Me, I want to get the bad news up front but appreciate the warning (bad news coming): Nancy Pelosi, an 80 year old multi-millionaire so clueless she proudly showed off her two luxury refrigerators full of gelato during the first pandemic lockdown, yesterday was re-elected to lead the House of Representatives for her corporate sponsors.
This after presiding over a pathetic $600 one time payment to struggling taxpayers while other countries have been providing thousands per month so people could afford to stay home.
The really bad news for many was that the so-called Squad of progressive Democrats in the House caved and supported Pelosi even though their followers were calling en masse for them to withhold their votes in order to #ForceTheVote on the wildly popular brand of universal health care, Medicare for All.
The fact that any progressive in Congress generally gets co-opted within a couple of years and falls obediently into line on behalf of her career is not a new phenomenon.
Most mysterious to me is why people continue being (acting?) surprised when this happens.
Worthy of note is that my representative did something really unexpected and unusual: he voted for a fellow war veteran who serves in the U.S. Senate. This taught me that the Speaker of the House does not have to be a member of the House (who knew?), and suggests that he could not bring himself to vote for corporate shill Pelosi. The statement explaining his choice shows that he and his staff get the sentiment that is abroad in Maine and throughout the land:
I am of the opinion that only a general strike will bring about universal health care in the U.S.
Our corporate overlords have long since indicated that we can eat shit and die as far as they’re concerned. Withholding the labor that builds all that wealth would be powerful — and calls to do so are growing every day. Status quo upholders claim “that will never happen” to which I say: return to your history books and read up on what happened when elites had bled the working class dry in empires of the past.
Ok, ready for the good news?
A conservative judge who was expected to extradite journalist Julian Assange to face trumped up espionage charges in the U.S. did not do so. Her stated reason: mistreatment during his long imprisonment by the UK on behalf of the U.S. has rendered him a suicide risk, and District Judge Vanessa Baraitser does not believe the conditions in U.S. prisons are such that Assange could be prevented from killing himself in custody.
According to AP:
“I find that the mental condition of Mr. Assange is such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America,” the judge said.
(Wondering if she was thinking about Jeffrey Epstein here. Does anyone really believe he killed himself in prison?)
According to independent journalist Jeremy Scahill:
So this one victory does not mean the persecution of Julian Assange for revealing evidence of war crimes via Wikileaks is over. In order to stay up to date on the health of the free press canary in the corporate coal mine, we can’t rely on the Associated Press or other corporate news outlets who ignore him whenever possible. Instead, we can use this handly list compiled by independent journalist Kevin Gosztola of other reporters who are consistently paying attention.