Daily News Digest March 5, 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 March 5, 2018

Images of the Day:

North Pole surges above freezing in the dead of winter, stunning scientists

Violence is American as Apple PieVideos of the Day:

How Did Communist China Become a Capitalist Superpower?  In his new book, “Competing Economic Paradigms in China,” Steve Cohn examines how China’s economic policy went from Maoist to “iron rice bowl” to neoliberal

Supreme Court: Indefinite Detention for Immigrants is Allowed The US Supreme Court ruled that indefinite detention for immigrants, undocumented or resident, is allowable. The decision exacerbates an already intolerable situation for over 400,000 immigrants who are caught up in the US immigrant detention system

Electric Power Companies Top the List of Greenhouse Gas Emitters  The top three companies on the newest edition of PERI’s Greenhouse 100 Index are all electric power generators, and they’re responsible for a full five percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, says researcher Michael Ash

Capital Flight From Africa: How the Poor Finance the Rich A new World Bank report comparing economic growth among different regions in the world ignores key factors in addressing wealth and inequality in Africa–particularly the wealth that is stashed offshore in developed countries, says economist and author Leonce Ndikumana

The Black Disinvestment Crisis: From Dayton, OH to Baltimore, MD (1/2) In the first of our three part series on the dismantling of West Dayton, a predominantly African-American Community, TRNN talks to Professor Lawrence Brown and activists about how the national move to gentrify cities has left existing black communities vulnerable to disinvestment by Stephen Janis and Taya Graham

Western Media Distorts Escalating Syrian War Intense bombing by the Syrian government, in alliance with Russia, has killed large numbers of civilians in Eastern Ghouta, which the Syrian government has besieged for years. But differing media accounts make it hard to decipher what’s really happening, says Col. Larry Wilkerson

Quotes of the Day:

Congress is currently mulling a proposal to amend its seasonal workers’ visa program by capping the number it issues every year at 410,000. The legislation would attempt to force all undocumented workers to return to their native countries and apply for visas. Only a fraction of those who apply would be allowed to return. In effect, that would would be a prohibition on undocumented labor that would paralyze California’s agriculture industry, said Nassif, which is already losing acres of labor-intensive crops, including cherries, apples, peppers and berries to farms in Mexico, South and Central America and East Asia. After setting records for revenue every year in the six years to 2015, receipts fell 13 percent to $47 billion in 2016 because of “the ongoing drought and shifting market conditions,” according to Karen Ross, Secretary of California’s Department of Food and Agriculture. The most significant “market condition” is the labor shortage, said Arturo Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers of America union, a problem that will get worse as long as Trump’s ICE continues to target California. For every employee who’s detained — from a farm, restaurant or California meatpacking plant — dozens of others become fearful of returning to work. Employees across the state are quitting their jobs on the spot when informed that their employers have received federal audit forms requiring them to produce employee work authorization papers. A dozen of the 35 employees at Ruby’s Diner in Commerce, California, east of Los Angeles, quit on Feb. 15 when ICE dropped by the restaurant with the audit form. ICE never returned, as they promised, on Feb. 22. — California Fruit Will ‘Die on the Vine’ After ICE Raids, Labor Warns

Any individual who is able to raise [enough money] to be considered presidential is not going to be much use to the people at large. He will represent…whatever moneyed entities are paying for him…. Hence, the sense of despair throughout the land as incomes fall, businesses fail and there is no redress. — Gore Vidal

As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests. — Gore Vidal


The 1% Duopoly Strikes!: Revenge Of The Stadium Banks Instead of Taking on Gun Control, Democrats Are Teaming With Republicans for a Stealth Attack on Wall Street Reform In mid-January, Citigroup executives held a conference call with reporters about the bank’s fourth-quarter 2017 earnings. The discussion turned to an obscure congressional bill, S.2155, pitched by its bipartisan supporters mainly as a vehicle to deliver regulatory relief to community banks and, 10 years after the financial crisis, to make needed technical fixes to the landmark Wall Street reform law, Dodd-Frank. By David DayenUnited States grinding down its Puerto Rico colony Five months after Hurricane Maria devastated the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, 25% of the US colony’s people are still without electricity. No state in the US has ever experienced such a long blackout. Even areas with power are plagued with intermittent blackouts. Wide swathes of the island were recently plunged back into darkness after an explosion and fire at an electrical station, a result of the rickety nature of the whole electrical system. Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rossello asked Congress and the Donald Trump administration for US$94 billion to rebuild. He received a pledge of $16 billion, which may or may not arrive. The US-appointed board that controls the colony’s finances, together with the compliant government of Puerto Rico, is on a drive to privatise the island’s public electrical company and educational system. By Barry SheppardIt was only after Oxfam wrote the below article, did Oxfam’s NGO character get expose as a typical NGO and the prostitution scandal hit the news.: Eye-watering inequality: a symptom of a sick system Earlier this month, Oxfam published the latest statistics on wealth inequality. They reveal that the slogan of “we are the 99 percent” really is true. The richest 1 percent globally own more than the rest of us put together. 42 billionaires own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who form the poorest half of the world’s population. Oxfam estimate that there are 2043 dollar billionaires today. To add insult to injury, two-thirds of these individuals have ‘earned’ their obscene wealth as a result of inheritance, rent-seeking, and cronyism. Over the last decade, with only a small decline after the crash in 2008, the figures for the elite’s riches have rocketed. Some 82 percent of money generated globally last year went to the top 1 percent. The poorest half, meanwhile, saw no increase at all, the charity said.

NGO scandal: making poverty profitable A sexual abuse scandal originally centered around Oxfam has now spread to many other household name charities, including Red Cross and Unicef. This has shone a bright light into the opaque world of the big charities, revealing that these organisations are part and parcel of the capitalist system that they purport to be on a mission to make just. In reality, they feed on poverty and the public’s conscience whilst doing nothing to end it. By Daniel Morley Environment:

Decline in krill threatens Antarctic wildlife, from whales to penguins Climate change and industrial-scale fishing is impacting the krill population with a potentially disastrous impact on larger predators, say scientists By Matthew TaylorSomeone Tell a Reporter: the Rich are Destroying the Earth“I Said Why? They Said They Didn’t Know” Let history record that on Wednesday, September 6th, 2017, 14 days after climate change-fueled Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas and 4 days before Hurricane Irma hit southern Florida, the climate-denying President of the United States Donald Trump went to North Dakota to deliver a “tax reform” speech before hundreds of workers and managers at a major oil refinery. by Paul Street

Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

FERC Commissioner Rob Powelson Spent Much of His First Months in Office Meeting With the Fossil Fuel Industry In his first few months at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), commissioner Rob Powelson scheduled the great majority of his meetings with fossil fuel energy companies and utilities, his work calendar shows. The calendar, obtained by DeSmog through an open records request, can be viewed below. By Itai Vardi

Civil Rights/ Black Liberation:



Shadow Government Statistics—Commentary No. 938 March 1, 2018 Real Average Weekly Earnings—January 2018—Heading into a Third-Consecutive, Quarterly Contraction. For the production and nonsupervisory employees category—the only series for which there is a meaningful history (see the Executive Comments  and Graph 13 Commentary No. 934-B), real average weekly earnings contracted monthly by 0.78% (-0.78%) in January 2018, setting up first-quarter 2018 as a likely, third-consecutive quarter of contraction in real earnings. Based on the January detail, the early trend for first-quarter 2018 is for an annualized contraction pace of 2.92% (-2.92%). That also would be the fifth real quarterly contraction of the last six quarters. Shadow Government Statistics Real GDP (1970-2017), Second-Estimate of Fourth-Quarter 2017World:

Putin’s State of the Union Putin has given a remarkable address to the Federal Assembly, the Russian People, and the peoples of the world. In his speech Putin revealed the existence of new Russian nuclear weapons that make it indisputably clear that Russia has vast nuclear superiority over the United States and its pathetic NATO vassal states. In view of the Russian capabilities, it is not clear that the US any longer qualifies as a superpower. There is little doubt in my mind that if the crazed neoconservatives and military/security complex in Washington had these weapons and Russia did not, Washington would launch an attack on Russia. Putin, however, declared that Russia has no territorial ambitions, no hegemonic ambitions, and no intention to attack any other country. Putin described the weapons as the necessary response to the West’s firm refusal year after year to accept peace and cooperation with Russia, instead surrounding Russia with military bases and ABM systems. By Paul Craig Roberts

South Africa: raising VAT is an attack on workers On 21 February the middle-class illusions in Ramaphosa received a shattering blow when the outgoing finance minister delivered a brutal austerity budget. This was just one day after the new president had told everyone during his State of the Nation Address that a “new dawn” has broken. By Ben Morken

COSATU: VAT hike “will hurt workers and their families by taking money from their pockets” / Image: Discott

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare: