Daily News Digest November 21, 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 21, 2017

 Images of the Day:

U.N. Climate Projects, Aimed at the Poorest, Raise Red Flags Quotes of the Day:

“The capitalist has no heart,but harpoon him in the pocketbook and you will draw blood.”  —Big Bill Haywood

 Washington’s aims: Some put Washington’s lack of adequate aid down to Trump’s incompetence. In reality, Washington’s actions are deliberate and calculated. This raises the question: What exactly are its aims for Puerto Rico’s future? It is useful to look at the situation concerning the huge US$75 billion in debt Puerto Rico owes to US financial vulture capitalists. One particular case is the island’s electric power company, which is insolvent. Last year, the Puerto Rican government said it could not repay this debt. In response, the Obama administration set up a US-appointed financial board to oversee the colony’s finances. A key objective for this board is finding ways to squeeze as much money out of Puerto Rico’s people as possible to pay the vultures. Cruz said at the time: “They have unveiled to everyone, the international community and everyone in Puerto Rico that we are a colony of the United States… “This colonial control board will lower the minimum wage for people 25 or under to $4.50 an hour. It could sell our natural resources.” The means the board uses to do this have included privatising pubic companies and services, and using the proceeds to pay the vultures. One major public utility on the chopping block is the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the island’s power utility.—Washington aims for greater exploitation of devastated Puerto Rico

It was only 19 months ago that the Panama Papers were released. Now, it’s the Paradise Papers that are filling the front pages of English and European newspapers. Back when the Panama Papers were released, I wrote that if David Cameron’s name hadn’t been in those documents, the news probably wouldn’t have had the same impact. Today I think that if Queen Elizabeth’s name hadn’t come up, we likely wouldn’t be discussing it either. The mechanisms are the same. Only the consulting firms involved and the islands where the news originated have changed. In the Paradise Papers there’s a bit of everything: from the legitimate—though ethically questionable—creation of offshore companies to lower tax liabilities to shell companies that could hide assets of a criminal origin. Tax havens are where criminal capitalism and legal capitalism meet and merge. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. So is the fact that mafia organizations were the first to create and facilitate money-laundering mechanisms through tax havens. Drug traffickers taught the rich how to hide money in tax havens (Actually, the rich taught the drug traffickers — R.S.) 

Videos of the Day:

Digital Superpowers Poised To Increase Global Inequities Under the Label of E-Commerce Public forum sheds light on dangers ahead for most countries by the push for comprehensive deregulation backed by big players at the forefront of new technologies like Big Data and Artificial Intelligence

RT Crackdown Escalates New Cold War and Threatens Press Freedom The U.S. government’s forced designation of RT America as a “foreign agent” is part of a dangerous effort to brand dissenting views as “Russian disinformation,” says The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel


Washington aims for great RicoWashington aims for greater exploitation of devastated Puerto Rico The humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico continues after almost two months after the hurricanes hit. The imperialist center in Washington continues to refuse to provide anything like adequate aid to its Caribbean colony. By Barry Sheppard

All Out Class War’: GOP Bill Cuts Taxes for Private Jet Owners, Hikes Taxes on Students Increasing taxes on those already drowning in student loan debt to give the rich a tax break denounced as “the height of Republican insanity” by Jake JohnsonBehind the Mask of the ‘Moderates’ Pity Canada. Its citizens watch the stages of U.S. decline and then, a few years later, inflict on themselves the same cruelties. It is as if the snuffing out of democracy across the globe and the rise of authoritarian regimes are a preordained Greek tragedy and all of us, in spite of our yearning for liberty, must ominously play an assigned part. Canada is currently in the Barack Obama phase of self-immolation. Its prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is—as Obama was—a fresh face with no real political past or established beliefs, a brand. Trudeau excels, like Obama, French President Emmanuel Macron, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in empty symbolism. These “moderates” spew progressive and inclusive rhetoric while facilitating social inequality, a loss of rights and the degradation of the environment by global corporations. They are actors in skillfully crafted corporate advertisements. By Chris Hedges Environment:

52 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump  Since taking office in January, President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration — with help from Republicans in Congress — has often targeted environmental rules it sees as overly burdensome to the fossil fuel industry, including major Obama-era policies aimed at fighting climate change. To date, the Trump administration has sought to reverse more than 50 environmental rules, according to an analysis by The New York Times. By Nadja Popovich and Livia Albeck-Ripka

The Monsanto Papers, Part 1 — Operation: Intoxication In order to save glyphosate, the Monsanto corporation has undertaken an effort to destroy the United Nations’ cancer agency by any means possible. Here is the part one of an investigation from Le Monde. “We have been attacked in the past, we have faced smear campaigns, but this time we are the target of an orchestrated campaign of an unseen scale and duration.” Christopher Wild’s smile quickly faded. Through the window of the high rise where the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is headquartered, the rooftops of Lyon, France, spread out behind his tall figure.  By Stéphane Horel, and  Stéphane Foucart Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

Civil Rights/ Black Liberation:

Ongoing Intitutional Environmental Racism of U.S. Capitalism: Environmental justice in America A civil rights ’emergency’: justice, clean air and water in the age of Trump The Trump administration is peeling away rules designed to protect clean air and water, fueling a growing urgency around the struggle for environmental justice, say political leaders, academics and activists by Oliver Milman in New York. The Trump administration’s dismantling of environmental regulations has intensified a growing civil rights battle over the deadly burden of pollution on minorities and low-income people.Black, Latino and disadvantaged people have long been disproportionately afflicted by toxins from industrial plants, cars, hazardous housing conditions and other sources.


Saying Goodbye to Richard Cordray at CFPB Is Hard to Do Last Wednesday, Richard Cordray, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), announced he would be stepping down from his post at the end of this month. Cordray is the former Attorney General of Ohio and there are rumors he may make a run for Governor there. The CFPB, a Federal agency, was created under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010. The legislation resulted from the greatest fraudulent wealth transfer from the middle class to the 1 percent since the Wall Street frauds of the late 1920s. Both periods ended in an epic financial crash that left the U.S. economy on life support. Since the financial crash of 2008, the U.S. economy has grown at an anemic 2 percent or less per year despite massive fiscal stimulus and unprecedented bond purchases (quantitative easing) by the Federal Reserve. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

No Protection for Protectors: Wall Street Wants to Kill the Agency Protecting Americans From Financial Scams Shortly after 10:00 p.m. on a Tuesday in late October, Vice President Mike Pence was summoned to the Senate floor. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau had finalized a landmark new rule in July banning the forced arbitration provisions that banks and credit card companies commonly tuck into the fine print of agreements, barring their customers from joining class-action suits. House Republicans quickly voted to nullify the new rule, but weeks later, with a deadline looming, it was still unclear if the Senate would act in time. After intense pressure from industry and the Trump administration, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was finally able to muster 50 votes, and Pence was parachuted in to break a 50-50 tie. Politico called the vote “a blow to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” and “Republicans’ most far-reaching victory yet this year in their effort to roll back financial regulations.” CFPB Director Richard Cordray was even more blunt: “Wall Street won and ordinary people lost.” By Gary Rivlin and Susan Antilla


 The struggle for a Catalan Republic enters a new stage The proclamation of the Republic by the Catalan Parliament on October 27th was short-lived. The Spanish state was ready to crush it decisively, while the Catalan government had no plans and no strategy to defend it. That, however, is not the end of the movement. The emergence of the Committees for the Defence of the Republic (CDRs), which entered the stage forcefully during the November 8th general strike against the jailing of eight Catalan government members, shows the way forward. By Jorge Martin Doomsday Scenarios: the UK’s Hair-Raising Admissions About the Prospect of Nuclear War and Accident The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has published several reports over the last few years. They discuss geopolitics and related themes, one of which is the likelihood of nuclear war or accident, including what it means for long-term survival. by T.J. Coles Confidential U.N. Document Questions the Saudi Arabian Blockade That’s Starving Yemen A U.N. panel of experts found that Saudi Arabia is purposefully obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid into Yemen and called into question its public rationale for a blockade that could push millions into famine. In the assessment, made in a confidential brief and sent to diplomats on November 10, members of the Security Council-appointed panel said they had seen no evidence to support Saudi Arabia’s claims that short-range ballistic missiles have been transferred to Yemeni rebels in violation of Security Council resolutions. By Samuel Oakford Yemen’s Collective Starvation: Where Money Can’t Buy Food, Water or Medicine Yemen is in the grip of the world’s worst famine and public health crisis, with all aid to Sana’a and the north presently blocked by the closure of the aiport and closest port, al-Hodeidah. The airport of Sana’a has been closed to all except aid flights since August 2016 and even aid since the renewed Saudi to blockade in retribution for the Houthi (Al-Ansar) missile directed at Riyadh. by LV Filson Zimbabwe Witnessing an Elite Transition as Economic Meltdown Looms The palace coup, Mugabe’s demise and ‘nightmare’ versus ‘national unityscenarios In Harare, Bulawayo and smaller Zimbabwean cities, hundreds of thousands of citizens joyfully took to the streets on Saturday, November 18, approving a Zimbabwe Defence Force (ZDF) military semi-coup that resolves a long-simmering faction fight within the ruling party and ends the extraordinary career of Robert Mugabe at the age of 93. by Patrick Bond

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare: