Daily News Digest April 30, 2018

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 April 30, 2018

Images of the Day:

Bendib: ‘The Thinker’!:Quotes of the Day:

It was a heady feeling, the idea that one could conjure a man from a stain on a calico patchwork quilt from 1978, that one could reverse the flow of power. If you commit murder and then vanish, what you leave behind isn’t just pain but absence, a supreme blankness that triumphs over everything else. The unidentified murderer is always twisting a doorknob behind a door that never opens. But his power evaporates the moment we know him. We learn his banal secrets. We watch as he’s led, shackled and sweaty, into a brightly lit courtroom as someone seated several feet higher peers down unsmiling, raps a gavel, and speaks, at long last, every syllable of his birth name. ― Michelle McNamara, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer

After Processing The House, The Police Said To Drew Witthuhn, “It’s yours.” The yellow tape came down; the front door closed. The impassive precision of badges at work had helped divert attention from the stain. There was no avoiding it now. ― Michelle McNamara, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer

The SAFTU general strike was clearly a big success. The federation has proved it has the ability to bring out large sections of the working class. This is an important start. The strike has also revealed the anger of the workers. But it is important to build on this. A one-day general strike gives a serious warning to the ruling class. It also gives the workers a sense of their collective power. But a one day strike will not stop the attacks. The task is to build a strong campaign which will build on the momentum created. This battle will not be won in the parliament’s portfolio committee, but on the streets. It is therefore necessary to prepare to escalate the strike action. This could include calling a 48-hour general strike, while preparing for an open-ended general strike if the demands are not met. But not even this will be enough. The right to strike was won by the working class in struggle. But under capitalism all advances by the workers are only temporary. The capitalist system in South Africa is in deep crisis. This is causing mass anger among the working class. The ruling class knows that the class collaborationist trade union leaders, such as those in the biggest federation COSATU, will not be able to hold the workers back once the anger of the workers boils over. Therefore, they are preparing the way for unelected officials, commissioners and judges to have a greater say in internal union affairs. This is what is behind these attacks. The capitalists cannot allow healthy trade union democracy at a stage when the class struggle is rising sharply because they are afraid that the workers will kick out the cowardly right-wing leaders and replace them with more militant ones. But ultimately these attacks show that the working class needs a party of its own: a party fighting for socialism. — South Africa: the SAFTU general strike and the massive class struggle ahead

After he spoke, I asked Lewallen, a Mendocino County resident, “What’s the lobbyist’s name?” He told me, “Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association. Look it up on the DFG website.” I looked up her name — and saw that she was on the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force for the North Central Coast, as well as for the South Coast. I was appalled by the fact that an oil industry representative with such an enormous conflict of interest was on a task force to “protect” the ocean, along with a coastal real estate developer, marina corporation executive and others with big conflicts of interests. As it turned out, several months later Reheis-Boyd became the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and around the same time became the Chair of the MLPA Initiative South Coast panel after the previous chair left. While state officials and corporate environmental NGO leaders touted the process as “open, transparent and inclusive” and saw no problem with having an oil industry lobbyist at the helm of marine protection in California, Tribal leaders, fishermen, grassroots environmentalists, and public trust advocates criticized state officials for allowing an oil industry official and others with conflicts of interests to oversee a process tasked with creating “marine protected areas.” The worst fears of MLPA Initiative critics were realized in December 2012 when the Brown administration completed a series of “marine protected areas” on the California Coast that fail  to protect the ocean from oil drilling, fracking, oil spills, pollution, military testing and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering. Then in August 2013, an Associated Press and FOIA investigation revealed that the oil industry had conducted over 203 fracking operations in waters off the California coast during a 20 year period, including the period from 2004 to 2012 that Reheis-Boyd had served on the MLPA task forces for the South Coast, Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast.  —  California’s Love Affair With Big Oil: From Marine ‘Protection’ to Cap-and-Trade Bill


