Joe Biden: Time to Exit Stage Right

Joe Failed Campaigns

Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? (Macbeth Act 2, Scene 2) Sorry, Joe, it won’t. In his whole 47-year career, Joe was on the wrong side of almost every issue. In his first term as Senator in 1972, he was a fervent opponent of busing, a ploy to keep on the good side of Delaware bigots, part of his base. If it’s true that people can be judged by the company they keep, Joe has a lot of ‘splaining’ to do. For two of his closest buddies—the arch-segregationist Strom Thurmond and the hawkish John McCain Joe was faithful to the end eulogizing their bad deeds at their funerals (“I’m a Democrat and I love John McCain”). Throughout his career, Joe’s labors on behalf of the global moneyed elite never wavered. He went into the tank for banks eliminating bankruptcy protection for student debtors, gave whole hearted approval to junking Glass-Steagall, the law standing between the plunder and pillage of financial institutions and their victims, the people. He wrote the infamous crime bill that kicked off an era of mass incarceration, made an unfair distinction between crimes committed by whites and blacks, and supported “three strikes and you’re out” legislation which transformed petty criminals into lifers. He voted for the biggest blunder in American foreign policy, the destruction of Iraq and carried the water for Obama’s wrong-headed policies – the Libyan invasion, the drone war, the incarceration of whistle blowers and the methodical selection of assassination targets on Terror Tuesdays. If you have the stomach for it, we’ve laid it out in living color in “Joe Biden: Time to Exit Stage Right

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Exceptional America Produces an Exceptionally Miserable Healthcare System

How Are We Doing

It’s a jungle out there in U.S. healthcare land. The honchos of corporate medicine make the rules. Their patients, afraid to ask questions, sign up for procedures whose only value is to the doctor’s bottom line and accept prescription drugs for ailments they probably don’t have that add immeasurably to the already bloated profits of the drug industry. A healthcare system so exceptional that medical errors are king (third leading cause of death in the U.S) while medical providers continue to rake in big bucks. An exceptional health care system that leaves twenty-nine million Americans uninsured, where life expectancy has dropped for two straight years. The cost of that non-care and mis-care? $3.5 trillion (2017). The arrogance of power in the medical establishment has become virtually impregnable as government surrenders its power to regulate and enforce. Today you will learn about a few of the newest attacks on patient choice and access as huge medical practices become monopolies and swallow up sole practitioners. For millions of Americans what follows is substandard medical care, over-prescribing and little follow-up. We’ve come a long way baby and most of it is downhill. Read all about it in “Exceptional America Produces an Exceptionally Miserable Healthcare System.

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Getting Into College the U.S. Way — Legal vs. Illegal Bribery in a Plutocracy

Admission for Sale

Trying to beat the odds and get your kid into an elite college? How about coming up with a couple of million to erect a building with your name on it? A reminder every time an admissions officer passes by that your kid is entitled to a special benefit — a merit-free admission. What’s that you say —not realistic for an ordinary millionaire. How about the route that at least thirty-three parents took? Pay a crooked operator to phony up a few academic or athletic credentials and punch your kid’s ticket to future fame and fortune. That’s not how it’s done in the U.S. plutocracy. Only the really rich get away with bribery (legalized); the rich, but not enormously so, get caught and the rest of us are stuck on the outside looking in. Want to know how hundreds of millions of dollars, preferably billions, unlock the gates to academia’s snootiest and most sought-after institutions? Read “Getting Into College the U.S. Way — Legal vs. Illegal Bribery in a Plutocracy.

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Murder on the High Seas: When Israel Attacked America Part 2

New Evidence

“When you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” (Sherlock Holmes) It took 42 years for one U.S. leader to speak out about Israel’s deliberate and murderous attack in 1967 on the USS Liberty costing 34 American lives. That voice was Admiral Thomas Moorer’s, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff— “a wanton, sneaky attack…they [Israelis] could kill as many Americans as they did in confidence that Washington would cooperate in quelling any public outcry.” Which, of course, is exactly what the Johnson administration did. In this article, we explore the aftermath of the attack, the few brave souls willing to put careers and livelihoods on the line to speak truth to power and the gargantuan deception cooked up by the Israelis with lots of U.S. help that has kept the truth a deep, dark secret for over four decades. Even today, the Liberty’s fate remains hidden in plain sight. Woe to the U.S. truth tellers who expose other Israeli war crimes. We cover all that and more in “Murder on the High Seas: The Day Israel attacked America Part 2

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Murder on the High Seas – Part 1

Liberty Attack

How’s this for the greatest act of treachery and deception in U.S. Naval history, arguably in all of American history perpetrated by none other than the President of the U.S. and his cronies with lots of help from the perp — Israel, aka “America’s best friend and ally.” For their collective war crimes, 34 young American seamen paid the ultimate price. Fifty-two years later, their deaths still go unacknowledged by a government under the spell of its “best friend.” For a stomach-turning description of the carnage Israel inflicted on the USS Liberty in 1967, there is no better source than Admiral Thomas Moorer, former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (hardly the home of wide-eyed peaceniks) — “Unmarked Israeli aircraft dropped napalm canisters on the USS Liberty bridge and fired 30mm cannons and rockets into the ship. Survivors estimate that 30 or more sorties were flown over the ship by a minimum of 12 attacking Israeli planes. The torpedo boat attack involved not only the firing of torpedoes but machine-gunning firefighters and stretcher-bearers… The Israeli torpedo boats later returned to machine gun at close range three of the Liberty’s life rafts that had been lowered into the water…to rescue the most seriously wounded.” The aftermath was equally reprehensible. According to the Admiral, “[survivors were] … betrayed and left to die by our own government… rescue aircraft were recalled — not once, but twice —through direct intervention by the Johnson administration. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s cancellation of the Navy’s attempt to rescue the Liberty… was the most disgraceful act… I witnessed in my entire military career.” Read, if you can stomach it, “Murder on the High Seas: The Day Israel Attacked America” (Part 1 of 2) and mourn a country that after 52 years still refuses to honor the memory of 34 American lives cut way too short. Let the Liberty be a cautionary tale of a U.S. president and his minions willing to put the interests of another country above their own.

