Prawnworks Archives 2022B


What I especially like in this piece is the "cold, calculating, heartless view" of why helping Ukraine is good for NATO and the US. I think especially the precision rocket artillery (HIMARS) and tube artillery (the M777 Ultralight Field Howitzer) make truly awesome advertisements for NATO weaponry as opposed to anything the Russians have.

Don Jr. is confused as to why Senator Cruz was harshly criticized for slipping off to Cancun when Texas was suffering a harsh winter storm, but a few years later, the country has another harsh winter storm, Biden is vacationing in the Virgin Islands and nobody criticizes him.
No mystery. Cruz took off during a crisis that was made vastly worse by a failed power grid, Biden was already on vacation when all systems were operating normally.

Barbara Walters has been out of the public eye for a while, but she was a real trailblazer!

More than three months after protests over the forced wearing of hijabs broke out, Iranian protesters have moved their demonstrations to rooftops. Also, protesters have been producing art and graffiti to get their message out.

Ginni Thomas (wife of Justice Clarence Thomas) makes a number of assertions in her interview with the January 6th Commission which are very difficult to believe.  The idea that she and her husband never spoke about politics and that he had no idea what she did all day is not credible.

So Ginni Thomas thinks the January 6th Commission ought to have looked both at January 6th and at the riots that were a response to the murder of George Floyd, eh? And what do the two have in common? Well, erm, they were both violent! O-o-o-okay!

After six years, the American people finally have Trump’s tax returns!

Fox News was extremely quick to declare “No story. Nothing to see here. Move along quietly now,” about Trump’s tax returns. This is why it was very important to wait while people had a chance to carefully examine his tax returns.  

Hmm, turns out that Trump had people on the inside of the IRS deliberately not doing audits of his taxes.

Very highly interesting. Trump was very highly critical of the millions that Hunter Biden made from Ukraine, suggesting that it was a clear sign that Joe Biden's decisions were being influenced by that foreign money. Meanwhile, Trump “received more than $55 million in gross income from more than 12 countries."

Anti-choicers are simply incompatible with women’s health while the woman is pregnant. A miscarriage can be suspected of being an abortion, so doctors will go to great lengths to avoid being anywhere near a miscarriage. NPR does a good job examining the dilemmas.

Quickie summary of the Andrew Tate-Greta Thunberg fight.

I have a problem with the sentence

The United States backed the violent overthrow of President Yanukovych in Ukraine in 2014…”

These two pieces do not agree with this interpretation of the Revolution of Dignity at all. Was the following conflict really a two-sided problem of misunderstanding?
I’ve long since seen the problems with the Minsk II accord, as well.

Republican Congresspeople who are due to have oversight responsibilities seem a bit overeager to get started, sending out requests for documents before they’ve actually gotten the power to do so.

Intelligence agencies can't prove that Hunter Biden's laptop is Russian disinformation, but it sure smells like it!

The blogger emptywheel says that the files that would normally tell us exactly what was on the drive are simply missing, meaning nothing on them can be verified.

Heh! Trump "threatens" to turn Biden's 2024 reelection campaign into a cakewalk!

Russia launches nearly 70 missiles at Ukrainian cities. The average shoot-down rate is about 2/3rds, so that means about 20-something got through. 

In this case, it was almost 80%, 55 out of 69.

Just amazes me that people are blaming Secretary of Transportation Buttigieg for the Southwast Airlines meltdown (unfortunately, this isn't surprising). Let's compare this with what the younger George Bush was accused of not doing prior to 9-11. Bush could have sounded the alarm to the airlines and have put all of them on the alert. In contrast, fixing the broken legacy software systems of Southwest Airlines would have required person-years of programming. No, the two problems do not compare.

The 845-page report of he January 6th Commission is a good read.
Piece includes a good, reasonably concise summary of the highlights.
Also, a free link to an NY Times piece.

The blogger Kos has been reviewing his writings on the war in Ukraine and finds his earlier assessments stand up pretty well. The essential model his blog follows is that they're biased, they have a point of view, but that they're accurate.

Trump tries to make all kinds of wild, unhinged assertions about January 6th. I'm sorry, but why would the president be helpless to protect the Capitol if he knows an attack is on the way? Why is he dependent on the Speaker and the Mayor of Washington DC?

Hmm, Italy appears to have some internal divisions. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has affirmed her full support for Ukraine, but Minister of Defense Guido Crozetto warns that "for Moscow, if the point of no return is passed, if they risk defeat," then Russia might use nuclear weapons.

The US M1A1 Abrams and the German Leopard 2 were both originally designed to the NATO standard tank. Both of them weigh in excess of 60 tons. In spots, the Leopard has 1.5 meters of armor! Also, Poland already has Leopard repair depots and Europeans are familiar with it, so it’s the better choice for Ukraine.

Elon Musk asks: "Why is corporate journalism rushing to defend the state instead of the people?"
Problem with the Twitter Files series is that there are serious problems with the credibility of the stories, beginning with the first two of them complaining of violations of the First Amendment when Twitter is a private company and is therefore not subject to it. Other journalists have found real problems with the stories. The result is very few people outside the right-wing bubble take the series seriously.

"Libs Of TikTok Lady’s Hateful Interview To Tucker Carlson: ‘They’re Evil!’"
Truly sick and twisted person. The real problem is that she has 1.7 million followers on Twitter! Like QAnon, she targets specific institutions (particular hospitals, in her case), which then hear from her outraged followers.

In 2009, Senate Minority Leader McConnell seemed to think he had "cracked the code" to winning legislative victories, that is, "scorched earth" or total noncooperation. Apparently, in this term he and others have discovered that just isn't a good long-term strategy.

This is very cool! Postmaster DeJoy was planning on a fleet of gas-powered vehicles to replace vehicles that were as much as 30 years old. Legislation by Congress has directed that half of the delivery vehicle fleet be electric.

The fact that Ukraine hit the very same airfield after a month of not trying to hit it and the fact that their drones met no opposition after they had passed the Russian lines of defense means that Russian air defenses are in extremely bad shape!

Russian oligarch (*ahem*), er, “fell” from a third story hotel window.

Looking back on the year in legislation. Biden did a pretty good job

Texas Governor Greg Abbott drops off a few busloads of migrants outside the Naval Observatory (The Vice President's home) on Christmas. Truly horrible. Complete lack of preparation Complete lack of seeing to it that migrants survive in decent shape once they get to where they're going. Just utterly amazing that, on the same day, Governor Abbott put out a Christmas message suggesting that he was a Christian.

I had a conversation with a really large group of anti-vaxxers. One of their big concerns was sudden death among apparently healthy people who has taken the vaccines for Covid. The rate at which it happens seems to be about 3 or 4 out of every 10k people who get vaxxed. That's of course a concern, but the chances of dying from Covid are still vastly higher. Anyway, good discussion of the issue here.

Christmas greetings from the current president and The Former Guy (Just as awful as you'd think).

The astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson calculates it for us so we don't have to. Santa would have to visit 25k homes per second in order to leave presents at all the houses that celebrat Christmas within a 24-hour period. .  

The problem in defining antisemitism is that you want to separate the state of Israel from the Jewish people. One must also observe free speech rights. The definition offered by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance or IHRA, has proven to be seriously problematic.

Wagner Group (mercenaries) is actively competing with Russia’s regular military.
North Korea delivering weaponry to Wagner Group.
Ukraine hits airfield across the river from Kherson.
NY Times does deep dive on Russian military unit that committed the massacre at Bucha.

Terroristic bomb threats against Tufts University and a course examining “whiteness” results in a few changes to testing procedures and a tightening of security, thereby giving the terrorists a partial victory.

As the blogger says about Senator Sinema “Seems like her priority is training for her Ironman triathalons, and being a senator is, I dunno, a kind of side hustle.” Demanding that aids buy your groceries for you is unfortunately, not rare among lawmakers, but unfortunate anyway.

More good news on Senator Sinema! Well, terrible news for her, but good news for Democrats. She will not get access to detailed voter data as of the end of this coming January. That will make her 2024 campaign substantially more difficult.

As usual whenever we're reading or listening to propaganda, we must remember that it's rare for propagandists to outright lie. What they do far more often is what they do here, which is to tell half-truths. Did the FBI pay Twitter $3.5 million? Yes. Did those payments have anything to do with Hunter Biden's laptop? No.
This is the 7th episode of the Twitter Files and they have yet to tell us anything significant.

And of course, as we can see in this tweet, the right wing is anxious to jump on the bandwagon and to parrot the propaganda.

Sad milestone, Russian casualties hit 100k.

Russia has suffered 100k casualties, but sure, Russia has “limited objectives.” Uh-huh.

Elon Musk puts out a Twitter poll

Should Congress approve the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill?

An extremely short description like this that appears to be all cost and no clear benefit is of course a rather useless and meaningless poll. No, “the public” has not “spoken.”

Zelenskyy visits the US. Biden signals solidarity with his tie.
“In all seriousness, Biden says US gives Ukraine what it needs when it needs it”
Russians are trying hard to sell the eventual hoped-for conquest of Bakhmut as a major victory.
“a dozen RU Surface to Air Missile (SAM) sites” destroyed.

Don Jr. has a problem with Zelenskyy. TV star Valerie Bertinelli soothe Don, understanding how hurt and broken and sad he is.

Wow! Yup! Absolutely! The two meetings and two presidents, a world of difference!

Like, I suspect, many other liberals, I presumed that the request to see Trump's taxes was at least partly a fishing expedition. Turns out there was a compelling legislative reason behind it all, Trump's taxes weren't being audited! This requires a serious investigation.

Eric Trump’s “prophet” Julie Green received another message from God. God is sending a huge storm to wipe out [a lengthy list of political opponents].

There’s gotta be some serious grifting going on here. This woman is obviously quite good at telling Eric Trump just what he wants to hear. If there isn't some serious money changing hands, I’d be very surprised.

The economist Dean Baker responds to a comment by the Republican House Judiciary that condemns the Pelosi family for owning stocks. Yeah, I favor disallowing politicians from owning stocks as their own financial interests may be inconsistent with what the nation needs.

Mike Pence makes bad case for allowing Trump off the hook. “...the idea that legal accountability for suspected crimes would be ‘terribly divisive’” is a really weak and ridiculous defense.

This is a truly amazing term I ran across a short while ago, “face diaper.” It refers to the masks that, y’know, protect us from getting Covid. How well do masks actually work? Well, the US has had 1,077k Covid deaths. China, where Covid started, only suffered 31k deaths, Viet Nam 43k and Malaysia 37k. Why the difference? Simple, Asian countries very quickly adopted the large-scale, popular wearing of masks and they adopted social distancing.

Is adopting social distancing a good thing? Well, South Dakota stubbornly insisted on holding their annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally right on schedule, with pretty much no masks. It was known to epidemiologists as a “superspreader”event.

Zelenskyy visits troops in Bakhmut, which is pretty courageous of him because some Russian artillery officer may randomly decide “Let’s hit coordinates K-32 now” and that’ll be where Zelenskyy is.
While constructing fortifications, Ukrainians discover an ancient Roman settlement.
Is Russia running low on artillery ammunition? Hard to say, but sure would be nice.
St. Nick visits children.

Representative Perry makes some pretty wild claims, which he'd be happy to prove, but the information mysteriously disappeared! Erm, Perry does realize that you can download files and/or at least take screenshots? I mean, information disappearing? Really?

There are many good arguments for eliminating the Electoral College. The fact that the younger George Bush and Donald Trump both lost the popular vote, but won via the EC is a very good argument for eliminating it! Would getting rid of it mean rural areas will be bypassed? Not necessarily. Right now, there’s no point in a Democratic candidate going to Nebraska as it voted for Trump by 557k in 2020, so all four of its EC went to the Republican. But Biden got 375k, so if the EC didn’t exist, then it would be worthwhile to go there.

Barbie, the parody movie. The commercial takes after the movie 2001. Movie will be out in July.

The Republican Representative George Santos got elected even though what we “know” of his prior life appears to have been completely made up. Why no prior scrutiny? Part of the reason is the collapse of independent weeklies.

One of the artist’s other works.
Thoughts on a cartoonist.
Ukraine needs more weaponry.
“Today is Saint Nicholas Day – a traditional day when we all wish peace and warmth, reliable protection and victory.”
Why Bakhmut s worth fighting for.
Christmas observations,
50 orphans have to go to a shelter due to an approaching missile. Many had been through air raids before.
Elon Musk poses with a Russian propagandist from the channel Russian 24. Not sure if he knew who she was.

Musk is spotted at soccer game with Saudi Arabians. It's mildly interesting that liberals here are described as "furious," "freaking out" and "triggered," but when I read the liberal comments, I see a lot of "Of course Musk did this" and "Musk was always a right-winger" types of comments.

So Elon Musk asked Twitter users whether he should remain as head of it and 57% said "No." It's not entirely clear what happens now as he own 100% of the stock, so any appointee would likely just be a figurehead.

Will the “Twitter files” also examine suppression of Palestinian news on Twitter? Unfortunately, there are powerful voices on both sides of Twitter suppression that both oppose Palestinians.

Russia will attempt to boost morale among their troops by sending USO-type shows to front-line troops in Ukraine. I can see them helping if you’ve got an army that, like the American one in 1945, was charging towards victory. But I wonder how helpful they were in Vietnam post-Tet Offensive, when Americans concluded the war there had been lost.

Description of how Ukraine is holding onto cities. The tactic is expensive in terms of lives lost, but it’s more expensive for the attacker than for the defender.

Award-winning Iranian actress gets arrested for Instagram post where she criticizes putting protesters to death. Iranian petroleum workers announced the same day they were going on strike for higher wages and better working conditions. A cafe barista was charged and hanged for “waging war on God,” among other charges.

Overview of what we learned from the phone of he former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. The movement that was opposed to the results of the 2020 election went well beyond Trump himself.

From the piece

In the Kherson region, the Russians robbed and almost destroyed a winery founded 126 years ago — the Center of National Resistance. Trubetskoy Castle survived the First and Second World Wars, but was occupied at the beginning of the Russian invasion. In addition to vintage wines, the occupiers removed equipment and furniture from the... (more)

Good grief! The war in Yemen is an absolute, utter and unmitigated disaster! Long since time for the US to give it up and let the Saudis fight it by themselves!

The pieces I read usually regard NY Times and other sources as excessively "objective," they're too concerned with the view from a distance, "from 30,000 feet," as they say. They view even horrible events with a lack of human sympathy. In this piece, they look at a NY Times piece that sets aside the usual stance and takes a moral point of view, examining how Putin is destroying Russia itself with his disastrous war in Ukraine.
Also, Russian casualties are on track to hit the 100k mark before the year ends. Out of the 3,300 tanks they started the war with, there should be, according to Ukrainian army estimates, a bit over 300 left.

Ukraine has people training all over NATO. They don’t need any outside troops as they have 700k in uniform, they just need training and materials.
Is Russia assembling and training a force behind the Ural Mountains? The legend of Prester John from the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204) seems relevant here.
Latvian soldiers contribute a cool video clip at the end of the blog entry where they sing the old Christmas song "Shchedryk" or “Carol of the Bells.”

Sigh! “Kharkiv received body armor for children.”

Russians really trying to destroy as much civilian infrastructure as possible, but Ukrainians shoot down 60 out of 76 missiles. Lots of utilities were knocked out all over Ukraine. Kyiv slightly damaged, but Kharkiv’s electricity knocked out.

Film clip on Ukrainian firefighters in the Donbas.

The Economist does a deep dive on Zelenskyy.

Ukraine has enough men under arms—more than 700,000 in uniform, in one form or another, of whom more than 200,000 are trained for combat. But materiel is in short supply.

Ukrainian General Zaluznhy and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov interviewed.

"Avatar: The Way of Water"
Good stuff! One scene reminded me of watching an episode of the first iteration of Battlestar Galactca back in college. Our heroes were in a sort of old Western town and the town was attacked by “Native Americans.” Our guys hid behind an overturned wagon and permitted the “tribal people” to ride right past them. A fellow on my dormitory floor pointed out that at that range, a bow & arrow is just as deadly as a ray gun. When you’re that close, all that matters is who shoots first and more accurately.

Fox and Friends try desperately to defend the right wing's new "free speech absolutist" hero. They have to do a lot of legalistic hair-splitting in order to do that.

Our blogger goes through the history of bipartisanship over the past 20 or so years and then examines why Biden has been so successful at getting bipartisan bills through.

Ah, there we go! As soon as inflation starts becoming a non-issue, Fox News drags “War on Christmas” out of mothballs.

Ukrainian “Law enforcement officers found 10 torture chambers in Kherson, incl one for underages.”
Our blogger recalls Auschwitz.
Zelenskyy: “The only way to stop this is to push out Russian terrorists step by step from our Ukrainian land.”
64 Ukrainian soldiers gained back through an exchange.
A shopping market reopens in Bucha (a suburb of Kyiv).

Interesting that Iranian protesters are getting around official censorship by using the social media site TikTok. They’re reaching viewers in the hundreds of thousands.

Elon Musk showed us his “free speech absolutist” side when he took down a page that was tracking his jet (the site used open-source data) and then tried to come p with general rules that would prevent it from happening again. This new set of rules could have a serious effect on dealing with crises.

Musk’s war against bots “inadvertently” hits Ukrainians and many, many other legitimate users of Twitter.

The incident highlights growing confusion within Twitter as the company struggles to carry out Musk’s erratic commands with his ever-shrinking pool of engineers.

Russia hits symbolic target in Kherson. “Which only shows how weak Russia is.”

How Russia is evading sanctions.

On Florida Governor DeSantis:

Yep. He's going to run on being a COVID denier. Is his bet that there are enough Independents and leftwing lockdown/mask hysterics out there...

Interesting strategy. In rate of Covid-19 cases per 100k people by state, Florida ranks #8, so it's not like DeSantis can claim that his methods were successful.

To me, the most important thing that any story on Governor DeSantis and health policy should include, right in the first paragraph, is that Florida is in the top ten of states that have the highest Covid deaths per 100k. DeSantis has nothing to brag about concerning his stewardship of the health of Florida citizens! This important context is completely missing from this mainstream media story because, hey, it's about a horserace!

Hydrogen fusion, we’ve finally achieved more heat via fusion than we produced via inputting laser beams. Should take about a decade for fusion to be commercially workable.

Twitter is silencing/shadow banning Ukrainian accounts.
Woo hoo! US is sending Patriot anti-missile missiles to Ukraine!
France allocating a billion Euros to Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
Ukraine has liberated around 54% of the territory seized since February.
Russians caught trying to smuggle high-tech goods from US to Russia.

Representative Jordan posts:

. @elonmusk fired half the staff at Twitter. The app is working great. Maybe better than ever?

In three hours, this post has almost 8,500 replies saying "What are you, high?" and pointing out ways in which, no, it's not working well at all!

Elon Musk is absolutely destroying his own product! His purchase of Twitter was financed largely through Tesla stock. People around Boston, Massachusetts are likely to buy Teslas, people in Alabama are not. Musk is insulting and alienating the very people who are likely to buy his electric car.

Musk's problem now is just plain keeping the lights on!

"With Elon Musk selling billions in Tesla shares..."

Fox News

HIGH-FLYING HYPOCRISY: Biden official takes private jets on taxpayer dime while pushing green agenda.

Of course, because the Secretary of Transportation should be traveling in a horse & buggy on land and in a wooden sailing ship at sea!

The auto company Elon Musk owns, Tesla, is suffering massive commercial damage by Musk’s mismanagement of Twitter. Essential problem is that those who like what he's doing on Twitter and those who are likely to buy Teslas are two mutually exclusive groups. 

The biggest problem Trump now has is that Musk is stealing all the attention. No one can look away from the car wreck that Musk is making out of Twitter.

January 6th Committee gives TPM the 2,300+ messages that White House Chief of Staff Meadows got and sent concerning January 6th. They cover from the 2020 election to Biden’s inauguration. 34 Republican Congresspeople sent/received over 450 messages with him.

Texts from 34 Congresspeople to WH Chief of Staff Meadows show lots of true believers. These people weren’t acting.

“thread on Russian cyber warfare operations.” Russians expected more out of cyber war then they got.
Kremmena (South of Svatove) a bit more encircled than yesterday.
Incremental progress fo Russians at Bakhmut.
Bridge blown near Melitopol.

So Judge Cannon managed to hold up the Mar-a-Lago papers case for 98 days, only to have to finally admit she shouldn't have been involved in the case to begin with.

I've seen a few comments to the effect of "Now that we've proven that the Russians had nothing to do with the Hunter Biden laptop case, where's the apology from several people who said there was a connection?" As the thread here shows, a Russian connection hasn't been disproven at all.

I really appreciate the assessment of Senator Sanders here:

BASH: Does she (Senator Sinema) have the guts to take on powerful special interests?

SANDERS: No, she doesn't. She is a corporate Democrat..

More on the senator who's just massively miscalculated. A real failure to "read the room."

Good to get this clarification from The Former Guy and it does push back on a lot of propaganda spewed over the last several days. Yes, Trump could have gotten Paul Whelan out of Russia. No, Biden did not “Leave a Marine behind.”

Have to say I appreciate the first two mentions made by Kanye West (Ye)  here. Very good balance of recognizing both Griner and Whelan without devaluing either one of them.
Heh! Yeah, I can definitely see Trump playing second fiddle to Ye!

Shorter “TWITTER FILES, PART 4”: Faced with the absolutely unprecedented situation of an attempted autogolpe (self-coup), Twitter executives quickly invented new rules to respond to the situation.

Important context for “Twitter Files, Part 4.”

Very interesting. China’s trade with the Arab world was over $330 billion last year and will probably be a third more this year due to the price of gas. It’s probably no coincidence that Xi Jinping is on the side of Palestinians when it comes to their conflict with Israel.
This, even though Chinese Electric Vehicle (EV) sales account for up to 56% of all new EV sales. China has about 302 million cars, 10 million of which are EVs. 

Interesting. The Russian fellow who was exchanged for Brittney Griner sounds just like a US right-winger!
55% of Russians now oppose the “Special Military Operation.”
David Letterman travels to Ukraine and interviews Zelenskyy.
The “Pikachu Dance” that was featured on Sean Hannity (“See where your tax dollars are going!”) is apparently getting right-wingers upset. Of course, those who are upset “Never heard the sound of a shot fired in anger” and have no idea how much soldiers need a bit of diversions to amuse themselves with.

Why is the US suddenly worried about having “enough” to fight two & a half wars? There’s no objective number, the number we need depends on what the other guy has! Russians had 3,300 tanks when they invaded Ukraine back in February. They have perhaps 400 of that original number left. They’ve lost around 5,000 other vehicles. They won’t be in any shape to invade Western Europe for at least a decade!

Very sweet story about saying the right words at the right time.
Steve Gerber is a comics writer best known for Howard the Duck (Yeah, the movie was a real flop).
Gail Simone is a comics writer best known for Birds of Prey. I thought her writing on Secret Six was awesome!

Elon Musk endorses Ron DeSantis for president in 2024. DeSantis is a bit smarter and smoother than Trump, but politically, the two men are essentially identical.

Good news! Thanks to the war in Ukraine! Development of wind and solar power are both turbo-charged

Russian are trying to demoralize the Ukrainians, but the clock is ticking for them!
Over 1.5 million people in Odesa are without electricity after Russia hit it with 15 Iranian drones.
Ukrainians making use of generators and recharging stations in all the blackouts.
The Russian Battalion Tactical Group (BTG) has been the basic unit of maneuver for them. Now they’re trying even smaller groups,
Russians evacuated civilians from the Kilburn Spit and have filled it with troops.
“According to the Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky, Ukraine enjoys rather broad public support in Israeli society” and Israel sends humanitarian aid, but it doesn’t send military supplies.

Viktor Bout was the fellow who was traded for WNBA star Brittney Griner.  He promises "that if he had the opportunity and necessary skills, he would 'certainly go [fight in Ukraine] as a volunteer.'”

Update (12 Jan):

Bout pompously proclaimed, “The state that our nation is currently in, I believe it is my duty to do something for my country.”
However, this “something” apparently does not include risking his own skin for the Motherland.

Turning out the base voters was important this election, but what was more important was persuading people from the other party that Democrats would do a better job!

The discussion over whether to send USAF Reaper drones to Ukraine.
Describing the struggle for Bakhmut,
Video clip on dealing with cluster munitions.
More on Brittney Griner, Paul Whelan and diplomacy.
Putin might have to escape Russia in a hurry, so he has an exfiltration plan all worked out.

I’d say this counts as strike three and the Twitter Files are out! The team assembled by Musk has failed miserably to assemble any sort of case. Was Twitter responsible for Trump’s 2020 loss? No, Trump proved many times over the years that he was in over his head, that he couldn’t handle the job of president. His response to Covid proved yet again that he hadn’t grown in the job.
What do the “Twitter Files” show? They show a group of people trying to navigate uncharted waters and doing a reasonably good job of it.

"What happens now that Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema is no longer a Democrat"
As I suspected, Senator Sinema, like Bernie Sanders and Angus King, will continue to vote with Democrats and will not seek to upset the balance of the Senate. She knows full well that Democrats don't have much use for her and is apparently scheming to win a second term by cobbling together a majority out of the two parties plus independents. Doubt that'll work.

Someone from Twitter points out that she's "a bisexual pro-choice woman who twice voted to impeach Trump." So ehh, lots of luck trying to switch parties!

With substantial Republican cross-over, the bill to legalize marriage equality is now law!

Hero pilot knocks down two missiles and five drones in one day!
According to Putin, everything is Ukraine’s fault.
Viktor Bout, who was traded to Russia in exchange for Brittney Griner, is probably likely to “fall out of a window” or to “shoot himself in the back” by means of the many enemies he made in his decades of arms dealing. He’ll be watched closely by the intelligence services of MANY countries!
Russia officially accused of genocide.
Ukrainian content on both Meta (Facebook) and Twitter appears to be restricted.
The new Eyes on Russia mapping project is up and running.

Very interesting that the T-90 tank has a few variations, the T-90S tanks are for export, not for use by Russia itself, so when they start showing up in Ukraine, we know they’re running low!
Russia is still very much an empire and losing the war against Ukraine could fracture it. The critical myth that holds the Russian Federation together is the invincibility of its army. If it’s seen as a paper tiger, it’s likely the wealthier provinces will break off first.

"Putin's Puppet Throws A Fit Over Zelensky Being Named Time's Person Of The Year"
Ah yes! Tucker Carlson of Fox News defends liberty and justice and freedom, etc., etc. Never mind that Ukraine is fighting to survive against a much more populated country that once had what was considered the second most powerful military in the world.

In the second Twitter Files case:

...appear to indicate that Hobbs, who served as the state’s secretary of state at the time, emailed Twitter staffers in Jan. 2021 to have accounts blocked that she claimed contained so-called election misinformation.

Not sure what the problem here is. Yes, Hobbs had the authority of the Arizona Secretary of State, but she simply informed Twitter of a problem. Twitter agreed that the pages violated their rules

So two of the SCOTUS Justices like the Independent State Legislature Theory (ISLT), one was completely incoherent about it and the rest of the Justices seemed pretty skeptical about it. Whew!

Out of two American prisoners in Russia, we got one out at least. Brittney Griner was the lucky one!

WNBA basketball player Brittney Griner was traded for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. It was the best deal the Biden Administration could get. Why wasn’t the American former Marine Paul Whelan also freed? Because Russia didn’t want to free him. They wanted a one for one deal, period.

“The family of Paul Whelan, a businessman and former Marine imprisoned in Russia” react to the news of Brittney Griner. They wish her well and understand why he didn’t also come home.

"The United Nations General Assembly just voted 149-6 that Israel must give up its nuclear weapons."
Big stuff! It clearly won't happen as the US veto in the Security Council will prevent any action, but this vote is as lopsided as the vote against Russia's attempted annexation of parts of Ukraine. Imperialism is a worldwide phenomenon. The US is just as guilty as Russia is.

And the Iranian revolt against the forced wearing of hijabs gets turned up another notch! Iran’s clerical Leader Ali Khamenei has a niece in prison because the niece was part of a protest, her mother, Khameni’s sister, is now speaking out against him.
Reminder: Part of the motivation for the Revolution of 1979 was corruption. Iran has a lot of corruption today, as well.

Senator Ted Cruz is having family difficulties. I sent him a message of support because sometimes partisanship isn't appropriate.

The Trump crimes Special Counsel is wasting no time! I remember the fake electors scheme was one that Ronna McDaniel, the head of the RNC, was particularly eager to defend the perpetrators of. Jack Smith’s first subpoenas were about that.

This looks to be a very, very bad legal theory! Basically, state legislatures can ignore checks and balances.

Fortunately, some of the right-wing SCOTUS justices are skeptical of the theory.

Active Russian Agent Andrii Derkach apparently played a role in putting out the Hunter Biden laptop story.
President Zelenskyy is Time Magazine’s Person of the Year!
Putin says there are 150k “mobiks” (recently mobilized Russian soldiers) in Ukraine.
Putin makes a somewhat, sort of comforting statement concerning Russia’s potential use of nuclear weapons.
Russia has received 400 Iranian drones, 350 of which were shot down, the remainder of which caused significant damage.

...the Germans began rolling up a massive neo-NAZI, neo-Fascist, anti-democratic extremist network today.

Fun read as I never had much use for No Labels to begin with. And yes, as someone who worked in a department with very high turnover (the rest of the workplace had very low turnover), high turnover is very much a sign of dysfunction!

Fox News headline

NPR quiet on Twitter Files after calling Hunter Biden laptop story a waste of time

In other words, NPR showed good news judgment.

Cool! Ukrainian President Zalenskyy gets the Time Magazine "Person of the Year" award! Well deserved!

Just a bit hypocritical here. The US disapproves of Palestinians using the International Criminal Court to seek justice for the murder of of Palestinian-American reporter Shireen Abu Akleh by an Israeli sniper. At the same time, the US seeks to have the court prosecute Russia for actions taken in Ukraine. The Israelis “saved themselves some time and money by skipping the investigation and going straight to the ‘innocent’ verdict.”

Starts off with, of course, a nod to Senator Warnock’s victory in Georgia!
Trump loss in tax evasion case is a complete sweep. Guilty on all the charges! And blame goes to the top executives. This was not a “junior people were out of control” kind of thing.

Woo hoo! Warnock wins! Georgia is Blue! Senate will be 51-49! That single extra senator makes a big difference in how committees are composed. Democrats have much more freedom to choose members and to issue subpoenas, etc. 

And, of course, we have the bitter, salty tears of the losers.

Ukrainians celebrate their air defense systems.
The US has been careful to modify HIMARS rockets so that they can’t be used to fire into Russia. It also refuses to give Ukraine ATACMS rockets. They can be launched with the same launchers, but have twice the range of HIMARS.
US is unclear about Ukraine getting back to the 2014 borders with Russia, saying that they’re willing to go back to the February borders. This provides “an information warfare and influence advantage to the Russians and the PRC.” That is, it allows our enemies to portray us as unreliable.
Germany is fine with Poland getting Patriot missiles, but Poland can’t give any of those systems to Ukraine.

Two drones hit Russian air bases hundreds of kilometers inside Russia. Was it an escalation of the war? No, because Russia was hit with homegrown Ukrainian weapons. Had the US supplied ATACMS rockets (Essentially like HIMARS, but twice the range and a bigger payload), then there might be a danger of escalation. NY Times proves itself to be on the side of Russia by describing the attack as “brazen.” There is no positive connotation to that term.

Woo hoo! Two Trump companies charged with 17 counts between them, guilty on all 17! No jail time for any of the Trump family, but lots of fines and plenty of bad press.

Aww! Kirstie Alley passes away. Her run on Cheers was her last significant job, but she was good in that.

WaPo does a decent job covering the Hunter Biden’s dick pics, er, I mean, laptop “expose” of the Hunter Biden “scandal.”

Cool! Clark Kent changes into Superman from 1940 to 2022.

Video of Russian missile being shot down.
Ukraine launched a drone strikes deep into Russia, hitting airbases that hosted strategic bombers that were delivering non-nuclear ordinance to Ukrainian cities.
Russia launched the big missile strike that was being dreaded. Over 60 out of roughly 70 missiles were shot down.
Melitopol is roughly 100km from the nearest Ukrainian units. It’s getting increasing guerrilla activity.
Zelenskyy grew his beard for the war with every intention of shaving it off when there is peace, but his wife likes it, so we’ll see.

More on the Ukrainian drone strike on the Russian air base. Russians made the basic design for the drone in the 70s, we think the drones that were used were adaptations of that.

The NY Times reports on a segment by Tucker Carlson of Fox News, where Carlson rreports on thr Twitter Files story that accuses the Biden Campaign of asking Twitter to downplay the Hunter Biden laptop story. Carlson claimed that this demonstrated a "systematic violation of the First Amendment." The NY Times needed to include that neither the Biden Campaign nor Twitter were government entities, therefore there was no First Amendment violation. By leaving this out, the Times left viewers with the impression that Carlson was right and that the Constitution had been violated. 

For the second Twitter Files story, it's very difficult to see what, if any, violations (First Amendment or otherwise) occurred. Yes, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs was in the government when she made the request to have election disinformation reviewed for accuracy by Twitter and for it to be removed if it wasn't accurate. Twitter voluntarily complied, because sure enough, the tweets that Hobbs called attention to indeed broke the rules. So where's the problem?

Ah, here we go! That's why Republicans are anxious to degrade military readiness by canceling vaccine mandates. Republicans have "drunk the Kool-aid" that says vaccines are harmful. Instead of admitting the lie, they'd rather degrade readiness.

One thing Russia gained during its invasion of Ukraine was a "land bridge" between the Donbas and the Crimean Peninsula. Russia depends very heavily on rail transportation. Over the winter, it's likely that Ukraine will try to cut that land bridge in two at Tokmak or Polohy. The other big rail crossing is at Starobilsk. If Ukraine takes that, Russian supplies will be in great difficulty.

Good pushback today! Mika Brzezinski, a relatively conservative host of a relatively conservative MSNBC show, ups and just plain calls Trump a fascist in response to his suggestion that the Constitution be canceled so that he can be put back into the Oval Office.

Also, judges in Arizona are heartily sick and tired of ruling on frivolous cases. They are there to listen to serious disputes about serious matters!

"Kevin McCarthy vows to lift vaccine mandate for military"
That’s an incredibly stupid idea! An excellent reason to make sure Kevin McCarthy never becomes Speaker!

Both the Star Trek and Marvel Cinematic universi lionized Elon Musk prior to his belly-flopping at Twitter. But only Star Trek has taken a lot of grief about Elon's appearance there. In Star Trek, people are idealized, but in Marvel, a clumsy, very human and flawed Musk fits right in with the clumsy and flawed Tony Stark/Iron Man.

Hmm, Iran authorities say that Iran’s “morality police” have been decommissioned, but an Iranian journalist and activist says that’s disinformation.

Report from Iran agrees that “morality police” are not shut down.

Horrendous Russian losses around Bahkmut.
Analysis from Lithuania’s Foreign Minister.
Darkness from bombardments.

Not good news for Palestinians! Bezalel Smotrich, the new head of the Ministry of Security, will expel “’disloyal’ Palestinians and eas[e] the rules of engagement for Israeli army troops so that they can simply shoot down defiant Palestinians throwing stones.” Biden Administration opposes this appointment.

Update (29 Dec): "The inclusion of far-right racists led by Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich sets the tone of Netanyahu’s new government in Israel."

China seems to be mass-tweeting porno images to distract from unwelcome news. “what, exactly, was the PRC doing in October 2020 that they were trying to divert everyone’s attention from?”
300th anniversary of the University of Skovoroda being observed.
Ukrainian cargo ship lands in Ethiopia with 25k tons of wheat.
Russia making incremental progress at Bakhmut.
Improved Russian mines make de-mining more perilous.
On the Ukrainian 100-year old Christmas song Shchedryk, that is “Carol of the Bells.” Other songs.

Twitter published what Elon Musk thought was a super-duper, fantastic story that would reverberate all over the place. It was actually a pretty ho-hum story about people doing sensible things. So, of course Musk "declares New York Times ‘lobbying firm for far left’ after reportedly ignoring ‘Twitter Files’ story"

Part of the worldwide inflation problem is caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine. The price of wheat has gone up from $6.26 per bushel (July 2021) to between $8.65 to $9.55 per bushel – a 30% to 35% increase.

Letter-bombing continues at Ukrainian embassies around Europe.
Russia dealing in thousands of tons of stolen Ukrainian grain.
Russia sneaking oil out and selling it. They’ve been purchasing hundreds of old tankers to carry it.

This TPM story is available only to subscribers, but the summary of it is that it’s extremely underwhelmed by the “expose” that Elon Musk featured on Twitter about how Twitter handled the Hunter Biden laptop story. Was the story an extremely radioactive one that Twitter and other news outlets wanted to be extra-careful to verify before it went out? Yes, considering the story came out less than a month before a presidential election!

Update: Musk tries to make the First Amendment relevant to his argument that Twitter did something improper with it's story on Hunter Biden. But he gets the timeline wrong and thereby misses the whole point. No, "the government" didn't order the Hunter Biden laptop story suppressed as Donald Trump was in charge of the government at the time.

Musk: "You know Twitter is being fair when extremists on far right and far left are simultaneously upset!"

But the extremes of the left and right are not at all equal and don’t have the same criticisms. No, being mid-point between the extremes is nowhere near as meaningful or significant as many people think.

Ah, okay, So this is the "big story" that Elon Musk was promising. Essentially, the Hunter Biden laptop story broke in mid-October, less than a month before the 2020 election. There were serious concerns about the truthfulness/reliability of the story. Was Twitter justified in holding it off and not publishing it? Perhaps, perhaps not.

Update: This and other stories became known as the "Twitter Files," a series where Musk reveals more and more, based on the files concerning internal deliberations at the company. Of course, he has employees sign confidentiality agreements because, y'know, "good for me, but not for thee."  

How dark money indirectly helped Trump win in 2016.

"Horatio Hornblower"
Picked up a DVD set of selected episodes of this series from 2010. Heh! I have to forget my instant reactions from looking at pictures of the American Revolution here and have to remember that the British Redcoats are the good guys! Like Captain Kirk, our hero undertakes missions himself (early on, a fair maiden is swept off the lifeboat by a storm, so he jumps right into the raging surf to save her), but he gets married in the first scene, so no wildcatting for him!

"Hate Speech’s Rise on Twitter Is Unprecedented, Researchers Find"
Unfortunately, this was entirely predictable with the drastic personnel cuts, even if some people were just sitting around and pretending to work.

The nine month anniversary of the war in Ukraine appears to call for reviews. There was a piece from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and now this from the Eonomist assesses it as well. With all due respect to "St. Javelin" and "HIMARS o’clock," the kewl wonder weapons certainly played a valable role, but yer basic tanks and artillery were still the main weapons that made the difference.
One problem with drones is that they suffer a very high rate of attrition! They essentially all last about six missions before they're shot dow, so they're basically all just suicide drones.

I still like the first idea Elon Musk had for deciding whether to kick people off of, or to re-establish people back on Twitter. It shouldn’t just be an arbitrary, personal thing. There should be a representative committee that votes on that.

Next May, the third Guardians of the Galaxy gives the origin of Rocket Raccoon and introduces Adam Warlock.

"11th Circuit Rules Against Trump In Mar-a-Lago Case"
The court’s decision was unanimous and devastating. 

The much-anticipated decision by the appeals court fully repudiated the district court’s controversial early decisions in the case and effectively ended the use of a special master to review documents in the case.

Looking at Ukraine’s independence day, 31 years ago (2 Dec 1991).
Russia hitting critical civilian infrastructure with cruise missiles is a deliberate strategy.
Russians make progress near Bakhmut, but Ukrainians hit their supply lines.
Foreign Affairs looks back a nine months of the war.

Good! With all due respect to both Iowa and New Hampshire, they’re both very white and very rural. It’s simply not that meaningful to win either state. Doesn’t mean that victories there will be followed by victories in other states.

"Kanye West Tells Alex Jones All The Reasons Why He Likes Hitler"
Trump's good friend "who just happens to be black' has now gone on the Alex Jones show and has embarrassed EVEN JONES! And no, Hitler did not invent the highway or the microphone.

Russia can leave Ukraine any time it wants to! And the Russian population wants to! Now we just have to wait for Russia’s leadership to listen!

Yeah, this is very highly interesting. A group pursued a long-range, expensive and apparently very successful plan to guide the right-wing members of the Supreme Court to particular decisions.

Uuh...whut?!?! Democrats love Mike Pence?  Not any Democrats I'm aware of!

Sad to see Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac pass away. Rolling Stone put lots and lots of tribute entries on her life and legacy yesterday!

Germany passes a resolution recognizing the Holodomor, the starvation of Ukrainians by Joseph Stalin in 1932-33. Also, Germany is transferring some Patriot anti-missile systems to Ukraine.
Russia making modest progress in Bakhmut.
US NASAMS air defense systems on the way.
Ukrainian embassy in Madrid, Spain, gets letter bomb.

the Russian unit behind the deadly missile strike on a maternity ward in Vilniansk, Zaporizhzhia Oblast” was itself demolished by the Ukrainian military.
The secrecy that permitted the February initial Russian attack to be successful was a double-edged sword. It also meant that Russian units were unprepared to execute the plan effectively. Several weaknesses of Russian army are cataloged, among them the lack of Non-Commissioned Officers.

House committee gets Trump tax returns, only three years after they were first requested! It was a very simple and straightforward law that left no serious room for interpretation, but Trump had partisans in the court system that delayed.


The media appears obsessed with Elon Musk’s Twitter. Wish they would obsess over inflation, energy prices, and the border crisis.

Senator Blackburn has a point, but I seem to recall the first press conference that Republicans held after it was clear they'd get control of the House was all about Hunter Biden's laptop. So I'm not sure Republicans really care about inflation either.

Chief Justice Roberts is leading a Supreme Court that falls down very badly on ethical issues. He's clearly not going to do any better unless he's forced to.

Makes sense. I felt that once the Secret Service had given someone a pat-down and/or had run electronic devices to check for weapons, the visitor was free to enter Mar-a-Lago and to do whatever. No matter who the visitor was, so long as they were unarmed, they’d gain entry. Now:

U.S. Secret Service distanced itself from the incident and said in a statement Monday that, as “a private club,” Mar-a-Lago’s security is in charge of “who may have been allowed access to their facilities.

There’s already a strong mix of anti-aircraft/anti-missile defenses in Ukraine. Now Patriot missiles are being considered.
Intelligence indicates Russia is preparing another wave of missiles. Roughly 10 to 15% of launched missiles make it to Ukrainian targets.
Germany will send Ukraine 14 copies of a remote-controlled tracked vehicle to carry supplies to the front and wounded soldiers back.

Something liberals noticed a long time ago, if you appear to demonstrate voter fraud or suggest that it’s not worth anyone’s time to vote as the balloting is rigged, your own side won’t vote!

Sedition is quite difficult to prove, so this is a real feather in Merrick Garland’s cap!

"Judge Finds Trump Stepped Outside Presidential Immunity With 2020 Subversion"
This is very, very good! Seems like a pretty obvious point, but it's good to see a court ruling to this effect. No, Trump was not acting in accordance with the Constitution on January 6th and therefore doesn't have any sort of immunity.

Russia using strategic bombers to launch cruise missiles that will hit targets in Ukraine.
When Russians destroy civilian infrastructure, is that genocide? A thread tries to answer that question.
One area where Russians and Americans are directly engaging one another is in cyber-defense.

Good thing to keep in mind is that in a standard NATO division, only 15% of the personnel are “The Spear-point” or “front-line troops” that come into direct contact with the enemy. The rest of the division supports the spear-point troops. Modern combat equipment is really awesome and does great stuff, but it also breaks down a lot.

Hoo boy! Could the troubles in Iran spill over to Iraq? Iranian Kurds have fled to Iraqi-Kurdish areas, which tempts Iran to chase them across the border.

Interesting dynamic to voter-fraud allegations. Voter fraud does indeed exist, but in microscopic amounts, on the order of one in several million votes. Those who believe the frequent charge presume that investigators just aren’t funded well enough or that investigators aren’t looking hard enough. It’s real job security for those investigating voter fraud.

Trump engages in a lot of crazy talk. This is an interesting paragraph because it clearly came from straight news pieces, but gets an important detail wrong.

"When will you invade Bill and Hillary's home in search of the 33,000 emails she deleted AFTER receiving a subpoena from the U.S. Congress?"

There was indeed a subpoena, but it was actually obtained two years after the State Department discovered Clinton’s emails were not archived as they were supposed to have been. By that time, she had deleted all the emails that she judged as being historically unimportant.

I’m seeing pieces saying “Twitter’s running on a fraction of the people it used to have and it’s doing fine! Why did it have so many people?” Well, here's why

Under Elon Musk, Twitter has slashed its anti-propaganda team, allowing a "flood of nuisance content in China" to blot out the "flow of news about stunning widespread protests."

Getting hypothermia doesn’t require extreme conditions. But it’s very highly deadly.
T-90 tanks, produced since 1992, are rarely seen in Ukraine. T-14 tanks, produced since 2014, haven’t been seen at all. Mostly, Russians use T-62s and T-55s, from the 60s and the 50s.
Bonfires are nice and cozy, but they also give away positions so that artillery can hit the soldiers trying to get warm or to cook.
Former Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member Azerbaijan actively assists Ukraine to rebuild its power grid.

Great news for Dems! Walker is the Republican candidate for Georgiaa senatot, Warnock is the Democrat. Walker leads on the 50-and-over Georgia voters by 9 points, but Warnock leads among the 18-49 voters by 24 points!

How quickly is Russia using up missiles and rockets?
Destroyed infrastructure is being repaired as rapidly as possible.
Ukrainian partisans locate targets behind the line and call them in to their missiles and artllery.
To Russian soldiers: “It’s cold out there! Surrender is ALWAYS an option!”

While kadyrovites have full stomachs the mobiks are starved. No wonder coordinates are sold for food.“ “ kadyrovites” = officers, “mobiks” = recently drafted soldiers

Major problem with Twitter here is the revenue stream. Advertisers don’t need to return to a platform that makes their brands look bad and Musk doesn’t have any clear alternatives.

Update (15 Dec): How's Musk's stewardship of Twitter going? Oh, that well, eh? 

Elon Musk once again selling billions of dollars worth of Tesla stock.

Is the clerical puritanism of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini the only image we should have of Iran today? Actually, the lyrical poetry of the astronomer Omar Khayyam is a good example of Iranian counter-culture that goes back many centuries.

Well again, this is what liberals refer to as “false equivalence.” Yes, Volkswagen was founded 70 years ago by the Nazis. Alyssa Milano trades in her Tesla for a VW EV (VolksWagen Electric Vehicle). Is VW permanently stained by who founded it? Meanwhile, Musk is destroying Twitter right now because he’s letting all sorts of terrible people onto it. Is Milano morally equivalent to Musk because of who founded the company that she just gave some business to?

Obama looks back on eight years of bad turkey jokes.

Commentary on Obama.

How many casualties have Russians suffered? We’re well beyond Vietnam (58k casualties), but still short of World War I (116k), but if we combine the two biggest battles of the Civil War, Gettysburg (51k) and Chickamauga (34k), we get a number close to what Russians have suffered in the nine months of the war in Ukraine, which is 86k. Out of the 3,300 tanks they started the war with, they have perhaps 400 of that original number left.
Unfortunately for them, their casualty figures are going to really go up during the winter. They’re poorly prepared, with substandard clothing and shelter, which makes hypothermia a major problem for them.

Ukrainians get musical instruments.

[T]his weekend marks the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor when Stalin created a famine in Ukraine.

One of the problems with the US sending aid is that Russia tries to blow it up.
Ukraine is trying to ensure food security for everyone.
Road exposed to Ukrainian small arms fire near Svatove, cutting communications.

Note that there’s nothing wrong with the picture here. The woman in the blue dress and headscarf (hijab) is wearing them voluntarily, which makes all the difference!
Personally, I’ve always seen “marry your rapist” laws or customs (or a rapist being able to get or share custody of the child that results from the rape) as meaning that the rapist gets a wife and/or child for free. He doesn’t have to go through the process of persuasion/seduction. This is an immoral method of cheating and it violates an ancient accommodation/understanding.

The nationalist struggles of Kurdistan (Which is split up between Turkey, Syria and Iran) is an element of the Iranian protests against the forced wearing of the the hijab. The Oslo-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) group is monitoring the situation. Azerbaijan and Turkey have both mobilized to see to it that the revolt in Iran doesn’t spread.

“...antisemite Kanye West [Ye] and white supremacist and fascist Nick Fuentes” were Trump’s dinner guests at Mar-a-Lago.

Meghan McCain has absolutely no use for any of these people.

Oh, and Trump claims he “didn’t know Nick Fuentes.”

Elon Musk says that he is "neither conventionally right nor left," but only a right-winger would use a term like "woke mind virus."

Also: "Billionaire Elon Musk supports Ron DeSantis for President"
Seriously, the difference between DeSantis and Trump is that DeSantis is younger, handsomer and smarter. There's no meaningful political difference at all.

Trump and family have been making a big stink about prosecutors not being impartial. Judges and juries should be impartial. Members of the press should be impartial enough to see all the facts clearly. But no, there’s never been a need for prosecutors, special or otherwise, to be impartial. The wife of the Special Counsel in Trump’s two cases is a donor to Democrats.

Eight weeks on, 360 people have been killed in Iran and thousands arrested, but the revolt against the compulsive wearing of the hijab shows no signs of letting up.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant has diesel generators that kick in and prevent any real damage from being done after the plant is shelled, but the generators can be worn down.
Lack of water is more of a problem than is lack of heat.

Erm, if pedophilia is suddenly popping up on Twitter, that just might be because Musk fired half the staff that was keeping stuff like that off of the platform!

Twitter certainly had a pedophilia problem before Musk took over, Musk is now using the pedophilia smear as a weapon against critics. Not a pedophilia problem, but not at all comforting:

Jessica González, the co-CEO of nonprofit group Free Press, has been unimpressed with Musk’s antics. González was one of the civil rights leaders who spoke to Musk last week, expressing concern about the rise of hate speech against Black and Jewish groups on Twitter. It’s the same group that was urging advertisers to halt their campaigns.

Heh! Love it! Herschel Walker challenges Joy Reid to a debate. In the comments, we see that she accepts and invites him to come onto her show at any time! Her people got in touch with his people to make the arrangements. 

Update (6 Dec): Walker chickened out and never followed up. Probably because his people said "OMG! Are you nuts?!?!"

Our heroic reporter tries out sleeping in a coffin, just to get the feel of what it’s like to be a vampire. Later, she’ll feature an interview with Kirby Howell-Baptiste, who played Death in Netflix’s Sandman.

Out of 50k Palestinian minors detained since 1967, 9k have been detained since 2015 and 770 this year alone.

“Administrative detention" is a violation of the principle of habeas corpus, which requires that the government produce those arrested and bring them before a judge or release them.

Surgeons carry on with an operation after power is knocked out by a Russian missile attack.
Russia launching big missile attacks against civilian power and water infrastructure. Most of the damage quickly repaired.
In response to Ukraine’s peace proposal and the liberation of Kherson, as well as the designation of Russia as a terrorist state, Russia has been launching missiles aimed at civilian infrastructure.
Turkey sends high-precision rockets to Ukraine. Like HIMARS, they use GPS to guide them to targets

Europe agrees with Ukraine that Russia is a terrorist state.

Not that anything the January 6th Commission said was false or that this exonerates Trump and his people in any way, but there was serious Dereliction of Duty on the part of law enforcement and the intelligence community.

A researcher looks at both left-wing and right-wing extremist violence. The left commits about 2%, the right 74%. Leftist violence is dwindling, right-wing is growing.

Update (13 Dec): The above is why I have such a hard time taking Representtive Greene seriously when she says "Every day, I receive violent threats against my life simply because Democrats and the media have lied and smeared my character for the past two years."

Trump lost on hiding his taxes from Congressional view. Took a long time to litigate a very simple and straightforward law.

Speaker Pelosi comments.

Good round-up:

serious gop contenders: trump, desantis, noem, abbott

quasi-serious: haley, scott (barely)

no chance in hell: pompeo, pence, hogan

Not clear who Hogan even is, but I just can’t see Pompeo or Pence appealing to anyone.

Tweet from a NY Times political repoter with six years experience covering both Trump and Biden says that they both lie. After questioning what she means, she admits that she's just annoyed that she didn't get invited to a Biden granddaughter's wedding. *Sigh!* Our failed media!

The full story.

"Judiciary Dems Warn John Roberts: Investigate Leak Or We Will"
Good to see the Senate taking action on this! It was pretty obvious when Chief Justice Roberts announced an investigation into the leaking of the abortion decision, followed by silence, that it was one of the Justices that did it (At first, I thought it was Clarence and/or Ginni Thomas, but now it looks like Alito was the culprit). The Supreme Court code of ethics under Roberts is obviously a toothless set of suggestions rather than a set of hard and fast rules.

A genuine debate among Russians on Russian state TV. What ‘s the point of having nuclear weapons if they can't be used? Seems to me the Reagan Administration had the same debate. Book description

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Mike Lindell says he’s about to “expose everythingAgain! Snooze!

Update (12 Dec): Never heard anything more about Lindell's latest "reveal."

As Republicans will be in charge of the House in January, the January 6th Commission will clearly go out of business anyway, so they’re planning to release all of their evidence before that happens.

At the World Cup soccer game, Iranian players stood silent as their national anthem played. Very courageous on their part as they may pay dearly for doing that.
Iranian regime descends into using nerve agents.
Zelenskyy talks of dignity and freedom. He then addresses NATO.
Ukrainians see the Maidan, which started nine years ago on this date, as their breaking away from Russia. They consider it the beginning of their decolonization.
Russia shelling Kherson from across the river.

Not an accident, Russia hits a clearly non-military target.

Kurds are an ethnic minority in Iran & Iraq. Iran attacked the “headquarters of the Iraqi Kurdish Democratic Party in Iraqi Kurdistan.” Seems Iran is under the impression that the Iraqi Kurds are supporting the Iranian anti-hijab women’s movement. Turkey is involved as well as Syria.

RU military shelled areas of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power facility. Citing the plant’s manager, IAEA stated that RU indirect fire munitions damaged buildings, systems, and equipment.

Iran to produce weapons on Russian soil.

...accused war criminal Zakhar Prilepin...admits that Russia wants to negotiate merely to regroup and finish fighting later

The term here is "stochastic terrorism." Fox News is enabling people to try and physically harm Jankowicz, but they want to do it in a deniable fashion. "I didn't pull the trigger!" they'll say in a tone of wounded innocence.

In mid-February, DC Comics will release an animated video where Justice League gets together with Legion of Super-Heroes.

Oh, lovely! Iran is the 3rd nation, after Russia and China, to have developed a hypersonic missile!

...the new missile can penetrate all known air defence systems, and it is unlikely for systems to intercept and destroy these missiles to be developed yet.

Yeah, Representative Boebert feels bad about the latest shooting in Colorado, but as Representative AOC points out, Boebert is a big part of the problem.

Details on the shooting.

A fellow jumped on pummeled the shooter. A Good Guy," but without a gun.

Background on hatred for the LGBTQ community.

"Former Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday blamed "bad advice from lawyers" after former President Donald Trump incited an attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan 6, 2021."
Basic principle in the Navy is that a Captain can ask for advice from anyone they please. But if things go sideways and it turns out to have been bad advice, the Captain can’t blame anyone. They should have known better than to take bad advice.
Was it justified to search Mar-a-Lago? Uh, YEAH!!! The government retrieved dozens of boxes of papers that Trump knew full well didn’t belong to him!

Now that Trump’s back on Twitter, let’s take a look at why he was banned.

This is in response to a fellow who said that bringing Trump back to Twitter was “smart marketing.” No, smart marketing is bringing advertisers back, not just people who want to see a car wreck!

Looks like Musk wasted a lot of time and money trying to reinstate Trump on Twitter. Trump says he’s perfectly happy on his own platform. Works for me!
Yeah, the “content moderation panel.” Whatever happened to that?

Musk said that for something major, like bringing Trump back to Twitter, there’d be a whole group of people with diverse viewpoints to make all such decision. Then Musk just ran a poll.
His explanation as to why is incoherent.

First train from Kyiv to Kherson in quite awhile!
One thing the blogger notes and that he says the mainstream media regularly ignores is that Russia’s targets are generally not military, they’re generally civilian. The Ukrainian civilian population has suffered enormously and that’s what the Geneva Conventions are all about.
Five minute video where Russians talk about their war objectives and tactics.
The city of Svatove is a bit closer to falling.
Russian Nazis and white supremacists steal cryptocurrency via computers.
The resistance in Kherson during Russian occupation.

Just amazes me to see the complete and utter lack of dedication to the public interest on the part of the first the School District Police Chief, Pete Arredondo and now the Uvalde Chief of Police, Lieutenant Mariano Pargas. They both should have long since resigned! They both waited until they were forced out.

Thermal image of a large group of migrants seen near the Southern border. Okay, so there's a problem there. What are Republicans planning to do about this problem? Why, they'll investigate Hunter Biden's laptop, of course!

A later statement by Mike Pompeo sorta, kinda vaguely suggests he thinks maybe focusing on Hunter Biden's laptop is probably an unwise idea, but his statement is so vague and fuzzy, it's hard to say.

Very good point on the appointment of the Special Counsel on Trump. Representative Jordan is slated to head up the Judiciary Committee. We know that Jordan communicated with Trump on January 6th and that he’s refused to testify as to the content of their conversation[s], so placing the investigation into a separate box might protect it from having to tell Jordan what the status of the investigation is.

Rather hilarious statement: “I have been proven innocent for six years on everything — from fake impeachments to Mueller, who found no collusion, and now I have to do it more? It is not acceptable. It is so unfair. It is so political,” Trump told Fox, adding “I am not going to partake in it.”
So that’s why the AG Bill Barr had to engage in all that fast-foot shuffling and couldn’t just release the Mueller Report? And yeah, it’d sure be nice if all criminal defendants could just refuse to “partake” in being prosecuted!

Da-yum! Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s home (a museum for the past 30 years) gets burned down!
Russia attacks Kherson with drones. 11 get shot down

Heh! Blogger calls Elon Musk the “Starlink Snowflake!” The blogge points out that Twitter is highly useful when it comes to crisis communications.

"The Menu"
Thrills n chills. The Chef’s plans have been very carefully worked out to the final detail. She’s the wild card.

In their very first day, the Republican House members proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they're fundamentally unserious, that they're a "post-policy" party.

"Ali Alexander Speaks For Election Deniers Everywhere"
Interesting formulation of the situation and not at all surprising. Whether an election was stolen or is the result of cheating depends entirely on who wins.

