Please visit our sponsor!

Bookmark and Share
In This Edition

Matt Taibbi returns with, "Former Bernie Sanders Staffers Are Preparing To 'Draft Bernie' For 2020."

David Swanson asks, "Are Genes Pseudo-Science Driven By Racist Patriarchal Plutocrats?"

Glen Ford reports, "All US Presidents, Living And Dead, Are War Criminals."

Norman Solomon examines, "What It Means That Hillary Clinton Might Run For President In 2020."

Jim Hightower with a must read, "Free The Free Press From Wall Street Plunder."

John Nichols explores, "State Republicans Are Refusing To Honor the Peaceful Transition Of Power."

James Donahue sees, "The Dangerous Assault On Free-flow Of Information."

William Rivers Pitt reminds us, "After 17 Years Of War, Afghanistan Is All But Forgotten."

Heather Digby Parton explains, "The Banana Republicans Have Been On This Track For A Long Time."

David Suzuki concludes, "Decades Of Denial And Stalling Have Created A Climate Crunch."

Charles P. Pierce says, "Republicans Have A Problem With Democrats. But More So With Democracy."

Dahr Jamail warns, "In The Face Of Extinction, We Have A Moral Obligation."

Jane Stillwater explores, "Human Extinction."

Creators Syndicate CEO Rick Newcombe, wins this week's coveted, "Vidkun Quisling Award!"

Robert Reich says, "Trump Takes On General Motors (And Guess Who Wins?)."

Chris Hedges with an absolute must read, "The Film The Israel Lobby Does Not Want You To See."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department Andy Borowitz reports, "G-20 Leaders Vote Unanimously Not To Give Trump Asylum" but first Uncle Ernie sez, "First They Came For The Journalists."

This week we spotlight the cartoons of Adam Zyglis, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Ruben Bolling, Tom Tomorrow, Mr. Fish, Michael Brochstein, Scott Olson, Clay Jones, Win McNamee, John Hart, Thomas Hafeneth, Andy Manis, Drew Angerer, Miguel Medina, Noorullah Shirzada, Mad Magazine, 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-

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

Bookmark and Share

Visit me on Face Book

First They Came For The Journalists
I'm have a deja vu
By Ernest Stewart

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me-and there was no one left to speak for me.
First They Came ~~~ Martin Niemoller

"What we can say with confidence is that heavy and extreme precipitation events often associated with thunderstorms and convection are increasing and have been linked to human-induced changes in atmospheric composition." ~~~ Tom Karl ~ former director of the National Climatic Data Center

"Sarah, if the American people ever find out what we have done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us." ~~~ George Herbert Walker Bush

"He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help." ~~~ Abraham Lincoln

Honest journalists are beginning to drop like flies this week. First Creators Syndicate dropped Jim Hightower who worked for decades with nary a complaint for daring to tell the truth about Wall Street destruction of local newspapers. So you know what I did, right? I sent Creators Syndicate CEO Rick Newcombe the following email:
Hey Rick, boy did you just fuck up, eh? I see you dropped one of America's favorite authors for daring to tell the truth about news papers and wall street. Can't have the truth published can we, Rick? At least not by your syndicate. Jim Hightower was here long before you and will be here long after you've bitten the big one. In this age of Big Brother and tRump why am I not surprised? Can I get a heill tRump Rick? Did I mention you just won the Vidkun Quisling Award, congratulation you certainly deserve it. Oh, and thanks for writing this weeks editorial for me!
Then CNN fired contributing journalist professor Marc Lamont Hill. That's right same old, same old, I wrote CNN's CEO Jeff Zucker too.
Hey Jeff, you've made me do something that I thought I would never do, that is, agree with tRump, Who is forever calling you, "fake news." He's right you know!

I see the Zionazis are pulling your strings and making you dance to their tune. How dare Marc Lamont Hill speak up for Palestinians equal rights, so naturally you had to put a stop to that! So, do explain, henceforth, how are we to trust any of your news? Still tRump was finally right about something, even if it's only your "fake news," How does it feel to be an Israeli fifth columnist traitor/puppet Jeff? Did Israel pay you the traditional 30 pieces of silver? Now, dance puppet, dance!

Creators Syndicate's Rick Newcombe wins the Vidkun Quisling Award this week, and CNN's Jeff Zucker will win next week.

In Other News

Tornado season in Illinois is generally in March and April, as it is in most of the midwest. April, which generally has the most tornadoes, and, as in this case, has the records for the most tornadoes in a single day. The largest tornado outbreak ever recorded in Illinois was on April 19, 1996, when 39 tornadoes touched down and on April 2, 2006 when 36 tornadoes made touch downs. As bad as that is, it's pretty much par for the course if you live in "tornado alley."

Now look what global warming has done, upwards of 30 tornadoes hit Illinois last Saturday, i.e., in December! Climate warming deniers must be beginning to feel like a Christian Scientist with an apendicitis attack! Spooky, huh? This isn't the first time they've had tornadoes in December in Illinois back on December 23 in 2015 they had 6!

Just as the western fire season used to be limited to a month or two now it's year round. What if tornado season follows the same path and becomes a year round event. What can be done? Well, with tRump in office absolutely nothing! Yes, global warming is a real bitch and if we do nothing it's only going to get worse!

Then, on December 2nd a tornado hit the US Navy submarine base in Kingsland Georgia! "The Kings Bay naval base is home to ballistic missile submarines and guided missile submarines of the U.S. Navy Atlantic Fleet." The submarines assigned to the base are USS Maryland (SSBN 738), USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740), USS Tennessee (SSBN 734), USS West Virginia (SSBN 736), USS Wyoming (SSBN 742), USS Alaska (SSBN 732), USS Florida (SSGN 728) and USS Georgia (SSGN 729), Naval Technology reported.

Meanwhile, across the pond, Europe has gone from one or two tornadoes a year at the turn of the 20th century to around 300 tornadoes a year now, and in some years has more tornadoes than in the U.S.!

To end on a happy note, a news reporter once asked a victim after a tornado made a direct hit on his Kansas town if he was going to rebuild or move. Even though in the last nine years his town had been hit by seven different tornadoes, he assured the reporter that he would indeed rebuild! Folks still live in Oklahoma City, which has been hit by at least 170 tornadoes since 1895. That's, America buddy, like it or not! Yes, some American are incredibly stupid, which, I think, explains, why we elected tRump, and those global warming deniers, does it not?

And Finally

The Crime family Bush has been involved in crime and politics since the 1830s. However, the last four generations have really made their mark in American politics and crime.

Sam Bush, Smirky's great grandfather made a killing in WW1. So much so that Harold Gray the creator of Little Orphan Annie based his character Daddy Warbucks on Sam Bush! I don't know if Sam had Punjab and the Asp in real life but you get the picture.

Sam's son Prescott Bush was another criminal who was Hitlers American banker who not only helped Hitler's rise to power but through his work for Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), acted as a US base for the German industrialist, Fritz Thyssen, who helped finance Hitler in the 1930s. Even after war was declared against Germany in December 1941 Prescott continued to make and send Germany money until his company's assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act. Amazingly Prescott wasn't arrested for treason, in fact his involvement was covered up by the government and his assets were returned to him after the war. One of the projects Bush helped to finance was the Auschwitz death camp and the Bushes were sued by two survivors of the camp. As you may know Prescott went on to become a US Senator from Connecticut! I guess crime does pay!

The first you hear about Precott's boy George Herbert Walker Bush are his actions as a TBM Avenger torpedo bomber pilot. Some of you who are into history may have seen George being picked up by a submarine after bailing out of his bomber. What most folks don't know is that George who had been on a bombing and strafing mission with his torpedo bomber which also could also carry 4 500 lbs bombs. After dropping his load and returning to strafe the island his plane got hit and George jumped out with out allowing the bombardier to get out which allowed the lower machine gunner to get out through the bombardier's place, which is what he was supposed to do. No, George just flipped the plane over and fell out, pulled his chute thus murdering the two other occupants. What a hero, huh?

You may recall George once said to Sarah McLendon, a Texas journalist who Bush had known for years, "Sarah, if the American people ever find out what we have done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us." George was referring to his part as well as others parts in the JFK sanction. As you may know CIA George was the manager of the two four man CIA hit teams that murdered JFK in Dallas. George had the help of the Secret Service who abandoned Kennedy so the eight snipers had clear shots. Then George helped the Warren Commission cover it up, what a swell guy! Of course, that's just a drop in the bucket of his crimes. For this he was made head of the CIA and then president. Gerald Ford got to be the only unelected president in the history of the country and of course LBJ got JFK's presidency. The fed which was also involved got to keep their power, Roger Blough and others in the conspiracy kept their privilege positions too.

And let us not forget the hundreds of thousands of innocent people that George killed as head of the CIA and as president.

Just one thought more about George. It's the same question I once asked of Ben Stein at a party in Manhattan about Nixon, I would ask about George. "Did anybody have the pressence of mind to drive a stake through his heart before they sealed the coffin?" Just asking!

Then came Popa Smirk's boy George W, but don't let me get started on him!

Keepin' On

Well the time has come and gone, and so some of our arthors and artists won't be available to us. We turned up $1160 short of paying our bills for this year. That's the first time in the magazines history since our beginning in 2000 that we failed to raise the "rent."

For once I'm at a loss for words, imagine that! That's the trouble with being a sooth sayer. When people ask me what is it that I do, I have been known to say, "I piss people off." You'd be amazed how mad you can make some people by just telling the truth, saying the sooth! The Matrix, I hear, is very warm and comfortable, and over the years while we did unplug this, or that person, we found ourselves, mainly, just preaching to the choir! C'est la guerre!"

We'll keep fighting the good fight until the rest of the money runs out. 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 saying the sooth!


06-12-1924 ~ 11-30-2018
Burn Baby Burn!

11-03-1933 ~ 12-01-2018
Thanks for the laughs!

10-12-1938 ~ 12-03-2018
Thanks for the film!


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

****** 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) 2018 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.

Senator Bernie Sanders (D - VT) speaking at the J Street National Conference.

Former Bernie Sanders Staffers Are Preparing To 'Draft Bernie' For 2020
The new group, Organizing For Bernie, will formally launch Monday with plans to "hit the ground running"
By Matt Taibbi

BURLINGTON, VERMONT - Get ready to feel the Bern again. A movement to draft Bernie Sanders to run for president in 2020 is launching today, with the aim of building an organizational structure so the Vermont Senator can start campaigning at a moment's notice.

"We have two goals," Rich Pelletier, one of the four main organizers of Organizing For Bernie, tells Rolling Stone. "One, we want to show the support is there. The second is to begin to do the organizing that is going to need to happen for him to hit the ground running, by the time he announces - if he announces."

The identity of the organizers is part of what makes this campaign interesting. Organizing For Bernie is led by a cross-section of senior campaigners from Sanders' 2016 run. Pelletier, for instance, was the deputy campaign manager for Sanders last election cycle.

The Colorado-based group includes Dulce Saenz, the former Sanders campaign director for Colorado and Washington state, as well as former Colorado Caucus Director Mandy Nunes-Hennessey and Spencer Carnes, who began as the leader of the Buffs for Bernie group at the University of Colorado in 2016.

The news comes on the heels of a three-day retreat for progressive leaders called "The Gathering" at the Sanders Institute in Burlington, Vermont. Hosted by Jane Sanders and attended by the likes of Dr. Cornel West, Nina Turner and Bernie Sanders himself, "The Gathering" felt a lot like a kitchen-cabinet strategy session, both for the progressive movement generally, and for a potential Sanders run. The weekend included the unveiling of a new plan by University of Massachusetts economist Robert Pollin to cost out a Medicare-for-All proposal.

Of course, the question of whether or not the 77-year-old Sanders would run for president again was a major topic of discussion between panels.

Jeff Weaver, Sanders' 2016 campaign manager, was a notable conference attendee. Asked about the draft campaign led by his former deputy, Weaver acknowledged he was aware of it.

