Thursday, January 18, 2018

Is Roskam 'high-fiving' 3.2 million 2017 loss in health care coverage?

My congressman Peter Roskam's (IL-6) signature issue since the 2008 election of Obama has been to keep America's health case system the worst in the industrialized world. He worked feverishly with the Republican caucus to prevent passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. Once passed, Roskam embarked on a seven year Odyssey to degrade, defund, repeal the ACA. Meanwhile 20 million people in need got first time health care; improving health, preventing medically induced bankruptcy and savings tens of thousands from an untimely grave.

That meant nothing to Roskam, who looked at the 2016 presidential candidates and opted for a candidate who bragged about sexually assaulting women instead of a women candidate seeking to dignify and empower women. Why? Roskam voted for the candidate who pledged to destroy health care coverage for the needy over the one seeking its expansion to all.

Last year Roskam got his wish. The sexual braggart won and began dismantling the ACA; cutting outreach and advertising, encouraging young people to op out, supporting every GOP initiative to reduce its effectiveness, especially a cruel campaign to shrink Medicaid coverage to the poor. 2017 saw the first drop in health insurance coverage since its passage, a whopping 3.2 million losing coverage, raising the percentage of uninsured from to 12.% from 10.9%. A grotesque effort to repeal the ACA failed by a whisker. That was Roskam's only setback in an otherwise banner year for cruelty and heartlessness. The only question remaining is: How does Roskam sleep at night?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ives extremist, ignorant, insensitive and dangerous for Illinois.

State Rep Jeanne Ives (R-42) keeps lowering the bar for outlandish solutions to improve Illinois. Last week at an anti abortion event she railed on against a legal, common, critically needed medical procedure asserting her goal is to eliminate every abortion on religious grounds. She's oblivious apparently, to other extremist religious views that would deny her needed medical treatment for any ailment based on its being against 'God's will'.
Yesterday, at a gubernatorial candidate forum, she laid Chicago's gun violence squarely on lack of impact fathers on at risk youth. Yet, Ives solution is simply to cut taxes, denying more relief in social services, education, neighborhood rebuilding and job opportunities that would employ missing dads, incentizing them to anchor the family unit. The righteousness of Ives' zealotry offers nothing to the millions of Illinoisans suffering mightily after three years of Governor Rauner's budget cutting heaping more despair in our poorest neighborhoods. Ives' callous remarks offended Democratic candidate Chris Kennedy who reminded Ives he grew up in a fatherless home due to gun violence, calling her remarks "stupid and ignorant" before walking off the dais to protest "someone who knows so little about so much, when other people have given these issues thought and have an emotional capacity to be empathetic at the same time." When reminded Kennedy's running mate Ra Joy's son was slain by a gun, Ives' speculated it was probably a fatherless kid. How helpful.
That's Jeanne Ives: extremest, ignorant, insensitive...and dangerous for Illinois.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

'The Post' shows how far media has fallen

'The Post', Spielberg's take on the NY Times and Washington Post publishing the Daniel Ellsberg pilfered Pentagon Papers, shows long standing media coziness with government officials. Publisher Kay Graham, tight with Defense Secretary Bob McNamara, was loathe to out his deception which sent thousands of US boys and millions of Vietnamese to a senseless death. She reminded editor Ben Bradley, trying to persuade her to publish the purloined papers, of his friendship with JFK which prevented him from reporting candidly on Jackie after the assassination.

But she pushed back against the Post's lawyers who argued she'd lose the Post and her freedom if she published, which she did. To her and Bradley, freedom of the press and unveiling deadly government secrecy trumped access or even survival.

Forty-seven years on the Pentagon Papers would never see the light of day. The NY Times, Post, Wall Street Journal and even Chicago's own Tribune are in the tank for the war party. They willingly pass on every mendacious government lie regarding our perpetual wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Niger and others in 149 countries defiled by our 70,000 special ops and killer drones. They join the which hunt against Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and Ed Snowden, imprisoned, holed up in an friendly embassy or on the run from a government bent on revenge for revealing the truth.

The editorial board members of the aforementioned medial giants should be locked in a theater, forced to watch 'The Post' endlessly till they figure out how to protect the public from perpetual war.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

It's Roskam's, not Trump's words that disappoint,

As vicious, racist and Xenophobic as Trumps words on black countries were, they are not as disappointing as those my congressman Peter Roskam (IL-6th). Trump is being condemned around Congress, America and the world for what he has always ignorant, hate filled racist. But Roskam begins his peculiarly tepid response by offering the doubt "If true" before simply saying Trumps words were "disappointing". He then goes on to "urge Trump to continue to reiterate his commitment to continuing America's legacy of being a welcoming country to those seeking a better life." Bunk. Roskam knows Trump has never had that commitment; indeed built his entire campaign around the racist and Xenophobic theme of demeaning blacks, Hispanics, immigrants; anyone not part of his disgruntled white male base. When Trump was caught on tape bragging about sexually assaulting women, Roskam, after saying that's not how he raised his children to treat the opposite sex, reiterated his support by saying his policy values and Trumps were aligned. When it comes to racism, Xenophobia and sexism, Trump never disappoints. When it comes to enabling such atrocious and un-presidential behavior in a Chief Executive, neither does Roskam.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Roskam turns back on state with anti Illinois tax bill

My congressman Peter Roskam (R-6) seems to have forgotten what state he represents. As a leader in crafting the tax bill, Roskam bought into the GOP dagger aimed at progressive blue states limiting deductions for property and state taxes. Cynical and spiteful politics aside, most economists agree that measure will reduce resources for education and infrastructure, possibly affecting resource starved Illinois most of all. Roskam's many exaggerations and falsehoods offered to justify his 'reverse Robin Hood' tax cut for the wealthy can easily be rebutted. Less obvious is what he'll never offer in his victory lap for endless expansion of income inequality: a stick in the eye of progressive voting Illinois. This November voters in the Illinois Sixth may remind Roskam he resides in the Land of Lincoln...not the land of the GOP donor class.   

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Not gentle on my mind

The Doomsday Machine has been on my mind lately. Couple weeks back I caught 'Dr. Strangelove' for the first time in decades, watching as American crazies helped set off the Russian Doomsday Machine, which would have prevented nuclear annihilation if the world knew about it, which it didn't. Then I stumbled across one of my all time heroes, Daniel Ellsberg, pitching his latest plea for nuclear disarmament, 'The Doomsday Machine' on Book TV. Ellsberg, speaking at the Chicago Writers Museum last month, reviewed his role in planning for nuclear deterrence in the 50's and 60's before he turned his focus to the Vietnam War lies in the Pentagon Papers. Ellsberg discussed how America always got the Soviet nuclear threat wrong. The 'experts' estimate of Soviet ICBM's aimed at the US ranged from 300 to 1,000 when the real number at the time (late 50's) was 4. But the US used the fantasy numbers to set off an arms race that was totally unnecessary then...and totally unnecessary now, even though the last two administrations are proposing an un-cool trillion to upgrade our nuclear arsenal. And the Doomsday Machine? It would only take a couple hundred or so nuclear firestorms to set off a worldwide dust cloud that would starve most of humanity. But Ellsberg ends on an upbeat, arguing we simply have to abandon nuclear escalation in favor of disarmament to keep the Doomsday Machine under wraps. One would surmise the 2018 tax theft of $1.5 trillion in treasure given to the rich might derail such an insane plan. Nah, Congress will simply cut that money from the social safety net. Their mantra?  "Let the nuclear buildup begin."

Walt Zlotow
Glen Ellyn

Thursday, January 04, 2018

We ignore them at our peril

"North Korean leader Kim Jong Un just stated the nuclear button is on his desk at all times. Will someone from his depleted, food starved regime please inform him that I too have a nuclear button, but mine is much bigger and more powerful that his, and my button works."
- President Trump
Threatening nuclear war and bragging about our capability to annihilate an imaged enemy is the single most important reason to legally remove a mentally, temperamentally and morally unfit president. Unless he's stopped Trump will likely stumble the world into nuclear war. His words and deeds are warning us. We ignore them at our peril.

Monday, January 01, 2018

2017...the year of living dangerouly

As bad as it was, 2017 could have been much worse

  • We didn't abolish the Affordable Health Care Act, taking health care away from millions and causing thousands of unnecessary deaths
  • We didn't abolish the Iran nuclear deal, possibly the most critical war avoiding initiative since the Cuban Missile Crisis. 
  • We didn't attack North Korea for sensibly creating a nuclear shield against American efforts to topple their regime for the last 67 years.
  • We didn't send to the Senate an avowed homophobe and Christian fanatic twice tossed from the Alabama Supreme Court for violating the Constitution. 
  • We didn't shred sensible immigration guidelines which honor the American ethos. 
  • We didn't ban transgenders from honorably serving in the military.
  • We didn't build The Wall. 
  • We didn't sweep the breathtaking collusion of the Republican Party with Russia to influence the election under the rug.

Let's take this first of 365 in 2018 to celebrate and rejoice about the harm prevented. Tomorrow we must re-energize the Resistance as the dark forces of regression foiled in 2017 seek to make them a reality in 2018. 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Promoting weapons proliferation in Ukraine despicable

Three paragraphs into the Trib editorial 'Trump defies Putin with Arms to Ukraine' you charge 'Putin is the scheming villain responsible for splintering Ukraine as part of his ambition to reassert Russian power.' You could have made the same charge against President Bush when he splintered Iraq in 2003, getting hundreds of thousands killed, including 4,500 Americans. You could have made the same charge against President Obama when he splintered Libya in 2011, getting thousands killed. You could be saying that today about President Trump getting innocents killed in distant lands around the world, not to make America safe; indeed those ventures make us less safe, but, as you say about Putin, 'to reassert American power'.
But you don't because you fully buy into this utterly false notion of unlimited use of unbridled American power. You always have...and apparently always will. Now, you demonize Putin without a word about the prelude to his Ukraine intervention, the anti Russian, neo-fascist forces, encouraged by the US foreign policy establishment, that instigated a coup in 2013 against the Russian leaning elected president. Putin's pushback against endless NATO expansion up to the Russian border, jeopardizing their vital Crimean naval base at Sevastopol, is not 'scheming villainy'. It's a critical element of Russian national security.
Back in 2013, the world was approaching an end to the catastrophic Syrian civil war. The US and its allies sabotaged the likely Syrian government victory, lusting to depose Assad, setting up another US client state in the Middle East. We flooded Syrian with weaponry, much of which ended up with anti US jihadists with their own agenda for Syria. Much of the 400,000 dead and millions of refuges can be attributed to this unconscionable decision. We can't afford to repeat the Syrian mistake by flooding Ukraine with American WCD (Weapons of Civilian Destruction).

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Yemen in the time of cholera, Part 4

The Red Cross calls it "a hideous milestone in the 21st century" and rightly so, the one millionth case of cholera in Yemen. Not a natural disaster, the epidemic is man made, courtesy of Saudi Arabia, its Gulf State allies and its principle weapons supplier, Uncle Sam. In addition to all that WCD (Weapons of Civilian Destruction), we're giving logistic support in the form of intelligence and mid air refueling of Saudi bombers aiding their destruction of Yemen infrastructure which no longer supplies potable water. The US supports the inhuman Saudi blockade of food and medicine causing millions of Yemenis to face starvation as well as their version of the Big C. The US war party, whether presided over by Obama or Trump, justifies this grotesque use of American might to counter imagined enemy Iran, who the Saudis whine are trying to become chief hegemon in the Middle East, in part through interference in the Yemen civil war. No US support and the Saudi scorched earth war of Yemen annihilation would collapse. State sponsor of terrorism? Look in the mirror Uncle Sam.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Roskam raises sophism to are form

My congressman Peter Roskam (IL-6) has brought sophism - the use of false arguments to deceive people - to new heights in his website deception on the tax cut bill.
Roskam's deceitful website message implies that every dollar of tax relief comes from simplifying and making fairer the tax code. The truth is every dollar of tax reduction comes from exploding the deficit, something Roskam has demonized throughout his eleven years in Congress to argue against investing in education, infrastructure, health care for the needy, green energy development; indeed every aspect of a decent society.
Roskam's second deception is that the tax bill 'prioritizes middle income families'. That is laughable when roughly two thirds of the tax cuts go to the already wealthy, while many in the middle class will receive little or no reduction; indeed some will pay more.
Roskam's third and possibly worst deception is failure to mention the poison pill he and his cruel Republican colleagues inserted which will eviscerate the the Affordable Care Act, making it unaffordable to over 10 million desperate folks previously aided by it. This cruelty may have silenced Roskam but certainly not the soulless president who bragged about the ACA's impending demise in his victory lap yesterday.
Relentless sophism has served Roskam well through six elections in his quest for a lifetime sinecure in Congress. In 289 days the residents of the Illinois Sixth can decide whether truth, decency and straight talk to truly uplift society will prevail over sophist self interest.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Top ten reasons North Korea developing nuclear deterrent against US

