Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Guardian UK:

"Ex-PMs unite in Australia in bid to curb power of Murdoch empire. Former rivals to star in Leveson-style inquiry into mogul’s near-monopoly of the country’s media.

In high public office, both men lived and died at the word of the world’s most influential media mogul, Rupert Murdoch. But now two former Australian prime ministers are at the vanguard of a campaign to redress the balance of power. It is a movement that Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull, the respective former Labor and Liberal leaders of Australia, hope will go on to undermine all of Murdoch’s international enterprises.

The two former PMs were once rivals but are to appear as joint star witnesses at an upcoming Australian parliamentary inquiry into Murdoch’s dominance of the Australian political debate. Both are to argue that News Corp Australia has become the propaganda arm of the rightwing Liberal government."

-->Why isn't the NYT all over this story? Murdoch's Fox News is such an important player in our nation's drift to the right. Maybe our "newspaper of record" is waiting to fashion the right spin. The business friendly NYT also doesn't like to call attention to the rightward movement of our two party, corporate controlled system.  


KTLA News 5 in Wisconsin:

"Election officials in Wisconsin’s largest county accused observers for President Donald Trump on Saturday of seeking to obstruct a recount of the presidential results, in some instances by objecting to every ballot tabulators pulled to count.

Trump requested the recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties, both heavily liberal, in hopes of undoing Democrat Joe Biden’s victory by about 20,600 votes. With no precedent for a recount reversing such a large margin, Trump’s strategy is widely seen as aimed at an eventual court challenge, part of a push in key states to undo his election loss.

A steady stream of Republican complaints in Milwaukee was putting the recount far behind schedule, county clerk George Christenson said. He said many Trump observers were breaking rules by constantly interrupting vote counters with questions and comments. ... At least one Trump observer was escorted out of the building by sheriff’s deputies Saturday after pushing an election official who had lifted her coat from an observer chair."

-This story shows the nitty gritty of election obstruction on the ground. The NYT did a terrible job of covering the Republican violence in Florida during the 2000 presidential election, which was finally decided by the Supreme Court. Why hide what is going on in Wisconsin?


Guardian UK:

"Shocking inequality: why San Francisco voted for 'overpaid executive tax.'

Faced by inaction on national and state level, city decided to go it alone and tackle huge wealth gap. ...

San Francisco voters overwhelming backed a new law that will levy an extra 0.1% tax on companies that pay their chief executive more than 100-times the the median of their workforce. The surcharge increases by 0.1 percentage point for each factor of 100 that a CEO is paid above the median, up to a maximum of 0.6%.

Many of the biggest and best-known US companies would easily fall into the highest bracket. For example, Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla and the world’s third richest person, was paid $595m (£449m) last year, almost 10,000 times the firm’s median salary of just under $60,000."

-->Little surprise that the corporate controlled NYT avoided this story. CEOs on its Board of Directors would be directly affected. Responsible reporting has to stop somewhere. 


Thursday, November 19, 2020

 Common Dreams:

"Historic Day: Jubilation as Evo Morales Returns to Bolivia One Year After Military Coup. Twelve months after being driven into exile by right-wing forces, socialist former president Evo Morales was 'received by the very social movements who defeated the coup and restored democracy.' ...

Morales' return comes one year after the former president of the Latin American country was forced into exile by a violent far-right regime that was installed via a military coup, which was facilitated by unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud made by the U.S.-dominated Organization of American States (OAS) and condoned by corporate media outlets.

-->The NYT was in favor of the coup that overthrew Morales last year. This year upon his return, our "newspaper of record" is still spinning its own version of the facts. In the NYT coverage of his return, we read, "Morales, made a triumphant return to his homeland Monday, a year after his failed attempt to keep power tore the nation apart and sent him into exile." In other words, it was Morales' fault for trying to "keep power" after he was elected president. And he even sent himself into exile. No mention of the US support for this coup and the OAS lies about about electoral fraud. The NYT is the empire's newspaper. 



"Joe Biden hadn’t even been declared the victor of the 2020 election before establishment Democrats, in the face of poorer-than-expected results in House and Senate races, began pointing fingers at the left—with corporate media giving them a major assist.

Democrats had been hoping for big wins on election night, with the possibility of winning not only the presidency but also the Senate, and increasing their majority in the House. But while Biden has come out on top, the party’s most optimistic outcome in the Senate would be a 50/50 split (if they win both Georgia runoff seats), giving them a majority with the vote of Vice President Kamala Harris. And rather than gaining in the House, Democrats lost several seats.

In the wake of these disappointments, the right wing of the party immediately blamed its left wing for the poor showing, airing their grievances in a private conference call among House Democrats that was leaked to reporters."

-->FAIR does a nice job in demonstrating how the NYT and the major US media comes down in favor of the "corporate" way for Democrats to proceed. There are some juicy details here as well. South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn "has taken more money from the pharmaceutical industry in the past decade than any other member of the House or Senate." Who knew? Certainly not the readers of the NYT.


The Guardian UK:

"The recent HBO film 537 Votes, about the Florida 2000 election mess, offers one overarching message: Democrats’ refusal to sound a clear alarm about the slow-motion heist in process ultimately let the election be stolen.

In that debacle, Democrats seemed to think things would break their way with well-honed arguments inside the cloistered confines of the legal system – they never understood how public-facing politics can play a role in what ended up being a pivotal political brawl outside the courtroom.

Now, 20 years later, the lesson of that debacle isn’t being heeded. Donald Trump and his cronies are quite clearly waging a public-facing campaign designed to create the conditions to pull off a coup in the electoral college process. This is a full-scale emergency – and yet the Democratic strategy seems to be to try to pretend it isn’t happening, in hopes that norms win out, even though nothing at all is normal."

-->The US media, including the NYT, doesn't like to expose the dangerous fascist tendencies of our current administration. Like the 2000 election theft, our media pretends that all is in order, when it is clearly not. What good is exposing the lies of the Trump regime when you can't put a name on what is really happening? This is fascism, folks.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

 Common Dreams:

"'Gross Abuse' of Power, Says International Election Observer About Trump Lies of US Voter Fraud. Baseless allegations of systematic deficiencies, notably by the incumbent president, including on election night, harm public trust in democratic institutions,' the delegation concluded. ...

Trump's effort to stop the count 'is something that does need to be described as breaking a taboo,' the election observer told rbb [German public broadcaster]. 'He has neither the right nor the possibility to do this. Responsibility for the count lies exclusively with states.'

The observation mission carried out by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) involved 102 observers from 39 countries—50 experts and observers deployed by ODIHR and 52 parliamentarians and staff from the OSCE PA."

-->The NYT doesn't like it when international observers tell it like it is in our faux democracy. Our supposed "newspaper of record" omitted this story.



"Under cover of US elections, Israel wipes entire Palestinian community off the map. Israeli forces demolished the entire Bedouin community of Khirbet Humsah in the northern Jordan Valley, leaving 41 Palestinian children homeless just as winter storms spread through the West Bank. ...

At around 11am on Tuesday morning, the residents of Khirbet Husna were shocked to see a caravan of Israeli military jeeps, accompanied by a number of bulldozers and excavators, heading down the dirt pathway to their village. ...

After what felt like mere seconds, as Abu Awwad and her husband tried to empty their home of all the belongings they could, the Israeli bulldozers began demolishing everything around them, as what she described as hundreds of soldiers and Civil Administration workers surrounded them.  'They didn’t leave anything untouched,' Abu Awwad said. 'Our homes, our livestock pens, our bathrooms, our water tanks, solar panels, everything. They destroyed everything.' ”

--NPR reported on this story, but in its typically "balanced" reporting, with lots of explanation by Israeli authorities. But the "progressive" NYT didn't cover the story at all. 


Common Dreams:

"'Every. Single. One.': Ocasio-Cortez Notes Every Democrat Who Backed Medicare for All Won Reelection in 2020. The same cannot be said for those more centrist lawmakers who continue to defend the nation's increasingly unpopular for-profit healthcare system.

The tweet emerged as many across the corporate media landscape, including pundits and former high-level Democratic officials like Rahm Emanuel, unabashedly pushed a narrative that progressives calling for policies like a single-payer universal healthcare system or the Green New Deal are somehow a hindrance to electoral success. ...

As Common Dreams reported Friday, while corporate-friendly Democrats have continued to go to bat for the for-profit healthcare system that lavishes billions of dollars each year on insurance companies, for-profit hospitals, and pharmaceutical giants, a new poll this week—put out by Fox News no less—shows that 72% of all U.S. voters would prefer a 'government-run healthcare plan.' "

-->The NYT, ever friendly with the corporate controlled wing of the Democratic Party, made a one sentence mention of AOC's statement, but did not show how universal healthcare is the preferred choice of 72% of all US voters. Why can't we have universal healthcare? Because of publications like the NYT.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

 Common Dreams:

"The four first-term progressive congresswomen collectively called the Squad filed a letter Friday calling for independent international investigation of 'recent, ongoing, and credible allegations of egregious human rights abuses by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), its components, and its private contractors.'

'From the unwanted and unnecessary hysterectomies of migrant women, to the forced separation of children from their families, to the indefinite detention of immigrants in abhorrent conditions—the cruelty and callousness of the Department of Homeland Security under [President] Donald Trump knows no bounds,' Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) said in a statement Friday.

'This administration has demonstrated time and again its utter disregard for the lives of our immigrant neighbors, while our institutions of government have done little to hold it accountable—that must change. It's time we had a truly independent, external, and impartial investigation into these alleged human rights abuses by DHS, and I am proud to partner with my sisters in service in leading this call,' she added."

-->The truth hurts, especially when it exposes the racist and fascist nature of our nation. The NYT, ever vigilant to stories that might upset its readers, Didn't print this open letter from the "Squad." 


Common Dreams:

"Amnesty International on Sunday condemned President Donald Trump for 'condoning violence and intimidation' after the president applauded the caravan of his truck-driving supporters that surrounded a Biden campaign bus on a Texas highway Friday, prompting allegations of reckless endangerment and an FBI probe of the incident.

'In my opinion, these patriots did nothing wrong,' Trump tweeted hours after absurdly claiming that his supporters were 'protecting' the Biden campaign's bus. ...

Following the swarming of the Biden campaign bus by dozens of Trump supporters attempting to bring the bus to a halt, Texas Democrats canceled three scheduled events for the former vice president due to safety concerns."

-->Why didn't the NYT cover the Amnesty International condemnation? I think that the NYT, although free to criticize Trump, remains vigilant against any mention of fascism. And that is such a disservice to the people of America. Unless the mainstream media is free to talk about the fascism in the US, we all remain vulnerable to its significant inroads. 


LA Progressive:

"It is difficult for most Americans to judge just how dangerous Donald Trump might be. It is not that the clues are missing; there is a daily list of lies, racist comments, misogynist ramblings, and outrageous self dealing. But most citizens just don’t have the right vocabulary to put his actions into some sort of context, even in these pandemic times. ...

By avoiding the use of the word fascism, mainstream media analysis fails our democracy in two ways. First, we as citizens can’t look at Trump and judge him by historical standards. His actions may be outrageous and deplorable, but we remain oblivious to the pattern of a fascist leader that he exhibits.

The second way that the media fails is to limit how fascism is described. It is always a person rather than a national movement; a Netanyahu rather than the Israeli people, or a Hitler rather than all Germans. Fascism may be encouraged by someone with the right combination of charisma and viciousness, but in the end it becomes a social illness that moves whole populations towards war and genocide."

-->Yes, the media has been covering up fascist trends for decades. Now it is right there in our faces. What will be the price that we the people will have to pay?