Daily News Digest January 31, 2019

Daily News Digest January 31, 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.Images of the Day:

American geologists looking for oil

Quotes of the Day:

Unlike other regions and imperial targets, Latin America is terrain for class and anti-imperialist struggles. Economic cycles accompany the rise and fall of classes and as a consequence imperial power advances and retreats.  The US intervention in Venezuela is the longest war of our century– (eighteen years) – exceeding the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. The conflict also illustrates how the US relies on regional clients and overseas allies to provide cover for imperial power grabs. While coups are frequent, their consequences are unstable – clients are weak and the regimes are subject to popular uprising. — James Petras

Videos of the Day:

Many Countries at UN Oppose Trump Interference in Venezuela

Another County Just Banned New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure  Climate justice advocate Anthony Rogers-Wright explains why a growing number of jurisdictions are saying no more


With Trump Seen as ‘Symptom Not a Cause,’ US Rank Plummets on Global Corruption Index“The U.S. is experiencing threats to its system of checks and balances, as well as an erosion of ethical norms at The highest levels of power.” The United States earned a score of 71 out of 100 on the watchdog’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), knocking it out of the top 20 countries for the first time since 2011. Zoe Reiter, Transparency International’s acting representative to the U.S., said in a statement that “a four-point drop in the CPI score is a red flag and comes at a time when the U.S. is experiencing threats to its system of checks and balances, as well as an erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power.” By  Jessica Corbett

Trump’s Coup in Venezuela: The Full Story  The US-sponsored coup in Venezuela, still ongoing as I write, is the latest chapter in the long and bloody history of US imperialism in Latin America. This basic fact, understood by most across the left of the political spectrum – including even the chattering liberal class which acknowledges this truth only with the passage of time and never in the moment – must undergird any analysis of the situation in Venezuela today. That is to say, the country is being targeted by the Yanqui Empire. By Eric Draitser

‘Foxconn Was a Major Con’: Backed by Trump Promises and $4 Billion in Subsidies, Company Admits Factory Jobs Not Coming“Foxconn took Wisconsin for a ride. Other states, beware the allure of the mega deal.” President Donald Trump, Wisconsin’s former Republican Gov. Scott Walker, and former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) spent a lot of time at press events and photo-ops last year touting the 13,000 manufacturing jobs Foxconn was supposedly going to create in the U.S., but—as with many of his job claims—the president’s soaring promises are looking increasingly hollow. By Jake Johnson


Polar vortex: what is it and how is it linked to climate change?  The polar vortex has broken into ‘two swirling blobs of cold air’, bringing the most frigid conditions in decades to the Midwest What is the polar vortex? As its name suggests, the polar vortex is found around the north pole. It’s a band of strong winds, high up in the atmosphere that keeps bitterly cold air locked around the Arctic region. This circulation isn’t considered a single storm, or even a weather pattern as such. By Oliver Milman

Big Energy:

The Fracking Industry’s Flaring Problem May Be Worse Than We ThoughtIn 2018, the oil and gas industry operating in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale burned off record amounts of natural gas, largely obtained via hydraulic fracturing (fracking). This process, known as flaring, costs the industry money — it literally burns one of the products being pumped out of the ground — but more importantly, the resulting release of globe-warming emissions of carbon dioxide and methane spells disaster for the climate. By Justin Mikulka

PG&E and Capitalism are Politically Bankrupt Robber Barons!  First if all we must understand the difference between PG&E Company and PG&E Corporation. (Which the mass media neglects to point out.) The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is an American bankrupt investor-owned utility (IOU) with publicly traded stock[2] that is headquartered in the Pacific Gas & Electric Building in San Francisco. PG&E provides natural gas and electricity to most of the northern two-thirds of California, from Bakersfield and Barstow to near the Oregon State Line and Nevada and Arizona State Line, which represents 5.2 million households.[3]:27[4] PG&E is overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission. It is the leading subsidiary of the holding company PG&E Corporation, which has a market capitalization of $3.242 billion as of January 16, 2019.[5] It was founded by George H. Roe after California’s Gold Rush[6] and by 1984 was the United States’ “largest electric utility business.”[7] PG&E is one of four regulated, investor-owned utilities (IOU)s in California; the other three are PacifiCorp‘s Pacific Power, Southern California Edison and Sempra Energy‘s San Diego Gas & Electric.[8]— Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) Both Capitalist Organizations, along with the Democratic Party and the Republican Party have been a part of the deferred maintenance /deregulation flim-flam! Read More

Civil Rights/Black Liberation: 

DA Challenges New Mumia Court AppealWhen Larry Krasner, Philadelphia’s new purportedly progressive district attorney, took office last January, he vowed to unflinchingly make the office’s goal “seeking justice,” instead of just seeking convictions, as a string of DAs going back to at least Ed Rendell had done. Last week, faced with a decision calling for real courage, Krasner flinched. In the wake of a Dec. 27 decision by Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker ordering new hearings by the state’s supreme court on four appeals by Pennsylvania’s most famous prison inmate, journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, Krasner had two options. He could let Judge Tucker’s finding stand that the denial of those appeals had been corrupted by the refusal of a former DA, Ron Castille, who had later become a supreme court judge and who refused to recuse himself. Alternatively, he could challenge Judge Tucker’s decision, and argue that it should be overturned. By Dave Lindorff

The U.S. is a Political Prison, Kamala Harris is a Prison Guard.  Grand narratives of exceptionalism cannot hide the fact that the US maintains the most repressive and exploitative system in human history.” Black Agenda Report and other independent media sources have repeatedly been called “fake news” or “Russian propaganda” by the political gatekeepers of the U.S. empire. Trump has been used as a convenient excuse for the ruling elites to discredit those who tell the truth about the ruthlessness of the system. This became even more evident after journalist Marzieh Hashemi was indefinitely detained for over a week by the U.S. government without any formal charges against her. Last week, I wrote that Hashemi’s incarceration and treatment is a product of the U.S. imperial war on independent journalism . The crime committed against her is also a reminder that the U.S. itself is a political prison. By Danny Haiphong, BAR contributor

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, righ, joined by Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, speaks during a news conference to announce a criminal justice open database in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. The California Department of Justice unveiled a state-run website to provide data on law enforcement’s interactions with the public. The database is the culmination of months of work aimed at improving transparency and government accountability after incidents sparked debate across the country on police practices over the last year. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Humanitarian Aid is Broken: Haiti, a Look Back Much of the money sent to help Haiti ended up being spent on western citizens at the expense of Haitian suffering.  “These organizations were merely there to colonize anew.”Someone at International Organization for Migration turned to me and said: “What Haitians want more than anything else is not a house, not even food. They want a job.” Finally, I thought, someone working with an NGO who actually understands Haiti.It was the Spring of 2010 and I had gone to Haiti to help out with the disaster relief after the 15 January earthquake which left over 300,000 people dead and devastated the country’s infrastructure. As I went with the intention of doing what was asked of me, I soon became involved in working on the problems of child trafficking while writing an ethnography of UN and NGO abuses in the country. By Julian Vigo

Never Trust a Billionaire’s Antiracism  The LA teachers strike was a tale of two competing antiracist visions — one upheld by privatizing billionaires and another pushed by working people. “To fight racism in the city’s schools, they turned to their union and mass strike action.” Mass strikes don’t happen very often in the US. But when they do, such strikes can reveal important truths about society. By walking out for the schools students deserve, Los Angeles teachers exposed the deepening contradiction between a privatizing billionaire class and the preservation of public education in the city and around the country. By Eric Blanc Black Agenda Radio with Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford: New South African Party to “Overthrow Capitalism”

Freedom Rider: Trump, Democrats, and International Fascists Attack Venezuela  “Trump and Pompeo are behaving no differently than Obama and Clinton did in Libya.” During the 2016 presidential campaign this columnist wrote, “Who’s the Fascist?” and asked why Obama and his predecessors were rarely labeled with the dreaded F word despite having earned the designation. In the wake of the Donald Trump coup attempt against Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro the question is still relevant.Little known Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president after conducting secret negotiations with the Trump administration. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had publicly threatened Venezuela many times and Guaidó made his move after getting the go ahead from the U.S. The Trump team’s recognition of the coup attempt is fascism by any definition of the word. By Margaret Kimberley, BAR editor and senior columnist

In this Monday, Aug. 14, 2017 photo, government supporters perform a parody involving a Venezuelan militia up against Uncle Sam, a personification of the U.S government, during an anti-imperialist march to denounce Trump’s talk of a “military option” for resolving the country’s political crisis, in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

When Politicians Use Marginalized People as Human Shields   “Democrats trot out a diverse army of mannequins as proof that they can’t possibly be racists.” There are few things as reprehensible as opportunists who use the pains of marginalized people to advance their own agendas. This art of appropriating the suffering of many to gain influence and clout is one that politicians have practiced for ages. By Teodrose Fikre


Shadow Government Srarisrics Alternate Unemployment Charts   The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers. The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment. The ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment Rate for December 2018 is 21.4%.

Coming Off La Strike Victory, A New Wave Of Teacher Protests Takes Hold #Redfored, The National teacher-led movement that started last year, continues to flex its muscles. On the heels of a successful six-day strike in Los Angeles, teachers in Virginia, Colorado, and elsewhere in California are voicing their demands for better working conditions, and, in some cases, threatening to strike. Rachel M. CohenEconomy:


When Is a Democracy not a Democracy? When It’s Venezuela and the US is Pushing Regime Change Joe Emersberger looks at the US-led intervention efforts in Venezuela and the rationale behind them. Venezuela has as much right to call itself a democracy as does the United States. Until that is understood by enough people, the Trump administration will continue to devastate Venezuela’s economy with illegal sanctions and push it towards civil war. People can oppose President Donald Trump’s economic sanctions and incitement of a military coup without acknowledging President Nicolas Maduro’s democratic legitimacy, but by not acknowledging his legitimacy they needlessly weaken their position.

Brexit: British establishment has lost control  Each new vote in the British House of Commons only reaffirms parliament’s paralysis. Yesterday MPs voted against the prospect of a no-deal Brexit – but then voted against any alternative that would avoid this default option. A deeply divided Tory party briefly united – but only to demand the impossible of their leader. And Jeremy Corbyn, having failed to bring down the government through parliamentary means, saw his Brexit proposal (to include a customs union) rejected also. So where to go from here? By Adam Booth

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare: