Prawnworks Archives 2023B

The particular type of mud that both Napoleon and Hitler found so hard to move troops in is called bezdorizhzhya, which means “roadlessness” in Ukrainian (it’s rasputitsa in Russian) might be lighter this year, especially where the bigger battles are taking place. If Ukraine manages to seize good defensive positions that cut off Russian positions South of Tokmak/Melitopol, they’ll be able to sit back and relax and just defend their positions.

The death toll in Dena, Libya, may be as high as 20k. Human-caused climate change is the culprit.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) has created a definition of antisemitism that seriously messes with academic freedom and directly discriminates against many others.

Several oil drilling platforms taken back by Ukrainian special forces.
Russian anti-aircraft unit wiped out multi-part strike.
Ukraine works with International Criminal Court to bring Russian war criminal to justice.
Mobile surface-to-air system wiped out.
The large landing ship Minsk hit by missiles and badly damaged.
Small-scale progress made on many fronts.
Numerous vessels hit. Naval drones carry out attacks.
Ukrainian attacks occurring in lots of places.

Sigh! So the White House is "stuck in stale Baghdad Bob-like ‘no evidence’ denials." Okay, what's the evidence

In paragraph eight, [NY Times writer Peter Baker] gets around to, 'The Republican investigation so far has not produced concrete evidence of a crime by the president, as even some Republicans have conceded.”

Damned if they do, damned if they don't! White House can't win for losing!

One-year anniversary on the death in police custody of Mahsa/Zhina Amini for having a bit of hair showing outside of her hijab. The rebellion continues.

Exactly! Discussions of Biden’s age are “But Her Emails” all over again! The discussion is just as dishonest as the previous one was. 

Left without much evidence of substantive age-related difficulties, the press discussion of the issue has grown abstract.

Major media, please do better this time!

Some Republicans are trying (very sensibly) to hedge on whether there’s evidence that Biden has done anything impeachable. Others are convinced he did. They come up with a lot of amusing “reasons.”

Speaker McCarthy previously said he’d conduct a vote to initiate an impeachment inquiry. Democrats have concluded that he simply didn’t have the votes to do so.

In the year since Shahed Drones were introduced by Iran, more than 2k have been launched against Ukraine.
Zelenskyy announces new services for veterans and education.
Video covers story of Ukrainian girl taken to Russia.
Russian ships hit. Sevastopol’s dry docks hit. Those dry docks do all of the maintenance for Russia’s Black Sea fleet.
Russians bringing back old street names for occupied Ukrainian cities.

Even as the oil and gas lobbyists are coercing countries to water down the goals for reducing human-caused climate change, Biden seems energized to keep up the fight to keep us all alive. Hoo yah to this! 

Biden also wants to give out green energy foreign aid, helping Global South countries such as Angola in Africa erect a network of solar panels.

Ari Fleisher inadvertently admits what’s really going on with this impeachment of Biden. By blaming former Speaker Pelosi for “reaping what she sowed by impeaching Donald Trump twice,” Fleisher makes it clear that impeaching Biden has nothing to do with anything that Biden might actually have done.

Normal criminal procedure is to start with a question about a suspect’s behavior, to try out different theories on that behavior and to search out evidence and to eventually arrive at an answer. In the case of the Republican-run House, they started with the answer “Impeach Biden!” and are now trying to get around to answering why they want to do so!

Speaker McCarthy clearly doesn't have the votes in the closely-divided House to initiate an impeachment inquiry, but he's also been under great pressure from the far-right Freedom Caucus to do just that.

Morning Joe makes it clear that yes, the impeachment inquiry is baseless and frivolous.

Zelenskyy takes action against corruption. Financial Times does a deep dive in looking at corruption.
Putin has thoughts on Trump, Biden and Ukraine.
As Elon Musk took Putin’s side last year, Putin thinks Musk is awesome.
Putin on a talk show claims amazingly high Ukrainian losses.
Russians conducting a full court press to convince Ukraine to surrender.
Ukrainian aviation making life difficult for Russians.
Russian S-400 air defense systems on the coast of Crimea destroyed, cutting down Russia’s ability to monitor the Black Sea in the direction of Ukraine.
Elon Musk was convinced that if he didn’t pull the plug on Ukraine’s naval attack, that World War III would be the result. Ukraine tried the same attack plan a month later. Surprise! No World War III! Fear of provoking Russia has had seriously bad consequences.

Yeah, considering Representative Comer’s had over half a year to produce something, anything on Biden, his efforts are definitely a flop.

A kamikaze remote-controlled tank strikes Russian lines!

Captured T90M tank. Ukrainians figure they’ll have it up and running in a short while.
British intelligence has linked an attack on a Liberian cargo ship to Russia. No damage resulted as both cruise missiles were shot down by Ukrainian fighter jets. Russia has also been placing sea mines around Ukrainian ports. Ukraine has lost 280k tons of grain to Russian missiles “enough to feed over 1 million people for a year, and more than the total Russia promised to donate to African countries.”
Zelenskyy moves to digitize supply requisitions.
Athletic heroes.
Where to send donations to help Ukraine.
More on the G20 meeting. Canada’s view on it. Blogger very unimpressed.

Deep dive into Ukraine’s use of Starlink/SpaceX and how the US was caught flat-footed when Elon Musk started going nuts on us.

Musk, Twitter/X and antisemitism.

Good! A right-wing, Republican voice argues that Senator Tuberville's blockade of military promotions is actively harmful to US national security! We need more Republicans to join Representative McCaul!

Glenn Greenwald feels Democrats are displaying racism towards Cornel West. Gee, could it actually be that, by splitting the liberal vote, West could cause Trump to take office again? I wonder how exactly would Greenwald suggest Democrats should deal with West?

"Where Chuck Todd failed"

Now that Chuck Todd has moved on, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being good, Meet The Press was about a 6. Not utterly hopeless or useless, but something that fell far short.
In an interview, Senator Ron Johnson cites a statement by 1,600 scientists that asserts that global warming/human-caused climate change is not a problem.

The statement by the scientists is kind of a mess. The short description does not include any substantiating scientific evidence. It cites that CO2 is life-giving for plants. True, but CO2 is also a “greenhouse gas,” meaning that it acts like a greenhouse. It holds in warmth from the Sun. It never explains why CO2 can’t be both life-giving to plants and dangerously warming up the planet!

Interestingly, the piece that includes the statement also includes a link to the NASA page on Global Climate Change.
A review of that page shows that, yes indeed, there is a “climate emergency!”
The very first figure on the page, parts of Carbon per million, is 422. The highest safe level is 350.

Today, russian terrorists attacked a vehicle of the international humanitarian organisation Road2Relief in Chasiv Yar, killing two volunteers…

Zelenskyy details what other volunteers have been doing to help as well as what the Road2Relief volunteers were doing when they were struck by a Russian missile.
In order to get G20 buy-in on a communique, Western nations accept a “climbdown” on the war in Ukraine. Brazil will permit Putin to travel there without fear of international sanctions. The blogger says “No communique would have been better than this.”
Russians feel they have incompetent commanders.
Ukraine shoots down 26 out of 32 drones attacking Kyiv.

Video of the Ukrainian ice dancers performance.

More G20 follies. No specific goals set out on cutting back use of coal.

Ahh! This is exactly what I thought should have been done after Hurricane Maria tore down all the power lines in Puerto Rico back in 2017 and again with Hurricane Fiona in 2022! The advantage of wind and solar power is that they’re scalable, you can power a single house, a small town or anything in between. Combine the two with batteries and you can have power 24/7.

The way “The Big Lie” works is that the ordinary person doesn’t lie at all, so when someone repeats a lie over and over, people figure thee must be some truth to it. That’s what the GOP is doing with “post-birth abortion.”

The two lovers almost waited too long to get married! The fellow was wounded just before the marriage and woke up just in time for it!
Russian lines getting spread pretty thin.
Fighting near the Russia-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant reported.
Videos of Russian equipment being destroyed.
Ukrainians doesn’t like “BothSides” any more than American progressives do. G20 declaration waters down Russian responsibility for war.
Elon Musk and his biographer can’t agree on details of how Musk betrayed Ukraine.
Thread on Musk being a fraud.

From 1939 to 1941, Nazi Germany ran wild in Europe with this new-fangled tactic of blitzkrieg (use mobile armored forces as a mailed fist, then use their mobility to spread out behind enemy lines). The Soviet Union managed to defeat this new tactic with defense in depth at Kursk. General Surovkin understands defense in depth, General Gersimov doesn't.

Contrary to what Senator Tuberville thinks, it’s actually not unusual for people in the military to engage in poetry. General George S. Patton was a poet.

It took over 2 1/2 years, but Biden finally has a majority on the FCC! Now they can finally start fixing the damage that was done during the Trump years.

Story about Putin and a buddy of his by a Ukrainian journalist.
Elon Musk is morally responsible for many of the missiles that landed on Ukrainian cities over the past year. Musk puts out self-serving rationalizations here.

The Biden administration is likely to send ATACMS [long-range rockets] to Ukraine.

Musk shared text messages that he had received from the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister without getting permission to do so.
Negotiations about getting grain from Ukrainian ports to the exit from the Black Sea. This leak might have blown up such a deal.
Russian missile attacks on civilian targets.
Lots of videos of Russian stuff exploding.

Republicans are finding that they're having a real problem with antichoice policies. As the blogger points out, the problem is not one of branding and labeling, it's that antichoice policies are inherently repressive and dictatorial.

A close look a the tactics that Ukraine is using right now. 

...over the past three days, Ukraine has claimed to have destroyed 111 artillery guns and 12 MLRS launchers. 

With the Russians unable to hit troops and equipment behind the lines, Ukrainian forces can clear mines and fill in anti-tank ditches at their leisure.

BTW, the Swiss managed to deprive themselves of a market. They used to make shells for the German Gepard anti-aircraft gun, but Switzerland refused to sell any to Ukraine, so a German company started producing and began delivering shells this week!

A deep dive into the rare minerals needed for ecologically-friendly power production and transportation.

Good! Rs and Ds in the Senate have united against the idea of a government shutdown! Unlike the House Freedom Caucus, Republican senators have no intention of reneging on the budget deal that was reached months ago.

DA Fani Willis showed she is not playing games with House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan!

As I make clear below, there is no justification in the Constitution for Congress to interfere with a state criminal matter, as you attempt to do.”

"Elon Musk personally thwarted a Ukrainian attack and saved the Russian Navy"
This story was first reported by CNN, which gives the story its usual "BothSides" treatment. You can go to CNN if you want, but DKos gives a much more honest, unvarnished treatment. Elon Musk just has vastly more power than he can responsibly handle.

Ukrainians tried a sneak naval attack onto the Crimean coast. Elon Musk deliberately, consciously, with malice and forethought, disrupted the attack. Musk bears responsibility for Russian warships to be able to bombard Ukraine. Did Musk lose any money on the Starlink deal? Probably not. Ukrainians paid for the service.
Zelenskyy introduces Ukraine’s new Minister of Defense.
Gauging just how far Ukraine has penetrated into Russian defenses.
Video of Russian ammo depot destroyed.

A few days ago, Margarita Simonyan of RT expressed the hope that Russia would ultimately prevail in spite of the fact that it had no allies in the fight against Ukraine. There are plenty of countries that wish Russia well, but very few that will contribute troops or supplies. As I've documented, Russian equipment is also severely depleted. Kind of a problem with her hopes: 

Training any troops that remain in Russia will be made more difficult because at this point, not only has Russia sent training officers to the front, it has also kicked students out of its military academies early in an effort to fill depleted ranks.

10 kilogram (22 pound) anti-tank mine that can be dropped from a drone.
Russian missile hits a market in the Donetsk region. Missile was timed to hit during busiest time of day.
New Minister of Defense sworn in.
US Secretary of State visits Ukraine.
Wonder weapons are all very fine and well, but Ukraine needs a lot of basic supplies. Blogger feels that F-16s and ATACM missiles should be promised anyway, regardless of how quickly they can be delivered. It’ll stress out the Russians.
The effect of NATO training on Ukrainian troops in the field. It’s partially useful.

In the romantic version of how life works, when a ship is going down, the captain sees to it that the crew is completely safe before he himself exits the ship. With Project Veritas, the organization that James O’Keefe founded,

Hurricane Ida floodwaters threatened to destroy the Project Veritas office in Mamaroneck. The staff scrambled to save equipment and their own lives — one elderly employee was briefly pulled underwater and had to be rescued by colleagues. But O’Keefe had already left the scene, asking employees to prioritize his own evacuation...

I still think Senator Tuberville is blocking military promotions because he wants Trump to have the freedom to only permit loyal officers to advance. Whatever the case, he shows a very shaky grasp of military affairs and of history.

"Mike Lindell Cries Poor: 'It's Insurmountable!'"
Yeah. Wow. Yup, sure is terrible that, when you make wild, hysterical, totally untrue accusations, that you're (*gasp*) held accountable for that! The cost of making irresponsible accusations can be really steep!

Our blogger discusses domicide, the deliberate destruction of homes. This includes cultural heritage sites. When neighborhoods turn into battlefields.

Trump is aware of the argument concerning he 14th Amendment and whether or not he’s even eligible to run for president.

The piece outlines the way in which the disqualification amendment will be tested. The state Secretary of State (more likely, the multiple SoS's) will refuse to list Trump on the primary ballots, that will be appealed to the Supreme Court and they will have to rule on that in a fairly expeditious manner.

Lawsuits are filed to compel state Secretaries of State to take Trump off the ballot.

Romania borders on Ukraine. Pretty sure the Russian drone was attempting to stay within Ukrainian border.
Ukraine’s Minister of Defense has resigned to the applause and thanks of Ukraine. He’s done great things over the past 22 months.
The salient aiming towards Tokmak grows.
Russia has committed more reserves to try and stop Ukraine’s advance.
People with geolocation devices are quite sure that a Russian drone crashed in Romania. They’re sure Russia was trying to hit a Ukrainian port.

Elon Musk appears to make common cause with antisemitic messengers on Twitter or X. Essentially, he’s blaming the

Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish community’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to fighting not only anti-Semitism but all forms of racial and religious bigotry.

Blogger examines tactics of Ukraine. They’re putting the infantry in front and are having tanks be “snipers” from well behind the lines, taking out targets from covered positions.

The second Surovkin line is in the process of being breached!
Blogger discusses “body blows” in boxing. Repeated body blows over a period...”By the time the effects of the body blows are obvious to outside observers, it’s often too late for the weakened boxer to recover.” Ukraine has been systematically going after specific targets.

The Mehdi Hasan Show put together a clip of Fox News people saying that for Hillary Clinton to have started her presidency while under investigation would have been a major Constitutional problem, but for Trump to do so under four indictments is, ehh, a bit of a problem, but it’s really no big deal!

So essentially, the only gains that were produced by the Abraham Accords were a one-year increase in trade with one country. Despite all of the overheated language, that's really all the Federalist can come up with. No improvements in relations with either the Palestinians or with Iran.

Ah, memories of the Berlin Wall that separate East from West Germany. Never thought we'd see antichoice states trying to effectively build such a wall in the US to prevent their citizens from accessing prochoice states!

In the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war, Russians would send an absolute rain of artillery shells down on Ukrainian defensive positions. Russians don’t have the artillery pieces to do that anymore and Ukrainians are wiping out the trucks needed to get shells to the artillery pieces.
Also, TB2 Bayraktar drones are making a reappearance.

Labor Day observation: There are 100 corporations that pay low wages. If you add up all that they spent on stock buy-backs, that adds up to $341 billion. They could pay higher wages if they wanted to.

For the first time in 4 years, I took Orysia to her first day of school. Happy.”
Warehouses and production facilities hit by drones.
Zelenskyy talked with the troops today.
City of Kharkiv has been shelled constantly since the stat of the war. They have 61 learning groups located in 5 metro stations.
Surovkin line being chewed up!
Did Russian drones land on Romanian soil? Accounts differ.
American Brigadier General blames US for slow pace of Ukrainian advance. He thinks Ukrainians are fighting sensibly and well.
We’re seeing under-trained but well-equipped Ukrainian units going up against well-prepared Russian defenses. It’s an attrition battle now.

12-year old girl runs on false legs, just to show fellow wounded civilians it can be done.
Massive drone attack. Mos knocked down, but some got through.
Zelenskyy: “Four ships have already passed through our new, alternative sea corridor from our southern seaports.”
Zelenskyy: The Minister of Defense is exhausted and needs to be relieved.
“This fall, there will be a boom in production of drones in Ukraine: flying, floating, and crawling - Minister of Defense.” Wait! What? What do “crawling” drones do?
Ukrainian paramedic supplies fresh honey for troops.
Close aerial view of trench works.
Looking back on Bucha, liberated a year and a half ago.
Ukrainian soldier talks about using the British Challenger tank in battle.
Russians placing tires on top of bombers to protect against drones.

As I’ve said, human-caused climate change is not a future problem. It’s a right-now problem! The Canadian wildfires that sent smoke into US cities back in July will keep on burning up forests there.

Let's take a look at criteria for recusals. If you were a US Supreme Court Justice and your wife took part in the January 6th attack on our Capitol, then you could make the case that the Justice should recuse himself from any cases involving January 6th. But for a Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice to be forced to recuse herself because she made a few comments about a possible case? Nope!

Huh. Very interesting that the solution to the Russia-Ukraine war that was suggested by Vivek Ramaswamey, that Ukraine and Russia make a temporary truce based on the current combat front lines, seems to be a very popular idea with Putin and his propaganda apparatus. RFK Jr. and Tucker Carlson also like the idea.

How the battle over the 14th Amendment and the potential disqualification of Trump is going.

Used to be, back in the old days of about a year ago, Twitter could weed out misinformation. Thanks to Elon Musk having destroyed the verification system, rumor about an Ebola outbreak ran wild at the Burning Man event. More on the disaster there.

Attendees at Burning Man are finally able to leave. Rain had turned the road out into deep mud.

Florida Governor DeSantis, in the wake of Idalia, says he does not want to “politicize the weather.” Kind of a problem with that is that human-caused climate change is here! It’s not some far-off, “someday” problem that we’ll eventually have to deal with.

DeSantis turned down $350 million from the Biden administration for the green energy transition…

That bum, Governor DeSantis, couldn't be bothered to show up to greet the president as Biden was touring the wreckage. At least Senator Scott showed up.

Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy says he stands with Israel on its approach to Iran developing nuclear weapon. Well, Israel’s current answer is to try and bomb Iranian nuclear facilities. AP says that this is unlikely to work.

Since 2013, Israel has gradually expanded the shadow war with Iran and its network of proxies. It’s dubbed the mabam—or ‘war between the wars’in Hebrew.

Of course, by far the most successful attempt to shut down Iran’s nuclear program was Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal and Israel was and remains opposed to that.

The Disqualification Clause of the 14th Amendment is actively being considered. Each of the 50 states has its own disqualification procedure, most never used.

Russian target detection station 9S18 'Kupol,' located and destroyed.
Russia manual captured that details how Ukrainians fight and how to therefore defeat them.
“Reuters brings us details of an allied naval exercise in the Baltic Sea.” It will involve 30 ships.
F-16 training for Ukrainian pilots:

An explanation as to what the group No Labels is all about.

Ever since the “Hunter Biden laptop” story came out, right-wingers have been absolutely furious that mainstream and left-wing media people have been suspicious from the very start that it’s all just Russian disinformation. More evidence here that yes, it’s Russian disinformation.

Good stuff! A few years back, Liam Neeson complained that, as an action star who was now 70 years old, it was a bit tough for him to continue doing action films. Think they found a good “best of both worlds” script that allowed both dramatic thrills and chills and minimal physical exertion.

A 15-year old reporter causes the DeSantis campaign to freak out. Truly revolting behavior by the campaign.

School begins in the Kyiv Metro station.
Strategic questions.
Our blogger’s discussion with someone who wants to freeze the lines of contact where they are. Our bloggers prefers to press for, if not outright victory, then to get as close as possible to the 1991 borders.
Glib people argue that Russia should at least have Crimea. Bad idea as the fighting won’t stop there.
Many ways in which Ukraine can lose the peace, for instance, if Crimeans begin a guerrilla war.
Fiona Hill’s point of view.
Secretary of Defense Austin also weighs in.
Fronts proceeding well.

Gift link to WaPo piece.
European Commission declares that Elon Musk has been using the Twitter/X platform to spread Russian propaganda. Musk has dismantled the safety standards which has caused Russian propaganda to flourish on the platform

Y'know, it's very interesting how the right wing constantly bemoans inflation but is against an attempt to really reduce the cost of medicines. Hmm, it's almost as though they just wanted to use it as a campaign issue and weren't interested in solving the problem! 

Shorter Soloyov: "Tucker Carlson wishes to interview our president Vladimir Putin. Wonderful! He's welcome to do so! But Carlson should beware of being assassinated by the CIA afterwards because giving the truth to the American people might be dangerous."

A piece that completely fails to live up to its billing as having "proved" that anything Pro Publica said was false or misleading. Justice Thomas didn't revise his financial statement because he was generous and magnanimous, he did it under public pressure. Okay, he didn't reveal his financial entanglements before because he wasn't required to, but what kind of public servant only reveals what he has to? And the counter-accusations against liberal Justices are ludicrous.

I'm happy that I read the right-wing apologia first on Justice Thomas' statement concerning having received multiple gifts from a billionaire benefactor. But yes, good reading here.

Iran and protesting via street art. Government is, of course, very unhappy about that situation.

Good! The Governor of Georgia rules out firing DA Fani Willis.

Even though there’s considerable disarray among Georgia Republicans over how to deal with her and her case against the former president.

Trump is trying to bring a bit of nuance to the abortion issue. He’s advocated making exceptions, but vaguely and in a single podcast.


I said on Twitter that Ukraine was clearly winning and got lots of pushback! Words to the effect of "Silly liberal! Look at how many casualties Ukraine has suffered! You're clearly listening to liberal propaganda!" Well, Ukraine is finding it much easier to take on Russia's second line of defense than its first. Why? Supply lines! Russia needs to drive trucks from the second line to the first in order to drop off food and ammunition. With constant drone observers, Ukraine paid very close attention to the safe routes that Russian supply trucks took through the mines!

So did these activists violate the FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrance) Act Well, yeah. “...and others roped and chained themselves together inside the facility.” Okay, then! So they were clearly guilty.
A statement I found very misleading was that the FACE Act was a “law passed to stop sit-ins at abortion facilities.” Erm, no. A “sit-in” refers to employees of a company refusing to work, but blocking scabs from taking their places. The anti-choicers here use the term to refer to people who are simply blocking customers from accessing a clinic.

In looking at the history of Jewish resistance in Nazi Germany, we find a surprising amount of open rebellion.

Good! Rudy Giuliani found guilty of defaming Georgia election workers.

Zelenskyy commemorates Remembrance Day.

Last night, russians attacked Ukraine with 28 cruise missiles and 16 Shahed UAVs. All missiles and 15 drones have been shot down.

Zelenskyy addresses military medical commissions and corruption/bribery.
70 diplomatic representatives endorse the Peace Formula
What’s with the leaks of advice to Ukraine?
Russia and North Korea in communication. “An arms deal between the DPRK & Russia would directly violate a number of UN Security Council resolutions.”
Interview with former Ukrainian Defense Minister.
Counteroffensive is making progress.
Ukraine carrying out unmanned aerial assaults in Russia.
The British view of the Republican presidential campaign.
Blogger feels the US is in a cold to lukewarm civil war. We’re also in a world war with Russia.

A deep dive into the very complimentary letter from former clerks about Justice Clarence Thomas. A passage that I found truly shocking: "His chambers become our chambers—a place fueled by unstoppable curiosity and unreturned library books, all to get every case just right." What?!?!?! He didn't return library books?!?!?!

Yeah, I agree with Will Bunch that journalists like Jake Tapper and politicians like Chris Christie are major contributors to the problem of rising authoritarianism in this country because they prefer to see politics in horse-race terms, who’s up, who’s down, who might get a few cheap political points, etc.

Republican House members in the Tennessee Legislature don’t appear to be able to deal with any sort of opposition. Democracy seems to be too much for them.

Anniversary of a betrayal in 2014. Absolutely no agreement with Russia has been considered solid since then.
A pilot’s funeral.
Maps of defenses only give a very general idea of where the fighting will take place.
Russians using chemical agents.
Drone strike on Russian airfield close to Estonian border.
Close look at howitzers.
Ukraine has lost only 5 of 71 Leopard tanks, with no crew members being lost.

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows defines his role in the last few months of the Trump Administration very, very broadly, under the plea that "I was ordered to." It reminds me that in the movie Glory, Matthew Broderick, playing Colonel Shaw, refuses an order to instruct his men that they can pillage a town. Shaw is ordered again and complies, but yes. There is such a thing as an illegal order!

House Republicans are very divided over impeaching the President. Many are enthusiastically in favor of doing so, others are concerned about the lack of evidence that he’s committed any offenses.

Heh! Representative Greene is very upset

“I can’t comprehend that we need any more evidence. We have so much. Let’s talk about what an impeachment inquiry is."

The shooter in Jacksonville was able to purchase his gun legally despite “a past involuntary commitment for a mental health exam.” Insultingly, DeSantis suggested that the mass shooting had nothing to do with politics. The audience booed DeSantis because he’s part of the problem.

Yeah, Trump’s lawyers wanted a two-year trial delay for his attempt to overturn the 2020 election. Judge Chutkan said “Nope” and set the trial date considerably before what they requested.

Ukrainian workmen preparing for classes in the subway system.
More Russian missile strikes.
Robotyne is liberated.
Russians commit more reserves to try and slow down the Ukrainian drive to Tokamk.
The other side can argue about how much ground they’ve taken or are defending.”What really matters is the attrition ratio.”
Russians lose a $2 million Leer-2 electronic warfare system.
Hmm. Very interesting. Russian officer from an anti-corruption unit gets killed by unidentified drone. Ukraine does bomb targets in Russia, but they’re usually strictly military targets.
Interesting to see how Prigozhen’s death affected the Wagner communications network.

It was said that Johnny Carson (talk-show host) and Vanna White (game-show hostess) had public personalities that were "blank slates." No one knew where they stood on anything, so the public could imagine that Carson and White felt exactly what their audience did. "No Labels" is clearly taking the same approach as our guy Moulitsas points out, they have no position on abortion.

Israel’s extremist Minister of National Security feels that his right “to move around Judea and Samaria is more important than freedom of movement for the Arabs.”

The UN in response pointed out that there are 645 obstacles — such as roadblocks and checkpoints — to the movement of Palestinians, and that some of them impede Palestinians in a serious way. Many Palestinian babies are born in autos stuck at Israeli checkpoints on their way to the hospital.

Ukrainian counter-offensive chops out small salient.
Memorials to fallen heroes.
Interesting question on news priorities.
Russian attack near Kherson broken up.
Ukraine launches air attack on Kursk air base.

Right-wing members of the Supreme Court are challenged on just how “strict constructionists” they really are!

Our blogger is annoyed that US war games are so unrealistic and so carefully planned. We haven’t fought a near-peer opponent since Korea in 1953 and it shows! We need to hold exercises that allow for surprises and where we don't have air superiority!
Two Ukrainian jets collide.
Russia committing strategic reserves to the war.

Julia Davis constantly presents Russia's premiere news program. The Russians still love Trump, but Ramaswamy is very definitely getting a close look from them! He's a "contender."

The Marine Corps had no patience with a false news story put out by Fox “News” and they made their displeasure very clear!

Good! Sarah Palin very explicitly called for civil war over the legal cases against Donald Trump. Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe delivers some well-deserved pushback!

Went and saw an outdoor short-film festival by this group last night. Very cool! Some of the films reminded me of some of the better black and white, non-superhero comic books I read back in the 80s.

One major line of defense broken. Looks like three more to go. This next line is the highest point the Ukrainian army will take. After that, it's downhill all the way to Tokmak! That means they'll have a clear line of sight to direct artillery with.

Tried a free WaPo article for the first time. They definitely try to sign you up for a newsletter and include a prominent subscription ad, but no, no direct charges. As to the substance of the piece, RFK Jr. has crashed and burned among Democrats. His negatives are much higher than his positives!

I’ve seen many people on Twitter crowing about how all of Trump’s indictments make him more popular. The poll here makes the case that, no, independents and less-committed Republicans are being really turned off by the indictments, even if the hard-core MAGA doesn’t care.

Saying that abortions are not allowed until 15 weeks have passed is a massive walkback for those who feel that zygotes are equal to newborn babies.

Ukraine displays captured Russian tanks and armored vehicles on a street in Kyiv.
Wagner Group cemetery cleared out of grave markers and wreaths.
Taurus KEPD 350 is a Swedish-German air-launched cruise missile. Ukraine now has them.
Thanks, Estonia!

Tokmak-Melitopol front is going well.
US has been pushing Ukraine to hurry their counter-offensive up. US persons argue that Ukrainians are already doing well.

Looking at a Dkos Ukraine update and examining the concept of schwerpunkt.

Republican candidates are in denial about human-caused climate change. One might think Governor DeSantis would be aware of climate change as the State Farm insurance company will no longer insure structures in Florida. “Nobody is dying from climate change policies, which simply promote wind, solar, and battery power generation.”

House Judiciary Chairman Jordan is demanding that the Fulton County DA hand over “details on any federal funds her office receives as well as all communications with the Justice Department — including with Smith” 

Representative Ted Lieu is extremely unimpressed with Jordan’s antics!

Update as of 15 Oct: She never handed over anything and has no intention of handing over anything.

Good heavens! These people are so exhausting with their never-ending outrage and fury and anger and bitterness!

Republicans had their first primaries debate, minus Trump. Pleasantly surprised to hear that winners were: Ukraine, the Rule of Law, Peace, Haley and Christie. Losers, Trump, Ramaswamy and the antichoice issue.

13k tons grain destroyed by missiles.
The Orchestra Wagner Telegram channel reports on the plane carrying Prigozhin that crashed. All occupants died.
Pilot did not report any difficulties, suggesting the crash happened very suddenly. Eulogies follow.
Video of plane falling out of sky. Falls straight down.
School buildings destroyed.
Robotyne has been liberated.
Mi-8 Helicopter captured intact!

Saw a suggestion that Senator Tuberville is trying to keep the military in such a state that if/when Trump wins the 2024 election and assumes office in 2025, that he can then decide who does and doesn’t get promoted. Trump doesn’t want “disloyal” officers who refuse to obey orders on the grounds that the orders are illegal.

Shades of Americans spitting on soldiers home from Vietnam (Which I think happened, but it reached the status of urban legend in that I think the phenomenon was enormously exaggerated)! Substantive differences though. The Russian soldiers who come to urban areas on leave are generally not from any city to begin with and are usually of a different ethnicity than city dwellers, so people in the cities take immediate notice.

Huh. Prigozhin, the fellow who ran the Wagner mercenary group and launched a brief rebellion against Moscow, is now no more. Died in a plane crash.

Interesting to see that the "9-11 was an inside job" theory is making a comeback. People on the left believed this for a while but dropped that idea well over a decade ago. Alex Jones was a figure on the right who believed it from the start and still does. Seems Representative Greene and Vivek Ramaswamey are among the believers.

Both former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark have had their request for a delay denied. They both have until noon on Friday to turn themselves in to DA Fani Willis or be arrested.

Their requests were denied and they both turned themselves in for booking.

There are still a few brigades in reserve, but the majority of Ukraine’s offensive forces are committed to breaking through the toughest lines of defense on the whole front. If the city of Tokmak falls, that’ll be very close to splitting the “land bridge” that connects the Donbas to Crimea. Crimea then becomes pretty much indefensible.

Two years after Kabul, Afghanistan fell, Congress is still trying to sort out the status of Afghan refugees who were eligible for settlement in the US because they had assisted the US while the US occupied Afghanistan.

Senator Ted Cruz could probably hire a fact-checker, someone to screen all of his social media posts, but it’s pretty clear he just doesn’t care enough about whether his posts are all that accurate.

Lawyer John Eastman’s schedule is bit busy. He has to surrender in Georgia and attend his disbarment hearing! In the second case, the court’s granted him two extra days.

Ukrainian counter-offensive is now liberating more than just territory. Civilians are happy to see Russian occupiers gone.
Zelenskyy finished up series of visits.
Blogger feels that NATO should be moving faster.
With the exception of some House Republicans, things are proceeding smoothly.
A look at a Russian loitering munitions..
Huh! Republican propaganda sounds just like Russian propaganda. Who’d a thunk it?
A Russian mine that pops up and then blasts down.
Soldier marries his nurse.

Yeah, not only does Vivek Ramaswamy take an extremely condescending attitude towards CNN's Kaitlan Collins, his plan is an incredibly stupid one. Arming the population is what Ukraine did, under the immense pressure of a Russian invasion. That's not what you plan on doing when you have time to plan!

Israel’s National Security Minister, Ben Gvir, described the killing of a Palestinian teenager as the action of heroes!

In response to the recent killing, the US State Department said, "We strongly condemn yesterday’s terror attack by Israeli extremist settlers that killed a 19-year-old Palestinian.”

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (an agency within the Department of Homeland Security), fights misinformation and disinformation. So of course Republicans plan, if Trump wins reelection in 2024, to eliminate the agency!

Yike! Southern California got a one-two punch on the 20th and 21st. Not ONLY did they get a post-tropical cyclone, but they also got a 5.1 Magnitude Earthquake!

If there’s a government shutdown, it will be 100% the fault of the House Freedom Caucus.

Just saw on Twitter that California's governor wants to boot Trump off the ballot there. Personally, I agree that he's ineligible to serve a second term, but agree that we need to get his case up to the Supreme Court ASAP, to be resolved well before Election Day.

The Trump cult is a very dank, dark, nihilistic place full of hatred.

Impressed by their stamina! Israelis are now in their 33rd week of protest, but Netanyahu’s government shows no signs of giving up and compromising.

In a few days, she would have started her first year in school.

Condemnation of Russia hitting civilian targets with missiles. Descriptions of the attack on Chernihiv.
Zelenskyy gives a smart-ass answer to a stupid question (Belgorod is a city that’s close to Ukraine, but is in Russia).
Training begins for Ukrainian pilots on F-16s in Denmark. 19 F-16s will be given to Ukraine. At some point, Ukraine will get 61 F-16s.
Good point! If a Ukrainian drone can travel over 700 miles in Russian air space, clearly in an all-out war with the West, the Russian air defense would be taken out in a matter of hours.
Wagner an other Russian Private Military Companies.

The blogger has named it "Hill 166." That's the height in meters of the highest hill (About the height of the Ulm Cathedral) in between Ukrainian troops and the transportation hub of Tokmak. Once they take that, it's a clear field of fire all the way to the town. The blogger discusses the advantage of having high terrain on your side.

Trump tries to sound mean and tough, but that’s hard to square with 

He said about Russian President Putin, that he was "the apple of his eye," meaning Putin cherished him.

Peter Strzok, the former Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI, was asked what he thought about this. His answer was to post a picture of the cover of his book. The title of which is "Compromised."

Ukraine hits back at Russian airbase hundreds of miles from Ukraine.
In the center of city of Chenihiv, a drama theater was hit with Russian missile.
Ukraine looking forward to getting Swedish Gripen fighters into the air soon.
15 of 17 Iranian drones shot down.

We just have second-hand reports right now, but apparently US intelligence agencies put out a grim picture of the situation in Ukraine. They say that Ukraine can’t take the city of Melitopol (If Melitopol falls, the “land bridge” between Russia and Crimea is cut). The blogger points out, though, that Melitopol is 47 kilometers (km) from the front line. Howitzers have a 20km range, so Ukraine only needs to make it 27km in order to “bring Melitopol under fire control,” that is, to blast any trucks or trains trying to make it to Melitopol.

Update (21 Sep):  As of this date, Ukrainian forces were within 20km of Tokam. They've gained ground since, but they're more concerned with attrting Russian forces then they are with making territorial gains.

The overthrow of the democratically-elected Mohammad Mossadegh of Iran was a terrible idea when it happened and with the perspective of 50 years, looks even worse.

Polls have bad news concerning Trump’s indictments. MAGA folks may not care and of course Democrats are opposed to Trump anyway, but they’ve definitely affected independents and less hard-core Republicans.

Happy to see this. These “crisis pregnancy centers” have long been deceptively making people think they offer abortions, when their whole purpose is to convince woman not to have abortions! They, of course, have a First Amendment right to exist, but there’s no reason states have to provide financial support.

It apparently takes a year of good economic news to make a real impression on the public and the recent inflation was unprecedented for people under 65, so it’ll take a while for good economic news to sink in.

US is trying to assess how quickly Ukrainian pilots can learn the F-16.
Discussion of what “Never Again” means the context of Russia committing genocide against Ukraine.
18 states have joined the G7 Declaration on security guarantees for Ukraine: as of today.
The Ukrainian Peace Formula has been very largely accepted by many states.
Russia destroying Orthodox churches in Ukraine.
A rather insulting line “American officials say they fear that Ukraine has become casualty averse,” Erm, who’s been doing all of the fighting and dying so far?
British say morale is good on Ukrainian side.
There’s a report in the WaPo that Ukraine can’t take Melitopol. Ukrainians are skeptical of that.
Videos of Russian targets getting hit.

5k years ago, a fellow was walking along and got an arrow in his back. He was discovered in 1991 and It was long thought that he was an Aryan. He has just been identified as a brown-skinned Anatolian. Lighter-colored skin is a relatively modern phenomenon in Europe.

Why are Republican House members trying to impeach Biden? It’s not because they have any evidence, they just want to tar him so as to make him less electable.

This is an example of a SLAPP (Strategiv Lawsuit Against Public Participation) lawsuit. 
Crusading newspaper identifies a now-state senator as having called someone a “fag.” The name-caller is suing the paper, which has now spent $150k defending itself.

In an anti-corruption move, troops that have actively served in combat roles will take over all recruiting spots.
Problems with ammunition supply are explored. Video verifies ammo shortage.
Denmark and Holland are approved to send F-16s to Ukraine once training of pilots is complete.
Blogger recommends a more aggressive stance on getting F-16s to Ukraine. Had training of pilots began a year ago, they could fly the planes as soon as they were received.
A Russian writes about being on the other side of cluster munitions.
Russian dropped propaganda leaflets.
Russia and Ukrainian children.

Senator Hawley

"[Trump] challenged their pro-war policy. He challenged them on Ukraine. He's challenged their globalist agenda..." 

Speaking as a Trump opponent who pays close attention to foreign policy, sorry, but I don't have the vaguest notion as to how he "challenged [the ruling party] on Ukraine." He certainly tried to get Zelenskyy to cooperate on a plot to frame Biden, but how is that even slightly relevant to any sort of policy disagreement?

So basically, Senators Tuberville and Sinema are willing to reach some sort of compromise with the Pentagon, but the Pentagon has a position that's really not amenable to any real compromise as it involves retaining personnel and not forcing either women servicepeople or the wives of servicepeople to go without proper medical care!

Update: This was a one-day story that never went anywhere. Neither side was open to any sort of compromise.

A few weapons are referred to a “game changers.” This is one of those, a surveillance drone that flies quietly at about five miles up and keeps a 40km radius under continuous watch. Normally, surveillance drones are highly vulnerable and usually last an average of three missions.

The Finance Minister of Israel, Bezalel Smotrich, has plans for the West Bank and Gaza. He says 

“I will re-occupy Gaza, disarm all the armed forces there, and I will open its doors to mass immigration.” 

Doesn't seem like a practical plan. Gaza has a very large number of residents per square mile. Not clear what will become of them if “mass immigration” is permitted.

Did Trump really stop trying to prosecute Hillary Clinton after he was in the Oval Office? Uh, no

This is very good news Young people argue that human-caused climate change is a threat to their lives and that fossil fuels are making matters worse. The District Court for Montana agrees.

Far-right House Republicans are pressing for a government shutdown.

Again, grain is not a military target. It’s a target that hurts primarily civilians.
Merchant ships leaving Ukrainian ports
Russian training base in Ukraine hit by HIMARS.
The Russian private military company “Wolves.”
Colonel-General Syrskyi describes Kupyansk situation.
On the nautical drone used to attack the Kerch Bridge.
Remembering Svitlana “Lana” Smolenska.
Revisionist Soviet history makes Putin appear to closely follow Stalin.

Unfortunately, I agree that we'll probably get a replay of "Her Emails," where minor problems (Hunter, in this case) are blown up far beyond their actual importance. Republicans will take advantage of media gullibility to do better then they otherwise would.

Looks like Senate Minority Leader McConnell is the scapegoat du jour, what with his being in poor health and all. His troubles wouldn’t be nearly as bad had he sought to get Trump removed from office when he had the chance.

A kindergarten in Lviv was hit by a Russian missile. Lviv is the Ukrainian city the furthest from the front. For months, Russia has simply never aimed its missiles at military targets

This is Russian state terrorism in support of a strategy of genocide. what point is Never Again actually going to mean Never Again?

Zelenskyy visits brigades on the front lines.
The Kakhovka Resevoir now, after the Kakhovka Dam was blown up.
Ukraine hits S-300V missile launchers and radar stations.
News on Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash.

The blogger and I are extremely skeptical that Trump’s “report” will amount to much of anything.

On the advice of his lawyers, Trump never presented his "report."

Ah-hah! Now we know who’s responsible for Russia not retreating and defending their lines out in front of their trenches! It’s all Suvorov’s fault! Suvorov is a Russian general from the 1700s. No actually, it’s the fault of Russian officers for taking Suvorov far too seriously and literally that’s the problem.

Saudi Arabia and the extremist government of Netanyahu are disagreeing with each other over whether Palestinians who live in Jerusalem (There are about 400k) can have any representation at all.

Massive wildfire burns really large section of the Hawaiian island of Maui.

Just because people on Twitter are screaming about Biden being on the beach during the disaster in Maui. Yes, but he sunbathed after making sure the government did what it could to help.
Also, our hero Chef José Andrés does his usual awesome stuff for the people of Maui.

Many drones shot down, unfortunately, they don’t just disappear in a puff! “the debris from what they shot down still has to land somewhere.”
8 Kalibr cruise missiles and 23 Shahed UAVs were shot down, mos were aimed at Odesa! Also, a Russian Ka-52 Attack helicopter!
There’s plenty to do. Ukraine needs an all-hands effort to win.
Russia stops and searched Ukraine-bound Turkish ship.
Russian military bloggers ar under pressure from Moscow to report only positive news.
Russia sending old people to the battlefield.
Looking a Russian refurbishment of old tanks.
A WaPo account of how a Ukrainian captive was treated by his Russian captors.

The full list of indictments and suspects. The best Trump can do as a rebuttal is to point out that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis “Is The Daughter of a Former Black Panther.” Which, um, okay.

When you're looking around for corporate/millionaire heroes to have, it's hard to do better than Ms. Swift! No only did she give big bonuses to her road crew, she also shared the wealth with food banks across the country!

“Australian officials have generally avoided the use of ‘occupied’ and ‘occupation’ in relation to Palestine since 2014.” Australia has now decided to go back to describing the West Bank and Gaza as being occupied.

Going over the Joe & Hunter Biden “scandal.” At this point, Republicans in the House are simply engaged in a fishing expedition.

The brave, fearless Russians dispose of a 23-day old child.
Ukrainian schools tend to be online. If they meet in person, they have to have bomb shelters.
Interviewing some captured Russian soldiers who called for assistance from their side a day ago. No rescuers ever arrived.
Ukrainian orphans escape from Russian-occupied territory.
Fires in Russia.
Sappers uncover up to five mines in every square meter. Mines are second to artillery in causing wounds.

What amazes m is how the media can create the very problem that it says is dogging a candidate. Why are Hunter Bidens legal woes featured as though they're in any way way, even remotely equivalent to Trump's? The right wing is of course downplaying Trump's legal mess just as the centrists are playing up Hunters!

Back during the 80s, a book was published on the Iranian revolution of 1979. The book concluded that corruption was what brought the Shah down and that elevated the Ayatollah Khomeini and his religious government to power. Seems we’re seeing a repeat.

The US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, essentially because there was a majority on the court that was enabled to do so during Trump’s term in office. Now the same thing has happened to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, only it’s liberals who have taken over. Yeah, it’s really uncomfortable when you do something terrible and the other side is capable of responding! Plenty of bad behavior on the side of the conservative now-minority!

Yep! Wisconsin Republicans are really upset that they lost their state Supreme Court, so upset that they're making up rules as to how to determine when judges should recuse themselves from cases.

Crimea just isn’t meant to be used as a route for supplies. The Kerch Bridge was hit yet again.
Destroying a missile.
“Lyubov Yarosh, a 103-year-old resident of Zhytomyr region, together with her daughters and neighbors, weaves "Kikimora" camouflage suits for our soldiers.”
HIMARS, with an 80 km range, has caused the Russians to relocate supply dumps and command-and-control facilities beyond that range, straining Russian supplies. Getting longer-range munitions will strain Russian supplies even further.
Sigh! Young girl is aware that Russian missiles are aimed at her.

Members of the Federalist Society, yes, that organization that is opposed to “orthodox liberal ideology.” They want “to say what the law is, not what it should be.” They feel Trump is not eligible to run for president.

Russia launches missiles at the bases where F-16 pilots are trained. They also attacked a hotel wher foreign journalists frequently stay. Orthodox churches are a regular target.
Crackdown on corruption in recruiting. Entire group of heads of recruitment are fired. They will be replaced by wounded soldiers.
Video on a Ukrainian howitzer.
A Ukrainian officer looks at the composition of a typical minefield.
Bringing Ukraine into the EU. When the war with Russia ends, the EU and NATO could end up needing Ukraine more than Ukraine needs them.

In the middle of the war in Ukraine, Russia decides to expend valuable resources on an uncrewed mission to the Moon!

While 56% of the American public sees human-caused climate change as a dire threat that requires the spending of lots of money, time and effort, only about a quarter of Republicans agree. This summer has been the hottest summer in 120k years! Big Oil, Big Ag, and Big Banks are helping Republicans to support their theories.

Sigh! Still more corruption by Justice Clarence Thomas!

Extremist House Republican members are kind of favorable towards the idea of a government shutdown. To head that off, the Speaker may have to ask Democrats for help.

Update (1 Oct): Yeah, that's pretty much what happened. House hardliners were enthusiastic about shutting the government down, Democrats saved the day. Speaker McCarthy owes them big-time!

Special Counsel Jack Smith requests a January 2nd trial date. As another blogger points out, getting the trial done and over with before the campaign season has progressed too far would be a huge favor to the Republican Party as voting for a convicted felon would be far more than just a theoretical possibility.

Russia ship that was hit by a nautical drone has a big hole in its side.
Russia attacks a hotel that contains a children’s day camp. Russia is committing genocide!
Tatarigami is a Ukrainian officer in the reserves and writes on strategy. He ponders the coming winter.

Two reasons Republicans can’t change course on the abortion issue, even though it’s clearly killing their electoral chances 1. It’s the conservative movements’ biggest success since the end of the Cold War and 2. Once you’ve defined what the other side wants as “murder,” it’s really hard to adopt any softening, any compromise position.

Woo hoo! Clean, alternative energy on the way! 145 gigawatts of power are planned that will come from wind, solar and battery power.

Five gigawatts can power about a million homes, so the planned 81 gigs will power 16 million homes. There are about 130 million households in the US.

Speaker McCarthy appears to be laying the groundwork for an impeachment inquiry concerning a many-years-old conspiracy theory.

DKos takes a deep dive into the latest accusations against Joe and Hunter Biden and finds them to be highly dodgy.

Twitter was issued a search warrant for Trump’s Twitter file. Twitter put up quite a bit of resistance, but ultimately did as it was instructed.

Trump was furious when he found out about this.

Reporter confirms Ukrainian positions on East side of Dnipro River, which indicates a successful landing by Ukrainians.  (9 Aug 2023)

“Another missile attack by russian terrorists on the civil infrastructure of Zaporizhzhia. A church, shops, and a high-rise apartment building were destroyed.”

Germans come through with more Patriot missile launching stations.
Zagorsky optics mechanics factory near Moscow blows up.
A casualty of the war, Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelina would read stories to children. “when the city was half empty and often shelled. Kids are so attentive to her.. listen to her voice”
New demining vehicle by Daewoo Motors of South Korea.

