Daily News Digest February 15, 2019

Daily News Digest February 15, 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:

Quote of the Day:

Helen KellerVideos of the Day:

In Caracas, Ordinary Venezuelans Speak to The Real News About Venezuela’s CrisisCitizens of Venezuela wait in line to sign a petition denouncing U.S. imperialism. Dimitri Lascaris reports from Caracas


  Doomsday Redux: the Most Dangerous Weapon Ever Rolls Off the Nuclear Assembly Line  Last month, the National Nuclear Security Administration (formerly the Atomic Energy Commission) announced that the first of a new generation of strategic nuclear weapons had rolled off the assembly line at its Pantex nuclear weapons plant in the panhandle of Texas. That warhead, the W76-2, is designed to be fitted to a submarine-launched Trident missile, a weapon with a range of more than 7,500 miles. By September, an undisclosed number of warheads will be delivered to the Navy for deployment. By James Carroll

Neoliberalism Or Death: The U.S. Economic War Against Venezuela The U.S. Is Weaponizing humanitarian aid in an effort to sell its regime change campaign against Venezuela. This week on Intercepted: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially endorses the attempted coup in Venezuela, joining forces with Donald Trump and his posse of neoconservatives. Venezuela’s Vice Foreign Minister Carlos Ron responds to the threats of military action and the reports about covert U.S. activity in the country. He also discusses the impact of the sanctions on Venezuela. Former United Nations rapporteur Alfred de Zayas is accusing the U.S. of attempting to “asphyxiate” Venezuela with economic warfare and says the U.S. should be investigated by the International Criminal Court. Zayas wrote a U.N. report on Venezuela in late 2018 that was scathing in its assessment of U.S. policy toward Venezuela under both Obama and Trump. He talks about what he found during his investigation. And we go inside the mind of journalist Sam Husseini, who tried to ask convicted criminal Elliott Abrams about his past and the present U.S. lies about Venezuela.


Capitalism’s Ownership of Global Warming  Capitalism not only owns global warming, there’s a big red mitigation arrow pointed at the heart of today’s rampant capitalism, which is eerily similar to the loosie goosie version of the Roaring Twenties, but with a high tech twist.By Robert Hunziker

Big Energy:

In Fuel to the Fire: How Geoengineering Threatens to Entrench Fossil Fuels and Accelerate the Climate Crisis, the Center for International Environmental Law (CEIL) warns that geoengineering, which includes technologies to remove huge amounts of carbon dioxide and to shoot particles into the atmosphere to block sunlight, potentially offers more of a problem for the climate than a solution. By Justin Mikulka

Civil Rights/Black Liberation:

Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America

Kristian Williams: I doubt that your readers need to be told that police brutality and racism are real problems. But the history I recount in Our Enemies in Blue may help make sense of why the institution operates the way that it does. Looking at the history of policing from the slave patrols to our current period of militarization and mass incarceration, I argue that racism and violence are central to the institution’s function. In other words, rather than ask why the institution doesn’t do what it is “supposed” to do—bringing justice, protecting the innocent, etc. —I think we get further by starting with what it does do, and then looking for the reasons it does that. Taking that approach, and recognizing that throughout their history the police have reliably served the interests of white supremacy, we may get a clearer idea of what the role of the police really is, and it also tells us something about the centrality of racism to our entire society. — Black Agenda Report Book Forum:  Kristian Williams’s “Our Enemies in Blue”

Pelosi Sabotages Medicare for All, But Corporate Media Pretend Not to Notice  When the top Democrat secretly plots to subvert a proposal supported by the vast majority of her party, that’s supposed to be news — unless the corporate media decide otherwise. “The plutocrat-owned press is protecting Pelosi from the extreme embarrassment.” Thanks to Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid in 2016, his signature Medicare for All proposal is the litmus issue for Democrats in the unfolding 2020 campaign. With supermajority support among Democratic and independent voters and backed by more than half of Republican s, the single payer scheme was endorsed by a majority of Democratic candidates in November’s House races. Most of the declared Democratic presidential candidates claim to back Medicare for All, including even New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, who has accepted more money from Big Pharma than any other member of his party . So compelling is the issue, a Politico-Harvard poll shows that fully 84 percent of Democrats want the party to make Medicare for All “an extremely important priority.” By Glen Ford, BAR executive editor


The War at the Point of Production: The ‘Killing Fields’ of the United Statescontinues with safety regulations cut and fewer Occupational Health Doctors:

To achieve the objective of establishing occupational and environmental medicine as a clinical entity within mainstream medical care and education, a new approach to training and certification is needed. We recommend that the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the American Board of Family Practice (ABFP) offer certificates of added qualifications to diplomates in internal medicine and family practice who have advanced training or experience in occupational and environmental medicine. The certificate of added qualifications in geriatric medicine offered by the ABIM and ABFP is a model for such an approach. We recognize that implementing a similar program for occupational and environmental medicine would be controversial. Nonetheless, we believe that it would be effective in remedying the shortage of clinicians in this field, particularly in locations not readily served by academic medical centers. This strategy might also increase interest in occupational and environmental medicine among primary care specialists by offering a second certificate of added qualifications to board-certified specialists who participate in one additional year of clinical specialty training. We also recommend an alternative approach to certification of the full-fledged specialist in occupational and environmental medicine: a streamlined dual-certification program overseen by a primary care specialty board (ABIM or ABFP) and by the American Board of Preventive Medicine. A similar process has been adopted by the ABIM with the American Board of Pediatrics, the American Board of Emergency Medicine, and the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  Most primary care physicians are inadequately prepared to respond to the growing need for clinical services that address the real and perceived problems of occupational and environmental illness. A recent community-based survey identified physicians as one of the most trusted but least informed sources of information about the risks of chemical exposure.14 This gap between trust and knowledge must be narrowed. Substantial changes in medical education are needed at the undergraduate level as well as in the training of clinicians, teachers, and researchers in occupational and environmental medicine. Taken together, the six measures recommended in this article can alleviate the current pressing shortage of physicians in occupational and environmental medicine. — Meeting the Growing Need for Clinical Services

‘No One Should Be Surprised’: After Long Career Stiffing Workers, Trump Blocks Back Pay for Federal ContractorsAs a real estate mogul, Donald Trump was notorious for swindling low-wage workers out of pay. Lack of back pay for low-wage contractors also called a “policy and political failure” for Democratic leaders, who were accused of failing to publicly fight the president’s cruelty By Jake Johnson

Trump at the future site of Trump Tower in 1980. (Photo: Ted Horowitz/Corbis/Getty Images)


Capitalist Deregulation Kills: Mine Flood Kills 23, Zimbabwean Officials Fear Final Death Toll Thirty-eight miners traveled down into a pair of mines Tuesday and so far, not one living survivor has been found. Zimbabwean officials continue to search for miners after a gold mine outside the capital, Harare, flooded earlier this week.”So far twenty-three people have been confirmed dead and fears are that more miners could have perished,” police spokesperson Charity Charamba said.

Although Zimbabwe’s mines constitute a major part of the country’s economy, they are poorly regulated and are the site of dozens of tragic accidents every year. | Photo: Reuters

Britain: cancer and Capita – NHS outsourcing disaster deepensOn 14 November 2018, the British Medical Association (BMA) uncovered a system error by Capita, an outsourcing company responsible for ‘business processes’. Capita’s negligence led to 48,000 women not receiving their letters for cervical cancer screening and follow up, potentially putting many lives at risk. Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee chair at the time, stated:“This is an incredibly serious situation, and it is frankly appalling that patients may now be at risk because of this gross error on the part of Capita. Some women will now be left extremely anxious because they have not received important correspondence, particularly letters about abnormal smear test results that need urgent follow up. This has been caused solely by Capita’s incompetence.” By Dan Langley

Britain: Brexit crisis will reshape political landscape foreverWith the Brexit clock ticking, British big business is getting increasingly panicked at the prospect of a no-deal departure from the European Union. “Businesses risk being hung out to dry,” remarked Adam Marshall, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, a leading voice of UK bosses. The ruling class is growing weary of Theresa May and her can kicking antics, which only add to uncertainty and instability facing British capitalism. By Adam Booth


Welcome To Chapwood Index
The Real Cost Of Living Increase Index
   The Chapwood Index reflects the true cost-of-living increase in America. Updated and released twice a year, it reports the unadjusted actual cost and price fluctuation of the top 500 items on which Americans spend their after-tax dollars in the 50 largest cities in the nation.  It exposes why middle-class Americans — salaried workers who are given routine pay hikes and retirees who depend on annual increases in their corporate pension and Social Security payments — can’t maintain their standard of living. Plainly and simply, the Index shows that their income can’t keep up with their expenses, and it explains why they increasingly have to turn to the government for entitlements to bail them out.

Citigroup Pats Itself on the Back for Disclosing It Pays Women 29 Percent Less than Men In a blog post on January 19, Citigroup’s head of Human Resources, Sara Wechter, wrote that “Citi’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is longstanding.” She next bragged that “Last year, Citi was the first financial institution to publicly release the results of a pay equity review.” Three paragraphs later, we get the cold, hard facts: “median pay for women globally is 71% of the median for men” at Citigroup.   By Pam Martens

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

CEH’s Ansje Miller Responds to EPA’s PFAS Action Plan“Considering the magnitude of the public health crisis posed by our increasing exposure to the hazardous class of the ubiquitous toxic Per- And Polyfluoroalkyl Substances(PFAS) chemicals, indications are that EPA’s action plan is woefully inadequate and lacks the necessary urgency. These chemicals have been linked to liver and kidney damage, thyroid disease, asthma, decreased fertility, pregnancy complications, lower birth weights, and cancer. Some 110 million Americans drink water with dangerous PFAS levels and PFAS have been found in the blood of an estimated 98% of Americans.