1. Panama
2. Somalia
3. Haiti
4. Serbia
5. Iraq
6. Afghanistan
7. Iraq (again)
8. Iran
9. Libya
10. Syria

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Psychologist can't see forest for grasss on marijuana legalization

Clinical psychologist Aaron Weiner might as well have been arguing against ending Prohibition in 1933 in his December 18 op ed 'Don't go backward on marijuana policy.' Marijuana is both a valued medicine and sensible stress reliever for most of the 30 plus million American adults who use it. Eight states plus Washington DC have legalized it for recreation, taking a good chunk of the billions involved in the marijuana trade out of the shadows of crime and placing it in the sunshine of safe, responsible regulation. Excess revenue over expenses is certainly a plus, but sane social policy is the most urgent reason for its recreational legalization. Like any substance, some will abuse and become dependent on legal marijuana. Far better it be marijuana than truly life degrading hard drugs, alcohol or the latest scourge, prescription opioids. 

Rather than destroying physical health like those legal and illegal substances, all Weiner can charge is that marijuana "undermines my patients' ability to complete school, achieve their maximum earning potential, hold their jobs, function in a healthy marriage, and find overall life satisfaction." That's pretty tame and vague compared to dying from a physically ravaged body. We still spend countless billions enforcing historically racist marijuana laws and incarcerating thousands of mostly minorities for imbibing a plant substance nowhere near as dangerous as those bought at the local liquor or drug store. Weiner uses the worn out canard that "marijuana policies deserve a robust and informed debate." Eight states have had that debate, resolved it sensibly, and aren't going backward. They're looking at Illinois in their rear view mirror and wondering if, in the next 5 to 10 years, we'll come in dead last among the 50 states to enact socially and fiscally responsible cannabis laws. Backward? Illinois pot policies can't get anymore backward. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Frivolous ballot challenge demeans democracy in DuPage

As one of many dozens who collected signatures to put DuPage Forest Preserve Ranger Dan Hebreard on the March 20 Democratic Primary ballot to run for DuPage Forest Preserve President, I'm outraged he has to defend a frivolous ballot challenge. Apparently, Oak Brook  resident Joe Amodeo woke up one morning and realized, 'Oh my goodness gracious, Dan Hebread's numerous petition sheets containing several times more the required signatures, said he was running for Forest Preserve President instead of President of the Forest Preserve of DuPage County'. Amodeo skedaddled right down to the Election Commission to protest this imagined breech of petitioning protocol to protect the 950,000 of DuPage residents from an electioneering travesty. The fact Amodeo lives in the same community as incumbent DuPage Forest Preserve President Joe Cantore is purely coincidental. 

Let's trust the Election Commission will see through the sham of Amodeo's challenge and dismisses this offense against the democratic process in DuPage forthwith.  

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Tillerson, Trump...sane cop, crazy cop

It is disgusting and unprecedented to see a US Secretary of State be publicly contradicted, humiliated and scorned the way Trump has Rex Tillerson. Tillerson states we have lines of communication with North Korea over their nukes; Trump calls such communication naive and pointless. Tillerson says we'll begin negotiations with North Korea on all issues; Trump says North Korea must give us everything we want before we'll negotiate anything they want. Tillerson caves to Trump every time. He might as well tell Trump to keep up his beatings till Tillerson figures out what the boss wants. 

Normally, I wouldn't be concerned about Trump's abusive treatment of employees, colleagues, competitors, something he's done for decades. But When Lindsay Graham, the Senate's most virulent warmonger, asserts there's a 30% chance of war with North Korea, I fear for mankind. It is a wonder Tillerson hasn't quit. Maybe he only stays to represent the sane wing of the US government on foreign policy, and to prevent Trump's next book from being 'The Art of the Failed Nuclear Deal'.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Nobel Peace Prize shames United States

Do even 1% of Americans know an organization, not a person, won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for actions vigorously opposed by the United States and all other nuclear powers? The winner was the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a coalition of non-government organizations in one hundred countries advocating for a strong and effective nuclear weapon ban treaty. ICAN won for leading the campaign that resulted, last summer, in the United Nations treaty prohibiting the use, development and stockpiling of nuclear weapons. It passed 122-1, but the debate was boycotted by the nine nuclear-armed nations (Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States), along with Australia, Japan, South Korea and every member of NATO except the Netherlands, which cast the single no vote. While having no tangible means of forcing nuclear disarmament, it does have symbolic and moral force to inspire all of us facing nuclear annihilation to lobby our government to honor it. Meanwhile, Uncle Sam, always on the wrong side of nuclear debate, prepares to spend a trillion dollars over the next decade to upgrade our nuclear arsenal that already possesses nearly half of the 15,000 nukes at the ready to destroy the planet.  

Thursday, December 14, 2017

DuPage should put 'reeferendum' on March 20 Primary Ballot

The DuPage County Board should follow the wise and prescient lead of their Cook counterparts and vote to include an advisory referendum allowing DuPage voters to express support for legalized recreational marijuana in Illinois. The legislative effort to do that is already underway. A strong vote of support by the 48% of Illinois residents in Cook and DuPage, the two largest counties, may help push pot over the long overdue legislative finish line. States across America are getting wise to the inevitable. The many thousands of adult DuPage vipers are giving all their dope dough to the bad guys. Not only isn't a nickel going to Uncle Bruce to rebuild Illinois, he's wasting millions enforcing silly, historically racist pot laws that lump grass with heroin and cocaine, clogging our courts already burdened with serious evildoers. Putting pot on the ballot will likely goose the turnout as well. In might get the highest ever.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Is Jeanne Ives the Roy Moore of Illinois?

Judge Roy Moore on homosexuality:
"Homosexual conduct should be illegal, yes."

IL State Rep. Jeanne Ives on homosexuality:
"Same sex marriages are completely disordered. Gays,are trying to weasel their way into acceptability so that they can then start to push their agenda down into the schools, because this gives them some sort of legitimacy... And we can't allow that to happen."

Rep. Ives is unfit to represent Illinois' 42nd District, much less run for governor. She never, to my knowledge, adequately repudiated or apologized for those remarks, spoken on a Christian radio station, likely assuming they would never reach the general public. They did.

Ives should follow Moore into political oblivion.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

North Korea's nukes: A US self fulfilling prophesy

Stopping North Korea's nuclear program is not the top US priority for the North. No.1 on the list is regime change leading to re-unification of Korea under the South. That has been our aim ever since Russia declared war on Japan, August 8, 1945, and rushed down the Korean Peninsula to free the unified nation of Korea from 35 years of Japanese oppression. The neocons of 1945 coerced Truman to stop the inevitable reunification under the Soviets by setting up a puppet government in the South under fanatical anti communist and brutal dictator Syngman Rhee. Future JFK Secretary of State Dean Rusk was dispatched to create South Korea and he arbitrarily picked the 38th parallel which gave Rhee 16 of the 25 million Koreans. Rhee slaughtered many thousands in consolidating his anti communist regime and the Korean civil war was born. Rhee tried to goad the US into supporting his reunification invasion of the North, but Truman balked, preferring to let the North light the fireworks, which they did June 25, 1950. Truman upended 163 years of requiring a Congressional declaration of war, initiating perpetual war at the whim of the president and his masters in the war party.

Three years and a couple of million dead people later, including 36,500 Americans, the US was humiliated into a truce that has festered for 64 years. This, and not North Korea's sensible rush to put up a nuclear shield between themselves and the US, is what prevents America from refusing to pledge not to invade North Korea or even recognize their legitimacy as a separate nation pending the two Koreas themselves exploring re-unification. In 1994, North Korea put all issues on the table in return for ending nuclear development. Clinton made the first on only effort to date to negotiate fairly for detente. Years dragged on till Bush The Younger caved to the neocons and ended any hopes of a stable peace by lumping North Korea into his Axis of Evil mantra along with Iraq and Iran in 2002. By 2003, detente with North Korea was dead. Obama had enough brains and character to keep the war sabers still. Now, an utterly unfit and unstable pretender in the White House is making his North Korean counterpart appear a genius. America's first and only option to deter North Korea is a war of regime change. The option of negotiation involves an end to threatening military exercises with South Korea, a pledge not to invade and substantive economic aid; all in return or a verifiable pullback in nuclear and missile development.

Listen to US Masters of War and realize only the first option is on the table. And until sensible, peace loving adults are in charge, directed by a tide of peace seeking voters, it always will be.

Walt Zlotow
Glen Ellyn

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Minor omission on Roskam's Weekly Roundup on healthcare

In his Weekly Roundup email my congressman Peter Roskam (IL-6) touted these health care highlights he's championing:

1. Met with American Society for Nutrition (ASN) to discuss funding for nutrition research.
2.Met with the Cardiovascular Coalition to discuss peripheral artery disease (PAD) and strategies to eliminate non-traumatic amputation.
3. Met with 3M Health to discuss the Healthcare Outcomes Act.

Let' see, that's 'met, met, met, to discuss, discuss, discuss.'
Somehow Roskam missed touting this fourth highlight.:
4. Succeeded in passing tax cut bill which will toss over 4 million of of 40 million covered under Obamacare off the health care rolls.
I'm sure the congressman will appreciate my completing his constituent communication.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Roskam needs more appropriate family for tax cut ad

Surf the net and Congressman Peter Roskam's (IL-6) ad touting his advertised middle class tax cut might pop up. How he determined the person to thank the congressman for giving her back exactly $1,223 in tax relief is a mystery since many such middle class tax payers will get little or no relief; indeed, many will pay more. The falsity of the ad pitch is clear. But what would be accurate is if Roskam had one of the 5,500 taxpayers each year who pay an estate tax on their excess estate wealth over $11 million who will reap an average tax savings of $3.6 million. Those are the folks, along with the wealthyist corporate and individual income earners, who are Roskam's base and the real beneficiaries of the Roskam led tax giveaway. And the folks getting little or nothing? Their pain from this reverse Robin Hood tax bill will only increase when Roskam and his merry men in Congress come after their Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to offset the gigantic hole this 1.5 trillion dollar wealth transfer opens up in the deficit. The short tile for this impending financial disaster should be 'No Entitlement Left Behind.' 

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Sad Anniversary

December 7th is a sad day for many reasons, one of which gets virtually no mention from the media wing of the war party. It's the last event that triggered a congressional declaration of war as required by the Constitution. As WWII was ending, FDR struck a deal with Uncle Joe Stalin to promote peace in spite of their ideological differences. Stalin would control the nations bordering Russia to thwart a third invasion in the century. FDR would develop Western Europe as a bulwark against communism. Both kept their word till FDR died 3 weeks before VE Day. The grand bargain died with him as the neoconservatives of the time told successor Truman that without a permanent war economy we'd incur another Depression. The new enemy, Russia, had to be resisted everywhere and the Cold War was born. This spawned the Military-Industrial Complex that has ruled American foreign policy 72 years on now. Today our trillion dollar war machine is bombing innocents all over the Middle East, Africa and Asia without a whimper of protest from the cowards in Congress.
December 7th...a sad day indeed.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Mr. Subliminal deconstructs Chicago Tribune Editorial 'This tax deal will make America more prosperous.'

Trib Editorial Board (TEB):
"You know Republicans want to get the deal done, and you know Trump will sign what Congress delivers."
Mr. Subliminal: 
"The Republican billionaire donor class can't wait to get their mitts on that $1.5 trillion in free stuff courtesy of the middle class."

"Some tax deals go heavy on benefiting individuals. This legislation does some of that."
Mr. Subliminal:
"This tax bill does all of that...and most of it goes to the upper 5% of wealthyist Americans."

"We believe this tax reform bill will strengthen the American economy and create wealth, so we support passage.
Mr. Subliminal: 
"We know this tax reform bill will give massive permanent tax cuts to the wealthy while leaving meager middle class tax cuts to some which will expire over the first we support its passage."

"These massive tax reform packages don't come around often. They re too difficult."
.Mr. Subliminal:
"We've got the White House. We've got the Congress. We're coming for your money. We simply don't have enough."

"The country is weighing an epochal change to the economy, making this “an incredibly significant time in our public life,” U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, one of the Republican tax reform leaders, tells us.
Mr. Subliminal:
"I'm Peter Roskam, and I'm proud to have led the rush to drown the critical needs of the country in the bathtub of endless greed."

"Any vote against this bill is a vote to maintain America as it looks today."
Mr. Subliminal:
"The wealth disparity between the obscenely rich and the desperate wage slaves is simply not big enough."

"Passing this tax reform should get the economy to steady 3 percent growth. At that rate, the country generates trillions of dollars of new economic activity, creates jobs and increases household income – money to be spent or saved."
Mr. Subliminal:
"Believe that Whopper and we've got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn."

"The country can't live on one side of the ledger. Eventually revenues and expenditures need to come into alignment."
Mr. Subliminal:
"Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare we come!"

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Beware departure of Tillerson at State

As the evidence piles up implicating Trump officials and likely Trump himself with election collusion with Russia and its subsequent coverup, a more ominous development deserves scrutiny. That is the rumored departure of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State to be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and Pompeo to be replaced at CIA by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR). Both are extreme neoconservatives advocating rescinding the 5 + 1 nuclear deal with Iran which would put the US on a slippery slope of war with Iran. Pompeo has been a strong advocate of torture and, as a Christian zealot, believes in the rapture, which might insulate him from fretting about catastrophic war. Cotton was so opposed to the Iran nuclear deal, the single greatest foreign policy accomplishment of Obama's eight years, he traitorously wrote the letter sent by him and 46 other Republican senators to Iran urging them to reject that war saving deal in 2015. These moves would elevate into the Iran fray Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, a fervent supporter of both Israel and Saudi Arabia's goading the US to demolish their rival Iran. Tillerson is the only moderate on Trump's foreign policy team. Pompeo, Cotton and Kushner want him out so they can play their war games at the world's expense. That, and not Trump's treachery with Russia, is what should make us fear for the cause of peace.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Real 'Little Rocket Man' in North Korea dustup sits in US Senate

North Korea tests a missile and Sen. Lindsay Graham says this:

"The US will go to war with North Korea if things don't change. A lot of people would get hurt and killed. If we have to go to war to stop this, we will. If there's a war with North Korea, it will be because North Korea brought it on itself, and we're headed to a war if things don't change."
Sen. Graham should look in the mirror to find someone bringing on war. He's supported every criminal US war of regime change, all against non-nuclear states, that have got hundreds of thousands killed for nothing. He threatens North Korea with regime change; then threatens war when they do the sensible thing to thwart US led regime change...obtain a nuclear arsenal. Graham is always first in the well of the Senate threatening war, whether it's Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran or now North Korea. It does no good for North Korea to seek peace with the US by abandoning nukes. Iraq tried that and got their regime changed. Libya tried that and got their regime changed. 
Sen. Graham can't wait for the 'rocket's red glare' over Pyongyang. He, not Kim Jung Un, is the original 'Little Rocket Man'.   

Thursday, November 30, 2017

How about a little 'Me Too' to stop senseless war?

I was shocked that MSNBC followed the NBC Today show yesterday with lengthy coverage of an obscenely overpaid talking head being fired for sexual harassment, possibly even assault, in the workplace. What shocked me was not the story being revealed in endless detail. It was that the more important story, impending war with North Korea was alluded to, then dropped to cover improper sex in the workplace. The teaser was virulent Senate warmonger Lindsay Graham (R-SC) saying this after North Korea's latest missile test: "If we have to go to war to stop this, we will, We’re headed toward a war if things don’t change.” Then an overpaid talking head still working said: "but first we cover the bombshell story of Matt Lauer's firing for improper sexual conduct at NBC." The twisted juxtaposition of those two stories highlights what's wrong with mainstream media which always uses sensationalized entertainment to avoid dealing with the most critical events affecting war and peace, a sustainable environment, and the billionaires' fleecing of the middle class. The truth is the talking heads near tears over their colleague's downfall offered little of value. They all took management's insincere line they knew knowing about what we've come to learn was fairly common knowledge around NBC. The entire story required only a fraction of the interminable time spent dealing mostly with conjecture and unanswered questions. But  obscenely overpaid media executives have learned that war and environmental survival and billionaire greed doesn't fill their coffers. Sexual accountability in the workplace and on the campaign trail is too important an issue to wallow in endlessly to spike ratings and profits. And war, environmental survival and economic justice are too important to ignore. Time to boycott mainstream media till they get it right. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Prosecutors shouldn't waste court's time seeking natural life for Michael Jones

DuPage prosecutors are worried. They're in court Monday seeking an extended sentence for Michael Jones if he's convicted of the 1985 rape and murder of teen Kathy Wesselman of Glen Ellyn. Under sentencing laws of 1985, Jones could be sentenced for up to 80 years for murder and assault, also making him eligible for parole after serving half his sentence. That would allow Jones, if he behaves in the pokey, to seek release when he's 104 years old. To combat this imagined threat to the public and miscarriage of justice, Jones' prosecutors will ask the court to invoke another sentencing provision that allows extension to natural life for a crime "accompanied by exceptional brutal and heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty."
Sentences of natural life, like the death penalty, do nothing to protect the public and serve justice. They amount to prosecutorial grandstanding to display their tough on crime bonafides to the public. Seeking natural life for a man eligible for parole at 104 is almost certainly moot. For anyone no longer a threat to society it wastes precious prison resources. It removes an incentive for prisoners to behave, further squandering precious prison costs. Time off for model behavior should be available to every prisoner, regardless the heinousness of the crime. Parole can always be denied in the case of truly evil, antisocial folks like Charlie Manson.
DuPage prosecutors should not waste one minute of Judge George Bakalis' time on this sentencing issue. They should spend every minute making sure Jones, if guilty, is convicted and required to sit till at least age a century plus four.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The school talk Roskam should give

My congressman Peter Roskam (IL-6) likes to tout his regular trips to local schools to explain to impressionable youngsters the role of a congressman. Hear's the talk he should give on his plans to enhance education:
"The 'Tax Bill and Jobs Act' I'm helping to slam thru Congress will funnel $1.7 trillion of desperately needed tax dollars back mostly to the wealthiest Americans over the next decade, but also a few dollars to your middle class parents as well. This will create such a gigantic expansion in debt that we must cut out much of the free stuff to the 'little people.' In education we're being prudent in eliminating the tax deduction for interest on student loans. You future college students must simply learn how to become rich so you don't get trapped in the capitalist college loan interest scam. We're also teaching fiscal responsibility by eliminating the tax free tuition received by thousands of university employees for their children. Your teachers must learn fiscal responsibility as well by our eliminating the $250 deduction for purchasing school supplies in cash strapped districts. Obviously your teachers don't value wealth by choosing to enter such a low paying profession. 
My lesson for today? Get wealthy like me...and live happily ever after."
Roskam will never say that...but he's sure thinking it. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

It's US, Tribune, not getting message on starving Yemenis

The Tribune's editorial 'Are the Saudis getting the message: Stop starving civilians' exemplifies everything wrong with American foreign policy ...and American journalism. The Editorial Board, lamenting the tens of thousands dead, a million suffering cholera and millions more on the brink of starvation in Yemen, blames it all on Saudi Arabia. Not a pixel posted how the US enables these crimes against humanity with our intelligence, mid air refueling of Saudi death planes and, of course, the tens of billions in sales of America's most destructive WCD (Weapons of Civilian Destruction). The Board knows full well US complicity in Saudi war crimes but erases it from the Yemen humanitarian catastrophe narrative . To so delicately urge Trump to do more to get its best munitions customer to ease up on the Yemenis is profoundly immoral and ludicrous. The US could stop the slaughter in a heartbeat by ending all criminal military support and arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The Tribune editorial board is not alone. Every major news outlet in America depending on access to the government for news, the currency of its existence, is equally complicit in this senseless and totally unnecessary human tragedy. That is why Ike didn't get it quite right when he warned us, on January 17, 1961, about the pernicious Military-Industrial Complex. He should have said, "Beware the Military-Industrial-Media Complex."

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Uncle Sam...for state sponsor of terror...look in mirror

Trump's hoisting North Korea back up on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism, nine years after Bush Jr. took them down, would be laughable if not so pathetic. North Korea is not the biggest enabler of Saudi Arabia's genocide in neighboring Yemen, which has killed tens of thousands, inflicted a million with cholera, and put millions more on the path to starvation. North Korea isn't raining tens of thousands of bombs yearly on Iraq killing thousands of innocents....then lying about it. The US war party claims civilians are only killed in 1 in 157 bombings. The NY Times reports the true figure is 1 in 5. The US kills more folks with its terrorist bombings throughout the Middle East and Africa than all nations combined. It doesn't matter who occupies the Oval Office. Bush Jr., Obama and now Trump all take orders from the US war party, the champ at state sponsored terrorism. Time for Uncle Sam to look in the mirror...then put that guy on the list to be sanctioned for needless slaughter around the world.