Daily News Digest October 3, 2017

Daily News Digest Archives

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program:  1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. 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 Those  Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico!

Daily News Digest October 3, 2017 

Images of the Day:

The White House/Media Monopoly/1% ‘Spin’ The 1%’s $ trillion Dollar Government  (The Best Government That Money Can Buy)Quotes of the Day:

. . . But beyond that transition, our task is a different one. It is to unite everyone in our country around a progressive vision of what Britain could be, but with a government that stands for the many, not the few. Labour is the only party that can bring together those who voted leave and those who backed remain and unite the country for a future beyond Brexit. What matters in the Brexit negotiations is to achieve a settlement that delivers jobs, rights and decent living standards. Conference, the real divide over Brexit could not be. A shambolic Tory Brexit driving down standards. Or a Labour Brexit that puts jobs first a Brexit for the many, one that guarantees unimpeded access to the single market and establishes a new co-operative relationship with the EU. A Brexit that uses powers returned from Brussels to support a new industrial strategy to upgrade our economy in every region and nation.  One that puts our economy first not fake immigration targets that fan the flames of fear. We will never follow the Tories into the gutter of blaming migrants for the ills of society. It isn’t migrants who drive down wages and conditions but the worst bosses in collusion with a Conservative government that never misses a chance to attack trade unions and weaken people’s rights at work. Labour will take action to stop employers driving down pay and conditions not pander to scapegoating or racism.   How Britain leaves the European Union is too important to be left to the Conservatives and their internal battles and identity crises. . . . — Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour conference speech in full

Fans of socialist Rosa Luxemburg looking at Hurricane Maria’s assault on Puerto Rico may recall the deaths of 40 000 people in 1902 when Mt. Pelee erupted in Martinique, a French colony.  Luxemburg wrote then that “the lords of the earth,” who with “faith unshaken – in their own wisdom …have all turned to Martinique [to] help, rescue, dry the tears and curse the havoc-wreaking volcano.” They had plundered and murdered in colonies like Martinique and she was accusing them of hypocrisy in trying to comfort the survivors. Currently that accusation applies to U. S. words and deeds in the wake of two recent hurricanes – particularly Hurricane Maria – that left Puerto Rico in shambles. Food, water, and medical supplies were almost exhausted nine days after Maria struck. Lack of diesel fuel to power generators caused electricity shortages such that in hospitals air-conditioners and therapy devices weren’t working. Patients dependent on respirators were dying. The entire electricity grid is destroyed. Puerto Ricans are in the dark and without refrigeration or means for communication. Recovery is measured in months or years. The U. S. government quickly provided disaster relief funds for victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in Texas and Florida, respectively. But more than a week after Maria hit Puerto Rico no extra emergency funds were heading for the island. President Trump reminded Puerto Ricans of their debt obligations. News reports mentioned Puerto Rico’s chronic infrastructure deficiencies, but didn’t offer much explanation. Indeed, Puerto Ricans were facing great difficulties prior to the hurricanes. Almost half of all Puerto Ricans live in poverty, including 60 percent of the island’s children.  Almost 200 schools closed in the months before the hurricanes. The University of Puerto Rico was on the way to losing an estimated $300 million in funds. Public funding for healthcare was being reduced. Blame for these problems falls on the U. S. government.

Under new regulations in 1976, corporations gained tax advantages for setting up factories on the island. Thereafter, the island’s government ran short of money and secured loans from Wall Street bankers. Later Washington authorities removed the tax advantages and factories departed. By 2016 Puerto Rico’s government owed creditors $74 billion and owed pension funds $50 billion. The U. S. Congress that year passed its PROMESA law which prioritized payments on debt over human needs. But even before then, Puerto Rico’s government had been cutting away at social services. PROMESA established a Financial Control Board that, according to critic Nelson Denis, is “the de facto government, banker, judge, jury, and executioner of Puerto Rico.” — Two Storms Hit Puerto Rico: Maria and Colonialism

“All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.” ― George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia

“When I see an actual flesh-and-blood worker in conflict with his natural enemy, the policeman, I do not have to ask myself which side I am on.” ― George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia

“There are occasions when it pays better to fight and be beaten than not to fight at all.” ― George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia

Videos of the Day:

Catalonia firefighters form human shield to protect referendum voters from riot police

Puerto Rico Can’t Rebuild Under Debt and Austerity Puerto Rico’s recovery hinges on reversing the neoliberal policies that crippled the island before Hurricane Maria, says economist Mark Weisbrot

Puerto Rico’s Recovery is a Battle Against Austerity As the Trump administration touts its relief effort in Puerto Rico as a ‘good news story’ and threatens more austerity, writer Ed Morales argues the island’s devastation is a wake-up call against neoliberal excess

Will Harvey Disaster Relief Go to Climate Polluters? Many are concerned that most of the aid will go toward Texas businesses–including the fossil fuel industry, which contributed to the climate-change related catastrophe in the first place. TRNN speaks with Reggie James, director of the Sierra Club’s Lone Star Chapter   

Study: Military Spending Ineffective for Creating Jobs The study by economist Heidi Garrett-Peltier finds that federal spending on domestic programs, such as healthcare, education and clean energy, creates far more American jobs than military spending


9 Reasons Trump’s Tax Plan Will Hurt You It’s a scheme of the super-rich, by the super-rich, for the super-rich. By David Cay Johnston

History Repeats Itself Again! From the Robber Barons of 1870 to Today! 

