There's battle lines being drawn.
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong.
Young people speaking their minds
getting so much resistance from behind

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Linkee-poo Saturday Oct 14th

First, the important one, the On the Media series, "We Don't Talk About Leonard… the background of the man who has played a critical role in the conservative takeover of America's courts — Leonard Leo." Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. If I told you that throughout the episodes there wasn't the sound of an RPG launch playing over and over in the deep recesses of my brain, well, I'd be lying. The right screams about George Soros, and again, every acusation is a confession.

"As the latest Israel-Hamas war reaches its sixth day, the Israeli military pulverized the Gaza Strip with airstrikes, prepared for a possible ground invasion and said Thursday its complete siege would remain in place until the Hamas militants that rule the territory freed some 150 hostages taken during a grisly weekend incursion." The terrorist strikes to provoke an overwhelming response where the target government violates their own laws and norms.

"Four dozen Antarctic ice shelves have shrunk by at least 30% since 1997 and 28 of those have lost more than half of their ice in that time, reports a new study that surveyed these crucial “gatekeepers’’ between the frozen continent’s massive glaciers and open ocean." Place gif of Jack Nicholson as the Joker shouting, "We're gonna take them out a whole new door!"

"Workers are beginning the process of removing the famous Sycamore Gap tree trunk and crown from Hadrian's Wall, which was felled in late September in a shocking act of vandalism in northern England. The tree's stump will remain."

"High school students’ scores on the ACT college admissions test have dropped to their lowest in more than three decades, showing a lack of student preparedness for college-level coursework, according to the nonprofit organization that administers the test." Time to fire up the headlines of, "Why Johnny Can't Read." Let the handwringing begin.

"The American College of Emergency Physicians in a statement called the paper outdated and said the term excited delirium should not be used by members who testify in civil or criminal cases. The group’s directors voted on the matter Thursday in Philadelphia." It was always bullshit.

"Caroline Ellison had testified over the two previous days that Bankman-Fried directed her at several times over the years to pull money from FTX customer accounts to fund investments and trading strategies at Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency hedge fund, Alameda Research. Ellison was the CEO of Alameda when it and FTX collapsed in November of last year."

"Businesses and climate activists have been pushing to shape the SEC rules for months, because the stakes are high. The economy is awash in climate disclosures that companies tout, but there are few ways for customers and investors to gauge the validity of the claims. The SEC's goal is to ensure that publicly-traded corporations are reporting comparable information, and also to make sure they aren't misleading investors about their environmental activities — a practice known as greenwashing, Gary Gensler, chair of the SEC, told the House Financial Services Committee in September."

"Many consumers are no strangers to added and surprise fees, from buying airline tickets to renting a car or ordering takeout...These pesky charges are the target of new actions announced Wednesday by the Biden administration, which hopes to stamp out so-called 'junk fees' and make it easier for buyers to know what they're paying and why." Hell to the fuckin' yeah. Just two examples: we had a basic landline up until this year, it was $15 for the line, but with all the fees it was over $50 a month. Two, just bought tickets to a speaking event, the processing fee was a third of the ticket price (added on top) which wasn't disclosed until checkout.

"The FBI’s highly unusual search for buried Civil War-era treasure more than five years ago set in motion a dispute over what, if anything, the agency unearthed and an ongoing legal battle over key records. There’s so much intrigue that even a federal judge felt compelled to note in a ruling last week: 'The FBI may have found the gold — or maybe not.'"

"Nominated to be House speaker, Rep. Steve Scalise on Thursday ran straight into a familiar, intensifying Republican problem: Skeptical GOP colleagues are refusing to give their support, denying him the majority vote needed to win the gavel." The party of "anti-government" can govern you say? Weird. UPDATE: Scalise is out.

"Republicans have tapped Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, to be their latest nominee for House speaker, one day after the conference's initial nominee, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, failed to consolidate party support." I'm sorry, GOP, you've already had a child abuser as speaker. Try and mix it up a little.

"U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey was accused Thursday of conspiring to act as an agent of the Egyptian government in a new indictment that places the Democrat who had a key role in shaping U.S. policy in deeper legal trouble as he continues to ignore calls to resign." Time to go, Bob.

"Donald Trump obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in loans using financial statements that a court has since deemed fraudulent, a retired bank official testified Wednesday at the former president’s New York civil fraud trial."

"Donald Trump will be back in court next week for his New York civil fraud trial, a person familiar with the former president’s plans told The Associated Press on Thursday, setting up a potential face-to-face showdown with fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen, who is expected to testify."

And in case I didn't post it before, the On the Media Podcast short on "Why You Should Pay Attention to Trump's Civil Fraud Case."

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Linkee-poo Saturday Oct 7

So, what should we talk about?

"In a deadly surprise attack, Gaza militants infiltrated several Israeli towns and military camps and fired thousands of rockets from Gaza toward central and southern Israel. 'We are at war,' Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said." How's that plan to isolate Iran going, Benny?

Dick Butkus, and so it goes.

"After a summer of record-smashing heat, warming somehow got even worse in September as Earth set a new mark for how far above normal temperatures were, the European climate agency reported Thursday." We're boned.

