Daily News Digest November 20, 2017

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. 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 The  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 November 20, 2017

Images of the Day:

One Example of the Decline and Fall of the American EmpireWhy This House Tax Scheme Is for Idiots

Quotes of the Day:

The House tax bill is an all-out attack on the future prosperity of America, not that any of the major news organizations are telling you that in plain English. Lost in the dense bureaucratic language of modern news reports is the simple fact that the House bill takes from striving students so that the already rich and major corporations can have more. — Why This House Tax Scheme Is for Idiots

Two things have become painfully clear on Capitol Hill this week: Lawmakers and staffers say sexual harassment is “rampant” — but even members of Congress have no idea just how widespread the problem is. The controversial and sensitive issue has taken center stage in Congress this week, with female lawmakers making fresh allegations of sexual harassment against unnamed members who are currently in office, and the unveiling of a new bill on Wednesday to change how sexual harassment complaints are reported and resolved. On Thursday, a woman shared her story of being groped and kissed without her consent by Sen. Al Franken in 2006. So far, there’s been little specific data to help illuminate just how pervasive sexual harassment is on Capitol Hill, but one figure has emerged: the total that the Office of Compliance, the office that handles harassment complaints, has paid to victims. On Thursday, the Office of Compliance released additional information indicating that it has paid victims more than $17 million since its creation in the 1990s (The money comes from a fund set up to handle settlements within the US Treasury). That includes all settlements, not just related to sexual harassment, but also discrimination and other cases. Sexual assaults need stronger sanctions. Only a few of the reported assaulters are being civilly sued under the law of torts. Even fewer are subjects of criminal investigation so far. Perhaps the daily overdue accounting, regarding past and present reports of sexual assaults will encourage those abused in other contexts to also blow the whistle on other abuses. Too often, there are not penalties, but instead rewards, for high government and corporate officials whose derelict and often illegal decisions directly produce millions of deaths and injuries. (The money comes from a fund set up to handle settlements within the US Treasury) — Congress paid out $17 million in settlements. Here’s why we know so little about that money

 Videos of the Day:

Target Plans Shutdown of Major Community Store Executive Producer Eddie Conway speaks with Agzja Carey, a former employee of Target, who argues the shutdown was not due to lack of profitability.

TRNN Replay: The Story Behind Keystone XL Pipeline Amendments An estimated 210,000 gallons have spilled from the Keystone Pipeline today. For more context we replay our interview with Food & Water Watch’s Sam Schabacker and journalist Steve Horn, where they discussed the interests behind the amendments and how another Enbridge pipeline was being planned under the radar

Barghouti: Cambridge’s Interference in BDS Event is ‘Ludicrous’ Cambridge University threatened to shut down an event about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, citing concerns about the Palestinian moderator’s neutrality. BDS founder Omar Barghouti says it’s a “slippery slope towards McCarthyism on campus”


The Rule of Power Over the Rule of Law Me Too is producing some results. At long last. Victims of sexual assault by men in superior positions of power are speaking out. Big time figures in the entertainment, media, sports and political realms are losing their positions – resigning or being told to leave. A producer at 60 Minutes thinks Wall Street may be next. by Ralph Nader

Thank an Anti-War Veteran And how much cherished freedom do U.S. Americans really enjoy in the U.S.-American “homeland,” home to the largest mass incarceration system in human history and to a giant, burgeoning, and lethal corporate police and surveillance state? Some Americans seem to have quite a bit more liberty than others, that’s for sure. Real freedom exists mainly for the nation’s upper One Percent, which owns well more than 90 percent of the nation’s wealth.  The holdings include much of the political class and a highly concentrated corporate and commercial media that generates images and narratives that “manufacture [mass] consent” to that savage inequality while selling an endless stream of consumer goods that help ruin livable ecology. by Paul Street

 A Bizarre US Pretext for Military Intrusion in South America The United States has imposed military bases and deployed troops throughout Latin America. Its 4th fleet cruises the surrounding seaways. These are activities that usually relate to war, preparing for war, or occupying territory. Whatever the case, those in charge need to justify military intervention. As regards Latin America, The U.S. government has claimed its military is responding to terrorism, narco-trafficking, or insurgency. By W. T. Whitney

Are You in One of the 36 Million Families Whose Taxes Will Go Up Under the House Bill? A giant gift to billionaires at the expense of the rest of us.  By Jeremy Slevin McCarthyism Redux: Attacks on the Russian Media In 2017 we are witnessing the rebirth of McCarthyism across the West in response to Russia’s recovery from the demise of the Soviet Union and the failed attempt to turn the country into a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington via the imposition of free market economic shock treatment thereafter. In the process critical thinking and reason has been sacrificed on the altar of Pavlovian conditioning and unreason, resulting in the embrace of hysterical Russophobic nostrums by a liberal political and media class for whom Russia can only ever exist as a vanquished foe or a foe that needs to be vanquished. by John Wight Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

Fukushima Scientists: Days of Eating Fish From The Ocean Are OVER Scientist say there is no ‘safe level ‘radiation’ Radiation from the Fukushima power plant has been continually leaking since the meltdown at such a catastrophic level, scientists are claiming days of eating fish from the Pacific ocean could be over. By Daniel NewtonCivil Rights/ Black Liberation:

Colin Kaepernick was named citizen of the year. How ironic For black Americans, citizenship has always been incomplete and fraught. Kaepernick knows this better than anyone else . . . the 1857 Supreme Court decision in the case of Dred Scott (an enslaved African in America) v Sanford, a case in which the court decided that all people of African ancestry – both enslaved as well as those who were free – could never become citizens of the United States. And while Dred Scott decision was overturned by the 13th amendment (an amendment that allowed for slavery to continue to thrive legally in the prison system) and 14th amendments to the Constitution, history has shown that the spirit of the Dred Scott decision never died in America. It is repeatedly resuscitated, leading to black folks continuous quest for all of the rights promised to citizens of the United States. By Ameer Hasan Loggins Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe Sidelined by Military Coup Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe Sidelined by Military Coup Amid some brief gunfire and few explosions military spokespeople in Zimbabwe declared Wednesday that President Robert Mugabe and his wife were safely in custody while, they said, a layer of criminals around the president were hunted down and apprehended. They found $10 million US dollars stashed in the home of the country’s finance minister, a political ally of the president’s wife. Military authorities were obliged to insist that despite appearances this was not a coup, lest diplomatic and economic sanctions be thrown upon Zimbabwe. By Bruce A. Dixon, BAR managing editor Labor:


U.S. Treasury Becomes a Laughing Stock U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appears to have inaugurated a perpetual bring your wife to work day. It’s become so farcical that it frequently feels like the United States Treasury Department has morphed into a low-budget, badly scripted reality TV show where the female star is so out-of-touch that she must continually scurry about in her haute couture erasing the haughty things she has written about the little people on multiple continents. We’ll get to that shortly, but first some background: . . . “Mr. Mnuchin’s career began in trading the financial products that brought on the housing crash and the Great Recession. After nearly two decades at Goldman Sachs, he left in 2002 and joined a hedge fund. In 2004, he spun off a hedge fund of his own, Dune Capital. It was only a few lackluster years before Dune began to wind down its investments in 2008. By Pam Martins and Russ Martens 


Sex, Lies and Incompetence: Britain’s Ruling Establishment in Crisis Barely five months after a general election in the United Kingdom, the government of Prime Minister Theresa May looks doomed. It could fall any day, next week or next month. Within her Conservative Party and elsewhere in the United Kingdom, in other European countries and beyond, speculation is rife that Theresa May’s days in office may be numbered. Scandals involving sex, lies and incompetence unfold day after day. The rot has set in at the heart of Britain’s power centre. by Deepak Tripathi

Uncontacted People Still Being Massacred in Amazonia Ten indigenous people – including women and children – were murdered in the Javari Valley region of the Amazon in September this year, according to reports. Their bodies were alleged to have been mutilated and dumped in a river. The attack was believed to have been carried out by gold miners, two of whom were later recorded bragging about it in a local bar by Lewis Evans Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

The Russian Civil War: an international struggle The October Revolution was an earthquake that sent shockwaves throughout the world. The idea that workers could take power into their own hands and run society without the need for kings, queens and capitalists had a big impact amongst the working masses throughout the world. For this reason, the ruling classes of all countries united in an effort to crush the new workers state in its infancy. By Jules Legendre The CIA’s House of Horrors: the Abominable Dr. Gottlieb The death (or possibly murder) of Frank Olson was but a hint of the enormous secret CIA program of research into techniques of mind alteration and control. The whole enterprise was assigned the code-name MK-ULTRA and was run out of the CIA’s Technical Services Division, headed in the 1950s by Willis Gibbons, a former executive of the US Rubber Company. In the division’s laboratories and workshops researchers labored on poisons, gadgets designed to maim and kill, techniques of torture and implements to carry such techniques to agonizing fruition. Here also were developed surveillance equipment and kindred tools of the espionage trade. All of these activities made the Technical Services Division a vital partner of the covert operations wing of the Agency. by Jeffrey St. Clair – Alexander Cockburn