Why would 28 states legislate against the US Constitution? One explanation is that the state governments were bought by the Israel Lobby with money under the table, by promises of political campaign donations, or by threats of financing rival candidates. How else do we explain 28 state governments imposing censorship in behalf of a foreign country?
Abby Martin is one person who will not stand for it. She has brought a lawsuit that—if the US Supreme Court is still a protector of the First Amendment—will result in the 28 state laws and Trump’s executive order being overturned. The protection of Israel against boycotts parallels state laws passed in the 1950s that prevented Martin Luther King’s movement from boycotting businesses that practiced racial segregation. These laws were overturned by the Supreme Court.
The outcome of Abby Martin’s suit will tell us whether the US Constitution is still a living document.
Can we stop tiptoeing around the fact that Trump is behaving like a dictator?
We’re slipping further into fascism as Trump indulges all his worst instincts, with the help of his toadies
The president seeks the total sublimation of the Justice Department and the whole US government to his will. THE MAKING OF THE SWAMP
By now, you know the basics: After the Justice Department requested a seven-to-nine years sentence for Roger Stone, a longtime Trump intimate who was convicted of lying to Congress and witness-tampering (to protect Trump in the Russia scandal), Trump tweet-whined that this sentence would be too harsh, and the DoJ dutifully rescinded it. Four federal prosecutors, apparently in protest, withdrew from the Stone case, with one quitting the department. Then Trump attacked the federal judge handling the case. Still on the rampage the next day, Trump—again in a tweet—threatened to withhold assistance for New York State if it did not smother investigations related to Trump.
He sacked impeachment witnesses Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Ambassador Gordon Sondland. Next he moved onto the Justice Department and the judiciary. At the same time, Barr set up a special “intake” channel at the department for Trump’s henchman Rudy Giuliani to feed rumors, dirt, and supposed leads about Trump’s rivals.
All this is crooked and horrific. Trump is rigging the justice system, trashing norms that have been in place for decades, and attacking the notion that the rule of law is essential for democratic governance. Early in his presidency, facing the Russia investigation being run by the FBI, Trump exclaimed, “Where is my Roy Cohn?” He was referring to the thuggish mob lawyer who had been red-baiting Sen. Joe McCarthy’s chief hatchet-man years before becoming a mentor and consigliere for the young Trump. Though Trump placed Barr, his own lapdog, in charge of the Justice Department last year, Trump has become his own Roy Cohn, consolidating power and seeking vengeance. And extracting revenge has long been one of Trump’s primary psychological motivations, as I first explained before he was elected president.
Goodbye Separation of Powers in America. Hello a Despotic Fascist State. He’s dictating who he wants pardoned and who he wants charged (ODT)
Conservative media and many Republican officials have championed Flynn, calling for Trump to pardon him. On Tuesday, Trump retweeted a pro-Trump Twitter account suggesting that he grant both Stone and Flynn full pardons.
Suggest a correction
Listen to Tim Murphy describe Bernie Sanders’ journey to frontrunner status, from inside the roaring Sanders celebration party, on this special New Hampshire primary edition of the Mother Jones Podcast:
Trumpster comes out swinging for Billionaires
Senator Bernie Sanders has proposed a wealth tax on the richest Americans, blasted big businesses for turning huge profits while paying little in taxes and said he believed billionaires should not exist.
After his win in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in New Hampshire solidified Sanders’ status as a contender for the nomination, one Wall Street billionaire fired back.
Former Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein has lashed out at Bernie Sanders.
Former Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein has lashed out at Bernie Sanders.Credit:Bloomberg
Lloyd Blankfein, the former Goldman Sachs chief executive, took aim at Sanders on Twitter, saying the Vermont senator would “ruin our economy” if elected president.
He added that Sanders did not care about the military and was just as polarising as President Donald Trump.
There has been a deal made (ODT)
Right-wing media outlets, led by Trump allies at Infowars and Fox News, have waged a months-long campaign to interfere with criminal proceedings against Roger Stone. Now that Stone has been convicted of seven felonies and is facing the possibility of significant jail time, his conservative and far-right media defenders are drumming up support for President Donald Trump to pardon him.
Declares 20% of Americans as “Deplorables” surplus to the economy (ODT)
USA’s Puppet in Venezuela
Guaido reviled by most Venezuelans
Reviled by most Venezuelans, Guaido’s own party members defrocked him for corruption related charges, replacing him as National Assembly speaker.
“The crisis in Venezuela is a result of attempts to launch a large-scale campaign (by the US) aimed at ousting the legitimate government with use of all options, as organizers of this campaign say, including use of force.”
What’s more, as unnervingly extremist as both Leaders were in their initial, democratic pursuit of power, both played down the ultimates of their extremism before the dupes of democracy, lest they frighten away even these blockheads. Once self-secured in power, however, measure by measure the full horror of their madness would come to light.
As one of the three world powers who vanquished Hitler and Hitlerism three-quarters of a century ago, we seem, by permitting our own poisonous snake in the grass to retain and enhance his power, to have learned nothing.
Republicans have willingly embraced and enshrined Trump’s desire to be above the law. We are now a constitutional monarchy.
Disinformation is the mother of Mexocan wrestling and Trump Politics. America openened her doors and accepted her pregnancy before Democracy and Truth and Murdoch media was the hormone needed to accelerate their birth (ODT)
both the just-concluded impeachment trial and the ongoing election are tests of whether the American political system can adequately handle and reject Trump’s never-ending and pervasive disinformation.
In the most showbiz-iest speech of his presidency, Trump drew heavily on his experience in reality-TV, a medium that, despite its moniker, is predicated on the falsification of reality.
Donald Trump’s short but indelible political career has been based around the principle of divide-and-fool. His acquittal in the impeachment trial by the US Senate will further fan the flames of the most profound national split since the Vietnam war, perhaps even the civil war.
First, expect Trump to be cocky and take a victory lap, falsely claiming “exoneration” just as he did after special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation left him bruised but unbowed. A day after Mueller’s leaden testimony to Congress, the president felt able to act with such impunity that he made his bullying phone call to the leader of Ukraine.
“U.S. farm bankruptcy rates jumped 20% in 2019 – to an eight-year high – as financial woes in the U.S. agricultural economy continued in spite of massive federal bail-out funding, according to federal court data.”
During recent increased US-Iran confrontation, so many people viewed the Selective Service website to find out about the draft that the website crashed. People were right to be concerned about a return of the draft.
“In Network’s 47-year history, we have never seen a Senate take absolutely no votes on issues of economic justice that could be scored on our Catholic Social Justice Voting Record.”
—Sister Simone Campbell, Network Lobby for Catholic
How can Republicans pretend to the world that their vision of America – where a president can happily use military aid to coerce a foreign government to smear his political rival in an election – is the model for democracy?
Americans have become the doormats of their executive (ODT)
“Trump’s defenders are saying that our Constitution does not apply to the powerful few.”
By Robert Lipsyte< Attorney General William Barr’s campaign to expand the powers of the presidency to unprecedented imperial levels has been misinterpreted as an attempt to raise Donald Trump to the level of his strongman heroes like Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, and Jair Bolsonaro. Fake news! It’s really been an attempt to boost him into the same league with the strongman heroes of far too many American men: the head coaches of our major sports, especially football. As a gang of anti-democratic, anti-intellectual, authoritarian bullies dedicated to winning at any cost, they have paved the way for Donald Trump and his “base.”
If the American political class were interested in electing a decent president, perhaps even one with moral courage, personal dignity, and an inspirational vision, they would be concentrating on the character, philosophy, and background of the candidates, right? But since those in the political arena, at least brand Republican, are mostly concerned with donor dollars, expanding that base, and the charisma of their macho leader, many of them are all too ready to follow a big, loud, glad-handing figure eager to lead us deep into crises that he — and yes, it is a “he” — will claim only he can bulldoze through.
This makes it hard to believe that the scolding from Alexander and his acolytes will matter a great deal, but it’s also hard to believe that anyone expected more. Alexander is not the hero that the impeachment process needed, nor perhaps even the one it deserved. But he is as close as anyone was going to get.
Of course they do after all you have to have the “Money to buy it” as the song goes. The left is never as coonsolidated as the right is when it comes to money. There’s a queue at GOP and Trump doors ready and waiting to sell them influence at all times. (ODT)
Republicans now say that soliciting or accepting help from foreign governments in U.S. elections is acceptable, after once pushing back on the notion when President Donald Trump floated it in an interview last year.
Democrats have been left “stunned” after Trump’s impeachment defense team suggested during the Q&A portion of the Senate impeachment trial that soliciting or accepting information from foreign governments about one’s political rivals is OK so long as the information is “credible.”
Momentum is growing to call witnesses to Donald Trump’s impeachment trial after it was revealed his former national security advisor has written a book manuscript saying Trump directly tied military aid to Ukraine to politically-motivated investigations.
The revelations about John Bolton’s forthcoming book have shaken up the Senate impeachment trial, which appeared to be moving toward a speedy acquittal for Trump as early as the end of the week.
Conservatives complaining about NPR’s government funding is nothing new. In his budget proposals, Trump has repeatedly signaled a desire to eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which distributes government funds to public TV and radio stations. So far, that hasn’t happened.
It’s also important to note that only a small portion of NPR’s funding actually comes from tax dollars. According to its latest financial report, just 1 percent of its annual operating budget consists of “grants from Corporation for Public Broadcasting and federal agencies and departments.” Most of its funding comes from corporate sponsorships and dues paid by member stations across the country. Those member stations in turn receive about 12 percent of their funding from the CPB and other federal, state, and local government sources. Some stations also receive money from colleges and universities.
A full, 80-minute video of President Donald Trump calling for the ambassador of Ukraine to be booted out of her post was released by PBS News on Saturday.
A portion of the recording shows Trump in frame of the video, which was filmed at a private dinner on April 30, 2018, PBS reported. The recording also picked up Trump telling his associates to “get rid” of then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, adding that they needed to “take her out.”
The release of the video recording confirms that Trump indeed called for Yovanovitch’s ouster, as suggested by reports from ABC News and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Friday.
Donald Trump Has Been A Strong Witness Against Himself
As per an analysis by FiveThirtyEight.com, the 3.5% unemployment figure is misleading; only about half of all employable Americans are working full time, 10% are working part time, 2.1% are actively seeking work but are unemployed, and 1.8% are not seeking work but want a job. A whopping 35% are out of the job market and not actively seeking work.
The Saving of Trump’s Privates (ODT)
“A trial without evidence is not a trial. It’s a cover-up,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a floor speech before voting began on the issues.
“If the president is so confident in his case, if Leader McConnell is so confident the president did nothing wrong, why don’t they want the case to be presented in broad daylight?”
The first thing to understand is that it is not a trade deal. It is Trump backing off his tariffs when he discovered that the tariffs fall on US goods and American consumers, not on China. Trump is covering his retraction by calling it a trade deal. China’s part of the deal is to agree to purchase the US goods that it already intended to purchase.
The purpose of tariffs is to protect domestic producers from foreign competition by raising the price of imported goods. What Trump, his administration, and the financial press did not understand is that at least half of the US trade deficit with China is the offshored goods produced in China by such corporations as Apple, Nike, and Levi. The offshored production of US global corporations counts as imports when they are brought into the US to be sold to Americans. Thus, the cost of the tariffs were falling on US corporations and US consumers.
Trump backs his Saudi allies to do this (ODT)
Much of the U.S. pressure exerted on Iraq’s government with respect to China has reportedly taken place covertly and behind closed doors, keeping the Trump administration’s concerns over China’s growing ties to Iraq largely out of public view, perhaps over concerns that a public scuffle could exacerbate the U.S.-China “trade war” and endanger efforts to resolve it. Yet, whatever the reasons may be, evidence strongly suggests that the U.S. is equally concerned about China’s presence in Iraq as it is with Iran’s. This is because China has the means and the ability to dramatically undermine not only the U.S.’ control over Iraq’s oil sector but the entire petrodollar system on which the U.S.’ status as both a financial and military superpower directly depends.