Democrats are different from Republicans? On reproductive rights, be cynical, very cynical

Neoliberalism

Democratic (neoliberal) Party

Joe Biden
Hunter Biden

Marshall Cohen and Holmes Lybrand, “Hunter Biden convicted on all 3 charges at federal gun trial,” Cable News Network, June 11, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/06/11/politics/hunter-biden-gun-trial-verdict

Erin Doherty, “White House doesn’t rule out commuting Hunter Biden’s sentence,” Axios, June 12, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/06/12/white-house-hunter-biden-commutation-conviction


Illiberalism

Gilead

Abortion, reproductive freedom and health


Fig. 1. Sign at demonstration in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, May 3, 2022. Janni Rye, via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

Read the following quotation at your own risk:

Even though the court’s decision was unanimous, it is unlikely to be the end of efforts to restrict access to the pill. The ruling leaves an opening for three states — Missouri, Kansas and Idaho — to quickly try to revive the challenge before a federal judge in Texas who is well-known for his antiabortion views.

After the ruling, antiabortion advocates quickly pledged to continue their efforts to limit access to mifepristone — promising that this case is not over.

“While we’re disappointed with the court’s decision, we will continue to advocate for women and work to restore common-sense safeguards for abortion drugs,” said Alliance Defending Freedom’s senior counsel, Erin Hawley, who represented the antiabortion doctors. “And we are grateful that three states stand ready to hold the FDA accountable for jeopardizing the health and safety of women and girls across this country.[1]

It’s worth remembering that none of this would be necessary had Democrats taken the ample opportunity they had to codify Roe v. Wade.[2] But guess what? Their failure to protect reproductive rights appears yet again today as even a bill to protect access to in vitro fertilization failed to advance and failed even to get some Democratic votes. It was a bill meant to fail: “Democrats introduced the bill, in part, to put Republicans on the record on reproductive rights ahead of November’s elections.”[3] Which is to say they want a campaign issue much more than they want reproductive rights.

Republicans? They want lots of things more than they want reproductive rights. Which is different from the Democrats mainly in that it’s just barely beginning to dawn on them that overturning Roe[4] was a pyrrhic victory.[5]

Szu Yu Chen and Adrián Blanco, “How every senator voted on the Right to IVF Act,” Washington Post, June 13, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/interactive/2024/06/13/senate-vote-right-to-ivf-bill/

Ann E. Marimow, “Supreme Court upholds broad access to key abortion pill mifepristone,” Washington Post, June 13, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/06/13/supreme-court-abortion-pill-ruling-mifepristone/


  1. [1]Ann E. Marimow, “Supreme Court upholds broad access to key abortion pill mifepristone,” Washington Post, June 13, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/06/13/supreme-court-abortion-pill-ruling-mifepristone/
  2. [2]Anna North, “Abortion has been treated as a fringe issue by Democrats for decades. This is the result,” Vox, May 5, 2022, https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2022/5/5/23057317/abortion-supreme-court-roe-v-wade; William Rivers Pitt, “Democrats Had 50 Years to Save and Protect ‘Roe.’ They Failed,” Truthout, May 6, 2022, https://truthout.org/articles/democrats-had-50-years-to-save-and-protect-roe-they-failed/
  3. [3]Szu Yu Chen and Adrián Blanco, “How every senator voted on the Right to IVF Act,” Washington Post, June 13, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/interactive/2024/06/13/senate-vote-right-to-ivf-bill/
  4. [4]Brent Kendall and Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Eliminates Constitutional Right to Abortion,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-overturns-roe-v-wade-eliminates-constitutional-right-to-abortion-11656080124
  5. [5]Natalie Andrews, Siobhan Hughes, and Lindsay Wise, “Frustrated Republicans Try to Explain Lack of Midterm ‘Red Wave,’” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/frustrated-republicans-try-to-explain-lack-of-midterm-red-wave-11668036382; Dan Balz, “The vaunted red wave never hit the shore in midterm elections,” Washington Post, November 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/08/midterms-dissatisfied-voters-render-judgments-biden-republicans/; Kris Maher, “Democrat Josh Shapiro Wins Pennsylvania Governor Race Over Doug Mastriano,” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/election-midterms-2022/card/democrat-josh-shapiro-wins-pennsylvania-governor-race-over-doug-mastriano-rdDSLqwHlckU7Q5yZYF2; Greg Sargent, “Republicans want Trump to take the blame. Good luck with that,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/11/11/trump-midterm-elections-gop-abortion-rights-2024/; Marianna Sotomayor et al., “Congressional Republicans panic as they watch their lead dwindle,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/senate-republicans-mcconnell-midterms/; Brian Slodysko, “Election takeaways: No sweep for the Republicans after all,” Associated Press, November 9, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-takeaways-9381d3aaff26d19da95506e045fcd6e1

Insanity, insanity, and more insanity

Imperialism

Israel

Palestine
2024

Sugam Pokharel, Jessie Yeung, and Jomana Karadsheh, “UN inquiry says Israel and Hamas have both committed war crimes since October 7,” Cable News Network, June 12, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/06/12/middleeast/un-report-israel-hamas-gaza-war-crimes-intl-hnk/index.html

Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel shrugs at Palestinian civilian casualties. So does Hamas,” Washington Post, June 12, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/06/12/hamas-death-toll-gaza-sinwar-messages/

Nancy A. Youssef, “How Ambitious Plans for a Floating Aid Pier off Gaza Fell Apart,” Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2024, https://apple.news/A0DLdc1uqR2-yO6Yh3rMrYQ

Imperialism

Israel

Lebanon


Fig. 1. “Sabra & Shatila Massacre 1982 Memorial in Sabra, South Beirut,” photograph by Bertramz, September 2009, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0.

Steve Hendrix and Mohamad El Chamaa, “On the Israel-Lebanon border, a war is unfolding in slow motion,” Washington Post, June 11, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/06/11/israel-lebanon-border-hezbollah-rockets-war/


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump


Fig. 2. Donald Trump, depicted in an orange jumpsuit, reportedly by the Drudge, date unknown, via Mediaite,[1] fair use. Apparently, no mugshot was taken when he was actually arrested over hush money paid to Stormy Daniels.[2]

Josh Marcus, “Trump says only a ‘psycho’ would call war dead ‘suckers and losers’ – which a general says Trump did,” Independent, June 9, 2024, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-france-cemetery-suckers-losers-b2559531.html

Eugene Robinson, “Is Donald Trump okay?” Washington Post, June 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2024/06/10/trump-sharks-electrocuted-boat-story/

Jake Lahut and Michael Daly, “Why the Words ‘Suckers’ and ‘Losers’ Bother Trump So Much,” Daily Beast, June 11, 2024, https://apple.news/Ar5rta1-xRu6frFEAz6Zqlw


  1. [1]Alex Griffing, “Drudge Puts Trump in an Orange Jumpsuit as Site Monitors His Potential Indictment,” Mediaite, August 29, 2022, https://www.mediaite.com/news/drudge-puts-trump-in-an-orange-jumpsuit-as-site-monitors-his-potential-indictment/
  2. [2]Sarah D. Wire and Alexandra E. Petri, “Trump charged with 34 felony counts in alleged hush money cover-up case,” Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2023, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2023-04-04/donald-trump-alleged-hush-money-investigation-indictment-arraignment

In which I agree with Samuel Alito—on one single point

Illiberalism

Gilead

White Christian nationalism


Fig. 1. If one weighs by geography rather than population, Pennsylvania is very much a white Christian nationalist kind of place. Photograph by author, January 5, 2023.

Progressives have recently been howling about Samuel Alito. A justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, they argue, his—or, he claims, his wife’s—penchant for displaying White Christian nationalist flags[1] and, now, a recording of him expressing doubt that the left and right in the U.S. can ever reconcile,[2] suggest he should recuse from cases involving Donald Trump’s coup attempt.

Obviously, I’m not a white Christian nationalist. But there is one point I agree with Alito on: It is absolutely true that the left and right in this country cannot reconcile.[3] They have not done it in the entire history of European colonization in North America and they never will. Never.

Alito is correct that there are fundamental contradictions,[4] not always as to ends, but reliably as to means, that cannot be reconciled between left and right. We will never agree to the foundational premises of Gilead. They will never agree to anything else.

People who think otherwise neglect a longstanding history of sometimes violent conflict between left and right, most significantly the U.S. Civil War, but as well in labor unrest since the Industrial Revolution leading to violence to suppress strikes; the antiwar, counterculture, and liberation movements of the 1960s and 1970s; conflict over just about anything having anything to do with sexuality and gender; the Black Lives Matter movement and the backlash to it; diversity, equity, and inclusion (which excludes cis-heterosexual white people); and most recently over Israel’s genocide in the Gaza Strip, and the list (I’m working from memory) surely goes on. We don’t agree even on the need for social justice as conservatives sneer at attempts at social equality as “social engineering” that would interfere with “God’s plan.” Epistemologically, neither side is pure, but conservatives hold the empirical data preferred by many progressives in disdain as “temporal” rather than “permanent” (think biblical) knowledge. We can’t even agree on premises.

When we can’t agree on premises, there is no hope for resolution. Here, Alito, who is wrong on so many things, is right: There is no common ground.

