Saturday, March 25, 2017

Trumpcare Down But Not Out?

Trumpcare Down But Not Out?

by Stephen Lendman

On Friday, one of Trump’s signature domestic programs was defeated, at least for now. 

Acknowledging defeat, House Speaker Paul Ryan said “Obamacare is the law of the land.” It’ll remain so “for the foreseeable future…until it’s replaced,” suggesting AHCA’s Friday defeat isn’t the end of the story, what’s next yet to be decided.

A scheduled Friday House vote was cancelled because of too much GOP opposition to overcome. Democrats unanimously rejected it.

Ahead of what happened, Trump tweeted “(a)fter seven horrible years of ObamaCare (skyrocketing premiums & deductibles, bad healthcare), this is finally your chance for a great plan!”

Enactment of Trumpcare would have been nightmarish for most US households. In mid-March, the Economic Policy Institute said “99% of Americans…win if the GOP health plan fails.”

Its original and revised versions offered bare bones coverage at higher cost for most Americans, including onerous deductibles and co-pays - low income households, the poor and elderly harmed most.

Instead of providing healthcare on the basis of need, Obamacare made it dependent on the ability to pay, Trumpcare more nightmarish if enacted into law.

The president blamed Democrats for not “giv(ing) us a single vote,” adding the “best thing we can do, politically speaking, is let Obamacare explode. It’s exploding right now…Almost all states have big problems.”

They’d be far bigger under his plan, a deplorable scheme to deny millions of Americans vital healthcare because predatory costs are more than they can afford.

Trump saying in the wake of his legislative defeat “(w)e have big, ambitious plans to improve people’s lives” is utter rubbish.

They include tax cuts for business and the rich, increased defense spending when major cuts are needed, endless wars of aggression in multiple theaters, deregulation stripping away consumer protections, wasting billions on border wall construction, and other policies benefitting America’s privileged class at the expense of most others.

Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) called the American Health Care Act (AHCA - Trumpcare) “slash and burn” coverage.

PNHP president Dr. Carol Paris said his plan if enacted “would have pushed millions more Americans off their health insurance, sending the rates of medical bankruptcy and preventable deaths skyrocketing.”

AHCA’s failure presents an opportunity for Congress to replace Obamacare with sustainable and equitable universal single-payer coverage, PHNP stressed.

Along with others for healthcare coverage the way it should be, PNHP intends a National Day of Action on Saturday, April 8 in Washington.

Similar actions are planned in a dozen or more US cities nationwide to enlist public support for single-payer coverage serving everyone equitably - unrelated to the ability to pay.

Trump’s promise to provide affordable healthcare for everyone was a Big Lie. Calling nightmarish AHCP “wonderful” alone proved it.

Poorly regulated US marketplace medicine caused today’s healthcare crisis - putting profits above vital care, especially when most needed.

As long as Republicans and Democrats continue defending the indefensible, Americans will continue being oppressed by pay or die healthcare.

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.

Millions in US War Theaters Face Starvation

Millions in US War Theaters Face Starvation

by Stephen Lendman

According to the ICRC, about 20 million people in Yemen and Somalia face starvation without vitally needed food aid, mostly not forthcoming, saying:

“This is not business as usual.” Crisis conditions in both countries need to be addressed “now.” Cholera “on the rise in Somalia (alone is killing about) 20 people…each day.”

US drone war takes a horrendous toll. Obama’s war in Yemen, complicit with Riyadh, now Trump’s war, took a horrendous toll on civilians for the past two years.

Reporting on years of covert US war on Somalia, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism said elite US troops are involved in “surveillance, reconnaissance, and assault and capture operations,” including devastating drone war, mostly harming civilians.

The CIA operates secretly from Mogadishu airport. In recent years, Kenyan and Ethiopian forces invaded parts of the country, serving as US proxies. A virtually unreported war OF terror remains ongoing.

Oxfam reported “millions on the brink of starvation” in east Africa, Yemen, and northeast Nigeria - “an unprecedented and devastating food crisis” largely unaddressed.

Millions are starving, tens of millions desperately hungry, malnutrition harming young children most. Oxfam call the crisis “the largest hunger emergency in the world.”

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, “emergency” or “crisis” food insecurity affects 17 million Yemenis.

Oxfam said almost seven million Yemenis face starvation, the country facing “the worst humanitarian situation on the globe…”

With US support and encouragement, Saudi terror-bombing destroyed “(p)orts, roads and bridges, along with warehouses, farms and markets.”

Blockaded coastal areas prevents vital humanitarian aid from entering the country. Inadequate amounts are airlifted in. Horrendous human suffering and famine stalk the nation.

Many thousands perished. Official numbers way understate the human toll. 

It could run into the millions if conflict doesn’t end - now Trump’s war, mostly harming desperate civilians, an entire generation of Yemenis affected.

Human desperation in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and other countries devastated by US imperial viciousness compounds crisis conditions explained above.

Media scoundrels ignore their suffering and US responsibility for what’s going on - part of its diabolical plan to rule the world unchallenged.

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.

Marine Le Pen in Moscow

Marine Le Pen in Moscow

by Stephen Lendman

French presidential candidate Le Pen’s far-right agenda warrants plenty of criticism. 

So does the deplorable way France is now run. The same goes for America and other Western countries - responsible for enormous harm to millions domestically and abroad, a nightmarish assault on humanity.

Le Pen’s meeting with Putin in Moscow deserves praise, not criticism, despite her political motive for coming.

She hopes her advocacy for improved relations with Russia, along with wanting sanctions she calls “unfair…silly (and) counterproductive” lifted will boost her popularity in the eyes of large numbers of undecided French voters.

First round voting is scheduled for April 23. Polls show Le Pen ahead of her two main rivals, though unlikely to win a May runoff.

Media scoundrels wants her vilified for meeting with a leader Washington and rogue NATO allies consider public enemy No. 1. More on this below.

During their meeting, Putin explained she came at the invitation of Russia’s lower house State Duma.

“We value highly our relations with France and try to maintain good relations with incumbent government and the opposition,” Putin explained.

“I am, of course, aware of the ongoing election campaign in France. In no case do we want to influence the events as they unfold, but we reserve the right to communicate with all representatives of all political forces in France, just like our partners in Europe and the United States are doing.”

“Of course, it would be very interesting to exchange opinions with you on our bilateral relations and the situation in Europe.” 

“I know that you represent a European political force that is growing quickly. I am very pleased to see you.”

Le Pen: “Thank you, Mr. President. As you know, I have long been urging the restoration of cultural, economic and strategic ties between Russia and France, which is especially important now when we face a serious terrorist threat.”

“The fight against terrorism can only be truly effective if the largest nations stand side by side and join forces.”

Scoundrel media criticism of Le Pen’s followed her visit. The New York Times said it came “at a time (Putin was) accused of meddling in Western elections through computer hacking and…promot(ing) fake news,” - despite no credible evidence proving spurious accusations.

The Washington Post published an AP report unjustifiably claiming Trump’s triumph “emboldened the Kremlin,” adding:

“Embracing Le Pen is part of (its) efforts to reach out to nationalist and anti-globalist forces to build up its influence in the West and help overcome the strains in relations with the US and the European Union.”

“Le Pen’s anti-immigration and anti-EU platform appeals to the Kremlin.” Vilifying her aims to prevent her chance of becoming France’s next president. Portraying her as a “Putin stooge” may or may not work.

Fox News called her meeting with Putin part of Moscow’s effort to court “far-right parties in Europe in an influence-building campaign (to counter) friction between Russia and the West.”

CNN criticized her anti-EU, anti-NATO, pro-Russia views. “Controversial presidential candidate meets with Putin,” headlined one of its reports.”

