Daily News Digest December 22, 2017 

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  Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico

Daily News Digest December 22, 2017

Images of the Day:

Deregulation Kills

Leaked documents and public records reveal a troubling fusion of private security, public law enforcement, and corporate money in the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Quotes of The Day:

 . . . T]here are literally two Americas. One America is beautiful … overflowing with the milk of prosperity and the honey of opportunity. This America is the habitat of millions of people who have food and material necessities for their bodies and culture and education for their minds and freedom and human dignity for their spirits. In this America, millions of people experience every day the opportunity of having life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in all of their dimensions. And in this America millions of young people grow up in the sunlight of opportunity. But tragically and unfortunately, there is another America. This other America has a daily ugliness about it that constantly transforms the ebullience of hope into the fatigue of despair. In this America millions of work-starved men walk the streets daily in search for jobs that do not exist. In this America millions of people find themselves living in rat-infested, vermin-filled slums. In this America people are poor by the millions. They find themselves perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. In a sense, the greatest tragedy of this other America is what it does to little children. Little children in this other America are forced to grow up with clouds of inferiority forming every day in their little mental skies. And as we look at this other America, we see it as an arena of blasted hopes and shattered dreams. … So what we are seeking to do in the Civil Rights Movement is to deal with this problem, to deal with this problem of the two Americas. We are seeking to make America one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.  . . . Martin Luther King, The Other America Speech, Stanford University April 14, 1967

Social Democracy or Revolutionary Socialism?  Statement by the Eugene Debs Caucus of the Democratic Socialists of America: “The first great step of importance for every country newly entering into the movement is always the organization of the workers as an independent political party, no matter how, so long as it is a distinct workers’ party…. The masses must have time and opportunity to develop and they can only have the opportunity when they have their own movement—no matter in what form so long as it is only their own movement—in which they are driven further by their own mistakes and learn wisdom by hurting themselves.”  So wrote Frederick Engels about the U.S. working class in 1886. That step—the organization of the U.S. working class as its own political party—has yet to be accomplished. But today, when both the main political parties of the U.S. capitalist class are in crisis, there is an opening like never since the 1930s. For socialists, one of the first steps in taking advantage of this opportunity would be to run independent, working class representatives for local office. These would be candidates who explicitly link the local issues with the necessity of building a mass working class political party. With its extremely rapid growth, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) can play a vital role in helping the creation of such a party. It can put the creation of such a party on the agenda; raise the issue in the minds of millions of workers. It also has the resources to run successful independent, working class representatives for local office and start to bring these local campaigns together into one national, working class movement, independent of and opposed to the two main capitalist parties.

Videos of the Day:

Donald Trump accidentally admits Republican tax bill was deceptively sold as boost to middle classes President revels in ‘victory’ over Obamacare and inadvertently blurts out admission that his party misrepresented contents of bill While talking about the corporate tax rate being cut from 35 percent to 21 percent, Trump said, “That’s probably the biggest factor in our plan.”

Jeremy Corbyn’s Geneva Speech International Relations, Social Movements

Trump, GOP Pull Off Their Tax Heist Congressional Republicans have approved their tax bill, a massive upward transfer of wealth that fulfills a decades-long right-wing goal of permanent tax cuts for corporations. We speak to professor and author Bill Black


The 1% Will Earn the People’s Hatred “The rich prevail in virtually every contest because their political monopoly matches their monopoly on economic power.” Senate Republicans passed a tax bill that House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi described as “simply theft — monumental, brazen theft from the American middle class and from every person who aspires to reach it.” The measure fulfills every corporate wish list compiled in the 30 years since Ronald Reagan last overhauled the tax code. Pelosi, who once co-chaired the Congressional Progressive Caucus, corralled majority Democratic support for a $700 billion war budget — by far the largest in human history and nearly $100 billion bigger than President Trump requested. It, too, is a “brazen theft” that will be paid for with future social spending cuts. Polls show the American people oppose both the oligarchic tax code and the apocalyptic war budget, but such facts are of no legislative consequence, because the U.S. political machinery hears only the voice of Capital, as expressed by both corporate parties. If Congress does not undo the war budget — which means dismantling imperialism — then the decimation of social programs will continue. But the Democrats, including Bernie Sanders, will not abandon the imperial project. The rich prevail in virtually every contest because their political monopoly matches their monopoly on economic power — both of which are ultimately secured by force of arms, domestically and in international relations. By Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report executive editor

Freedom of the Press?: An Unusually Deadly Year for Women Journalists Around the World, Report Finds “What we’re seeing is a deterioration of global proportions in the press freedom environment,” said Courtney Radsch, advocacy director at CPJ. These were some of the 42 journalists killed because of their work during 2017, according to a report released today by the Committee to Protect Journalists. That number included an unusually large percentage of women, the report found. By Henriette Chacar


Alaska’s Arctic national wildlife refuge now has a $1bn price tag on it Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski believes this refuge could generate vast sums of money once it’s opened to oil leasing. That would be a tragedy And so Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski believes this refuge – 80 miles east of Prudhoe Bay – could generate $1bn over 10 years once it’s opened to oil leasing. She and her Republican colleagues slipped this drilling provision into the Senate Republican tax bill. By Kim Heacox

Trump EPA rule change exploits taxpayers for mine cleanup, critics say Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt has scrapped an Obama-era rule requiring mining operations to prove they can clean up future pollution When the Zortman Landusky gold and silver mine, located upstream from Montana’s enormous Fort Belknap reservation, went bankrupt in 1998, the cost of the cleanup fell on the US taxpayer. The costs keep growing. “Toxic pollution from the Zortman Landusky mine has contaminated nearly a dozen streams in the Little Rocky mountains and harmed the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre tribes that live downstream,” Bonnie Gestring, a staffer with Earthworks, a member of the Western Mining Action Network, said.  By Benjamin Preston

Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

The EPA in the service of big oil: ‘No shame’: how the Trump administration granted big oil’s wishlist The EPA has fulfilled almost all major demands made by the American Petroleum Institute within its first year under Trump By Oliver Milman 

Civil Rights/ Black Liberation:



 When will we see the world’s first trillionaire? The fantastic fortunes of fictional characters are being outstripped by the assets of flesh-and-blood tycoons. Should we fear this explosion of super-wealth? . . . After carefully assessing the assets of the likes of Bruce Wayne and Montgomery Burns, its most recent analysis concluded that Scrooge McDuck – mining magnate and uncle of Donald Duck – was top, with an estimated net worth of $65bn, narrowly beating the dragon Smaug. But perhaps the most remarkable feature of an altogether remarkable list is rarely noted: the degree to which fictional billionaires have lost ground to real-life ones. According to Forbes, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon with an estimated fortune of $98bn, has recently overtaken Bill Gates to become the world’s richest man. It seems we have reached the point where there are people in the world richer than we are capable of imagining. By Tom Campbell

The Bitcoin Bubble Bit coin, the original crypto-currency, was valued at $.08 in July 2010; $8100 on November 20, 2017, and $17,900 on Dec.15 2017. The sky is apparently the limit. The danger of course,is not just that at some point, the bigger fools, the last purchasers of bit coin and the long term holders (“hodlers” in crypto-speak) will loose some or all of their money. That would be regrettable. But like straight forward pump and dump market manipulations of a stock some will win while others loose. by Roy Morrison


North of Ireland: Brexit and the Irish border One phone call from Arlene Foster to the British Prime Minister Theresa May was enough to halt a deal between the European Union and British government, already agreed on Monday 4 December. Arlene Foster is the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland: a right-wing party with its roots in the anti-Catholicism of its former leader Ian Paisley. It is also pro-life, anti-gay and deeply reactionary By Gerry Ruddy

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

New Weapons of Mass Destruction?: U.S. Government Lifts Ban on Making Viruses More Deadly and Transmissible Like a Horror movie prologue “Science laboratory creates horrible disease that will inevitably escape and kill all of humanity,” which might be the most unbelievable, since it defies both logic and actual laws. Or rather, it did until Tuesday, when the U.S. government announced it was lifting a three-year ban on federal funding for experiments that alter viruses to make them even deadlier.   By Kali Holloway