Wednesday, November 24, 2021


"Media’s Anti-‘Woke’ Mania Moves Social Justice to the Fringe. ... The meaning of this ubiquitous term [woke] often shifts with context. Originating in Black vernacular English, according to Merriam-Webster, to 'stay woke' means to question 'the dominant paradigm,' and to carry awareness of racial and other forms of oppression. The phrase became a Black Lives Matter call to action in the Ferguson uprising of 2014, but as that revolutionary spirit ebbed, 'wokeness' has become a stand-in for what the right once decried as 'political correctness.' ...

In the wake of Black Lives Matter uprisings and the rise in awareness of white nationalist organizing, corporate media have taken up the term, often in a pejorative or sarcastic context. The Wall Street Journal editorial page has featured the word in dozens of headlines, in pieces defending opting out of Covid-19 vaccines (10/29/21), transphobia (10/14/21), anti–teachers union positions (7/7/21), free-market capitalism (10/5/21) and voter suppression (4/28/21). The Journal has even used it to attack the Chinese Communist Party (3/7/21;, 3/17/21). ...

At the New York Times, the liberal and conservative columnists are united in their disdain for wokeness, seen as both an attack on Western openness and an albatross for the Democratic Party."

-->Leave it to FAIR to explore how our mainstream media attacks and ridicules the concept of white people coming to terms with the systemic racism of our culture. Being a Woke white person is no longer cool at all, or so our major media tells us.    


The Guardian UK:

"Turns out, Harvard students aren’t that smart after all. Ever wondered what it takes to get into Harvard? Stellar grades, impressive extracurriculars and based on a recently published study, having deep pockets and a parent who either works or went there. Those last two are pretty important for Harvard’s white students because only about 57% of them were admitted to the school based on merit.

In reality, 43% of Harvard’s white students are either recruited athletes, legacy students, on the dean’s interest list (meaning their parents have donated to the school) or children of faculty and staff (students admitted based on these criteria are referred to as ‘ALDCs’, which stands for ‘athletes’, ‘legacies’, ‘dean’s interest list’ and ‘children’ of Harvard employees). The kicker? Roughly three-quarters of these applicants would have been rejected if it weren’t for having rich or Harvard-connected parents or being an athlete. ...

This dynamic is inherently racialized, with almost 70% of all legacy applicants at Harvard being white. According to the study, a white person’s chances of being admitted increased seven times if they had family who donated to Harvard. Meanwhile in stark contrast, African American, Asian American and Hispanic students make up less than 16% of ALDC students."

-->What a sordid peek at our nation's most prestigious college. Full of dumb, white rich kids, whose families have bribed their way in by giving a few million here or there. Well, just look at Jared Kushner. This story was too much for our dumb, white newspaper of record, which didn't cover this current research. 


Common Dreams:

"Progressives on Wednesday slammed what they called a proposed $10 billion handout to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos—the world's first multi-centibillionaire—in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act as a 'giveaway of galactic proportions' in the face of growing wealth inequality and the inability of U.S. lawmakers to pass a sweeping social and climate spending package.

According to Defense News, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to merge the $250 billion U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 (USICA)—aimed largely at countering the rise of China—with next year's NDAA, which would authorize up to $778 billion in military spending. That's $37 billion more than former President Donald Trump's final defense budget and $25 billion more than requested by President Joe Biden. The NDAA includes a $10 billion subsidy to Bezos' Blue Origin space exploration company. ...

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has condemned the NDAA for containing $52 billion in 'corporate welfare' for Big Tech. Explaining why he would vote against the NDAA, Sanders said Tuesday that 'combining these two pieces of legislation would push the price tag of the defense bill to over $1 trillion—with very little scrutiny.' "

-->No mention of this story in the NYT, which has a thing about military spending in the US. It is never enough!

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

 From the desk of Rep. Antonio Delgado (letter dated Nov. 4, 2021):

"You will be pleased to know that I am a cosponsor of the SALT Deductibility Act (H.R. 188), bipartisan legislation that would eliminate the harmful cap on state and local tax deductions. This bill would directly benefit our community, as almost one-third of residents in our District claim SALT deductions. ... Working families already pay enough in taxes: our nation's tax code should not prioritize corporations and the ultra-wealthy, but instead those who need it most. That's why I am committed to simplifying the tax code by closing loopholes that serve only the wealthiest Americans and cracking down on corporations that keep their profits overseas."

-->However an article by the Brookings Institute, a non partisan think tank, makes it clear that:

-Lifting the cap on the SALT deduction would massively favor the rich, with most of the benefit going to the top one percent 

-Lifting the cap would in fact give almost three times as much, as a share of the cut, to the top one percent as the TCJA cuts did as a whole 

-Even with the cap, the SALT deduction remains pro-rich, with around three-quarters of the benefit going to families in the top fifth of the income distribution

Antonio, your letter then is just anther big fib, is it not? Doesn't that make you a Wall Street funded fake progressive, eager to give back ... to the millionaires and billionaires? As long as the Democrats elect fake candidates with massive corporate ties, they are going to lose and lose big. Think Hillary Clinton and Terry McAuliffe!  Maybe the next to go down in defeat will be our very own Antonio Delgado.


