Even if John Stewart is Gone, We all Need to Keep taking on FOX and all the Media

I am going to put a lot of John Stewart videos in the comment section, like this one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YO_om3iK9kE

You probably heard the great news – after a few years of progressive activism, FOX finally cancelled Glenn Beck’s show–but the Boycott Must Go On!!

Ten years ago, Media Matters launched with a revolutionary mission: to systematically monitor the U.S. media for conservative misinformation every day, in real time. We’ve been calling out right-wing lies for a decade — and we’re not done yet. Will you contribute now to help us raise $10,000 for our 10th anniversary?

Media Matters Timeline

For ten years, we’ve successfully fought back against the bad actors that poison our media with right-wing lies and smears. It’s been an amazing beginning, and we couldn’t have done it without your support.

We’re in this for the long haul. Make an anniversary gift today to kickstart the next ten years of media accountability.

Dear Kevin,
You probably heard the great news – after two years of progressive activism, FOX finally cancelled Glenn Beck’s show.
Beck was targeted after he slandered President Obama by saying, “This president has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people, or the white culture, I don’t know what it is… This guy, I believe, is a racist.”
Activists at ColorOfChange, Media Matters, StopBeck, FoxNewsBoycott, and of course Democrats.com responded with a boycott of advertisers on Glenn Beck’s show. Ultimately over 300 advertisers pulled their ads from Beck, costing FOX over $40 million.
Advertiser boycotts work! And it’s time to boycott all FOX News advertisers:
We’re starting our boycott of all FOX News with Proactiv, which sells acne medicine to teenagers and young adults. Why?
First, there are lots of other acne treatments. Second, young adults above all are hurt by FOX News, which promotes right-wing policies on race, education, healthcare, the environment, and war. Let’s get our future leaders to lead the fight against FOX News!
Sign the petition to Proactiv and enter the email address of every young adult over 18 you know:
Beyond President Obama, FOX regularly slanders nearly everyone: Democrats, unionized workers, the unemployed (including veterans and 99ers), environmentalists, feminists, blacks, Hiics, Jews, Muslims, progressives, scientists, and any other group it disagrees with.
FOX News broadcasts rightwing extremist slander, incitement to violence, political propaganda, and outright lies to promote its rightwing political agenda. This is not “news,” but rather a never-ending “war on news” – and it’s all documented in our petition.
Why would any decent company want to fund it? Tell Proactiv to stop advertising on FOX News:
Thanks for all you do!
Bob Fertik

GLEN BECK ADMITTED in 2007, “I Am RACIST and Barack Obama is very White” THIS MAKES Boycotting FOX NEWS needed NOW

By Kevin Stoda

Dear, American supporters of the Fascist Oddball Xenophobic (FOX) news networks.

AMERICANS are getting less tolerant of your racism and stronghold on our major media.

For example, we have noted that in his 2007 TV program from FOX (See on You-Tube), Glen Beck admitted he himself was racist. Further, Beck then, in contrast to 2009, called Barrack Obama much more white than black. (Apparently, Beck now he has other nonsense to mush men’s minds.)


Using a major news platform to promote racism and to tell people to disrespect a whole presidential administration through mixed truths, outright lies, and xenophobia, is not to be tolerated any more.

On Democracy Now today, Amy Goodman asked Benjamin Jealous of the NAACP what he thought of Wal-Mart’s pull-out from advertising on the Glen Beck program on FOX.

NOTE: Goodman had simply asked , “The whole attack by Glenn Beck that drove this (resignation)? In your response from the NAACP to Van Jones, it says, ´The only thing more outrageous than Mr. Beck’s attack on Van Jones is the fact that there are sponsors that continue to pay him to provide this type of offensive commentary.` Do you support the continued boycott of companies like Wal-Mart of Beck’s show on Fox?”


This is a particularly important point because Glen Beck´s HATE CAMPAIGN ON THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION led recently to a great American policy maker, Van Jones, quitting the government this week.


Mr. Jealous said, “We certainly support them (Walmart) choosing with their dollars who they’re going to support. I mean, it’s—Glenn Beck is somebody who’s told a seven-year-old girl, a seven-year-old black girl, that he would buy her a ticket back to Africa, that she needed to go back to Africa. And then he comes out, and he says that healthcare is the beginning of reparations. I mean, this guy plays the race card on a weekly basis. He does it very aggressive—you know, in a very hateful way.”

Recall, first, that Van Jones is one of the most important and thoughtful men in America—however, the FOX (Fascist Oddball Xenophobic) news network chose to support a man, like Glen Beck, rather than seeing that tens of millions of Americans need to get health care from promoters like Jones and that our America economy needs to move starting today to the kind of economy that its competitors worldwide are already doing.


Let’s quote the wisdom and influential words of Van Jones on the absolute necessity to green the American economy NOW!

“I think it’s really important to point out that we’re sort of at the end of an era of American capitalism, where we thought we could run the economy based on consumption rather than production, credit rather than creativity, borrowing rather than building, and also, most importantly, environmental destruction rather than environmental restoration.”

Jones continued, “We’re trying to make the case in this book that that era is over. We now have to move in a very different direction. And key to that will be basing the US economy not on credit cards, but based on clean energy and the clean energy revolution that would put literally millions of people to work, putting up solar panels all across the United States, weatherizing buildings so they don’t leak so much energy and put up so much carbon, building wind farms and wave farms, manufacturing wind turbines. We argue you could put Detroit back to work not making SUVs to destroy the world, but making wind turbines, 8,000 finely machine parts in each one, twenty tons of steel in each wind tower, making wind turbines to help save the world.”

Finally, Van Jones wisely noted, “So we think that you can fight pollution and poverty at the same time. We think that you can actually power our way through this recession by putting people to work, but we’re going to have to start building things here and re-powering, retrofitting, retooling America, and that that’s the way forward both for the economy, for the earth and for everyday people.”

Note: These statements came from a program on DN from October of last year:


Van Beck has written a book of the same title, The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems.


America needs such voices as Van Jones in government leadership in America—not Fascist Oddball Xenophobic (FOX) types.

Clean up the American airwaves of all its fascism and racism, today.


NOTE: One way to change the noise of Fascist Oddball Xenophobic (FOX) media moguls is to support alternative media organizations


and alternative monitoring websites.


Another way, is to demand that local radio and TV channels put better programming on, such as Democracy Now or news sources promoted by serious progressive journalists:


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Big win in our fight to protect kids from online sex trafficking.

We just scored a big win in our fight to protect kids from online sex trafficking.

After the CEO of Backpage.com—the market leader in commercial-sex advertising—refused to obey a legal subpoena as part of my Senate investigation into online sex trafficking, Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio and I knew we had to keep fighting. Together we led an historic, unanimous vote in the Senate to hold Backpage.com in contempt of Congress—something that hasn’t happened in more than 20 years—and then we took them to court… and won.

AP: Judge sides with Senate panel in dispute with Backpage.com

As a former prosecutor of sex crimes, I know how serious this problem is. In 2014, 1 in 6 runaways reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children were likely sex trafficking victims. In the same year, the Urban Institute estimated that the underground sex economy ranged from nearly $40 million in Denver, CO to $290 million in Atlanta, GA. These children are being hurt and abused in our own backyards, and we have to stop it.

KMOV Backpage clip

WATCH NOW: KMOV on Claire’s “crusade against sex trafficking”

Backpage.com has been ordered by the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. to comply with our subpoena and hand over documents relevant to our investigation, and I will keep you up-to-date as we move forward. In the meantime, if you suspect a case of child sex trafficking,
call 1-800-843-5678 or visit cybertipline.com.

Thank you,

Cape Girardeau

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Phone: (314) 367-1364
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Kansas City

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Phone: (816) 421-1639
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Washington, D.C.

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Phone: (202) 224-6154
Fax: (202) 228-6326

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Report of Abuse Inside the Defense Logistics Agency

We recently received new information involving improper leaks of restricted government documents by the Defense Logistics Agency to a major US military contractor, Kuwait and Gulf Link, also known as KGL.

Further Report of Abuse Inside the Defense Logistics Agency

The Project On Government Oversight recently received new information involving its July 6, 2016, article about improper leaks of restricted government documents by the Defense Logistics Agency to a major US military contractor, Kuwait and Gulf Link, also known as KGL.

Read more


President ObamaFair Pay and Safe Workplace Rules Set for October Launch

The Obama Administration has released final regulations and guidance to implement the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order. The regulations, which go into effect in October, will bring greater transparency to federal contracting and help level the playing field for law-abiding companies.

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PentagonInspector General Finds Army Unable to Account for Trillions in Taxpayer Dollars

The Department of Defense is the only federal agency unable to get a clean audit opinion. A recent Department of Defense Inspector General (DoD IG) report provides another example of the profound financial management problems at the Pentagon.

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SECSEC Secures Another Win for Whistleblower Rights

For the second time in less than a week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) scored a win for whistleblower rights when it fined Health Net $340,000 for using severance agreements to silence former employees.

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Job interviewTo Be or Not To Be (Contracted Out)

POGO recently perused a few contractor job listings for congressional affairs specialists and budgetary analysts. Reviewing the job descriptions, we were alarmed at the extent to which the jobs included tasks that are borderline illegal to contract out.

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From the World of POGO


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When the dust settled, at least 95 people lay dead, thrusting Tokhar into the center of an international debate over how the Syrian war has been waged and who has paid the price

500 Pound U.S. Weapons Strike Syrian Village – Who did they kill?

by rosecoveredglasses

Syrian Bombs


“A-10 and B-52 aircraft bore down on the village. Their 500-pound bombs struck their targets.

When the dust settled, at least 95 people lay dead, thrusting Tokhar into the center of an international debate over how the Syrian war has been waged and who has paid the price.

According to conflicting Syrian and U.S. accounts, the attack was either a major victory for the United States and its allied ground ­forces or the worst case of civilian casualties by the United States since the war against the Islamic State began. U.S. officials said the strike killed a large group of Islamic State fighters; Syrian activists said the people killed in Tokhar were mostly men, women and children seeking shelter from the war around them.

The contradictory narratives about what happened that night reveal the difficulty of determining outcomes in an air campaign that has taken place beyond the reach of journalists, aid groups and other independent observers.

“In a conflict of this nature, where we’re in close quarters fighting and Islamic State is deliberately using human shields, it’s inevitable that civilians will die,” said Chris Woods, director of Airwars, a Britain-based group that tracks allegations of civilian casualties.

“Where we have tensions is around how [U.S. military officials] tend to depict reporting of civilian casualties purely as propaganda,” he said. “What we too often see is the coalition downplaying credibly reported reports.”

While the vast majority of the Syrian war’s nearly half-million dead have been killed in ground clashes­ or regime air attacks, the U.S. government has confirmed that 55 civilians have died in more than 11,000 U.S. strikes conducted in Iraq and Syria since 2014.

Activists say those findings grossly understate the extent of civilian deaths. They blame an insular military process for evaluating civilian death allegations, one they say fails to sufficiently consider on-the-ground reporting by residents and activists that is often the sole counter-narrative to military officials’ version of events.

The figures from the U.S. Central Command show a rate of one civilian death for every 200 strikes that U.S. planes have launched in Iraq and Syria.

That’s a vastly lower figure than the war in Afghanistan at its height — a rate of one dead civilian for about every 15 strikes — or during six years of counter­terrorism strikes in countries including Pakistan and Yemen, where the White House in a recent study found that a civilian died for every four to seven strikes.

Women react as they walk along a street after they were evacuated Aug. 12 with others by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters in Manbij. (Rodi Said/Reuters)

The relatively low death toll for Iraq and Syria is even more striking in light of the U.S. military estimate that 45,000 militants have been killed in two years of attacks by air and via long­-distance rockets.