The Double Russia Conspiracy TrapI’ve been consistently suspicious and critical of the “Russia conspiracy trap”.  At the same time, I am an historian and a journalist who always wants to know what happened, and who has, I hope, the decency not to close my mind in advance of the facts.  “The truth,” a Russian named Lenin is supposed to have said, “is always revolutionary.” It never serves the people’s cause for a Left commentator to get ahead of one’s empirical skis — or to pretend to know stuff one doesn’t know. by Paul StreetTrump Considers Pardoning Dubious Sex Trafficking Conviction After Signing Dubious Sex Trafficking BillLast Saturday, President Trump tweeted that he was considering a posthumous pardon of Jack Johnson. This pardon is more than deserving as Johnson was the victim of the Jim Crow era, but Trump’s recent support of a similar, counterproductive sex trafficking law (FOSTA) will also help to create wrongful convictions. by Brian Saady


In “Huge Win for Pollinators, People and the Planet,” EU Bans Bee-Killing PesticidesFaced with mounting scientific evidence that bee-poisoning neonicotinoids, or neonics, could cause an “ecological armageddon,” European regulators on Friday approved a “groundbreaking” and “historic” ban on the widely-used class of pesticides — an announcement met with immediate applause by campaigners. By Jessica Corbett

Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

California’s Love Affair With Big Oil: from Marine ‘Protection’ to Cap-and-TradeMy long series of articles investigating the power of Big Oil in California, including my recent coverage of legislation successfully brokered by Governor Jerry Brown to extend California’s cap-and-trade (pollution trading) program past 2020, began at the Annual Legislative Fisheries Forum at the State Capitol in March of 2009. As I listened to testimony from the public about the controversial Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create “marine protected areas” in California, my ears perked up when John Lewallen, an author, longtime North Coast environmental leader and seaweed harvester, complained that an oil industry lobbyist, was strategically placed on the panel overseeing the creation of “marine protected areas.” by Dan Bacher

 GOP Tax Law Bails Out Fracking Companies Buried in Debt EOG Resourcesis one of the top companies in the fracking industry, and thanks to the new tax bill passed by Republicans and President Donald Trump at the end of last year, EOG had an exceptionally strong year compared to 2016.In 2017, the company reported a net income of $2.6 billion. The previous year? A lossof $1.1 billion. That financial turnaround seems very impressive until you realize that $2.2 billion, or about 85 percent, of its 2017 income was the result of the new tax law. Without that gift from the GOP and Trump, EOG would have lost approximately $700 million between those two years. Instead they are $1.5 billion ahead of the game. By Justin Mikulka  Move Over Chernobyl, Fukushima is Now Officially the Worst Nuclear Power Disaster in HistoryThe radiation dispersed into the environment by the three reactor meltdowns at Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan has exceeded that of the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, so we may stop calling it the “second worst” nuclear power disaster in history. Total atmospheric releases from Fukushima are estimated to be between 5.6 and 8.1 times that of Chernobyl, according to the 2013 World Nuclear Industry Status Report. Professor Komei Hosokawa, who wrote the report’s Fukushima section, told London’s Channel 4 News then, “Almost every day new things happen, and there is no sign that they will control the situation in the next few months or years.” by John LaforgeCivil Rights Black Liberation:



Shadow Government Statistics Real GDP (1970 -2018 First Estimate of First-Quarter 2 018) 

Trump’s Tax Cut Follows a Pattern of Poor Vetting at White House It’s increasingly looking like President Trump vetted his tax cut plan about as thoroughly as he vetted his cabinets picks. That is likely to have a serious negative impact on U.S. economic growth, the housing market and consumer spending. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

All Pakistani comrades released: international solidarity campaign victorious!It has been confirmed that the last of our abducted Pakistani comrades have been released by the Rangers. We are relieved to have them back safely and grateful to all of our comrades and supporters who participated in our solidarity campaign, which was instrumental in securing the abductees. We publish the following message from the Progressive Youth Alliance, celebrating the safe return of our comrades, and the victory of our international campaign. By Progressive Youth Alliance (Pakistan)

South Africa: the SAFTU general strike and the massive class struggle aheadSAFTU’s general strike on Wednesday was a serious warning to the government and the capitalist class. It was part of a sharp intensification of industrial action by workers in big sectors of the economy. The attacks on the working class are preparing a backlash and an upsurge of the class struggle. By Ben MorkenWith New Date Set for UK Visit, Brits Vow Epic Street Protests to Counter ‘Exceptional Danger’ of Trump“We will be joining to take a strong stand against Trump’s racism, bigotry, misogyny, transphobia—as well as his ultra-corporate trade agenda.” By Julia ConleyHealth, Science, Education, and Welfare: