketing that bypasses parental authority. Now comes my sister Claire Nader's new book You Are Your Own Best Teacher! Sparking the Curiosity, Imagination and Intellect of Tweens.

The corporate creep started out in the movies and early kids' television, such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck cartoons. Then these cartoons expanded to include ads for sweets and soft drinks. Then the marketeers promoted diets exploding with sugar, salt and fat, documented in detail by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (See: NutritionAction. This resulted in obesity, diabetes and predispositions to other diseases. The TV stations would not air counter ads to defend vulnerable children.

Meanwhile, outside middle-school and high schools' premises, vendors for the carcinogenic tobacco companies were passing out free cigarettes. Hook them at age twelve and you've got them for life was the savage Big Tobacco strategy.

In recent decades, the open floodgates of direct marketing of anything and everything to kids has become a half-trillion-dollar annual business. Every mode of seduction, manufactured peer group pressure and minute psychological profiling is delivered by highly-paid promoters, packagers and influencers.

Then about 2007 came the iPhone and other "smart" phones that plunged pre-teens and teens into the addictive Internet Gulag. Predatory practices were planned to the nth degree by the likes of Facebook, Instagram and others right down to click-on fine-print-contract peonage. But that's not enough for Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook who are eagerly planning a deeper Metaverse quicksand and so-called "augmented reality" (read depthless virtual reality). Already, many kids are staring at iPhones and computer screens six to seven hours a day. Violent videogames have become hyper-addictions interfering with school work and convulsing family life.

Although parenting columns and recent actions by the Federal Trade Commission and an overwhelming bipartisan vote in the California legislature to address the serious mental health consequences of the Internet on youngsters are raising alarms, the corporations are digging ever deeper into young psyches. Profits are Kings not to be dethroned. As James U. McNeal put it in his 1992 book "Kids as Customers: A Handbook of Marketing to Children" there is always "Needed: New, New Product Strategies that Really Target Kids."

Over the years, Claire has been observing these merciless, cruel exploitations and wondering about our society's failure to protect the young generations. As a response to these commercializations of childhood ("tearing apart the fabric of childhood," as former Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt phrased it), she has written on 60 topics speaking directly to the 9 to 12 years olds (Tweens) and, unlike the profiteers, connecting Tweens to families, communities and nature through various elevated conversations and experiences.

Call the book an antidote, like no other, to liberate young innately curious, imaginative, practical idealists from the commercial pressures coming down on them every day.

She doesn't talk down to Tweens. Instead, she guides them toward raising their own sense of significance (giving examples of accomplished Tweens), and realizable achievements.

"You Are Your Own Best Teacher!" recounts many motivating stories from history to the present, which make Claire's nudges toward self-educational experiences exciting. She introduces them to young Benjamin Franklin, young Frederick Douglass and young Helen Keller to illustrate their profound self-awareness and discipline. She takes them on a tour of the print dictionary, highlighting concepts such as justice, freedom, peace, wisdom and gratitude.

By addressing Tween's self-consciousness, the book takes youngsters on explorations about "being smart" to learn about their own bodies, and encourages them to press for more physical activity, eat smartly, control their time and avoid hours glued to hypnotic screens. Explaining the importance of "learning to unlearn" and asking questions such as "what if?" and "why?" regarding the outside world, she encourages Tweens to teach themselves to distinguish fact from fiction, thinking from just believing, respect from self-respect, all of which will prepare them for the realities they will face as they mature.

Claire has long believed that if you have low expectations for Tweens, they will oblige you, but if you have high expectations, they will surprise you. Her book offers suggestions that encourage communing with nature, enrich family discussions, appreciate the wisdom of the ancients, and to use proverbs to extend the ability of children to concentrate.

Teachers understand the benefits of self-education that enhances the vitality of their classrooms. Self-teaching to build Tween's confidence is also heartening for parents who feel they have lost control over raising their own children to the stupefying seductions of video-driven hucksters. This book is for the whole family!

The main thrust of her effort, however, is to directly speak to Tweens, with a calming sense of humor, about their futures as active young citizens, skeptical shoppers and lifelong learners. This means anticipating how to better handle their turbulent adolescent years and later apply their talents to further the common good and protect posterity.

Of the many encomiums bestowed on this transformative book, one stood out for me from law professor and author Robert Fellmeth, who wrote: "All in all, this book is full of wisdom - more than any other I have read in my 76 years on this earth. I wish I could have read it to my two sons. None of us would fall asleep and all of us would grow wiser."

To obtain You Are Your Own Best Teacher! go to It makes an important gift, for Tweens, parents and local libraries.

(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).

School librarians across Missouri are pulling books from shelves as they face the potential for criminal charges under a new state law banning "explicit sexual material.

What Do The Book Banners And Burners Fear?
By Leonard Pitts Jr.

There are a few things you should be asking yourself right about now.

Meaning you students who find yourselves living in places where self-appointed guardians of public morality have been busily banning books. This includes Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott wants to jail librarians who allow students access to novels he deems "pornographic." And Tennessee, where a preacher in suburban Nashville held an honest-to-Goebbels book burning to destroy such dangerous texts as "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets."

It includes Pennsylvania, where one school district now requires a citizens panel to sign off on every book school librarians purchase, and Arizona, where schools are required to publish a list of all newly purchased library materials. And naturally, it includes Florida, where Palm Beach County teachers were ordered to review books in their classroom libraries with an eye toward purging references to racism, sexism and other systems of oppression, under a new state law restricting the teaching of those subjects.

Not incidentally, this - Sept. 18 to 24 - is the 40th annual observation of Banned Books Week. It comes at what Publishers Weekly has dubbed a time of "new urgency" in the struggle over intellectual freedom. Last year, it reports, the American Library Association tracked 1,597 individual books challenged or removed from public libraries, schools and universities, the most in the 20 years it has been keeping tabs.

So, yes, you should ask yourself a few things.

Ask yourself: What is it these people are trying to keep you from understanding or feeling? What do they think is going to happen if a book challenges you, confuses you, validates you or just inspires you to see something from another point of view? Why are they so scared that you might think differently?

Ask yourself: Why is it that many of the books being challenged or banned are by people of color or LGBTQ authors or have themes of race or sexuality? What do the book banners and burners fear from your being exposed to such things? Is it that you might start asking questions that make them uncomfortable? If so, isn't that their problem - not yours?

