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.
As many of us heard the news about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, we were both shocked and horrified that dangerous levels of lead could be present in the tap water used by a city full of people. But just because the water where you live isn’t contaminated by lead does not mean that it is truly safe. In fact, new research suggests that the drinking water used by more than six million Americans may have very high levels of toxic chemicals.— Toxic Chemicals in Your Drinking Water
Videos of the Day:
Trump Declares an Imperial Presidency – Paul Jay Trump’s emergency order threatens to create an all powerful presidency and weaken a constitutional order that allows the elites to settle their differences within an electoral process – Paul Jay joins guest-host Jacqueline Luqman of ‘Luqman Nation’
Most American states spend more on their prisons than they do on education – and California is the worst, investing $64,642 per prisoner compared to $11,495 per student – a $53,146 difference in spending priorities
The reasons include an incarceration rate that has tripled over the past three decades, the higher cost of caring for people in prisons 24 hours a day, and the higher number of workers required to operate a prison
New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island round out the top states spending more on prisons
Trump’s Broken Promises to the Land of “American Carnage” In late November, General MotorsGM) announced that it had no plans to allocate any new products to its Lordstown, Ohio, plant after it discontinues production on the Chevrolet Cruze this March. The move essentially ends the plant’s last 1,600 jobs, and represents only the latest dispatch from the heartland of what President Trump has called “American carnage.” For 52 years, the Lordstown plant, nestled in Trumbull County in the state’s Mahoning Valley, served as one of the nerve centers of the Youngstown-Warren area. Youngstown produced steel: Miles of blast furnaces perpetually lit up the night skies, and locals referred to the accompanying pollution as “pay dirt,” since the steel mills meant prosperity.
Is Trump’s National Emergency a Step Toward Fascism? President Trump has now declared a national emergency to fund his long-sought border wall. It is no surprise that when a fascistic president like Trump starts throwing around the idea of a national emergency, media outlets like Esquire start asking whether “it might be time to start fireproofing the Reichstag,” a clear allusion to Hitler’s ascent to power in 1933. But is the comparison justified? Is Trump’s declaration of a national emergency a threat to American democracy?The short answer is: National emergencies are normal … until they’re not. The United States has been in a state of nearly continual national emergency since the passage of the National Emergencies Act in 1976. Trump’s national emergency would be the 32nd national emergency currently in effect. Others include selective embargoes on Syria, Libya, and South Sudan and opposition to the “Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Congress can override a president’s national emergency, but only with a two-thirds majority vote. By Mark Bray
In Libya, “We Came, We Saw, He Died.” Now, Maduro? Libya is in a state of anarchic turmoil, with various groups fighting each other for control of the country, and as the Wall Street Journal reported last September, “Islamic State is staging a resurgence in chaotic Libya, claiming more than a dozen attacks in the North African country this year and threatening to disrupt the flow of oil from one of the world’s most significant suppliers.” To such mainstream media outlets as the Wall Street Journal the fact that oil supply is being disrupted is much more important than the savage IS attacks that result in slaughter of so many innocent people who are only foreigners, anyway. By Brian Cloughley
Trump administration condemned over delaying action on toxic drinking water EPA to spend at least another year considering whether to restrict toxic chemicals found in drinking water… The chemicals – known as PFOS and PFOA – are found in nonstick pots and pans, food packaging, and firefighting foam sprayed in drills on military bases. They seep into soil and groundwater in areas where they are manufactured and used. In high levels, the chemicals are linked with kidney and testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, high cholesterol and problems in pregnancy. The chemicals are so prevalent that they are estimated to be in the bloodstreams of nearly all Americans. By Emily Holden
US coastal businesses hit by everyday impact of climate change, study shows Annapolis seeing sea rise at about twice the global rate. Flooding there foreshadows problems other coastal towns can expect When the parking lot in the bustling tourist zone of downtown Annapolis floods, the employees at Pip’s Dock Street Dogs restaurant take off their socks and shoes, wrap their legs in trash bags and wade out into the water. A lot of the time, it’s not even raining. High tides intensified by sea-level rise are just pushing the water inland, overwhelming the drainage system. By Emily Holden
The Green New Deal, Capitalism and the State The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created by Richard Nixon in 1970 as the official response to the nascent environmental movement. As laid out in the recently released Poison Papers, it was structured to be dependent on research from private firms that were paid by the chemical producers it regulates. Given the limited market for this research, these firms either roduced research conducive to the interests of their customers or they went out of business. By Rob Urie
‘It’s About Economics’: Two Coal Plants to Close Despite Trump’s Tweet Trump is losing his rallying cry to save coal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted on Thursday to retire two coal-fired power plants in the next few years despite a plea from the president to keep one of the plants open.Earlier this week, the president posted an oddly specific tweet that urged the government-owned utility to save the 49-year-old Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky. It so happens that the facility burns coal supplied by Murray Energy Corporation, whose CEO is Robert Murray, is a major Trump donor.But the TVA board of directors voted 5-2 in favor of closing that plant as well as the Bull Run plant in Tennessee. By Lorraine Chow
Venezuela’s Missile Crisis: A Conversation with Juan ContrerasA grassroots leader from the 23 de Enero barrio in Caracas looks at the historical forces operating behind the showdown unfolding right now in the Bolivarian Republic. The claim that politics inevitably involves a struggle over historical meanings received spectacular confirmation in recent weeks. That’s because the political crisis that we are in the midst of right now – following Juan Guaido’s declaring himself president – saw the opposition to trying evoke the memory of pro-democracy rebellion that began on January 23, 1958. How do you understand this effort of Juan Guaido and his imperialist masters to appropriate that historical event, which was essentially a leftist victory, in the name of a coup d’etat? By By Cira Pascual Marquina – Venezuelanalysis.com
Daily Update (February 15th to 18th): Unexpected Monthly Plunges in January Industrial Production and Manufacturing, and December Retail Sales Signal a Weakened Economy and Increasingly Likely Early-2019 Recession. — John Williams
Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:
Workers’ democracy in the Russian Revolution – part twoThe Russian Revolution is the greatest event in human history, because for the first time the working class not only led a revolution, but took power directly into their own hands and proceeded to transform society. The act is slandered as undemocratic, when in reality it involved the most far-reaching and revolutionary democracy the world has ever seen. In this two-part article, Daniel Morley explains how this worked in practice. By Daniel Morley
She said Americans shouldn’t normalize economic inequality by idealizing the super-rich during a conversation with author Ta-Nehisi Coates at an event honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday.
The New York Democrat recently suggested the US should hike marginal tax rates on Americans making more than $10 million.
“I’m not saying that Bill Gates or Warren Buffett are immoral, but a system that allows billionaires to exist when there are parts of Alabama where people are still getting ringworm because they don’t have access to public health is wrong,” Ocasio-Cortez said during an event honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday. By Eliza Relman