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In This Edition

Norman Solomon says, "Tax Revelations And Corporate Media Won't Defeat Trump."

Ralph Nader says, "To Democratic Voters - Up Your Demands; To Trump Voters - See How He Didn't Deliver For You."

Glen Ford explains, "The Politics That Led To The 'Worst Debate.'"

Jim Hightower asks, "When The World's On Fire, What Should We Do?"

William Rivers Pitt discovers, "Tax Returns Show Trump Looting Treasury To Stave Off His Own Financial Disaster."

John Nichols returns with, "Trump And McConnell Are Undoing The Supreme Court's Constitutional Legitimacy."

James Donahue wonders, "Was A Synthetic Plaque Created?"

David Swanson says, "Two-Thirds Of Presidential Debate Should Be About Militarism."

David Suzuki examines going, "Back To School In An Uncertain Climate."

Charles P. Pierce concludes, "I'm Not Confident That the President*'s Very Stable Genius Can Handle All Of This At Once."

Juan Cole gives, "Top 5 Most Horrible Things Trump Said In His Abnormal Debate."

Lying Donald Jr. wins this week's coveted, "Vidkun Quisling Award!"

Robert Reich foresees, "The Coming Civil War Over Trump's Ego."

Thom Hartmann returns with, "Trump Goes Full Authoritarian Dictator."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department The Waterford Whispers News reports, "Trump Expected To Endorse Novichok As Covid Cure By End Of Day At The Latest," but first Uncle Ernie sez, "The Great Debate? Not!"

This week we spotlight the cartoons of Marshall Ramsey, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Ruben Bolling, Tom Tomorrow, Chip Somodevilla, Joshua Roberts, Mandel Ngan, Samuel Corum, Morry Gash-Pool, Mathieu Morin, Brendan Smialowski, Robert Reich, Jim Hightower, AFP, Unsplash, Shutterstock, Reuters, Flickr, AP, Getty Images, Black Agenda Report, You Tube, and Issues & Alibis.Org.

Plus we have all of your favorite Departments-

The Quotable Quote-
The Vidkun Quisling Award-
The Cartoon Corner-
To End On A Happy Note-
Have You Seen This-
Parting Shots-

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The Great Debate? Not!
By Ernest Stewart

"He's Putin's puppy. He still refuses to even say anything to Putin about the bounty on the heads of American soldiers." ~~~ Joe Biden

"While COVID-19 is our immediate crisis, climate change remains the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and well-being of the Pacific and its peoples in the long run." ~~~ Kausea Natano ~ prime minister of Tuvalu

"I'm kind of a closet redneck." ~~~ Donald Trump, Jr.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me
Help ~~~ The Beatles

Did you watch the "great debate?" I watched Rosemary's Baby instead, then watched the out takes. When they decided to stage it in "The Mistake On The Lake" I knew it would be a fiasco and I was right.

It was Wall Street Joe's to lose, but there was no chance of that with Lying Donald being Lying Donald. The half hour synopsis that I watched was exactly how I thought it would be and I'm glad I didn't waste my time on watching the whole 90 minutes. The 30 minute version was about all I could stand and not throw a brick through the flat screen! I felt sorry for Chris Wallace, imagine that, trying to control Lying Donald's giant ego blast, didn't you?

For those of you that have a strong stomach, and time to kill, here's the "debate" in it's entirety:

I won't be watching the next two presidential debates, although I may take a peak at the lone vice president debate? If you have the time to waste they are:

Vice presidential debate

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 7
Location: University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah
Time: 9-10:30 p.m. ET (6-7:30 p.m. PT)
Moderator: Susan Page, USA Today Washington Bureau chief

Second presidential debate

Date: Thursday, Oct. 15
Location: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida
Time: 9-10:30 p.m. ET (6-7:30 p.m. PT)
Moderator: Steve Scully, political editor of C-SPAN

Third presidential debate

Date: Thursday, Oct. 22
Location: Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee
Time: 9-10:30 p.m. ET (6-7:30 p.m. PT)
Moderator: Kristen Welker, NBC News White House correspondent

They don't have any effect on me as I voted yesterday!

In Other News

Meanwhile back at the United Nations some world leaders at this week's annual meeting are taking the long view, warning: If COVID-19 doesn't kill us, climate change will.

With Siberia seeing its warmest temperature on record this year and enormous chunks of ice caps in Greenland and Canada sliding into the sea, countries are acutely aware there's no vaccine for global warming.

"We are already seeing a version of environmental Armageddon,"Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said, citing wildfires in the western U.S. and noting that the Greenland ice chunk was larger than a number of island nations.

This was meant to be the year "we took back our planet," he said. Instead, the coronavirus has diverted resources and attention from what could have been the marquee issue at this U.N. gathering. Meanwhile, the U.N. global climate summit has been postponed to late 2021.

That hasn't stopped countries, from slowly sinking island nations to parched African ones, from speaking out.

"In another 75 years, many ... members may no longer hold seats at the United Nations if the world continues on its present course," the Alliance of Small Island States and the Least Developed Countries Group said. As I've asked coastal America many times, "How long can you tread water!" It's worse on an island as you can't go inland if there is no inland to go!

Out in California the fires and temperatures continue to rise. Temps are in the 100s and over 4 million acres, that's 5,000 square miles have burnt to a crisp with new fires springing up everyday, making this years fires the worst in California's history... until maybe next year? This will certainly help Michigan wine makers as California wineries burn to the ground. There's that "winners and losers" global warming thingie again!

And Finally

By now I'm sure you have heard about Lying Donald jr. attempts to raise a private fascist army if Lying Donald sr. loses the election, so as to keep "daddy dearest" in power? If you wrote that in a book of fiction no one would believe the premis, but truth is often far stranger than fiction!

Vera Bergen sums it up nicely

Therefore, Lying Donald jr. wins this week's Vidkun Quisling Award!

Keepin' On

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Thanks for music and film!

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Thanks for the film productions!

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So how do you like Trump so far?
And more importantly, what are you planning on doing about it?

Until the next time, Peace!

(c) 2020 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.

Tax Revelations And Corporate Media Won't Defeat Trump
By Norman Solomon

The big banner headline across the top of the New York Times homepage as Tuesday got underway -- "TRUMP'S TAXES SHOW CHRONIC LOSSES AND YEARS OF TAX AVOIDANCE" -- might give the impression that Donald Trump is finally on the verge of political downfall. Don't believe it for a moment.

The same kind of mistaken belief has led many to put undeserved trust in a corporate-media system. But the New York Times isn't going to save us. Neither is the Washington Post, MSNBC, CNN or any of the other mass-media outlets, "liberal" or otherwise.

To a large extent, the corporate media -- especially the TV networks that gave Trump billions of dollars' worth of free airtime while raking in enormous ad revenues -- made him president. The advertising-and-ratings-bedazzled head of the CBS network, Leslie Moonves, uttered an infamously emblematic comment eight months before the 2016 election, in the midst of a campaign that Trump dominated with TV coverage: "It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS."