Ask yourself: Why is it so many of the people who want to ban books from schools are the same ones who have no problem letting guns in? They're terrified that a book will put an idea in your head; why aren't they terrified that a gun will put a bullet there? Ask yourself: Are you some fragile thing, some piece of human glass who needs the sharp edges and hard surfaces of new ideas bubble-wrapped so that you don't shatter against them? Or are you not smart and capable enough to handle yourself?

Ask yourself: What is the difference between banning books in Iran, Russia, Cuba and other dictatorships, and doing it here? Is it that we're supposed to be the ones who know better?

After all, this is still - purportedly - a free country. But that freedom is under siege, as vividly attested by new laws that muzzle teachers, by the ransacking of women's rights under the supremely illegitimate Court, by schemes that keep people of color from voting, by the attack on the U.S. Capitol. And if voting and protesting are acts of resistance, this week affirms that simply reading a book is, too. In fact, one could argue that each of us has a patriotic duty to make a book banner mad.

Because here's the thing: If you can't read freely, how can you ever live freely?

Ask yourself that, too, while you're at it.

(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.

The Embarrassment Of Modern Corporate Managers

By Jim Hightower

What makes a newspaper great? Many say it's having street-savvy reporters and editors with the integrity to shine the light of investigative journalism on the power structure's abuses.

But, no, says Fred Ryan, top executive of the Washington Post - the secret is attendance. Ryan, a corporate manager and former Ronald Reagan staffer, was handpicked to be CEO of the legendary paper by Jeff Bezos in 2014, when the Amazon billionaire bought the Post. But on Ryan's watch, readership is in decline, which he blames on newsroom sluggards who don't spend enough time in the office. So, he's become the hall monitor, measuring reporters' productivity by their office attendance.

Fred seems unaware that a good reporter's real work is out on the beat, not sitting in front of a computer. No doubt he would've fired Woodward and Bernstein for being out of the office so often to meet with Deep Throat to uncover Nixon's Watergate scandal. In Fairness, though, he apparently has a 2-part plan to boost team spirit: (1) Eliminate 100 reporters, and (2) judge the output of those remaining by counting the number of video conferences they attend each week.

But that's hardly the totality of Ryan's innovations. The big news is that he's hired not one, but two, high-dollar PR firms to create a cutting edge "branding strategy" for the Post. Already they've come up with a spiffy new corporate slogan: "We don't just break news. We break ground." Wow - how great is that? (Never mind that some wags have changed the second line to, "We break wind").

When overpaid incompetents like Ryan substitute slogans and computer metrics for real solutions, they're admitting that they are the problem - that they simply don't know how to motivate and manage a creative workforce. They should resign in embarrassment.

(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

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

Trump's Top-Secret Document Hoard Included Nuclear Weapons Data
By William Rivers Pitt

Donald Trump now has at least 19 attorneys defending him in eight or more investigations, according to Politico. If the revelations keep piling up, that number could double in about as much time as it takes a box of bunny rabbits to breed. Finding that help won't be easy, either; this is an area of the law that isn't lousy with specific experts, and the ones available have this thing about getting paid.

Plus, the latest development in the saga would have most lawyers running for the hills.

"A document describing a foreign government's military defenses, including its nuclear capabilities, was found by FBI agents who searched former president Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence and private club last month," reports The Washington Post. "Some of the seized documents detail top-secret U.S. operations so closely guarded that many senior national security officials are kept in the dark about them. Only the president, some members of his Cabinet or a near-Cabinet-level official could authorize other government officials to know details of these special-access programs."

If you're looking for high dudgeon here regarding the holy sanctity of top-secret documents, prepare for disappointment. Yes, there are secrets, and some of those secrets protect people, I get it, of course... but an awful lot of information has been called "secret" by the government only to keep you from finding out about it, and far too many of us believe we live in a Tom Clancy novel. Abu Ghraib was once a secret, as were the "Pentagon Papers," and those things existed only because someone believed they could keep a lid on it all. Are we as a country better or worse for those efforts?

"A fortress mindset feeds the U.S. government's huge 'defense' budget - which is higher than the military budgets of the next 10 countries combined - while the Pentagon maintains about 750 military bases overseas," author and activist Norman Solomon writes for Truthout. "But victimology is among Washington's official poses, in sync with a core belief that the United States is at the center of the world's importance and must therefore police the world to the best of its capacity."

The core nature of secrets is their importance, which is why they are usually so well guarded, and why this latest Trump debacle has so many people freaked. Secrets are made portentous by their mystery, and those who are allowed to see them are made very Important, with a capital "I." I strongly suspect that feeling of Importance is why Trump had this stuff lying around in the first place.

Understand: No intelligence body on the planet would gladly grant top-secret access to a person like Donald Trump. He is the living embodiment of an easily compromised individual, a walking blackmail target with debts on his debts. The only reason he got his hands on all that stuff is because the country went berserk and made him president, and presidents are automatically gifted top-flight clearance by dint of electoral victory.

Yet he remains Donald Trump, the blowhard desperate to hide the small fraction of a man within. Even being president of the United States wasn't enough to assuage his insecurity, so, perhaps, he surrounded himself with boxes of secret documents that made him feel whatever passes for powerful in his shriveled little soul.

Who knows what country those nuke documents were describing. Israel? China? Russia? Does it even matter at this juncture? Thanks to a million profit-driven war decisions made over the last 80 years, we exist within a wildly delicate latticework of perils that are mostly left over from the Cold War. Not our fault, but all our problem.

(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.

New Hampshire Republican US Senate candidate Don Bolduc gestures as he is introduced during a debate on Septemner 7, in Henniker, N.H.

New Hampshire's GOP Senate Nominee Wants To Take Away the Right To Elect Senators
The next frontier in the Republican assault on democracy involves a scheme to repeal the 17th Amendment and let Republican-controlled legislatures name senators.
By John Nichols

It is no secret that the Republican Party has taken a hard right turn toward antidemocratic extremism. Former President Donald Trump attempted a coup in order to stay in office, and his minions have doubled down on their embrace of radical gerrymandering, voter suppression, and schemes to eliminate nonpartisan oversight of elections.

But New Hampshire's newly nominated Republican candidate for the US Senate has taken the Republican war on democracy to a new low.

Don Bolduc, a retired special forces general who on Tuesday won his party's nomination to take on Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan, had campaigned as an unapologetic supporter of Trump's "Big Lie" about the results of the 2020 presidential election-along with a panoply of other conspiracy theories. Facing harsh scrutiny following his primary win, Bolduc is now scrambling to appear more rational, telling a Fox News interviewer Thursday that he has suddenly come to the conclusion that "the election was not stolen."

But Bolduc has not backed off what may well be his most antidemocratic stance: He wants to repeal the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, which established an elected US Senate.

Bolduc boldly announced in a debate in August that, while he wants New Hampshire voters to elect him to the US Senate, he also wants to take away their right to participate in future Senate elections. Under the retired general's plan, democracy would be discarded and senators would be named by the state's Republican legislators.

That's how members were selected before the Constitution was amended in 1913 to take the selection process away from partisan legislators and establish the direct election of US senators. Bolduc is enthusiastic about taking giant leap backward. When another Republican primary candidate suggested that it was unlikely that the United States would hit the reverse button on this form of democracy, because "the genie's out of the bottle on this," the eventual nominee said, "The genie's not out of the bottle-you can stuff that genie's head right back in there, throw his body in there, and put the cap on it."

Bolduc's nomination, which Republican strategists acknowledge will make what they expected to be a very competitive race in New Hampshire tougher for their party, brings new attention to the frontiers of antidemocratic agitation within the Republican Party. And to why the idea appeals to right-wing voters within the party.

To be clear, doing away with the direct election of senators would make a Senate that is already skewed to the right-because of the advantage given to small states-dramatically more so. The upper chamber of the Congress would be more likely to bow to corporate pressure on issues ranging from climate policy to labor rights to protecting Social Security. And it would be dramatically more likely to bend to social conservatives in debates over abortion rights, LGBTQ rights, and voting rights.

How do we know this? Simple math. Thanks to gerrymandering and the heavy emphasis that conservative donors have placed on state legislative races, Republicans currently control 62 percent of the nation's state legislative chambers. Indeed, in many states where Democrats win statewide races for the US Senate, the legislatures are overwhelmingly Republican.

Were the 17th Amendment to be repealed, Hassan would not be a senator. Neither would Jeanne Shaheen, Hassan's Democratic colleague from New Hampshire, where Republicans control the legislature and the governor's office. Senator Sherrod Brown, the populist Democratic senator from Ohio, would be gone. So would Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly, Montana Democrat Jon Tester, Georgia Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, and Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin. In all those states, Republicans have complete control of legislative chambers. It's also likely that in states such as Virginia, where Republicans control at least one house, Democratic senators such as Mark Warner and Tim Kaine could be in trouble.

By any measure, the US Senate-where seats are now evenly divided between the two parties-would become overwhelmingly Republican without the 17th Amendment. This would be despite the fact that Democrats outpolled Republicans by more than 25 million votes in the three election cycles where actual voters chose the current Senate: 2016, 2018, and 2020. Legislatures controlled by hyper-partisan, right-wing Republicans would also, in all likelihood, reject relatively moderate Republicans-moving the Senate Republican Caucus even further to the right. And legislatures controlled by Republicans or Democrats would almost certainly be less likely to select independents such as Vermont's Bernie Sanders and Maine's Angus King.

This is about more than just partisan politics. There's no reason to doubt that right-wing billionaire donors, who already have tremendous influence in statehouses, would get more subservient senators in the orgy of backroom deal making that would come with the end of the direct election of the Senate.

Overturning the 17th Amendment may seem far-fetched, even to many Republicans. But it has been a longtime goal of right-wing ideologues-particularly the polemicists of the John Birch Society-and in recent years it has been moving into the conservative mainstream. The idea was popular with some sections of the Tea Party movement. Former Texas governor Rick Perry has griped that the move to direct election of senators "took the states out of the process." Utah Senator Mike Lee has described the 17th Amendment as "a mistake." And the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council has, in recent years, entertained proposals to repeal the amendment.

What was once a fringe fantasy is being taken ever more seriously by conservative strategists who recognize that the GOP's prospects are always going to be better in gerrymandered legislative chambers than in high-turnout statewide elections. That doesn't mean the United States is on the verge of a turn toward legislative plutocracy. For one thing, there is no evidence that Americans-in New Hampshire or other states-are in favor of the change.

But as Republican legislators move closer to the numbers they need to demand a "convention of the states" to enact a "Balanced Budget Amendment," which would constrain the federal government by effectively dictating budgeting priorities, it is wise to be wary of those who seek to constrain democracy itself. Starting with Don Bolduc.

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

The Fresco Solution For Saving The World
By James Donahue

Those who have heard his lectures or read about him know that the late Jacque Fresco was among the great thinkers of the modern world. At 96, Fresco had experienced two world wars, the Great Depression, and the shift from a family/farm-oriented society to the industrial/electronic/capitalistic wilderness we struggle with today.

A self-taught industrial and architectural designer, social and structural engineer, Fresco invented numerous devices for industrial and medical use, and he has designed a futuristic plan to meet the world's social needs in what he has called The Venus Project, located in Florida. He promoted what he called a resource-based economy and coined the name "sociocyberneering" to best describe the overall scope of his work.

Fresco wrote books and lectured to promote his ideas, but while he succeeded in being recognized, he was quietly blocked from selling the world on his futuristic cities, high-speed one-rail trains, aircraft, land vehicles and ships because everything is based on a complete restructuring of the way we live. And most critical of all, the Fresco plan eliminated the need for money and the capitalistic system.

Various video documentaries detailing Fresco's work and his Venus Project are available for anyone wishing to know more about this amazing inventor and the way he viewed the world. We highly recommend William Gazecki's Future By Design generally available wherever video rentals can be found.

In this video, Fresco describes the concept of a resource-based economy and the value of using world resources to built cities where computers and machines do the repetitious physical labor, everything humans need is provided, and no one needs to work for money. Fresco argues that money was an invention designed to help enslave the majority of humans and force them to labor for their meager share of the world's wealth.

The Fresco cities are built in circles, with a master computer in the heart, surrounded by schools and universities, and this surrounded by plazas where goods and services can be found, then agricultural areas, and residential neighborhoods beyond that. The homes are custom designed to fit individual life styles.

