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Sunday, April 30, 2017
Jefferson Morley
in a podcast, Obama said he would have defeated Donald Trump in November election

3 Ways Obama Should Spend His Wall Street Money

The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake offered four good reasons why the optics of a $400K Wall Street payday may not play well in Breitbart and Peoria. The Huffington Post reminds us that taking a fat speaking fee is “completely in character” for Obama. Zach Carter notes that the ex-president is the pure product of the Wall Street meritocracy. Too true!

April 29, 2017
marie le pen

4 Scary Implications Of The French Election

While the leaders of France’s traditional right- and left-wing parties were routed, the two frontrunners, Emmanuel Macron, a centrist newcomer, and Marine Le Pen, the standard-bearer of the right-wing National Front, will face each other in the May 7 runoff election.

April 25, 2017
Right-wing terrorism

Trump’s Organized Crime Ties Bring Blackmail To The White House

Donald Trump would prefer to forget such matters. In a 2013 deposition for a court case related to Trump Soho, Trump claimed he only met Sater a couple of times and would not recognize him. Sater seems to feel the relationship is closer. In February, he and Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen prepared a Ukraine peace proposal for the president, although it’s not clear it ever reached the Oval Office.

April 22, 2017
Russia

Senator Sycophant: Lindsey Graham Goes Full Donald

On Election Day, Graham let it be known that he didn’t vote for Trump. When Trump took office, he criticized the travel ban, which several federal judges found unconstitutional. When the White House ties to Russia came under investigation, Graham said any Trump underling working inappropriately with Russia, “needs to pay a price.”

April 21, 2017
FBI email leaks

Trump Has Deep Links To Organized Crime: Federal Investigators Know It And The Public Is Catching Up

Yet even the “mother of all bombs” cannot obliterate the accumulating body of evidence about his relationship with Russian organized crime figures and the not unrelated question about whether he and his entourage colluded with Russian officials in the 2016 presidential election. The story, notes Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall, is “Hiding in plain sight.”

April 18, 2017

Bernie Sanders’ Crusade For Free College Gains Momentum

New York’s Excelsior Scholarship will launch in the fall of 2017. Around 940,000 New York families will eventually be eligible, according to a website created by the governor’s office to promote the plan. Curiously enough, the site features a photo of a smiling man who is neither college-bound nor a New York resident: Bernie Sanders.

April 14, 2017
Rudy Giuliani's flimsy foreign policy experience

Rudy Giuliani’s Newest Gig Is Almost Too Sleazy To Be True

Last August, when the Obama administration returned $440 million from frozen Iranian bank accounts to Iran as part of the international deal to shutter Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Giuliani said, “I call that trading with the enemy.”

April 13, 2017
Concerns over Sessions as Attorney General

Sessions Giving Free Reign To Police Departments Destroying Years Of Work By Obama To Reform Violent Practices

On February 28, Sessions told the National Association of Attorneys General. “We need, so far as we can, in my view, help police departments get better, not diminish their effectiveness.” Afterwards, he told reporters “So we’re going to try to pull back on [investigating police abuses], and I don’t think it’s wrong or mean or insensitive to civil rights or human rights.”

April 11, 2017
Syria, Turkey, Russia

Has Trump Launched The Next Great American Catastrophe In The Middle East?

Trump faces a different situation than Obama did in 2013. The Syrian government has consolidated its battlefield gains. The rebels, led by Al-Qaeda and supported heavily by the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia, are in retreat. Syria’s allies, Iran and Russia, are not budging. Russia is defending Syria’s action, not very convincingly.

April 7, 2017
Bannon

Bye, Bye, Bannon: Trump Ousts His Former Right-Hand Man From A Key Power Circle

The removal of Steve Bannon from the National Security Council was first revealed in the capital’s dullest publication, the Federal Register, and explained in the country’s most influential conservative newspaper, the Wall Street Journal.

April 6, 2017
russia hack

From The People Who Gave Us The Internet, The Amazing And Appalling Story Of DARPA

DARPA was born in the wake of the Soviet Union’s successful launch of the Sputnik satellite in October 1957. With a little encouragement from elected officials, Americans grew fearful and then hysterical that the world’s first global orbiting vehicle was built by communist scientists.

April 4, 2017
Trump border tax

Is Trump On the Verge of His Biggest Legislative Humiliation Yet?

The second plank of Trump’s job program is the much touted and much delayed “trillion-dollar infrastructure jobs plan,” favored by White House adviser Steve Bannon. However, the plan has yet to be drawn up and is not scheduled for presentation until next year. It remains to be seen if Trump and Bannon can harmonize their infrastructure jobs program with that of Senate Democrats or the American Society of Civil Engineers.

April 3, 2017
Nunes

Trump’s Fool On The Hill: Nunes Makes Mockery Of Russia Investigation

If Rep. Nunes wasn’t making up the whole story, he made an unauthorized disclosure of FISA-derived classified information in violation of the Espionage Act—exactly what he criticized others for doing.

March 28, 2017
Trump

5 Key Questions About The FBI’s Trump-Russia Investigation

On Wednesday Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said he had seen classified information indicating U.S. investigators had surveilled phone calls made from Trump Tower during the campaign. If you leave President Obama out of the allegation, what Rep. Nunes says may well be true. Comey said the FBI had been investigating since July and was looking into many different activities and persons. Breitbart News claims, implausibly, that the conversations had nothing to do with Russia.

March 24, 2017
Trump, Democracy

Trump Is Waging War On Diplomacy Itself

The goal is to replace the United Nations, the European Union, NATO and other multinational organizations with a more transactional diplomacy. Trump and Bannon prefer bilateral deals with partners that are willing to take on the “civilizational struggle” against “radical Islamic terrorism.” The template is gendered: abandon the soft, feminized European Union and embrace the hard, manly Putin.

March 20, 2017
Kushner's weekly paper published article urging crackdown on dissent

Bannon’s Dangerous Domination of National Security

Bannon’s unprecedented role as a statutory member of the NSC where he speaks as an equal with the Secretaries of Defense and State is “bizarre,” said Daniel Benjamin, a former State Department official, in an email to AlterNet.

March 17, 2017
Deranged Trump, Right-Wing

The Nuclear Danger Posed by Trump Has Only Grown

Before the 2016 election, author Eric Schlosser said the notion of Donald Trump “with the launch codes, capable of devastating cities and countries, is extraordinary. It’s like the plot out of a science-fiction film.” Now that film has become reality and the opening scenes are already scary.

March 16, 2017
Trump, Putin

Bannon And Trump Have Quietly Installed An Alt-National Security Council Operating Inside The White House

Reprinted with permission from Alternet. Less than a month after much-admired Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster took over from Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser, Trump’s alter-ego Steve Bannon appears to be more in control of U.S. foreign policy than ever. There is little sign McMaster will be able to restore traditional U.S. foreign […]

March 15, 2017
Private prisons, deportations

Trump Immigration Policies Are A Boon For Private Prisons

The Trump administration is expanding the use of private prison facilities to handle a massive increase in deportation and is considering a policy of separating women and children who illegally cross the border, according to news reports.

March 7, 2017
Trump, Putin, Russia

The State Of The Union: Trump Confronts These Hard Political Truths

An imperiled president says the state of the union demands radical change and asks the help of a supine Congress, while an imperiled administrative state seeks to protect constitutional government with the help of a burgeoning civil society protest movement and unknown allies in the FBI and CIA.

March 2, 2017
Kris Kobach, Muslim Ban, Terrorism

This Study Proves Trump’s Travel Ban Is A Ridiculous Method To Prevent Terrorism

A report by the libertarian Cato Institute found there were 154 foreign-born terrorists who engaged in fatal attacks in the United States from 1975 to 2015. Twenty of these terrorists were refugees. Collectively those 20 people were responsible for killing a total of three people.

February 24, 2017
Trump, Abyss

A Professor’s Lesson: ‘American Democracy Is Now Confronting An Abyss’

In a sobering interview, Yale history professor Tim Snyder recently suggested that American democracy has less than a year to live. Is it really possible that the Madisonian republic, founded in 1789 and renewed in 1865, is about to die? Yes, says Michael J. Glennon, professor of international law at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University.

February 20, 2017
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) shows company documents to Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf during his testimony before a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the firm's sales practices on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 20, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Elizabeth Warren Forcefully Challenges Trump’s Labor Nominee

Elizabeth Warren has set the table for Andrew Puzder, the burger chain executive and Secretary of Labor nominee, with a blistering 28-page letter outlining the likely line of Democratic questioning in this Thursday’s confirmation hearings.

February 14, 2017
DeVos

Billionaire Betsy DeVos Can’t Buy Her Way Into The Education Department

The defection of two Republican senators has imperiled President Trump’s nomination of Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education. DeVos has contributed $5,000 to Susan Collins’ campaigns, but Lisa Murkowski’s no-vote was perhaps an even bigger surprise. DeVos’ family businesses have contributed $33,400 to Murkowski’s political campaigns since 1989, according to OpenSecrets.

February 2, 2017

The Puppet Presidency Begins As Bannon Takes The Reins

Whatever the eventual costs, the current reality seems to be that Bannon—not his White House rivals, chief of staff Reince Priebus or Vice President Mike Pence—decides what piece of paper gets put in front of Donald Trump’s pen. Under Bannon’s watchful eye, the Washington establishment is being routed, and the “normal” administration of the American government has officially ended.

January 27, 2017