Reuters quoted French broadsheet Le Monde, saying Putin “anointed” Le Pen.

London’s Guardian said “a surprise (Putin/Le Pen meeting in Moscow will) likely reignite fears in Europe about Russian support for the European far right.”

Last year, French satirical publication Le Canard Enchaine urged US intelligence agencies to investigate Le Pen’s Russia connections.

She publicly acknowledged receiving a $9.8 million loan from a Russian bank because French ones refused financial help - nothing improper about what she did.

Trump, Le Pen, and other so-called right-wing populist politicians are considered incompatible with “Western values.”

Mainstream parties in Western countries are responsible for endless wars of aggression, crushing neoliberal pain and suffering, along with police state harshness targeting nonbelievers.

Nothing in prospect in America or Europe suggests any change for the better ahead regardless of what parties and leaders govern. 

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.

Inventing Reasons to Bash Russia

Inventing Reasons to Bash Russia

by Stephen Lendman

Washington remains hostile toward Russia for its sovereign independence.

Along with China, it’s an obstacle to America’s aim for unchallenged global dominance. Both countries are formidable nuclear powers, giving bipartisan US hawks pause about engaging either militarily.

It doesn’t stop them from fabricating reasons to bash them, America’s failed Afghan war the latest example.

On Thursday, US NATO commander General Curtis Scaparrotti lied to Senate Armed Services Committee members, saying:

“I’ve seen the influence of Russia of late - increased influence in terms of association and perhaps even supply to the Taliban,” providing no evidence backing his spurious allegations.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry head of Afghan affairs and special envoy to the country Zamir Kabulov blasted Scaparroti, calling his claims “absolutely false,” adding:

“These fabrications are designed, as we have repeatedly underlined, to justify the failure of the US military and politicians in the Afghan campaign. There is no other explanation.”

There’s no evidence supporting Scaparrotti’s claim because none exists. Last month, General John Nicholson in charge of US Afghan operations falsely accused Russia of “publicly (trying to) legitimize the Taliban,” claiming Moscow’s (nonexistent) involvement this year has become more difficult,”

America’s war on Afghanistan was a lost cause years ago. President Dwight Eisenhower once said “God help this country when someone sits in this chair who doesn’t know the military as well as I do.”

In early 2012, after traveling thousands of miles in Afghanistan with US forces, Lt. Col. Daniel Davis reported on America’s disastrous policies, asking how many more deaths are tolerable for a lost cause.

His opening remarks in an unclassified report said the following:

“Senior ranking US military leaders have so distorted the truth when communicating with the US Congress and American people in regards to conditions on the ground in Afghanistan that the truth has become unrecognizable.” 

“This deception has damaged America’s credibility among both our allies and enemies, severely limiting our ability to reach a political solution to the war in Afghanistan.”

His classified report was more explicit, saying: 

“If the public had access to these classified reports, they would see the dramatic gulf between what is often said in public by our senior leaders and what is actually true behind the scenes.”

“It would be illegal for me to discuss, use, or cite classified material in an open venue, and thus I will not do so.”

From discussions with commanders, subordinates and rank-and-file soldiers, he found “the absence of success on virtually every level.”

Over five years later, General Nicholson wants more US forces to continue waging futile war - impossible to win. 

Most likely, Trump will oblige him instead of ending America’s longest war - followed by all others, declaring a new era of peace.

Churchill once said “Americans will always do the right thing after exhausting all the alternatives.” 

Not when it comes to warmaking - waging them forever to feed its ravenous profiteers. Eisenhower’s farewell address warning went unheeded.

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.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Bipartisan US Senators Introduce New Illegal Sanctions on Iran

Bipartisan US Senators Introduce New Illegal Sanctions on Iran

by Stephen Lendman

A rogue’s gallery of bipartisan Zionist neocons infesting Congress want hardened adversarial relations with Iran - inching toward direct confrontation, wanting the Islamic Republic toppled, pro-Western puppet rule replacing it.

On Thursday, the Orwellian-named “Countering Iran’s Destabilization Activities Act of 2017 (CIDAA)” was introduced, establishing new illegal sanctions if enacted into law, besides flagrantly breaching the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA nuclear deal).

Washington’s contempt for rule of law principles no longer surprises. Both right wings of its duopoly governance share blame.

Proposed CIDAA legislation appears virtually certain to pass both houses and become law. It targets legitimate Iranian ballistic missile tests and development, along with falsely accusing its government of supporting terrorism. 

The measure was introduced days before AIPAC’s March 26 - 28 conference in Washington - so bipartisan Zionist neocons scheduled to speak can rant about being tough on Iran.

It calls for sanctioning anyone involved with Iran’s missile program, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a branch of its armed forces, responsible for defending the nation from foreign adversaries.

AIPAC and Israel want it declared a terrorist group. Perhaps Trump will oblige, unjustifiable if he hardens US adversarial actions against Iran this or any other way, including by approving more illegal sanctions.

US claims about Tehran violating Security Council Resolution 2231, endorsing the JCPOA, were fabricated. Iranian missiles aren’t designed to carry nuclear warheads. No evidence suggest Tehran involvement in terrorism - other than responsibly combating it.

Its legitimate missile testing and development are unrelated to its nonmilitary nuclear program.

Continued US hostility toward Iran aims to isolate and economically harm the nation, along with perhaps provoking military confrontation. 

Hardline US policies for 38 years failed. Current actions won’t be any more successful than earlier 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.

Israel's Oppressive Apartheid Regime

Israel’s Oppressive Apartheid Regime

by Stephen Lendman

Israel was created as an apartheid regime - masquerading as democratic, in name only.

Palestinians are viciously persecuted, Israeli Arabs denied rights afforded Jews alone.

Last Sunday, BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti and his wife were lawlessly arrested, detained and interrogated for hours - an effort to harass and intimidate them.

After released from custody, daily Barghouti interrogations continued. Israeli authorities trumped up phony accusations of tax evasion. Oppressive treatment is about wanting him silenced. A BDS National Committee (BNC) statement said the following:

“(P)rominent Palestinian human rights defender and (BDS) co-founder Omar Barghouti has for years been subjected to intense threats, intimidation and repression by various arms of the far-right Israeli government.”

Israeli fascists want BDS “criminalize(d)” and activists like Barghouti silenced. They consider him and the movement a threat to their racist injustice against Palestinians and Arab citizens.

In March 2016, regime ministers threatened Barghouti with “targeted civil elimination” - a euphemism for cold-blooded assassination.

Targeting him and his wife now “must be understood…in this context.” Threatening to revoke his permanent Israeli residence and banning his free travel failed to deter his activism.

He’s unable to travel to America next month to receive the Gandhi Peace Award jointly with Ralph Nader.

“No matter what extreme measures of repression Israel wields against the BDS movement or its human rights defenders and vast network of supporters, it cannot stop this movement for human rights,” said the BNC.

“Bullying and repression can hardly affect a grassroots movement that grows in people’s hearts and minds, empowering them to do the right thing - to stand on the right side of history, against Israel’s fanatic regime of apartheid, occupation and ethnic cleansing, and for freedom, justice and equality for the Palestinian people.”

“This latest desperate chapter of repression and intimidation by the Israeli government against Omar Barghouti is the strongest indicator yet of the failure of the Israeli regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid to slow down the impressive growth of the BDS movement for Palestinian rights.”

BDS is strong, resilient, growing, operating worldwide and unstoppable. Israeli intimidation and arrests encourage its followers to resist harder.

I’ve been a proud BDS cultural members for years. Resisting tyranny is a universal right - expunging it from America and Israel a goal committed activists seek.

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.

Mosul Operation: A Medieval Massacre

Mosul Operation: A Medieval Massacre

by Stephen Lendman

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described it this way weeks after US-led terror-bombing and Iraqi ground operations began last October - long before the worst horrors ongoing now.

US-orchestrated operations are being conducted under “conditions of absolute information blockade,” Zakharova explained. 

Nothing was done to protect, evacuate or otherwise help civilians. They’ve been on their own in harm’s way without humanitarian or any other type aid or consideration for their welfare and safety since last October.

Hundreds of thousands remain trapped in the city. Others getting out risk their lives to do it - as endangered by US terror-bombing as ISIS fighters.

In the battle for Aleppo, Russia and Syria established humanitarian corridors - without aid from the UN or other countries. Great care was taken to avoid civilian casualties, why liberating the city entirely took so long. 

Moscow ceased aerial operations in October 2016 to protect civilians, long before the battle for Aleppo was won in late December. 

The West and supportive media scoundrels disgracefully portrayed a heroic Leningrad-type liberation as naked aggression. 

They’re largely silent on the rape and destruction of Mosul. What’s reported falsely portrays liberation. Nothing about US terror-bombing mass murder. An orchestrated coverup of reality continues.

No help was provided for desperate city civilians, tapped in harm’s way. In months of fighting, likely thousands were massacred, countless others injured, hundreds of thousands displaced - by indiscriminate US terror-bombing and ground artillery fire.

Western media are complicit by silence with rare exceptions. On March 23, London’s Independent cited local media sources, saying Thursday airstrikes on Mosul caused “230” civilian deaths.

“A correspondent for Rudaw, a Kurdish news agency operating in northern Iraq, said that 137 people - most believed to be civilians - died when a bomb hit a single building in al-Jadida, in the western side of the city on Thursday.”

“Another 100 were killed nearby.  Some of the dead were taking shelter inside the homes,” according to Kurdish journalist Hevidar Ahmed, reporting from the scene of the massacre.

RT reported over 130 civilians massacred overnight in Mosul from US terror-bombing. The death toll could be much higher. Bodies are being pulled from rubble, a slow, arduous task.

According to a local eyewitness, “(t)he entire neighborhood was fleeing because of missiles that hit, so people had taken refuge here.” 

“I didn’t know if it was a shelter. I didn’t know we couldn’t go there. My entire family is inside, 27 people. We pulled only one of them out and don’t know about the rest. Yes, he was dead.”

Civilians suffer most in all wars. Contempt for their agony and trauma in Mosul and other US war theaters compounds their desperation.

Surviving is a daily struggle. Many don’t make it. Others are scarred for life.

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.

Trump Demands Friday Healthcare Plan Vote

Trump Demands Friday Healthcare Plan Vote

by Stephen Lendman

Late Thursday, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told GOP House members Trump is done negotiating.

He wants a Friday vote. If his American Health Care Act (AHCA) is defeated, he’ll move on to other issues, leaving Obamacare in place. Is he bluffing? We’ll see.

As far as publicly known, House GOP support is short of enough votes to pass the measure. Democrats unanimously oppose it.

Updated Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scoring, reflecting amendments to the initial AHCA proposal, shows the federal deficit decreased by $150 billion over the next 10 years - compared to $337 billion under the original measure.

It still leaves 52 million Americans uninsured by 2026 compared to 28 million if Obamacare remains in place. The CBO said, at least initially, AHCA premiums will increase. 

So will onerous deductibles and co-pays, making a dysfunctional system worse than already - in terms of cost and lost mandated benefits.

GOP hardliners demanded and  got essential Obamacare benefits stripped from AHCA - including hospitalizations, ambulance services, maternity care, pediatric services, mental health and substance abuse treatment, prescription drugs, rehab care and laboratory services.

What’s left is bare bones. Consumers wanting more have to pay higher premiums and greater out-of-pocket costs.

If House members pass AHCA Friday, the Senate is expected to demand significant changes, including larger tax credits for older Americans, hit with massive premium hikes under the measure.

Under whatever final form AHCA emerges, America’s most vulnerable and elderly will be harmed most.

The measure is Trump’s first major test. Failure could affect his overall domestic agenda, including tax cuts he wants enacted, largely for business and high-income households. 

He can only afford 22 GOP defections. It’s unclear if he’s got enough support for House passage. A tougher Senate fight looms.

Americans already pay double what consumers are charged in other developed countries. 

They can get whatever they want as long as they’re able to pay exorbitant prices. Most cannot. 

If AHCA becomes law, millions more will either be uninsured or way underinsured, assuring America’s mortality rate will rise.

The world’s richest country uses an inordinate amount of its resources for militarism, warmaking and corporate handouts at the expense of social justice, its most vulnerable citizens harmed most.

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.

NYT Editors Support White House Regime Change

NYT Editors Support White House Regime Change

by Stephen Lendman

Times editors refuse to accept Hillary’s defeat, continuing a relentless anti-Trump campaign.

They consider his main offenses triumphing last November, challenging Obama’s deplorable legacy, and rhetorically wanting improved relations with Russia - reasons enough to want him weakened or removed from office, a shocking indictment of a scoundrel media supported debauched system.

Trump, with justification, claims he and close associates were spied on. On Wednesday, House Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R. CA) said “on numerous occasions, the Intelligence Community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition.” 

“(N)ames of (his) transition team members were unmasked,” their identities revealed. Surveillance was unrelated to Russia, “investigation of (its) activities or of the Trump team.”

Asked if he could rule out Obama administration involvement, Nunez said: “No, I cannot.” Classified information about Trump and his associates was leaked, a criminal act, media scoundrels complicit by reporting what’s prohibited from revealing publicly - published to undermine his administration.

In response to Nunes’ revelations, Times editors disgracefully bashed him, calling him a Trump “lapdog,” adding “(h)is disclosures…destroyed the credibility of his committee in investigating Russian interference in the election, mak(ing) (him) unfit for the job and should be replaced.”

Fact: Since America’s intelligence community first accused Russia of US election hacking, no evidence was offered proving it. None exists because no foreign interference in last November’s election occurred - not by Russia or anyone else.

Fact: Nunes stating what he knows and is permitted to discuss publicly is part of his job. Times editors calling him unfit, wanting him replaced, has nothing to do with him, everything to do with gratuitous Trump bashing.

His remarks were clear and unambiguous, not “deliberately vague,” as Times editors claimed - accusing him running “cover” for Trump’s claim about Obama illegally surveilling him, saying he used the term wiretap generically.

Times editors: “…Nunes may have broken the law by disclosing classified information, however obliquely.”

Fact: Nothing Nunes disclosed was improper or illegal. Americans have a right to know that their president and associates were spied on by the nation’s intelligence community - possibly at the behest of his predecessor, something Times editors want kept secret if true.

Times editors: Nunes “used his position to distract attention from the crucial question of whether Mr. Trump’s election was aided by collusion with an adversary.”

Fact: DNC revelations during the presidential campaign were leaked, not hacked by Russia or anyone else.

Fact: Russia is adversarial toward no other nations. America bears full responsibility for longstanding hostility toward its sovereign independence, wanting pro-Western puppet governance replacing it - what The NYT never explains, supporting imperial viciousness.

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.

Michael Moore: Anti-Trump Coup Supporter

Michael Moore: Anti-Trump Coup Supporter

by Stephen Lendman

His irrational anti-Trump rage lost him credibility months ago. He’s either deranged, a Democrat party plant, funded by Trump-hating extremists like Soros, prematurely senile, or all of the above. 

Throughout last year’s presidential campaign, he openly supported war criminal, racketeer, perjurer Hillary. After her defeat, he called for her to be installed as president anyway.

Ahead of Trump’s inauguration, he urged disrupting it - wanting it “block(ed), obstruct(ed),” and otherwise interfered with to prevent him from becoming president.

He tried bribing Republican electors to defect, saying “(i)f you  vote your conscience…and your state fines you…I will pay your fine.”

After Trump’s inauguration, he called for him to “vacate” his office. In mid-February, he tweeted “it appears you are still squatting in our Oval Office.”

“What part of ‘vacate you Russian traitor’ don’t you understand? We can do this the easy way (you resign), or the hard way (impeachment).”

Other multiple tweets said “(l)et’s be VERY clear: Flynn DID NOT make that Russian call on his own.” 

“He was INSTRUCTED to do so. He was TOLD to reassure them. Arrest Trump.”

“TRUMP KNEW EVERYTHING. It will all come out. Along with the rest of Trump’s collusion and obedience to Putin.”

“This is who Trump named ‘National Security Advisor.’ A lapdog to the lapdog of Putin. Feeling secure America? He’s gonna get us all killed.”

He demands “all actions being taken by” Trump’s administration halted, calling his administration “illegitimate” - urging his arrest and removal from office if he won’t voluntarily step down.

His rants are more delusional and deranged than rational thinking, making it appear he need psychiatric help. His latest tirade on Instagram said the following:

“The Democratic Party needs to declare a National Emergency. For the first time in our history, the President of the United States and his staff are under investigation for espionage.” 

“This announcement, by the head of the Trump-friendly FBI, is a shock to our democracy. The Democratic leadership in the House and Senate needs to bring a halt to all business being done in the name of this potential felony suspect, Donald J. Trump.” 

“No bill he supports, no Supreme Court nominee he has named, can be decided while he is under a criminal investigation. His presidency has no legitimacy until the FBI - and an independent investigative committee - discovers the truth.” 

“Fellow citizens, demand the Democrats cease all business. ‘The American people have a right to know if their President is a crook.’ Richard Nixon

Trump and his campaign backers are being investigated for possible improper links to Russia, not espionage. Since last fall, FBI efforts uncovered nothing.

No evidence or hint of it suggests anything credible to uncover. Yet witch-hunt proceedings continue, perhaps endlessly, part of a diabolical plot to undermine him.

The only justifiable national emergency is over the urgency to halt US imperial wars, neoliberal harshness, and growing homeland tyranny - issues Moore and others like him ignore.

There’s plenty about Trump’s agenda to criticize. Bashing him for the wrong reasons, gratuitously, or for defeating Hillary is way out-of-bounds.

Wanting him illegitimately removed from office is the way banana republics operate.

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.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

GOP Hardliners Want Third-World Healthcare for America's Most Vulnerable

GOP Hardliners Want Third-World Healthcare for America’s Most Vulnerable

by Stephen Lendman

House GOP leaders scheduled a March 23 Trumpcare vote. Democrats unanimously reject it. 

So do enough Republican hardliners to defeat it unless 11th hour arm-twisting turns things around. Or perhaps this evening’s vote will be postponed.

Trumpcare as introduced is abominable, more nightmarish than Obamacare. GOP hardliners want it toughened, ACA’s mandates removed, as many as they can get through bargaining, vital services everyone needs.

They include emergency room visits, hospitalizations, mental health, maternity and preventive care benefits, prescription drug coverage, children up to age 26 remaining on their parents’ plans, and insurers required to accept all applicants able to pay, regardless of age, gender or preexisting conditions.

A Quinnipiac University national poll released Thursday showed respondents reject Trumpcare by a 56 - 17% margin, 26% undecided, 46% saying they’ll vote against a senator or representative supporting the measure.

One of every seven Americans (14%) believe they’ll lose coverage if Trumpcare becomes law.

On March 21, Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) co-founders Drs. David Himmilstein and Steffie Woolhandler criticized Obamacare for “offer(ing) little help to 90% of the population, perpetuat(ing) a dysfunctional health care financing system, le(aving) 26 million uninsured…covered families (burdened) with unaffordable deductibles and narrow provider networks (to enrich) drug firms, medical conglomerates, and insurers.”

