Category Archives: Special Reports

Police say seizing property without trial helps keep crime down. A new study shows they’re wrong.

Civil asset forfeiture laws, which allow police to seize property without trial, are frequently justified as tools to seize millions from kingpins. A new study reveals the median amount taken is as low as $369 in some states.

In 2015, New Mexico lawmakers unanimously passed a bill to all but end civil asset forfeiture, the process that lets police keep cash or property they seize, even if they never charge the owner with a crime, so long as they suspect that it’s linked to criminal activity. High-profile lawsuits and press attention had prompted some states to reexamine their forfeiture laws. Continue reading

Study of 50 years of tax cuts for rich confirms ‘trickle down’ theory is an absolute sham

"Major tax cuts for the rich since the 1980s have increased income inequality, with all the problems that brings, without any offsetting gains in economic performance."

Neoliberal gospel says that cutting taxes on the wealthy will eventually benefit everyone by boosting economic growth and reducing unemployment, but a new analysis of fiscal policies in 18 countries over the last 50 years reveals that progressive critics of “trickle down” theory have been right all along: supply-side economics fuels inequality, and the real beneficiaries of the right-wing approach to taxation are the super-rich. Continue reading

Months After AOC demand and federal suit, USPS releases DeJoy calendar that is ‘almost entirely redacted’

"Haul Louis DeJoy in front of a criminal grand jury for his postal sabotage and subversion of our elections," said Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr.

Nearly four months after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez first demanded that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy turn over his daily calendar, the U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday released documents rendered almost completely useless by heavy redactions concealing who DeJoy met with as he worked to implement his destructive overhaul of mail operations. Continue reading

Does the chicken price fixing scandal surprise anyone?

The modern chicken industry is among the most egregious in the world. Worker abuse, animal abuse, abuse of small farmers, pollution of waterways, contaminated food products and financial wrongdoing regularly appear in the news. Big fines have no effect on an industry in which one company can make as much as $41 billion a year. Yes billion. Continue reading

Erik Prince: Back in action for the Pentagon

Erik Prince, the founder of the discredited former mercenary firm Blackwater USA and brother of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, has apparently landed a major secret Pentagon contract for mercenary services in Africa. The announcement of the contract was practically simultaneous with Donald Trump’s order to withdraw some 7,000 U.S. military personnel from Somalia. The moves by Trump and the Pentagon, which has seen several Trump loyalists embedded in key positions after Trump’s firing of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and other Pentagon officials on November 9, is yet another monetization of government services by Trump and his grifter supporters prior to Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20. Continue reading

Trump launches ‘despicable’ last-minute attack on Social Security with rule aiming to restrict disability benefits

"Joe Biden needs to undo these cruel regulations—and clean house at SSA—on day one."

Just weeks away from relinquishing power to incoming President-elect Joe Biden, the Trump administration is quietly launching a last-minute assault on Social Security by rushing ahead with a rule that, if implemented, could deny critical benefits to hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities. Continue reading

Home of Florida virus truth teller raided by law enforcement

The home of Rebekah Jones, a Florida state official who was fired for refusing to manipulate coronavirus data to justify premature re-opening of the economy, was raided Monday by the Florida Department of Law enforcement. Continue reading

Largest US federal workers union blasts Trump-GOP push for pay freeze as ‘demeaning, dishonest, and cruel’

"It's sad that even on his way out, President Trump still can't resist the opportunity to stick it to the government workers."

The largest federal workers union in the United States condemned President Donald Trump on Thursday for throwing his support behind the Senate GOP’s effort to freeze the pay of civilian government employees in 2021, a move that would effectively slash their pay given rising insurance premiums. Continue reading

Millions of Americans vulnerable to eviction

During the most severe Main Street economic collapse in US history—with over one-fourth of working-age Americans jobless—additional calamity looms in the coming weeks. Continue reading

Critics smell ‘economic sabotage’ as McConnell unveils COVID plan with $0 for unemployment boost, direct payments

"McConnell is making it pretty clear that if Dems don't win the Georgia Senate races, he will cripple the American economy, hoping it will let the GOP win the midterm."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday began circulating a coronavirus relief proposal whose contents offer so little assistance to the tens of millions of jobless, hungry, and eviction-prone Americans that critics warned the Kentucky Republican is actively working to ensure the U.S. economy remains mired in deep recession as the Biden administration takes charge next month. Continue reading

Trump’s push to overturn election puts lives in danger

“Enough is enough,” an emotional George Sterling of Georgia’s Election Commission declared at a nationally televised press conference Tuesday. Continue reading

Has the Trump International Hotel been bugged by Trump and his associates?

While Donald Trump has continually lambasted the FBI for wiretapping his Trump Tower in New York—legally authorized by court orders as a result of the amount of organized crime activity taking place there—there is evidence that he had at least one condominium outfitted with audio and video bugs during its use by contestants on Trump’s NBC reality show, “The Apprentice.” Moreover, there are fears being expressed from informed quarters that Trump has been blackmailing individuals who have stayed at his Trump International Hotel, located in the Old Post Office building, on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. Continue reading

Unions back attempt to block Trump’s return to spoils system

WASHINGTON—A group of 40 Democratic senators has joined the House-led effort to block GOP Oval Office occupant Donald Trump’s return to the long-discredited and corrupt spoils system. Continue reading

Thousands protest Trump and DeJoy’s post office destruction

WASHINGTON—Augmented by progressives, notably from the group Our Revolution, thousands of Postal Workers, other unionists, and their supporters turned out from coast to coast on Nov. 17 to campaign against Trump Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s resumed destruction of the U.S. Postal Service. Continue reading

‘The real looting in America is the Walton family’: GAO report details how taxpayers subsidize cruel low wages of corporate giants

"I say to the Walton family: Get off welfare," declared Sen. Bernie Sanders in response to the government study he commissioned. "Pay your workers a living wage—at least $15 an hour."

Pinpointing a reality denounced as “morally obscene” by Sen. Bernie Sanders, a new government study shows how some of the nation’s largest and most profitable corporations—including Walmart, McDonald’s, Dollar General, and Amazon—feast upon taxpayer money by paying their employees such low wages that huge numbers of those workers throughout the year are forced to rely on public assistance programs such as Medicaid and food assistance just to keep themselves and their families afloat. Continue reading

As Israel destroys EU projects in Palestine, European foreign policy remains impotent

Belgium is furious. On November 6, the Belgian government condemned Israel’s destruction of Belgian-funded homes in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank. Understandably, Brussels wants the Israeli government to pay compensation for the unwarranted destruction. The Israeli response was swift: a resounding ‘no.’ Continue reading

“That’s his priority as the pandemic rages on”: McConnell readies lame duck push to further pack courts with Trump’s judicial appointees

"It is literally sickening to see Mitch McConnell continue to indulge his partisan obsession with confirming far-right judges, instead of taking action on the COVID pandemic that continues to spin out of control."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is under renewed fire from progressives for refusing to act on a pandemic relief package for struggling Americans while moving to advance more of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees. Continue reading

Firing a “vindictive, illegal parting shot,” Trump’s interior proposes sabotage of conservation program

"The administration's proposal is unneeded, unwanted, and unacceptable."

The Trump administration was accused of firing a “vindictive, illegal parting shot” following Interior Secretary Bernhardt’s Friday executive order sabotaging funding of a key conservation program. Continue reading

Escalating the demographic war: The strategic goal of Israeli racism in Palestine

The discussion on institutional Israeli racism against its own Palestinian Arab population has all but ceased following the final approval of the discriminatory Nation-State Law in July 2018. Indeed, the latest addition to Israel’s Basic Law is a mere start of a new government-espoused agenda that is designed to further marginalize over a fifth of Israel’s population. Continue reading

Amid deadly and intensifying pandemic, Kushner-owned company moves to evict hundreds of tenants

‘We don't need slumlords running our country—we need to cancel rent and ensure that housing is a human right.’

An apartment company co-owned by President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is reportedly moving to evict hundreds of tenants who are behind on their rent payments, threatening to force low-income families onto the streets in the midst of an intensifying pandemic and nationwide economic crisis. Continue reading

‘They tried to freeze me to death’: Torture and resistance in Israeli prisons

Mohammad Ibrahim Ali al-Deirawi was born on January 30, 1978, in Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. His family is originally from Bir Al-Saba’, an ethnically cleansed Palestinian town located in the southern Naqab desert. Mohammad was arrested by the Israeli army at a military checkpoint in central Gaza on March 1, 2001. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his role in the armed Palestinian resistance, and was freed on October 18, 2011, in a prisoner exchange between the Palestinian resistance and Israel. Continue reading

The new kings of jihadist terrorism: Azerbaijan and Turkey

The vicious war against the Armenian Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh) and Armenia by Azerbaijan, Turkey, and thousands of their jihadist terrorists has passed the one month mark. Continue reading

Trump’s lies to seniors and veterans

Here in the heart of Florida’s retirement community, that swath consisting of gated communities, condominiums, and apartment complexes that surround Interstate 4 from Tampa through Lakeland, Kissimmee, and Orlando to Daytona Beach, Donald Trump’s promises to senior citizens and veterans have never produced any results. The laissez-faire public health policies enacted by Trump, aided and abetted by Florida’s incompetent Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, have resulted in needless deaths among seniors and veterans. These vulnerable members of society with co-morbidities, including heart disease, diabetes, and for veterans, combat-related injuries, were made more susceptible to Covid-19 super-spreading resulting from Trump campaign rallies in Sanford, The Villages, and Ocala. Continue reading

New COVID-19 security measures will make health a prerequisite for travel

As the multi-sector, global response to the coronavirus tightens the noose around civil liberties, CommonPass stands out as one of the most appalling and dangerous attacks on basic human rights in the name of public health.

