Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Common Dreams:
"A group of nearly a dozen Senate Democrats is teaming up with President Donald Trump and the GOP in an aggressive push to gut Wall Street regulations, and thanks to a new campaign launched on Friday by the anti-corruption organization Rootstrikers, this group has a name: 'The Bailout Caucus.'

In total, 11 Democratic senators and Angus King (I-Maine) are joining hands with Republicans to push through GOP-crafted legislation (S.2155) that progressive Democrats and Wall Street critics say will undermine crucial post-financial crisis regulations, roll back consumer protections, and open the door to another crash.

'This bill increases the risk of another taxpayer bailout, and I will continue to challenge supporters of this bill—from both parties—to explain why they stand on the side of big banks instead of working families.' —Sen. Elizabeth Warren"

-->No question which side The NYT stands on. This story wasn't covered.


Common Dreams:
"Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.) town hall on Medicare for All drew more than one million online viewers in addition to the hundreds of attendees who packed an auditorium at the U.S. Capitol to capacity.

Speaking with multiple panels featuring single-payer healthcare advocates and experts—including Dr. Don Berwick, who oversaw Medicare and Medicaid under President Barack Obama—Sanders moderated a nearly two-hour discussion about the failures of the current U.S. healthcare system and how its costs and outcomes compare to those in countries with universal healthcare. ...

In his closing remarks, Sanders noted that a town hall broadcast exclusively online was necessary to provide viewers with the facts on Medicare for All. Although 53 percent of Americans now support government-funded healthcare for all, he said, corporate media outlets hardly cover the issue.

-->The most popular politician in America has to go online for any coverage at all. Of course, our "newspaper of record" didn't cover this story. It didn't cover Bernie when he ran for president. That is what reporting looks like when newspapers are in bed with the insurance, pharmaceutical, and healthcare industries.


Common Dreams:
"Charles Koch and David Koch, the billionaire industrialists and right-wing mega-donors, stand to save between $1 billion and $1.4 billion in income taxes each year from the tax law passed last month by Republican lawmakers and signed by President Donald Trump, according to a new analysis out Wednesday.
The new report by the Americans for Tax Fairness details how those estimated tax savings would come from a combinations of the Koch's personal liabilities and that of the business empire, Koch Industries. And while based on available financial data, the analysis, the group explained, 'does not count how much the brothers might save in taxes on offshore profits or how much their heirs will benefit from weakening the estate tax.'

What they do save in annual taxes, ATF argues, should be recognized for what it is: a return on investments made by funneling huge amounts of money to Republican lawmakers [who] voted in favor of the law and outside political groups who lobbied on its behalf."

-->Readers of the NYT are spared the venal workings of our nation's kleptocracy. It didn't cover this story.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Common Dreams:
"Demands for Action After New Report Reveals LGBTQ Homicides Skyrocketed Under Trump. Critics condemn 'atmosphere of hate,' bolstered by Trump's anti-LGBTQ policies, that led to more than 50 hate-violence homicides in 2017.

'The time for addressing this crisis of violence is now,' delcares a new report that shows the number of hate-inspired homicides with LGBTQ victims skyrocketed in the United States last year amid an onslaught of anti-LBGTQ policies from the Trump administration.

A Crisis of Hate (pdf), produced by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) in New York City, found that at least 52 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals were killed, in part, because of their gender or sexual identity in 2017, an 86 percent increase in single incident reports from the year prior, and the highest number ever documented by the group."

-->The NYT didn't cover this story, and since this newspaper is a gateway for news to the US media, very few other media outlets carried the story either.


Common Dreams:
"At UN Hearing, South African Delegate Decries Israel as World's Last Functioning 'Apartheid State.'

'We remain deeply concerned at the denial of the right of self-determination to the Palestinian people,' said delegate at a hearing in Geneva, 'in the absence of which no other human right can be exercised or enjoyed.' ...

'Israel is the only state in the world that can be called an apartheid state,' the South African delegate said to UN members during the Human Rights Council hearing at the Palais du Nations in Geneva."

-->Apartheid's US media outlet, The NYT, didn't report this story. Almost the entire mainstream media is complicit in hiding the longterm occupation and suffering of Palestinian people.  


