Hoo boy now our Administration is trying to get Venezuela to agree to a "transition plan." Venezuela had an election over a year and a half ago, but that matters little to the President who somehow got into office with only 46% of the vote. I guess this is the "good cop" half of their strategy -- charging President Maduro with drug trafficking being the "bad cop" part -- but dig Elliot Abrams, somehow this Administration's Venezuela "expert," saying he wants people in charge "who can work with the other side," which is always code for "people who can capitulate to right-wingers." And dig Secretary Pompeo's statement that Venezuela's crisis is a "man-made crisis." Indeed, this crisis was, to a large degree, made by the evil men in Washington, D.C. who imposed sanctions upon Venezuela. Maybe the people of Venezuela will have something to say about all of this, as they did when Tha Bush Mobb tried to overthrow his predecessor.
Margaret Flowers at TruthOut reminds us that "The US’s Wave of Hospital Closures Left Us Ill-Equipped for COVID-19." The American population has gone up by about 50% over the last 45 years, but the number of hospital beds has gone down by over 50% over the same period, and "down" is the wrong direction to go in, obviously. And, as you might imagine, rural hospitals tend to close down even faster than urban or suburban ones. What's to blame? Greed, as usual. What would be a good solution to greed? Why, Medicare-for-All, of course, which would push the private health insurance system out and make it more accountable to you, as your government's owner! Don't be the one who complains about "wait times"; folks in rural areas wait until after they die of preventable issues because they have no hospitals. Here, as elsewhere, the "free market" has not provided.
If you've been crushing on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo because, unlike our President, he projects the image of someone who knows what he's doing, let Ross Barkan at The Nation remind you that Mr. Cuomo helped set his own state up for this mess by letting big corporations close and consolidate hospitals and trying to slash Medicaid funding. Hey, you know what might solve the problem of having "too many people" on Medicaid? Why, Medicare-for-All health insurance, of course! Let me know if you think I'm beating a dead horse here. Not that it'll change what I'm doing.
In the wake of the CNN CEO claiming that he broadcasts all of our President's crapshow briefings because it showcases how "tough" his network's questions are, Neil DeMause at FAIR reminds us that "limiting" our President's time on-screen "Isn't Censorship, It's Journalism." Journalists are supposed to get at the truth, after all, not merely be stenographers to power. And you know, I was about to be generous and say they've simply forgotten the fact that they already don't broadcast every single possible piece of news that could be broadcast, so it's hard to call every single choice not to broadcast something "censorship." But they've got as much or more semiotic training than I do, so I'm going to go ahead and assume they're just pretending to be stupid, so they can better serve evil.
Speaking of how you actually do journalism, Isaac Chotiner at The New Yorker interviews a "contrarian" whose questionable coronavirus theories have informed our Administration's "thinking," and refutes said "contrarian"'s misstatements in italics right after he makes them. Easier to do in print than on TV, I suppose, but then that recommends print over TV, doesn't it? Every damn journalistic outlet should do what The New Yorker did here; we can even call it "doing a New Yorker" if they like. (As an aside, theorizing that viruses "evolve" from strong to weak is only a cut above Todd Akin's insane ramblings about "legitimate rape." Plus, Mr. Epstein does what they all do when someone calls them on their BS: he starts yelling.)
Finally, some news you can use: Markos Moulitsas at Daily Kos helps you "cut the cord" with your cable service provider so you don't subsidize Fox News's disgusting behavior anymore. You may not watch Fox News, but you're still paying for Fox News as part of your cable package; it's $20/year, but that's more than the other sucky cable news channels get, and since at least 93 million households still get cable TV, which means Fox News gets over $1.8 billion just from being part of your cable package, and though their advertisers are deserting them in droves, they're still making all this passive money from you. Don't give it to them! You'll be happier and richer.