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Updated: 12 hours 54 min ago

Trump’s infantile reaction to Merck’s black CEO resignation from his manufacturing council

Tue, 2017-08-15 10:23

One of America's CEOs quit Trump's Manufacturing Council on Monday over the president's inadequate response to the attack by white supremacists in Charlottesville Virginia. The speed of and the message of Trump's tweet proves everything one needs to understand about the infantile and dangerous president governing America.

Donald Trump took two days to condemn the KKK and other white supremacist organizations. It took him less than three hours to respond to the CEO. Merck's Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Frazier resignation. He sent the following tweet.

Statement from Kenneth C. Frazier, Chairman, and chief executive officer, Merck:

"I am resigning from the President's American Manufacturing Council. Our country's strength stems from its diversity and the contributions made by men and women of different faiths, races, sexual orientations and political beliefs. America's leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to American ideal that all people are created equal. As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism."

Trump responded to the Merck's CEO in less than three hours with the following tweet.

.@Merck Pharma is a leader in higher & higher drug prices while at the same time taking jobs out of the U.S. Bring jobs back & LOWER PRICES!

Since Kenneth C. Frazier's resignation from the council, the CEO of Intel Brian Krzanich and the chief executive officer of Under Armour  Kevin Plank resigned. Interestingly, Donald Trump called out neither one of them as he did Mr. Frazier. What is the difference? Frazier is black while the other CEO's are white. The President continues to show his colors.

The President continues to show that in fact, he is a prejudice person. No amount of bloviating can change that reality. His actions speak much louder than his words.


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Trump’s foot was on that accelerator in Charlottesville

Tue, 2017-08-15 01:39

by John Young

Where was Sebastian Gorka to set us straight?

When a Nazi sympathizer ran down people protesting a "Unite the Right" rally in Virginia, why didn't the Trump administration have Gorka speak for it like he did when a bomb destroyed a mosque in Bloomington, Minn.?

At that time, Gorka, deputy assistant to the president, cautioned us about making assumptions. It might have been a "fake hate crime," one of a "series of hate crimes" that "turned out to actually have been propagated by the left."

You've heard of those fake hate crimes, no doubt. No?

That kind of explanation will be difficult to prosecute in Charlottesville. We know who the killer was.

Driver aside, however. We also know who stomped on the accelerator: President Trump.

He didn't drive the car. He just provided the fuel.

If you consider that an unconscionable claim, his handling of events in Charlottesville say everything.

It was an equal-opportunity abomination, he said, blaming "many sides" for what might emanate when young Nazis, Klan members and white supremacists gather to do – you know – what they do.

Then after two days and a penumbra of surrogates trying to explain away his feckless explanation, he said something that actually sounded condemnatory toward white supremacists and hard-right terrorists.

If he had condemnation in mind, he wasn't just two days late. Why didn't he say something the night before when torch-bearing white supremacists shattered the sanctum of the University of Virginia?

Let's face it. In condemning this flammable hatred, Trump is months in arrears.

Why didn't he send Gorka out to say the events in Charlottesville were concocted by the fake news media?

Then-candidate Trump, who is "very smart" – ask him -- acted dim when asked about being endorsed enthusiastically by former Klan Grand Hoo-Hah David Duke. Trump said he didn't know much about the man.

What's to know except the cone of the man's cap?

Saturday after the incident at Charlottesville, Duke sounded like he wanted Trump to send out the National Guard to protect his fellow salamanders from themselves.

"It was White Americans who put you in office," tweeted Duke to Trump in what sounded like an SOS to a blood brother.

I know that Trump apologists are going to say that "guilt by association" is an unfair slur. But, my goodness, it's not simply a matter of association when an avowed right supremacist like Steve Bannon is one of the president's most trusted advisers.

And then there's Gorka.

At Trump's inaugural ball, Gorka wore something that is stunningly symbolic of the team he was joining.

The Vitezi Rend cross signifies a group to which Gorka's father belonged and which was identified by the State Department as having collaborated with Nazis. Its members have denied or dismissed the dimensions of the Holocaust.

Fake news, you know.

This is the caliber of counsel our president has sought out. The other day when Trump made his reckless and rash statements about "fire and fury" aimed at North Korea, and when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sought to tamp down matters as a diplomat should, Gorka basically said Tillerson should clam and let the war mongers talk.

"The idea that Secretary Tillerson is going to discuss military matters is simply nonsensical," said Gorka.

When Gorka had to explain himself, he blamed the "fake news industry" for putting Tillerson in a position to have to say something. Actually, we should assume Tillerson is in that position because he is secretary of state.

What a gallery of scoundrels our president has assembled, from Bannon, to Gorka, to Stephen Miller, who presumes now to speak for the Statue of Liberty about immigration. And don't forget the segregationist Trump appointed attorney general.

But when it comes to fanning the flames of race-based hatred, understand that Donald Trump can do it all by himself.

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Old must-see anti-fascist video still valuable in exposing those that divide us (VIDEO)

Mon, 2017-08-14 16:04

My daughter shared this video she found that is very applicable now. I cleaned it up to sync the video with the sound. The anti-racist & anti-fascist message is very succinct, important, and well designed to get the message about how otherness is used to divide for an ulterior motive.

It is important that Americans see that what is occurring has happened before. We have the means to mitigate it before it metastasizes. It seems many are getting the message and helping to get it out. The embedded two-minute video is the perfect encapsulation of what we must get across.

As reported in the Washington Post,

In the aftermath of the weekend’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, scores of Americans wondered how they should respond to the hate-fueled violence that left three people dead and dozens of others injured. Some found an answer in a nearly 75-year-old anti-fascist propaganda film.

“Don’t Be A Sucker” is a 17-minute cautionary tale about complacency in the face of hatred and xenophobia. Produced by the U.S. War Department in 1943 and rereleased in an updated form in 1947, it found new relevance with a 21st century audience horrified by the neo-Nazis and white nationalists gathering in central Virginia.

Among those to share the film was Michael Oman-Reagan, a Canadian researcher and anthropologist, who tweeted a clip of “Don’t Be A Sucker” that has since been shared nearly 120,000 times. Another clip of the film reached the top of Reddit’s home page Sunday night. Celebrities tweeted it out, as did Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who told his followers “PLEASE WATCH THIS!”

A very important anti-fascist video before our times for our times

Following is the transcript as I heard it. If I missed a few words let me know and I will modify.

White Demagogue: I see Negroes holding jobs that belong to me and you. Now I ask you if we allow this thing to go on, what's going to become of us real Americans.

Immigrant to White Listener: I have heard this kind of talk before. But I never expected to hear it in Ameria.

White Listener to Immigrant: This fellow seems to know what he is talking about.

White Demagogue: What really matters, are we going to do something about? You'll find it right here in this little pamphlet. The truth about heroes and foreigners. The truth about the Catholic Church.

Immigrant to White Listener: Do you believe in that kind of talk?

White Listener to immigrant: All in all, it makes pretty good sense to me.

White Demagogue: And I tell you friends we will never be able to call this country our own until it's a country without. Without what?

Random audience member: Yeah without what!

White Demagogue: Without negroes. Without alien foreigners. Without Catholics. Without freemasons.

White Listener to Immigrant: What's wrong with the Masons. I am a Mason. Hey, that fellow is talking about me.

Immigrant to White Listener: And that makes a difference doesn't.

White Demagogue: These are your enemies. These are the people who are trying to take over our country. Now you know them. You know what they stand for and it's up to you and me to fight them. Fight them and destroy them before they destroy us. Thank you.

