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Jim Hightower is an American populist, spreading his message of democratic hope via national radio commentaries, columns, books, his award-winning monthly newsletter (The Hightower Lowdown) and barnstorming tours all across America.
Sunday, July 13, 2014 The Kochs Pay a Former Senator to Keep Money in Politics
The beauty of our country's present system of government is that anyone is perfectly free to buy a member of Congress. Isn't that what democracy is all about? Take the Koch brothers. Of course, these multibillionaire industrialists prefer to buy everything in bulk, and they've spent millions of dollars to purchase a whole flock of Republican Congress critters.
Saturday, July 5, 2014 The Senate will soon vote on an amendment to overturn Citizens United. History is calling! (9 comments)
From climate change to all the issues of economic inequality, people's lives and our nation's historic potential are being sacrificed on the altar of mammon. The Powers That Be won't fix this, for they are mammon. It's up to us. If you're not already doing it, do all you can--join in, stand up, speak out, stand strong. History is calling us.
Sunday, June 1, 2014 5 Signs that America Has Gone Bonkers -- and a Glimmer of Hope (2 comments)
Ordinary folks are awakening to the realization that the fools have seized power, and the folks are now making moves (and movements) to seize the fools by their short hairs and reclaim our dreams. The USA hasn't gone crazy -- its leaders have, and they can be changed.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 Koch Brothers Rev Up High-Octane Hypocrisy (2 comments)
This is no hypothetical situation. It's a real one faced by the Koch brothers, the fossil-fueled duo. They feel threatened by the steady increase in the number of middle-class families installing solar panels on the roofs of their own homes. Naturally, the Kochs and the utility monopolies hate this trend.
Monday, March 17, 2014 Citizen Snowden: Why he matters (4 comments)
the USA is nowhere near the soul-crushing, mind-controlling, authoritarian regime of Orwell's imagination. But what We The People need to confront is the fact that NSA's technologies of algorithmic, full-spectrum surveillance have been turned on us, creating a continuous watch that inevitably will be abusive and is inherently un-American.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 Time for a Populist Revival! (1 comments)
Populism is the un-corporate America. It is a distinctive, very progressive and very American democratic-ism that not only acts politically but also economically, socially and culturally. As old as the USA itself, populism has a rich egalitarian philosophy, a deep history, noble accomplishments, and a broad reach that cuts right through the conventional political boxes that are deliberately designed to divide us.
Saturday, February 22, 2014 The Senator from Oz Fights Crazy with Crazy (3 comments)
A rabidly extremist, Koch-headed, tea party Republicanism has taken hold of the GOP's primary process and blown out the moderates. The upshot for Roberts is that Republican voters are now hard-right, howl-at-the-moon lunatics who demand ideological purity over everything else. And they've put up one of their own to run against him in the August primary.
Thursday, January 9, 2014 Seeds of a movement: A 21st century Populist renewal is flourishing at America's grassroots (2 comments)
The establishment certainly doesn't celebrate the populist spirit, and our educational system dutifully avoids bothering students with our vibrant, human story of constant battles, big and small, mounted by feisty "little people" against... well, against the establishment. Our nation's true political spectrum is not right to left, but top to bottom.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 The Dangerous Militarization of Our Local Police Forces (7 comments)
What we have here is the absurdly dangerous militarization of America's police departments. Our sprawling Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon (which gave the MRAP to Bastrop) are haphazardly spreading war equipment, war techniques and a war mentality to what are supposed to be our communities' peacekeepers and crime solvers.
Friday, January 3, 2014 This California Scheme Is Bad for Your Health (3 comments)
In this wicked world of woe, there are hucksters, flimflammers, plain ol' crooks...and Republican members of the California Assembly. This last bunch of scoundrels went out of their way to monkeywrench the rollout of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013 Would the Right-Wing Say Jesus Was a Commie? (8 comments)
Rationality doesn't seem to be included in the liturgy of their political church. Indeed, some of its acolytes have added a twist on Christmas that would make Jesus weep. Indeed, they have launched a war against Jesus! How twisted is that? They say no one should mess with the word "Christmas," yet they're messing with the guy Christmas is supposed to be about.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 Tiny Tim Time at Walmart (6 comments)
With an annual income greater than 140 countries, Walmart wants its poorly paid employees to buy food for fellow employees whose paychecks leave them in deep poverty. More astonishing is the corporation's insipid, self-congratulatory insistence that the employee food drive demonstrates its deep ethical commitment to the welfare of all Walmart "associates" (as it grandiosely calls its beleaguered workers).
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 Should there be a sanity test for Congress critters? (4 comments)
First, they threw a group hissy fit to force a costly, embarrassing, and entirely-unwarranted shutdown of the national government of our USofA. That was strange enough, but then a gaggle of the goofballs cranked their shtick all the way up to code-red bizarre by throwing a series of staged tantrums when they learned that the government they had shut down was, in fact, shut down.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 Health Care Hypocrisy
There's the comic twist that's included in the government shutdown. While more than a million regular government workers are going without a paycheck, the Congress critters who forced the furlough continue to collect their $174,000 in annual pay. Some lawmakers are donating their checks to charity, but four out of five are happily pocketing theirs.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 Slapping the poor just for the hell of it
The plight of the poor is so dramatic that even Republican leaders in the US House have noticed them and are reaching out with open hands -- unfortunately, not to help lift up the needy, but to slap them in the face.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 Hmmm, Where the Hell Did This "Money is Evil" Pope Come From? (25 comments)
The plight of the poor in our Land of Plenty is so dramatic that even the Republican leaders of the U.S. House have noticed them and are reaching out with open hands. Unfortunately, they are not offering a helping hand to the needy, but a cold, hard slap in the face. On Sept. 19, in a gratuitous act of political pettiness and human callousness, the GOP slashed $4 billion-a-year out of the food stamp program.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 Wall Street's Fix for Homelessness (6 comments)
Having seen his 16-year-old son volunteer at a homeless center, Andy Kessler, this champion of the rich was motivated to develop a plan to solve homelessness. Here it is: Stop dishing out soup to those people and shut down all the shelters.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 The Trans-Pacific Partnership is not about free trade. It's a corporate coup d'etat -- against us! (11 comments)
The nullification of our right to direct expenditures of our own tax dollars is but one of the horror stories being quietly packed into a political-and-economic bombshell benignly labeled TPP--the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The corporate gang that stuck us with NAFTA is back, hoping to fool us with an even more destructive multinational deal. This time we really must pay attention, because TPP is not just another trade deal.
Thursday, July 25, 2013 Blessed Are The Rich (2 comments)
In case you don't dwell in the plutocratic, narcissistic, Ayn Randian fantasyland where the Kochs hang out, "labor mobility" is right-wing psychobabble for social Darwinism. Remove all remnants of America's economic safety net, they coldly theorize (while wallowing in their nests of luxury), and the poor will be "freed" to become billionaires.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 Texas GOP Unleashes Political Quackery on Women's Reproductive Rights
Perry is trying to hijack reality, huffing and puffing that he'll slap down the women's opposition to his assault on their rights, because that's "what the people of this state hired us to do." Sen Wendy Davis pointed out that far from helping the economic plight of women in the Lone Star State, Perry vetoed the equal-pay-for-equal-work bill recently passed by the legislature. How rude of her!
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 A New Housing Emergency
Many of our wealthiest citizens are hurting. Did you know, for example, that the inventory of million-dollar homes in Carmel, California, dwindled to only four properties at one point in late May?
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 The New Crime of Eating While Homeless (2 comments)
Whenever one of our cities gets a star turn as host of some event such as a national political gathering or the Super Bowl, its first move is to tidy up--by having the police sweep homeless people into jail, out of town, or under some rug. But Houston's tidy-uppers aren't waiting for a world-class event to rationalize going after homeless down-and-outers. They've preemptively outlawed the "crime" of dumpster diving.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 In Battling Monsanto's Greed, Tenacity Matters (8 comments)
Having patented the GMO technology, the corporation asserts that when the plants grow in a farmer's field and subsequently produce their own seeds, those second-generation seeds do not belong to the farmer, but are Monsanto's private property. Farmers are prohibited by Monsanto contracts from gathering and later planting the seeds produced by their own land.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 AgriBUSINESS is at war with agriCULTURE (2 comments)
What you and I choose to eat, where we choose to get it, what policies and politicians we choose to support or oppose, what groups we choose to help, and whether we even choose to think about the food we eat -- all are choices directly affecting the nature of food production and of food itself.
Sunday, October 14, 2012 Perry happens. Again. (1 comments)
It's a call to "save America" from Barack Obama. Evangelicals are less than enthused by a Republican nominee who's a multimillionaire Mormon from the Cayman Islands, so Perry laid it on thick. He declared that America is in the midst of "spiritual warfare" forced upon purist Christians by Obama's "effort to remove any trace of religion from American life."
Thursday, October 4, 2012 The Big Three Myths Fabricated By Right-Wing Fabulists to Frame America's Elections (5 comments)
If we are to stand up successfully to the myriad corporate policies and laws that they want to impose on us, we must confront, expose, and reject at every turn their nefarious lies. Don't let them rewrite the basic truth that unites us as a democratic people: We need each other for all of us to succeed, both personally and as a nation.
Friday, August 24, 2012 The Minimum Wage is a Disgrace, and Raising it Would be a Boon to the Whole Economy (2 comments)
In this country of unsurpassed wealth, it's an abomination that the power elites are casually tolerating poverty pay as our wage floor. How deplorable that they can actually juxtapose the words "working" and "poor" without blinking, much less blushing... or barfing! Nearly four million Americans are being paid at or below the desiccated federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
Monday, August 6, 2012 The GOP is Galloping Away From Conservative ... To Crazy (7 comments)
Ted Cruz is America's latest tea party darling. He just pulled off a contortion in Texas that few would've thought humanly possible: he got to the right of Gov. Rick Perry -- himself a former tea party darling who's such a far-out know-nothing that he's best known for putting the goober in gubernatorial.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012 What the Frack!?! (1 comments)
Natural gas is being touted by the industry and its tail-wagging politicos as clean and cheap -- the "magic bullet" for our energy problems. Before we swallow such hype, however, let's just note that the process is named "fracturing" for a reason -- it's inherently destructive, dirty -- and way more costly than the market price of the fuel admits.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 "Financial uncertainty" good for the poor, not for the rich
Republican lawmakers howl in outrage about the meager unemployment payments going to America's hard-hit, out-of-work families who actually need a helping hand in today's jobless economy. More than five million of our fellow citizens have been unable to find jobs for half-a-year or more.
Thursday, June 7, 2012 The plutocrats who bankrolled the GOP primaries -- and what they want in return (10 comments)
These justices knew what they were doing: enthroning the wealthiest Americans, not merely to reign supreme over the political process, but also to control government. In a nation of 313 million people and an electorate of 217 million, fewer than a hundred uber-wealthy individuals and corporations (a tiny fraction of a fraction of even the 1 percent) shaped the GOP presidential debate and nomination to their personal benefit.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 Snarling Banks (1 comments)
Very few Americans on this side of the ATM machine think that the biggest problem in Washington is that the moneychangers don't have enough clout. But, incredibly, here they come with a super PAC intended to force lawmakers to bow even deeper to their needs.
Monday, May 14, 2012 Coddling the 10%
To reel in these mid-level richies, bankers are offering to pamper them lavishly.
Monday, May 7, 2012 Newt's denouement (1 comments)
Like a dust devil popping up out of nowhere, twirling furiously for no apparent reason, sucking air into its funnel and stirring up rubbish as it hopscotches here and there for a couple of minutes, before -- fffffttt -- suddenly disappearing, the Newt came, spun, and now he's gone.
Friday, April 27, 2012 The great American medicine show, a spectacle of deceit, manipulation, and flimflammery (1 comments)
In the past three decades, America's health-care system has radically metamorphosed from a public service network (largely run by independent physicians and nonprofit hospitals) into a corporate profit machine. Drugmakers have been among the most ambitious, in-your-face pushers of this transmutation of medicine into just another commodity to be sold by hook or crook.
Thursday, April 19, 2012 The Citizens United Gang
The mugging by the Citizens United Gang has only begun. Not only is Restore Our Future by far the biggest presidential super PAC of them all -- dwarfing Barack Obama's, which is called Priorities USA Action -- but its attacks will be supplemented by an even bigger super-super PAC, called American Crossroads. Created by campaign attack-meister Karl Rove and longtime Republican operative Ed Gillespie.
Thursday, April 5, 2012 A Corporate "Foreign Legion" Has Taken Over America's Intelligence and Military Functions
"The United States of America" no longer goes to war. Instead, our professional "volunteer" soldiers and their families go. Our corporations go -- forming what one analyst calls "the coalition of the billing." Our robots, drones, computer-targeted-and-fired missiles, and other corporate-peddled weapons go. And our embedded media cheerleaders go.
Monday, April 2, 2012 The "ROBS Act" (1 comments)
The new law itself doesn't create a single job for the tens-of-millions of unemployed and underemployed workers in our land of the rich. In fact, the accent on the J.O.B.S. acronym should be on "B.S." Will it surprise you to learn that the word "jobs" isn't even included in the title? Instead, J.O.B.S. stands for "Jump-start Our Business Start-ups."
Friday, March 30, 2012 Jim Hightower: The Truth About the U.S. Postal Service
From the gated enclaves and penthouses of the uber-wealthy to the inner-city ghettos and rural colonias of America's poorest families, the U.S. Postal Service literally delivers. All for 45 cents. The USPS is an unmatched bargain, a civic treasure, a genuine public good that links all people and communities into one nation. So, naturally, it must be destroyed.
Monday, March 12, 2012 The Post Office is not broke -- and it hasn't taken any of our tax money since 1971 (3 comments)
While it's certainly true that emails and tweets are faster than mail, there remains a vast demand for postal services, especially where broadband internet does not reach (50 percent of rural residents, 35 percent of all Americans), as well as when hard copy and physical delivery are essential.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 Karl Rove says he's "offended" (1 comments)
Karl Rove saying he's "offended" by a TV ad is ike a skunk saying some other critter stinks! What could possibly make an ad so offensive that Karl would gag? Hope, that's what. The sweet flower of optimism nauseates Karl.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 In the Constitution, "Security" Means Protection From Our Law Enforcers, Not By Them (2 comments)
A blitz of warrantless surveillance and imprisonments without trial. The core of too many of today's prominent political leaders consists almost entirely of unintended irony, which tends to make them go all wobbly on their political stands. This might be comical were it not so destructive for our nation.
Saturday, February 4, 2012 Newt Gingrich: the spawn of Citizens United
Justice Kennedy, meet Sheldon Adelson -- a product of your cluelessness about how real politics work. For years, this casino baron has spent lavishly on right-wing front groups to advance his personal agenda, including pouring money into Newt Gingrich.
Monday, January 2, 2012 Declare Independence From Corporate Power!
A year from now, Americans will be caught in an unprecedented blizzard of campaign ads. Most of this ad blizzard will not come from the candidates, but from ads secretly funded by huge corporations. This is because a five-man cabal on the Supreme Court issued an edict that perverts nature itself.
Friday, December 30, 2011 The Disuniting of America
At the tippy-top of America's wealth pyramid are the multimillionaire CEOs and billionaire Wall Streeters. They are the richest one-one-hundreth of the one-percenters (a mere 14,836 households). These few now take six percent of all U.S. income -- the biggest piece ever consumed by America's mega-rich.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011 Rick-the-regular-guy
Rick-the-regular-guy says that he deserves his double-dip into the public treasury, calling it "just kind of good estate planning in my opinion."
Saturday, December 24, 2011 The Poor Rich and the Scrooginess of Congress
Congressional Republicans continue to protect nonsensical tax breaks for Wall Street billionaires and Big Oil, while demanding that programs to aid America's growing number of poor people either be slashed or eliminated. The Obama White House is fighting most of this absurdity, but it keeps trying to appease the GOP by offering to sacrifice programs that ordinary people really need.
Thursday, December 15, 2011 Corporate Elites and Their Small-Minded Political Servants are Creating the Incredibly Shrinking America (2 comments)
There's hope in the Occupy protest that is so big and so deeply felt by so many angry/hopeful people that even such forces of autocracy as Mayor Mike Bloomberg cannot make it go away. You've probably seen this bumper sticker: "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." I find that the thing we Americans have the most of is the very thing our failed leaders have the least of: bigness of spirit.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Nation in Just Two Months (2 comments)
The occupiers are saying what's demonstrably true: America's bankers, bosses, big shots, and BSers don't give a damn about working people, fairness, and justice, or America itself. The moneyed and political elites are out for themselves, everyone else be damned.
Friday, November 11, 2011 Don't Just Salute Veterans, Rally With Them
The penthouse swells can unleash their police to break up protests, but that only fuels the fury. Now they're cracking down on veterans -- people who know how to use guns. It's time to deal with the growing crisis of joblessness and inequality in America.
Sunday, October 23, 2011 Citizens United Against Citizens United: A Grassroots Campaign to Restore Democracy (5 comments)
The rising supremacy of America's corporate plutocracy is based on courts and politicians having blind faith in the legitimacy of the corporations-are-people idolatry. It is not, however, something that its disciples wish to take to the people as an election issue, because... well, because it's poppycock, and it would be resoundingly rejected if it were ever put to a direct vote.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011 It's time to name the tea party politicians (and their sponsors)--and call them out (1 comments)
America has BIG needs right now -- a jobs crisis, housing crisis, infrastructure crisis, energy crisis, climate crisis, middle-class crisis, democracy crisis. But they can't even be addressed because tea party ravers in the House, joined there by a gaggle of old school right-wingers, keep throwing hissy fits over far-out ideological gimcrackery.
Monday, September 5, 2011 Why are we letting corporate Supremists steal our democracy from us? (9 comments)
The Roberts Five are not objective and reasoned judges. They are crass political operatives disguised in robes of authority, deliberately contorting the law to transfer huge chunks of the people's power to corporate suites. Roberts. Alito. Kennedy. Scalia. Thomas. Memorize these names, for they are thieves.
Monday, May 16, 2011 A battery of elected ideologues opens fire on those who serve the public (1 comments)
The Powers That Be don't like us thinking in terms of class war, or even using the phrase. But from the ever-expanding wealth gap to the relentless downsizing and offshoring of American jobs, from the Supreme Court's enthronement of corporate political money to the state-by-state offensive on worker power--what else can it be called?