“The numbers that Centcom is putting out would suggest an order of magnitude increase in effectiveness,” said Christopher Kolenda, a former Pentagon official who is a senior fellow at King’s College London. “It just doesn’t come across as very credible.”

Corpses, competing stories

Military officials describe elaborate measures taken to protect civilians, including pinpointing of civilian locations, legal and intelligence reviews, extended surveillance periods and use of precision munitions.

Since strikes began in 2014, the Obama administration has adapted those procedures, seeking to ensure, for example, that a greater number of strikes have a “shift cold” option. That means that planners identify a location, such as an empty field, to which they can divert a munition after it is fired in the event a civilian suddenly appears near the target.

“We recognize that it’s an operational imperative to demonstrate to the people of Iraq and Syria that, unlike ISIL, we take very seriously the prevention of death and injury of civilians,” said Pentagon spokesman Gordon Trowbridge. ISIL and ISIS are acronyms for the Islamic State.

Military officials express pride in what they see as a precise, judicious campaign. “It’s really, quite frankly, an amazing thing that we haven’t killed more civilians than we have,” said one military official who, as others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss operations.

At the same time, the Pentagon has relaxed some rules governing strikes in Iraq and Syria — for example, by empowering officers of lower ranks than required earlier in the war to authorize strikes.

Those more flexible rules reflect pressure from inside and outside the military to increase the pace of strikes and make greater progress against a group seen as posing a serious threat to the United States and its European allies.

When allegations of civilian deaths emerge, officials conduct an initial assessment to determine whether they believe the claims warrant an investigation. Since 2014, U.S. military officials have deemed about a quarter of casualty allegations to be credible.

Centcom has already launched an investigation into the Tokhar strike.

Such investigations, typically headed by a colonel or a higher-ranking officer, can last months. During the course of the probe, investigators interview U.S. military personnel and review flight footage and intelligence findings. They do not typically interview witnesses or Syrians, but they sometimes receive on-the-ground accounts passed on from the State Department or the U.S. Agency for International Development, which work with civil society groups in Syria.

Some, but not all, investigations incorporate the online documentation — including cellphone images and social-media posts — that has become an important feature of the Syrian war.

In the hours that followed the July 19 bombing, activist groups from Tokhar and the nearby city of Manbij posted reports on Facebook and Twitter about large numbers of slain civilians. Several hours later, the Islamic State’s media arm tweeted that at least 160 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed.

Eventually, the names and photos of at least 70 alleged victims, including people described as village residents and families displaced by the nearby fighting, emerged online.

Neil Simmonds, who tracks events in Syria for Amnesty International, said his group had struggled for clarity about the criteria Centcom uses to consider reporting from local activists or civic groups.

“We have a name and a picture, and that still seems to fall short of credible evidence,” Simmonds said.

Navy Cmdr. Kyle Raines, a Centcom spokesman, said investigators’ assessment of allegations from local sources­ depends on whether “sufficient verifiable information” is available.

In the initial hours after the strike, several Twitter accounts tweeted pictures showing photos of rubble and dusty corpses. Those photos were not from Tokhar and had appeared on the Internet previously. To military officials, the posts were proof that Islamic State supporters were using the attack as propaganda.

But a Facebook group that was the source of much of the social-media information about the Tokhar strike — Manbij Mother of all the World — quickly flagged those photos as fake and warned people to disregard them.

Officials acknowledge that assessing the validity of claims in Syria presents a particular challenge. For much of the war in Afghanistan, U.S. troops called in airstrikes, examined bombing debris firsthand and interviewed witnesses. Little of that can occur in Syria, where the United States has only a tiny Special Operations presence with a much more limited mission.

Activists say that the Centcom investigation process, in setting a high bar for validating claims of errant deaths, may reinforce an inaccurate picture of the war.

“It’s really dangerous, obviously, if you think that you’ve conducted [thousands of strikes] and you’ve only killed 55 civilians. Then you probably do think you’re doing a brilliant job,” Simmonds said. “But we all know that’s a terrible underestimate.”

The murkiness surrounding the events of July 19 also highlights the challenges inherent to the growing U.S. collaboration with allied ground forces­ in Syria.

In recent months, tensions have increased between Arabs in northern Syria and Kurdish fighters from the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The Kurdish forces­ come from other areas of Syria and have played a key role in recapturing territory from the Islamic State.

Some Arab residents have accused the Kurdish ­forces, which often relay targeting information to U.S. ­forces advising from behind the front lines, of placing insufficient importance on civilian life.

After the strikes, the Manbij Military Council, an SDF affiliate that speaks for U.S.-backed groups in the area, denounced the reports of civilian casualties as propaganda and said it had confirmed that civilians were no longer in the village before the air raid took place.

Under drone surveillance

In the days leading up to July 19, SDF Kurdish forces and Islamic State militants had clashed repeatedly in the area around Tokhar.

According to a former Tokhar resident who goes by the name Abu Abdullah and now lives outside Syria, many fellow villagers fled after the militants’ arrival in 2014 because they resented the group’s strict rules about grooming and dress.

By mid-July, a small number of militants were coming and going from the village, sometimes using surrounding areas to fire on SDF ­forces, Syrians who spoke with residents said. Adnan al-Hussein, a journalist from Manbij who has spoken with people in Tokhar, said the Islamic State activity continued on the day of the strike.

At about 1 a.m. on July 19, a small number of militants launched mortar fire from inside the village and then withdrew, according to Hussein’s account. Remaining civilians took shelter in the northern area of the village, he said.

The planes, carrying laser-guided GBU-54 and GBU-31 bombs, struck several hours later.

While one group reported that as many as 203 people had died, between 70 and 80 civilians were named, including at least 11 children, according to reports compiled by Airwars. Among the alleged victims, according to those reports, was a man named Suleiman al Dhaher, who was killed along with at least five of his children and grandchildren, including two infants. Some sources reported that the area struck was a school occupied by displaced Syrians. “The victims of the massacre were all civilians, not a single member of ISIS,” according to Abu Abdullah.

But U.S. officials, speaking in detail about the strike for the first time, described elements that they say show that the people gathered in Tokhar that night were not civilians. Instead, the officials said, they were militants preparing for a major counter­attack on allied forces­ in Manbij, where an intense battle was unfolding.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an incident that is under investigation, the officials said the village had been under drone surveillance for three weeks. Few civilians had been observed in the preceding 10 days.

U.S. officials cross-checked information from allied ground forces­ with their own intelligence. “The thought is that ISIL came in and told villagers to leave,” the official said. “The surveillance backed that up.”

The officials said the militants had been instructed to pose as civilians in a bid to elude enemy attack. They even arranged tractors in nearby fields to make it look like farming was still taking place.

U.S. officials say they think that a much smaller number of civilians died, perhaps about 10, and put the militant death toll at 85. Officials said they based those estimates not just on aerial surveillance but also on information provided by personnel from U.S.-backed Syrian forces­ who visited the village shortly after the strike to verify its results.

Asked whether Tokhar had been a legitimate attack, the official said: “Absolutely. . . . This was a valid military target.”

The Washington Post was not able to independently verify either the U.S. or Syrian accounts.

Kolenda, who recently co-wrote a report on the strategic impact of civilian casualties, urged the Pentagon to adopt new technologies, such as means that would allow civilians to transmit location information when using mobile phones to document attacks. Such tools may take on greater importance as the United States in­creases its reliance on air power to address threats in places such as Somalia or Syria, where U.S. officials are often unable to verify events directly.

“The military recognizes the moral and legal imperatives, but it has been very slow to appreciate that civilian harm, even if it’s inflicted within the laws of armed conflict, can be very damaging to our interests,” he said. “The Pentagon has got to get its arms wrapped around that.”



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Build a better world where people have access to clean water and sanitation for themselves and their families.

Hey Kevin,
What have you done to #showup for water and sanitation?

Access to clean water and a toilet are two everyday essentials we normally don’t think about. What’s shocking is that eight out of 10 people living in rural areas are still without clean drinking water. That’s 663 million people being denied their right to clean water.

One third of the world’s population lives without sanitation facilities, and as a result, an estimated  946 million people are left with no other choice but to go to the toilet out in the open.

Click here to build a better world where people have access to clean water and sanitation for themselves and their families.

By taking action for water and sanitation you can earn your chance tocelebrate with Global Citizens at this year’s festival in New York City featuring Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Selena Gomez, Major Lazer, and Metallica.

Thanks for doing what you do,

The Global Citizen Team

P.S. Can’t make it to this year’s Global Citizen Festival? You can redeem the points you earn from taking action for the chance to win tickets to amazing shows and events near you. Check out Global Citizen Rewards here.


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Donald Trump in the Bayou : The Tea Party, a Sinkhole in Louisiana, and the Contradictions of American Political Life

Tomgram: Arlie Hochschild, Trumping Environmentalism

[Note for TomDispatch Readers: We’ve got a special offer today (and a scheduling notice as well). The remarkable sociologist Arlie Hochschild, whose books have helped change our world, has just spent years climbing what she calls “the empathy wall” in rural Louisiana; years, that is, hanging out with and studying Tea Party members. The result is her new book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, which will be published early in September. It’s a fascinating journey deep inside a world mostTomDispatch readers might otherwise find alien indeed. For a contribution of $100 (or $125 if you live outside the United States), you can be the first on your block to have a signed, personalized copy of her book! Just check out our donation page for the details.

As always at the end of August, TD is shutting down through Labor Day. Next post: Tuesday, September 6th. Tom]

You might not care to admit it, but there’s a little bit of Donald Trump in all of us. Yes, his curiously insinuating, allusive, and always inflammatory comments — from his invocation of gun owners as the force to deal with a Hillary Clinton presidential victory to his dubbing of “Barack Hussein Obama” as the “founder” of ISIS — are regularly dangerous, remarkably ignorant, and often quite crackpot; yes, he plans to defend the working man by cutting taxes on the ultra-wealthy; yes, he’s left just about every group that ever depended on him holding the bag; yes, we’ve never quite seen such an unfiltered narcissist on the public stage (with the thinnest skin in human history); yes, he’s “unfit” to hold much of anything, no less the presidency; yes, his reported commentson nuclear weapons and their possible uses should make your hair stand on end. But come on, admit it: sometimes, just sometimes, he says something and you go: Oh yeah, right. And maybe it’s just a little too often for comfort.

I know that I, for instance, experience this whenever he points to Hillary Clinton’s role in the disastrous U.S. intervention in Libya. (“We came, we saw, he died,” was the way she summed up that particular triumph, speaking of the death of the autocrat Muammar Qaddafi before his whole country fell to pieces and looted weaponry from his arsenal was shipped to terror groups from the Sinai Peninsula to Nigeria.) I feel it when, responding to 50 Republican national security types who, in an open letter, denounced Trumpas potentially “the most reckless president in American history,” he said that “these insiders — along with Hillary Clinton — are the owners of the disastrous decisions to invade Iraq, allow Americans to die in Benghazi, and they are the ones who allowed the rise of ISIS.” You might, it’s true, argue with parts of that formulation, but the crew that signed that letter are indeed a rogue’s gallerywhen it comes to Washington’s disastrous wars and national security policies of the post-9/11 era. I even feel a hint of it in his comments on Obama’s role in the creation of ISIS. Yes, that claim is genuinely off-the-wall. In withdrawing American troops from Iraq in 2011, Obama was simply following through on an agreement already negotiated by the Bush administration. But it’s also true that George W. Bush & Co. in particular did have a major hand in creating the conditions for ISIS’s predecessor al-Qaeda in Iraq to establish itself and flourish, and that the U.S. military essentially introduced just about the complete leadership of the Islamic State, including its “caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to each other in one of its notorious Iraqi prisons.

