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In The Public Interest

The Sanders and Trump insurgencies: What’s next?

It is not often that Democratic and Republican insurgent candidates for President achieve such prominence and maintain staying power against the establishment “pols” of the two-party duopoly that manages elections for the plutocracy that finances campaigns. The media are taking the insurgents seriously, which means that the polls are being done regularly on candidate positions and their match up with other primary candidates.

The one question reporters never ask candidates

Candidates for public office, especially at the state and national levels, are never asked this central question of politics: “Since the people are sovereign under our Constitution, how do you specifically propose to restore power to the people in their various roles as voters, taxpayers, workers and consumers?”

Re-establishing the Postal Savings Bank

Fact: Tens of millions of Americans do not have a bank account. As a result, many of these Americans spend a reported $89 billion annually in interest and fees by using predatory payday loan and check-cashing services. It’s a perpetuating cycle of poverty in which the poor get poorer just by accessing their own money. 

CEO Richard Master masterminds full Medicare for all

Just when the prospects for single-payer or full Medicare for everyone, with free choice of doctors and hospitals, appear to be going nowhere, from  Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley comes a stirring that could go national and make single-payer a reality.

A letter to Yellen from the Savers of America

Dear Chairwoman Janet Yellen:

The downsides of cheap abundance

The Democrats’ presidential debates: underway, underwhelming

Who thought this up — giving a private corporation (CNN) control of a presidential debate? In the most recent Democratic presidential debate, CNN controlled which candidates were invited, who asked what questions, and the location, Las Vegas — the glittering, gambling center of America. This is a mirror image of the control Fox News exercised during their Republican candidates’ circus. 

Afghanistan and Iraq: lessons for imperialists

The photographs in the New York Times told contrasting stories last week. One showed two Taliban soldiers in civilian clothes and sandals, with their rifles, standing in front of a captured U.N. vehicle. The Taliban forces had taken the northern provincial capital of Kunduz. The other photograph showed Afghan army soldiers fully equipped with modern gear, weapons and vehicles.

Mass media: Raise your expectations for your country

The mass media, with usual exceptions, have allowed themselves to be pulled down to the level of the political circus. If the Republican Party’s early primary campaigns for the presidential nomination had an elephant and a clown car, Ringling Brothers would be in trouble. It is hard for the Republican presidential candidates to resist temptation, defined by hyping an entertainment circus led by the chief circus barker — Donald Trump of gambling casino fame.

General Motors: Still unsafe at any speed

Yes, it’s official. General Motors engaged in criminal wrongdoing, knowing about the lethal defect in its ignition switch that took at least 174 lives and counting, plus serious injuries. At least 1.6 million GM cars — Chevrolet Cobalt and other models — hid this danger from trusting drivers, according to the Center for Auto Safety (www.autosafety.org). Corporation executives who lie to or mislead the federal government violate Title 18 of the federal code, and risk criminal penalties.