It's impossible they say, well… "Within a few years of Méndez Galain receiving that phone call inviting him to become the national director of energy, he had achieved what he had set out to do. Uruguay's energy grid was powered almost exclusively by domestically created, renewable energy, and, adjusted for inflation, consumer prices had gone down. Today, there are more than 700 wind turbines installed across Uruguay's countryside."

"Starting in January, EV car shoppers won't have to wait until tax season to pocket the incentive, worth up to $7,500. Instead, the credit will be available as cash in hand on the day of purchase — and it'll be available regardless of the size of a customer's tax bill."

"GSK patented the adjuvant and took control of the supply of the ingredients in it. It accepted government and nonprofit funding to develop a TB vaccine using the adjuvant. But even though it isn’t carrying the vaccine to the finish line, it isn’t letting go of it entirely either, keeping a tight grip on that valuable ingredient."

"U.S. employers added 336,000 jobs in September, according to the Labor Department. That's about twice as many as forecasters were expecting." And somehow this is bad news.

"United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain said Friday that Ford, General Motors and Stellantis will all avert an expansion of the UAW’s work stoppages at this time, suggesting the unprecedented strikes against all three could be nearing an end."

"Police identified the suspect as a radical 40-year-old Jewish American tourist and said initial questioning suggested he smashed the statues because he considered them 'to be idolatrous and contrary to the Torah.'"

"An American F-16 shot down an armed Turkish drone after it flew close to U.S. forces in northeast Syria and ignored warnings to stay away. Officials said it was the first time the U.S. has shot down an aircraft from Turkey, a NATO ally."

"In March 2020, Schmidt allegedly traveled to Hong Kong and then Beijing. While in the Chinese capital, he conducted several Google searches, including 'What Do Real Spies Do and How are they Recruited—Reddit,' as well as 'Espionage—Reddit.'" (shrug text art)

"Since taking office, Mr. Biden has tried to balance his stated desire for a more humane approach with strict enforcement that aides believe is critical to ensure that migrants do not believe the border is open to anyone"

"U.S. immigration authorities are restarting deportations to Venezuela, as the Biden administration tries to discourage migrants from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally... The U.S plans to resume repatriation flights directly to Venezuela immediately, the administration announced Thursday."

"But his quiet neighborhood is now in an unwelcome national spotlight. For weeks in Texas, conservative media and GOP activists have been pushing unsubstantiated claims that Colony Ridge has become a magnet for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally and that cartels control pockets of the neighborhood." You must be carefully taught.

Today in "duh" news... "A year ago, Kentucky came up with a creative solution that is already paying dividends… The state made all child care employees eligible for free child care, regardless of household income."

"A New Mexico judge on Friday upheld the state's congressional map as constitutional following a trial over whether the Democratic-controlled Legislature illegally drew the boundaries in 2021… Judge Fred Van Soelen found there was clear evidence that Democratic lawmakers intentionally tried to dilute the votes of the state Republican Party and other plaintiffs when they moved conservative voters out of the 2nd Congressional District and moved Democratic-aligned voters in." Some gerrymandering is allowable, but RedState took it to an extreme.

"North Carolina’s legislature is now exempt from the public records law that governs other branches of government. The change is a last-minute addition to the state budget, and it comes alongside a major expansion of the legislature’s ability to seize documents from state agencies and private contractors."

"Secrecy was a hallmark of the 13 federal executions during the last six months of Trump’s presidency. Although reporters were allowed to witness them, it was impossible to know at the time what was happening behind the scenes... Fresh details have emerged since the executions, including from Dershowitz, who spoke recently to The Associated Press. The fuller picture reveals that officials cut corners and relied on a pliant Supreme Court to get the executions done, even when some — including Trump himself, in Bernard’s case — agreed that there might be valid reasons not to proceed with them all."

"Experts at national defense laboratories haven’t been able to physically validate the effectiveness and reliability of nuclear warheads since a 1992 underground test ban. But Energy Department officials announced Thursday they’re on the verge of piecing together the technology needed to do the next best thing."

"The ex-treasurer for US congressman George Santos pleaded guilty Thursday to a fraud conspiracy charge and implicated the indicted New York Republican in a scheme to embellish his campaign finance reports with a fake loan and fake donors." That's the sound of nails going into the coffin.

"House speaker candidates have pulled out of a planned joint interview on Fox News next week just hours after it was announced amid fierce blowback from GOP lawmakers, the latest sign of how simmering tensions within the conference are boiling over as Republicans scramble to find a new leader following Kevin McCarthy’s stunning ouster."

"Russ Buettner is a reporter on the New York Times Investigation Desk, the team that hunted down Trump’s tax returns and other elusive financial documents, in an effort to understand how exactly the former president got his money and how he lost so much of it. For the midweek podcast, (On the Media) correspondent Micah Loewinger called Russ to learn about what Trump’s history of fraud means for his future, the revelations of the trial so far, and what details have gotten lost in the deluge of coverage."

"Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial will roll ahead next week after the former president lost a bid Friday to halt the proceedings while he fights a pretrial ruling that could strip him of Trump Tower and other marquee properties."