Congress is about to ban the government from offering free online tax filing. Thank TurboTax.

A bill supported by Democrats and Republicans would make permanent a program that bars the IRS from ever developing its own online tax filing service.

Just in time for Tax Day, the for-profit tax preparation industry is about to realize one of its long-sought goals. Congressional Democrats and Republicans are moving to permanently bar the IRS from creating a free electronic tax filing system. Continue reading

Let Libyans solve their own problems

Haven’t Western powers done enough damage to Libya without poking noses into the current power play? It was military intervention on the part of France, Britain and the US that in 2011 succeeded in overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi who, despite his eccentricities, presided over a stable and prosperous nation whose nationals enjoyed a high standard of living. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: Scoundrels and reparations

Reparations should not be a topic for national discussion until there is something akin to a consensus among black people about what to demand and how to do it. Continue reading

Supervillain economics

A new White House report proposes cutting regulations that protect workers and children, while piling on yet more tax cuts for billionaires.

Even if a White House report is just a pack of lies, it still can reveal some awful truths. Continue reading

The ‘news’ media leaves itself wide open for ridicule

There is a reason why buffoonish political leaders like Donald Trump can get away with attacking the news media. Unlike the print and broadcast journalists who covered Watergate and Iran-Contra, many of today’s, mostly cable news reporters and editors, cannot even get basic facts about geography, political systems, and other fundamentals correct. President Richard Nixon never called his media critics “stupid,” because Nixon and his gang understood that they were up against a professional and very well-informed news media. Similarly, in the Iran-Contra scandal, the news media, including the emergent Cable News Network (CNN), covered the scandal with the intuitiveness and tenacity expected of the reporters, editors, and bureau chiefs. Continue reading

‘Blatant violation of the First Amendment’: Public Citizen sues Betsy DeVos for censoring its website

"We've been highly critical of Betsy DeVos for putting students at the mercy of predatory for-profit colleges. We won't let her silence us."

Public Citizen sued Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday for allegedly blocking access to the consumer group’s website on her department’s guest Wi-Fi and internal networks. Continue reading

Hazardous US products

Monied interests run America and most other countries. Government officials serve their interests. In the US, it includes appointing corporate executives to run federal agencies. Continue reading

The looking glass splinters

Wherever one looks, it is evident that the post-war Establishment élites are on the backfoot. They maintain a studied panglossian hauteur. But whether it is in Britain, where a PM seems ready to sacrifice her own party’s future on the altar of maintaining the cosy nexus between big business and Brussels’ smug ambitions to be a global economic player, rivalling the US or China. Or, whether it is Trump’s readiness to put America’s financial system into fiscal and debt jeopardy, in order to keep the cogs and wheels of the Military Industrial Complex whirring and spinning comfortably – at a time when US government over-spending already threatens to break dollar ‘trust’. Continue reading

The death penalty is getting crueler

A horrific new ruling would let states execute people in more painful ways, even when alternatives are available.

For years, most of the U.S. has been changing death penalty laws in the direction of phasing it out, or at least applying it in a more humane way. Continue reading

Trump’s tropical trauma

In a blatant attempt to unravel the bloc of Venezuela’s Caribbean allies formed nurtured by Venezuela’s late president, Hugo Chavez, Donald Trump and his foreign policy team of neo-conservative war hawks has accomplished to divide the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to a degree not seen since 1983. That year saw President Ronald Reagan order the US invasion of CARICOM member Grenada, an event that saw CARICOM split on supporting the move. Among the CARICOM members, Bahamas, Belize, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago opposed the US invasion, while other states either participated in the military occupation of CARICOM member Grenada or voiced support for it. Continue reading

US government’s refusal to confirm or deny it put American journalist on drone kill list called ‘chilling’

‘The government seeks to shield itself from all inquiry into the process by which it acts as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner.’

Lawyers for an American journalist who believes he was placed on the government’s infamous “kill list” warned Tuesday that the rights of all U.S. citizens are at stake if the country’s drone assassination program is allowed to continue. Continue reading

Understanding the American dictatorship

The American dictatorship is by the aristocracy of the country’s 585 billionaires, and has been scientifically proven beyond any doubt, now, not only in the classic Gilens and Page study, which examined thousands of bills in Congress and their money-backers and their ultimate outcomes (passage or failure to pass), during the studied period, 1981-2002. But also another (though less rigorous) study suggests that this control of the U.S. government by America’s billionaires is getting even worse. So, America is clearly a dictatorship, by America’s aristocracy. Continue reading

Trump to add ‘tasteless insult to injury’ by promoting fossil fuel deregulation in shadow of fatal chemical fire

‘It's no surprise that Trump is once again taking an action championed by climate deniers and fossil fuel companies.’

Just a week after a chemical plant explosion killed one worker and spewed thousands of pounds of dangerous pollutants into the air in Crosby, Texas, President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to visit that city Wednesday to sign executive orders to speed up approval of pipelines and other fossil fuel projects. Continue reading

The myth of meritocracy

Most Americans still cling to the meritocratic notion that people are rewarded according to their efforts and abilities. But meritocracy is becoming a cruel joke. Continue reading

Trump regime escalates sanctions war on Venezuela

Sanctions are ineffective as a regime change tool, harming targeted economies and populations, achieving little more. Continue reading

‘Tax the rich. It’s just that simple’: US campaign aims to make wealthy pay their fair share

‘Taxing the rich isn't just good policy, it's good politics—and this campaign will prove that. Raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy is wildly popular.’

A coalition of over a dozen progressive advocacy groups launched a nationwide “Tax the Rich” campaign Wednesday with the goal of building a grassroots movement to unrig the tax code and make wealthy Americans pay their fair share. Continue reading

Capitalism or socialism. Which will it be?

Socialism isn’t fundamentally about public ownership of private resources. It is about collective action in pursuit of common goals, where private action has destroyed or damaged the common good.

We already know the most hackneyed slogan of the next election cycle: “socialism.” Utah Representative Chris Stewart has even launched an “Anti-Socialism Caucus.” Continue reading

How Trump is killing capitalism

Why didn’t Boeing do it right? Why isn’t Facebook protecting user passwords? Why is Phillip Morris allowed to promote vaping? Why hasn’t Wells Fargo reformed itself? Why hasn’t Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) recalled its Roundup weed killer? Continue reading

A moral reckoning is due

With Russiagate, the Democrats created some powerful karma to answer for; especially for the likes of Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Eric Swalwell, (D-Calif.), both of whom persist in the mindless search for the Holy Grail. After cheating Bernie out of the nomination in 2016, the Dems had not yet learned their karmic lesson when they lost the presidential election. The Mueller Report is but the latest of that karmic reckoning. Continue reading

Trump-Barr’s manipulation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report: The political cover-up of the century?

We live in a very corrupt era. A case in point is the current and scandalous manipulation of the Mueller report by the Trump administration, with hardly any outcry from people in authority. Indeed, of the close to 400 pages (excluding tables and appendices) of the Mueller report delivered to the U.S. Attorney General on Friday March 22, 2019, not a single page has yet to be made public either to the elected Congress and/or to the American people to see for themselves the real content of the full report. Continue reading

Why is the Fed paying so much interest to banks?

When Mary Poppins was made into a movie in 1964, Mr. Banks’ advice to his son was sound. Banks were then paying more than 5% interest on deposits, enough to double young Michael’s investment every 14 years. Continue reading

The CIA takeover of America in the 1960s is the story of our times

A quasi-review of ‘A Lie Too Big To Fail: The Real History of the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy’ by Lisa Pease

When Senator Robert Kennedy was assassinated on June 5, 1968, the American public fell into a hypnotic trance in which they have remained ever since. The overwhelming majority accepted what was presented by government authorities as an open and shut case that a young Palestinian American, Sirhan Sirhan, had murdered RFK because of his support for Israel, a false accusation whose ramifications echo down the years. That this was patently untrue and was contradicted by overwhelming evidence made no difference. Continue reading

American idiocracy: 50 years later, we’re still stranded in the Twilight Zone

Have you noticed how much life increasingly feels like an episode of The Twilight Zone? Continue reading

‘The essence of being Palestinian’: What the Great March of Return is really about

The aims of the Great March of Return protests, which began in Gaza on March 30, 2018, are to put an end to the suffocating Israeli siege and implementing the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees who were expelled from their homes and towns in historic Palestine 70 years earlier. Continue reading

Desperation in US over failure to topple Maduro

So far, every Trump regime tactic used to try toppling Maduro and eliminate Venezuelan social democracy failed. Continue reading

Like Libya and Syria, Venezuela is not ‘just about oil’

What makes the Libyan, Syrian and Venezuelan scenarios so similar? Why was the West so eager to viciously attack, and then destroy these three, at first glance, very different countries? The answer is simple, although it is not often uttered in the West; at least not publicly.

Yes, the latest research confirms that Venezuela is so rich in natural resources, that it could single-handedly satisfy all global demand for oil, for over 30 years. And it has much more than oil to offer, in its Orinoco basin and in other areas of the country. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: Remembering April 4th

Dr King understood that drawing a line in the sand against imperialism was necessary to bring about the radical changes he wanted to see in the United States. Continue reading

Socialist surge: DSA-backed candidates nab wins in Chicago election

‘Political observers and organizers should take these victories as a lesson’

The election of Chicago’s first black female and openly gay mayor—Lori Lightfoot—grabbed national headlines, but it was not the only noteworthy outcome of the city’s runoff election Tuesday. Continue reading

Penis-gate could save the republic

The pitiful Pompeo, in his latest attempt at boot licking, proclaimed God sent us Trump, with whom to solve the problems of the Middle East. Perhaps Pompeo has mistaken porn star Stormy Daniels for God? There is no evidence that God hangs with the Trumpster, but Stormy knows Trump, well, biblically. Continue reading

Pentagon obsession: China, China, China

Chinese nuclear bombers. Chinese hypersonic missiles. Chinese carrier killer missiles. Chinese cyberattacks. Chinese anti-satellite weaponry. Chinese militarization of the South China Sea. Chinese Huawei spying. Continue reading

Whistleblower: Trump administration overruled dozens of security clearance denials

House Oversight Committee says it will swiftly begin authorizing subpoenas to probe concerns

A White House whistleblower says the Trump administration cast aside “the best interest of national security” when it overturned dozens of security clearance application denials made by career officials. Continue reading

Big Government and Big Tech versus the Internet and everyone

Governments around the world began trying to bring the Internet under control as soon as they realized the danger to their power represented by unfettered public access to, and exchange of, information. From attempts to suppress strong encryption technology to the Communications Decency Act in the US and China’s “Great Firewall,” such efforts have generally proven ineffectual. But things are changing, and not for the better. Continue reading