Daily News Digest May 6, 2019

Daily News Digest May 6, 2019

Daily News Digest Archives

Since World War I ‘the war to end all wars’ there have been perpetual wars for perpetual peace, Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace,” Could Still Be Published Today!

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program: Austerity, Scapegoat Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal’ Immigrants for Unemployment, and  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 1% 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:

Fed’s Powell Says Financial Risks Are “Moderate”; These Charts Don’t Agree

Videos of the Day:

The Calm After the Storm in Venezuela: Opposition and Government Measure Support in Streets It would seem that the April 30th coup effort by Juan Guaidó backfired and  energized the Chavista base while it demoralized the opposition. Mike Fox reports from Caracas

Why Trump Is Wrong About Offshore Drilling Before a president auctions off U.S. coastlines to oil companies, he has to ask state governors, Congress, local businesses, and you. Here’s how Trump is ignoring that process—and how it’s endangering coastal communities.

How Big Money Contributions Cripple our Politics

UK Parliament Endorses Jeremy Corbyn’s Call for a Climate Emergency Declaration

Quotes of the Day:

Based on an analysis of prior research, the Johns Hopkins study estimates that more than 250,000 Americans die each year from medical errors. On the CDC’s official list, that would rank just behind heart disease and cancer, which each took about 600,000 lives in 2014, and in front of respiratory disease, which caused about 150,000 deaths. — Medical Errors Are No. 3 Cause Of U.S Deaths, Researchers Say

. . . It’s gonna take the man in me to conquer this insanity
   It seems the rain’ll never let up
 I try to keep my head up and still keep from gettin’ wet up
   You know, it’s funny, when it rains it pours  
They got money for wars but can’t feed the poor . . . — 2Pac, Keep Ya Head Up

Krugman is right to observe that “the steady erosion of [democratic] norms” has been “building for a long time” in the U.S. and that “this didn’t start with Trump.” True that! But top members of Krugman’s party have helped lead that “steady erosion” since at least the Jimmy Carter administration. The neoliberal Democrats’ allegiance to the nation’s unelected and interrelated dictatorships of class and imperial rule – a key part of what Chris Hedges has called “the death of the liberal class” – has delegitimized what’s left of liberal democracy in the United States. The ever more dangerous Republican Party of the last half-century has thrived in the lethal popular/populist void created by the Democrats’ abandonment of workers, the poor, minorities, social justice, and livable ecology. Bad as the current Republican-fascist presidency is, its ascendancy and perpetuation and possible even likely winning of a second term cannot be properly understood without factoring in the abject center-right corporatism of the dismal dollar Dems. — Paul Street, Someone Tell Krugman: We Don’t Even Have a Paper Democracy


The United States is not a Democracy (A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly)! Only the 1%, through their ownership of the Republicrats and who profit from war and the war budget, vote for War and the war budget — A policy, which Gore Vidal called a  Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace.— The 99% Should Decide On War — Not Just The 1% Who Profit From War!  Under a Democracy, The 99% would have the right to vote on the policy of Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace!

Ten Tips for Arguing Against Assange SmearsThis is an excerpt from the beginning of the upcoming mega-article “Debunking All The Assange Smears”, which is still under construction. I’m putting together a comprehensive list of all the major smears and disinfo that’s being circulated about Julian Assange, and refuting those arguments with the help of information brought to me by my readers and social media followers. Keep a lookout for the full article; it should be out in a few days, and it’s gonna be good. If you have any articles, tweets or short videos you’ve found which do a good job of refuting any Assange smears, please send them to me at admin@caitlinjohnstone.com, along with any smears you’d like to have more help addressing. By Caitln Johnstone

Trump’s “Troika of Tyranny” Meddles in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua Under the guise of protecting human rights, the Trump administration is illegally meddling in three countries it has dubbed the “troika of tyranny” — Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua. National Security Adviser John Bolton claimed, “Miami is home to countless Americans, who fled the prisons and death squads of the Castro regime in Cuba, the murderous dictatorships of Chavez and Maduro in Venezuela, and the horrific violence of the 1980s and today under the brutal reign of the Ortegas in Nicaragua.” But the U.S. government’s human rights record doesn’t compare favorably to Cuba’s. And the Trump administration, which ignores notorious human rights violators like Saudi Arabia, is acting out of more cynical motives in its commission of egregious human rights violations against Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua. By Marjorie CohenAfter the coup fails and it’s safe to speak out, ‘Progressive’ Lambs speak out after  their long silence : Pointing to Disastrous History of US Intervention, Sanders Warns Against Military Action in Venezuela“I will do everything I can to see that U.S. troops do not get involved in a civil war in Venezuela.” en. Bernie Sanders on Thursday condemned the Trump administration’s threats to take military action in support of right-wing coup plotters in Venezuela. The Vermont senator joined the chorus of progressive members of Congress and advocacy groups warning that U.S. intervention would only worsen political turmoil in Venezuela—and could potentially spark an all-out civil war. “The Trump administration is threatening a disastrous military intervention in Venezuela,” Sanders tweeted. “Under our Constitution, only Congress can authorize the use of force. We must make sure the United States does not get involved in yet another war and destabilize another region.” By Jake Johnson

Ilhan Omar Blames U.S. Policy for Upheaval in VenezuelaRepresentative Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) blamed the U.S. on Wednesday for the “devastation” in Venezuela and accused America of “bullying” the country’s socialist regime Representative Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) blamed the U.S. on Wednesday for the “devastation” in Venezuela and accused America of “bullying” the country’s socialist regime. By Mairead McArdleEnvironment:

Demanding Urgent Action on Climate Emergency, Youth Lock Their Necks to UK Parliament’s Gates   “The government’s inaction up to this point has compelled us to act, and although we do not want to be doing this, we feel we have no choice.”The demonstration came two days after Parliament made history by passing a motion put forth by Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn to declare an environment and climate emergency. But, as Extinction Rebellion London said on Twitter, “a declaration is not enough.” “Desperate times call for desperate measures,” 14 members of Extinction Rebellion Youth—aged 13 to 23 — wrote in a letter to Parliament on Friday, detailing why they decided to lock themselves to the gates. By Jessica Corbett‘Beautiful Trouble’ Grows With Friday Climate Strikes on Multiple ContinentsOver 700 strikes set to take placeThe momentum for the weekly climate strikes shows no sign of abating as young people in hundreds of communities across the globe are hitting the streets on Friday to make a stand against the environmental crisis. “We can make a difference,” said Matilda Lane-Rose, one of the protesters in Perth, Australia. The Fridays for Future website has 725 strikes mapped out for the day. They cover the Americas from Canada to Chile; Europe from Norway to Italy; Africa from Mauritania to South Africa; Asia from South Korea to India in Asia; and multiple marches in Australia and New Zealand By Andrea GermanosLifetime of drinking California water could raise cancer risk, study finds Researchers find arsenic and other contaminants that could lead to almost 15,500 cases of cancerDrinking California tap water over the course of a lifetime could increase the risk of cancer, according to a study published on Tuesday. Researchers with the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy non-profit, studied the combined health impacts of contaminants found in 2,737 community water systems throughout California and calculated that prolonged consumption of the contaminated water could cause almost 15,500 new cases of cancer. By Vivian Ho

The Last Kentucky Derby This Saturday, May 4th, is Derby Day in Louisville. Twenty-two horses will be forced to race so that a record purse of $3 million may change hands. None of that money will go to preserve the habitat of untamed horses. Most betters never learn what a horse in natural habitat looks like. By Lee HallInterior Department Guts Critical Offshore Drilling Safety Protections“The well control rule was one of the most important actions we took, as a nation, in response to the BP-style disaster at sea,” Bob Deans, the director of strategic engagement at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement. “If the Trump administration’s final rule weakens these protections, as its proposed changes did, it will put our workers, waters and wildlife at needless risk. That’s irresponsible, reckless and wrong.”‘Recipe for Disaster’: Trump Guts Offshore Drilling Rules Put in Place After Deepwater Horizon Spill“We should be implementing new safety reforms, not rolling back the few safety measures currently in place.” “These rollbacks are a hand out to oil company CEOs at the cost of endangering the lives of their workers and heightening the risk for another environmental catastrophe.”  — Chris Eaton, Earthjustice By Jake Johnson

