Hightower Lowdown

Campaign end on election day — movements don't

Campaigns end on Election Day. Movements don't. Voting day is a time stamp for measuring our progress, and when the polls closed last Nov. 6, it was clear that the intensive organizing by grassroots groups throughout 2017-18 had paid off. But let's not forget that it's all the days in between elections that matter on Election Day. We're like the farmers and gardeners who do grub hoe work through the summer for a good harvest in the fall. Let's look at what we've learned.

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Jim Hightower: We Need a Revolution on Our Plates

During the farm crisis of the 1980s, an Iowa farmer asked if I knew the difference between a family farmer and a pigeon. When I said no, he delighted in explaining: “A pigeon can still make a deposit on a new John Deere.”

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For-Profit Colleges Get Rich by Sinking Students Into Debt - and Their Scam Is Financed by Our Tax Dollars

Butch Hancock, one of Austin's finest singer-songwriters, grew up in the Texas Panhandle, out among dryland farmers and strict fundamentalist Christians. Butch once told me that he felt he'd been permanently scarred in his vulnerable teen years by the local culture's puritanical preachings on sexual propriety: "They told us that sex is filthy, obscene, wicked, and beastly-- and that we should save it for someone we love."

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Three Big Myths Right-Wing Propagandists Are Spreading to Frame the 2012 Election

During the past several years, a mess of plutocratic myths has been growing like kudzu across our political landscape. This aggressive ideological vine has crept from place to place, incrementally covering over the vital spirit of egalitarianism that defines us as Americans and unites us as a society. Deliberately planted and nurtured by various Koch-funded front groups, these invasive myths (let's dare call them lies) have been spread by assorted Ayn-Randian acolytes, advancing the anti-democratic notion that corporations and the wealthy are America's most able, virtuous, and deserving citizens.

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There's Been a Dictatorial Coup -- Koch Bros. Have a Bunch of Czars Running Cities Across Michigan

Here's a political storyline that might seem familiar to you: With economic pain and political discord ripping across the land, he appeared to have the ideal resume to become the Republican contender for the top job. Not just another career politico from the dysfunctional Congress, he was a son of heartland Michigan who had founded his own venture capital firm. He looked like the image-perfect "job creator," and he'd achieved notable financial success in the no-nonsense corporate world. That success, he figured, would now catapult him to electoral victory, for it demonstrates that he's a can-do fellow with the know-how to run government like a business and fix the economy.

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Movie Theater Solution to Preventing Mass Murder by Guys with More Guns Than Rambo? Search Women's Purses

Gosh, I feel so much safer now that teenage ticket takers at the Regal chain of movie theaters have been directed by corporate chieftains to search the purses of their female customers.

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Could You Raise Your Kids on Less Than $15,000 a Year? Millions of Parents Are Forced to Learn How

Sometimes, it's useful to state the obvious. Here's a fact, for example, that we all know to be true: America's economy is enormous. It's worth saying that out loud and repeating it to ourselves and others, because today's Powers That Be (economic, political, and media) are wrongly forcing a regime of austerity on our nation. They're insisting that we hoi polloi must downsize our middle-class dreams, claiming that America no longer has the wherewithal to do big things.

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How a Corporatist Supreme Court Cabal Joined Forces With Right Wing and Kochs to Quietly Sell Out Our Democracy

Bill Watterson is Mark Twain--with a drawing pen. He is a master cartoonist, but also a sharp-witted observer of the absurd, with an impish sense of humor. From 1985-1995, Watterson penned "Calvin and Hobbes," the truly marvelous comic strip that featured six-year-old Calvin and his stuffed tiger Hobbes. In Calvin's inventive and iconoclastic mind, Hobbes was a genuine tiger (and his best friend) and they shared boundless adventures that challenged conventional thinking and defied authority, often crashing right through the prescribed social order of the 'real' world.

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Why Was a Lightweight Montana Senator on the Finance Committee Tasked to Take on Health Care Reform?

America's shouting match over health care reform has turned completely goofy -- and I'm not talking about confused seniors at teabag rallies getting red-faced with anger after being told by the right-wing scare machine that "government is trying to taker over Medicare." No, I'm talking about our United States senators.

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Americans Are Raring for a Fight Against Corporate Power

Last October, Home Depot cofounder Bernie Marcus blew a gasket, spewing outrage in all directions. "This is the demise of civilization," he exploded. "This is how a civilization disappears. I'm watching this happen and I don't believe it!"

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