In Mike Pence's first year as Indiana governor, his state put a young woman in prison for 20 years, claiming she'd taken an abortion drug even though Purvi Patel didn't have a trace of such a drug in her system. Indiana also held Bei Bei Shuai for 435 days in a brutal maximum security Marion County prison, facing 45 years to life for trying to kill herself, coincidently causing the death of her 33-week fetus. Utah charged 28-year-old Melissa Rowland with murder for refusing C-section, after one of the twins died in childbirth. Sixteen-year-old Rennie Gibbs was charged in Mississippi with "depraved heart murder" when her baby was born dead with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. Prosecutors charged her with using cocaine. Angela Carder was ordered to have a C-section to deliver her baby before she died of cancer. Both she and the baby died from the procedure. read more
$576 billion base budget for the Department of Defense; plus $174 billion for the Pentagon's Overseas war budget; $93.1 billion for the VA; $51.7 billion for Homeland Security; $42.8 billion for State Department; plus $26.1 billion for State Department's regime change slush fund; $16.5 billion for the DOE's nuclear weapons budget; $21 billion for militarizing outer space; plus $267.4 billion for all other government agencies affiliated with defense. Proposed cuts over ten years are: $1.5 trillion from Medicaid; $845 billion from Medicare; $25 billion from Social Security; $220 billion cut to SNAP; $21 billion cut to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families; $207 billion in cuts to the student loan program. Corporate media supports the ruling elite and ignores the ever-expanding military budget. The US military is an attack on our communities, our livelihoods and our lives. read more
Thomas Klikauer: We live in the age of rampant right-wing populism. And we also live in an age of a looming ecological genocide -- ecocide. Together, they create ecocidal populism. The rise of populism during recent years may not have occurred unconnected to the environmental devastation caused by global warming.
Gates pointed out that the current increase in pro-socialist rhetoric in the United States does not really refer to socialism according to any conventional definition of the word. "Socialism used to mean that a State controlled the means of production", and, according to Gates, "many people here who promote socialism do not define it in that classical way." "The majority do not argue against capitalism ... What they actually want is capitalism with a better level of taxation," says Gates. The federal employment guarantee of AOC, for example, would consist of a reference standard for employment that would include a minimum wage of $15 linked to inflation, full medical care, and paid leave for sickness and children. (That) is capitalism with a strong social safety net. read more
A HUGE lawsuit filed Friday by the attorney generals of more than 40 states accuses the nation's largest generic drug manufacturers of conspiring to inflate prices, by as much as 1,000 percent. The industry wide scheme affected the prices of more than 100 generic drugs. "We have hard evidence that shows the generic drug industry perpetrated a multi-billion dollar fraud on the American people," said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, who led the probe into the companies' conspiracies, "We have emails, text messages, telephone records, and former company insiders that we believe will prove a multi-year conspiracy to fix prices and divide market share for huge numbers of generic drugs. The suit names 20 major drug manufacturers, including Pfizer, Teva, Novartis, and Mylan, and more than a dozen senior executives accused of deleting evidence after the states began their investigation in 2014. read more