Over a Million Forced to Evacuate as ‘Potentially Catastrophic’ Cyclone Fani Makes Landfall in IndiaTens of millions of people are in the path of the storm, which was described as “one of the strongest landfalling cyclones in the country’s recorded history.” A storm that meteorologist Eric Holthaus characterized as “one of the strongest” cyclones in India’s recorded history made landfall on Friday amid warnings of “potentially catastrophic” wind, rain, and ocean surges.
Over a million people were reportedly forced to evacuate Thursday as Cyclone Fani—classified as the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane—hurtled toward India. Tens of millions of people are in the path of the massive storm. By Jake Johnson

Black Liberation/Civil Rights:

Black Women Political Prisoners of the Police State The Rev. Joy Powell says she was “raped, railroaded and bamboozled” by police. Her crime? Being a poor black woman who faced off against the police—protesting their violent brutality against black people in Rochester, NY. Once she defied them, she was warned, then targeted and framed for serious crimes. A few weeks ago, Australian Julian Assange was forcibly dragged from his political asylum to face the American police state. His crime? Like Rev. Powell, he dared to tell the truth about the violence and brutality that defines the American state. Scottish political analyst Jon Wight, citing the treatment of American political prisoners Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu Jamal, calls the US “justice” system the “most cruel and callous in the world.” That system does not tolerate the exposure of its war crimes and abuses of its police state quietly—it retaliates against those who expose its injustice by treating them to cruel and callous punishment. By Linda G. Ford



Evo Morales Implements Wage Raises, Freezes His OwnIn 2005, during the neoliberal period, the minimum wage in Bolivia stood at just $54 per month. Now that figure is $308, which means that during Morales’ period in power, minimum wage workers have seen a 372% rise in wages over 13 years. Meanwhile, over the same 13 years, inflation is cumulatively 69%, meaning a large real-term wage rise for low-income workers. The new raise places the Andean country ahead of Brazil and Argentina in national minimum wage league tables. The wider economy has grown 327% during the same period, making the country the fastest growing economy in the region, following their nationalization of natural resources and strategic industries.


Shadow Government Statistics Alternate Unemployment Charts  The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects  current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers. The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment. The Shadow Government Statistics Alternate Unemployment Rate for March 2019 is 21.2%.

Health, Education, and Welfare:

The government of the United States can pass laws in a few days to spend tens of trillions of dollars for war and the bailout of Wall Street and the bankers. Yet, those who ‘govern’, pass universal healthcare for themselves, but they cannot spend even one trillion dollars for universal health for those who are ‘governed’! This is what is considered, by the powers the to be,  a democracy and part of the democratic way. — Roland Sheppard, Let The People Vote on Healthcare!

The Medical/Insurance Complex Acknowledges That: Medical Errors Are No. 3 Cause Of U.S Deaths, Researchers Say A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine says medical errors should rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States — and highlights how shortcomings in tracking vital statistics may hinder research and keep the problem out of the public eye. The authors, led by Johns Hopkins surgeon Dr. Martin Makary, call for changes in death certificates to better tabulate fatal lapses in care. In an open letter, they urge the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to immediately add medical errors to its annual list reporting the top causes of death.

Trump’s Abortion Lies Are Going to Get Somebody Killed In examining the flood of lies that spills out of President Donald Trump’s mouth on a daily basis, arguably the most egregious are his claims about abortion—and specifically, about so-called “late term abortions.” Trump has repeated several times in the past a myth created by anti-abortion activists. For example, during his State of the Union address in January he said, “Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth.” He also claimed that Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam “stated he [Northam] would execute a baby after birth.” In February, Trump tweeted, “The Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don’t mind executing babies AFTER birth.” By Sonali Kolhatkar