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In This Edition

Dahr Jamail warns, "Alaska's Sea Ice Completely Melted Earlier Than Ever Before."

Ralph Nader sums it all up in, "Will Constitutional Outlaw Trump Implode With Lies Before He Is Impeached?"

Glen Ford explores, "The Corporate Democrats' (and Alicia Garza's) Get-Sanders Slanders."

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

Juan Cole reports, "Yemen's Houthis Claim Invasion Of Saudi Arabia, Capture Of Thousands Of Troops In Najran."

John Nichols finds that, "There Are No Honest Excuses Left For Trump."

James Donahue examines, "The Crime Of Being Poor In America."

William Rivers Pitt says, "With The Gears Of Impeachment Finally Grinding, The Hard Part Begins."

David Suzuki explains, "Tackling Climate Change Means Purging Privilege From Politics."

Charles P. Pierce says, "Trump's TV Defense Team Ain't Exactly The '27 Yankees."

Norman Solomon outs, "MoveOn's Phony New Campaign for 'Protecting Whistleblowers.'"

Rudy Giuliani wins this week's coveted, "Vidkun Quisling Award!"

Robert Reich concludes, "The Real Lesson of Ukraine Gate Is That Trump's 2020 Reelection Campaign Will Be Ruthless."

Jane Stllwater reports on, "My Field Trip To Ancient Maaloula: Saint Martha vs. America, Zionists, Saudis & ISIS."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department Andy Borowitz reports, "Obama To Produce Netflix Series About Trump's Impeachment" but first Uncle Ernie explains, "My Trouble With Trump."

This week we spotlight the cartoons of Joel Pett, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Ruben Bolling, Tom Tomorrow, Jeremie Richard, Al-Jazeera,, Andrew Harnick, Jochen Zick, Kyle Mazza, Anadolu Agency, Eric Baradat, Saul Loeb, Jane Stillwater, AFP, 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-

Welcome one and all to "Uncle Ernie's Issues & Alibis."

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My Trouble With Trump
By Ernest Stewart

"As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP, intended to take away the Power of the People, their VOTE, their Freedoms, their Second Amendment, Religion, Military, Border Wall, and their God-given rights as a Citizen of The United States of America!" ~~~ Lying Donald

"Change in the Arctic is largely driven by activity elsewhere. But these changes in turn have an impact far beyond the region, on the atmosphere, sea level rise, or our global carbon budget. This circular process only serves to underline the pervasive character of contemporary climate change." ~~~ Richard Hodgkins ~ Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography ~ Loughborough University

"Shut up, moron. Shut up. Shut up. You don't know what you're talking about." ~~~ Rudy Giuliani

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

As a citizen I've been outraged at Lying Donalds actions long before he took the oath of office. If Nancy had been paying attention to the people and not her corpo-rat puppets masters she could have called for an impeachment inquiry on the day Lying Donald was sworn in. There must have been dozens of acts of treason being committed by the tRump cabal ever since, all worthy of impeachment, that she chose to ignore! As the old saying goes, "what do you want Nancy, egg in your beer?" Thank almighty Zeus, that she's finally come around!

No, I'm not complaining today as a citizen but as a political writer. Every week I find some outrageous act of treason Lying Donald has committed and write a column about it, but by the time it is published he's committed a dozen more, and the one I wrote about has largely been forgotten and replaced by things that are even worse! I can either throw the old article out and write a new one, but the trouble is, even if I do, there is no guarantee that he won't do something even worse before the ink is dry on the new column or run the old column as is!

Back in my school daze I dropped out and became a DJ just so I wouldn't have to teach poli-sci to a bunch of bright eyed kids and pretty much ruin their lives by telling them the truth. Something their high school teachers should have covered but didn't because you don't want to rock the boat, in your typical American school system, if you want to keep teaching. I found the whole point was to prepare the kids for a lifetime of being a corpo-rat slave, not in knowing the truth and knowing how to think.

So along comes the 12-12-2000 judicial coup d'tet replacing the winner of both the popular vote, (and as we found out later had the vote actually been counted) the electoral college too. So Al Gore the winner was out, and we had Smirky the Wonder Chimp pushed down our throats by the Extreme Court! Didn't that just work out fine?

Then 8 years of Barry who was almost as bad as Bush and now were stuck with a brain dead monster who is trying his best to destroy, not only America, but the world too. Am I outraged, you bet I am but following Lying Donald night and day is becoming just a bit too much. Still, come hell or high water, and high water is definitely coming, I'll be here doing what I can to hip you to the truth! Fight the good fight, America!

I feel much better now!

In Other News

I see where in the Arctic, a summer of heat, melting and fire was rounded off by news that 2019 saw the second-lowest ever minimum extent of sea ice. Thats the point in early autumn each year when scientists say that the Arctic Ocean will begin to freeze again. By that measure, only 2012 had less sea ice than this year.

Meanwhile, the IPCC's latest special report on the oceans and cryosphere was full of bad news (the cryosphere is that part of the earth system where water occurs in its frozen form, usually as snow or ice). The region's glacier ice is retreating, the ground is thawing, forests are becoming a fire risk. Only people in low lying islands are as vulnerable to climate change as those in the Arctic, according to the IPCC.

So what happened in the Arctic in 2019? And why do Arctic geographers say what happens there matters so much for the world?

Let's start by looking at what made this year so worrying:
Rapid melt of the Greenland ice sheet

Greenland started melting early in 2019 and this reached historically high levels when warm air from Europe's midsummer heat wave arrived, causing melting over more than 90% of its surface.

While the cumulative area of melting is still smaller than the record-setting season of 2012, the total amount of ice lost is similar, because 2019's early melting quickly removed the previous winter's low snowfall and exposed older, dirty ice to the sun's glare.

Scientists also measure the end-of-winter maximum extent of ice cover, and this was also historically low, although not record setting. But lots of melting in spring and summer meant by mid-August there was only fractionally more ice than the same time in 2012, the year of record minimum. Moreover, Arctic sea ice is now less than half as thick as it was at this time of year in 1980, meaning it is less resilient to even moderately warm summers.
Then there were the extensive wildfires in Siberia and Alaska.

Probably most remarkable was the extent of vegetation burning right across the Arctic. By late July these slow-burning, long-duration fires had released 100 million tons of carbon, an amount similar to the annual output of countries like Belgium, Kuwait or Nigeria. By the middle of August, the smoke cloud covered an area larger than the European Union.

Meanwhile, an extraordinary 32 degree C (90 degree F) heatwave fueled a particularly intense fire season in Alaska, which released roughly three times more carbon than the state emits each year from burning fossil fuels.

Turbo-charged warming in the Arctic

Air temperatures in the Arctic are increasing at least twice as fast as the global average. This is down to a series of strong feedback loops that amplify the initial warming and in turn create more warming. For instance, the loss of reflective snow and ice means more solar energy will be absorbed in the ground and ocean, warming the earth, causing more snow and ice to melt, and so on.

These feedbacks make the Arctic particularly sensitive to changes in climate: with 1.5 degree C (2.7 degrees F) of global warming, one sea-ice-free Arctic summer is projected per century, whereas at 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) this increases to at least one per decade.

As I've said before these feedback loops go on and on even without our help. If we stopped all pollution today they would go on and on regardless, making every year a little bit worse. We are at the point, or close to the point, of no return! Wake up, America!

And Finally

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Lying Donald's personal attorney, appears to have played a major role in orchestrating the president's designs to frame Biden and his son Hunter. Assuming the part of an unofficial diplomat, Giuliani reportedly met with a Ukrainian prosecutor and with a senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in order to press for an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden. In doing so, Giuliani appears to have sidelined the national security officials who manage U.S.-Ukraine relations, expressing views that do not reflect U.S. policy. Giuliani also may have facilitated the premature recall of U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch from her post in Kyiv. And while he kept Trump apprised of his activities, Giuliani apparently left other officials guessing about his agenda and the source of his authority.

Among many other legal issues, these developments raise a question about the Appointments Clause: "Was it lawful for the president to dispatch an envoy to interface with a foreign government on his behalf, without first seeking the Senate's advice and consent?" I'm guessing that's the least of Rudy and Lying Donald's problems!

While Rudy has been subpoena for certain documents I'm willing to bet it won't be long until Rudy finds himself in front of three different House committees, either taking the 5th, or saying he was "only following ze orders!" Either way, Rudy wins this week's Vidkun Quisling Award!

