Between 2014 and 2018, the 25 wealthiest Americans collectively earned $401bn, but paid just $13.6bn – about 3.4% of that – in taxes, according to a bombshell ProPublica investigation into the finances of the wealthiest Americans released on Wednesday.
Source: Wealthiest Americans pay just 3.4% of income in taxes, investigation reveals | US income inequality | The Guardian
Trump’s Republicans are now voting for Putin and against the Ukraine
A poisoned well: 63 Republicans just voted against even expressing support for democracy
Source: Trump’s trashing of Ukraine pays off for Russia: Republicans vote to reject NATO — and democracy | Salon.com
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia Rep. Matt Gaetz of FloridaRep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina Rep. Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin Rep. Chip Roy of Texas
Source: Eight House Republicans Side With Vladimir Putin Against The United States | Crooks and Liars
America’s new Democracy. There are now voices in the LNP who are already suggesting voting should be made voluntary and our AEC Australian Electoral Commission be privatized. Australian politicians pushing for a more American style democratic voting system.
When voters arrived at their polling place on March 1 in Azle, Texas, a small city outside of Fort Worth, they saw a framed, printed sign with standard voting instructions: no phones, printed materials allowed. Taped to it was another handwritten sign that read: “Sorry — No Democrat voting (not staffed).”
Source: Texas Voting Restrictions Take Their Toll: “Sorry — No Democrat Voting”
While Putin is “doing it” the West merely “postures”.
It shouldn’t be difficult to seize—or at least freeze and hang onto—the wealth Russian oligarchs have deposited in the West. After all, a mega-yacht is hard to miss, and private jets, some of the most valuable assets that can be purchased, can barely move across an airport taxiway without being directed and tracked by air traffic controllers. Earlier this week, France did manage to seize the 290-foot Amore Vero, owned by close Putin associate Igor Sechin, but it was one of the few oligarch-linked items taken since the war started.
Source: Russian Oligarchs Are Hurrying Their Jets and Yachts to Safety. America Is Letting Them. – Mother Jones
After 400 plus years America has a new experiment and promise
Fueled by Trump’s allegations of election fraud, New Hampshire Republicans introduced more than two dozen bills that would chip away at voting rights. They could spell trouble for Democrats in the midterms.
Source: New Hampshire Republicans Churn Out Voter Suppression Bills
Chief Justice Roger Taney said that members of the “Negro race” were not U.S. citizens and that they had no federal rights at all that white men were bound to respect, including the right to sue in federal court. He actually spoke of whites as the “citizen race” to the exclusion of “Negroes” and “Indians,” who were not eligible (unlike white immigrants from Europe) for naturalization. So President Biden’s nominee will be joining a court that once upon a time denied that Harriet Robinson Scott was or could be a citizen or had any human or civil rights at all. Harriet lived to see the Emancipation Proclamation and the Fourteenth Amendment, which bestowed citizenship on everyone born in the US. Only people who privately still believe in the exclusive privileges of the white “citizen race” will complain about having an African-American woman on the Supreme Court, in an epochal slap in the face to moral monsters like Chief Justice Taney.
Source: “No Rights which the White Man was Bound to Respect” What SCOTUS once Ruled about a Black Woman, as Biden prepares to Nominate One
Every Black member of the Mississippi state Senate walked out of the legislative chamber in protest on Friday as the Republican-led body passed a bill critics say will ban the teaching of critical race theory in public schools, from kindergarten through college.
Source: Black Mississippi State Senators Stage Walkout as Critical Race Theory Ban Passed
America’s Shame is Morrison’s guiding light.
Julia Conley January 13, 2022 Blocking an executive order from the White House that public health experts said would prevent hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, the right-wing majority of the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-test mandate for large private employers, claiming the Labor Department does not have the congressional authority to impose such a requirement. The court ruled 6-3 against the mandate, which would have applied to employers with 100 or more workers. Liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer dissented.
Source: ‘Tragically Wrong’: Supreme Court Blocks Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers
In under nine minutes, MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Tuesday night summarized the American right wing’s transformation in recent years into a political movement that openly celebrates violence, zeroing in on America Fest 2021—a conservative gathering taking place in Phoenix this week where Kyle Rittenhouse was celebrated by influential Fox News hosts and received a standing ovation.
Source: Turning Point ‘AmFest’ Was ‘Right Wing Celebration Of Violence’ | Crooks and Liars
The American Experiment after 450 years has proven to be on the brink of failure. 1) With No guarantee of a universal or compulsory voting system the nullification of voting has become the Republican reason for being. In a Democracy all parties must be prepared to lose and they aren’t 2) There appears to be no constitutional or uniform or path that guarantees the independant management of the electoral process itself 3) Gerrymandering, the election of referees and disputes are held in courts and institutions where there is no unbiased Separation of Powers 4) When it comes to transparency and an informed electorate there is no constitutionally guaranteed truely independent publicly funded national broadcaster. No real, financially free media. 5) Corporations whose primary interest is the interest of their shareholders have the same status and rights as citizens. They are organized and fund politicians of their choosing. 6) American Freedom witnessed almost 14,000 gun deaths in one year. While the UK saw 30. That alone spells Anarchy lunacy and not Democracy.
On one hand, it’s hard not to laugh. Who cares if Trump and his buddies separate MAGA fools from their money? On the other hand, the problem is these frauds aren’t merely frauds. They really are financing what is so far an extremely successful effort to lay the groundwork for stealing the 2024 election. The fascist movement is very real, even if there’s a lot of fraud wound into it by leaders hoping to get their beaks wet while they end democracy. Our legal system’s inability to deal with the fraud aspect is just a symptom of a larger problem, which is a failure to deal with these arsonists of democracy at all. If that doesn’t change, this country will have a lot more to worry about than idiot retirees emptying out their bank accounts for the latest “stop the steal” scam.
Source: Destroying Democracy Can Make You Very Rich | The Smirking Chimp
Revised The murders by a high school student in Oxford, Michigan, who was given a gun by his parents even though he was making death threats and the school called them to conferences out of concern, have shaken the state and become national news. That is because the parents are being charged with criminal negligence in the deaths of those young people, as well. The gun used was a Glock semi-automatic of a sort developed by Austria for its army but which is freely available to civilians in the US because gun manufacturers have bought Congress. Coinciding with this tragedy,
Source: We do it to Ourselves: 30 Gun Homicides in England in 2020 (167 US Equiv.), vs. 13,620 in US
How the Fuck is this possible in 2021?
“more Americans think Iran possesses nuclear weapons than think Israel does. While Israel has been known to possess nuclear weapons for decades (without officially acknowledging it) and Iran is not known to have ever possessed any, the American public perception presumes a different reality: 60.5%, including 70.6% of Republicans and 52.6% of Democrats, say Iran possesses nuclear weapons — compared to 51.7% who say Israel does, including 51.7% of Republicans and 51.9% of Democrats. More Americans think Iran possesses nuclear weapons than think Israel does.”
Source: As Iran Negotiates on Nuclear Deal, Americans Wrongly believe it has a Bomb — and that Israel Doesn’t!
Only in America is there the Republican blind opposition to vaccine mandates and a blind misogynistic support for a mandates forcing women to give birth. The rich are advantaged in every which way. If they want an abortion th leave the country make the poor populate it. It’s the slavery of old. There is no need to vaccinate, mask or distance in a mansions or the broader leafy burbs of white America. What is being opposed to is the lack of hierarchy, universal public health and good old male dominance over women their breeders.
Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – The Texas GOP delegation in Congress, led by Rep. Chip Roy and Sen. Ted Cruz, are threatening to shut down the federal government over vaccine mandates, according to the Houston Chronicle. The Chronicle quotes Roy’s interview at Fox News: “Congress needs to man up, stand up and fight for the American people — and that means don’t fund a government that is tyrannically forcing people to get a vaccine that they don’t want to get.’ So it is tyranny for the government interfere in the personal privacy of the body. Then the Chronicle quotes Ted
Source: Republicans reject Gov’t Vaccine Mandates for Men, seek state Pregnancy Mandates on Women
AT&T and Facebook are unaccountable. Donald Trump’s still free. This week saw an overwhelming number of stories all pointing to the same conclusion: American authoritarianism is on the rise, juiced and protected by some of the richest and most powerful people in the United States. Due to a combination of whistleblowers, investigations, and, in many cases, utter shamelessness on the part of fascism enablers, this is now out in the open. And yet, despite Democrats controlling both Congress and the White House, serious action to fight back and save American democracy remains underwhelming to nonexistent.
Source: Facebook and Trump: America Is Sleepwalking Towards Fascism | The Smirking Chimp
If you are waiting for an American general to resign or be fired over the drone strike that killed seven children and three men in Kabul last month, you will likely experience the meaning of infinity.
