Daily News Digest February 13, 2019

Daily News Digest February 13, 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:

Signe Wilkinson: State of the Union Address

Quotes of the Day:

Previously noted (Jan 24), the Review estimates that shutdown-delayed reporting of 4q2018 GDP will show the economy slowed more than expected. Headlinea 1q2019 GDP remains on track for an annualized real quarterly contraction, likely marking the onset of formal recession. The Federal Reserve’s excessive interest rate hikes and tightening of the last year triggered the pending recession, not the government shutdown, which only exacerbated the circumstance. Recent shifting FOMC-policy language suggests something of a GDP downturn also is in the Fed’s internal forecasts.  — John Williams, Shadow Government Statistics

Videos of the Day:

Danny Glover on the Conflict Over Venezuela  Actor and activist Danny Glover places the conflict over Venezuela in the context of a long history of US-led coups in Latin America

A Green New Deal for India?A new report from the Political Economy Research Institute puts forth a proposal to boost equity while lowering carbon


Deported parents may lose kids to adoption, investigation finds“We have the kids in the U.S. and the parents down in Central America, and now they’ll bring all these child welfare agencies into play… It’s just a recipe for disaster.” As the deportees were led off the plane onto the steamy San Salvador tarmac, an anguished Araceli Ramos Bonilla burst into tears, her face contorted with pain: “They want to steal my daughter!”  By TheAssociated Press

Araceli Ramos walks with her five-year-old daughter, Alexa, in a park in San Miguel, El Salvador, on Aug. 18, 2018.Rebecca Blackwell / AP

Stephen Cohen on War with Russia and Soviet-style Censorship in the US“I had been arguing for years — very much against the American political media grain — that a new US/Russian Cold War was unfolding — driven primarily by politics in Washington, not Moscow,” Cohen writes in War with Russia. “For this perspective, I had been largely excluded from influential print, broadcast and cable outlets where I had been previously welcomed.” By Russell Mokhiber

Ah, Yes,’ Says Ocasio-Cortez of Trump After Jab at Green New Deal, ‘A Man Who Can’t Even Read Briefings Written in Full Sentences’New York Democratic shows no tolerance for presidential ignorance surrounding visionary plan designed to help save humanity and planet By Jon Queally

Nearly 15,000 Counter Trump Event With El Paso Rally to Reject ‘Hatred and Bigotry’“We’re standing together to show them the truth about our border community. A border wall is not needed, there is no immigration crisis, and asylum seekers have rights.” Less than a mile away from the El Paso, Texas stadium in which President Donald Trump delivered what critics described as a bigoted and lie-filled case for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, as many as 15,000 Texans rallied and marched Monday night in a powerful display of opposition to both the wall and the broad anti-immigrant agenda it represents.  By Jake Johnson 

Peter Jackson’s Cartoon War When director-producer Peter Jackson’s World War I film, “They Shall Not Grow Old,” which miraculously transforms grainy, choppy black-and-white archival footage from the war into a modern 3D color extravaganza, begins, he bombards us with the clichés used to ennoble war. Veterans, over background music, say things like “I wouldn’t have missed it,” “I would go through it all over again because I enjoyed the service life” and “It made me a man.” It must have taken some effort after the war to find the tiny minority of veterans willing to utter this rubbish. Military life is a form of servitude, prolonged exposure to combat leaves you broken, scarred for life by trauma and often so numb you have difficulty connecting with others, and the last thing war does is make you a man. By Chris Hedges

Glenn Greenwald Defends Rep. Ilhan Omar: Criticizing Israeli Lobby & AIPAC Is Not Anti-Semitic Democratic Congressmember Ilhan Omar of Minnesota is facing criticism today after commenting on a tweet by Glenn Greenwald. On Sunday, Greenwald tweeted, ”GOPLeader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their criticisms of Israel. It’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.” Rep. Omar retweeted his post and added the line: “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.” She later named AIPAC as the organization paying American politicians to be pro-Israel.

Greenwald: How Can Democrats Support Trump’s Push for Regime Change to Seize Venezuela’s Oil? The U.S. and Russia have proposed opposing draft resolutions at the U.N. Security Council as the leadership crisis in Venezuela deepens. The U.S. is calling for elections in Venezuela and for international aid deliveries to be allowed to enter the country. The Russians called out international intervention in the affairs of Venezuela and the threat of foreign military action. The Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro is accusing the United States of attempting to stage a coup. We speak to The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald about the actions of Washington and of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.


‘We Have Entered the Age of Environmental Breakdown’: Report Details World Nearing Runaway CollapseA new report from U.K. researchers is being praised as “absolutely brilliant,” “essential reading for policymakers,” and “a clarion wake-up call to the world.” By Jessica Corbett

The World Is on the Brink of Widespread Water Wars My friend Mark Oats, a farmer in Australia, recently sent this note to me: Last night I looked through the Bureau of Meteorology App at the monthly rainfall figures for January, and temperatures.The region around Byron Lismore has had 1.6 percent of average rainfall for January and is 2.6C degrees warmer than average. 98.4 percent less rain than normal. Virtually nothing — and hence the people, plant, animal and food pressures growing.By Dahr Jamail

A man collects water from the municipal water supply in West Bengal, India, on March 25, 2018 Saikat Paul / Pacific Press / Lightrocket Via Getty Images

Big Energy:

Civil Rights/Black Liberation:

Black Agenda Radio, Week of February 11, 2019 By Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford 

  • Black Agenda Radio – Never Trust an Oligarch

  • Black Agenda Radio – Dems Are Not Serious Or Socialist


Fred Klonsky: Denver Teachers Strike Over Low Wages, Merit Pay That Forces Teachers to Compete for Money We will have more commentary on the Denver teacherss’ strike. Here, Fred Klonsky reminds us of the much-ballyhooed, but ultimately failed merit pay called ProComp, that substituted merit pay for adequate salaries.Don’t pay attention to Democratic Senator Michael Bennett, who claims to favor the teachers but was superintendent of the Denver public schools who launched corporate reform and lost many millions in tricky financial deals while he was in charge. He was anti-union when he was superintendent and is a big supporter of VAM. By  Diane Ravitch


Venezuela: A Diplomatic Coup?VA’s on-the-ground journalist Paul Dobson explains why Guaido’s attempted coup has had next to no impact within Venezuela. Many living outside of Venezuela have been following the ongoing attempted coup d’etat with fully deserved attention. Not only does it set a worrying precedent of blunt-edged US meddling in the region, but it also runs against the Venezuelan Constitution and local laws. The recognition of an unelected leader by a host of governments also clearly violates the cornerstone of international law, including the United Nations and Organisation of American States charters, as well as foundational principles safeguarding countries’ right to sovereignty and self-determination.

Study: 80% of Venezuelans Oppose Foreign InterventionThe Vice President for Planning of Venezuela, Ricardo Menendez, indicated that the encirclement and financial sabotage by the US has generated losses of 60 billion dollars. In an interview for teleSUR, Venezuela’s Vice President for Planning Ricardo Menendez said that about 80 percent of Venezuelans reject any interventionist action against the South American nation.

London Gangs: a Tragic Remnant of British ColonialismLondon is plagued by street gangs. By the year 2016 there were an estimated 3,600 gangsters. According to government figures, these form some 225 gangs. Of these, 58 gangs are regularly active and are thought by police to be responsible for two-thirds of gang-related offences, including assault, theft, murder and, most of all, drugs. Ethnically, gangsters are mainly white, Asian, black and Eastern European. In the absence of official data, on-the-ground reports suggest that the majority of gangsters dealing in drugs, where the most violent crimes occur, are young black males, particularly Jamaican. This is not only a symptom of how successive British governments have failed young ethnic minorities, it reflects the tragic legacy of colonialism. by T.J. Coles

The Iranian Revolution Turns Forty: Dare to Know, Have the Courage to Act! Legend has it that in 1972 when the Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was asked about the impact of the French Revolution his response was that “it’s too soon to say.” Although the accuracy of the story has been questioned, I believe that legendary response remains historically apposite. What revolutions do, their failure or success, their lasting impact, their tangible and intangible achievements are often expressed in contradictory terms and difficult to ascertain. The Iranian revolution of 1979 is not an exception. Iranians mark the fortieth anniversary of their revolution at a moment that cries of regret are commonly heard all over the country, in rural areas as well as in urban centers.   By Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi


All of a Sudden, Fixing American Capitalism Is on Everybody’s Mind Wall Street, the epicenter of American capitalism, brought down economies around the globe in 2008, including a banking, housing and foreclosure crisis in the U.S. Why is it just now that fixing American capitalism is on everybody’s mind? One answer is that it will be a central focus in the 2020 presidential campaign while a more nuanced reading is that the current dystopian billionaire administration has everyone grasping for answers as to how we got here. By Pam Martens

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

Opening a Dangerous FloodgateThomas Corbett, a former for-profit college executive, speaks out against plans by the U.S. Department of Education to weaken requirements for oversight of college quality. U.S. secretary of education Betsy DeVos has recently launched an effort that may result in an abdication of her responsibility to safeguard federal taxpayer funds. Specifically, she seeks to eliminate and weaken many of the requirements put in place to protect taxpayers and students from being wrongly billed for a subpar college education. In doing so, she gravely underestimates the reality inside for-profit education companies and fails to realize that not all colleges put students first. By Thomas Corbett