Wednesday, March 25, 2020

"In recent weeks, investment bankers have pressed health care companies on the front lines of fighting the novel coronavirus, including drug firms developing experimental treatments and medical supply firms, to consider ways that they can profit from the crisis.

The media has mostly focused on individuals who have taken advantage of the market for now-scarce medical and hygiene supplies to hoard masks and hand sanitizer and resell them at higher prices. But the largest voices in the health care industry stand to gain from billions of dollars in emergency spending on the pandemic, as do the bankers and investors who invest in health care companies.

Over the past few weeks, investment bankers have been candid on investor calls and during health care conferences about the opportunity to raise drug prices."

-->Oh yes, the long arm of neoliberal economic policies is going to kill more people during the corona pandemic. Well, at least a few filthy rich people will get even richer as the bodies pile up. This story was not covered in the NYT.
Common Dreams:
"As the federal government develops strategies for how to deal with the coronavirus outbreak that has already significantly damaged the U.S. economy and killed over 100 Americans, a group of lawmakers are urging Congress approve the purchasing of 19 more F-35 fighters than the Pentagon requested as part of the battle against the disease, enraging progressives. ... 

Win Without War has issued a list of policy demands—laid out in a document titled 'U.S. Foreign Policy in the Face of the Coronavirus'—to help guide the government's handling of the crisis.

'The greatest security challenges of the 21st century—global inequality, climate change, pandemics—cannot be solved militarily,' the document declares. 'Years of funneling trillions of dollars into the Pentagon instead of investing in critical human needs have left us woefully unprepared to meet them.' "

-->Does our mainstream media ever link US spending on the military to the fact that public health is so grossly underfunded? Millions of Americans might die in the pandemic, but we will get 19 more F-35 fighters. 

Common Dreams:
"A group of economists and policy experts on Wednesday called on President Donald Trump to immediately lift the United States' crippling sanctions against Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and other countries, warning that the economic warfare—in addition to being cruel in itself—is 'feeding the coronavirus epidemic' by hampering nations' capacity to respond.

'This policy is unconscionable and flagrantly against international law. It is imperative that the U.S. lift these immoral and illegal sanctions to enable Iran and Venezuela to confront the epidemic as effectively and rapidly as possible,' Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs said in a statement just hours after the Trump administration intensified sanctions against Iran, which has been devastated by COVID-19."

-->Does the mainstream media ever even look at the consequences of US economic sanctions against foreign countries? Blocking critical supplies just feeds the pandemic, but the NYT was not interested in this story.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Common Dreams:
" 'Grotesque Level of Greed': Owned by World's Richest Man Jeff Bezos, Whole Foods Wants Workers to Pay for Colleagues' Sick Leave During Coronavirus Pandemic.

When progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders say "now is the time for solidarity" amid the coronavirus outbreak, they likely do not mean that employees of Whole Foods—owned by the world's richest man, Jeff Bezos—should be asked to give their own accrued paid sick days to their co-workers who have either contracted the deadly virus or been forced to take time out of work because of what is now a global pandemic.

But that is exactly what executives with the grocery chain are asking its employers to do, even though Bezos' could effectively give them unlimited paid sick leave during the current national emergency without barely a scratch in his bank account."

-->The NYT doesn't dwell on the criminal element that runs most US corporations. This story never made it into print.


Common Dreams:
"New Report Takes Aim at Five Banking Institutions Backing Amazon Rainforest Exploitation. 'Five of the world's most powerful financial institutions are actively contributing to climate change by providing debt and equity financing for crude oil extraction projects in the Amazon.'

A new report from the group Amazon Watch shows how five of the world's largest financial institutions are funding the exploitation of the Amazon Rainforest for oil—even as those firms claim to be on the side of mitigating the climate crisis. ..

The five banks—Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and BlackRock—"have made available tens of billions of dollars for oil companies operating in the Amazon, including GeoPark, Amerisur, Frontera, and Andes Petroleum," according to the report."

-->Criminal bankers also have a friend in the NYT and the major media. 


The Onion:
"MANAUS, BRAZIL—Widespread human-caused fires that have decimated over 1,300 square miles of Amazon rainforest in the year 2019 alone revealed a small tribe of isolated rich sociopaths who are completely untouched by consequence, sources confirmed Tuesday. 

'As the impact of deforestation continues to grow, a team studying the area located a tiny society of wealthy agribusiness executives and financiers who have never before been visited by any ramifications for their actions,' said anthropologist Cameron Hunt, adding that researchers were working to assemble more information about this remote group of oppressors, but had managed to identify a few of them as Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, AgroSB co-founder Daniel Dantas, and meat-processing magnate Joesley Batista as well as executives from JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, BlackRock, and State Street."

-->One small tribe the rest of us would be better off without. Mainstream media never makes these links. Leave it to The Onion.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The New York Times:
-->Our great "newspaper of record" proves once again that it favors establishment sellouts to progressive reformers. The NYT March 6 front page screams about Soviet involvement with Bernie's campaign, and for proof dredges up a picture of him visiting a Russian village in 1988. He was involved in establishing a sister city with Burlington, but who cares. He is a COMMIE! 

Krugman is just as bad if you turn to the Opinion page. According to Krugman "Joe Biden is clearly in favor of progressive goals such as universal health coverage and reduced income inequality." Same as Burnie, but Biden will just get there a little slower. And yes, Krugman trots out that shopworn canard about the need for progressives to "hold his feet to the fire." 

So this is "news" and "opinion" in that most corporatized publication in the empire. Why is anyone still reading this propaganda?


-->A funny thing happened on the way to International Women's Day in the United States. First, the coverage was terrible. The NYT only refers to the day in its Fashion Section with a story entitled: "Cartier to Celebrate Women at the Expo 2020 in Dubai."

Forbes at least brought the Women's Day event closer to home in an article entitled: "International Women’s Day Shouldn’t Be A Thing." What should it be then? Why, we are told that the celebration should be about women entrepreneurs who have gotten to be leaders of investment firms and CEOs of major companies. 

The rest of the US media didn't cover this international event at all. There was Fox News' video of Melania Trump giving out "Women Courage Awards." The big winner was the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat. So much for what our corporate controlled media thinks of women's rights.


FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting:
"The Washington Post really does not like populism. Yes, I’m talking about its news section, not its opinions pages, where populists are always bashed. This week, the Post (3/2/20) gave us a major piece telling us how Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are two sides of the same populist coin. While the piece is confused in many ways, the one point it makes very clearly is that the Washington Post really dislikes Bernie Sanders. ...

The establishment figures that the Post is unhappy the populists are rejecting are folks like former Fed chair Alan Greenspan, who could not see the $8 trillion housing bubble ($16 trillion relative to today’s economy), the collapse of which sank the US economy. They also reject people like Larry Summers, who likewise dismissed people who tried to warn of the bubble, and pushed a trade opening to China that cost millions of manufacturing workers their jobs. Those are facts, not problems of perception."

-->It is not the billionaires that progressives must overcome, but their biased media. There can be little change in our two party duopoly until the left creates a different narrative through its own print publications as well as radio and TV programs.   

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

"William Owen, a Tennessee-based Democratic National Committee member backing an effort to use so-called superdelegates to select the party’s presidential nominee — potentially subverting the candidate with the most voter support — is a Republican donor and health care lobbyist.

Owen, who runs a lobbying firm called Asset & Equity Corporations, donated to Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., and Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and gave $8,500 to a joint fundraising committee designed to benefit Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in 2019. ...

Owen, currently registered as lobbyist for Klox Technologies, a medical product company, was quoted in the New York Times today as one of the party insiders considering an effort to block Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s path to the nomination at the DNC convention in Milwaukee this July."

-->DNC committee members trying to block Sanders can be Republican healthcare lobbyists. Parties don't matter when they are both under corporate control. This story wasn't covered in the NYT. Thanks to Steve in Beacon, NY for sending this to us.


Democracy Now, interview with attorney Jennifer Robinson
"What is important, though, is that what the court finally heard is the defense case. And a number of arguments were put forward by our team, including the Espionage Act. This is an unprecedented use of the Espionage Act against a publisher, which is, of course, a political offense and ought to be barred (under the terms of the U.S.-U.K. extradition treaty). There should be — extradition should be barred on that basis.

We also heard evidence about the grave threat that this poses to press freedom, not just for journalists inside the United States, but for journalists everywhere around the world, because of the precedent this case sets, that the United States could seek to extradite and prosecute journalists and publishers from around the world for publishing truthful information about the United States.

We also heard evidence about how the United States’ indictment has misrepresented the facts, including making the false allegation that Julian Assange had recklessly and deliberately put lives at risk."

-->Why doesn't the NYT cover a story like this? Our "newspaper of record" is too busy demonizing Assange to please the National Security State.


"McCarthyism is again, astride the land, like a destroying Saturn.  As of this writing, left labor in England has been decimated through the ginned up, explicitly false claims of antisemitism with no end to the aftershocks from this.

If you’ve been paying attention, there is a British Labour party 'compliance unit for antisemitism' and it’s exactly as bad as it sounds. Based on the deeply flawed IHRA definition of antisemitism, this inquisitorial system actually is more akin to a Stalinist purge show trial than the already sufficiently odious McCarthy hearings.  This self-flagellating cleaning of the ranks has resulted in a wholesale purge of Labour members, most recently, 25 people expelled in a single day. ...

Often these people are, like Jo Bird, Jewish and  life-long left, anti-racist activists, which brings us to why I’m again discussing this here. The one certain takeaway, that is also germane in the US, is that the weaponization of antisemitism is, unambiguously, an attempt to stifle legitimate and needed criticism of Israel."

-->The NYT is too busy weaponizing charges of antisemitism in the US to spend time discussing the new McCarthyism.