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Trump's America Unfit to Live In

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 03:04
Trump’s America Unfit to Live In
by Stephen Lendman
The myth of an anti-establishment candidate vanished straightaway in office. He’s a dirty politician like most others in Washington - saying one thing, doing another, causing enormous harm to millions at home and abroad.
Demagoguery, bombast, bravado, hubris, arrogance, fearmongering, belligerence, Islamophobia, racism, subservience to monied interests, and broken promises mark his first three months in office.
He already played his supporters for fools, betraying them, most unaware how greatly they’ve been had. 
Pledged swamp draining got deeper. Interventionism he opposed got prioritized. He’s dangerously unprincipled. Neocons infesting his administration make key policy decisions.
He’s dishonest, untrustworthy and contemptible, serving special interests, not ordinary ones. He didn’t become a billionaire by being a good guy. It shows as president and commander-in-chief of America’s military.
His luxury life style shows contempt for blue collar workers, millions unemployed, most others way underemployed, wanting America’s resources used for warmaking, tax cuts for corporations and high-net worth households, along with handouts to business.
He curries favor with despots, shuns or demonizes democrats, sells naked aggression as the right thing to do, wages phony war on terrorism like his predecessors, wants pro-Western puppets replacing independent leaders, makes a mockery of fundamental human and civil rights.
He wants America made greater for its privileged class. Let others take the hindmost, everyone on their own, survival of the fittest. 
Whatever government does, business does better so let it, he believes, ordinary people on their own, out of luck. Instead of investing in America’s future, he wants it given away to corporate friends and cronies.
He vowed “to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, and hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”
Privately in meetings with corporate CEOs, he promised dirty business as usual, favoring their interests over the general welfare, wanting public assets privatized at fire sale prices.
He’s only just begun, 45 months remaining until January 2021, maybe another 48 to follow, already responsible for enormous harm worldwide.
Given his deplorable agenda so far, what’s likely coming should scare everyone. Will he rape planet earth for profit? 
Will his tenure be marked by homeland tyranny and catastrophic nuclear war? Is humanity doomed on his watch?
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Trumpcare 2.0

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 02:57
Trumpcare 2.0
by Stephen Lendman
Marketplace medicine based on the ability to pay puts profits over fundamental human needs and rights.
Trumpcare’s original and reported new versions are abominations, each making a bad system worse, the new proposal more unacceptable than the initial one - both leaving millions uninsured, millions more way uninsured, mostly poor and low income households.
On April 17, the Washington Post cited Economist/YouGov and Morning Consult/Politico polls, showing most Americans support universal single-payer healthcare coverage, including Republicans - Medicare for all.
Nothing else is equitable. America has the world’s most expensive healthcare system - costing double what other developed countries provide their citizens.
Trumpcare works great for America’s privileged class, dismally for most others. According to the Huffington Post, House “GOP moderates and conservatives are nearing a deal” to replace Obamacare.
It lets states “get waivers, eliminating the so-called community rating provision - the rule that prohibits insurers from charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions.” 
“In order to obtain the waiver, states would have to participate in a federal high-risk pool or establish their own, and satisfy some other conditions.”
“In exchange for that conservative concession, the amendment would reinstate the Essential Health Benefits that were already taken out of the bill - though, again, states could waive those provisions as well if they were able to show that doing so would lower premiums, increase the number of people insured, or ‘advance another benefit to the public interest in the state.’ “
House and Senate leaders are reviewing the proposal. It’s far from a done deal. Democrats and most moderate Republicans may reject it.
It reneges on Trump’s promise to provide affordable coverage for everyone, including for individuals with pre-existing conditions. Insurers will be able to deny coverage by making it unaffordable for most sick Americans.
According Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation senior vice president Larry Levitt, Trumpcare 2.0 lets “states…eliminate the ACA’s guarantee of access to insurance at a reasonable price for people with pre-existing conditions, in the interest of lowering premiums for people who are healthy.”
It “tilts heavily towards what” hardline anti-populist Freedom Caucus extremists want, not what consumers vitally need.
It makes healthcare more of a commodity than already - based on the ability to pay or get shut out or left with woefully inadequate coverage, especially for costly illnesses, diseases and injuries.
Trump wants a deal before completing his first 100 days in office - no matter how unacceptable it is for most Americans.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Grateful Syrians

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sat, 22/04/2017 - 02:53
Grateful Syrians
by Stephen Lendman
Russia’s intervention in September 2015 at the request of its government saved Syria’s sovereignty, hopefully it territorial integrity, from the ravages of US imperial viciousness.
America is the enemy of ordinary Syrians, Russia their ally. Syrian families are grateful.
According to its ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad, “(w)hen Assad announced that Russian should become the second spoken language in Syria, he meant to thank the Russian people for their support.” 
“Besides, many Syrian families have been naming their sons Putin,” honoring Russia’s president, paying him due respect, grateful for his help. 
Without it, the Syrian Arab Republic would have ended by now, endless post-war violence, chaos and human misery replacing it, the horror of what happens wherever America intervenes.
Assad donated free land near Damascus for a Russian school. Weeks earlier, he praised Putin for greatly aiding his country and people, for its success in combating terrorism, for helping Syria’s military, for opposing US imperialism.
In response to Washington wanting Putin to distance himself from Assad, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed Russia’s commitment to combating terrorism in the country, along with supporting its sovereignty, territorial integrity and right of its people to decide who’ll lead them.
The struggle for Syria’s soul continues. Washington wants it destroyed. Moscow intends not letting it happen.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Terrorists Are Terrorists and Not Rebels in Syria

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Fri, 21/04/2017 - 22:10
Terrorists Are Terrorists and Not Rebels in Syria
by Stephen Lendman
Waging war depends on disinformation, deception and Big Lies - used to justify the unjustifiable.
Conflict in Syria isn’t civil. All anti-government forces are US-supported terrorists. Names of different groups don’t matter. 
They’re all cut out of the same cloth. Their aims are pure evil. They can’t exist without foreign support. State actors bear full responsibility for turning Syria into a charnel house.
After over six years of war, hundreds of thousands are dead, mostly defenseless men, women, children, the elderly and infirm - millions internally or externally displaced.
Their struggle is ours. The same goes for their counterparts in other US war theaters - victims of imperial viciousness.
What country will America attack next? How many more millions will die or suffer unspeakable human misery? How long will it take before full-blown tyranny rules the United States, fantasy democracy dispensed with altogether.
On April 20 in Damascus, independent journalists visiting Assad’s political and media advisor Bouthiana Shaaban explained that “terrorist(s) (are) terrorist(s) and not…rebel(s).”
Falsely characterizing them is part of the West’s great deception, manufacturing false legitimacy for pure evil.
“(T)he main problem lies in the misleading (anti-Syria) media, (creating) a wall which separates the Western citizen from the reality of events” on the ground, Shaaban explained.
The April 4 false flag CW attack in Khan Sheikhoun and Trump’s April 7 aggression, striking Syria’s Shayrat airbase, are two of the latest examples.
Assad had nothing to do with the attack, killing scores including dozens of children, injuring many others.
Russia and Iran called for an independent “unbiased investigation” into what happened, involving OPCW experts and others from Russia, Western countries and regional ones. 
According to Sergey Lavrov, efforts to block the Russian/Iranian proposal indicate “those who are taking such attempts have unclean conscience.”
“Evidence (is) multiplying that this was an orchestrated event…(T)here are too many discrepancies in the (official Western) version.” Their officials are blocking “steps that could help establish the truth about what happened.
Separately, Lavrov said it’s “evident…that…false information” about the Khan Sheikhoun incident is part of “the longstanding…regime change” plan. “I’m sure that we must prevent it,” he stressed.
Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif denounced Trump’s Khan Sheikhoun attack as “an act of aggression against a sovereign nation.”
On Thursday, Russia’s Armaments Non-Proliferation and Control Department director Mikhail Ulyanov explained “no steps (so far) have…been taken…to investigate” the April 4 CW incident.
Blaming Damascus for happened is “groundless,” he stressed. He blasted Britain and Washington for claiming Syrian culpability is “absolutely certain.”
“We heard them say the same things” ahead of Bush/Cheney/Blair’s 2003 Iraq invasion.
Assad said his government formally asked UN authorities “to send a delegation in order to investigate what happened in Khan Sheikhoun.”
“Of course till this moment they didn’t send (any) because the West and the US blocked any delegation from coming” - wanting hard truths about what happened suppressed, proving Syria had nothing to do with what happened.
OPCW British nationals said samples from Khan Sheikhoun indicated sarin or a similar toxin was used in the April 4 attack - despite not visiting the site first hand, invalidating their claim.
What happened was a state-sponsored “false flag,” Assad stressed - to blame his government and justify Trump’s aggression.
On April 16, he tweeted: “Our military is building and is rapidly becoming stronger than ever before. Frankly, we have no choice!”
Is he planning to unleash it more aggressively on humanity than already - to justify the unjustifiable at a time America’s only enemies are invented ones?
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

US War on Whistleblowers

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Fri, 21/04/2017 - 21:53
US War on Whistleblowers
by Stephen Lendman
Truth-telling in America is endangered. Free and open expression is our most fundamental right, all others threatened without it.
Exposing government wrongdoing is courageous and essential. Obama waged war on press freedom and whistleblowing. Trump continues his outrageous agenda. 
When governments consider truth-telling independent journalists and whistleblowers threats to national security, tyranny replaces freedom.
In 2012, the Obama administration declared WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange an enemy of the state, forcing him to take refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy to avoid unjust arrest, extradition to America and imprisonment to silence him - not for any crimes. He committed none.
In 2012, a secret grand jury convened. A sealed indictment followed, allegedly accusing Assange of spying under the long ago outdated 1917 Espionage Act, enacted shortly after America’s entry into WW I.
It prohibited interfering with US military operations, supporting the nation’s enemies, promoting insubordination in the ranks, or obstructing military recruitment.
In 1921, its most controversial provisions were repealed. It remains the law of the land, used to charge, prosecute, convict and imprison Chelsea Manning unjustly.
Assange faces the same fate if extradited to America. Anyone exposing US high crimes and/or other dirty secrets Washington wants suppressed is vulnerable.
Challenging the nation’s policies, no matter how heinous, risks severe punishment.
In his first public address, CIA director Mike Pompeo lied, saying Assange “caused harm, great harm, to our nation’s national security,” adding:
“(W)e can no longer allow (him) and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us” - deplorably calling the right to speak freely about anything “a perversion of what our…Constitution stands for. It ends now,” he added without further elaboration.
On Thursday, Justice Department charges against Assange reportedly were prepared, perhaps updated from the sealed 2012 indictment, claiming WikiLeaks published documents obtained from Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers.
On April 20, WikiLeaks tweeted “US admits it has charges to arrest Assange according to CNN.”
“Contribute to his defense: justice4assange.com/Donate.html”
Likely false charges include Espionage Act violations, conspiracy and theft of government property. Truth-telling is honorable, not criminal. 
Neocon Attorney General Jeff Sessions prioritizes arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning Assange, saying he intends “put(ting) some people in jail.”
Former Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller tweeted: “Unless they have found something new, there is no way to do this without prosecuting reporters. There’s a reason we didn’t go there.”
Assange attorney Barry Pollack said he’s gotten no DOJ information on potential charges against his client, adding “(t)here’s no reason why WikiLeaks should be treated differently from any other publisher.”
Assange claims the right “to publish newsworthy content. Consistent with the US Constitution, we publish material that we can confirm to be true irrespective of whether sources came by that truth legally or have the right to release it to the media.” 
“And we strive to mitigate legitimate concerns, for example by using redaction to protect the identities of at-risk intelligence agents.”
How Trump administration officials intend going after Assange is unclear. As long as he remains in Ecuador’s London embassy, he’s safe. 
Or is he? Will US or UK authorities invade its sovereign space to arrest him? Given Trump’s rogue agenda, supported by Britain, anything is possible.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Mattis in Israel

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Fri, 21/04/2017 - 21:36
Mattis in Israel
by Stephen Lendman
Meeting with his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman, Mattis delivered mixed messages.
He said Iran “appear(s) to be living up to (its) part of the” 2015 nuclear deal. It remains “in force…and that’s all I can say about it.”
“(I)n no way (does it) mitigate against or excuse…other Iranian activities in the region including the war in Yemen that grinds on and what they’re doing in Syria.”
Fact: America continues waging aggression against both countries. Iran has no involvement in Yemen. It justifiably supports Syrian sovereign independence. So should all nations.
Fact: On Tuesday, Trump lied, calling the JCPOA “a terrible agreement. It shouldn’t have been signed. It shouldn’t have been negotiated the way it was negotiated.” 
“I am all for agreements but that was a bad one, as bad as I have ever seen negotiated. They are not living up to the spirit of the agreement, I can tell you that, and we are analyzing it very, very carefully and we'll have something to say about it in the not-too-distant future.” 
“But Iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement and they have to do that."
Trump’s remarks reflect longstanding US hostility toward Tehran, and ignorance of the nuclear deal he never read and doesn’t understand - years in the making, agreed to by the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany and Iran.
He ordered a National Security Council review of the agreement. Pulling Washington out of it unilaterally would leave his administration with more mud on its face than already.
In his remarks in Israel, Mattis lied, claiming Iran threatens Israel and its neighbors “with ballistic missiles, through its maritime and cyber activities and through proxies and surrogates, including Lebanese Hezbollah, a terrorist organization helping to keep Assad in power in Syria.”
Fact: The only regional terrorist threats come from America’s presence, Israel, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states, and their rogue allies. Hezbollah is a legitimate part of Lebanon’s government.
Mattis: “There can be no doubt in the international community’s mind that Syria has retained chemical weapons in violation of its agreement and its statement that it had removed them all. There is no longer any doubt.”
FALSE! Accusations without credible evidence are groundless. Iran eliminated its CWs. None remain in its possession. No evidence suggests otherwise.
Lieberman falsely accused Iran of destabilizing the Middle East, outrageously claiming “the axis of evil between North Korea, Tehran, Damascus and Beirut” threatens Israel and the entire world.
Mattis lied, claiming he hopes, with Israel’s help, America can “overcome threats and bring peace and and stability to” the Middle East.
Never as long as the US/Israeli axis of evil exists.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Gaza's Sole Power Plant Shut Down

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Fri, 21/04/2017 - 21:18
Gaza’s Sole Power Plant Shut Down
by Stephen Lendman
Last Saturday, the plant shut down for lack of fuel. Funds donated by Qatar and Turkey were exhausted.
Gaza’s Energy Authority said it won’t buy more unless hostile PA authorities exempt it from fuel excise taxes it can’t afford to pay.
Under less dire conditions, electricity is severely limited. It’s been reduced from eight to six hours, followed by 12-hour blackouts. 
Maintenance problems on Monday reduced power intervals to every four hours on, 12 hours off.
Gaza Energy Authority’s deputy chairman Fathi al-Sheikh explained monthly operating costs for two plant generators are about $13.6 million. Lifting the fuel tax would reduce it to around $5.5 million, a major savings.
Gaza buys 80% of its electricity from Israel, the rest from Egypt. When plant generators are operating, they supply 60 megawatts of power - 400 megawatts required to supply Strip needs.
Blockading Gaza, Israeli wars, along with frequent air and ground attacks lie at the root of its problems. Inadequate funding prevents proper maintenance.
Israel has the power to change things. Another preemptive war is more likely. Gazan infrastructure already is in deplorable condition.
Israel wants it kept this way, enforcing harshness, holding two million Gazans hostage to its viciousness, denying them fundamental rights everyone deserves.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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