Immigrant to White Listener: Before he said Masons, you were ready to agree with him.

White Listener to Immigrant: Ah yes, but he was talking about, what about those other people.

Immigrant to White Listener: In this country, we have no other people. We are American people, us.

White Listener to Immigrant: What about you. You are not American. Are you?

Immigrant to White Listener: I was born in Hungary, but now I am an American citizen. And I have seen what this kind of talk can do. I saw it in Berlin.

White Listener to Immigrant: What were you doing there?

Immigrant to White Listener: I was a professor at the University. I heard the same words we have heard today. But I was a fool then. I thought Nazis were crazy people; stupid fanatics. But unfortunately, it was not so. You see they knew that they were not strong enough to conquer a unified country. So they split Germany into small groups. They use prejudice as a practical weapon to cripple the nation.

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Dear Fellow Lefties: Know Who the Real Enemy Is

Mon, 2017-08-14 12:06

by Kelly Hayes

Dear fellow lefties,

Like many of you, I spent most of Saturday shaking and grieving. For those involved with movement work, who have watched motorists menace and even strike protesters in the past, these events were not wholly surprising, but one doesn’t need to be surprised by a blow to be injured by it. The violence of white supremacy is always with us, but this weekend, those who would kill us if they could seek to show us that they can. They created a spectacle of hatred and violence to make themselves known and felt. And I know the next time a march veers off a sidewalk in my city, the image of those brave people, being thrown through the air, after being struck by a murderer’s vehicle, will be very much with us.

Everyone’s searching for something to do in this moment — links to share, a protest to attend, support to offer — and all of that work is very important, but as we carry out these very basic acts of solidarity, I would argue that a much larger task awaits — one that has long been ignored by most.

We have to get our shit together.

We must support those who were harmed yesterday, but the next order of business has to be bridging some of the divides we’ve allowed to form among us. I’m not saying we have to forgive every transgression, but we need some kind of lefty armistice between us if we want to fight our most pressing enemy. We have a lot of wounds to heal, and if we’re going to act in solidarity together against what’s trying to kill us, we need to figure out what can be healed, and what can be patched over for the time being, as unpleasant as merely patching a thing may sound.

You know that scene in the movie where someone says, “As soon as this is over ... [insert threat]”? There’s a reason they aren’t settling their differences on the spot.

I have said it before, and I will say it forever: United fronts aren’t about unity. They’re about survival. And if we could table some of our angst for the sake of survival, we might just overcome some of our differences in the process — or not. But you know what? Living to fight another day matters.

Social media posturing is hurting us. Critique-as-activism is hurting us. An unwillingness to lock arms with people who piss us off is hurting us.

Not everything we do in this moment will be revolutionary. Not everyone we build with will have their shit together. I am not saying we have to full-time hold our tongues, but if we continue to vote people off the island over every fuckup or personal beef, I fear for us. I’ve watched leftist communities get smaller and smaller, and the connections between them dwindle, as every conflict becomes a condemnation. We no longer accept that we are just people, flawed in everything we do. We no longer acknowledge that we, ourselves, have been vehicles of harm and oppression. “Organizing” has become a weeding out process, when it’s supposed to be about building relationships.

A shrinking community is not going to overthrow anything.

In our current, fractured state, we are wholly unprepared to protect and defend one another. The battle lines are everywhere when they should be squarely in front of us — between us and the fascists who would destroy us.

To be clear: I’m not here for scapegoating “identity politics.” Has the language of social justice been weaponized inappropriately? We all know it has, but that doesn’t mean that conversations about identity and intersectional struggle aren’t wholly necessary. Any necessary idea can be taken to an unproductive extreme. Call-outs sometimes have to happen, because harm needs to be interrupted, but they should not be our default response. Because if we disavow everyone who doesn’t get it, we will have a pretty small army — and those who remain will still be ripped apart by grudges, rumors and unforgiving attitudes.

So many people and groups have been disempowered by the clubhouse politics of leftist movement spaces.

And liberals, you all are some of the worst movement critics of all. Harping about “purity politics” when yours is just another form of “purity.” If yesterday didn’t teach you to stop busting out your critiques of Antifa, BLM, window-breakers, and monkey-wrenchers, you need to spend some time on yourself. If you think those people are your enemies, or where your critique ought to fall in this moment, you have a lot of confusion to overcome. You are doing a lot of harm, both to individuals and to the possibility of a united front, every time you take aim at resistors. And when you vilify us, you validate the violence inflicted upon us by the state and others. So stop. We are not the problem. We did not put this man in office. We are fighting for our survival against a force that is clearly bent on killing us. Standing on the sidelines, acting as a critic in those moments is not a good look.

I am not trying to give out hall passes here. I want people to be held accountable. But I want us to find language and ways to hold each other accountable while still trying to get work done. I want answers other than voting people off the island. I want people who say they believe in transformative justice to do more than gossip about the organizers who’ve offended them. Whether that means having coffee with someone, to talk through the things that haven’t felt right, or creating intentional spaces for larger dialogues, it’s work that has to happen. Healing and building are where the bulk of our energies belong right now, because getting our shit together is a task more important than any one action, and in this moment, I am terrified of what failure looks like.


Producing in-depth, thoughtful journalism for a better world is expensive – but supporting us isn’t. If you value ad-free independent journalism, consider subscribing to YES! today.

Kelly is a queer Native writer, organizer, and movement photographer. She is also a direct action trainer and a co-founder of The Chicago Light Brigade and the direct action collective Lifted Voices. She is a contributing writer at Truthout and blogs at, where this article originally appeared, about U.S. movements and her work as an organizer against state violence.

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Fareed Zakaria slams Trump: guiding mantra not art of the deal but of the bluff (VIDEO)

Mon, 2017-08-14 01:43

Fareed Zakaria slams Donald Trump as he used his history and his present history to prove that he is nothing more than a bluff. He points out that even his cabinet has started to signal that one should ignore the president's utterances.

Fareed Zakaria did not mince his words as he went after Donald Trump for his bluster which will amount to hot air given his past. Sadly it is dangerous.

Zakaria's Washington Post article titled "Trump has been making ominous threats his whole life" is a must-read. He covers most of it in this post's embedded video.

Fareed Zakaria summarily discounted any words emanating from Trump's vocal chords. He said Trump's words are irrelevant. Why?

Because it’s Trump’s basic mode of action. For his entire life, Trump has made grandiose promises and ominous threats — and rarely delivered on any. When he was in business, Reuters found, he frequently threatened to sue news organizations for libel, but the last time he followed through was 33 years ago, in 1984. Trump says that he never settles cases out of court. In fact, he has settled at least 100 times, according to USA Today.

He further points out,

In his political life, he has followed the same strategy of bluster. In 2011, he said that he had investigators who “cannot believe what they’re finding” about President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, and that he would at some point “be revealing some interesting things.” He had nothing. During the campaign, he vowed that he would label China a currency manipulator, move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, make Mexico pay for a border wall and initiate an investigation into Hillary Clinton. So far, nada. After being elected, he signaled to China that he might recognize Taiwan. Within weeks of taking office, he folded. He implied that he had tapes of his conversations with then-FBI Director James B. Comey. Of course, he had none.

Even now, as he deals with a nuclear crisis, Trump has made claims that could be easily shown to be false. He tweeted that his first presidential order was to “modernize” the United States’ nuclear arsenal. In fact, he simply followed a congressional mandate to authorize a review of the arsenal, which hasn’t been completed yet. Does he think the North Koreans don’t know this?

Fareed Zakaria deconstructs Trump's past to prove he is all bluster

But Zakaria leaves his most sharp and artful critique of the president for his closing remarks.

“I think Americans should sleep well at night, have no concerns about this particular rhetoric of the last few days,” Tillerson said on Wednesday. This was an unusual, perhaps even unprecedented statement. The secretary of state seems to have been telling Americans — and the world — to ignore the rhetoric, not of the North Korean dictator, but of his own boss, the president of the United States. It is probably what Trump’s associates have done for him all his life. They know that the guiding mantra for him has been not the art of the deal, but the art of the bluff.

It is clear that the Donald Trump is a laughing stock around the world. Unfortunately, while his opponents may enjoy seeing Trump in that light, it hurts the stature of the U.S. but more importantly is very dangerous.

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What are the solutions? Canada proves Americans’ gullibility is costing us dearly.

Sun, 2017-08-13 16:10

Americans are being shortchanged—but not because of outsourcing, offshoring, high taxes, regulations, and bad health care. Instead, we are disadvantaged because of an ideologically-driven, willful gullibility that allows us to consent to politicians screwing us. What Americans need right now is to stop patting ourselves on the back as countries like Canada pass us by when it comes to the things that matter the most.

This must-read article titled "Canadians may pay more taxes than Americans, but here's what they get for their money" should make most poor and middle-class American re-examine their tolerance for electing politicians who not only lie to them but who materially hurt their survival—literally and figuratively.

The article starts as follows.

Even with all kinds of taxes considered, including income, local and sales taxes, among others — and contrary to what President Donald Trump has repeatedly said — Americans do not pay the highest taxes in the world. Not even close. Actually, the U.S. is a little below average compared to our 34 peer countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

But what about Canada? Given all the social services that Canadian citizens enjoy relative to their neighbors to the south, including health care, many Americans assume that Canadians bear a significantly heavier tax burden.

The reality is that Canadians do not pay much more in taxes than Americans do. They just get a lot more for their dollar. But many have allowed the fallacy regurgitated by the plutocracy to take hold, and the end result is that Americans fear taxes. If the average citizen could get more from paying taxes for a service that otherwise costs more in the private sector, then that should be caused to examine the choices made by those running our country.

Canadians may not pay that much more than Americans — and, on occasion, as a nation, they have even paid less — but they do get a lot more from their government in terms of social services.

As Vice Money puts it, "American marginal tax brackets aren't too different from Canadians', yet [Canadians] get universal health care and [Americans] don't." Currently, Americans pay $3.4 trillion a year for medical care and, unfortunately, don't get impressive results: "The U.S. life expectancy of 78.8 years ranks 27th. It has the fourth highest infant mortality rate in the OECD, the sixth highest maternal mortality rate and the ninth highest likelihood of dying at a younger age from a host of ailments, including cardiovascular disease and cancer," reports Bloomberg.

Per capita health care spending in the U.S. is over $9,000.

By contrast, per capita health care spending in Canada is half that, or $4,500. Yet life expectancy in Canada is 81.7, and the country ranks 13th, significantly ahead of the U.S.

Even as Canadians pay close to what Americans pay in taxes, they get so much more for their dollar. Canada’s outcomes prove that in fact, government can work. Not only can it work, but it can work much more effectively in certain areas compared to the free market. In certain areas, private profits are nothing more than a public expense. The math is absolute.

The piece continued:

Overall, though, Canadians enjoy the kind of perks Americans only get if they work for the most generous, prestigious corporations. Those include free health care without deductibles as well as up to 18 months of subsidized parental leave when they have children.

They also enjoy access to high-quality education for children across the income spectrum. Even top-notch colleges and universities are cheaper than comparable institutions in the U.S.

Vice cites a 2009 Canadian study by the Centre for Policy Alternatives that found that "the vast majority of Canada's population" gets a great deal: "Middle-income Canadian families enjoy public services worth about $41,000 — or 63 percent of their income. Even households earning $80,000–$90,000 a year enjoy public services benefits equivalent to about half of their income."

In short, the study concludes, "the majority of Canadian households enjoy a higher quality of life because of the public services their taxes fund."

So why do Americans pay so much in taxes, and what do they pay for? Much of our taxes are used for the military. And while our country happily spends big bucks on weapons, we do not support education or health care, nor other services to make life better (i.e. family leave, etc.) while other industrialized countries do.

Our tax system is nothing more than a way to transfer wealth from the masses to the wealthy few. One must realize that spending heavily for defense means subsidizing many private corporations within the military industrial complex. Those corporations amass massive profits that you, the American citizen, pay for. Again: a massive transfer of wealth.

The same applies to our health care system. The American taxpayer pays for drug research. When it is time to develop it into a product, corporations monetize it, inflate costs, and make huge profits for selling us the drugs we developed at exorbitant prices.

On issue after issue, we have allowed the wealthy few to screw us all. They legally take what they should not be entitled to have. The article ends with a prescient statement:

Perhaps that's why so many Americans, as well as the President, feel that Americans pay more than anyone else in taxes: Because while many U.S. residents pay nearly as much, or in some cases more, than our neighbors to the north, Canadians in general can get so much more in exchange.

True, but it is deeper than that. Americans need to support a complete restructuring of our economy. Here are a few things we can do to really make America great for the masses.

  • Tax investment income at a higher rate than income from work. Why should some who spends their days sitting by their luxury swimming pool or otherwise doing nothing pay a lesser tax rate than someone who risks their lives and limb to go to work every day?
  • Drug companies must share profits with the U.S. Treasury for all drugs developed with taxpayer dollars.
  • Subsidize medical students to ensure they don’t have huge student loans, which ultimately every American pays for through high doctor fees.
  • Every American who keeps a good GPA should be offered pay-it-forward, tuition-free college. The higher tax base from an educated America will pay for the subsequent generations.
  • Establish a single-payer, Medicare for all system. It is the only mathematically feasible solution to our health care problem.
  • No individual American should profit from fossil fuels or minerals found on their land. They did not put it there, and every American should have an inalienable right to all of the country’s natural resources. We should profit from our work and added value, not from a value we had no stake in creating.

This may seem radical. However, if examined outside of the framework of our indoctrination, one would see it is both moral and fair. Americans must start asserting their worth and extricating themselves from the mindset established since the country's inception, which was only fortified with the release of the Powell Manifesto.

It won’t be easy. But if we are to survive as a country, we will eventually have to get there.

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Chuck Todd bails out Rich Lowry as Joy-Ann Reid schools on Alt-Right admin (VIDEO)

Sun, 2017-08-13 13:04

When the National Review editor, Richard Lowry attempted to make a false equivalence between white supremacists and the anti-fascist to placate Trump's response to the Charlottesville massacre, Joy-Ann Reid was having none of it.

Once again Joy-Ann Reid Schools the good old boys

Joy-Ann Reid did not hold back as she named names making it clear why Trump did not speak out against the White Supremacist after Charlottesville Massacre.

"There are two sides to this now," Rich Lowry said. "This country now has a violent fringe on the right and on the left. Both of whom, the white nationalist, and the so-called anti-fascist who like violence and thrill to violence like the attention that comes with it. And this is going to get worse before it gets better.

"I think that sort of both sides-ism doesn't serve anyone well, "Joy-Ann Reid said. "This is an unambiguous evil that is plaguing the country. But it's leading me to the crucial point. One of the reasons that Donald Trump cannot properly respond to what was an obvious proper response from an American president is the people in his government. Who's writing the talking points that he was looking down and reading from? He has people like Stephen Miller, claimed as a mentee by Richard Spencer, who is an avowed, open white nationalist. He has Steve Bannon. Who's writing the talking points that he was looking down and reading from? He has people like Stephen Miller, claimed as a mentee by Richard Spencer, who is an avowed, open white nationalist. He has Steve Bannon who's been sort of allowed to meld into the normalcy of a governmental employee but who ran which I reread today the post that's still on their website where they self-described as the home of the Alt-Right."

"What is the Alt-Right," Reid continued. "The dressed up term for white nationalism. They called themselves white identitarian(ism). They say that the tribalism, it's sort of inherent in the human spirit and ought to be also applied to white people. That is who is in his government. Sebastian Gorka who wore the medal of the Vitez Rend Nazi organization being paid by the taxpayer in the government of Donald Trump. The former Publius Decius Mus blogger Michael Anton, in the government; he is surrounded by these people."

Rich Lowry and Reid then got into a heated debate where Reid was getting the upper hand based on her reality based analysis. Chuck Todd promptly jumped in to save Lowry by stopping Reid and going to break.

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Charlottesville Was Not a “Protest Turned Violent,” It Was a Planned Race Riot

Sun, 2017-08-13 05:10

by Zenobia Jeffries

In July of last year, after The New York Post ran the headline, “CIVIL WAR: Four cops killed at anti-police protest,” I wrote the column “How We Report on Structural Racism Can Hurt Us—Or Heal Us.” I could have easily written the same article today.

That column recalled the Kerner Report, the findings of President Johnson’s commission investigating the uprisings that occurred throughout 1967, to determine what happened and why, and to provide recommendations to prevent them from happening again.

While reading and watching the news stories unfolding from the college town of Charlottesville, Virginia, what I and many others are calling White nationalist race riots,  I couldn’t help but recall the Kerner Report again.

A fundamental criticism in the report was that news media had failed to analyze and report adequately on the many incidents of racial injustice in the United States. The report noted that the social ills, challenges, and grievances African Americans face were “seldom conveyed.”

In considering the history of racism in this country, they wrote, “By and large, news organizations have failed to communicate to both their Black and White audiences a sense of the problems America faces and the sources of potential solutions. The media report and write from the standpoint of a White man’s world.” This “White press … reflects the biases, the paternalism, and the indifference of White America. This may be understandable, but is not excusable of an institution that has the mission to inform and educate the whole of our society.”

The commission found media outlets had distorted information and made protests look more racially divisive and destructive than they actually were.

They were not accurate. They were not truthful.

Today, still, not much has changed.

In the case of Charlottesville, media outlets are being careless with words, whitewashing the intentions and the actions of White nationalist protestors. The “Unite the Right rally” stopped being a rally sometime Friday night when a stream of torch carrying White supremacists arrived at night to the University of Virginia campus chanting “blood and soil.” They used those torches as weapons in fights with counter-protesters.

On Saturday, NBC said, “Charlottesville rally turned deadly.”  CNN said, “1 dead, 19 injured after crash near Unite the Right rally.”

What took place was not a rally. Who wears paramilitary gear and carries automatic weapons to a rally? Who takes shields and helmets and pepper spray and bats and sticks to a rally? The car didn’t “crash”— it was driven at full speed into a crowd of counter-protesters.

What happened in Charlottesville was White nationalist extremists inciting a riot.

We cannot unite, come together, overcome, Kumbaya, or whatever else, until we get some truth-telling. Media professionals need to get it right this time.

It is also the responsibility of those of us who are anti-racist not to be silent in this time. Call out every media outlet that is soft-selling White supremacy and sidestepping the ugly truth.

Nothing less is acceptable. This milquetoast coverage lets White nationalists off the hook, even when the dithering commentary comes from President Trump.

His statement about being against violence “on many sides” stopped short of calling out the domestic terrorism of the White men who carried out acts of violence on American citizens today. Walking away when you’re asked if you denounce these actors is the definition of cowardice.

Trump managed to anger both “sides,” Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke as well as anti-racists.

What side are you on? Are you on the side that makes excuses for and sanitizes these acts and actors by calling them misunderstood Americans, the “alt” right,  misguided, upset, fringe, and whatever other name might diminish the outright terrorism these people are perpetrating.

Or are you on the side that calls bullshit on anti-Black, anti-Native, anti-Jewish racism, bigotry, and xenophobia—and the White supremacist domestic terrorists who marched on Charlotte to shed some blood.

Zenobia Jeffries wrote this article for YES! Magazine. Zenobia is the racial justice associate editor. Follow her on Twitter @ZenobiaJeffries.


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Trump’s going into war overdrive to get his poll numbers up

Sat, 2017-08-12 12:50

by Rick Shenkman

Liberals are convinced Donald Trump will either be driven out of office or at the very least be fired by the voters at the next election three and a half years from now.  But there’s a plausible scenario that ends with his re-election.  Surprisingly, it involves Korea, which everybody, liberals and conservatives alike, seems to regard as a disaster in the making.

How could a second Korean War help keep Donald Trump in the White House for another four years?

It’s well known that North Korea has assembled a ferocious war machine on the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that would unleash unholy hell on the South Korean capital, Seoul, which lies just twenty-five miles away, in the event of an American attack.  North Korea is estimated to have positioned literally thousands of heavy artillery just north of the DMZ.  Experts predict the city’s downtown could be demolished and tens of thousands could be killed and maybe more. Seoul, a modern gleaming city home to 25 million people, could be left in shambles.

This sounds like a disaster, and in human terms it would be.  But the politics of a disaster like this are more favorable than many people imagine.  While the world would look on aghast at what had happened the American people almost certainly wouldn’t if  –  and this is the big IF in this scenario  –  war is accompanied by the quick collapse of the North Korean regime and the reunification of the peninsula under a friendly government.

No doubt Trump would have trouble drawing the support of a majority of Democrats, many of whom loath the man.  But George W. Bush was loathed too after his disputed election and yet he won over converts after 9-11, with the approval of 90 percent of the American people.  In a crisis people tend to support their leader no matter how much they previously abhorred him.  That’s human nature.  Trump could count on that basic human impulse.

Trump might not be able to sustain his high ratings.  After George H.W. Bush achieved the highest poll numbers of any president in history save for his son’s post 9-11 record, his popularity slowly fell and in 1992 he lost his bid for a second term.  And Americans throughout history have often turned against the wars their leaders have started.  As social scientist Hazel Erskine showed in an article in 1970 only a single war in our history won the approval of an overwhelming majority of voters (World War 2).  But Americans have been so starved for victory in the last generation and so fed-up with wars that never seem to end that they might well reward Trump with a second term.  Trump promised victory as a candidate.  If he delivered in Korea he’d likely win, unpleasant as that prospect might be to liberals. His core supporters are already cheering his bellicose rhetoric.  (If Trump doesn't deliver he risks alienating them, as I have previously pointed out on HNN.)

Is Trump himself likely to risk war in order to save his political skin?  With any other president it would require cynicism in the extreme to think that this might be the case.  But not with Trump, who’s proven to be the equal of any monster cynics could conjure up. I suspect he may have convinced himself that a war would save him from indictment and/or impeachment.  Maybe it would. Both Robert Mueller and Congress would be reluctant to weaken a president in the middle of a war.

If you think the American people would be revolted by the scenes of carnage that no doubt would be a staple in daily news reports about the war  –  real carnage, not the rhetorical kind Trump alluded to in his over-the-top and obscene fire-and-brimstone inaugural  –  think again.  We’ve been here before and that’s not what happened.

After the Korean War had dragged on for several years following the North Korean invasion of the South in June 1950, liberal pundits like Freda Kirchwey, the crusading editor of the Nation, were appalled at the devastation United States forces were wrecking.  Though the enemy was also to blame, she complained, nothing “excuses the terrible shambles created up and down the Korean peninsula by the American-led forces, by American planes raining down napalm and fire bombs, and by heavy land and naval artillery.”

But to her shock and amazement, the American people didn’t seem to care about what was happening on the ground.  What they wanted was victory, period.  Not even the use of nuclear weapons was considered off-the-table. Going into the war, as I report in Political Animals:  How Our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics, a Pentagon study found that what Americans would be appalled at was not using nuclear weapons if it were determined that by using them we could shorten the war.

Freda Kirchwey was stunned that Americans seemed inured to the violence and destruction, but remained convinced that once the stories got out public opinion would change.  She was wrong.  The longer the war went on the less the public cared about what was happening to the Korean people.  All Americans wanted was for the war to end on their terms.  When the Pentagon adopted a policy of mass and relentless bombing voters backed it.

What would make Americans cringe?  It wouldn’t be the death of Asians.  It wouldn’t even be, contrary to the conventional wisdom, the death of Americans. As social scientists have discovered the American people have a higher tolerance for casualties than their generals. What the public won’t put up with for long is a war with heavy casualties that goes on and on.

So yes, Donald Trump could start a war in Korea that would leave tens of thousands dead and the American people could well think this was alright as long as in the end we won and the casualties were mainly suffered by Asians.  I doubt that National Security Advisor (and historian) H.R. McMaster is worried about Trump’s falling poll numbers, but Trump is.  And while he may know nothing about history and almost certainly hasn’t spent time thinking about the public reaction to the Korean War in the 1950s, his gut probably is telling him that war could improve his political prospects. He’d probably be right about that.

This isn’t because the American people are monsters.  It’s because they’re human.  And human beings don’t generally respond with empathy to the misfortunes of people living on the other side of the world.  Though there are ways to trigger feelings of empathy for strangers by using stories and pictures to good effect, there’s little reason to expect these would have the desired impact in the course of a hot war.  Forty plus years after the end of the Vietnam War Americans still don’t see what happened there from the Vietnamese perspective.  What we remember is our loss and our pain.

There are two other factors that could affect the politics of a second Korean War.  One is what China would do. Were China to intervene on the side of North Korea the war could drag on in a horrific repeat of the first Korean War.  But China might be persuaded to remain neutral if given private assurances that following the peace the United States would agree to withdraw from the peninsula, meeting one of China’s longterm goals.

The other is whether the U.S. employs nuclear weapons.  While Trump seems unafraid to use nuclear weapons and has hinted in the past week that he would indeed resort to their use in Korea  –  that’s the dark warning carried in his “fire and fury” remarks  –  it’s unlikely he could actually order their use without blowback from the military.  That would no doubt lead to public debate  –  the last thing a president wants in the middle of a war.

Will Trump take us to war?  There's no way to answer this question.  Who knows what's going on inside our president's head?  Nor do we know (because it's not knowable) if we go to war whether we'll be in a position to win a clear victory.  But it's possible the answer is yes (though it's just one possible scenario).  And that's worth keeping in mind when calculating the chances that Donald J. Trump could be re-elected president of the United States of America.  I know that's disturbing.  Sorry.

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Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) comes out swinging at Netroots Nation 2017 (VIDEO)

Sat, 2017-08-12 08:55

I interviewed Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky live on my Pacifica NetworkKPFT 90.1 FM HoustonPolitics Done Right show at Netroots Nation 2017. She explained what she believes went wrong in the 2016 election. And she also has a message. Progressives must be concerned with 2018. A win is not secure.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky has a message. Progressives must be concerned with 2018. A win is not secure. Democrats must have answers for Americans that are hurting.

My first question to the Congresswoman was open ended -- what happened in 2016. It was clear she got the economic side of the angst of ALL working class America. Many people felt left behind and they wanted to try something new.

The Congresswoman has not bought into the Kool-Aid that 2018 is a shoo-in.  She took issue with my contention that the Democratic Party has failed in pointing out that Trump is sabotaging the Affordable Care Act. She showed a willingness to entertain single-payer Medicare for All.

Interviewing Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

I did not go into the race aspect of Donald Trump's election because I had some other folks to interview and the live program was only one hour long. I wrote a piece titled "We are missing the real story about Trump’s collusion with white nationalists" where I expanded on the Congresswoman's statement of what ails.

It is essential that Americans understand that Trump weaving an intricate path that combines truth, lies, distortions, and economic realities could work.

There are some who believe that Trump is the result of the economic angst of the white working class. Others believe that he just allows those with strong racist inclinations to come out of the light. Others believe it was a f$ck-you to the entire political establishment. That debate, however, should be over. Why, because you are all right. It is all of the above.

The problem is that while at this point the sum of all those still does not make up the majority of the country, it likely still makes up an electoral majority.

That is something we must mitigate and Democrats have not yet.

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Progressive Republican candidate attends liberal U.S. conference and does well (VIDEO)

Sat, 2017-08-12 02:03

Republican House of Representative candidate Robb Ryerse attended Netroots Nation 2017, the most progressive conference of over 2500 liberal bloggers. He is a Brand New Congress candidate with a very liberal pedigree. And he has a lot to say about his party's self-destructing ills.

Robb Ryerse is almost unrecognizable as a Republican as he makes Blue Dog Democrats seem like Right Wing conservatives. Robb is a pastor at a progressive evangelical church in Arkansas and an executive with a startup company. His personal website has blog posts that would make some Right Wing Republicans' head explode.

  • Who Sinned That He Doesn’t Have Health Care?
  • Your Church Is Probably Lying to You
  • 3 Biblical Reasons Why Christians in Fayetteville Should Vote For the Uniform Civil Rights Ordinance – Even If They Believe Homosexuality Is a Sin
  • Women Are the Leaders the Church Needs: Reflections on

He seems to be advocating Medicare for all or some form of Medicare for all without using those words in his writings. And he uses the biblical arguments many progressives use against Right Wing ideologues.

Progressive Republican Candidate takes on Netroots Nation 2017

Ryerse's interview on my Politics Done Right show on Pacifica Network’s KPFT 90.1 FM Houston was both entertaining and refreshing as he showed an almost complete departure from the current tenets of his party. I must admit, I liked the guy.

He says on his Brand New Congress page

Today’s Republican leadership has strayed far from their roots: Empowering people to live their lives freely and on their own terms, controlling costs and spending wisely, being good stewards of our national resources, lifting up our neighbors when they are in need -- and most importantly, having the integrity to be accountable for our actions.

As a Brand New Congress candidate, Robb Ryerse signed on to their very progressive platform. It is one that most Progressives and Moderates will be happy to support. If there is a blue wave, it is evident this seat would survive if the incumbent Republican loses the primary to Ryerse.

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Netroots Nation 2017 Day 0, preparing for the big event (VIDEO)

Thu, 2017-08-10 01:54

It is here. Progressive bloggers from across the country and a few from across the world trekked into Atlanta Georgia for another large conference. They will meet several progressive, local, state, and national politicians that will help them build the narrative for 2018.

But the first day is filled with work from volunteers and registration from those who came into town a bit earlier.

Volunteers singing to get them through filling several thousand swag bags


The volunteers set up an assembly line that worked very efficiently. They were done in probably four hours or so.

Volunteers building swag bags

Later we set up Pacifica Network station KPFT 90.1 FM Houston on Radio Row in the exhibit hall.

KPFT 90.1 FM Houston

DailyKos sponsored a mixer later in the afternoon where staff, editors, contributing editors, bloggers, and executives met chatted.

DailyKos Mixer

We the mixer some of us went over to the Hard Rock Cafe to welcome first timers to Netroots Nation. We did not expect to see these many first timers. All in all, it means we will have several hundred more attendees than the projected 2,500.

First Timers' welcome

Introduction of grassroots candidate

After the First Timer Party, it was time for many to check out. It was a long day. One could still here folks having fun even from the 19th floor in the hotel. In other words the fun migrated to the hotel bar.

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Steps we can take now to take back what was stolen from poor & middle-class (VIDEO)

Wed, 2017-08-09 23:39

Americans are shortchanged not because of outsourcing, offshoring, high taxes, regulations, and inadequate health care. They are disadvantaged because of an ideologically driven willful gullibility where we consent to politicians screwing us. Americans need to stop patting themselves on the back as the rest of the world leaves us behind.

Every American should travel to a myriad of cities around the world. They will find that comparatively, our infrastructure both public and private is severely lacking. They will see that our government provided services are severely lacking.

Many have allowed the fallacy regurgitated by the plutocracy to have Americans fear taxes. If one gets more from paying taxes for a service that otherwise costs more in the private sector, then one should examine the choices the country makes.

Many industrialized nations prove with outcomes that in fact, the government can work. Not only can it work, but it can work much more efficiently in certain areas than the mythically more efficient market. In certain areas, private profits are nothing more than a public expense. The math is absolute.

So why do Americans pay so much in taxes? Our government uses much of our taxes for the military. We do not support education nor health care, and other services to make life better (e.g. family leave, etc.) as do other industrialized countries.

Our tax system is nothing more than a wealth transfer transport from the masses to the wealthy few. One must realize that spending heavily for defense means subsidizing many private corporations within the military industrial complexes that amass massive profits that you, the American citizens pay for over and over again.  Again a massive transfer of wealth.

The same applies to our health care system. The American taxpayer pays for drug research. When it is time to develop it into a product, corporations monetize it, inflate costs, and make huge profits for selling us the drugs we developed at exorbitant prices.

Issue after issue, we have allowed the few to screw us all. They legally take what they should not be entitled to have.

Americans need to support a complete restructuring of our economy. Here are a few things we can do to really make America great for the masses.

  • Tax investment income at a higher rate than income from work. Why should some sitting on sitting at their pool or otherwise doing nothing pay a lesser tax rate than someone who risks their lives and limb to go to work every day?
  • Drug companies must share profits with the U.S. Treasury for all drugs developed with taxpayer dollars.
  • Subsidize medical students to ensure they don’t have massive student loans which ultimately every American pays for with high doctor fees.
  • Every American who keeps a good GPA should be offered pay-it-forward tuition free college. The larger tax base from an educated American will pay for the subsequent generations.
  • Establish a single-payer Medicare for All health system. It is the only mathematically feasible solution to our health care problem.
  • No individual American should profit from fossil fuels or minerals found on their land. They did not put it there. Every American should have an inalienable right to all the country’s natural resources. We should profit from our work and added value, not from a value we had no stake in creating.

This may seem radical. However, if examined outside of the framework of our indoctrination, one would see it is both moral and fair. American's most start asserting their worth and extricate the indoctrination established since the country's inception and fortified with the release of the Powell Manifesto. It is hard, but if we are to survive as a country, we will eventually have to get there. Americans must take back what was stolen using the dictates of preferential laws, from the poor & the middle-class.

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North Korea crossed Trump’s red line. What will the paper tiger do?

Wed, 2017-08-09 07:50

Donald Trump's words got ahead of him. He wanted to create a distraction from the other negative news of the day about him. His 'they will be met with fire, and fury like the world has never seen' rhetoric will turn out to be just that.

Donald Trump's credibility dips further as North Korea ignores his threat and ups the ante. The paper tiger further endangers the world.

It did not take long for North Korea's leader, Kim Jong un to cross Trump's red line. CNBC reported the following.

President Donald Trump appears to have painted himself into a corner: He must now follow up on his pledge of hitting North Korea with "fire and fury," or he risks further blowing U.S. credibility.

Kim Jong-un's regime said late on Tuesday that it may strike Guam. That came shortly after Trump warned Pyongyang it would face "power, the likes of which this world has never seen before" if the renegade state continued to threaten the U.S.

"If the red line he drew today was 'North Korea cannot threaten the U.S. anymore,' that line was crossed within an hour of him making that statement," said John Delury, associate professor of Chinese studies at Seoul-based Yonsei University.

Trump attacked President Obama when he did not attack Syria when they crossed President Obama's chemical weapon's  red line. We are not dealing with chemical weapons now. We are dealing with nuclear annihilation. Trump once again has stepped right into another mess of his making, and this one could have much bigger repercussions.

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Chuck Todd mostly right as he admonished a failed Democratic Leadership (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-08-08 22:20

What does one do when it is clear that that the Democratic Party's leadership is out of step with the national reality. Individual activists and loyalists must not only point out the flaws but build a coalition to mitigate the shortcomings.

Many within the Indivisible Movements and other Progressive movements are doing just that with or without the core leadership of the party to engage the entire populace.  The admonition in this piece must be understood if Democrats are ever to win a Congressional and Senate majority again.

Chuck Todd and Cook Political Report Dave Wasserman pointed out something many loyal Democrats have been screaming for some time now. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.

I agree with most of the discussion except for the statement implying the Democratic Party should abandon identity politics. Identity politics is at the core of the party for very necessary and specific reasons. What is vital is the fusion of identity and economic politics in a real world manner. The plutocracy implicitly uses identity politics to segregate and then insert wedges to keep control of the masses by the few. Democrats use it to enlighten and destroy the wedges.

Chuck Todd calls out Democratic failure

Chuck Todd: Looking at President Trump's approval numbers and the historical fact that the first midterms are not kind of the president's party, Democrats might be forgiven for getting an idea that 2018 is going to be a banner year for them, but not so fast. The piece, I didn't have an issue with. It was watching the reaction to the piece that was amazing to me. Because what you're writing is if the Democrats continue on the same messaging and identity politics trajectory that they're on, and the Republican stay on this trajectory, we are headed for this geographic chasm here. That will be a nightmare for the Democrats. Is that a fair way to read your piece?

Dave Wasserman: Well look. This coastal coalition is not working right now. I think Democrats could have a phenomenal year in 2018. They can win the house. I believe that. But in order to do so and in order to hold their losses down in the senator or break even, they'll have to overcome a historic geographic disadvantage. You know Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by two point one percent. She lost the median House seats by three-point-four, the median Senate seat by three-point-six. I went back a century and looked at the data. I've never found a geographic bias in either chamber that high.

Chuck Todd: Are they the victim of a geographic bias or did they create their own geographic bias. I guess I look at this and say, well this is what you do when you stop campaigning. They didn't even bother to recruit a candidate in Alabama special Senate election. I'm telling you on September 15th they're going to realize they made a mistake there. They're not even trying to compete in some parts of this country anymore. They don't even pretend otherwise.

Dave Wasserman: Well look at who the Democratic Party's leaders are right now, Nancy Pelosi from California, Chuck Schumer from New York. Hillary Clinton won those two states by a combined six million votes, double her national margin. Now I'm saying there's anything terrible about either leader's legislative strategy, but when it comes to the party's branding and the party's "messaging," look at the results in 2016. And it's not a coalition that can win the breath of House and Senate seats that the party ten or twenty years ago could.

Chuck Todd: So as Democrats read, do they look at this, should they just simply say, oh this is what gerrymandering did to us. Is that what Democrats should say or should Democrats sit there and lambaste their own leaders going, you know this race to the coast race to urbanize America race to cultural change race to demographic has been too fast for middle America and they don't want to acknowledge that yet?

Dave Wasserman: Well look gerrymandering plays a role absolutely. But when I hear Democrats cite those statistics that I've laid out in the article and say it's all gerrymandering, well look at the Senate. Right? And Donald Trump even despite losing the popular vote, won sixty Senate seats out of a hundred if you go by his map. He won thirty states. Look at Democrats' geographic concentration on the coasts and in big cities. And look, the Senate has always had a bias toward smaller more rural states. But only until recently has that had such profoundly negative consequences for Democrats.

Chuck Todd: So here we are. Now eight years ago we were writing about the Republicans demographic problem; they're never going to be able to win national elections again, and they're only going to be able to win House elections and midterm elections and all of this. Because they have a demographic problem and it's not as bad in midterm years. Everybody knew that Democrats had a rural problem and this is something they have to worry about in midterms. Demography versus geography, who's got the tougher hill to climb right now? Which party?

Dave Wasserman: Well, coalitions change over time. And one of the fascinating aspects of politics has been that when parties have transformed, they've gone for a new face that is, outside the stereotype of what you'd think of as the party's coalition. Donald Trump is the last person you would have thought of as part of the traditional Republican coalition in 2016. My question is can Democrats find a new leader in 2020 who's outside the stereotype.

Chuck Todd: And people forget Barack Obama actually was outside that stereotype, not just because of race, but he was also outside the stereotype on ideology the assumption was oh no you got to get some southern conservative Democrat if you want to win the White House.

Dave Wasserman: Right.You've got to bend the geographic curve.

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MSNBC host admits Trump inflammatory words derail their show topics (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-08-08 19:52

Many of us have stated that there was a cunning system to Donald Trump's inflammatory statements. They are always made to keep the media off guard and subject. MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace admitted as much but did something about it.

MSNBC Host acknowledged that Trump plays the media. One hopes they will expand on what she did by addressing important topics as well. The following segment was a good start.

Nicolle Wallace admits Trump corrupts their coverage

"That was our own Kristen Welker shouting a question to presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway about the fire and fury that the president promised," Nicolle Wallace said. "Before we went to break though I asked if we're getting played; if this is a shiny object. She made an interesting comment there that was a comment that you all took live. Well we didn't take it live the press pool is in there and they reported it out. But they're very aware of what we chase and when we chase it. And do you think we do fall into the trap of chasing something like this -- letting it wipe out -- I mean we had a whole show planned. We were going to spend a block; I'll just reveal this in full disclosure. We were going to talk about an AP report about how Mike Pence might be getting ready to run for president because no one sure if Donald Trump's going to make it. We were going to hit all these headlines. Mr. President didn't fool us. We were going to talk about a historically low poll number that this president sits at 33% and that it's a lie that his base is growing. They are shrinking by the week. We were going to talk about any development. So I mean are we falling down the rabbit hole when he says something like this?"

One of the panelists made an important point.

"Well look," said Philip Rucker, The Washington Post White House Bureau Chief. "When he says something like that it's a presidential statement."

Rucker is correct. What is important however is that the media report his inflammatory comments, discuss its implications, and then move on to the subjects they intended to cover. That is how you do your job and at the same time keep an informed population.

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Trump unhinged statement on North Korea show two unstable leaders (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-08-08 16:44

The president is escalating the war of words with North Korea that is becoming very dangerous. It is evident both leaders, Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are both unstable leaders with nuclear arsenals.

U.S. Intelligence Officials told NBC and The Washington Post that North Korea is now able to make a miniaturized nuclear warhead. A North Korean inter-ballistic missile could deliver the warhead to many corners of the United States.

The President's response was crazy and scary but ultimately dangerous.

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the united States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening, beyond a normal state, and as I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

Is this the behavior of the presumed leader of the world? It may be time for the Donald Trump's cabinet to re-examine Section IV of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

President Trump: If North Korea makes any more threats to the U.S., "they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen"

— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 8, 2017


Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to the United States of America.

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Olbermann uses Fox News’ host words as argument to Trump’s impeachment (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-08-08 15:40

It is poetic justice that the words of many Fox News hosts are coming back to bite them. Keith Olbermann read a striking rebuke by this host to justify Trump's removal from office.

Olbermann read Jeanine Pirro's words she spoke a few days before the 2016 elections. It turns out her words reverberate on the Trump administration perfectly.

On Nixon Day the case that under constant investigation like Trump, you can't stay president. And it was on Fox News

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) August 8, 2017

"I did not write what follows but it is perfect," Keith Olbermann said. "So I will read it as it was written and then I will give you the backstory afterward. We cannot have a country led by a president subject to ongoing criminal investigations, potential indictments, and never-ending hearings. We cannot have a president under that level of scrutiny that inevitably leads to even more questions and more investigations. And irrespective of what happens to him whether he's indicted or even guilty, it doesn't matter. His guilt is a moot point. He cannot take the Oval Office. Now in any other business when the head of a corporation is plagued by scandal, that person steps down and is replaced because the board knows that a business cannot succeed without respect and authority. How do you think the world is going to look at the United States when a man under federal criminal investigation who's lied repeatedly to the American people is elected? Do you think they'll take him at his word? That was written and presented by Jeanine Pirro on her show on the Fox News Channel on Saturday, November 5th, 2016. It was her final argument for why you could not vote for Hillary Clinton and must instead vote for Donald Trump. We cannot have a president under that level of scrutiny whether indicted or even guilty. It doesn't matter; guilt is a moot point. I changed all the "She's"  to  "He's" Ain't I a stinker. Resist, remove, piece."

Pirro has been a staunch Trump supporter and apologist. If her words were valid then, consistency demands that she repeat the same on air now.

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Democrats cannot win House throwing women & others over a cliff (Video)

Tue, 2017-08-08 01:39

The old guard of the Democratic Party is at it again. Once again these Democrats feel it is copacetic to make parts of their base expedient to win voters they are unlikely to win for another generation or until their decimated financial reality enforces a vote that supersedes their irrational prejudice towards the Democratic Party.

Democrats stand for values that are non-negotiable because they are human values and policies which provide opportunities for all. So why is the old guard of the Democratic Party hedging its bets with an already failed position?

Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) appeared on Meet the Press and pretty much threw women under the bus. He sucker-punched women who fought to ensure that the Democratic Party understood that women's reproductive rights were both a moral and an economic issue.

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The following exchange was hard to listen to especially from a Progressive icon.

Chuck Todd: Well, there you have the rub, and I say this because what do you do? How do you tell the Democratic base that says, "Look, sometimes you've got to compromise." So, for instance, the issue of abortion. We talked about culture. You've got some inside the Democratic Party, some major Democratic leaders from a senator in New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, to others who think, you know what? The Democratic Party, should not support -- abortion should be a litmus test, should not support Democrats who are not pro choice on abortion.

But you have people like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer who say, "You know what? The Democrats need to be a big tent." And sometimes you have Democrats that will say they love what you say when you announce, but, "Wait a minute. Why are you working, with the other side and compromising some of your principles?" How do you square those two? How do you tell the Democratic base, "You've got to learn to compromise"?

Governor Jerry Brown: Well, first of all, I don't know who this Democratic base is. It's shifting. The segments of our party are highly differentiated. There are environmentalists; there are gun owners; there are pro choice people; there are religious fundamentalists, not very many, but they're there.

So I'd say, look, even on the abortion issue, it wasn't very long ago that a number of Catholic Democrats were opposed to abortion. So the fact that somebody believes today what most people believed 50 years ago should not be the basis for their exclusion. In America, we're not ideological. We're not like a Marxist party in 1910. We are big tent by the very definition. We're not ideological in the European sense of what political parties used to be. Even in Europe now, they don't have that same ideological purity.

America is not one place. Alabama is not San Francisco or California. To come together, as a great Jesuit once said, everything that rises converges. So we have to rise above some of our most cherished ideological inclinations and find a common basis. And the economy has often been that common basis, or security in the world could be a part of that common basis. But you can't let these hot button issues, that work great in particular congressional districts one way or the other, to be the guiding light for a national party that covers a very wide spectrum of belief.

Chuck Todd: So you don't believe there should be a litmus test on abortion? Or is there an issue there should be one on, for the Democrats?

Governor Jerry Brown: Well, the litmus test should be intelligence, caring about, as Harry Truman or Roosevelt used to call it, the common man. We're not going to get everybody on board. And I'm sorry, but running in San Francisco is not like running in Tulare County or Modoc, California, much less Mobile, Alabama.

If we want to be a governing party of a very diverse, and I say diverse ideologically as well as ethnically country, well, then you have to have a party that rises above the more particular issues to the generic, the general issue of making America great if I might take that word.

Replace "abortion issue" with some "male specific issue" or to a lesser extent "race issue." There would be an uproar. The old guard of the Democratic always attempts to appease a certain sect of voters by publicly doing something to diss another sect in some symbolic manner. One must not forget Clinton's Sista Souljah episode. It did not win Bill Clinton the election. A third party candidate ensured that he had a plurality.

Americans do not vote for Republican Lite. If they want to vote for Conservative values, they vote for the Republican. The goal must be to sell the better ideas of the Democratic Party Platform as opposed to appeasing those whose vote one seeks. Republicans never give up on their bad ideas. They double down with conviction. People kind of like that and would tend to vote for that strength because they know where said politician stands.

Jill Filipovic's CNN article "Democrats' disastrous mistake on abortion" is evident.

(CNN)The chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Ben Ray Luján, said in an interview this week that his party intended to support candidates who can win, regardless of their position on abortion rights. There will be no abortion "litmus test" in the Democrats' drive to win back the House, he said. His comments echoed earlier ones from Nancy Pelosi, Charles Schumer and Bernie Sanders. That's not just an insult to the women (and men) who make up the Democrats' base. It's a fool's errand.

Much of the left has learned all the wrong lessons from Hillary Clinton's defeat. They could focus on increasing turnout among their base -- women and African-Americans -- but Democrats have instead taken a rhetorical page from both Donald Trump's sexism and Bernie Sanders's populism by trying to appeal to disaffected white guys. This pivot to the right on women's health is particularly insidious, reflecting an anti-feminist backlash across the political spectrum.

Democrats may say they are trying to field the most competitive team of candidates they can to win a majority in Congress, and in some districts that candidate might be anti-abortion. But this treads a dangerous path: ceding to demands that the entire political system cater to the perceived values of a group that largely stopped voting for Democrats in the 1960s, when the party pushed the Civil Rights Act and equal rights for women.

Many are concerned that criticizing the Democratic Party will make winning more difficult. Not stopping the insanity, not stopping the party from doing the same thing and expecting a different result ensures a loss. Now is the time for corrective action. Now is time to grab the bull by the horns to ensure candidates willing to fight for Democratic values run, persuade, and earn the majority of votes. Every Democrat and  Progressive Independent must speak now.

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Chris Hayes exposes the start of a Trumpian fascist local media takeover (VIDEO)

Mon, 2017-08-07 23:28

Chris Hayes presented a significant segment that likely will not get the notoriety it deserves. This type of fascist attack is generally acted upon when it is too late. Will this be the case here as well?

The march to a Fascist state

Trump's FCC will likely relax rules that will allow Sinclair to reach over 70% of the U.S. population with Trump TV style propaganda. This increases America's Fascist quotient and it is something American better add to the repertoire of issues we must fight.

The following exchange is probative.

Chris Hayes: A proposed $3.9 billion deal to buy Tribune Media would give Sinclair another 42 stations and the ability to reach 72% of U.S. households. Now, that level of dominance of the air waves by a single company is supposed to be outside the bounds of the law. But this spring, President Trump's very pro-business FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, invoked a controversial loophole in the law that would allow the deal to go through. And now, despite heated opposition, that deal is widely expected to be approved. Joining me now, MSNBC media analyst Gabe Sherman, social correspondent for Vanity Fair. So I want to start with just how do people know whether they are watching a Sinclair station? Which is that -- I mean, how do they know?

Gabriel Sherman: The truth is, they don't. I mean, Sinclair owns affiliates all over the country that are affiliated with the big networks, and so if you are watching your local ABC, NBC, or Fox affiliate in a market, you may have no idea that the corporate owner of this network has a political point of view.
Sinclair does not brand its networks, "We are" -- like Fox News would say, "we are a conservative network, we're Fox News," the viewers would know that. Sinclair does not market itself as the owner of these networks.

Chris Hayes: Yeah, and there's also the difference between local affiliates -- I mean, when I grew up in New York, I would think of the network as the association, right? But outside of the major markets, you could be watching ABC in one market that Sinclair owned, and NBC in another, or CBS in another, and they're just owned by Sinclair. Those numbers -- those letters don't really mean anything in terms of the news programming.

Gabriel Sherman: Of course, and that's -- that is really why this is such a sea change, possibly, in the American media landscape where you have an ideologically predisposed company that could push its message behind the curtain of objective news.
I mean, this also -- we should just put it in the context of a generational quest by Republicans to change the media landscape in their favor, going back to 1987 when Ronald Reagan FCC -- Ronald Reagan's FCC repealed the Fairness Doctrine, which allows one point of view, which gave rise to talk radio. We are now seeing the rise, potentially, of right-wing broadcasting in television.

Chris Hayes: Sort of a talk radio-ization of local news.

Gabriel Sherman: Exactly.

Chris Hayes: And how controversial is the approval of the deal itself?

Gabriel Sherman: Well, you talk to people in the media industry, whether or not they are ideologically aligned with Sinclair, and they say this is very controversial. In fact, Rupert Murdoch has now made overtures for Fox to acquire more local stations because they don't want a corporate competitor like Sinclair to be competing with them. You know, there used to be laws in place that prevented the corporate overlords to buy up all the local markets, because you did not want to have a homogeneous point of view, and now that these regulations are being repealed, there is nothing to say that NBC or Comcast could go and buy up local stations.

Call your Congresspeople and Senators and tell them you want them to stop the purchase. Trump's undemocratic acts must be stopped at every turn.

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