A deep dive into Ukraine’s Marine brigades. As they don’t have landing capability, they’re focusing on working as light infantry.

In apartheid South Africa “Black students received no financial aid and could not get loans for education from banks.” In Israel today “Extremist Bezalel Smotrich, minister of finance, has frozen $680 million in funding earmarked for the development of largely Palestinian East Jerusalem.” A portion of that money was intended to go to Palestinian education.

Aww! A Ukrainian soldier whose call sign was “Lightning” is no more. She will be mourned.
Ukrainians thought the Druzhba Hotel was safe from Russia attack. A Russian missile killed at least seven people.
So the German Chancellor said he wouldn’t send any Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine until Biden also sent M1 Abrams tanks. Now he appears to be trying the same thing, Germany won’t send Taurus missiles until Biden sends ATACMS missiles.
US considers Ukraine breaking through Russian layers of defense to be unlikely. Ukrainians say they’re preparing the battlefield by cutting off supply lines and by hitting artillery pieces. The conditions Ukrainians are fighting under are ones that the US would never accept.
English voting systems under cyber-attack.

75% of Americans say it's important to the United States that Ukraine wins the war against Russian aggression

Woo-hoo! The plan to keep Ohio citizens from winning on an abortion bill in November has failed spectacularly! This is good for other measures activists want to pass.

One criticism that cannot be made of Republicans is that they are disunited and squabbling (That's a frequently accurate description of Democrats). They may, like Representative Nancy Mace, tell people in private conversation that they're pro-choice, but when the rubber hits the road, will vote along with the party.

School officials in Hillsborough County, Florida looked at the DeSantis guidelines and looked at Shakespeare readings and decided they had to provide edited excerpts of the Bard. ‘Cause hey, can’t be too careful now!

An advocate for human rights is honored with her struggle being depicted in a children’s book. She had pressed for Saudi women to be able to drive cars and her movements are restricted to this day.

Interesting claim. Lawyer John Eastman is asking that his disbarment be delayed as he might get busted for his January 6th activities.

Russia briefly turned its attention to a military target, now it’s attacked residential buildings and yet another popular pizza shop!
August 7th is the 15th anniversary of Russia’s aggression towards Georgia. Zelenskyy mourns that the world didn’t forcefully respond back in 2008.
Ka-52 helicopter taken down! Cost is ₽840 million rubles or $10 million USD.
German Chancellor is under pressure to provide cruise missiles to Ukraine. US is still putzing about with ATACMS.
Story of Daniel, a 19-year old soldier killed eight years ago.

The combination of advanced age and Trump's opposition to him are taking a real toll on Senate Minority Leader McConnell's popularity.

Ukraine is slowly throttling supplies coming from Russia to the front. I agree with the blogger. It's far better to enter the 2024 election with Ukraine being a solved problem than to have Trump repeating 1930s isolationist talking points.

Interesting interpretation of what the movie “Barbie” is all about.

This morning, the Ukrainian coat of arms was installed on the Motherland monument’s shield in Kyiv.

Happy Ukrainian Air Force Day!

In this week alone, Russian terrorists have already used 65 different missiles and 178 attack drones against us, including 87 ‘Shaheds’. We managed to shoot down a significant number of them.

A Ukrainian soldier recalls her captivity after being captured at Mariupol.

I’ve been under the impression that US slavery was “chattel” slavery, meaning slaves were obtained for the specific purpose of having them work in the fields and that, therefore, it was much worse than anything that happened before. This piece takes issue with that presumption.

A Trump lawyer tries to make it sound as though Trump and Pence were merely having a calm, friendly, abstract discussion about whether Pence could overturn the election results. But instead, Trump tweeted that: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done…” This occurred in the thick of the January 6th attack on the Capitol!

Trump sends out a tweet that Jack Smith’s team interprets as a threat. The court is notified.

Trump’s lawyers felt Monday was too soon to respond to the judge’s order and asked to respond on the 10th. The judge said “No” and repeated that their response was due on the 7th.

Fox News presents their five most desperate legal theories on Trump’s indictment.
Yeah, Zelenskyy is talking with a completely irrelevant political figure, Chris Christie.
Fox News is freaking out about Bidens Dark Brandon commercial.
Voyager 2 had a communications pause.

Update (6 Aug): Problem with Voyager 2 was quickly fixed. After 45 years of travel, Voyager 2 is roughly 18˝ hours away at light speed.

42 countries are represented at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to try and figure out a good peace agreement between Russia and Ukraine.
No safe waters for Russian ships. Officially, all Russian ships will be at risk from August 23rd on.
Ukraine will obey International Humanitarian Law. Beyond that, anything goes. Oil tankers are definitely targets as they’re useful to the war.
Russian oil tanker hit within sight of Kerch Strait. The tanker has regularly gone to Syria.
A cartoon that’s, er, not exactly helpful.

In a really gross apples-to-oranges comparison, a Fox News show compares the cases of Alexei Navalny, an opponent of Putin, who's just been sentenced by an obviously kangaroo court, to Trump, who is free to speak and defend himself against legal charges.

By hitting a Russian oil tanker within sight of shore in the Kerch Strait, Ukraine fights back against Russia's cancellation of the grain deal by showing that no Russian commercial ship is safe. Also, comments on the diplomacy summit with all of the BRICS nations except Russia.

Yeah, absolutely. "Free Speech" should definitely be placed in scare quotes if "Lies" are going to be scare-quoted. NY Times is utterly useless for politics, but when I was reading a piece on astronomy, I found my usual critical reading skepticism for them very much relaxed.

US media seems blind to differences between US and Ukrainian armed forces.
US really should have started training and equipping Ukrainians to use F-16 jets and M-1 Abrams tanks as soon as it was clear that Ukraine would survive the Russian assault and be able to hit back.

“Ukrainians attacked the Russian naval base in Novorossiysk.” Large landing ship (little over 1000 meters long) also attacked by sea drone. Oil tanker also hit.
“Russia has doubled its 2023 defence spending target to more than $100 billion – a third of all public expenditure”
Ukraine trying tactics that work to reduce casualties, but they take a long time. Russian artillery being systematically eroded.
Are Ukrainian drones costing civilians their lives? Yes, unfortunately. There’s no way to guarantee that civilians won’t be hit. They are covered under Just War theory.

I support Nina Jankowicz in her fight against Fox News. It is very important for citizens to have reliable news and she was working on making our news more honest. Many people were quite annoyed during the Wagner Group's coming to within less than 200 km of Moscow because it really would have helped for people who were unfamiliar with the issue and the journalistic sources to have been able to know who could be a trustworthy source of news. But because Elon Musk completely messed up the blue check-mark system, no one knew what sources were trustworthy. Kudos to Jankowicz!

Back during the Vietnam War, China referred to the US as a "paper tiger," an awesome foe in theory, but one that couldn't exert its will on the battlefield. Seems that Trump has pretty much the same problem. He keeps calling for mass protests that never seem to happen.

From the piece

Since the 1860s, the scientific community has understood that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere would warm the climate. And as long ago as 1938, the burning of fossil fuels was linked to the observed rise in both carbon dioxide levels and global temperatures.

The transcript of the Devon Archer testimony has been released. It’s not at all what Republicans were hoping for.

Representative Comer has just been overseeing dud after dud after dud. His latest is what was supposed to be "bombshell testimony," but that was, again, a dud.

Yeah (Sigh!) Sure would be nice if this were to take place!

The 18th-century St. Catherine's Cathedral was damaged and was then “double-tapped,” hit with another missile while rescuers were trying to put out fires. Several other civilian targets hit.
Ukrainian air defense hits 15 out of 15 Shahed drones!

Russian local authorities have begun distributing machine guns to civilian forces in the south-west of the country…

Interesting proposal. Of course, Russia has to start building such an anti-Western coalition from scratch because generally, nobody likes them and no one is on their side.

Republicans appear to be convinced that only “banana republics” prosecute former government officials for misconduct. Actually, that happens all the time in advanced democracies!

Fox News, host Harris Faulkner gave Governor DeSantis an opportunity to explain the statement made in the proposed Florida instructional guidelines, that slaves somehow benefited from their experience.

DeSantis said of the guidelines "This was done by Black history scholars…” but the two identified authors, William Allen and Frances Presley Rice, were identified as 

Allen, a political scientist, and Presley Rice, an author who co-founded a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness about the roles African Americans have played in the nation's history.

So it’s far from clear how much actual scholarship went into the guidelines.

Very interesting statement from piece: 

Military leaders subsequently testified that they hesitated to respond to the violence on January 6 largely because they were afraid of how Trump and those around him might use the military, pursuant to the Insurrection Act.

Another grain elevator in Odesa hit.
More and more nations are recognizing that the Holodomor (starvation of Ukrainians under Joseph Stalin) was genocide.
Russia offers to take its nuclear weapons out of Belarus if the US reciprocates by taking its nuclear weapons out of Turkey and Western Europe.
F-16 training program not going well.
Three foreign civilian ships make it through to Ukraine.

Many items that Palestinians have been calling attention to for years, such as the use of "skunkwater" on protesters (a really foul-smelling concoction that's hard to wash off) are all of the sudden issues for supporters of Israel because they're being used on Israelis, not just on Palestinians.

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League takes issue with the post-mortem lionizing of Sinead O’Connor, who took issue with widespread pedophilia in Roman Catholicism a full decade before it became generally known that the church had a real problem there. Donohue claims that homosexuality was a contributing factor. That seems pretty doubtful. Pedophilia is a form of rape in that an adult takes advantage of someone who can’t really respond effectively. Homosexuality takes place as a result of consensual agreement between adults.

Huh. So for Senator Tuberville to have been blockading military promotions for the last several months may have had something to do with Alabama not getting the plum base that he was looking forward to. Biden is, of course, too classy to say “Neener, neener!” to Tuberville, but that would be fun for Biden to point out the obvious lesson to him.

Senator Tuberville: "As soon as Joe Biden took office, he paused movement on that decision and inserted politics..." Tuberville's blockade on military promotions has been done for absolutely nothing but politics!

US has difficulty delivering more 155 mm shells.
Drones hit both Ukrainian and Russia cities.
Ukrainians very aware of US political calendar. They know September brings political scrutiny.
Well-known futsal (soccer) player perishes.
Belorussian helicopters violate Polish air space.
Ukrainian still trying to break free of Soviet war doctrines.

Woo hoo! Trump’s 3rd indictment drops! 

Details of the charges. This is the big, really important one. "Trump Indicted On Efforts To Overturn 2020 Election"

The trial date for the "effort to overturn the election" indictment is March 4th,  Hush money payment to Stormy Daniels is March 25th. Mar-a-Lago classified documents is May 20th, which means the "overthrowing the government" charge is considered the really serious one.

Fox News guy feels that if the case contains neither sex nor cash bribes, the public will tune it out.

So how do the Russians feel about Trump's 3rd indictment? Here's an interesting sentence: 

“He didn’t throw [Hillary] Clinton in prison, he did not deal with the rest of them and now this clan is eating him alive!”

Supreme Court Justice Alito claimed that Congress has no power to institute and enforce a code of ethics upon the court. Congressional Democrats call Alito “stunningly wrong.“

Very short, but highly interesting history on public pools.
Cool testimony on UFOs, but no physical evidence available to corroborate anything.

Prigozhin’s Wagner Group launched a small war against Moscow near the end of laast month. Details of how Putin reacted.
Interesting tweet on NATO, Russia and their respective alliances.

Russians are really escalating their propaganda, throwing QAnon-style accusations against the West and telling their own troops that they are making a holy sacrifice of themselves to serve God.

Apartment and school buildings hit by shells and missiles.
Pictures of “Chongar railway bridge, Russian Occupied Crimea.” This critically affects Russian logistics.
Russian psyops message promises a march onto Berlin if Russians and Ukrainians can work together.

WaPo suggests that if only tanks had arrived from the West on time, Russian defenses could not have been built up so much.


"Biden opts to keep Space Command in Colorado, reversing Trump’s decision to move it to Alabama"
Good! A clear $%#@ you to Senator Tuberville, but also a good decision for the US military.

The doll Barbie has been criticized over the decades as being an impossible ideal for mere humans to try and live up to. The movie does a good job in showing Barbie greeting a young girl who used to be very attached to her and being devastated that the girl doesn't have any use for her anymore. And yeah, for Barbie to meet a really old person is something she never does as a doll.

"‘Trump Bucks’ promise wealth for MAGA loyalty. Some lose thousands."
Saw a piece a while ago where Trump supporters were annoyed that "coastal elites" wouldn't take them seriously and were not at all interested in what they thought. Well, this TRB scam is one of the reasons why. These people don't have any way to determine truth from falsehood and so are easy "marks" who will spend lots of money on scams.

The blogger now refers to it as “global heating” because “warming” just isn’t accurate any more. An early argument for nuclear power was that it would be “too cheap to meter.” Well, 

Because of extensive use by Australians of roof-top solar along with utility-scale solar, the price of electricity fell below zero 20% of the time in 2022, compared to 1% of the time in the Netherlands and Germany.

Museum opened up to commemorate the Azovstal battle.
Drone attack hits Moscow, “sensitive documents of Russian Ministry of Digital Transformation, were blown onto the street…”
Zelenskyy visits wounded soldiers.
Russia hits Ukrainian cities with ballistic missiles.
Olga Kharlan leading her fencing team to victory!
Blogger considers the central problem of Israel. How can it help but to alienate its minorities?

Representative “Greene interrupted Garcia to make a point of order and asked that members ‘be reminded of the rules of decorum.’” This earned her mockery and disrespect as Representative Garcia promptly brought up the Hunter Biden “d--- pic” that she showed just last week (In the picture, Hunter was clearly naked and clearly engaged in a sexual act, though no actual organs were visible).

Houston, Texas, is descending further and further into Medieval tyranny and ignorance.

Euronews reports corruption is indeed a problem in Ukraine, but that Ukraine is fully aware that having corruption and joining the EU are contradictory, so Ukraine is working hard to eliminate corruption.

It’s Special Operations Forces Day!
Russian ammo dumps and infrastructure in Crimea hit.
Can’t depend on Elon Musk to keep Starlink up and running.
Aerial reconnaissance
Sea drones are said to be limiting Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

As many Ukrainians now say, adapting a well-known phrase: next year in Crimea.

Two Ukrainian servicepeople get married, fully aware that their time is short and they need to get back to the front soon.
Saudi Arabia to host Russia-Ukraine peace talks.
Putin suggests it’s Ukraine’s fault that peace talks are not underway.

Navajo Nation in Norther Arizona declares an emergency as heat rises from just under 100 degrees up to 110 degrees.

Our blogger looks into why Russians engage in active defense, jumping up and running towards the enemy when just sitting in their trenches and opening fire would serve their purposes much better. Someone traces the problem to “the early Red Army’s greatest theorist and WW1 tactician, Alexei Brusilov” and the misunderstandings of his ideas over a century later.

Oh, that's good. Biden now acknowledges the grand-daughter that he was previously unwilling to concede existed.

Yep! This woman's on some seriously powerful hallucinogens if she thinks Smith and Trump are playing anything like a chess game. Trump can't "throw" anything "back into Smith's face," the law just doesn't work that way.

The disqualification of Ukraine's fencing star Olha Kharlan was reversed! Initially, her fencing victory was taken from her because she refused to shake hands with her Russian opponent.
Targets in Russia hit.
Ukrainian girls escape from Russia.
Ukrainians using all kinds of weapons, including North Korean MLRS.

A dubious opinion from Supreme Court Justice Alito that's written in an unethical manner (with the help of someone with business before the court) that makes a highly questionable point (that the Supreme Court can establish its own ethical rules regardless of how poorly it enforces those rules). Funny how the Chief Justice and the liberal Justices don't seem to feel they can sound off like the right-wing Justice can.

More details on Supreme Court Justice Alito and his assertions concerning the court.

Republican Representative Byron Donalds suggests that, y’know, maybe Florida’s new teaching standards concerning Black history aren’t really the best.

Happy to see that the criticism of Representative Donalds is causing so much hate and discontent in the DeSantis camp!

How it started this morning.

DeSantis seems to be unable to admit that he goofed up and so he’s now battling a second Black Congressman. As a blogger said “Dude, just take the L.” Just admit you’re a loser on that issue and move on to another.

An actual historian compares the AP African-American History standards with those introduced by Florida. Not surprisingly, no historians have defended Florida's standards.

Elon Musk and his career as a con man.

Good, cheerful, uplifting story about the miserable lives of the people who caused the death of Emmett Till. I disagree a little bit with the author about why his murderers met such miserable ends. In the book Against Our Will, men engage in brutal rapes all the time, but they don't talk about their raping women. They do it, then they're quiet about it.

"Fox Is Upset Billionaires' Efforts To Indoctrinate College Students Failing"
The people who collected these statistics think they represent really awful news. The rest of look at them and go "Wow! Cool!"

Iran is still going crazy trying to enforce the wearing of the hijab by women. Now they’re trying to claim bare-headed women are mentally unwell.

The House Oversight Committee Chairman makes an admission as to the real purpose of the current drive to impeach Biden. 

“it’s because the Democrats impeached Donald Trump twice.”


A buoy positioned roughly 40 miles south of Miami recorded a sea surface temperature of 101.1°F earlier this week…

A few days ago, the House voted on a peace plan for Ukraine-Russia. The plan got zero Democratic votes and a little over 100 Republican votes. Here, in contrast, is the Ukrainian peace plan

3 things Ukrainians are not ready to compromise for ending the war - territories, membership in #NATO and membership in the #EU. 71,7% are against "trading"

In other words, in order to get a real and lasting peace as opposed to just a temporary truce, 1. Ukraine gets its 1991 borders back and then 2. gets membership in NATO and EU.

Athlete from Kharkiv sets new world record!
Russia launched 36 air attacks last night. All 36 shot down!

Today, the Italian Senate adopted a decision to recognize the Holodomor as genocide of the Ukrainian people.

Zelenskyy looks forward to the de-occupation of Crimea.
Horrible death of a soldier on video.
Russians doing a poor job managing their troops.
The 10
th Corps relieves the 9th Corps, allowing the 9th to go to the rear and refit.
More ammo depots hit.
Piece on Ukrainian military technology.

No, pardoning Trump wouldn't "bring the country together" and Ford pardoning Nixon did nothing to do that, either. By saying that presidential crimes could be pardoned, we got the elder George Bush pardoning Iran-Contra defendants and now Trump confident he could pardon himself.

Sorry to see that Minority Leader McConnell is suffering from a serious physical ailment. Hope that he can retire soon and that his governor can replace him.

Rudy Giuliani tries a maneuver that, in my own view, is too clever by half. He's trying to move past the discovery phase of his trial and onto the phase where he can move for dismissal. He really should flip on Trump and give full and complete testimony!

Ehh, the Ron Desantis thing is pretty much over. Like Jeb Bush in 2015, he’s prey much flamed out long before anyone votes.

...experts have observed directional anti-personnel mines on the periphery of the site of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant

Zelenskyy talks about the “drone army.”
russian terrorists fired the Smerch missiles at a recreation area in Kostyantynivka”
Progress in re-taking Bakhmut.
Kids learning dance.
Britain warns Russia about destroying food.
Europe working on how to transport Ukrainian grain.

"Good News: Ohio's Massive Turnout Ahead Of Abortion Vote"
Good! Ohio legislators tried to pull a fast one, taking advantage of a traditionally slow, lazy voting time to make state constitutional changes that would make the Ohio constitution much harder to change.

With Israel’s military rebelling against Israel’s judicial reform, the country is in enormous danger from adversaries.

Good, informative piece. A reader asks a lengthy question about the situation in Israel, the blogger gives a lengthy answer.

Israel is now an “illiberal democracy,” where the judiciary no longer has any power, leaving the legislative branch/Prime Minister in more or less complete control. Protesters in Jerusalem were met by counter-protesters who had been bused in for that purpose.

The Republican Party is clearly not going to hold Trump responsible for January 6th.

The hellscape of Russian liberation.” Bakhmut.
Russia attacks more grain storage units around Odesa.

The Dnipro River was an obstacle before the Kakhovka Dam was blown up.
More ammo dumps in Crimea hit.
Ukraine hits targets in Moscow.
Lots and LOTS of hate and discontent in Israel
over the judicial coup bill.
A description of “skunk water,” a concoction that’s usually just used on Palestinians gets used on Israelis.
Reaction is strong from Israel’s military.

Representative Boebert was given a pin that memorialized a child who was shot in Uvalde. She was seen tossing it in the trash. She tries mightily here to blame the person who gave her the pin, but it's good to see that she felt some shame at what she did.

Government-owned TV channel Russia-1:

Today on her show, Olga Skabeyeva declared that Ukrainian soldiers "are not dying for their homeland, they’re dying for homosexuality!" This was how she chose to present Kyiv’s envoy to Berlin saying that Ukraine is defending the values of "freedom, equality and diversity"

See, the way I read this segment is "Yeah, but Ukraine, the free love place, the place that cheerfully lives alongside the LGBTQ+ Community and has women serving in the ranks and on the battlefield, is kicking the hyper-masculine, traditional Russian army all over the field!”

Trump has made it clear that when he sees old newsreels of der Fuhrer standing impassively as rows of troops march by, that he thinks "Sigh! That could be me up there!" How do the other two serious Republican candidates feel about democracy? Unfortunately, their answers are from from comforting.

Because of course they do! George Orwell’s “Thought Police”of his novel 1984 explains how anti-choicers are enforcing laws on abortion today.

About 416k years ago, the Earth was largely ice-free and the sea level was 20 to 40 feet higher. Under a mile of ice, the soil is rich with ancient plant life.

Putin follows in the footsteps of Stalin by destroying the Transfiguration Cathedral (Originally built 1794-1808, rebuilt 1996-2006)
Italy has promised to help restore the cathedral.
Was Russia targeting military or civilian infrastructure in Odesa? Hard to say as it has a 300-meter deviation.
Considerable damage done to other cultural structures.
An examination of the defenses Ukrainians are trying to push through and the need for combined arms warfare. US training is dinged as insufficient.
Ukrainians need ATACMS rockets, but that’s vetoed for now.

Congress rushed through to pass a law declaring that Israel was not an apartheid state. Ten lawmakers refused to support this.

Zelenskyy speaks about corruption.
Status on F-16s.
Margarita Simonyan, Editor-in-Chief of RT
feels that if Russia imposes a famine on Ukraine, that will cause Ukrainians to lift sanctions and become friends with Russia. Wow! What kinds of drugs is she on?
Drone strike on Russian airfield in Crimea. Various fuel and ammunition depots hit.
Russia building more defenses.
Ukraine examines cruise missile to determine who is giving Russia parts

The good news about RFK Jr. for Democrats is that he has about a 45% disapproval rating among Democrats! That means a really large chunk of the party says "Oh, hell no!" to an RFK Jr. candidacy.

Lengthy thread where someone who was a history major in college looks at the current Florida proposed curriculum. A major point he makes is that Florida covers the two major Civil Rights eras, but fails to make clear why a second era was necessary.

I commented in two posts this morning that the Ukrainian Spring Offensive was stalled. This author strongly pushes back on that idea, arguing that Russian artillery is doing quite poorly and is suffering massively from Ukrainian counter-battery fire.

Excellent! Hunter Biden's lawyer has asked the Congressional Ethics Committee to investigate Representative Greene showing off his "dick pics" to the world. Note: The pictures didn't explicitly show any body parts, but it was quite  obvious what the two people in the picture were doing. 

Trump makes a good dodge! An earnest supporter asks about his "faith journey" and about any mentors. Heh! Obviously, there was no "faith journey" and no mentor

Alabama just can’t bring itself to follow instructions on voting districts from the Supreme Court. We’re back to a “George Wallace standing in the doorway” set of days again.

Russia really hitting “the Odesan granaries and Ukrainian food storage and infrastructure” hard. Putin trying to “activate the nativist right in both Europe and the US…”
Has the Spring Offensive stalled? “Kofman points to innovation in Russian mine tactics.”
This war might go on for awhile.
More on the status of the now-canceled grain deal.
Secretary of State Blinken admits "’Zero evidence’ that Russia is open to meaningful peace talks.”
under blockade.

Seemed for a while that Biden would have to defend not carrying out a primary against RFK Jr. No longer.

The Robert F. Kennedy Jr. boomlet is over

Some folks had written of the Ukrainian Spring Offensive being stalled and the whole war being stalemated and essentially lost. That still strikes me as being very pessimistic and very premature, but it seems tanks are really not what’s going to break the Russian defensive lines. Combined-arms warfare might.

Whew boy! Yeah, this is definitely by the director of those really lo-o-o-ong Batman films! It’s very good, and the point it makes is a good one, that you just can’t get the whole package, scientific brilliance and a boy scout/Captain America virtuousness all in one individual.

A two-part piece on the late Tony Bennett producing a song with the late Amy Winehouse. I was aware of Tony Bennett even though I couldn't name any of his songs. He was really cool with Amy. It’s a nice elegy for both of them.

"Federalist Society founder Leonard Leo claims he's a ‘victim’ of free speech"
I can just see Leonard Leo in an aristocrat's broad-brimmed hat, lacy sleeves and ivory-tipped cane, exclaiming loudly that a disreputable peasant had dared to verbally chastise him! I mean, the nerve! Leo called the police, who contacted the peasant, er, I mean the citizen.

Apparently, the frustrations of investigating the Biden Administration and of hitting dud after dud after dud has really gotten to Representative Comer, because now he's just putting out a completely indefensible accusation.

Conservative members of the Supreme Court would very much like the court to be seen as non-partisan. The public does not see them that way!

"Key Senate committee advances Supreme Court ethics bill"
Good! It’s a pity that the Supreme Court permitted itself to become so lost and so derelict, but this is a good step to putting it back on track.
But as the vote was a very partisan one, it likely won’t go much further.
Republicans blasted the legislation...and argued that the Supreme Court can police itself…” Uh yeah. Pretty obviously, it can’t.

Melania Trump is trying to sell a limited run of NFTs for $500 each. Ehh, lots of luck with that!

Update (19 July):  Melania releases an NFT of the 1969 walk on the Moon. This is against NASA rules, but it's unclear what, if anything, NASA has done about it. 

Film shown on war crime unit documentary.
More civilian targets hit, including more grain facilities.
Since Monday, Russia launches almost 160 drones and missiles against port facilities and other civilian targets.
Russia declared that all Ukrainian ships were targets. Ukraine declares likewise for all Russian ships.
A Chinese envoy was visiting Kyiv when it was hit with Russian drones.

People have been making a big deal out of the IRS Whistleblowers. Is there anything substantive to their case? No. BTW, I saw the picture of Hunter Biden. It doesn't show anything really dirty, but it IS quite clear what the two people in the picture are doing.

Back in the old days, conservatives were fond of declaring that, by escaping from places like East Germany or Cuba, that people were "voting with their feet." Well now, faculty and students who were at Florida's New College are doing just that in response to Desantis policies.

Who can say why House Republicans want to cut infrastructure spending? This was an issue that Trump approved of, but he couldn’t get any sort of infrastructure bill passed.

Fires in the far North moving underground, not just burning trees and bushes.

As the Arctic warms and fires move farther northward, peat soils rich in dead plant material burn at an accelerated rate.

Russian ammunition depots & a training ground of theirs in Ukraine hit.
Russia strikes at grain deal infrastructure. The facilities used to send grain overseas was struck.
Russia declares all ships headed to Ukraine to be military targets.
Ukrainian ports still hold a million tons of undelivered food.
Thinkpiece on how the war is going with counterpoint by a Ukrainian officer. is important to acknowledge that the perceived weak response of the West during the 2014 Crimea invasion played a significant role in shaping Putin’s confidence…

Personally, I think Airman Teixeira isn't so much a flight risk as there's a risk he'll talk with foreign adversaries as he still probably knows quite a few secrets that foreigners will be willing to pay big money for. Why is Trump still free? With Trump's loose lips constantly getting him in deeper? I think that's pretty obvious!

A big talking point among Trump supporters is essentially "Whatever doesn't kill him, makes him stronger!" The more the government criminally charges him, the more popular he becomes. Is that true? Ehh, not really. Trump appears to have plateaued in terms of popularity.

Update (29 Aug): As of July 17th, his unfavorability was 56.1% and has favorability was 39.9%. As of Aug 28, 56.2% unfav, 39.9% fav.

Twitter is full of people condemning progressive Congresspeople for are allegedly calling Israel “racist.” Problem is that residents of Gaza are legally trapped by an Israeli blockade that was imposed during the administration of the younger George Bush.

The 17-year-old Israeli siege imposed on Gaza has led to the death of dozens of patients due to the lack of medicines and medical equipment.

This is why the first ruling on an issue is almost never the final answer. Why issuing sweeping decrees requires a lot of detailed follow-up. If you ban abortion in your state, can you prevent citizens from “jumping the fence” and seeking abortions in another state? That’s what this piece is all about.

Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman, a Black, queer woman, was successful when it first came out. Now it’s been re-issued by a white, straight man and it’s even more successful. That’s a pretty common thing to have happened over at least the last century or so. Seems Elvis had quite a bit of success doing exactly the same thing.

Examining the role of minefields.
Russia’s unhappy with the grain deal that allows Ukraine to export grain. Turkey is working hard to maintain it.
Blogger thinks Russia is trying to force countries to purchase Russian grain. Nothing prevents Turkey’s leader from continuing to escort Ukrainian ships.
The Economist has a ten-page report on warfare and technology lessons from Ukraine.
Russian cyber-operations.

Israel’s Antiquities Authority lent some ancient ceramic lamps to the Trump White House for a planned exhibition that didn’t take place due to bureaucratic complications. The lamps were never returned and are apparently at Mar-a-Lago. 

Update (29 Aug): No indication the lamps have been returned yet.

Seems Governor DeSantis wants a heavily militarized private state army

"Billionaires aren't okay — for their mental health, time to drastically raise their taxes"
This reminds me of a study I saw maybe a decade ago saying that yes, being wealthier is positively correlated with being smarter and more educated up to a point! When you get beyond that point, more money isn't better.

Here's for all the people who say that Ukraine should just negotiate a peace with Russia (a woman speaks to audience of teenagers). 

I also looked up Dudinka, Siberia. Temperatures this week are expected to be in the mid-60s. That's Spring jacket weather at a latitude where only the Baltic states, the US and Canada also have cities!

It's rather difficult to feel much sympathy for Russian civilians caught on the wrong side after the Kerch Bridge was hit again.

Russian state TV demonstrates its usual calm and sensible demeanor when discussing avenging the destruction of the Kerch Bridge by turning Kyiv into a hole in the ground and by hunting the "roaches."

One item I forgot to mention about the Kerch Bridge yesterday was that it was hit at 3:00am, meaning Ukraine was attempting to limit civilian casualties.
Ukraine refuses to allow Russia to veto anyone’s food supply.
Zelenskyy proposes that the Black Sea Grain Initiative be continued despite Russia’s unhappiness with it.
After Kerch bridge knocked out for car & truck traffic, 5 km of such traffic leading to Melitopol.

Interesting that Putin is asked about goals of war. But Putin “promised to tell him this information ‘in private.’”.
Field doctor tells tale of a rescue.
Azov brigade commander returns to his unit.
Mobiks (mobilized conscripts) made to keep fighting long after their contracts ran out.
This group rebelled and surrendered to Ukrainian forces.
Sevastopol attacked by Ukrainian drones.

Good point here (concerning Senator Tuberville and his blockade of military promotions). If military people see how easily a single senator can gum up the works all by himself and how the Senate, both the Democratic leadership and the Republican Party, will sit around twiddling their thumbs in response, no wonder some people are quitting the military entirely.

Senator Tuberville's trying hard to pin the blame on liberals for the military giving servicepeople time off and travel money to obtain reproductive care, but the Supreme Court "started it" by overturning Roe v Wade. Tuberville has many options. For instance, he can propose a bill to prevent the military from funding servicemembers travel for that purpose.

Woo hoo! Really big Russian logistics hub taken out by Storm Shadow cruise missiles.
Comments on sending cluster munitions to Ukraine. Russia has used cluster munitions against Ukraine many times in the past 500+ days!

Heh! A surfer and a sea otter fight over who gets to use the surfboard! Reminds me of when I was walking on a mountain trail. Saw a really big porcupine who was coming towards me. I promptly moved off to the side and let him pass.       

Because there’s just not enough going on right now. With 91k dams that are an average of more than 90 years old. Most earn a “D” grade.

Will more Russian commanders be purged?
Ukraine has 42k women in its army with 5k directly on the front lines.
Russia has built many miles of anti-tank traps and defenses.
For that reason, Ukrainians really do need cluster munitions.
Very important to keep in mind that Ukraine is working without air superiority.

Agree. Elon Musk has no idea why the West is sending cluster munitions to Ukraine. It is simply far outside his knowledge base.

Yup! Seriously hot political ad! The Ohio Republicans know that the only chance they have to pass an anti-choice measure is to schedule the vote during August. The vote is actually to change the state constitution to make it harder to pass amendments, but everyone knows the purpose is to prevent a pro-choice amendment.

Update (8 Aug): Ohio voted resoundingly for choice! Nearly 60% of Ohio voters rejected the change that would have preserved the anti-choice law!

To anyone who says "If we just vote for moderate Republicans, win-win! We get a brake to hold back the radicals but can still get some Republican policies." Erm, yeah. No, the moderates are utterly useless in modifying the behavior of the most extreme radicals in the Republican House caucus.

Again, the complete and utter uselessness of moderates.

It’s interesting that this piece simply takes Senator Tuberville’s word for it that he’s just trying to maintain abortion policy as it is without trying to examine why the military adopted the position that it did. The problem is that abortion policy since Roe vs Wade was overturned is deeply harmful to people who get pregnant. If the US doesn’t permit them to go to pro-choice states for health care, it isn’t just women in the military, it’s the wives of servicemembers whose health is compromised.

Commonwealth Fund: “Key Findings and Conclusions: Compared to states where abortion is accessible, states that have banned, are planning to ban, or have otherwise restricted abortion have fewer maternity care providers; more maternity care ‘deserts’; higher rates of maternal mortality and infant death…”

St. Javelin invites you to Crimea Beach Party! (Date TBD)
Zelenskyy discussed Ukraine’s economic potential once the war ends.
A drone that scans for mines.
The Russian objective is to hang on to at least a portion of Ukraine to make a jumping-off point for the next war. The Ukrainian objective is to restore their 1991 borders. If Biden wins the 2024 election, whew! If not, could be a lot of trouble.
Problem with Senator Tuberville is that Democrats are sitting around and twiddling their thumbs rather than tossing out stupid rules.
Islands on the Dnipro River.
nny how much Russian and Republicans agee on policies.
Some fellow named Alperovitch tells us what’s on the minds of Ukrainians.
More on General Popov, who got booted after pointing out that Ukraine is doing well.
Interesting that Ukrainians appear to be more tech-oriented than Germans are.

Good! Salon owner who announced that she’d discriminate against the LGBT community finds her shop economically crippled!

Good to hear this as this was a change Ukraine very much wanted: “The declaration lacks a timeline for Ukraine’s accession into the bloc…” The goals will be met whenever Ukraine meets them. No siting around and twiddling their thumbs waiting for deadlines.
Ukrainian civilians performed forced labor. Torture is performed on them. Many will never come back.

President Zelensky himself has pushed for medical marijuana to be legalized.“
He wants to use it to treat wounded soldiers.

Representatives Greene and Gaetz both submitted bills against supporting Ukraine. Both bills lost bigly!

Follow-up on Major General Ivan Popov, who warned his superiors about Ukrainian arms. Vladimir Solovyev, a chief newsperson/propagandist, got on the radio and criticized Popov for not making his criticisms confidential. After some back and forth, Solovyev exploded 

“Some cretin says we never declared war. Some cretin is trying to lecture me. Listen, you, cretin, get out of here! I’m responding to some idiot by the name of Andrey…”

Nina Jankowicz speaks of working in the disinformation field and the cost it has been to her and her family. Unfortunately, other people are even more vulnerable, so she’s brave to stand up to it all. An important issue gets raised.

UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories

She explained how Palestinians were tortured in custody after being declared guilty without evidence and detained without charges or trial, known as administrative detention. The report further accused Israel of "invasive strip searches, sexual abuse, and threats" against the 29 Palestinian female prisoners currently held in Israeli jails.

Problem is, it's very easy at 30 thousand feet in the air, that is, at a very high level of abstraction, to say "Let's cut $100 billion from the budget." But close up, when you consider actual budget details, the Freedom Caucus proposal is completely insane.

Remains of air raid shelter.
Lithuania, had a Ukrainian flag flying over it for Zelenskyy’s speech.
NATO discusses Ukraine’s membership. America and Germany are being too cautious. It’s difficult to see why Ukraine will not be automatically granted membership after the valiant defense of the past 500+ days.
Heroic defense against drones.
Apparently, “Russian Lieutenant General Oleg Yuriyovich Tsokov was killed.”

Saw a piece earlier today where Zelenskyy was saying that Ukraine either has to have nuclear weapons or NATO membership. Once Ukraine gets back to its 1991 borders, they want to be sure that Russians do not dare to cross that line. According to this piece, Zelenskyy and Biden had some one-on-one talk, and they both appear to be pleased.

The now-revealed “mystery witness” for the Hunter Biden case turns out be accused of being an unregistered agent for China! The House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer is now trying desperately to argue that the witness is credible anyway.

It’s good that the White House keeps hammering away on this point. Some Republicans that suggest they’re taking credit for infrastructure projects didn’t actually vote FOR those projects!

Her 4-year old son had died and the six-year old girl needed a heart.
Russians deliberately destroy a Ukrainian bomb shelter.
Zelenskyy understands that Ukraine cannot gain NATO membership during the war, but would like an assurance that it will get one afterwards.
Interesting that Putin met with the Wagner Group’s Prigozhin shortly after the advance on Moscow.
Turkey’s Erdogan approves of Sweden entering NATO.
In Bakhmut, Russian entrances, exits and movements are under Ukrainian fire control.
Germany will open up a factory in Ukraine.
The “liberal opposition” in Russia.

Idaho is aware that maternal deaths have increased since abortion was banned, but they’ve decided to disband their maternal deaths committee anyway.

Evidence is anecdotal so far, but thee are serious signs that Florida Governor DeSantis policies will have a serious effect on the ability of Florida colleges and universities to get and keep faculty.

In the midst of a nuclear stand-off with North Korea in 2017, Trump was completely unpredictable and was making increasingly bellicose threats. NOW this is being revealed?!?!?! Not before the 2020 election? 

Zelenskyy rejects a fake peace, he rejects a truce, any “solution” where Russian troops remain in possession of ANY Ukrainian territory.

President Biden sat down for an interview with documented plagiarist and fabulist Fareed Zakaria of CNN...

Ukraine would very much like to enter NATO, but the US and Germany are opposed to that until after the war. Our blogger recommends NATO membership should be on the agenda. It's kind of ridiculous to insist that Ukraine “meet standards” after they've lost so much blood. “Zelensky now acknowledges that it should join [NATO] after the war ends...” Many strong arguments, a big one being that Putin is “rattling his nuclear saber” in any event.
Film of T-80 tank being eliminated.
Poland moves a dozen Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters to Ukraine.
Blogger examines Chris Hedges' assertions.

The Senate really needs to do away with its most egregious methods by which individual senators can hold things up. Filibusters, “Blue slips” where a senator can veto a judge from his or her state, holds on items like military promotions, etc. Back in the old days, the Senate was sufficiently collegial, there was enough mutual respect that they could get stuff done anyway. That time is gone.

And yes, this!

It's frustrating to see Senate Democrats insist on following conventions that only work when the institution is more collegial and less polarized, while Republicans openly throw monkey wrenches into the machinery of government.

Nice fantasy of building projects. Trump wants to build “Freedom cities” on federal land with super-amazing technology.

Russia tries to detach itself from the world internet.
Good. The people who were meeting with Russians are not at all connected to the Biden Administration. These guys were freelancing.
Czech contributions to defending Ukraine. Ditto for Finland.
Russia's been using cluster munitions since 2014. Ukraine has just now received some.
Ukraine to countries complaining about cluster munitions: “We're fighting for our very existence as a nation.” Ukraine argues that cluster munitions are necessary for them to “de-occupy” themselves. Russia's also been using them since 2014.
Europe is arguing whether to let Ukraine into NATO.
Obituary for
Victoria Amelina .

I approve of this! Let's do it! Term limits for Supreme Court Justices! I've seen suggestions of 17 and 18 years. I can work with those. 

Israel moved to arrest Palestinians in the town of Jenin in the West Bank. Not possible to do this sort of thing without collateral damage, though. (7 July)

The Jenin camp soon became the poorest and most densely populated of the West Bank’s 19 refugee camps.

Combat medic mom reunited with children after extended searation.
The city of Lviv is about as far as you can get from the front line and still be in Ukraine. Got a cruise missile attack last night.
Zelenskyy makes a strong pitch for NATO to come together behind Ukraine.
45 POWs returned.
The idea of the US carrying out secret negotiations without Ukraine is a truly terrible look. They were looking for “an elusive diplomatic off-ramp that could be tolerable to both sides.” Conflicting claims as to whether Biden Administration knew or not.
Russia engaging in germ warfare?

Wow! Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene considered so extreme, the House Freedom Caucus boots her out!

Deep dive on Russian artillery. It’s basically that last bullet in their revolver. Ukraine is concentrating very hard on zapping as many artillery pieces as possible, so this might bring the end of the war pretty soon.

Mother Jones does a deep dive on the Moms for Liberty that is, it's immediately clear, far deeper and more informative than ABC News' quickie, once-over-lightly, surface look at M4L's PR.

Mike Pence says the cocaine in the White House was found in the residential area. I find it very disturbing that a presidential candidate is willing to go on the record with accusations long before the facts are known. It's also hard to see how the coverage could have been any more "wall-to-wall" than it has been! 

The cocaine was actually found in the publicly-accessible hat-check area. It also was wiped clean of possible fingerprints. It could have been planted by any one of a few hundred people.Also, the Bidens weren't even in town. So yeah, the "scandal" quickly faded away. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says “We need to eliminate [Palestinian Arab] aspirations for a state.” Having the Palestinian Authority continue to work is necessary for that to happen. The US is pressing for the old & tired “peace process” to happen.

Yowza! Ukraine finds and hits an ammo dump!
Serious meeting s on the Zaporizhzhia NPP.
Artillery ammunition is a problem.
NATO Summit one week away.
Ukrainians are being very helpful to US and European arms manufacturers by testing out weapons and giving feedback as to how the weapons work. NATO tactics are heavily dependent on having air superiority. Ukraine is showing how to fight without it.

Nato is divided over offering Ukraine a postwar pathway to membership at the summit in Vilnius next week.

Documents lots of successful actions.
The crew of an M109 Paladin Howitzer tells us about life on the front.
Collaborator caught.

"Tourist Who Defaced Colosseum: I Didn't Realize It Was Old"
Sorry, I was a history major back in college and have visited Rome a few times, including the Colosseum. Throw the book at this chump! Hard!

Detailed discussion of the 3:1 rule when attacking. What's truly amazing is that Russians keep charging out in front of their prepared defenses! As a direct result, Russian losses far outnumber those of Ukrainian losses.

We're having serious problems with minorities being able to hold back the majority. From filibusters to Senate holds, now we're really suffering from a new problem, District Judges applying nationwide holds.

The Ukrainian offensive is going just fine. No need to get worried about it being too slow. They're actually moving more rapidly than expected.

Hmm. Sounds like Idaho is getting pretty embarrassed by its maternal mortality rate, y’know, them being all “pro-life” and all.

The U.S. recorded 23.8 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2020, compared with 8.4 in Canada and 3.6 in Germany 

and the US rate is rising sharply.

"AOC Slams Supreme Court's 'Authoritarian Expansion Of Power'"
According to Representative AOC, the Supreme Court is really going dangerously overboard.

Trump vows that, if he’s reelected, to move the Supreme Court even further to the right wing!

Memorial to Citizens of Bucha.
Zelenskyy counts up the number of aerial threats that have been shot down, more than 3k. Today is Ukrainian Anti-Aircraft Missile Troops Day.
Zelenskyy calls for Ukrainian citizen Mykhailo Saakashvili to be returned.

An acclaimed Ukrainian novelist and poet who began documenting Russian war crimes” was killed by an air strike on a civilian pizzeria.
Wagner Group apparently plans to resume activities at some point.

Stephanie Grisham, Trump's former Press Secretary, says that she has no doubt that Trump showed unauthorized persons classified documents as he showed no concern about such things while he was president.

Senator Tim Scott seems confident that none of his intended audience will fact-check or even think very hard about his assertion that the economy was better under Trump than it has been under Biden.

Interesting, informed speculations on Epstein, Trump and kompromat.

This push to get children (14 to 17 years old) into the workforce comes when right-wingers are ALSO pushing to close border to immigrants.

59-year anniversary of the Civil Rights law.
Other good stuff.

Woo hoo! Big air assault on Kyiv. All drones and missiles shot down!
Zelenskyy attends the graduation of the Odesa Maritime Academy. “...the occupiers will have to be as afraid of approaching our Ukrainian Crimea and our Azov Sea coast…”
Ukraine produces a “travel advisory” warning Russian tourists to stay away from Crimea!
Russia decided to be cheap with Allied Lend-Lease equipment after the war was over.
Examining Putin’s response to Prigozhin’s revolt. Looks at the Russian state as essentially a mafia clan

"As 2024 Voting Battles Heat Up, North Carolina G.O.P. Presses Forward"
Seriously NY Times! This is pathetic! Republicans in NC are trying to disenfranchise voters! They're trying to illicitly rob Democrats of their preferred candidates!

Don’t know what kind of universe Mike Pence lives in. Affirmative Action is no longer needed because racism is over? Whut?!?! This is the voice of privilege that doesn’t have to care what the little people might want to say.

Shorter Mike Pence: “Yeah, yeah. Whutevuh. I’m a white guy. The fate of Affirmative Action has nothing to do with MY life, so ehh…”

Interesting that the only real facts or experience Pence can cite is that of his three college graduate children, all of whom I'm sure are perfectly nice people, but all of whom were white and grew up in a wealthy household.

Supreme Court has forbidden the use of race as a factor in college admissions. The state of Michigan says “Been there, done that.” The percentage of Black students did indeed drop. No one has benefited from this.

Nine months after Governor DeSantis cruelly dropped some Venezuelan refugees off at Martha’s Vineyard without warning anyone they were coming, some are there and are thriving.

Short film on the D-30 Howitzer and the crew for this one.
Teenagers mourn the loss of their friends.
Yowza! Four HIMARS rockets, four burning pieces of wreckage.
Russian state TV is now casting doubt on Wagner conquering Bakhmut.
Fear that another rebellion is not far-off after Wagner went largely unpunished.

Russian troops should have no problem continuing to fight in a zone of severe radioactive contamination: just slap on a protective suit and go!

Heh! Sure! Simple! Easy-peasy! Of course Russian troops have plenty of radiation suits available and are trained to fight in them! Whatever made people think that would be a problem?

The really essential question here is "Why do people only claim religious exemptions when it comes to serving gays or lesbians? Why do they never claim the, as a Roman Catholic, they can't serve Protestants?

Hmm. Yeah. The decision on whether a web designer could be compelled to produce a website for a gay couple has very, very large implications! This principle could be very widely applied.

Stochastic terrorism is when you call for an action to be taken, but you aren’t specific about who should carry it out.

Donald Trump posted Obama’s address on social media. Taranto reposted it, then showed up.

Wealthy countries generally have the impression that people from the Global South are trying to take advantage of more generous job or welfare benefits. People in general want to stay where they are. They don't migrate anywhere unless living at home is too dangerous or drught has eliminated crops or because they have social networks in the wealthy coubtries.

Steve Bannon thinks Representative Comer is completely incompetent at his job if he can’t even handle a Fox News interview.

Bannon; "Don’t think because you are going on Fox. It’s going to be a friendly interview. They’re part of the problem.”

Biden not defeated on student loan decision by Supreme Court.