Wednesday, August 30, 2023

The Jacobin:
"Everyone from the virulently antisemitic Republican Rudy Giuliani, to independent Michael Bloomberg and Democrat Bill de Blasio have traveled to Israel during their tenures as mayor. Given New York’s large Jewish population, the incessant work of the Israel lobby to tie together Jewish identity and the Zionist project, and the massive investments of the Zionist lobby in election campaigns and lobbying, taking any position other than salivating support for Israel could be a career-ending move.

In 2022 alone, the Israel lobby spent nearly $44 million nationally in political contributions, the majority of which went to Democratic Party candidates. In fact, according to OpenSecrets, a majority of national pro-Israel money has gone to Democratic Party candidates in every single presidential election or midterm since 1990, the year the site’s tracking begins. Recently, the Israel lobby has invested millions in Democratic congressional primaries to defeat progressives critical of the status quo in Israel, from successfully defeating Ohio’s Nina Turner to nearly defeating Summer Lee in Pennsylvania. ...

The Israel lobby’s influence on New York politics and politicians is like its national influence but on steroids. Brooklyn-based representative Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic House minority leader and likely future speaker of the House, once described Jerusalem as 'the sixth borough,' which makes sense when you consider that the number-one donor to his 2022 reelection campaign was the PAC Pro-Israel America."

-->The NYT covered Mayor Adams' trip to Israel in the usual way, shallow homage with a hint of skepticism. Here is a quote that says it all:

"Mr. Adams may have been thousands of miles away from home, but was still very much himself: high energy, highly quotable, spiritual, ideologically to the right of many Democrats in his party, wary of the press, fond of police drone demonstrations and foremost a foodie."


Guardian UK:
"Two more US Department of State documents relating to Augusto Pinochet’s coup d’état in Chile have been declassified, revealing how President Richard Nixon was briefed on the impending military takeover. ...

During his bloody rule, 40,175 people were recorded as victims of executions, torture or political imprisonment, or were 'disappeared'. ...

A US state department press release said on Friday that the declassification of the president’s daily briefings 'demonstrates our enduring commitment to the US-Chile partnership and is consistent with our joint efforts to promote democracy and human rights in our own countries and around the world'.

As neither daily briefing poses any obvious threat to US national security, it is unclear why they were kept classified almost entirely for nearly 50 years."

-->It is also unclear why the NYT would just ignore this story. In fact, most of the US media refused to cover this release of information. Could it be that the US was complicit in the coup, and that the empire's newspapers almost always fall into line?  


Common Dreams:
"Researchers in Pennsylvania published a series of studies late Tuesday showing that children who live near fracking operations are roughly five to seven times more likely to develop lymphoma than kids whose homes are at least five miles away from drilling sites.

Released by the University of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the studies also found a 'strong link' between fracked gas development and 'severe exacerbations, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations for asthma in people living within 10 miles of one or more wells' producing gas.

While the studies weren't designed to establish a causal connection between fracking and cancer or asthma, they add to the large and growing body of literature indicating that oil and gas operations pose a significant threat to public health."

-->The NYT has always loved expensive energy sources, especially when those companies are backed by Wall Street money. The dangers of nuclear energy or fracking get little or no coverage, no matter how many children get sacrificed. Our major newspaper didn't cover this story.

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Geopolitical Economy:
"The new president of Burkina Faso, Ibrahim Traoré, has vowed to fight imperialism and neocolonialism, invoking his country’s past revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara and quoting Che Guevara. The West African nation has also formed close diplomatic ties with the revolutionary governments in Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba, and Iran, as well as with NATO’s arch-rival Russia.

In January 2022, a group of nationalist military officers in Burkina Faso toppled the president, Roch Kaboré, a wealthy banker who had fostered close ties with the country’s former colonizer, France, where he was educated.

The military officers declared a government run by what they call the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration (MPSR), led by a new president, Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba. They pledged to seek true independence from French hegemony, condemning the neocolonial policies and economic, political, and military control that Paris still exercises over Francophone West Africa."

-->To the NYT, all this anti-imperialist militancy is nothing more than "Another Coup As Usual," which is the title of its recent article on the crisis in Niger. Although the NYT admits that "Thousands of American and French troops are stationed in Niger," the newspaper never makes the connection between foreign troops and the will of the people to control their own countries.


"Barack Obama Is a Climate Hypocrite. In refusing to acknowledge his past climate denial and promotion of oil interests, Obama is relying on liberals forgetting his actual environmental record. Worse, he’s telling other Democratic leaders that lip service can stand in for action. ...

Against this backdrop, former president Barack Obama and his top White House strategist David Axelrod have been publicly lamenting climate inaction and warning of the imperative to fight climate change — pretending that they are powerless bystanders who played no part in creating the escalating crisis.
In fact, the opposite is true: when they were in a position to limit future damage from climate change, they chose not to prioritize climate policy and instead expanded fossil fuel production — all while Obama and Democrats were rewarded with a gusher of campaign cash from the oil and gas industry."

-->The NYT doesn't do hypocrisy when it comes to Barack Obama. Our newspaper of record will always value slick words over climate action. And most liberals will take the bait, hook, line and sinker.


Common Dreams:
"Entire House Democratic Leadership Backs Anti-Choice Cuellar in 2024 Run. With well over a year before the 2024 election, and as a pro-choice immigration rights attorney is reportedly weighing a primary run, all four of the top Democratic leaders in the U.S. House on Thursday announced their support for anti-abortion rights Rep. Henry Cuellar in his reelection bid.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Pete Aguilar (Calif.), Minority Whip Rep. Katherine Clark (Mass.), and Assistant Democratic Leader Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.) all announced their endorsements of the right-wing Democrat, who has represented Texas' 28th district since 2005.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.) also voiced their support for Cuellar, who in addition to being the only anti-abortion rights Democrat in the House, has an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association indicating his anti-gun control views."

-->This story certainly shows the disinterest of the Democratic Party leadership in a woman's right to choose. No wonder abortion rights has taken such a beating. Like so many issues, it has been sacrificed to corporate interests. No mention of the sellout in the NYT.

Wednesday, August 02, 2023

Common Dreams:
" 'My fellow Americans, we are facing a climate emergency. This summer, we have seen record-shattering heat waves sweep across our nation... If we do not act urgently to curb fossil fuel pollution, these deadly heat waves will only grow worse in frequency and severity.'

That was how Fossil Free Media director Jamie Henn suggested U.S. President Joe Biden address the public on Thursday as he announced new measures to address the record-breaking heat that spread across the country from the Southwest to the Midwest and Northeast, placing more than half the U.S. population under heat advisories.

The climate campaigner was among those urging the president to make a clear connection between the extreme heat—which was expected to push temperatures to 105°F in Minneapolis and 107° in New York as Phoenix saw its 27th consecutive day with a heat index of at least 110°—and the climate crisis. Instead, Biden did not utter the words 'fossil fuels,' 'oil,' or 'gas' throughout his remarks, despite the fact that World Weather Attribution reported this week that the extreme heat seen in the U.S. and other countries would have been 'virtually impossible' without the climate crisis and continued fossil fuel extraction."

-->So much for our do nothing president. He get the climate crisis, but is simply a corrupt, pro corporate stooge. But why does the NYT never mention these Biden omissions in its extensive coverage of his speech?


The Guardian UK:
"A witness to the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X has come forward to claim that a comment he overheard as police were restraining assassin Thomas Hagan outside the Audubon Ball room proved to him that the New York police department and FBI knew beforehand that there would be an attempt on the civil rights activist’s life.
Mustafa Hassan said he heard an officer ask of Hagan, 'Is he one of us?'

'From my vantage point this was an attempt by police to assist in him getting away,' Hassan said on Tuesday in a statement to reporters, read mere feet away from where Malcolm X was gunned down in New York City’s Audubon Ballroom.

Appearing alongside the civil rights attorney Ben Crump, Hassan asserted that he prevented Hagan from being taken away by reaching out and grabbing the assassin by the collar.

Hassan, formerly known as Richard Melwin Jones, delivered a vivid description of his recollection of the day that the leader of the Organization of Afro-American Unity was assassinated."

-->OK, this is just hearsay from over 50 years ago. But why didn't the NYT even mention the possibility that Malcolm X was murdered by government assassins, like Fred Hampton would be three years later. In fact, the 1960s saw an overwhelming number of Black leaders being murdered. And then there was COINTELPRO, the secret FBI attack on Black activism that was exposed by the Church Committee. We need a no holds barred investigation of these government murders, not a liberal cover up by our newspaper of record.


Common Dreams:
"Over 40 international and local civil society groups on Wednesday called for accountability for all perpetrators of war crimes during the nearly nine-year civil war and U.S.-backed Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, as well as reconciliation, redress, and reparations for victims of the conflict that's claimed nearly 400,000 lives and upended millions more. ...

HRW and other groups have documented human rights crimes committed by the U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition and Yemeni government forces, as well as the Houthi rebels they're fighting and the U.S. forces conducting raids and airstrikes in the so-called War on Terror.

According to United Nations humanitarian officials, nearly 400,000 people have died during the Yemeni war, and a Saudi-led blockade has exacerbated starvation and disease in the country of 30 million people—more than 23 million of whom required assistance in 2022."

-->The NYT doesn't do war crimes committed by US allies. Perhaps that is one reason for the fact that most American citizens don't even know how involved the US is in butchering the Yemeni people. The NYT is the empire's most reliable propaganda tool.