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Updated: 1 hour 12 min ago

The Surprising Popularity of Military Coups

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 10:15
John Feffer

News of the military coup in Turkey was dribbling in on Saturday afternoon when I was having lunch with a group of six friends in West Virginia. Suddenly, one person looked up from her salad and said, “If Trump gets elected, I’d support a military coup in this country.” At least one other person at the table seconded her opinion.

This Is What a Broken Party Looks Like

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 09:43
Bill Scher

America saw a divided party Wednesday night, though what it was divided over wasn’t evident if you haven’t been paying close attention.

What everyone saw was Ted Cruz humiliating the Republican Party’s nominee Donald Trump by ignoring the chants from delegates of “endorse Trump” after cheekily telling the audience to “vote your conscience.”

A Climate Change Op-Ed the Wall Street Journal Simply Doesn't Need

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 09:27
Brian McDermott

CD editor's note: The following op-ed was submitted to the Wall Street Journal editorial department for publication but was politely rejected because it did not meet the "present needs" of the newspaper. It did, however, meet ours. And hopefully yours.

The Get-Off-My-Lawn Party Meets in Cleveland

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 08:14
Michael Winship

Oh dear. Watching C-SPAN and waiting for Tuesday’s roll call confirming Donald Trump’s nomination to begin, the house band there in the hall, led by GE Smith, formerly of Saturday Night Live, played covers of The Temptations’ “I Can’t Get Next To You” and other golden oldies. Many rhythm-impaired white people were dancing in the aisles and stands, a lot of them badly. And they kept doing it every time there was a lull in the action and the music started up again, like a high school 50th reunion run amok.

John Dewey Was Right: American Politics Is Merely the Shadow Cast by Big Business

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 07:51
Jake Johnson

Writing in the midst of the Great Depression, the American philosopher John Dewey understood deeply the need for a new political order.

The destitution brought about by the crash of 1929 and the subsequent economic meltdown were, Dewey thought, the predictable consequences of an economy — and a political system — controlled by, and dedicated to the needs of, large corporations.

RNC Protests Dissatisfy Reporters Who Anticipated Trump-Stoked Violence

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 06:58
Kevin Gosztola

Reporters and police grossly outnumber protesters at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and reporters are hungry for some kind of spectacle to break out so they can justify their presence. A few outlets have even opted to express their dismay by publishing stories framed around the question, “Where are all the protesters?”

US-Led Airstrikes Kill as Many Civilians as Nice Attack–but Get No Front-Page Headlines in Major US Papers

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 06:49
Adam Johnson

A coalition airstrike reported on Tuesday that killed at least 85 civilians—one more than died in the Nice attack in France last week—wasn’t featured at all on the front pages of two of the top US national newspapers, the New York Times and LA Times, and only merited brief blurbs on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal

Volatile America

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 06:01
Robert C. Koehler

In a flash I thought, oh God, the civil war has started.

Then the headlines shifted and, for the moment, “normalcy” returned. It’s a Trump-sated normalcy that’s anything but, of course, and the most recent heavily reported violence (at least as I write these words) — the murder of three police officers in Baton Rouge — blends into the endlessly simmering turmoil known as the United States of America.

What Donald Trump Doesn’t Get about "Free Trade"

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 13:37
John R. MacArthur

As Donald Trump prepares to accept the Republican nomination for President Thursday night, he carries with him a record of verbal violence so extreme that it supposedly has placed him beyond the pale for much of his party's establishment. The billionaire dealmaker is said to be hated for his insulting and racist behaviour, to the point that a good number of "respectable" Republican leaders and fundraisers will either sit on their hands or quietly campaign for Hillary Clinton.

Republicans Want To “Make America Work Again”? That Would Be Real Change

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 09:40
Dave Johnson

Tuesday was “Make America Work Again” day at the Republican National Convention. But this day wasn’t about making America work again for working people. This was, as always with conservatives, all about tax cuts for the rich and corporations, deregulation of oil and coal companies (and other paying corporate clients) and austerity cuts in the things government does to make people’s lives better.

There was nothing about how to actually make America “work again.”

Trump Isn’t the Only Republican with a Woman Problem

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 09:28
Marge Baker

Long before he set his sights on the White House, Donald Trump was showing his misogynistic colors.

Paul Ryan's Calls for Eliminating Almost the Entire Federal Government

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 08:08
Dean Baker

No, that is not some new concession that the Speaker made to appease Donald Trump, this is his budget wonkiness. According to the analysis of Ryan's budget by the Congressional Budget Office, he would reduce the non-Social Security, non-Medicare portion of the federal budget, shrinking it to 3.5 percent of GDP by 2050 (page 16).

Brazilian Prosecutor Finds No Crime Committed by Dilma: Will the Law Count for Anything in Brazil?

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 07:58
Mark Weisbrot

An immense effort was made to remove Bill Clinton from the presidency in the late 1990s, culminating in the first impeachment trial of a US president in 131 years. Intimate details of his affair with Monica Lewinsky, about which Clinton was accused of lying under oath, were probed and published by the far-right prosecutor Ken Starr. This let loose a flood of jokes and salacious fodder for the tabloids.

Clinton Must Go Bold – and Go Left – For VP

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 07:49
Richard Eskow

Word is that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will announce her vice presidential choice on Friday, and rumors that she’s going with a “safe” pick should worry Democrats. In this political climate, a search for “safety” could put her candidacy in serious danger.

Change vs. the Status Quo

Trump U-Turn on Israel Confirms Unified Disdain for Palestinian Hopes

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 07:26
Jonathan Cook

The grubby underside of US electoral politics is on show once again as the Democratic and Republican candidates prepare to fight it out for the presidency. And it doesn’t get seamier than the battle to prove how loyal each candidate is to Israel.

New depths are likely to be plumbed this week at the Republican convention in Cleveland, as Donald Trump is crowned the party’s nominee. His platform breaks with decades of United States policy to effectively deny the Palestinians any hope of statehood.

What's Next for the Bernie Sanders Revolution?

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 05:44
Jim Hightower

As we approach the upcoming Democratic convention, let's look back at the race... and forward to the future.

The mainstream media tried to reduce the two Democratic campaigns as a Hillary v. Bernie war. The reality, though, is that most Sanders backers were enthusiastic precisely because his campaign's purpose was far bigger than the usual personality politics. Supporters were signing up for a revolution against corporate rule.

What We Can Learn From Melania Trump’s, Um, Flattery of Michelle Obama

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 05:32
Sherry Linkon, John Russo

In all the uproar about Melania Trump’s plagiarism of Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic convention speech — a gaffe worthy of note, of course — we should not ignore the ideals both women touted: work hard, be honest and reliable, respect others, make a better life for the next generation. These are core American values, rooted in the American dream and ideas about equality, opportunity and the Protestant work ethic. They are also core working-class values.

Why Melania Trump’s Plagiarism Matters

Tue, 07/19/2016 - 14:19
Jeffrey C. Isaac

Two paragraphs from Melania Trump’s speech last night before the Republican National Convention were almost word for word the same as two paragraphs from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech. This is a fact. Such verbatim quoting without attribution is called plagiarism. Plagiarism is widely recognized as a kind of cheating, indeed as a kind of theft. A plagiarist is someone who steals the words of others and makes believe that they are his or her own words. Plagiarism is a violation of common sense standards of integrity.

Letting Tarzan Swing Through History

Tue, 07/19/2016 - 13:10
Adam Hochschild

Some time ago I wrote a book about one of the great crimes of the last 150 years: the conquest and exploitation of the Congo by King Leopold II of Belgium. When King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa was published, I thought I had found all the major characters in that brutal patch of history. But a few weeks ago I realized that I had left one out: Tarzan.

Progressive Strides Undone If Hickenlooper Chosen as HRC Running Mate

Tue, 07/19/2016 - 11:15
Donna Smith

As we approach Friday’s announcement by the Hillary Clinton camp of their selection of running mates, Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado is apparently one of the people who has been under consideration. Choosing Hickenlooper to share the Democratic Party’s ticket would weaken the modest progressive gains made during the DNC’s platform struggle and set the tone for what a Hillary Clinton presidency might value.