That doesn’t make a “national divorce,” as suggested by Marjorie Taylor Greene,[5] feasible. But what it does mean is that one side or the other is certain to feel put upon by what they perceive as an authoritarian opposition. It does mean that some sort of divorce is needed, even if if would be the ugliest break-up ever, with national assets and liabilities to be divvied up, and even if it requires mass migrations.

And Alito is wrong to suggest that one side or the other will win.[6] Any such victory would be short-lived because both left and right are within a normal range for humans—sorry, but yes, both are—and within a very few generations, the differences that now beset the U.S. would again beset the split off countries as kids check in at different locations on the political spectrum quite regardless of what their parents think. That’s just how it goes.

That means that the divorce needs to be something more than just a formal break-up. It needs to be a new system of social organization, which I have not conceived, that allows greater mobility for people to live in the political communities they prefer and to move between these communities at will. There are, of course, challenges in this concept that, unfortunately, I have not worked out.

Robert Tait, “Alito doubts US right and left can co-exist and wife criticizes Pride flag in secret recording,” Guardian, June 11, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jun/11/samuel-martha-ann-alito-recording


Neoliberalism

Democratic (neoliberal) Party

Joe Biden
Hunter Biden

Marshall Cohen and Holmes Lybrand, “Hunter Biden convicted on all 3 charges at federal gun trial,” Cable News Network, June 11, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/06/11/politics/hunter-biden-gun-trial-verdict


  1. [1]Hannah Allam, “At center of Alito controversy, a flag celebrated by extremists,” Washington Post, June 2, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2024/06/02/alito-flag-appeal-heaven/; Justin Jouvenal and Ann E. Marimow, “Upside-down flag flew at Justice Alito’s house after neighbor dispute,” Washington Post, May 17, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/17/justice-samuel-alito-wife-upside-down-flag/; Conover Kennard, “Justice Alito Tries, Fails Miserably To Explain Flag Scandal,” Crooks and Liars, May 18, 2024, https://crooksandliars.com/2024/05/justice-alito-tries-fails-miserably
  2. [2]Robert Tait, “Alito doubts US right and left can co-exist and wife criticizes Pride flag in secret recording,” Guardian, June 11, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jun/11/samuel-martha-ann-alito-recording
  3. [3]Robert Tait, “Alito doubts US right and left can co-exist and wife criticizes Pride flag in secret recording,” Guardian, June 11, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jun/11/samuel-martha-ann-alito-recording
  4. [4]Robert Tait, “Alito doubts US right and left can co-exist and wife criticizes Pride flag in secret recording,” Guardian, June 11, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jun/11/samuel-martha-ann-alito-recording
  5. [5]Jesse O’Neill, “Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene suggests a ‘national divorce’ between red and blue states,” New York Post, December 29, 2021, https://nypost.com/2021/12/29/rep-greene-suggests-a-national-divorce-between-red-and-blue-states/
  6. [6]Robert Tait, “Alito doubts US right and left can co-exist and wife criticizes Pride flag in secret recording,” Guardian, June 11, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jun/11/samuel-martha-ann-alito-recording

It’s all going to hell, and certainly not just in the U.S.

Illiberalism


Fig. 1. Photograph by Joachim F. Thurn, August 1991, Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F089030-0003, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE.

It’s all going to hell, and certainly not just in the U.S.:

The rise of the right in Europe is of a piece with increasing authoritarian and non-democratic trends throughout the world, certainly. And the right has been building toward this moment over the past 15 years: Right-wing parties have been steadily gaining influence in Europe since the AfD started in 2013, and Marine Le Pen of France took over leadership of National Rally (formerly National Front) in 2011, toning down the party’s most noxious and hateful ideologies, particularly about migration, to make it more palatable.

For decades after World War II, though right-wing parties existed they were quite fringe and were deeply associated with fascism and Nazism. Over the past decade especially, though, as that time becomes more remote and Europe has faced multiple overlapping crises including the failure of its immigration system and the Covid-19 pandemic, that has created space for these parties to take hold — and, over time, normalize themselves within their societies. . . .

But it’s also important to remember that elections are often rejections of the incumbent, especially when people are struggling with daily cost-of-living expenses; inflation remains elevated, especially in countries like Austria, and sanctions on Russian fuel have driven up energy costs. That means these elections weren’t just about embracing the right, but voters wanting to rebuke centrist and left-leaning policies they felt weren’t working for them.[1]

Victor Goury-Laffont, “French far right obliterates Macron’s camp in EU election,” Politico, June 9, 2024, https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-european-election-results-2024-far-right-triumphs-france-emmanuel-macron-camp-fight-second-place/

Nette Nöstlinger, “German conservatives first, far-right AfD second in EU election: Early projection,” Politico, June 9, 2024, https://www.politico.eu/article/conservatives-finish-first-germany-eu-election-early-projection-cdu-csu/

Victor Goury-Laffont, “France’s conservatives and far right explore uniting to beat Macron,” Politico, June 10, 2024, https://www.politico.eu/article/french-far-right-jordan-bardella-president-emmanuel-macron-election-european-election-national-rally/

Gilead

Abortion, reproductive freedom and health


Fig. 2. Sign at demonstration in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, May 3, 2022. Janni Rye, via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

Jennifer Rubin, “MAGA Republicans tip their hand: They’re after contraception, too,” Washington Post, June 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2024/06/10/maga-contraception-vote/

Donald Trump


Fig. 3. Donald Trump, depicted in an orange jumpsuit, reportedly by the Drudge, date unknown, via Mediaite,[2] fair use. Apparently, no mugshot was taken when he was actually arrested over hush money paid to Stormy Daniels.[3]

Eugene Robinson, “Is Donald Trump okay?” Washington Post, June 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2024/06/10/trump-sharks-electrocuted-boat-story/


Neoliberalism

Democratic (neoliberal) Party

Joe Biden
Hunter Biden

Ankush Khardori, “The Hunter Biden Case Is Solid. There’s Something Rotten About It Too,” Politico, June 7, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2024/06/07/hunter-biden-trial-truths-column-00162083


So-called ‘ridesharing’

Drivers


Fig. 4. Yeah, this is me. The sign says, “If you’re whining about a labor shortage, STOP ignoring my job applications!” And the QR-code leads here. Photograph by author, January 16, 2023.

I had assumed the case of California’s Assembly Bill 5, which had attempted to require gig economy companies to treat drivers as employees rather than as independent contractors had been rendered moot by Proposition 22, which expressly allowed gig economy companies to preserve their exploitive business model. Apparently not. And Proposition 22 awaits a ruling from the California Supreme Court[4] but that hearing didn’t go well.[5]

Levi Sumagaysay, “California gig worker law withstands challenge from Uber at federal appeals court,” Cal Matters, June 10, 2024, https://calmatters.org/economy/2024/06/ab-5-california-uber/


  1. [1]Ellen Ioanes, “Why Europe is lurching to the right,” Vox, June 10, 2024, https://www.vox.com/politics/354601/european-parliament-elections-macron-afd-national-rally-far-right-fidesz-france
  2. [2]Alex Griffing, “Drudge Puts Trump in an Orange Jumpsuit as Site Monitors His Potential Indictment,” Mediaite, August 29, 2022, https://www.mediaite.com/news/drudge-puts-trump-in-an-orange-jumpsuit-as-site-monitors-his-potential-indictment/
  3. [3]Sarah D. Wire and Alexandra E. Petri, “Trump charged with 34 felony counts in alleged hush money cover-up case,” Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2023, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2023-04-04/donald-trump-alleged-hush-money-investigation-indictment-arraignment
  4. [4]Levi Sumagaysay, “California gig worker law withstands challenge from Uber at federal appeals court,” Cal Matters, June 10, 2024, https://calmatters.org/economy/2024/06/ab-5-california-uber/
  5. [5]Bob Egelko, “California justices appear likely to uphold Prop. 22, keeping gig worker law in place,” San Francisco Chronicle, May 21, 2024, https://apple.news/Azgu3gIIXRsi2XhRkAf61wg

What works? What doesn’t?

I am reverting my forecast for November to toss-up.

Yes, Joe Biden is bleeding out over Palestine and recent Vox reporting that Biden’s plan is to have Israeli-Saudi Arabian diplomatic ties normalized[1] manages only to make it even uglier for anyone who remembers the grisly and brutal slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

But I’m seeing doubts about Donald Trump’s health—both mental and physical—that will surely undermine support from his toxically masculine admirers (and the women who admire them and him) and the weirdness about claiming he didn’t make inflammatory remarks he notoriously had[2] can only raise further concerns about possible dementia.

From the beginning, I have wondered how either of these absolutely abysmal candidates can win. I’m still wondering that.

I think I am pretty safe in predicting a low turnout in which whoever manages to get more of their base out will win. That sounds like Trump, but he is gonna take some hits. The information bubbles in which polarized Amerikkkans live are not hermetically sealed. There will be leakage. There will be doubt. And I would bet that there will be a very public Trump failing that no one can deny or excuse.

I think moderates are going to split: Crime and the economy play in Trump’s favor. Abortion, Trump’s general insanity, his fascism, and his threat to our precious constitutional oligarchy all play in Biden’s.

How all that plays in November is impossible to predict. But you know I’ll keep trying.


