Chris Hedges: Con Vs. Con – Chris Hedges – Truthdig

Chris Hedges writes, “Con artists come in many varieties. On Wall Street, they can have Princeton University and Harvard Law School degrees, polished social skills and Italian designer suits that are priced in the tens of thousands of dollars. In Trump tower, they can have cheap comb-overs, fake tans, casinos and links with the Mafia. In the Clinton Foundation, they can wallow in hundreds of millions of dollars from corporate and foreign donors, including the most repressive governments in the world, exchanged for political favors. But they are all crooks.

The character traits of the Clintons are as despicable as those that define Trump. The Clintons have amply illustrated that they are as misogynistic and as financially corrupt as Trump. Trump is a less polished version of the Clintons. But Trump and the Clintons share the same bottomless guile, megalomania and pathological dishonesty. Racism is hardly limited to Trump. The Clintons rose to power in the Democratic Party by race-baiting, sending nonviolent drug offenders of color to prison for life, making war on “welfare queens” and being “law-and-order” Democrats. The Clintons do a better job of masking their snakelike venom, but they, like Trump, will sell anyone out.

The Clintons and the Democratic Party establishment are banking that the liberal class will surrender once again to corporate power and genuflect before neoliberal ideology. Bernie Sanders will be trotted out, like a chastened sheepdog, to coax his followers back into the holding pen. The moral outrage of his supporters over Wall Street crimes, wholesale state surveillance, the evisceration of civil liberties, the failure to halt the devastation of the ecosystem, endless war, cuts to Social Security and austerity, will, the Democratic Party elites expect, airily evaporate. They may not be wrong. Given the history of the liberal class, they are probably right.”

Read the full essay here:

Think You’ve Got It Locked, Hillary? Meet Jill Stein. – POLITICO Magazine

Bernie Sanders, while not formally conceding to Hillary Clinton, has turned his fire on Donald Trump. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the darling of the left before Sanders, has effusively endorsed Clinton. So at last the presumptive nominee can hope to gather in all those unhappy Bernie voters and lead a united Democratic Party in the fall, right?

Not if Dr. Jill Stein has anything to say about it.

Read more: 

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Juneteenth: The Black American Holiday Everyone Should Celebrate but Doesn’t

Officially, the Emancipation Proclamation freed “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State” where the residents were “in rebellion against the United States.” In practice, it applied only to those slaves who lived near Union lines, where they could make an easy escape or take advantage of the Northern advance.

News of emancipation would move slowly, which would be compounded by the mass migration of slave owners, who fled their holdings in Louisiana and Mississippi—slaves in tow—following the Union victories at New Orleans in 1862 and Vicksburg in the spring and summer of 1863. Tens of thousands of slaves arrived in Texas, joining the hundreds of thousands in the interior of the state, where they were isolated from most fighting and any news of the war. Indeed, Union attempts to occupy Texas were limited to the coastlines—far from the densest slave populations—or repelled before they had a chance to succeed.

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Democracy Watch: The ‘New’ Detroit Public Schools is Separate, Unequal | ACLU of Michigan

During the June 9, 2016 public meeting of what will soon be known as the “old” school board, the district’s current emergency manager—Judge Steven Rhodes, who presided over the City of Detroit’s bankruptcy proceedings—hailed the resurrection of democracy in Detroit’s public school system.

“This [legislation] returns control of education back to the people of Detroit,” Rhodes declared.

When asked how that statement can be true given the role of the appointed financial review commission, Rhodes said that, because he hadn’t had the opportunity to fully review the newly passed legislation, he was “not in a position to answer that question.”

The ACLU of Michigan followed up, asking Rhodes in an e-mail to provide an answer to that question now that he has had ample time to fully digest the legislation.

We are still waiting for his answer.

Read  more here…

Nine Lost Souls the FBI Charged as Terrorists While Letting the Orlando Shooter Go

How do you catch a terrorist before he acts? Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people in Orlando, had been investigated by the FBI before his killing spree but not arrested. Murtaza Hussain and Josh Begley looked at some of the people whom the FBI has arrested before they had a chance to commit violent acts — and found the cases against them to be dubious.
Read more here…

Ten nonprofits called out for breaking political spending cap | OpenSecrets Blog

Even with a tax status that says “social welfare group,” a nonprofit organization’s spending record can still reveal plenty of political activity. Sometimes too much. Ten politically active nonprofits are the subject of new civil complaints filed with the IRS by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a left-leaning watchdog group based in D.C. The group elected Hillary Clinton ally David Brock as chairman … read more.

Group that backed Tom Cotton in ’14 got a big boost from Club for Growth | OpenSecrets Blog

Mitch McConnell may have been grateful to many for his party’s gains in the 2014 midterms — victories that saw him sworn in as the new majority leader of a GOP-controlled Senate. But somewhere near the top of his “thank you” list should have been those who were running a handful of shadowy groups in North Carolina, Kentucky and Arkansas that spent millions of dollars to help Republicans in tight races … read more.

The FEC: “Acting” like an enforcement agency | OpenSecrets Blog

Dysfunction comes in many forms. Just ask any of the six-in-10 employees of the Federal Election Commission with low morale when it comes to their jobs. Better yet, ask their kids. Officials at the FEC have a tall order, to be sure: keeping track of the funds being raised and spent and enforcing campaign finance law in an increasingly bizarre and cash-doused election cycle. But it’s made harder by the fact that, as this agency chart shows … read more.

Outside spending breaks $400 million mark, far outpacing 2012 | OpenSecrets Blog

Outside groups have now spent more than $400 million to influence elections this cycle, data collected from the Federal Election Commission show, a figure that dwarfs the amount spent by this point in the 2012 election.

These outside groups include not only super PACs and 527 organizations, which must disclose their donors, but also 501(c) nonprofit groups, which aren’t required to do so. Together, they’ve spent about $403 million — a 175 percent increase over the almost $146 million such groups had spent by this time in June 2012.

Not surprisingly, super PACs have driven the spending. With about $341 million in independent expenditures so far, they account for about 84 percent of all outside spending — roughly the same share as at this point in the last presidential cycle. Then, super PAC spending made up 81 percent of all political expenditures by outside groups.

Click here to read the full article.

Being a father or a father-figure: AN ACT OF GOOD


Got this nice note from my brother this morning. Fatherhood was not to be for him but for his decades worth of classroom students he is a terrific role model and father-figure, which is plenty IMHO.
“Happy Fathers’ Day to you, thanks for being a good one. And that includes being a significant figure to probably thousands of young people. That’s a contribution–an Act of Good–that makes a difference and just keeps on multiplying. We don’t usually see the results but others will.
I commend to you a continuing story by a gifted teller. It’s part of series called COAL: Cars of A Lifetime on a website I visit called Curbside Classic. I haven’t read the latest installment but will do so later today. You won’t be sorry you read these. By the way, read the bottom one first and go upward on the page. If it’s not to your taste, pass it along; this guy is good.”
And so per his instructions, I am passing the link along to you!
Jeff Salisbury… “Mister Journalism”… Read, Share, Discuss, Learn

What do you mean I’m an old man? How did that happen? Last thing I remember I was 16, had just gotten my NYS learner’s permit, and was eying used Oldsmobile ads in the local newspaper. And now I…

Follow this link: Curbside Classic