Daily News Digest March 2, 2020

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. Scapegoat Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal’ Immigrants for Unemployment, and

  3.  The Iron Heel!

Always Remember:  That President Obama, With a Majority Democrat Legislature Supported the Wall Street Bailout and Remember, That he 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 , thet the 99% Will Rule, Not the Few!

Quotes of the Day:

The emergence of this new virus was predictable, even inevitable. To understand why requires looking back to an earlier virus that emerged in China, SARS. Like the new illness, SARS was caused by a coronavirus. In 2003, it exploded out of a “wet market” in Guangdong where civet cats, raccoon dogs and multitudes of other animals were caged together in tight, squalid conditions.   It appears the new virus has similar origins.    The initial victims were all connected to a huge wholesale market in Wuhan, where a thousand stalls housed untold numbers of live animals kept in crowded, filthy conditions. Such “wet markets” are widespread in China, providing a newly affluent upper class with status-enhancing exotic animals to serve at dinner. Some people also believe that eating wild animals has health benefits.   The problem with the markets is that the unsanitary and tightly packed conditions in which the animals are held create perfect environments for the evolution of viruses that can jump from one species to another. The Chinese government shut down wet markets after the SARS outbreak, but that ban was short-lived. — Op-Ed: This New Coronavirus Was Preventable. But We Never Seem to Learn the Lessons of Former Outbreaks

Videos of the Day:

Mark Fiore: This Is All So Very Normal

Images of the Day:

This Assange “Trial” Is A Self-Contradictory Kafkaesque NightmareU.S.:

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.

Bernie Sanders and the Socialism Question Wherever Bernie Sanders’ campaign goes from here, the left critique of establishment politics is getting empirical backing through popular support for his candidacy. The establishment’s response— incredulity that the little people have the temerity to question their betters, is combined with a posture of victimhood, that blameless elites are being demonized by neo-collectivist malcontents who are too stupid to appreciate the blessing that four decades of neoliberalism has bestowed on them. By Rob Urie

The So-Called Party of the People: From Nevada to South Carolina My thesis on the Democratic Party’s corporate-imperialist establishment had been consistent for years: it would rather lose to the right-wing party, even to an increasingly apocalyptic and fascistic right, than to the progressive, moderately social-democratic and environmentalist left wing of its own party. That was the basic story of 2016 – a tragedy the bourgeois Democratic Party leadership is trying to re-enact in 2020.  — “The Servants’ Entrance to the Republican Party”— The last week (I am writing on the morning of Thursday, February 27th) has provided yet more evidence for this thesis. On the Friday night (the 21st) before the Nevada presidential caucus over at “liberal” Red Baiters’ Stop Sanders Central Broadcast Headquarters MSNBC, talk show host Lawrence O’Donnell insinuated that there was something nefarious about Bernie Sanders bragging that neither the Republican establishment nor the Democratic establishment could stop him. O’Donnell was offended by the elementarily obvious notion that there is such a thing as a Democratic Party establishment. He piled on with the nefarious and evidence-free Dem-establishment notion that Sanders is linked somehow to Russian interference in U.S. politics. By Paul Street

President Obama: Meeting with Democratic Blue Dog Coalition. State Dining Room. Photograph Source: White House (Pete Souza) – Public Domain


Thousands Of Kids Skip School For Greta’s Address to a Huge Crowd, Amid Police Warnings and a Coronavirus Risk. What Can Go Wrong? Up to 30,000 people were estimated to have seen Greta Thunberg’s ‘School Strike for Climate’ in Bristol. But with police warnings and the shadow of coronavirus looming over Europe, should parents be condoning their kids’ activism? As sporting events around the world are canceled and schools across the UK weigh up the prospect of closing their doors for two months due to fears of coronavirus infection, the idea of 30,000 people, many of them schoolchildren, gathering in Bristol for a Greta Thunberg rally on Friday seems a bit irresponsible on behalf of the organizers. By Damian Wilson5 Modern Diseases Grown by Factory Farming By Monica Nickelsburg (2013)Industrial agriculture is making us sick. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), nutritional scientists, and medical professionals warn against the health risks of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). There is a near consensus among experts that overuse of antibiotics, crowded and unsanitary livestock conditions, unnatural feed diets, and a lack of diversification are responsible for some serious global health risks. . . . Here are five diseases that have been affected by CAFOs:

  1. E. coli: The content of animal feed poses particular health risks. Traditionally, cattle subsisted on a grass-based diet, but government corn subsidies and demand for more fatty, marbled beef motivated farmers to switch over to grain-based feed. Enter E. coli.

  2. MRSA: Methicillin-resistant Styphylococcus aureus(MRSA) is another bacteria that, thanks in part to factory farming, is popping up more than ever before. MRSA can be spread by human or animal carriers. It is abundant in our environment and its resistance to antibiotics can make it difficult to treat. More deaths in the U.S. are now attributed to MRSA infections than HIV/AIDS, according to a 2007 report published by the CDC.

  3. Campylobacter and Salmonella: Campylobactor is a foodborne illness that can cause diarrhea, nausea, fever, and abdominal pain. The infectious intestinal disease afflicts over 1.3 million Americans every year. It is also becoming increasingly drug resistant, according to the CDCgrowingto almost 25 percent drug resistant in 2011, from 13 percent in 1997.

  4. Mad cow: While much rarer than the infectious bacteria listed above, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) can also be attributed to modern farming practices. Mad cow disease first appeared in the 1980s as a result of offal, a mixture of the organs and entrails of butchered cattle, in feed. Farmers quickly learned that cannibalism can cause infectious neurodegenerative diseases in livestock.

  5. Obesity: In June the American Medical Association officially recognizedobesity as a disease. Unsurprisingly, the nation with the largest industrial food industry also has the highest rates of obesity and diabetes. Every day factory farms in the United States grow 500 more calories per person than they did 25 years ago.

Landmark Win in ‘Fight for Habitable Future’ as Jury Refuses to Convict Climate Activists Who Presented Necessity Defense “When citizens are told the truth about the climate crisis—which is the first of Extinction Rebellion’s demands—they take appropriate and responsible action, as our jury did, and we thank them.” Environmentalists celebrated a landmark victory in the “fight for a habitable future” after a Portland, Oregon jury on Thursday refused to convict five Extinction Rebellion activists—including valve turner Ken Ward—who presented the climate necessity defense at their trial for blockading a train track used by Zenith Energy to transport crude oil. By Jake Johnson

‘No Time for Being Patronized,’ Say Youth Climate Leaders as UK Cops Warn Parents Over Fridays for Future Protest “Young people should not be underestimated—we have a voice and we are strong.” Youth organizers of a Friday climate protest in Bristol, United Kingdom said they have “no time for being patronized” after local police sent a letter to parents warning of inadequate safety measures for the upcoming demonstration, which teenage activist Greta Thunberg and thousands of others are expected to attend. “Social media has gone viral with interest, which leads me to believe it will be thousands of people,” wrote Bristol police commander Andy Bennett. “We have confirmation of people traveling from across the U.K. by car, bus, coach, and train. I am told in Hamburg approximately 60,000 came to see Greta speak. Whilst I am not suggesting it will be this big, you can see the scale of the potential attendance.” By Jake Johnson

Civil Rights/ Black Liberation:

. . .In 1968, having won landmark civil rights legislation, King strenuously urged racial justice advocates to shift from a civil rights to a human rights paradigm. A human rights approach, he believed, would offer far greater hope than the civil rights model had provided for those determined to create a thriving, multiracial democracy free from racial hierarchy. It would offer a positive vision of what we can strive for-a society in which people of all races are treated with dignity and have the right to food, shelter, health care, education, and security.“We must see the great distinction between a reform movement and a revolutionary movement,” he said. “We are called upon to raise certain basic questions about the whole society. The Poor People’s Movement seemed poised to unite poor people of all colors in a bold challenge to the prevailing economic and political system. . . . — Michelle AlexanderThink Outside the Bars Why real justice means fewer prisons.

Towards A Black Agenda.  So when we turn to a Black Agenda for the seventies, we move in the truth of history, in the reality of the moment. We move recognizing that no one else is going to represent our interests but ourselves. The society we seek cannot come unless Black people organize to advance its coming. We lift up a Black Agenda recognizing that white America moves towards the abyss created by its own racist arrogance, misplaced priorities, rampant materialism, and ethical bankruptcy. Therefore, we are certain that the Agenda we now press for in Gary is not only for the future of Black humanity, but is probably the only way the rest of America can save itself from the harvest of its criminal past. So, Brothers and Sisters of our developing Black nation, we now stand at Gary as people whose time has come. From every corner of Black America, from all liberation movements of the Third World, from the graves of our fathers and the coming world of our children, we are faced with a challenge and a call: Though the moment is perilous we must not despair. We must seize the time, for the time is ours. We begin here and how in Gary. We begin with an independent Black political movement, an independent Black Political Agenda, and independent Black spirit. Nothing less will do. We must build for our people. We must build for our world. We stand on the edge of history. We cannot turn back. — The Black Agenda: The Gary Declaration: Black Politics at the Crossroads 



Shadow Government  Stistics Daily Update (February 28th to March 1st) – Next Postings: Data Release (Mar 2nd*), Commentaries (Feb 29th/Mar 2nd**)

  • FOMC Needs to Cut Rates Now / Irrespective of Coronavirus

  • Impact 2019/2020 Recession Continues to Unfold Rapidly Third-Quarter 2019 Gross Domestic Income (GDI) Just Revised Sharply Lower, from 2.1% to 1.3%

  • Based on Weakening Employment/Wage Revisions / Beware a Meaningful, Downside July 2020 GDP Benchmarking! / Year-to-Year Plunge in Real New Orders for Durable Goods Deepened in January 2020 /

  • Unfolding 2018/2019 Recession Is the Result of Overly Aggressive FOMC Tightening in 2018, and Lack of Adequate, Subsequent Easing / Yet the FOMC Now Looks to Ease, Using Coronavirus Concerns to Cover Its Own Policy Malfeasance (see FOMC) /

  • January 2020 Freight Activity Continued Plunging Year-to-Year, As Last Seen at the Great Recession Onset / Indication There Is for Neither a “Booming” Economy, Nor “Sustainable Moderate Economic Growth”

  • Quarterly Contraction in Fourth-Quarter 2019 “Holiday Season” Real Retail Sales Deepened in Revision / January Mining Activity Rose, but Weaker Manufacturing and Weather-Depressed Utilities Knocked Aggregate Industrial Production Lower by 0.3% (-0.3%)

  • Capacity Utilization Dropped to Its Lowest Level Since Coming Out of the 2014-2016 Mini-Recession; Down 2.8 Percentage Points from Its November 2018 Peak

  • Recession Signals Continued to Intensify for FOMC-Battered GDP Consumer Spending

  • ON THE PLUS-SIDE, HOUSING: Absurd Volatility: Neither Respective Monthly Nor Annual Gains of 7.9% and 18.6% in January 2020 New-Home Sales Was Meaningful at the 90% Confidence Interval / Nonetheless, Six-Month Smoothed Activity in New-Residential Construction and New-Home Sales Have Pushed to Post-Recession Highs, Despite Holding Shy of Recovering Pre-Recession Peaks by 31% (-31%) to 45% (-45%)

Why Would Goldman Sachs and BofA Throw Gasoline on the Stock Market Fire Yesterday? Going into Thursday morning, February 27, this was the situation on Wall Street:

  • The stock market, as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, had already lost a total of more than 2,000 points in the prior three days of trading;

  • Stock futures were showing a big loss at the open of trading on Thursday;

  • News reports had proliferated overnight of the coronavirus spreading around the globe as well as a case in California suggesting it was now loose in the community.

. . . All of these mega banks own their own Dark Pools, thinly regulated internal stock exchanges in which the Securities and Exchange Commission insanely allows them to trade in the shares of their own stock and that of their peer banks. One can only imagine how much greater their share price losses might have been without this handy perk. But the declines among the mega Wall Street banks pale in comparison to the losses of the life insurance companies that serve as counterparties to Wall Street banks’ derivative trades. Losses in shares of Lincoln National, Ameriprise Financial, Prudential Financial and Voya Financial have far exceeded the big banks’ losses. Lincoln National, for example, has lost 20.14 percent since last Friday’s close. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens


The British Kangaroo Court:  Judge Rules Assange Cannot Sit With Lawyers During Extradition Hearing The first week of the extradition hearing in USA v Julian Assange ended yesterday at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court with Judge Vanessa Baraitser rejecting a submission from Assange’s lawyers that he be allowed to sit with them in court.  Baraitser ruled Assange must remain in a bullet-proof glass-encased dock when the hearing resumes in May for the evidence phase of the hearing. Assange is fighting multiple indictments under the Espionage Act for exposing US war crimes, amid fears the Trump administration may seek the death penalty. The first week of the extradition hearing in USA v Julian Assange ended yesterday at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court with Judge Vanessa Baraitser rejecting a submission from Assange’s lawyers that he be allowed to sit with them in court.  Baraitser ruled Assange must remain in a bullet-proof glass-encased dock when the hearing resumes in May for the evidence phase of the hearing. Assange is fighting multiple indictments under the Espionage Act for exposing US war crimes, amid fears the Trump administration may seek the death penalty.  The first week of the extradition hearing in USA v Julian Assange ended yesterday at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court with Judge Vanessa Baraitser rejecting a submission from Assange’s lawyers that he be allowed to sit with them in court.  Baraitser ruled Assange must remain in a bullet-proof glass-encased dock when the hearing resumes in May for the evidence phase of the hearing. Assange is fighting multiple indictments under the Espionage Act for exposing US war crimes, amid fears the Trump administration may seek the death penalty. By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan

Witnessing the Hell a Migrant Can FaceAt Obock, Djibouti, 2,000 migrants gather each day along the waters of the Gulf of Aden; they look for boats to get them to Yemen. Over the past two years, more migrants from Africa have used the “Eastern Route” rather than go across the Mediterranean Sea; according to the UN’s migration agency—International Organization for Migration—this Eastern Route is now the “busiest maritime migration path on earth.” Roughly 11,500 people got on boats at places like Obock and Bosasso, Somalia, to go into Yemen, and then overland to Saudi Arabia, where they hope to get employment. By Vijay Prashad

 Health, Science, 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 ‘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! 

Looming Coronavirus Threat in US Bolsters Case for Medicare for All and Universal Paid Sick Leave “Doubters may claim that our nation can’t afford Medicare for All, but it’s increasingly likely that we are about to discover just how costly our current system really is.” By Julia Conley