Everything in Fresco's world is designed to self-replicate and repair in the event of accidental damage. Vessels at sea and high-speed trains are designed with sections that can be lifted from the whole, with people and cargo unloaded. They are replaced by new sections thus speeding the trains and ships on their way.

There is no waste in this proposed world. Everything is recycled. In fact, every city has its own recycling system with utility pipes, wires and other services placed in the ground before the buildings are put in place.

In his lectures Fresco described humanity as still in its primitive state. He says we use the words "civilized" and "civilization," but that we cannot advance beyond primitive until we can stop going to war, bring an end to human suffering, and learn to respect and care for the planet.

He said that religions teach us that we need not worry about suffering in this world because we will go to a perfect world after we die and reach "Heaven." But he said this is the wrong way to be thinking. If we pool our resources and agree to share and utilize all that the Earth has to offer in the most efficient way possible, we can all enjoy this perfect world right here.

If and when humanity learns to live in harmony, it might be possible for us to think in terms of building the world envisioned by Fresco.

(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.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) joins student debtors to call on President Joe Biden to cancel student debt at an early morning action outside the White House on April 27, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

Sanders Says GOP Plot To Tank Student Debt Relief Will 'Hurt Them Politically'
"I have the radical idea that good policy is good politics," said Sen. Bernie Sanders. "And it is good policy to cancel student debt in this country."
By Jake Johnson

Sen. Bernie Sanders argued late Tuesday that the Republican Party's efforts-in concert with dark money groups-to block the Biden administration's student debt cancellation plan in the courts "will hurt them politically" as the November midterms approach.

"I have the radical idea that good policy is good politics. And it is good policy to cancel student debt in this country," Sanders (I-Vt.), the chair of the Senate Budget Committee and a longtime proponent of total student debt forgiveness, said in an appearance on MSNBC.

"What Biden did is the right thing-I would have gone further," the senator said of the president's proposed $10,000 in debt cancellation for borrowers with federal student loans and up to $20,000 for those with Pell Grants. "It's what the people want. I'm not going to tell you it's 100% popular. But it is what the people want. And you know what? If you do what the people want, and not what the corporate world wants or billionaire campaign contributors want, you win elections."

Asked specifically about Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) recent announcement that he's been speaking with litigators to devise a legal case against Biden's student debt cancellation plan-which relies on emergency authorities established by the 2003 HEROES Act-Sanders replied that a "strong majority of the American people think we should cancel student debt."

"If Senator Cruz and others want to challenge that," he added, "I think that's gonna hurt them politically."


Sanders' comments came as GOP lawmakers and right-wing advocacy groups continued to seek out plaintiffs with standing to challenge student debt relief in court, with the ultimate goal of getting the case before the conservative-dominated U.S. Supreme Court.

Cruz said earlier this month that one Supreme Court litigator told him student loan servicers are best-positioned to claim harm from the Biden administration's plan, which appears to have helped boost the president's popularity among young voters.

Republican lawmakers have also seized on Biden's recent remark that "the pandemic is over" to attack his administration's legal case for student debt forgiveness.

As the Wall Street Journal noted Tuesday, "Would-be plaintiffs can't take action until the administration makes a formal move toward cancellation, such as releasing an application for loan forgiveness or wiping out the balances of a first batch of borrowers."

The Education Department has said it expects to release applications by early October.

In his MSNBC appearance Tuesday, Sanders argued that while Biden's student debt forgiveness plan is a positive step, the White House and congressional Democrats must stress that it's just part of a broader working-class agenda that includes Medicare expansion, a minimum wage increase, and other popular policies if they're to be successful in upcoming elections.

"If Democrats are going to do well in 2022, in my view, they've got to stand up very firmly for working families, make it clear that we are seeing unprecedented levels of corporate greed, unprecedented levels of concentration of ownership in this country, all the while working families are struggling and in many instances seeing a decline in their standard of living," said Sanders.

"Now is the time, if you want to win an election, to say you know what? I'm on the side of the vast majority of Americans, Black, white, and Latino. I'm prepared to take on greedy powerful corporate interests who are enjoying record-breaking profits while you Americans can't afford healthcare, can't afford to send your kids to college, and are working for starvation wages," the senator continued. "That, to my mind, is how you go forward and win."

(c) 2022 Jake Johnson is an author and staff writer for Common Dreams

Water is life. We can't live without it.

Water Runs Through The Climate Crisis
By David Suzuki

Sometimes there's too much water; sometimes not enough. A major challenge with global heating is that it doesn't necessarily cause more or less of something in a specific geographic area (hotter, colder; wetter, dryer); it just makes everything less predictable and often more extreme.

Consider some late-summer headlines. Pakistan "faces 'monsoon on steroids' as more flood warnings issued." In Spain, "Historic monuments resurface as severe drought shrinks reservoirs." Melting Greenland ice is "set to raise sea levels by nearly a foot." In Jackson, Mississippi, the "water system is failing, city will be with no or little drinking water indefinitely." Also in the U.S., "As Colorado River dries, the U.S. teeters on the brink of larger water crisis."

In rainy Vancouver where I live, overall precipitation is expected to increase by a small amount, but more intense rain is expected in shorter periods, especially during fall and winter.

Water scarcity - as well as contamination - is a looming issue. As glaciers recede on a heating planet, less water will make it to rivers, lakes and reservoirs. Many areas get hit with torrential rains after prolonged drought, which causes problems from runoff to crop and tree destruction.

This planet has evolved complex, interconnected cycles that together make human and other life possible - among them, the carbon, hydrologic (i.e., water), nitrogen and oxygen cycles. Burning coal, oil and gas - and disrupting or destroying natural carbon sinks like forests and wetlands - has affected the carbon cycle, heating the climate and changing the ways water flows in, on and around the world.

Impacts are evident everywhere: dams retooled as river and reservoir levels drop, entire countries almost submerged in rising floodwaters, cities without water, crops and livestock wiped out...

Yet, many continue to take water for granted, especially in the U.S. and Canada. And governments everywhere allow multinational corporations to suck up, bottle and sell it back to us as drinking water or sugary beverages. With so much development - urban, agricultural and industrial - people have created conditions for runoff, flooding and water waste. Agriculture, power from hydro, nuclear and fossil fuels, activities like fracking for gas, and producing consumer goods all use enormous amounts of water.

Again, we have many solutions. We can build bigger seawalls or start the process of "managed retreat" from coastlines. We can implement flood measures using natural features to capture, channel, store and drain water. We can engineer "drought-resistant" crops. We can shift to agricultural methods that hold water and soil together better. We can re-imagine plumbing systems to stop wasting potable water and to recycle valuable nutrients like nitrogen in urine.

We must do all these things. But until we tackle the root cause of all these interconnected, often complex changes, we'll see them become increasingly more frequent and severe.

We absolutely must ramp up efforts to slow and halt the climate crisis, which is bringing many interrelated tragedies in its wake, from species extinction to refugee crises to various water issues. Because the crises are connected, so too are the solutions. Shifting to renewable energy will not only lower carbon emissions, it will also reduce water use. A Food & Water Watch study found that by shifting to renewables, the U.S. could save 99 per cent of the water currently used in fossil fuel electricity generation and "virtually eliminate water withdrawals for electricity generation."

A recent study by global engineering and architecture services firm GHD found that the price of failing to address related climate and water issues could be staggering. "Aquanomics" predicts floods, droughts and storms could cost Canada's economy $139 billion over the next 30 years, with mounting damage to power, manufacturing and transportation infrastructure.

As the report title suggests, it's all about water. "Either we have too much water or not enough," the company's water lead, Don Holland, told CBC. "But really, when we talk about climate change, we experience it through water."

We're each about 60 per cent water. Water is life. We can't live without it. If we want to avoid worsening conflicts over this increasingly scarce necessity - and problems associated with its distribution, from floods to droughts - we must get off fossil fuels, reform agricultural practices and protect and restore natural areas.

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

Climate Change Makes Storms Worse. We Must Cut Emissions
Pramila Jayapal isn't the only one facing threats, and the folks making them are just pawns in the game.
By Amy Goodman

Climate Week kicks off this week in New York City as more than 150 world leaders gather for the U.N. General Assembly and as Hurricane Fiona rips through Puerto Rico, Typhoon Nanmadol slams southern Japan, and Typhoon Merbok floods parts of western Alaska. We speak to climate scientist Michael Mann about how climate change has changed the pattern of tropical storms, and what needs to happen to address the crisis. He says rising global temperatures have worsened the effects of storms like these, and more aggressive climate legislation from Congress is needed. "We are experiencing devastating consequences of past climate inaction, and it really drives home the importance of taking action now," says Mann.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I'm Amy Goodman.

You know, today marks the start of Climate Week here in New York City, where more than 150 world leaders are gathering for the United Nations General Assembly. Some of them are coming directly from the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, including President Biden, set to address the forum Wednesday, a day later than usual. On Thursday, the Barbados prime minister is set to speak about her proposal for a new financial settlement for vulnerable countries struggling to pay off debt from climate disasters. Governments are also facing pressure to address their pledges to end fossil fuel subsidies amid soaring energy bills.

Ahead of the 77th session of the U.N. General Assembly, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had this warning for world leaders.

SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTONIO GUTERRES: Climate change seems to have moved out of the priorities for many decision makers around the world, and this is a suicide. We see emissions growing, and we see fossil fuels become fashionable again, when we know that fossil fuels are the main responsible for the progressive war against nature that we have been waging in our history.
AMY GOODMAN: Activists have also planned a week of actions at this year's Climate Week, which comes after a summer of heat waves and floods around the world. As Pakistan reels from one of the worst climate disasters in history, a third of Pakistan is underwater. Hurricane season is again underway, with Hurricane Fiona battering Puerto Rico, as just described, as well as Typhoon Merbok, which flooded parts of western Alaska in what some are calling the state's worst storm in half a century. Meanwhile, 9 million people have been ordered to evacuate their homes in Japan, where one of the largest typhoons ever to hit the country made landfall Sunday night.

To talk about all of this, we're joined by Michael Mann, the presidential distinguished professor and director of the Penn Center for Science, Sustainability, and the Media. He's now at the University of Pennsylvania. His most recent book, The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet.

Professor Mann, welcome back to Democracy Now! I mean, you just heard the descriptions of Puerto Rico. We've got Japan, we've got Alaska, Pakistan a third underwater. Your response? What connects all of this? Explain what's happening.

MICHAEL MANN: Yeah, Amy, I would say it's good to be with you, but we rarely have good news to discuss. And with these catastrophic events that we see playing out now in real time, we are witnessing the devastating consequences of climate change now. This isn't 10 years into the future. It's not way off in the Arctic. It's where we live now. We are experiencing devastating consequences of past climate inaction, and it really drives home the importance of taking action now.

You know, the physics isn't that difficult here. You make the planet warmer, you're going to get more heat. You're going to get more intense and more frequent heat waves, like we've seen this summer and every summer in recent history. You make the atmosphere warmer, it holds moisture, more moisture. So you get those flooding events. You get the sort of devastating flooding that we're seeing right now with these landfalling hurricanes. You make the soils warmer in the summer, you dry them out more, so you get more drought. And what we see out west, the heat, the drought combine to give us those devastating wildfires. And so, this isn't rocket science. The physics here is very basic, and it tells us that we're reaping what we've sown. We're now experiencing devastating climate impacts.

AMY GOODMAN: So, can you talk about right now what you feel needs to be done? And the significance of - I mean, you are a scientist. You were at Penn State, now you're at University of Pennsylvania. The way climate science was disparaged - now, I think, so much more embraced all over the world. But what has to happen at this moment, in the midst of Climate Week here in New York and right before the U.N. COP? What actually do countries have to commit to?

MICHAEL MANN: Yeah, you know, the worst thing that can happen to you as a climate scientist is that your predictions come true. And that's what we're seeing happen. And so, you know, those who used to deny the reality of climate change, they can't anymore, because, of course, we are all now seeing the impacts with our own two eyes. That doesn't mean they've given up. Polluters are still using every tool in the book - and that's what my book is about - to try to prevent the actions that are necessary.

So, what do we need to do? Look, we need to recognize we've made some real progress here. the Inflation Reduction Act here in the United States is by far the most comprehensive climate legislation that's ever passed the U.S. Congress. It starts to get us on the path that we need to be on to limit warming below a catastrophic 3 degrees Fahrenheit, where we see the worst consequences of climate change. It starts to get us on that path, but it doesn't quite get there, and so we need to go further. We need to reduce carbon emissions here in the United States by at least 50% by 2030. The IRA, Inflation Reduction Act, maybe gets us about 40%. So we've got to go further than that.

And look, right now the gatekeeper for climate legislation in the United States is a coal state Democrat, Joe Manchin. Only climate legislation that's approved by him can pass under these current sort of - in our current politics. That's why voters need to turn out in droves in these midterm elections, so we can get a large enough majority of climate advocates, Democrats and others who support climate action, in Congress, so that we can go further, so we can get more aggressive climate legislation passed, that will put a price on carbon, that will provide more subsidies for renewable energy, that will block new fossil fuel infrastructure. No less than the IEA, no cheerleader for renewable energy, has said that if we are to keep warming below that catastrophic level of 3 degrees Fahrenheit, there can be no new fossil fuel infrastructure. That means we can't continue to fund new pipeline projects as we're currently doing here in the United States.

AMY GOODMAN: Why is a Category 2 hurricane, like Fiona, that just swept through Puerto Rico - we don't even know the extent of the damage as it moves on to the Dominican Republic - causing so much damage in Puerto Rico compared to a Category 5 Hurricane Maria? Also, why - what's the significance of it appearing so late in hurricane season? And then, also, why the hurricane that has now - the typhoon that has hit Japan is considered like the worst in half a century? What is causing this?

MICHAEL MANN: Yeah, so, again, it's pretty basic. The warming of the oceans, the planet's warming up, the oceans are warming up, that means there's more energy. There's more evaporation from the oceans. And it's that evaporation that provides the energy to intensify those storms, and it's what provides them all of that moisture. And so we get stronger, more intense storms, and they contain a lot more rainfall in them, so we get much more flooding. And that's what we're seeing over time.

Now, the vagaries of any particular storm - we can't say this storm wouldn't have happened if not for climate change. What we can say is this particular storm was stronger, it was wetter, and it was more damaging than it would have been, because of climate change. We can make that direct link.

AMY GOODMAN: And the comparison of the Atlantic storms to the Pacific storms?

MICHAEL MANN: Yeah, this is a global - you know, the physics here don't respect individual ocean basins. Everywhere you go, warmer oceans mean more intense hurricanes or typhoons, as we call them over there, and worse flooding with these storms. And that's really what we're seeing here. And, you know, this is really just sort of the tip of the iceberg. The good news is we can prevent this all from getting worse if we bring those carbon emissions down, you know, as I said, 50% within the next decade, down to zero by mid-century. We can prevent further warming of the planet and worsening of these effects. But if we continue to burn fossil fuels, all of this only gets worse. This only becomes a glimpse of what is to come.

AMY GOODMAN: Michael Mann, we thank you for being with us, presidential distinguished professor and director of the Penn Center for Science, Sustainability, and the Media at the University of Pennsylvania. His most recent book, The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet.

(c) 2022 Amy Goodman is the host of "Democracy Now,!" a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on 750 stations in North America. She is the co"author of "Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times," recently released in paperback and "Breaking The Sound Barrier."

The Quotable Quote -

"When I talk about a political revolution, what I am referring to is the need to do more than just win the next election. It's about creating a situation where we are involving millions of people in the process who are not now involved, and changing the nature of media so they are talking about issues that reflect the needs and the pains that so many of our people are currently feeling. A campaign has got to be much more than just getting votes and getting elected. It has got to be helping to educate people, organize people. If we can do that, we can change the dynamic of politics for years and years to come. If 80 to 90 percent of the people in this country vote, if they know what the issues are (and make demands based on that knowledge), Washington and Congress will look very, very different from the Congress currently dominated by big money and dealing only with the issues that big money wants them to deal with."
~~~ Bernie Sanders

A flooded road is seen during the passage of Hurricane Fiona in Villa Blanca, Puerto Rico on September 18, 2022.

Climate Crisis And The Age Of The Super-Typhoon: Storms Batter Puerto Rico, Pakistan, Japan, And Shanghai
New, unprecedented disasters are striking daily.
By Juan Cole

A mere category 1 hurricane dumped so much water on Puerto Rico so quickly that one of its rivers has swollen to 25 feet above normal, even more than it rose during Hurricane Maria in 2017, which was a Category 5 hurricane. The island is beset by flash floods, and is getting 16-30 inches of rain. The usual average amount of rainfall received by Puerto Rico is 31 inches, so it is getting from six months' to a year's worth all at once in a single day. All power was knocked out, though the government is vowing to get it back on in days, not the months it took after Maria. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, though it is a territory and not a state. President Biden declared a state of emergency.

I've been to Puerto Rico several times and really like the place, and have friends there. I'm worried about them, and about its future. The thing that struck me is how devastating this storm has been even though it is "only" a Category 1, with wind speeds of 85 miles and hour.

The ocean around Puerto Rico is much warmer than it used to be, as is the air above the ocean. That is a double whammy. Hot air can absorb more moisture. Hot water causes more moisture to evaporate into the air. So there is just more water in the sky to fall on places like Puerto Rico than there used to be. Global sea surface heating over the past century has been an extra 1.3 degrees F. The rate of heating in the northeast Caribbean, though, has doubled over the past two decades. This heating could eventually push clouds higher, causing less frequent precipitation, but when it does rain it could be torrential. Occasional heavy rain is not good for agriculture, since it just runs off or causes floods.

Warming oceans are producing disasters throughout the globe. A third of Pakistan is still underwater after a super-monsoon caused epochal flooding, with 33 million people affected. 80% of the livestock is dead. Waterborne diseases are spreading among the displaced. And now 11 million people are food insecure.

New, unprecedented disasters are striking daily. Super-monsoon Nanmadol is headed for Japan, with the government ordering 8 million people to be evacuated. That is six percent of the country's population. It would be like evacuating 20 million Americans, moving everyone out of Florida or New York state. A super-typhoon has winds of 150 miles an hour and would be like a category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic. Nothing like that has hit Japan for decades. Tens of thousands are already without power and public transportation has been suspended in Kyushu.

A recent study found that human-caused climate change has already spurred the formation of stronger typhoons in the Pacific. An examination of the period 1979-2017 found that the likelihood of the formation of a super-typhoon has already increased because of warmer Pacific waters and warmer air over the ocean. In recent decades, the likelihood of the formation of a super-typhoon in the Pacific has increased 8% a year.

Last week, Typhoon Muifa, with sustained winds of 96 miles to 125 miles an hour, struck the Chinese city of Shanghai, which has 20 million residents. Some 13,000 fishing boats had to head for shelter. Shanghai is the world's biggest container port. There are reports of flooding and damage to buildings and infrastructure. It is the strongest storm to hit Shanghai in recorded history and forced 1.6 million people from their homes.

The oceans are being heated up by heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, spewed there by humans burning petroleum, coal, and fossil gas. We are only at the beginning of the age of the super-hurricane and the super-typhoon.

(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.

Then-U.S. President Donald Trump delivered remarks during the 'Evangelicals for Trump' Coalition event at the King Jesus Church in Miami, Florida on January 03, 2019.

Trump's Latest Threat Is A Doozy And Requires Four Responses
We are dealing with a sociopathic narcissist who wants nothing more than to divide the nation over himself.
By Robert Reich

Yesterday, Donald Trump threatened that if he is indicted on a charge of mishandling classified documents after leaving the White House, there would be "problems in this country the likes of which perhaps we've never seen before," adding "I don't think the people of the United States would stand for it."

Trump's rhetoric is dangerous. We have already seen the consequences of what happens when Trump invites a mob to the streets.

These words followed on last month's threat by Senator Lindsey Graham that if Trump is prosecuted, there would be "riots in the street." Trump appeared to endorse Graham's threat, sharing a video link on his Truth Social platform.

Trump's latest threat requires four responses:

1. Trump is daring the Justice Department to prosecute him, in effect asserting he is above the law. He is not above the law. The Justice Department is methodically and carefully sifting through evidence and presenting it to a grand jury.

Neither the Department nor the grand jury should be intimidated by Trump's latest threat.

2. Trump's rhetoric is dangerous. We have already seen the consequences of what happens when Trump invites a mob to the streets. Five people died on January 6, 2021. Many more-including members of Congress and the former Vice President-could have been killed on that day. Since the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, Trump's incendiary words have fueled death threats to numerous federal officials, judges, and lawmakers.

All Americans should condemn Trump's latest threat and incitement to violence.

3. We are dealing with a sociopathic narcissist who wants nothing more than to divide the nation over himself. This is not a matter of left versus right, liberal versus conservative, Democrat versus Republican. It is a question of the Constitution and the rule of law versus authoritarianism and tyranny. If Trump prevails-if he intimidates law-enforcement officials from doing their jobs over his attempted coup or his theft from the White House of secret documents-we lose our democracy.

The media must stop covering this as if there are two sides to this story. There are not.

4. The time has come for Republican lawmakers, candidates, and rightwing media owners and personalities to show some backbone and vigorously repudiate Trump. Their failure to do so before now has created a monster that threatens to consume this country. It is up to them to tell their constituents, followers, readers and viewers that there is no place in America for Trump's threats to law enforcement and his incitements to violence.

Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, Lindsey Graham, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Rupert Murdoch, and others must say it loudly and clearly: We repudiate Trump and his threats. No person is above the law.

(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

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, speaks at a press conference at LifeScience Logistics in Lakeland on May 28, 2021.

Racist Governors Abbott And DeSantis Deserve Jail Time
Abbott and DeSantis should be looking at jail time or serious civil fines for engaging in this heartless, racist sport.
By Thom Hartmann

They came off the buses and planes hoping for a promised new life, a home, and paying work. They brought their children, on their best behavior, excited to meet American kids and enroll in school. Hungry from the long trip, they were wondering what their first meal would be like in their new homes in their new country.

The racist governors are apparently coordinating their activities with Fox "News," whose "reporters" typically show up to greet the arriving visitors with cameras and microphones, scaring the hell out of them.

Instead, they faced Fox "News" cameras and hack "reporters" shouting questions at them in a language they didn't understand. Blinking back tears, they asked in Spanish what they'd done wrong.

It turns out what was "wrong" was their skin color and national origin, at least in the minds of Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott.

Racists understand how to get the attention of other racists. And, really, that's all they want, no matter how many people are hurt in the process.

This is an old, old story.

In the fall of 1962, Deputy US Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach supervised a group of US Marshals providing protection to James Meredith as he became the first Black person to ever enroll in the University of Mississippi.

Meredith, a top student in high school, had just completed a 9-year stint in the US Air Force (including 3 years in Japan) and had taken his application for enrollment at UM all the way to the US Supreme Court, which ruled in his favor on September 10, 1962.

Three weeks later, as Meredith was preparing to enter the University on September 30th, a mob of white people attacked Katzenbach's US Marshals with bricks and fired upon them with pistols and rifles.

Two people died, 206 US Marshals and National Guardsmen were wounded, and there were over 200 arrests.

Meredith finally registered for his classes on October 1st, producing an explosion of activity across the South by the various White Citizens Councils, the Ku Klux Klan, and the John Birch Society, the predecessor to today's MAGA movement. (Meredith would complete his courses and graduate, then get his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1968.)

Five months after Meredith enrolled at UM, in the last week of February, 1963, Charles Bennett, president of the White Citizens' Council of Shreveport, Louisiana, approached a Black father of eight children, Alan Gilmore, telling him he knew of an employment opportunity in Trenton, New Jersey and would help him get there.

Gilmore had previously driven a cab and worked in a grocery store and bakery, but had lost his job during the slight economic downturn of 1963.

Bennett provided Gilmore with bus tickets for himself, his wife, and their eight children as well as $75 in spending money and "a dozen cans of sardines to snack upon" during their 2-day journey to Trenton.

He also gave Gilmore the address of what he thought was the home of Nicholas Katzenbach, telling him that Katzenbach was the employer in need of and awaiting Gilmore's services.

"I can't find any work here [in Shreveport]," Gilmore told Bennett according to news reports. "I hope I can find something there. I appreciate your sending me on this trip. Thank you very much."

As soon as the Gilmore family was on the bus, the White Citizens' Council called a press conference and President Bennett announced that the next day the Gilmore family would show up at Katzenbach's home.

It was to be, Bennett said, "a reverse freedom ride," a reference to the Freedom Riders of that era who traveled the South by bus to integrate public transportation.

White Citizens' Councils and their allies in the Klan put several such Black families on buses for the north; the organized campaign operating out of several states was called the "Freedom Ride North."

"Katzenbach has shown himself to be a friend of the Negro and a great civil rights leader," the newspapers quoted Ned Touchstone, chairman of Shreveport's Freedom Ride North Committee. He added that Katzenbach should "take a personal interest in getting the Gilmore family settled."

And, sure enough, the newspapers thought the twist was enough of an unusual story that they gave it wide coverage. One clipping from the JFK Library is at the bottom of this article; there were others across the nation that week.

In response, multiple mayors and governors of northern states targeted by the Freedom Ride North campaign wrote outraged letters to the Kennedy White House, demanding action.

For example, John M. Arruda, mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts wrote to President Kennedy:

"Efforts by segregationists to relocate certain citizens of southern cities is a cruel merciless hoax. Massachusetts has always been a haven for the oppressed, but conditions are such that employment opportunities are limited.

"I suggest Executive Order or legislation whereby the federal government would assume costs, if these unfortunate people become public charges, and then empower the Attorney General to bring an action to make the person or persons responsible for this cruelty personally liable for the costs incurred by the government.

"If they pay the costs of their traffic in human lives and misery, their attitude will no doubt change."

Mark Twain, it is said (probably apocryphally), told us that history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes. Today the role of the White Citizens' Councils and the Klan has been picked up by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

The two governors have been sending refugees and undocumented immigrants on buses and chartered planes in those states to cities in the north, including, most recently, dropping people off at Martha's Vineyard and in front of Vice President Harris' home in Washington, DC.

The racist governors are apparently coordinating their activities with Fox "News," whose "reporters" typically show up to greet the arriving visitors with cameras and microphones, scaring the hell out of them. The immigrants themselves have told people they were approached by friendly Spanish-speaking people, typically women, representing the Governors' offices, who told them that jobs or "expedited work permits" were awaiting them if they'd only get on the bus or the plane.

The Washington Post noted yesterday, in a bizarre echo of the 1963 White Citizens' Council of Shreveport's Ned Touchstone:

"DeSantis aide, Jeremy Redfern, tweeted a photo of former President Barack Obama's Martha's Vineyard home with a pointed message: '7 bedrooms with 8 and a half bathrooms in a 6,892-square-foot house on nearly 30 acres. Plenty of space.'"
Recognizing an old racist trick from his parents' generation, California Governor Gavin Newsom sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding action: "Like millions of Americans, I have been horrified at the images of migrants being shipped on buses and planes across the country to be used as political props. Clearly, transporting families, including children, across state lines under false pretenses is morally reprehensible, but it may also be illegal.

"Several of the individuals who were transported to Martha's Vineyard have alleged that a recruiter induced them to accept the offer of travel based on false representations that they would ... receive expedited access to work authorization. The interstate travel at issue provides a basis for federal jurisdiction over this matter. Newsom goes on to "strongly urge" the DOJ to investigate "possible criminal or civil violations of federal law based on this fraudulent scheme." He suggests kidnapping statues, as well as Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) laws be brought to bear against Abbott, DeSantis and their co-conspirators.

Newsom also points out that the migrants and refugees wouldn't have been targeted this way if it wasn't for their national origin "and the intent appears to have been to humiliate and dehumanize them," putting the two governors in violation of federal civil rights laws.

Congressman Joaquin Castro agreed:

As Adam Serwer noted in 2018, writing for The Atlantic about the Trump policy of tearing apart migrant families and vanishing their children into out-of-state foster care or adoption, "the cruelty is the point." Brutality has always been a key element of fascism and, to quote President Biden, "semi-fascist" politics and policy, whether in 1930s Europe, 1970s Chile, or 21st century Texas and Florida.

We've come a long way since 1963, and federal and state laws protect civil rights in ways that were only imagined during the early years of that era. Hopefully, Garland will take Newsome's request seriously.

As President Joe Biden would say, America is better than this.

Exploitative and cruel stunts from the racist 60s have no place in this century, and Fox and CNN (apparently this is part of their new Swing to the Right)-which both gave major coverage to the migrants' arrivals-should apologize both to the migrants and the American people.

And Abbott and DeSantis should be looking at jail time or serious civil fines for engaging in this heartless, racist sport.

UPDATE: We just learned from NBC News that 100% of the people they interviewed at Martha's Vineyard are not "undocumented" but are actually people who have applied for and been accepted for refugee status. They have upcoming court dates in Texas that, if they miss, will cause them to lose their status. This just gets worse and worse.

(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
~~~ Rob Rogers ~~~

To End On A Happy Note -

Have You Seen This -

Parting Shots -

Are You Grieving For The Queen Enough? Consult This Checklist
By The Waterford Whispers News

CHECKS are in place ahead of the Queen's funeral to ensure that every man, woman and child in Britain shows sufficient grief, with harsh penalties in store for anyone that doesn't meet the quota. Special powers have been granted to the Royal Sadness Squad enabling them to storm the homes of anyone who considers themselves 'over' the death of the monarch, and impose a test to ascertain the following:

- Have you cried for the Queen today, and if so can you produce physical proof of this (ie handkerchief, red eyes, overly salty face).

- Have you made any negative mention on social media or otherwise about the cancellation of services including cancer treatments and food banks during the Queen's funeral next Monday. If so, we need you to stand against your firmest wall for a moment.

- Have you contributed your share of the cost of the multi-million pound state funeral as a taxpayer? If yes, then contribute it again.

- Look at this picture of King Charles' fingers. Repeat after me; 'those are normal fingers'.

- Sign this form that states you are okay with the Queen being buried in a coffin that cost more than every house on your street combined.

- State that every action the Queen took in her life was right and just, from staying in Scotland after Diana died to bailing her son Andrew out of trouble when he was cruelly charged with heinous lies by some American strumpet.

- Agree that the Queen's dogs are more important that your own children.

Following the survey, anyone found to not show signs of sufficient grief will be branded a traitor to the crown and sent to prison, or worse, to France.

(c) 2022 The Waterford Whispers News


Issues & Alibis Vol 22 # 37 (c) 09/23/2022

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