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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.
Images of the Day:
American imperialism creates conflicts that generate waves of refugees. It pursues repressive, racist and discriminatory policies against migrants. It builds walls, militarizes borders. It makes unsustainable the pattern of production and consumption, and gets in the way of cooperation in confronting climate change.” — Raul Castro
BEN NORTON: Jeremy Corbyn, the leftist leader of Britain’s Labour Party, has come out forcefully against the UK government for joining the United States and France in a coordinated attack on the Syrian government. The head of the opposition to the administration of conservative Prime Minister Theresa May said the joint missile strikes in Syria were, quote, ‘legally questionable,’ echoing legal experts who say the attack violated international law. JEREMY CORBYN: I believe that the action was legally questionable, and on Saturday the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutteres said as much, reiterating that all countries must act in line with the United Nations Charter, which states action must be in self-defense or be authorized by the United Nations Security Council. BEN NORTON: Corbyn pointed out that if one were to be consistent with the same rationale used to justify the missile strike on Syria, one could just as well justify bombing Saudi Arabia over its devastating war on Yemeni civilians. JEREMY CORBYN: Does, for example, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen entitle other countries do arrogate themselves the right to bomb Saudi airfields or their positions in Yemen, especially given their use of banned cluster bombs and white phosphorous? BEN NORTON: The leftist Labour Party leader added that the United Kingdom and its close ally the U.S. have played a key role in supporting the Saudi monarchy in its catastrophic bombing and blockade of Yemen. JEREMY CORBYN: Three United Nations agencies said in January that Yemen was the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. So will the Prime Minister today commit to ending support to the Saudi bombing campaign and arms sales to Saudi Arabia? BEN NORTON: Jeremy Corbyn emphasized that there still has not been an independent investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma, Syria in early April. He likewise noted that it is not just the Syrian government that has used chemical weapons in the conflict, but also the foreign-backed Salafi jihadist rebels the Syrian army is fighting. JEREMY CORBYN: While much suspicion, rightly, points to the Assad government, chemical weapons have been used by other groups in the conflict. For example, Jaysh al Islam, which was reported to have used gas in Aleppo in 2016 amongst other groups. It is now vitally important that the OPCW inspectors who arrived in Damascus on Saturday are allowed to do their work and publish their report and their findings, and report to the United Nations Security Council. — Corbyn: Does Strike on Syria Justify Bombing Saudi Arabia over Yemen?
Videos of the Day:
Corbyn: Does Strike on Syria Justify Bombing Saudi Arabia over Yemen?Leftist leader of Britain’s Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn said the US-UK-France missile strike on Syria was “legally questionable,” and its rationale could be used to justify bombing Saudi Arabia over its devastating war on Yemen
Korean Peninsula in Historic Peace Talks – Thanks to Activists, Not Trump S outh and North Korea are considering a peace treaty after six decades of war. Simone Chun says this is the result of years of grassroots organizing and protests
Teacher Strikes Continue to Spread – A Symptom of Public Education UnderfundingTeacher strikes continue to spread: from West Virginia, to Kentucky, to Arizona, to Oklahoma, and now to Colorado. However, they are not just about pay – they are a result of systematic tax cuts designed to decimate public education, says Negin Owliaei of the Institute for Policy Studies
IMF Says 2018 Economic Outlook is Rosy, But Austerity is Still NeededThe IMF just released a positive World Economic Outlook report for 2018. Still, in order to make sure that the outlook remains good, the IMF makes recommendation that would lead to recession, says CEPR’s Mark Weisbrot
Teacher Strikes Continue to Spread – A Symptom of Public Education UnderfundinTeacher strikes continue to spread: from West Virginia, to Kentucky, to Arizona, to Oklahoma, and now to Colorado. However, they are not just about pay – they are a result of systematic tax cuts designed to decimate public education, says Negin Owliaei of the Institute for Policy Studies
Republicans Have Found a Nuclear Option to Kill RegulationsIn 2013, the new bureau put auto dealers and the finance companies they work with on notice: We have found evidence that auto loans are often marked up for Latino and African-American customers, and will be monitoring your compliance with fair lending laws. Study after study had shown that people of color typically pay higher fees and higher interest rates on car loans than whites with similar credit profiles. The CFPB didn’t wait to create a formal rule, instead issuing a “guidance” bulletin. Mulvaney could have undone that guidance simply by writing his own. But that wasn’t enough for Mulvaney, who, as a member of Congress, had sponsored a bill to eliminate the bureau entirely. Instead, on Wednesday, the Senate took action, voting 51-47 to overturn the guidance. When Congress strikes down an agency action, the consequences are far more permanent. “Once Congress passes a resolution disapproving of something like this, the agency is prohibited from ever doing anything substantially similar,” Gary Rivlin
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza The mainstream media once again have enthusiastically endorsed Donald Trump’s latest strike on Syria, pulled off without Congressional approval and in blatant violation of US and international law. Reporting in breathless detail the weapons used and the sites bombed, the mainstream media seem to agree with President Trump that Syrian President Bashar Assad is a “Gas Killing Animal” responsible for the ghastly deaths of Syrian innocents in a chemical attack, one which demands swift, forceful retaliation. This rush to judgment comes even as international organizations have yet to conduct any formal investigations into the evidence of what, if anything, happened in Douma and who is responsible. by Doug Noble
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and NotComey is rightly offended by a president who “treats women like they’re pieces of meat.” How does he feel about presidents who turn millions of women, girls, boys, and men into corpses, cripples, and refugees in the endless pursuit of U.S. global dominance – this while serving the corporate and financial oligarchy at home, also sold as “freedom” and “democracy”? by Paul StreetThe Crisis Is Only in Its Beginning StagesMany, including Russia’s President Putin, have asked why the US launched an illegal attack on Syria prior to the chemical weapons inspectors examining the site of the alleged chemical attack. This popular question completely misses the point. The US attack on Syria is a clear and indisputable war crime against a sovereign country regardless of whether Syria used a chemical weapon in driving the Washington supported terrorists from Douma. No one acted to stop Washington’s war crime. Some of Washington’s vassals, such as Germany and Italy, refused to participate in Washington’s war crime, but no one attempted to block it. The impotent UN Security Council, to which Russia is wasting its time appealing, the EU, NATO, Russia and China themselves did nothing to stop Washington’s Nazi era war crime.Russia said that if Washington’s attack harmed its citizens, there would be military consequences, but Russia did not protect its ally Syria from the attack. By Paul Craig RobertsFooled again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate PowerGiven the Trump administration’s all-out war on working people, a government by billionaires and for billionaires considerably more blatant in its class warfare than the ordinary White House, it has long puzzled me that some activists insist on giving it the benefit of the doubt when it comes to trade issues. by Pete Dolack
Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:
The Secret of the Great American Fracking BubbleIn 2008, Aubrey McClendon was the highest paid Fortune 500 CEO in America, a title he earned taking home $112 million for running Chesapeake Energy. Later dubbed “The Shale King,” he was at the forefront of the oil and gas industry’s next boom, made possible by advances in fracking, which broke open fossil fuels from shale formations around the U.S. What was McClendon’s secret? Instead of running a company that aimed to sell oil and gas, he was essentially flipping real estate: acquiring leases to drill on land and then reselling them for five to 10 times more, something McClendon explained was a lot more profitable than “trying to produce gas.” But his story may serve as a cautionary tale for an industry that keeps making big promises on borrowed dimes — while its investors begin losing patience, a trend DeSmog will be investigating in an in-depth seriesover the coming weeks. By Justin Mikulka
For 15 Years, Energy Transfer Partners Pipelines Leaked an Average of Once Every 11 Days: Report 5,475 days, 527 pipeline spills: that’s the math presented in a new report from environmental groups Greenpeace USA and the Waterkeeper Alliance examining pipelines involving Dakota Accessbuilder Energy Transfer Partners (ETP). It’s based on public data from 2002 to 2017. All told, those leaks released 3.6 million gallons of hazardous liquids, including 2.8 million gallons of crude oil, according to data collected from the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). That doesn’t include an additional 2.4 million gallons of “drilling fluids, sediment, and industrial waste” leaked during ETP’s construction of two pipelines in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan. Also left out: air pollution and leaks from natural gas pipelines, which were beyond the scope of the new report but which play a significant role in climate change and can cause explosions. By Sharon KellyCivil Rights Black Liberation:
Eric Holder, After Failing to Prosecute Wall Street, May Run for PresidentMake no mistake about it, the Big Law firms that played a major role in the Wall Street corruption that led to the financial crash of 2008 and have been burying corporate crimes through their crony ties to Washington for decades, are desperate to put their own man in the White House in 2020.By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
UK: Windrush scandal – our fragile freedoms under capitalism Hundreds of people of Caribbean origin, who migrated to Britain as part of the ‘Windrush generation’ (named after a ship that famously brought a large number of West Indian immigrants to London in 1948) are having their citizenship called into question by the state. Despite having lived and worked in the country for most of their lives, many such people (largely of retirement age) are now facing severe problems with their immigration status – seemingly out of the blue. By Ravi Mistry Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:
“Jabbertalky” (after Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll, of course)
“Twas brillig, and the billionaires
Did lie and dissemble in the press
All flimsy were Deformer wares
And the charter rats did nest
“Beware the Jabbertalk my son!
The Cores that bite, the tests that catch!
Beware the Coleman bird, and shun
Felonius charters, natch!”
“He took his opt-out sword in hand:
Long time Deformer foe he sought —
So rested he by the Knowledge tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
”And, as in peaceful thought he stood,
The Jabbertalk, with eyes of flame,
Came bumbling through the teaching wood,
And burbled as it came!
“One, two! One, two! And through and through
The opt-out blade went snicker-snack!
He left test dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
“And, has thou slain the Jabbertalk?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.
“Twas brillig, and the billionaires
Did lie and dissemble in the press
All flimsy were Deformer wares
And the charter rats did nest”