Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover
we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.
AP’s Today in History for November 12th
Josef Stalin consolidates power in USSR; World War II’s naval Battle of Guadalcanal begins; Women’s rights pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Actress-turned-royalty Grace Kelly and singer Neil Young born.
Breakfast Tune Creep – Radiohead Banjo Cover
Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below
CONGRESS PREPARES TO SEND MAJOR GIFT TO AMAZON, WHILE TRUMP BATTLES “AMAZON WASHINGTON POST”
David Dayen, The Intercept
UNDER PRESSURE FROM anti-monopolists, House and Senate negotiators tweaked the controversial “Amazon amendment” this week, but waved it through nonetheless. The provision seeks to turn over federal procurement of commercial off-the-shelf items, a $53 billion market, to e-commerce portals. And with Amazon as the runaway leader in that space, critics say that even with the modifications, the provision still favors the online retail giant, giving it a pathway to billions of dollars in new revenue.
The gift bound for Amazon underscores the limits of President Donald Trump’s Twitter politics, as his routine denunciations of the company for its affiliation with The Washington Post have done little to dampen its clout in Congress. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns the Post.)
As The Intercept reported last week, the House-passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual bill setting defense policy, would let Pentagon purchasing officials acquire office supplies or furniture from private-sector websites, instead of through long-term contracts with suppliers or a government catalog managed by the General Services Administration. The stated goal was intuitive: to reduce costs and create simplicity in procurement, as well as to eventually roll out the program across the government. …
Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett are wealthier than poorest half of US
Rupert Neate, The Guadian
The three richest people in the US – Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett – own as much wealth as the bottom half of the US population, or 160 million people.
Analysis of the wealth of America’s richest people found that Gates, Bezos and Buffett were sitting on a combined $248.5bn (£190bn) fortune. The Institute for Policy Studies said the growing gap between rich and poor had created a “moral crisis”.
In a report, the Billionaire Bonanza, the thinktank said Donald Trump’s tax change proposals would “exacerbate existing wealth disparities” as 80% of tax benefits would end up going to the wealthiest 1% of households. …
Bernie Sanders Goes to Canada for Health Care Inspiration
Michael Corcoran, Truthout – Report
This piece is part of Fighting for Our Lives: The Movement for Medicare for All, a Truthout original series.
For decades, myths about the Canadian health care system have been widespread in the US. Conservative think tanks, the for-profit health industry, Third Way Democrats and the dominant media have advanced falsehoods about Canada’s single-payer health system. In September, Vice President Mike Pence went as far as to cite Canada as the glaring case study “for the failings of national socialized health care.” All of this occurs despite the fact that Canada’s health care outranks the US health system by virtually every metric available.
“These are not misunderstandings,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders on October 29 in Toronto, during a weekend tour of Canadian hospitals. “These are very intentional lies [to] convince the American people that the current dysfunctional system we have now is the best that we can do.”
The tour of the Canadian health system by the country’s most popular politician is another reminder of how far the single-payer movement has come, in part due to the awareness Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign raised. The single-payer movement has been gaining momentum: Sanders’s Medicare for All bill in the Senate now has 16 co-sponsors (up from zero in 2013) and a similar bill in the House (John Conyers’s HR 676) enjoys a record 120 co-sponsors.
Sanders is seizing this moment as an opportunity to educate the public about the merits of his Medicare for All proposal. Hence his decision to take a delegation of doctors, nurses and reporters to Canada, where he spoke with politicians, providers and patients. The goal: learn how our closest neighbor can cover its entire country at just over half the cost per capita that we spend in the US for a system which leaves 28 million uninsured and about 31 million more underinsured. …
Nation That Says It Can’t Afford Medicare for All Has Spent $5.6 Trillion on War Since 9/11
Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams
A new analysis offers a damning assessment of the United States’ so-called global war on terror, and it includes a “staggering” estimated price tag for wars waged since 9/11 — over $5.6 trillion.
The Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Center says the figure — which covers the conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan from 2001 through 2018 — is the equivalent of more than $23,386 per taxpayer.
The center’s figure is far greater than the $1.5 trillion the Pentagon estimated (pdf) in July for the costs of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, as it gives a fuller picture by including “war-related spending by the State Department, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security,” writes Neta C. Crawford, a professor of political science at Boston University. …
- Sabotaging Apartheid
Ronnie Kasrils, Marcus Barnett
- Giving the Game Away
- When People And Societies Change
Something to think about over coffee prozac
This Beagle’s Ear Cyst Looks Disturbingly Like Donald Trump
David Moye, HuffPo
A beagle in Tyneside, England, is dogged with an annoying ailment: Donald Trump is stuck in his ear.
Not the actual president, but a cyst that looks amazingly like the 45th president.
Jade Robinson said her two-year-old beagle, Chief, developed the cyst after dirt got in his ears.
“As he has the very distinctive long ears [of a beagle, he spends] a lot of time scraping the ground sniffing for lovely smells,” she said, according to the BBC. “Unfortunately this leads to his ears picking up a lot of dirt.”
She added that while she tries to keep Chief’s ears clean on a daily basis, “general cleaning can only go so far.” …