Imagine standing at a TSA security checkpoint on your way home for the holidays. You’re getting ready to go through the awkward travel procedures instituted almost immediately after 9/11 when the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) was created and air travel in the United States morphed into a search and seizure operation with the implied possibility of your detention and interrogation. Continue reading

Parents can’t be found for 545 of Trump’s kidnapped migrant children

Hidden behind the dull silver sheen of chain-link fences and concrete walls are the gut-wrenching, shallow-breathed screams of children. They watch with tear-blurred eyes as their parents are pulled away from them by Immigration and Border Control officers, unsure of what comes next or whether they will ever see, or hear, or hold their mothers and fathers again. Continue reading

‘What the future can look like’: Study shows US switch to 100% renewables would save hundreds of billions each year

‘Too often we are told doing the right thing for the environment requires sacrifice and costs more. But we can actually make a better economy and save people money and a byproduct will be to cut emissions.’

While President Donald Trump has baselessly attacked plans to eradicate fossil fuel-based sources of energy from the United States’ power grid on the grounds that doing so would be expensive and economically destructive, a new analysis reveals the opposite to be true—aggressively transitioning to 100% renewables would save Americans up to $321 billion per year while reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions that are heating the planet. Continue reading

Media responds with apathy, disappointment as US-backed coup gov’t concedes defeat in Bolivia

Across the spectrum, corporate media has endorsed last year’s rightwing takeover of Bolivia, refusing to label it as a coup. Coverage of Sunday’s historical elections hasn’t been much better.

Bolivia’s Movement to Socialism (MAS) party is celebrating what appears to be a crushing, landslide victory in Sunday’s elections. Although official vote counting is far from over, exit polls show an overwhelming triumph for the socialists, and a repudiation of the right-wing military government of Jeanine Añez, who has ruled since the coup last November. At the same time, the corporate press appears less than pleased about the return to democracy for the Andean country. Continue reading

Amid US sanctions, Venezuelan oil tanker at risk of spilling 1.3 million barrels and devastating Caribbean ecosystems

"The Caribbean Sea would never be the same" should the oil spill, climate scientist Eric Holthaus tweeted.

The companies that own a Venezuelan oil vessel that’s been positioned off the country’s coast for nearly two years called on the U.S. to give a “green light” to unload 1.3 million barrels of oil after local environmental advocates on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago expressed alarm over the recent appearance of the boat, which is tilting to one side and looks to be on the verge of sinking. Continue reading

Pro-Trump militants plot against two governors places the U.S. into banana republic status

A plot by pro-Trump militants to kidnap the Democratic Governors of Michigan and Virginia, Gretchen Whitmer and Ralph Northam, respectively, points out the degree to which the United States has fallen into Latin American “banana republic” status. The assassination of state governors and other local leaders in Latin America have become so commonplace, the actions receive barely a mention in the U.S. media. Continue reading

Zionist war on Palestinian festival in Rome is ominous sign of things to come

A Zionist-led war on a Palestinian cultural festival in Rome has exposed the fragility of the Italian political system when it comes to the conversation on Palestine and Israel. The sad truth is that, although Italy is not often associated with a ‘powerful’ pro-Israel lobby as is the case in Washington, the pro-Israel influence in Italy is just as dangerous. Continue reading

Donald Trump makes the swamp bigger

Donald Trump brought a whole new world of corruption to Washington.

Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp” of corruption in Washington, DC. Instead, he not only brought his own corruption and that of his family to the nation’s capital. He also opened the door of his administration to a whole slew of influence-peddlers, scam artists, and sleazy lobbyists. Continue reading

‘Be afraid—be very afraid’: Methane ruling seen as ominous sign with Barrett poised to join Supreme Court

The judge delivered a "puzzling and unsupported conclusion that the Bureau of Land Management can't limit methane waste because that would reduce greenhouse gas pollution."

A federal court’s decision Thursday to strike down an Obama-era rule aimed at reducing methane leaks from fossil fuel operations on public and tribal lands is being seen as a “grave threat to the climate” and possible precursor to the type of corporate-friendly rulings the U.S. Supreme Court will more frequently issue should the GOP-controlled Senate confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Continue reading