Joe Biden Can Be “Brought to Heel”

Biden Meets Pinocchio

The U.S. is running out of time to find its way out of the wilderness of perpetual war and domestic discord into a new paradigm of peace and harmony. As the social order crumbles, a pandemic rages and income inequality takes a huge bite out of the American dream, it’s time for people to step up and make their voices heard. Let’s stop being the bathmat savvy politicians wipe their feet on. They preach that our vote is critical to their success. Then let’s start demanding a quid pro quo —Joe’s endorsement of policies to staunch the bleeding of money and jobs and livelihoods in exchange for our vote. Even a Washington insider agrees: If you want to pull the major party that is closest to the way you’re thinking to what you’re thinking, you MUST show them that you’re capable of not voting for them. If you don’t show them you’re not capable of voting for them, they don’t have to listen to you [and they won’t].” Check out “Joe Biden Can Be Brought to Heel” then join a strike or street demonstration.

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Public Utility or Private Boondoggle? You Decide

Shocked Customers

Connecticut residents being fleeced by Eversource, a for-profit investor-owned electric company, may soon morph into a national problem. This is a company whose business plan calls for maximum effort to enrich investors while letting customers sit in the dark. That plan became embarrassingly public on August 11, when lack of preparation and general bungling forced 800,000 customers to spend days and in thousands of cases over a week without power while a historic heat spell raged. A power company that changed its name several years ago in what appears to be a pathetic attempt to rebrand itself in the face of extremely negative customer polls. Its name may have changed, its corporate thuggery has not. Eversource customers are burdened with the second highest electric rates in the country. In the aftermath of its epic failure at restoring power after tropical storm Isaias, their $20 million CEO was hunkered down in a secure location and refused to appear in public, a move that probably made “the buck stops here” Truman roll over in his grave. Why should you care? Because forewarned is forearmed. Already 72% of electric power customers are at the mercy of investor-owned companies. If they haven’t gotten around to sticking it to you, they will soon. Check out “Public Utilities or Private Boondoggles? You Decide” and find out how you can beat them at their own game.

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Ferment in the Streets: Killer Cops the Symptom of a Nation off the Rails

“…the purpose of direct action is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open up the door to negotiation.”

Murder by Cop

Over a half century ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. rallied his supporters in the civil rights movement by cautioning them that true freedom was impossible without first addressing the economic disparities between the haves and have-nots in unequal America. He proposed an “economic bill of rights for all Americans” — which included a good job with a living wage, a secure income and the opportunity for all people to “play a truly significant role” in the government. Sound familiar? Today young people of all races and classes are out in the streets mobilizing to right the same wrongs — “America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds. But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) The death of one black man followed by another and preceded by the wanton murder of a young black woman has set the stage. What comes next? Check out “Killer Cops in a Nation Off the Rails.

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Flag Day, June 14: When the Empire Honors Its Flag, Ignores Its Veterans

The Flag and Vets

What a perfect way to honor the promoters of war sitting in the halls of Congress and the White House than by invoking a little-known holiday, Flag Day. Woodrow Wilson, the president who dragooned the U.S. into an unnecessary war after winning reelection on his promise to keep the nation out of it, officially proclaimed Flag Day in 1916, less than a year before he got his war from a Democrat-controlled Congress. Defying the traditional meme that Republicans are the war party, two-thirds of the votes against the war were Republican. 116,516 young Americans paid the ultimate price. Although Flag Day is touted as a celebration of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes, a more accurate description would be the way it was celebrated in New York City during World War II — “New York at War.” Like most other national symbols, the flag is inextricably linked to America’s war obsession. Before you thank another veteran for serving in U.S. wars, check out “Flag Day, June14: When the Empire Honors Its Flag, Ignores Its Veterans.

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Hypocrisy Is the Real Winner When the Billionaire Class ‘Honors’ High School Seniors

Enough is Enough

Under the guise of “honoring” graduating seniors whose own graduation ceremonies were cancelled due to the pandemic, a gaggle of millionaires and billionaires produced a lavish affair designed to show that rich people really care. Opening their wallets would have been a far better signal. As anyone with a working brain would have noticed, U.S. graduating seniors need much more than two hours of well-wishes and music. The world they’re destined to inhabit comes complete with a faltering economy (unless you’re a billionaire and run a large corporation), plutocratic leaders busy looting the treasury for their BFFs, banks and other financial behemoths taking their pound of flesh from the debt servitude of students and a thriving fossil fuel industry fat with government subsidies. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ever-growing problems young people will face as they try to beat the odds. The clock is already ticking on what lies ahead. The major problem — pricey post-high school education and training that will force close to three-quarters of them into debt servitude, many for life. How hard is it for the immensely wealthy like Lauren Powell Jobs (widow of Steve, worth $27 billion), ex-President Obama (worth $40 million) and LeBron James (worth $500 million) to figure out that high school seniors need a lot more than windy soliloquies, pious sermonizing and a torrent of well-wishes. Even the money raised is destined for causes that will not benefit students or help solve their financial problem. Want to know how low the 1% can go? Read “Hypocrisy is the Real Winner When the Billionaire Class ‘Honors’ High School Seniors.

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Congress has Single Payer Health Insurance —Why Don’t You?

Office of Attending Physicians

What turns Congress members on? First and foremost, keeping their jobs. In service to this goal, at election time, they declare their fealty to the interests of the people they are supposed to serve. Once in office, their gaze turns inward. Exhibit A —members-only health care located in an unpublicized Office of the Attending Physician (OAP). Denounced as “socialized medicine” when the American people demand it, Medicare-for-all is alive and well for members of Congress. The Office of the Attending Physician (OAP) provides virtually free primary care services to each member of Congress. If you want to know who’s paying for it, look in the mirror. The taxes we pay that Congress and a succession of presidents keep telling us won’t be enough to fund universal Medicare-for-All are enough to subsidize first class healthcare — restricted to members. What’s wrong with this picture? SA has some possible answers in “Congress Has Single Payer Healthcare — Why Don’t You?

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Drug Company Rip Off Amidst the Suffering and Dying

Human Need

The big drug rip-off is coming. Gilead’s drug remdesivir is being hailed as the “new standard of care. “ (Dr. Anthony Fauci ). The honchos at the drug company are agog with excitement. To throw sick Americans a lifeline? Not exactly. To introduce a billion-dollar blockbuster? More likely. Predictably, President’s Trumps scientific advisory committee is all in. Isn’t that what friends are for? First developed to treat Ebola, remdesivir flopped. But not to worry, the feds had contributed $79 million to R&D on the drug, so investors were spared most of the pain. As the coronavirus pandemic surged worldwide, Gilead bet on the same horse, hauling remdesivir out of the closet — new disease, same drug. It flopped again — “remdesivir did not improve patients’ condition or reduce the pathogen’s presence in the bloodstream…The drug also showed significant side effects in some, which meant 18 patients were taken off it. (“Gilead’s anti-viral drug, remdesivir, flops in first trial,” Financial Times, April 23, 2020.) At least, transparency prevailed and consumers around the world were among the first to know. Not exactly. These results were accidentally released by the World Health Organization, which quickly tried to put the genie back in the bottle — “…a draft document [of the failed study was] inadvertently posted on the website and taken down as soon as the mistake was noted.” There you have it — a history of repeated failures that should have diminished expectations among U.S. infectious disease experts. Why didn’t it? Read “Drug Company Rip Off Amidst the Suffering and Dying” for even more evidence that profit trumps care in the U.S. privatized health care system.

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It Takes a Pandemic to Expose a Corrupt U.S. Healthcare System

Healthcare Corruption

Most agree that the privatized U.S. healthcare system does not cut it when a virus becomes a pandemic. Whether it’s health insurance flunkies trying to keep the music going while 26 million+ lose their jobs and their health insurance or drug company chieftains competing to make billions by discovering a vaccine or nursing home private operators unable or unwilling to protect the vulnerable populations that depend on them or hospital big wigs practicing “just-in-time” ordering of life-saving supplies to increase profits while their workers are drowning in a sea of sick and dying patients. In a privatized healthcare system operating on free market principles, long term thinking flies out the window. Short term profits are the goal. Want to know how bad it gets? Check out “It Takes a Pandemic to Expose a Corrupt U.S. Healthcare System.

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Shafted: American Workers Lose Their Jobs and Their Health Insurance

Unpaid Bills

“The state will bear the financial burden of the people who have to stay home. We won’t add fear of bankruptcy or unemployment to the health crisis.” Wouldn’t it restore your faith in America’s leaders if one of them had actually made those promises? Prepare to be disappointed. That was the message the president of France delivered to his people. He wasn’t the only European leader to announce life-saving programs. In Denmark, in Sweden, in advanced economies all over the world, leaders are scrambling to protect their citizens. Even Vladimir Putin. The one thing citizens in most European countries (and other parts of the world) don’t have to worry about is keeping their healthcare whether or not they have a job. The citizens of the exceptional nation are not so fortunate. For at least 17 million who have filed for unemployment (and many uncounted millions more), the fear of getting sick is another burden keeping them awake at night. In a system where 56% of the American workforce receives their insurance on the job, no job equals no insurance. Want to know why we need Medicare-for-all? Read “Shafted: American Workers Lose Their Jobs and Their Health Insurance

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Business as Usual: Trillions in Disaster Relief for Corporations and Banks, Spare Change for the People, Hospitals, Small Businesses, State and Local Governments

Great Minds

“Our doctors and nurses are being thoroughly mobilized and worked to limit…Many cases receive no attention at all” (Acting Governor Calvin Coolidge, Massachusetts, 9/25/1918)

“We’re going to keep our small businesses strong and our big businesses strong. And that’s keeping our country strong and our jobs strong.” That’s how President Trump described the Cares Act, the massive so-called pandemic relief bill. That’s not the way most economists describe it. Like the 2008 bailout masterminded by Barack Obama, most of the money will be handed out to banks and large corporations. Everyone else, individual Americans, small businesses, distressed cities and states will nibble from a much smaller pie. Here’s how Trump and his merry band of grifters is going to “keep small businesses strong.” Twenty-seven million small businesses in the U.S. will receive slices of a $300 billion pie. The 18,586 large corporations in the U.S. will feast on $4.3 trillion of government largest, no strings attached. While small businesses can apply for loan forgiveness if they keep their employees on the payroll, corporations are under no such restraint and will not only have their loans forgiven but should their gambling ways get them in trouble again, the Federal Reserve will bail them out — with your money. What’s left for suffering Americans? A one-time means-tested check and a slight increase in both the amount and duration of unemployment, a ninety-day extension of the IRS filing date, and a three-month grace period on student loans (you’ll still have to pay but those months will be tacked onto the end of your loan), That’s it folks. What happens the second month after you’ve spent your government check? Will you be able to pay the rent or mortgage, your credit card bills, your utilities bills? Large corporations won’t have any problem meeting their obligations, with the help of an obliging Fed banker and four (or five or six) trillion to keep those sky-high paychecks, extravagant bonuses and shareholder windfalls coming. And we can’t even go out in the streets to protest. For the chilling details check out “Business as Usual: Trillions in Disaster Relief for Corporations and Banks, Spare Change for People, Hospitals, Small Businesses, State and Local Governments

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