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Showing posts from July, 2018

US ally Cameroon brutally executes women and children

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By THOMAS REICH | JUL 28, 2018

The Intercept released a disturbing video showing Cameroonian soldiers brutally executing two women and two children accused of being Boko Haram terrorists.

As the soldiers led the group down the road, one of the them hit one of the women and told her, "BH [short for Boko Haram]! You are going to die!"

The soldiers then led them off the road. They blindfolded them with their own shirts (except for the young boy) and made them kneel down in the dirt.

"This hurts us but your parents have put us in a..." one of the soldiers told the children.

Moments later, they fired on the group.

After 22 seconds of gunfire, one of the soldiers walked over to the bodies to inspect them.

"The child is still alive," he said standing over the little girl, before another soldier shot her one last time.

You would think that the US would call out this act of state-sponsored terrorism, right?

Wrong.

In fact, we have given Cameroon $111 million in military aid…

Woman dies because medics assume she couldn't afford ambulance ride

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By THOMAS REICH | JUL 28, 2018

Crystle Galloway from Tampa died days after having a C-section. She was 30 years old.

Her 7-year-old daughter called her mother, Nicole Black, and told her something was wrong with Galloway. When Black arrived, Galloway was slumped over in a bathtub and drooling from the mouth. It's likely that she suffered a stroke.

At least medical professionals did everything they could to save this woman, right?

What is this, every other developed nation? 

No, this is America. And in America, we prioritize medical emergencies based on wallet size.

When paramedics arrived, they told Black that they couldn't afford the $600 ambulance ride.

"They didn't take any vitals. They didn't take any blood pressure. They didn't check her temperature," Black said. Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill was able to confirm her claim.

"They never asked us if we had insurance, which we do," Black continued.

The four offending medics have rightfu…

Who is Kaniela Ing?

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By THOMAS REICH | JUL 27, 2018

I can honestly say I knew about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez before the mainstream media decided all of a sudden to cover her after she beat Corrupt Joe Crowley (instead of before the election, which would've been nice).

No really. I saw her incredibly deep ad on Secular Talk weeks before the election.

I also knew about Kaniela Ing long before I knew about Ocasio-Cortez.

Kaniela Ing is a 29-year-old member of the Hawaii House of Representatives from the 11th district. He is running for Congress in Hawaii's 1st congressional district.

Like Ocasio-Cortez, Ing is a democratic socialist and Justice Democrat who is running a grassroots progressive campaign and is refusing corporate PAC money.

He supports Medicare for All, tuition-free college, student debt cancellation, universal housing, a UBI, a livable wage, a New New Deal (also called a Green New Deal), and ending "for-profit wars".

Means of Production, the same company that made Ocasio-Cortez'…

Crackdown on protests in Iraq

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By THOMAS REICH | JUL 24, 2018

According to Human Rights Watch, Iraqi security forces used excessive and even lethal force in a series of eight protests in the city of Basra from July 8 to 17.

In six of the eight protests, authorities shot at the protesters.

At least three protesters were killed and 47 more were injured, including 29 during and after arrest.

Three children were even injured; two were shot, and one was beaten with a rifle.

Since July 14, internet access across central and south Iraq has been restricted by the government.

So, what were the protesters demanding?

Three simple things: improved access to desalinated water, the government to address high rates of unemployment in the oil industry, and increased access to electricity for the hot summer months.

Clean water, relief, and electricity.

For those three simple things, almost fifty people were shot and beat, and three people were murdered in cold blood.

As bad as the problems in the US are, when we read stories like these, we s…

House Dems formally denounce Trump...for Helsinki summit

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By THOMAS REICH | JUL 23, 2018

House Democrats have whipped up a resolution formally denouncing Trump for comments he made at the Helsinki summit defending Putin from accusations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The resolution aims to establish Congress's commitment to NATO over Russia.

“The Helsinki summit really brought to a head an entirely new and destructive direction that Donald Trump will bring this country — a direction in which we shun fellow democracies, in which we castigate our NATO allies, in which we make common cause with authoritarian governments around the world, and in which we embrace a Russia which has intervened in our own election and effectively invite them to intervene again,” said Adam Schiff, who co-authored the resolution with Eliot Engel.

Here's the first problem with that: our NATO "allies" are actually pretty shitty allies. The US is known for being involved in numerous conflicts that have absolutely nothing to do with us. The b…

Ecuador to evict Assange

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By THOMAS REICH | JUL 22, 2018

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno is finalizing an agreement to withdraw WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's asylum status, evict him from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and hand him over to the Brits.

A source close to the Ecuadorian President's office told the Intercept that Moreno is close to finalizing (or has possibly already finalized) an agreement to hand Assange over to the clutches of British authorities within weeks, even as early as this week.

It's possible that after acquiring Assange, the UK will extradite him to the US, where top officials in the Trump administration, like Secretary of State (and known war hawk) Mike Pompeo, have vowed to criminally prosecute him and dismantle WikiLeaks. (Our government still isn't too happy about Assange and WikiLeaks disclosing information about their human rights and civil liberties abuses to the public, because fuck the people, am I right?)

Former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa blasted…

Medicare for All Caucus formed

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By THOMAS REICH | JUL 20, 2018

The Democrats are getting their shit together.

At least 70 House Democrats - which is more than a third of the House Democrats - signed onto the establishment of an official Medicare for All Caucus on Thursday.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The Democrats have actually formed a Medicare for All Caucus.

I'll say it again: the Democrats are getting their shit together.

Of course, I wish more Democrats would join the caucus; in fact, I wish all of them would. But at least 70 Democrats are forming this caucus. That's already more than the New Democrat Coalition and the Blue Dog Coalition.

So who's in?

The caucus will be co-chaired by Pramila Jayapal, Keith Ellison, and Debbie Dingell. Other members include Raul Grijalva, Ro Khanna, Barbara Lee, Mark Pocan, and Tim Ryan.

"We are united today by a common conviction that healthcare is a human right," said Jayapal at the caucus's launch event. "That healthcare must be affordable and accessib…

US healthcare ranked worst among wealthy nations

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By THOMAS REICH | JUL 19, 2018

I know this sounds horrible, but I honestly don't know if I should be angry about this fact or happy about how right we've been all along and how wrong conservatives have been.

No, I am actually very fucking angry.

According to a study conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, the US healthcare system ranked last overall out of 11 wealthy nations, while the UK's healthcare (NHS) ranked top overall.

"We measured performance quality across five domains, and the USA fell short in all five," said Eric Schneider, senior vice president for policy and research at the Commonwealth Fund. (He is also a doctor.)

Out of five metrics, other countries are kicking our ass.

I've heard a lot of pathetic excuses for why we shouldn't adopt a single-payer system, and one of them is that the government sucks at everything and will lower the quality of healthcare.

Let me dispel this notion.

It makes sense for certain industries to be in the private sector. It …

The Greys should go on a game show to pay for their healthcre

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By THOMAS REICH | JUL 17, 2018

We've finally reached a new low.

You may have heard of TruTV's new trivia show, Paid Off, in which three contestants must compete to see which one of them will have their entire student loan debt paid off.

We've also reached another low.

Jake and Maria Grey, a couple in Texas, are actually considering divorcing in order to pay for their 6-year-old daughter's healthcare.

Their daughter, Brighton, has Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome and requires around-the-clock care. Jake (who is a veteran) makes $40,000 a year, which is too much to qualify for Medicaid, so the Greys have to spend 30% of their income on Brighton's care.

If they were to divorce, Maria, who would be single and unemployed, would qualify for Medicaid.

We have perfect examples from each of our nation's two greatest economic problems, and we can see clearly the severity of those problems and the lengths at which working and middle class Americans must go to solve them. Medical bills a…