Trumpcare is worse, wanting “key pillars of the ACA” repealed. Without responsible measures replacing them, the health and welfare of millions are at stake, thousands of lives at risk of being lost.

Replacing ACA with universal single-payer coverage - everyone in, no one left out, everybody covered the same way - will save hundreds of billions of dollars annually in wasted insurer middlemen costs and drug industry banditry price gouging.

Money saved could provide quality care for everyone, including catastrophic coverage, expensive surgeries, organ transplants, dental, mental health and therapeutic treatment, and virtually everything else needed to preserve health or restore it when ill, diseased of injured.

The American Journal of Public Health estimates repealing ACA without responsibly replacing it will cost over 37,000 lives over the next two years alone - at minimum, likely much greater numbers in further out-years.

The only responsible solution is universal single-payer coverage. Nothing else can responsibly work. 

For America’s most vulnerable, it’s a matter of life or death.

Healthcare is a fundamental human right. It’s high time it was treated this way.

Note: As of 1:30PM EDT, after a meeting with Trump, House GOP Freedom Caucus members failed to agree on a deal. Caucus chairman Mark Meadows (R. NC) said “(w)e’re trying to get to yes.” Not easily accomplished.

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 Intends Illegal Safe Zones in Imperial War Theaters

US Intends Illegal Safe Zones in Imperial War Theaters

by Stephen Lendman

Addressing members of America’s imperial war coalition in Washington Wednesday, Rex Tillerson said Washington intends establishing “interim zones of stability” in Syria and Iraq - without further elaboration.

US-installed Iraqi puppet leader Haider al-Abadi was pressured to let US forces operate in Iraqi territory.

He’s silent on relentless Pentagon terror-bombing, massacring Mosul civilians, ones escaping saying they fear US warplanes as much as ISIS.

Pentagon special forces and marines in Syria are “invaders,” operating illegally, Bashar al-Assad explained. They’re aiding anti-government terrorists pursue US regime change plans.

No-fly or safe zones in foreign countries are illegal without Security Council authorization - not forthcoming with near certain Russian and likely Chinese veto power. US pressure will likely get Abadi to go along. If not, expect a new puppet leader installed to replace him.

Assad rejects them, earlier saying they won’t protect civilians. Domestic safety is only possible when peace, stability and security are restored. Safe zones imposed by foreign powers are illegal and unrealistic.

Why were Syrians displaced in the first place, he asked? For two reasons, he explained:

— “terrorist acts and support from the outside,” as well as

— “the (US) embargo on Syria,” creating enormous hardships for ordinary people through much of the country.

Syrians will again be safe when terrorism is defeated, the embargo lifted, and illegal sanctions rescinded.

Longstanding US/Israeli plans call for redrawing the Middle East map, including partitioning Iraq and Syria - governments in both countries, Iran and Lebanon replaced by pro-Western puppet regimes.

Turkey wants northern Syria and Iraq annexed. Establishing safe zones in either or both countries would require thousands of troops for enforcement.

Last November, Trump endorsed the idea, deplorably saying “(b)uild a big, beautiful safe zone, and you have whatever it is so people can live, and they’ll be happier.”

Hillary Clinton earlier urged establishing a no-fly zone, the same scheme she used to launch US-led NATO aggression on Libya.

Russia rejects what Assad and his government oppose. CENTCOM commander General Joseph Votel supports safe zones in “areas that have already been secured,” he said.

Nothing is secure in war theaters. Baghdad is repeatedly targeted by car-bombings and other terrorist attacks, taking a horrendous human toll.

Endless US imperial wars rage in Syria, Iraq, the horrendous human toll harming civilians most.

All US wars are based on Big Lies, waged for imperial conquest and dominance, unrelated to humanitarian intervention, liberating oppressed people or democracy building.

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.