Eye Opening Book: ‘The Power Worshippers’

February 26, 2020 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / Feb. 20, 2020

Katherine Stewart’s The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism is a brilliant piece of investigative journalism. It shines a light on significant threats to American pluralism and representative democracy.

The religious rights amazing successes now influence every aspect of American life, from the White House to local governments, from schools to hospitals. Stewart documents the origins of “the Russia thing” and the evangelical embrace of Donald Trump. She clarifies that the Christian right is not fighting a culture war; it is a political war waged against the institutions of American democracy and freedom of conscience.

Trump is a Gift from God

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Impeachment’s New Fable : ‘The Maestro and The Tuba Man’

December 27, 2019 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / Dec. 26, 2019

‘Tis the season for good tidings and cheer — even in politics.

Time for those bedtime stories, but first, forget the usual classics: Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol , or even Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, which feels like politics present.

Enter a new Christmas classic—The Maestro and the Tuba Man. Imagine. The symphony orchestra has tuned up.

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The Outcome of the Senate Trial Is Not a Done Deal. Here’s Why.

November 26, 2019 by Source

By TokyoSand / Reposted from Political Charge via Words&Deeds

Do you remember the days and weeks leading up to the Senate’s vote on the disastrous Republican “repeal and replace” healthcare bill during Trump’s first year as president?

I do. Thousands of everyday Americans called their Senators, and attended town halls, and demanded meetings in their local offices, and wrote op-eds for their local papers, and more. We demanded to be heard on this incredibly important topic and we did not give up. Back in 2017, we had no reason to believe that the Republican Senators would vote the way Democrats wanted them to. But we cared a LOT about this issue and nothing was going to stop us.

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Opinion: Is Nancy Pelosi Running Out of Time — or Prayers for Our Country?

October 17, 2019 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / October 16, 2019

Pelosi, a practicing Catholic, repeats sincerely, that she prays for “the President and the country”—every day.

Secretly, I believe, Pelosi has been praying for a lot more. She is praying for time. And for help.

Time to make the case that Trump is “unfit for the office” and must be impeached on the overwhelming evidence that already exists and will soon become public.

And to complete the task before Thanksgiving.

Time to protect the constitution and U.S. democracy, which she says are “hanging by a thread.”

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Dear Ohio: Maybe It’s Time for a Little Etta James

September 30, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Dear Ohio,

A few days ago, I was sitting at the breakfast table with my husband, each of us reading a newspaper, downing the bitter tales of our democracy with sips of sweetened coffee. I never read the paper anymore without whispering “Oh my god,” or “Jesus Christ,” and sometimes “WTF?”

That day, I waded through the front page of grief. First, there was the story about whole families flooded out of their homes by tropical storms, losing every material thing they possessed except the clothes on their backs.

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Dan Rather: ‘Beware the Trump Fatigue’

September 4, 2019 by Source

By Dan Rather /Dan Rather facebook / Aug. 28, 2019

Beware fatigue. It is easy to say, of course, much harder to achieve.

Memories jump to mind of fourth quarter huddles with my high school football team and a coach exhorting us to dig deeper. The thought enters the mind, “Sure coach, but you don’t know how licked we are.” Of course you would never utter the words, and deep down you knew he was right. I have seen so many times where those with the advantage falter from exhaustion.

We are at a moment when the sheer cumulative toll of the Trump presidency strikes with the relentlessness of a summer heat waves (which many of us have also been contending with this year, thanks likely to the climate crisis the President dismisses).

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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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The Ignorance Gap Is Growing

August 20, 2019 by Source

By Joni Halpern

Dear Ohio,

We’re running out of time. There is too big a gap between what Americans need to understand in order to make informed election decisions and what they believe are facts. We could call this the “Ignorance Gap,” and it is growing by leaps and bounds.

Funny this is happening in an age when all you have to say is “Google (or Alexa or Siri or Ethel Crankenhouse, etc.], tell me…”

How many drops of water in an ounce of rain? 591.47 drops.

What is Himalayan salt? It is a pinkish salt mined from the Salt Range Mountains in the Punjab region of Pakistan.

What is the United States National Debt? As of February 2019, it was $22.012 trillion, the highest it has ever been in our history.

In a flash, you can find a fact you never knew before. A fact for which your grandmother or mom would have spent days searching in the library unless they had books on hand that would answer the questions at home.

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A Thousand Reasons Why a Woman Will Be on the Democratic Ticket

August 14, 2019 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / August 9, 2019

The reasons why a woman will be on the Democratic ticket are in the news every day.

That news is not just ugly, violent and unbelievably cruel, but repulsive in the extreme. And it affects women in visceral and now political ways.

While this may sound alarming, the list below points to some reasons why even Orange County—that Republican bastion—is now majority Democratic.

The answer is women.

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Why Are We Shouting at the Other Side?

August 13, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Dear Ohio,

I have often heard over the past two years that the reason we are so polarized in this country is that we are not listening to the other side. We simply brand each other as one thing or another, and shout across the distance. Even when we get together with family or friends, we focus on harmless topics, lest we end up throwing cake at each other, the way our Commander-in-Chief did when he was a little tyke attending birthday parties that were not for him.

There is even a popular theory going about that if we were just civil long enough to hear the other side, we would alter our position in light of truth told by those who disagree with us. I am a great believer in civility, in respecting the dignity of others. But it is a natural law of the human eardrum, as immutable as any law of physics, that an unwelcome truth, regardless of how soft the whisper, is always heard as a shout. And this is the source of our acrimony today.

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Impeachment Is Here – Jerry Nadler Says So – and He Should Know as Chair of House Judiciary Committee

August 9, 2019 by Source

By Amber Phillips / Washington Post / August 9, 2019

House Democrats have begun impeachment proceedings against President Trump. A key Democrat admitted as much Thursday.

“This is formal impeachment proceedings,” the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), told CNN on Thursday, after weeks of dancing around whether his committee would formally consider impeaching Trump.

“We are investigating all the evidence, gathering the evidence,” Nadler added. “And we will [at the] conclusion of this — hopefully by the end of the year — vote to vote articles of impeachment to the House floor. Or we won’t. That’s a decision that we’ll have to make. But that’s exactly the process we’re in right now.”

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Dear Ohio: Ask About the Rabbiteye’s Future

August 8, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Ohio is deemed one of the nation’s bellwether states, so we Californians need to give them some advice about the upcoming 2020 elections.

Dear Ohio,

I’m guessing that you, like most of us in California, have not given much thought to asking our presidential candidates about blueberries. Certainly you have not contemplated asking them about the red-state species known as the rabbiteye blueberry, which grows from central Florida to eastern North Carolina and from Eastern Texas to Southern Arkansas.

The humble rabbiteye blueberry is a hearty plant apparently unattractive to major pests. Depending upon care and environment, just one rabbiteye blueberry bush can produce about 15 pounds of blueberries in a single season. And darned good blueberries at that, filled with flavor and anti-oxidants, the latter a favorite ingredient of the “live-forever” patrons of high-end supermarkets.

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Majority of House Democrats Now Support Impeachment Inquiry

August 2, 2019 by Source

(San Diego Congresswoman Susan Davis Still on Sidelines)

By Mike DeBonis , Felicia Sonmez , John Wagner and JM Rieger / Washington Post / August 2 at 1:44 PM ET

The movement to oust President Trump from office crossed a new threshold Friday, with a majority of House Democrats endorsing an impeachment inquiry — a development that ramps up pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has resisted such a move.

The push in the House to remove Trump has been accelerated by testimony from former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III confirming that the president could be charged with obstruction of justice after he leaves office — prompting more than 20 Democrats to announce support for an inquiry since then.

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A Solar Impulse for Our Soul

July 30, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Since 1896, Ohio voters have picked the winning candidate in all but two presidential elections – 1944 and 1960 – giving rise to the state’s renown as a “bellwether” to which candidates cannot afford to turn a deaf ear. If Ohioans are going to be so influential, maybe we could help inform their future choices by sharing some concerns from the Golden State.

Dear Ohio,

Remember the days when every presidential candidate had to tell us how great we were? Whenever they spoke to us, they had to tell us we were the greatest country in the world, we were the most powerful, we had the mightiest military, the biggest economy, we were the leader of the free world. We demanded this. “American exceptionalism” is what they called it, and we couldn’t get enough of it.

Well, no more of that. Today we have wiped our hands of world leadership, slipped off the pedestal of our inflated self-image, and begun to talk about what’s really bothering us.

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The 2020 Candidates on Gun Reform

July 29, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds /

Where are the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates on the issue of gun reform? Gun reform was identified by the 2018 midterm voters as one of their most pressing concerns. In alpha order, here are where the 2020 candidates stand on the issue of gun reform. You can click on the candidate’s names to go their campaign website to learn more.

Michael Bennet

Gun Reform Stance: “In 2012 Bennet joined then Colorado Senator Mark Udall in asking for stricter gun control, in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. After the shooting, Bennet said, “In Colorado, we support the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, we support the ability of people to hunt and recreate and to protect their families and homes, and we want to keep the wrong weapons out of the hands of the wrong people.” Source

Assault Weapons: “In 2013 Bennet voted against a Senate Amendment … that would have reinstated the federal assault weapons ban.” Source

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What Makes a War ‘Good’?

July 23, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Since 1896, Ohio voters have picked the winning candidate in all but two presidential elections – 1944 and 1960 – giving rise to the state’s renown as a “bellwether” to which candidates cannot afford to turn a deaf ear. If Ohioans are going to be so influential, maybe we could help inform their future choices by sharing some concerns from the Golden State.

Dear Ohio,

I was wondering if Ohioans could give a little thought to what makes a war “good.”

Your answer might be important as we listen to the increasing thunder of American leadership shaking their fist at passersby on the world stage. After all, wars conceived are not wars remembered.

Our lasting impression of any war is its true outcome. If people could agree about what makes one war good and others bad or even forgotten, it might help us evaluate the use of our military might. That could help us choose our next president.

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‘A Nice Break from the Mueller Report’

July 16, 2019 by Staff

Since 1896, Ohio voters have picked the winning candidate in all but two presidential elections – 1944 and 1960 – giving rise to the state’s renown as a “bellwether” to which candidates cannot afford to turn a deaf ear. If Ohioans are going to be so influential, maybe we could help inform their future choices by sharing some concerns from the Golden State.

By Joni Halpern

Dear Ohio,

The politicians and media commentators all have assured us that Americans will never read the Mueller Report, especially since, at this point, the report is considered ancient history. But I like to discourage the idea that Americans are too lazy, short-sighted or just plain obtuse to try to understand what a whole slew of smart guys took more than two years to produce with taxpayer dollars.

So I am still slogging my way through the report. If Ohioans are doing the same thing, they, like me, will need an occasional break. I recommend the draft Comprehensive Plan for the City of Canton as a source of pleasure reading.

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Robert Mueller’s July 17 Congressional Appearance: Broadcast Coverage Is What Counts

July 9, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds

President Trump called into Fox Business for a softball interview on Wednesday, June 26. Host Maria Bartiromo, a one-time journalist who’s sold her soul in return for White House access, never got a question in.

Grumpy Grampy Don-Don wanted to rant that day, and rant he did, hoping to refute the Mueller investigation by saying what was really going on was really just a spying operation by Democrats. This might have something to do with the news about the former Special Council’s testimony before two House Committees on July 17th.

We learned about tariffs. We learned about China.

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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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Rebranding the ‘Kochtopus’? It’s All About Winning the Long War for the Radical Right

June 10, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

Back in January of 2016, Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, reported on the Koch brothers’ efforts to partner with liberals on criminal justice reform in the New Yorker in which she noted that:

A new, data-filled study by the Harvard scholars Theda Skocpol and Alexander Hertel-Fernandez reports that the Kochs have established centralized command of a “nationally-federated, full-service, ideologically focused” machine that “operates on the scale of a national U.S. political party.”

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Mueller Documented Probable Cause That Trump Obstructed Justice

April 26, 2019 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / TruthOut / April 22, 2019

After a nearly two-year investigation, culminating in a 448-page report, Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded that Russia attempted to influence the 2016 election but found insufficient evidence to prove the Trump campaign conspired with Russia. Mueller did not decide, however, if Trump obstructed justice.

The special counsel detailed 10 acts that could constitute obstruction of justice.

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Congress Must Begin Impeachment Proceedings – to Protect the Constitution and the Rest of Us

April 23, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

If Donald Trump cannot be criminally indicted, as per Department of Justice policy, and if he isn’t impeached – then Trump walks and gets away with all that he has over these last two plus years.

Sure, there’s an election down the road in 19 months – but that, quite frankly, is a long time away. It’s almost as long as he’s been in the White House, and that’s plenty of time for Trump to do even more damage.

So, the complexities of this moment, in the post-Barr / Mueller Report time, are not that complicated.

The Mueller Report offered up plenty of evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors; Volume 2 alone is sufficient to get the impeachment ball rolling on obstruction of justice.

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Editorial Cartoon: ‘A Lapdog Ate My Homework’

April 22, 2019 by Source

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Mueller Report Shows Attorney General Barr Lied About ‘No Evidence’ of Obstruction by Trump – Ball Is Now In Congress’ Court

April 18, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Here is a link to the Mueller Report.

Now that the Mueller Report has been released in redacted form, we now know that Attorney General William P. Barr lied to the American people, both in his previous “letters’ and in his unprecedented press conference held this morning about there being “no evidence” of obstruction of justice by Trump – as well as a number of other significant issues.

Barr has lied about so many things involving the investigation into the Russian sabotaging the US Presidential election of 2016 that the American people have to completely ignore anything he has said or written about the Mueller Report.

I watched 6 and a half hours this morning of Barr’s presser and the subsequent commentary about the Mueller Report – and the ball is clearly now in Congress’ court – which is where Mueller intended his report to be. Barr has completely shown he is Trump’s defense lawyer, not the Attorney General

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Barr Threatens Heightened Intergovernmental Civil War

April 11, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

In his accusations Wednesday of government “spying” on the Trump campaign and his hints of investigating the investigators of the Russian intervention, Attorney General Barr has pushed partisanship in Washington to new levels, threatening a heightened civil war within the government.

Barr has finally exposed himself for all to see – especially those who supported his confirmation because he was an honorable guy – as the unquestionable puppet of Donald Trump at the Department of Justice. By the charge of “spying” Barr has very publicly stated his support and confirmation of Trump’s narrative – a narrative that sees the investigation as a “hoax” and that “really bad people” at the FBI spied on his campaign.

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In Defense of ‘Meh’: Enough With this AOC Character Already!

April 1, 2019 by Jim Miller

This post was written for April 1st.

By Jim Miller

Recently, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took an unwarranted shot at the heart and soul of American Democracy: the moderates. As NBC news reported, AOC opined that:

“Moderate is not a stance. It’s just an attitude towards life of, like, ‘meh,’” she said, shrugging her shoulders for emphasis. “We’ve become so cynical, that we view ‘meh,’ or ‘eh’ — we view cynicism as an intellectually superior attitude, and we view ambition as youthful naivete when … the greatest things we have ever accomplished as a society have been ambitious acts of visions.

“The ‘meh’ is worshiped now. For what?” she continued to cheers.

What can one say about this impudent snark other than, how dare she?

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Amid the Russiagate Hubris, a Gift for Democrats in 2020

March 28, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / March 27, 2019

Republicans are celebrating the cliff notes version of the Mueller investigation, which –we’re told– proves the President is not a Russian asset. While the other 16 investigations into Trumpworld continue, the administration has decided to intensify efforts to punish its enemies and/or move forward with its agenda (sometimes that’s the same thing).

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Mueller Didn’t Exonerate Trump of Obstruction of Justice

March 27, 2019 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / TruthOut / March 27, 2019

The Mueller report is finally done. On March 23, Special Counsel Robert Mueller sent the confidential report of his 22-month investigation to Attorney General William Barr. Less than 48 hours later, Barr released a four-page letter outlining Mueller’s conclusions and jumping to one as well.

In response to Barr’s letter, Donald Trump claimed, “There was no obstruction, none whatsoever, and it was a complete and total exoneration.” But Mueller did not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice.

The Mueller report contains three main findings.

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It Ain’t Over Yet: Trump and His People Still Face At Least 15 More Investigations

March 25, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Mueller may not have found coordination between Trump and his people and Russia, but Trump is still facing a whole raft of investigations that are still on-going. There are at least eight federal criminal cases continuing in this post-Mueller environment. And then there’s all those Congressional committees …

At least 15 investigations in all. It’s way too soon for any Trumpistas to be popping the corks. Trump and his people are not exonerated by anybody.

In general, there are 2 types of investigations: those from within the executive branch – including the Department of Justice and the various offices of federal prosecutors – and those Congressional investigations being launched over wide-ranging inquiries on multiple topics beyond the Russian interference issue.

These DOJ cases will likely continue:

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Mueller: No Coordination With Russia But No Exoneration of Trump; Barr and Rosenstein Decide ‘No Obstruction’

March 24, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Attorney General William Barr has released his “summary” of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report – and it’s a doozy. I’ve just read the brief 4-page letter Barr sent to Congress today and since released to the public. (See letter below.)

First off, Mueller does not find any coordination or conspiracy between Trump and his people and Russia.

On the issue of obstruction of justice, however, Mueller punts, and while – according to Barr – does not exonerate Trump on other matters, left the decision of whether Trump did obstruct justice to Barr and Rob Rosenstein. And guess what? They – Barr and Rosenstein – have decided there’s not enough evidence for any obstruction of justice by Trump.

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