Imperialism

Israel

Palestine
2024

Israeli attacks in central Gaza killed scores of Palestinians, many of them civilians, on Saturday amid a special forces operation to free four hostages held there, with the death toll sparking international outrage.

At least 274 Palestinians were killed and 698 wounded in Israeli strikes on the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, Gaza’s health ministry said on Sunday. The Israeli military said its forces came under heavy fire during the daytime operation.

The EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, called it a “massacre”, while the UN’s aid chief described in graphic detail scenes of “shredded bodies on the ground”.[3]

I don’t know how you say 274 killed, 698 wounded to rescue four hostages is proportionate. But perhaps most telling:

Israeli forces have now freed seven hostages, but the majority of those who are now back home were handed over under a temporary ceasefire deal last November. There are still 120 held in Gaza, at least a third of them presumed dead.[4]

If you’re serious about freeing hostages, you negotiate. If you’re serious about killing Palestinians, you do what the Israeli Defense Forces are doing. There is a problem in that allowing kidnappers any compensation in any form encourages them, but we also have to look quite simply, quite pragmatically at what fucking works and what fucking doesn’t. And stop fooling ourselves about how what doesn’t work supposedly does.

Shira Rubin et al., “Biden’s cease-fire plan tightens political squeeze for Netanyahu in Israel,” Washington Post, June 2, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/06/02/israel-hamas-war-news-gaza-palestine-ceasefire-biden/

Barak Ravid, “Biden: ‘Every reason’ for people to conclude Netanyahu is prolonging war in Gaza,” Axios, June 4, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/06/04/biden-israel-netanyahu-gaza-time-interview

Dan Williams, “Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox coalition partners back Gaza hostage deal,” Reuters, June 4, 2024, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/netanyahus-biggest-coalition-partner-backs-prospective-gaza-hostage-deal-2024-06-04/

Philissa Kramer, “Jewish officer resigns from US Army to protest Gaza war, citing lessons of the Holocaust,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, June 5, 2024, https://www.jta.org/2024/06/05/united-states/jewish-us-army-major-harrison-mann-explains-why-he-resigned-over-us-support-for-gaza-war

Jacob Magid, “CIA chief returns to region to push hostage deal as Israel vows not to budge further,” Times of Israel, June 5, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/cia-chief-returns-to-region-to-push-hostage-deal-as-israel-vows-not-to-budge-further/

Joseph Wilson, “Spain applies to join South Africa’s case at top UN court accusing Israel of genocide,” Associated Press, June 6, 2024, https://apnews.com/article/spain-israel-icj-genocide-case-67d4d9b8ecf6fd88e718319a5d93465a

Natasha Bertrand and Haley Britzky, “US military’s Gaza pier has been repaired and reattached to beach,” Cable News Network, June 7, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/06/07/politics/us-pier-gaza-resume-operations/index.html

Julian Borger, “UN adds Israel to list of states committing violations against children,” Guardian, June 7, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/jun/07/united-nations-israel-children-rights-violation

Carrie Keller-Lynn and Eduardo Kaplan, “Netanyahu Rival Poised to Resign in Blow to Israel’s War Cabinet,” Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2024, https://apple.news/A3Sy_d_LOSFWH8vKYPG4B-g

Nadeen Ebrahim, “Israeli minister Benny Gantz resigns from war cabinet in blow to Netanyahu,” Cable News Network, June 9, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/06/09/middleeast/benny-gantz-resignation-post-war-plan-gaza-intl-latam/index.html

Emma Graham-Harrison, “Outrage over ‘massacre’ in Gaza as Israel rescued four hostages,” Guardian, June 9, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/jun/09/israel-gaza-hostages-rescue-eu-outrage


Illiberalism


Fig. 1. Photograph by Joachim F. Thurn, August 1991, Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F089030-0003, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE.

Victor Goury-Laffont, “French far right obliterates Macron’s camp in EU election,” Politico, June 9, 2024, https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-european-election-results-2024-far-right-triumphs-france-emmanuel-macron-camp-fight-second-place/

Nette Nöstlinger, “German conservatives first, far-right AfD second in EU election: Early projection,” Politico, June 9, 2024, https://www.politico.eu/article/conservatives-finish-first-germany-eu-election-early-projection-cdu-csu/

Gilead

Donald Trump


Fig. 2. Donald Trump, depicted in an orange jumpsuit, reportedly by the Drudge, date unknown, via Mediaite,[5] fair use. Apparently, no mugshot was taken when he was actually arrested over hush money paid to Stormy Daniels.[6]

So Donald Trump has now denied calling for Hillary Clinton to be put in jail[7] (remember her emails?) and denied calling soldiers killed in action “losers” and “suckers.”[8]

Trump reportedly snubbed a planned commemoration for the 100th anniversary of WWI at Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, fearing his hair would become disheveled in the rain, The Atlantic reported in 2020.

“Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers,” Trump reportedly told staffers, according to the magazine. The then-president also called the more than 1,800 Marines buried there “suckers” elsewhere during his 2018 trip in France, per The Atlantic.[9]

Clinton had used an unsecured mail server for official business. Trump unlawfully kept classified records, including highly sensitive material, and resisted returning those files to the government.

Following Trump’s conviction in the hush money case, Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels would presumably be well within their rights to call Trump a “loser” and a “sucker.”

Hypocrisy aside, it’s interesting to me that Trump perceives a need to deny the very statements that his base defends as him saying what he thinks, a trait they see as a virtue.

Josh Marcus, “Trump says only a ‘psycho’ would call war dead ‘suckers and losers’ – which a general says Trump did,” Independent, June 9, 2024, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-france-cemetery-suckers-losers-b2559531.html


Neoliberalism

Academic repression

Student loans


Fig. 3. Unattributed and undated image via James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal,[10] fair use.

A judge ruled that only three states, out of many, have standing to challenge the Joe Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness plan.[11] That’s really pretty much the story and not really worth that much, as the case, at least for now, can proceed with three plaintiffs just like it could have with many more.

I’m just watching this very closely because I have well over $300,000 worth of skin in this game, accumulated on the route to my Ph.D.

Natalie Venegas, “Student loan update: Federal judge hands Joe Biden’s plan a legal win,” Newsweek, June 8, 2024, https://apple.news/AivXXqDKfR0ag2S8-QBvMBg


  1. [1]Joshua Keating, “The longshot plan to end the war in Gaza and bring peace to the Middle East,” Vox, May 3, 2024, https://www.vox.com/world-politics/2024/5/3/24148104/us-saudi-israel-normalization-defense-pact-gaza-two-state
  2. [2]Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling, “Jail-Shy Trump Suddenly Backs Away From Major Catchphrase,” New Republic, June 3, 2024, https://newrepublic.com/post/182180/felon-trump-jail-never-said-lock-her-up; Josh Marcus, “Trump says only a ‘psycho’ would call war dead ‘suckers and losers’ – which a general says Trump did,” Independent, June 9, 2024, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-france-cemetery-suckers-losers-b2559531.html
  3. [3]Emma Graham-Harrison, “Outrage over ‘massacre’ in Gaza as Israel rescued four hostages,” Guardian, June 9, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/jun/09/israel-gaza-hostages-rescue-eu-outrage
  4. [4]Emma Graham-Harrison, “Outrage over ‘massacre’ in Gaza as Israel rescued four hostages,” Guardian, June 9, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/jun/09/israel-gaza-hostages-rescue-eu-outrage
  5. [5]Alex Griffing, “Drudge Puts Trump in an Orange Jumpsuit as Site Monitors His Potential Indictment,” Mediaite, August 29, 2022, https://www.mediaite.com/news/drudge-puts-trump-in-an-orange-jumpsuit-as-site-monitors-his-potential-indictment/
  6. [6]Sarah D. Wire and Alexandra E. Petri, “Trump charged with 34 felony counts in alleged hush money cover-up case,” Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2023, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2023-04-04/donald-trump-alleged-hush-money-investigation-indictment-arraignment
  7. [7]Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling, “Jail-Shy Trump Suddenly Backs Away From Major Catchphrase,” New Republic, June 3, 2024, https://newrepublic.com/post/182180/felon-trump-jail-never-said-lock-her-up
  8. [8]Josh Marcus, “Trump says only a ‘psycho’ would call war dead ‘suckers and losers’ – which a general says Trump did,” Independent, June 9, 2024, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-france-cemetery-suckers-losers-b2559531.html
  9. [9]Josh Marcus, “Trump says only a ‘psycho’ would call war dead ‘suckers and losers’ – which a general says Trump did,” Independent, June 9, 2024, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-france-cemetery-suckers-losers-b2559531.html
  10. [10]Richard K. Vedder, “Eliminate or Radically Restructure Federal Student Loans,” James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, September 16, 2020, https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2020/09/eliminate-or-radically-restructure-federal-student-loans/
  11. [11]Natalie Venegas, “Student loan update: Federal judge hands Joe Biden’s plan a legal win,” Newsweek, June 8, 2024, https://apple.news/AivXXqDKfR0ag2S8-QBvMBg

To the rather limited extent that justice is a popularity contest, can we just say that Israel is losing?

I keep forgetting to publish this.


Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh

Infrastructure


Fig. 1. Post-collapse scene at the Fern Hollow Bridge, photograph by National Transportation Safety Board, January 29, 2022, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh infrastructure czar gives glowing report on bridge upkeep,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 5, 2024, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-infrastructure-czar-gives-glowing-report-on-bridge-upkeep/

Pollution


Fig. 2. Photographer unknown, circa 1940-1950, from Smoke Control Lantern Slide Collection, ca. 1940-1950, AIS.1978.22, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh, via Bloomberg,[1] fair use.

Jack Troy, “U.S. Steel closes portion of Clairton Coke Works as part of settlement,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 6, 2024, https://triblive.com/local/regional/u-s-steel-closes-portion-of-clairton-coke-works-as-part-of-settlement/

Audrey Carlton, “In rural Pennsylvania, crypto mining offers a lifeline for dying gas wells,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, June 7, 2024, https://penncapital-star.com/energy-environment/in-rural-pennsylvania-crypto-mining-offers-a-lifeline-for-dying-gas-wells/


Imperialism

Israel

Palestine
2024

As the descendant of European Jews, I [Harrison Mann] was raised in a particularly unforgiving moral environment when it came to the topic of bearing responsibility for ethnic cleansing — my grandfather refused to ever purchase products manufactured in Germany — where the paramount importance of ‘never again’ and the inadequacy of ‘just following orders’ were oft repeated.

I am haunted by the knowledge that I failed those principles. But I also have hope that my grandfather would afford me some grace, that he would still be proud of me for stepping away from this war, however belatedly.[2]

[Harrison] Mann said he had not been in touch before his resignation with groups working to stoke dissent against the war and aid people who oppose it within the Biden administration. But he said he was now hearing from others inside the administration who have sought his advice about how to navigate their own opposition to Israel’s military campaign.

He said he knew of people who had asked to be given new responsibilities, who were refusing to continue conducting work on the Israel-related portions of their portfolios and who were demanding assurances that the work they were doing is consistent with U.S. and international law.[3]

To the very limited extent that justice is a popularity contest, can we just say that Israel is losing?

“There should be no doubt that Spain will remain on the right side of history,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said after his foreign minister made the announcement.

Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Libya and the Palestinians are waiting for the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, to grant approval to their requests to join [South Africa’s] case [alleging that Israel was breaching the genocide convention in its military assault that has laid waste to large swaths of Gaza].[4]

They’re piling on and I’ll tell you a secret: Not all of these people are wrong.

Barak Ravid, “Biden: ‘Every reason’ for people to conclude Netanyahu is prolonging war in Gaza,” Axios, June 4, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/06/04/biden-israel-netanyahu-gaza-time-interview

Dan Williams, “Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox coalition partners back Gaza hostage deal,” Reuters, June 4, 2024, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/netanyahus-biggest-coalition-partner-backs-prospective-gaza-hostage-deal-2024-06-04/

Philissa Kramer, “Jewish officer resigns from US Army to protest Gaza war, citing lessons of the Holocaust,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, June 5, 2024, https://www.jta.org/2024/06/05/united-states/jewish-us-army-major-harrison-mann-explains-why-he-resigned-over-us-support-for-gaza-war

Jacob Magid, “CIA chief returns to region to push hostage deal as Israel vows not to budge further,” Times of Israel, June 5, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/cia-chief-returns-to-region-to-push-hostage-deal-as-israel-vows-not-to-budge-further/

Joseph Wilson, “Spain applies to join South Africa’s case at top UN court accusing Israel of genocide,” Associated Press, June 6, 2024, https://apnews.com/article/spain-israel-icj-genocide-case-67d4d9b8ecf6fd88e718319a5d93465a

Natasha Bertrand and Haley Britzky, “US military’s Gaza pier has been repaired and reattached to beach,” Cable News Network, June 7, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/06/07/politics/us-pier-gaza-resume-operations/index.html

Julian Borger, “UN adds Israel to list of states committing violations against children,” Guardian, June 7, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/jun/07/united-nations-israel-children-rights-violation

Carrie Keller-Lynn and Eduardo Kaplan, “Netanyahu Rival Poised to Resign in Blow to Israel’s War Cabinet,” Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2024, https://apple.news/A3Sy_d_LOSFWH8vKYPG4B-g


So-called ‘ridesharing’

Drivers


Fig. 3. Yeah, this is me. The sign says, “If you’re whining about a labor shortage, STOP ignoring my job applications!” And the QR-code leads here. Photograph by author, January 16, 2023.

In Colorado,

Gov. Jared Polis this week signed two bills into law that will mandate more extensive disclosures of ride details for drivers on platforms such as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash.

SB24-075, dubbed the Transportation Network Company Transparency bill, mandates ride-hail companies divulge how much of the ride’s cost will go to the company versus the driver. The bill also makes sure drivers know the destination and expected compensation for a ride before they accept it.

Lawmakers also sought to address driver deactivations, which advocates and drivers have said can be arbitrary and unexplained. Studies show immigrants and people of color are far more likely to be booted from their jobs.

The state, as part of this bill, will certify a “driver support organization,” which can help drivers dealing with deactivations.[5]

Colorado isn’t addressing the pay, which is often below minimum wage, even with tips. But it is addressing a number of issues that absolutely infuriated me on an ongoing basis with Uber and Lyft.

Sam Tabachnik, “More protections for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash drivers in Colorado as Gov. Jared Polis signs bills,” Denver Post, June 5, 2024, https://www.denverpost.com/2024/06/05/uber-lyft-legislation-colorado-2024/


Neoliberalism

Work


Fig. 4. The spectre of Death, in the form of a large skeleton, rises with the smoke and flames of the burning Asch Building during the Triangle fire, as people jump and fall to their death. Artist unknown, from International Ladies Garment Workers Union Photographs (1885-1985) at The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.

Michelle Singletary doesn’t specifically address gig workers.[6] But in my gig work, I find that what the company pays barely covers the cost of operation. I’m working for tips. Want me to starve? Don’t tip.

Michelle Singletary, “Has tipping gone too far? Here’s a guide on when to tip,” Washington Post, June 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2024/06/07/tipping-guide-michelle-singletary/


Epidemics and Pandemics

COVID-19


Fig. 5. Cartoon by Peter Brookes, October 3, 2020, via the Times, fair use.

Zhengyi Fang, Rebecca Ahrnsbrak, and Andy Rekito, “Evidence Mounts That About 7% of US Adults Have Had Long COVID,” Journal of the American Medical Association, June 7, 2024, doi:10.1001/jama.2024.11370


(dis)United Kingdom

Prime minister


Fig. 6. President Reagan on the South Lawn during the arrival ceremony of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom. U.S. Government photograph, November 16, 1988, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

The Sword of Damocles has been hanging over Rishi Sunak pretty much since he won the prime minister job. That thread is looking pretty thin about now. But despite skipping a portion of the D-Day ceremonies, certainly an own goal,[7] mostly what I see from across the pond calls the Chinese concept of the “mandate of Heaven” to mind.

When a ruler loses that mandate, they’re doomed. Nothing can put it to right and the question is only how long before someone else takes over. The language refers to Heaven, but I interpret the mandate as somewhat more terrestrial, indeed human—and the loss of that mandate looks a lot like what’s happened to the Tories: They’ve gotten too accustomed to the levers of power. They have lost perspective. They have lost touch with their electorate. They make stupid mistakes because their groupthink is toxic. They trip over themselves trying even to think straight.

July 4th[8] will be a day of infamy for the Tories. They cannot help themselves.

Rowena Mason et al., “‘D-day was the final straw’: Sunak’s blunders ignite Tory party fury,” Guardian, June 7, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/article/2024/jun/07/d-day-was-the-final-straw-sunaks-blunders-ignite-tory-party-fury


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump


Fig. 7. Donald Trump, depicted in an orange jumpsuit, reportedly by the Drudge, date unknown, via Mediaite,[9] fair use. Apparently, no mugshot was taken when he was actually arrested over hush money paid to Stormy Daniels.[10]

John Miller, “NYPD preparing to revoke Donald Trump’s license to carry a gun after felony conviction in New York,” Cable News Network, June 5, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/06/05/politics/trump-gun-nypd-revoke/index.html

Matt Lewis, “Trump Can’t Carry a Gun, but He Might Have the Nuclear Codes Again,” Daily Beast, June 6, 2024, https://apple.news/A6O6KnjddR4egJoQA6XT5_Q


  1. [1]Mark Byrnes, “What Pittsburgh Looked Like When It Decided It Had a Pollution Problem,” Bloomberg, June 5, 2012, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-06-05/what-pittsburgh-looked-like-when-it-decided-it-had-a-pollution-problem
  2. [2]Harrison Mann, quoted in Philissa Kramer, “Jewish officer resigns from US Army to protest Gaza war, citing lessons of the Holocaust,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, June 5, 2024, https://www.jta.org/2024/06/05/united-states/jewish-us-army-major-harrison-mann-explains-why-he-resigned-over-us-support-for-gaza-war
  3. [3]Philissa Kramer, “Jewish officer resigns from US Army to protest Gaza war, citing lessons of the Holocaust,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, June 5, 2024, https://www.jta.org/2024/06/05/united-states/jewish-us-army-major-harrison-mann-explains-why-he-resigned-over-us-support-for-gaza-war
  4. [4]Joseph Wilson, “Spain applies to join South Africa’s case at top UN court accusing Israel of genocide,” Associated Press, June 6, 2024, https://apnews.com/article/spain-israel-icj-genocide-case-67d4d9b8ecf6fd88e718319a5d93465a
  5. [5]Sam Tabachnik, “More protections for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash drivers in Colorado as Gov. Jared Polis signs bills,” Denver Post, June 5, 2024, https://www.denverpost.com/2024/06/05/uber-lyft-legislation-colorado-2024/
  6. [6]Michelle Singletary, “Has tipping gone too far? Here’s a guide on when to tip,” Washington Post, June 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2024/06/07/tipping-guide-michelle-singletary/
  7. [7]Rowena Mason et al., “‘D-day was the final straw’: Sunak’s blunders ignite Tory party fury,” Guardian, June 7, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/article/2024/jun/07/d-day-was-the-final-straw-sunaks-blunders-ignite-tory-party-fury
  8. [8]Matt Honeycombe-Foster, “UK’s Rishi Sunak calls snap July election,” Politico, May 22, 2024, https://www.politico.eu/article/uks-rishi-sunak-calls-snap-july-election/
  9. [9]Alex Griffing, “Drudge Puts Trump in an Orange Jumpsuit as Site Monitors His Potential Indictment,” Mediaite, August 29, 2022, https://www.mediaite.com/news/drudge-puts-trump-in-an-orange-jumpsuit-as-site-monitors-his-potential-indictment/
  10. [10]Sarah D. Wire and Alexandra E. Petri, “Trump charged with 34 felony counts in alleged hush money cover-up case,” Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2023, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2023-04-04/donald-trump-alleged-hush-money-investigation-indictment-arraignment

Avian influenza is infecting dairy workers

Epidemics and Pandemics

Avian influenza


Fig. 1. Presumed infected turkeys about to be exterminated in Israel. Photograph by Roee Shpernik, December 2016, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Ignoring that (human) “persons” are “mammals,” so far, avian influenza looks a lot less serious than COVID-19:

In March, a dairy farm worker in Texas became the first known case of the virus likely transmitting from a mammal to a person. On May 22, a case in a second farmworker, in Michigan, was announced. Both of these workers reported conjunctivitis as their only symptom and have since fully recovered. The latest case in Michigan involved eye discomfort with watery discharge but also upper respiratory symptoms, including cough without fever, according to the CDC. The person is recovering.[1]

The issue here is of zoonotic diseases, these being diseases transmitted from nonhuman animals to human animals. COVID-19 was almost certainly a zoonotic disease.[2] Many serious diseases afflicting human animals that are now endemic (as COVID-19 must now be presumed to be) were originally passed to us from (often farmed) nonhuman animals.[3] Our relationship with nonhuman animals both in agriculture and as we inhabit more places whose previous inhabitants were generally nonhuman is a health issue that goes far beyond high cholesterol.

Jennifer Abbasi, “As a Third Worker Tests Positive for Bird Flu in US Dairy Cattle Outbreak, Here’s What to Know,” Journal of the American Medical Association, June 5, 2024, doi: 10.1001/jama.2024.11500


Pennsylvania

Traffic non-enforcement


Fig. 2. Obviously, nowhere near Pittsburgh: “A Pennsylvania state trooper checks motorists’ speed using a radar gun.” Unattributed photograph credited only to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.[4]

Trebor Maitin, “Gov. Shapiro signs bill banning handheld cellphone use while driving,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, June 5, 2024, https://www.pennlive.com/news/2024/06/gov-shapiro-signs-bill-banning-handheld-cellphone-use-while-driving.html


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump


Fig. 1. Donald Trump, depicted in an orange jumpsuit, reportedly by the Drudge, date unknown, via Mediaite,[5] fair use. Apparently, no mugshot was taken when he was actually arrested over hush money paid to Stormy Daniels.[6]

They’re taking away Donald Trump’s “man card,” or at least trying to:

After [Donald] Trump was convicted of 34 felonies on May 30, 2024, he could be in violation of multiple state and federal laws if he still possesses that third gun in Florida. CNN has reached out to representatives of Trump to determine whether he still has a gun in Florida.[7]

Yeah, it’s a federal offense but if, as I expect, he wins in November, Trump will pardon himself and intervene with the Department of Justice.

John Miller, “NYPD preparing to revoke Donald Trump’s license to carry a gun after felony conviction in New York,” Cable News Network, June 5, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/06/05/politics/trump-gun-nypd-revoke/index.html


  1. [1]Jennifer Abbasi, “As a Third Worker Tests Positive for Bird Flu in US Dairy Cattle Outbreak, Here’s What to Know,” Journal of the American Medical Association, June 5, 2024, doi: 10.1001/jama.2024.11500
  2. [2]Helen Davidson, “WHO says it has no evidence to support ‘speculative’ Covid-19 lab theory,” Guardian, May 4, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/05/who-says-it-has-no-evidence-to-support-speculative-covid-19-lab-theory-pushed-by-us; Michael R. Gordon and Warren P. Strobel, “Lab Leak Most Likely Origin of Covid-19 Pandemic, Energy Department Now Says,” Wall Street Journal, February 26, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-origin-china-lab-leak-807b7b0a; Michael Hiltzik, “Despite latest reports, there’s still not a speck of evidence that COVID escaped from a Chinese lab,” Los Angeles Times, February 27, 2023, https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2023-02-27/contrary-wsj-claim-theres-still-not-a-speck-of-evidence-that-covid-escaped-from-a-chinese-lab; Karen Kaplan, “The problem with the lab leak theory,” Los Angeles Times, March 14, 2023, https://www.latimes.com/science/newsletter/2023-03-14/coronavirus-today-the-problem-with-the-lab-leak-theory-covid-wuhan-market-coronavirus-today; Dhruv Khullar, “Lab Leaks and COVID-19 Politics,” New Yorker, March 3, 2023, https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/lab-leaks-and-covid-19-politics; Deborah Netburn, “Did the coronavirus escape from a lab? The idea deserves a second look, scientists say,” Los Angeles Times, May 13, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2021-05-13/did-coronavirus-escape-from-lab-scientists-urge-second-look; Matthew Rozsa, “A virologist unpacks the lab leak hypothesis,” Salon, May 29, 2021, https://www.salon.com/2021/05/29/a-virologist-unpacks-the-lab-leak-hypothesis/; Reis Thebault, “In latest clash over Wuhan lab, Fauci tells Sen. Rand Paul: ‘You do not know what you’re talking about,’” Washington Post, July 20, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/07/20/fauci-paul-wuhan-lab/; Daniel Villarreal, “Matt Gaetz Says Anthony Fauci ‘Has Blood on His Hands, And Now the Country Knows It,’” Newsweek, June 4, 2021, https://www.newsweek.com/matt-gaetz-says-anthony-fauci-has-blood-his-hands-now-country-knows-it-1597853; Joby Warrick et al., “Chinese lab conducted extensive research on deadly bat viruses, but there is no evidence of accidental release,” Washington Post, April 30, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/chinese-lab-conducted-extensive-research-on-deadly-bat-viruses-but-there-is-no-evidence-of-accidental-release/2020/04/30/3e5d12a0-8b0d-11ea-9dfd-990f9dcc71fc_story.html; Katherine J. Wu, “The Strongest Evidence Yet That an Animal Started the Pandemic,” Atlantic, March 16, 2023, https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2023/03/covid-origins-research-raccoon-dogs-wuhan-market-lab-leak/673390/
  3. [3]Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel (New York: W. W. Norton, 1999).
  4. [4]Associated Press, “Senate OKs local police using radar for speed enforcement,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 23, 2021, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/senate-oks-local-police-using-radar-for-speed-enforcement/
  5. [5]Alex Griffing, “Drudge Puts Trump in an Orange Jumpsuit as Site Monitors His Potential Indictment,” Mediaite, August 29, 2022, https://www.mediaite.com/news/drudge-puts-trump-in-an-orange-jumpsuit-as-site-monitors-his-potential-indictment/
  6. [6]Sarah D. Wire and Alexandra E. Petri, “Trump charged with 34 felony counts in alleged hush money cover-up case,” Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2023, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2023-04-04/donald-trump-alleged-hush-money-investigation-indictment-arraignment
  7. [7]John Miller, “NYPD preparing to revoke Donald Trump’s license to carry a gun after felony conviction in New York,” Cable News Network, June 5, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/06/05/politics/trump-gun-nypd-revoke/index.html

Peace never

Imperialism

Israel

Palestine
2024

Two ultra-orthodox parties in Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition have expressed support[1] for Joe Biden’s deal for a ceasefire in the war on Gaza.[2]

The statement [in support of Joe Biden’s ceasefire deal] by Shas, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish party that holds 11 of parliament’s 120 seats, followed similar remarks on Monday by Yitzhak Goldknopf, leader of the second such party in the coalition, United Torah Judaism, which has seven seats.

“Our position is that there is nothing greater than the value of life and the commandment to redeem captives, because their lives face a real and present danger,” Goldknopf, Israel’s housing minister, said in a statement.

Similarly citing a religious obligation, Shas pledged “full support” to the proposal. It encouraged Netanyahu and his war cabinet to “withstand all pressures for the end of returning the hostages”.

The combined support of the two parties – which hold 18 of the 72 seats controlled by Netanyahu’s expanded emergency government – could help offset opposition by far-right partners to a U.S.-backed proposal for winding down the Gaza war.[3]

Joe Biden hinted that his reluctance to enforce his bogus “red line” on Rafah had to do with getting Israel to accept this deal.[4] But one thing that’s apparent with Binyamin Netanyahu is that it’s Netanyahu’s way or the highway. The only thing he will respond to is force, which Biden could apply, but refuses to apply, by withholding financial and military support.

On the one hand, I have heard all of Biden’s condemnations of how Israel is conducting the war in Gaza. On the other hand, he does not accept that it is genocide, obviously because he would find himself in the same hot water with the International Criminal Court as Netanyahu.[5] He continues to provide Israel with diplomatic cover and with financial and military aid. He covers up for the genocide. He finances the genocide. He arms the genocide.

Biden’s acknowledgment[6] that Netanyahu may be prolonging the war due to his own personal political interest[7] has to weigh more heavily than a deal that, despite Biden’s claims, has not been accepted by either side.[8] It’s just all more Biden bullshit as he tries to cover his ass with U.S. voters who see Palestinians as human beings with human rights.

Biden is clearly the wrong person for this situation. But unless you actually believe the ageist and poorly (if at all) supported claim that he’s senile, you have to believe he knows what he’s doing, that he is aware that even many of his own staffers understand that the U.S. is supporting war crimes,[9] and that he is nonetheless serving as an accomplice to what he has to know are war crimes.[10] And he keeps doing it even as it is apparent that the only people who agree with him are Zionist ideologues.

That’s a choice. And it’s a choice he didn’t have to make. But he made it. He should be in irons at the Hague.

Alexander Ward, “Netanyahu blasts Biden admin for rejecting GOP effort to sanction ICC,” Politico, May 29, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/05/29/netanyahu-biden-gop-effort-to-sanction-icc-00160387

Julian Borger, “US state department report absolving Israel on Gaza aid is false, says ex-official,” Guardian, May 30, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/may/30/stacy-gilbert-us-state-department-israel-gaza-aid

Arwa Mahdawi, “Where is Joe Biden’s fury about decapitated Palestinian babies?” Guardian, May 30, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/article/2024/may/30/biden-palestinian-beheaded-israeli-babies

Joyce Sohyun Lee et al., “Mapping Israel’s expanding battle for Rafah, a test of U.S. red lines,” Washington Post, May 31, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/05/31/israel-rafah-offensive-hamas-biden/

Tamar Michaelis and Rob Picheta, “Israel confirms its forces are in central Rafah, defying international condemnation of operation in southern Gazan city,” Cable News Network, May 31, 2024, https://edition.cnn.com/2024/05/31/middleeast/idf-central-rafah-intl/index.html

Ishaan Tharoor, “Netanyahu and Putin are both waiting for Trump,” Washington Post, May 31, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/31/trump-russia-israel-netanyahu-putin-win-foreign-policy-election/

John Feffer, “Who Will Win? International Law or Benjamin Netanyahu?” Common Dreams, June 1, 2024, https://www.commondreams.org/opinion/netanyahu-vs-international-law

Shira Rubin et al., “Biden’s cease-fire plan tightens political squeeze for Netanyahu in Israel,” Washington Post, June 2, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/06/02/israel-hamas-war-news-gaza-palestine-ceasefire-biden/

Barak Ravid, “Biden: ‘Every reason’ for people to conclude Netanyahu is prolonging war in Gaza,” Axios, June 4, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/06/04/biden-israel-netanyahu-gaza-time-interview

Dan Williams, “Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox coalition partners back Gaza hostage deal,” Reuters, June 4, 2024, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/netanyahus-biggest-coalition-partner-backs-prospective-gaza-hostage-deal-2024-06-04/

Jacob Magid, “CIA chief returns to region to push hostage deal as Israel vows not to budge further,” Times of Israel, June 5, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/cia-chief-returns-to-region-to-push-hostage-deal-as-israel-vows-not-to-budge-further/

United States


Fig. 1. “American Progress,” painting by John Gast, 1872, digital version 2006, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Ishaan Tharoor, “The war in Gaza looms over Asia’s geopolitics,” Washington Post, June 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/06/05/asia-gaza-support-israel-china-sympathies-geopolitics-war/


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump


Fig. 2. Donald Trump, depicted in an orange jumpsuit, reportedly by the Drudge, date unknown, via Mediaite,[11] fair use. Apparently, no mugshot was taken when he was actually arrested over hush money paid to Stormy Daniels.[12]

James Risen, “These Convictions Thwart Trump’s Plan to Pardon Himself,” Intercept, May 30, 2024, https://theintercept.com/2024/05/30/trump-new-york-guilty-convicted/

Lois Beckett, “Donald Trump had lots of negative opinions about felons. Now he is one,” Guardian, June 1, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jun/01/donald-trump-crime-punishment

Kyler Alvor, “Donald Trump Is Banned from 37 Countries as Convicted Felon, Including Major Allies Like Canada and U.K.,“ People, June 2, 2024, https://people.com/donald-trump-barred-entering-37-countries-convicted-felon-8657038

Aaron Blake, “Trump’s many dog whistles about unrest and violence,” Washington Post, June 3, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/06/03/trumps-many-dog-whistles-about-unrest-violence/

Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling, “Jail-Shy Trump Suddenly Backs Away From Major Catchphrase,” New Republic, June 3, 2024, https://newrepublic.com/post/182180/felon-trump-jail-never-said-lock-her-up

Abortion, reproductive freedom and health


Fig. 3. Sign at demonstration in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, May 3, 2022. Janni Rye, via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

Even as the abortion issue has repeatedly cost Republicans elections, white Christian nationalists push forward, conflating birth control with abortifacents, seeking to ban the former along with the latter.[13] They may well succeed because, having failed in 2020 and in several elections since, the Democrats go to ever greater lengths, like supporting genocide, in their determination to lose.

Lauren Weber, “Conservative attacks on birth control could threaten access,” Washington Post, June 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2024/06/05/birth-control-access-abortion-ban/


Neoliberalism

Work


Fig. 4. The spectre of Death, in the form of a large skeleton, rises with the smoke and flames of the burning Asch Building during the Triangle fire, as people jump and fall to their death. Artist unknown, from International Ladies Garment Workers Union Photographs (1885-1985) at The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.

Matt Egan, “CEOs are making almost 200 times what workers are,” Cable News Network, June 4, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/06/04/business/ceo-pay-workers-inequality/index.html


  1. [1]Dan Williams, “Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox coalition partners back Gaza hostage deal,” Reuters, June 4, 2024, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/netanyahus-biggest-coalition-partner-backs-prospective-gaza-hostage-deal-2024-06-04/
  2. [2]Shira Rubin et al., “Biden’s cease-fire plan tightens political squeeze for Netanyahu in Israel,” Washington Post, June 2, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/06/02/israel-hamas-war-news-gaza-palestine-ceasefire-biden/
  3. [3]Dan Williams, “Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox coalition partners back Gaza hostage deal,” Reuters, June 4, 2024, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/netanyahus-biggest-coalition-partner-backs-prospective-gaza-hostage-deal-2024-06-04/
  4. [4]Barak Ravid, “Biden: ‘Every reason’ for people to conclude Netanyahu is prolonging war in Gaza,” Axios, June 4, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/06/04/biden-israel-netanyahu-gaza-time-interview
  5. [5]Ron Kampeas, “ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrants for Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leaders,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, May 20, 2024, https://www.jta.org/2024/05/20/israel/international-criminal-court-prosecutor-seeks-arrest-warrants-for-benjamin-netanyahu-and-hamas-leaders; Ivana Kottasová and Madalena Araujo, “ICC seeks arrest warrants against Sinwar and Netanyahu for war crimes over October 7 attack and Gaza war,” Cable News Network, May 20, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/20/middleeast/icc-israel-hamas-arrest-warrant-war-crimes-intl/index.html; Louisa Loveluck, “ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrants for Israel’s Netanyahu and Hamas’s Sinwar,” Washington Post, May 20, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/05/20/israel-hamas-war-news-gaza-palestine/
  6. [6]Barak Ravid, “Biden: ‘Every reason’ for people to conclude Netanyahu is prolonging war in Gaza,” Axios, June 4, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/06/04/biden-israel-netanyahu-gaza-time-interview
  7. [7]Rory Jones and Dov Lieber, “​Netanyahu Puts Political Survival Ahead of Tough Decisions on Gaza,” Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2024, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/netanyahu-puts-political-survival-ahead-of-tough-decisions-on-gaza-783cb8e6
  8. [8]Jacob Magid, “CIA chief returns to region to push hostage deal as Israel vows not to budge further,” Times of Israel, June 5, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/cia-chief-returns-to-region-to-push-hostage-deal-as-israel-vows-not-to-budge-further/; Shira Rubin et al., “Biden’s cease-fire plan tightens political squeeze for Netanyahu in Israel,” Washington Post, June 2, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/06/02/israel-hamas-war-news-gaza-palestine-ceasefire-biden/; Dan Williams, “Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox coalition partners back Gaza hostage deal,” Reuters, June 4, 2024, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/netanyahus-biggest-coalition-partner-backs-prospective-gaza-hostage-deal-2024-06-04/
  9. [9]Julian Borger, “State department official’s resignation highlights rifts over US Gaza policy,” Guardian, March 27, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/mar/27/state-department-resignation-gaza-biden-policy; Julian Borger, “US state department report absolving Israel on Gaza aid is false, says ex-official,” Guardian, May 30, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/may/30/stacy-gilbert-us-state-department-israel-gaza-aid; Ron Kampeas, “Lily Greenberg Call, Jewish staffer who quit Biden administration over Israel policy: ‘There are so many of us who feel this way’,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, May 16, 2024, https://www.jta.org/2024/05/16/israel/lily-greenberg-call-jewish-staffer-who-quit-biden-administration-over-israel-policy-there-are-so-many-of-us-who-feel-this-way; Sanjana Karanth, “Jewish American Biden Appointee Is Latest To Resign In Protest Of Gaza Policy,” HuffPost, May 15, 2024, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/jewish-american-biden-appointee-resigns-protest-gaza_n_6644fb92e4b0411bd6ffae0f
  10. [10]Julian Borger, “US state department report absolving Israel on Gaza aid is false, says ex-official,” Guardian, May 30, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/may/30/stacy-gilbert-us-state-department-israel-gaza-aid
  11. [11]Alex Griffing, “Drudge Puts Trump in an Orange Jumpsuit as Site Monitors His Potential Indictment,” Mediaite, August 29, 2022, https://www.mediaite.com/news/drudge-puts-trump-in-an-orange-jumpsuit-as-site-monitors-his-potential-indictment/
  12. [12]Sarah D. Wire and Alexandra E. Petri, “Trump charged with 34 felony counts in alleged hush money cover-up case,” Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2023, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2023-04-04/donald-trump-alleged-hush-money-investigation-indictment-arraignment
  13. [13]Lauren Weber, “Conservative attacks on birth control could threaten access,” Washington Post, June 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2024/06/05/birth-control-access-abortion-ban/

Appeal to heaven? Or hell?

Illiberalism

Gilead

White Christian nationalism


Fig. 1. If one weighs by geography rather than population, Pennsylvania is very much a white Christian nationalist kind of place. Photograph by author, January 5, 2023.

It wouldn’t take very much at all for this to age poorly, but as of now, I’m just not seeing the revived (again?) threat of violence[1] manifest. I still think they’re too chickenshit. I think it’s a bluff. The real threat is in the woods—and I’m just not seeing it come out of the woods.

I think the militia groups who have been training in the woods for decades understand what they’re up against, understand where they have the greatest advantage, and understand that being drawn out of where they have their greatest advantage will surely mean their defeat. They’ll vote in November but they won’t come out fighting then either.

Of more immediate concern:

“Something that has had a particular meaning for 250 years retains its original meaning, no matter which fringe group might seek to co-opt it,” Janae Shamp, a Republican state lawmaker in Arizona, told a local news outlet when asked last year about the Appeal to Heaven flag on her desk.[2]

Some will recognize an attempt at plausible deniability here, with the denial taking the form, “I’m just flying this ancient patriotic flag. I’m not a white Christian nationalist attempting to erase the line between church and state ready to employ violence toward that end.” But that, apart from those who’ve been living under a pretty big rock, is pretty much who flies the Appeal To Heaven flag.[3] Yes, Samuel Alito, we know. Heaven forbid!

Hannah Allam reports on an apocalyptic sense that the United States is in such a dire condition that patriots must take up arms to put things to right. The Revolutionary War analogy touches on a sense that colonists’ concerns were not being heard or cared about. A revolution was thus justified on the grounds that there was no choice.[4]

I will certainly agree that the country is in a dire condition. I do not agree that Christianity offers an answer—at best, the Judeo-Christian-Muslim conception of God fails to adequately answer the question of theodicy, the question of why a “good God” would permit or even create evil, the question that forces me to conclude that if such a deity or such deities exist, they cannot be “good,” indeed are extremely unlikely to in any way resemble scriptural descriptions.

But rather than apocalypse, this feels to me more like armageddon, the anticipated final battle between good and evil, with each side foundationally persuaded of its own righteousness. Certainly, it feels existential: Neither side would tolerate living under the other’s authority.

Some—I’m failing to find the source at the moment—have suggested a cyclical—very roughly every thirty years or so—character to this polarization, but to be honest, I don’t really see that: I see a pendulum that has swung in only one direction, rightwards, with only the slightest of oscillations, since Richard Nixon. And as I look at U.S. history, I see strands of conservatism that date back hundreds or even thousands of years: Authoritarian populism is likely at least a thousand years old, apparently originating with Greater Appalachians folk who themselves migrated here from Great Britain;[5] capitalist libertarianism is simply an extreme form of capitalist ideology, with a similarly constrained view of human rights; functionalist conservatism has existed for as long as some have taken on authority over others, and therefore had a vested interest in preserving, extending, and enhancing their power and privilege over others; paleoconservatism seems hard, if even possible, to distinguish from the Deep South rationalization for slavery; evangelical Christians, whom I call social conservatives, not tolerated in the British Isles sought refuge in North America and continued the proselytizing that undoubtedly annoyed their neighbors back home; traditionalist conservatives have a documented lineage to Edmund Burke of the Enlightenment Era, but given their relationship with the Roman Catholic Church, I’m inclined to suspect that they have existed in some form for as long as the Church has.[6] So I see more or less a continuous strand of a sort of self-righteous know-nothing toxic masculinity that has always been present, albeit with varying degrees of visibility.

So, is this time different? Will it indeed be a “final battle?” What will happen when it ends? I don’t know. We don’t really even know what an end to armageddon would look like or how either side, having succeeded at massacring the other, can call itself “good.”

Hannah Allam, “At center of Alito controversy, a flag celebrated by extremists,” Washington Post, June 2, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2024/06/02/alito-flag-appeal-heaven/

Rachel Leingang, “‘No way out without bloodshed’: the right believe the US is under threat and are mobilizing,” Guardian, June 2, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jun/02/far-right-mobilizing-biden-presidency

Emma Bowman, “The upside-down American flag goes mainstream as a form of right-wing protest,” National Public Radio, June 3, 2024, https://www.npr.org/2024/06/03/nx-s1-4987590/upside-down-american-flag-protest-symbol-history

Donald Trump


Fig. 2. Donald Trump, depicted in an orange jumpsuit, reportedly by the Drudge, date unknown, via Mediaite,[7] fair use. Apparently, no mugshot was taken when he was actually arrested over hush money paid to Stormy Daniels.[8]

Lois Beckett, “Donald Trump had lots of negative opinions about felons. Now he is one,” Guardian, June 1, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jun/01/donald-trump-crime-punishment

Kyler Alvor, “Donald Trump Is Banned from 37 Countries as Convicted Felon, Including Major Allies Like Canada and U.K.,“ People, June 2, 2024, https://people.com/donald-trump-barred-entering-37-countries-convicted-felon-8657038

Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling, “Jail-Shy Trump Suddenly Backs Away From Major Catchphrase,” New Republic, June 3, 2024, https://newrepublic.com/post/182180/felon-trump-jail-never-said-lock-her-up

Coup attempt

2024

Fig. 3. Donald Trump still has his fans. Photograph along Washington Road in Upper Saint Clair, Pennsylvania, by author, April 28, 2024.

Hannah Allam, “At center of Alito controversy, a flag celebrated by extremists,” Washington Post, June 2, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2024/06/02/alito-flag-appeal-heaven/

Rachel Leingang, “‘No way out without bloodshed’: the right believe the US is under threat and are mobilizing,” Guardian, June 2, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jun/02/far-right-mobilizing-biden-presidency

Emma Bowman, “The upside-down American flag goes mainstream as a form of right-wing protest,” National Public Radio, June 3, 2024, https://www.npr.org/2024/06/03/nx-s1-4987590/upside-down-american-flag-protest-symbol-history

Hush money


Fig. 4. Cartoon by Jesse Duquette, undated, via “Minneapple23” [pseud.] on Imgur, April 1, 2023, fair use.

