Thursday, December 26, 2019

Common Dreams:
"Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer worked behind the scenes through December in the Senate to defeat a bipartisan initiative to curb surprise medical billing, according to a new report Friday which details the lobbying victories won by the for-profit healthcare industry in 2019.

'The success shows how formidable the health-care industry remains.'
Reporting Friday by the Washington Post's Jeff Stein and Yasmeen Abutaleb points to Schumer, a New York Democrat, as a consequential figure in stopping the surprise billing measure from being included in an end-of-year spending bill.

As Common Dreams reported on Tuesday, Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, effectively killed the bill last week by introducing a competing measure and pushing off the legislation until 2020."

-->The NYT reported the bill's failure, but omitted Schumer's role in killing it. Schumer's neoliberal agenda and collusion with big business never make it into print. 


Common Dreams:
"'Bernie Blackout' Strikes Again? Despite Iowa Poll Average Showing Sanders in Solid 2nd, CNN Uses Old Poll to Show Him in 4th.

After CNN on Monday reportedly twice displayed a six-week-old poll from Iowa showing Bernie Sanders in fourth-place among hopefuls for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination to viewers, ignoring more recent polling showing the Vermont senator climbing to a strong second behind South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, progressives struck back. ... "They had to use a poll over a month old to mis-inform it's audience this morning. We have had over 15 Iowa polls released since then that have Bernie in 1st or 2nd. Still think this is not deliberate?"

The CNN poll wasn't the only instance of perceived bias against the Sanders campaign from the mainstream media, dubbed the "Bernie Blackout" by the senator's supporters."

-->Any real change in the direction of this country will have to overcome the neoliberal media. The NYT is famous for not covering Bernie except when the news is bad. Our supposed "liberal" media is really in bed with the large corporations, just like Trump is. 


Common Dreams:
"Google co-founder and billionaire Larry Page is the subject of a report Wednesday from tech journal ReCode which shows how the Silicon Valley super-rich use workarounds in managing their private foundations that avoid direct contributions to actual charities. 

Page's Carl Victor Page Memorial Foundation pushed around $400 million in publicly announced Christmastime donations between 2015 and 2017, but none of it reportedly went directly to charity. 'This a very bad look for Larry Page,' tweeted National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy researcher Ryan Schlegel. ...

As a result of the DAF [donor-advised funds] system the money in the funds can remain, untaxed, forever. It's a clever tax workaround that uses the specter of altruism to mask a cold calculation over how to hoard capital."

-->Billionaires cheating the tax system to hoard even more money. One would think that our "newspaper of record" might cover this story. But no, the NYT has always served the interests of the very rich.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Global Research:
" 'Progressive leftists' in the U.S., also known as liberals who claim to oppose U.S. Empire but tolerate all of its crimes, cannot be described as anything less than nauseating. Anything short of outright U.S. military invasion or bombing of a country is not worthy of their public condemnation, much less their activism. 

As explained  by the Black Alliance for Peace, 'The silence, lack of visible opposition, and outright support for the coup [in Bolivia] from across the Western world is yet another example of the cross-class white supremacist commitment to the imperialist project.' 

There are many examples of this but the most recent is the U.S. backed coup in Bolivia. The contradictions in liberal justifications for not vehemently opposing what is nothing short of a US backed coup against a popular government can be examined with Bolivia as a case study."

-->When it comes to the crimes of empire, the mainstream media is always out to lunch. And even the Democratic presidential candidates dance their way around the issue. Empire is the core of US foreign policy, and has been since World War II. But one has to read about it in a Canadian Publication. 


Palestine Is Here:
"We shared with communities across the US that their local police departments, ICE and TSA agents, and even campus security are training in Israel. We have been promoting campaigns nationwide, supporting diverse coalitions – from Boston to LA – working to end these collaborations. This is a major step to demilitarize our cities. Together, we can work towards real security, built through fighting for racial and economic justice and defending our civil rights.

In recent weeks, Israeli security forces conducted waves of arrests of Palestinian students taken from their university campuses in broad daylight and arrested without trial. At the same time, Israel’s Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan has committed tens of millions of dollars and activated the Mossad, with ties to the CIA, to combat activism for Palestine at US universities putting students here at risk. 

Trump’s new executive order, intended to silence and criminalize advocacy for Palestinian rights, is a serious threat to faculty and students. As US universities collaborate with Israeli institutions complicit in the occupation, they prove again the deep ties between US-Israeli state repression and the necessity of a strong US-Palestinian movement to break them."

-->The mainstream media in the US has reported the friction between our racist President and his directives on freedom of speech on campuses. But It is hard to find a news source that makes the link between these assaults on US colleges and Israel itself. Track US-Israeli State Violence from Palestine to Your City. 


Common Dreams:
" 'Astonishing' Trump Rule Could Let Banks Classify NFL Stadium Investments as Aid to Poor Communities. The financial institutions would get significant tax breaks for their investments, thanks to the 2017 Republican tax law.

Rule changes proposed by the Trump administration last week could let banks classify investments in professional sports stadiums as aid to the poor, and then give the financial institutions a significant tax break for their efforts.

The changes are part of an Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) plan to overhaul the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, which requires banks to invest in low-income communities. Both bank regulators are run by appointees of President Donald Trump."

-->Many of the astonishing abuses of Presidential power by Donald Trump have been covered by the NYT. But economic abuses that benefit the rich and powerful, not so much. Our "newspaper of record" didn't print this story.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Guardian UK:
"The residents of JP Nagar have no way to escape their ghosts. This ramshackle neighbourhood, on the outskirts of the Indian city of Bhopal, stands just metres away from the chemical factory which exploded just after midnight on 2 December 1984 and seeped poison into their lives forever. The blackened ruins of the Union Carbide plant still loom untouched behind the factory walls.

It remains the world’s worst industrial disaster, which saw 40 tons of toxic gas released into the air, killing over 3,000 instantly and condemning hundreds of thousands to a future of prolonged pain, cancer, stillbirths, miscarriages, lung and heart disease and the drawn out deaths of everyone around them. ...

This week marks the 35th anniversary of the disaster yet the injustice suffered by the people of Bhopal remains stark and unrelenting. Approximately 575,000 people were poisoned that night and over 20,000 people have died since from related conditions. No one from Union Carbide was ever tried for the gross negligence that led to the gas explosion, despite multiple criminal charges being brought against them in India. No cleanup operation of the chemical waste – which was already being dumped into the local community before the explosion – has ever been conducted."

-->The US media has a short attention span when it comes to murders committed by our corporations abroad. Only Vice and the Guardian covered this story.


The Guardian UK:
"Is the Republican party actually trying to get the Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar killed? If the question sounds outrageous, consider what has happened in the last couple of weeks alone.

While soliciting campaign contributions through email, George Buck, a Florida Republican candidate who is running for Congress, called for Omar’s execution, then denied doing so, then suggested it again later that same day. Meanwhile, in Minnesota, Danielle Stella, a Republican candidate attempting to unseat Omar from her congressional post, was suspended from Twitter for twice suggesting that the Muslim congresswoman be tried for treason and hanged.

And in western New York, Patrick W Carlineo Jr pleaded guilty recently to threatening to assault and murder Omar. He called her DC office last spring, stating that he was a Trump-loving patriot and asking a staffer, 'Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood?' "

-->Right wing idiocy or fascism? The murdering of opponents goes all the way back to Hitler's Brown Shirts. Why doesn't the NYT point out this deadly form of domestic terrorism while Americans can still do something about it?


Common Dreams:
"Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the first two Muslim-American women elected to Congress, have been the target of a sustained campaign of far right hate and lies originating from a shadowy Israeli group, according to an investigation published Thursday by The Guardian. ...

The report details how a jewelry salesman and 'online operator' from the Tel Aviv area named Ariel Elkaras and others were part of a vast coordinated effort that utilized '21 far-right Facebook pages across the U.S., Australia, the U.K., Canada, Austria, Israel, and Nigeria' to spread malicious lies about the two congresswomen." 

-->Is the racism and Islamophobia flooding the US organized in Israel? Readers of the NYT will never hear about it. The newspaper didn't print this story.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Jewish Voice for Peace:
"Microsoft is feeling the heat. Nine weeks after we launched our campaign to pressure Microsoft to drop AnyVision, NBC News published a devastating article where FIVE SOURCES confirmed Microsoft has invested millions in a company running a secret military surveillance project monitoring Palestinians, in direct violation of their fundamental rights! 
Then last week Microsoft hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to determine if the investment violated their own ethical principle 'not to deploy facial recognition technology… where we believe there are inadequate safeguards to protect democratic freedoms and human rights.' ...

AnyVision is headed by former Israeli Defense Force security officials and advised by CIA-equivalent Mossad officers. It’s hard to believe that Microsoft didn’t have some concerns about investing in a facial recognition tech company field-tested on Palestinians under military occupation."

-->Why wouldn't our newspaper of record print this story? If it makes Microsoft and Israel look bad, then the NYT often chooses to keep its readers in the dark.


Common Dreams:
"Former President Barack Obama reportedly told advisers behind closed doors earlier this year that he would actively oppose Sen. Bernie Sanders if the progressive senator from Vermont opened up a big lead in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race. ...

Progressives viewed Obama's comments as further evidence that the former president, who was elected in 2008 on the soaring promise of 'hope and change,' is now using his influence on the Democratic Party to undercut the grassroots push for transformational policies like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. ...

David Dayen, executive editor for The American Prospect, wrote last week that Obama's attacks on the progressive wing of the Democratic Party 'are music to the ears of the wealthy and powerful.' "

-->Our sellout "newspaper of record" is still protecting the former sellout, President Obama. Both the NYT and squishy Barak Obama talk about change, but only do what the corporate elite tell them to.


Common Dreams:
"Progressives on Monday criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for reportedly leaving a broadly popular bill boosting union membership on her desk for months while pushing for the passage of one of President Donald Trump's legislative priorities, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, by Christmas. ...

It's not the first time Pelosi's leadership of a Democratic-controlled House has led to the shelving of labor-friendly legislation. In 2009, the chamber failed to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which would have passed through the then-Democratic Senate and ended up on President Barack Obama's desk. 
The parallels to this House bill are clear, The District Sentinel cohost Sam Knight said on Twitter. 

'In 2009, EFCA was cosponsored by a majority of members when Dem leaders refused to even bring it up for a vote,' said Knight. 'Pelosi is so utterly devoted to serving her donor class friends.' "

-->Yes, the Democratic Party establishment spends its time doing what the donor class tells it to. The NYT, never one to insult the donor class, didn't print this article.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

"NYT Recycles Polling to Tell Dems Once More: Move to the Right. Last week, the New York Times (11/8/19) published yet another article about polling and the Democratic presidential hopefuls, a year before the general election: “Democrats in Battleground States Prefer Moderate Nominee, Poll Shows."

Curiously, though, the polling graphic the Times featured at the top of the piece showed a different story, in which the top progressive Dems combined (Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren), compared to the major candidates branding themselves as “moderates” (Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg), receive either greater support in those battleground states (Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona), or the difference between the camps is within the margin of error (Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida). 

Many voters polled have yet to make up their minds, but those figures certainly ought to give any journalist pause before drawing the conclusion that those voters are 'counseling' pursuit of the so-called middle ground."

-->Yes, the corporate controlled NYT is urging its readers to go with the moderate candidates who have been bought off by the corporations. Nice how all that fits together. 


Common Dreams:
"The New York Times sparked fierce backlash from environmentalists Friday for publishing a news story that leads with a matter-of-fact comparison between Sen. Bernie Sanders' plan to finance the Green New Deal by taxing and fining the fossil fuel industry and President Donald Trump's claim that Mexico would pay for the construction of a border wall. ...

The headline of the article states that "experts aren't impressed" by Sanders' ambitious Green New Deal plan, which calls for a 10-year mobilization to transition the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy. But as the left-wing magazine Current Affairs and others pointed out on Twitter, the 'experts' cited by the Times include an adviser to South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a business professor and maxed-out Hillary Clinton donor, and a Democratic strategist who does public relations work for the chemical industry.

'This is pure propaganda, nothing whatsoever to do with science," tweeted Current Affairs. 'If you want a scientific assessment have climate scientists evaluate the plan. Pretty galling that the New York Times doesn't disclose the obvious political biases of its sources.' "

-->Bad science and bad journalism. Out "newspaper of record" puts propaganda for Big Oil above its readers' right to know.


Common Dreams:
"On  Saturday night, members of the California Young Democrats—one of the largest caucuses within the California Democratic Party (CDP) representing members in local chapters across the state—voted to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2020 presidential primary. ...

Of the 126 votes cast during an evening CYD meeting at the California Democratic Convention held in the city of Long Beach, Sanders received 84 votes (67%) while Sen. Elizabeth Warren received 29 votes (23%), the second-largest number in the crowded field. Sen. Kamala Harris came in third place among caucus members (aged 13 to 35) in the state she represents in the U.S. Senate. The landslide meant that Sanders was able to take the endorsement in just one round of voting. Notably, former Vice President Joe Biden received zero votes while South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg received only one."

-->Here is a story that the NYT would never cover. Bernie surging is not "all the news that's fit to print," when your board of directors is loaded with business cronies. 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Guardian UK:
"Thailand wants to ban these three pesticides. The US government says no. ... Thailand’s leaders have said that as of 1 December, a ban will take effect on the use of the following farming chemicals: chlorpyrifos, an insecticide made popular by Dow Chemical that is known to damage babies’ brains; Syngenta’s paraquat, a herbicide scientists say causes the nervous system disease known as Parkinson’s that has been banned in Europe since 2007; and Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide, which is linked to cancer and other health problems. ...

According to Thai news reports, US officials have also been warning that the ban will interfere with lucrative trade. The US is especially upset about a glyphosate ban, arguing that it could limit hundreds of millions of dollars in Thai imports of US grains, which are often laced with glyphosate residues."

-->US corporations spreading cancer for profit. No wonder the NYT didn't print this story. Our newspaper of record is always covering up for the chemical companies. 


"Chile’s anti-neoliberal rebellion is entering its third week, and the brutal crackdown continues. Hard-right President Sebastian Piñera and his generals have effectively decreed the country’s oligarch-dominated democracy out of existence by sending soldiers into the streets to kill, maim and torture their own people. And, for the most part, the Western corporate media blackout persists unabated. ...

This media bias in favor of Piñera’s hardline neoliberal administration must also be juxtaposed with the unfolding coverage of anti-government protests in Bolivia. In yet another case of self-serving hypocrisy, US corporate media have moved to revoke left-wing President Evo Morales’ democratic credentials after his recent re-election."

-->Yes, the corporate controlled media is always cheering on the dictators and their generals, while attacking regimes that the Pentagon dislikes. Media has to favor regimes that are profitable for major US corporations, of course. But what that says for our supposed "free" press is difficult to ignore.


Common Dreams:
"Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign alleged Monday that corporate media outlets are intentionally ignoring—and attempting to undermine—the Vermont senator's significant gains in recent polls with 'cartoonishly inaccurate' reporting and headlines.

'In the last week, a wave of polls has emerged showing a genuine, full-on Bernie surge—but you might not know that if you tuned into cable TV or read the headlines from the national press corps,' Sanders speechwriter David Sirota wrote in the campaign's Bern Notice newsletter. 'In fact, you might not even know Bernie is running for president.' ...

The polls, Sirota noted, show Sanders is leading in New Hampshire, in second place and gaining momentum (pdf) in Iowa, in second place and surging in the key battleground state of Michigan, and the only 2020 Democrat leading President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. "

-->The media including the NYT is very skilled at erasing Bernie. Maybe when enough readers catch on, they will issue their standard apology. Like the apologies the newspaper prints for warmongering in the Middle East and covering up corporate corruption. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Common Dreams:
"The United Nations special rapporteur on torture reiterated Friday a warning that Julian Assange's life is at risk and said the WikiLeaks founder must not be extradited to the United States as a consequence of  'exposing serious governmental misconduct.'

'While the U.S. government prosecutes Mr. Assange for publishing information about serious human rights violations, including torture and murder, the officials responsible for these crimes continue to enjoy impunity,' said special rapporteur Nils Melzer in a new statement.

Free press advocates see Assange as victim of an unprecedented assault on journalism because the WikiLeaks publisher faces 18 charges in the U.S. under the Espionage Act—making Assange the first publisher to face charges under that law."

-->This very strong statement on Assange's life at risk wasn't reported by the NYT or any other major newspaper in the US. Our media outlets print what the national security state tells them they can. 


"It’s all kicking off everywhere in 2019. Haitians are revolting against a corrupt political system and their President Jovenel Moïse, who many see as a kleptocratic US puppet. In Ecuador, huge public manifestations managed to force President Lenín Moreno to backtrack on his IMF-backed neoliberal package that would have sharply cut government spending and increased transport prices.

Meanwhile, popular Chilean frustration at the conservative Piñera administration boiled over into massive protests that were immediately met with force. ... Huge, ongoing anti-government demonstrations are also engulfing Lebanon, Catalonia and the United Kingdom.

Yet the actions that have by far received the most attention in corporate media are those in Hong Kong, where demonstrations erupted in response to a proposed extradition agreement with the Chinese central government ... A search for 'Hong Kong protests' on October 25, 2019, elicits 282 responses in the last month in the New York Times, for example, compared to 20 for 'Chile protests,' 43 for Ecuador and 16 for Haiti.

--Yes, the neoliberal corporate press plays down these revolts against neoliberalism abroad. The NYT prefers to cover Hong Kong, the Pentagon's favorite topic. 


Common Dreams:
"A new study out this week provides more evidence of harm caused by a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, with researchers linking use of the chemicals on a Japanese lake with impacts to an entire food web that resulted in the collapse of two fisheries.

'No surprise,' tweeted former UK Green Party leader leader Natalie Bennett, 'soaking our planet in pesticides has broad systemic effects on biodiversity and bioabundance.'

For the study, published in the November 1 issue of the journal Science, the researchers looked at Lake Shinji and analyzed over two decades of data. They found cascading impacts that appeared to stem from the first use of neonicotinoids on nearby rice paddies.

-->The NYT is as addicted to neonics as our nation's farmers. It didn't report this story of how Monsanto poisons our world. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

"This week, the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church adopted a human rights investment screen related to Israel and Palestine and will sell its holdings in Motorola Solutions, Caterpillar, Inc., and the Israel Discount Bank.

This is the latest step in response to a July 2018 General Convention Resolution (B016) which committed the Episcopal Church to a similar process taken by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America two years earlier. The action also follows steps previously taken by the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ.

The human rights screen would bar Episcopal Church investments in “any corporation that supports or benefits from denial of human rights in or through the occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem or the Gaza Strip.”

-->Israel's favorite propaganda publication, the NYT, didn't cover this story. BDS is slowly taking hold, despite the mainstream media's attempts to overlook the movement.


Middle East Eye:
"The senior Twitter executive with editorial responsibility for the Middle East is also a part-time officer in the British Army’s psychological warfare unit, Middle East Eye has established. Gordon MacMillan, who joined the social media company's UK office six years ago, has for several years also served with the 77th Brigade, a unit formed in 2015 in order to develop 'non-lethal' ways of waging war.

The 77th Brigade uses social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as podcasts, data analysis and audience research to wage what the head of the UK military, General Nick Carter, describes as 'information warfare'.

Carter says the 77th Brigade is giving the British military 'the capability to compete in the war of narratives at the tactical level'; to shape perceptions of conflict. Some soldiers who have served with the unit say they have been engaged in operations intended to change the behaviour of target audiences."

-->Has big tech essentially sold out to the dictators and national security states of the world? One indication of this is the fact that the NYT couldn't bring itself to cover this story.


Daily Maverick:
"The Guardian, Britain’s leading liberal newspaper with a global reputation for independent and critical journalism, has been successfully targeted by security agencies to neutralise its adversarial reporting of the ‘security state’, according to newly released documents and evidence from former and current Guardian journalists.

The UK security services targeted The Guardian after the newspaper started publishing the contents of secret US government documents leaked by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in June 2013.

Snowden’s bombshell revelations continued for months and were the largest-ever leak of classified material covering the NSA and its UK equivalent, the Government Communications Headquarters. They revealed programmes of mass surveillance operated by both agencies."

-->This is an interesting story of Britain targeting its independent media. Our compromised NYT, didn't even report the story. Too close to home.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Popular Resistance:
"The US’ role in Syria and in the greater Middle East has been destructive throughout this century. The invasion and occupation of Iraq have left destruction and chaos. The illegal bombing of Libya and the brutal murder of its prime minister, Muammar al-Gaddafi, have created a failed state. The US’ alliance with Saudi Arabia in the war against Yemen has resulted in mass murder and destruction. 

The ongoing conflicts with Iran through illegal unilateral coercive measures (sanctions), regime change attempts, threats of war and military skirmishes have created more instability in the region. And, the US’ ‘special relationship’ with Israel has allowed continued ethnic cleansing and land theft from the Palestinians and has been a tool for instability in the region. The never-ending war in Afghanistan continues to cause destruction as the US remains even though it has been defeated.

These actions have resulted in more than a million deaths and mass migration, which has not only impacted the region but also Europe, causing political instability and the advance of right-wing, anti-immigrant forces.

-->Would any US media speak the truth like this? Would you ever read it in the NYT? Most of our media spends its energy denying the butchery of empire.


Common Dreams:
"Human rights and free speech advocates responded with alarm Thursday to a Guardian report revealing that pro-Israel and right-wing lobbyists are encouraging Republican state lawmakers to pass legislation that could outlaw discussions about the Israeli government's human rights abuses and occupation of Palestinian territory at all levels of the U.S. public education system under the guise of fighting anti-Semitism.

Concerns about the legislation relate to its wide definition of anti-Semitism that goes beyond protecting Jewish people from hate speech. ... Summarizing The Guardian's report, Palestinian-American journalist Ali Abunimah wrote in a series of tweets that 'fanatical Zionists are pushing U.S. state legislatures to pass sweeping new restrictions on free speech, including a ban on 'demonizing Israel' and investigating Israeli human rights abuses.'

'There is no doubt whatsoever,' Abunimah added, 'that the Israel lobby is the greatest direct threat to free speech in the United States.' "

-->What danger to the nation's free speech? Don't ask the NYT; it didn't print this story.


The Washington Post:
"United States has not been engaged in any declared, sustained military ground campaign for more than a decade. ...

Alliances have been the mainstay of U.S. foreign policy since the end of World War II, ensuring more than seven decades of unprecedented peace and prosperity. The alliance structures and partnerships the United States has forged, embodied by institutions such as NATO and bilateral agreements with nations including Australia, Colombia, Japan and India, ensure global order, freedom of commerce, and human rights. Koch also complained about our 'over 800 bases around the world,' as if these were agents of aggression and not projections of stability."

-->This gets the horse manure award for the month. In attacking George Soros and Charles Koch for their advocacy of "diplomatic engagement and military restraint,” the Washington Post proves once again it is the most fulsome Pentagon mouthpiece of them all.