U.S. POLITICS: “Trump Tax Returns: 10 Things You Need to Know” / Robert Reich ☮

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich breaks down 10 things you need to know about Trump’s serial tax dodging. He paid $0 in income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years, and claimed a $70,000 tax deduction for hairstyling. He faces federal and state prosecution for bank fraud, tax fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud, as does his entire family. In many ways, Trump’s tax returns show once again that he represents the worst side of America — a cheat, conman, someone who doesn’t give a fig about the United States, who puts himself first every chance he gets, and a hypocrite. Not surprisingly, Trump claims this bombshell is “totally fake news.” But the easiest way to refute it would be to make his tax returns public, which he refuses to do. Now we know why.

PROGRESSIVE POLITICAL COMMENTARY: “Silence Reigns on the US-Backed Coup Against Evo Morales in Bolivia” / Common Dreams / Mark Weisbrot ☮

A man holds a flag with a picture of former Bolivian President Evo Morales during the first campaign event of MAS party ahead of presidential elections on September 9, 2020 in El Alto, Bolivia.  (Photo: Gaston Brito/Getty Images)

Bolivia has descended into a nightmare of political repression and racist state violence since the democratically elected government of Evo Morales was overthrown by the military on November 10th last year. That month was the second-deadliest in terms of civilian deaths caused by state forces since Bolivia became a democracy nearly 40 years ago, according to a study by Harvard Law School’s (HLS) International Human Rights Clinic and the University Network for Human Rights (UNHR) released a month ago.

Morales was the first indigenous president of Bolivia, which has the largest percentage of indigenous population of any country in the Americas. His government was able to reduce poverty by 42% and extreme poverty by 60%, which disproportionately benefited indigenous Bolivians. The November coup was led by a white and mestizo elite with a history of racism, seeking to revert state power to the people who had monopolized it before Morales’ election in 2005. The racist nature of the state violence is emphasized in the HLS/UNHR report, including eyewitness accounts of security forces using “racist and anti-indigenous language” as they attacked protesters; it is also clear from the fact that all of the victims of the two biggest massacres committed by state forces after the coup were indigenous.

What has received even less attention is the role of the Organization of American States in the destruction of Bolivia’s democracy last November.

As the New York Times reported on 7 June, the organization’s “flawed” analysis immediately following the October 20th election fuelled “a chain of events that changed the South American nation’s history.

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SOCIAL HISTORY: “It’s Time We Have a Holiday to Honor Those Who Try to Stop Wars Too” / Vox ☮

Eugene V. Debs

Eugene V. Debs, who went to jail for opposing World War I. (Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day often get equated, but there is an essential distinction between the two. Veteran’s Day honors all who have served the American military in wars. Memorial Day honors those who’ve perished. It’s an annual reminder that wars have grave human costs, which must be both recognized and minimized.

Those costs are not inevitable. We ought to also set aside time to remember those throughout American history who have tried hardest to reduce them, to prevent unnecessary loss of life both American and foreign: war resisters.

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PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “The DNC Debate Proved the Democratic Party is a Lost Cause / #DNCdebate” / The Humanist Report / Mike Figueredo ☮

The Huffington Post’s DNC Chair debate wasn’t too eventful—none of the candidates argued, and there was no vigorous disagreements about anything—but nonetheless, it was still a disheartening event. All of the candidates, including Keith Ellison, demonstrated that they’re completely out of touch with average voters, and none of them are offering comprehensive change. In this segment, Mike provides you with a rundown of the overall debate, and he explains why he came away “overwhelmingly disappointed” with all of the candidates, and ultimately felt as though Keith Ellison was wavering on his core progressive principles.

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “Cannabis: Jeff Sessions Will Wage War on Marijuana as Attorney General—Let’s Stop Him!” / The Humanist Report / Mike Figueredo ☮

During his first confirmation hearing, Senator Jeff Sessions implied he will wage war on state medical and recreational marijuana laws. He’s vocalized the “dangers” of marijuana on numerous occasions, and asserted that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” As Attorney General, he’d have the power to destroy the progress states have made when it comes to the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana. If you disagree with this move, then take action BEFORE he’s even confirmed and let him know you won’t stand for his outdated, arbitrary policies.

CANNABIS: “The Truth About Marijuana” / The Humanist Report / The Weekly Dose / Mike Figueredo ☮

Many talking heads have made strong assertions about the dangers of marijuana. In this short satirical mini-documentary, we pay homage to these people by highlighting their stupidity.

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “Pro-Hillary Hypocrite Barney Frank Blasts Trump’s Wall Street Corruption” / The Humanist Report / Mike Figueredo ☮

The former Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank, blasted Donald Trump’s decision to tap former Goldman Sachs executive Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary, and stated, “Trump is Wall Street’s best gift in many, many years.” He’s 100% correct, so what’s the problem? Well, Barney Frank is a hypocrite. Not only is he a Wall Street sellout himself, but the candidate he endorsed for president (Hillary Clinton) would have been an even BIGGER gift to Wall Street.

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “Chat with Secular Talk’s Kyle Kulinski About Clinton, Warren, Sanders, Trump, and More” / The Humanist Report / Mike Figueredo ☮

Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk joined Mike to discuss the outcome of the 2016 election; particularly, Hillary Clinton’s awful campaign, Elizabeth Warren’s credibility among progressives, the appeal of Bernie Sanders, and whether or not Donald Trump will be an effective president, and if his overall victory will be good for the left in the end.