Less well-known are other statements that Moonves also made while speaking to a Morgan Stanley conference in February 2016. "Man, who would have expected the ride we're all having right now?" And: "The money's rolling in and this is fun." And: "I've never seen anything like this, and this is going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It's a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going." And: "Donald's place in this election is a good thing."

At the same time, CNN president Jeff Zucker -- who presided over the network's "all-Trump-all-the-time" policy during the 2016 primaries -- was privately offering guidance to candidate Trump. Zucker had helped build the Trump myth years earlier when he was at NBC presiding over Trump's "Apprentice" show, which turned out to be financially and politically crucial for his path to the White House.

Under the ongoing reign of the casino economy, the corporate house is set up to always win.

Now, after doing so much to help create a political Frankenstein, most of the big media organizations are largely disapproving. While the right-wing zealots at places like Fox News and aligned talk-radio and online entities are determined to re-elect Trump, the majority of mainstream media outlets are down on him. Yet the tenor of their coverage, including news of the latest polls, should not lull anyone into a false sense of security about Trump's impending demise -- a demise they've predicted before.

Trump won in 2016 while the bubble inhabited by elite media was rarified and cut off from the everyday experiences, frustrations and anger of everyday people. As a consummate demagogue, he knew how to stoke and pander to resentments against elites -- resentments that mainstream media seemed clueless about.

The corporate media are part of a system that thrives on rampant income inequality, giving more and more power to the rich while doing more and more harm to people the less money they have. Media elites are apt to do fine whether Trump wins or loses the election.

Four years ago, Trump played off the elitism of the establishment to ply his toxic political product laced with racism, xenophobia and misogyny. He has governed the same way he ran in 2016, and he hopes to govern for the next four years the way he's running in 2020 -- using the broadly and vaguely defined establishment as a foil for his poisonous, pseudo-populist messaging.

Amid the bombshell coverage of Trump's tax records, it might be tempting to believe the tide has turned and will drown his election hopes. But that's wishful thinking.

It would take more than two hands to count the times during the last several years when Trump's preposterous and vile statements -- or the emergence of incontrovertibly damning facts -- provided ample reasons for his political fortunes to turn into toast. Instead, he has continued to conduct a national master class in demagogy.

Trump would like nothing more than to play his victim card yet again while media give the impression that he's headed for defeat -- a combination that worked like a charm for him in 2016. It could easily happen again. With voting now underway, healthy skepticism toward media spin is badly needed.

Four years ago, corporate media overwhelmingly insisted that the likelihood of a Trump presidency was remote. On Election Day, the New York Times categorically pegged the chances of a Trump win at less than 10 percent. Now, those who want to prevent another Trump victory should go all-out to show they won't be fooled again.

(c) 2020 Norman Solomon is co-founder of and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death" and "Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State."

To Democratic Voters - Up Your Demands; To Trump Voters - See How He Didn't Deliver For You
By Ralph Nader

Here is some practical advice for casting informed votes to improve the livelihoods of all Americans where they live, work, and raise their children and also to lessen their anxiety, dread, and fear.

Democratic voters should demand that the Democratic Party candidates pledge to vote to (1) raise the long frozen, federal minimum wage of $7.25 to a living wage; (2) support more efficient full Medicare for All (with free choice of doctors and hospitals and no cruel, irritating networks); (3) repeal Trump's two trillion dollar tax cut, with additional loopholes for the rich, and huge corporate subsidies and giveaways; and to use the money to upgrade and rebuild the job-rich public works sector as well as the infrastructure in every community in the country - both in the red and blue states; (4) crack down, with law and order, on the corporate crimewave that bleeds consumers out of trillions of dollars a year; (5) repeal anti-labor laws to facilitate empowering tens of millions of workers who want to join unions to defend their economic and safety interests; and (6) accelerate the transition to a solar-based economy with better air, water, greater neighborhood self-reliance, and to reduce the devastating climate disruption from the burning of fossil fuels.

Democratic candidates will benefit by embracing such a covenant. Moreover, candidates who repeat the planks of this covenant incessantly and authentically in political communications and grassroots mobilizations will be seen as caring for the people in their daily lives and struggles in all the states of our union.

This covenant can be contrasted with the offerings of the Republican Party, which failed to adopt a new platform for 2020. Instead, the Republican National Committee (RNC) said, "The RNC enthusiastically supports President Trump and continues to reject the policy positions of the Obama-Biden Administration, as well as those espoused by the Democratic National Committee today..." The RNC largely supports turning the government over to Big Business and further entrenching Wall Street rule over Main Street.

The contrast also illustrates the Republican Party's callous indifference to the immediate desperate needs of millions of Americans. Senate tyrant Mitch McConnell is blocking the House-passed six-month renewal of the much needed $600 a week Covid-19-driven assistance for families nationwide. This and other crucial aid to states and localities is necessary to make schools safer and to provide protective equipment and other assistance to patients in hospitals and clinics, and to nursing home residents.

Monopolist Mitch is shafting his own state of Kentucky while hypocritically seeking the people's votes for his re-election to extend his long and evil tenure in the Senate, and his more recent total toadying for Trump.

Trump and his "gangster regime" (conservative columnist George Will's words) have failed to deliver on Trump's phony 2016 campaign promises on health care, clean air and water, and creating millions of good-paying jobs. And, with Mitch McConnell's help, Trump has jeopardized public health, soiled the environment, and abandoned workers to global corporations.

Now a few words for voters inclined to support dictator Donald Trump. You surely admit Trump did not deliver for you. How long can you wait? Now, Trump is gathering large crowds of supporters who, shoulder-to-shoulder and mostly without masks, listen to him scoff at the Covid-19 pandemic as he and they flaunt mask requirements in violation of state and local laws. When asked about the safety of these events, Trump ignores public safety and says that he is on the stage and safely far away from the crowd. At least dangerous Donald is not passing out little cups of bleach.

Donald Trump is the hyper-super spreader of the deadly Covid-19 virus and he is endangering the tens of thousands of people attending his rallies. Ask your physician about this 'clear and present danger' to public health and life.

Now, about the reasons you voted for devious Donald in 2016 other than the "anybody but Hillary" rationale. Many Trump voters want anti-choice judges. (You may not recall, for years, Trump was pro-choice.) But the hundreds of federal judges nominated by Trump are also clenched-teeth corporatists, who rule for corporations when the conflicts involve the lives of workers, consumers, and the environment. They are dyed-in-the-wool boosters of expanding big business power and control over you. These extremist judges also support big foreign and domestic corporations getting lavish tax breaks and taxpayer subsidies.

Some people like Trump's talk about "de-regulation," getting big government off your back. In reality, Trump is taking the federal cops off the backs of corporate crooks and de-funding the corporate crime police. This year Trump brazenly said he is stopping or limiting enforcement of the laws designed to protect consumers from companies that sell you and your children hazardous products, pollute your air and water, defraud you in the marketplace, and fail to recall your defective cars/trucks.

Trump even announced in March that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would suspend or postpone inspection of imports from abroad, including the bulk of the medicines that Trump still allows to be imported from China. One would think some serious hoodwinking or just plain lying is going on here.

Well, you might say - at least Trump cut taxes. Come-on, the vast benefits of his tax cuts went to the rich and big corporations. All those bonanzas could have been used to fix your roads, bridges, mass transits, schools, clinics, and drinking water systems. Egomaniac Trump doesn't care about you; for him, it's about using the government to enrich himself and his family members and to bail out his failing hotels and golf courses.

Maybe you still like Trump because he says he is against immigrants "invading" our country. Trump, however, had no problem illegally hiring undocumented workers for his golf course and his residences (and earlier for his construction projects in New York), until he was exposed. Trump has no concern for the exploited foreign workers in the meatpacking, poultry processing, and agribusiness companies owned by his campaign-contributing buddies.

Before you cast your ballot, let's toast your informed self-respect as clear-minded voters who can see an immoral, law-breaking, greedy Trump regime full of plutocrats who couldn't care less about America and the people they've exploited.

(c) 2020 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).

The Politics That Led To The "Worst Debate"
By Glen Ford

The incoherence of the Biden-Trump debate will be repeated every election cycle until Blacks and progressives break with the corporate duopoly.

The rich man's media are calling it "the worst debate in modern American history," but that's because the truth is often painful to watch. The Biden-Trump confrontation revealed, with crystalline clarity, that the real "genius" of the American electoral process is its total imperviousness to popular demands for a healthier, more just and less economically precarious society and a peaceful, ecologically stable world. Instead, the Democratic alternative to the white supremacist Republican in the White House is - another lifelong racist, mass-incarcerating, corporate-serving, warmongering old white man.

"The party is me, right now. I am the Democratic Party," Joe Biden shot back at the "clown" Donald Trump, who repeatedly tried to associate the former vice president with the Green New Deal, Medicare for All and Black Lives Matter demands to rein in the police - all issues supported by super-majorities of Democrats, and even large chunks of Republican voters, but opposed by the candidate now representing the Party.

"You just lost the left," Trump twice hollered, wishfully. In an actual democracy the Democrats would, indeed, have committed political suicide by nominating a corporate hack and career race-baiter like Biden as their standard-bearer. But the U.S. is a corporate dictatorship where the rich have two parties and the rest of us effectively have none.

The voters that Trump referred to in the debate as "the left," are actually at the center of the U.S. political spectrum, where super-majorities favor the positions taken by Bernie Sanders during the primaries. Exit polls in South Carolina and on "Super Tuesday" showed that the same Democrats that voted for Joe Biden nevertheless favored Sanders' positions on the issues, but opted for Biden in fear of Trump and his rabid White Man's Party. It's a simple formula that allows Democrats to promise their base nothing - except that they are not Trump or some other flagrant racist.

The trick will continue to work until voters, especially Blacks, stop rewarding Democrats for their serial betrayals. There is nothing smart or "strategic" about falling for the same trick every election cycle - and anybody that tells you different is in on the con game.

The corporate Democratic stranglehold on Black America results in Black voters electing officials to office who resist the demands put forward by Black protesters in the street. We cheer the Black Lives Matter activists that demand defunding, abolishing and community-controlling the cops, but then vote to make president a politician who "wrote the bill" that imprisoned millions of our people and who continues to oppose cuts in police budgets. Such political schizophrenia extends to notables in the "movement," like Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors. "I think we can call for Biden and [Patricia] Harris to be challenged for their past while also being the cheerleaders for them to win the election November 3."

In fact, you can't "challenge" Biden and Harris for their anti-Black behavior as elected officials by continuing to elect them. The vote is the reward.

Black folks and progressives are not to blame for Donald Trump, but do bear responsibility for the Democrats that are not much different from Trump on every issue that counts except race - and in Biden's case, not even that.

(c) 2020 Glen Ford is the Black Agenda Report executive editor. He can be contacted at

When The World's On Fire, What Should We Do?
By Jim Hightower

For millions of people around the globe - especially young people - the pressing issue of our time is this: The world is on fire! On fire with climate change, creating a new and intensifying norm of deadly weather extremes that make a dystopian future a distinct possibility - constant wildfires, rising seas, desertification, global crop failures, widespread hunger, water shortages, etc.

Luckily, we are a sentient species with the scientific ability to know that the chief cause of this global destruction is not angry gods, but us - specifically humankind's massive extraction and burning of oil, gas, coal, and other fossil fuels. So, there's a rising chorus of people shouting "FIRE!" And, sure enough, our national government is rushing to the scene to put it out.

Unfortunately, our president and his crew of right-wing fire-breathers in Congress are not directing the government's hoses at the corporate extractors, but at us, the people, scientists, environmentalists, and other activists who've dared to point to the flames and call for global action to stop the conflagration. They seem to think the problem will go away if they can make the protesters go away.

Worse, they're fanning the flames by turning the EPA into the PPA - the Polluters Protection Agency. They're slashing dozens of public restraints on the polluters, while also opening up our oceans and wilderness areas to their polluting greed and stalling the rational shift to a green energy future.

The good news is that the people are revolting (in the very best sense of that term!) against our corrupt leaders' rush toward climate catastrophe. Our hope is not in "leaders," but ourselves - as it has been throughout American history. From the Boston Tea Party forward, creative and gutsy public protest has been democracy's best friend.

(c) 2020 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

President Trump speaks during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press
Briefing Room of the White House on September 27, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

Tax Returns Show Trump Looting Treasury To Stave Off His Own Financial Disaster
By William Rivers Pitt

Tax Returns Show Trump Looting Treasury To Stave Off His Own Financial Disaster Donald Trump The great white whale of Trump-era journalism was finally harpooned and boated on Sunday night - Tax returns, ho! - and the resulting product is a thunderclap of venality and greed astride a form of grasping self-interest unseen in the White House since the epic corruption of Warren Harding.

In 2018, The New York Times published an exhaustive report on the myriad ways the Trump family, going back to patriarch Fred Trump, used a variety of tax dodges to hide the family fortune. This latest Times report lays out what Donald Trump has done with that fortune, up to and including the years he has been in office.

"The tax returns that Mr. Trump has long fought to keep private tell a story fundamentally different from the one he has sold to the American public," reads the Times report. "His reports to the I.R.S. portray a businessman who takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year yet racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes. Now, with his financial challenges mounting, the records show that he depends more and more on making money from businesses that put him in potential and often direct conflict of interest with his job as president."

No, it is not a pretty picture. It is, in fact, pathetic nearly to the point of unrestrained hilarity. The bragging "billionaire" blowhard president of the United States is more than a billion dollars in debt, and about half of that is coming due in the next few years.

Journalist Dan Alexander, on the Trump beat for Forbes and author of White House, Inc.: How Donald Trump Turned the Presidency into a Business, sat down on Sunday night and crunched some numbers based upon the Times reporting. If Alexander and the Times have it right - which they very likely do, given how articles of this magnitude endure weeks of factual and legal scrutiny before seeing daylight - Trump is only a few short years away from being subsumed by a tidal wave of red ink that will wash him out of most of his properties and leave him stranded on the beach like some strange orange whale.

According to Alexander's tally, Trump is $100 million in debt for Trump Tower, with the loan coming due in less than two years. He owes $139 million for his 40 Wall Street property, debt coming due in 2025. His stake in the 1290 Ave. of the Americas property has him $285 million in the hole, and comes due in 2022. His stake in the 555 California St. property is $163 million, and comes due this time next year. This list goes on and on, ultimately coming out to approximately $1.1 billion in debt.

There is currently a great deal of "We knew that already!" commentary being inspired by this inspired piece of Times journalism. To no small degree, this is true: Donald Trump and his entire family are, among other things, perhaps the most obvious pack of grifters to come down the road since the original snake-oil salesmen plied their blighted wares on the dusty byways of a fledgling nation. It does not take an electron microscope and the sensory perception of a canyon bat to pick up on this.

That being said, now we have the receipts, and they portray Trump as being much more than merely greedy. He hasn't turned the White House into his personal ATM machine because he loves money like any good capitalist does. He's doing it to stave off looming financial disaster; he's looting the Treasury not simply because he can, but because he absolutely has to if he wants to avoid getting pauperized by his own horrid business instincts. He's using gobs of our cash to plug the gaping holes in his sinking ship.

This makes him pathetic and infuriating, yes, but it also makes him dangerous. As we stampede toward an election that Trump appears more and more willing to steal or disrupt in order to stay in office, we have with this Times piece a more acute understanding of his motivations.

If Trump loses this election, he loses his access to the spigot of federal money he's using to hose down his inferno of debt, and his personal financial Armageddon is only a few scant years away.

If that happens, Trump would have no money to pay the kind of lawyers he will need to keep a roof over his head. His humiliation before the world would be complete and absolute, and that, right there, is the fate he has manifestly dreaded for the term of his life.

That is what Trump is fighting to avoid on November 3. Not so much for the money or the freedom, but to avoid the disgrace. A man with such a towering yet fragile ego, in possession of awesome political powers, now faces a final confrontation with what appears to be his greatest fear: shame.

Trump's efforts to attack the veracity of this news won't wave the debt collectors away. Understanding this, you will understand why so many are flatly terrified at what he might do in 36 days, and beyond, to dodge the awful reckoning he has fled from for so long.

(c) 2020 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.

President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Trump And McConnell Are Undoing The Supreme Court's Constitutional Legitimacy
A rush to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the eve of an election jeopardizes the credibility of the judicial branch.
By John Nichols

There has already been much talk about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's qualifications and controversies-and there will be much more. But the real Supreme Court story is not about Donald Trump's latest nominee. The real story is a nomination process that, if it progresses as anticipated, will rob an already discredited court of whatever constitutional legitimacy it retains.

It does not matter whom Trump has nominated. If any nominee is confirmed in the last weeks of an election campaign in which the American people could well give a mandate to a new president and flip control of the Senate-or in the weeks after an election that produces such a result-the court's credibility will be shredded.

This stark prospect should frame every discussion about what Senate Judiciary Committee member Richard Blumenthal aptly describes as "this illegitimate sham process." The effort to circumvent the will of the people is the essential issue for a country where the government-including the judiciary-is supposed to derive its just powers from "the consent of the governed."

The people never granted this president, or this Senate, the power to turn the nation's high court into the platform for right-wing judicial activism that Trump and McConnell seek to make it.

Donald Trump lost the 2016 election by 2.9 million votes. He secured just 46.1 percent of the vote, versus 48.2 percent for Democrat Hillary Clinton. In each of the three states that tipped the Electoral College to the Republican nominee, the majority of voters cast their ballots for someone other than Trump-in Wisconsin, 54 percent of the electorate rejected him; in Michigan, 53 percent rejected him; in Pennsylvania, 53 percent rejected him. He assumed the presidency with no mandate.

Yet, four years after that mandate was refused, that president is making his third nomination to the United States Supreme Court. If Barrett is confirmed, the high court will be transformed. An iconic liberal, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, will be replaced by a conservative extremist, Barrett, and the indelicate balance that existed will give way to right-wing rigidity. "This is a transformative appointment," explains Neal Katyal, a former acting solicitor general of the United States, who notes that Trump's two previous picks, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, were conservatives replacing a conservative and a moderate conservative. "This is really moving from one side of the spectrum to the other."

Barrett, who has served just three years on the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, is set to be ushered through the confirmation process by Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican who leads a "majority caucus" that represents a minority of Americans. Of the 100 senators, 53 Republicans represent states that are home to 153.5 million Americans, while 47 Democrats (and independents who caucus with them) represent 168.5 million Americans. In the most recent round of Senate elections, in 2018, 52,260,651 voters cast their ballots for Democrats while just 34,723,013 voted Republican. In 2016, when most Americans rejected Trump, 51,496,682 voters cast their ballots for Democrats while just 40,402,790 voted Republican. Indeed, of the election cycles since 2000, Democrats have won the most votes for the Senate in seven. Republicans won the most votes in just three.

But now, on the eve of an election in which the president trails in the polls and control of the Senate could shift, Trump and McConnell are racing to pack the court.

This is an illegitimate process that, as American Constitution Society President Russ Feingold warns, "threatens the constitutional legitimacy of the court."

"The nomination follows close upon Republicans' theft of a Supreme Court seat from President Obama in 2016 and the disgraceful fiasco that resulted in Brett Kavanaugh joining the Court after proclaiming himself to be a bitter and vindictive partisan," explains the former chair of the Constitution Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "As a result, if this nominee is confirmed under these circumstances many Americans will ask whether the Court itself is any longer accountable to the Constitution rather than an ideological faction."

The Constitutional Convention of 1787 established a system of checks and balances that separated power between three branches of government. Two of those branches-the executive and legislative-were expected to be at least somewhat accountable to the people. Over time, with the extension of the franchise to include women and people of color, and with the direct election of senators, that accountability has increased. Not sufficiently, mind you. We still have an Electoral College, gerrymandering, and all the other pathologies that undermine and diminish democratic governance. But presidents and senators can usually claim some connection between popular sentiment and the authority they exercise.

Not so the Supreme Court. The legitimacy of the judicial branch has always derived from its relationship to the other two branches. An elected president nominates judges; while, in the modern era, an elected Senate provides advice and consent.

A naked power grab that radically alters the court's ideological balance on the eve of an election in which voters might signal that they do not want that balance to shift takes the people out of the equation. Power is not derived from the consent of the governed. Power is turned against the governed.

"For the sake of the Court, the Senate must not take up a nomination to fill the vacancy left by Justice Ginsburg's passing until after the inauguration of the next president, who would then put forth a nominee," says Feingold, who argues that if "the President and the Senate majority ram through this illegitimate nomination and the Court so constituted proceeds to inject itself in a partisan manner into possible controversies surrounding the election [as President Trump seems eager to see], the time for warning of risks and threats to the Court's legitimacy will have passed. The damage will be done, it will be irreparable, and we will all be the worse for it."

Feingold is not overstating the case. If a court that has been hastily rebalanced in the president's favor is called upon to decide 2020 election issues, it will have no credibility as an arbiter of those issues. At that point, the court's constitutional illegitimacy will become the nation's constitutional crisis.

(c) 2020 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.

Was A Synthetic Plaque Created?
By James Donahue

A series of disturbing reports by Michael Edward on the web site World Vision Portal a few years ago, linked chemicals and other compounds secretly used by British Petroleum in the oil dispersant called Corexit at the site of the company's disastrous oil spill and a strange "Blue Flu" that broke out among people living along the Gulf Coast.

Edwards, who lives on the coast, apparently did his research. In his articles he drew from several valuable sources, including articles published in Scientific American and reports from the U. S. Patent Office, showing strong evidence that PB was working in conjunction with Synthetic Genomics Inc. to use a newly developed synthetic bacteria at the site.

This bacterium, designed to feed on crude oil, was made public in Scientific American's May 25, 2015 edition. The story by David Biello was headlined: "Slick Solution: How Microbes Will Clean Up the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill."

In the story, Craig Venter, one of the founders of Synthetic Genomics Inc., announced the unveiling of "the world's first synthetic cell and one of the first patents on a genetically engineered organism (which) was a hydrocarbon-eating microbe."

Corexit spray

The article stated that scientists have long known that such microbes existed in nature, but they did not work fast enough or multiply quickly enough to deal with large oil spills on either land or in the sea. Thus the rush was on to use genetic engineering to manufacture a bacterium that might do the job.

The use of such large quantities of the oil dispersant was apparently done as an experiment by British Petroleum and U.S. government agents to stop a disaster that was out of control. As explained by microbial ecologist Kenneth Lee, director of the Center for Offshore Oil, Gas and Energy Research with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, "if the oil is in very small droplets, microbial degradation is much quicker. The dispersants can also stimulate microbial growth. Bacteria will chew on the dispersants as well as the oil."

At least that was how it was all supposed to work.

Other than the allegations by Edwards and the revelations by various scientific publications that such a synthetic bacterium was in existence and available for use in cleaning up the gulf oil spill, there has been no real evidence that British Petroleum actually used this agent at the scene. In fact, everything about the clean-up effort was kept so strictly under wraps that company-hired guards and even local police agencies were busy making sure reporters never got close to the Corexit at its storage facility, or anyone had a chance to analyze its content, Edwards wrote.

But he said there have been clues that strongly suggest that the bacterium was used, exactly as suggested in the Scientific American story. For example, strange natural mineral elements such as copper, iron, nickel, aluminum and manganese began turning up in rain water, where it did not belong. Edwards theorized that these "are natural elements and nutrients. Bacteria thrive in rich nutrient environments." These minerals were exposed because they evaporated with the water and fell back to earth as rain.

Edwards noted that prior to the May announcement by Synthetic Genome, a spin-off non-profit company known as the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), had already applied for "numerous patents regarding synthetic bio-remediation, such as bacteria synthetic genomes which provide unique DNA information required for replication of a free-living organism."

Both Synthetic Genomics and JCVI are headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. According to Edwards, British Petroleum holds an undisclosed amount of stock ownership in Synthetic Genomics, and the latter company is financing research at JCVI. Thus all of this is directly linked to British Petroleum.

In the meantime, people hired by British Petroleum to help clean oil mixed with the chemical from beaches and the gulf waters began complaining of various forms of illness. The symptoms include headaches, confusion and drowsiness, plus a strange blue colorization of the lips and under the fingernails. This is why the natives dubbed it "blue flu."

Gulf Fish Kill

Edwards notes that the symptoms are almost identical to that of arsenic poisoning. In fact, he said he has learned from certain unnamed medical sources that patients seeking medical treatment for these symptoms have been found to have elevated levels of arsenic in their blood.

In addition the chemical was blamed for a massive die-off of fish and other sea life in that area of the Gulf.

There is yet another troublesome factor in this story. Edwards writes that in 2003 JCVI successfully synthesized a virus that infects bacteria. Apparently this viral addition to the genetically altered bacterium makes it resistant to antibiotics.

Edwards wrote: "This new life form has the ability to replicate itself and organically function in any cell into which it has been introduced. Its DNA is artificial and it's this synthetic DNA that takes control of the cell and is credited with being the building block of life."

He asks: "What happens if a human becomes infected with a life-threatening variant bacterial species? If you use Penicillin to fight the infection, it won't do any good. Any use of antibiotics would be a waste of time."

So has PB and its subsidiaries created a biological monster in the rush to clean up the gulf oil spill? And is that monster about to be unleashed on the world without any way to stop it?

Strangely, Synthetic Genomics Inc. was involved on October 7 in the formation of a fourth company, Synthetic Genomics Vaccines Inc. This is another privately held company that is working on a new generation of vaccines using the "genomic sequencing and synthetic genomic expertise" used in creating the microbial monsters already unleashed in the gulf. Edwards suggests that this was all a devious plan by British Petroleum to gain great wealth through patented immunizations for a disease created within its own laboratories.

We are wondering if company officials discovered, too late, what they had done and are now taking drastic steps to try to find a vaccine to head off a potential world pandemic by an antibiotic resistant manufactured bacterium/viral combination that has no equal.

And we have to wonder if all of this isn't in some way connected to the coronavirus epidemic now sweeping the planet. Researchers all over the world are struggling to find an antidote while the public hides in their homes and behind masks.

Did British Petroleum create the ultimate doomsday bug? An entity that communicated via my late wife before her death in 2013 warned that a pandemic may soon change the way everybody lives for months until it is over. But it will not be a doomsday episode.

This entity, whom she called The Abba Father, proved to be quite accurate in its predictions.

(c) 2020 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.

Two-Thirds Of Presidential Debate Should Be About Militarism
By David Swanson

Source: here and here. Over half of the money that Congress decides what to do with every year is for wars and war preparations, year after year.

When you add in police and prisons, and the militarization of police and prisons - and of borders and airports - and the Veterans Administration, you're talking about two-thirds of the money.

So the big question is, of course, why do I hate Veterans?

Oh, go Dick Cheney yourself. I support universal free healthcare and education and guaranteed retirement and childcare and transportation and sustainable energy for every human being, veteran or not.

So the serious question is how the hell am I going to pay for that?

Well, with a fraction of what's spent now on the militarized budget, of course.

Plus a fraction of what should be taxed from corporations and the ultra rich.

But what about the non-discretionary spending?

What about it? Much of it is for Social Security and healthcare, but a big chunk of it is for militarism - including debt for past wars.

So really I think we're left with: why do I hate the troops?

I adore them. I want to offer them the choice of free college instead of enlistment - don't you? Or do you not love them as much as I do?

Now, can we focus?

The U.S. government is not a government. It's not an institution that can watch a deadly disease pandemic approaching from thousands of miles away, pick up a baseball bat, swing, and hit anything other than its own rear end.

The U.S. government is a war making, weapons dealing, death machine.

It is leading the world in:

* coronavirus
* wars
* war preparations
* weapons bought
* weapons sold
* nations bombed
* bases abroad
* bases in the Fatherland
* oops, I mean Homeland
* people locked up
* people killed by police
* people killed by guns
* contributions to climate collapse
* contributions to risk of nuclear apocalypse
A debate that mentions none of this, between two senile elderly male white servants of corporate power who oppose Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, free college, defunding police, demilitarization, ending drone murder, ending wars, closing bases, or converting to peaceful industries is not a debate. It's filler for advertisements.

Asking one of them if he'll respect the election results he's busy rigging is interesting, but how much lower can standards go? None of the corporate-approved topics is unimportant (if done right), but all of them misrepresent the job being auditioned for. The leader of the biggest ever war machine is an important position in the world. Pretending it's an election for a model human being, a prom king, a figure head, or pretending it's an election for a leader of a normal government of some other country is irresponsible.

Two thirds of the debate should be about what the U.S. government spends two-thirds of its time and our money doing: killing.

(c) 2020 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.

September marks a busy month for most young people, but especially those involved in the climate movement

Back To School In An Uncertain Climate
By David Suzuki

The global pandemic has created a unique and challenging back-to-school season. Many parents, guardians and teachers are struggling to balance children's safety with education, all while keeping their households running smoothly.

It's like nothing we've seen before. Many adults are rightfully focused on making sure the school year proceeds in a way that serves children and their families and keeps everyone safe.

While these short-term worries must be paramount, we can't lose sight of the long-term challenges confronting us, many of which will get worse if we don't seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to build back better.

As young people begin the school year, they're again the ones drawing attention to the pressing need to address the climate emergency. Once more, they're asking grownups to pay attention and support their call for strong, effective climate action.

September marks a busy month for most young people, but especially those involved in the climate movement.

Youth groups throughout Canada are participating in the September 25 global #FridaysForFuture in-person and virtual climate strikes (Canada has more than 35 Fridays for Future groups). This year's demonstrations come two days before the one-year anniversary of last year's epic global climate strike when several million young people around the world took to the streets. Then as now, they were calling on governments to increase climate ambition in line with what scientists say is needed to curb emissions by half by 2030, and fully by 2050, and keep global heating to safe levels. More than a million youth marched in Canada alone - the largest act of civil disobedience in our history.

On September 30 and October 1, the 15 La Rose youth climate plaintiffs head to Federal Court for a two-day hearing. These young people, ages seven to 19 and from seven provinces and a territory, are suing the federal government for violating their charter rights by knowingly contributing to dangerous climate change through ongoing proliferation and promotion of fossil fuels.

In May, the federal government announced its intentions to have the case thrown out, but I and thousands of other people in Canada believe it should go to trial.

The youth litigants also have the backing of elders. This month, a group of parents and grandparents called Pour Nos Enfants/For Our Kids announced intentions to intervene and support the lawsuit. It's heartening to see elders show their solidarity. The more we think and speak as one, the more we'll take responsibility and learn to live sustainably on this planet, respecting our interdependence with nature.

Because most of these passionate young people are too young to vote, they see the courts as one of the few avenues to be heard by politicians and the public. That's not to say they're avoiding the political system altogether, though.

Youth groups worked to influence the September 23 throne speech. Expecting it to focus largely on the government's COVID-19 recovery efforts, these young people made it clear they don't want to go back to the way things were. That wasn't working. They're urging government to invest in a green and just recovery that will create better jobs and help fix our broken economy, while also helping solve the dire environmental challenges we face.

It's been more than two years since Greta Thunberg's solitary first school strike for climate in front of the Swedish Parliament. Her commitment helped shine light on a burgeoning global youth climate movement that reached new heights a year ago this month. It will make headlines again just as governments are grappling with how best to emerge from a global pandemic.

Our political representatives have a key decision to make: Continue to pay lip service to our children as they act as our moral compass, speaking truth to our falsehoods and calling for urgent solutions to problems we're failing to adequately address, or seize this unprecedented, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to allocate massive sums of financial and human resources and achieve the green and just recovery from COVID-19 we so desperately need. We who are old enough to vote must pledge to support only candidates and parties that promise to make climate their highest priority.

This September, it's back to school and back to climate. Students are returning to learn, but they also have a lot to teach. We should listen.

(c) 2020 Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

I'm Not Confident That the President*'s Very Stable Genius Can Handle All Of This At Once
Quite simply, it appears that a lot of people inside of Camp Runamuck are coming unraveled. I am not comfortable with that situation at all.
By Charles P. Pierce

On Sunday night, in Fort Lauderdale, Brad Parscale, the man-mountain former director of the president*'s re-election campaign, allegedly went completely berserk, and now he is involuntarily committed to a mental-health facility. From the Miami Herald:

Brad Parscale, 44, was involuntarily hospitalized under Florida's Baker Act by officers and taken to Broward Health Medical Center Sunday after isolating himself in the $2.4 million home he shares in Fort Lauderdale's Seven Isles with his wife, Candice. In reports, audio and body camera footage released Monday, police documented a tense scene in which Parscale - after possibly firing a shot inside his house - initially refused to leave his home and was ultimately tackled by officers on the street when he emerged shirtless with a beer in his hand.

"Listen, I'm not trying to kill myself. She's lying," the 6-foot-8-inch Parscale tells an officer who approaches him in his driveway before he's driven to the ground and handcuffed. "I didn't do anything!"

"I was standing in the backyard," Candice Parscale told an emergency dispatcher. "He's under a lot of stress right now. He's just pissed at the world so he like walked out, cocked the handgun and was just ranting and raving about something. I don't know what." Parscale's wife said she walked to the front yard to get away from him and saw him looking out the front window through blinds, wearing a white bathrobe.

"I saw him look out the window. Then I heard a loud, 'boom,'" she told officers, who found her down the street in her bathing suit with a towel wrapped around her waist. Officers also wrote in their reports that Parscale's wife told them he had post-traumatic stress disorder and had become violent in recent weeks. Candice Parscale, 41, showed them bruises on her arms from an argument two days prior, they said. Police say they took photos of injuries.

"While speaking with Candace Parscale I noticed several large sized contusions on both of her arms, her cheek and forehead," wrote Detective Steven Smith, slightly misspelling Candice Parscale's first name. "When I asked how she received the bruising, Candace Parscale stated Brad Parscale hits her."

In mid-July, Parscale was fired after the campaign suffered a series of public fiascos, including the catastrophic rally in Tulsa at roughly the same time the pandemic and the demonstrations against police violence hit high tide almost simultaneously. But Parscale's relationship with the president* had been deteriorating for a while, because Parscale had become the latest person on whom the president* sought to unload blame for the president*'s own blunders. In April, after the president* became an object of fun for suggesting that we all drink bleach to fight the pandemic, CNN reported that the president* went ballistic on the telephone, even threatening to sue Parscale. There was also a series of stories about how Parscale was living it up on campaign money. All of this had to contribute to the "pressure" cited by Parscale's wife to the Fort Lauderdale police.

national harbor, md february 28 brad parscale, campaign manager for trump's 2020 reelection campaign, walks on stage during the conservative political action conference 2020 cpac hosted by the american conservative union on february 28, 2020 in national harbor, md photo by samuel corumgetty images local caption brad parscale Parscale is having a difficult time.

Parscale is having a difficult time

In September, after posting a Facebook video in which he seemed to call for armed insurrection, and blamed criticism of the administration's handling of the pandemic on a dark cabal of deep-state epidemiologists, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Caputo resigned, citing health reasons. This week, it was announced that Caputo was suffering from cancer. The president*'s eldest son is having regular meltdowns in television interviews, and one of the most ominous sentences in the New York Times' latest blockbuster is the one that says Monday's story is only the "first" of several such reports. Quite simply, it appears that a lot of people inside of Camp Runamuck are coming unraveled. I am not comfortable with that situation at all.

The president*'s aides are starting to lose it, and the Times' reporting is steadily dismantling every bit of the public identity that is the only thing that seems to matter to the president*. I don't have much confidence that the president*'s very stable genius is strong enough to handle all of these land-mines detonating at once, and he still has the nuclear codes. No, I am not comfortable with this situation at all. Things could get very bleak very fast.

(c) 2020 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-

"The only thing we've done a bad job in is public relations because we havent been able to convince people - which is basically the fake news - what a great job we've done."
~~~ Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the first presidential debate against former
Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at the Health Education
Campus of Case Western Reserve University on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Top 5 Most Horrible Things Trump Said In His Abnormal Debate
By Juan Cole

The "debate" was an unfortunate and distasteful spectacle, largely because of Trump's bullying and mendacious behavior. But let us resist the cable-tv temptation to focus only on personalities and the horse race to consider some actual policy issues. And the true horror lay in what Trump had to say about them.

1. When pressed by Chris Wallace to denounce white supremacists and the neo-Nazi Proud Boys, Trump called on the Proud Boys to "stand back, stand by." Trump never did denounce white supremacy. That's pretty much the most horrible thing he "said." Or his silence was disgusting. Trump knows that the white nationalists, championed by misshapen rags like Breitbart, are part of his constituency and he cultivates them with his racist rhetoric.

Here is what the Southern Poverty Law Center says about the Proud Boys:

"Their disavowals of bigotry are belied by their actions: rank-and-file Proud Boys and leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists. They are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric. Proud Boys have appeared alongside other hate groups at extremist gatherings like the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville. Indeed, former Proud Boys member Jason Kessler helped to organize the event, which brought together Klansmen, antisemites, Southern racists, and militias. Kessler was only "expelled" from the group after the violence and near-universal condemnation of the Charlottesville rally-goers.

Other hardcore members of the so-called "alt-right" have argued that the "western chauvinist" label is just a "PR c- term" McInnes crafted to gain mainstream acceptance. "Let's not bullshit," Brian Brathovd, aka Caeralus Rex, told his co-hosts on the antisemitic The Daily Shoah - one of the most popular alt-right podcasts. If the Proud Boys "were pressed on the issue, I guarantee you that like 90% of them would tell you something along the lines of 'Hitler was right. Gas the Jews.'"

The Proud Boys would have popped he cork on their champagne if they had champagne instead of rotgut, celebrating what Trump said about them. Some even made a new logo, "Stand back, Stand by" alongside the initials PB.

2. Trump would only admit that human burning of gasoline, coal and natural gas is responsible for global heating "to an extent." It literally is the only thing that is causing the climate emergency. There was no climate emergency in 1750, and it was cold, when parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere were 270 instead of today's 415. Carbon dioxide is a heat-trapping gas. The sun rays hit the earth and then radiate back out to space. The more CO2, methane and other heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, the more of the sun's heat the earth retains. The reason for which there is so much more CO2 in the atmosphere now is that for the past two hundred and seventy years, humans have been intensively burning coal and then petroleum and natural gas, which emit carbon dioxide when burned.

3. Trump alleged that environmental regulations intended to reduce carbon dioxide emissions were making energy expensive before he intervened. This is not true. Here is a graph of retail gasoline prices in the US over the transition from Bush to Obama. The prices fell dramatically. Natural gas prices track with petroleum prices.

Moreover, fossil fuels are fossils. Why burn coal, as Biden pointed out, when wind and solar are now cheaper than hydrocarbons?

Author and technologist Remez Naam illustrates the dramatic plummeting of solar energy prices in this graph:

And here is a graph from Statista showing falling wind turbine prices:

4. Trump called social distancing decrees to fight the coronavirus "almost like being in prison" and slammed Democratic governors who implemented them.

Wearing masks, social distancing, and closing down hotspots when cases spike are among the more powerful tools government has to limit cases and deaths. These techniques have been used in other countries with great success. The US has one of the worst coronavirus death and case rates in the world, in part because Trump and his supporters among governors have opposed mask-wearing, social distancing and selective business closings.

The irony is that some of the economic shutdowns would be unnecessary if the US had a national testing and contact-tracing program, which Trump has neglected to implement. South Korea, through these methods plus mask-wearing, has largely avoided major shutdowns.

5. Trump alleged that "Antifa" is the main source of violence in our streets. The FBI director has said that Antifa is more an attitude than anything else, and is not an organization.

As for the white supremacists and fascists, they are a bigger threat for domestic terrorism in the US than anything else.

The Department of Homeland Security has produced a draft report concluding that white supremacy is "the most lethal threat" to the United States of America.

Geneva Sands at CNN writes,

"The earliest available version of the "State of the Homeland Threat Assessment 2020" drafts reads: 'We judge that ideologically-motivated lone offenders and small groups will pose the greatest terrorist threat to the Homeland through 2021, with white supremacist extremists presenting the most lethal threat.'

The lead section on terror threats to the homeland is changed in the latter two drafts to replace "white supremacist extremists" with 'Domestic Violent Extremists presenting the most persistent and lethal threat.'

The reports, however, all contain this language: 'Among DVEs [Domestic Violent Extremists], we judge that white supremacist extremists (WSEs) will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland through 2021.'"

A handful of Antifa activists are not in the same league.

(c) 2020 Juan R.I. Cole 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 Dead Letter Office-

Donnie fingers his substitute penis

Heil Trump,

Dear Sohn des Fuhrers,

Congratulations, you have just been awarded the "Vidkun Quisling Award!" Your name will now live throughout history with such past award winners as Marcus Junius Brutus, Judas Iscariot, Benedict Arnold, George Stephanopoulos, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Prescott Bush, Sam Bush, Fredo Bush, Kate Bush, Kyle Busch, Anheuser Busch, Vidkun Quisling, and last year's winner Volksjudge Samuel (Sammy the con) Alito.

Without your lock step calling for the repeal of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, your intentions of raising a fascist army to start a civil war if der Fuhrer loses the election, Yemen, Syria, Iran and those many other profitable oil wars to come would have been impossible! With the help of our mutual friends, the other "Rethuglican Whores" you have made it possible for all of us to goose-step off to a brave new bank account!

Along with this award you will be given the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds presented by our glorious Fuhrer, Herr Trump at a gala celebration at "der Fuhrer Bunker," formally the "White House," on 10-10-2020. We salute you herr Trump, seig heil!

Signed by,
Vice Fuhrer Pence

Heil Trump

It follows that if he loses the election, Trump will not accept the result because it would be the
product of Anti-Trump Nation, and Trump isn't the president of people who would vote against him.

The Coming Civil War Over Trump's Ego
He has turned America into a gargantuan projection of his own pathological narcissism.
By Robert Reich

What is America really fighting over in the upcoming election? No particular issue. Not even Democrats versus Republicans.

The central fight is over Donald J Trump.

Before Trump, most Americans weren't especially passionate about politics. But Trump's MO has been to force people to become passionate about him - to take fierce sides for or against. And he considers himself president only of the former - whom he calls "my people."

Trump came to office with no agenda except to feed his monstrous ego. He has never fueled his base. His base has fueled him. Its adoration sustains him.

So does the antipathy of his detractors. Presidents usually try to appease their critics. Trump has gone out of his way to offend them. "I do bring rage out," Trump unapologetically told journalist Bob Woodward in 2016.

In this way, he has turned America into a gargantuan projection of his own pathological narcissism.

His entire re-election platform is found in his use of the pronouns "we" and "them." "We" are people who love him, Trump Nation. "They" hate him.

In late August, near the end of his somnolent address on the South Front of the White House accepting the Republican nomination, Trump extemporized: "The fact is, we're here - and they're not." It drew a standing ovation.

At a recent White House news conference, a CNN correspondent asked if he condemned the behavior of his supporters in Portland, Oregon. In response, Trump charged: "Your supporters, and they are your supporters indeed, shot a young gentleman."

In Trump's eyes, CNN exists in a different country: Anti-Trump Nation.

So do the putative rioters and looters of "Biden's America." So do the inhabitants of blue states whose state and local tax deductions Trump eliminated in his tax overhaul. So do those who live in the "Democrat cities," as he calls them, whose funding he's trying to cut.

California is a big part of Anti-Trump Nation. He wanted to reject its request for aid battling wildfires "because he was so rageful that people in the state of California didn't support him," said former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor.

New York is the capital of Anti-Trump Nation, which probably contributed to Trump "playing down" the threat of Covid-19 last March, when its virulence seemed largely confined to that metropolis. Even now, Trump claims the US rate of Covid-19 deaths would be low "if you take the blue states out." That's untrue, but it's not the point. For Trump, blue states don't count because they're part of Anti-Trump Nation.

To Trump and his core enablers and supporters, the laws of Trump Nation authorize him to do whatever he wants. Anti-Trump Nation's laws constrain him, but they're illegitimate because they are made and enforced by the people who reject him.

So Trump's call to the president of Ukraine seeking help with the election was "perfect." It was fine for Russia to side with him in 2016, and it's fine for it to do so again. And of course the Justice Department, Postal Service, and Centers for Disease Control should help him win reelection. They're all aiding Trump Nation.

By a similar twisted logic, Anti-Trump Nation is dangerous. Hence, says Trump, the armed teenager who killed two in Kenosha, Wisconsin acted in "self-defense," yet the suspected killer of a right-winger in Portland deserved the "retribution" he got when federal marshals gunned him down.

It follows that if he loses the election, Trump will not accept the result because it would be the product of Anti-Trump Nation, and Trump isn't the president of people who would vote against him. As he recently claimed, "the only way we're going to lose this election is if the election is rigged."

In the warped minds of Trump and his acolytes, this could lead to civil war. Just last week he refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power. His consigliere Roger Stone urges him to declare "martial law" if he loses. Michael Caputo, assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, warns "the shooting will begin" when Trump refuses to stand down.

Civil war is unlikely, but the weeks and perhaps months after Election Day will surely be fraught. Even if Trump is ultimately forced to relinquish power, his core adherents will continue to view him as their leader. If he retains power, many if not most Americans will consider his presidency illegitimate.

So whatever happens, Trump's megalomaniacal ego will prevail: America will have come apart over him, and Trump Nation will have seceded from Anti-Trump Nation.

(c) 2020 Robert B. Reich has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. His latest book is "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few." His web site is

Trump Goes Full Authoritarian Dictator
The only winner of last night's "debate" was dictatorship and oligarchy.
By Thom Hartmann

What we saw last night was the dictator's playbook.

Tell violent white supremacist racists to "stand by" and encourage them to show up at polling places to intimidate voters.

Bully, bluster and threaten like Mussolini did, promoting your brand as "tough guy" when in fact you're a lazy coward.

Claim that the other side is evil, like Hitler did, setting up excuses for state-run police violence and vigilante brutality.

Trash-talk democratic institutions, including the vote, like Hungary's Victor Orban and and Saudi Arabia's dictator Mohammed bin Salman do.

While millions of Americans are struggling with loss of jobs, lack of healthcare during a pandemic, and an absolutely gutted social safety net after 40 years of Reaganomics, all Trump did was brag, yell, and threaten.

This is classic dictator's playbook.

The only winner of last night's "debate" was dictatorship and oligarchy.

Russia, China and authoritarianism around the world were the big winners last night. America was the loser.

(c) 2020 Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program The Thom Hartmann Show.

The Cartoon Corner-

This edition we're proud to showcase the cartoons of
~~~ Marshall Ramsey ~~~

To End On A Happy Note-

Have You Seen This-

Parting Shots-

Trump Expected To Endorse Novichok As Covid Cure By End Of Day At The Latest
By The Waterford Whispers News

FOLLOWING condemnation from international leaders over Russia's apparent poisoning of Putin critic Alexei Navalny with novichok, political experts fully expect US president Donald Trump to endorse the nerve agent as a Covid-19 cure for US citizens by the end of the day.

"Chancellor Merkel said 'this is a despicable and cowardly act - once again. Perpetrators need to be brought to justice', PM Johnson is demanding answers from Russia so brace yourself for Trump to encourage his citizens to pour novichok on their cereal or some shit," a frankly tired looking political commentator offered.

"It's either that or Putin rings Donald up and tells him it's great for stopping mini-strokes," added the commentator.

"They call it 'Novel-chuck', No-vell-chick everybody's talking about it. It does things to the immune system you wouldn't believe, what have you got to lose folks," Trump said in the not-to-distant future.

Anticipating an inexplicable but predictable ringing endorsement for a deadly nerve agent by Trump, the CDC are letting all calls from the Oval Office go to voicemail today and launching a 'Oh dear God, please don't use novichok' awareness campaign.

"We've barely an ad budget left since we splurged it all on the 'Jesus Christ, don't drink fucking bleach' and 'don't put a fork directly into the plug socket' stuff," confirmed one health official.

Putin, in response to criticism from everyone but Trump for just the latest in a long line of assassinations, wondered 'what are you pussies going to do about it?' However, the leader-for-life did not respond to criticisms that yet another novichok poisoning is unoriginal, lazy and lacks any passion or creativity.

(c) 2020 The Waterford Whispers News

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Issues & Alibis Vol 20 # 40 (c) 10/02/2020

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