Daily News Digest October 16, 2017

Daily News Digest Archives

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 Those  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 October 16, 2017

 Images of the Day:

Palestinian Genocide AIRS instrument on NASA’s Aqua spacecraft shows high carbon dioxide concentrations in the Northern Hemisphere.Quotes of the Day:

The particles within this smoke pose the biggest short-term risk to human health. It’s been extensively proven that high-dose exposure to so-called “fine particulate” pollution, or PM2.5, can trigger death, particularly in people with pre-existing conditions like asthma or heart disease. And breathing in smoke can make anyone—even healthy people—experience chest pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath. In California, those effects are already turning up: At least 20 people from outside immediate fire zones had visited UC San Francisco’s hospital facilities due to symptoms from smoke inhalation as of Tuesday evening, according to UCSF spokesperson Elizabeth Fernandez. There’s also a risk that some Californians could suffer longer-term health consequences from this wildfire smoke. “Right now we’re most worried about exacerbations of preexisting diseases,” said John Balmes, a physician and professor of medicine at UCSF. “But with the heavy exposure to air pollutants in the fire zone, people could actually develop asthma from smoke exposure.” Breathing in carcinogens like arsenic from wildfire smoke could also cause cancer, but “that hasn’t been well-studied,” Balmes said. — The Toxic Air in California Is a Public Health Crisis

At a meeting in Exxon Corporation’s headquarters, a senior company scientist named James F. Black addressed an audience of powerful oilmen. Speaking without a text as he flipped through detailed slides, Black delivered a sobering message: carbon dioxide from the world’s use of fossil fuels would warm the planet and could eventually endanger humanity. “In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels,” Black told Exxon’s Management Committee, according to a written version he recorded later. It was July 1977 when Exxon’s leaders received this blunt assessment, well before most of the world had heard of the looming climate crisis. A year later, Black, a top technical expert in Exxon’s Research & Engineering division, took an updated version of his presentation to a broader audience. He warned Exxon scientists and managers that independent researchers estimated a doubling of the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere would increase average global temperatures by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius (4 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit), and as much as 10 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit) at the poles.  Rainfall might get heavier in some regions, and other places might turn to desert. “Some countries would benefit but others would have their agricultural output reduced or destroyed,” Black said, in the written summary of his 1978 talk. His presentations reflected uncertainty running through scientific circles about the details of climate change, such as the role the oceans played in absorbing emissions. Still, Black estimated quick action was needed. “Present thinking,” he wrote in the 1978 summary, “holds that man has a time window of five to ten years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical.” Exxon responded swiftly. Within months the company launched its own extraordinary research into carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and its impact on the earth. Exxon’s ambitious program included both empirical CO2 sampling and rigorous climate modeling. It assembled a brain trust that would spend more than a decade deepening the company’s understanding of an environmental problem that posed an existential threat to the oil business. Then, toward the end of the 1980s, Exxon curtailed its carbon dioxide research. In the decades that followed, Exxon worked instead at the forefront of climate denial. It put its muscle behind efforts to manufacture doubt about the reality of global warming its own scientists had once confirmed. It lobbied to block federal and international action to control greenhouse gas emissions. It helped to erect a vast edifice of misinformation that stands to this day. —Exxon’s Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels’ Role in Global Warming Decades Ago

Videos of the Day:

Trump Threatens the Aid that Puerto Rico Needs President Trump has threatened to withdraw federal emergency workers from the Puerto Rico as much of the island remains in dire straits, says Julio Lopez Varona of Make the Road Connecticut

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez: Trump Wants to Own Puerto Rico But Not Help Those Dying After the Hurricane

 Unprecedented’ California Wildfires: 21 Dead, More than 500 Missing Despite studies linking increasing wildfires to climate change, the Trump administration scrapped an important Obama-era climate regulation this week -— just as deadly wildfires spread across Northern California

Drone footage shows a city in ruins as California fires continue to rage


So Many Tax Lies, So Little Time Three figures can explain the impact of Donald Trump’s tax plan. By Josh Hoxie 1% Rule: American Kakistocracy There’s a case to be made that the United States is governed by the least scrupulous of its citizens. Kakistocracy is a term that was first used in the 17th century; derived from a Greek word, it means, literally, government by the worst and most unscrupulous people among us. More broadly, it can mean the most inept and cringeworthy kind of government. The term fell into disuse over the past century or more, and most highly informed people have never heard it before (but to kids familiar with the word “kaka” it might resonate).

Trillion-Ton Icebergs and Record Stock Prices The strange happenstance of record-breaking stock markets and record-breaking icebergs is something to behold and wonder, what the hell is going on in the world? Is there a relationship between high stock prices and crashing, splintering icebergs? Probably, yes. In point of fact, as capitalism’s grand experiment of neoliberal tendencies (privatization/commoditization of everything in sight, let free markets reign supreme) progresses and registers enormous stock market profits, Antarctica splitters apart ever faster in lockstep. by Robert Hunziker Environment:

The Toxic Air in California Is a Public Health Crisis They may be far away from the flames, but millions of residents are inhaling deadly pollution from the devastating wildfires. By Emily Atkin European Parliament Takes Aim at Monsanto and Glyphosate Without much fanfare on this side of the Atlantic, the European Union is actively and effectively pushing back on one of the biggest bullies in the corporate sandbox, Monsanto. This week in Brussels the European Parliament’s Environment and Agriculture committees will hold a public hearing on The Monsanto Papers, documents released through lawsuits in the United States brought against Monsanto by over 250 people alleging that exposure to Roundup herbicide is responsible for their cancers. The papers show a disturbing pattern of scientific misrepresentation, data manipulation, and collusion with government officials. The hearing is called, ‘The Monsanto Papers and Glyphosate’ (11 Oct 9-12:30, AGRI/ENVI joint hearing. Presentations can be viewed online: agenda here; presentation by Carey Gilliam; presentation by Dr. Christopher Portier with narrative and slides; presentation by Dr. Kate Guyton from IARC ). By Jennifer Sass

Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

The Polluting of the Gulf of Mexico Continues From Obama to Trump: EPA Plans to Allow Unlimited Dumping of Fracking Wastewater in the Gulf of Mexico by Mike LudwigHidden Fukushima nuclear waste being released into ocean — ‘Surprisingly’ high levels of radiation now detected along Pacific coast and in groundwater far from reactors — Expert: No one expected this — “Alarming example of how radiation has spread”

Black Liberation/Civil Rights:

ESPN’s Jemele Hill is being reduced to an ‘angry black woman’ Those who deploy this stereotype do so in an effort to silence black women. Hill’s suspension from ESPN for weighing in on the NFL saga is just the latest example ESPN host Jemele Hill was suspended on Monday for tweeting, once again, what some would consider to be inflammatory statements. After the Dallas Cowboys’ owner, Jerry Jones, said Sunday that he would bench any of his players who “disrespect the flag” by kneeling during the national anthem, Hill suggested that fans who disagreed with Jones should boycott Cowboys advertisers in order to have their grievances heard. By Ameer Hasan Loggins



Shadow Government Statistics Alternate Gross Domestic Product Chart The SGS-Alternate GDP reflects the inflation-adjusted, or real, year-to-year GDP change, adjusted for distortions in government inflation usage and methodological changes that have resulted in a built-in upside bias to official reporting. 

The Political Economy of Obama/Trump US capitalism is again careening down blind alleys. Earlier it had crashed into the Great Depression from 1929 to 1933 before lurching into the New Deal. After 1945 it concentrated on rolling back the New Deal until it turned sharply to neoliberalism and “globalism” in the 1970s. That provided the comforting illusion of a few decades of “prosperous normalcy.” When the second major crash in 75 years hit in 2008, it exposed the debt-dependent reality of those decades. It also sent capitalism careening through a new depression followed by a devastating austerity regime. The economic careening provokes the political: its establishment center cannot hold. by Richard D. Wolff

Trump, the Chaos President, Adds Cruelty to His Brand Trump, the Chaos President, Adds Cruelty to His Brand The President, whose key job is to rally people in the time of crisis, posted the following, insanely cruel Tweet yesterday to a region where 84 percent of the residents still lack electrical power; one-third lack clean running water; and only 8 percent of the roads are passable according to government statistics: “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!” Trump posted to his Twitter page. That post came shortly after Trump retweeted a statement suggesting that Puerto Rico’s “financial crisis looms largely from their own making.” By Pam Martens and Russ Martens World:

With Restrictions Loosened and Increased US Bombings, Afghan Civilian Deaths Surge Uptick comes as U.S. beefs up Afghan air force’s fleet and “Mad Dog” Mattis loosens restrictions on strikes by Andrea Germanos

Militarization and “Shock Doctrine” Policies Abound After Earthquake in Mexico Barely a month has passed since a devastating earthquake struck Oaxaca, Mexico, destroying homes and people’s lives, but the privatization of communal territory has begun in earnest. Even before the basic needs of the affected people had been met, the government, in collusion with business interests, had declared the establishment of three tax-free enclaves, attractive to foreign investors, under the guise of reconstruction and economic stimulus. By Renata Bessi and Santiago Navarro F. Puerto Ricans Try to Tap Toxic Water at Hazardous Waste Sites As Donald Trump waffles between cruelly threatening to pull aid from Puerto Rico and pathetically whining about criticism of his terrible relief efforts there, the island continues to deal with ongoing devastation. According to a FEMA report, nearly 40 percent of Puerto Ricans have no access to clean drinking water. The situation is so dire that some residents are attempting to get water from polluted, contaminated and toxic sources. By Kali Holloway Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

‘Sadistic’ Sabotage: Uproar After Trump Declares End of Healthcare Subsidies “Trump doesn’t get that when he tosses a grenade into the healthcare system in broad daylight, we see who did it.” By Jake Johnson