Category Archives: Special Reports

Trump lashes out as Mueller’s investigators close in

In a July 19 audio-taped interview with three reporters from The New York Times, a paper that has been disparaged by strongman President Donald Trump as a failing business reporting “fake news,” Trump had harsh words for the entire upper echelon of the Department of Justice. Trump lambasted Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the “Russia probe” and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for being a secret Democrat from “Baltimore.” Trump also attacked Special Counsel Robert Mueller, former FBI director James Comey, and acting FBI director Andrew McCabe. Trump made it clear that he would have not chosen Sessions as his Attorney General had he known he would recuse himself from Russian investigatory matters. Continue reading

The story behind the Jerusalem attack: How Trump and Netanyahu pushed Palestinians into a corner

In early October 2016, Misbah Abu Sbeih left his wife and five children at home and then drove to an Israeli police station in Occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem. Continue reading

‘The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America’

A Q&A with author Nancy MacLean about the elusive James McGill Buchanan.

Author Nancy MacLean has unearthed a stealth ideologue of the American right. Her book, “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America,” tells the story of one James McGill Buchanan, a Southern political scientist and father of “public choice economics.” MacLean details how this little-known figure has had a massive impact on the ideology of the far right. None other than Charles Koch looked to MacLean’s theories for inspiration. They are libertarian—but with a twist: bluntly, it “entails restrictions on the freedom of the great majority in order to protect property rights and the prerogatives of the most well off.” MacLean shows how this idea can be traced down through the last 60 years of right-wing politics, starting with Brown v. The Board of Education and continuing with the Koch brothers’ empire. And she demonstrates that those followers and those in thrall to the Koch billions are pumping up their fight under the new administration. Continue reading

New lawsuit aims to stop Trump’s ‘sham commission’ dead in its tracks

Suit filed a day after White House releases commenters' personal information in comments that show hatred for voter commission

As the White House releases 112 pages of colorful comments—and personal information—after it asked for the public to weigh in on its so-called Election Integrity Commission and received an overwhelmingly negative response, a new lawsuit aims to protect voters’ privacy rights by stopping the controversial commission’s sweeping data demand. Continue reading

Public interest in the communications of ‘the commons’ about to be dealt a fatal blow

Ever since the dawn of modern telecommunications, the American public has been guaranteed by law certain inalienable rights. The law that established the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Communications Act of 1934, enshrined for all Americans the principle of universal access to communications services. Subsequent laws have expanded universal access from telephones to other services, such as high-speed Internet. There is a particular right of universal access to communications for those living in rural and insular areas, and low-income Americans. The other FCC law that guaranteed Americans the right of access to the communications conduits of the public commons, in this case, the public airwaves, was the Fairness Doctrine of 1949. The doctrine required holders of public broadcast licenses to provide honest, equitable, and balanced views of public importance. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan abolished the Fairness Doctrine in order to please the wealthy GOP donors who owned various media conglomerates. Continue reading

Living the American dream in a trailer park

Home to some 20 million people—6 percent of Americans—they are the nation’s largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing, offering a shot at the American dream to people who can’t afford a traditional home.

All too often, they’re the butt of jokes and stereotypes—mobile home parks and the “trailer trash” who live in them. Continue reading

As Don Jr. lawyers up, words like ‘collusion’ and ‘treason’ fly

‘It looks like clear proof of collusion,’ says Watergate prosecutor

Following the latest explosive details about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer during last year’s campaign, in which he hoped to receive damaging information about Hillary Clinton, legal experts are saying the encounter could be proof that “collusion”—or even “treason”—took place. Continue reading

It’s settled: Trump either did or did not accept Putin’s denial of election interference

Presidents met, but reliable account of discussion is absent

President Donald Trump met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin Friday on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) Summit in Hamburg, Germany, but what exactly was said remains unclear. Continue reading

Grand theft of ancient Middle Eastern artifacts proven to involve Israel

The right-wing Christian-owned store chain Hobby Lobby has settled a federal case that saw the Oklahoma City-based crafts retailer fined $3 million for illegally importing stolen artifacts from Iraq for “the Museum of the Bible” the store’s owner, Steve Green, is building near the National Mall in Washington, DC. Oddly, the title of the civil asset forfeiture case, brought in the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of New York, does not mention the 600-store Hobby Lobby chain or Green as the major culprits. Had the case been criminal, as it should have been since Hobby Lobby violated a 1990 law on trafficking of Iraq, the case would have been United States of America v. Hobby Lobby, Inc. Continue reading

Rotten eggs Jack and Peter DeCoster headed to jail—finally

A couple of rotten eggs finally got their due. Well, sort of. Continue reading

Possibility of war between Asian superpowers looms as Jared Kushner puts Rex Tillerson in his place

U.S. strongman Donald Trump in a nepotistic fashion has granted his son-in-law Jared Kushner special diplomatic envoy portfolios to deal with the Middle East, China, Canada, and Mexico. Kushner, who is 36 and has no international experience, except for acting as a virtual embedded agent for Israel and Binyamin Netanyahu in the United States, recently warned Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to understand his place after the normally soft-spoken Tillerson blew up at a White House meeting with chief of staff Reince Priebus, Kushner, and their aides. Continue reading

Foreign policy calls rest with neocon cell in White House

A powerful neocon cell is calling U.S. foreign policy shots in the Trump White House. Neocon describes those who put the interests of Israel ahead of those of the United States. Continue reading

U.S. Navy heading into cover-up mode in collision of the USS Fitzgerald

U.S. Navy sources report to WMR that the Navy is heading into familiar cover-up mode in the official investigation of the collision of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) with the ACX Crystal, a Philippines-flagged container ship manned by a Filipino crew of 20. The collision, which killed seven U.S. Navy sailors who drowned in a flooded below-water line berthing compartment, took place near Japan’s Izu Peninsula on June 17 at 2:20 a.m. local time. The Crystal was under charter to a Japanese firm, Nippon Yusen KK (NYK), and was en route from Nagoya to Tokyo. The Crystal’s registration holder is Sinbanali Shipping, Inc. based in Manila, and its actual owner is Dainichi-Invest Corporation of Kobe, Japan. Continue reading

Trump: I will defend Medicaid. Also Trump: I support bill that destroys Medicaid.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters in an off-camera briefing on Friday that President Donald Trump remains “committed” to protecting recipients of Medicaid, a program he repeatedly vowed not to cut during his presidential campaign. Continue reading

Jim Crow GOP steals another election as brain dead Democrats & media say nothing

The Jim Crow GOP has stolen yet another congressional election, this time in Georgia. As always, the media and Democrats are saying nothing about it. Continue reading

Since Trump’s election, 20 states have moved to criminalize dissent

In what is being called the “biggest protest crackdown since the Civil Rights Era,” Republicans in at least 20 states have put forward or passed laws with the intention of making protest more difficult and the punishment for expressing dissent more draconian since President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January. Continue reading

Mass incarceration, prison labor in the United States

The Federal Prison Industries (FPI) under the brand UNICORE operates approximately 52 factories (prisons) across the United States. Prisoners manufacture or assemble a number of products for the US military, homeland security, and federal agencies according to the UNICORE/FPI website. They produce furniture, clothing and circuit boards in addition to providing computer aided design services and call center support for private companies. Continue reading

Former Commish Michael Copps: ‘Maybe the worst FCC I’ve ever seen’

In just a few short months, the Trump wrecking ball has pounded away at rules and regulations in virtually every government agency. The men and women the president has appointed to the Cabinet and to head those agencies are so far in sycophantic lockstep, engaged in dismantling years of protections in order to make real what White House strategist Steve Bannon infamously described as “the deconstruction of the administrative state.” Continue reading

Amazon extends tentacles further with purchase of Whole Foods

Online behemoth Amazon is acquiring Austin-based Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion, the companies announced Friday—a development that watchdogs say will pad billionaire pockets and spell bad news for consumers. Continue reading

Naomi Klein: Any efforts to equate hateful violence with Trump resistance ‘are lies’

Though it is not quite the kind of large-scale “shock” she explores in her new book, author and activist Naomi Klein says that people should stand firm against anyone who tries to exploit for political purposes the “horrific” violence that took place Wednesday morning when a lone gunman targeted Republican lawmakers and others during practice for a congressional baseball team. Continue reading

It doesn’t take a Russian to hack an American election

Russia, Russia, Russia!!! But what about the Americans? Continue reading

Amid Trump chaos, Republicans keep their eyes on the big prize: the courts

‘Control the Supreme Court, stack the judiciary, and you can stop the progressive movement . . . for decades,’ Corey Robin wrote

While the Trump administration remains embroiled in scandals of its own making and continues to blunder forward seemingly without direction, Republicans have their collective gaze fixed on a prize they have coveted for years: complete domination of the judiciary. Continue reading

Trump was previously not under investigation. Now he reportedly is.

President bristles in wake of latest reporting, but what he calls a ‘witch-hunt,’ political observers say is really Trump's own doing

In the letter announcing his former FBI director’s termination last month, President Donald Trump went out of his way to thank James Comey for telling him “on three separate occasions” that he was not under investigation. Continue reading

Chelsea Manning interviewed

On May 17, Chelsea Manning was released, her 35-year political incarceration for exposing US war crimes commuted to seven years, her long ordeal finally over—a chance at last to rebuild her life. Continue reading

Jared Kushner: A suspected gangster within the Trump White House

Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has emerged as a significant influence within the policy-making apparatus of the White House. After a rather public imbroglio with Trump’s strategic policy adviser Stephen Bannon over the U.S. cruise missile attack on the Shayrat airbase in Syria, Kushner is “in”, as they often say in Washington, and Bannon is “out”. In any case, the anti-globalist faction, which is led by Bannon, has received verbal “thumbs down” on several fronts from Trump. Continue reading

Trump brings out the Bible for faith and freedom

With the country’s eyes on Comey, Trump enlists evangelicals to push Senate on health bill—and says he'll prevail, as the Bible says.

As Washington sat transfixed before the image of former FBI Director James Comey spilling some beans on the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump went to work. An expert in creating crises, Trump is not the kind to let his handiwork go to waste. Continue reading

Adelson, Israel behind Gulf Arab split

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and Israeli interests he funds are behind a series of computer hacking incidents that have resulted in a serious split between Qatar, the home of the U.S. Central Command’s massive Al-Udeid airbase, and a bloc of Qatar’s erstwhile Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) allies that include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. Continue reading

‘Literal colonialism’: Blackwater founder calls for ‘American viceroy’ to rule Afghanistan

Given Prince's past connections to Trump, his recommendations could have some measure of influence

Displaying what one commentator called “sheer 19th century bloodlust and thirst for empire,” Erik Prince, founder of the private mercenary firm Blackwater, argued in The Wall Street Journal this week that the United States should deploy an “East India Company approach” in Afghanistan. Continue reading

Bilderberg confab in Virginia highlights concerns about Trump

Every time the secretive Bilderberg Group has met at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Virginia, U.S. policy has been at the forefront of discussions between the government and corporate gurus who gather behind tight security. In 2002, the hotel hosted the Bilderbergs as President George W. Bush was leading the United States into a war with Iraq. And in 2008 and 2012, the major items for discussion at the Chantilly venue were the U.S. presidential elections, both of which saw wins for Barack Obama. Continue reading

It appears Trump admin. wants to bury Senate torture report forever

The administration is complying with request from Republican senator to send copies of voluminous document back to Congress—which could prevent public from ever seeing it.

The Trump administration is moving to keep the lengthy Senate report on the CIA’s torture and detention program forever from the public eye, the New York Times first reported Friday. Continue reading

‘Destructive fossil fuel puppet’ Trump ditches climate deal with fact-free speech

‘Generations from now, Americans will look back at Donald Trump's decision to leave the Paris Agreement as one of the most ignorant and dangerous actions ever taken by any president’

President Donald Trump took what critics are saying is “one of the most ignorant and dangerous actions ever taken by any president” Thursday afternoon and pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement. Continue reading

‘You can’t make this up’: Comcast threatens legal action against net neutrality proponents

If FCC chairman Ajit Pai's plan "is enacted, there would be nothing preventing Comcast from simply blocking sites like Comcastroturf.com that are critical of their corporate policies"

Open Internet proponents who have been fighting the Trump administration’s rollback of net neutrality protections, which has been enacted at the bidding of the telecom industry, said Tuesday that Comcast is now threatening legal action, saying the website Comcastroturf.com is infringing on its trademark. Continue reading