Palestine Square:
"It may be difficult to digest America’s resort to pseudo-biblical literalism to engage with one of the world’s thorniest issues, laughable even. But, in Pence’s case, it is hardly a surprise. Last summer, he spoke at the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Summit. CUFI, a pro-Israel grassroots organization, was founded in 2006 and is led by evangelist John Hagee, a friend of Pence who is infamous for his xenophobic and end of times preaching. According to its website, the organization works to transform millions of Christians into an effective force for Israel.

At both the Knesset and CUFI, Pence’s remarks were strikingly similar. ... Laced with such biblical references and long propagated myths about Israel’s history and present, the speech was far from a political statement or standard 'talking points.' Rather, it was a deeply personal and religious homily. Pence positioned himself as the intermediary of prophecy, bearing witness to God’s grand faithfulness in fulfilling his promises, including the promise of the land of Israel to the Jewish people."

-->The NYT covered Pence's visit to Israel but left out his religious fanaticism. Muslim fanaticism always gets a lot of news coverage. But not Christian or Jewish fanaticism for Israel's racist policies. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

"An analysis by Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) has found that the purportedly liberal cable network MSNBC did not run a single segment devoted specifically to the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen in the second half of 2017, even though – or perhaps because – the U.S. government has played a key role in creating the catastrophe. During this period MSNBC ran nearly 5,000 percent more segments that mentioned Russia than segments that mentioned Yemen.

In all of 2017, MSNBC only aired one broadcast on the U.S.-assisted Saudi airstrikes that have killed thousands of Yemeni civilians. And it never mentioned Yemen’s cholera epidemic, which infected more than 1 million Yemenis in the largest outbreak in recorded history, a direct result of the U.S.-assisted Saudi/UAE war and blockade."

-->MSNBC is pretty much in the pocket of the US military empire. See, hear, and speak no evil when it comes to American war crimes.

Urge Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, and MSNBC to correct their failure to report on the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen and the direct U.S. military role in causing the catastrophe by signing the petition: 


Common Dreams:
"GOP Tax Scam Loophole Would Let Corporations Reap Billions More in Tax Avoidance. Harvard analysis shows that Apple alone could save more than $4 billion a year unless Treasury and IRS fix rules.

While U.S. businesses have lauded the new tax law forced through by congressional Republicans and signed by President Donald Trump last month—which slashes the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent—tax experts are warning that thanks to a loophole in the law, some companies may have more cause for celebration. 

[Harvard law professor Stephen Shay] says this opportunity for tax avoidance is the consequence of how quickly the bill went through Congress and to the president's desk telling Bloomberg, 'This bill was passed on a speed train schedule with no time to think.' "

-->Maybe the NYT didn't have time to think either. It didn't print this story, proving once again how in bed the NYT is with Wall Street interests.


"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration is nearing completion of a new 'Buy American' plan that calls for U.S. military attaches and diplomats to help drum up billions of dollars more in business overseas for the U.S. weapons industry, going beyond the limited assistance they currently provide, officials said.

President Donald Trump is expected to announce a 'whole of government' approach that will also ease export rules on U.S. military exports and give greater weight to the economic benefits for American manufacturers in a decision-making process that has long focused heavily on human rights considerations, according to people familiar with the plan.

The initiative, which will encompass everything from fighter jets and drones to warships and artillery, is expected to be launched as early as February, senior officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity. A key policy change would call for embassy staffers around the world to act essentially as a sales force for defense contractors, actively advocating on their behalf."

-->Reuters had to include a little propaganda in reporting this story. According to Reuters, the US has "long focused heavily on human rights considerations." Is bombing Yemen back to the Stone Age part of that human rights emphasis? Or the genocidal attacks on Gaza? At least Reuters covered the story, as opposed to the NYT. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

"Quaker group honored by Yad Vashem for helping Jews during Holocaust is now banned from Israel. One of the special ironies of the weekend’s news that Israel is barring 20 international organizations from entry because they support BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) is the appearance on that list of the venerable American Friends Service Committee, or AFSC, which was founded 101 years ago as an antiwar organization.

AFSC earned distinction and a Nobel Prize for helping Jews and other refugees escape the Holocaust. Now it is on that list because it is helping Palestinians!

P.S. This story feeds my spiritual understanding that Palestinians are being forced by Israel to recapitulate the history of the Jews. What we experienced in Europe, Palestinians must experience in Israel and Palestine. This time around we play the guys with the jack boots!"

-->The NYT failed to report this special irony. In fact, our newspaper of record didn't even mention the fact that Israel has banned 20 human rights organizations from visiting Palestine.


Common Dreams:
"American kids are 70 percent more likely to die during childhood compared with children in other wealthy, democratic nations, according to a peer-reviewed study published Monday by Health Affairs. ...

'The U.S. is the most dangerous of wealthy, democratic countries in the world for children,' he added. 'Across all ages and in both sexes, children have been dying more often in the U.S. than in similar countries since the 1980s.' ...

The risk of death is even higher for American infants and teenagers compared with their counterparts abroad. Babies in the U.S. are 76 percent more likely to die during their first year of life—often because of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or complications related to being born prematurely—while 15- to 19-year-olds are 82 times more likely to die from gun violence, which [Dr. Ashish Thakrar, the study's lead author] called 'the most disturbing new finding.' "

-->Making the US look bad is not something the NYT likes to do, especially since the newspaper is often in bed with the weapons makers and the private healthcare industry. It didn't print this story.


Common Dreams:
"A federal appeals court on Thursday struck down key provisions of Idaho's ag-gag law—which criminalizes those who secretly document abuse of animals at agricultural facilities—saying they violate the First Amendment.

The ruling, the result of a lawsuit led by Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), was hailed as a victory for animal rights, workers, and free speech.

Regarding the section of the law criminalizing 'misrepresentation' to gain access to a facility, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found 'the over-breadth ... staggering,' adding 'that the purpose of the statute was, in large part, targeted at speech and investigative journalists.'

Further, the court said 'Idaho is singling out for suppression one mode of speech—audio and video recordings of agricultural operations—to keep controversy and suspect practices out of the public eye.' "

-->This significant win for animals and for freedom of speech was ignored by the NYT, which almost always comes down on the side of Big-Ag.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Common Dreams:
" 'There Will Be Bloodshed': Warnings as Israel Tightens Grip of Occupation. 'What was winked and nodded about before is now being acknowledged publicly: We have no intent of sharing this land with anybody else except as a barely tolerated minority.'

The right-wing Israeli legislature approved a law on Tuesday that increases the number of votes required to cede control of any portion of Jerusalem to 'a foreign party,' in a move that journalist Glenn Greenwald characterized as the government 'candidly and explicitly admitting its real policy of apartheid' and shattering any remaining pretense 'that Israel is working in a peace process toward a two-state solution.' "

-- >Israel has never wanted a two state solution, and even the NYT is giving up on this 100 year old myth. When will our Congress get the hint? Maybe when they stop accepting millions from the Israel Lobby.


"Leaked memo schooled Tillerson on human rights. A tutorial from policy aide Brian Hook followed the secretary of state's controversial remarks about balancing U.S. values and interests. ...

The May 17 memo reads like a crash course for a businessman-turned-diplomat, and its conclusion offers a starkly realist vision: that the U.S. should use human rights as a club against its adversaries, like Iran, China and North Korea, while giving a pass to repressive allies like the Philippines, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. ...

Hook’s memo 'tells Tillerson that we should do exactly what Russian and Chinese propaganda says we do—use human rights as a weapon to beat up our adversaries while letting ourselves and our allies off the hook,' said Tom Malinowski, who served as an assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor in the administration of former President Barack Obama."

-- >No mention of this in the NYT, which treats human rights in much the same way. Cry crocodile tears about protesters in Iran or Venezuela, and completely omit the last 100 years of Palestinian suffering.


The Intercept:
"Facebook Says It Is Deleting Accounts at the Direction of the U.S. and Israeli Governments. In September of last year, we noted that Facebook representatives were meeting with the Israeli government to determine which Facebook accounts of Palestinians should be deleted on the ground that they constituted 'incitement.'

The meetings — called for and presided over by one of the most extremist and authoritarian Israeli officials, pro-settlement Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked — came after Israel threatened Facebook that its failure to voluntarily comply with Israeli deletion orders would result in the enactment of laws requiring Facebook to do so, upon pain of being severely fined or even blocked in the country.

The predictable results of those meetings are now clear and well-documented. Ever since, Facebook has been on a censorship rampage against Palestinian activists who protest the decades-long, illegal Israeli occupation, all directed and determined by Israeli officials. Indeed, Israeli officials have been publicly boasting about how obedient Facebook is when it comes to Israeli censorship orders."

-- >The NYT, and therefore much of the US media, did not cover this story. Our newspaper of record is just as obedient to Israel's right wing as Facebook.