Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Guardian UK:
"The president and Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders both attacked TPP, a free trade agreement among the US and 11 other countries, on the campaign trail. Sanders praised Trump’s decision, saying TPP is 'dead and gone.' 

'Now is the time to develop a new trade policy that helps working families, not just multinational corporations,' Sanders said in a statement. 'If President Trump is serious about a new policy to help American workers then I would be delighted to work with him.'
'For the past 30 years, we have had a series of trade deals … which have cost us millions of decent-paying jobs and caused a race to the bottom which has lowered wages for American workers,' he said."

-->Although the NYT is filled with horror stories about Trump, it gives almost no coverage to the one person who is outspoken about workers' rights and economic justice, former candidate for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders. That's because ultimately our newspaper of record is more horrified by a true reformer than a populist demagogue.  


Business Insider:
"Officials say the Obama administration in its waning hours defied Republican opposition and quietly released $221 million to the Palestinian Authority.
GOP members of Congress had been holding up the money.

A State Department official and several congressional aides say the outgoing administration formally notified Congress it would spend the money Friday morning, just before Donald Trump became president.

More than $227 million in foreign affairs funding was released at the time, including $4 million for climate change programs and $1.25 million for U.N. organizations.”

-->This story has been reported in several publications around the world, but not in our own NYT. Still confirming the story?

UPDATE: This story covered by AP can now be found on the NYT website.


Truth Out:
"[A]s indicated in a recently-released report by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), the financial security of retiring corporate CEOs is far, far greater than the financial security of average Americans.

According to the extensively researched IPS report, A Tale of Two Retirements, 100 corporate CEOs possess company retirement funds totaling $4.7 billion -- an amount equivalent to the entire retirement savings of 41 percent of U.S. families (50 million families, including 116 million Americans). ...

Indeed, the top 100 CEO nest eggs, if averaged, would generate a $253,088 monthly retirement check to these 100 individuals for the rest of their lives. By contrast, workers who had 401(k) pension plans at the end of 2013 had only enough in these plans to pay them an average monthly benefit of $101.  Of course, these were the lucky ones. Among workers 56 to 61 years old, 39 percent had no employer-sponsored retirement plan at all, and would likely depend on Social Security, which pays an average of $1,239 per month, for retirement security." 

-->More robbery by the financial elites, this time from our senior citizens. This story didn't make the NYT, which is quite comfortable in the new Gilded Age.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Common Dreams:
"The private jets of the world's wealthiest men and women are swarming the Swiss Alps for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF), which begins Monday in Davos, Switzerland, in the midst of an ongoing global inequality crisis.

And that crisis is accelerating, according to a new Oxfam report released Monday: today, only eight men own the same amount of wealth as the 3.6 billion people who comprise the poorest half of humanity. Those eight men are Bill Gates, Amancio Ortega, Warren Buffett, Carlos Slim Helu, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, and Michael Bloomberg.

The report, An Economy for the 99% (pdf), observes that '[f]ar from trickling down, income and wealth are being sucked upwards at an alarming rate.'

It goes on to describe how super-rich individuals and the massive corporations they run are fueling the inequality crisis by offshoring taxes, driving down wages, and influencing government to their advantage, and argues that the 'very design of our economies and the principles of our economics have taken us to this extreme, unsustainable, and unjust point.' "

-->The NYT did not print this story, although it is offered on-line under the category "Davos Special Report - WORLD." The January 16 print edition had other highly important stories, like a long article on what Obama read in office, while he was giving two thirds of all income gains over his last eight years to the top 1%. 


The Guardian UK:
"Responding to Trump’s comments that Merkel had made an 'utterly catastrophic mistake by letting all these illegals into the country', the deputy chancellor and minister for the economy, Sigmar Gabriel, said the increase in the number of people fleeing the Middle East to seek asylum in Europe had partially been a result of US-led wars destabilising the region.

'There is a link between America’s flawed interventionist policy, especially the Iraq war, and the refugee crisis; that’s why my advice would be that we shouldn’t tell each other what we have done right or wrong, but that we look into establishing peace in that region and do everything to make sure people can find a home there again,' Gabriel said.

'In that area, Germany and Europe are already making enormous achievements – and that’s why I also thought it wasn’t right to talk about defence spending, where Mr Trump says we are spending too little to finance Nato. We are making gigantic financial contributions to refugee shelters in the region, and these are also the results of US interventionist policy.' ”

-->Sigmar Gabriel's condemnation was not printed by our newspaper of record, which would never dare say such things in the heart of the empire.


"NYT: If Only We Knew What We Already Know About Jeff Sessions. In this light, the January 8 New York Times editorial struck me as highlighting, painfully, the limits of elite media.

'What Are You Hiding, Jeff Sessions?' was the headline, and the thrust of the thing was that Sessions has been insufficiently forthcoming:

'If anyone requires a thorough vetting, it’s Mr. Sessions, the Republican senator from Alabama who trails behind him a toxic cloud of hostility to racial equality, voting rights, women’s rights, criminal justice reform and other issues at the heart of the Justice Department’s mandate.' -NYT

See, some would say that toxic record constitutes such a vetting. But for corporate media, some questions are forever being 'raised'…even when many another would suggest they’d actually been answered.

Indeed, all the while it was criticizing Sessions’ lack of disclosure, the Times was making clear that it isn’t necessary: Sessions claimed there’s no record of many of the interviews he’s given, 'but a quick Google search disproves that.' " 

-->Sessions is a long time racist that Congress is about to approve for Attorney General. Why can't the NYT just come out and say it?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Common Dreams:
"Bernie Sanders, thank God, is still here, and still speaking up for what's right. Yesterday, he took to the Senate floor during a health care debate to lambast the deranged toddler-elect for (surprise!) lying about how he'd never ever cut Medicare and Medicaid benefits, which he's now (surprise again!) talking about doing. Bernie brought a prop to his presentation: A huge poster of one of Trump's own bull... tweets. Dated May 2015, it reads, 'I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid.'

Noted Bernie, 'Millions of people voted for him on the belief that he would keep his word,' said Bernie. 'If he was sincere,  then I would hope that tomorrow or maybe today he could send out a tweet and tell his Republican colleagues to stop wasting their time and all of our time' - and either not cut benefits, or admit his pathological tendency to say whatever it took to win so hugely he could think people liked him."

-->Straight talk from Bernie Sanders on one of the most serious issues of our time. The NYT, however, is keeping its blackout on Bernie. It didn't cover the story.


Common Dreams:
"As many suspected, President-elect Donald Trump's web of business conflicts is much more complicated than he has let on. An analysis by the Wall Street Journal published Thursday found that the incoming president owes at least $1.85 billion in debt to as many as 150 Wall Street firms and other financial institutions.

According to the examination of legal and property documents,'Hundreds of millions of dollars of debt attached to Mr. Trump's properties, some of them backed by Mr. Trump's personal guarantee, were packaged into securities and sold to investors over the past five years,' thus 'broadening the tangle of interests that pose potential conflicts for the incoming president's administration.' ...

'As a result,' wrote WSJ reporters Jean Eaglesham and Lisa Schwartz, 'a broader array of financial institutions now are in a potentially powerful position over the incoming president.' Put more directly, as Think Progress's Judd Legum did: 'As president, Trump will be responsible for regulating entities that he also owes money to.' "

-->1.5 billion conflict of interest? The NYT wasn't interested in carrying the story. Meryl Streep's speech, however, provoked lots of commentary.


Common Dreams:
"In a 'truly extraordinary' and evidently unprecedented act, a former prosecutor of Native American activist Leonard Peltier, now 72, ill, and in his 41st year in prison for a shooting he has unceasingly denied committing, has joined the decades-long demands of legal experts, indigenous leaders and rights advocates to free one of this country's most high-profile political prisoners. ...

Peltier remains in prison despite years of legal battles and repeated claims that federal agents lied, coerced witnesses and withheld evidence at his trial; ultimately, the prosecution admitted they couldn't prove who shot the agents. Peltier  attorney and former federal prosecutor Cynthia Dunne calls the FBI’s case 'yesterday’s equivalent of a Trump tweet that has lasted for 40 years.' Calling his ongoing imprisonment 'one of the greatest injustices in the American justice system,' Dunne and other attorneys filed a  clemency request last year to President Obama in hopes he will include Peltier in a final flurry of pardons. Their plea was one of many on behalf of Peltier, from Amnesty International to Standing Rock Sioux Chief Dave Archambault. If Obama fails to act, his attorneys say Peltier will die in prison. ...

In 'The Standing Rock People are My People,' Peltier himself described watching the occupation unfold 'with both pride and sorrow...Pride that our people and their allies are standing up and putting their lives on the line for the coming generations...Sorrow (our) people are suffering.' Many indigenous leaders likewise cite the parallels between Peltier and Standing Rock: Both, they say, stand for life and justice, have paid a steep price, and play a key part in the ongoing war against Native-Americans."

-->Who cares about a political prisoner who has spent over 40 years in jail? Certainly not the NYT, which didn't cover this story.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

International Business Times:
"Israeli soldiers detained a 7-year-old Palestinian boy reportedly using him as a human shield, an Israeli human rights organization claimed Thursday. The incident occurred during the weekly protest in Palestine’s Kafr Qadum town in the West Bank region. The boy, identified as Muamen Murad Mahmoud Shteiwi, is a resident of the town and told the B'Tselem human rights group the soldiers knocked him over and grabbed him, detaining him for 10 minutes while they opened fire at the protesters last week. ...

Israel has been accused in the past of torturing Palestinian children and using them as human shields. The United Nations, in 2013, accused Israeli troops of mistreating children in the Gaza and West Bank regions. 'Hundreds of Palestinian children have been killed and thousands injured over the reporting period as a result of the state party military operations, especially in Gaza where the state party proceeded to (conduct) air and naval strikes on densely populated areas with a significant presence of children, thus disregarding the principles of proportionality and distinction,' the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child said in a report."

-->The NYT didn't carry this story, and rarely reports on Israel's abuse of Palestinian children. It just doesn't fit with the newspaper's favorite theme of the IDF being the "world's most moral army."


Common Dreams:
"As the U.S. expels 35 Russian diplomats over hacking charges, critics say the so-called evidence released Thursday alongside President Barack Obama's sanctions is an insufficient response to calls for hard proof of the allegations.

The FBI/Department of Homeland Security Joint Analysis Report 'Grizzly Steppe,' published as part of the White House's response to alleged Russian government interference in the 2016 election process, 'adds nothing to the call for evidence that the Russian government was responsible for hacking the [Democratic National Committee, or DNC], the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee], the email accounts of Democratic party officials, or for delivering the content of those hacks to WikiLeaks,' wrote cybersecurity expert Jeffrey Carr on Friday.

The brief report 'merely listed every threat group ever reported on by a commercial cybersecurity company that is suspected of being Russian-made and lumped them under the heading of Russian Intelligence Services (RIS) without providing any supporting evidence that such a connection exists,' Carr said."

-->There are plenty of IT professionals who doubt that Russia hacked the US election, but readers won't find their names in the NYT. We are back to stories like the WMD's in Iraq, all conjecture and no proof at all. The NYT providing "fake news" again for the Pentagon.


"This past week, the Pew Research Centre released the results of a massive poll of Israeli public opinion — focusing on their attitude towards religion, identity, values and political issues facing their country.

In the days that followed the release, a number of articles appeared in Israel and the US commenting on the study’s findings. The strangest and most troubling of them was the piece titled 'Deep Rifts Among Israeli Jews Are Found in Religion Survey', printed in the New York Times on March 8, 2016.

Written by Isabel Kershner, the article was a transparent effort to combine straight reporting with tortured apologia. ... Kershner’s straightforward reporting ended, however, when she came to one of the poll’s more disturbing findings: 'nearly half of Israeli Jews said that Arabs should be expelled of transferred from Israel'.

Unable to allow that result to stand on its own, in the same sentence, Kershner added 'although Israeli pollsters found the wording of the question problematic'."

-->Kershner's reporting on Israel is a classic case of distorted information and subtile faults in logic. It is worth while reading exactly how this pro-Israel propaganda is written for the NYT.