Keepin' On

If you think that what we do is important and would like to see us keep on, keeping on, please send us whatever you can, whenever you can, and we'll keep telling you the truth!


01-23-1960 ~ 09-27-2019
Thanks for the film!

09-15-1945 ~ 09-30-2019
Thanks for the music!


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****** We've Moved The Forum Back *******

For late breaking news and views visit The Forum. Find all the news you'll otherwise miss. We publish three times the amount of material there than what is in the magazine. Look for the latest Activist Alerts. Updated constantly, please feel free to post an article we may have missed.


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) 2019 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. and like us when you do. Follow me on Twitter.

Friday. People attend a monument unveiling at the site of Okjokull, Iceland's first glacier lost to climate change, in the west of Iceland on August 18, 2019.

Alaska's Sea Ice Completely Melted Earlier Than Ever Before
By Dahr Jamail

Climate Disruption Dispatches "Even if we can't escape its consequences, it is not too late to escape the mindset that brought us here." - Alice O'Keeffe, reviewing This Is Not a Drill. The country of Iceland has held a funeral for its first glacier lost to the climate crisis. The once massive Okjokull glacier, now completely gone, has been commemorated with a plaque that reads: "A letter to the future. Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as a glacier. In the next 200 years all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it."

This reality is reverberating across the globe, far beyond Iceland. Even when no literal funeral is being held, we are, in a sense, witnessing an ongoing funeral for the world we once knew.

July was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth since record keeping began in 1880. Nine out of the 10 hottest Julys ever recorded have occurred since 2005, and July was the 43rd consecutive July to register temperatures above the 20th century average.

In Greenland, scientists were stunned by how rapidly the ice sheet is melting, as it was revealed the ice there was not expected to melt like this until 2070. The melt rate has been called "unprecedented," as the all-time single-day melt record was broken in August as the ice sheet lost a mind-bending 12.5 billion tons of water in one day. It is worth remembering that the Greenland ice sheet contains enough ice to increase global sea levels by 20 feet, and it is now predicted that it will lose more ice this year than ever before.

Also, earlier in the year than ever before, Alaska's sea ice has melted completely away. That means there was no sea ice whatsoever within 150 miles of its shores, according to the National Weather Service, as the northernmost state cooked under record-breaking heat through the summer.


A recent UN report estimates 2 billion people are already facing moderate to severe food insecurity, due largely to the warming planet. The other contributing factors are conflict and economic stagnation, but extreme weather events and shifting weather patterns are a large and growing contributor to this crisis, which is sure to escalate over time.

Another recent study, titled "Adaptive responses of animals to climate change are most likely insufficient," showed that many animals are no longer able to adjust quickly enough to the climate crisis. While birds are laying their eggs earlier as temperatures and conditions change, and are doing what they can to coax their chicks to hatch sooner, it is still not enough to keep apace with the dramatically shifting climate. Many more extinctions are on the horizon.

Speaking of, Beluga whales in the Arctic are now clearly in a downward spiral toward their demise, due largely to climate crisis impacts, according to another study. Warming waters, lack of food, and pollution are taking their toll on the embattled whales. Over the past 20 years, their growth rates have been declining, which means their ability to forage for food is now also compromised.

It is interesting to see even mainstream outlets like People now reporting on climate grief, which the medical community has already been doing for quite some time, and expects to see a dramatic ramping up of climate-disruption-related mental health issues in the future.

In Greenland, residents are already traumatized by climate impacts, as they are coping with the reality that their traditional ways of life are clearly on the way out. Courtney Howard, board president of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, told The Guardian that she believes the climate crisis is causing worsening states of mental and physical health around the world, and says these issues will become some of the most important of our time. "Temperature change is magnified in circumpolar regions," she told The Guardian. "There is no question Arctic people are now showing symptoms of anxiety, 'ecological grief' and even post-traumatic stress related to the effects of climate change."

In the financial realms, a leading economic historian warned recently that the climate crisis could very well become the trigger for the next global financial crisis by way of causing instability and massive disruptions in markets.

Distressingly, a recently published study warned that a new superbug which erupted at the same time on three continents may well have been brought about from warming temperatures. The study pointed out how a drug-resistant fungal disease has now been made more prevalent by existing on a warming planet.

A recent report from Canada warned that British Columbia could see "catastrophic" consequences from climate disruption-related events in the next three decades. These include more severe wildfire seasons, increasingly intense and longer heat waves, water shortages, and storm surges across the province.

Speaking of Canada, that country's Pediatric Society recently warned that children's health is expected to be increasingly negatively affected by climate-disruption impacts, including things like air pollution and heat stress.


Drought-induced blackouts are now besetting the people of Zimbabwe, where some places are seeing 18 hours per day without electricity. Imagine that in the summer heat. Dams providing hydropower lack water. Power blackouts are spreading.

In Harare, Zimbabwe's capital city, the taps have run dry, affecting more than 2 million people, who have been trying to cope with not having access to municipal drinking water.

In India, a stunning 1 million people were displaced and at least 270 killed by severe flooding from heavier than usual monsoon rains.

Back in the U.S., New York City's summer has served as a preview of things to come, as an extreme heat wave coupled with flash flooding beset the iconic city.

On the other end of the water spectrum, a recent study published in Science Advances warned that megadroughts will likely beset the U.S. Southwest within decades. The study stated that the megadroughts are "almost assured," and will be on a scale not seen since medieval times.

At the same time, by 2050, another report warned that "snow droughts" will become far more common across the western U.S. This is critical, in that it compounds the aforementioned impending drought crisis, as mountain snowpack is vital to providing water into the spring and summer.

One quarter of the total global population is already affected by extreme water stress. A recent and critically important study showed that one quarter of the total global population across 17 countries is already affected by extreme water stress. Lebanon, Qatar and Israel/Palestine top a list of places with the worst water shortages, as the growing climate crisis threatens more "day zeroes" - days where major cities will literally run out of water.

Meanwhile, sea levels continue their inevitable and accelerating rise. In the U.S., a recent report showed how 21 beach towns, including Miami Beach, Galveston, Atlantic City and Key West, will soon be underwater.

Speaking of Galveston, the state of Texas is looking toward Dutch expertise for assistance in how to construct what would be the nation's most expensive and most ambitious coastal barrier for protection against intensifying hurricanes. The Netherlands has been devising ways to protect massive parts of its low-lying country against the ocean for centuries. Now the skills it has cultivated are, soberingly, increasingly relevant worldwide.

Meanwhile, the oceans continue to warm as they absorb the brunt of the heat human activity is adding to the atmosphere, and the warming waters are literally pushing Pacific salmon to the brink of their ability to survive, according to another report.

Distressingly, a recently published study showed that unexpected marine heat waves are now becoming the norm rather than the exception.

Alpine mountaineering routes are disintegrating as glaciers and icefields melt in the Alps. The ice-reliant climbing routes in the mountains are tumbling down and melting away faster than anyone expected.

Greenland experienced a record heat wave in the middle of this summer, which dramatically accelerated the melting of the ice sheet, meaning its contributions to sea level rise are in the process of accelerating as well.

The country of Iceland is now preparing for how it will cope without any more ice. Meanwhile, scientists have expressed alarm and shock about the fact that the permafrost across the Canadian Arctic is thawing out 70 years sooner than previously predicted.

Things are so dire in the icy realms of Earth that the country of Iceland is now preparing for how it will cope without any more ice … something that country relies upon for its identity, businesses, government and very existence.


These stunning satellite photos show an Arctic burning up in front of our eyes. In Alaska alone, at the time of this writing, at least 1.6 million acres have burned from at least 100 wildfires this summer. Wildfires in Siberia could well burn into October when the first snows fall, as at least 6.7 million acres have burned across Russia.

Another report showed that, due to climate disruption, wildfires in California have already become 500 percent larger than they were since the 1970s.

Canadian media are reporting that forests that have been scorched in the Pacific Northwest are not growing back as expected. This brings into question numerous species of trees' ability to regenerate as the fires get increasingly hot, burn longer, and scorch longer areas.

At the same time, another report reaffirmed the fact that even the rainy Northwest is now facing the inevitable increased risk of wildfires due to higher temperatures, increasing drought and lower humidity.


By 2050, Florida will have more days that feel like 100 degrees Fahrenheit (100 F) than any other state in the U.S., according to a recent study. Washington D.C. currently averages one week per year of 100-degree days, while by 2050 that could rise to two months. The same study warned that climate disruption will expose millions of people across the U.S. to "off-the-charts" extreme heat.

Meanwhile, Europe sizzled under a record-breaking heat wave this summer, as heat from the Sahara baked the continent and temperature records toppled en masse. There are far too many records to name from that heatwave, but notable was the fact that Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands recorded their highest temperatures ever during Europe's second major summer heatwave.

In Canada, the far northern community of Nunavut saw warmer temperatures than the city of Victoria, far to its south. According to CBC News, "the source of the Arctic beach weather is a large current of air that somehow found its way north from the U.S. southeast" - a much more common occurrence as warming intensifies.

Denial and Reality

Ever busy denying the crisis, in the last month the Trump administration buried a large climate disruption response plan, as revealed by Politico. The outlet revealed how the Agriculture Department prevented the release of an already completed and sweeping plan about how the government should best respond to the climate crisis.

Meanwhile, in what could have been a slip of the tongue, Trump's Energy Secretary Rick Perry said during a recent nationally televised interview, "The climate is changing. Are we part of the reason? Yeah, it is. I'll let people debate on who's the bigger problem here."

It's not just the Trump administration that's fueling denial. It was also revealed how DNC Chair Tom Perez introduced a resolution in an attempt to kill a climate debate among the Democratic presidential candidates.

Nevertheless, reality has a way of not going away, despite human efforts at denial.

A recent report showed that the climate crisis is already well along in causing childhood deaths and the stunting of growth in Australia and across the Pacific. Other impacts on kids include lowered cognitive capacity and higher susceptibility to the spread of diseases.

And, to keep all of this in perspective, as a final reality check, carbon emissions rose at their highest rate for seven years last year, according to oil giant BP.

For perspective on the rate of acceleration now baked into the system, half of all fossil fuels used by humans have been burned since just 1990. Many more consequences are lurking just around the corner: It takes at least 10 years before we begin to see the impacts of the CO2 once the fuels are burned.

Correction: The original headline and text of this article stated that 2019 was the first time in recorded history that Alaska's sea ice has completely melted. The article has been corrected to reflect the fact that the ice completely melted once previously in 2017, but in 2019 it melted completely earlier than it ever has before. In addition, a change has been made to clarify that, according to a BP report, carbon emissions rose at their highest rate for seven years last year.

(c) 2019 Dahr Jamail, a Truthout staff reporter, is the author of The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan (Haymarket Books, 2009), and Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq (Haymarket Books, 2007). Jamail reported from Iraq for more than a year, as well as from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey over the last 10 years, and has won the Martha Gellhorn Award for Investigative Journalism, among other awards.

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration
in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, United States on September 27, 2019.

Will Constitutional Outlaw Trump Implode With Lies Before He Is Impeached?
When he is not openly violating the Constitution, Trump lies and commits impeachable offenses.
By Ralph Nader

Donald Trump said he believes the Constitution lets him do "whatever I want as President." In over two and a half years, Trump has been a serial violator of the Constitution, unmatched by any president in American history. Just about every day he is a constitutional outlaw.

Constitutional scholar Bruce Fein has documented twelve categories of major constitutional transgressions. Some are also statutory crimes. Many of these involve Trump overpowering the critical separation of powers that our founders rigorously established to assure that the president does not become a monarch like King George III.

The framers were very clear that Congress and only Congress can appropriate monies for the Executive branch to spend; that only Congress can declare war; that the president must faithfully execute the laws; and that the Congress has the full authority to investigate the executive branch for abuses, irregularities, illegalities, or the need for new laws. Trump totally defies Congressional subpoenas for documents and witnesses. That grave overthrow of constitutional government is alone enough for eviction from office.

When he is not openly violating the Constitution, Trump lies and commits impeachable offenses.

The most recent violation was in seeking from a foreign power-Ukraine-assistance in influencing our presidential election in his favor by investigating a major challenger-former Vice President Joseph Biden and his son. He dangled a $250 million military aid package (maybe more) to Ukraine by suspending it before speaking to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the telephone.

This "betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and betrayal of the integrity of our elections," in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's words, finally moved the reluctant House leader. After being AWOL on all the other serious, repeated flouting of constitutional behavior, she is now focusing on Trump and Ukraine.

Much has been reported about Trump's chronic lying. He lies daily, sometimes hourly, with his tweets and public blather. The Washington Post has catalogued over 12,000 prevarications and false statements since January 2017. Not enough, however, has been made of the aggregate effects of such lying as a living. Trump creates illusions about himself, about his alleged achievements, and about conditions in the United States and world. He spreads constant lies and transmits the lies of others. Often these are monstrous lies, which slander innocent people and trick his supporters into believing him because they think no president could possibly lie like that to them. These are dangerous obsessions for a president.

Trump says he wants everyone to have "beautiful" health insurance, yet he pushes Congress to change Obamacare, stripping twenty million people of health insurance without any substitute program.

Trump brags about consistently defying Congressional statutes by dismantling federal agencies established to protect all Americans where they live, work, and raise their families.

Trump says we have the cleanest air and water ever, yet his henchmen are running these agencies into the ground and repealing or weakening life-saving pollution controls. The result is more toxic air in your lungs, more child asthma, and dirtier drinking water.

Trump lies about voter fraud, about not using his office to enrich his business, and about all the new factories coming to the U.S. He even lies about the weather, damaging the credibility of the National Weather Service. He denies his sexual exploits and hush money payments. He rejects without evidence ten serious obstruction of justice actions documented in the Mueller Report.

Trump denies that his cuts in food stamps will leave over half a million children without a free school lunch. He denies that his tax cut overwhelmingly benefited the super-rich and major corporations.

Trump says his nominees are extremely qualified. In reality, whether it is the EPA, the public lands agency, the Department of Labor, or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Trump has chosen lawless people whose main qualification was urging the abolition or weakening of these federal law enforcers against corporate crimes and abuses.

Trump falsely says that climate disruption is not scientifically established, but a "Chinese hoax," while our country in plain sight is being battered by record breaking heat waves, hurricanes, floods, droughts, and tornadoes.

Trump says coal, oil, and gas are better for America than wind power (which he says causes cancer) and solar energy, which are cheaper and safer.

Trump is actually increasing deadly greenhouse gases as a result and worsening the climate crisis that the Pentagon calls a national security risk.

Trump keeps promising to control soaring drug prices while refusing to get that job done.

Trump lies about the massiveness of his wealth, yet opposes any release of his tax returns.

Trump says brutal dictators are doing great for their people, ignoring the obvious facts.

Trump operates in a vast cocoon of falsity and refuses to read and consult with people who are not sycophants. This is an egomaniacal, narcissistic illusionist who could start wars, has his hand on the nuclear trigger, and believes he is about the law and Congressional controls.

Trump regularly calls legislators investigating him "sick," "treasonous," "crooked," and "low-IQ." Truthfully these are descriptions of him.

Trump, unlike Clinton who was impeached by the House in 1998, has successfully resisted testifying or being questioned under oath. He is a many sided fugitive from justice, one or more steps above of the law.

Pelosi is making a mistake if she doesn't go forward with the full articles of impeachment against Trump. Relying on the Ukraine betrayal is not enough to counter the attack by Trump's avalanche of lies, phony distractions, and possibly a "wag the dog," desperation overseas.

(c) 2019 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 Corporate Democrats' (and Alicia Garza's) Get-Sanders Slanders
By Glen Ford

Once the Bernie Sanders threat has subsided, Elizabeth Warren will be required to further neuter herself to allay the fears of billionaire Democratic donors.

Once upon a time not so long ago the U.S. corporate media was a livelier place, where the rich people that owned the presses argued among themselves about the destiny of the nation and the world through the pages of their publications and allowed some leeway for lowly reporters to disseminate pertinent facts, even if such information sometimes tended to favor politicians, movements and countries disliked by the ruling classes. Of course, "Reds" were always demonized and Black public opinion disregarded unless backed up by Molotov cocktails. But elements of truth could eventually be found between the lines and in stray articles of corporate media, providing more reason to read the New York Times and the Washington Post than simply to find out what the ruling classes were thinking and planning.

The War of/on Terror and Russiagate - both involving mass psychological warfare operations to stamp out domestic resistance to the global U.S. imperial offensive - signaled that the Lords of Capital's tolerance for dissent was approaching zero. The contradictions of late stage capitalism and the increasing precariousness of U.S. empire squeezed all vestiges of liberality out of the boardrooms, as was reflected in the content of their ever-consolidating media.

Finally the Internet, that vast digital outback where the Left's survivors had sought refuge from corporate monoculture, was targeted for political cleansing. McCarthy-era censorship was resurrected, with publications like Black Agenda Report at the top of the blacklist. However, it's not just us real radicals that have been rendered non-persons in the headquarters nation of the "free" corporate-ruled world. Bernie Sanders, a U.S. senator, has joined the ranks of those whose name will not be spoken by corporate media, except in the negative.

Sanders' mission is anything but revolutionary: it is to "sheep-dog" back into the Democratic Party fold the millions of stray, leftish Americans that despair of the duopoly electoral system. Sanders believes that the "more inclusive" half of the corporate duopoly will allow itself to become the vessel that will enact single payer health care, free higher education, a dignified minimum wage and confiscatory taxes on billionaires, whom he proclaims "should not exist." But the billionaires that actually control the Democratic Party's structures have decreed that it is Sanders whose existence will not be acknowledged in the pages of their properties, unless it is to pillory him.

Corporate media vengeance against Sanders has been fierce, and comprehensive - approaching the anathema that has been heaped on Trump, the overtly racist billionaire that took over the GOP and made it a purer White Man's Party, and who converted the previously bipartisan Deep Imperial State into Deep Blue Democrats with his questioning of U.S. regime-change and "free trade" policies. The Democrats and their corporate media partners thought Trump would be easy to beat in 2016 - and to make sure he was the Republican nominee, they provided him with billions of dollars in free air time.

The GOP, an imperial and "free trade" party like the Democrats, tried to mob Trump. They threw every party notable and vote-getter into the primaries, 16 in all - precisely as the Democrats would do to head off Sanders' second bid for the presidency, four years later, with 26 contenders assembled with the party's blessing. Joe Biden, the consummate but rapidly fading corporate shill, was their Great Hope, but they had plenty of minions in reserve.

It would also take a unified corporate media to stop Sanders, who in 2017 was the most popular politician in the United States, eclipsing all others in favorability. His core policies were backed by two-thirds of all voters and even larger super-majorities of Democrats. But the rich man's press was up to the challenge. Having been drilled for three years in the daily delivery of a unitary, Democrat-spook concocted Russiagate scenario, the corporate media had been disciplined to the task of no-holds-barred political assassination.

It was a blitzkrieg. Every minor Democratic presidential contender in the Party-summoned menagerie had a more interesting story for the press to tell than Sanders, who was buried at the end of articles, most often in a negative context, or not mentioned at all despite his long-time second-place ranking to Joe Biden. CNN and MSNBC hated Sanders 24/7 - as if he were Trump - with MSNBC permitting its legal analyst, Mimi Rocah, to exclaim that Sanders "makes my skin crawl." Polls were rigged, in that few of them were capable of reaching statistically viable numbers of the under-40 voters that strongly favored Sanders but use only cell phones - a fatal professional flaw often acknowledged in the fine print, but pollsters then made up numbers, anyway, to Sanders' detriment.

Sanders and his super-majority-supported issues must be defeated, because they represent the clearest threat yet to the 40-year-long bipartisan policy of "austerity" - which, in plain language, as I discussed last week, is the dragooning of the American workforce into the Race to the Bottom that capitalism has imposed on all of the global working class within its reach. The aim is to remove every social support that might allow workers to reject participation in the "gig" economy of low-paid, contracted, part-time jobs - the "shit" work that makes up the majority of "new jobs" under late stage capitalism and fuels the phenomenal growth of the billionaire class. Deindustrialization is austerity = Race to the Bottom. The Lords of Capital have no other strategy for the future, and neither do their minions in the Democratic Party. So, they reject Sanders, the social democratic reformer, like the plague. But Sanders' issues are not so easily slandered, sidetracked or buried.

The deliberately overcrowded Democratic primary field is designed to dilute the austerity-busting agenda introduced by Sanders, through the diversion of multiple personalities. When it became clear that Biden was not a good bet for the ruling class to stake its systemic life on, the corporate media fell in love with Sanders' mimic, Elizabeth Warren, who had already signaled her loyalty to "the Party" and an openness to gradualism on Medicare for All and the rest of her agenda. For the time being, until Sanders is effectively neutralized, that's reassuring enough to make Warren a favorite of much of corporate America and their media. Once the Sanders threat has subsided, however, Warren will be required to further neuter herself to allay the fears of billionaire Democratic donors who threaten to withhold their money, or even support Trump, if the capitalist boat is rocked. Every indication is that she will try to present as little problem as possible to the rulers.

Warren and the corporate Democrats were vastly assisted in their get-Sanders campaign by Alicia Garza, the Black Lives Matter name-holder and disburser of capitalist political philanthropy, who organized a shameful slander against Sanders after the Working Families Party board engineered an endorsement of Warren. Although Sanders and his campaign officials said nothing at all of a racial nature in response to the questionable actions by the WFP, 80 percent of whose board and membership backed him in 2016, and despite the fact that Sanders has polled consistently second to Biden in Black support - and has the most diverse backing of any candidate - Garza pretended that a racial crime had been committed. (See Margaret Kimberley and Danny Haiphong's articles on this travesty.)

Donald Trump, the Democrat's FrankenCracker who won the presidency partly on the strength of the billions in free air time the corporate Democrats guided his way ($5 billion worth, by Election Day), remains useful to the Party, which may be why Nancy Pelosi took so long to give the nod to impeachment proceedings. The Democrats still want to run against Trump and his roaring racism, just as they did in 2016, because it allows them to avoid economic issues. "Anyone Blue Will Do" is a corporate Democratic slogan designed to blunt resistance to the Race to the Bottom and to protect the billionaires.

Sanders' quest for the nomination is probably doomed if he continues to play by rules while the corporate media (and Warren) conspire in a dirty game against him. His best hope is to attempt to turn his campaign into a "movement" - to take to the streets with his rallies and march on the nearest iconography of the 1 percent; to make such noise and motion that the corporate media cannot ignore him. That, too, would be cause for shrieks from both the Party and the press, but at least Sanders' anti-Race to the Bottom message would be heard, and maybe a real movement would outlive his candidacy, organized outside the oligarchy's bought-and-paid for property: the Democratic Party.

(c) 2019 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) 2019 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

If the Houthi claims are even partially true, it underlines the weakness of Saudi security yet again, in the wake of the
drone attacks on their Abqaiq petroleum processing plant in the Eastern Province, which initially knocked out about half of their petroleum exports.

Yemen's Houthis Claim Invasion Of Saudi Arabia, Capture Of Thousands Of Troops In Najran
If the story is true, it is a huge development.
By Juan Cole

The BBC reports that Houthi rebels of Yemen are announcing that on Saturday they invaded the neighboring Najran province of Saudi Arabia and captured three Saudi military brigades, including many officers.

Yemen is an informational black hole in which all sorts of allegations are made that later turn out to be bunkum. So no one who knows the place would want to take at face value a breathless news release from the Helpers of God movement in Sana'a, otherwise known as the Houthis. We do not have any confirmation yet, and although reporters asked the Saudis to respond, Riyadh is mum.

The Houthi spokesman said that the movement had been infiltrating Najran province for some months, and finally sprang the encirclement of the Saudi military facilities, from which they also captured large numbers of weapons.

If the Houthi claims are even partially true, it underlines the weakness of Saudi security yet again, in the wake of the drone attacks on their Abqaiq petroleum processing plant in the Eastern Province, which initially knocked out about half of their petroleum exports.

The Saudis had been prosecuting their war against the Houthis in alliance with Yemeni nationalist forces led by president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood, Islah. The Saudis were also allied with the United Arab Emirates, which in turn cultivated southern separatists.

In the past few months, this alliance unraveled, with the Southern Transitional Council expelling Mansour Hadi and his nationalist army from the southern port city of Aden and attacking Islah positions elsewhere in the South.

The mini-civil war between the Saudis and their proxies and the Emirates and its proxies has taken substantial pressure off the Houthis, who have 100,000 battle-hardened guerrillas, and may have laid southern Saudi Arabia open to this incursion.

As Human Rights Watch noted, Najran province, like the Eastern Province, has a Shiite majority, but these are Ismaili Shiites. Of the province's some 600,000 inhabitants, perhaps 400,000 are Ismailis. They had been relatively loyal to Saudi Arabia and had fought the Houthis, despite Saudi Wahhabi animus against Shiites. I'm just wondering, though, if the long Yemen war on their doorstep has disillusioned them. It is just speculation, but I'm thinking the Houthis couldn't have infiltrated Najran unless the locals had averted their eyes.

The Houthis also claimed that attack on Abqaiq, though they said that they had local help. The forensics that became public suggests that the drones were launched from within the Eastern Province, where Shiite Muslims with a history of restiveness under Wahhabi rule predominate. Saudi Arabia is about 40% Wahhabi, but that branch of Islam is the state religion. Saudi Wahhabis are more puritanical and rigid than most other forms of Islam (and even than the much more tolerant Qatari Wahhabis), and they have a special disdain for Shiite Islam, which predominates in Iraq and Iran. Although the US and some European states have blamed Iran, the likelihood is that the weapons were launched from within the kingdom, not from Iran itself, though they might be Iranian manufacture.

Still, that severe doubt has been cast on the Houthi claims does make it important to be cautious about these new and grave allegations. If the story is true, it is a huge development in the war and an enormous blow to Saudi security.

(c) 2019 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.

Former Gov. Scott Walker is all hot and bothered about the decision of House Democrats to
launch an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump's wrongdoing. Unfortunately for
Trump, Walker is not up to the task of making excuses for the president's high crimes and misdemeanors.

There Are No Honest Excuses Left For Trump
By John Nichols

Republican presidential candidates Gov. Scott Walker, left, and Donald Trump, speak together during a commercial break while participating in the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena. Instead of addressing the substance of the charges against the president - that he abused his position by pressuring a foreign leader into helping dig up dirt on a political rival - Walker griped, "Lets face it. Democrats have been waiting for something to 'justify' their desire to Impeach President Trump since the day he took office." Then the man Wisconsin voters turned out of office last fall devoted the remainder of his Facebook argument to complaining that Democrats had tried to turn him out of office.

Well, yes, let's stipulate that there are partisans in both major parties. And, yes, let's stipulate that partisans don't like it when they lose elections, as Walker confirmed with his petulant response to his 2018 defeat. But how does that change the reality of the revelations about Trump?

If the main defensive move by Trump's amen corner is to rally the faithful with ranting about how "liberals are still in disbelief that Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton," then Trump is even more doomed than the evidence of the past week suggests.

The fact is that liberals, like most Americans, were in disbelief when Trump lost the 2016 popular vote by 2.9 million ballots but still prevailed in the Electoral College. But everyone is well aware that Trump is now president, and there is a dawning consciousness on the part of a lot of Americans who are not Democrats that he has disregarded an oath of office that requires presidents to put the good of the country ahead of crass political schemes.

Trump and Walker may claim that the impeachment inquiry is a partisan "witch hunt." But the transcript of the president's "do us a favor..." strong-arming of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says different. So, too, does U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, of Michigan, arguably the truest constitutional conservative in the House.

"Don't let President Trump or Republican officials distract you with a straw man," warns Amash, who was elected as a Republican but now sits as an independent. "It's about his continuing abuse of the office of the presidency." Honest Republicans - including officials once worked with Walker in the Republican Governors Association- have stepped up to support the impeachment inquiry.

"These are serious allegations," says Vermont Governor Phil Scott. "We need to make sure that we do the fact finding and figure out what exactly did happen." Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker says, "Based on the stuff that I've read it's a deeply disturbing situation and circumstance and I think the proper role and responsibility for Congress at this point is to investigate it and get to the bottom of it."

Unfortunately, Walker has chosen Trump over not just honest Republicanism, but the good of the country.

(c) 2019 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 Crime Of Being Poor In America
By James Donahue

The GOP "Trumpsters" in Washington approved changes in existing federal programming, including changes in the federal income tax, that now radically threatens poverty stricken families. And if Mr. Trump has his way it may soon be illegal to be homeless . . . especially in California.

We are referring to unemployment extensions, food stamps, school hot meals for children of poor families and a variety of other assistance programs that helped keep the homeless and poverty-stricken folks alive during harsh economic times.

Mr. Trump's latest threat stating that homeless people packed in tent cities on the outskirts of major cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco are threatening public health standards by their inability to utilize proper toilet facilities and mainain good higene. In his political diatribe during a recent swing through Southern California, the president ignored the fact that California authorities have been working closely with the Environmental Protection Agency for several years in an effort to resolve this very issue. The irony in this story is that many of the problems faced by the homeless and poverty stricken has been caused by the Trump Administration's cold hearted slashing of federal assistance.

While not all of our elected leadership has been that cold hearted, it appears that the ultra-conservative element doesn't give a damn about low and zero income families and individuals that exist among us. Cuts in federal revenue sharing to states and schools was passed down to county and community governments which, in turn brought forced cuts in spending, and pressure on locals to raise more revenues through property taxes and service fees.

Among the more cruel state laws in existence is a "Criminal Evictions" law on the books in Arkansas. Under this law, tenants that receive a 10-day notice to evict rental property must obey the order or face arrest, a heavy fine and up to 90 days in jail. Records show that more than 1,200 tenants were slammed by this law as early as 2012.

Most of the people evicted from rental units are guilty of just being too poor to pay the rising rental fees charged by the landlords. Under the Arkansas law, once convicted of failing to move out on time, tenants are fined and forced to pay the rent still owned even though they may be unemployed and homeless.

Because county and city governments are struggling to balance their budgets due to lost property tax revenues and reduced federal and state revenue sharing payments, many county jails are now charging room and board for the time prisoners are forced to remain under lockup.

A growing number of homeless have no place to go for shelter unless they happen to live in a city where charity organizations or church groups offer food and a warm bed. Thus more and more of these unfortunate waifs are curling up on public park benches, under bridge supports, in vacant buildings or in underground caverns constructed for access to utility services. An entire underground culture has spring up in abandoned railroad or subway tunnels under some major cities.

With so many unkept and obviously homeless people wandering, sitting or sleeping in downtown areas, civic leaders have been passing laws designed to drive these people away instead of trying to help them. As Mr. Trump noted, their presence is just bad for business.

A recent CBS News report told of an increase in the number of cities passing laws against doing things on public property like sitting, lying down, sleeping, loitering, urinating in parks and panhandling . . . all of the things homeless people are forced to do.

A common trick among the homeless, especially in northern cities, is to wander the streets during cold nights and then go into public places like libraries, bus terminals, airports or train stations and sleep on public seats. But even this has come under attack.

The Newport Beach Public Library recently adopted a policy that allows staff to evict people with poor hygiene or strong body odors. The policy also prohibits lounging on library chairs and limits leaving shopping carts, bikes and other wheeled devices on library grounds.

One homeless man told the NBC crew: "I'm a piece of garbage as far as these people are concerned. They figure if they don't see you, then the problem don't exist and then they can say 'We don't have a homeless problem.'"

It is quite obvious now that Mr. Trump and his pals just want the homeless problem to go away without doing anything positive with our tax dollars to do anything about it.

(c) 2019 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.

With The Gears Of Impeachment Finally Grinding, The Hard Part Begins
By William Rivers Pitt

Now that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has enough votes in hand to open an official impeachment inquiry into the rogue presidency of Donald Trump, it is worthwhile to contemplate what got us here, or more specifically, what didn't.

Meticulously documented cases of Trump obstructing justice didn't get us here, nor did his ongoing violations of the emoluments clause, his ongoing policy of caging separated children in concentration camps, his Muslim ban, his public embrace of racism and fascist white nationalism, his frontal assault on the climate, his serial assaults on women, his 12,000 bald-faced lies, or his documented hush money payments to hide his infidelities.

A strong argument can be made that impeachment in this situation is unavoidable because seeking foreign assistance in disrupting an election is a serious matter, as is undertaking a cover-up of those activities. The circumstances here are clear-cut and unequivocal, while the other gross violations of the public trust are harder to explain in 30-second coughs of television to an audience riddled with its own racism and misogyny. Ukraine is an easy layup by comparison. In the atomized, bubble-infested media landscape we endure, "easy" is not to be sneezed at in this circumstance.

Yet the fact remains that only when an establishment lifer was threatened with embarrassment did the gears of impeachment finally begin to grind. That Trump is being impeached because he tried to humiliate Democratic presidential candidates and former Vice President Joe Biden and then covered it up, and not for the gruesome laundry list of violations that came before, during and after he called the Ukraine president, is an eloquent diagnosis of what is wrong with politics in the United States today. It is a decidedly bipartisan calamity.

Because of this, impeaching Trump does not mean justice will be served for all who have been harmed by the illegal and immoral actions of this administration. In point of fact, there is no guarantee that Trump will even be impeached at all. If he is impeached, his removal from office is even less likely.

Speaker Pelosi currently has 223 votes to open an inquiry, but only 27 House members have said they will actually vote to impeach. That number is certain to rise as more damning information is gathered and disclosed, but until the number of committed impeachment votes reaches 218, the deal is not sealed.

Assuming the evidence in combination with Pelosi's vote-wrangling prowess compels the House to cross that 218-vote threshold, impeachment will still not mean removal from office. If Trump is impeached in the House, the process will move to a trial in the Senate, where Sen. Mitch McConnell holds sway over a Republican majority that has stood stoutly with Trump through every scandal so far.

If Senator McConnell even allows a Senate trial to take place at all, there must be 67 votes to convict for Trump to be officially removed from office. Currently, the Senate is comprised of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two Independents who caucus with them. If every Democrat and Independent votes to convict -hardly a guarantee in a chamber that contains Joe Manchin -18 Republicans will have to join them for removal to be achieved.

This would seem on its face to be a bridge way too far, but the rumblings of Republican discontent over the Ukraine revelations are not insignificant. We are into the third year of the GOP playing the role of broom man behind Trump's excrement-filled elephant parade, and enough "Yes" votes would solve a lot of problems for the party.

Trump is being impeached because he tried to humiliate Joe Biden and then covered it up. "These Senate Republicans are going to be pinned down to a yes-no answer," long-time GOP insider Mike Murphy told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday. "And if they provide cover to Donald Trump for this, a clear violation of his role as president, we're going to lose [the Senate seat in] Colorado with Cory Gardner. We're going to lose Maine with Susan Collins. We're going to lose Arizona with Martha McSally. And the Democrats will put the Senate very much in play."

"One Republican senator told me if it was a secret vote, 30 Republican senators would vote to impeach Trump," Murphy then confided. It was a telling revelation regarding the level of exhaustion Republicans are feeling after allowing Trump to take over their party. In the end, however, these people are proven cowards. The Senate vote, should the process reach that point, will be very public. To paraphrase Robert Frost, that makes all the difference.

It was unyielding public pressure that got us to this point -there is little doubt Speaker Pelosi would ignore the Ukraine scandal along with the others if she could, but she can't -and it will be public pressure that makes any proceeding in the Senate more than a show trial. Disquiet within Republican ranks is very real, and the issue at hand is so starkly simple that even those artful dodgers may not be able to do their standard duck and cover routine for long if the pressure remains high.

Some have already begun voicing concerns that Trump is relishing this fight, that he will turn it to his advantage in a way that guarantees his election. But his behavior, and the behavior of his allies, do not paint a portrait of a happy man.

On Thursday, Trump bluntly threatened the life of the whistleblower and the lives of the witnesses who were present for, and then voiced deep concerns over, Trump's call with the Ukraine president. His personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, had a full-fledged meltdown on Wednesday after the whistleblower report was made public. "When this is over, I will be the hero!" he raged to The Atlantic's Elania Plott. "Anything I did should be praised."

Meanwhile, public support for impeachment continues to grow.

Whatever the outcome, there is undeniable merit in the effort, even as that effort fails to address Trump's other numerous -and more severe -transgressions against the office he holds and the people he is supposed to serve. At the end of the day, Trump has finally heard the word "No," and neither he nor his people are enjoying the taste of it. That will suffice for the moment, but the hard part has only just begun.

(c) 2019 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.

Unequal privilege keeps the door open to those with influence who
continue to manufacture distrust of climate science and meaningful solutions.

Tackling Climate Change Means Purging Privilege From Politics
By David Suzuki

Our national political arena often seems dominated by unproductive partisan potshots and misplaced accountability, with corporate interests prioritized over people's.

Behind the noisy partisan sniping, a quiet majority - 70 to 75 per cent of Canadians - is largely disengaged from politics, according to McAllister Opinion Research. It's not that people don't care about climate change, affordability, equity and creating a healthier, more just and secure future for their children and grandchildren. Polls show they do - as do this month's climate strikes and actions. They just don't see politicians as relevant.

How can politicians earn back our trust and act on issues that matter?

With climate disruption, Simon Fraser University resource professor Mark Jaccard says we must distinguish between climate-sincere and -insincere politicians.

Three-quarters of Canadians say they're worried about climate change. With floods, wildfires, heat waves and health threats like Lyme disease increasing, anxiety among Canadians is also rising.

Polls show that fairness matters to Canadians. We want to support action that takes that into account. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that climate change will disproportionately affect the poor and most vulnerable, who have contributed least to the problem.

Technical and policy solutions to climate change are known. All that's lacking is political will - not only to implement solutions but to address the power imbalances in our political system that obstruct them.

One of the most glaring examples of the privileged few wielding disproportionate influence comes from the U.S. With funding from the Koch brothers and their allies, Americans for Prosperity has worked to hobble progressive groups and ensure the corporate agenda is prioritized. This, according to the Guardian, has curtailed Medicaid expansion to poor, uninsured adults, rolled back state efforts to address climate change and given massive tax cuts to wealthy people and companies. Koch-related foundations have invested millions in Canadian think tanks and organizations that sow doubt about climate science and the most effective climate solutions.

In his upcoming book Regime of Obstruction: How Corporate Power Blocks Energy Democracy, University of Victoria professor William Carroll explains that fossil fuel corporations and their allies have a long reach into civil and political society that allows them to undertake organized, well-funded campaigns to block necessary climate action.

Our democratic systems need strengthening. Justice, equity and inclusion matter. Stifling these important values impedes our ability to act on societal challenges like climate disruption. Unequal privilege keeps the door open to those with influence who continue to manufacture distrust of climate science and meaningful solutions.

Everyone must benefit from the jobs and economic diversification that are part of a transition to renewable energy and better use of that energy through development of green buildings, active and cleaner transportation, and better planning for livable, resilient communities.

We need to change our systems, but how do we go further and change ourselves? Perhaps by listening to people who understand the importance of justice, equity and inclusion, and the perils of letting these values slip away.

At SevenGen, a 2019 Indigenous youth-led conference on renewable energy, co-chair Cory Beaver said his generation is the first to escape the immediate impacts of residential schools. Despite years of colonization, many in his cohort have retained or rediscovered their cultural ways and deep relationships with the land. With more than 200 young people attending from regions throughout Canada, they showed that Indigenous youth are rising with purpose, guided by their values - something denied to generations before them.

I'm also encouraged by Greta Thunberg and Canadian youth who have built their climate strikes into an accelerating series of moments that older people can no longer ignore.

If we care about the climate, we must care about justice. That means heeding Indigenous youth and the elders who inspire them. It means listening to the climate strike and social justice youth leaders, helping them raise awareness and shifting the power structures that have advantaged the few over the many for far too long. It means reminding politicians who they are supposed to serve.

It's time to expose the structures that hold disproportionate privilege in place, listen to rising new voices and act in solidarity with courage and humility. Then we'll be better able to care for one another and the planet, and chart a better course.

(c) 2019 Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co_founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Trump's TV Defense Team Ain't Exactly The '27 Yankees
Stephen Miller, Rudy Giuliani, Jim Jordan, and Kevin McCarthy. This is the best they've got.
By Charles P. Pierce

Longtime habitues of this here shebeen will recall another one of our semi-regular weekly features called What Are The Gobshites Saying These Days?, which was a semi-regular weekly survey of the state of our national dialogue, which generally resembled what you'd get if you let baboons loose at the Royal Shakespeare Company. We revive it for a one-time only appearance because, this weekend, the small group of people still willing to go on television and defend El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago put on an ensemble performance of such glorious incompetence and mendacity that even the hosts of The Sunday Showz found themselves gagging on the undercooked codswallop they were being asked to swallow.

To sum up:

Stephen Miller, the White House dime-store Machiavelli, and not a man accustomed to daylight, went on Fox News with Chris Wallace, and Wallace tore him several new ones.

Rudy Giuliani, now performing on the national political stage as Trashcan Man from The Stand, went on ABC with George Stephanopoulos and had another public episode.

Rep. Jim Jordan went on CNN with Jake Tapper, and Tapper pantsed him.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy-the House Minority Leader, because what the hell, who else'd take the job anyway?-went on 60 Minutes with Scott Pelley, and Pelley skewered him with the president*'s own words.

And these guys are the best they've got. Wait'll Louie Gohmert and Matt Gaetz get to centerstage.

The self-evident fact is that the Republicans have no defense for what is contained in the now infamous phone call between the president* and the President of Ukraine. The president* himself has sawn off the limb behind them-first, by releasing the summary of the conversation and then by confirming, over and over again, that the call happened pretty much as it was described in the summary, except that the summary didn't mention that it was a beautiful, perfect phone call. So now, their only line of defense, and the only way they can continue to avoid their clear constitutional duty, is to cover the wall with spaghetti that everybody knows is undercooked and swimming in botulism. And hope, I guess, that Mexico will pay to clean it up.

They also know that, no matter how narrowly focused the impeachment inquiry is, the Ukraine matter is an open doorway into all manner of scandals involving international bribery and extortion, the auction of American foreign policy for personal gain, and the gory details of how Russian ratfcking helped the president* become the president* and what he owes to whomever he owes it. They're not chess masters, this bunch, but they can see one move ahead in the game. They're all the next dinner special, and the wolves are at the door.

(c) 2019 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-

"First, individual rights cannot be sacrificed for the sake of the general good, and second, the principles of justice that specify these rights cannot be premised on any particular vision of the good life. What justifies the rights is not that they maximize the general welfare or otherwise promote the good, but rather that they comprise a fair framework within which individuals and groups can choose their own values and ends, consistent with a similar liberty for others."
~~~ Michael J. Sande

Former military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning speaks to the press
ahead of a Grand Jury appearance in Alexandria, Virginia on May 16, 2019.

MoveOn's Phony New Campaign for 'Protecting Whistleblowers'
In the last decade, MoveOn-which says it has an email list of 8 million "members"-has refused to do any campaigns to help Manning, Drake, Snowden, Kiriakou, or Sterling.
By Norman Solomon

All of a sudden, MoveOn wants to help "national security" whistleblowers.

Well, some of them, anyway.

After many years of carefully refusing to launch a single campaign in support of brave whistleblowers who faced vicious prosecution during the Obama administration-including Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, NSA whistleblowers Thomas Drake and Edward Snowden, and CIA whistleblowers John Kiriakou and Jeffrey has just cherrypicked a whistleblowing hero it can support.

"The stakes could not be higher for the whistleblower, who took a great personal risk to defend our democracy," MoveOn declared in a mass email Sunday afternoon, referring to the intelligence official who went through channels to blow the whistle on Donald Trump's phone call with Ukraine's president. "We need to have the whistleblower's back." I agree wholeheartedly.

But what about Manning, Drake, Snowden, Kiriakou, and Sterling, who also took great personal risks on behalf of democracy? With its digital finger to the wind, MoveOn refused to engage in a campaign to help any of them. Manning, Kiriakou, and Sterling were railroaded into prison and remained there for years; Snowden has been forced to stay in exile; and Drake endured years of persecution under threat of decades behind bars.

I experienced MoveOn's refusal firsthand when, in December 2015, I wrote to the group's campaign director with a request. After a sham trial, Sterling had gone to prison six months earlier for allegedly providing information to New York Times reporter James Risen that he included in a book. "Is there a way that MoveOn could use a bit of its list to promote this petition in support of Jeffrey Sterling?" I asked.

The answer that I received was disappointing-merely a suggestion that the petition be put on MoveOn's do-it-yourself platform, where it would not be supported with distribution to any of MoveOn's email list. After pressing further, I got an explanation from MoveOn that had a marketing sound: "It looks like we have definitely done a lot of testing on Snowden and Manning in the past, but unfortunately nothing quite reached the level of member support where we were able to send it out."

That approach has endured. In the last decade, MoveOn-which says it has an email list of 8 million "members"-has refused to do any campaigns to help Manning, Drake, Snowden, Kiriakou, or Sterling.

(Full disclosure: The organization where I'm national coordinator,, has campaigned in support of all five of the above-named whistleblowers, with petitions, news conferences, protests, and fundraising.)

Now, the whistleblower initiative that MoveOn has started might seem like a welcome change of direction. But it's actually worse than problematic.

The organization that MoveOn just teamed up with-Whistleblower Aid-explicitly does not support people like Snowden, Drake, Kiriakou, Sterling, and Manning, or the more recent whistleblower Reality Winner. The founding legal partner at Whistleblower Aid, Mark Zaid, has maintained a vehement position against unauthorized release of classified information for many years.

"As a matter of law, no one who leaks classified information to the media (instead of to an appropriate governmental authority) is a whistleblower entitled to legal protection," Zaid wrote in a Washington Post op-ed piece in 2017. "That applies to Winner, Snowden, and Chelsea Manning, no matter what one thinks of their actions. The law appropriately protects only those who follow it. Anyone who acts contrary does so at their own peril."

According to Zaid and his organization-which MoveOn is now avidly promoting and helping to subsidize-if the White House whistleblower's memo had been bottled up via official channels and then had been leaked to a news organization, the whistleblower leaking the memo would not be, and should not be, "entitled to legal protection."

But, as Snowden has often emphasized, the official scenario of going through channels is a dangerous myth for "national security" whistleblowers. The reason Snowden didn't go through channels is that he saw what happened to whistleblowers who did-like Drake, who was targeted, harassed, and then prosecuted on numerous felony counts. Snowden clearly understood that going through channels would achieve nothing except punishment, which is why he wisely decided to go directly to journalists.

MoveOn has not only refused to support courageous whistleblowers like Snowden, Drake, Manning, Kiriakou, and Sterling-who've informed the world about systematic war crimes, wholesale shredding of the Fourth Amendment with mass surveillance, officially sanctioned torture, and dangerously flawed intelligence operations.

Now, MoveOn is partnering with a legal outfit that actually contends such brave souls don't deserve any protections as whistleblowers. Despite its assertion that "protecting whistleblowers is critical for a healthy democracy," MoveOn is now splitting donations with an organization that supports the absence of legal protections for many of them.

(c) 2019 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."

The Dead Letter Office-

Rudy comes out of the closet

Heil Trump,

Dear Rechtsanwalt Giuliani,

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

Without your lock step calling for the repeal of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, your helping der Fuhrer commit treason, 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 "Republican 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 11-23-2019. We salute you Frau Giuliani, Sieg Heil!

Signed by,
Vice Fuhrer Pence

Heil Trump

US President Donald Trump talking to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a meeting
in New York on September 25, 2019, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Real Lesson of Ukraine Gate Is That Trump's 2020 Reelection Campaign Will Be Ruthless
The real value of the formal impeachment now underway is to put Trump on notice that he can't necessarily get away with abusing his presidential power to win reelection. He will still try, of course.
By Robert Reich

Amid the impeachment furor, don't lose sight of the renewed importance of protecting the integrity of the 2020 election.

The difference between Richard Nixon's abuse of power (trying to get dirt on political opponents to help with his 1972 reelection, and then covering it up) and Donald Trump's abuse (trying to get Ukraine's president to get dirt on a political opponent to help with his 2020 reelection, and then covering it up) isn't just that Nixon's involved a botched robbery at the Watergate while Trump's involves a foreign nation.

It's that Nixon's abuse of power was discovered during his second term, after he was reelected. He was still a dangerous crook, but by that time he had no reason to inflict still more damage on American democracy.

Trump's abuse has been uncovered fourteen months before the 2020 election, at a time when he still has every incentive to do whatever he can to win.

If Special Counsel Robert Mueller had found concrete evidence that Trump asked Vladimir Putin for help in digging up dirt on Hillary Clinton in 2016, it would have been the "smoking gun" that could have ended the Trump presidency.

Now that Trump is revealed to have asked Volodymyr Zelensky for dirt on Biden in the 2020 election, who's to say he isn't also asking others, including Putin?

The Washington Post reported that Trump told Russian officials, in a 2017 meeting in the Oval Office, that he was unconcerned about Moscow's interference in the 2016 U.S. election (White House officials limited access to these remarks, as they did to his outreach to Zelensky).

American intelligence warns that Russia will continue to try to interfere in our elections. Mitch McConnell has agreed to add just $250 million to protect election machinery from cyberattacks, while experts say billions are needed.

Trump is in a better position to make such deals than he was in 2016 because as president he's got the power and money to make any foreign rulers' life exceedingly comfortable, or uncomfortable.

As we've learned, Trump uses whatever bargaining leverage he can get, for personal gain. That's the art of the deal.

Who can we count on to protect our election process in 2020?

Certainly not Attorney General William Barr. Trump urged Zelensky to work with Barr to investigate Joe Biden, even telling Zelensky that Barr would follow up with his own phone call.

Barr's Justice Department decided Trump had not acted illegally, and told the acting director of national intelligence to keep the whistle-blower complaint from Congress.

This is the same Attorney General who said Mueller's report cleared the Trump campaign of conspiring with Russia when in fact Mueller had found that the campaign welcomed Russia's help, and that Mueller absolved Trump of obstructing justice when Mueller specifically declined to decide the matter.

Barr is not working for the American people. He's working for Trump, just like Rudy Giuliani is working for Trump, as are all the other lapdogs, toadies, and sycophants.

Fortunately, some government appointees still understand their responsibilities to America. We're indebted to the anonymous intelligence officer who complained about Trump's phone call to Zelensky, and to Michael Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, who deemed the complaint of "urgent concern."

But if the 2020 election is going to be-and be seen as-legitimate, the nation will need many more whistle-blowers and officials with integrity.

States must upgrade all election machinery and equip them with paper ballots that can be audited. Facebook and YouTube must devote more resources to protecting against malicious foreign trolls and bots.

All of us will need to be vigilant.

Over the last two and a half years, Trump has shown himself willing to trample any aspect of our democracy that gets in his way-attacking the media, using the presidency for personal profit, packing the federal courts, verbally attacking judges, blasting the head of the Federal Reserve, spending money in ways Congress did not authorize, and subverting the separation of powers.

Trump believes he's invincible. He's now daring our entire Constitutional and political system to stop him.

The real value of the formal impeachment now underway is to put Trump on notice that he can't necessarily get away with abusing his presidential power to win reelection. He will still try, of course. But at least a line has been drawn. And now everyone is watching.

Regardless of how the impeachment turns out, Trump's predation can be constrained as long as his presidency can be ended with the 2020 election. If that election is distorted, and if this man is reelected, all bets are off.

(c) 2019 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

My Field Trip To Ancient Maaloula: Saint Martha vs. America, Zionists, Saudis & ISIS
By Jane Stillwater

In his latest book, The Management of Savagery, Max Blumenthal gently reminds us of the obvious -- that savagery can never be managed. Once you let the monster out of the bag, it can never be put back inside again.

This truism is clearly obvious to even the dimmest bulbs on the porch -- unless of course you are either delusional or in charge of America's foreign policy. "They may be monsters but they are our monsters." I forget who said that. Perhaps Osama bin Ladin's first American handler back in the good old mujaheddin days?

"I want to go to Douma and Yarmouk today," I said to the desk clerk at my hotel in Damascus. "How can I get there? Take a taxi?"

"You could -- but it would be expensive and take you over an hour each way. But why would you even want to go there?"

"To see the very place where the American media made up all those lies about President Assad using chemical weapons of course," I replied.

"We have a tour bus leaving for Maaloula in a half-hour. If you are desiring to see some war-torn ruins, that would be a good place to start." Plus the tour bus was free. Sure. Sign me up. I got onto the bus.

"Maaloula is a rocky cliff-side town famous for its ancient Christian monasteries," said our tour's organizer. "Legend has it that St. Martha herself retired there in 40 A.D. Residents of Maaloula still speak Aramaic." Geez Louise, this town is out in the middle of nowhere. How did Saint Martha even manage to find the place?

"During the proxy invasion of Syria, the Saudis, Americans and Zionists supported a gang of al-Qaeda-slash-ISIS 'rebels' who terrorized this town. See that arched gate over there? An ISIS suicide bomber blew it up first, and then ISIS berserkers rampaged throughout the city."

Don't you just hate hypocrisy? When elected officials in Washington constantly claim ad nausea to be morally holier-than-us just because they name-drop the God-word on TV all the time -- all the while secretly supporting al Qaeda and ISIS on the down-low? That's totally un-Christian behavior.

But if Jesus ever had to make a choice between siding with Saint Martha and the Arab Christians of Maaloula or else siding with the heinous American, Saudi and Zionist criminals who support ISIS? It's clearly a no-brainer who he would choose! And all those phony American "Christians" who always continue to elect and re-elect butchers like Reagan, Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump? They ought to be ashamed of themselves. And Jesus is clearly ashamed of them too.

But I digress.

As our brave little bus slowly drove up the steep narrow winding streets of Maaloula, we could still see what was left of various bombed-out homes, shops and holy places, still clinging precariously to the cliff walls.

"Al Qaeda forces then asked their Saudi handlers what to do with the residents of Maaloula. 'Kill them all,' came the reply." Even the U.S. media had a hard time pretending that these butchers were "rebels" and "freedom fighters" -- but even the New York Times managed to pull it off. And NPR actually had the nerve to insinuate that these al-Qaeda-slash-ISIS "rebels" were actually saving some brutally kidnapped nuns, not holding them hostage.

Our tour bus continued to wind its way up the steep hillside streets of Maaloula until we finally came to yet another bombed-out building on the mountaintop. "This used to be a nice hotel for pilgrims," said our guide.

The bombed-out hotel was made even sadder by the sight of the twisted steel of partially-destroyed playground equipment in front of it. A mangled slide. A broken teeter-totter. Some metal springs that used to hold up bouncy plastic animals for kids to ride on -- you've seen stuff like that in almost every park in America.

"I came here two years ago," said one of the tourists in our group. "Much government-sponsored restoration work has been done on the monasteries and churches since then." And the pilgrims have also returned as well. I counted eleven huge tour buses parked outside the Melkite church and another eight tour buses parked outside St. Martha's former monastery. "If you rebuild it, they will come."

But wait! It's hot outside. Is anyone selling ice cream in Maaloula? Yes?

Like Jesus resurrecting from the grave, this wonderful town is in the process of restoring itself. Thank goodness that ISIS is gone! The Saudis would never have let me eat ice cream.

Managing savagery is an impossible task. Americans need to finally realize that and stop arming and training all of their barbaric al-Qaeda-slash-ISIS savages. But first things first. How do you say "ice cream" in Aramaic?

PS: I can never really take any of my fellow Americans' petty complaints about their lives seriously any more -- not after having seen all the pain and suffering that America's dirty proxy "war" on Syria has brought to Maaloula.

(c) 2019 Jane Stillwater. Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world. And while you're at it, please buy my books!

The Cartoon Corner-

This edition we're proud to showcase the cartoons of
~~~ Joel Pett ~~~

To End On A Happy Note-

Have You Seen This-

Parting Shots-

Obama To Produce Netflix Series About Trump's Impeachment
By Andy Borowitz

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)-Former President Barack Obama has inked a ninety-million-dollar deal to produce a Netflix series about Donald J. Trump's impeachment, Netflix confirmed on Friday.

Production on the series could begin as early as October, in Washington and Kiev, Obama told reporters.

"We've already hit the ground running on the script," Obama said. "Rudy Giuliani has given us a lot to work from."

Obama said that casting for the roles of Trump and Mike Pence had already begun. "Pence has a much bigger role in this than you might think," he added.

The former President acknowledged, however, that dramatizing the story of the Trump impeachment was not without challenges. "Right now, the main character reveals the smoking gun himself in the first episode," he said. "There's virtually no mystery."

(c) 2019 Andy Borowitz

The Gross National Debt

The Animal Rescue Site

Issues & Alibis Vol 19 # 38 (c) 10/04/2019

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