American Empire

All Eyes on Senator Susan Collins Who Says She’s Working With Small Group of Republicans to Ensure Witnesses at Trump’s Trial

January 15, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

All eyes are now trained on Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine who told a local hometown newspaper on Friday that she was working with a small group of Republican Senators to ensure there are witnesses during Trump’s trial in the Senate.

The House just voted today to send the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate and Speaker Nancy Pelosi just named the seven House members who will be “managers” during the Senate trial. The trial is expected to begin next Tuesday, January 21.

According to the Bangor Daily News:

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine told reporters on Friday that she is working with a “fairly small group” of fellow Republican senators toward a goal of ensuring witnesses can be called in the chamber’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

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‘Kochland’ – the Secret History of the Koch Family – Is Timely Look into Corporate Capitalism

January 7, 2020 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

This may be the finest book thus far in the twenty-first century. Kochland; The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America is the second book by former agribusiness reporter for the Associated Press, Christopher Leonard.
Kochland is uniquely special. It is an economic history of America since 1967 that shows the deep changes in our economy that have given rise to a new kind of capitalism. Kochland is told through the lens of Koch Industries whose “annual revenue is larger than that of Facebook, Goldman Sachs, and US Steel combined.”

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The Real Lesson of Afghanistan Is that Regime Change Does Not Work

December 26, 2019 by Source

A world in which war is normal and peace is out of reach is no more survivable or sustainable than a world where the atmosphere gets hotter every year.

By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies / Nation of Change / December 20, 2019

The trove of U.S. “Lessons Learned” documents on Afghanistan published by the Washington Post portrays, in excruciating detail, the anatomy of a failed policy, scandalously hidden from the public for 18 years. The “Lessons Learned” papers, however, are based on the premise that the U.S. and its allies will keep intervening militarily in other countries, and that they must, therefore, learn the lessons of Afghanistan to avoid making the same mistakes in future military occupations.

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More American Voters Than Ever Now Support Trump’s Conviction and Removal from Office – 55% of Those Polled

December 26, 2019 by Source

A new poll released on Christmas Day shows record-level support among U.S. voters for the ouster of President Donald Trump. Public support for Donald Trump’s removal from office is the highest it has ever been.

The daily tracking poll from Microsoft News published Wednesday, Dec. 25, asked respondents if they “support or oppose the Senate voting to remove President from office?” It found that while 55% of people support and only 40% oppose — a dramatic surge for those backing Trump’s ouster and a record for the poll that has been asking that same question since late September of this year.

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Two Articles of Impeachment Brought Against Trump – Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress

December 10, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

“Today, in service to our duty to the Constitution and to our country, the House Committee on the Judiciary is introducing two articles of impeachment, charging the President of the United States Donald J. Trump with committing high crimes and misdemeanors,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said Tuesday morning, December 10. CNN reported:

Democratic leaders announced they will bring two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress to set in motion the third impeachment of a US president in history.

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Underneath Impeachment: 25 Random Headlines from Last Week

December 9, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

Her Heart Stopped for 6 hours. Now She’s Ready to go Back to Work

Fractured Forests Are Endangering Wildlife, Scientists Find

Killer Heat: US Cities’ Plans for Coming Heatwaves Fail to Protect the Vulnerable

Eight-Year-Old Girl Strip-Searched Before Visiting Father at Prison

No Sex in the Bunkbeds!: Tales from the Most Intimate Sharing Economy Start Up Yet

Google’s Anti-Worker Actions Evoke IBM’s Racist Past

This Has Been the Warmest Decade in Earth’s History

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US Is Again Complicit in an Illegal Coup, This Time in Bolivia

December 5, 2019 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / TruthOut / Nov. 28, 2019

Once again, the United States is complicit in an illegal coup d’état in Latin America, this time in Bolivia. On November 10, a right-wing, anti-Indigenous group seized power after the Bolivian military’s removal of President Evo Morales, who had declared victory in the October 20 presidential election.

The United States’ fingerprints are all over the coup. Advisers from the U.S. Southern Command have been stationed on Bolivia’s border with Argentina, Ivanka Trump made a surprising visit to an Argentine province near the Bolivian border in September, the pro-U.S. Organization of American States (OAS) cast unfounded doubt on Morales’s election victory, and the U.S.’s National Endowment for Democracy provided suspicious grants to Bolivia.

At least 32 people have been killed and hundreds injured since the coup began.

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Here’s the Preface to the Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report from House Intelligence Committee

December 4, 2019 by Source

Editordude: Below is the short Preface to the House Intelligence Committee’s Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report. Go here for the full 300 page report.


This report reflects the evidence gathered thus far by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in coordination with the Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as part of the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry into Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States.

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‘Live Disinformation’ Is Real Terror for American Politics This Halloween

October 29, 2019 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / Oct. 25, 2019

Want to scare yourself this Halloween? Forget witches, goblins, ghosts or haunted houses. Instead, read Christopher Wylie’s book Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America.

It is a must-read primer on the dark arts of cyber politics — ”scaled online disinformation, fake news, and mass profiling.”

If half of what Wylie writes is true, everyone should be seriously frightened.

It comes as no surprise that much of what high-tech, fin-tech, med-tech and cyber-tech have unleashed is a mixed bag of tricks and treats, that remains to be sorted.

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‘We’re Building a Wall in Colorado. … a Beautiful Wall …’

October 24, 2019 by Source

During remarks at a shale-energy conference in Pittsburgh Wednesday, Oct. 23, Trump’s said “we’re building a wall in Colorado. … a beautiful wall …”

Here’s the full statement:

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Impeachment Day 30: Quid Pro Quo and Smoking Gun Means a GOP Shutdown

October 23, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Oct. 23, 2019

Ambassador William Taylor’s bombshell testimony.before congress on Tuesday laid waste to the Trump administration’s ‘No Quid Pro Quo” defense.

Another round of polling shows further erosion of the President’s support among independent voters, and GOP insiders are whispering about an as yet unreported fall in Republican support.

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‘This is our watch.’ – Elijah Cummings

October 17, 2019 by Source

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Trump’s Stonewalling of Impeachment Inquiry Is Itself an Impeachable Offense

October 8, 2019 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / TruthOut / October 7, 2019

As three committees of the House of Representatives proceeded with the impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump, the president tweeted, “I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP.” Encyclopedia Britannica defines coup d’etat as “the sudden, violent overthrow of an existing government by a small group.”

On the contrary, Congress is fulfilling its constitutional responsibility to investigate allegations that could constitute impeachable offenses — that is, high crimes and misdemeanors. Indeed, during its early history in England, impeachment was called “the most powerful weapon in the political armory, short of civil war.”

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Impeachment Proceedings Against Trump Due to ‘Ukraine-Gate’ Could Begin This Week

September 24, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

This whole “Ukraine-Gate” scandal is big. Real big. So big that impeachment proceedings against Trump because of it could begin this week.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is set to make a public announcement today – Tuesday – at 2:00 pm California time. She is meeting with the entire Democratic Caucus an hour before.

What it’s all about and what we know so far:

Trump pressured newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky up to at least eight times in a call to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. Trump admitted this on Sunday, Sept. 22.

Meanwhile military aid to Ukraine – already approved by Congress – was held up until after the phone call; Trump had asked his acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to put a hold on 400 millions in military aid to Ukraine roughly one week before the call. A whistleblower within the intelligence community made a formal complaint weeks ago about Trump’s “promises” to Zelensky.

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Elizabeth Warren on War and Peace

September 9, 2019 by Source

Warren’s troubling foreign policy history includes uncritical support of Israel, supporting sanctions on Venezuela, and vilifying Russia and China as national security threats. But her views are also evolving.

by Reese Erlich / The Progressive

In the last few months Senator Elizabeth Warren has gained ground in public opinion polls tracking the race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. In some states, she’s ahead of Senator Bernie Sanders and pulling close to former Vice President Joe Biden.

In domestic politics, Warren makes a populist appeal to working people with calls for free college tuition, single-payer health care and breaking up monopolies. In foreign policy, she takes a similar stand, calling for an end to foreign trade pacts such as Trump’s renegotiated NAFTA.

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Presidential Candidates Must Commit to Immediate US Withdrawal From Afghanistan

August 23, 2019 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / TruthoutBlog / Aug. 17, 2019

On July 30, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan reported that the Afghan government and international military forces, primarily the United States, caused most of the civilian deaths in Afghanistan during the first six months of 2019. That’s more killings than those perpetrated in the same time period by the Taliban and ISIS combined.

Aerial operations were responsible for 519 civilian casualties (356 deaths and 156 injuries), including 150 children (89 deaths and 61 injuries). That constitutes a 39 percent increase in overall civilian casualties from aerial attacks. Eighty-three percent of civilian casualties from aerial operations were carried out by the international forces.

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Leading Civil Rights Lawyer: 20 Ways Trump Is Copying Hitler’s Early Rhetoric and Policies

August 21, 2019 by Source

By Steven Rosenfeld / August 13, 2019

A new book by one of the nation’s foremost civil liberties lawyers powerfully describes how America’s constitutional checks and balances are being pushed to the brink by a president who is consciously following Adolf Hitler’s extremist propaganda and policy template from the early 1930s—when the Nazis took power in Germany.

In When at Times the Mob Is Swayed: A Citizen’s Guide to Defending Our Republic, Burt Neuborne mostly focuses on how America’s constitutional foundation in 2019—an unrepresentative Congress, the Electoral College and a right-wing Supreme Court majority—is not positioned to withstand Trump’s extreme polarization and GOP power grabs.

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Trump’s Blame Game on Mass Shootings Continues Unabated

August 8, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / August 7, 2019

One of the things you can say this administration has done well is gaslighting people on mass shootings.

While I know pointing out the ten thousand plus falsehoods coming from the Oval Office isn’t going to change the mindset of Trumpanistas, staying aware of reality is an important part of civic consciousness.

These fabrications and fictions have the cumulative effect of tamping down overall voter enthusiasm while keeping the thirty percent of Americans who represent Trump’s base energized.

Faced with overwhelmingly bad news –mass shootings, winning trade wars isn’t easy, after all, and those darn statistics about climate change– the administration and their allies are cranking out absurdities at a frightening pace.

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Who We Are

August 5, 2019 by Source

By Stan Levin

Two more mass murders put the lie to an increasingly tiresome but popular cliché, “This is not who we are”.

Unless and until we make reasonable gun control the law of the land,

Unless we cease pursuit of the empire by making war all over the world,


Unless we put an end to taking inestimable human lives as well as wasting more than half of our national budget expanding the military,

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‘America Was Never Yours to Speak For’

July 18, 2019 by Source

By Michelle Gormlie Seguin

America was born like a child

You ever heard of Mai Lai?

You ever heard of John Brown?

It’s never been what you think,

it never wanted a crown.

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Book review: ‘Goosestep’ by Harold Jaffe

July 9, 2019 by Source

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt / Excuse Me, I’m Writing

While a tide of new political activists is frothing across the nation, one seasoned revolutionary is quietly practicing his decades-long resistance in Mission Hills. Harold Jaffe, author and SDSU professor, continues his quest to challenge popular perception in his 24th book, Goosestep: Fictions and Docufictions (Journal of Experimental Fiction Books, November 2016).

Jaffe has taught at SDSU for about 30 years, and traveled the world longer. He lives and writes in “what remains of nature” along a Mission Hills canyon.

“There are fewer birds now,” he said. “I think global warming is the prime suspect there. Wilderness being real-estated; land being contaminated; the weather being completely out of sorts; birds, when they migrate here in the winter, find the weather too warm. Without wildness, we’re damned. We must integrate with wild creatures, otherwise this earth is going to be quickly damned.”

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The Trump Cartoon That Got the Canadian Cartoonist ‘Fired’

July 2, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Warning: Censorship-worthy, non-funny cartoon of Donald Trump coming up inside.

Here inside is the cartoon that got a Canadian cartoonist fired. It depicts Trump playing golf over the bodies of two drowned migrants – a horrible photographic image that went viral itself. Now the cartoon by Michael de Adder has gone viral itself.

The cartoon includes a hand-drawn image of Oscar Alberto Martínez and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, lying face down in the waters of Rio Grande River, having drowned while attempting to cross to get into the United States.

The cartoon went up and viral last Wednesday, June 26. Two days later, de Adder went on Twitter and told the world he had been let go.

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Man – and Woman’s – Inhumanity to Men, Women and Children

June 26, 2019 by Judi Curry

The Widder Curry Asks – “What has happened to my fellow American?”

For weeks I have sat back and not voiced on this site my horrific feelings about the migrant children that are being housed in sub-standard facilities.

For weeks I have watched supporters of the man in the White House cry because “they are treating the President so badly.” For weeks I have been waiting for the public outcry deploring this concentration camp atmosphere. For weeks I have been waiting for the Republican party to say “enough is enough.”

For weeks I have been listening to Republicans in office indirectly support the separation of children from their parents. For weeks I have been shaking my head when I hear things from representatives say, “There’s not a lock on the door. Any child is free to leave at any time. But they don’t and you know why? Because they’re well taken care of.” (Rep. Michael Burgess, Texas) I do not think that I have to elaborate on Burgess’ comment. If you believe him, shame on you.

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‘Dear Ohio’ – Our Bellwhether Election State

June 7, 2019 by Source

Devouring the Apple

By Joni Halpern

Dear Ohio,

I’ve been thinking lately about our dear country, and about you as the bellwether election state. I was wondering if you see what I see – namely, that everyday Americans do not think they are important in themselves. Instead, they seek the notice of others, as if blind to their own image, as if they cannot feel their existence unless someone else casts an approving eye upon them and says, “Yes, you are one of us. You are real.”

Every day, some man or woman in Ohio or California or elsewhere in the country wakes up in the morning, tired from a sleepless night, and puts food on the table for themselves and their loved ones, dresses for work, gives up hours to the job, comes home, deals with dinner, and sits in front of a screen waiting to see if anything more interesting than their own life is happening in fiction or in fact.

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9 Easy Propaganda Steps to War With Iran

May 16, 2019 by Source

By Juan Cole / Reader Supported News / May 16, 2019

he Trump administration is now in full disinformation mode, using all the classical techniques of propaganda to put the gullible US public on a war footing with Iran. Here is how it is done.

1. Iran warmongers like National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pretend to speak for US interests instead of for the narrow and sectarian interests that want a war. Bolton has taken big bucks from the Iranian expatriate People’s Jihadis (MEK), which the State Department for long listed as a terrorist organization. NBC news at one point linked it to Israeli intelligence, and others have suggested a Saudi link. Pompeo is a Kansas oil man and we all know what oil men do to the Middle East (think Bush and Cheney).

2. Having hidden behind the flag, the latter-day Goebbelses then invent an emergency. The favored propaganda talking point at the moment is that US troops and diplomats are in danger. US troops and diplomats are always in danger. It is their job to be in danger. If we don’t want them in danger we should bring them home from dangerous places like Iraq.

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It’s Official: We’re In a Constitutional Crisis

May 9, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The US of A is now officially in a Constitutional Crisis. That’s not the rant of a Southern California beachtown raq, that’s what the top Democrats in Congress are saying.

On Wednesday, Representative Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said that the nation was in a constitutional crisis after his committee recommended the House hold Attorney General William P. Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over an unredacted version of the special counsel’s report, along with the report’s underlying evidence.

And today, Thursday, Speaker of the House Pelosi said she agreed with Nadler.

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Nearly 800 Former Federal Prosecutors Say They Would Have Indicted Trump

May 9, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

9 Prosecutors From San Diego Sign Letter

A bipartisan group called Protect Democracy has organized a letter that is now signed by nearly 800 former federal prosecutors, prosecutors who have served in both Republican and/ or Democratic administrations, which states the Mueller Report findings would produced obstruction charges against President Trump — if he wasn’t currently President.

The Mueller report describes several acts that satisfy all of the elements for an obstruction charge: conduct that obstructed or attempted to obstruct the truth-finding process, as to which the evidence of corrupt intent and connection to pending proceedings is overwhelming. These include:

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Once Again, Mainstream Media Get It Wrong on Venezuela

May 3, 2019 by Source

News outlets, dutifully supporting Trump administration calls for regime change, reported that a widespread uprising was underway, even though Juan Guaidó’s coup attempt had little support.

By Michael Fox / Nation Magazine / May 2, 2019

Caracas—It began with a tweet.

In it, Venezuela’s self-declared president, Juan Guaidó, stands in front of a line of military vehicles and rows of Venezuelan soldiers in green uniforms. Beside them is opposition leader Leopoldo López, whom they have freed from house arrest, which stemmed from his role in the 2014 guarimba street protests in which dozens of people were killed.

Guaidó, dressed in a black suit and a white shirt, talks to the camera. “Today, the armed forces are clearly with the people,” he says. “The time is now.” He calls on the military to rise up and says they are in the streets. He insinuates that they have taken the Carlota military base in eastern Caracas.

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See How Pissed-Off Mueller Was With Barr : Here’s Mueller’s Letter

May 1, 2019 by Source

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller was pretty pissed-off when Attorney General Barr released Barr’s 4-page “summary” of the Mueller Report back in March.

He was so pissed-off, Mueller “put it to paper” and wrote Barr a letter accusing Barr of not giving the report context or substance. Mueller did this not only to convey his views but also to make a record. There was also a follow-up phone call from Mueller to Barr.

Here below is Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s letter to Attorney General Barr, dated March 27, 2019.

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Robert Reich: In Fighting All Oversight, Trump Has Made His Most Dictatorial Move

April 30, 2019 by Source

The president is treating Congress with contempt. This cannot stand – and Congress must fight back

By Robert Reich / RSN – Guardian UK / April 30, 2019

“We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” says the person who is supposed to be chief executive of the United States government.

In other words, there is to be no congressional oversight of this administration: no questioning officials who played a role in putting a citizenship question on the 2020 census. No questioning a former White House counsel about the Mueller report.

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