Source: America’s Generals Are Cowards. Fire Them All.
Amnesty International welcomed the acknowledgement of civil casualties by the US military on Friday but called for prosecuting those “suspected of criminal responsibility” in the attack. “Survivors and families of the victims should be kept informed of the progress of the investigation and be given full reparation,” Brian Castner, senior crisis adviser with Amnesty’s crisis response programme, said in a statement. “It should be noted that the US military was only forced to admit to its failure in this strike because of the current global scrutiny on Afghanistan.”
Source: Drone attack killed 10 civilians in Kabul, US acknowledges | Conflict News | Al Jazeera
For generals like David Petraeus and Lloyd Austin, there has been no punishment for 20 years of disinformation on Afghanistan and Iraq.
Source: How U.S. Generals Lied on 9/11 Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
They could change their embargo and sanction policies on Cuba but won’t
The United States could help to rebuild Afghanistan, after having bombed the country back to the stone age (to use the old Cold War idiom). Instead, it is now washing its hands of the situation and leaving. Similarly, Washington could end support for free-market policies that impose poverty on millions of people. But it shows no signs of shifting course. As such, both Democratic and Republican governments are set to continue the Cold War’s history of military intervention, with all the destruction and economic inequality that they entail.
Source: Will the End of the Afghanistan War provoke Reconsideration of American Militarism?
Today’s cruel and partisan Supreme Court is squandering what remains of its authority. It is also imposing unnecessary suffering on those least able to bear it.
Source: The New Republican Supreme Court | The Smirking Chimp
Republicans love to hijack democratic and progressive concepts, such as “free speech,” and apply them in a hyperbolic context that is counterintuitive to the original intent. While this tactic burgeoned in recent years, Donald Trump’s presidency and toxic wake has elevated the issues and urgency to defeat this.
Source: The Republican Party’s flirtation with Fascism is becoming a Marriage
A mere month after the conviction of whistleblower Daniel Hale, who did more than any other to reveal the grotesque illusion of reliability behind the US drone program, UAV warfare was again shown to be a butchering enterprise praised by the precisionists and found politically wanting. Those attending the funerals of the slain family members, an event taking place in the shadow of US power in retreat, needed little convincing who their enemy was.
Source: Droning Disasters: A US Strike on Kabul – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Stoking fear of Afghan refugees, Stephen Miller — architect of Trump’s ethno-nationalist agenda — used the Afghanistan withdrawal and the ISIS airport attack as another opportunity to spread Islamophobia. Just hours after Kabul fell to the Taliban, Miller focused on an anti-immigrant message: “It is becoming increasingly clear that Biden and his radical deputies will use their catastrophic debacle in Afghanistan as a pretext for doing to America what Angela Merkel did to Germany and Europe,” he wrote, referring to Syrian refugee resettlement through 2016. In Miller’s racist imagination, Merkel allowed the masses of Middle Eastern refugees to “defile” Europe’s traditional heritage while failing to identify Muslim terrorists hidden in their midst.
Source: The same MAGA mob Who supported Insurrection are Smearing pro-American Afghan Refugees as Dangerous
Law professor Stephen Feldman explains why court-packing should be defended on both moral and political grounds
Source: Trump’s Supreme Court just showed why court-packing is necessary to save U.S. democracy | Salon.com
And then the Soviet Union collapsed — and nothing changed in the U.S. military’s global posture. Or, put differently, everything changed. For with the implosion of the USSR, what turned out to remain truly uncontained was our military, along with the dreams of neoconservatives who sought to remake the world in America’s image. But which image? That of a republic empowering its citizens in a participatory democracy or of an expansionist capitalist empire, driven by the ambition and greed of a set of oligarchs?
Source: From Arsenal of Democracy to Arsenal of Empire: Let’s Abandon Ruinous Foreign Wars for Actual Self-Defense
“On January 6, did you speak before during or after the Capitol was attacked?” the reporter probed. Jordan looked up in the air making believe he had a think about it. “Ahhh, I’d have to go…IIiiiiii I spoke with him that day after. I think after,” his voice raised almost an octave higher. “I don’t know if I spoke to him in the morning or not? I just don’t know. Have to go back, I mean, I don’t don’t don’t–” he stammered.
Source: Jim Jordan Feigns Amnesia When Asked To Clarify Jan 6 Trump Conversation | Crooks and Liars
With prosecutors seeking a maximum sentence, Hale delivered a powerful handwritten letter describing his motivations to the court.