In order to form a governing coalition, Bibi Netanyahu must ally with some really, really far right people! The blogger compares some prospective allies with the January 6th insurrectionists.

Elon Musk apparently thinks it’s hilarious that we’re so concerned about the survival of Twitter.

Update (22 Nov): Regardless of how many users Twitter has, over half of Twitter's advertisers have concluded that it's a bad place for them to advertise.

Speaker Pelosi announces that she'll continue as a regular Representative, but she'll hand over the Minority Leader job to a member of the younger geneation.


Pelosi says she worked with three presidents and names George W. Bush, Obama and Biden. Skipped over Trump.

Of course, did Trump work with either her or Senate Majority Leader Schumer? Seems to me he called one meeting with them and he used it to suggest that they do a favor for him. He wanted to build his wall and Republicans didn't want to vote for that. He offered the Democrats nothing, he just figured they'd agree.

Tucker Carlson of Fox News suggests that the war in Ukraine is a money-making grift. Are arms-makers making beaucoup bucks off of the war? Of course they are. And my understanding is that there was some grift in Ukraine in the beginning as the government was simply handing out rifles and ammo to everyone who felt they could fight, but after that, just as in 1942 America, patriotism took over and also financial controls were put into place, so serious grift is a months-ago problem.

Our guy goes through 16 agenda items that Republicans have announced for the next two years. Yeah, this session of the House will accomplish nothing. It’ll be a complete waste of two years.

The big question before the election was that, okay, sure, inflation and crime are big, serious subjects. But exactly what is the GOP going to do about them? What’s the plan of action? As we can see, there never was a plan.

This poor guy tries so hard to come across as an intellectual! His “learned pronouncements” tend to come across like this, just absolute car wrecks! Do liberals look down on Herschel Walker because of his accent? Actually, the great majority of what I know about what he says comes from written texts, where accents are irrelevant.

Elon Musk is demanding that workers work “long hours at high intensity.” Suppose they’re disabled and simply can’t comply? The law says he must make reasonable accommodations to disabled workers who can’t do extended hours. Workers with children also may not be able to do this. Musk is just asking for lawsuits!

Trump declares that he's running for 2024. He
gave the most low-energy speech anyone can remember and he’s made a lot of speeches! The guards at the back of the ballroom refused to let anyone leave.

Trump ridiculously exaggerates how good the economy was during his term.

Fellow (who advertises himself as an "Alpha Male") says he overheard two college-educated women say that they were so impressed by Trump's speech, they now regret having voted for Democrats. Um, yeah. Sure thing. Yeah, it's clearly not like you just made up that whole convesation!

As to the blast in Poland:

It was an unfortunate secondary effect of Ukraine having to use a lot of air defense yesterday because Russia launched almost 100 missiles at Ukrainian cities, residential areas, and power generation and transmission infrastructure yesterday.

NASAMS air defense systems have been very successful.
US press conference. Russia can end the war at any time. They are choosing to keep it going.
Statement by Prime Minister of Estonia.
The General Director of Britain’s MI5 delivers his annual threat assessment.

Again, on a scale of 1 to 10 in protecting democracy, the NY Times get about a 5. They’re just as much the problem as they are the solution. Former VP Pence is presuming that he can declare that some of his conversations with Trump about January 6th are protected by Executive Privilege, Nope! That’s not his call to make.
Governor DeSantis? You’ve got to be kidding me! He’s smarter and slicker than Trump, but he’s just as much an enemy of democracy!

Trump and energy policy.

Yup! After Trump's second impeachment, Senate then-Majority Leader McConnell chose for himself a lose-lose solution!

For all sides to sit down and talk is a good principle in general, but like the US in Vietnam, the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, heck, like the US in Afghanistan decades later, Russia can leave Ukraine at any time. There's simply no compelling reason for Russia to remain there.

Update (7 Dec): Actually, if Russia loses the war in Ukraine, that could shatter their myth of Russian invincibility and start a chain reaction that could break up what remained of the Soviet Union after 1989.

Ha, ha, ha! Nope, Covid didn't interrupt a growing sense of unity. There was no growing unity when Covid entered the scene.

Zelenskyy sets out his vision for peace, specifying ten conditions. .
Russian missile strikes all over Ukraine. 70 missiles and 10 combat drones were shot down.
Poland hit as a result of overshooting.
NATO Article 4 is invoked. That calls for allies to consult.

So five weeks ago, Democratic Senator Sinema predicted, with Republican Senator McConnell standing right beside her, that Democrats would lose the House and/or the Senate in the midterm election. She did absolutely nothing to help Democrats win. She's now saying: “Every vote counted, every voice heard..." which is cute, considering her January vote against voting rights legislation!

Winter weather in the trenches is gonna be pretty miserable. Ukrainians are trained and equipped for it. Russians? Ehh, not so much. People “dragged off the street and thrown to the front with rusty rifles and minimal training” versus highly-trained people equipped by Canada with cold-weather gear.

A modern Army division is about 15% “spear point,” that is, it’s the soldiers who make actual contact with the enemy. The rest are support people. Russia depends very heavily on trains to move food and ammunition to their army. Kherson had to be abandoned because they just couldn’t supply the forces that were trying to hold it.

Video shows the effects of precision long-range artillery shells.

Think Senator Scott is in a league of his own when it comes to sheer and utter unsuitability for his job assignment.

The collapse of Twitter could make for a highly entertaining disaster film.

Update (9 Dec): With Roger Stone reinstated on Twitter and after two really embarrassing "exposes" that revealed perfectly legal actions, yeah, Twitter's still on its way downhill!

Also: "everything that Bari Weiss is currently 'breaking' as part of Twitter Files 2 has been reported on and known about for two and a half years "

No, there will be no Winter “pause.” Operations will continue regardless of snowfall.
Russians have destroyed communications within the occupied areas.
Likely Ukrainian military moves.
The Kilburn Spit (immediately South of Kherson and on the East side of the Dinipro River) has been captured by Ukraine. Crimea is very much in danger of being captured.
Chef José Andrés is seeing to it that Ukrainians in freshly liberated areas get hot meals as soon as possible!

The Russian fellow who posted this is upset that President Zelenskyy is visiting the newly-liberated Kherson and isn't wearing anything to protect himself from artillery or missile attack, apparently because Russia simply can't hit the city that way.

Woo hoo! Good video on Mike Pence and his wife. He calls her "Mother!"

Ivanka Trump crops Kimberly Guilfoyle out of Tiffany Trump’s wedding picture. Can’t really blame Ivanka as who in the heck wears a black outfit to a wedding?

Ukrainian partisans identifying important targets behind Russian lines and reporting them to Ukrainian targeters.
Russian schools will have mandatory military training. It’s expected that students will spend 140 hours on it per academic year.
Ukraine defending Bakhmut from Russian assaults.
More Kherson liberation celebrations.
Donors assembling a Marshall Plan for Ukraine once the war ends.

This is very highly positive news! Apparently, China's Xi has told Russia's Putin to knock it off with the nuclear threats!

Israel is set to have a really, really right-wing government! Future for Palestinians not looking good!

One of the cool things about having read comics for as long as I have is that I immediately recognized the two characters that guest-starred in the latest Black Panther film!

I also immediately recognized the guest-starring character in the TV-movie Werewolf by Night!

Heh! Election prediction from back in June. Bannon's talk has a lot of "Thousand-year Reich" energy here.

Very interesting! Yep, it was the young'uns that saved the midterm election from becoming a Red Wave! I'm in the older part of the group that scored the R+11.

Ukrainian soldiers surrounded by well-wishers.
Kherson will need to be de-mined before reporters can be let in.

A department head from The Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences makes the extremely good case that the Russian army is very badly broken and will require years to repair. Right now, it can only win if defeatists in the West lose heart and give up.

Media critic Dan Froomkin and Blake Hounshell, the fellow that the NY Times put in charge of their marquee political newsletter, have a discussion over whether the Times has failed to defend democracy in a suitably vigorous manner.

A statement from Hounshell: "1. I’m trying to explain to readers why DeSantis appeals to Republicans..."

But first, the priority question that Hounshell should examine and answer is:: "Is Ron DeSantis a fascist?" This is not a complicated question. The question of what makes someone a fascist has been closely studied. Scholars know what fascism is.

NY Times has a really, really hard time just plain describing things accurately without this constant “BothSides” nonsense! This is an absolutely terrible way to describe things and is the reason the NY Times is a laughing stock when it comes to politics.

[The NY Times reveals] ...the miscalculations, misreadings and infighting in both parties that led the GOP to blow its chance at a blowout.

"The Times’s political team is simply the best in the business." Ehh, I'd say on a scale of 1 to 10, the way the NY Times covers politics rates about a 5. The Times is just as much of a problem for the preservation of democracy as it is a solution.
In endnote, our blogger parses a paragraph. Yep!

Detailed piece on connections between Trump scandals and Ukraine. I cut and pasted the words to a word processing program and it came out to 29 pages, so definitely plan to sit down with it in a comfortable chair and a cup of coffee. Lots of interesting details about Ukraine and Paul Manafort.

Woo hoo! Thought there was going to be a big fight over it, but Kherson is liberated and the West bank of the Dnipro River is now all in Ukrainian hands!

I realize I’m kind of a broken record on this, but while there are many things I look to mainstream media for, politics really isn’t one of them. NY Times, WaPo, CNN, etc., are all pretty useless. The real problem here, is if we want political reform, how do we get that if the media keeps misinterpreting why people vote the way they do?

Whoo-wee! Clerics in Iran just not getting the respect they’re used to! “Turban tossing” is the new thing, with young people knocking turbans off the heads of clerics.

Yep! Human-caused climate change, reproductive rights and uncontrolled guns all caused the young people to vote! The olds of the Democratic Party have been trying to get the young to vote, but the issues this time were compelling.

What is victory for Russia? What is defeat? These terms are very vaguely defined, which benefits Putin.
ATACMS (300km range) sent, as opposed to the usual HIMARS (80km).
Zelenskyy discusses de-mining 300k square kilometers with 170k sq km remaining.
Retreating Russians suffering mass casualties as they withdraw from Kherson region.
US “sending four Avenger air defense systems.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy might indeed become the Speaker, but by a much slimmer margin than he was hoping for. Running the House with that slim a margin raises all kinds of problems with rogue Congresspeople. See: The problems that Senators Manchin and Sinema caused for Democrats!

Update (7 Dec): Final count was D-213, R-221. A skilled legislator like Nancy Pelosi could do a lot with that, but John Boehner and Paul Ryan failed with much bigger magins.

Cool videos of grateful Ukrainian citizens being liberated! This is the kind of welcome that US soldiers were hoping to get from Iraqi citizens in 2003, but that didn't happen.

Yep! Unforeseen consequences of having lied about election fraud. Lot of people are so cynical about elections now that they're like "Why bother?"

Ha, ha, ha! No lies detected here! Senator Cruz tries to spin the last two years as something bad, but he's 100% correct! Democrats governed as Democrats and fulfilled a number of campaign promises.
Compare that to 2017-2018, where Republicans also had all three branches and all they managed to do was to pass a tax cut!

Please to say I've never regarded CNN or Politico or any mainstream media source (something of an exception for MSNBC) to be a lodestone pointing towards truth. Seems from this piece that most Americans don't either.

Some disappointments with the election, but last night was far from being a "Red Wave" election!

Ahh, the bitter, salty tears of...well, not exactly losers, but of people who were expecting a great victory.

The “Red Wave” was greatly exaggerated. Republican gains are much smaller than the media projected and far less than the GOP hoped.
Florida is no longer a swing state.
Pennsylvania outdid its 2020 counting performance, delivering results very quickly.
Representative Boebert still hanging on, but hope for her to remain is fading.
Couple of noteworthy Democratic victories.

Trump was thinking of  annuncing his bid for a second term last nght (election night), but decided not to. Representative Greene said: "...he chose to put everyone else first."
Oh, please! Trump gives a rat’s ass about anyone other than himself? He didn’t make an announcement last night because it would have been embarrassing to have done so in the middle of Republican defeats!


America's Got Talent can count 50 million votes in one commercial break.

True, but no one cares whether their vote was properly cast or counted, whether bots voted, etc. real voting involves multiple redundancies and you can re-count votes by hand. .

Probably not a grand idea for the US to appear to be backing revolution in Iran, regardless of how good Biden’s intentions are.

And yes, the hijab protests that were sparked in September are still going strong. Blogger examines how Iran is ruled.

A lot of bloggers that I respect have suggested Mastodon as being the ideal place to go if Twitter collapses, so here’s a run-down on it.

Russia has five ships that are equipped to carry Kailbr cruise missiles. Zelenskyy reports that they haven’t been seen in a while.
Russia building defensive position across the river from Kherson.
Not much point in talking with Russia as theirs and the Ukrainian positions are so far apart, but the Biden Administration feels the need to at least do a Kabuki dance of pretending to talk. The blogger sees this as meaning the administration is nervous about Tuesday’s election.

Senator Scott delivers a perfect non-answer answer to MSNBC host Chuck Todd’s question. It’s an “answer” that completely fails to answer the question.

Speech by Trump:

TRUMP: "The choice this election is simple: Democrats will defund the police. Republicans will defund the cartels."

Uh, yeah. Neither one of these things would ever happen.

Biden National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan awarded the “Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise of the II degree.”
Russians are concentrating offensives in the Donbas – Bakhmut and Soledar region (South of Izyum, which was taken recently and North of Donetsk, still in Russian hands), Russian citizens have no idea of the scale of the fighting there.
Why Russians can’t be trusted to negotiate in good faith.
British MOD assesses that Russians are using a second line behind their first line, specifically to shoot anyone who tries to retreat. Soviets did this during World War II.
Russian withdrawal to the East side of the Dnipro River would be a real mess.
Right-wing opposition to war in Ukraine growing rapidly.
The truth on Bucha by PBS and AP.

Eh? The T-72 tanks were built by the Soviet Union. How can the US be donating T-72s to Ukraine? Ah, okay. The Czech Republic had them, the US and the Dutch are paying to refurbish them and to transport them to the battlefront.

What’s going on in the Donbas – Bakhmut and Soledar region.

Hoo boy! The “far, far right Israeli politician Binyamin Netanyahu has been elected.”

1. Netanyahu’s more fascist allies have demanded that all “terrorists” be executed.

What does this mean? Well, it depends on what you mean by “terrorism,” a famously slippery word that has been abused many times.

Huh! Thought Republicans absolutely hated the idea of any interference with the sacred market! But here they are, listing the names of companies that are no longer advertising on Twitter!

So the blogger says that Steven Miller (Who, I've always thought, would look really dapper in an SS uniform) runs a group that's making claims that are both “race-baiting advertisements” that are “obviously false.” They're racist and inaccurate!

As he did continuously during Biden’s attempts to pass needed bill that would have done a lot of good, Senator Manchin hugely overestimates the effect of the filibuster, a procedure found nowhere in the Constitution and that has been revised many, many times.

And no, there’s no need to “make a deal” on Social Security, Medicare, etc. We know Republicans want to abolish them, we need to protect them, period!

China’s doing good things on moving from fossil fuels to green, renewable energy.

It's been a dozen years since the ACA/Obamacare was passed. Arizona Governor candidate Kari Lake is one of the very few last remaining hold-outs who still believes in "repeal and replace" (Problem: nobody's ever figured out how to do the "replace" part). Her audience is notably silent when she gets to repealing the ACA.

President Biden: The continuing assault on democracy. More on that.

Loser tries to save face after blockade is broken.
Very good news! Russia reenters grain agreement. Very important lesson: standing up to Russian threats works!
Zelenskyy discussed grain shipment situation with Turkey’s President Erdoğan.
Soon after an S-300 SAM complex, which “had been modified to bombard civilian areas of Mykolaiv,” was located, it was no more.
Seems North Korea, in addition to Iran, is also shipping weapons to Russia.

Republican victories in the election could adversely affect US support for Ukraine.

The message that Musk is sending here is straightforward, you’re willing to pay $8 on a one-time basis for something you don’t have at the moment. But here I am, charging you $8 on a continuing monthly basis for something you already have and, gaah! You’re upset about that!

Senator Johnson is hesitant to commit to respecting the results of an election he’s likely to win. Problem is, there are only two ways to settle who gets to occupy an office, the ballot box or violence.

For a sustantial period prior to Halloween, there were lots nd lots of stories in the press warning about "rainbow fentanyl." Not a single case occurred. Press needs to examine why they ran so many stories warning of this nonexistent threat.

The tank is still useful if deployed in concert with troops, artillery and aircraft. It’s far from clear what helicopters contribute to the modern battlefield.

Elon Musk - "I care a lot about the truth of things and trying to understand the truth of things. I think that’s important."

This is a very nice statement by the new owner of Twitter, but it’s very little, very late. We’ll need to wait and see whether he’s serious or whether he’s just saying the politic thing.

So, about a week into Musk’s purchase of Twitter, how’s it going? Well, people who contribute to Twitter's value by posting on it are now being asked to pay $20 a month for a blue checkmark, which means you're verified to be who you say you are. Checkmark-owners are pretty unhappy about that.

Update (1 Dec): "Free speech warrior Elon Musk is suspending accounts that criticize him."

Mr. Pelosi received a hammer blow to the head by an intruder while they were in his home. Showing concern about Mr. Pelosi is a pretty simple test of humanity and decency that many Republicans have a hard time passing.

Problem is, the media has to make everything a race, even when the evidence favors just one side.

The Trump lawyer John Eastman wanted the January 6th Commission to hold off on examining the papers he tuned into them until he’d had a chance to file an appeal. They gave this request the back of their hand and looked at them.

How the Trump lawyer Eastman tried to get their fake election scheme through. Very interesting roles played by Clarence and Ginny Thomas!

Zelenskyy talks about food security and grain shipments and the need for a long-term solution.
Iran is suspected of providing more weapons to Russia.
Sabotage in Russia,

Woo hoo! He's been trying to squirm out of it, but Senator Graham has to testify!

Wow! Does the WaPo writer even realize that he's answered the question? It's pretty clear from a single reading what the problem is, it's what these folks see on the TV! The WaPo writer doesn't appear to recognize that.

Russia (words to the effect of): "Ha, ha! We're blockading Ukrainian ports! No Ukrainian food for hungry nations!"

Turkey (A NATO ally): "We'll escort the Ukrainian ships out of the Black Sea."

Russia: "----"

The differences between the Democratic and Republican parties are extensive.

Ukrainian ships taking a risk by sending unarmed grain ships to challenge Russian blockade. The "master strategist" Putin has put Russia into a no-win situation.
Ukrainian air defense knocks down 44 out of 50 missiles.

GM observed how Elon Musk was managing Twitter, decided he was making a mess of it and decided to pull their advertising to see if he eventually improved. Senator Tom Cotton has sent a rather threatening-sounding message about that. Yep, nothing to see here, folks! Move along quietly now!


MSNBC host Tiffany Cross asked if we wanted to continue to get news on Trump. Yeah, if it’s news like this!

'Evil': Trump Is Losing His Sh*t As Legal Walls Close In Around Him

I approved of Scott Ritter when he was opposed to the Iraq War back in 2002. Not so much lately when he’s been opposing the war in Ukraine. But he does indeed make a strong case that Musk is a complete hypocrite when it comes to free speech.

As to Ritter's accusation, Media Matters claims that the Bucha massacre was not a “false flag” event, carried out by Kyiv. Kyiv and MMFA sources have shown that it was carried out by Moscow. A search on “bucha false flag” shows Russia absolutely insisting that Scott Ritter, along with Alex Jones (Infowars) and QAnon are all correct and that the massacre was carried out by Ukraine.

Amazing Iranian resistance art.

What seems to be the real story behind the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, or as we know it today, COVID-19 or just plain Covid. Looks like the Wuhan lab was, possibly with the knowledge of the General Secretary Xi Jinping, in over its head and was performing dangerous experiments with inadequate safeguards. A natural origin for Covid now seems implausible, but so is the theory that it was a deliberately engineered weapon.

One would think, or at least hope, that the gazillionaire who now runs Twitter, would have some research assistants who could quickly clear up questionable theories like this before he tweets about them!

Musk has now deleted this clearly fake story, but not until it had been up for several hours, demonstrating to us that he's completely irresponsible, sending out un-vetted stories without bothering to see whether they're credible or not. Not a comforting beginning!

Like Trump, Musk comes into the game at the very top of the pile. Like Trump in 2017, he has absolutely no idea what he’s doing. Things are not looking good for him personally or for Twitter.

*Sigh!* Things are not looking good for Twitter. GM has already pulled its advertising, taking a "wait and see" approach before deciding whether to stay out.

Ronna McDaniel, the Republican National Committee Chair, was annoyed at Democratic criticism of Republicans over the Paul Pelosi attack. She felt that condemnation of the obviously politically-motivated attack was universal. Was it? Well, some Republicans condemned the attack. Trump said nothing. House Minority Leader  McCarthy said something, but only after Representative AOC loudly noticed how quiet he was being.

...Trump allies — like Reps. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) — followed the former president’s lead and remained largely quiet…

Heh! Seriously, the “Clinton ‘Socks Case’” does not apply at all to the Mar-a-Lago documents case. Clinton had made audio documents with a friend who was not receiving a federal salary and was using his own personal tape recorder.

Since the Musk takeover of Twitter, threats of violence and doxxing have increased substantially.

Update (11 Nov): "FEATURE-How Musk's Twitter takeover could endanger vulnerable users"

Valkyries of Ukraine.
Lots of connections between Iran and Russia.
Russia has been blocking 176 grain-carrying ships for the past several weeks.
UKR unmanned surface vessels (USV) attack Sevastopol naval base.
Russian soldier death toll reaches 70k. US Vietnam War casualties were 58k, the Civil War battles of Vicksburg & Gettysburg together equal about 70k.

Right-wing gubernatorial candidate in Pennsylvania is asked about antisemiic attacks.

His wife Rebbie steps in and says: “I'm gonna say we probably love Israel more than a lot of Jews do.”

Hmm. Yeah. Not quite sure this clears them of antisemitism. Do they love Israel? Ehh, sort of. Israel plays an important role in Biblical prophecies.

Heh! Congresswoman AOC, after recounting her being harassed by Congresswoman Greene on January 6th, is asked how she dealt with Greene’s lips all over door and mail slot: “Hazmat, bleach, fabuloso, palo santo, and a prayer circle to get that stank off”

She ends with “These people want media to ‘both sides’ fascism. Don’t fall for it.”

Not at all surprisingly, Stephen Miller is in favor of using government power to favor corporations that toe a political line.

More on the fellow who attacked Speaker Pelosi’s husband.
Tightening the noose around Kherson.
Nine lions rescued from Ukraine and moved to Romania.

Biden condemns the politically-motivated attack on Speaker Pelosi’s husband.

More on what motivated the would-be assassin. Stochasic terrorism is explained.

The fellow who attacked Mr. Pelosi was a left-wing conspiracy theorist until about 2014. Then he took a hard-right turn and was a right-wing conspiracy theorist and then a Trump fan.

"Black Adam"
Good stuff! A mysterious fellow from Ancient Egypt arrives and has powers roughly equal to those of Superman. Is he a villain or a hero? Movie includes Hawkman and Dr. Fate.

The good news is that green, renewable energy was boosted by the war in Ukraine.

With his legal career on the line, John Eastman desperately tries to get judge to reverse ruling that says one of his cases falls under the “crime-fraud exception” and and all the information in it can therefore be shared with the January 6th Commission.

The attack on Speaker Pelosi’s husband was an act of terrorism.

Turns out the attacker was a fan of the pundit Jimmy Dore. When Dore gets accused of helping to inspire the attacker, he mocks his accuser.

Elon Musk takes over Twitter and immediately begins making questionable decisions.

Heh! Don Jr. doesn't want us to pity the Twitter employees who pulled the plug on various people. He wants us to think of all the poor, poor racists and sexists and bigots who were silenced by the cruel, awful Twitter censorship!

A 46-year old Russian with serious knee problems is drafted anyway.
28 October is the anniversary of the day the Nazis were kicked out of Ukraine. Zelenskyy ponders the similarities between yesterday’s and today’s enemies.
Huh! Putin accuses the West of creating the “
global food crisis.” Erm, I think Russia’s interfering with Ukrainian shipping might have had something to do with that! He blames “cancel culture” for the world being opposed to Russia. Fortunately, he doesn’t wish to nuke Ukraine.
White Evangelical Christians are convinced they should aid Russia.

Reuters obtained a trove of documents from an abandoned Russian headquarters. The plight of Russian soldiers is evident. They clearly need a few months to get back on their feet. Ukraine made very good use of the time between the invasion and the beginning of September. They don't need a break. They need to keep going until their land is cleared of Russian troops.

This has been a problem since the US left Afghanistan over a year ago. Yes, the Taliban is terrible, but hurting them necessarily means hurting the Afghan people.

A serious look at “What is the Republican plan for inflation?”

Update (18 Nov): The Republican Party is a "post-policy" party that's too busy going down into the rabbit holes of conspiracy theories to worry about actual, real-world policy.

The blogger figures it’s likely that Kherson will be placed under siege rather than go through attacks by Ukrainian tanks and troops. Back in the Medieval Era and before, sieges lasted as long as defenders had food and water. Good thing about sieges today is that they’re over when the defenders run out of bullets, shells and missiles, then the attackers can just walk right in.

Trump wants to testify, Democrats are like "Yeah. Sure. Okay (insert snickering from Dick Dastardley's evil dog Muttley)." Trump's lawyers are like "No-o-o-o-o!!!!!"

Tulsi Gabbard makes it very clear that she's completely happy throwing Ukraine to the Russian bear to get chewed up.

Update (18 Nov): Representative Greene makes a very similar case.

Just an incredibly blatant, unequivocal example of the press working very deliberately to take sides and to put their thumb on the scale to hurt Democrats.

Gaza has been under siege for over 15 tears. It shows in their food production.

Were the two lettters sent as part of a conspiracy!?!?!?! Or did they just happen to be sent on the same day? Unfortunately, the conspiracy theorist here is Representative Jordan, and in the case of Republicans winning the midterm election, is slated to run the Judiciary Committee!

Not the Taliban, but the other Afghans, the ones who fought on the US side, are sitting around bored and broke. Russia is wooing them to fight on their side, against Ukraine.

This is very bad news for lawyer John Eastman! There’s a “crime-fraud exception for attorney-client privilege,” and some data from Eastman falls under that. A memo from Eastman shows that he was aware of that.

Big haul of Russian military documents made from left-behind headquarters.

Russia showing “dirty bomb” pictures that are actually from 2010.

Ukraine reaching out diplomatically to Africa.

Russia's Security Council is absurdly calling for the "desatanization" of Ukraine.

Ukraine shot down 19 Iranian-made Russian kamikaze drones on 26 October.

Peacenik Medea Benjamin asks if House Minority Leader McCarthy "questions more blank checks for war." Erm, I don't think McCarthy is applying any moral calculus here. I think he's just a "party over country" kinda guy.

"James Cameron Explains Why He Decided to Give Jake & Neytiri a Family in Avatar: The Way of Water"
It’s certainly nice for a hero to have a family or, at the very least, to be married. The writer and artist of Prince Valiant decided in the late 1930s that his hero would be married. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were all unmarried, though Superman and Wonder Woman had sweethearts. The first Marvel Comics set of heroes, the Fantastic Four, had a married couple (Reed and Sue) and Ant-Man and the Wasp also got married. But yeah, Thor, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Captain America have largely remained single, even if they have had sweethearts. The thing is, the idea of having married heroes has certainly been market-tested over an extensive period of time.

Justice Alito is really annoyed that he made a decision to overturn a long-standing precedent (abortion) without any real justification and now people think that decision is a strike against the Supreme Court's legitimacy.

First step to nuclear stability is that we need to restore the Budapest Memorandum. It was violated in 2014 by Russia and there hasn't been a strong enough response to try and restore it.

Trump’s lawyer says Nancy Pelosi “orchestrated” the attack on the Capitol on J6.

Stataement made for Trump cult members only. No sane or informed people need to hear this nonsense.

Quickie summary of Pennsylvania senator Oz / Fetterman debate.

Oz answered a question on abortion by stating that "...Abortion Should Be Between 'Women, Doctors, Local Political Leaders'..."

So essentially, CNN was concerned with the theatricality of the answer. Not with the substance of Oz including local politicians in with the woman and her doctor.

The Jewish president attacks the Jewish state for refusing to help with Ukraine’s missile defense. With Israel’s Iron Dome system, they could have been very helpful.

Very good news on Russia, Europe and energy. Russia really doesn’t have any leverage over Europe.

Appears that Biden’s choice on marijuana was a smart one. It’s interesting that Republicans didn’t want to touch the plan as they didn’t want want to be on the wrong side of it.

It's a pity that the moderator of this focus group here is so poorly informed. The real difference between the protests in response to the murder of George Floyd and the January 6th attack on the Capitol is that the Capitol attack was very highly planned and organized. The people here seem to be under the impression that it was all spontaneous.

Nearly 100 terrorists were apprehended at the southern border in Fiscal Year 2022.

Kind of amazing how Representative Biggs thought he was "owning the libs" when he was actually doing nothing of the kind. 100 terrorists apprehended is greater than all four years of Trump.

We’ve located the team that targets Russian missiles so that they hit Ukrainian civilian targets.
US and Britain reject Russian assertions that Ukraine will detonate a “dirty bomb.”
President Zelenskyy talks about the stakes of the war.
Heavy fighting at Bakhmut as Russia continues to make slow advance.

Seriously, if you don’t believe that, if they win the House, Republicans will crash the economy, you’re not paying attention.

Voter intimidation is beginning as armed, unidentified people start “monitoring” drop boxes.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman...mocks President Biden in private...

Sounds like a really good reason to speed up America's transition away from fossil fuels and towards green renewables!

Yes, inflation is a terrible thing and voters are opposed to it, but what exactly is the GOP plan to address it?

Yeah, Senator Cruz just straight-up, flat-out lies here. No, other presidents did not just take documents from the White House to their homes after they were no longer president. No other president has ever been as careless with classified papers as Trump.

Good piece on Fiona Hill. Lengthy interview covering her views of Russian President Putin and how Elon Musk and others act to support Putin. And no, NATO is not fighting a “proxy war via Ukraine.”

Short summary of interview with lots of background.

I’ve been following the whole voter fraud issue since the younger George Bush started firing State Attorney Generals for not putting resources into studying the issue. It’s not an imaginary problem, but it’s pretty darned close to it. The NY Times reporter is seriously slacking off on the job by not treating the Republican claims here without some more questioning and skepticism.
Take “Democrats widening access to voting so much that they’re inviting fraud.” That absolutely cries out for some substantiating details! Voter fraud occurs, but on a one per several million scale. The reporter needs to show us how greater access would result in voter fraud.
And really? Someone who thinks the voting system is “definitely crooked” is a moderate?!?!?!?!

Imperialistic Russia wages war on its neighbours, China conducts a genocide in Xinjiang and slides into a personality cult. Iran kills women for showing hair outdoors. People born in democracies are so fucking lucky.
Never take it for granted. Always fight for what you believe.

My usual reading/watching preferences are for drama rather than comedy. Probably comes from reading statement like the above and thinking "Whew! Glad I live the way I do!"

Ukrainians passing the time in a bomb shelter.
Russians hit a number of civilian targets, “...civilian residential, civilian power generation and transmission, and civilian water facilities.“
In Kherson: “RU troops preparing positions for urban fight.”
Other Russian troops trying to get out of Kherson.

Mollie is Editor-in-Chief of the Federalist. I’m really not clear as to what she’s talking about and the comments on twitter make it clear that no one else understands her point either. I guess she had a problem with mask-wearing?

What the January 6th Commission subpoena shows is that the Commission is convinced that Trump wasn’t the victim in any way, but someone who planned, organized and directed an attempt to overturn the 2020 election and to stay in power.

The pundit Ann Coulter gets snarky about Biden's warning that we could "go back to the economy under Trump." Granted, under Trump, the economy was pretty good, as long as he was just continuing Obama's policies. It was only when Covid hit that the econmy became a disaster.

Russia is slowing down the export of food.
Will Russia blow up the hydro-electric complex at Nova Kakhovka? Not likely as that would endanger the water supply to Crimea.
Who is funding Elon Musk to buy Twitter, anyway?
Feeding displaced pets.

More on Elon Musk and how he’s financing his purchase of Twitter.

D’oh! Right-wing, anti-woke superhero film gets canceled after losing the investment money that was put up by fans.

Iranian drones certainly help Russia’s cause as they’re low-flying and more radar-immune, but they still need Russian military intelligence to precisely locate good targets. They’re also relatively low-tech and thereby easier to jam. Not game-changers.

A pundit says that the argument that Russia can end the war anytime they want to by simply withdrawing from Ukraine is denounced as silly and immature. So I looked a the rest of her argument and she then completely fails to explain why Russia “must” remain in the fight, meaning there really is no argument as to why Russia can’t simply withdraw. Can Ukraine withdraw? Duh, no. The war is being fought on their territory. There is no equivalence.

The NY Times takes the “view from 30,000 feet” here, speaking of disinformation as though it played no role in it.

As Soledad O’Brien points out, the NY Times provides a “frequently platform [for] known liars.”

This is rather serious. DeSantis is using the power of the state of Florida to enforce political dictates. He's essentially another Trump, but a bit smarter and slicker.

Yeah, 'fraid to say Lara Logan hasn't gotten any better over the years. She thinks they can sneak 100 million people into the US without anyone noticing.

First Lara Logan was a correspondent for CBS News, then Fox News, then was interviewed by Newsmax. Newsmax has no intention of ever interviewing her again.

Yeah, people have been worried about if Trump's being indicted. If that happens, will there be riots in the streets? Nah.

So let me get this straight. Anti-choicers are deliberately attacking the rights of women and restricting their rights to bodily autonomy and now they’re whining and complaining because people are fighting back? Uh-huh.

Heh! Ukrainians control air defenses from laptops in cafes.
Elnaz, a famous Iranian rock climber, returns from performing without a hijab. She’s greeted as a heroine at the Tehran airport at 5:00am!
Ukrainian air force achieving a great deal against drones and missiles.
Putin announces martial law for the four occupied Ukrainian provinces that Russia claims as its own
The same restrictions apply to Crimea and the six Russian provinces that border Ukraine.
Russians trying swarm drone attacks, Ukrainian air force is defeating them.
Analysis of Putin’s worldview.

What interests me here is what Fox News puts up on their screen during Senator Blackburn's accusation. It's quotes from Durham, the fellow who conducted a 3+ year investigation that produced zippo. He condemns the FBI, but his investigation couldn't charge them with anything.

So Senator Rubio's argument appears to be "Ehh, the bill that Democrats wanted, the first significant gun-safety law in three decades, didn't solve all gun problems overnight, so why bother?"

An Iranian athlete performed without a headscarf. She was apparently detained the authorities. The crackdown is worse than we’ve seen.
Ukrainian air force shooting down over 85% of Russian and Iranian drones.
Will Belarus open up a new front on their border with Ukraine? Probably not.
If House Minority Leader McCarthy becomes Speaker in January, aid to Ukraine will either disappear or be seriously reduced.
Florida Governor DeSantis scolds Ukraine for its lack of gratitude.
Fiona Hill discusses situation. Putin would rather have us discuss nuclear war than his policies in Ukraine.

Yeah, I saw this episode last night.

Former CDC director Robert Redfield, former top deputy Anne Schuchat and others described how the Trump White House and its allies repeatedly “bullied” staff, tried to rewrite their publications and threatened their jobs in an attempt to align the CDC with the more optimistic view of the pandemic espoused by Donald Trump. (emphasis in original)

This forcing of science to get into line with politics goes back to at least Trofim Lysenko, who controlled science in the Soviet Union starting in the late 1920s.

Someone questions having Representative Omar on a news show. Not really clear what the problem is. She did a perfectly good job of condemning antisemitism. What exactly is the problem here?

Was it a HIMARS O’Clock? Nah, just a GMLRS (Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System).
Ukraine has exported 8 million tons of food crops since July of this year, enough to stabilize the markets.
Russia forces contain 2k convicts. They’ve been promised freedom if they fight Ukraine.
Rail line leading to Svatove cut.
Ukrainian air force is just hammering Russians around Kherson.
An examination of Russian vs Ukrainian tactics.
Iran sending missile systems to Russia.

It is not the case that all “maternity deserts” exist because of the anti-choice movement, there are other causes. But there is a very high degree of correlation between them.

Problem is, the GOP doesn’t have any sort of answer as to how to handle inflation or any other problem. It’s just complain, complain and complain.

Cool! DC Comics has had a Legion of Super-Heroes comic for quite awhile. They’re planning on an animated movie!

Herschel Walker did quite poorly during his debate with Senator Raphael Warnock, but you’d never know that from the mainstream media reviews.

Wow! I think the most frightening sentence in here is when Herschel Walker says

"If anything happened in this county, I have the right to work with the police in getting things done.”

As the blogger says, being an "Honorary Deputy" is like having “a junior ranger badge.” What on earth does Walker mean "getting things done?"

So people have suggested that Russia and Ukraine should negotiate a peace agreement. Okay. What would such an agreement look like? Well, about a month ago, a Russian unit commander asked that he be permitted to withdraw from Kherson and that he be permitted to take all of his tanks an other heavy equipment with him. Ukraine said no, because that would allow him to simply continue the fight from more easily-defended ground. These are essentially the conditions Russia is asking for. They want to give their troops time to train and replenish their supplies and to resume the fight once the Winter is over.

Still more hate and discontent and mutiny within the ranks of the newly mobilized Russians.
The Tajikistan president makes a number of complaints to Putin, who clearly wasn’t happy about it.
Oh, and the Iranian veiling protest is now 30 days old and just keeps getting stronger.

Elon Musk wanted to dump Starlink after Putin suggested that maybe the existence of the system wasn't something he partiularly wanted. Musk has now changed his mind and made it unnecessary to nationalize his system.

Whuuh?!?!?! Eric Trump says something true and correct? Yes, the Republican Party has ceased to exist. It's the Trump Party now.

Update (14 Nov):

The GOP wants to dump Trump, not because he supported anti-Semitic crazy racist candidates. They want to dump him because those crazy candidates didn't win.

Candace Owens Says Being a 'Straight White Male' Today is 'Exactly' Like Being Black American During Segregation

Being a straight white male myself, I can testify that Candace Owens is completely full of $%#@!

Very interesting. The European Union’s Security Chief says that if Russia launches a nuclear strike, the Western response will be non-nuclear, but what’s left of he Russian army in Ukraine will be destroyed!

How well do private enterprise and public infrastructure mix? Ehh, sometimes quite well, other times, not so much. Elon Musk clearly has too much influence over his own contribution (Starlink to Ukraine) and found himself being blackmailed.

Trump wrote "a 14-page (!!!) letter" to the January 6th Committee Chairman (I imagine the "writing" consisted of him pacing up and down while dictating, stopping every now and then to pound his fist on the table for emphasis). I found this sentence interesting: "...but everything already presented would change the final Election result many times over." Erm, no. Nothing he's presented in the nearly two years since the election has moved the needle by a hair.

Belay some of tha. Looks like it took Trump about four minutes to bang this out, suggesting that a lot of it was pre-written.

Seriously, what sort of purpose does a piece like this (questioning the "effectiveness" of the january 6th Connittee) serve? It’s certainly bad for our democracy.

UN rebukes Russia over annexation claims. Only “Russia, and four other dictatorships: North Korea, Syria, Belarus and Nicaragua” voted in favor of Russia’s claim to have annexed four Ukrainian provinces.

Summary of January 6th Committee hearings today.

On January 6th, Speaker Pelosi had to do what the President would not do.

Canadian song, in honor of Canada contributing $47 million worth of winter coats to Ukrainian troops.
Morale among Russian replacement troops extremely low, in some cases resulting in mutiny.
Lots of Russian air defense systems getting destroyed.

Good! In an unsigned order, meaning there were no dissents, the Supreme Court said that no, the Special Master review of the seized Mar-a-Lago documents does not have to include the 100 classified documents. That saves the process a lot of headaches! None of the attorneys, either for Trump or for the government, now have to get a security clearance. Trump simply has zero plausible claims that he might have any privileges regarding any of those documents.

I haven’t checked in on Joe Rogan since his conflict with Neil Young. Yep, just as bad as I always thought he was. I’m on the side that says he’s fully aware that he’s speaking to a highly credulous audience that doesn’t apply much in the way of critical thinking skills to what they hear.

Very sad WaPo! This is highly unsatisfactory. Why even present these first few sentences with these wild, hysterical accusations? It would have far better to just generally describe the sentences as, well, "wild, hysterical accusations."

Russia spent $600-$800 million sending missiles all over Ukraine for two days. They now appear to have pretty much run out. Ukraine’s power was cut off for about a half-hour, but Western allies are now motivated to supply Ukraine with even more weaponry! Overall, it was lose-lose for Russia.
BTW, Canada, which of course knows ALL about cold weather, is donating half a million winter uniform coats to Ukraine.

In the Vietnam War, the US lost almost 59k men killed from 1965 to 1973. Russia has now lost 60 to 66k men KIA in Ukraine in just nine months! Ukraine's KIAs are 35 to 38k.

P66 is an important North-South highway, not far at all from the crossroad of Svatove. Ukrainians are coming really close to it.
Missile bombardment of Monday and Tuesday not repeated.
Four Russian helicopters shot down in 18 minutes.
Russian missile strikes near Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Also, the Deputy Head of Nuclear Operations was arrested.
90k Russian “irrecoverable losses!” Not just dead, but too wounded to return to the front, missing & deserted.

Very interesting. Russians are firing up their troops by telling them that the Ukrainian army is full of LGBT troops and that, if they'e victorious, Russians will see gay pride parades everywhere!

Woo hoo! Thoroughly despicable POS Alex Jones gets hit with massive fine!

True, Alex Jones didn’t shoot anybody at Sandy Hook, but Charles Manson didn’t personally kill anyone, either!

Okay, first of all, please be aware of this fellow who says Russia is willing to kill millions of Ukrainians in order to “convince” them.

Then, we have these guys who feel that the bombing of the Kerch bridge was terrorism. *Sigh!* People! Ukraine is at war!!! They're battling a foe that committed atrocities at Bucha and Izyum. (words from critics who  are effectively saying: "(Shriek!) The bombing of the Kerch Bridge is terrorism! (Moan) This is just the worst of all atrocities evar!" People, there is such a thing as a legitimate mlitary target!

German air defense system makes it to the front.
“...the new Russian theater strategy is to destroy as much of Ukraine’s infrastructure, especially power generation and transmission and the water system, but also residences or any place Ukrainians could shelter, before winter.” The new strategy has a lot to do with the new theater commander General Surovikin.
How do you even begin to even try to negotiate with someone who believes that you’re all possessed by demons and that’s why you refuse to surrender?
Evidence is that, yes, Elon Musk is actively working on Russia’s side and most likely did present Putin’s peace plan.

Right! Because we can't just make an overnight switch from fossil fuels to renewables. Please recall there was a considerable period of time between the invention of the motor car and when people more or less stopped using horses for transportation.

Citizenship and nationality have been used interchangeably by British and then Israeli authorities to deny Palestinians both of these. Under international law, a nationality is inherent to an individual and cannot be taken away.

“Aw, let’s not shun or exclude fellow Republicans,” is roughly what Virginia Governor Youngkin says about Arizona governor candidate Kari Lake, who is denying that Joe Biden properly won a free and fair election in 2020.

Yike! Missile strike occurs right next to young woman who happened to be talking on her phone.
Blogger explains why the spread of Russian missiles all over Ukraine in the past few days was thoroughly in character for Putin.
With Ukraine making advances in both the Northern Luhansk front (calling it the Kharkiv front is obsolete) and the Southern Kherson front, Russia continues to make small advances in Bakhmut.
The railroad tracks on the Kerch Bridge likely suffered more extensive damage than Russians have admitted.
Not only is Ukraine trying to shoot down missiles with “Soviet-era weapons,” there aren’t enough. Still, Ukraine managed to knock down around half of the missiles.
Biden condemns Russian missile strikes.
Russian TV news clip featuring several scenes of Trump.

Elon Musk delivers really powerful evidence as to why, sometimes, some problems just have to be left to the experts. Or, at the very least, one should read up on the subject or attend some talks on it or sit down and have a chat with people who actually know what they’re talking about.

Ah, here we go! Musk got his talking points from Putin! For the record, Musk denies that.

This, to me, confirms that Musk had a conversation with Putin or someone very close to him. It also suggests that Ukraine knew Musk was chatting with Russians as CIA can follow all communications traffic outside the US. They probably felt free to diss Musk as they knew he was going to cut off Starlink anyway.

More details on the call between Musk and Putin or Putin’s people.

Women of Turkey join the veils revolt of the women of Iran. The veil revolt appears to be spreading. Back when it began, a couple of people said they had a gut feeling this revolt was very, very serious.

Trump descends into delusional gibberish. And the “Bill Clinton sock drawer” decision was that Clinton made a series of tapes with author Taylor Branch. As these documents were created exclusively by him and Branch and as government resources were not used to create them, they were his personal documents. The case is irrelevant to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago documents case.

Russia’s response to the strike on the Kerch Bridge.
President Zelenskyy talks about how Russia is hitting “ordinary residential buildings” and completely obliterating some of them. Some dead and wounded, hundreds are now homeless.
On the Kerch Bridge, the roadway is badly damaged, but the railway seems to be fine.
Germany will be sending an air defense system to Ukraine.
What would happen if Ukraine were to occupy Crimea again?

Astrophysicist Neil DeGrassi Tyson dissects the physics in the movie “Top Gun: Maverick.” Good stuff to read after you’ve seen the movie!

Poor Jon Voight’s lost in a world of fantasy.

Jon Voight to Newsmax: Unlike President Biden, Donald Trump "gained the respect" of world leaders.

No, he didn't. The world leaders who dealt with Trump had zero respect fo him. The dictators saw him as a useful idiot and the democratic ones saw his utter lack of smarts and stick-to-it-tiveness. You make successful policy by having clear goals and by clearly communicating them. That’s why Trump didn’t achieve anything.

Representative McClain:

Parents have a right to know what their children are being taught in school. End of story.

Representative McClain’s statement is 100% correct and non-controversial, but Elie Mystal’s statement is also correct. It is not and never has been difficult for a parent to find out what a child is being taught. Also, they've always been able to do something about it.

The last year in which significant government wasteful spending was found and eliminated was 1981. Reagan cut about 5% of the budget. After that, all the groups and companies got Congressional sponsors for their spending and no significant waste has been found since. See David Stockman’s book Triumph of Politics, 1986.

Russian air defense complex destroyed.
Criticism of the war is growing within Russia. So far, criticism is focused the military high command.
Detailed damage assessment of Kerch Bridge. Explosion came from below.
A family refuses to leave a city under siege, so Ukrainian officers bring them humanitarian aid.

Our blogger recalls that, during the 60s and 70s, Iranian fashions were indistinguishable from American and West European fashions. The Shah was a terrible ruler and deserved to be overthrown, but Iran was very much a secular state under him. I shudder to think how American fashions would change under an Evangelical, Christian nationalist regime.

The Kerch Bridge, which separates the Azov Sea from the Black Sea and connects Crimea to Russia, has been heavily damaged. The blogger figures it was blown by a boat passing underneath. Does this cut off logistics to the Southern Kherson front? No, but had the attack rendered the bridge unusable, Russians would have had to ferry supplies over the strait, which would have meant a lot of extra resources and time. More on that.

Bit of a problem with considering the attack on the Kerch Bridge as “terrorism.” What then constitutes an attack on a legitimate military target? Also, Russia has fired missiles all over Ukraine that have landed on houses, schools, apartment buildings, shopping centers, etc. Can you seriously say Ukraine is in the same category of destructiveness to non-military targets?

Ah, that's why various people are accusing Ukraine of “terrorism” in attacking the Kerch Bridge. Putin said so first and everyone’s copying him.

The blogger explains in great detail how striking a legitimate military target isn’t terrorism.

Anyway, Russia strikes back with a true terrorist assault! A “multi-story residential building“ was hit with a missile.

"Mr. Trump...was angry with the National Archives..."

This is a rookie error from a celebrated reporter. She should have stated this in terms of "Trump explained in an interview that he was angry because..." That way, she wouldn't pretend to be mind-reading.

Interesting. Russia ad telling citizens that America is full of horrors like same-sex marriage, vegetarian food, etc.

Problem with Senator Johnson’s idea is that America decided back in the 30s that private enterprise just couldn’t set wages at a level that permitted Americans in general to live decent lives. Absolutely nothing has changed. Private enterprise remains incapable of setting wages.

The patriarchal authorities of Iran are in full reaction mode to young, unveiled Iranian women. Like American protesters burning US flags in the 60s, for these women to burn their veils really sets the authorities off.

Interesting version of the “White Man’s Burden” (the English author Rudyard Kipling figured in 1899 that it was the “fate” of white men to rule over the rest of humanity), where gee, men are just “destined” or “fated” to “have” to tell women what to do with their bodies.

Life imitates “art.” Two Russian soldiers defected in the porn film parody and two just now defected, also to Alaska, in real life.
Ukraine has well over 1k armored vehicles that used to be Russian, 440 of them are main battle tanks. Vehicles are intact because of poor training and low morale.
Russia losing lots of drones.
New airbase being built in Belarus.
Ukrainian drone attack deep inside Russia.

Well, there we go! Firing Herschel Walker's political director will fix all of his problems! Wait, he had a political director?

Update (10 Nov): "As of Wednesday morning, with 96% of the expected vote reported, Warnock and Walker are tied at 49% each with Warnock leading by some 17,000 votes." They'll do a runoff later.

Laura Ingraham of Fox News asks, where does marijuana lead to? Well, smart Girl Scouts will seek out pot smokers to sell them cookies! Seriously, the idea of “gateway drugs” is a long discredited notion.

Very interesting. The news that Biden wanted to make marijuana legal and to pardon users landed with kind of a dull thud. Republicans have, by and large, decided that the issue is just not worth getting people revved up over i

Russians trying to retreat to more defensible lines in the Southern Kherson front.

Russians using Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant as launching pad for missiles.

“The war ends when Ukrainian military victories alter Russian political realities, a process which I believe has begun.”

Lengthy thinkpiece on Putin and the possibility of nuclear war. Interesting angle is that the US may try to respond in a non-nuclear way, at least at first. It would still be painful and unpleasant for Russia.

A detailed look at how the Russian mobilization is going. Basically, a complete cluster$%#@!!! Recruits sleeping on the ground, doing nothing to train during the day and not getting paid. Lot of them getting ill before they even get to the battlefield.

Not surprising. Musk has demonstrated some real right-wing beliefs. Watch for Twitter to collapse into another “Truth Social” if Trump is reinstated. Comments on the post are extremely skeptical that any great exodus will occur.

The fellow who tells me Ukraine is “Doomed, I tell you!” sends me this.
“The four regions that recently voted to join Russia…” Yeah, never mind that the elections could not possibly have been free or fair as the Russian army has committed many atrocities and summary executions of civilians and that there was no international peace-keeping force to protect the civilian population during the vote. But yeah, okay. Sure, there was a “vote.” Does Ukraine want to remain neutral? Reminder: Finland and Sweden have joined NATO because they don’t like the idea of being unprotected against Russia.

Devin Nunes is the former Congressman who quit to become the CEO of the Trump Twitter-rip off Truth Social. Think he rather overstates the importance of it.

“Can you imagine where we would be had Trump not went out and created Truth Social?"

Erm, yeah. Actually, I can very easily imagine it. We'd be in pretty much the exact same position.

I’m still gobsmackd that a State Attorney General tried to dodge a subpoena. Aren’t these guys supposed to be, like, pro-law and order? More of a look into why Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is in legal trouble.

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, hires a fact-checker after she finds her memories being heavily scrutinized and held under a microscope. Was there really a fire in Archie’s nursery? No, a heater was putting out some smoke, people were concerned, but no fire.
Anyway, Megyn Kelly seems to be criticizing Markle and Trevor Noah of The Daily Show.

“Abortion is murder! Abortion is evil! Um, what’s that? Herschel Walker paid for an abortion? Hey now, let’s not get too hasty…”

Uuh...whut!?!?! We liberals are a bunch of soft weaklings because we’re upset that Mehmet Oz killed puppy dogs?!?!?!

Fascinating! Ukraine exploits Russia’s consumer-quality military radio system to break up Russian defenses on the Southern Kherson front.

Students join the women’s protest in Iran. Included are videos of *gasp!* bareheaded (no hijab) young women students!

A buddy of mine back in the Navy was fond of saying “Sure, I’ll play your silly game!” Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson uses the concept of “Originalism” to argue against a right-wing idea.

Ah! The bitter, salty tears of the right-wing faithful who thought that originalism was their personal plaything! Our newest member of the Supreme Court, Justice Jackson, showed them that two sides can play at that game! Jenna Ellis has to work hard to try and argue with Jackson.

A right-wing pundit suggested that Herschel Walker has changed and has turned over a new leaf and regrets that he paid a girlfriend to have an abortion. But if that were true, why isn’t Walker bringing up this story himself as an example of his younger days when he didn’t have such good judgment?

Elon Musk decides to try his hand at making peace between Ukraine and Russia. It doesn’t go well.

Was Musk simply acting as Putin's messenger?

Elon Musk’s idea to solve the Russia-Ukraine situation. Blogger is very unimpressed with him.
Zelenskyy talks about those who cooperated with Russia and those who didn’t now that so much territory has been recovered.
Izyum situation bad for Russians. Breakthrough near Kherson also making good progress.

The Russians have been caught stealing and trying to resell Ukrainian grain!

"Jackson Tangles With Gorsuch In Her First Oral Argument Appearance"
Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is no shrinking violet! The newest Justice is fully engaged!

The former president and the DOJ want very different things from the court handling the Mar-a-Lago papers case. Trump wants a slow, leisurely, very drawn-out case. DOJ wants a timely process.

Ukraine has been making great progress in the Northern, Kharkiv front where the Russians weren’t expecting them. But the Southern Kherson front is where “Russia rushed all its defenses, as many as 40,000 troops, in well-prepared defensive emplacements on flat, open land where a wall of artillery can hamper any advances.” The amazing news is that Ukraine is making advances ever there!

In the North, if Ukraine can take Svatove, that will severely compromise Russia’s ability to hold the North at all. If Ukraine takes the railroad junction of Starobilsk, Russia will have to re-route all of its supply lines! Not impossible, but a massive amount of work!

Update (8 Nov): Russians are fully aware of the importance of Svatove. With Ukrainian troops only a short distance away, Russians are throwing everything they've got into defending it.

Zelenskyy discusses diplomacy and future plans.
Ukrainian troops break through along the coast of the Dnieper River. This is very bad news for Russians in Kherson!

Update (9 Nov): Russians giving orders to troops to abandon Kherson.

Update (11 Nov) Woo hoo! Kherson is liberated! The whole West bank of the Dnipro  River is now completely in Ukrainian hands!

Maggie Haberman from the NY Times, describing how Trump has "backed himself into a corner where he has to run." The blogger who quoted her (I agree) said: "He was always going to run."

Iranian protest, now in its third week, still going strong! Foreigners speaking up in support!

Aww. The January 6th Commission didn’t allow Trump or any of his proxies to defend the poor fellow. Erm, Trump has been making speeches since he left Washington DC. He’s had plenty of opportunities to defend himself!

The editor where Katie Halper worked made it absolutely clear that he was terrified of getting sucked into the dispute over whether Israel is an apartheid state (spoiler alert: it is).

D'oh! When a Russian unit blew up the bridge they were supposed to retreat on.
The small city of Lyman is librated less than 24 hours after it was declared to be part of Russia.
President Zelenskyy comments on Russia and the UN.
Russia kidnaps the Director of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
The town of Svatove is the next target after Lyman’s fall. Precision strikes take out targets there.

Interesting that pro-Russian pundits keep using the Battle of the Bulge as their favorite comparison to the war in Ukraine right now. Any minute now, Russian troops will launch a counter-offensive. Yep. A-a-any minute now. Sorta seems more like a month after D-Day, with troops breaking out and defensive forces trying frantically to establish new lines of defense. Blogger documents lots of wishful thinking here!

Update (1 Nov): Nope, the counterattack never came.

Sigh. So what’s going on with the buddy who says they’re “Doomed, I tell you!” Well, the guy in this video says that Zelenskyy is terrible not to want to negotiate with “Russia’s elected leader.” Problem is, Putin has declared four Ukrainian provinces to be Russian territory. That means even if Ukraine pushes Russian troops all the way back to the 2013 borders, Russia must keep the war going until they regain all four, which will never happen. So no, Ukraine is right to want someone different to negotiate with.

What else? This fellow says that in 2019, the Rand Corporation made evil, sneaky plans against the totally innocent Russia to provoke confrontation. Erm, yeah. Never mind that five years prior to that, Russia invaded and occupied Crimea or that Moscow acted towards soldiers in the Donbas much as Washington DC did towards the Nicaraguan Contras during the 80s. Nah, Russia was totally innocent and only interested in peaceful commerce then.

Accusations that the other side has already started murdering people on your side is the precursor to genocide. “We might as well do it to them, they’ve already started doing it to us.”

Governor Abbot of Texas offers "baby supplies" to women who are raped. This is, of course, a ridiculously inadequate response to women and girls who don’t wish to carry a baby in the first place!

This thread on the debate tells us what a complete failure Abbott has been.

Favorable reviews of the O’Rourke-Abbott debate for O’Rourke. Abbott came off as “evasive and combative.”

Putin defends the "annexation" of four Ukrainian provinces.

"The Woman King"
Quite good! About the time of our Revolutionary War, I’d say. Inspiring tale of an African kingdom struggling with the thought of selling off their relatives, also about a young woman who rises up through the ranks.

As Russia launches massive misssile attack on civilian tagets, the father was safer on the front lines than the family was at home.
Europe might as well accept Ukraine into NATO. The US is wary about moving too quickly on that.
Russian draftees having to bring their own medical supplies.
Lyman is surrounded.
Putin is setting up a forever war. Further analysis of Putin’s speech.
Ukraine has not slowed its operations as a result of Putin’s speech.


So Governor DeSantis joins a long line of conservatives who opposed giving assistance to states that are hit by natural diasters and who now, after his own state suffered a natural disaster, is now all of the sudden in favor of a big and generous federal government!

"Right Wing Flips Out As Lizzo Plays An Old Flute"
The right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro accuses the Library of Congress of doing "something deliberately controversial" by inviting the musician Lizzo to play a flute. I guess it's controversial because Lizzo is Black and heavyset. Whoo-wee! The racists went nuts!

According to Fiona Hill, we’ve been actively fighting World War III for awhile, the West just hasn’t really recognized it yet.

The young Ohio girl who had to travel to Indiana to get an abortion was hardly an exceptional case. Ohio is preventing many young girls from very similar circumstances from getting abortions.

Judge Cannon overrules Special Master Dearie and comes down completely on Trump’s side.

It's very unfortunat, but not surprising that the NY Times does a very poor job describing the conflict between the two judges.

Good! DOJ makes argument to speed up actions against Trump on the Mar-a-Lago documents case as he 11k non-classified documents are needed to help figure out how the documents were stored and treated.

Russians tell of how Ukrainian children grew to love Russia while in Russian captivity. Sounds like Stockholm Syndrome to me.
There’s a rough consensus that the Nord Stream pipeline was sabotaged. Not yet clear by whom. The explosions took place in international waters.
Serious “brain drain” as people leaving Russia to escape the draft there tend to be better-educated and wealthier.
The last road out of Lyman back to Russian lines is now well within Ukrainian artillery range. Russians in Lyman are now effectively encircled.
Russia stripping its border of troops in order to move them to Ukraine.

GOP lawmakers pontificate about abortion, then leave the room as soon as a witness speaks up to defend it. Many years ago, Jeane Kirkpatrick told us all about being the only woman is a roomful of men when the subject of abortion came up. She insisted that the subject just wasn't as simple, as cut-and-dried as the men thought it was. Looks like nothing has changed.

Yep, my buddy who says Ukraine is “Doomed, I tell you! Doomed!” strikes again.
The hosts of the show ask us to believe that the people in occupied Ukraine trust the Russian army to fairly administer an election. Erm, yeah. The army that’s responsible for the atrocities of Bucha, Izium and Kupyansk is going to administer a free and fair election? Yuh. Okay. It’s funny how Ukraine is reporting zero guerrilla activity behind their lines, but we have plenty of evidence of such activity behind Russian lines.
Oh, and Putin’s “Special Military Operation” is now shifted to an “Anti-Terrorist Operation.”

Also, do the civilians on the roadside here appear unhappy that Ukrainian troops are now in charge?

"Italian Protest Song 'Bella Ciao' Embraced As Iran Freedom Anthem"
Seems the anti-fascist anthem Bella Ciao is actually quite well known!

“Bella Ciao,” an Italian resistance song sung in Farsi by an Iranian woman (she's not wearig s hijab, of course).
Our blogger is in Northern Florida, enough to get some storm effects, but not much.
President Zelenskyy dismisses the idea that Russia’s announcement that it will annex parts of Ukraine will be recognized.*
Ukraine still making more progress in the Northern Kharkiv front than in the Southern Kherson front.
Did Russia sabotage the Nord Stream pipeline?
Cool HIMARS video!

*Update (13 Oct): The vote to legalize Russia's annexation of Ukraine's four provices (Crimea was already alllegedly annexed) was five voted in favor, 143 against and 35 abstained.

Support for the anti-Israel BDS movement in Italy is low, but fascists are no friends to the Jewish people.

Yeah, I kinda doubt Ukrainians trust Trump to be a mediator between them and Russia.

...the former president described Putin’s attack on Ukraine as "genius" and "very savvy.”

A WaPo story that looks suspiciously like a way to flatter and butter up the House Minority Leader so that he’ll provide better access.

"What flying *to* Russia is like right now"
Heh! As you can see, Russia is a super-duper popular destination right now! [/snark]

Looks like the HIMARS systems were a smash success! Many more launchers on the way!

Okay, perhaps the reporter Maggie Haberman is not plainly guilty of having covered up Trump's crime of having taken materials from the White House that he wasn't authorized to have, but she had at least enough to have had discussions with investigative reporters, perhaps a private detective or even the Justice Department. She could have done something with the information she had!

Maggie Haberman's complicity in Trump's bullying ways.

Tell all the friends and neighbors! The Ukrainian brand Saint Javelin has all sorts of clothing for sale. Proceeds will go to buy generators, sleeping bags, thermal clothing and medical kits.
Our blogger lives in Florida, so he includes a lot about the storm that’s on its way.
Pentagon is watching Russia’s nuclear posture. As far as can be determined, no real reason for alarm.
Putin will address both houses of the Duma (Russian Parliament) on Friday. Will probably announce “success” of referendums.
Looks like the city of Lyman is in danger of being overrun as Ukrainian troops close in on it.
Explosions in the Nord Stream pipeline. Fox News guy Tucker Carlson suggests US sabotage.
“A woman, who appears to be with long-term military experience” recommends the men get themselves cheap “women’s pads” for plugging up bullet wounds.
An excerpt from a NY Times piece about General Zaluzhny, who runs the Ukrainian army.

Kari Lake, running for Governor of Arizona, claims to have been “triple-confirming“ a “fact” that was alleged to be embarrassing to her opponent. Oops! Apparently Lake doesn’t know how to read a bill.

Thanks to Newt Gingrich trying to attack John Fetterman, I’ve now heard the Trent Reznor song “Hurt,” covered by Johnny Cash.

Very sad! Newly-drafted Russians, dumped on the front lines with no training and pretty much no equipment. They’re expected to die at a very high rate.

Very cool! The Rules & Administration Committee votes “Aye” for the Electoral Count Act with, of course, the exception of Senator Cruz.

Cruz’s case, that voter fraud is a serious concern, has been repeatedly studied since 2002. It occurs on the order of once every several million votes. Not a completely non-existent problem, but pretty darn close to it.

*Sigh!* The Attorney General of Texas is on the lam, trying to avoid being served with a subpoena.

KellyAnne Conway conflates two separate things here. 1. There’s no such thing as a marijuana overdose. I think you can give mice so much pot smoke, they’re not getting enough oxygen, but overdosing on weed just isn’t a thing. 2. Fentanyl is poison, period.

We’re at about 421 parts per million (ppm) of carbon in the atmosphere. 350 ppm is good but at 400 ppm, that means the glaciers melt.

In the movie “Enemy at the Gates,” about the Battle of Stalingrad, we see Soviet soldiers handed rifles, a magazine of bullets and told to go and fight. That’s the extent of their training and arming. Russian draftees today are getting pretty much the same preparation.

Newly-drafted Russian citizens have already started arriving at military bases, meaning they have had little to no training.
Ukrainians are in general concerned about Russia starting a nuclear exchange.
Georgia (in the Caucasus) has had 115k Russians cross their border.

I tuned into the mission to slam a spacecraft into an asteroid when it was about 25 minutes away. Woo hoo! The view a few seconds prior to impact! NASA scored a direct hit!

Update (25 Oct): The test was successful! The DART spaceraft slammed into the asteroid Dimorphos at around 14k mph. Prior to impact, it took Dimorphos 11 hours & 55 minutes to circle Didymos. After impact: 11 hours and 23 minutes.

"Vos Sues To Quash Jan. 6 Panel’s Subpoena For Testimony"
Here's what amazes me: "Vos also argued that his conversation with Trump was “not pertinent” to the committee’s investigation."
Who in the frikkin' bloody hell is he to presume to know what is or isn't pertinent to the committee's investigation? Gaah! The sheer arrogance of some people!

Senator Sinema demonstrates that, yes, Democrats were absolutely right to reject her and that she is no friend to Democratic constituencies. She says she shares the "values" of Senate Minority Leader McConnell. It's hard to get a more damning condemnation than that.

Senator McConnell confirms that Sinema is someone that's looking to jump to the other party. Fortunately, Republican constituents don't like her any more than Democrats do.

Senator Sinema brings up the “cooling saucer” idea of how the Senate is supposed to work. Problem is, she doesn’t appear to have noticed that the filibuster began being horribly abused from the beginning of 2009 and never truly stopped when Republicans were in the minority. Pretty much the only time Democrats have gotten good legislation through since Biden took over has been when the filibuster gets overriden.
And yeah “She still hasn’t held a town hall in Arizona since taking office 3 years ago” which is kind of interesting as she’s allegedly so pro-compromise.

Another problem is that Sinema appears to see herself as a strict parent of sorts to voters. No, it isn't the job of a senator to decide what voters need or don't need.

Huh! Interesting. Representative Cheney says the term some people use for Trump is “Orange Jesus.” I’ve of course always liked “Our Glorious Leader,” myself, but hey.

Whew! She got out of a Russian POW camp and into Ukraine right before her child was born!
President Zelenskyy says the Tatars of Crimea and the people of Dagestan are being drafted to fight in Ukraine as part of an ethnic cleansing program.
Fierce battles around the city of Lyman.
Ukraine now has NASAMS air defense systems.
According to online propagandists, Chinese President Xi Jinping is under house arrest and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the “Midas Touch.”
Oh, and North Korea may have launched another ballistic missile.

Post has aerial photo of cars lined up to escape from Russia to Georgia. Gee, is the war unpopular there?

Yeah, the discussion between Chuck Todd and Representative Mace lacks the tiniest crumb of substance. What exactly has Biden done that in any way warrants impeachment? How was Trump denied due process during either of his two impeachments? As usual, Todd gives his guests a complete pass.

What’s the difference between Iranian theocrats and American Evangelical Republicans? Ehh, more a matter of degree than of kind. They subscribe to different holy books, but use those books against women in very similar ways.

Senator Cruz:

Despite naive Lefty claims that “violence doesn’t solve violence,” nearly 100% of mass murders only end when somebody (usually a police officer) shoots & kills the murderer.
Yet Dems blocked my legislation to double the number of police officers in schools to keep our kids safe.   

I would agree that violence does indeed solve problems of violence, but yes, mass shooters (who don’t commit suicide) are usually stopped by professional law enforcement personnel, not by random citizens who happen to be armed and are present. Meaning no, arming citizens is not the answer.
Do we need more police in schools? I would argue that the best answer to mass shooters are to take weapons of war out of the reach of private citizens.

A large group of Mariupol prisoners were recently freed. Disturbingly, they testify that they never saw any Red Cross personnel during their captivity.
On Iranian women rebelling against wearing veils: “My professional instincts say something has changed, but all I have is a feeling.” Our blogger feels this rebellion is not like others and will not just fade away.
President Zelenskyy promises Russian soldiers that if they are captured, Russian authorities will never know whether they surrendered voluntarily or not.
Ukrainian blitzkrieg continues to go well Russia has still not managed to set up a stable line yet.
Russian troops getting some really crappy equipment.

Mahsa Amini. the 22-year old Kurdish-Iranian woman who died in custody after a few locks of her hair were seen peeking out from underneath her scarf, has sparked waves of protest, with Iranian women burning their headscarves. An Iraqi woman tells of having to wear a headscarf in Iraq after the US invasion of 2003 and the larger rebellion today.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy rolled out a platform for the Republican Party. D'oh! Is it a technical glitch when McCarthy's patform ad presents a “Lincoln quote” that Lincoln never actually said? Or is it more like Dereliction of Duty on the part of the whole chain of command that produced the ad?

Horrible human rights violations discovered in Izium. Hmm, where is Amnesty International these days?

Oskil River not looking like such a great defensive line as Ukrainians keep establishing bridgeheads across it.

Iranian drones enter the battle.

There are already many reports of people who do not fall under Russia’s mobilization criteria being called up anyway.

Guy at Trump rally says it “baffles his mind” that Biden hasn’t been impeached for Afghanistan for “not helping our troops who are still over there today.”

*Sigh!* Gotta love the deeply well-informed people at Trump rallies. The last US troops departed from Afghanistan in August 2021.

Woo hoo! Project Veritas found guilty! They owe a $120k fine.

"Top GOP senators reject Trump’s declassification comments and call for proper storage of secret records"
Problem with this piece is that it simply quotes people without providing the necessary context. The context is that no government employee (that includes the President) is supposed to remove certain documents from the White House, Period!!! It’s a problem that the improperly-removed documents weren’t stored properly, but the real problem is that they were removed in the first place!

Lara Trump defends Eric Trump’s charity, never mind that the Trump family had to repay $2 million for defrauding charity. Trump, Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric are not disallowed from ever operating a charity again, but there are a number of conditions if they ever want to run one.

More from the buddy who tells me that Ukraine is “Doomed, I tell you! Doomed!” This video is from the 14th (It's now the 24th) and tells us that Russia will spring the trap any moment now! Yep, Russia will push back and re-take their lost territory any minute now! You betcha!

100 car line of Russians trying to escape their draft by going into Mongolia.
I’m sure Donald Trump is jealous, Iran can simply turn off its internet, leaving citizens with fewer communications options and drawing a shade towards foreign observers.
Even a limited mobilization is likely to be highly unpopular in Russia.
Logistics are a real problem for Russia, could be a long time before new troops make it to the front.
15 Russian air defense complexes destroyed. Ukraine running still more air strikes.
Ukraine supplying grain to Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Somalia.

Graph shows "Kyrsten Sinema: unpopular among everyone."
Very happy to see this! It struck me that Senator Sinema was trying to win Republican votes by messing with the Democrat's agenda, but it's good to see she didn't even do that!

After talking about how green energy is not quite ready for prime-time, the WaPo adds that this is "feedig skepticim from the fossil fuel industry about green energy."
Very sad. I wonder if the last sentence was put in by the writer or by an editor who felt the piece needed some sort of "balance." It really botches up the piece.

Representative Tlaib charges fellow progressives of being “progressive except on Israel.” By losing her $%#@ and immediately launching into extremist rhetoric,

"The outrageous progressive litmus test on Israel by @RashidaTlaib is nothing short of antisemitic. Proud progressives do support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state."

Representative Wasserman Schultz essentially proves Tlaib right.

Putin appears determined to have a general mobilization as a follow-up to being on the wrong side of a blitzkrieg, though he didn’t actually make that speech today.
Black Sea fleet under threat, various units moved to port further back.
Ukraine hits air support facilities and then conducts close fire support missions.
ow to counter information warfare.

Putin announced a call-up of the reserves to fight in Ukraine. Every flight out of Moscow and St. Petersburg is sold out! The people their army will get are the people who couldn't afford to leave the country.

Putin calls up the reserves. How much will that do for his situation on the battlefield? Probably not much. The Chinese “Human Wave” attacks of the Korean War in the 1950s were effective until the US and South Koreans learned how to deal with them. Anything more than that requires months of training and equipping and people learning not just riflery and marching, but leadership and a lot of specific skills like how to do basic repairs and/or maintennce to your howitzer in the field. It took the Ukrainians about six months to get new brigades up to speed. Nah, this call-up won’t show results on the battlefield for a long time!

35km line of cars of Russians fleeing the country to not be sent to Ukraine with a rifle! Only people who will fill the ranks will be people who were too poor or too far from the border to escape being drafted.

Recaling the Alexei Navalny protest in January 2021.
Prisoner exchange gets a number of Mariupol prisoners back.
Russian citizens are resisting Putin’s police. This could get very bad for the police.
President Zelenskyy demands punishment for Russia’s crime of aggression.
More shelling of
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Ukraine hammers Russia’s supply lines with air strikes and precision munitions.
Hmm “citizens had already started getting orders to enlist.” Never heard of people forced to enlist.
Our blogger thinks escalation to nuclear weapons is unlikely.

Venezuelan asylum-seekers who were flown to Martha's Vineyard have shown authorities a brochure they were given that advertises great things in Massachusetts for immigrants. Shorter Massachusetts denial - "Nope. Not our brochure. We had nothing to do with producing it."

Very cool! By concentrating on doing good stuff as opposed to chasing opinion polls, Biden does well in the polls!

Good! Florida Governor DeSantis and his stunt of flying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard will be criminally investigated!

Oh, good grief! A dispute over a young Iranian Kurdish woman visiting Tehran, and having a few locks of hair peeking out from underneath her headscarf She died and the protests started!

Protests taking place largely in Kurdish areas, though it may spark and spread further unrest.

Aw, mannnn! Iranian women burning their veils! Tch, tch, tch! How long will this anti-establishment rebellion continue?

Update (19 Oct): An Iranian Olympic rock climer performed without a headscarf. She’s greeted as a heroine at the Tehran airport at 5:00am! "Top Iran Prosecutor Threatens Death Penalty for Leading Protests, as Government arrests over 7,000"

"Newsmax Host Suggests 'Civil War' Over Trump Indictment"
So I guess their answer is just to give Trump a pass on his lawbreaking. “Yeah, whatevuh. Let’s just sweep everything under the rug and fugedaboudit.”

"President Trump will unite America in 2024 again."

Again?!?!?! Erm, what did Trump ever do to unite America?!?!?! Seems to me his every action was deeply partisan and destructive. Sorry, I just don’t see a second Trump term as producing any more unity than the first one did.

Alla Pugacheva is a pop star in Russia and comes out against the war.
Precision munitions negate Russia’s advantage in having interior lines of communication & supply.
Excellent news on the
Russian 64th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade that perpetrated the massacre at Bucha.
The NY Times does a deep dive into, and our blogger examines, Russian information warfare targeting Americans regarding the Women’s March.

Presidents and prime ministers have intelligence services to tell them what’s going on. Pretty clearly, the services of China, India and the Central Asian countries that used to be Soviet Socialist Republics are saying the same thing. The Russian army in Ukraine has lost the war there. The army is clearly of very little further use without extensive rebuilding.

President Zelenskyy discusses the atrocities at Izium.
Also, Ukrainian children kidnapped Russians say it’s “for their good.”
Cool video on how Ukrainian soldiers eat. Pre-packaged MREs much of the time, but freshly made whenever possible.

Good idea! International tribunal for the atrocities in Izium!

It's been a constant theme of the Trumpers since the day he took office that they have a rough time getting any women to go out with them. This dating app does not appear to the magic cure!

Biden says (words to the effect of) to Putin: "C'mon man! You use tac nukes, you'll be seen as being even more of a pariah then you already are!"

Back in the old days of just a few years ago, Republicans wanted to publicly align themselves with the military. Nowadays, they see that “all the generals and admirals are ‘woke’ and ‘left-wing’ losers who’ve never won a war.”

Governor DeSantis pulled a “cute” trick by flying asylum-seeking Venezuelans to Martha’s Vineyard, where no on was initially prepared to meet them. At the earliest, a DeSantis ancestor got to the US in 1904. Italians were not really considered “white” at that time. And yes, the segregationist White Citizens’ Councils pulled the same trick back in the early 60s.

The law Desantis violated.

So great harm is caused to migrants by the DeSantis stunt of sending them to where no one was ready to greet them, but according to Area SubStack, the Democrats are the bad guys here.

"It took the liberal elites at Martha’s Vineyard less than 48 hours before they could no longer bear Biden’s border crisis."

This is a deliberate misstatement. Martha’s Vineyard (which never declared itself to be a Sanctuary City) is not a usual stop-off for migrants, so it has no services for them. So after 48 hours, the migrants were moved to a place where they could get the services they needed. Don’t blame Massachusetts or Martha’s Vineyard for the cruel and unjust policies of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

"See How They Run"
Interesting stuff. Early 50s British murder mystery.

Moscow’s weakness after over nearly seven months of the war in Ukraine emboldened Kyrgystan and Tajikistan to start fighting each other.

Exhuming mass raves near Izyum. So far, 440 graves have been found.

"In the south, the Ukrainians continue to make what we would assess is deliberate, calculated forward movements…”

Russians trying to recruit convicts as they’re running low on regular volunteers.

"Former President Trump told [Hugh Hewitt] this AM that everything he took to Mar-A-Lago was declassified,"

Few problems with that:

1. Declassifying documents is a bit more complicated than simply declaring them declassified.

2. Can’t declassify nuclear technology or human sources of intelligence. There are specific laws on the books about those.

3. The Espionage Act criminalizes removing national security information from its secured location. Whether it’s classified is irrelevant.

"1960 [film clip] on what the year 2000 would be like"
View of technology is pretty accurate. View of social/economic arrangements? Not so much.

Alternative energy got California's energy system through a really rough summer without a loss of power.

Railway strike averted because Biden is sympathetic to unions.

An important IAEA resolution was adopted today – a resolution demanding that Russia cease all actions against the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant…

This is important as it settles the question as to which side was bombarding the plant. The IAEA has concluded it was Russia.

Russia left lots of valuable equipment behind in it’s rush to get behind the Oskil River.

Ukraine uncovers mass graves in the newly liberated territory.

Conclusion. Putin looks desperate. Xi looks like he is calling the shots.

Yeah. “Judge Aileen Cannon’s … order is a radical assault on national security and rule of law.” Mmm, yeah, I’ll go with that.

The judge is very careful not to mention certain aspects of her order because to do so would show that she was deliberately acting to favor Donald Trump.

One would think, that after 12 years of failure in repealing the ACA/Obamacare, that they'd know better.

"...southern White Citizens Councils started their so-called 'Reverse Freedom Rides'"
The stunt pulled by first Governor Abbott and now Governor DeSantis is not new. This was done during the John F. Kennedy Administration for pretty much the same reason it’s being done today. The same dishonesty is used, people are being told that they’ll receive help that no one is actually prepared to give.

More on that.

Also, the Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenka did the same thing more recently.

This should be concerning to Moscow:

Russia has 85 federal subjects, 21 of them republics like Chechnya, Dagestan, and Buryata. If those names sound vaguely familiar, it’s because those poor regions constitute a disproportionate number of Russia’s war dead in Ukraine.

Also, wow! In today's update, we learn that Ukraine captured "61 tanks, 117 armored infantry vehicles, and over 20 artillery pieces," all of which Ukraine is going to try and put back into service against the Russians.

"Hannity Cries About MSNBC Hiring Jen Psaki"
Erm, Kayleigh McEnany, who's currently the hostess of the Fox News program Outnumbered, had exactly the same job that Jen Psaki did, that of Press Secretary.

Here’ s a further problem with holding information back for a book. It heavily rewards insiders who talk to a reporter on deep background. The reporter gets juicy information, gets to put it into a book later (which will sell more copies that way), the source then gets favorable coverage during the time when memories start to fade and revised accounts can be sold. Win-win for the reporter and the source, it’s just the public that loses.

Very cool! The Patagonia company donates roughly $100 million annually to fight climate change.

The John Durham investigation, easily one of the most useless, pointless investigations of all time, is finally over! What did he discover? Nothing. This is the second investigation of the Mueller Investigation that has come up empty.

"Daily Wire host says it is unscientific to cast a Black person as a mermaid"
[Heavy sigh] Y’knoe, I kinda get the scientifukal argument as to why a half-person living under the sea wouldn’t have dark skin. Of course, it you wanted to get really rigorous and logical about it, most underwater creatures have shells or scales, not skin. And why does the previous mermaid Ariel have red lips and orange hair? Heck, why would she cover her breasts with shells if no one down there could see them?

Heh! Just to comment further on the Black mermaid controversy, here's a brown mermaid in conservative Middle Eastern garb. Thread includes a 1901 film clip of working class people in Northern England. The women wear shawls, which appear to be an awful lot like hijabs.

Daryl Hannah (Splash) weighs in:

So, during the last defamation trial, Alex Jones appeared to be regretful that his actions had caused so much pain. That was clearly either a fake reaction or a very temporary one.

Did Trump try to use the classified documents in his possession for personal gain or to try and establish that they were his own personal documents? The fact that he wrote on classified documents suggests that at the very least, he felt they were his personal property.

Interesting. A Russian unit saw the September offensive coming and tried to escape it.
The total amount of US security assistance to Ukraine has been $17.2 billion since 2014.
Russian Ministry of Defence propaganda becomes less credible to Russian citizens.
Russian 1st Guards Tank Army (1 GTA) has ceased to exist.

The British MoD via Euroweek:

1 GTA had been one of the most prestigious of Russia’s armies, allocated for the defence of Moscow, and intended to lead counter-attacks in the case of a war with NATO.

With 1 GTA and other WEMD formations severely degraded, Russia’s conventional force designed to counter NATO is severely weakened.

"Dennis Prager Defends 'Good Germans' Who Supported Hitler's Nazi Party"
“As we say in Germany, if there’s a Nazi at the table and 10 other people sitting there talking to him, you got a table with 11 Nazis.” Dr. Jen Foell

The reporter here talks about compromising with Senator Graham on abortion. I was only 13 when Roe was put into place, so it wasn't until several years later that I really researched the matter. Nope, there's no compromise. You either believe that women are entitled to control their own bodies or you think the potential baby is more important than they are.

Heh! Democrats love Senator Graham’s suggestion of a national abortion ban! It confirms all of the conspiracy theories. That's a great issue for Dems to run on! I mean, hey, you've got a never-married, 67-year old guy with no kids. Of course he understands all about pregnancy and births and taking care of kids!

Former VP Pence joins in on calling for an abortion ban. In other words, Senate Graham is not an outlier! He faithfully represents what the Republican Party was planning from the outset.

Heh! Ukraine handing out “surrender cards” to instruct Russian soldiers how to safely surrender.
Russia strikes on Ukraine’s power grid continue a Russian tactic that they’ve used throughout the war. They continually attack civilian targets. One of the reasons might be that their missiles are so inaccurate that they don’t feel confident about attacking military targets. In his nightly speech, Zelenskyy slams them for it.
Russians have likely retreated to the Oskil River.
Ukrainians appear to have a number of fast, light brigades, consisting of wheeled vehicles, as opposed to tracked vehicles.

More stuff from the buddy who says that Ukraine is “Doomed, I tell you! Doomed!”
This fellow seems to be enormously exaggerating Ukrainian casualty figures. A quick advance as they’ve been doing tends
to be a very low-casualty affair on both sides. High casualties are consistent with a very slow advance, such as advances like Russia has been making over the pas several months.
It’s difficult to see how Ukraine is “frittering away its reserves” when Ukraine is taking thousands of square miles of territory back. I mean, taking territory is kinda the whole point of warfare. And it seems to me that Ukrainians are fully aware of the dangers of over-extension. The “mantra” that Russia would only attack Ukrainian military infrastructure is simply a lie and was obviously false from the outset. At last count, about a month ago, Russia had launched 3,700 missiles, the vast majority of which hit civilian targets. The reason, the blogger concluded, was that Russian missiles simply aren’t very accurate. Military targets require a high degree of precision.

"Trump Stops Short Of Declassification Argument In Latest Filing"

For months, former President Trump and his allies have claimed that, at the end of his term in office, he issued a broad declassification order.

Of course classified government records remain classified if they’re so marked. Part of the declassification process is to cross out all of the classified markings. I received unclassified orders while in the Navy. The designations were quite obvious and repeated multiple times per page.

A number of Native American tribes got together and purchased the land where Wounded Knee occurred.

Fun dance sequence between Lucille Ball, Ginger Rogers & Lucie Arnaz.

The Civil War continued for years after Gettysburg and the Eastern Front of World War II continued after Stalingrad, but clearly, a turning point had been reached and the defeat of the South and of Germany was more or less assured from that point on. We're at that point now in the Russia-Ukraine war.

Tucker Carlson of Fox News is slammed by critics for his over-optimistic statements on how well Russia was doing against Ukraine. Erm, when has Biden demanded Russia’s “unconditional surrender?” I would think I would have heard about that.

I notice that everyone who complains about President Biden failing to bring unity has done absolutely nothing on their part to bring unity. What I’m seeing are Republicans who are taking credit for bills they voted against.

President Zelenskyy thanks everyone after 200 days of fighting.
The front is moving too quickly to even try to make maps.
Ukraine has sent 70% of its grain to non-EU countries.
Citizens of the Donbas (Donetsk and Luhansk) have suddenly discovered that, well, they aren’t quite Russian citizens when it comes to being able to get out and into Russia.
Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has been shut down. Zelenskyy is unhappy about that, but better that than for it be shelled.
Russian media tells heroic tale of thwarting a Ukrainian river crossing. Great story, provided no one looks at a map to see where the threatened crossing was!
Cool music video.

Interesting. Alex Jones from 2001. Wildly inaccurate source of news, even back then. Neither Iran nor Syria had nukes and neither is so armed today.

The Venetians had a very long-lived republic of 1100 years. They had someone who, like Trump, tried an autogolpe (self-coup). How they dealt with him in their portrait gallery is interesting.

Chief Justice Roberts says people shouldn’t feel that the Supreme Court is illegitimate just because people don’t agree with SCOTUS decisions. Problem with the recent decision on Roe v Wade though, is not simply that people disagree with it, but that the court’s decision had more to do with the personnel balance on the court and ideology rather than any objectively defensible reason.

Chief Justice Roberts doesn't appear to understand why the Supreme Curt has lost so much legitimacy under his stewardship.

We’re approaching climate tipping points where human-caused climate change could cause irreversible effects.

Al Franken on SCOTUS. The question was whether divided government had anything to do with Merrick Garland not getting confirmed for the Supreme Court in 2016. Franken is 100% correct. Divided government was completely irrelevant.

Izyum and Kupyansk are both liberated.
Russian Defense Ministry calling their retreat a “regrouping.”
A bit of a Stab-in-the-Back theory starting up that blame goes to Putin for betraying Russian troops.
Good quickie survey of past month of the counter-offensive.
Chechnya could be a problem for Russia.

It is certainly not good that Chief Justice Roberts doesn't appear to understand that the Supreme Court has lost legitimacy because its decision appear to be unmoored from any rational basis.

Ukraine's Northern or Kharkiv Front has become a blitzkrieg on the Ukrainian side and a rout on the Russian side. Hilarious Russian propaganda video at the end of this entry.

Pundit Alexander Sytin says the West and Ukraine fail to understand that "for Russia, the concept of unacceptable losses does not exist"

Well, yeah. A nation can believe that no loss is too great. After all, in 1945, Germans defended the last big landmark in Berlin with old men and young boys. But Germany had clearly lost after the two battles of Stalingrad and then Kursk, so just sheer willpower wasn't all that meaningful.

Kupyansk is a really important supply depot/rail center.
Izium is cut off from resupply.
Supplies are under great pressure as partisans identify targets for strikes.
Ukrainians who fought with Russians are very unhappy about that alliance.
Russian government officials in St. Petersburg demand Putin’s resignation.

Ukraine just reached the outskirts of Izyum. That's been the hoped-for jump-off point for an encirclement for the last several months.

Lots and lots of sword-fighting in this one. Romantic, but grimly realistic tale of Europe in the late 1300s.

Back in 2003, the US was convinced, convinced, I tell you!, that US troops invading Iraq would be greeted with joy by Iraqi civilians. Here's what civilians cheerfully greeting liberators actually looks like!

Lots of good news!

It was a very nice ceremony that was held by President Biden, celebrating the official portraits of President and First Lady Obama. It should have been held during Trump’s presidency, though.

A NPR reporter tells us a fundamentally sound and reliable story about Fox News and the Dominion voting machine company, but pays far too much deference to Fox by permitting them to frame far too much. NPR wonders whether host Maria Bartiromo is “a news anchor, and thus part of Fox's news and reporting division.” To use this framing by Fox is to buy into their whole news/opinion set-up as to how their operation works. Her statements about Dominion were false and defamatory. That's the story!

Kupyansk is next on the target list.* This is a cental supply center/railroad junction.
President Zelenskyy: “In total, more than a thousand square kilometers of our territory have been liberated since September 1.”
US support for Ukraine remains strong. It helps both that Ukraine is using its aid effectively and that Russia is acting so brutally.
Quickie history of the war given by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Milley.
An assessment of how the war might continue to go.
Ukrainian forces continue to advance.

* Update (11 Sep):Kupyansk liberated.

Yeah, I’m a bit sad over Queen Elizabeth II passing, but Stephen Miller goes WAY overboard! “our last link to a lost age.”

Uhh...whut? She and Trump were “very close?”

Russia started the war with 3,300 tanks. At worst, using absolute verification, a Western company figures they've lost about 1,000. At best, using "pretty sure" observations, Russia's lost almost 2,100. That means they've been losing an average of five to 10 a day. Without a fully-mobilized nation cranking out tanks on a mass-production basis, their tank fleet isn't going to last much longer.

As any good magician will tell you, the key is misdirection. Keep 'em so busy looking at the right hand, they're not noticing what the left hand is doing. Ukraine appears to have pulled off a magic trick. Russia was so busy reinforcing Kherson, the right hand, they ignored Kharkiv, the left hand. Oops!

The "comedian" Greg Gutfeld:

"The Democratic Party has become the party of young, angry, single women, right? They place abortion before babies, right? It's their right to have convenient up to the birth. Abortion on demand, up to the birth"

Yeah, this is just completely the view that women are nothing more than petri dishes for producing babies. Obviously, the opposite of “abortion up until the date of birth” is the view that “Ehh, if the woman dies due to unforeseen, last-minute complications, no biggie.”

The Affordable Care Act keeps surviving legal challenges. Let’s hope it does so again.

It’s not helpful to Republicans politically to attack the ACA/Obamacare.

A Soviet Victory flag comes down.
Ukraine is expecting to get three million tons of grain shipped out by the end of the month.
Russian troops being challenged all across the front.
Ukrainian Air Force carrying out close fire support missions.
An immediate ready reserve of troops can be critical, either to plug holes in a defense or to exploit holes during an offense.

Steve Bannon was busted on federal charges for the WeBuildTheWall scam, then Trump pardoned him. So now the state of New York will bust him.

There are times when wording in news pieces really, really matters! Case in point: Medical "records" sounds like something that should be in his doctor's office, not in Trump's personal living quarters. Medical "documents" is what the judge actually said and that could mean a whole lot of things.

See, here's what separates a conspiracy theorist from other folks. I recall the campaign started by the singer Neil Young against Spotify. Greenwald sees this as a widespread conspiracy backed by other liberal entities, I saw it as a campaign that not even other artists were willing to join.

A deep dive into the classified documents scandal at Mar-a-Lago.

Hillary Clinton claims to have not had any classified documents, as per both James Comey and two Secretaries of State under Trump. There is no comparison between her and Trump.

Montana decided to handle Covid by assembling a team that didn’t include any doctors to recommend public policies. Governor began rolling back restrictions very early in 2021. Montana protected the unvaccinated as a class. Healthcare workers were told to stay out of the debate. Then the Delta Variant hit the state.

COVID-19 patients filled every available bed, and St. Peter’s was running out of medication to treat them.

Ukraine is knocking down Kh-101 cruise missiles.
Russia launched 27 sorties of UAVs to Odesa, down from 50 a day during August, usually as artillery spotters.
Ukrainian forces continue to expand bridgehead across the Inhulets River, North of Kherson.
Northern front around Kharkiv appears to be going well.
Ukrainian partisans highly active.
Putin appears to be limping.

The war in Ukraine has now made the transition from World War I trench warfare where artillery ruled to a World War II-style mobile warfare where tanks rule.

Nothing new under the sun.

I read this.

The linked Vice article says Thiel ‘reportedly expressed an interest in having young people’s blood transfused into his own body as a potential fountain of youth.

and that immediately caused me to remember Countess Elizabeth Báthory (late 1500s-early 1600s).

Báthory was said to have enjoyed drinking the blood of virgins, believing that it would preserve her beauty and youthfulness.

As I've said, the judge who appointed a Special Master over Donald Trump documents taken from Mar-a-Lago clearly regards Trump as her Glorious Leader. As Katyal here demonstrates, her opinion is very clearly slanted and biased in favor of Trump.

Former Attorney General Barr says the need for a Special Master is far from clear as the Mar-a-Lago documents have already been sorted and few, if any of them, could possibly be privileged. This womans says Barr’s statement “hasn’t aged well at all.” But the actual need for a special master is still very highly debatable. The # of Executive Privilege materials is, of course, nonexistent. EP simply doesn’t apply in this case at all. Lawyer-client privilege? Probably a very small %.

Aww! The former AG now puts himself back into the "villain" category by questioning whether or not to indict Trump because politics and appearances. I'm still very much in favor of going ahead to prosecution and jail, though I might be willing to see him relegated to a country club-style jail.

The Jackson MS water crisis has been building for decades. The city is led by Democrats, but the state by Republicans.

In a previous piece, the blogger figured the war in Ukraine had hit its Gettysburg-Stalingrad turning point. That the exhausted Russian army was fated to just keep on retreating until they had been kicked out of Ukraine. He follows that up in this piece by examining Russia’s latest offer, concluding that “Ukraine is in the driver’s seat.“

Bridgehead over the Inhulets River continues to expand.
With rapidly changing front lines, the Kyiv Post has to do a lot of work to know what’s going on at the front.

Lengthy piece about the Biden speech in Philadelphia that most people criticized for its aesthetics.

So in the Mar-a-Lago documents case, Dinesh D'Souza agrees with a right-wing news source that it's terrible that "Trump Says FBI Searched Bedroom Of His Teenage Son Barron" and that may very well be true but if law enforcement officials were to make exceptions to searches of wives and children’s rooms, wouldn’t all the criminals say “Ah-HA!” and start placing incriminating evidence in just those rooms?

White nationalists complain that Black people shouldn’t be in works of fiction like the fantasy writing of Oxford Don J. R. R. Tolkien or fantasy series such as HBO Max’s House of the Dragon, and the Marvel Studios films about Thor. The blogger traces the actual history and says that there was considerable cross-cultural connections prior to American chattel slavery and Nazi glorification of Aryan racial purity.

Russian supply lines continue to get pounded.
Russian troops are pretty miserable right now. Big problem is that salaries are not being paid.
Bridgehead across the Inhulets River continues to expand.
Blogger compares current situation to 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

Trump’s official spokesperson: “The American people love Pres Trump. He is the most popular president we’ve ever had.”

Please keep in mind that, according to the most respected and reliable polls and according to the combined scores of all of the polls, Trump’s popularity never got up to 50%! At absolutely no point during his campaign or his term or his post-presidency has he ever gotten up to half of the population approving of his political performance. Trump's popularity average for his term was 41%. 

The group No Labels has to be the most utterly useless group of grifters! I don’t think they’ve come up with a truly useful idea in their entire existence.
The blog post also looks at Andrew Yang’s Forward Party.

What Representative Michael McCaul shows here is that Trump simply doesn’t have a case as far as the Mar-a-Lago papers go. If McCaul could come up with a legitimate case, he wouldn’t to come up a lot of obvious gibberish.

Well, That's good news! Mehmet Oz (who's running for sentor in Pennsylvania) is unpopular with hard-core MAGA types!

Can a foreigner be romantically connected to  a Palestinian? Of course, but the rules get  stiffer and more onerous if the foreigner and the Palestinian wish to marry. What Israelis want to avoid is having foreigners come to live in the West Bank or Jerusalem. And yes, this is further proof of apartheid as these rules don’t apply to Jewish Israelis.

So that we’re clear, they’re chanting “lock her up” for mishandling classified documents. At a Trump rally. In front of Donald Trump.

This is of course during the far more serious problem with Trump having taken clasified government documents with him to Mar-a-Lago. Like I said, you could go to a Trump rally and declare “I am he Walrus! I am the Egg-man!” and the crowd would go “Wow! Did ya hear? He’s the Walrus and the Egg-man!” No critical thinking at all.

Watched a few episodes of Disney+’s She-Hulk show. Pretty good. They often “breaks the fourth wall” (characters talk directly to the audience) to take on social media, sexism and misogyny.

Lot of text messages deleted from period of January 6th, but there might not be anything sinister about that.

Ukrainian air defense are working at a high level. Russian cruise missiles and aircraft shot down.
British intelligence tentatively think Ukraine’s Kherson offensive is going well.

Subtext of the Jared Kushner interview (he didn't say this, but was clearly thinking it): "Good god, woman! Can we please stop talking about my idiot father-in-law's legal problems and talk about my book? Please?"

Judging from the apparent budget of the film "My Son Hunter" and what little we get in the advertisement and publicity stills, the reviewer figures this movie is "porno for incels" (guys who can't figure out why they can never seem to get laid). No nudity, but the progressives seem to get all the blow and the hookers while the incels hopelessly look on.

"Anna de Rothschild," known to us now as Inna Yashchyshyn, who played golf with Trump and Trump's buddy Senator Graham, was known as a "predator who preyed on rich older men" and who was in Mar-a-Lago a few months before CIA sources suddenly started dying.

Interesting. Putin spent his early years attacking and blasting Chechnya, reducing their cities to rubble. There are Chechen fighters fighting against Ukraine (and some Chechen in the International Brigade fighting for Ukraine). Chechnya's pro-Russian leader is considering retiring.

Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) was used in Alaska, where Sarah Palin lost the race to become Representatve. Of course, according to Republicans, RCV is now bad, period! The MAGA crowd condemns the whole idea. Yes, there are more Republicans in Alaska than Democrats, but clearly, R voters who went for the other R alternative picked the D candidate as their second choice because they just couldn't stand Palin. It's not so much the D won, but that the lead R lost.

Now that IAEA inspectors have arrived in the vicinity of the nuclear plant, yeah, it's looking like all of the shells that have struck near the plant have been Russian.

Wow! Russia is going to try and carry out Vostok 22, a military exercise? In the middle of a “hot” war?
Ukraine strikes at Crimea’s freshwater supply.
CNN claims Russia suffering big personnel and equipment losses.
A defense reporter with The Kyiv Independent figures Ukraine is less after territorial gains and more into just grinding Russia forces down right now. They’re also hitting supply lines hard, trying to deny the Russians food and ammunition.

Of the seized materials from Mar-a-Lago, they found:

43 *empty* folders with “CLASSIFIED” banners
28 *empty* folders labeled “return to staff secretary/military aide”

Very disturbing. What was in those folders?

Update (4 Oct): "How did I miss that (referring to WaPo piece) Trump packed those first 15 boxes himself?"

Kimberly Guilfoyle...took to the airwaves, making the case that the United States had rallied behind (Trump)…

Fortunately, no, the country really doesn’t support the former president.

Russia has lost an absolutely immense number of tanks.
Hard to say, of course, as Ukraine is tying to maintain operational secrecy, but the Kherson counter-offensive is apparently going quite well.
Ukrainian family describes being under Russian occupation.
How Russia’s Black Sea fleet was neutralized.
The Russian war on Ukraine’s farms.

Biden’s speech. There are MAGA Republicans and there’s everyone else.

In response, Trump calls Biden's speech "dark and divisive."

We take a look back at the "American carnage" speech that Trump gave as is inaugural address. PBS said that Trump "laid out a dark vision for an America that is deeply divided."

Senator Rubio accuses Biden of dividing the country. Remind me again, what have Republicans done to unite country? Ever since Obama took office, they've been nothing but divisive!

The parties are trading accusations as to who started this nasty name-calling ("semi-fascists" "socialists"). I blame the former Speaaker of the House Newt Gingrich and the fact that his name-calling of Democrats ("sick" "twisted") was successful. In 1994, it got Republicans control of the House. In 2016, it got them the House, the Senate and the Presidency. Had Gingrich's "scorched earth" tactics failed, Trump would never have come to power.

Bells are chiming for the mid-term! Out of five special elections since Roe was overturned, Democrats won all five!

A Native-American Democratic woman won Alaska’s Representative seat against Sarah Palin!

Ethiopia received 23k tons of wheat, Yemen got 40k tons.
Russian lines move back, a counter-attack is expected
In the Kherson area, Ukrainians are attacking on multiple axes.
The bridge from Crimea to Kerch, Russia is clogged with Russian civilians trying to escape Crimea.
IAEA inspection team suffering lots of Russian interference on its way to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Russians have begun a stealth conscription in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Russia has already used 7 million shells. Sanctions mean their supply won’t last past December.

Christina Bobb was the Custodian of Records for Trump, so she was the one who signed the “sworn certification that the documents represent all responsive records.” Oops! She’ll either find her license to practice law in jeopardy or she’ll become a witness who claims she believed what Trump told her.


Okay, fine. Biden is not acting to try and reach "Unity" with his political opponents. But how exactly have Republicans attempted to reach unity since Senator McConnell decided back in 2009 to adopt a "scorched earth" approach?

The Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre points out that while the President is trying for unity, many in the other party are making threats. Biden is hardly the only one who is not uniting!

Ukrainian counter-offensive in the Kherson region is going well! Main objective has been to blast ammo stockpiles. Russian artillery is already running low! Ukrainians are going to try and take city with minimal casualties by cutting off supplies.

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision stripping away abortion rights, Republicns are frantically backtracking. Ha! Too late! We see you! Good rant. Preach it, sister! Preach it!

If this is true, then like Lincoln in 1861, Zelenskyy egged on his opponent to make the first move, thereby permitting Zelenskyy to claim that the other fellow was the aggressor. It’s a risky strategy as the other side may gain victory in his initial assault, but it gains sympathy for the attacked side

Lawyer reviews DOJ filing. Truly flabbergasting statement: The Trump lawyers asserted that

...they had not found any more classified records, and any records that remained were in the storage room. They refused to let the FBI agents look at the boxes in the storage room. (emphasis added)

$%#@!!!! What!?!?!?!!

The last leader of the Soviet Union passed away last night. Blogger looks back at Gorbachev's legacy.

Nearly two years after the 2020 election, Governor DeSantis of Florida arrests 20 people for illegally voting. Whose fault was it? D’oh! Florida’s!

"Mississippi Capital Without Any Water For 180,000 People"
It's a problem that's been building fo decades. The tried, worn-out system finally gave way. And please keep in mind that Governor Reeves is the guy who spent a lot of time on Fox News talking about the abortion issue. I think there were more important things he could have been working on!

Unfortunately for the former president, the “fully debunked Russia, Russia, Russia Hoax” was never debunked and never a hoax. It was always solidly based on facts.

Ooh! Not good! A field glaciologist reports on what’s going on with glaciers.

Woo hoo! Offensive operations begin in Kherson!
Ukrainians were already exploiting the thinning out of troops in other sectors.

Norway contributes $200 million to see to it that Ukrainian homes are heated this winter.
Russia Defense Minister “sidelined.” His subordinates didn’t respect him.

Ukrainian forces have opened a broad based offensive against Kherson.

Unpleasant doings at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
65-year old Russian woman sets fire to Russian official’s car.

Very good news from Ukraine! Sounds as though they're making great progress in re-taking Kherson. If absolutely nothing else, they making Russians move units frantically around, trying to keep up with what Ukrainians are doing.

"Biden's 'soul of the nation' speech and the battle against MAGA 'semi-fascism' in America"

Fox News reacts to Biden speech. You know what the best way for the media to respond to this would be? It would be for them to examine the charge that Biden is making. Fascism is a very deeply-studied subject, so coming up with solid definitions isn’t hard.

Speaking of fascism, the media would also do well to seriously examine whether Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is one or not (Spoiler alert: He is).

The MAGA Republicans are really annoyed and upset that Biden is calling them fascists!

The blogger agrees with various right-wing critics, they aren’t “semi-fascist,” the MAGA types are just plain ol’ fascists, period.
Also, blogger lists the 14 defining characteristics of fascism.

Again, it's really hard to take these complaints seriously when CPAC hosted the Hungarian Viktor Orban just a few weeks ago, who was speaking of "soft fascism" and who has been referred to as a fascist.

As the Russian economy sputters under sanctions that came because of the war against Ukraine, Jewish people in Russia feel increasingly scapegoated for economic hard times.

*Sigh!* Again, people are trying to compare Clinton's emails with Trump's illegally-retained documents. Okay 1. Hillary Clinton did not deliberately have classified documents in her email, People sent her documents that were clasified. She never sent any herself. 2. Yes, if a document is marked classified, then yes, it’s classified. No, the president cannot simply declare a document unclassified. System doesn’t work that way. 2.a. The relevant agency must not be simply notified, they can object to declassification. 2.b. Certain information, such as nuclear designs, cannot be declassified!

I have no problem holding these two people to the same standard. Out of 33k emails, a trivial number had classified information in them. Trump, OTOH, deliberately, consciously, with malice and forethought, took clearly-marked documents that he knew full well were not his to take.

A non-military target, a movie house, is destroyed.
Authorized strength of Russian army increased by 140k. Far from clear is where those extra bodies will come from.
It’s really hard to understand what Russia thinks it’s gaining by endangering the lives of people who work at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.
A look at “filtration camps.”

Read several years ago that the US made a serious error in the way they got replacement troops to the battlefield, they sent soldiers to the front a few at a time, y’know “We need three more riflemen.” These troops were lost at a very high rate! The Germans during World War II had a much better way. They waited for the unit to take so many losses, they pulled the whole unit out, introduced the new people to the vets, did training for a few days so that the new people were brought up to speed. When they got back to the front, they fought as a unit.
What the Russians are doing now, introducing a whole new unit with no veterans?!?!?! Insane!

Ah, it's the anniversay of Obama wearing the tan suit! The only real scandal during Obama's presidency! 1. He actually did it. 2. We had the evidence right away. 3. People were shocked and horrified.

It appears this raid was, in fact, just about documents. As even some on the left have opined: that is simply outrageous.

*Sigh*! And to think, this blithering idiot was once a White House Chief of Staff! Just and merely "about documents?"


Hey Mick, why do you think the Fourth Amendment mentions “papers” as being protected against unreasonable search and seizure? Could it be that they can constitute…evidence of a crime?

Because of glaciers in the North of Pakistan melting, 2 million acres of farmland have been destroyed and nearly 800k livestock animals have been killed.

Huh! I had no idea Karen Carpenter was a really skilled drummer.

The author is a former addict and then a drug counselor and says “Oh, yeah!” Don Jr. is a cocaine user.

Inna Yashchyshyn pretended to be Anna de Rothschild with her roots in the European banking dynasty. Instead, the Russian-speaking immigrant from Ukraine turned out to be another scammer, with four different fake passports.

Showing that Mar-a-Lago’s security was awfully lax to the point that they never even suspected she wasn’t who she said she was.

Russians appear to be trying to head off a Ukrainian counter-attack.
Ukraine is carefully laying the groundwork for an offensive at Kherson.
The economic war between the two adversaries. How it’s affecting first Russia, then Ukraine.

Wow! A whale returned a cell phone to people! The whale knew somehow "These small objects are very important to the humans."

Very, very interesting. How many of these confidential informants lost their live because Trump carelessly stored their identities where foreign agents could access them? Or did he sell that information?

Adding to the mysterious deaths of intelligence sources over the last few years is the fact that the former president really, really doesn't like whistleblowers!

I am so happy that Elon Musk wasn't able to take over Twitter!

Elon Musk says population collapse ‘potentially the greatest risk to the future of civilization’

We have at least one very famous example of population collapse, Rome. During the whole Medieval Era, the population of Rome shrank so that living quarters in the city never even reached the outer walls that were built durng Rome's glory days. It wasn’t until the Renaissance that occupied buildings reached those walls again.

Problems with the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant appear to be over. Let’s hope they are.
Threatened food crisis easing as Ukrainian ships make their way out of the Black Sea.
The front is stable and pretty much unchanged. That’s not because Russians aren’t attacking, but because their attacks generally don’t get much of anywhere.
Ukrainian artillery continuing to degrade supply lines into Kherson.
All 20+ HIMARS launching platform are operational, 50+ Russian ammo dumps have been eliminated.

Deep dives into two women who were Russian spies.

Good Twitter thread on 1991, NATO expansion vs Russian imperial behavior.

Post includes an explanation of the “Dark Brandon” meme.
A New Jersey native has been credited as the Deputy Director of Platforms in the White House Office of Digital Strategy. She set the lead and everyone has followed to slam the hypocrisy of complaining about student loan recipients getting a break.

Targets of tweets respond.

"Jared Kushner on Trump: 'He didn’t adapt to Washington to play by their rules, and he was an existential threat to their power...'"
Jared Kushner engages in sheer, utter wishful thinking here. As people said about Europeans after Trump's first summit meeting with them, they took Trump's measure and dismissed him. Trump was far too undisciplined and scattershot to pose a real threat to anyone.

CNN completely drops the ball. Trump wasn't just getting legal advice from a fellow named Tom Fitton, who's the head of Judicial Watch. t would have been extremely helpful to note that Fitton is not a lawyer!!! Trump was getting incompetent legal advice!!!

"Why the Right Wingers in Israel and the US Really Oppose Iran Nuclear Deal: They want Regime Change Instead"
Erm, this didn’t work out well the last time we tried it. An Iran that followed JCPOA guidelines would be de-fanged as far as any nuclear threat went, but it would also be supportive of Palestinians versus the Israeli occupation and would support militias in Iraq and Lebanon. On the other hand, the US support of the 1953 Iranian coup that overthrew the democratically-elected, populist prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, resulting in an extremist Iran in 1979. There simply is no perfect solution that solves all of the problems that are caused by a strong Iran.

Heh! Right-wing Congresspeople are trying to diss the student loan forgiveness plan, so when they speak out, the White House informs the public of how much PPP money they were forgiven!

Did Project Veritas steal Ashley Biden’s diary? No, but they certainly acted to get ahold of what they knew was stolen property from those who did steal it. PV paid $40k for it and contracted for more!

According to a Yale study, the Russian economy is staggering along on its last legs. Will Biden be able to claim victory before the midterm elections? Odds are pretty good he’ll be able to.

"Lindsey Graham believes he’s above the law, tells judge that Georgia DA must explain her questioning"
Senator Graham talked with Georgia election officials on the phone. These were one on one conversations. No, they fall under neither "speech" nor under "debate." He's making what we call a "frivolous" case.

They finally fired this knucklehead! The Schools Police Chief of Uvale who frittered around while children died. He wanted to wait until the public "calmed down" before he made any public appearances. He can now stay in private life, all by himself, for as long as he pleases!

About the end of June, HIMARS arrived and the Russian advance has pretty much been stopped ever since. The rocket system is seriously effing up Russian supplies.

Hmm. Highly questionable economic theories from Trump. He appears to think spending a lot of money is a terrible policy. Since when does he know anything about the economy anyway? When the economy pretty much collapsed under the weight of Covid, Trump didn’t have the vaguest clue how to respond.

Yes, Congress passing a law that overrides a Supreme Court decision is precisely how the system is supposed to work. Congress is at the top of the ladder.

President Zelenskyy looks back at the half-year mark of the war against Russia.
Along with military aid package, Biden has remarks as well.
Russia strikes at railway centers.
Blogger reproduces lengthy excerpt and recommends that readers read the whole WaPo report on Wednesday as it’s about the Ukrainian decision to resist the Russian invasion.

Biden gets serious debt relief foe student loan borrowers.

"Democrats' student loan socialism is a slap in the face to working Americans..."
Essentially, this argument is continually used against any sort of positive change. If you were spanked as a child and we decide spanking is bad, you can complain that "Well, I had to go through it! What makes young people today so special?" Senate Minority Leader McConnell makes a variation on that argument here.

Don Jr. is not exactly a good representative for the "pull yourself up by your bootstrats" crowd, he wasn’t able to go to college because he made sacrifices, he went because he had a rich daddy, who was rich because his daddy made sacrifices!
Also, Don Jr. claims his dad “played” people like Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin “like a fiddle.” Hmm. Okay. Did the elder Trump ever win meaningful concessions from any of them? Didn’t think so.

Someone posted a piece evaluating media outlets by ideology. The thread here shows that on at least the question of whether Biden should pardon Trump. The NY Times is all over the frikkin’ place! They ran pieces from hither and yon, saying all sorts of stuff! Can you sort media by ideology? Ehh, to a degree, but that really doesn’t tell you anything about credibility and people might us ideology as a proxy (Goldilocks system, those in the middle will be considered more credible).

Horrors! More on children being moved after the fall of Mariupol.

Good! Uvalde parents are suing local, state and federal law enforcement for $27 billion!

I make fun of the guy who tells me that Ukraine is “Doomed, I tell you! Doomed!” Here’s why I dismiss his pessimism. The Ukrainians damaged the bridge from Crimea to Kherson. They waited for the Russians to fix it. They then waited for ammunition trucks to try and cross it. then they struck! Ukrainians may be out-muscled and overrun, but they’ll never be out-maneuvered! Also, their surveillance is top-notch.

Representative Jordan lists a whole series of events in Trump's presidency - Russia, Mueller (twice), impeachment (twice), Covid and the Mar-a-Lago "raid" and then claims that "Despite it all, President Trump is still fighting for us." Kind of a problem with that is that is that in none of these cases was he fighting for "us," that is, America, especially not in the case of Covid!

Examination of the situation at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Interesting film clip. Yeah, it’s from my buddy who tells me Ukraine is “Doomed, I tell you! Doomed!” Fellow in the first 10 minutes tries to convince us that the Russian army is this super together, powerful and organized force. Well, they might have been that six months ago, before the invasion of Ukraine began! They’ve lost at least 30k Killed in Action, tens of thousands more in the hospital or convalescing at home with wounds severe enough to keep them out of action for the foreseeable future. Russians lost at least a dozen Flag Officers (paygrade O-7 (Brigadier General ) or above) before HIMARS rockets made their appearance. Since then? Well, those rockets have three primary targets, ammo dumps, anti-aircraft defenses and headquarters buildings/tents of any sort, so who know how many FOs have been eliminated since?
So no, Russians may have adopted good tactics at the start, that is, they pound the other guys with artillery, then advance. If opposition is strong, retreat. If not, keep advancing. But they have no ability to switch tactics now as their professional cadres are decimated.

The alleged killer of Daria Dugina.
War in Ukraine reaches six-month mark. Our blogger reviews his past posts on the war.
Soldier from Luhansk say they’d had quite enough of the war, thank you very much. Russia so far seems to be resorting to bribery.
Russians claim to have identified the killer of Daria Dugina. Lots of questions about that.

Hoo yah for Poland! They’ll spend 1% of their GDP to help refugees.

Two good pieces to read together. In the first, just why has US law enforcement been convinced that Trump has been working closely with Russia?

And second, Trump's very unhinged and angry response to being suspected of working closely with Russia.

CNN's Jim Acosta faces a former Secreary of Homeland Security and shows us how to deal with a liar.

Shorter Trump's lawyer: “We want to know who the informants were so can see to it that they sleep with the fishes.”

Kyiv displays destroyed Russian tanks.
Battlefield advances for both sides were minimal.
Ukraine is hammering back areas of Russian troops, making supplying them difficult.
Picture of the successful drone attack on Black Sea Fleet Headquarters. Ships immediately set sail so as to not be targets.

Russians preparing show trial of captured Mariupol defenders.
Thoughts on the assassination attempt on the Dugins.

Jerusalem Post takes note of the fact that a Texas school district has ordered the removal of Anne Frank's diary. Foreigners are aware of what Americans do.

Good piece that takes off from an NY Mag piece that looks at why Senate Minority Leader McConnell is so pessimistic about regaining control of the Senate this November.

NY Times headline:

In chaotic exit, Trump delayed sorting records

I'll give the explanatory piece a "hard agree!"
The President is permitted to keep personal records! He's not permitted to keep any official records! He should have had a system to sort those records from the very beginning. No, this was not a delaying problem or lack of time. This material should have been sorted out on a continuous, ongoing basis. Personal and official files should have both has their own designated storage places.

In break with Trump’s usual pattern, he was actually quite interested in, and well-informed, about nuclear weapons.

"This president and this administration are doing everything they can to pursue their own agenda and not the agenda of the American people"
First off, what Jeanine Pirro is describing is how the government is supposed to run! You put a party into power, they run the US according to what their party platform says they're going to do and at the end of four years, the population decides whether they've done a good job or not. That's what Biden and the Democrats are doing. Why did Democrats complain when Trump was doing what he was doing? Because he was doing awful things that weren't accomplishing anything useful!

Problem with free enterprise and British Rail is that other European rail systems are state-owned, but can buy up British Rail properties.

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is hurting badly.
President Zelenskyy discusses the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) and what the UN and IAEA are preparing to do about it. Russia is moving military vehicles to the immediate vicinity of the ZNPP.
herson situation continues to look worse and worse for Russia to try and hang onto.

At one point, Trump's lawyer says

"We cooperate. We always do. We always have."

Erm, actually, the DOJ repeatedly requested that Trump return the documents that they later seized, even sending him a subpoena for them. He refused those requests.

Blogger reports that the front in Ukraine was static yesterday. "Neither Russia nor Ukraine gained or lost a single village." But, Russia launched at least seven attacks. It's just that none of them gained any ground.
Interesting chart on artillery shell consumption. Nazis used many more shells than the Soviets did and Russia is today using many more shells than Ukraine is.
Review of WaPo series on the war.

Don't usually agree with Tucker Carlson on anything, but he's right. I just can't imagine what the constituency for Pence is that wants to see him become president.

Senate Minority Leader McConnell admits that (words to the effect of) “Yeah, we’re gonna get our butts kicked this midterm.”
And no.
“Right now, we have a 50-50 Senate and a 50-50 country…No, the Senate has lots and lots of thinly populated states like Wyoming and Nebraska with two Republican senators. In terms of population, liberals FAR outnumber conservatives.

Heh! No. Sorry. No one was “radicalized” by the “treatment” of Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign. GOP voters were “radicalized” in 2009 by Obama running against John McCain and that was just regular old plain vanilla racism.

To the dismay and chagrin of anti-choicers, we have not entered a Brave New World of respect for life. We're instead in the era of "the dog that caught the car," the era of "Oh $%#@!!! now what do we do?"

Mahmoud Abbas runs the Palestinian Authority that controls 40% of the West Bank. Israeli squatters control the rest of it. No, the Israelis haven’t committed “50 Holocausts,” that’s a huge overstatement. What they’ve done is quite bad enough, they’ve imposed apartheid on the West Bank. Two systems, one for Jewish people and one for Palestinians.

Has Russia actually successfully destroyed any HIMARS rockets or platforms? Ehh, hard to say, but the fact that Russia keeps saying it has is telling. It tells us that the rockets are causing all kinds of stress to Russia!

Over 100 days ago, someone leaked a Supreme Court decision (my guess, and that of many others is that the leaker was Clarence and/or Ginni Thomas) the failure of Chief Justice Roberts to identify the leaker is a truly terrible thing as it shows Roberts to be a paper tiger.

Yes, the way in which the former president has been treated is unprecedented in American history. Problem is, his behavior is also unprecedented! So no, this is not the devastating argument that Republicans like to think it is.

Yes, leaders of democracies get put on trial and even jailed. Personally, I’m among the people who was shocked that Nixon wasn’t prosecuted (I was 13 at the time) and today, that not prosecuting him was a mistake. Holding leaders accountable strengthens the rule of law.

Blogger concludes that if Russian artillery was accurate enough to take out military targets, we would have seen them do that by now. 3,700 missiles have landed on Ukrainian cities, the great majority hitting civilian targets.
Blogger compares big, heavy boxers to fast and light boxers and looks at why the light guys win.

Nikki Haley thinks it's a truly awful and horrible thing that "66 terrorists were caught" at the Southern border. Erm, that's not proof of failure, it's proof of success! How many terrorist attacks have we suffered in the cited time period? None, as far as I'm aware.

So Jared Kushner puts out his book and it's not really clear who his audience is. Not written for the MAGA people, the wonky stuff has been better done elsewhere and seriously, who's gonna believe anything that a relative of Donald Trump is going to say anyway? (Yeah, okay, Tiffany and Barron are fine and his neice Mary is entirey credible).

In Afghanistan, teaching girls secretly, behind closed doors.

Aww! Representative Cheney gives her concession speech. She lost her primary bigly.

"An Estimated 300K Teachers Left This Year, And We Know Why"
The TV report at the beginning of the post talks vaguely about “working conditions.” The problem is too much interference by hard-line, right-wing political groups.

Someone wears both a MAGA ballcap and a Nazi armband. Nobody in the crowd appears to be offended by that.

More well-placed explosions deep within Crimea, well beyond the range of HIMARS rockets. Are they caused by guerrillas? Could be, but Crimea's been occupied since 2014. That indicates Russians didn't do a very good job of winning over the population.

Ukrainians admit that it’s a guerrilla unit that’s blowing stuff up in Crimea.
Russian civilians are leaving Crimea in droves.
Russians very cautiously using naval power.

Hmm. Kind of interesting. Trump had referred to Mar-a-Lago as the "Southern White House" and actually, it was originally intended to be just that, but people noted that 1. more than one president would have had to have used it and 2. in order for that to have happened, it would have to have been public property. It was public property for awhile, but the Park Service just couldn't afford to keep it up and sold it to a private party.

In an era of tighter border controls, how escaping Syrians have survived.

Don Jr. speaks with a folded American flag in a glass case in his background. A Canadian asks "Is this a flag you get when someone, close to you, from the Army died?"
Yes, it is. The folded flag that can then be placed in a case, but yes, it only goes to a family in the event that a veteran, who is a family member dies. My guess is that Don Jr. is delivering his rant from someone else’s home as no one in the Trump family has ever served.

This request to initiate serious peace negotiations with the West may very well be a psyops program to make Putin paranoid.  Cool in any event!

50 years after she was booed, heckled and nearly attacked by John Wayne, the Academy Awards has now apologized to Sacheen Littlefeather.

Hmm, Russia doesn’t appear to be too cooperative when it comes to making sure that the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant doesn’t pose a danger to the region.
“’There will either be Russian land, or a scorched desert,’ Major General Valery Vasiliev is reported to have told his troops.” And yes, Russians say they’ve wired the plant to explode if Ukrainians appear too close to victory.

"...there is tremendous anger in the country—at a level that has never been seen before, other than during very perilous times.”

Yeah, the "offer" by Trump sounds pretty damned threatening. It's like something a mob boss would deliver. Also, see the piece here that defines "stochastic terrorism."

This is pretty cool! What would the Egyptians memorialized in ancient statues have actually looked like?

Woo hoo! The Inflation Reduction Act is now law! Lots and lots of good climate provisions.

Joe Biden has managed to get a lot done. He takes the job seriously and he’s got a good team working behind him. Personally, I think his rejection of deficit politics, what the British call “austerity” programs, and his refusal to accept limits on government spending have been big factors.

People have described the situation in Kherson as being like a horror movie. A protagonist announces he’s going to the basement. The audience knows that’s where the killer is. They holler for him not to. He goes in and dies. The officers, at least, appear to know that Kherson is doomed and are going to the other side of the river.
Very interesting bit on Russian values and priorities.
Russians unsuccessfully try to stop HIMARS rockets.

Erm, I’ve been to a number of diners in my time. I’ve never been to one that held a full 100 people, let alone one that held “hundreds” What the %^$# is Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Oz talking about?

Oz tries to shop for party food. Yeesh! He clearly hasn't been to a grocer store in years. "Crudities?" Most people just call it a veggie platter.

From a 1988 Supreme Court case:

Presidents cannot de/classify at will:
The Identity of Spies (Sources & Methods)
Nuclear Secrets

As to the Mar-a-Lgo papers scandal, it’s not at all hard to understand why Trump employs “shifting explanations.” It’s because he doesn’t have a single legitimate explanation!

Explanation that, no, declassifying material is not just a matter of “waving a magic wand.” It involves plenty of paperwork.

Knowing that people have had a hard time keeping up, DKos has helpfully listed all of the excuses The Former Guy and others have come up with to explain his taking classified documents to Mar-a-Lago.

This is consistent with everything we know about Trump. This explains why he ripped up papers after signing them and many other things. He never really understood that he was just a temporary occupant of the White House, subject to the will of the people. He never grokked that many things were simply never his own personal property.

Human-caused climate change is getting very bad in Europe. The US finally passed some good climate legislation. Let’s hope it’s in time.

President Zelenskyy accuses Russia of using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant for blackmail. The IAEA says “there’s no immediate threat to nuclear safety, but that could change at any moment.”.
16 ships filled with grain have left for ports around the world.
Kherson further isolated by bridge closures.
Examination of damage a Crimean air base.

Representative Greene is worried that as the wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn' always shine, that wind and solar power are unreliable. She's apparently never heard of batteries. Actually, he best thing to do is a
combination of power sources. Wind, solar and batteries. Solar provides power during the day, wind picks up and blows harder at night and saving the power in batteries keeps you going all of the other times (like cloudy days). Clearly, this is beyond Greene’s comprehension.

A lawyer for Trump asserted in a signed statement that all classified materials had been turned over in June. Oops! Someone clearly lied! Whether it was Trump or the lawyer isn't known yet.

When guns are concerned and you refer to a "clip" rather than a "magazine" a gun advocate will look upwards in exasperation as though you're completely unqualified to have an opinion on the matter. Shouldn't the same be true for anti-choicers who aren't clear on women's anatomy?

But all of those criticisms are complete horse#$@%. If the Mueller Report was such a complete "whitewash," why didn't Trump and his people try to honestly and straightforwardly refute it? The way AG Barr handled it, he basically confirmed that every word of it was true.

Very sorry to hear about the attack on the novelist Salman Rushdie. More on that.

British assess damage to Russian-occupied air base and Russian planes.

I'm sure that Trump had a sufficiently cowed and beaten-down staff that he could take classified mateials to his private quarters in the White House. That still doesn't explain how he took materials all the way down to his golf club in Florida.

Piece contains nearly 10 minutes of Laura Ingraham. Nah, she tries, but doesn’t make a case. No one’s “harassing” Trump. The DOJ busted Trump because Trump’s a crook. Democrats are not ignoring Americans. Biden just signed bills that will improve life for Americans.

The name “Dark Brandon” has caught on with liberals on the internet. It basically just means “Successful Biden.”

So the three categories of items seized from Trump’s golf club/private residence were materials that were classified, Top Secret and Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI). To get SCI materials, you must demonstrate a “need to know,” not just that you have a Top Secret clearance. Trump apparently violated three sections of the US Code, including the Espionage Act.

Trump apparently leaked the whole, unredacted search warrant to Breitbart News, thereby revealing the names of FBI agents who conducted the search, thereby putting targets on their backs.

Got another piece from a buddy who keeps saying that Ukraine is "Doomed, I tell you! Doomed!" Of course, deception has had a place in warfare since ancient times. What is Ukraine trying to achieve by luring Russian troops to Kherson? Yeah, perhaps it's just to make them waste time and gas, impose wear and tear on their equipment, etc. I suspect the Ukrainians have a plan and that it's going just fine.

Cool! A meteor, seen from above (from the Space Station) burns up in the atmosphere.

"Here is a measured critique of the search of Trump’s home." Actualy, the description of the search wasn't "measured" at all. The WaPo describes the search as a "circus." Nobody outside the Trump family was even aware that there was a search until Trump made a public announcement of it.

So how’s the Afghanistan Taliban doing on the one-year anniversary of its takeover? Well, Representative Boebert says that religion should control government. What the Taliban is doing shows us just what happens when religion is in the driver’s seat. It’s an absolute disaster for civil society.

Both Biden and Trump met with historians. Biden's meeting with historians involved him asking lots of questions and taking lots of notes. Trump learned that his presidency was ranked very low. His whole point in speaking with historians was to try and convince them that his presidency was actually quite successful.

Very puzzling. The NY Times says

...the event could be relegated by history to serve as another example of a move against Mr. Trump that backfired.

Erm, I'm sorry, but exactly what has ever "backfired" when it comes to accusations against Trump? Where has he ever proven that he was innocent? Recall please, that the second half of the Mueller Report was all about Trump obstructing justice!

Cool! Sounds as though Representative Greene is calling for a full Stalinist-type purge of the people around Trump! Woo hoo!

An ammunition dump blows up about 60 miles North of the Russian naval base of Sevastopol. Plenty of informed guesses as to how Ukrainians did it, but no clear answers.

Just baffled as to why the NY Times is treating the story of the search at Mar-a-Lago as anything more than that justice is finally catching up with Trump. Why is the DOJ doing this? Pretty simple. Trump’s a crook.

CBS News put out a wildly irresponsible and outdated report that accused Ukraine of great corruption. After getting lots of blowback from Ukraine and many other critics, CBS has taken some reasonable steps. Not enough. They need to make a loud and clear statement that they were in error, to explain how this report got aired in the first place and what they’re doing to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

Every member of the WaPo needs to hang their heads in shame over this horrible, horrible piece! This is utterly and absolutely disgraceful! The one and only thing that makes the Mar-a-Lago papers case political is the identity of the perpetrator!

Back before he became president, Trump was surely enough convinced, convinced, I tell you!, that taking the 5th was a sure sign of guilt.
In the civil case where Trump is accused of ripping off investors and the government, Trump takes the 5th.

The FBI executes a search warrant in Mar-a-Lago, the country club that serves as the former President Trump's home. Trump had voluntarily (after extensive negotiations) turned in 15 boxes of materials to the Nationl Archives Records Administration (NARA). In June, he turned over a single Redweld envelope with  38 classified dcuments in it. In August, NARA reclaimed 33 boxes, including 103 classified documents.

More details.

Lara Trump (wife of second son Eric) claims, incorrectly, that Donald Trump had the authority to remove any document he wanted from the White House. A fellow on TV last night commented on how many documents he created in his government job that he was then allowed to take home with him. His answer was “None.” All of those documents are government property. The president doesn’t own any of them.

The NY Times Trump reporter, Maggie Haberman, quotes Eric Trump as saying Biden signed off on the raid at Mar-a-Lago. The DOJ is independent of the President. Biden is not in the chain of command for a search. AG Grland is the bottom-line authrity for any serches. A responsible reporter would have made that clear rather than to simply quote Eric without any correction or context.

More on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the place that was hit by missiles, no one’s really sure who fired them. It would help if international inspector were allowed onto the site.
President Zelenskyy looks back at the 2008 war on [former Soviet province] Georgia.
New American military aid package.

Olivia Newton-John has passed away. Never did see Grease.  The only movie I ever saw her in was Xanadu. She was okay in it.

Woo hoo! The reconciliation bill passed! This has been one heck of a week for Biden!

Long overdue, but the climate portion of the reconciliation bill was well worth all the trouble it took to get it passed!

Russians bomb the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. After criticizing Ukraine for placing civilians and military assets in close proximity, President Zelenskyy notes that Amnesty International hasn't commented on the Zaporizhzhia plant.
Russian Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs) are supposed to be 1k men. Now they're under 400. Lack of training time means no NCOs.
Russians are actually placing men's heads on spikes. More on Russian atrocities.

Dang! I guess I can understand this, though. If Belarus permits artists to sing songs that came from Russia's enemy, then Belarus might find itself under suspicion.

A Republican Representative wants to find some sort of middle ground on abortion. I looked at the issue back in the late 70s and decided back then that there was no such thing. I did like this statement, though: "Handmaid's Tale was not supposed to be a roadmap, right?" Hoo-yah to that!

Tch, tch, tch! Having to write laws that those bothersome, annoying women may actually get to have a say in!
If there's any "softening" in the Republican position on abortion, the softening is purely rhetorical.

Yep! Peggy Noonan on the anti-choice movement: "The public face of the pro-life movement looks at the moment loony and vicious." Generally a good piece on how the anti-choice movement bungled the time after the Supreme Court's decision to toss aside Roe. Representative Gaetz, who criticized the looks of a pro-choicer, was the loudest voice on that side.

[If you go to the blog Hot Air and then to the WSJ piece, you can read Noonan's full piece. If you go straight to WSJ, they'll insist that you subscribe.]

A woman legislator runs through a series of plausible hypotheticals concerning pregnancies. The elder fellow standing across from her is clearly flummoxed and can't seriously respond with any meaningful answers.

Amnesty International takes issue with how Ukraine conducts the war with Russia, Ukraine pushes back.

Director of Amnesty International for Ukraine resigned in protest over AI report on Ukraine.
Ukraine exports 60k tonnes of corn to Turkey, the UK, and Ireland.
Russia's launching rockets at the Zaporizhzhia power plant. Not clear why.
AI is drawing a false equivalence between Russian and Ukrainian actions as Russia is there because it launched an unprovoked war of aggression.

Good! Both NY Times and WaPo put election deniers story where they belong. On the front page, above the fold!

“Zsuzsanna Hegedus, a longtime Orbán ally and an adviser in his government” not only resigned after a speech that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán made, but compared it to something that Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels might have said.

Donald Trump welcomed Orbán to his golf venue in Bedminster this week.

The basketball player held by Russia, Brittney Griner, was sentenced to nine years. The US is going to be trying very hard to get her back.

The essential problem with the Griner story is that she was playing in a foreign country because she wasn’t getting paid enough in the US. Male athletes don’t have this problem.

As a lot of people have seen, Florida Governor DeSantis is just like Trump, just a bit smoother and more intelligent, but just as much a wannabe fascist.

Chinese government proves to be a paper tiger as it does nothing to carry out threats. Dinesh D’Souza proves his anti-American bona fides by suggesting the Chinese were weak and should have shot down a plane carrying the Speaker of the House. What’s far worse is that many Americans agreed with him.

Again, Alex Jones demonstrates a complete and utter lack of remorse. He lied, consciously, deliberately, with malice and forethought. No, the prosecutor had no obligation to destroy the evidence that Jones lied and misstated his wealth.

Heh! The lawyers for Jones say that charging him $2 milion would put him out of business. The jury has settled on $49.3 million. Somehow, I have a sneaking suspicion his operation will survive just fine.

Thoroughly expected news, but yes-s-s-s!!! January 6th Commission gets two years of Jones' text messages.

This is very good for the friends and family of Breonna Taylor that they have evidence that her killers got together to coordinate their stories. Shows consciousness of guilt.

Ukraine hits a train 40 cars long at night.
In the US, politicians sometimes do what’s called “Nationalizing the election,” they make it about more than just local issues. President Zelenskyy internationalizes the war with Russia, so that it involves the world.
Food shortages as well as the expectation of a battle, will most likely drive civilians out of Kherson.
“Ukraine’s Armed Forces have reached the point of openly targeting Russia’s ground lines of communications and derailing its infrastructure across the Dnipro River.” In Kherson, Russians have their backs to the Dnipro river.
Winter will be a problem for Ukraine because Europe will need Russia’s heating oil. Ukraine knows full well they need a victory, or at least serious progress towards it, by then.

In no way, shape or form can the former president declare that anything related to the January 6th attack on the Capitol was related in any way to any form of presidential responsibilities. If the case sounds familiar, it’s because Trump has repeatedly put forth essentially the same claim.

As soon as I heard about the content of the phone of Alex Jones being sent by mistake to the prosecuting lawyer, I knew the January 6th Committee would be very highly interested in getting a copy of his phone for themselves. Sure enough!

More on the phone of Jones.

Why is Israel refusing to allow a Palestinian creative writing student to go to Syracuse NY to finish his MFA?

Because it can. Because it’s capricious and ruthless. Because it dispenses rights according to religion.

Woo hoo! It’s “HIMARS O’Clock!”
Grain ship reaches exit from Black Sea without incident.
Russia still has advantage in artillery, but HIMARS is a good equalizer.
US intelligence confirms that prisoners at a prison in a Russian-occupied eastern region of Donetsk in the town of Olenivka were not attacked with American or Ukrainian weapons.

Zelenskyy said yes to same-sex partnerships!

Youths occupy themselves with house repair parties.
Russian military recruiting.

Hmm, why is CNN copying Fox News talking points?

Very sad. Because Atlanta’s Music Midtown festival was unable to ban guns, they decided it was just too much of a risk and canceled the whole thing. $50 million, poof!

Woo hoo! Kansas passes pro-choice legislation! Lots of people were watching this closely.

Kansas is a very “Red” state that strongly supported Trump in the last two elections. Nevertheless, they very strongly rejected an abortion ban. Again, by overturning Roe, the Supreme Court was not supporting a nationwide trend. It was fighting against the popular will.

NY Times uses peculiar wording. Why would pro-choicers be “rattled” by the Kansas vote? I can fully and completely understand anti-choicers being rattled, but not the rest of us.

"[Tucker] Carlson [of Fox News] Scrambles To Bash Biden After Al-Zawahiri Op"
There is the argument that by withdrawing from Afghanistan, Russia was encouraged to believe "Ah-ha! America is weak and irresolute! Now is the time to invade Ukraine!" But in response to this piece, I watched an interview with VP Harris that occurred shortly before the Russians invasion of Ukraine. Did VP Harris suggest Ukraine join NATO? Nope. Tucker Carlson is fulla $%#@!!!

Ayman al-Zawahiri was al Qaeda’s second in command since well before 9-11. He’s gone now.

Zawahiri's death bring the War on Terror to a close (or at least it should)..

Food exports from Odesa have begun.
Polish people see parallels between 1944 Warsaw Uprising and current Ukrainian resistance.
Weapons are not built well in Russia.

CNN wants to “get back together” with Republicans and to “win their trust.” That might make sense with the Eisenhower GOP, but the current party is so dishonest, they can’t for the life of them tell you what their real goals are. Remember, all five of the Supreme Court Justices who voted to overturn Roe said during their confirmation hearings that they’d respect precedent.

Jon Stewart has been absolutely crystal clear on this. Republicans are lying about the bill to allow vets who were stationed near burn pits to receive VA benefits.

Hmm, sounds to me like "Trump-appointed DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari" should have been relieved of his duties a long time ago! Any decent, minimally competent person would have seen to it that all DHS agencies would have backed up all of their data from the November election right to Biden's inauguration!

There have been a few times that a "good guy with a gun" has saved people from a bad guy. Problem is, I can count all such instances on just one hand. There have been hundreds of mass shootings. No, the best answer is to remove high-powered weapon from the general population.

Photo of the late Nichelle Nichols/Lieutenant Nyota Uhura working for NASA.

The story of when Nichlee Nichols met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Trump: Isn't It 'Supposed To Be Illegal' For Verizon To Dump OAN?"
Erm, both Verizon and OAN are private corporations. Does
Trump understand how capitalism is supposed to work?

Hoo boy! Are Russia’s allies/proxies spreading the war to Kosovo?
Large-scale missile attacks The Russians
“...hit residential buildings, schools, other social infrastructure, and industrial facilities.”
he Belorusian regime has become more authoritarian.
Russian information warfare.


West Virginia Republicans want to get rid of child support so men won’t pressure women into getting an abortion…

Hmm, so hey! Let's just dump the entire financial responsibility on the woman. Obviously, getting rid of child support payments isn't going to make the birth and child cost any less. Yup! Win-win for the guy!

Biden seems to think it’s sufficient to reject the term of apartheid when it comes to describing Israel. Israelis of Palestinian heritage would like a word on that, as actually, the term is quite accurate. This does not include Palestinians who live in the West Bank or Gaza who are even more under an apartheid regime.

The Russian missile threat is country-wide.
the Russian prison at Olenivka, “RU munitions, not Ukrainian, were used in this act of murder.”
Russia firing S-300 ground to air missiles to hit targets like a technical college. They also hit a bus stop in Mykolaiv with cluster munitions.
Ukraine hitting railroads with guerrillas and HIMARS rockets.
Of course Koch Industries, along wit many other companies, are still doing business in Russia.

“People disagree, often vehemently, over what constitutes fascism,” he wrote recently in the New York Times, “but today’s Russia meets most of the criteria.”

Alex Jones talks about how people support him and his broadcasting from InfoWars. It's hilarious because clearly, none of that stuff ever happened!

Fist bumps. They give us free food. Waitresses kiss us.

The fellow in this video speaks Spanish, but it’s worth it to turn the sound on to hear the river otter.

Interesting comment on how the US, Russia and Ukraine prepare the battlefield for an advance. Russia just blasts everything to powder, the US uses aerial and barrel-artillery precision munitions to blast select targets into powder. It’s Ukraine’s home, so they prefer to cut off supplies, let the Russians shoot off all their ammunition and eat up all their food, and then step in!

Something to keep in mind if you're paying higher energy costs for home heating this winter. Lots of people in Ukraine are living outside because their homes have been destroyed.

So the anti-choicers have had 49 years to write clear, specific guidelines where doctors could treat ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages without fear of losing their medical licenses and/or freedom, but medical people are finding that the rules are so vague and governors/attorneys general are so eager to take scalps that women are facing enormous peril because doctors don't dare to act.

The social media company Gab was paid $5k by Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano. Mastrianio is trying to distance himself from Gab’s antisemitism.

So the brave, brave, heroic Russians attack a prison camp. They try and fail to convince anyone that the prisoners were killed by a Ukrainian missile.
More on the video where Ukrainian prisoners are castrated. Evidence was forwarded to the UN.
Private military companies are now taking positions on the front lines.
More on the Battle for Kherson,
Report on partisans, Ukrainian underground fighters.

A number of Central and Eastern European countries have a lot of old Soviet equipment taking up space in their warehouses, Ukraine can use it as their people fully understand the controls, The equipment may need some upkeep done on them, but they're pretty much ready to go. With less equipment on their hands, donor countries can get more and more modern equipment! Win-win!

The UN and Turkey-negotiated grain deal that includes both Russia and Ukraine and benefits all sides. Russia almost blew the deal by being missile-happy, but lots of pushback from everyone else has helped to keep it on track. Speculation in food is also to blame for high food prices.

Justice Alito breezily refers to how much derision his pregnancy choice decision has aroused around the world. Obviously, the criticism doesn't bother him a bit.

Whew! Senate Majority Leader Schmer very patiently sat down with Senator Manchin and they hammered out a deal Manchin could sign off on!

Heh! Now that Manchin is cooperating with Democrats, his GOP buddies feel betrayed!

Kid terrified by air raid siren.
Russia recognized as state sponsor of terrorism.
Russia launches 25 missiles, scattered all over Ukraine in under an hour. .
Momentum is definitely with Ukraine’s counteroffensive in Kherson.
Russian war crimes.

Yeesh! Another useless centrist political party.

Jon Stewart lets us know how he feels about the latest Republican cutesy tactics on the health of veterans. More details on that.

Good to see that Jon Stewart got onto Fox News and *Sigh!*, yeah, I'm from PA and Toomey's my senator!

Jon Stewart vs Senator Ted Cruz! Stewart very reasonably explains how Cruz is wrong.

Trump's agenda for fixig America:

He called for hiring more police officers, bringing back controversial “stop and frisk” policies and giving drug dealers the death penalty.

Uuh, yeah. Essentially a bunch of old ideas that didn't work the first time.

So House Minority Leader McCarthy puts out a list of five separate prorities, each one of which would require hundreds of hours of consultations and bill-writing and presents it all as a bill that a Republican Congress would pass in the first day!

"OANN Begs 'The Left' To Save Them"
Heh! OANN asks us lefties to unite with them against the "common enemy." Hmm, kind of a problem with that is that they are the enemy!

Ordinary homes in Odesa again hit with anti-ship missiles. They falsely claim to have hit military targets there.
The numbers of KIA Russians is nearly 40k (Over 8 years, the US lost almost 60k soldiers KIA in Vietnam and we're now at a bit over the half-year mark)! Ordinary Russians are protected from knowing this.
Moscow again increases natural gas prices.
No indication that Iran has delivered drones to Russia, but Germany is delivering weapons to Ukraine.

Representative Gaetz tried to body-shame a teen activist. She made lemonade out of lemons and immediately started raising money from people who agreed that Gaetz was hateful.

Her haul is now $60k!

Update (26 Aug): At last count, her haul was in excess of $2 million!

Abortion is never medically necessary.” ??? Oh, I get it! I see what she’s doing here. The writer for National Review Online is trying to define away abortion so that it only means that the woman is doing it for her own personal, selfish convenience and simply doesn’t want to have the baby!

Got a buddy who every now and then sends me doom ‘n’ gloom clips, telling us the Ukraine is “Doomed, I tell you, doomed!!!”
Actually, it makes perfect sense for Ukraine to not destroy the bridges leading away from Kherson. If they destroy the bridges, Russians in Kherson will then have their backs to the wall and might as well fight it out. If the bridges are simply damaged, then Russians can’t safely withdraw any heavy equipment like tanks or armored personnel carriers, but light vehicles filled with soldiers can still get out. So what the speakers here see as weakness, I’m seeing as people being practical and clever.

Notice that the tweet here describes merely damaging the bridges as a tactic! If Ukrainians want to destroy bridges, they certainly can. They’re trying to impede traffic, not to completely block it. That makes moving supplies more expensive and time-consuming, exhausting drivers.

So it sounds as though Ginni Thomas, from her own point of view, did exactly the right thing. Leaking the draft abortion decision, she made it impossible for anyone to compromise. All of the Justices had to go all-in.

The blogger here reaches the same conclusion I did. The AP did a report on the investigation. Clearly, the court investigated and ran out of people they could afford to throw overboard.

Sean Hannity of Fox News unveails a set of very vague prescriptions for Republicans to run on.
Parents can currently choose private schools or get involved in PTA meetings. So parents can exercise some control over child's education as it is.
How would they handle medical costs? That was the whole reason the ACA/Obamacare was invented. Private enterprise simply couldn't do the job.
Erm, have Republicans ever worked to make the economy work for all Americans? Seems to me that when they had the House, the Senate and the Presidency, they passed an economic package that favored the rich.

Russia is using supplies of natural gas to blackmail Europe into abandoning Ukraine. Europe needs to impose greater sanctions in response.
Russia combats Ukrainian tactical gains by indiscriminately shelling Ukrainian territory that it no longer holds.
Comprehensive strategic overview by Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz: Germany concludes that it has been too dependent on Russian natural gas and must change over prior to winter.
A Ukrainian looks to post-war policies between Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
Short video series on the Azov Battalion.

Yeah! Yeah! Record high heat and drought. Of course that's Biden's fault. Never mind that Biden’s actually been one who has fought against human-caused climate change! Let’s not complicate our storyline with facts, now!

Yeah, Rachel Maddow did a segment on “Christian Nationalists” last night and she made it very clear that this guy’s right.

This was the particular Christian Nationalist that Maddow concentrated on.

Where does Christian Nationalism lead to?

"Where Things Stand: Alito’s Roe Opinion Was Filled With Language Pushed By Evangelical Group"

In the Liberty Counsel situation, Peggy Nienaber, who is an executive director there, was heard claiming at an event celebrating Roe’s overturning that she and others associated with Liberty Counsel routinely go into the Supreme Court building to pray with justices.

Is former Vice President Mike Pence delusional or dishonest concerning American attitudes on pregnancy choice? In either case, he really should be kept far, far away from any sort of political power!

NY Times:

An influential network of conservative activists fixated on the idea that former President Donald J. Trump won the 2020 election is working to recruit county sheriffs to investigate elections based on the false notion that voter fraud is widespread.

Of course the whole election fraud idea that was being pushed by Trump well before his term even began has never been based on evidence! So how will the sheriffs know if there's been fraud or not?

In the Constitution Annotated, published by, the narrative on Executive Privilege makes it crystal clear that it only applies to a very specific group of people: “Presidents throughout our history have attempted to spread their own official immunity to their subordinates…” (emphasis added) Meaning no, it doesn’t apply to just any old random blogger or podcaster. In order to have the use of EP, you must be getting a salary from the federal government, specifically from the Executive Branch. Steve Bannon WAS such a person, back in 2017, but not during the period the January 6th Committee was asking questions about.

Hmm. Russia equivalent of a USO show.

So apparently Bill Gates is the e-e-eville mastermind behind a conspiracy to control the world's food supply! Actually, Gates owns less than 0.03% of all the farmland in the US and he does so because, well, it's a good investment. When older farmers die off, young people aren't interested in replacing them, so yeah, rich folks and corporations are buying up farmland.

Alex Jones explains to Steve Bannon today that there is a globalist cabal trying to control the world that is “like Hitler, Buck Rogers level,” and includes Buttigieg, Granholm, Schwab, Harare, Club of Rome, Bilderberg Group, Bohemian Grove, and Obama’s Science Czar.

Keep in mind when you're watching this that Steve Bannon describes Alex Jones as just absolutely brilliant.

Russians fired a missile at Odesa after an agreement was reached to permit the free movement of grain shipments. World reaction was, properly, quite negative towards Russia. Russia then really tests Ukraine’s patience by asking for a “green corridor” from Kherson.
Ukrainians hitting supply lines. Also, they “are hitting Brigade and Divisional Hqs…” “But if I were a Russian soldier in Kherson I would be pretty scared right now.”
Lots of holes in economic sanctions.

Well, that’s pretty cool! Ukrainians return Russian soldier corpses to Russia. “Rashists” means Russians & fascists.

What Tucker Carlson oh-so-conveniently neglects to mention in his "rebuttal" to the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson is that the January 6th Committee is offering statements that people have made under oath and in depositions and public testimony. Carlson is suggesting that statements made to the press are equally valid.

"Fox And Friends Cries About Mean January 6 Committee Members"
As the blogger points out, the Fox News people conveniently forget all about Benghazi and pretend that using Congressional hearings for political purposes is unprecedented.
And the riots of 2020 were investigated, addressed and many folks were jailed for the part they played!

Aww! [sound of tiny violin] Poor Madison Cawthorn! Not only did he lose his primary, but now he owes big bucks to donors!

Eek! 6 billion tons of ice melted in just a few days off of Greenland (“enough to put the entire state of West Virginia under a foot of water”).  Normal temperature for this time of year is 43°F and it’s currently 60°F. Beginning of Industrial Revolution is generally considered to be 1750, but we’ve only been measuring sea level since 1880. It’s risen 9 inches since then.

An agreement has been made to allow Ukraine to export grain. That’s very good news if the agreement holds. Ukraine has $10 billion worth of grain or 20 million tonnes waiting to be shipped.
Russia using air defense missiles for ground attack.

“...we’re also committed to providing two NASAMS air defense systems to help Ukraine protect its troops and its civilians from Russian missile attacks…”

Russia has committed 85% of its active military to the Ukraine war.
Having clobbered Russia’s ammo dumps, Ukraine is now turning to reducing Russia’s air defense systems.
Cool HIMARS video!

Hmph! Kind of baffling because despite Bannon having some really high-priced lawyers, his case was just a straightforward, open-and-shut matter. Not at all clear why his sentencing is so complex that it akes until 21 October to rule on his sentence.

So yesterday, Republicans said it was all “heresy,” which made no sense. Now they say the testimony we’ve heard is all “hearsay.” That makes more sense (Breitbart News calls Cassidy Hutchinso's testimony "Third-hand hearsay."), but do you know what the answer to that is? Testimony from the people who said it in the first place! Give depositions and then give open, under-oath testimony and open yourself to cross-examination. Don’t just whine and complain that the testimony doesn’t meet your standards.

Update (30 Jun): Secret Service agent Tony Ornato took issue with Hutchinson's testimony, but as of 24 Aug has yet to do so under oath. No sign that anybody else disagrees with Hutchinson's testimony.

The US provides intelligence and logistical support to the Saudi coalition’s war in Yemen. There’s a resolution in the House to invoke the War Powers Act. We should all contact our Congresspeople and Senators to support that.

Melania Trump claims to have been unaware of the attack on the Capitol. Stephanie Grisham, her secretary at the time, calls BS on that.

A live-blogging of the January 6th Committee hearing.


So House Minority Leader McCarthy’s idea was to give the American people the false notion that the January 6th Committee was somehow rigged. Fortunately, very few people outside of hardcore MAGA people believe that.

A look at Ukrainian strategy. Basically, the blogger feels that Ukrainians are trying to focus on supply lines so that advancing forces deal with hungry troops who frequently run out of ammunition. A big defeat for Russia around Kherson could have big morale effects.

So apparently, the Secret Service had a really #$@%ty retention policy where agents had to make their own decisions as to what constituted a "work" message versus what was a "personal" message. Gee, for some reason, some uploaded their text messages and some didn't. Some kept their uploads current and some didn't.

Very expensive” air defense radar taken out.
Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska addressed Congress. She asked for more weapons.
President Zelenskyy is thankful for the HIMARS, but now requests air defense systems.
Ukraine damages, but does not destroy a bridge that can be used for a retreat.
Computer wars.

Yeah, this is what a complete loss of credibility looks like.Approval rating for the Supreme Court craters.

Congresswoman AOC gets herself arrested.


I’ve seen tweets criticizing Representative AOC because she had her hands behind her back when she was taken away for protesting outside the Supreme Court building. Here’s her explanation for that.

I regularly shot a single-shot rifle is summer camp and was a member of the Navy for nine years. But this is why liberals would prefer to leave law enforcement to trained personnel! The private individual who shot the 9-year old child was trying to be a “good guy with a gun,” but didn’t take the time to see to it that he was aiming at the right target.

Representative Raskin, in a two-minute speech, takes on the popular idea that the 2nd Amendment authorizes violent action against the government.

But absolutely nothing about Trump's impeachments were "botched." The reason they didn't result in the Senate declaring him guilty was Republican partisanship, period! The acquittals were 100% a matter of "party over country."

MSNBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin was running down European heat deaths and noted that France suffered zero deaths. He looked at measures that France had taken to keep people cool. Lots and lots of other public-service ideas here.

This is hilarious! Alan Dershowitz tries to make himself sound much more popular than he actually is.

I get the very, very strong feeling reading this that women are seen as simply glass or ceramic petri dishes or test tubes. At best, they’re attractively painted vases whose only function is to provide a space in which to grow plants.

"Neil Gaiman's Graveyard Book Is Being Disneyfied"
I read this book. It was pretty interesting. Should make a pretty good flick

President Zelenskyy calls Russia a terrorist state. Well, when Russia uses seven sea-based missiles against a rural village with no military targets, then yeah, that’s an accurate term.
First Lady of Ukraine visits the US.
Ukraine will submit to inspections to make sure all weapons delivered are being used on the battlefield.
Russia is focused in the Donbas while Ukraine is concentrating on the Kherson region.
10k people being held by Russian “filtration camps” in Mariupol.

Iran observed Hijab and Chastity Day on July 12th.where various rebellious women exposed their *gasp* hair! In the TV interview, the commenter reveals that the “uniform” for women is that their hair must be covered and that they must have loose-fitting clothing. Younger women have used scarves with wild colors and have pushed the boundaries of “loose clothing” to be tighter and tighter.

WaPo and NY Times both won Pulitzers for reporting on how Russia and Trump were working towards the same ends. Trump complained.Pulitzer board commissioned two independent reviews of their prizes to the WaPo and NY Times. Trump’s claim that the prizes should revoked was rejected.

In the mid-80s, the musician Sting sang about how "Russians" loved their children too. This video from Russian state TV ran a segment on how a family lost a son in the war against Ukraine, but hey,  they got a new car out of the deal!

Too much carbon in the atmosphere doesn’t just heat up the planet, it also makes the oceans too acidic. That in turn, results in less plankton that larger aquatic life feeds on.

In the Pennsyvania race for senator, the thing that John Fetterman understands is that mot people aren't policy wonks, They do understand authenticity, character and values. By hammering away at Mehmet Oz's New Jersey roots, Fetterman succeeds in making Oz out to be an out-of-state oppotunistic carpetbagger who doesn't know or care anything about Pennsylvania.

Absolutely $%#@ing amazing! The number of law-enforcement personnel gathered at the Uvalde school was 376! A US Army battalion is 400 people! The Alamo was defended by only 200 people! And these guys just sat around for over an hour, twiddling their thumbs and listening to people screaming! 

D’oh! Biden’s weak response to the Israeli murder of the Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is brought up by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Embarrassing, because yes, this hypocrisy weakens America’s justifiable outrage over the murder of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Soldier keeps himself in shape in the trenches.

City of Kharkiv getting bombed at all hours.
Ukraine is successfully intercepting half of the missiles Russia is firing at them.
Ukraine is requesting modern tanks and planes.

What’s amazing about the anti-choice movement was how little they had prepared after having had five decades to game out what might happen if Roe was overturned. All of the sudden, abstract complaints that could be dismissed are no longer abstract and there are very real human lives at stake. “Dog that caught the car,” etc.

Again, the problems caused by “Every fertilized egg must be brought all the way to term” become obvious when it happens in reality and there’s a real person on the other end.

Again, this fanaticism is going to kill people. A fetus is kept alive until its heartbeat dies away. then medical personnel can start to save her life!

This is very, very bad!

"Secret Service Deleted Jan. 5 And 6 Text Messages After Oversight Officials Requested Records"

Problem is, even if there had been a planned migration of phones to a new set-up, wouldn’t anyone who had been even remotely connected with law enforcement have known to have done a back-up of all of the phones that were in any way connected to a major event like January 6th?

Interesting to see the NY Times downplaying this.

Hmm. Did Biden's dog Major know about the Secret Service agents and their disloyalty?

While Ukrainians hit targets like ammunition dumps and headquarters, Russians hit things like pedagogical and shipbuilding institutions.
Over 2.5 million Ukrainians have been removed from Ukraine to Russia.
Part of inflation today is that Russia is raising the price of fossil fuel as a way to both pressure Europe and to get hard currency.

Is closig a library a win for right-wing censors? Is closing labraries their goal?

Serious battle over whether it’s okay to travel to another state to get an abortion.

CNN’s Jake Tapper gives a good, solid, humane response to how Republican anti-choicers responded to an entirely predictable event, an event that their own, just-passed measure just made inevitable.

When I read this piece, I was reminded of an ad from last year about a woman trying to smuggle her pregnant teenage daughter across state lines for an abortion. The piece dismissively says: "While the specter of a dystopian theocratic 'breeder regime' is far-fetched..."
I dunno. Sounds like such a regime is just around the corner!

The Republican Study Committee released a plan.

“...when the Republican Study Committee releases a budget plan, it represents the views and priorities of most of the House GOP."

Ans what did the committee release? A plan to cut back on Social Security!

Wow! So apparently, the President & CEO of Americans United for Life is trying to define her way out of saying that some non-life threatening abortions are legitimate. She stated that if a 10-year old child has a “life-threatening” pregnancy, she can have an abortion. But no one has suggested that the 10-year old’s pregnancy was life-threatening. Only that it would ruin her life.

Ivana Trump was the mother of Don Jr, Ivanka and Eric. How did we find out that she passed away? From the guy who dumped her because she was getting old-looking, from Don Trump Sr. Oh, and he's asking for contributions, of course.

Remembering Ivana Trump.

This is why we need renewable energy from sources like wind and solar. Because Russia invaded Ukraine and because their fossil fuel profits go directly into supporting that war, we don’t want to use Russian oil. Right now, the US needs to embrace and forgive Saudi Arabia’s atrocious foreign and human rights policies in order to keep the oil flowing.

There’s a race between grain being harvested versus it being burned up.
Ukraine is making progress getting shiploads of grain out to the world through the Black Sea.

Now, the Kremlin attempting to ‘astro-turf’ a "grass roots" anti-Ukraine war movement in the US.

In revenge for HIMARS rocket artillery systems wiping out Russian ammunition dumps, Russians level the town of Bakhmut.

With all of the gun problems the US has been experiencing lately, it’s very good news, but also confounding, that this is the first permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to have been approved since 2015. Yeah, for the opposition party to say they care about too many guns on the street is just so much bull-pucky, especially for 2017-2020, when they controlled the Presidency and the Senate. 

Still more on the raped 10-year old who had to go to the neighboring state of Indiana to get an abortion. The Ohio AG says that she could have gotten an abortion in Ohio. People in the comments show that, for the doctors or nurses, that would have constituted an unacceptable risk of losing their medical license.

More details on the case

Interesting that Marjorie Taylor Greene attended a meeting to pressure the VP to overturn the 2020 election before she had even been sworn in as a Representative!
But yes, it's also very highly interesting that, although Representative Jordan was absolutely neck-deep in the January 6th plot, he's due to become Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in the event that Republicans take back the House in November.

More Russian generals eliminated.
President Zelenskyy:

Ukraine became an associate member of NATO’s special multilateral program on technological interoperability. To put it more simply, it is about Alliance’s standards.”

There has been no “strategic pause.”

Russian C400 anti-aircraft defense systems aren't able to intercept HIMARS rockets - which Almaz-Antey corporation promised and charged billions for.

Long-term prediction. Unfortunately, I'd also bet it will come true. Florida Governor DeSantis will run a racist, fascist, homophobic campaign. He'll then make a speech where he declares himself a moderate and media will believe him.

First full-color photo from the Webb Telescope.

"Nichols asks 'why is there a rush' to hold trial next Monday with Bannon..."
Erm, maybe because Bannon was issued a subpoena in October 2021? And maybe because rewarding stalling tactics is a really, really bad idea?

The US has been sort-of, a little bit successful in pulling out from the human-rights disaster that is the war on Yemen. The war has been ongoing since 2015 and has cost US taxpayers $54.6 billion. The State Department hasn’t even tried to track the impact of US weaponry of the war.

The Herald-Tribune in Sarasota, Florida has serious ‘splainin’ to do! They published a pro-Proud Boys piece without disclosing that the author is married to a member of the Proud Boys!

Thing is, locating an ammunition dump isn't very hard. Regular people watch the roads and report empty trucks moving towards it and full trucks moving away from it. Once they're located, they can be hit.
Interestingly, Russian anti-missile defenses appear to be useless against HIMARS, probably because the rockets take only 90 seconds to get to their targets and come more or less straight down, as opposed to cruise missiles, which travel more horizontally.

Wow! Isn’t that world-famous Russian export, vodka, made from potatoes? Russia’s short on potatoes? Think the Russian plan was to hang on in Ukraine until the next presidential election. Wondering now if they’ll make it to the US midterms!

Out of over 3k operational tanks pre-war, Russia lost between 1k to 1.6k. They’re also recruiting prisoners.
Russians fired missiles at two high-rise buildings, guaranteeing mass civilian casualties.
Russians are reporting that all of the HIMARS launchers are destroyed. As the launchers use the tactic of “shoot & scoot” (they fire a few rounds, then change location), it seems very highly unlikely that even one has been destroyed. At least 14 ammunition dumps have been taken out by the HIMARS rockets.

Is the panic over CRT anything new? Nah. Here’s a piece from a bit over a century ago detailing how Nathan Bedford Forrest threatened to take his kids out if the schools continued to teach “socialist” history.

Well, that's pretty good news! Biden has yet to meet with the 99-year old Henry Kissinger! Not convinced that Kissinger is as evil as some saay, but hardly a fan of his.  

Exactly! If people are going to make wild claims, don’t just reproduce their statements and call it a day. Are white students being made to feel guilty about slavery? Ask them for proof! If they can’t provide any, say so! “...make clear that the statement was made without evidence.”

Ocean will only rise an eighth of an inch over 300 years (according to TFG)? That’d be nice. The actual estimate is 10 to 12 inches along the coast by 2050.

Offering abortion services on a ship in the Gulf of Mexico sounds highly practical. Far more practical than putting reproductive health clinics on either tribal or federal land.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is trying really hard to pretend he gives a $%#@ about the 10-year old girl who had to go to Indiana to get an abortion.

Ukraine prepares population of Kherson for Ukrainian counteroffensive that expects to take the city.
Russians have been increasingly cracking down in Kherson to discourage partisan activity, breaking down doors around midnight, etc.
Lots of partisan activity anyway, neither side wants to talk about it.

New York City is a very safe place in which to live. Unfortunately, movies like the 1974 Death Wish set a pretty indelible image that many people who haven't been within thousands of miles from NYC haven't forgotten. 

Good reasons to think Superman's Clark Kent disguise would actually work.The piece here lists several movie stars and singers that no one cold recognize.

Yeah, this is an interesting claim as Steve Bannon didn’t have any Executive Privilege to hide behind to begin with. Trump may have considered invoking EP for Bannon back in September 2021, but Bannon wasn't working in the government, let alone the Executive Branch, as he was fired back in 2017. Details on that. 

When you hit an ammo dump with HIMARS rockets it can cause secondary explosions that can last for hours!
President Zelenskyy goes out to the field to see how things are going. That’s the sign of an excellent Commander in Chief.
Russians are shelling everything, but can’t advance much.
US looks back at early days of war. Identifies air defense as having been critical to Ukrainian success.

Very interesting to see how Russia portrays career paths (military - good, business - bad).

Blowing up an ammo dump is a lot of fun and shells can continue to explode for hours, but the real damage is in the fact that Russians need to move their ammo dumps further back. A HIMARS rocket can travel 85 kilometers (roughly the distance from Philadelphia to Allentown, a little over an hours drive). Adding to the travel time for supplies to reach the front is a win for Ukraine! Adding an hours travel time doesn't seem like much until you add in bad roads pockmarked with holes from artillery and blown bridges and the ever-present danger that a drone will spot you and direct fire to your truck.

"The Gilded Age"
Interesting stuff! Similar to Downton Abbey in that it looks at how the upper crust lives, unlike it in that it’s Americans. They have to be fairly imaginative in how they work the Black woman into the plot as usually, we would be seeing an all-white cast. I recall reading that the actresses had quite a time figuring out how bustle dresses worked.

Heh! The June jobs report is really upsetting Fox News!

"Thor: Love and Thunder"
Good stuff! They had to squeeze the plot a bit as it originally stretched out over years of monthly issues, but they did a good job getting all of the really critical elements in.

Trump's former White House lawyer Pat Cipollone sat for eight hours with the January 6th Commission. Did not contradict anything that Hutchinson had to say, nor did he take the 5th on any questions.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court declares that drop boxes are illegitimate. Why? Well, TFG didn't like them!

It was just a few years ago that the public was made aware of the race riot in Tulsa, OK that occurred a little over a century ago. The riot destroyed the “Black Wall Street.” Oklahoma’s Governor is trying to shut down public awareness of that history.

Dissatisfaction with the media is very partisan. Republicans are MUCH more dissatisfied than Democrats are. The problem is very clearly not one of objectivity.

Former Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann was the fellow who shot 12-year old Tamir Rice. I agree with the blogger, Loehmann should never again have a job where he handles a firearm.

Aww, poor Devin Nunes! He had served many terms in the House, so many that he got to be head of the Intelligence Committee. He's now holding the bag for the Twitter rip-off site Truth Social because Trump had already quit the company before the law caught up with it.

Yep! Ukrainian army has got HIMARS now! A rocket artillery that’s descended from the Soviet Katyushas of World War II. These things travel up to 85 kilometers and are accurate to within 1 meter!

Just because someone mentioned Plymouth Rock as “proof” that human-caused climate change isn’t real, I found a fact-check piece on that.

Justice Alito produces a lot of anti-choice history in his decision that repeals Roe v Wade. Problem with using Alito’s history and Originalism in general, is that practitioners tend to use highly selective history, cherry-picking just what historical examples will make their case while ignoring contrary examples.

Mindless vandalism caused by Russian missiles.
Blockade of ships is also enforced by Russian submarines.
How Russia is dealing with personnel crisis.

The Black man in Akron who was shot 60 times. The Fox News “comedian*” claims the man shot first. Evidence for that is the alleged sound of a shot and what the police chief described as what appeared to be a muzzle flash on film. There was no gun on Jayland Walker, but there was one in his car. Why didn’t the media report on that? They did, but later and it’s not absolutely clear that he was armed when he was stopped.

* Greg Gutfeld tries to be funny, but usually isn’t and just twists his face around a lot to suggest he’s being hilarious.

Kansas usually has pretty sleepy primaries. An abortion vote will be next month. That’ll be an interesting vote to see if the abortion issue will get ‘em to the polls.

Update (2 Aug): Woo hoo! It was a blow-out! The votes were 62% to 31%.

Representative Mo Brooks refuses to testify to the January 6th Commission. All of the objections made by him were examined by judges. All of them were found to be without merit.

Heh! Yeah, poor Mick Mulvaney! Wants to be taken seriously, but was never an accomplished kinda guy. What are his achievements? Yeah, he was the White House Chief of Staff to Trump, but nah, there really aren't any. As an OMB Director, we've never had such high budget deficits during peacetime, As the WH CoS, he said COVID-19 was a hoax to make Trump look bad and he wrote an Op-Ed saying "Trump would accept his defeat with grace." D'oh!

From Josh Shapiro, who's running for Governor of PA:

Doug Mastriano wants to kick every Pennsylvanian off the voter-rolls and force them to re-register. Let's speak truth: his goal is to stop minority communties from voting

Yes, it’s difficult to see what other purpose Doug Mastriano’s plan could possibly accomplish.

I had thought that pulling out of Afghanistan was the smart move to make, but it turns out that it was politically, a bad move.

US is on the list of top ten gun deaths per 100k, right in there with El Salvador and Colombia.

Russian proxies seize two foreign-flagged ships without compensation. Sounds like piracy to me!

Air attack on all of Ukraine yesterday. Good news is that all of the bombing and shelling Russia is doing is getting them nowhere on the battlefield.
Ukrainians make “orderly retrograde maneuver” out of a salient.
Good! Turkey intercepts Russian ship carrying stolen Ukrainian grain.

A Russian talk show host wonders whether Russia really want to “re-install” Trump as the US President “again.”

Heartbreaking! A 2-year old boy was found under the dead body of a man after the Highland Park parade shooting. When no one claimed the boy, it turned out he was under his father's corpse and that his mother had been shot as well! 

The Highland Park shooter legally purchased his gun. His father may have some legal liability for that.

Former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone is set to testify. Cipollone was in the room for many January 6th events and decisions

"Uvalde CISD police chief Pete Arredondo resigns from Uvalde city council"
Extremely pleased to hear this! Police Chief Arredondo had demonstrated extreme arrogance, privilege and a huge sense of entitlement by insisting on holding a no-show job where he'd get perks, benefits and a salary, but didn't have to face the public!

Presbyterians follow Lutherans in deciding that yes, Israeli apartheid is a real and serous problem. They commemorate May 15th as “Palestinian Nakba Remembrance Day,” remembering the day Palestinians were driven out of their homes in 1948.

The Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas (runs the West Bank as opposed to Gaza, which is run by Hamas) and Biden both favor the “Two-State Solution.”

Only 28 per cent of Palestinians are apparently supportive of the two-state compromise, while 23 per cent are in favour of "abandoning the two-state solution in favour of a one-state solution.”

This strikes me as being invasive as hell. The state legislature of South Carolina wants police reports of women who are raped and who then seek abortions.

A writer for The Intercept thinks Trump was...funny?!?! I guess if you consider tripping the crippled kid funny or making fun of the fat girl’s looks to be hilarious, then yeah, I guess that was true. As the comedians say, Trump always “punched down.” He always struck at people who were weaker or of lower status than he was.

Here's the problem with Fox News and other networks giving feather-soft iterviews.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves refers to an "elective" abortion. What does that mean? I guess he’s trying to suggest that the abortion wasn’t a necessary one, that the woman could have given birth but, y’know, trivial, silly reasons.

Good! Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony has shaken loose that of some other people who also decided they have stuff to say!

MSNBC host Tiffany Cross has to defend her knowledge of sports from a critic.

The Kremlin appreciates the support that US Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene is giving them.
President Zelenskyy discusses reconstruction of Ukraine. Russian missile attacks on cities continue.
Russia continues to use air-launched anti-ship missiles, probably because of dwindling stocks of other missiles. The missile that hit the Ukrainian mall on 27 June was most likely an anti-ship missile and wasn’t very accurate against land targets.
Ukrainian air defense systems are Soviet-made and so will run low on consumables (ammunition and spare parts) soon, so the US is acting to make sure they can continue to defend themselves with US-made weapons.

Sigh! Yep, it’s our two usual suspects, Senators Manchin and Sinema, who are against putting aside the filibuster in order to deal with the repeal of Roe v Wade.

Unfortunately, the first of many dystopian-sounding situations that will pop up in the wake of the repeal of Roe. A 10-year old girl was six weeks and three days pregnant, three days over Ohio’s six-week limit. Fortunately, she was able to get to Indiana and get an abortion.

Media not providing much news on war in Ukraine, leaving bad actors to fill the void. Piece asks: “Can Russia win the war in Ukraine?" and answers: "No.” Followed by reasons why Russia can’t possibly win.

Supreme Court re-interprets Clean Air Act of 1970. Not that we’ve passed any major climate legislation for several decades anyway.

Pretty cool way to do history! The Battle of Gettysburg, in tweets!

Hmm, someone just posted a movie clip claiming Ukraine has already lost their war with Russia. Funny how NATO is apparently “throwing good money after bad,” as actually, HIMARS rockets are doing lots of damage to Russian rear areas. Also, Russians are counting heavily on mercenaries and private military companies as they're just plain running out of recruits.
One of the problems with the clip is that the narrator thinks Ukraine is taking unsustainable casualties. It's important to distinguish between the invade and the defender in situations like this. Casualties matter a great deal more to the attacker than the defender. The attacker can always toss in the towel and go home. Ukraine’s estimate of 1k casualties a day is probably exaggerated, but is certainly limited to very recently. Also, North Vietnamese/Viet Cong took 1.1 million casualties (2 million civilian deaths) and still prevailed.

So, according to Steve Bannon, criticizing the Supreme Court while overseas is an impeachable offense.
But for Tucker Carlson to be on foreign soil and to wildly accuse the January 6th Committee of being “Stalinist” seems to be perfectly okay.

Yeah, this is very highly problematic, for the former President to be indirectly paying the legal bills of people who may wish to submit evidence of his guilt. It’s probably not so bad for former VP Pence or House Minority Leader McCarthy or Representative Jordan as they’re all probably on the same page as Trump is anyway. But for people like Hutchinson, who wanted to say more than her lawyer wanted her to say, having Trump indirectly pay her legal bill was a real problem. This piece connects the dots.

The former Deputy Chief of Staff Tony Ornato, who disputed Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony about the behavior of White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows around 6 January, tried at first to dispute her testimony as an anonymous commenter. Now he's promising to do so as an under-oath witness.

Update (25 Jul):

Secret Service agents who tried to torpedo Hutchinson testimony lawyer up, refuse to testify: panel
Anonymous news reports said Tony Ornato and Bobby Engel were willing to testify under oath. Now, not so much

Columnist engages in victim-blaming to excuse her awful column of four years ago. The title was “Calm down. Roe v. Wade isn’t going anywhere.”

Ukrainians say hey, Russians claim to have left Snake Island as a goodwill gesture. Give us more weapons so we can see even more “goodwill gestures!”

EPA takes big blow to its authority. Fossil-fuel companies rejoice.

I might have heard earlier that Justice Gorsuch was the son of Anne Gorsuch, Ronald Reagan’s first EPA administrator. I recall she was awful on the environment.

Right-wing Supreme Court Justices are “fair weathered textualists,” meaning they use textual analysis when it suits them to do so.

Justice Kagan agrees.

Even Jeb Bush and Rick Scott weren’t as bad as Ron DeSantis when it came to protecting LGBTQ youth.