Common Dreams:

"The U.S. House on Friday night passed a bipartisan physical infrastructure bill but didn't bring the Build Back Better Act to the floor—sending just one half of President Joe Biden's two-pronged economic agenda to the White House, with only a pledge that conservative House Democrats will vote for the party's broader social infrastructure and climate package at a later date.

That wasn't the plan on Friday morning. When the day started, Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said they wanted House Democrats to pass both parts of the president's legislative agenda: the Build Back Better Act (BBB), which would invest $1.75 trillion over 10 years to strengthen climate action and the welfare state; and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF), a fossil fuel-friendly proposal to upgrade the nation's roads, bridges, and ports that was approved by the U.S. Senate in August.

Due to the intransigence of a few right-wing House Democrats who made last-minute demands for additional fiscal information that could take weeks to obtain, and the acquiescence of Pelosi and Biden, a planned floor vote on BBB was shelved and reduced to a 'rule for consideration,' "

-->How left is taken down once more by the corporate Democrats. It is not the story that most mainstream media wants to talk about. The more progressive programs that benefit working people are left hanging: clean energy, reforming the police and criminal justice system, relief for energy bills, universal and free preschool, affordable care for the elderly, expanded child tax credit for low income families, rebates on clean energy investment, reduced drug costs, reduced premiums for healthcare, expanding medicare to cover hearing aids, investments in affordable housing, extended income credits for low wage workers, affordable higher education, and a reform the tax system so that huge corporations and filth rich citizens pay their fair share of taxes. All this is left hanging. What US media is telling this sad story?


Common Dreams:

"Corporate Democratic So-Called 'Centrists' Lost These Races, But They'll Never Admit It. Instead of representing a party that had scored some wins for working people, Democratic candidates ran as members of a party that had squabbled for ten months and accomplished little while controlling all three branches of the federal government.

Terry McAuliffe ran Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2021, but the Virginia voters who went for Clinton in 2016 weren’t buying it this time around. McAuliffe’s attempt to make the election a referendum on Donald Trump was a failure since Trump wasn’t on the ballot. After ten months of Democratic government in Washington, voters saw little action that improved their lives.

Vague platitudes and promises weren’t enough to carry the day, not in a time of economic crisis and in the absence of real achievement in Washington."

-->Democrats are losers, but well paid ones. They are part of the corporate charade, all except the "Squad" which may be rethinking their allegiance to this phony party.

Thursday, November 04, 2021

Common Dreams:

"Twenty-one Israel-based civil society groups on Sunday joined Palestine defenders around the world in condemning the Israeli government's labeling of six Palestinian advocacy groups as terrorist organizations, calling the move 'an act of cowardice.'

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz's 'designation of prominent Palestinian civil society organizations, among them our colleagues in the Palestinian human rights community, as terrorist organizations is a draconian measure that criminalizes critical human rights work,' the groups said in a statement.

'Documentation, advocacy, and legal aid are fundamental activities for the protection of human rights worldwide,' the statement continued. 'Criminalizing such work is an act of cowardice, characteristic of repressive authoritarian regimes.' "

-->Shame on Israel for trying to shut down human rights organizations. And shame on the NYT for not printing this story. The final chapter of the Palestinian history, when it is written, will condemn the role of the NYT in hiding the Israel's genocidal policies. 


The Guardian UK:

"Nearly two in three Republicans believe oil and gas companies are at least somewhat responsible for the climate crisis – but they don’t want to keep these companies accountable. In fact, even when they were told that oil and gas companies knowingly misled the public about their products driving climate change, most Republicans said the public and the government should not hold those companies accountable.

These findings are part of a new YouGov poll commissioned by the Guardian, Vice News and Covering Climate Now, which reveal America’s lasting attachment to the fossil fuel industry.

The poll findings suggest that much of the marketing campaigns that fossil fuel companies have released to paint themselves in a positive light have worked. About 90% of Republicans said they have neutral or positive feelings toward America’s two biggest fossil fuel companies, Shell and Exxon. But about half of Democrats said the same, despite more than 90% of them saying oil and gas companies were at least somewhat responsible for climate change."

-->One might think this story would be interesting to readers of the NYT. The newspaper, however, has always been in bed with Big Oil, and it didn't print this story.


Jacobin Magazine:

"In the first year of the new government of Luis Arce and the Movement toward Socialism (Movimiento al Socialismo, MAS) party, Bolivia has made significant progress in restoring the damage done to the country under the previous right-wing-coup regime led by Jeanine Áñez.

The 2019 coup, planned well in advance by right-wing opposition leaders and senior officers in the military, anticipated that long-term and consistently reelected president Evo Morales would win the presidential election.

Foreseeing the final result would hand Morales a clear first-round victory as votes from rural, indigenous-populated and Morales-supporting areas were counted, the right wing launched violent protests. These were unchecked by the police, who mutinied — first in Cochabamba and then elsewhere."

-->Read the Jacobin for Jeremy Corbyn's article entitled "Socialist Are Rebuilding Bolivia." Corbyn describes the US orchestrated coup, and how the people fought back and defeated a racist and neoliberal strong man. The NYT would never cover how the CIA destroys democracy in Third World Countries. The "Gray Lady" is simply the tool of our empire.