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February 2019

Flat Broke, Black Voters Want More Than Just Another Black President

Sen. Cory Booker’s announcement on February 1 that he is entering the 2020 presidential race brings the number of African-American Democrats seeking their party’s nomination to two, making the crowded primary field the “most diverse in history,” according to The New York Times. But while The New York Times, cable news and other liberal pundits exult in the White House bids of Booker and California’s junior U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, African Americans, ironically enough, have not uniformly mustered nearly as much enthusiasm for either candidate. “Cory Booker is running for president, y’all,” the popular African-American YouTube blogger Tim Black declared in a video hours after Booker’s announcement.

Net Neutrality Advocates Force Republican To Cancel Fundraiser With Telecoms

Senate Commerce Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) who was scheduled to hold hearings on a an Internet privacy bill abruptly canceled a fundraiser the night before the hearings with the telecom industry when word got out the fundraiser would be protested. Politico reports: "Senate Commerce Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) today said a controversial fundraiser the telecommunications industry planned to hold for him has been canceled.

The Rigors Of Organizing: On The Road With The German Climate Resistance

Recently, press in the United States told the story of the great transition that the German Coal Commission announced. Benevolent governments like Germany are deciding to make a just transition away from coal and have even set an end date, 2038, for a long-term orderly transition to occur. The mainstream media is hailing this transition as a model for the rest of the world. There are two problems with this narrative. First, the current German plan renders it impossible for Germany to meet its goals under the Paris accords. Despite what the German governmental spin is, Germany’s proposed coal exit is well behind the 2030 exit of other European countries and includes a transition to fracked gas.

Draft Registration Will Be Either Ended Or Imposed On Women

A choice must now be made. It is officially unconstitutional to discriminate against 18-year-old women by not forcing them to sign up to be forced against their will to kill and die for Venezuela’s oil or some other noble cause. Yes, the fine U.S. judiciary has declared for-men-only Selective Service registration to be verboten. That’s not to say there isn’t debate on the matter. One side holds that women should be treasured as the delicate witless pieces of property they are because the Bible says so, and therefore they must be kept out of war entirely.

Former Aetna Medical Director Admits To Never Reviewing Medical Records Before Denying Care

In an eye-opening exclusive reported by CNN, it was revealed that former Aetna Medical Director, Dr. Jay Ken Iinuma, admitted under oath that “he never looked at patients’ records when deciding whether to approve or deny care.” This admission was made during a deposition in a lawsuit brought against Aetna by Gillen Washington, a 23 year old with common variable immune deficiency (CVID) who was denied coverage for an infusion of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) four years ago.

Zapatistas Take On President AMLO At 25th Anniversary

On January 1, 2019, the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico celebrated the 25th anniversary of the start of their uprising in 1994. Normally, these yearly celebrations are festive activities marked by speeches and dances commemorating the historic moment the Zapatistas said “Enough!” (¡Ya basta!) to five centuries of colonial rule that left Indigenous communities devastated; to the Partido Revolucionario Institucional’s decades of “perfect dictatorship”; and to the neoliberal policies that brought about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

CARICOM Reiterates Support For Peaceful Resolution In Venezuela

As political and economic events unfold in various countries in the region, including Haiti, Venezuela, and Guyana, the 15-member group aims to de-escalate tensions. Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders concluded a two-day summit Tuesday in Basseterre, on the dual-island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis, where the member countries once again reiterated their support for a peaceful resolution in regards to Venezuela while rejecting interference.

Open Letter To Rep. Ocasio-Cortez On Venezuela

I am one of your many fans. Your breakthrough in the 14th District of New York was historic; and your popularity is adding fuel to the fires of a crucial social democratic political challenge to neoliberal Democrats. I follow you on Twitter. I repost all your stuff to my Facebook friends. I tout you and others (Rep. Tlaib is from my state) as our last, best hope. I am also a retired member of the armed forces with substantial Latin American experience (as one of many agents of imperialism). That is why I am expressing my disappointment with one of your remarks about Donald Trump’s so-called “state of the union” speech, in which you characterized the Venezuelan government of Nicholas Maduro as anti-democratic and “authoritarian.”

Pence Threatens War In Venezuela At Colombia Summit: “There Is No Turning Back”

US Vice President Mike Pence delivered a bellicose speech before representatives of 14 Latin American countries at a meeting of the Lima Group in Bogotá, Colombia, yesterday. The remarks were timed to coincide with the US-orchestrated provocations at the Venezuelan border over the weekend, resulting in clashes that left several people dead. Pence rehashed phrases plagiarized from speeches given by George W. Bush in the run-up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, combining them with denunciations of socialism. “There is no turning back,” Pence said. “All options are on the table.”

The Green New Deal Can Work – Here’s How

Global warming has rightly been called history’s “greatest market failure.” Correcting it cannot be left to the market. The GND will need bold economic planning, industrial policies, and public investment to guide and facilitate the process. It will need full-employment macroeconomic policies that prevent unemployment, assure prosperity, and encourage full use of economic resources during the transition. And it will need public mobilization and redirection of human and material resources that are required for the transition. Therefore the GND requires government institutions specifically designed to implement the transition to climate protection.

Student Debt Is At All-Time-High Of Over $1 Trillion

More than a decade has passed since young Americans faced debt levels this high. Debt among 19 to 29-year-old Americans exceeded $1 trillion at the end of 2018, according to the New York Federal Reserve Consumer Credit Panel. That’s the highest debt exposure for the youngest adult group since late 2007. Debt levels play a role in how young adults view their spending conditions, according to a University of Michigan survey Friday. Younger adults -- those under age 35 -- have reduced their spending compared with previous generations possibly because of weakened job prospects, delayed marriage and educational debt.

Venezuela: EU Spurns Violent Intervention For Peaceful Solution

"It is very clear: we must avoid military intervention," said Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. The European Union is urging the world to abandon a “militarized intervention” into Venezuela, calling for dialogue to develop a “peaceful, political, and democratic” solution to the nation’s domestic political differences. "What is explicitly quite clear, from our perspective, is that we need a peaceful political and democratic and Venezuelan-owned resolution which obviously excludes the use of force,” said Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

Notes From The Streets Of Venezuela—The People Are Resilient In The Face Of Foreign Intervention

It is a sunny day, four days before the 30th anniversary of a major uprising across Venezuela that is known as the Caracazo. On that day, on February 27, 1989, thousands of poor Venezuelans stormed the city. Their frustrations had boiled over. Years of poverty and indignity had eaten into them. Then, without warning, the government raised the price of bus tickets. It was more than they could handle. Caracas burned, and then so did Venezuela’s other cities and towns. The police and army were sent onto the streets. They shot at the protesters. It was a bloodbath.

Why Is There No Strike Pay For Oakland Teachers?

The teachers on strike in Oakland, California, are fighting for increased funding to public education, to secure a living wage, and to put an end to the privatization of schools. The Oakland Education Association (OEA), however, is bargaining for a pittance, a wage increase that barely keeps pace with inflation, and a negligible reduction in class sizes. The OEA has excluded from its demand any challenge to the school board’s proposal to slash $60 million from the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) budget.

Amnesty International’s Biased And Inaccurate Reporting On Nicaragua Refuted

In 2018 Amnesty International produced two reports on Nicaragua, accusing the Nicaraguan government of ‘a strategy of indiscriminate repression’. The context was violent protests which broke out in April last year and ended last July. The Nicaraguan government was accused by AI of using ‘arbitrary detention’ and ‘excessive, disproportionate and unnecessary force’ in dealing with the opposition’s violence. Our new report, Dismissing the Truth, not only refutes the claims made by Amnesty International but shows that the evidence they produce is biased, incomplete and in several cases simply wrong.
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