"I've been contacted by a number of people who are wondering, how do we demonstrate to Bernie that he's got the support of people across the country?" Weaver says. "Without talking about any particular conversation I've had - because I've had many - I've tried to be encouraging to people and to give whatever advice I can that will help them move forward."

Weaver added that groups have contacted him because "they know I'm supportive of him running," and that there's "a tremendous amount of grassroots energy for him."

Pelletier tells Rolling Stone Organizing For Bernie doesn't just plan on gathering names. They also want to start building the skeleton of a national organization. "We want to have an organization in each state, territory and city," he says.

Pelletier says Organizing For Bernie is "an unaffiliated candidate PAC," and "we can raise money as any other federal PAC can."

Sanders himself has already said this year that he will "probably run" for president in 2020, "if it turns out that I am the best candidate to beat Trump." Pelletier and the rest of Organizing for Bernie obviously believe this to be the case.> "Bernie is the candidate who is offering the greatest contrast to the current administration," Pelletier says. "We all believe that he is the right person. We also believe it's a decision that he has to make."

Numerous national articles have downplayed the significance of a second run by Sanders, who received over 12 million votes in 2016, representing about 43 percent of the Democratic primary vote. Many have argued that he is too old, a criticism Pelletier dismissed.

"What we've seen of him barnstorming around the country helping candidates get elected this last fall, he has the energy. He has the desire," says Pelletier, noting that media speculation about the Vermont Senator has consistently underestimated his chances.

"The press were all discounting him [in 2016]," he says. "So I say: let them discount him."

(c) 2018 Matt Taibbi is Rolling Stone's chief political reporter, Matt Taibbi's predecessors include the likes of journalistic giants Hunter S. Thompson and P.J. O'Rourke. Taibbi's 2004 campaign journal Spanking the Donkey cemented his status as an incisive, irreverent, zero-bullshit reporter. His books include Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History, The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion, Smells Like Dead Elephants: Dispatches from a Rotting Empire.

Are Genes Pseudo-Science Driven By Racist Patriarchal Plutocrats?
By David Swanson

A new film called A Dangerous Idea argues that the concept of the gene will be looked back on (if humanity lives long enough) in the way that we look back on claims of "royal blood" and skull size as justifications for power and social status. The film makes the case that eugenics and (its more recent name) genetics has been driven by the same interests as those past claims.

It's very strange to me that the most unequal nation among wealthy nations contains so many people who are able to claim that inequality is inevitable and to invent something called "human nature" that routinely ignores 96% of humanity as somehow not entering into its definition. It's refreshing to see a film that systematically debunks this ridiculous project by examining history, science, and the history of science. Yet it's a bit frustrating to notice that even A Dangerous Idea does not make use of the existence of the rest of humanity. One would think that claims that the poor must always be poor would be handily debunked by the existence of nations that used to have poverty and inequality and, in great measure, got rid of those things. Surely it's harder work to build your case using only one corner of the earth and digging back through many decades than it is to mention other nations. In any case, harder or not, this film does an excellent job.

Those who have pushed eugenics/genetics have been, not only plutocrats, but also financial interests such as lead paint manufacturers defending themselves in court against those they have harmed. Eugenics, understood as controlled reproduction, never went away; it just added "genetic engineering." But its promises have proven as empty as its analytical powers, even if its promoters do seem to believe their own claims to the extent of investing great resources and energy into researching the "genetic basis" of "human nature." It's turned out that humans have only about one-fifth as many DNA sequences as wheat, and 90 percent of them identical to those of mice. The film debunks the idea of DNA as the determination of one's future, and also notes the flaws in studies of identical twins. I wish that it had also taken the time to note the flaws in studies of separated identical twins.

That gene science may be junk science does not, of course, tell us that nature (as contrasted with nurture) doesn't exist. But it does tell us that scientists are perfectly willing to swindle the public on behalf of powerful prejudist parties that have no more interest in pure knowledge for its own sake than does Lockheed Martin.

Eugenics was quite popular during the previous gilded age, and was largely imported from the United States to Nazi Germany. It shaped U.S. immigration policy, including the refusal to save millions of Jews. Then it changed its name, but it stuck around. When the Great Society programs under Lyndon Johnson reduced poverty in the United States by 40% without altering any genes, this was not taken as new data to be considered by our scientific heroes. It was taken as reason to reshape the lies and defund the programs.

And that's exactly what Richard Nixon did, except that he boosted funding for birth control and sterilization for the poor, resulting in at least 400,000 non-consensual sterilizations. We watch footage of both President Reagan and President Clinton explicitly praising the racist nonsense of Charles Murray as grounds for tearing down welfare - a step that was predicted to push millions of children into poverty and which did so. And poverty is now killing large numbers of people in what most of those people proudly call "the richest nation on earth," and which is in fact not the richest but near the top.

Poor Charlottesville has now made it into quite a number of films as the location of a fascist rally last year. This film frames the rise-of-fascism / footage from Charlottesville ending a bit differently from how some others have. Here we see these trends as part of a long-standing aristocratic struggle driven by greed but propped up by pseudo-scientific myth and mass-cultural repetition.

If we get rid of the idea that people's fates are significantly determined by their biology in some manner that can be observed and predicted, we'll have to abandon the notion that a population of born sociopaths are dominating us, along with the notion that certain disadvantaged groups must inevitably suffer and should therefore be made to suffer (which we could, if we preferred, abandon just because it makes no sense whatsoever). But we'll be left with the fact that how we treat people from the moment they arrive on this doomed little blue dot can radically open up possibilities for them to become better than any of us - much less genetic scientist Nobel laureates - have ever dreamed of.

(c) 2018 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.

All US Presidents, Living And Dead, Are War Criminals
By Glenn Ford

Especially at state funerals, media and politicians pretend that US presidents are honorable men, instead of the mass murderers that all of them become in office.

The daily whitewashing of imperial crimes that masquerades as "news" on corporate media becomes high ceremony when a Genocider-in-Chief dies. Now it is George Herbert Walker Bush's turn to be canonized for bringing "'a 'thousand points of light' illuminating the greatness, hope, and opportunity of America to the world," in the words of the current CEO of Empire, Donald Trump. Former White House denizens Obama, Clinton and Carter also lauded the life and works of their accomplice in global predation, as did the son-of-a-Bush, George W., the under-achiever who wound up out-doing his daddy in mass murder.

As high priests of American Exceptionalism, corporate news anchors absolve the dead leader of culpability for the mega-deaths inflicted on those countries targeted for invasion, drone strikes, regime change, proxy wars, or crippling economic sanctions under his watch -- an easy task for the media glib-makers, since their colleagues sanitized those crimes while they were in progress, decades ago. But the whitewasher's job is never done; the bodies keep piling up, "regimes" go "rogue," meaning they disobey American dictat or otherwise get in the way of the imperial project, or run afoul of vital U.S. allies, as with the unfortunate Yemenis and Palestinians.

Whatever the human cost, it is "worth it," as Clinton's former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright said of the half a million Iraqi children that died as a result of U.S. sanctions and the bombing of Iraqi infrastructure - carnage begun by Daddy Bush and continued by Bill Clinton, and then begun again with Bush Junior's "Shock and Awe" demonstration of U.S. military might. Obama got hundreds of thousands more Iraqis killed when he armed and trained head-chopping legions of Islamist jihadists to swarm the region in an attempted imperial comeback that has killed half a million Syrians, to date.

Presidential funerals are venues of absolution, mainly for crimes that are unacknowledged.

Most Americans would be shocked - or feign surprise -- if told that their country had caused the deaths of 20 to 30 million people since World War Two, a level of carnage approaching that inflicted on Europe by Hitler. But they do know the U.S. leaves dead bodies in its wake all around the planet -- Americans are not clueless, and that which they don't know is due as much to deliberate, determined ignorance as it is to the failings of the news media. A nation born in genocide and slavery does not change its nature without undergoing a revolution, and the United States has not experienced such a transformation. At least half the population sees the death of millions of non-whites as "collateral damage" from America's civilizing mission in the world: it's "worth it."

In such a country, eight million murdered Congolese can be vanished from national consciousness without a trace of guilt. The Rwandans and Ugandans that carried out this holocaust under U.S. protection, with U.S. arms, and in service to U.S. imperial objectives, are also absolved, lest their crimes taint the reputations of Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, or besmirch the U.S. national character.

The oldest of the living former presidents, Jimmy Carter, has spent decades building houses for the poor to atone for his crimes in the Oval Office. In addition to contributing to the carnage in Angola and backing fascist military regimes that slaughtered or disappeared hundreds of thousands in Latin America, the peanut-farming bible-thumper set in motion the U.S. alliance with al-Qaida. The creation of the first international network of Islamist jihadists, initially to force the Soviets out of Afghanistan, was the brainchild of Carter national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. Tens of thousands of heads have rolled since then, thanks to the honorable and righteous Jimmy Carter.

Barack Obama is a methodical man who claimed to be completing Dr. Martin Luther King's work but instead added his own wars to the continuum of the ,I>"greatest purveyor of violence in the world today." Obama told the U.S. Congress that his unprovoked attack on Libya was not a war, at all, because no Americans died, thus establishing a new doctrine and definition of warfare in which only U.S. deaths count. His secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, established new lows in diplomacy when she greeted news of Muammar Gaddafi's death, cackling, "We came, we saw, he died" - which could be the said of all the tens of millions of deaths at the hands of U.S. presidents.

International law has no place in U.S. foreign policy, or U.S. corporate media broadcasts, or in the U.S. political discourse. Bernie Sanders, the Great Gray Hope of leftish Democrats, prefers not to speak of foreign policy at all, and can thus ignore the millions of corpses left behind as a result of U.S. policy. And he is also considered to be an upright and moral man.

The current occupant of the White House has so far committed less carnage in the world than his peers, although the so-called "Resisters" that seek his ouster from office behave as if Trump is a greater criminal and threat than any of his predecessors. They applaud Trump only when he launches military attacks. Since he loves applause, it is certain that Trump will increase his body count before the election season begins in earnest.

(c) 2018 Glen Ford is the Black Agenda Report executive editor. He can be contacted at

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (L) and former President Bill Clinton arrive on the West Front of the
U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States.

What It Means That Hillary Clinton Might Run For President In 2020
The only way to overcome the corporatism that ultimately delivered the nation to Donald Trump, is for social movements to fight more resolutely and effectively for progressive change, including in the Democratic Party
By Norman Solomon

Twenty-five years ago-when I wrote a book titled "False Hope: The Politics of Illusion in the Clinton Era"-I didn't expect that the Democratic Party would still be mired in Clintonism two and a half decades later. But such approaches to politics continue to haunt the party and the country.

The last two Democratic presidencies largely involved talking progressive while serving Wall Street and the military-industrial complex. The obvious differences in personalities and behavior of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama diverted attention from their underlying political similarities. In office, both men rarely fought for progressive principles-and routinely undermined them.

Clinton, for example, brought the country NAFTA, welfare "reform" that was an assault on low-income women and families, telecommunications "reform" that turned far more airwaves over to media conglomerates, repeal of Glass-Steagall regulation of banks that led to the 2007-8 financial meltdown, and huge increases in mass incarceration.

Obama, for instance, bailed out big banks while letting underwater homeowners sink, oversaw the launching of more missiles and bombs than his predecessor George W. Bush, ramped up a war on whistleblowers, turned mass surveillance and the shredding of the Fourth Amendment into bipartisan precedent, and boosted corporate privatization of public education.

It wasn't only a congressional majority that Democrats quickly lost and never regained under President Obama. By the time he left the White House (immediately flying on a billionaire's jet to his private island and then within months starting to collect giant speaking fees from Wall Street), nearly 1,000 seats in state legislatures had been lost to Democrats during the Obama years.

Thanks to grassroots activism and revulsion toward President Trump, Democrats not only won back the House last month but also recaptured one-third of the state legislative seats that had been lost while Obama led the party and the nation.

During the last two years, progressive momentum has exerted major pressure against the kind of corporatist policies that Bill Clinton set into cement atop the Democratic Party. But today, the party's congressional leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are still in a mode loosely replicating Clinton's sleight-of-tongue formulas that have proved so useful-and extremely profitable-for corporate America, while economic inequality has skyrocketed.

As 2018 nears its end, the top of the Democratic Party is looking to continue Clintonism without the Clintons.

Or maybe Clintonism with the Clintons.

A real possibility is now emerging that Hillary Clinton will run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. On Sunday, the New York Times printed a Maureen Dowd column that reported: "Some in Clintonworld say Hillary fully intends to be the nominee.... And Bill has given monologues to old friends about how Hillary knows how she'd have to run in 2020, that she couldn't have a big staff and would just speak her mind and not focus-group everything. (That already sounds focus-grouped.)"

Dowd provided a helpful recap: "After the White House, the money-grubbing raged on, with the Clintons making over 700 speeches in a 15-year period, blithely unconcerned with any appearance of avarice or of shady special interests and foreign countries buying influence. They stockpiled a whopping $240 million. Even leading up to her 2016 presidential run, Hillary was packing in the speeches, talking to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, the American Camp Association, eBay, and there was that infamous trifecta of speeches for Goldman Sachs worth $675,000."

A cogent sum-up in the column came from former Washington Monthly editor Charles Peters: "What scares me the most is Hillary's smug certainty of her own virtue as she has become greedy and how typical that is of so many chic liberals who seem unaware of their own greed. They don't really face the complicity of what's happened to the world, how selfish we've become and the horrible damage of screwing the workers and causing this resentment that the Republicans found a way of tapping into."

That's where we are now-not only with the grim prospect that Hillary Clinton might run for president again, but more fundamentally with corporate allegiances still dominating the Democratic Party leadership.

The only way to overcome such corporatism is for social movements to fight more resolutely and effectively for progressive change, including in the Democratic Party. If you don't think that's a path to real breakthroughs, consider Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, winners of Democratic primaries this year who'll be sworn in as members of Congress next month. (Compare those successes to two decades of Green Party candidates running for Congress and never coming close.)

Whether or not Hillary Clinton runs for president again, Clintonism is a political blight with huge staying power. It can be overcome only if and when people at the grassroots effectively insist on moving the Democratic Party in a genuinely progressive direction.

(c) 2018 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."

A St. Paul Pioneer Press for sale in 2006.

Free The Free Press From Wall Street Plunder
Our right to a free press is meaningless if hedge funds can gobble up and gut the community newspapers that exercise it.
By Jim Hightower

Editors Note: Creators Syndicate fired Jim Hightower for writing this article!

A two-panel cartoon I recently saw showed a character with a sign saying: "First they came for the reporters." In the next panel, his sign says: "We don't know what happened after that."

It was, of course, a retort to Donald Trump's campaign to demonize the news media as "the enemy of the people." But when it comes to America's once-proud newspapers, their worst enemy isn't Trump -nor is it the rising cost of newsprint or the "free" digital news on websites.

Rather, the demise of the real news reporting by our city and regional papers is a product of their profiteering owners.

Not the families and companies that built and nurtured true journalism, but the new breed of fast-buck hucksters who've scooped up hundreds of America's newspapers from the bargain bins of media sell-offs.

These hedge-fund scavengers know nothing about journalism and care less. They're ruthless Wall Street profiteers out to grab big bucks fast.

They slash journalistic and production staff, void employee benefits, shrivel the paper's size and news content, sell the presses and other assets, and triple the price of their inferior product -and then declare bankruptcy, shut down the paper, and auction off the bones before moving on to plunder another town's paper.

By 2014, America's two largest media chains -GateHouse and Digital First -weren't venerable publishers with any commitment to truth or civic responsibility. Instead, their managers believe that good journalism is measured by the personal profit they can squeeze from it.

As revealed last year in an American Prospect article, GateHouse executives demanded that its papers cut $27 million from their operating expenses. Thousands of newspaper employees suffered in large part because one employee -the hedge fund's CEO -had extracted $54 million in personal pay from the conglomerate, including an $11 million bonus.

The core idea of the "civic commons" is that we are a self-governing people, capable of creating and sustaining a society based on common good. A noble aspiration!

But achieving it requires a basic level of community-wide communication -a reliable resource that digs out and shares truths so people know enough about what's going on to be self-governing. This is the role Americans have long expected their local and regional newspapers to play -papers that are not merely in our communities, but of, by, and for them.

Of course, being profit-seeking entities, papers have commonly (and often infamously) fallen far short of their noble democratic purpose. Overall, though, a town's daily (or, better yet, two or more dailies) makes for a more robust civic life by devoting journalistic resources to truth telling.

Local ownership matters, as some 1,500 of our towns have learned after Wall Street demigods have swept in without warning to seize their paper, gut its journalistic mission, and devour its assets.

For example, Digital First, a huge private-equity profiteer, snatched the St. Paul Pioneer Press and, demanding a ridiculous 25 percent profit margin from its purchase, stripped the newsroom staff from a high of 225 journalists to 25!

As the Prospect's Robert Kuttner reported, these tyrannical private equity firms produce nothing but profits for faraway speculators.

He notes that the blandly named entities only exist "thanks to three loopholes in the law." The first lets them operate in the dark; the second provides an unlimited tax deduction for the massive amounts of money they borrow to buy up newspapers; and the third allows them to profit by intentionally bankrupting the paper they take over.

Our right to a free press is meaningless if Wall Street thieves destroy our communities' presses. The good news is that many enterprising people are devising ways to rescue their newspapers. For more information, go to

(c) 2018 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

Protesters rally outside the state Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, on December 3, 2018.

State Republicans Are Refusing To Honor the Peaceful Transition Of Power
In Wisconsin, Michigan, and other states, the refusal of Republicans to accept election results sends an ominous signal.
By John Nichols

Many tributes to former President George Herbert Walker Bush have noted the letter that Bush sent, after losing the 1992 presidential election, to the man who defeated him. In a handwritten note left for Bill Clinton in the Oval Office on January 20, 1993, Bush offered advice on not taking criticism too seriously and concluded, "You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well. Your success now is our country's success. I am rooting hard for you."

That was a statement rooted in American tradition. It embraced and encouraged the peaceful transition of power from one president to the next, and from one party to another. The letter, Clinton would later reflect, revealed Bush as "an honorable, gracious and decent man who believed in the United States, our Constitution, our institutions and our shared future."

This notion of a shared future is at the heart of our regard as a people for the orderly transfer of authority from the loser of an election to the winner. If the country is to function as a democratic republic, there must be respect for the electoral process that allows the voters to determine who will exercise power-even when defeated candidates and defeated parties feel that the voters have gotten things wrong. Once the ballots have been counted-and recounted where necessary-the results are certified and the struggle for power is supposed to be finished.

George H.W. Bush understood this. Unfortunately, too many of the Republicans who have succeeded him do not.

In Wisconsin and Michigan, states where Democrats scored major victories on November 6, Republican legislators are racing to thwart the will of the people before newly elected Democratic governors, attorneys general, and secretaries of state take office.

In Wisconsin, the Republican leaders of the state's Assembly and Senate used this week's extraordinary session of the legislature to try to ram through dozens of bills that seek to undercut the authority of Governor-elect Tony Evers and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul. In Michigan, Republican legislators are considering schemes to strip key powers away from the Democrats who in January will replace Republicans as governor, attorney general, and secretary of state.

These GOP initiatives-along with an attempt by North Carolina Republican legislators to implement a new voter-identification measure before they lose their veto-proof supermajority in January-are assaults on the concept of a peaceful transition of power. Instead of respecting the clear desire of the voters for new leadership, Republicans are scrambling to rewrite the rules and disempower the officials that the people of their states elected on November 6.

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law President Kristen Clarke described the machinations by Republican lawmakers in various states-especially in regard to voting rights and electoral reforms-in stark terms, declaring that "This naked power grab by lawmakers undermines the public's confidence in the electoral process and breeds distrust in elected officials. These attempts to block reforms and stunt progress are incredibly antidemocratic."

The Republicans are playing a dangerous game, particularly in Wisconsin, where Scott Walker is conspiring with partisan allies in the legislature to undermine his successor. Remarkably, he and his fellow partisans are attempting to make it harder for Tony Evers to take action on the very health care, economic development, and ethics issues that he was elected to address.

This is a radical assault on democracy: an attempt by the loser of an election to use his last moments in office to undermine the authority of the winner. It is because this sort of behavior is so toxic, and so fundamentally threatening to respect for election results and for the governing decisions that are supposed to extend from them, that thousands of Wisconsinites have been protesting the abuses that Walker and his allies propose to perpetrate.

This is about much more than Scott Walker and Tony Evers in Wisconsin, or Michigan's Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer and outgoing Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. These statehouse fights go to the very heart of our understanding of politics in the states and in Washington-where the erratic presidency of Donald Trump and the sycophantic deference of congressional Republicans to him have fostered legitimate concern about the abandonment of constitutional principles and the maintenance of the rule of law.

As Wisconsin state Senator Caleb Frostman noted in a poignant statement regarding what is happening in his state, recent Republican actions in Wisconsin are a "brazen attempt to cancel statewide election results."

To illustrate why this is so wrong, Frostman turned to George H. W. Bush's letter to Bill Clinton. "I've seen this letter many times before, but with the recent passing of George H.W. Bush fresh in our collective conscience, its words and its sentiment hold additional significance," said the legislator. "This note symbolizes many of its author's most admirable qualities-humility, deference, the capacity for self-reflection, and the full embrace and understanding that the will of the people is what advances our political agenda and thus our collective success. His note also demonstrates one of the most unique and precious traditions of the United States: the peaceful transfer of power, which was a novel concept when our country was founded."

Lambasting Wisconsin Republicans for this week's power grab, Frostman, whose brief tenure in the legislature will end in January, warned that, "Unlike the tradition of a peaceful transfer of power, and unlike President Bush's humble words of encouragement to incoming President Clinton, the [actions of Walker and his legislative allies] are hostile to democracy, display the petulance of children denied their third piece of birthday cake, and reek of supreme arrogance."

(c) 2018 John Nichols writes about politics for The Nation magazine as its Washington correspondent. 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 Dangerous Assault On Free-flow Of Information
By James Donahue

We all know that President Trump's scuffle with CNN reporter Jim Acosta and the legal battle over Acosta's right to due process has been making headlines. That Acosta was reinstated as a member of the White House media crew by court order was the proper outcome of this issue. But it appears to only be the tip of a mountain of a growing conflict between the power figures and the public's right to know what these people are up to . . . not only in the United States but apparently in other parts of of the world.

It goes without saying that dictators and corrupt politicians resent being questioned and exposed by an active member of the press. The recent murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul is a perfect example of this growing clash. Khashoggi had written stories critical of the Saudi royal family which apparently led to the mob-style killing when he entered the consulate on October 2.

That Mr. Trump is refusing to speak out about the Khashoggi killing or take action against the Saudi royal family strongly suggests that he condoned the killing. And that suggests that the mindset of Trump and the Washington gang surrounding him is moving into dictatorial territory.

Since taking office Trump has made it clear that he strongly objects to being questioned by the media. He has held very few personal confrontations with the Washington Press Corps and his appointed press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders feeds especially scripted news releases in his place.

A report by Cody Fenwick for AlterNet noted that after being forced to reinstate Acosta, the Trump White House issued what was described as "draconian rules" for members of the press corps during weekly confrontations. Reporters are now allowed to ask only one single question without a follow-up. They may only ask this question when recognized by the moderator. If the reporter insists on asking for a clarification they are threatened with being removed from the room.

Enforcing rules like that will make it almost impossible for reporters to dig into important issues and get complete news stories concerning presidential actions.

In the daily quest to cover the actions of the president the media has learned to lean heavily on "tweets" published by Mr. Trump via the Internet. Trump has been issuing important and often conflicting policy statements with his short blurbs on the Twitter social networking service. It became common for the president to declare many of these reports as "fake news" when he found news interpretations of his actions to be embarrassing and/or critical of him.

The Trump "fake news" and "enemies of the people" attacks have spread dangerously into various aspects of the social media. It has thus become impossible to determine which news reports are fake and which are true or if we can even trust the media to be presenting the honest truth. His latest idea is to launch his own "state run" television network, obviously designed to counter network news stories with his own Trump-styled news.

In a recent interview with The Hill reporter James Risen said he considered Trump's attack on Acosta a "symbol" of his broader war against journalism. Risen called it "demagoguing" the media "in a way we haven't seen in modern American history."

In its legal battle on behalf of Acosta, CNN accused Trump of violating the First and Fourth Amendments and said the actions "threaten all journalists and news organizations."

The very profession of journalist has been under severe attack in all parts of the world. In a BBC news report in May, 2018, it was noted that over 2,500 news reporters and their associates had been murdered since 1990 and up to 32 killed in 2018 alone. The story stated that 82 world journalists died on the job in 2017. The Khashoggi killing was not counted in these numbers.

Statistics suggest that the largest number of these killings in 2018 have occurred in Russia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Mexico and the United States. More than 300 journalists were imprisoned because of the work they were doing.

A major reason for imprisoning journalists is because of the reporter's refusal to reveal confidential news sources. The protection of sources is a major issue for all reporters working in the field. Without confidential sources it would often be impossible for working reporters to learn the secret actions of political and economic powers operating behind closed doors. Thus we have the conflict between dictatorial powers and the media.

There is yet another very subtle, but disturbing trend that appears to be making it difficult if not impossible to acquire certain information via the Internet. In recent weeks the search engines have begun blocking published papers concerning certain controversial political issues. Controversial photos, political cartoons and stories appear to be selectively removed from public viewing and/or use as resource information by research journalists.

(c) 2018 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.

Afghan security forces and investigators gather at the site of a suicide bomb attack
outside a British security firm's compound in Kabul, a day after the blast on November 29, 2018.

After 17 Years Of War, Afghanistan Is All But Forgotten
By William Rivers Pitt

Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz and the other neo-con wild boys who came to power with George W. Bush in 2001 all shared a vision. In their minds, they saw a cowed, conquered Iraq as the stepping stone to a wider conflict that would, in the righteous fullness of Republican time, lead to broad regional transformation and the enforced peace of empire, all of it lubricated by "liberated" Middle Eastern petroleum.

Using Iraq as a jump-off point, they would knock off regime after regime, running up the stars and stripes as they went, and then watch as peace and prosperity unfolded like a desert blossom. That cauldron of seemingly endless conflict would soon become a happy democratic paradise filled to bursting with McDonald's customers tying the laces of their new Nike sneakers with fingers stained purple from voting. All the wild boys needed was a catalyst, a "new Pearl Harbor," to get the ball rolling. When the Towers came down, they took their shot, and we were off to the races.

It has not worked out exactly as planned.

Sure, they got their endless wars, and their friends all got rich profiteering off them, and the folks back home think conservative Democrats are socialists and anarchists (or terrorists, or bomb-throwers, depending on who you talk to) because the political "debate" has been dragged so far to the right. Sure, the culture in general - after all these blood-drenched years - is entrenched in a war-worshipping, racist siege mentality, so detached from reality that Donald Trump actually became president ... but the peace/freedom/democracy/free oil bit pretty much comprehensively failed to pan out.

Fifteen years after Bush widened the war his father started 27 years ago, Iraq is a shattered state. Neighboring Syria, which collapsed into chaos and violence after absorbing millions of refugees from Iraq, is an equally brutalized graveyard. Egypt and Libya are in varying states of social and economic disrepair. Saudi Arabia's ongoing war in Yemen, waged with direct US assistance that began during the Obama administration, has turned that country into an abattoir where tens of thousands have died and millions face the immediate threat of starvation.

And then, of course, there is Afghanistan, the war almost everybody seems to have forgotten we are still fighting. That war - the longest ever fought in US history - will be old enough to vote next year, or it could enlist and get deployed to Afghanistan. It has taken the lives of nearly 4,000 coalition soldiers, roughly half of whom were US troops. Three US troops were killed on Tuesday, and two others the week before. More than 20,000 US troops have been wounded in combat.

More than 100,000 Afghan people have been killed, some 30,000 of them civilians. Within the last 10 days in Afghanistan, 55 civilians were killed and 94 wounded in a suicide bombing at a religious gathering. Two soldiers and three police officers were killed in separate incidents on the same day. On November 22, Taliban fighters summarily executed 11 local police officers and militia members. In the US, the rare headlines about Afghanistan range from grim ("17 Years In, Afghan War at a 'Stalemate'") to downright Orwellian ("Rise in US Deaths in Afghanistan Clouds Outlook for Peace").

To date, the war in Afghanistan has cost more than $2 trillion, but that number does not account for the interest on the loans the US took out to pay for the thing in the first place. The conservative estimate for the cost of all the wars stands today at around $6 trillion, but even that figure is largely guesswork because these wars were financed off the books, and the Pentagon hasn't been able to do simple math for a couple of generations.

Iraq, Afghanistan and now Yemen. The country is discouraged from talking about these wars. They're generally left off the script by the TV news shows, because the right people - those wealthy bullet-mongers you'll never meet - are still making money off the meat grinder hand over fist. That $6 trillion did not disappear; it moved to a few upscale addresses and then got shipped offshore, far away from the eyes of the IRS, because that's The American Way, too.

It is virtually impossible to avoid becoming deeply cynical in the face of all this, but there are shards of light still piercing the smoke. On Wednesday, the US Senate threw a big brick through the White House windows by overwhelmingly approving debate on a bill that would end US military support for Saudi Arabia's vicious war in Yemen.

Some 14 Republicans - including Lindsey Graham, Bob Corker and co-sponsor Mike Lee - joined Bernie Sanders and every Senate Democrat in voting to open debate, allowing it to pass by a margin of 63-37. This dramatic sea change on the part of the GOP was made possible by Donald Trump's gruesome support for Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of that nation's assassination of Washington Post journalist and fierce Yemen war critic Jamal Khashoggi. For Trump, the war money is more important than the murder, and that isn't sitting well even within the cretin brigade that is the Senate's Republican majority.

Voting to open debate on ending US support for the Yemen war is not nearly the same as actually voting to end it, and the bill to end it might seem to have small hope of passage given how little time this Congress will be in session. However, although a great many things will be changing in January, this needs to happen immediately. US involvement in one gruesome corner of the wider war we started must be brought to a close.

"Let us look each other in the eye," writes Truthout's Robert Naiman, "and commit that we will push by any and all legal and nonviolent means necessary to force as many votes as necessary in the Senate and the House before Congress adjourns for the year, in order to end the Yemen war and stop the famine. The United Nations and aid groups have said forcefully that there must be a sustained cease-fire right now, in order to get the people and resources into Yemen that are necessary to stop the famine. Not in January. Right now."

Right now, before another 17 years pass and Yemen is forgotten along with Afghanistan, Iraq and so much else.

(c) 2018 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.

The Banana Republicans Have Been On This Track For A Long Time
By Heather Digby Parton

If you are not aware of the Banana Republican tactics being practiced first in North Carolina and now replicated in Wisconsin and Michigan, check out this article. It's chilling.

But let's not pretend that this sort of thing just came out of nowhere. Paul Waldman gives us a helpful history lesson on the escalation of this sort of dirty politics:

You can date this era of democracy-rigging back to the 2000 Florida debacle, which taught Republicans a number of lessons, including that voter purges are an effective way to keep large numbers of Democrats from the polls, intimidating election officials can stop vote counts, it's important to have a secretary of state in place who can put her thumb on the scales in a close election, and if all else fails, the Supreme Court will bail you out.

Put them all together and you have a meta-lesson that Republicans took to heart: We can get away with anything. It doesn't matter whether we're the target of a stern editorial from The New York Times, or whether Democrats squawk. What matters is winning.

So in subsequent years they just kept on pushing, particularly after Barack Obama became president. Can we just filibuster everything? Sure, why not! Can we threaten to default on America's debt? Go for it! Shut down the government? Have at it! The breaking of norms culminated in the refusal to allow Obama's nominee for a vacant Supreme Court seat to get so much as a hearing. One can't help but wonder if at the time someone said, "Can we really just refuse to hear the nomination of a Supreme Court justice? Won't we be punished?" And the answer was, "Who's going to punish us? The voters? Give me a break."

They were right, in 2016 at least. And let's be honest: Voters in 2018 weren't rejected the bottomless cynicism of the GOP nearly as much as they were rejecting Donald Trump. And now there's a partisan Republican majority on the Supreme Court, which will be happy to rubber-stamp just about any move Republican states take to rig the game in the GOP's favor.

We often hear laments in the media about how unrelentingly nasty and partisan American politics has become. But as it is today, only one of our two great parties demonstrates such outright contempt for democracy. The Republican Party simply does not believe in the idea that the candidate who gets the most votes is the one who should govern, should that candidate be a Democrat. And in the years to come, as the people they represent make up a smaller and smaller proportion of the American population, they'll come to believe it even less than they do now and rely even more on rigging the game in order to hold power. After all, who's going to stop them?

Exactly. In Wisconsin, there are protests at the capitol and around the state. Voters are up in arms. But the Republicans aren't budging. They simply don't care. And they are likely counting on short memories and short attention spans to alleviate them of any accountability for this stuff. It's obvious that the people have to take responsibility and remove these people from office and keep them out until they sober up and agree to follow the rules. To do that will likely require some rather radical structural changes.

We'll have to see whether or not anyone has the will to do that.

(By the way, I would actually trace the modern GOP's descent into blatant undemocratic behavior to the 1998 impeachment. The public wasn't with them and their case was insanely thin to justify removing a democratically elected president from office. But they did it anyway. It didn't work out for them but they got their boy Bush installed two years later anyway. Nobody paid a price for any of it.)

(c) 2018 Heather Digby Parton, also known as "Digby,"is a contributing writer to Salon. She was the winner of the 2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism.

Decades Of Denial And Stalling Have Created A Climate Crunch
By David Suzuki

In a 1965 speech to members, American Petroleum Institute president Frank Ikard outlined the findings of a report by then-president Lyndon Johnson's Science Advisory Committee, based in part on research the institute conducted in the 1950s.

"The substance of the report is that there is still time to save the world's peoples from the catastrophic consequence of pollution, but time is running out," Ikard said, adding, "One of the most important predictions of the report is that carbon dioxide is being added to the earth's atmosphere by the burning of coal, oil and natural gas at such a rate that by the year 2000 the heat balance will be so modified as possibly to cause marked changes in climate beyond local or even national efforts."

Many scientists were reaching similar conclusions, based on a body of evidence that had been growing at least since French mathematician Joseph Fourier described the greenhouse effect in 1824. In the 1950s, Russian climatologist Mikhail Budyko examined how feedback loops amplify human influences on the climate. He published two books, in 1961 and 1962, warning that growing energy use will warm the planet and cause Arctic ice to disappear, creating feedback cycles that would accelerate warming.

The predictions have proven to be accurate, and evidence for human-caused global warming has since become indisputable.

What happened? Over the ensuing decades, the fossil fuel industry didn't try to resolve what it knew would become a crisis. Instead, it worked to downplay and often deny the reality of climate change and to sow doubt and confusion. Knowingly putting humanity - and countless other species - at risk for the sake of profit is an intergenerational crime against humanity, but it's unlikely any perpetrators will face justice.

Still, warnings from researchers worldwide started to sink in. In 1988, NASA scientist James Hansen told a U.S. congressional committee, "Global warming has reached a level such that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and observed warming. It is already happening now."

People in the U.S. and elsewhere started to demand action on climate and other environmental challenges. Political leaders from George H.W. Bush in the U.S. to Margaret Thatcher in the U.K. to Brian Mulroney in Canada started jumping on the "green" bandwagon - in word if not always in deed.

Had we heeded early warnings and had political representatives done more than talk, we likely could have addressed the problem with minimal societal disruption. But the industry-funded denial machine, which continues today, has been effective. Concern about climate change and other environmental issues has diminished as the problems have intensified. Politicians continue to think in terms of brief election cycles, focusing on short-term gains from exploiting fossil fuels rather than long-term benefits of conserving energy and shifting to cleaner sources.

Meanwhile, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and carbon sinks like forests and wetlands are still being destroyed. Even if we stopped using fossil fuels tomorrow, we've emitted so much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that we wouldn't be able to avert worsening of the consequences already happening. But we still have time - albeit very little - to ensure the problem doesn't become catastrophic. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is conservative in its estimates, gives us about 12 years to take decisive action.

And yet, some people still deny or downplay the problem, or argue we have to shift slowly, even though they seem reluctant to start what could have been a gradual transition had we started a half-century ago.

Canada, China and Russia are the worst offenders. A report published in Nature Communications ranked the climate plans of various countries and concluded that if the world followed our climate policies, we'd face a catastrophic rise in global average temperature of 5 C by the end of the century. The U.S. and Australia weren't far behind.

We have to do better. Many people, especially politicians, say we can't shift from fossil fuels overnight. That may be true, but if we don't start, we'll never get there. With a federal election less than a year away, it's up to us all to ensure every political party makes climate change its highest priority and has a realistic plan to address it.

(c) 2018 Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co_founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

And, like the two hit men in Pulp Fiction, they got the job done in time for breakfast.

Republicans Have A Problem With Democrats. But More So With Democracy.
Wisconsin Republican rhetoric shows a deep contempt for the intellect of anyone over the age of 5.
By Charles P. Pierce

By 8:30 local time Wednesday morning, democracy was murdered in Wisconsin by Republican button men who performed the hit right out in the open, if not in broad daylight, because so much of the crime was committed in the middle of the night. At 8:30, the heavily gerrymandered Republican majority in the state assembly passed Senate Bill 8884 by a vote of 56-27. It had earlier passed the Senate by one damn vote, 17-16, and let's pause to recognize Republican state senator Rob Cowles of Alllouez, who joined with the Democrats in trying to stop the murder in progress.

This is the bill that will curb early voting and that also will severely restrict the freedom of the newly elected Democratic governor, Tony Evers, and the newly elected Democratic attorney general, Josh Kaul. These measures were the primary reasons for the lame-duck session in the first place, because it is now political doctrine among Republicans in Wisconsin that Democratic victories in the state's elections don't count, and that Democratic voters in the state do not count as much as the nice, rural white folk out in Ed Gein country.

Tony Evers

Exaggerating? They as much as admitted it as they ran the session through the night. Here's State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, explaining his role in the butchery.

"Law written by the legislature and passed by a governor should not be erased based on the political maneuvering of an incoming administration." "Political maneuvering," in this case, equals a Democratic governor doing what he was elected to do.

"Citizens from every corner of Wisconsin deserve a strong legislative branch that stands on equal footing with an incoming administration that is based almost solely in Madison." Where almost 250,000 of the citizens of Wisconsin live.

Scott Fitzgerald

Here's state assembly leader Robin Vos, giving the corpse a good kick on the electric Twitter machine.

We have allowed far too much authority to move to the executive branch. The sheer contempt for democracy in these remarks is matched only by the deep and abiding contempt these two have for the intellect of anyone over the age of five.

For going on eight years, this legislature has been Scott Walker's tabernacle choir on everything Walker has done to sabotage good government in Wisconsin, up to and including the soon-to-be-catastrophic FoxConn deal that's going to be lying on Tony Evers's desk like a dead badger as soon as he takes office. Now that a Democrat was elected-with the help of all those quasi-eligible voters in places where lots of people actually live-Fitzgerald and Vos have noticed that a Democrat will be wielding all those powers that mysteriously leached into the governor's office while they weren't paying attention?

Robin Vos

Scott Walker is a blight on a proud political history that is going to take decades to eliminate. His pet legislators are now seeing to that. A jumped-up county commissioner, surrounded by penny-ante crooks his entire public career, whose corruption in office was never fully plumbed because of a gerrymandered legislative majority and some partisan judges, Walker leaves office trailing a wake of slime behind him that those same legislators are now trying to render permanent.

It fouls the legacy of another Wisconsin governor, Robert LaFollette, who, in a speech delivered in 1924, saw Scott Walker, Robin Vos, Scott Fitzgerald, and all the rest of them coming from a century off.

America is not made. It's in the making. It has today to meet an impending crisis as menacing as any in the nation's history. It does not sound a call to arms, but it is nonetheless a call to patriotism and to higher ideals in citizenship--a call for the preservation of the representative character of the government itself.

If we would preserve the spirit as well as the form of our free institutions, the patriotic citizenship of the country must take its stand and demand of wealth that it shall conduct its business lawfully. That it shall no longer furnish the most flagrant examples of persistent violation of statutes while invoking the protection of the courts. That it shall not destroy the equality of opportunity, nor the right to the pursuit of happiness guaranteed by the constitution. That it shall keep its powerful hands off from legislative manipulation, that it shall not corrupt but shall obey the government that guards and protects its rights. It is a glorious service, this service for the country. Mere passive citizenship is not enough. Men must be aggressive for what is right if government is to be saved from those who are aggressive for what is wrong. The nation has awakened somewhat slowly to a realization of its peril, but it has responded with gathering momentum.

History is hollow in Wisconsin these days, and that's a crime against us all.

(c) 2018 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-

"A liberal knows that the only certainty in this life is change but believes that the change can be directed toward a constructive end."
~~~ Henry Wallace

People watch a globe at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), in Le Bourget, France,
on December 10, 2015. The catastrophic impacts of runaway climate change are already upon us.

In The Face Of Extinction, We Have A Moral Obligation
By Dahr Jamail

Researching and writing about the impacts of runaway climate change, as I've been doing now for too many years, I've watched several patterns recur.<> One of these is evident in a recent warning from the UN. Biodiversity chief of the UN Cristiana Pașca Palmer warned that if governments around the globe don't work to bring a halt to the loss of biodiversity and succeed in implementing a plan to do so within two years, humans could face our own extinction.

Palmer said, according to The Guardian, "People in all countries need to put pressure on their governments to draw up ambitious global targets by 2020 to protect the insects, birds, plants and mammals that are vital for global food production, clean water and carbon sequestration."

People in all countries are already working to pressure their governments to do just that. Yet, with few possible exceptions, we know all too well how wedded most governments are to the current power structure and the economics that drive it to believe radical policy change like this will actually occur (without overthrowing said governments).

Then the pattern will repeat: After some time passes, and things are even worse, another dire warning or results of a study that serves as one is released, and again, nothing will change.

As cynical as this is, anyone paying attention over time can see this pattern.

Thus, we shall continue to watch these milestones as they pass by, then brace ourselves for what is to come.

Personally, I have instead surrendered and accepted the inevitability of our situation: that we will live the rest of our time, however long each of us might have left, on an irrevocably changed planet, while the Sixth Mass Extinction event continues apace. We will daily walk further into that frontier.

However, for me, this means that caring for the small piece of land where I live has never been more meaningful. Never have I felt as much gratitude for birdsong when I hear it, or for the scent of the Douglas fir near my home, or for the fresh air wafting down from the Olympic Mountains within whose shadow I live.

At the same time, never have I felt as morally obliged as I do today to live my life as close to my beliefs as possible. I'm obliged to work to serve and care for the planet with as much assiduity, tenacity and devotion as I am capable of. In fact, each time I read about the dire results of yet another human-caused climate/bio/geosphere disruption study, it is an opportunity to recommit to my beliefs.

At least for today, this is how I do this work in a way that is personally sustainable. Tomorrow, assuming I am still here, I might need a completely different approach.

If you haven't yet, I encourage you to consider what your approach could be, as you take in each one of these reports below - each one a body blow humans have inflicted upon Earth.

To begin, a recently published study has shown that ocean acidification has already ignited a dangerous feedback loop that is literally dissolving the seafloor. Motherboard's explanation of the study is worth quoting in full, as this is a critical feedback loop we all must be aware of:

Calcium carbonate, or calcite, lines the ocean floor. When calcite combines with carbon dioxide and water, the reaction produces calcium ions and bicarbonate ions. Because of this, the surrounding water becomes less acidic over long periods of time - think tens to thousands of years. But when you throw more carbon dioxide into the equation, all of the seafloor calcite starts to get used up to power these reactions in extremely large amounts, meaning that the ocean floor is dissolving. Now, there's not enough calcite but more carbon dioxide than ever, driving up acidity levels.

Foundational species in the marine food chain, such as coral, are fine-tuned to thrive within a very particular range of pH levels. When those levels change for a long period of time, these species - as well as the fish, bacteria, mollusks, and ocean life that depends on them - simply can't survive. The last time the oceans were as acidic as they are now, 96 percent of ocean life was extinct.

Another study published in mid-November revealed how the climate policies of China, Russia and Canada alone will, if left unchanged, bring Earth above catastrophic 5 degrees Celsius (5 degrees C) warming in less than 85 years.

The recently released US National Climate Assessment stated unequivocally that human-caused climate change will inflict "substantial damages" to the "economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades." In many ways it restates the obvious: Climate change is already harming the lives of people in the US via disastrous wildfires in the west, soil loss in the Midwest, coastal erosion in Alaska, and east coast flooding. As did the aforementioned study, a previous climate assessment chapter stated: "without major reductions, annual average global temperatures could increase by 9 degrees F (5 degrees C) or more by the end of this century."


Climate change-driven changes across this realm are becoming more dramatic with each passing month.

A recently published study showed that, due to increasingly warmer temperatures, climate change has become an "escalator to extinction" for mountain birds. Warmer temperatures are wiping out bird species that were already living atop mountains for the cooler climate

Another recent study showed that climate change is essentially functioning to sterilize male insects. This grave damage to male insect reproductive systems under increasingly powerful heat waves could already be contributing to declines in biodiversity around much of the world.

Habitat loss for wildlife, according to a recent UN conference, is a threat to all of our futures. Biodiversity experts in attendance warned that the mass extinction of the planet's wildlife is now as big of a danger as climate change itself. The World Wildlife Fund recently published its annual Living Planet report, which showed how, since just 1970, humans have annihilated 60 percent of Earth's mammals, birds, fish and reptiles.

A very important recently published article by Yale Environment 360 showed how Earth's climate zones are literally shifting due to climate change. This is bringing about food and water scarcity, and resulting in mostly negative consequences for local economies and public health. Some of the highlights of the article: The tropics are expanding by 30 miles each decade, the Sahara Desert has gotten 10 percent larger since 1920, and the 100th meridian in the US - the line where the arid Western plains of North America meet the wetter eastern region - has shifted 140 miles to the east.

On that note, a government scientist in Canada is sounding the alarm about what is happening to forests in his country. Speaking to the fact that vast areas of Canadian forests are dying out, Canadian Forest Service research scientist Barry Cooke told the CBC, "We see these compelling images of trees dying over large areas and it's fairly frightening." The trees, which are dying off, are also a critical source of Canada's biodiversity.

Meanwhile, a shocking new study showed that the Congo Basin rainforest, the second largest rainforest on Earth, may be gone by the end of this century, given current rates of deforestation. The study does not take into account climate change impacts like drought, wildfires and insect infestations that, of course, speed this up dramatically.

We are all acutely aware of the growing number of people from Central America heading toward the southern US border. But what is usually not reported by the corporate media is that a vast percentage of these migrants, particularly those from Guatemala, are migrating due to climate change impacts like drought and shifting weather patterns, which are making life ever more difficult for small-scale farmers there.

This fall, a major hurricane in Hawai'i literally erased a small island from the map. Along with that disappearance came the loss of a critical breeding ground for monk seals, turtles and birds.

In what is truly a sign of the times, increasing numbers of "last chance" tourists are flocking to sites before they vanish. A recent article about this "last-chance tourism" - the phenomenon of people wanting to see places that are already irrevocably changed by climate change, or that will likely soon go away entirely - is rather disturbing. Some of the places attracting these "last chance" tourists are the Florida Reef Tract and Glacier National Park in Montana.

To close this section on a slightly heartening note, it is good to see more and more books and articles that are addressing the need to grieve all of this mounting loss.


The now-infamous Pacific Blob, a vast patch of warm water that caused massive die-offs of marine life a few years ago, was just the precursor to what could become a pattern. Another mass of warm water has formed off the coast of Canada's British Columbia, where warmer than normal ocean water is already covering about a 2,000 sq. km. area.

Despite Oregon being in the normally rainy Pacific Northwest, record heat and low rainfall have caused a declaration of emergency in almost one-third of the counties of the state. Amazingly, 86 percent of the state is also in severe drought.

In a dramatic indication of the rapidly diminishing cryosphere, a large glacier in China that draws millions of tourists annually is melting away before our eyes. The Baishui glacier, at 15,000 feet, is part of a massive blanket of ice in Central Asia referred to as the "third pole," given that it is the third largest store of ice on the planet, behind Greenland and the Antarctic. The area of ice, roughly the size of New Mexico and Texas combined, is vital as a water source for billions of people in Asia, and the 10 largest rivers in Asia rely heavily on its seasonal melting. In fact, it is one of the largest sources of freshwater on Earth, and it is in trouble. Scientists working in China found that, by 2015, 82 percent of the glaciers they surveyed in China had retreated. A study published this year showed that the Baishui had lost 60 percent of its mass and shrunk 820 feet since just 1982.

"China has always had a freshwater supply problem with 20 percent of the world's population but only 7 percent of its freshwater," Jonna Nyman, an energy security lecturer at the University of Sheffield, told "That's heightened by the impact of climate change."

Scientists have also warned of a coming water crisis due to the melting glaciers in China; they expect it to begin around 2060.

Meanwhile, sea ice and glaciers in other parts of the world are not faring any better.

The Arctic sea ice is now thin enough that Russia is softening its regulations for the kind of vessels it allows to operate within its Northern Sea Route for shipping across the Arctic.

In Canada's Yukon Territory, glaciers are now retreating much faster than previously believed, and bringing dramatic changes across the region. "In their recent State of the Mountains report published earlier in the summer, the Canadian Alpine Club found that the Saint Elias mountains which span British Columbia, the Yukon and Alaska - are losing ice faster than the rest of the country," read a story in The Guardian about the melting glaciers. "Previous research found that between 1957 and 2007, the range lost 22 percent of its ice cover, enough to raise global sea levels by 1.1 millimetres."

"When I first went to the St. Elias range, it felt like time travel - into the past," David Hik, who co-edited the report, told The Guardian. "What we're seeing now feels like time travel into the future. Because as the massive glaciers are retreating, they're causing a complete reorganization of the environment."

Then there are the ever-rising seas. Recently, three-fourths of Venice was flooded by an exceptionally high tide, which was augmented by strong winds. It was the worst flooding to inundate the city in a decade, and untold numbers of homes, commercial buildings and businesses flooded. We will, of course, see more of this colossal flooding in the not-so-distant future for all coastal cities around the globe.

One factor that causes the oceans to rise is the expansion of ocean waters as they warm. With that warming come other problems. For example, Australia's Great Barrier Reef has received another dire warning: the entire system is at risk from bleaching and more coral death. The US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration forecast a 60 percent chance that the entire Great Barrier Reef will reach alert level one, meaning that extreme heat stress and bleaching are likely. 2016 and 2017 both saw heat waves that decimated large swaths of the reef.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's recent report warned that even with just a 1.5degrees C warming (Earth is currently at 1.1 degrees C), the planet would lose 80 percent of its coral reefs. At 2 degrees C they would all be destroyed.


California isn't the only place experiencing increasingly intense and devastating wildfires.

A wildfire in George, South Africa, killed seven people, including a firefighter, as fires in the region are worsening due to ongoing drought and increasingly warming temperatures.

Bushfires following an intense heat wave across parts of Queensland, Australia - described as "highly unusual" for this time of year - have destroyed homes and forced evacuations. Normally, in Queensland, this time of year is the wet season.

"In this part of the world we have not experienced these conditions before," Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll told the BBC. "It is unprecedented."

Meanwhile, it's not news that California, being warmer and drier than it used to be, is causing more and increasingly destructive wildfires as climate change progresses. Another report, this one from National Geographic, outlined how that state's hottest and driest summers have all occurred in the last 20 years, along with the fact that 15 of the 20 largest wildfires in the state's history have occurred since just 2000. Additionally, 10 of the top 20 most destructive California wildfires have occurred since just 2010.

Underscoring these trends, another report showed that California's Camp Fire, which killed scores of people and displaced more than 100,000, caused greater devastation than the 10 other most destructive California wildfires combined.


According to a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, climate change is likely the cause of tropical cyclones now being pushed toward the poles. This means they are becoming increasingly destructive at the northern latitudes. This is due to the fact that climate change is actually causing the tropics to expand, is warming sea surface temperatures, and these conditions are causing cyclones to form further northward.

A November report by Yale Environment 360 showed that Arctic warming, which is happening twice as quickly as the warming of the rest of the globe, has allowed new species to spread northwards, which are bringing new diseases with them that are having an increasingly devastating impact on the region's fragile ecosystems.

Denial and Reality

The rhetoric of climate denial is shifting, according to a recent report by Vox. The Republican Party, having become aware that - given the regularity of catastrophic climate events that is now undeniably upon us - engaging in ongoing denial of climate change makes them look bad, has shifted its wording again. Rather than denying outright the reality of climate change, some Republicans are now increasingly challenging the idea that it is human-caused ... while, of course, continuing to do the bidding of its fossil fuel funders. The rhetoric may have shifted, but in a sense, it doesn't matter: Republicans are still working against any policy changes that might threaten the profits of Big Oil.

In one of the most blatant acts of denial possible, while commenting on the release of the aforementioned alarming US climate change report, President Donald Trump said, "I don't believe it."

Back in reality-land, Energy and Environment News published an important story outlining how every single US president from JFK on was warned about the dangers of climate change.

Meanwhile, New York State's attorney general has sued ExxonMobil, accusing it of deceiving its shareholders by downplaying the risks of climate change.

We must brace ourselves for a truly dystopian climate future that is inevitable. A very important report by Aeon shows us that we're not just facing a "new normal" of climate extremes and the catastrophes that accompany them. In effect, we are entering a New Cretaceous period.

"Last November, the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn reported that warming by 3 degreesC by 2100 is now the realistic expectation," reads the report. "With no check on emissions, we are on course to see preindustrial levels of CO2 double (from 280 to 560 ppm, or parts per million) by 2050 - and then double again by 2100. In short, we'll be generating climate conditions last experienced during the Cretaceous period (145-65.95 million years ago) when CO2 levels reached over 1,000 ppm."

It is worth noting that during the Cretaceous period, global temperatures were 3-10 degrees C hotter than preindustrial temperatures, and we are currently at 1.1°C above preindustrial temperatures.

A final reality check for us all: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently reported that concentrations of key greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that are driving up global temperatures set a record in 2017. There is no sign of a reversal to this trend on the horizon.

According to the WMO report, the last time Earth experienced a similar concentration of CO2 was 3-5 million years ago, when global temperatures were 2-3 degrees C warmer than today, and sea levels were 10-20 meters higher than they are right now.

CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are 46 percent higher today than they were before the industrial revolution began. Concurrently, methane, which is a far, far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, is now present in the atmosphere at 257 percent of its level before the industrial revolution, and its rate of increase has been constant over the last decade.

The catastrophic impacts of runaway climate change are already upon us. We must all consider how to use our time and energies most wisely and carefully, as we face down the most monumental test our species has experienced.

(c) 2018 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.

Human Extinction
Not with a bang but a sore throat...
By Jane Stillwater

I just got a small taste of what it's gonna be like here on Planet Earth in the year 2028 -- and, frankly, it scared the holy crap out of me. "So." "What happened," you might ask. Long story.

First of all, a massive curtain of toxic smoke from that huge NorCal wildfires slowly descended on my own hometown recently. We all struggled around in gas masks and it became rather hard to breathe.

Next I foolishly started thinking, "What's a little haze in the air? I'm young. I'm strong. I don't need no stinking gas masks." Ha.

And then I got a horrible sore throat. My eyes watered. My nose ran. I constantly coughed. I took to my bed. I truly thought that I was going to die.

But I didn't.

But I could have.

And that, dear readers, was my own personal sneak-preview experience of what death by climate catastrophe will be like in the year 2028.

Your experience could be different, of course. You could freeze to death -- or drown in a flood or get hit by a tornado. But for most of us? It will be one long, painful and ignominious Death by Sore Throat.

PS: And what will be the main cause of this massive human-extinction event? No, it won't be because you or I didn't drive a Prius or because we forgot to recycle or even because we took too many jet plane rides on vacation.

No, Extinction '28 will be mostly caused by all those petty little "wars" that our idiot leaders in Washington DC, London, Tel Aviv and Saudi Arabia are so very fond of.

Their constant and heartless mega-bombing of Yemen not only murders school children in Sanaa but it also is murdering us too -- only slower.

Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Palestine, Gaza, Ferguson.... Every single bomb dropped, every single tank on the ground and every single F16 in the air brings all of us just that much closer to Extinction 2028.

(c) 2018 Jane Stillwater. Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world. And while you're at it, please buy my books!

The Dead Letter Office-

Rick impersonates his hero tRump

Heil Trump,

Dear Geschaftsfuhrer Newcombe

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 firing Jim Hightower for daring to tell the truth about Wall Street should send a message to other populist columnists, 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 01-05-2019. We salute you herr Newcombe, Sieg Heil!

Signed by,
Vice Fuhrer Pence

Heil Trump

Trump Takes On General Motors (And Guess Who Wins?)
By Robert Reich

Donald Trump's "America first" economic nationalism is finally crashing into the reality of America's shareholder-first global capitalism.

Last week, General Motors announced it would cut about 14,000 jobs, most of them in the politically vital swing states of Michigan and Ohio.

This doesn't quite square with the giant $1.5 trillion tax cut Trump and the Republicans in Congress enacted last December, whose official rationale was to help big corporations make more investments in America and thereby create more jobs. Trump told Ohio residents "don't sell your homes," because lost automaking jobs "are all coming back."

GM got a nice windfall from the tax cut. The company has already saved more than $150 million this year. But some of those Ohio residents probably should have sold their homes.

Trump is (or is trying to appear) furious, tweeting up a storm of threats against GM, including taking away its federal subsidies.

In reality, GM gets very few direct subsidies. Prior to the tax cut, the biggest gift GM got from the government was a bailout in 2009 of more than $50 billion.

But neither last year's tax cut nor the 2009 bailout required GM to create or preserve jobs in America. Both government handouts simply assumed that, as former GM CEO Charles Erwin "Engine" Wilson put it when he was nominated as secretary of defense by Dwight Eisenhower in 1953, "What's good for General Motors is good for the country."

Yet much has changed since 1953. Then, GM was the largest employer in America and had only a few operations around the rest of the world. Now, GM is a global corporation that makes and sells just about everywhere.

Moreover, in the 1950s a third of America's workforce was unionized, and GM was as accountable to the United Auto Workers as it was to GM's shareholders. That's why, in the 1950s, GM's typical worker received $35 an hour (in today's dollars).

Today, GM's typical American worker earns a fraction of that. The bargaining clout of the United Auto Workers has been weakened not only by automation but also by the ease with which GM can get cheaper labor abroad.

In 2010, when GM emerged from the bailout and went public again, it even boasted to Wall Street that it was making 43 percent of its cars in places where labor cost less than $15 an hour, while in North America it could now pay "lower-tiered" wages and benefits for new employees.

So this year, when the costs of producing many of its cars in Ohio and Detroit got too high (due in part to Trump's tariffs on foreign steel) GM simply decided to shift more production to Mexico in order to boost profits.

In light of GM's decision, Trump is also demanding that GM close one of its plants in China.

But this raises a second reality of shareholder-first global capitalism that's apparently been lost on Trump: GM doesn't make many cars in China for export to the United States. Almost all of the cars it makes in China are for sale there.

In fact, GM is now making and selling more cars in China than it does in the United States. "China is playing a key role in the company's strategy," says GM CEO Mary Barra.

Even as Trump has escalated his trade war with China, GM has invested in state-of-the-art electrification, autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing technologies there.

Which brings us to a third fallacy behind Trump's "America first" economic nationalism. Trump accuses China of stealing technology from American businesses. But big American corporations like GM are eager to invest in China regardless.

In shareholder-first global capitalism, technology doesn't belong to any nation. It goes wherever the profits are.

"Making America great again" has nothing to do with making American corporations great again. Big American-based corporations are doing wonderfully well, as are their shareholders.

The real challenge is to make American workers great again. They don't just need any job. They need good jobs, akin to those that GM's unionized workers had a half-century ago. Most Americans haven't had a raise in decades, considering inflation.

The difference between China and America is that big Chinese companies are either state-owned or dependent on capital from government-run financial institutions. This means they exist to advance China's national interests, including more and better jobs for the Chinese people.

American corporations exist to advance the interests of their shareholders, who aren't prepared to sacrifice profits for more and better jobs for Americans.

If Trump were serious about his aims, he'd try to reduce the chokehold of Wall Street investors on American corporations while strengthening the hand of American labor unions.

Don't hold your breath

(c) 2018 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

The Film The Israel Lobby Does Not Want You To See
By Chris Hedges

"The Lobby,"" the four-part Al-Jazeera documentary that was blocked under heavy Israeli pressure shortly before its release, has been leaked online by the Chicago-based website Electronic Intifada, the French website Orient XXI and the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar.

The series is an inside look over five months by an undercover reporter, armed with a hidden camera, at how the government and intelligence agencies of Israel work with U.S. domestic Jewish groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), The Israel Project and StandWithUs to spy on, smear and attack critics, especially American university students who support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. It shows how the Israel lobby uses huge cash donations, often far above the U.S. legal limit, and flies hundreds of members of Congress to Israel for lavish and unpaid vacations at Israeli seaside resorts, bribing the American lawmakers to do Israel's bidding, including providing military aid such as the $38 billion (over 10 years) that was approved by Congress in 2016. It uncovers Israel's sleazy character assassination of academics, activists and journalists, its well-funded fake grassroots activism, its manipulation of press coverage, and its ham-fisted attempts to destroy marriages, personal relationships and careers. The film highlights the efforts to discredit liberal Jews and Jewish organizations as tools of radical jihadists, referring, for example, to Jewish Voice for Peace as "Jewish Voice for Hamas" and claiming that many members of the organization are not actually Jewish. Israel recruits black South Africans into an Israeli front group called Stop Stealing My Apartheid, in a desperate effort to counter the reality of the apartheid state that Israel has constructed. The series documents Israel's repeated and multifaceted interference in the internal affairs of the United States, including elections; efforts to discredit progressive groups such as Black Lives Matter that express sympathy for the Palestinians; and routine employment of Americans to spy on other Americans. Israel's behavior is unethical and perhaps illegal. But don't expect anyone in the establishment or either of the two ruling political parties to do anything about it. It is abundantly clear by the end of the series that they have been intimidated, discredited or bought off.

"Imagine if China was doing this, if Iran was doing this, if Russia was doing this?" Ali Abunimah, the author of "The Battle for Justice in Palestine" and co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, says in the film. "There would be uproar. You would have Congress going off to them. You would have hearings."

Those of us who denounce and expose the Israeli crimes committed against Palestinians are intimately familiar with the sordid and nefarious tactics of the Israel lobby. The power of the film series is that in dealing with the reporter-a young Oxford postgraduate, James Anthony Kleinfeld, who goes by the name Tony in the film and poses as a pro-Israel student-major figures within the Israel lobby candidly explain and expose their massive covert campaign in the United States. There is no plausible deniability. And this is why Israel worked so hard to stop the film from being broadcast.

Clayton Swisher, who directed the series, wrote in the liberal Jewish newspaper The Forward that leaders from the Israel lobby met with the state of Qatar's registered agent and lobbyist, a former aide to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz named Nick Muzin, to "see if he could use his ties with the Qataris to stop the airing." Qatar funds Al-Jazeera. Muzin told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that "he was discussing the issue with the Qataris and didn't think the film would broadcast in the near future." An anonymous source told Haaretz that "the Qatari emir himself helped make the decision" to spike the film.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed ties with Qatar in June 2017 and imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the Persian Gulf state. They accuse Doha of supporting terrorism and radical Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood. The four states have issued a list of demands for re-establishing ties that include Qatar's shutting down Al-Jazeera, along with severing relations with Iran. Qatar has appealed to the United States to intercede and has, as part of this effort, reached out to the powerful Israel lobby in the United States for support. American Jewish leaders, including the former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, have met with the Qatari emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and have discussed with him what they describe as the network's "anti-Semitism." It is widely believed the series was sacrificed by Qatar in an effort to placate the Israel lobby and get its support for an end to the sanctions, although the blockade remains in force.

The series exposes how Israeli intelligence services monitor American critics of Israel and feeds real-time information about them to American Jewish organizations.

"We are for example in the process of creating a comprehensive picture of the campuses," Brig. Gen. Sima Vaknin-Gil, director general of Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs, tells a gathering of pro-Israel activists in the film. "If you want to defeat a phenomenon you must have the upper hand in terms of information and knowledge." The Israeli government operates Israel Cyber Shield, a civil intelligence unit that collects and analyzes BDS activities and coordinates attacks against the BDS movement.

"We are giving them data-for example, one day Sima's deputy is sending me a photo. Just a photo on Whatsapp," Sagi Balasha, who was CEO of the Israeli-American Council from 2011 to 2015, says when speaking on a Israeli-American Council panel. "It's written 'Boycott Israel' on the billboard."

He shows a picture of a roadside billboard that reads: "BOYCOTT ISRAEL UNTIL PALESTINIANS HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS."

"In a few hours our systems and analysts could find the exact organization, people, and even their names, and where they live," says Balasha, who now works with cyber-intelligence organizations that target BDS activists. "We gave it back to the ministry, and I have no idea what they did with this. But the fact is, three days later there were no billboards."

"We use all sorts of technology," Jacob Baime, the executive director of the Israel on Campus Coalition, says in the film. "We use corporate-level, enterprise-grade social media intelligence software. Almost all of this happens on social media, so we have custom algorithms and formulae that acquire this stuff immediately."

"Generally, within about 30 seconds or less of one of these things popping up on campus, whether it's a Facebook event, whether it's the right kind of mention on Twitter, the system picks it up," says Baime. "It goes into a queue and alerts our researchers and they evaluate it. They tag it, and if it rises to a certain level, we issue early-warning alerts to our partners."

Those recruited by the Israel lobby, including the undercover Al-Jazeera reporter in the documentary, are sent to training sessions such as Fuel the Truth. The film records a session in which trainees watch a video of Palestinian children as the narrator says, "Children are taught in UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees] Palestinian schools to hate Jews." The trainees are told that scenes of devastation in Gaza are, in fact, misrepresented images disseminated by critics from Syria or Iraq. They are instructed in role-playing workshops how to brand all those who criticize Israeli policies as anti-Semites, members of a hate group or self-hating Jews.

The reporter is placed in the so-called war room run by The Israel Project, known as TIP, which monitors American media for stories on Israel and the Palestinians. The goal is "neutralizing undesired narratives."

"We develop relationships ... ," David Hazony, the managing director of The Israel Project, says about how to influence journalists. "A lot of alcohol to get them to trust us. We're basically messaging on the following-BDS is essentially a kind of a hate group targeting Israel. They're anti-peace. We try not to even use the terms because it builds their brand. We just refer to boycotters. The goal is to actually make things happen. And to figure out what are the means of communication to do that."

The BDS movement, which I support, was formed in 2005. It is an attempt by Palestinian civil rights groups to build a nonviolent international movement to boycott Israel, divest from Israeli companies and eventually impose sanctions-as was done against apartheid South Africa-until basic Palestinian rights under international law are achieved. While the movement has not gained traction financially in the United States, with most colleges and universities refusing to divest, it has been very effective at illuminating the injustices committed against Palestinians by Israel and severely eroded Israel's credibility and support in the U.S. This ongoing shift in public opinion terrifies Israel, which has poured tremendous resources into crushing the BDS movement.

"Government ministers attacked me in person," Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the BDS movement, says in the film. "One of them threatening BDS leaders with targeted civil assassination. Others threatened to revoke my permanent residency [in Israel], along other threats."

"We suffered from intense denial-of-service attacks, hacking attacks on our website," Barghouti says. "Israel decided to go on cyber warfare against BDS. Publicly, they said, 'We shall spy on BDS individuals and networks, especially in the West.' We have not heard a peep from any Western government complaining that Israel is admitting that it will spy on your citizens. Imagine Iran saying it will spy on British or American citizens. Just imagine what could happen."

"So, like nobody really knows what we're doing," says Julia Reifkind, who was director of community affairs at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. "But mainly it's been a lot of research, like monitoring BDS things and reporting it back to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Like making sure everyone knows what's going on. They need a lot of research done and stuff like that. When they talk about it in the Knesset, we've usually contributed to what the background information is. I'm not going to campuses. It's more about connecting organizations and I guess campuses, providing resources and strategy if students need it."

"I write a report and give it to my boss, who translates it," Reifkind says. "It's really weird. We don't talk to them on the phone or email. There's a special server that's really secure that I don't have access to because I'm an American. You have to have clearance to access the server. It's called Cables. It's not even the same [word translated] in Hebrew, it's like literally 'Cables.' I've seen it. It looks really bizarre. So, I write reports that my boss translates into the cables and sends them. Then they'll send something back. Then he'll translate it and tell me what I need to do." "Is the Israeli Embassy trying to leverage faculty?" Tony, the undercover reporter, asks her.

"Yeah," she says. "We are working with several faculty advocacy groups that kind of train faculty, and so we are helping them a little bit with funding, connections, bringing them to speak, having them to speak to diplomats and people at the MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] that need this information. So, I want to be that resource to show students what we're doing, to see what you're doing, here's some information if you need anything at all. We can connect you. Just kind of be that person there for you."

Reifkind was president of the pro-Israel group at the University of California at Davis and worked closely with the Israel lobby to attempt to crush the BDS movement on campus, especially after Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) brought a divestment motion to the student senate.

"We knew they were going to win because the entire student senate was all pro-BDS," she says. "They ran for that purpose and won for that purpose. We have been pushed out of student government for months."

Reifkind and a few supporters went to the senate meeting where the vote was scheduled.

"We have been ignored and disrespected year after year, but we have never been silenced," she tells the student gathering. "We are a beacon of peace and inclusion on a campus plagued by anti-Semitism."

"The intolerance that spawned this [divestment] resolution is the same kind of intolerance that spawned anti-Semitic movements throughout history," she shouts.

She and her handful of supporters walk out, an action they had agreed on in advance and then carefully filmed.

The passing of the BDS motion at UC Davis set the gears of the Israel lobby and the Israeli government in motion.

"That day all of us released like 50 op-eds in major news sources so that when people made a hashtag, like a whole thing trending, so when people opened their Facebooks it wouldn't be them celebrating their victory," Reifkind says in the film. "It would be us sharing our stories. Once it blew up, then random people like The Huffington Post contacted me and was like, "Do you have anything to say?" And I was like, 'Conveniently, I wrote an op-ed two weeks ago just in case.' "

Israel and its surrogates in the United States used their considerable resources to carry out vicious and anonymous personal attacks against the campus BDS activists at UC Davis, calling them "terrorists" and "Hamas sympathizers" who support Sharia on campus. The lobby also skillfully framed the narrative in the national media, claiming falsely that the pro-Israel students were forced out of the meeting room.

"Pro-Israel students were taunted by pro-Hamas students after an anti-Israel vote passed on campus," says an announcer on Fox News as a caption underneath video reads, "RUNNING RAMPANT: UC Davis Plagued by Anti-Semitic Feelings." "And right after the vote passed, a student senator posted this on Facebook, 'Hamas and Sharia law have taken over UC Davis. Brb [be right back] crying over the resilience.' "

Shortly after the vote, Jewish students said they found two swastikas painted on their fraternity house in Davis. The media, tipped off, was at the fraternity house almost immediately. The BDS activists were blamed for the graffiti.

The film shows a CBS 13 news clip.

Television reporter: "Pro-Israel students said they feared recent events would lead to this."

UC Davis male student: "This has been sort of a bad week to be Jewish on campus."

Television reporter: "After years of heated meetings, the student body passed a resolution Thursday, urging UC Davis to end any affiliation with companies that support Israel."

Another UC Davis male student, speaking in front of one of the swastikas: "So, this is not out of the blue. We're pretty sure this is directly related."

"StandWithUs helped us a little bit in terms of actual research on the speech," Reifkind says in referring to her comments before the student senate. "They gave us some legal research type stuff. I'm always biased and want to work with AIPAC. They kind of helped, more like mold support. And David Project helped us a little bit. It was more help like gaining contacts in the media world. I guess we needed money to pay for someone to film the speech. We had a Davis Faculty for Israel group, and they were hugely helpful to us. Some of them were retired lawyers, they'd write legal documents for us. They knew the administration. They were tenured. They had pull."

"After looking back on everything, I feel a little creepy because of what happened after the vote," says Marcelle Obeid, the president of Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Davis. "People who were affiliated with the [pro-Palestinian] group were just smeared and had to deal with these very personal crises-the world calling us terrorists, the world thinking that we were this spiteful hate group. It's pretty unequivocal how organized they were, how brutal and ruthless that narrative was, and how it affected us."

The Electronic Intifada's Abunimah says, "There's an intensive effort by Israel and pro-Israel groups to get governments, universities, legislative bodies to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel and its state ideology, Zionism." "They have created this perverse definition of anti-Semitism where calling for everyone in Palestine and Israel to have equal rights is somehow an attack on Jews," he says. "They're trying to get this pushed into official definitions. This has been a key goal of the Brandeis Center so they can go after people who are advocating for equality and bring them up on charges that they're actually anti-Semitic bigots." Kenneth Marcus, founding president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, confirms this stance in the film and is shown saying: "You have to show that they're racist hate groups, that they are using intimidation to get funded, and to consistently portray them that way."

But despite its campaign, Israel is acutely aware that it is losing the public relations war, especially among the young.

"The polling isn't good," David Brog, executive director of the Maccabee Task Force, which combats BDS on American campuses, says in the film. "And all of you probably know that if you look at the polls, the younger you get on the demographic scales, the lower support for Israel is. ... It seems to be achieving its goals. I think it threatens future American support for Israel. Younger people are leaving college less sympathetic to Israel than when they entered."

And many of these young people are Jewish, finding their identity and meaning in values that Israel refuses to uphold.

"The work that Jewish Voice for Peace does is grounded in Jewish tradition, the most basic Jewish and human values that every single person has inherent worth and dignity and should be treated with respect," Rabbi Joseph Berman says in the film. "We then see what's happening to Palestinians, the occupation, the displacement, the inequality, and say we need to end these things."

But while Israel may be losing in the court of public opinion, it tightly embraces elected officials in the United States, where legalized bribery is institutionalized.

"Does the war of ideas matter?" asks Eric Gallagher, who was a director at AIPAC from 2010 to 2015. "I don't know. I don't know. I know that getting $38 billion in security aid to Israel matters, which is what AIPAC just did. That's what I'm proud to have been a part of for so long. My job was basically to convince students that participating in the war of ideas on campuses is actually a distraction. You can hold up signs and have rallies on campus, but the Congress gets $3.1 billion a year for Israel. Everything AIPAC does is focused on influencing Congress. Congress is where you have leverage. So, you can't influence the president of the United States directly, but the Congress can."

"What the lobby is all about is to make sure that Israel gets special treatment from the United States, forever," John Mearsheimer, professor of political science at the University of Chicago and co-author of "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," says in the film.

Mearsheimer says, "What AIPAC does is it makes sure that money is funneled your way if you're seen as pro-Israel, and it will go to significant lengths to make sure that you stay in office if you continue to be staunchly pro-Israel."

"What happens is Jeff [Talpins] meets with congressmen in the backroom, tells them exactly what his goals are," David Ochs, founder of HaLev, says of the pro-Israeli hedge fund manager Jeff Talpins and how politicians receive sums of as much as $200,000 from the Israel lobby. "And by the way, Jeff Talpins is worth $250 million. Basically, they hand an envelope with 20 credit cards and say, 'You can swipe each of these credit card for $1,000 each.' "

"If you wander off the reservation and become critical of Israel, you not only will not get money, AIPAC will go to great lengths to find someone who will run against you," Mearsheimer says. "And support that person very generously. The end result is you're likely to lose your seat in Congress."

"They have questionnaires," recalls former U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, a Democrat from northern Virginia who was in the House from 1991 to 2015. Moran, who opposed the 2002 congressional resolution to invade Iraq, became a target for the Israel lobby, which pushed hard for the war. "Anyone running for Congress is required [by the lobby] to fill out a questionnaire. And they [AIPAC] evaluate the depth of your commitment to Israel on the basis of [those questions]. And then you have an interview with local people. If you get AIPAC support, then more often than not you're going to win."

"There was a conservative rabbi in my district who was assigned to me, I assume, by AIPAC," Moran says. "He warned me that if I voiced my views about the Israeli lobby that my career would be over, and implied that it would be done through the Post. Sure enough, The Washington Post editorialized brutally. Everyone ganged up."

There is a screen shot of a Washington Post headline: "Sorry, Mr. Moran, You're Not Fit For Public Office."

Character assassination is a common tactic used by the Israel lobby against its critics. Bill Mullen, a professor of American studies at Purdue University, has been a campaigner for the BDS movement for years. His wife was sent a link to a website containing a letter addressed to her.

"It was a Sunday," he says. "I was in the kitchen. My partner was in the living room with my daughter. Came in with her laptop and said, 'You've got to see this.' This letter, reported to be by a former student, said she had been sexually harassed by me. She had found other students at Purdue who have had the same experience. And she was writing this letter to tell their story. Within a very short time, within about 48 hours, we were able to establish that these multiple sites that were attacking me had been taken out [created] almost at the same time. And that they were clearly the work of the same people. One of the accounts said, in the process of supposedly putting my hand on her, I invited her to a Palestine organizational meeting. Well, I thought, 'You're sort of putting your cards on the table there,' whoever you are."

"With the anti-Israel people, what we found has been most effective, in the last year, you do the opposition research," says Baime, the Israel on Campus Coalition official. "Put up an anonymous website. Then put up targeted Facebook ads. Every few hours you drip out a new piece of opposition research, it's psychological warfare. It drives them crazy. They either shut down or they spend time investigating it and responding to it, which is time they can't spend attacking Israel. That's incredibly effective."

"It was really an attempt, by people who didn't know us, 'Maybe I can destroy this marriage at the very least,' " Purdue's Mullen says. "'Maybe I can cause them horrendous, personal suffering.' The same letter purporting to me harassment, sent to my wife, used the name of our daughter. I think that was the worst moment. We thought, 'These people will do anything. They're capable of doing anything.'"

Perhaps the film's greatest investigative coup is the unwitting disclosure by Eric Gallagher at The Israel Project that the hedge fund manager Adam Milstein is "the guy who funds" the anonymous Canary Mission website. The website provides the names, backgrounds and photos of students, professors, invited speakers and organizations that are allegedly tied to terrorism and anti-Semitism through their support for Palestinian rights.

"There's a guy named who you might want to meet," Gallagher says to Tony about Adam Milstein. "He's a convicted felon. That's a bad way to describe him. He's a real estate mogul. When I was working with him at AIPAC, I was literally emailing back and forth with him while he was in jail. He's loaded. He's close to half a billion dollars."

Milstein was convicted of tax evasion and sent to prison for three months in 2009. The Israeli-American Council, which he leads, funds numerous pro-Israel organizations: Milstein also sits on the boards of AIPAC, StandWithUs and the Israel on Campus Coalition. He is close to billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the wealthiest donor to the pro-Israel lobby and the largest donor to the Trump campaign.

The promotional video for the Canary Mission, played in the film, says: "A few years later, these individuals are applying for jobs in your companies ... ensure that today's radicals are not tomorrow's employees."

"It was shattering to me because I had to look for a job, I had to start my life," Obeid from UC Davis says. "And now I had this website smearing my name before I even got a chance to make a name for myself."

"Somebody did contact my employer and asked for me to be fired based on my pro-Palestine activism," says Summer Award, who campaigned at the University of Tennessee for Palestinian equal rights. "They said if they continued to employ me, their values are anti-Semitic. It can be really scary at first. I was mostly harassed via Twitter. They were tweeting me every two or three days. They take screen shots, even way back to my Facebook pictures that don't even look like me anymore. Just digging and digging through my online presence."

Israel's moral bankruptcy is powerfully exposed in one of the last scenes in the film. Tony joins an "astroturf" protest organized by the Hoover Institution. Those in the protest have been paid to travel on a bus to George Mason University to disrupt a conference of Students for Justice in Palestine. They are coached by Lerman Mazar, the StandWithUs director of legal affairs, in what to shout.

"If you do happen to speak with any reporters just stay on message," Mazar tells her lackluster protesters. "And what is the message? SJP is a ...."

"Hate group," the protesters answer feebly.

(c) 2018 Chris Hedges, the former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times, spent seven years in the Middle East. He was part of the paper's team of reporters who won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of global terrorism. Keep up with Chris Hedges' latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at

The Cartoon Corner-

This edition we're proud to showcase the cartoons of
~~~ Adam Zyglis ~~~

To End On A Happy Note-

Have You Seen This-

Parting Shots-

G-20 Leaders Vote Unanimously Not To Give Trump Asylum
By Andy Borowitz

BUENOS AIRES (The Borowitz Report)-In an unusual display of unity by an often fractious organization, the leaders of the G-20 nations voted unanimously on Saturday to deny Donald J. Trump's urgent request for asylum.

Prior to the vote, Trump had been heard asking colleagues ranging from Angela Merkel to Xi Jinping for safe harbor in their countries, sweetening his request with offers of free luxury penthouses in Trump buildings around the globe.

In the most stunning insult to Trump, his closest allies, Vladimir Putin and Mohammed bin Salman, responded to his asylum request by laughing uproariously in his face and high-fiving each other.

After the resolution to deny Trump asylum passed by a 19-0 vote, international observers said that they had never seen the G-20 act with such enthusiastic solidarity. "Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron were practically peeing themselves," one observer said.

After receiving the resounding rebuke from the G-20, Trump grumpily withdrew to his hotel room, where he reportedly placed several calls to Kim Jong Un that went straight to voice mail.

(c) 2018 Andy Borowitz

The Gross National Debt

Iraq Deaths Estimator

The Animal Rescue Site

Issues & Alibis Vol 18 # 48 (c) 12/07/2018

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

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

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

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

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