Daily News Digest March 13, 2020

Another Example of a Failed System: World Capilalism Was Aware of the Danger of Cornovavirus Threat a Year Ago and Did Nothing!

The Response of Our Anti-Science Government to the Coronavirus Pandemic Has Been a Fiasco!!!!

U.S. Federal Response to Coronavirus a ‘Fiasco  You know, Judy, the American response has been deeply disappointing. In almost every way, our response has been far less effective than every other major country in the world. It’s baffling, actually. We have, in the CDC, arguably the best public health agency in the world. All of us thought that the CDC was going to — was prepared and was going to help fight this virus. The federal response has been a fiasco. — Ashish Jha, Harvard Global Health Institute (Video)

Capitalism Does Not, and Never Has, Worked for the Masses! In Its Death Agony, Capitalism Is Traveling About The World Like The Four Horsemen of the The Apocalypse, Spreading War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death. The very future of Humanity Is Now At stake!occupy1

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:

As the number of new coronavirus cases climbs throughout the U.S., the failure of government science policy to anticipate threats is even more striking. “The reason the coronavirus is a problem now is because, when we were dealing with SARS and MERS and research showed that bats harbored other viruses, nothing was done about it,” said Robert Klitzman, referring to viruses that have caused outbreaks in the past and are, like the new coronavirus, thought to be hosted by bats. “Funding was not spent for research for the development of vaccines then, even though many public health people said it was only a matter of time before those viruses got into the human population,” said Klitzman, who is a physician and director of the bioethics master’s program at Columbia University.   Even as the entire country is focused on the issue of disaster preparedness, the U.S. appears to be once again failing to prepare for future outbreaks. According to an announcement of new funding opportunities BARDA released last week, the agency, which is responsible for protecting the American people from public health emergencies, has now suspended work on projects involving anthrax, Sudan ebolavirus, Marburg virus, smallpox, viral hemorrhagic fevers, and antimicrobial resistant threats.   As a note printed in red throughout the document explains, that work is now on hold: “BARDA will only accept submissions related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus or the COVID-19 disease until further notice.” — Federal Coronavirus Contract Requests Show the U.S. in a Desperate Scramble to Catch Up

As journalist Seymour Hersh wrote in his article, “The Redirection,”: To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda. — 1983 CIA Document Reveals Plan to Destroy Syria, Foreshadows Current Crisis

America’s electoral politics are so far removed from the actual reality of how power is really exercised in our society ‑— and from the actual state of degeneration our dying society is really in — that it is nothing more than a badly rendered cartoon, a medicine show with clowns and con-men, a white noise machine howling down any genuine thought and feeling. It is, quite literally, sound and fury, signifying nothing: precisely because it no longer has any connection to the true operations of power and the reality of decay. — Blowing in the Whirlwind: As Ye Sow, Joe Shall Ye Reap

Videos of the Day:

Jeremy Corbyn Says NHS At 94% Bed Occupancy Before Coronavirus 

Coronavirus Gives ‘Longer Term Lessons’ On Cuts, Says John Mcdonnell The government must “learn the lesson” to fund public services properly after the outbreak of coronavirus, according to Labour’s John McDonnell.Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s Budget statement, the shadow chancellor called for No 10 to “throw all the resources we possibly can” at tackling the issue. But, he said: “Tackling this crisis is not helped by so many cuts in the NHS.” Mr McDonnell told the BBC: “We have got to learn the lesson that you cannot cut your public services because, when you need them, they will be in crisis.”

Images of the Day:

Bendib: Bad Apples


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.

‘Now Is the Time for Solidarity’: Bernie Sanders Addresses Health and Economic Crisis Facing US as Coronavirus Spreads “Now is the time to come together with love and compassion for all, including the most vulnerable people in our society.” Sen. Bernie Sanders addressed the public Thursday on the “health and economic crisis” facing the United States as the coronavirus spreads across the nation, causing layoffs, threatening entire industries, and exposing gaping holes in America’s social safety net. “Now is the time for solidarity,” Sanders said. “Now is the time to come together with love and compassion for all, including the most vulnerable people in our society.”  Sanders demanded that President Donald Trump declare the coronavirus a national emergency and urged Congress to immediately work to ensure that everyone in the U.S. can access the healthcare they need “without cost.” The Vermont senator also said that any coronavirus vaccine must be free and available to all.”Now is not the time for price-gouging and profiteering,” Sanders said. By Jake Johnson

Coronavirus vs. the Mass Surveillance State: Which Poses the Greater Threat? “If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.” —Philip K. Dick Emboldened by the citizenry’s inattention and willingness to tolerate its abuses, the government has weaponized one national crisis after another in order to expands its powers. The war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on illegal immigration, asset forfeiture schemes, road safety schemes, school safety schemes, eminent domain: all of these programs started out as legitimate responses to pressing concerns and have since become weapons of compliance and control in the police state’s hands. By John W. Whitehead

Trump Bears Full Responsibility for Botched Response to Coronavirus in US Presidents always take credit for the positive things that happen on their watch, but Donald Trump has gone to a whole new level. He endlessly touted the “best economy ever,” even though, under his watch, we just saw the continuation of trends from the Barack Obama years. By Dean Baker

‘Absolute Chaos’: Trump Travel Ban, Announced Without Notice, Throws Europe Into Panic “The coronavirus is a global crisis, not limited to any continent, and it requires cooperation rather than unilateral action.” President Donald Trump’s announcement Wednesday night that the U.S. would in response to the coronavirus outbreak ban flights into the country for 30 days from most European nations starting Friday was made without consulting world leaders and triggered another global stock market meltdown Thursday morning. By Eoin Higgins

Insurance Industry Corrects Trump: Actually, We’re Only Waiving Copays for Coronavirus Testing, Not Treatment “Heaven forbid they miss a chance to bankrupt sick people.” In a prime-time televised address so filled with blatant errors that fact-checkers and the White House struggled to keep up and correct the record, President Donald Trump Wednesday night claimed that major U.S. insurance companies “have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments” as the disease rapidly spreads across the nation. A spokesperson for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a major insurance industry lobbying group, was quick to clarify that, actually, companies are only waiving copays for “testing.” For those who test positive for COVID-19, any treatment will still come at a (potentially massive) cost. By Jake Johnson

Chelsea Manning Recovering After Attempting Suicide While Jailed in ‘Coercive Measure Amounting to Torture’  Manning’s legal team said her actions “evidence the strength of her convictions, as well as the profound harm she continues to suffer as a result of her ‘civil’ confinement.” By Jessica Corbett

Coronavirus Inevitable in Prison-Like US Immigration Centers, Doctors Say Concern of spread as detentions are a cauldron for infectious disease because of overcrowding and medical negligence Doctors are concerned the spread of coronavirus to the US’s prison-like immigration detention centers is inevitable and will hit a system blighted by overcrowding and medical negligence. There are two known incidents of possible coronavirus infections tied to the US immigration detention system, which has detained record numbers of people under Donald Trump. By Amanda Holpuch

Supreme Liars: ‘Corporations Are People’ Is Built on an Incredible 19th-Century Lie How a farcical series of events in the 1880s produced an enduring and controversial legal precedent Somewhat unintuitively, American corporations today enjoy many of the same rights as American citizens. Both, for instance, are entitled to the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion. How exactly did corporations come to be understood as “people” bestowed with the most fundamental constitutional rights? The answer can be found in a bizarre—even farcical—series of lawsuits over 130 years ago involving a lawyer who lied to the Supreme Court, an ethically challenged justice, and one of the most powerful corporations of the day. By Adam Winkler‘Unconscionable’: Senate Republicans Block Emergency Paid Sick Leave Bill as Experts Declare Coronavirus Outbreak a Pandemic “Every last one of them should lose their jobs.” By Julia Conley

UN Chief Warns World ‘Way Off Track’ on Tackling Climate Crisis as New Report Underscores Need for Bold Global Action “Let us have no illusions: the climate crisis is already causing calamity and more is to come,” said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres. “This is a battle we can—and must—win.” By Jessica Corbett

New Survey of Seattle’s Homeless ‘Dispels Some Commonly Held Myths’: 35% Had Some College or College Degree A survey of Seattle’s homeless population surprisingly has found that 41% of the people surveyed are currently working in some capacity and 35% had some college or a college degree, the Seattle Human Services Department said Friday


Factory Farming Kills! — End Factory Farming Now!

5 Modern Diseases on the Rise Because of Factory Farming (We Can now add Coronvirus to the List Coli, MRSA. Mad Cow Disease, Salmonella, Obesity, and Coronavirus

Civil Rights/ Black Liberation:

Black Agenda Report

The Corporations and Their Media Strangled Bernie, and Older Black Voters Tied the Knot
There really is no more to the clap-trap about a Black electoral “strategy” than attempting to figure out which way the white folks are going and then circling the Black wagons, accordingly. “Black have been convinced by corporate media that white folks will hold Sanders’ socialism against him and allow Trump another mandate.” With his victory in the Blacktropolis of Detroit,  the clueless corporate champion Joe Biden has definitively won the “Black” Democratic presidential contest. Unlike South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi, where collaborationist preachers have always held sway over huge sections of the Black electorate, Detroit was once home to the Marxist-oriented League of Revolutionary Black Workers and sent avowed socialist John Conyers to Congress for 52 years, from 1965 to 2017. Detroit isn’t afraid of people that call themselves socialists – actually, very few Black people are socialism-phobic, and young Blacks are even more socialist-friendly than their white counterparts.But this is the election cycle when Blacks circle their wagons around the Democratic establishment, perceiving it as the only refuge from Donald Trump and his marauding White Man’s Party. By Glen Ford , BAR executive editor

Freedom Rider: Corona Virus and the Failed American State
The United States has none of the systems or infrastructure that would allow it to accomplish what China has done to fight mass infection. “While Americans can’t find hand sanitizer at any price, the Chinese government built new hospitals in just one week’s time.” The only thing more frightening than the COVID-19 virus spreading around the world is the knowledge that this country is woefully unprepared to protect people from it. The response to the epidemic would be funny if it were not so dangerous. First, the austerity regime cut the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) division responsible for fighting infectious disease outbreaks. But condemning Donald Trump’s decision making is the easy part. Analyzing bigger issues regarding health care and the inherent inefficiencies created by capitalism is much harder. By Margaret Kimberley, BAR senior columnist

Coronavirus Fearmongering Demonstrates U.S. Imperialism is a Drag on Humanity
The US is the most profit-oriented, business-controlled society on Earth, and therefore the least able to cope with a national health emergency, which requires sacrifice of profit for the greater good. “U.S. imperialism offers no solutions to address the coronavirus outbreak now that it has reached U.S. shores.”The coronavirus outbreak in China has made its way across the world, infecting thousands in nations such as Iran and South Korea. While confirmed cases in the United States remain low (likely due to underreporting), a cloud of fear and racist hysteria hangs over the U.S. populace from centuries of imperialist aggression toward China and its people. Racist attacks against Asian Americans are on the rise . The corporate media has predictably used the outbreak to demonize China’s system of economic and political governance. Yet as fear of the coronavirus’ spread increases, it becomes clearer that U.S. imperialism is the true drag on humanity, not China’s market socialist model.
By Danny Haiphong, BAR Contributing Editor

Victoire Ingabire and International Women’s Day
Rwanda’s most important woman is a former political prisoner who isn’t allowed to leave the country. “She’s not a leader of women. She’s a leader of people.” Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza remains in Rwanda, where President Paul Kagame’s government has forbidden her to leave. Earlier this month, gospel singer Kizito Mihigo, whom the government had also forbidden to leave Rwanda, died after being apprehended trying to cross Rwanda’s southern border into Burundi. The government said that he committed suicide, but few Rwandans believe that. By Ann Garrison, BAR Contributing Editor

Hoodwinked: How Wall Street and Big Real Estate Turned Anti-Discrimination Policies Against Blacks 
Federal policies intended to end racial discrimination in housing and encourage Black homeownership actually wound up enabling predatory real estate practices. Public-private partnerships perpetuated the racial gap in homeownership and were ultimately ‘intended to create greater penetration and mobility for capital, not people.’” In 1970, Janice Johnson, a Black single mother in Philadelphia, was facing eviction from an old apartment building condemned by the city. She was desperately seeking a place for her and her 8-year-old son to live, and her attempts to rent nearby apartments were coming up short. A landlord suggested she buy rather than rent a home, and just two weeks later, Johnson was approved for a Federal Housing Administration-backed mortgage loan of $5,800.  

By Julia Thomas
Jesse Jackson’s Endorsement of Bernie Sanders 
Rev Jesse L Jackson, Sr delivered the following remarks on March 8 at a Bernie Sanders for President rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “A people far behind cannot catch up choosing the most moderate path.” The “Black Firewall” has changed the dynamics of the 2020 presidential campaign.  The question is what has the firewall earned?  What will be the return on the black firewall’s political investment?  And what difference will the political contribution that the firewall is making, make in the individual lives of African Americans and in the African American community? 
By Rev Jesse L Jackson

United States Imposed Economic Sanctions – The Big Heis There’s a lot more to the sanctions game than meets the eye, involving massive theft as well as intentional mass death. Economic sanctions are class and race warfare.”“The victors hide behind banks, leveraged financial institutions (hedge funds) and major industries.” By Lauren SmithCan Bernie Save the Left? Do Sanders’ supporters really believe that even a totally principled leftist could turn the enormous repressive forces of the U.S. into forces for good? “We should never promote the dangerous illusion that elections themselves can fundamentally change the national state.” Every presidential election year we see activists’ resources — organizing time and money — move from local grassroots activism to promoting the candidacies of people who allegedly will advance such issues on a national scale. By Andy Thayer

Joe Biden and the Legacy of White Liberals Exploiting the Black Vote How bad do things need to get before Black folk start something new that is geared towards our collective and comprehensive liberation? “White liberals are just as corrupt and devilish and imperialist as Republicans.” By Solomon ComissiongRemembering Callie House, an Early Reparations Advocate Her grassroots organization, the National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty and Pension Association lobbied for federal legislation in support of pensions for formerly enslaved persons. “House sued the US Treasury Department for $68,073,388.99 in 1915 based upon the money raised from enslaved people’s labor.” By  Junious Ricardo Stanton When A Virus Hits Town, Racists Hit Back! Around the planet, from Peru to Melbourne to Paris, Asians are subjected to threats and abuse under the pretext of viral contagion. “I am not a VIRUS / I’m a HUMAN / ERADICATE THE PREJUDICE.” As I write this, I am into the second week of being stuck at home with my children as the area in which I live has had no school or daycare due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The reaction to Coronavirus has been similar in most countries: massive school closings , healthcare screenings at airports, and movie theaters and concert halls  are closing. People are changing their habits as a result with some children being home-schooled and many consumers avoiding paying for items with cash preferring to go contactless through the use of mobile phones  or credit cards  to limit what objects they touch. By Julian Vigo


Truthdig Staff Announces Work Stoppage This letter is to announce that the undersigned members of Truthdig’s editorial team, Executive Editor Kasia Anderson, Managing Editor Jacob Sugarman, Foreign Editor Natasha Hakimi Zapata, Book Editor Eunice Wong and blogger Ilana Novick, along with columnists Chris Hedges, Lee Camp and Paul Street and cartoonist Mr. Fish will begin a work stoppage, effective immediately. In recent months, as has been publicly reported, Truthdig Publisher Zuade Kaufman and Editor in Chief Robert Scheer have evidently been engaged in an ongoing dispute. That dispute is approaching its nadir as we are concerned Ms. Kaufman is attempting to take control of Truthdig, thus effectively removing Mr. Scheer from the website he co-owns and co-founded. This is unacceptable to us.


 Another Dangerous Virus Hits the U.S. – Wall Street Bank Contagion There has been a lot of delusional talk about the strong capital levels of the mega banks on Wall Street, not only from the Federal Reserve, but also from Wall Street analysts spreading fantasies about the banks on cable news programs. We took an afternoon off last Friday to hear what was being said about the banks on CNBC. We were stunned to hear Mike Mayo, a long-tenured bank analyst on Wall Street, who currently works for Wells Fargo Securities, deliver a huckster-like assessment of the mega Wall Street banks. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Another Wall Streetbailout: Federal Reserve to Offer $270 Billion in Loans to Wall Street Tomorrow The little people in America will have to continue to wait to hear any concrete plans for their government to provide financial relief to them for business disruptions resulting from the coronavirus. But Wall Street banks and their sprawling trading desks got the word today that the Fed’s money gusher (repo loans) that began on September 17 of last year will offer them up another $270 billion in cold hard cash at unprecedented low interest rates tomorrow. The Fed announced that its 1-day emergency loans that it has been making each weekday will increase to as much as $175 billion a day beginning tomorrow; its 14-day loans, which will continue to be offered twice a week, will remain at the elevated amount of $45 billion; and the Fed will add three one-month loans of a whopping $50 billion each. The first one-month loan will be funneled out tomorrow, along with a cap of $45 billion in a 14-day loan and up to $175 billion in a one-day loan, bringing the one-day tally to the astounding sum of $270 billion – all without so much as a vote, or debate or even a hearing in Congress. . . . For detailed background on this stealth bailout of Wall Street that has now been running without making headlines for the past six months, see our in-depth series here. By  Pam Martens and Russ Martens: 3/11


Resisting US Blockade, Cuba Embraces Change, Builds Socialism Like the sun, the U.S. blockade of Cuba will not disappear soon. Unlike the sun, the blockade has receded from public attention in the United States.  It has continued, mostly unchanged, for almost 60 years. Here we explore the matter of change. Any U.S. politician who says nice things about Cuba can expect abuse. That’s been so since the victory of the Cuban Revolution in 1959.  Recently presidential candidate Bernie Sanders tried to ward off attacks as he praised Cuba’s 1961 literacy campaign. He labeled Cuba’s leadership as “authoritarian,” but it didn’t work.  Senators Rubio and Menendez and other politicians, Democratic and Republican alike, lashed out. Democratic leaders in Florida joined in. Cuba matters there at voting time. By W. T. WhitneyItaly: the coronavirus epidemic is an emergency, but capitalism is the real disaster The coronavirus crisis is more severe in Italy than anywhere else in Europe. This shows the chronic failures of the government – whose response so far has been totally inadequate, and which is attempting to shunt the economic burden of the emergency onto working people.

 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! 

Coronavirus Will Spread Faster Because We Lack Universal Health Care Acritical factor accelerating the spread of coronavirus in the United States is our lack of universal health care. As we debate the costs of providing medical treatment for all, and as the virus tears through the fabric of our society, it’s become clear that many of the factors accelerating the spread of illness and death associated with this new plague are associated with the for-profit nature of our health care system. By Joel Segal & Harvey Wasserman