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U.S. Healthcare on the Ropes—Is It Too Late to Save It?

Health Stats

A country that has the highest rate of women dying from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, while thirty million of its citizens are uninsured, a half million families are forced into bankruptcy because of medical debt, workers pay 12% of their earnings to get poor quality health insurance that comes with unaffordable premiums, deductibles, and co-pays, where medical errors, the third leading cause of death in the U.S., kill over 250,000 people every year. This country has 5% of the world’s population but consumes 80% of the world’s prescription opioids causing over 70,000 deaths in one year. Are we talking about some banana republic in South America, or maybe one of the poorest countries in the world in Sub-Sahara Africa like Guinea or Mali where average life expectancy is around 60? If you’re still not sure, you need to read “U.S. Healthcare on the Ropes: Is It Too Late to Save It?

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Trump’s State of the Union Speech —What It Didn’t Tell Us

What’s wrong with this picture? A bunch of folk, whom we laughingly call the voice of the people, behaving badly from nationalistic chest-thumping (USA! USA!) to a spasm of dancing in the aisles (confined to Democratic women celebrating their 2018 election success), to periodic ovations (standing and clapping multiple times). What did we interrupt? The Houston rodeo, a country fair, a rally for the latest populist hero? Surprise, surprise, this was President Trump’s second State of the Union speech before elected officials, SCOTUS justices, administration heavies and a few plain folk for window dressing. Nothing new to see here in a speech chock full of the usual lies, misstatements, exaggerations and just plain nonsense that appear daily on his Twitter feed. What to make of the blather about immigration or in Trump-speak the encroaching hordes on the border, the U.S.-inspired attempted coup in Venezuela or as Trump’s tells it the heroic attempt of the U.S. to help bring democracy to a benighted nation, and the folderol about socialism threatening the pristine U.S. democracy? Suspicious Angels documents how some of Trump’s over-the-top claims went unnoticed by the corporate media intent on restarting the Cold War via Russiagate. Is it as Trump claims the empire on another triumphal march through history or is it all smoke and mirrors? You decide after you read “Trump’s State of the Union Speech — What It Didn’t Tell Us“.

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The Exceptional Nation Meets the Surveillance State

Mass Surveillance

The script is nauseatingly familiar. An exceptional nation fulfilling its destiny by becoming the surveillance state. The cameras are always rolling — in the streets, where we work, in parks and playground, in every space Americans congregate for work or play. Many Americans unwittingly assist the feds by wall to wall cameras on their own property. The surveillance state has implemented a new kind of law enforcement called predictive policing — using racially biased data to target potential crime and criminals. We are a nation of spy masters and the spied upon. From the founding of the republic, the peculiar form of democracy in the Constitution turns out to have little to do with democratic guarantees of universal freedom and equality and a lot more to do with insulating the rich and privileged from the dangers of too much democracy. Surveillance is the key to that control. Since when does the unquestioned assumption of the need for security carry with it the corollary of invasion of privacy? Since the exceptional nation became the perpetual war machine with eight ongoing wars and another couple waiting in the wings. Are we on the way to fulfilling Orwell’s prophecy? Find out in “The Exceptional Nation Meets the Surveillance State

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Will the Real Exceptional Nation Please Stand Up

Perpetual War

From sea to shining sea the American empire stretches out to conquer the world. Eight wars and counting, 800 bases in over 70 countries, all financed by a defense budget that tops $700 billion. Selling stability at the point of a missile, invading nations that refuse to acknowledge U.S. ascendancy and reassuring the folks back home that all is well, we’re fighting the terrorists over there so they won’t come here. Or is the real truth that the U.S. has built a state that survives on making war, on killing lots of people to make a few people very, very wealthy while the rest of the population survives on crumbs? Is the growing might of the U.S. empire really a hedge against disaster? SA explores these questions in “Will the Real Exceptional Nation Please Stand Up.”

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Mike Pence for President? That’s What Happens If the Democrats Impeach Trump

Horrible Mike

Sad to say the culture wars of the 1990s are making a big comeback in the person of Mike Pence, heir to the Oval Office should the media clamor for Trump’s head or the Democrats’ threats to open an impeachment inquiry in the House come to pass. What does that mean? For openers, the rightmost segment of the Christian evangelical movement is holding its breath and praying that its left-leaning opponents will carry out their ill-conceived effort. Don’t be fooled by the scriptural references he sprinkles like salt on a stew of unpalatable moral pieties. This is one ambitious dude who wants to be the leader of the “indispensable nation.” He has plenty of buddies willing to help him get there, the likes of Charles and David Koch and the CEOs of numerous fossil fuel companies and defense contractors. What would a Pence administration look like? A return to the neo-conservative agenda of establishment Republicans shepherded by a president who was known in Congress as the “hawks hawk,” a renewed emphasis on military and economic alliances (long live NATO), an infusion of right wing social values into both foreign and domestic policy, a reawakening of cold war antipathy toward Russia and the political savvy to get a supine Congress to march in lockstep. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Democrats especially progressives, forewarned is forearmed: impeachment is like a grenade set to explode if the pin is pulled. Far better to look ahead to 2020 and a campaign to unseat the present demagogue and send his helpmate into the embrace of a Koch-financed think tank. That’s the ticket democrats of all stripes should be punching. You’ll find out why when you read “Mike Pence for President? That’s What Happens If the Democrats Impeach Trump”.

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