Daily News Digest March 30, 2020

Another Example Capitalism as a Failed System: World Capilalism Was Aware of the Danger of Cornovavirus Threat 4 Years Ago and Did Nothing!

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, that the 99% Will Rule, Not the Few!

Images of the Day:

Trump is But a Caricature of Capitalism in Its Epoch of Imperialist Decay  and Humanicide!

A Win for Wall Street!

Quote of the Day:

Want to know why Trump and his voracious pals want to herd us back into normal life even as the air is potentially lethal with the virus? Consumption. The machine that lines their pockets has ground to a halt because people decided they want to keep breathing instead of buy stuff. That is happening in China. Wait until it happens here. For Trump and the capitalists, that is the end of the ever-loving world as they know (and own) it. They will wring the coppers from our bones and not think twice about consumers getting consumed. Someday soon, Trump may well announce the all-clear in defiance of the experts. What remains to be seen is whether people will listen. This is still only the beginning. Stout hearts. Do not listen to the president. — Trump and His Allies Have Decided to Preserve Capitalism at Any Cost

Videos of the Day:

Dr. Michael Hudson: Economic Lessons for 2020

Dr. Fauci Predicts 100K to 200K Americans Will Die From COVID-19

Rikers Island Prisoners Strike for Soap, Cleaning Wipes


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.

Asserting that his personal interests put him in direct conflict with the interests of the United States of America, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has demanded that Donald Trump recuse himself from all decisions involving the future of the U.S.  Speaking from her office at the Supreme Court, Ginsburg said that Trump’s oft-stated allegiance to himself makes it impossible for him to render unbiased decisions on issues affecting people other than himself. — Ruth Bader Ginsburg Says Trump Should Recuse Himself from All Decisions Involving the Future of the Country

Millions Of People Will Struggle To Pay Rent In April, But Few In Congress Care ON Wednesday, April 1, rent payments will be due for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic — yet even with unemployment at a record high, major bill payments have barely factored into U.S. politicians’ response to the crisis. On Friday, the House passed an emergency multi-trillion dollar relief package, which was approved by the Senate on Wednesday night and will now head to President Donald Trump’s desk. It’s about five times bigger than Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus and represents a massive upward transfer of wealth. Though it includes a significant expansion of unemployment benefits and a onetime check of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples, it’ll take up to three weeks for people to begin receiving those relief checks, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. That will be too late for the nearly 3.3 million people who filed for unemployment benefits last week, and others who have become underemployed as a result of the pandemic By Aída Chávez

Trump Campaign’s Threat on TV Licenses May Be Mostly BlusterThe Trump re-election campaign told TV stations they could lose their operating licenses for airing an ad criticizing the president’s actions in the coronavirus crisis — a challenge that may be more bluster than actual threat. President Donald Trump’s campaign, in a letter on Wednesday, told stations in five battleground states to stop showing the ad from Priorities USA, a political action committee that supports Democratic candidate Joe Biden.  Failure to remove the ad “could put your station’s license in jeopardy” before the Federal Communications Commission, the campaign said in the letter. “Your station has an obligation to cease and desist from airing it immediately to comply with FCC licensing requirements.”

The Government Of the 15, By the 1%, For the 1%!, and Controled By the!5!

MATT STOLLER: Well, I mean, it’s not really a $2 trillion bill. It’s more like a $6 trillion to $10 trillion bill. So, one of the reasons you can tell that the bill is packed with corporate goodies is that, you know, Congress is debating and trying to figure out, oh, you know, is it $2 trillion, a bunch of money for hospitals or money for cities, and meanwhile, a couple days ago, Larry Kudlow is on a press conference and says, “Actually, this is a $6 trillion bill.” And it’s like, how does a bill go from $2 trillion to $6 trillion without anyone really noticing? And the answer is, there’s a bunch of stuff in there — and, you know, there are people on Wall Street chattering about how it’s actually going to be $10 trillion, because, you know, what’s another four? And that’s how you know that the bill is just packed with stuff for Wall Street, for large monopolists.   AMY GOODMAN: So, Matt Stoller, if you can respond to what Cramer said? While President Trump stands at the White House podium saying, “We’re spending much more time concerned about small business than big business,” he didn’t say, “We’re spending much more money concerned about small business than big business.”   MATT STOLLER: I don’t think that this is actually — I don’t want to leave this on Trump. Honestly, this is the fault of the Democrats, this is the fault of Nancy Pelosi, it’s the fault of members like Ilhan Omar, who just spoke about this, not paying attention to what’s in the bill. It’s the fault of Bernie Sanders. It’s the fault of Elizabeth Warren. These are the people that had leverage, that had the ability to make an argument about what this bill is. And instead of saying that this bill is a handout to corporate America and a roll-up of power, they decided to stay quiet, let Chuck Schumer organize the whole process, you know, and do some moral grandstanding. And it’s really embarrassing, and it’s really a problem, because they’re lying to the progressive movement, they’re lying to the Democratic Party. And so now we have no debate about what is effectively probably a more significant bill than TARP in 2008. “Total System Failure”: Congress Pushes $2 Trillion Pandemic Bill. Will Dems Allow “Corporate Coup”?

Bonanza for Rich Real Estate Investors, Tucked Into Stimulus Package A small change to tax policy could hand $170 billion in tax savings to real estate tycoons. The federal government’s planned $2 trillion economic rescue package includes financial aid for individuals and industries that are struggling to survive the coronavirus pandemic. It also includes a potential bonanza for America’s richest real estate investors. Senate Republicans inserted an easy-to-overlook provision on page 203 of the 880-page bill that would permit wealthy investors to use losses generated by real estate to minimize their taxes on profits from things like investments in the stock market. The estimated cost of the change over 10 years is $170 billion. By Jesse Drucker

The Covid-19 Bailout: Another Failed Opportunity at Structural Change The Covid-19 bailout is yet another opportunity at a structural transformation of the American state, economy, and society that will be lost.  Instead, it will be another short-term patch that will fail to alter the trajectory of Neo-liberal capitalism in America, if not across the globe. There are two basic types of reform–ordinary and structural.  Ordinary reforms operate within a current paradigm or set of assumptions about politics, the economy, or society.  Ordinary reforms are simply changing the times for voting or adjusting political contribution limits, increasing the minimum wage, or passing laws that criminalize or not some offenses such as the use of marijuana.  These reforms are nice but not necessarily significant. By David Schultz

Bailouts for the Rich, the Virus for the Rest of Us For the second time in a generation, the President and Congress are creating an economy under the guise of ‘saving the economy.’ Through bailouts for the executives of corporations and institutions whose coffers have been emptied for their own personal enrichment, a corporate kleptocracy is having its class power secured. And through token payments and pandemic profiteering for the masses, the American precariat is being deepened and broadened to solidify its place as desperate and expendable. By Rob Urie


Frack the Frackers!:  Exxon May Crush Bailout Hopes for Suffering Fracking Companies The Washington Post reported March 10 that the Trump administration was considering some type of financial help for the failing U.S. shale oil and gas industry, “as industry officials close to the administration clamor for help.” Those officials — billionaire shale CEO Harold Hamm was likely among them — seemed desperate for government assistance because, as DeSmog has documented, their deeply indebted businesses have lost billions of dollars during the fracking boom. Even before the recent oil price war and COVID-19 pandemic, these companies could hardly stay afloat, making cries for some type of corporate welfare likely unavoidable.  By Justin Mikulka

Environmental Racism:  Louisiana’s Cancer Alley Community At Increased Risk of COVID-19 Our people aren’t prepared for a pandemic,” Robert Taylor, executive director of the Concerned Citizens of St. John The Baptist Parish, told me a couple of days before the governor of Louisiana issued a stay-at-home order due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the state.   “Many of us have cancer and weakened immune systems from the chemical onslaught we endure everyday. This could be a death sentence for many of us,” Taylor said.   “We have been suffering horribly with health issues here, and struggling for our lives already from the man-made epidemic,” Taylor said.  “I don’t have any good feelings of how we are going to fare suffering now from a pandemic.” By Julie Dermansky

Civil Rights/ Black Liberation:


The Lessons Of The Italian Coronavirus Crisis for the Workers of the World  The coronavirus crisis in Italy has brought out the real nature of the capitalist system that is now evident to millions of working people. Profit is being placed before lives, but the working class is reacting with militant strike action. What lessons can be drawn from this experience for the workers of other countries? Fred Weston explains. The world has entered a crisis of global proportions, both in terms of the risk to people’s health and in terms of the economic collapse, which is dramatically changing the way people live. According to one forecast, the United States could see a 30 percent fall in GDP in the second quarter of this year, with unemployment as high as 30 percent, something that would have been unimaginable just a few weeks ago. In China, estimates are that the economy in the first quarter contracted by 40 percent compared to the previous quarter, the biggest fall for 50 years.The whole world is now in recession, with calculations that global GDP fell by 0.8 percent in the first quarter. That may not sound like much, but if we consider that any growth below 2 percent on a global scale is considered a recession then it puts it into the correct perspective. By Fred Weston

‘Without Us, Instacart Will Grind to a Halt’: Delivery Workers Threaten Strike Over Hazard Pay, Safety Measures Amid Outbreak “Companies like Uber, Lyft, and Instacart would be nothing without the laborers they treat so poorly—people now deemed ‘essential’.” By Julia Conley


Our Economy is At War

Federal Reserve Money Machine: Paper Economy

The answer lies in the central bank’s emergency lending authorities, given to it by the Federal Reserve Act. When the Fed declares that circumstances are unusual and exigent, and Treasury signs off, it can set up special programs that essentially buy debt from — or extend loans to — businesses large and small.   The Fed could simply print the money to back that lending, but it avoids taking on credit risk, so it asks for Treasury funding to insure against losses. But those taxpayer dollars can be leveraged: Because the Fed expects most borrowers to pay back, it does not need one-for-one support. As a result, a mere $10 billion from Treasury can prop up $100 billion in Fed lending. And voilà — the $454 billion Congress dedicated to Fed programs in the aid bill can be multiplied many times. A separate $46 billion in the package will go to specific industries. This is how the mechanics work and who might get the money: What’s in the bill?  Congress allotted at least $454 billion to the Treasury specifically to support Fed programs. It attached a few strings — for instance, companies that get direct loans backed by Treasury funding could be prevented from paying out dividends or buying back shares. Mr. Mnuchin is also required to push the Fed to set up specific programs, including one that would help medium-sized businesses. — How the Fed’s Magic Money Machine Will Turn $454 

After the Democrats Opened The Wall Street Banksters’ Barn Door, Trump Allows Buybacks!‘Unacceptable’: Dems Fume After Trump Announces Plan to Refuse Congressional Oversight of Corporate Bailout Funds “This is a frightening amount of public money to have given a corrupt admininistration with zero accountability.” Progressive lawmakers on Friday evening denounced President Donald Trump’s intention to disregard provisions in the just-passed coronavirus relief bill that would provide crucial oversight of $500 billion in taxpayer money already poised to be a “Wall Street slush fund.” By Andrea Germanos

The Tide Is Going Out and JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and AIG Appear to Be Swimming (Read Trading) Naked Warren Buffet is credited with the quote: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” Friday’s closing prices among some of the heavily interconnected mega Wall Street banks and insurance companies known to be counterparties to Wall Street’s derivatives appeared to show who’s swimming naked in the realm of derivatives – naked meaning who has sold derivative protection (gone short the risk) on something that is blowing up. As the chart above shows, the S&P 500 stock index (SPX) closed with a loss of 3.37 percent while the following three stocks closed with more than double that percentage of loss: Deutsche Bank was down by 7.44 percent; JPMorgan shed 7.12 percent while AIG was off by 7.27 percent. When the Federal Reserve needs to create a hodgepodge of  secretive Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) and run  By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

 The Federal Reserve Now Owns 15 Percent of the U.S. Treasury Market; At Its Current Rate, It Could Own the Whole Market in Less than Two Years   “The More I See Of The Moneyed Classes, The More I Understand the Guillotine.” — George Bernard Shaw  According to the U.S. Treasury, as of February 29, 2020, there was $16.9 trillion in marketable U.S. Treasury securities outstanding. Of that amount, at the end of February, the Federal Reserve held $2.47 trillion or 14.6 percent – making it, by far, the largest single holder of U.S. Treasuries anywhere in the world. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

New York Fed Has Allowed Dangerous Wall Street Banks to Have Lower Loan Loss Reserves than at time of 2008 Crash The New York Fed supervises four of the most dangerous banks in America: Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. That opinion is not just ours but is documented by data from federal agencies. All four of these banks own federally-insured commercial banks that are backstopped by the U.S. taxpayer while also gambling in the stock market through their own Dark Pools and in trillions of dollars of derivatives. All four of these banks received tens of billions of dollars in bailout money during the 2007-2010 financial crash, which was brought on by their greed and corrupt activities in the derivatives and subprime market. Citigroup’s losses were of such magnitude that it became insolvent, turned into a 99 cent stock, and yet secretly received the largest bailout in global banking history from the same regulator who had allowed it to become a derivatives fireworks factory and blow up: the New York Fed. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens


The United States is at War with 1/4 of the World! With a Quarter of the World’s Population Under US Sanctions, Countries Appeal to UN to Intervene Eight countries, representing around one-quarter of all humanity, say that Washington’s actions are undermining their response to the COVID–19 pandemic sweeping   he governments of China, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela – all under sanctions from the United States – sent a joint statement to the United Nations Secretary-General, the UN’s High Commissioner on Human Rights and the Director-General of the World Health Organization calling for an end to the unilateral American economic blockade, as they are, “illegal and blatantly violate international law and the charter of the United Nations.” By  Alan Macleodnet.

A person in protective clothing walks through a temporary 2,000-bed hospital for COVID-19 coronavirus patients set up by the Iranian army at the international exhibition center in northern Tehran, Iran, on Thursday, March 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

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 to be,  a democracy and part of the democratic way. — Roland Sheppard, Let the People  Vote on Healthcare!

The first two questions, which will be key to guiding policymakers on whether the extreme measures taken to suppress the outbreak are working, are these: Is the Covid-19 outbreak in a city or state getting better or worse? And how fast?  The answers to these questions cannot be determined just by looking at how many people test positive, especially as more testing capacity comes online. What we really need to look at is the percentage of people in the population who are testing positive each day. This requires knowing not just the number of positive tests, but how many tests of people in the overall population were performed — the numerator and denominator.   Epidemiology is a bit like baseball. Knowing that a ball player has gotten 134 hits isn’t that informative. What is informative is knowing that those 134 hits were made during 335 at-bats, which translates into a batting average of .400. But we can only know the batting average if we know the player’s total number of at bats and hits. It’s the same thing for the coronavirus: We need to know the number of all tests in in each age group and each locale, as well as the number of positive ones.   To know if Covid-19 is getting better or worse, we need to know how the percentage of positive cases — not the number — changes day by day, accounting for delays in testing and reporting and how the percentages change in response to public health measures such as sheltering-in-place or suppression. This will tell us how effective these measures are in curtailing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and thus whether when social restrictions could be relaxed or additional policies might need to be implemented. — We Need Smart Coronavirus Testing, Not Just More Testing

Of course, it’s impossible to know if the answers are a result of misinformed self-diagnoses, untested professional diagnoses or test-confirmed infections. But Carnegie Mellon University professor Baruch Fischhoff, who studies risk perception and analysis, said that the poll results shouldn’t be viewed as merely a collective neurotic reaction to the pandemic. Given the shortage of coronavirus test kits, it may well be a broadly accurate estimate of the extent of the infection across the United States, he said. “It may be the best available data,” he said. A further 2.4% of those polled said they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. And in an illustration of the degrees of separation with the deadly virus, a further 2.6% said they knew someone who has been in close contact with a person who has tested positive. — How Many Americans Have Coronavirus? New Reuters Poll Might Offer  Hint

Coronavirus Shows Why Trump’s Big Medicaid Idea Is Dangerous The administration wants states to accept caps on federal Medicaid funding. In times like this, that would mean fewer people being able to access medical care. Just weeks before the severity of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the United States became unmistakable, President Donald Trump’s administration offered states a way to make significant cuts to their Medicaid programs, which provide health care coverage for just over 20% of the population. The rapid spread of the disease is now making a clear case for why this initiative would be harmful to vulnerable Americans. According to one estimate, the cost of COVID-19 treatment can exceed $20,000 By Jeffrey Young

‘We Need Medicare for All’: Massive Coronavirus Job Losses Expose Obvious Failure of Employer-Based Insurance “3.3 million people just lost their jobc ‘if you like your employer benefits you can keep them’ benefits. Healthcare can never again be tied to employment.” By Julia Conley