Indiana prison and jail conditions are ripe for widespread outbreak

On behalf of people who are incarcerated and most at risk, the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana submitted an emergency petition today, requesting the Indiana Supreme Court take immediate action designed to stem the progression of COVID-19 in the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) and Indiana’s county jails.

Trump lied and attacked healthcare workers in Sunday briefing, but got the headlines he wanted

The headline news from Donald Trump’s Sunday press briefing was that he’s dropping his push to kill us all by “reopening the country” on Easter and instead is extending social distancing measures until April 30. But as usual, the official news headline covered up much of what Trump said and did, because the media cannot handle how dangerous this man is.

With a Quarter of the World’s Population Under US Sanctions, Countries Appeal to UN to Intervene

The governments of China, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela – all under sanctions from the United States – sent a joint statement to the United Nations Secretary-General, the UN’s High Commissioner on Human Rights and the Director-General of the World Health Organization calling for an end to the unilateral American economic blockade, as they are, “illegal and blatantly violate international law and the charter of the United Nations.” 

Trump Goes Full ‘Shock Doctrine’ As Pandemic Rages

The White House chose the week the United States became the epicenter of a historic pandemic to virtually stop policing big polluters, privatize a bedrock federal food safety job, advance a mining road through a pristine swath of northern Alaska and revive a regulatory rollback so difficult to defend that the Trump administration abandoned the effort last year at the peak of a high-profile fight. 

“Humanitarian Solidarity”: Even Under U.S. Sanctions, Cuba Sends Doctor Brigade to Italy and More

As Italy’s death toll soars past 6,000, Cuba has sent medical brigades to combat COVID-19. Cuba has also deployed doctors to Venezuela, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Suriname and Grenada. “The arrival of a medical brigade from Cuba to Italy is pretty historic. You have a leading European nation accepting support in the form of a medical team from a small Caribbean island,” says our guest, Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

Jared Kushner has ‘thrown out the established government plan’ on pandemics — and has been swarmed by corporate execs

President Trump has refused to use a wartime law to require major manufacturers to make vital equipment to combat the new coronavirus, reportedly after corporations successfully lobbied his top adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. 

Social Distancing - The Coronavirus

Washington - Trump

With the recent Presidents’ Day, which also honors the February birthday of George Washington, we are faced with the enormous contrast between the “Father of Our Country” and the current White House occupant. 

While Washington led the arduous fight, as general and inspirer, to establish this nation during the Revolutionary War, Trump avoided any military service with multiple deferments of undocumented “bonespurs” so as to enhance his inherited wealth, while running roughshod over others.

Did President Trump Roll Back Rules Protecting Elderly at Nursing Homes?

On 24 December 2017, the New York Times reported that the Trump administration was scaling back an Obama-era policy that ramped up the use of fines on skilled nursing facilities for actions that endangered vulnerable patients:

Is the Military/Industrial Complex “Moderate?”

How to Reestablish Moderation in Our Politics

The Lafayette Journal and Courier featured two stories on its front pages on Wednesday and Thursday, March 4 and 5, 2020, that bear on current ideology and practice at Purdue University and the community of West Lafayette, Indiana. 

Q&A: In ‘Slaying Goliath,’ Diane Ravitch argues public education advocates have beat back privatization efforts

Education historian and activist Diane Ravitch is publishing a new book Tuesday, the latest in her years-long chronicling of how the modern school “reform” movement has harmed students, teachers and schools.

Mike Pence’s coronavirus clown show humiliates Trump — and endangers the rest of us

Last Wednesday as the stock market dropped precipitously for the third day in a row, President Trump was reluctantly forced to admit that the nation was in the midst of a major global public health crisis. So he held a desultory press conference, handed out some misinformation and blamed Democrats for the stock market slide.

Bernie Sanders Was Right About the Cuban Literacy Campaign

The corporate media have long been looking for ways to discredit Bernie Sanders, and they settled on a surprising statement he made in the 1980s during his tenure as mayor of Burlington when he said, “We have a lot to learn from Cuba.”

Open Letter to the Women in Congress

Think of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Angelina Weld Grimké, Alice Paul and Jeannette Rankin. Recall their courage and leadership in comparison with the courage needed to request an investigation of President Trump’s treatment of women.

Trump administration robs health programs for poor to pay for coronavirus response

The Trump administration is robbing the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which pays for heating and cooling assistance to the poor (which in turns helps keep them healthy), of $37 million to go toward its COVID-19 response. It's taking $139 million away from health programs in total, The Hill reports. This is money the administration can move around without congressional approval.

Betsy DeVos cornered by congressman for lacking basic information about the US education system: ‘You don’t know the answer?’

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos testified before a House Appropriations subcommittee Thursday and was repeatedly unable to answer basic questions, got snippy with Democratic lawmakers, and falsely claimed research cited by top Democrats was wrong and had been “debunked.”

Researcher warns: A recession ‘the likes of which we’ve never seen before’ could be on its way

American companies are ignoring the risks of climate change at their own peril, according to a researcher warning that extreme weather caused by the climate crisis could result in a devastating economic recession.

Financial markets are failing to account for the risks that increasingly frequent and worsening floods, droughts, and other extreme weather events pose to the economy, according to an article published in the journal Nature Energy this week.

‘A travesty and a disgrace’: Trump quietly issues memo that could abolish union rights for 750,000 federal workers

“This administration will not stop until it takes away all workers’ rights to form and join a union.”

President Donald Trump on Thursday quietly issued a memo granting Defense Secretary Mark Esper the power to abolish collective bargaining rights for the Defense Department’s 750,000 civilian workers, a move unions decried as part of the administration’s far-reaching assault on organized labor.

Trump has already ‘joked’ about defying 2020 election results. Here’s what could happen if he refuses to concede

Have you ever considered what happens when Donald Trump loses in November? One year ago, his former attorney Michael Cohen testified before Congress that Trump would not accept electoral defeat this upcoming election. Sadly, he’s probably right: If there’s one thing Trump has been consistent about, it’s that he narcissistically refuses to accept reality whenever it’s in any way negative toward him.

Factchecking NPR’s Attempted Takedown of Bernie Sanders

The Iowa caucuses officially began the Democratic primary, and even in this ongoing, extended battle for the White House, Iowa remains an important marker for candidates and the media. A close look at a piece by two of NPR’s leading political reporters, which aired just before the caucuses, provides a view of how journalists speak with authority on issues they seem to know very little about.

Ten years later, ‘The New Jim Crow’ continues to reshape the way we organize around criminal justice

During the past decade, no single book was more directly responsible for reshaping how the American public understands race and mass incarceration than Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. This week marks the 10-year anniversary of its publication. After its release, the book went on to spend more than a year on the New York Times Best Sellers list and has been taught in colleges and mentioned in major films like Ava Duvernay’s award-winning Netflix documentary, 13th.

Bloomberg Fought Efforts to Protect Black Homeowners From Predatory Lenders

Soon after Michael Bloomberg took office in 2002, 40 of the 51 members of the New York City Council sponsored legislation aimed at curbing the growth of predatory lending practices by banks. According to the Daily News, “thousands of homeowners” had been taking on “subprime mortgages that have hidden charges, fees and conditions that are essentially designed to force homeowners into foreclosure.” 

Netanyahu Boasts That He Destroyed Free Speech in America

This piece originally appeared on Informed Comment

Israeli caretaker prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has been indicted for corruption and is facing an election soon, just boasted that his ministry of strategic affairs has managed to undermine First Amendment protections for free speech in the United States by lobbying state legislatures to pass laws forbidding the boycott of Israel.

CNN exposes controversial Trump associates reportedly buying rally attendance and votes for cash

On Sunday morning, CNN took a deep dive into reports that groups allied with President Donald Trump are funneling cash to potential voters in the hopes that they will turn out in November in what is expected to be a close presidential election.

The Trolls Are Sophisticated–And Effective

A recent headline from Rolling Stone addressed an issue that is likely to keep thoughtful voters up at night. The headline? “That Uplifting Tweet You Just Shared? A Russian Troll Sent it.”

Rolling Stone is hardly the only publication warning about an unprecedented effort–and not just by Russian trolls–to use the Internet to sow disinformation and promote discord.

Who and what are these trolls?

“Democratic Socialism” – Bring it on Corporate Socialists!

Crooked Donald Trump, the erstwhile failed gambling czar and corporate welfare king, is assailing Bernie Sanders for his “radical socialism.” How ludicrous given Trump’s three-year giveaway of taxpayer assets and authorities to giant corporations – a perfect portrait of crony capitalism.

Others are joining the socialist labeling bandwagon, including corporatist right wing radio talk show blowhards, themselves freeloaders, profitably using the public airwaves. This pack includes Lloyd Blankfein, former lawbreaking chairman of Goldman Sachs. 

Degradation

In case there was any doubt about the slime this “President” represents, his awarding of the Medal of Freedom to one of the most despicable people in the country should erase it.

Limbaugh is as close as Trump could come to awarding the medal to himself.  He has mocked all manner of human suffering, and he shares Trump’s obsessive hatred (actually, jealousy) of Barack Obama, whom he has referred to as a “Hafrican American,” and about whom he liked to play a mocking song called “Barack the Magic Negro.”

And of course, Limbaugh was an enthusiastic birther.

The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President

One day last fall, I sat down to create a new Facebook account. I picked a forgettable name, snapped a profile pic with my face obscured, and clicked “Like” on the official pages of Donald Trump and his reelection campaign. Facebook’s algorithm prodded me to follow Ann Coulter, Fox Business, and a variety of fan pages with names like “In Trump We Trust.” I complied.

Muslims Placed on No-Fly List by FBI Agents to Coerce Them to Spy on Their Communities Ask Supreme Court to Allow Lawsuit to Go Forward

February 5, 2020, Washington, D.C. – Today, Muslim men who were placed or kept on the No-Fly List in retaliation for refusing to spy on their communities for the FBI urged the Supreme Court to affirm a ruling that they may sue FBI agents for attempting to coerce the men into becoming informants. The Court will consider whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) allows the men to sue agents for damages for the harm the men suffered as a result ofbeing on the list. RFRA already allows for injunctive relief. 

Researchers Assembled over 100 Voting Machines. Hackers Broke Into Every Single One.

A report issued Thursday by some of the country’s leading election security experts found that voting machines used in dozens of state remain vulnerable to hacks and manipulations, warning that that without continued efforts to increase funding, upgrade technology, and adopt voter-marked paper ballot systems, “we fear that the 2020 presidential elections will realize the worst fears only hinted at during the 2016 elections: insecure, attacked, and ultimately distrusted.”

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