Daily News Digest January 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 January 30, 2018 

Images of the Day: 

Ignoring Trump’s Climate Scepticism, Davos Elite Bets On Making Money From Green Subsidies 

The Doomsday Clock just ticked closer to midnight 

Quotes of the Day: 

Yes. The Federal Government currently owes the Social Security Trust Fund $2.85 Trillion Dollars. That’s $2,850,000,000,000. While the Federal Government has borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund since it began, in 1983, President Ronald Reagan (a Republican) and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill (a Democrat) came to an agreement to increase Payroll taxes allowing the Social Security Trust Fund to build a large surplus so they would have the funds to help pay the Social Security obligations to baby boomers when they retired. Sadly, politicians in Washington couldn’t keep their hands off the money in the Social Security Trust Fund. While both parties have been quick to blame the other one for the raid of the Social Security Trust Fund, both parties have been equally to blame. Every year, the total balance in the Social Security Trust Fund has been transferred to the Federal Treasury and replaced with non negotiable bonds which are stored in a filing cabinet at the Bureau of Public Debt in Parkersburg, West Virginia. The interest on these bonds is “paid” by the issue of even more bonds.  The Federal Government will only have money to repay its obligations by raising taxes or radically cutting spending. In the words of Senator Mike Enzi “If the revenues are not there (and they will not be as long as the government continues to run budget deficits), then the federal government will have to raise taxes or cut other spending to finance promised Social Security benefits. This is gross financial mismanagement. We don’t have enough trust funds with money in them to satisfy the demands put on our government.” — Dan Perrin, Social Security & Health Policy Advocate, The Seniors Center

 Videos of the Day:

Undoing the New Deal: Eisenhower Builds an Arsenal of Nuclear Weapons and a Cabinet of Millionaires (pt7) Historian Peter Kuznick says that in spite of his famous warning, Eisenhower can be called the father of the industrial-military complex; when he takes office, the U.S. has a 1,000 nuclear weapons, when he leaves, it’s 22,000 – with host Paul Jay

Honduras: The Never-ending Coup Special Report from the Hemisphere’s Most Controversial Inauguration

Honduras: President Hernandez’s Inauguration Rejected by Protesters  Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez is proceeding with his inauguration, despite massive fraud allegations, protests, and a major new drug corruption scandal involving the head of Police. US, Canada, Mexico, and the OAS give him a green light to proceed

Largest Marine Spill in History of Natural Gas Condensate Leading expert on marine oil spills, Professor Richard Steiner, who worked on Exxon Valdez spill, says there has never been a spill of this type before and the environmental response was inadequate


Washington Widens the War in Syria by Provoking TurkeyThe Trump administration has drawn Turkey deeper into the Syrian conflict by announcing a policy that threatens Turkey’s national security. Washington’s gaffe has pitted one NATO ally against the other while undermining hopes for a speedy end to the seven year-long war. by Mike Whitney   

Leaked Trump Infrastructure Plan is a Blueprint for Corporate Subsidies The Trump administration’s plans to rebuild infrastructure in the United States have been leaked, and it appears to be as bad as feared. At least three-quarters of intended funding will go toward corporate subsidies, not actual projects. It is possible that no funding will go directly toward projects. by Pete Dolack

The Useful Idiocy of Donald Trump The problem with Donald Trump is not that he is imbecilic and inept—it is that he has surrendered total power to the oligarchic and military elites. They get what they want. They do what they want. Although the president is a one-man wrecking crew aimed at democratic norms and institutions, although he has turned the United States into a laughingstock around the globe, our national crisis is embodied not in Trump but the corporate state’s now unfettered pillage. By Chris Hedges 


In the Age of Big Climate Change, We Have to Stop Farting Carbon This past year is what the era of Big Climate Change looks like. We are only at the beginning of the massive changes we are making to our environment by farting 41 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (a heat-trapping gas) into our atmosphere every year, but we can already see the shape of the future and it is alarming. (“Emissions” as a word is bland and means nothing to most people. Inform them that they are annually farting 18 tons of stuff into the atmosphere that you could light a match to, and maybe they will be a little embarrassed). by Juan Cole  

Paris is on high alert as the river Seine reaches critical levels. (Screen shot / YouTube)

Approaching the Apocalypse, the Doomsday Clock Moves Forward The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has just moved their Doomsday Clock forward to two minutes till midnight. Midnight represents nuclear apocalypse. The Clock is recognized around the world as an indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and emerging technologies. Each year the decision to move the Clock forward, backward, or not at all, is determined by the Bulletins Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors which includes 15 Nobel Laureates. by Robert Dodge 

Inside the Dead Zone It was at a point when linguistics, cultural anthropology and continental philosophy were converging that philosopher Martin Heidegger proclaimed ‘language is the house of the truth of being.’ The problem at hand was conceiving the role of language in an experiential (phenomenological) sense that closed the distance between the Western inheritance of Cartesian dualism, and with it the need for ‘transcendence,’ and the world. by Rob Urie 

Plastic in the Oceans Increasing Risk of Disease in Coral Reefs  More than 11 billion pieces of plastic are lodged within coral reefs in the Asia-Pacific region. According to a new study published in the journal Science, as this plastic gets tangled, it often cuts the coral, increasing the risk of infection and disease outbreaks by as much 89 percent.

Why Light Pollution Is a Much Bigger Deal Than Not Being Able to See Stars at Night Light pollution eliminates much of the night sky, and with harmful effect. Have you ever seen the Milky Way? The very galaxy we are a part of? I have. But I had to go to Uyuni, Bolivia, to see it with the naked eye. Light pollution eliminates so much of our night sky it’s easy to forget we’re a part of a galaxy, and a universe, that is so much greater than ourselves. By Valerie Vande Panne 

Ongoing Big Energy Crisis: 

Civil Rights/ Black Liberation:


Hunter Point Naval Shipyard Has Been Polluting Radiation Since WWII:

2018: Almost half of toxic cleanup at Hunters Point Shipyard is questionable or faked, according to initial review City’s goals for housing, affordable housing in doubt after fraud at city’s biggest redevelopment project “much worse” than though By Chris Roberts 

2004:Did You Know Hunters Point Naval ShipyardStill Has Radioactive “Hot Spots” Since WWII?        




JPMorgan’s Most Admired Bank Award: General Public Had No Say Someone really needs to send the good folks at Fortune Magazine a heads up that naming a bank that has admitted to three criminal felony counts in 2014-15 and lost more than $6 billion gambling with its depositors’ money does not have the makings for a most-admired anything, unless possibly most-admired for dodging jail time. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Meet the Conflicted Team that Could Prosecute Trump-Russia Charges According to former FBI Director James Comey, President Donald Trump asked him for a personal loyalty pledge. Comey didn’t give it. Comey was fired by Trump. Trump has also made repeated remarks to suggest that his view of what is supposed to be an independent U.S. Justice Department is rather one that functions as his personal Praetorian Guard, protecting him while prosecuting or firing his perceived enemies — a roster that is growing exponentially by the day. By pam Martens and Russ Martens 


Paul Craig Roberts Warns “In the Western World Lies Have Displaced Truth” Last year I was awarded Marquiss Who’s Who In America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. This did not prevent a hidden organization, PropOrNot, from attempting to brand me and my website along with 200 others “Putin stooges or agents” for our refusal to lie for the corrupt, anti-American, anti-constitutional, anti-democratic, warmonger police state interests that rule the Western World. 

Brazil: Lula, elections and class struggle in 2018 The year has barely started and we’ve already seen large popular demonstrations all over Iran. Demonstrations, that had started with economic demands, developed into a revolt against the reactionary Islamic regime. In Tunisia, the youth have taken to the streets demanding employment and an end to IMF-imposed austerity policies. These two cases bring to mind, once again, the political instability that is spreading throughout the world and revolutionary explosions that may be detonated by little sparks. Esquerda Marxista

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

20 Common Chemicals and Pollutants That Can Increase the Risk of Cancer—Particularly in Children Many cancer-causing substances are lurking all around us. Most childhood cancer is diagnosed during the child’s first five years of life, with a peak incidence during the first year. The most common childhood cancer is leukemia, followed by lymphomas and brain cancers. There are known links between toxic chemicals and childhood cancers, but much more research is necessary to determine why childhood cancer is on the rise. Since many childhood cancers appear early in the child’s life, research is focusing attention on prenatal exposures to cancer-causing agents as one piece in the puzzle of rising numbers of childhood cancer. By Philip J. Landrigan, Mary M. Landrigan

The Myth of Charter Schools Ordinarily, documentaries about education attract little attention, and seldom, if ever, reach neighborhood movie theaters. Davis Guggenheim’s Waiting for “Superman” is different. It arrived in late September with the biggest publicity splash I have ever seen for a documentary. Not only was it the subject of major stories in Time and New York, but it was featured twice on The Oprah Winfrey Show and was the centerpiece of several days of programming by NBC, including an interview with President Obama. Two other films expounding the same arguments—The Lottery and The Cartel—were released in the late spring, but they received far less attention than Guggenheim’s film. His reputation as the director of the Academy Award–winning An Inconvenient Truth, about global warming, contributed to the anticipation surrounding Waiting for “Superman,” but the media frenzy suggested something more. Guggenheim presents the popularized version of an account of American public education that is promoted by some of the nation’s most powerful figures and institutions.The message of these films has become alarmingly familiar: American public education is a failed enterprise. The problem is not money. Public schools already spend too much. Test scores are low because there are so many bad teachers, whose jobs are protected by powerful unions. Students drop out because the schools fail them, but they could accomplish practically anything if they were saved from bad teachers. They would get higher test scores if schools could fire more bad teachers and pay more to good ones. The only hope for the future of our society, especially for poor black and Hispanic children, is escape from public schools, especially to charter schools, which are mostly funded by the government but controlled by private organizations, many of them operating to make a profit. By Diane Ravitch 

You Can’t Reform Capitalism—It Must Be Overthrown Interest in socialism has skyrocketed over the last two years. Millions of people yearn for change and want to fight back against capitalism. They are looking for ideas and an organization that can help them do just that. But there is as yet no viable point of reference, no mass socialist party, no clear and confident exit indicated out of the burning building. As a result, most people doubt whether a serious challenge to the system and its institutions can be mounted, let alone its total overturn. This explains the revival of interest in reformism. By John Peterson