In other words, The Donald has rich material to draw upon when it comes to what’s distasteful these days in American life and in the country’s militarized global reach. I mention this only to put you in the mood for the remarkable journey you’ll be taking at TomDispatch today: a piece adapted from Arlie Hochschild’s riveting, soon-to-be-published new book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right. It transports you directly into a world where Trump rings far truer, far oftener than in ours, a world where, as John Feffer has recently written, there is a yearning for “simpler solutions… a fundamentalist message that appeals to British nationalists, Trumpian exceptionalists, and Islamic State reactionaries alike.” It’s important to get inside this mindset if you really want to understand the contradictions that now power our increasingly strange American world. Tom

Donald Trump in the Bayou
The Tea Party, a Sinkhole in Louisiana, and the Contradictions of American Political Life
By Arlie Russell Hochschild

[This essay has been adapted from Arlie Hochschild’s new book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right(The New Press), which will be published on September 6th.]

Sometimes you have to go a long, long way to discover truths that are distinctly close to home. Over the last five years, I’ve done just that — left my home in iconically liberal Berkeley, California, and traveled to the bayous of Tea Party Louisiana to find another America that, as Donald Trump’s presidential bid has made all too clear, couldn’t be closer to home for us all. From those travels, let me offer a kind of real-life parable about a man I came to admire who sums up many of the contradictions of our distinctly Trumpian world.

So come along with me now, as I turn right on Gumbo Street, left on Jambalaya, pass Sauce Piquant Lane, and scattering a cluster of feral cats, park on Crawfish Street, opposite a yellow wooden home by the edge of waters issuing into Bayou Corne, Louisiana. The street is deserted, lawns are high, and branches of Satsuma and grapefruit trees hang low with unpicked fruit. Walking toward me along his driveway is Mike Schaff, a tall, powerfully built, balding man in an orange-and-red striped T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. He’s wearing tan-rimmed glasses and giving a friendly wave.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

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Can We Trust Boeing with American Defense?

After $1.3 Billion Overrun Boeing Receives New $2.8 Billion Contract

by rosecoveredglasses



“Boeing got the most recent contract for a replacement tanker back in 2011 after a decade of failed deals, illegal actions by the company, bumbling by the Air Force and perhaps the most vigorous public fight over a weapons system’s contract in at least 20 years.

Will Boeing be able to produce it at the rate the Air Force expects and will it perform as well as the service hopes? We’ll see.

Believe it or not, Boeing really has made progress on the KC-46 tanker, after incurring at least $1.3 billion in cost overruns. Today, it got the only kind of proof that really matters to a corporation: they got the government’s promise of $2.8 billion for doing their job.

The contract award of $2.5 billion is for the first two LRIP production lots of seven and 12 planes. Including options, Boeing plans to build 179 of the 767-based airborne tankers for the Air Force to replace the ancient KC-135 fleet.

The tanker uses a boom to refuel Air Force planes and hoses that extend from the wings and center body to refuel Navy, Marine Corps and allied aircraft.”



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I’ve been a Vocal Advocate of Jobs over Prisons for Years–that is Americans need Good Jobs; Not more Prisons

Dear Kevin,

This week the Justice Department announced that it would phase out the use of private prisons for federal inmates.

The Justice Department had a released a report that found that private prisons had higher rates of assaults, fewer services for inmates, and were no more cost-effective than prisons run by the federal government.

This is a welcome development for sure, and the Justice Department deserves credit for taking this step.

But, in a country that will spend $7.5 billion this year to put people in federal prison – and when prison populations and costs have skyrocketed in recent decades – something more fundamental is wrong.

Our pattern of mass incarceration is a choice we’ve made, and we can change those choices. To see what new choices might look like in your community, use our interactive game.

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On behalf of all of us at NPP,

Lindsay Koshgarian, Research Director

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This is why you should be able to vote for Bernie this election!!

Foreign Influence Becomes Hot Issue on US Campaign Trail

Controversy over former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s ties to Russia, Ukraine, and DC lobbyists highlights problems with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign is dogged by questions about relationships between donors to the Clinton Foundation and the US State Department.

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Controversy over former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manaort’s ties to Russia, Ukraine, and DC lobbyists highlights problems with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign is dogged by questions about relationships between donors to the Clinton Foundation and the US State Department.

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Congress—Democrats and Republicans alike—are trying to delay implementation of the president’s new overtime rule.


Members of Congress—Democrats and Republicans alike—are trying to delay implementation of the president’s new overtime rule.

In May, President Obama and the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a plan to update the seriously outdated overtime rules to strengthen the right to overtime pay for 12.5 million more working people. The plan is to raise the current overtime salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476, putting $12 billion in the pockets of workers over the next decade.

But now, Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon) has introduced a bill that would undermine the DOL’s efforts and delay the overtime rule by three years.Additionally, the Schrader bill would prevent the salary threshold from automatically increasing in the future to account for overall salary growth. This would lower the share of those who would be covered by the threshold from 33 percent today to just 16 percent by 2035.

Click here to call your representative and tell them to reject HR 5813—the Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act.

In Schrader’s own home district in rural Oregon, a family of four needs $60,489 to pay for housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, other necessities, and taxes. Forget about retirement or college savings. Rep. Schrader thinks that employees paid more than $35,984 don’t deserve overtime pay, at least not yet.

Last week, Donald Trump joined conservatives in calling for a “roll back” of overtime protections, and EPI’s Larry Mishel fired back:

“Donald Trump apparently thinks that millions of employees paid less than $47,476 don’t deserve overtime pay…. A candidate who wants to help the middle class would support a stronger overtime rule.”

EPI research shows that in the 1960s and 1970s, about 60 percent of workers were guaranteed overtime pay because of their low salaries. But current overtime rules haven’t kept up with salaries and the cost of living, and today less than 10 percent of salaried workers have that guarantee.

Donald Trump and conservative members of Congress are attempting to steal an important victory from 12.5 million workers.

Please, call your representative today and tell them to reject the Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act.

Thank you for all that you do.

Ross Eisenbrey
Vice President, EPI Policy Center

Call your Representative
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Turn to our present American world and to neighborhoods where the postman doesn’t ring even once, but the police are ready toshoot more than once

Tomgram: Judith Coburn, On the Mean Streets of America

Step aside, Sam Spade. Move over, Philip Marlowe. You want noir? Skip the famed private eye novels and films of the 1930s and 1940s and turn to our present American world and to neighborhoods where the postman doesn’t ring even once, but the police are ready toshoot more than once, often on the slightest excuse. It’s a world thatTomDispatch regular Judith Coburn, whom I’ve known since the Vietnam era when she was a war correspondent, enters regularly. It’s her job. It may not be Afghanistan or Iraq, but in its own way, it’s close enough.

Think of Coburn as today’s Sam Spade and let her take you deep into an American world in which justice couldn’t be blinder. Tom

America’s Criminal Injustice System
The Annals of a Private Eye
By Judith Coburn

Once upon a time, I was a journalist, covering war in Indochina, Central America, and the Middle East. I made it my job to write about the victims of war, the “civilian casualties.” To me, they were hardly “collateral damage,” that bloodless term the military persuaded journalists to adopt. To me, they were the center of war. Now, I work at home and I’m a private eye — or P.I. to you.  I work mostly on homicide cases for defense lawyers on the mean streets of Oakland, California, one of America’smurder capitals.

Some days, Oakland feels like Saigon, Tegucigalpa, or Gaza. There’s the deception of daily life and the silent routine of dread punctured by out-of-the blue mayhem. Oakland’s poor neighborhoods are a war zonewhose violence can even explode onto streets made rich overnight by the tech boom. Any quiet day, you can drive down San Pablo Avenue past St. Columba Catholic Church, where a thicket of white crosses, one for every Oaklander killed by gun violence, year by year, fills its front yard.

Whenever I tell people I’m a private eye, they ask: Do you get innocent people off death row? Or: Can you follow my ex around? Or: What kind of gun do you carry?

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

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