Daily News Digest January 18, 2019

Daily News Digest January 18, 2019

Daily News Digest Archives

Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace”

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program:  1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. The Iron Heel.

Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99% — Only the 1%Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1%Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico.

Quote of the Day:

The freshman congresswoman said Wednesday the shutdown was not really about Trump’s demands for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border or “the well-being of everyday Americans.” Instead, she said, it was “about the erosion of American democracy and the subversion of our most basic governmental norms.” ”It is not normal to hold 800,000 workers’ paychecks hostage. It is not normal to shut down the government when we don’t get what we want. It is not normal for public servants to run away and hide from the public that they serve,” Ocasio-Cortez added. “And it is certainly not normal to starve the people we serve for a proposal that is wildly unpopular among the American people.” — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez torches Trump for shutdown in first House floor speech

Images of the Day:

The U.S. government shutdown amounts to blackmail in Trump’s attempt to fund the border wall.

Signe Wilkinson: Pennsylvania Cyber Charters

Videos of the Day:

Happening Now: Teachers union representatives are holding a news conference on the third day of the ongoing teachers strike. The latest
The Empire Files: Trump is Expanding the US Empire In the first installment of this multi-part series, Trump Expanding the Empire, Abby Martin debunks the notion that Trump is an anti-interventionist president, outlining his first two years of aggressive foreign policy that has expanded US wars and occupations. From the biggest military budget in history, to removing its restrictions to “bomb the hell out…


Trump pushes racist wall, but Democrats push racist cruelty too By Barry Sheppard When Donald Trump first announced he was running in the Republican primaries for the 2016 election, he signaled that his campaign would rely heavily on anti-Mexican racism, racism against all non-whites, anti-immigrant xenophobia and Islamophobia. Part of this was his oft-repeated pledge to “build a wall” between the US and Mexico to keep out immigrants from Central America and Mexico. He slandered these migrants as rapists, murderers, thieves, drug dealers, sex traffickers and more.

Trump’s Tariffs Are Siphoning $35 Billion From Consumers And Corporations By Chuck Jones

President Trump likes to say that China and other countries are pouring money into the U.S. with the tariffs he has imposed. However, the countries that are sending goods to us aren’t paying the tariffs . The companies that import goods are paying them , which means U.S. companies need to raise prices (therefore a tax on consumers), lower their margins and have less profit (which also lowers the amount of taxes they pay to the government) or even go out of business. Shock Poll Reveals Surprising Result Between Ocasio-Cortez And Trump In 2020  A new Rasmussen poll found that President Trump and “insurgent” Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) would be neck and neck in a hypothetical 2020 presidential matchup. by Tyler Durden  A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that, if the 2020 presidential race was between Trump and Ocasio-Cortez, 43% of Likely U.S. Voters would vote for Trump, while 40% would vote for Ocasio-Cortez. A sizable 17% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.) This is essentially a tie, given the margin of error for this survey is +/- three percentage points. Not surprisingly, 69% of Democrats would rather vote for Ocasio-Cortez, while 75% of Republicans would cast a ballot to reelect Trump. Trump is the favorite among voters not affiliated with either political party by a 46% to 35% margin. Among all voters, 34% have a favorable opinion of Ocasio-Cortez. Forty percent (40%) have an unfavorable impression of the New York lawmaker. These figures include 16% who have a Very Favorable opinion of her and 26% who view her very unfavorably. Twenty-six (26%) don’t know enough about Ocasio-Cortez to offer an opinion of her. 

Born Disposable: Trump’s War on Youth  By Henry A. Giroux We live in an age in which the welfare of children is no longer a measure of the degree to which a society lives up to its democratic ideals. In an age of growing fascism, those in power no longer view children as the promise of a future but as a threat to the present.In particular, poor Black and Brown children are being treated as what Teju Cole calls “unmournable bodies.” Rather than being educated, many are being imprisoned; rather than living in communities that are safe and clean, many are relegated to cities where the water is poisoned and the police function as an occupying army. 

William Barr Is a Danger to Civil RightsBy Mike Ludwig   When William Barr served as attorney general in the early 1990s, the war on drugs and the public panic it generated was reaching a fever pitch. In the years that followed, intensifying law enforcement and mandatory minimum sentencing for drug crimes caused prison populations to explode, devastating communities of color and making the United States the most incarcerated country on the planet. Now, president Trump has nominated Barr to serve as attorney general again.

 Congress Considers Bill to Defend Freedom of People With DisabilitiesBy Jen Deerinwater  On January 15, disability justice activists celebrated the reintroduction of the Disability Integration Act (DIA). This monumental piece of legislation is an important step forward for the full civil rights of those with disabilities. Let’s Expose Congress Members for the Warhawks They AreBy Maj. Danny Sjursen  As the nation continued to reel from President Trump’s shock decision last month to remove all U.S. troops from Syria, news came Wednesday that an unknown number of U.S. soldiers were among at least 15 killed in a bombing in northern Syria. Amid such continued violence, one would think the president’s withdrawal would have ever more urgency. And yet, just about everyone in Washington has attacked his decision to pull out.

Just Another Brick in the Wall of Lies By John G. RussellIt’s time to bring back the original Nightline. For those of you too young to remember, Nightlinewas born almost 40 years ago during the “Iranian Hostage Crisis.” Each nightly broadcast began with the words “The Iran Crisis: America Held Hostage”


Around the World Sperm Count Are Down…Is The End In Sight For The Human Race?Massive Male Sperm Count 50% Drop Seen World Wide According to a recent analysis of 185 separate academic studies, sperm counts around the world have been declining steadily over the last four decades. Today’s counts are now roughly half of what they were in the early 1970s.  Between 1973 and 2011, sperm counts reportedly dropped 59.3% percent “with no evidence of a ‘leveling off’ in recent years” investigators wrote. The declines imply that a growing number of men have sperm counts below the thresholds for reduced fertility or infertility—supporting other observations that developed countries are seeing fertility rates drop.  

Andrew Wheeler: Trump’s EPA pick says climate change ‘not the greatest crisis’The former coal lobbyist took over the EPA when his predecessor Scott Pruitt resigned after months of controversy By Emily Holden  A former coal lobbyist Donald Trump has nominated to run the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday touted rolling back pollution standards and declined to identify climate change as a crisis requiring unprecedented action from the US.

As Planet Heats Further, Even Davos Elite Warns Humanity Is ‘Sleepwalking Into Catastrophe’ By  Jessica Corbett “Sleepwalking? Nah,” remarked Naomi Klein, decrying the “Davos Class” policies of global deregulation, privatization, unending consumption, and growth-worship. “Pretty sure your eyes were wide open.”

That Green Growth at the Heart of the Green New Deal? It’s Malignant By Stan Cox   The Green New Deal would emulate its predecessor’s use of public investment and hiring, improvement of wages, and socioeconomic safety nets to accelerate economic growth and reduce unemployment. That part of the vision should be pretty straightforward. But in asking whether success in reaching those economic goals could also help head off ecological catastrophe, we first need to take into account how the original New Deal worked, both as a civilian project and as it morphed into the war effort of the 1940s.

Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

Civil Rights/Black Liberation:

The Other America Speechby Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Stanford University April 14, 1967: My introduction to King’s, The Other America, for the San Francisco BayView: The Jan. 15 birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be celebrated this year as America’s only ‘Black holiday’ Monday, Jan. 21. On this day, the ruling class and their mass media always feature his 1963 ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, as if he never evolved beyond that point. During his lifetime, as a leader of the civil rights movement, King was constantly hounded by the government with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander. Since his death, an effort has been made to convert him into a harmless icon – to canonize him. Below is one of his last speeches, given over 40 years ago and one year before his assassination, at Stanford University in April 1967 and titled the ‘The Other America.’ Here he speaks not of a dream but of the nightmarish economic condition of Black people. When he talks about ‘work-starved men searching for jobs that do not exist’ and living on a ‘lonely island of poverty surrounded by an ocean of material prosperity,’ the speech remains timely in today’s world. Black Agenda Report:

A Tale of Self-Serving Black Journalists and the Corporate Duopoly.By Glen Ford, BAR Executive Editor Diversity insulates the bosses from criticism by large elements of the oppressed classes, while posing little or no threat to capital and the rule of rich white men. “NABJ should forever be cursed and shunned as the most narrowly self-serving and cowardly manifestation of Black collaborationist politics imaginable — a house of shame.” The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has joined the NAACP in criticizing CBS News’ initial, 12-person lineup of digital journalists assigned to cover the 2020 elections, which includes five women, three Asian Americans, at least one Hispanic, but no Blacks. “CBS News’ decision to not include Black reporters on their 2020 Election news team further proves the voting power and voices of Black America continue to be undervalued,” said the NAACP. “As the voting bloc that will most certainly determine the direction of this country in the upcoming election,” said the press release, “it is vital any and all media outlets have a diverse newsroom, including individuals of color in decision making positions to speak to and address the issues and concerns directly impacting the Black community. Representation matters and the media needs our coverage on the issues to drive the discussion.”

Freedom Rider: Kamala Harris Destroyed Black Lives ByMargaret Kimberley, BAR editor and senior columnist California Senator Kamala Harris shows all the signs of announcing her candidacy for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. She is giving speeches in the right states, interviewing with the right talking heads, and recently published the obligatory memoir. She has been on the Democratic funder’scasting couch for nearly two years. Only the official announcement is missing. But Harris is highly problematic for black voters, perhaps more so than any other candidate. She served as the district attorney of San Francisco and later as attorney general of California. In both roles she did everything in her power to support the mass incarceration system and all of its foundations. That is what prosecutors do after all, but most of them don’t try to run for president and ask for black people’s votes. Evoking Muckrakers: Hannah Giorgis’s Devastating Critique of Senator Kamala Harris By Teodrose Fikre  Kamala Harris’s memoir reads nothing like her actual record of locking up the poor and giving impunity to the rich. “Harris has a double standard when it comes to dispensing justice—an iron fist for the proletariat and velvet gloves for the affluent.” In the age of news as you want it and agitprop supplanting journalism, it is getting harder and harder to find analysis that tells it like it is without bias. That is why I was captivated by Hannah Giorgis’s article about Kamala Harris that I read last night. It was a compelling piece of journalism, one that compared Harris’s rhetoric with her actual record during her tenure as a US District Attorney and California’s Attorney General.

The Democratic Party Obsession with Capitalism and Militarism Will Grow Worse by 2020  By  Danny Haiphong, BAR contributor The Democratic Party is a political trap designed to capture the most progressive constituency in the United States: Black America.
“The Congressional Black Caucus has sided with the forces of imperialism when it comes to war, surveillance, and the police.”For a movement, especially a Black left movement that has yet to emerge in this period, the critical task is to develop mass consciousness of the fact that U.S. imperialism is incapable of providing concessions to the poor and oppressed.

Corporate and Banking Interests Profit from Desecration of Black Maryland Graveyard  By Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, BAR editor and columnist Truth rises from the graves of Black ancestors in a wealthy Maryland county. “Moses cemetery was desecrated to make room for a parking lot.” In the grand scheme of things it didn’t even register a blip. Four people arrested in an obscure auditorium in a place whose name has a certain regal air to it — Kensington. But this wasn’t somewhere in England. No, it was in Maryland, well south of the Mason-Dixon Line, in a county with the disgraceful heritage of kidnapping, enslavement, lynching, Black breeding farms, covenants to keep Blacks and Jews sequestered and ethnic cleansing high on the list of priorities that have informed every county official since before the Emancipation Proclamation and their systematic erasure of that history both physically and from public consciousness.  Another Look At Martin Luther King Jr.    By Norman Richmond aka Jalali  Dr King was a radical, a democratic socialist who saw economic transformation and social justice as inseparable. “King never claimed to be a Marxist but had read some Marx and was fiercely anti-capitalist.” “I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic…”Martin Luther King Jr., in a letter to his future wife Coretta Scott on July 18, 1953.  While it could be argued that El-Hajj El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) aka Omowale was “Blacker” than Dr. King,” a case can be made that King put two and two together before our Black Shining Prince. Comrade George Jackson implied this in a letter from Soledad prison to Angela Davis on June 4, 1970. Jackson wrote, “It’s no coincidence that Malcolm X and M.L. King died when they did. Malcolm X had just put it together (two and two). I seriously believe King knew all along but was holding out and presenting the truth in such a way that it would affect the most people situationally without getting them damaged by gunfire.”  John Bolton Says He Wants to Protect Africa from “Predatory” Chinese Behavior, But What About Washington’s?  By Netfa Freeman  Chinese investment may come with strings attached, but Africa deserves an alternative to U.S.-led neoliberalism and militarization.“Bolton cares little about predation — he just doesn’t want other predators to compete with.” John Bolton’s recent unveiling of the Trump Administration’s “Prosper Africa” plan did what is typical of such U.S. foreign policy announcements. It performed the balancing act of admitting motives to protect vague “U.S. interests” while dishonestly claiming benevolent intentions for the other country, region, or continent concerned. In this case the continent is Africa. Uniting for a Green New Deal  By   Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers A real Green New Deal requires pushing issues Democrats don’t want to discuss, such as nationalization of industries, more democracy, and cuts to the military. “We need a broad Green New Deal that changes the system so there is greater public ownership and democratization of the economy.” Support is growing in the United States for a Green New Deal. Though there are competing visions for what that looks like, essentially, a Green New Deal includes a rapid transition to a clean energy economy, a jobs program and a stronger social safety net. We need a Green New Deal for many reasons, most obviously the climate crisis and growing economic insecurity. Each new climate report describes the severe consequences of climate change with increasing alarm and the window of opportunity for action is closing. At the same time, wealth inequality is also growing. Paul Bucheit writes that more than half of the population in the United States is suffering from poverty.

How a NeoCon-Backed “Fact Checker” Plans to Wage War on Independent Media By Whitney Webb     As Newsguard’s project advances, it will soon become almost impossible to avoid this neocon-approved news site’s ranking systems on any technological device sold in the US. “Newsguard’s plan is a threat to any news site that regularly publishes information that rubs any of Newsguard’s investors, partners or advisors the wrong way.” Soon after the social media “purge” of independent media sites and pages this past October, a top neoconservative insider — Jamie Fly — was caught stating that the mass deletion of anti-establishment and anti-war pages on Facebook and Twitter was “just the beginning” of a concerted effort by the U.S. government and powerful corporations to silence online dissent within the United States and beyond.


The LA teachers’ strike has cost $69M. Now both sides are negotiating againBy Holly Yan, CNN(CNN)After three days of an apparent game of “chicken,” the Los Angeles teachers union and the school district are back at the negotiating table. Talks resumed Thursday for the first time since more than 30,000 educators walked off the job this week to demand smaller class sizes, more school staffing and higher teacher salaries. “We are having an impact,” said Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of the United Teachers Los Angeles union. “That impact is being felt across the city. And we’ve just got to keep it up.”



Venezuela’s Maduro Raises Wages, Promises a ‘Shake Up’ in Annual Address  Other announcements include expanding housing programs, extra funding for agriculture and “pragmatic” foreign investment in the oil industry.  By Paul DobsonPresident Nicolas Maduro made a series of announcements during his Annual AddressMonday, including adjustments to various economic policies as thegovernment looks to slow hyperinflation and turn around a five year recession.  Measures included a quadrupling of the minimum wage, as well as extra funding for agriculture and transport. He also set various targets for his 2019-2025 mandate, including raising oil output to 5 million barrels per day and building 5 million social houses.

Never mind the elections in Venezuela, Imperial Ruler ‘The Donald’ declare that he is going to recognize the ‘leader’ that he chooses — not whom Venezuelan people chose.!:   Venezuela: Trump Considers ‘Recognizing’ Opposition Leader as President, Government Denounces ‘Coup Attempt’The move would be a significant escalation of the political crisis that has exploded with Maduro’s second term.By Ricardo Vaz  The Trump administration is considering recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s “legitimate president,” according to a CNN report on Tuesday. CNN’s report cited three unnamed sources and also raised the possibility of renewed sanctions being imposed in the near future, including on Venezuela’s oil sector.

Hungary: workers and students fight together against OrbánBy Felicia Pál and Emanuel TomaselliThe Hungarian working class is awakening and radical students are paving the way for nationwide protests. Since mid-December, a protest movement has been rolling across the country against the extension of working hours. Prime Minister Victor Orbán is under pressure for the first time.

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

SomDAMPoet On Arne Duncan’s Education Ideas   ByDiane Ravitch

Our blog poet was recently inspired to write about Arne Duncan’s truly terrible ideas about education.

Worst ideas all the way down

Duncan’s worst idea

Is resting on another

And what is very clear

Is that one had a mother

“Duncan’s Views on Testing”

(The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

We’re only for the Good tests,

And really hate the Bad

And certainly, the Ugly tests

Were always just a fad

“America ruins on Duncan” …