Rania Khalek of BreakThrough News talks about the latest developments (or lack of) in talks to restore the Iran nuclear deal. Despite Iran and other signatories to the deal being very keen to restore it, the US hesitation and varying positions have proved a stumbling block. She also talks about why the status of the IRGC continues to be a sticking point.
Last week, the Biden administration quietly reaffirmed its decision to enact the highest Medicare premium hikes in history right before this year’s midterm elections. At the same time, President Joe Biden is endorsing a plan to funnel significantly more Medicare money to insurance companies and further privatize the government insurance program for older Americans and those with disabilities. In effect, the higher premium increases will subsidize the larger payments to — and profits for — private insurance corporations. This comes after Biden raked in roughly $47 million from health care industry executives during his 2020 campaign. The Biden administration announced on May 27 that due to “legal and operational hurdles,” Medicare recipients won’t see their premiums lowered this year, even though that rate was originally hiked last November in large part due to the projected costs of paying for a controversial Alzheimer’s drug that Medicare now says it generally will not cover. The Biden administration announced on May 27 that due to “legal and operational hurdles,” Medicare recipients won’t see their premiums lowered this year, even though that rate was originally hiked last November in large part due to the projected costs of paying for a controversial Alzheimer’s drug that Medicare now says it generally will not cover.
The Biden Administration says it will veto a global plan to allow countries to ignore patents and make their own Covid-19 vaccines unless the Chinese are specifically excluded, Bloomberg reported. The sudden move has jolted top health workers who were hoping that the long-promised patent waiver would enable them to make vaccines available to everyone, including in poor countries in Africa and Asia. But the US says it will scupper the whole deal unless China is explicitly excluded from the waiver. In response, China said that it did not wish to be excluded from the pact, but would voluntarily agree not to take advantage of it. Deputy US Trade Representative Maria Pagan told Bloomberg that China’s offer was not good enough. It must be excluded in print.
President Joe Biden of the United States has announced through the Department of Defense the redeployment of Pentagon troops to the Horn of Africa state of Somalia. This is not the first time that U.S. troops have been sent into Somalia due to the strategic geopolitical significance of the country as an oil producer and oceanic gateway to critical trade routes within the world economic system. The redeployment in Somalia coincides with the escalation of a Washington-engineered war in Eastern Europe over the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and efforts designed to weaken the Russian Federation. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III and Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a surprise visit to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, on April 25, emphasized the objectives of Washington and Wall Street in the funding of a conventional war in the region.
Amazon Labor Union (ALU) organizer and former Amazon worker Chris Smalls testified in a Senate Banking Committee hearing called by Bernie Sanders on May 5th to investigate whether Amazon and other monopoly corporations that violate labor law should receive federal contracts. That Amazon would receive federal assistance despite accumulating record profits amid a global pandemic is bad enough. Worse yet is that it took months before so-called progressive Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged the efforts of workers organizing a union within the corporate behemoth. The hearing proceedings went viral after Smalls replied to Republican Senator Lindsay Graham’s screed against the “demonization of companies” by reminding him that “the people are the ones who make these companies operate, and when we're not protected, the process for when we hold these companies accountable is not working for us, then that's the reason why we're here today.”
First, it was the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) vehicles speeding along on the road in front of our campsite. Then it was the Border Patrol’s all-terrain vehicles moving swiftly on a ridge above us. I was about 10 miles north of the border with Mexico, near Peña Blanca Lake in southern Arizona, camping with my six-year-old son and some other families. Like fire trucks racing to a blaze, the Border Patrol mobilization around me was growing so large I could only imagine an emergency situation developing. I started climbing to get a better look and soon found myself alone on a golden hill dotted with alligator junipers and mesquite. Brilliant vermilion flycatchers fluttered between the branches. The road, though, was Border Patrol all the way.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s repeated calls for dialogue with the U.S. in order to normalize relations seem to be paying off. His openness to rapprochement contrasts with the Biden administration’s nebulousness regarding the degree to which Washington is willing to recognize Maduro as president (full diplomatic recognition is out of the question). Biden’s use of sanctions as a bargaining chip to wrest concessions from Caracas is a harder sell than former President Donald Trump’s regime-change narrative on the basis of the preposterous Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle, sometimes referred to as “humanitarian intervention.” Over the last two months, the flip flops and timidity of the Biden administration have been put on full display.
President Joe Biden’s new appointee as arms czar for Ukraine, Terry Wolff, has a lot of blood on his hands. The three-star general’s new job is to coordinate arms shipments to Ukraine that are designed to bog down the Russians, including a new $800 million weapons package that President Biden authorized last Thursday. A native of Elk Grove, California, who graduated from West Point in 1979, Wolff previously trained Iraqi forces for a deadly siege of Mosul in 2016, and helped plan operations in the illegal war on Afghanistan as a National Security Council senior director for the country. Between November 2015 and February 2019, Wolff directed the global coalition fighting ISIS in Syria, which served the ulterior goal of overthrowing the nationalist regime of Bashar al-Assad.
In it I reveal that the Biden Administration and others have broken from the past and literally admitted they are "manipulating" or inventing various aspects of the war in Ukraine. I'm not kidding. They admitted it. I am one of the most censored comedians in America.
The DPA is the wrong instrument for increasing domestic supplies of minerals for clean energy development. In the U.S., a new mine will take an average of 10 years to receive its permits because of the extensive investigations needed to prove safety. Even if minerals are extracted, they need to be shipped abroad for processing since there are no facilities in the U.S. to process these minerals. New mines and processing facilities simply cannot come online fast enough to address an urgent need for minerals. And, the Biden Administration has already supported the mining industry through the recent infrastructure law. The 2020 Energy Act also directed the Department of Energy to invest $740 million in research and development for the industry.
Failing to take action on the climate crisis and surrendering to a worsening spiral of wildfires, heatwaves, flooding, and extreme storms, could leave the federal government with an annual bill of $2 trillion by the end of the century, according to new federal analysis. President Joe Biden released his federal budget for fiscal year 2023 last week which included $44.9bn to tackle the climate crisis, close to a 60 per cent increase from 2021. The budget also included a formal accounting on the financial risks of climate change to the US government for the first time. The analysis, conducted by the chief economist in the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the associate director for climate, energy, environment, and science, found that US gross domestic product (GDP) could be slashed 3 to 10 per cent by the end of this century.
“I’m scared all the time, even in my sleep.” I will never forget the teary-eyed 8-year-old who told me that — one of the bravest young people I’ve ever met. I met him just five months after the Trump administration took office and began an onslaught of harsh immigration actions, including prioritizing the deportation of all undocumented immigrants. That included this 8-year-old citizen’s parents, and he was terrified of losing them. Despite the change in administration, our country still has too many children living with the same fear. With Congress failing again to create a pathway to citizenship, Over 5 Million U.S. children continue to face instability due to their parents’ precarious immigration status.
On Monday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced to the world a meeting held over the weekend with a small negotiating team sent by the White House According to official sources from both countries, the main topics of the mini-summit were energy and prisoners. It is the first high-level exchange in 20 years, which generates a lot of curiosity about the intentions behind such an abrupt turn in Washington’s policy towards Venezuela. An objective reading of these events and approaching real objectives of both sides have to be reviewed in the eyes of the current international context marked by the crisis between Ukraine and Russia. Since the White House, backed by European Union and NATO, encouraged the outbreak of this conflict, it is hard to believe that they did not correctly calculate the possible long and short term consequences of their maneuvering.
As the Biden administration falls woefully behind on its pledges to donate Covid vaccines to the world, on Wednesday, the U.S. House slashed $5 billion for the global pandemic response from an omnibus spending bill. The cut to Covid funds underscores the capriciousness of the U.S. government’s promises, and lends credence to public health activists who argue that countries in the Global South cannot rely on the pledges of wealthy nations, and should be given the information they need to manufacture vaccines themselves.
In a room filled with maskless war criminals and Ukrainian flags, President Joe Biden said, in perhaps the most obvious sentence ever spoken in that chamber, that he was a capitalist. That’s not shocking to anyone, but it is a wonder that he had to say it, given that every other element of his speech was so focused on protecting American capitalism and imperialism. From defending NATO, to arguing for a more productive U.S. economy, to shouting out the CEO of Intel (who was, inexplicably, in the room for the speech), Biden doubled down on his campaign promise that “nothing would fundamentally change.” Biden took the stage in the midst of a complex time in his presidency: domestically, his agenda has ground to a total halt as members of his own party bicker amongst themselves.