Daily News Digest December 23, 2019

Since World War I, ‘the war to end all wars’, there have been perpetual wars for perpetual peace, this 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: (1) Austerity, (2) Scapegoat Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal’ Immigrants for Unemployment, and (3)  The Iron Heel

Always Remember That Obama Supported the Wall Street Bailout and Remember That President Obama, With a Majority Democrat Legislature, Established, in writing,  the United States Capitalist Austerity Program  — The Race to the Bottom/Pauperization of the 99%!

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.    Socialism Means True Democracy — The 99% Will Rule! — Not the Few!

Images of the Day:

Bendib: Adult in the RoomBendib: Donald and Boris

Quotes of the Day:

The data that FINRA(Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) is making available to the public has cleverly been gutted to make sure that no math whizzes in academia have the ability to reverse engineer the data into successful charges of market rigging, as occurred previously in a forensic probe by academics Christie and Schultz in 1994 into how Wall Street firms were engaged in tacit collusion on the Nasdaq stock market.FINRA’s Dark Pool data does not show hourly or daily trading, just weekly totals; it does not show if the prices paid for the shares were in keeping with the rest of the market. And, it does not show what party was on the opposite side of the trade. For all the public knows, banks that own more than one Dark Pool could be making a two-sided market in their own shares. — JPMorgan and Goldman, Under Criminal Probes, Close in the Red Despite Trading their Own Bank Stocks in their Own Dark Pools

At a time when corporate behemoths are destroying the planet, “greening” programs like those envisioned by Klein and the Dems – no matter how urgently conceived – cannot offer durable solutions to climate change. No amount of policy, market, or technological measures can deter the headlong march toward global disaster. At present humanity has no choice but to find a path toward a post-capitalist ecological society. ·— Capitalism and the Limits of Greening

Videos Of the Day:

Democrats Invoke Russiagate to Advance Bill Lobbied for by Big Oil Two bills that would allow the United States to expand its fossil fuel infrastructure in the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries have advanced to the the Senate—and Democrats backing them have invoked “Russiagate” to push them through.


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! The United States takes from the poor and gives to the Rich.

The Real Lesson of Afghanistan Is That Regime Change Does Not WorkThe trove of U.S. “Lessons Learned” documents on Afghanistan published by the Washington Post portrays, in excruciating detail, the anatomy of a failed policy, scandalously hidden from the public for 18 years. The “Lessons Learned” papers, however, are based on the premise that the U.S. and its allies will keep intervening militarily in other countries, and that they must therefore learn the lessons of Afghanistan to avoid making the same mistakes in future military occupations. This premise misses the obvious lesson that Washington insiders refuse to learn: the underlying fault is not in how the U.S. tries and fails to reconstruct societies destroyed by its “regime changes,” but in the fundamental illegitimacy of regime change itself. As former Nuremberg prosecutor Ben Ferencz told NPR just eight days after 9/11, “It is never a legitimate response to punish people who are not responsible for the wrong done. If you simply retaliate en masse by bombing Afghanistan, let us say, or the Taliban, you will kill many people who don’t approve of what has happened.” By Medea Benjamin – Nicolas J. S. Davies

The Fix is In The impeachment and trial of Donald Trump is aimed as much at Bernie Sanders (and, to a lesser extent, Liz Warren, though she’s rapidly falling in line with the establishment) as it is at the President, if indeed it is aimed at him at all. As is often said, the Democratic Party establishment would rather lose with Trump than win with Sanders. A New Deal Democrat poses more of a bottom line threat to the corporate establishment than the fascist Trump, and the Democratic Party represents the interests of the corporate establishment no less than the Republicans and the wicked buffoon in the White House. Trump’s letter to Nancy Pelosi is chilling and politically brilliant. He is playing to his fascist base with great effect, a relatively easy thing, because the Democrats are corrupt and feckless. Nobody knows this better than Trump supporters, and nobody knows this less than “progressives.” My dear progressive friends are so obsessed with Trump that they have lost the critical distance to observe the vile machinations and total sellout (for 30 years at least) of the Democratic Party to corporate interests. By Richard Ward

The A to Z of Things Trump Could and Should Have Been Impeached For Are we expected to believe that House Democrats really think Trump has only committed two impeachable offenses? Even the president himself seems to have been caught off guard by the Democrats’ very narrow approach to impeachment. “Frankly, I think he’s a little surprised it’s the Ukraine thing that’s done it,” a White House official told CNN. The harsh reality, of course, is that Trump commits impeachable offenses on nearly a weekly basis. So here is an A to Z of such offenses — by issue and/or by crime — that were inexplicably overlooked or ignored by the House of Representatives. By Mehdi Hasan


Disaster Capitalism: PG&E to Hike monthly rates $5.69/month for at tota1 of  $ $91,400,000 Per Year. (Since PG&E has 16 million customers,):

PG&E Customer Bills To Rise 3.4% Under Proposed Rate Deal

PG&E reached a settlement agreement on Friday to raise monthly bills by an average of $5.69 per month beginning next year to help fund wildfire safety investments. The agreement with the California Public Utilities Commission and other parties would increase the bill for a typical electric and gas customer by 3.4%. The agreement requires judicial review, public comment and final approval by the commission, which is expected next year. The rate increase would help fund PG&E’s plans to install stronger poles and covered power lines in areas with high wildfire risk, to clear branches of an estimated 120 million trees away from lines, and to inspect 81,000 miles of power lines annually. By Roland Li and J.D. Morris Trump EPA Sued for Putting Millions of Lives at Risk With Rollback of Chemical Safety Rules “We are fighting for the lives and safety of our families and workers. Our lives are more valuable than the bottom line of a few chemical barons.” A coalition of more than a dozen environmental groups on Thursday sued the Trump administration for rolling back chemical disaster prevention regulations, a move they say has endangered millions of lives. “By killing these critical protections, millions of people living near chemical facilities in the United States are put in harm’s way,” said the coalition represented by environmental advocacy organization Earthjustice. “We are fighting for the lives and safety of our families and workers. Our lives are more valuable than the bottom line of a few chemical barons.” By Jake Johnson Diversity Rules Environment, OK? The road to perdition has ever been accompanied by lip service to an ideal.– Einstein Could some of the most talked of solutions to climate chaos have the reverse effect and make things worse? Some critics think so, and they aren’t “deniers” who think climate change isn’t real. The concept of “net zero” carbon emissions, for example, might actually help industry pollute, because one of the commonest ways to reach for it is through “carbon offsets.” This means that if a corporation is responsible for a ton of carbon dioxide emissions – which is bad – but at the same time it funds a project which “captures” (or “sequesters”) a ton of carbon – which is good – then the “net emissions” come to zero, as one is subtracted from, or “offset” against, the other. By Stephen Corry

Civil Rights/Black Liberation: 

Activist Marty Gottesfeld Silenced for Writing About Prison Corruption While Serving Timen As I’ve recently learned from his wife, activist and prison journalist Marty Gottesfeld — recently sentenced to ten years for a denial of service attack on the website of the Boston hospital that was holding a young girl against her will and that of her family while denying her treatment for the painful condition they claimed was all in her head — has been held incommunicado from his family by the Bureau of Prisons for well over seven months. This act of totalitarian retaliation, shocking even to many of us who have likewise been illicitly silenced by the BOP both in and out of prison, began shortly after Marty was suddenly and irregularly shipped from the notorious New York BOP facility where Epstein would later die of pretend suicide. That move came after Gottesfeld filed suit against the jail unit and staff, and was followed just a few hours later by a BOP filing opposing his suit on the grounds that the district court was no longer the appropriate venue, because he’d moved. By Barrett Brown


If Current Trends Hold, Women Around the World Will Have to Wait 257 More Years for Gender Pay Gap to Close  “None of us will see gender parity in our lifetimes, and nor likely will many of our children.” The World Economic Forum warned Wednesday that women around the world face “centuries of inequality ahead” without a change in the rate at which the gender pay gap is being closed. It could take 257 years if policymakers and employers don’t speed up efforts to pay women equally to men for equal work, the Forum’s annual Global Gender Gap Report found.Gender equality across all areas the WEF studied—including pay and economic empowerment, political representation, health, and education—is not expected to be seen for 99.5 years. By  Julia ConleyEconomy:

Good Riddance to the WTO The World Trade Organization (WTO) is on its last legs now that the Trump administration has blocked the appointment or reappointment of judges to the appeals court of its Dispute Settlement Mechanism — which is the central pillar of the 24-year-old multilateral body. Do I regret the demise of the World Trade Organization now that Trump is on a unilateral trade rampage? No. I always saw the WTO and unilateralism as two faces of U.S. power deployed against those countries seeking to remake the world trading order in a more equitable and just direction.Multilateralism and unilateralism have, since the end of the Second World War, been alternative strategies for global hegemony preferred by competing factions of the U.S. ruling elite. By Walden BelloJPMorgan and Goldman, Under Criminal Probes, Close in the Red Despite Trading their Own Bank Stocks in their Own Dark Pools All three major stock indices set new highs yesterday. The Nasdaq led with a 0.67 percent gain; the Dow Jones Industrial Averaged closed with a 0.49 percent increase while the S&P 500 inched up 0.45 percent. Stocks have been setting new highs all week as the New York Fed funnels tens of billions of dollars each day to Wall Street’s trading houses to quench a “liquidity” crisis whose existence has seemed to escape stock trading desks on Wall Street. The stock markets’ week of new highs comes at a curious time. For only the third time in history, a sitting U.S. President was impeached this past week by the U.S. House of Representatives and the Democratic candidates for President wasted no time in last night’s debate drilling down to why this happened. The words “corrupt” and “corruption” were used repeatedly by candidates to describe the state of affairs in Washington. But not one candidate mentioned Wall Street – the epicenter and financier and primary beneficiary of that corruption. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens


Education, Health, Science, 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 ‘governn’, 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