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Roger Ailes Was One of the Worst Americans Ever

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 09:28
Matt Taibbi

On the Internet this week you will find thousands, perhaps even millions, of people gloating about the death of elephantine Fox News founder Roger Ailes. The happy face emojis are getting a workout on Twitter, which is also bursting with biting one-liners.

What did Roger Ailes die of, aside from perfect timing

— Chase Mitchell (@ChaseMit) May 18, 2017

Trump’s Saudi Trip Should Not Be to Clinch Arms Deal But to End Yemen War

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 08:21
Medea Benjamin

President Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia is designed to highlight his "art of deal" by clinching a massive $100 billion arms deal. But instead of using his presidency to be a salesman for the arms industry, Trump should be a statesmen for the suffering Yemenis. He should use his visit to press for a ceasefire and negotiations to end the conflict in Yemen.

Media to Trump: Don’t Cozy Up to Dictators–Unless They’re the Right Dictators

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 08:03
Adam Johnson

After a series of friendly gestures by President Donald Trump toward Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi over the past few months, US media have recoiled with disgust at the open embrace of governments that ostensibly had heretofore been beyond the pale.

Dear FCC: We See Through Your Plan to Roll Back Real Net Neutrality

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 07:52
Corynne McSherry

Pretty much everyone says they are in favor of net neutrality–the idea that service providers shouldn’t engage in data discrimination, but should instead remain neutral in how they treat the content that flows over their networks. But actions speak louder than words, and today’s action by the FCC speaks volumes. After weeks of hand-waving and an aggressive misinformation campaign by major telecom companies, the FCC has taken the first concrete step toward dismantling the net neutrality protections it adopted two years ago.

Movement for Impeachment Must Be Grounded in Opposition to Trumpism and the GOP

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 07:33
Sonali Kolhatkar

Like many Americans, I have been fantasizing since Jan. 20, 2017, about Donald Trump’s presidency coming to a quick and dirty halt, ideally of his own doing. At best, Trump has been a global embarrassment, at worst, a purveyor of deadly ideas and policies. Never before has a president been so unpopular at just 100 days into his tenure.

The Nixonization of Donald Trump

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 05:40
John Feffer

The comparisons are multiplying. There was Trump’s appeal to the “silent majority” during the presidential election, his later adoption of the “mad man” theory in his foreign policy, his possible taping of conversations, his arm-twisting of top officials, and his all-around involvement in the scandals enveloping his administration.

Let’s Skip the War Part—and Go Right to Reparations

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 05:28
Judith Schwartz

Thursday’s military airstrikes against pro-Syrian government forces barely made a dent in the unceasing news coverage of the political drama in the White House. This in itself reveals a discomfiting reality: bombing has become so routine we barely take note. In truth, our economy is addicted to war. Recall that the stock price of Raytheon, which makes the Tomahawk Cruise Missile, soared the day after the U.S. attack on Syria in April, Trump’s first foray into military aggression.

Roger Ailes: No One Did More to Debase US Politics

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 13:24
Jeff Cohen

Roger Ailes, the man who pioneered “alternative facts,” is dead. During the first five years of Fox News—which was built almost single-handedly by Ailes’ genius—I was a regular on-air contributor/panelist there. I dealt with his right-wing lieutenants plenty, but only met Ailes once, at a Fox News “Holiday Party.” The invite did not call it a “Christmas Party.” It was one of hundreds examples of hypocrisy at the TV channel that would soon launch the “War on Christmas” hoax.

The Human Price of Trump's Wars

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 13:17
Peter Van Buren

“My guilt will never go away,” former Marine Matthew Hoh explained to me. “There is a significant portion of me that doesn't believe it should be allowed to go away, that this pain is fair.”

The Post-Trump Era?

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 10:03
Doug Henwood

How much longer can this go on? As I write this, PredictIt gives 71/29 odds that Trump will last the year, but it’s mighty tempting to buy the “no”—especially after the revelation that he asked Comey to shut down the Flynn investigation. (Disclosure alert: I bought 100 shares of “no” at $0.28.)

Trump’s Education Budget Feeds School Privatization At The Expense of Students

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 09:53
Jeff Bryant

The vision of “education reform” coming from the Trump administration and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos entails cutting direct aid to students, especially those from low-income families, in order to expand the private sector’s financial footprint in education.

The Establishment Remains Hostage to the 'Rules of Espionage'

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 09:30
Robert C. Koehler

“Trump emphasized the need to work together to end the conflict in Syria” . . . and “emphasized his desire to build a better relationship between the United States and Russia.”

For Democrats, Resistance Trumps Ideas

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 08:30
Robert Borosage

Democratic Party luminaries and 2020 presidential mentionables gathered this week for an “ideas conference” organized by the Center for American Progress, the Democratic establishment’s premier think tank.

Its stated purpose was to focus not on “what could have been,” said CAP Vice President Winnie Stachelberg introducing the day, but on “new, fresh, bold, provocative ideas that can move us forward.”

Did Trump Commit High Crimes and Misdemeanors?

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 05:43
Marjorie Cohn

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has responded to the crescendo of outrage by appointing former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump'' and "any matters that arose or may arise dire

Don’t Count on the Precedent of Watergate to Help Depose Trump. We Got Lucky.

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 12:49
Neal Gabler

“Our Constitution works.” So declared newly installed President Gerald Ford in 1974 after Richard Nixon’s resignation. “Our great republic is a government of laws and not of men.”

Oh glory be! All’s well that ends well. That has been the conventional wisdom ever since. Nixon was checked by checks and balanced by balances. The republic was saved, proving, in the words not only of Ford but of just about everyone, that the system does indeed work.

The Hidden Bombshell in the Comey-Trump Story

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 12:35
Peter Certo

How can you tell an authoritarian when you see one? We know the 20th century hallmarks — brown shirts, street rallies, and the like. But there’s an autocratic attitude, some historians suggest, that can easily be traced across the centuries.

Political Struggle: Don't Take It Personally

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 11:01
Gary Olson

Former President Barack Obama's $400,000 check from a Wall Street investment bank to give a one-hour speech is both a partial reward payment for previous services rendered and a graphic reminder of how our political system works.

I was going to begin this op-ed by listing twenty-five of Barack Obama's most egregious actions as president. But I realized that an extensive recounting would be misunderstood as just more Obama-bashing, quickly lose many readers and subvert my overriding message.

If China Can Fund Infrastructure with Its Own Credit, So Can We

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 10:49
Ellen Brown

This week has been designated “National Infrastructure Week” by the US Chambers of Commerce, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and over 150 affiliates. Their message: “It’s time to rebuild.” Ever since ASCE began issuing its “National Infrastructure Report Card” in 1998, the nation has gotten a dismal grade of D or D+. In the meantime, the estimated cost of fixing its infrastructure has gone up from $1.3 trillion to $4.6 trillion.

US Imperialism Loves Autocrats

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 10:04
David Vine

Much outrage has been expressed in recent weeks over President Donald Trump’s invitation for a White House visit to Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, whose “war on drugs” has led to thousands of extrajudicial killings.

Chelsea Manning Is a Free Woman: Her Heroism Has Expanded Beyond Her Initial Whistleblowing

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 09:55
Glenn Greenwald

Ever since Chelsea Manning was revealed as the whistleblower responsible for one of the most important journalistic archives in history, her heroism has been manifest. She was the classic leaker of conscience, someone who went at the age of 20 to fight in the Iraq War believing it was noble, only to discover the dark reality not only of that war but of the U.S. government’s actions in the world generally: war crimes, indiscriminate slaughter, complicity with high-level official corruption, and systematic deceit of the public.