Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Common Dreams:
"After decades of erosion by corporate and plutocratic interests and the battering ram that was the Donald Trump presidency, a new poll Friday suggests the democratic ideals enshrined in the landmark For the People Act enjoy broad support across the political spectrum. 

Originally passed by the House of Representatives in 2019 but torpedoed by the Republican-controlled Senate, the For the People Act would expand voting rights including for former felons, curtail partisan gerrymandering, strengthen ethics rules, limit money in politics and implement the DISCLOSE Act, and make Washington, D.C. a state—among other reforms.


The new survey, conducted by the left-leaning think tank Data for Progress and the advocacy group Equal Citizens, found a majority of self-described Democrats, Republicans, and independents support the For the People Act."

-->The people are certainly for this bill to democratize the voting process and get big money out of politics. But the nation's corporate controlled media is not. The NYT did not even carry this story, nor did most of the mainstream media.


Common Dreams:

"Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan on Tuesday sent a letter to House and Senate leaders in which she and nine colleagues argued against expanding the national security state and further curtailing civil liberties in the aftermath of the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

'The Trump mob's success in breaching the Capitol was not due to a lack of resources at the disposal of federal law enforcement, and in this moment we must resist the erosion of our civil liberties and Constitutional freedoms, however well-intentioned proposed security reforms may be,' the lawmakers wrote in the letter, which was endorsed by Demand Progress, Free Press, Win Without War, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

'We firmly believe that the national security and surveillance powers of the U.S. government are already too broad, undefined, and unaccountable to the people,' added Tlaib."

-->The whole question of eroding civll liberties doesn't really bother the NYT too much, and it didn't cover this warning by some members of Congress. Our newspaper of record has always come down on the side the security state. Just look at its coverage of Julian Assange. 


The Guardian UK:

"The Capitol riot wasn't a fringe 'uprising'. It was enabled by very deep pockets. That siege was just one battle in a decades-long assault on democracy, funded by billionaire donors and corporate interests. ...

Last year, the secretive and influential Council for National Policy (CNP), which author Anne Nelson describes as 'connecting the manpower and media of the Christian right with the finances of western plutocrats and the strategy of right-wing Republican political operatives,' called for state legislators in six swing states to reject Joe Biden’s election victory. CNP leaders were scheduled to speak at the rally on the morning of 6 January, where Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol.

Carrie Severino, president of the Judicial Crisis Network, which has contributed millions to the Republican Attorneys General Association (Raga), [was] listed as one of the participating organizations in the rally. Raga’s fundraising arm, the Rule of Law Defense Fund, sent robocalls encouraging Trump supporters to march on the Capitol ahead of the 6 January rally, at which the former chairman of Raga, Texas attorney general Ken Paxton, spoke. But major donors to Raga include not only rightwing bogeymen like Koch Industries, Walmart, or the Adelson family but also household corporate names like Comcast, Amazon and TikTok.

Likewise, although Koch Industries is the single largest corporate donor to Republican representatives who pledged to try to overturn the election results, the next biggest contributors included defense companies like Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon, as well as tech (Amazon) and finance (Goldman Sachs) and insurance (Aflac), according to the Center for Media and Democracy."

-->The NYT didn't cover this story of the deep pockets behind Trump's violent coup against the US Congress. We have to read about such things in a foreign newspaper. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
"We’ve heard plenty about the GOP members of Congress and Trump political appointees who have 'enabled' Donald Trump over these four years, failing to act to stem his excesses. But what about the billionaire donors to Trump’s campaign and his victory PACs?  Especially those who gave substantial donations in 2019 and 2020, when it was clear that Trump was causing a crisis in our democracy? Unlike those who gave to the 2016 campaign but distanced themselves from Trump after seeing him in action, will there be any accountability for these most recent billionaire enablers of Donald Trump who saw what damage he caused–but still stood by him? ...

Watch for our forthcoming IPS report and reporting on 'Trump’s Billionaire Enablers.' But here are a few initial findings: The Institute for Policy Studies identified 63 U.S. billionaires who gave a combined $33 million to the Trump Victory Fund in the last two years.  Trump Victory was a joint fundraising account for the Trump 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee.

