Joe Biden still has done nothing to rein in Binyamin Netanyahu. Nothing.

Imperialism

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 1. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[1] fair use.

We’re many months past the time to call Joe Biden’s bluff:

President [Joe] Biden said Wednesday that he would halt the shipment of U.S. offensive weapons to Israel, which he acknowledged have been used to kill civilians in Gaza, if the country moves ahead with a long-planned ground invasion of Rafah — the first time he has threatened to withhold U.S. military aid, and the most direct threat he has made in the seven-month war.[2]

Remember, Joe Biden still hasn’t actually done anything. He’s certainly said things, even made threats. But this still looks like a bluff.

Lazar Berman, “Netanyahu tells Blinken he will not agree to end war on Hamas as part of hostage deal,” Times of Israel, May 1, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-israel-blinken-blames-hamas-for-hostage-deal-holdup-gaza-humanitarian-crisis/

J. Brian Charles, “After Negotiations Collapse, Police Sweep Through Columbia U. and Arrest Dozens,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/after-negotiations-collapse-police-sweep-through-columbia-u-and-arrest-dozens

Stephen Collinson, “Student unrest ratchets up an already tense election year,” Cable News Network, May 1, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/30/politics/student-protests-election-year-analysis

Erin Gretzinger, “Unrest Has Gripped Campuses Across the Country. These 3 Colleges Struck Deals With Their Protesters,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/unrest-has-gripped-campuses-across-the-country-these-3-colleges-struck-deals-with-their-protesters

Abigail Hauslohner, “House passes antisemitism bill over complaints from First Amendment advocates,” Washington Post, May 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/01/antisemitism-awarness-act-campus-protests/

Ishaan Tharoor, “The delusions behind Biden’s plan for Middle East peace,” Washington Post, May 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/01/middle-east-peace-biden-plan-delusions/

Stefan M. Bradley, “Columbia University protests look increasingly like those in 1968 as police storm campuses nationwide,” Conversation, May 2, 2024, https://theconversation.com/columbia-university-protests-look-increasingly-like-those-in-1968-as-police-storm-campuses-nationwide-228851

Rollie Atkinson, “Campus protest redux,” Moral Dilemmas: First Drafts and Commentaries, May 3, 2024, https://rollieatkinson.substack.com/p/campus-protest-redux

Gabriel Debenedetti, “It’s Not 1968 to Joe Biden,” New York, May 3, 2024, https://apple.news/Am-BcQkVNQ86yBoySWEPzOw

Times of Israel, “Hamas indicates it may agree to deal; Israeli official insists truce won’t end the war,” May 4, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-indicates-it-may-agree-to-deal-israeli-official-insists-truce-wont-end-the-war/

Kareem Fahim and Adela Suliman, “Israel shuts down Al Jazeera’s operations, raids Jerusalem office,” Washington Post, May 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/05/05/al-jazeera-israel-shut-down-gaza/

Barak Ravid, “U.S. put a hold on an ammunition shipment to Israel,” Axios, May 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/05/israel-us-ammunition-shipment-hold

Stephen Zunes, “Don’t Buy the Right-Wing Disinformation Campaign on ‘From the River to the Sea,’” Truthout, May 5, 2024, https://truthout.org/articles/dont-buy-the-right-wing-disinformation-campaign-on-from-the-river-to-the-sea/

Emanuel Fabian, “IDF tells 100,000 Palestinians to evacuate eastern Rafah ahead of planned offensive,” Times of Israel, May 6, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-calls-on-palestinians-to-evacuate-eastern-rafah-ahead-of-planned-offensive/

Harold Meyerson, “Who Created the Israel-Palestine Conflict?” American Prospect, May 6, 2024, https://prospect.org/world/2024-05-06-who-created-israel-palestine-conflict/

Abeer Salman et al., “Israel says Rafah operations will go ahead as Hamas deal remains ‘far’ from meeting its demands,” Cable News Network, May 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/06/middleeast/hamas-agrees-ceasefire-proposal-israel-gaza-latam-intl/index.html

Thomas J. Sugrue, “College Presidents Behaving Badly,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 6, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/college-presidents-behaving-badly

Ishaan Tharoor, “What lies beneath Gaza’s rubble and ruin,” Washington Post, May 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/06/gaza-destruction-rubble-calamity/

Alexander Ward, Lara Seligman, and Erin Banco, “US fears Israel speeding up Rafah invasion timeline after deadly Hamas attack,” Politico, May 6, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/05/06/us-israel-rafah-invasion-hamas-attack-00156256

John Hudson, “U.S. paused shipment of thousands of bombs to Israel amid Rafah rift,” Washington Post, May 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/07/biden-delays-weapons-israel-rafah/

Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden says he will cut off offensive weapons if Israel invades Rafah,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/biden-threatens-suspension-military-aid-israel/

Jordan Fabian and Galit Altstein, “US Pauses Arms Shipment to Israel Over Rafah Invasion Plans,” Bloomberg, May 8, 2024, https://apple.news/AxwraFLJGTjynJzZZSpfCVA

Jacob Magid, “US confirms holding up sale of heavy bombs it feared Israel would use in Rafah,” Times of Israel, May 8, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-confirms-holding-up-sale-of-heavy-bombs-it-feared-israel-would-use-in-rafah/


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Hush money


Fig. 2. Stormy Daniels at Ron Jeremy’s birthday party. Photograph by Luke Ford (Lukeisback.com), March 10, 2007, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.5.

I have followed Stormy Daniels on Twitter and certainly not because I find her attractive (I find breasts anything like the size shown in figure 2 repulsive) and so I understand that she plies her trade with a lot of sass. Expecting her not to testify in great detail about sex would simply not be on my bingo card.

And so she did. And now the fear is that her testimony will be seen as prejudicial and irrelevant. At the very least, it will be grounds for appeal.[3]

Perry Stein and Devlin Barrett, “Why Stormy Daniels’s account of sex with Trump may be problematic, and other takeaways,” Washington Post, May 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/07/trump-trial-takeaways-hush-money-stormy-daniels/

Niha Masih and Leo Sands, “What Stormy Daniels said happened in Trump’s hotel suite, from the transcript,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/stormy-daniels-transcript-trump-trial/

Heather Cox Richardson, “May 7, 2024,” Letters from an American, May 8, 2024, https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/may-7-2024

Speaker of the House of Representatives, 2023-2024


Fig. 3. Photograph credited to Office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy, date inconsistent with title but given as November 9, 2022, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Marjorie Taylor Greene claims to be a bible-fearing Christian. So here’s a Bible passage for her.

Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.[4]

But she had to open her fucking mouth:

Only 11 Republicans supported the move to “table” a measure by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), while 196 Republicans embraced keeping Johnson in the speaker’s job. Democrats also overwhelmingly voted to save the GOP speaker, 163 in support of keeping him and 32 against. The overall vote was 359-43, with seven Democratic lawmakers voting present.

All 11 Republicans who supported Greene’s push to consider ousting Johnson were members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, while all Democrats who voted in opposition of Johnson’s leadership or voted present were liberals.[5]

The overwhelming message here is that the far right caucus that’s been holding the House of Representatives hostage is not in any way representative of the chamber. Greene can be credited with an own goal here as this vote makes that clear for all the world to see and my expectation is that that caucus will henceforth be sidelined. She shoulda held her fire, but like Lauren Boebert, she’s built her political career on stupid and this isn’t just an act for an anti-intellectual constituency.

Tina Nguyen, “Johnson’s Rules for Radicals,” Puck, May 8, 2024, https://puck.news/mike-johnson-has-a-rules-committee-sized-problem/

Marianna Sotomayor and Mariana Alfaro, “House Speaker Mike Johnson survives vote to oust him from leadership,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/motion-to-vacate-house-speaker-marjorie-taylor-greene-mike-johnson/


Pennsylvania

Traffic non-enforcement


Fig. 4. Obviously, nowhere near Pittsburgh: “A Pennsylvania state trooper checks motorists’ speed using a radar gun.” Unattributed photograph credited only to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.[6]

I remember, before moving to Pittsburgh, my mother warning my that the city was fifty years behind the times. Having come here, my impression is that applies more generally to Pennsylvania as a whole, and one of the ways that shows up is that I see even cops driving down the road yakking on their cell phones.

Jan Murphy, “Pa. set to become 27th state to ban handheld cellphones while driving, ” Harrisburg Patriot-News, May 8, 2024, https://www.pennlive.com/politics/2024/05/pa-set-to-become-27th-state-to-ban-handheld-cell-phones-while-driving.html


So-called ‘ridesharing’

Bezzle


Fig. 5. “Clarkdale Classic Gas Station, Clarkdale, Arizona,” Photograph by Alan Levine, October 28, 2016, via Wikimedia Commons, CC0.

So I guess I’m back to looking for commentary from Hubert Horan:

The ridehailing and delivery company reported a surprise net loss of $654 million for the first quarter of the year, as legal settlements and equity investments proved to be more of a drag on Uber’s business than many expected.

Wall Street analysts had been expecting a profit of $474 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. In particular, the company’s never-ending legal battles over the classification of its drivers, as well as the waning demand in certain markets, were seen as slowing down Uber’s financial momentum.[7]

Andrew J. Hawkins, “Uber’s not out of the woods yet,” Verge, May 8, 2024, https://www.theverge.com/2024/5/8/24151901/uber-q1-2024-earnings-net-loss-profit-settlement-drivers


  1. [1]Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden says he will cut off offensive weapons if Israel invades Rafah,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/biden-threatens-suspension-military-aid-israel/
  3. [3]Niha Masih and Leo Sands, “What Stormy Daniels said happened in Trump’s hotel suite, from the transcript,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/stormy-daniels-transcript-trump-trial/; Heather Cox Richardson, “May 7, 2024,” Letters from an American, May 8, 2024, https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/may-7-2024; Perry Stein and Devlin Barrett, “Why Stormy Daniels’s account of sex with Trump may be problematic, and other takeaways,” Washington Post, May 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/07/trump-trial-takeaways-hush-money-stormy-daniels/
  4. [4]Prov. 17:28 (New International Version).
  5. [5]Marianna Sotomayor and Mariana Alfaro, “House Speaker Mike Johnson survives vote to oust him from leadership,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/motion-to-vacate-house-speaker-marjorie-taylor-greene-mike-johnson/
  6. [6]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/
  7. [7]Andrew J. Hawkins, “Uber’s not out of the woods yet,” Verge, May 8, 2024, https://www.theverge.com/2024/5/8/24151901/uber-q1-2024-earnings-net-loss-profit-settlement-drivers

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