Ian Millhiser, “Trump wants the Supreme Court to toss out his conviction. Will they?” Vox, June 4, 2024, https://www.vox.com/scotus/353561/supreme-court-donald-trump-nullfy-conviction


Imperialism

Israel


Fig. 5. John Bolton and Binyamin Netanyahu at a press conference. Office of U.S. National Security Advisor, August 20, 2018, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition appears to be coming apart at the seams.[9]

The snowball has started to roll. Gantz’s move is not going to directly put an end to this coalition, but the coalition is beginning to collapse in on itself.[10]

It’s unlikely to matter. Israelis would just replace Netanyahu’s present government with another right-wing one.[11]

Steve Hendrix and John Hudson, “Netanyahu strains to keep government together amid spreading rebellions,” Washington Post, June 4, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/06/04/israel-government-war-cabinet-netanyahu/


  1. [1]Rachel Leingang, “‘No way out without bloodshed’: the right believe the US is under threat and are mobilizing,” Guardian, June 2, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jun/02/far-right-mobilizing-biden-presidency
  2. [2]Hannah Allam, “At center of Alito controversy, a flag celebrated by extremists,” Washington Post, June 2, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2024/06/02/alito-flag-appeal-heaven/
  3. [3]Hannah Allam, “At center of Alito controversy, a flag celebrated by extremists,” Washington Post, June 2, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2024/06/02/alito-flag-appeal-heaven/
  4. [4]Hannah Allam, “At center of Alito controversy, a flag celebrated by extremists,” Washington Post, June 2, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2024/06/02/alito-flag-appeal-heaven/
  5. [5]David Benfell, “Barack Obama asks, ‘Why is it that the folks that won the last election are so mad all the time?’” Not Housebroken, November 4, 2018, https://disunitedstates.org/2018/11/04/barack-obama-asks-why-is-it-that-the-folks-that-won-the-last-election-are-so-mad-all-the-time/
  6. [6]Some may wonder about neoconservatives, the only tendency of conservatism in my dissertation I haven’t listed here: Neoconservatives seem to have been born in a backlash to the counterculture, liberation, and antiwar movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Not a centuries-old tendency. David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  7. [7]Alex Griffing, “Drudge Puts Trump in an Orange Jumpsuit as Site Monitors His Potential Indictment,” Mediaite, August 29, 2022, https://www.mediaite.com/news/drudge-puts-trump-in-an-orange-jumpsuit-as-site-monitors-his-potential-indictment/
  8. [8]Sarah D. Wire and Alexandra E. Petri, “Trump charged with 34 felony counts in alleged hush money cover-up case,” Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2023, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2023-04-04/donald-trump-alleged-hush-money-investigation-indictment-arraignment
  9. [9]Steve Hendrix and John Hudson, “Netanyahu strains to keep government together amid spreading rebellions,” Washington Post, June 4, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/06/04/israel-government-war-cabinet-netanyahu/
  10. [10]Gayil Talshir, quoted in Steve Hendrix and John Hudson, “Netanyahu strains to keep government together amid spreading rebellions,” Washington Post, June 4, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/06/04/israel-government-war-cabinet-netanyahu/
  11. [11]Gayil Talshir, quoted in Steve Hendrix and John Hudson, “Netanyahu strains to keep government together amid spreading rebellions,” Washington Post, June 4, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/06/04/israel-government-war-cabinet-netanyahu/

Liars and Pennsylvania snakes

Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump


Fig. 1. Donald Trump, depicted in an orange jumpsuit, reportedly by the Drudge, date unknown, via Mediaite,[1] fair use. Apparently, no mugshot was taken when he was actually arrested over hush money paid to Stormy Daniels.[2]

Lois Beckett, “Donald Trump had lots of negative opinions about felons. Now he is one,” Guardian, June 1, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jun/01/donald-trump-crime-punishment

Kyler Alvor, “Donald Trump Is Banned from 37 Countries as Convicted Felon, Including Major Allies Like Canada and U.K.,“ People, June 2, 2024, https://people.com/donald-trump-barred-entering-37-countries-convicted-felon-8657038

Hush money


Fig. 2. Cartoon by Jesse Duquette, undated, via “Minneapple23” [pseud.] on Imgur, April 1, 2023, fair use.

David Nakamura, “If Trump were convicted in his hush money trial, here’s what he could face next,” Washington Post, May 29, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/29/trump-if-convicted-hush-money-trial-new-york/

Hugo Lowell and Victoria Bekiempis, “Donald Trump found guilty of hush-money plot to influence 2016 election,” Guardian, May 30, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/may/30/trump-trial-hush-money-verdict

Bob Egelko, “Trump can still run for president — but convictions could restrict him in other ways,” San Francisco Chronicle, May 30, 2024, https://apple.news/ANn7vLGyvSa65eC-KwR___w

Jon Allsop, “Trial by pundit,” Columbia Journalism Review, May 31, 2024, https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/trump_guilty_verdict_media_coverage.php

Sareen Habeshian, “How Trump’s appeal will play out,” Axios, May 31, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/31/trump-appeal-guilty-verdict-arguments

Kyler Alvor, “Donald Trump Is Banned from 37 Countries as Convicted Felon, Including Major Allies Like Canada and U.K.,“ People, June 2, 2024, https://people.com/donald-trump-barred-entering-37-countries-convicted-felon-8657038


Pennsylvania


Fig. 3. When you get outside urban centers, Pennsylvania is very much a white Christian nationalist kind of place. Photograph by author, January 5, 2023.

Patrick Varine, “Copperheads, timber rattlers and the rare Eastern massasauga among Pa.’s venomous snakes,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 31, 2024, https://triblive.com/local/regional/copperheads-timber-rattlers-and-the-rare-eastern-massasauga-among-pa-s-venomous-snakes/


Imperialism

Israel

Palestine
2024

Karen DeYoung, “U.S. silent as global condemnation of Israel’s Rafah offensive grows,” Washington Post, May 25, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/25/biden-gaza-rafah-international-law/

Stephen Kalin and Nancy A. Youssef, “The U.S. Built a $320 Million Pier to Get Aid to Gazans. Little of It Has Reached Them,” Wall Street Journal, May 25, 2024, https://apple.news/AE6vfFl5VS0Cs-jZgwST7Bw

Šejla Ahmatović, “‘No longer justifiable’: European leaders condemn Israel’s strike on refugee camp,” Politico, May 27, 2024, https://www.politico.eu/article/refugee-camp-strike-israel-rafah-palestine-civilians-eu/

Nidal Al-Mughrabi and Dan Williams, “Israeli attack on Rafah tent camp kills 45, prompts international outcry,” Reuters, May 27, 2024, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/israeli-attack-rafah-tent-camp-draws-global-condemnation-2024-05-27/

Yasmeen Abutaleb, John Hudson, and Missy Ryan, “White House says Rafah strike does not violate Biden’s warnings to Israel,” Washington Post, May 28, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/28/biden-rafah-gaza-civilian-deaths-israel-palestinians/

Zack Beauchamp, “The slaughter in Rafah and Israel’s moral nadir,” Vox, May 28, 2024, https://www.vox.com/world-politics/351968/the-slaughter-in-rafah-and-israels-moral-nadir

Harry Davies, “Revealed: Israeli spy chief ‘threatened’ ICC prosecutor over war crimes inquiry,” Guardian, May 28, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/may/28/israeli-spy-chief-icc-prosecutor-war-crimes-inquiry

John Hudson and Michael Birnbaum, “Another State Department official resigns over Gaza, taking aim at aid,” Washington Post, May 28, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/28/state-department-official-resigns-gilbert/

Dan Lamothe, Alex Horton, and Kareem Fahim, “Pentagon suspends aid deliveries via Gaza pier after repeated mishaps,” Washington Post, May 28, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/28/gaza-pier-pentagon-weather-damage/

Oren Liebermann and Natasha Bertrand, “US pier constructed off Gaza has broken apart,” Cable News Network, May 28, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/28/politics/us-gaza-pier-broken-apart/index.html

Alexander Ward, “Netanyahu blasts Biden admin for rejecting GOP effort to sanction ICC,” Politico, May 29, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/05/29/netanyahu-biden-gop-effort-to-sanction-icc-00160387

Julian Borger, “US state department report absolving Israel on Gaza aid is false, says ex-official,” Guardian, May 30, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/may/30/stacy-gilbert-us-state-department-israel-gaza-aid

Arwa Mahdawi, “Where is Joe Biden’s fury about decapitated Palestinian babies?” Guardian, May 30, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/article/2024/may/30/biden-palestinian-beheaded-israeli-babies

Joyce Sohyun Lee et al., “Mapping Israel’s expanding battle for Rafah, a test of U.S. red lines,” Washington Post, May 31, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/05/31/israel-rafah-offensive-hamas-biden/

Tamar Michaelis and Rob Picheta, “Israel confirms its forces are in central Rafah, defying international condemnation of operation in southern Gazan city,” Cable News Network, May 31, 2024, https://edition.cnn.com/2024/05/31/middleeast/idf-central-rafah-intl/index.html

Ishaan Tharoor, “Netanyahu and Putin are both waiting for Trump,” Washington Post, May 31, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/31/trump-russia-israel-netanyahu-putin-win-foreign-policy-election/

John Feffer, “Who Will Win? International Law or Benjamin Netanyahu?” Common Dreams, June 1, 2024, https://www.commondreams.org/opinion/netanyahu-vs-international-law

Shira Rubin et al., “Biden’s cease-fire plan tightens political squeeze for Netanyahu in Israel,” Washington Post, June 2, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/06/02/israel-hamas-war-news-gaza-palestine-ceasefire-biden/


  1. [1]Alex Griffing, “Drudge Puts Trump in an Orange Jumpsuit as Site Monitors His Potential Indictment,” Mediaite, August 29, 2022, https://www.mediaite.com/news/drudge-puts-trump-in-an-orange-jumpsuit-as-site-monitors-his-potential-indictment/
  2. [2]Sarah D. Wire and Alexandra E. Petri, “Trump charged with 34 felony counts in alleged hush money cover-up case,” Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2023, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2023-04-04/donald-trump-alleged-hush-money-investigation-indictment-arraignment