Attacking the Right to Protest — Trumps Building a ‘Hit List’: Trump administration orders Facebook to hand over private information on ‘anti-administration activists’ A legal challenge warns of stifling online speech By Jeremy B White

Government by Goldman:Gary Cohn Is Giving Goldman Sachs Everything It Ever Wanted From the Trump Administration By Gary Rivlin and Michael Hudson Black Liberation/Civil Rights:


 Weekend Environment Reader

Health Secretary Tom Price resigns after drawing ire for chartered flights. Mr. Price’s decision came just hours after President Trump publicly dressed him down for the second time in a week. New York Times.

Interior secretary Zinke traveled on charter, military planes. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his aides have taken several flights on private or military aircraft, including a $12,000 charter plane to take him to events in his hometown in Montana and private flights between two Caribbean islands, according to documents and a department spokeswoman. Politico.

U.S. offers Vogtle nuclear plant $3.7 billion in loan guarantees. An additional loan guarantee of up to $3.7 billion to companies building two nuclear reactors in Georgia. Reuters.

Rick Perry just proposed a massive change in electricity policy to help coal and nuclear plants. The Energy Department announced new loan guarantees for a struggling nuclear plant — and a controversial new policy that could pay coal and nuclear plants for keeping the grid stable. Washington Post.

 Here are some EPA programs that Scott Pruitt’s $900,000 taxpayer-funded expenses could pay for . Scott Pruitt wants to cut waste at the EPA. Here’s what he could save by cutting his own expenses. Think Progress.

Puerto Rico’s slow-motion medical disaster. Hurricane Maria left a ruined island and 16 Puerto Rico residents dead. But public health experts worry that figure could climb higher in the coming weeks, as many on the island fail to get medicines or treatment they need for chronic diseases. Wired.

Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

Rail Industry Slow on Safety Upgrade for Fleets Carrying Oil and Ethanol  A new government report finds that only 9 percent of all the rail tank cars transporting flammable liquids last year met the stricter safety requirements of regulations set in 2015, which were meant to reduce oil train explosions and accidents. This confirms what DeSmog reported last year showing that the oil and rail industries were not moving to aggressively upgrade the fleet to the higher safety standards. Of course, the regulations gave them over a decade to make the upgrades and provided little incentive for industry to move faster. By Justin Mikulka


Video: Jeremy Corbyn: Unlike the Tories, Labour will never blame migrants for the ills of society.


Shadow Government Statistics Corrected Real GDP Nominal GDP Deflated by Implicit Price Deflator Corrected for Roughly Two – Percentage Point Understatement of Annual Inflation Quarterly to 2q2017, Seasonally – Adjusted [ShadowStats, BEA] Shadow Gorvernment Statistics Real Average Weekly Earnings (Benchmark Revised) Production and Nonsupervisory Employees Deflated by CPI – W versus ShadowStats Alternate (1990 – Base) 1965 to August 2017, Seasonally – Adjusted [ShadowStats, BLS]
Usury Baking Profit Profitering Pauperizing the Youth: More People Than Ever Are Defaulting on Their Student Loans As the cost of higher education skyrockets, student loan debt has become an unavoidable rite of passage for most college students. Collectively, Americans owe a whopping $1.45 trillion in student loan debt, which outpaces credit card debt by upward of $600 billion. By Britni Danielle


Spain in Crisis: Stock market crash over Catalonia chaos — ‘WORST outcome for Madrid’ SPAIN’s stock market came under pressure on Monday after Catalans voted in favour of independence, intensifying a political crisis in one of the eurozone’s best functioning economies. Spain’s government borrowing costs also surged, while the euro drifted lower against the dollar as investors weighed fallout from the violent police crackdown on Catalans on Sunday. This morning local officials announced 90 per cent of those who voted in the contested referendum on Sunday, which Madrid deemed illegal, called for independence from Spain. Around 2.26 million people took part in the ballot, despite police violence, representing around 42.3 per cent of Catalonia’s 5.34 million voters. By Ida Akerstedt 

The Catalan independence referendum is a much bigger issue for the EU than Brexit The region is an economic powerhouse, in effect subsidising the rest of the country. Its 7.5 million people, some 16 per cent of the population of Spain, generate nearly 20 per cent of the country’s GDP

Calls for PM Rajoy to Resign Over Police Violence During Catalan Independence ReferendumMayor of Barcelona and others called for Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to resign in the wake of police violence against Catalonia citizens during Sunday’s vote, in which 90% voted in favor of independence By Michael Sainato

Catalonia referendum: 90% voted for independence, say officials – as it happened

Catalonia: The masses enter the scene  Brutal police repression failed to stop the Catalan independence referendum faced with the determination of hundreds of thousands to overcome all obstacles to participate. What we saw yesterday in Catalonia was on the one hand the real ugly face of the Spanish regime created during the so-called “Transition” at the end of the Franco regime, and on the other the mass mobilisation and self-organisation of the Catalan people to exercise their right of self-determination. By Jorge Martin“A Britain for the Many, Not Just the Few” We meet here this week as a united Party,  advancing in every part of Britain, winning the confidence of millions of our fellow citizens, setting out our ideas and plans for our country’s future, that have already inspired people of all ages and backgrounds. This is the text of Jeremy Corbyn’s keynote speech to the Labour Party Conference, delivered in Brighton on September 27 by Jeremy Corbyn

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare: