The Pentagon just failed its audit — again. For the sixth time in a row, the agency that accounts for half the money Congress approves each year can’t figure out what it did with all that money. For a brief recap, the Pentagon has never passed an audit. Until 2018, it had never even completed one. Since then, the Pentagon has done an audit every year and given itself a participation prize each time. Yet despite this year’s triumphant press release — titled “DOD Makes Incremental Progress Towards Clean Audit” — it has failed every time. In its most recent audit, the Pentagon was able to account for just half of its $3.8 trillion in assets (including equipment, facilities, etc).
On Thanksgiving, families across America are gathering around tables to enjoy the season’s bounty. Yet, behind the scenes, a complex web of challenges threatens the agricultural foundation of this tradition. The recent one-year extension of the 2018 Farm Bill by Congress has brought temporary relief, but the call for a new, comprehensive five-year farm bill echoes loudly. Wisconsin Farmers Union is raising its voice, emphasizing the urgent need to address issues plaguing family farmers and the agricultural sector as a whole. Gratitude for the bipartisan support in extending the 2018 Farm Bill is tempered by a pressing reality: the long-term stability of family farmers still hinges on a new, five-year farm bill.
Israel's devastating campaign of collective punishment against the people of Gaza has aroused international condemnation and popular mobilization in support of a ceasefire and an end to Israeli Apartheid. This movement has also spread to the US, where hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Washington D.C. on Nov. 4 for the largest pro-Palestine march in US history. Support for a ceasefire in Gaza is widespread among the US public—with more than half of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike in favor of such a measure, according to Data for Progress. Yet the federal government continues to largely ignore calls for a ceasefire and an end to US aid to Israel
Citing the Geneva Convention protocol prohibiting the bombing of areas densely populated with civilians, the first protester taken from the hearing on President Biden’s national security supplemental request called for the United States to “stop supporting the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the people of Gaza.” “Cease-fire now! Save the children of Gaza! Save the children of Gaza! Cease-fire now! Where is your pride, American?” he yelled before being forced from the room. Committee Chair Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) then addressed the room, calling for order. Shortly thereafter, another protester stood with a sign, also calling for a cease-fire.
Hundreds of Jewish Americans and allies were arrested at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday during a protest demanding members of Congress push Israel for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, where nearly 3,500 Palestinians have been killed over 12 days of relentless Israeli bombardment. Thousands of protesters led by members of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), IfNotNow, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ), and other groups rallied on the Capitol grounds and inside the building, where hundreds of people took part in a sit-in. Their chanted slogans—including "not in our name" and "cease-fire now"—resounded thunderously under the Capitol Rotunda, while at other times they clapped their hands and sang with solemn determination in Hebrew.
The bicameral Indigenous Peoples’ Day Act to replace Columbus Day as a federal holiday and designate the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day has been reintroduced in Congress. The legislation was reintroduced by Representatives Sharice Davids (KS-03), Norma J. Torres (CA-35), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), and Suzan DelBene (WA-01), along with Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM). The Indigenous Peoples’ Day Act has garnered 56 cosponsors in the House of Representatives. “Our country has long failed to recognize and acknowledge its dark history of erasure and harm brought upon the first inhabitants of the Americas,” Norma Torres (CA-35) said.
After a single day’s introductory hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives, it is already evident that the Oversight Committee’s inquiry into President Joe Biden’s potentially criminal involvement in his family’s foreign business dealings will be much more than a formal, constitutionally-mandated legal proceeding. Viewed in the broadest terms, this is likely to prove a test of the troubled republic’s relationship with reality. If the hearings to come conclude with a finding that the forty-sixth president is guilty of impeachable crimes, as now appears likely, they will confront Americans with an insidious, many-sided effort to subvert their public institutions and the national discourse altogether in the name of a liberal authoritarian ideology.
For the fourth time in ten years, the government is about to shut down ( prior to the 2013 shutdown, the last shutdown was in 1996). This shutdown, if it isn’t averted through last-minute maneuvering, would mean that roughly four million government employees — including police officers and the military — would have their paychecks delayed, be furloughed, or otherwise impacted. The chaotic process of trying to keep the government open reveals, again, the deeply undemocratic nature of the U.S. regime. That a small sector of the far-right, elected by a tiny segment of the U.S. population, can hold necessary social programs hostage and demand new cuts in order to prevent an incredibly disruptive government shutdown is a sign that the U.S. government doesn’t represent the masses.
One year after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which Big Green groups hailed as a 'climate justice bill,' the truth is surfacing that this legislation is lining the pockets of the fossil fuel industry to the detriment of frontline, especially Black and Indigenous, communities. Clearing the FOG speaks to Anthony Rogers-Wright, a national racial and climate justice advocate, about the ways Joe Biden and the Democrats are failing to address the climate crisis and Big Green groups are turning away from climate justice to embrace Green Capitalism. Rogers-Wright also describes better alternatives to the Big Greens and where people can focus their efforts effectively to struggle for a just and livable future.
As we all know, the U.S. already has imposed sanctions on Nicaragua, but they haven’t yet brought about the kind of hunger and poverty and suffering that some U.S. policymakers think is necessary to overthrow the popular Nicaraguan government. So there is a new sanctions bill co-sponsored by Marco Rubio and Tim Kaine that will try to further depress the Nicaraguan economy, increase unemployment, decrease revenue for the government’s popular programs so the government will be less popular. The stated goal is the overthrow of the Nicaraguan government and a “free and fair election” to replace Daniel Ortega.
Parents of more than 100 trans and gender-expansive children are urging lawmakers to turn their back on the “dangerous and misguided” Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) currently winding its way through Congress. In a fiery open letter shared with Gizmodo, the parents said KOSA, which is intended to shield kids from the harms of social media, would actually make their kids less safe and cut them off from potentially lifesaving resources and communities. “Big Tech is hurting our kids,” they added. “KOSA would hurt them even more.” Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and President Biden himself have rallied around KOSA in recent months as a potential saving grace in response to a steady stream of reports showing various ways Big Tech platforms can harm young users and contribute to a worrying rise in depression and anxiety.
Six members of the Australian parliament will land in Washington D.C. on Sept. 20 armed with a bi-partisan agenda and the backing of an entire nation as they try to convince Congressmen and State and Justice Department officials that the American pursuit of Australian publisher Julian Assange is wrong and must be stopped. The cross-party delegation will spend two days in the U.S. capital arguing Assange’s case ahead of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s state visit to the White House at the end of October, where it is expected that Assange will be brought up (as well as Australia being used to test U.S. hypersonic missiles).
The Blue Dog Coalition, a group of corporate House Democrats led by Rep. Jared Golden, received the maximum donation from student lending giant Sallie Mae after the Second District congressman voted earlier this year against Pres. Joe Biden’s plan to cancel $430 billion in federal student debt. The disclosure comes as student loan payments are set to resume after a three-year pause during the COVID-19 pandemic. Golden was one of two Democrats to vote in May with House Republicans for a resolution blocking the Biden administration’s plan for a one-time cancellation of up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for borrowers who qualified.
Profiteers are taking over health care in the United States and running it into the ground - firing health professionals and closing hospitals. Dr. Ana Malinow, a lead organizer of the group, National Single Payer, fears we are witnessing the demise of a model national insurance, Medicare, as the 58th anniversary of its passage was celebrated on July 31. Dr. Malinow joins Clearing the FOG to discuss the state of health care in the US. She provides a strong critique of state legislative efforts and the two Medicare for All bills in the House and Senate, HR 3421 and S 1655. Dr. Malinow outlines what people are doing across the country to build grassroots power to win a national health insurance, Medicare for All, or a national health system.
The resolution follows on the heels of comments made by Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) to a pro-Palestine protest in Chicago earlier this month in which she correctly identified Israel as a racist state and pointed out that the Palestinian people have a right to self-determination. In a bipartisan effort to exonerate Israel of its crimes and to shame those who speak out, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution defending Israel, which was supported by more than 400 Congressional Representatives, including 195 Democrats. Denial of reality, however, does not change that reality. Israel is not only a racist state; it is a violent apartheid state and a puppet for U.S. imperialism.