Source: Daniel Hale Makes Case Against U.S. Drone Program
Unless we want to engage in a bloody and bitter divorce, we have to solve this problem together. And there’s no reason for the responsibly vaccinated to continue to have to put themselves and their kids at risk to mollycoddle conservative snowflakes who place their identitarian culture war and Fox News obsession over the value of life. We, too, deserve to be able to go back to living normal lives at concerts and restaurants unmasked without fear of infection by a conservative who never bothered to make any sacrifices. Whatever we have to do to get there, we should do.
Source: What Will It Take For Republicans To Get Vaccinated? | Washington Monthly
A manual used in the Navy’s anti-terrorism courses lumped anarchists, socialists, and neo-nazis together as examples of “political terrorists.”
Source: Military Removes Training Document Conflating Socialists With Terrorists
Advertisement Washington: A 62-year-old Texan who waited seven hours to cast a vote while on parole is facing the threat of 40 years jail for breaking state election laws. Hervis Earl Rogers from Houston was arrested last week and charged with two counts of illegal voting for casting a ballot in 2018 and again last year while still on parole. He could get 20 years for each. Texas is one of 16 US states where felons lose voting rights in prison and on parole.
Source: Texan who queued for seven hours to vote faces 40-year jail term
Convicted under the Espionage Act for having shared a classified document on threats to election security with the media, Winner has been released to home confinement but wears an unwieldy ankle bracelet. It beeps even if she strays too far within her family’s yard. Not wanting her to miss out, a high school friend showed up on a recent day with a kiddie swimming pool and some sand. “Mom, I’m going to the beach today,” Winner said, her mother Billie Winner-Davis recalled. The pair filled the kid’s toy and Winner waded in. Winner’s family and friends are thrilled to have her home after four years behind bars — a stint that took miserable turns as her release date neared. She contracted Covid-19 as part of a mass infection in her prison, filed a sexual assault complaint against a guard, and went thirsty and cold when her facility lost heat and water in February during Texas’s deadly winter storm.
Source: NSA Whistleblower Reality Winner Adjusts to Her Release From Prison
Afghanistan is teetering on the brink of an almost unimaginable disaster. The withdrawal of US and allied forces, scheduled by President Joe Biden to be completed by September 11, threatens to precipitate the unravelling of the most pro-Western government in Southwest Asia.
Source: On the brink of disaster: how decades of progress in Afghanistan could be wiped out in short order
The Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton, is reportedly bringing charges that allege Rogers voted while on parole for a 1995 conviction for burglary and intent to commit theft. In Texas, it is illegal for anyone convicted of a felony to vote until they complete their sentence, including probation and parole. Rogers’ parole began in 2004 and was set to expire in June 2020. The Texas primaries were held in March. Rogers cannot afford $100,000 bail and is being held in jail, said Thomas Buser-Clancy, an attorney with the Texas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is helping represent Rogers.
Source: Texas man who waited seven hours at polls is charged with voting illegally | Texas | The Guardian
This is Trumpland
Leaflets convinced many Somali militants to switch sides, but America is less interested in hearing from people hurt by its drones.
Source: Why Hasn’t the U.S. Used Leaflets to Find Somali Airstrike Victims?
Who Cried Make Germany Great Again?
Put in a broader historical context, the attack on the Capital was an act of political terrorism made in the name of white supremacy. It echoes a sordid history that included the violence against Blacks that took place in Tulsa a hundred years ago. Tulsa was destroyed as a result of white supremacist violence and over 300 Black people were killed. That was an act of economic terrorism. Today economic and political terrorism are unified and drive a Republican Party that is relentless in its destruction of the rights of Black people and its willingness to destroy democracy as well. In the current moment, politics has become an extension of racial violence; this is a politics that no longer hides in the shadows or margins of society and has become a governing principle of the Republican Party.
Source: America’s Nazi Problem and the End of Policing | The Smirking Chimp
Time to choose Fox has engaged in a deliberate strategy to make its brand inseparable from Carlson’s. The network should pay a price for that. Advertisers who support the network are now indirectly — and at times directly — supporting Carlson’s vile rhetoric. Media buyers should remember that when Fox tries to pitch them on ads at the upfronts later this month. If they continue to support Carlson, they own the results.
Source: Tucker Carlson is the face of Fox News | Media Matters for America