-->The Institute for Policy Studies did this great report on the billionaires who were supporting the Trump's fascist movement. Read it on, because the major media shies away from exposing Trump's ultra rich enablers. 


Common Dreams:

"New Analysis Shows US Police 3 Times More Likely to Use Violence Against Leftist Protesters Than Far-Right. The report's findings came as a surprise to virtually no one. 

Black Lives Matter, Indigenous, anti-war, and other progressive activists reacted with a complete lack of surprise to data reported by The Guardian on Thursday that shows U.S. police are three times more likely to use violence against left-wing and social justice protesters than against those on the political right. 

The report, based on statistics from from the U.S. Crisis Monitor—a database created this spring by researchers at Princeton and the nonprofit Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project (ACLED)—found that the overwhelming majority of the thousands of total protests across the nation over the past year have been peaceful."

-->Why wouldn't the nation's premier newspaper carry this story? The NYT has always soft peddled the fascism of our nation's police forces. Why change now?


Haaretz in Israel:

"For just six months of its 73 years was Israel a democracy. Six months, and not one day more. This shocking fact, which most Israelis and the wider world repress and truth-seekers have no way of denying, must resound in every civics lesson and every debate in Israel.

All the nonsense about “Bibi is destroying democracy” ignores this eternal fact: Only for six months did the state treat all the people under its rule in a democratic way, at least for the sake of appearances. Throughout all its decades of existence, Israel has treated part of its subjects tyrannically. That’s why it has no connection at all with democracy. ...

It’s impossible to speak any longer about 'apartheid in the territories.' It’s impossible to separate the territories and Israel, and it’s impossible to consider the occupation temporary. The conclusion: Israel is an apartheid state. Just as in South Africa it was ludicrous to talk about democracy, even though elections were held, it’s ridiculous to view Israel as a democracy."

-->Gideon Levy, one of Haaretz's most prominent correspondents, describes Israel as an apartheid state. It is a first for Levy, who has criticized the occupation but never admitted that Israel's entire existence has been built on Jewish supremacy. While newspapers around the world carried this story, the NYT did not. Our newspaper of record is often the apologist for this same apartheid state. In addition, B'Selem, Israel's most recognized peace group, has called all of Israel an apartheid state, a story also not covered in the US media.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

 The NY Times headline: "For Immigrants Watching a Mob Storm the Capitol, a Sense of Shock and Shame"

"A little more than five years ago, Ahmad Shah Srosh was standing alongside the US soldiers who had come to his country, helping them promote democracy to his fellow Afghans. ... Mr. Shrosh saw in the United States an example of the reward that awaited when true democracy took root. 'Every country follows the democracy of the United States,' Mr Srosh said from his home in Houston. ...

Carla Miranda, 34, a lawyer fled Venezuela in 2013 after receiving death threats for representing people in opposition to the former strongman Hugo Chavez. 'All these things that happened yesterday brought back bad memories,' she said of the voters who invaded the Capitol."

-->Where does one start on this propaganda piece? US soldiers didn't come to Afghanistan to "promote democracy." No one but a NYT journalist on the Pentagon payroll could ever think that. There were many reasons, but spreading democracy was not one of them. Poor Carla has been similarly deceived. Chavez was a duly elected president of Venezuela, not a strongman. And those rioters in the street were part of a US coupe to overthrew his valid election. The US has been trying to get rid of elected presidents of that country for years, and it has nothing to do with democracy. What propaganda our "newspaper of record" dishes out to its readers. Shameful, really. 


Common Dreams:

"'A Profoundly Troubling Pick': Progressives Slam Biden Choice of Gov. Raimondo for Commerce Chief. 'Raimondo has a history of supporting cuts to public assistance programs, selling public pensions to Wall Street, undermining labor unions, and grossly mishandling Rhode Island's Covid-19 response.'

'Raimondo, a former venture capitalist, is the wrong pick—and the American public agrees,' the Revoling Door Project—a group that's urged Biden to reject corporate-aligned Cabinet selections—said in a statement. 'According to November polling, nearly 70% of respondents oppose President-elect Biden appointing Raimondo to any Cabinet position.'

Raimondo, a charter school advocate who backed former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg during the Democratic presidential primary—had previously been under consideration to be Biden's Department of Health and Human Services chief but withdrew her name from consideration last month amid grounded accusations her 'record on health is a total disaster.'

-->Where some progressives see a "total disaster," the NYT sees a "rising star in the Democratic Party," who "cut taxes and eliminated regulations to support businesses." The NYT did give a nod to some critics of Gov. Raimondo's candidacy, but the overall writeup ignored much of her neoliberal track record. In fact, the NYT often pretends that there is no split between the corporate hacks in the party and its relatively tiny progressive wing. 


The Intercept:

"How Israel attacks drove Raphael Warnock into the arms of a centrist pro-Israel group. Democratic Majority for Israel’s endorsement of Warnock — and Warnock’s embrace of it — was a step backward for progressives. ...

Republicans homed in on the reverend’s past remarks condemning Israeli human rights abuses against Palestinians. Following a news report that resurfaced old comments, his opponent in the January 5 runoff, Sen. Kelly Loeffler, began running attack ads. One focused on a 2018 sermon in which Warnock condemned Israel for directing fire at unarmed Palestinian protesters near Israel’s separation fence with the occupied Gaza Strip.

In response, Warnock has come out in recent months as a staunch supporter of the U.S. relationship with Israel, distancing himself from past comments on the conflict."

-->Poor Warnock had to throw all his pro Palestinian rights under the bus to get the the Israel Lobby's endorsement. It was a shameful exercise of Zionist political power, especially over Black candidates. The NYT headline, however, read: "Raphael Warnock, From the Pulpit to Politics, Doesn’t Shy From ‘Uncomfortable’ Truths" It is like the power of the Israel Lobby was carefully stripped from the NYT story.

Thursday, January 07, 2021

The Guardian UK:

"Palestinians excluded from Israeli Covid vaccine rollout as jabs go to settlers.

Human rights groups accuse Israel of dodging obligations to millions in occupied territories who may wait months for vaccination.

Israel is celebrating an impressive, record-setting vaccination drive, having given initial jabs of coronavirus shots to more than a 10th of the population. But Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza can only watch and wait.

As the world ramps up what is already on track to become a highly unequal vaccination push – with people in richer nations first to be inoculated – the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories provides a stark example of the divide.

-->As anyone following FantasyLand Media would know, the chances of our Zionist inspired NYT covering this story is right around zero. For stories about Israel's apartheid treatment of Palestinians, one has to go to a foreign paper. 


Common Dreams:

"In Potential Final Protest Targeting UN, Trump Administration—Joined by Just Israel—Votes Against 2021 Budget. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Craft said the decision was based on alleged 'anti-Israel bias' and global refusal to reimpose sanctions on Iran.

In what could be the Trump administration's final act of protest targeting the United Nations, the United States—joined by Israel—voted on Thursday against the intergovernmental organization's $3.231 billion budget for 2021. ...

Bloomberg pointed out Thursday that this year 'marks only the second time the U.S. decided to move against the consensus approval of the U.N. budget by calling for a vote.' "

-->How isolated the US and Israel have become from the rest of the world. Readers of the NYT, however, didn't get to consider this story.


Common Dreams:

"Senior UN Human Rights Official 'Deeply Concerned' by Trump's Pardons for Mercenaries Who Massacred 17 Iraqi Civilians. 'Pardoning them contributes to impunity and has the effect of emboldening others to commit such crimes in the future.' ...

Marta Hurtado, a spokesperson for the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said in statement that the agency is "deeply concerned" by Trump's December 22 pardon of former Blackwater guards ...

'By investigating these crimes and completing legal proceedings, the U.S. complied with its obligations under international law,' she added. 'The U.N. Human Rights Office calls on the U.S. to renew its commitment to fighting impunity for gross human rights violations and serious violations of international humanitarian law, as well as to uphold its obligations to ensure accountability for such crimes.' "

-->Fox News was the only large media company to cover Marta Hurtado's statement. Sometimes the empire needs a break for its war crimes, and most of our national media is all to willing to oblige.