Reading the tea leaves

Updates

  1. Originally published, September 22, 5:44 pm.
  2. September 22, 7:42 pm:
    • So-called “Arab” (for which, read “Palestinian”) parties have thrown their support behind Benny Gantz in an effort to stop Binyamin Netanyahu. A curious part is that Avigdor Liberman seems to have taken himself out of the game, refusing to endorse either Blue and White or Likud and instead insisting that the two major parties should form a unity government. Liberman doesn’t care whether Netanyahu or Gantz serves first.[1]

I’ve begun work on a new page entitled “Pittsburgh driving for the uninitiated.“

My real purpose is to have something to point to when the Lyft safety team relays a complaint (which they never describe with any detail or specificity and which I suspect they sometimes pull out of thin air) about the difficulties of Pittsburgh driving. And of course they won’t actually read it because they don’t really give a damn, would be happy to just terminate me regardless, and in the meantime satisfy themselves with messing with my head. But it does show something of what I’m up against and what all Pittsburgh drivers are up against.


I’ve added photographs to my last blog post entitled, “The banners and the guns: Flagrant racism in Pittsburgh.


I’m not fond of the class of coverage I have here for both the Brexit and Israel headings and that nothing else had reached my very arbitrary and very ambiguous threshold for coverage here yesterday explains the absence of an issue. I’m less interested in speculation than in what actually happens. But sometimes the analysis is worth reading.

With both these issues very much up in the air—no one can predict these outcomes with confidence—I hope these analyses offer a little additional insight.


Brexit

Jamie Doward, “Supreme court poised to rule against Boris Johnson, say legal experts,” Guardian, September 22, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/sep/22/supreme-court-verdict-boris-johnson-prorogation


Israel

Natan Sachs, “The End of Netanyahu’s Unchecked Reign,” Atlantic, September 19, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/09/israel-steps-back-two-brinks/598384/

David Horovitz, “Results aren’t even official, but already nightmare 3rd election scenario looms,” Times of Israel, September 20, 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/results-arent-even-official-but-already-nightmare-3rd-election-scenario-looms/

Oliver Holmes, “Israel: Wounded Netanyahu in desperate battle for political survival after poll blow,” Guardian, September 21, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/21/netanyahu-battle-for-survival-after-israel-poll-shock-benny-gantz

Ruth Eglash, “Arab parties throw support behind Gantz as they seek to block Netanyahu,” Washington Post, September 22, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/in-second-stage-of-israels-election-process-president-could-be-kingmaker/2019/09/22/9cd4849c-dbce-11e9-a1a5-162b8a9c9ca2_story.html


Gig economy

This[2] is not what I wanted to hear.

Diane Mulcahy, “California’s New Gig Economy Law Is All Bark, No Bite,” Forbes, September 20, 2019, https://www.forbes.com/sites/dianemulcahy/2019/09/20/californias-new-gig-economy-law-is-all-bark-no-bite/


  1. [1]Ruth Eglash, “Arab parties throw support behind Gantz as they seek to block Netanyahu,” Washington Post, September 22, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/in-second-stage-of-israels-election-process-president-could-be-kingmaker/2019/09/22/9cd4849c-dbce-11e9-a1a5-162b8a9c9ca2_story.html
  2. [2]Diane Mulcahy, “California’s New Gig Economy Law Is All Bark, No Bite,” Forbes, September 20, 2019, https://www.forbes.com/sites/dianemulcahy/2019/09/20/californias-new-gig-economy-law-is-all-bark-no-bite/

Third time the charm for Binyamin Netanyahu?

IMG_0006
Fig. 1. McKeesport. That’s the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center McKeesport Hospital behind the cemetery.
IMG_0007
Fig. 2. Clairton.
There is a new blog post entitled, “The banners and the guns: Flagrant racism in Pittsburgh. It’s a more formal critical theory approach to my observations of racism in the Pittsburgh area. I haven’t added the photographs above to it yet because there’s one or two more I want to get.


Israel

Jerusalem Online, “Lapid: Bibi Is Trying to Drag the Country Into a Third Election,” September 20, 2019, https://www.jerusalemonline.com/lapid-bibi-is-trying-to-drag-the-country-into-a-third-election/


The humbling of Binyamin Netanyahu

Israel

Avigdor Lieberman, who leads Yisrael Beiteinu, which seems to have won more seats in Israel’s Knesset in the country’s re-run election, briefly seemed not quite to have the advantage the Associated Press earlier suggested[1] as it was suggested that Likud, in a bloc with the small right-wing religious parties that secularists despise, could combine with the secularist Blue and White, led by Benny Gantz, to form a unity government. The stumbling blocks to such a government were that 1) Likud would have to ditch Binyamin Netanyahu, who depends on a position as prime minister to avoid prosecution on corruption charges; and 2) that whole issue of the small right wing religious parties[2] who have used their position “to restrict public transport on the Sabbath, set marital laws and avoid military service.”[3] Likud and these small parties have agreed to a pact forming a unified bloc.[4]

Avigdor Lieberman, the head of Yisrael Beiteinu, has said he wouldn’t sit with any religious parties. Mr. Gantz has said he wouldn’t sit in a government with Mr. Netanyahu while he is under investigation for alleged corruption.[5]

As it turned out, the stumbling blocks were fatal.[6]

Gantz, not mentioning Netanyahu by name, said Thursday that he will lead a “liberal” coalition without Netanyahu’s haredi Orthodox allies. Moshe Yaalon, a Blue and White leader and former Israeli defense minister, said plainly that the party will “not enter a coalition led by Netanyahu,” echoing what the party had stated throughout the election campaign.[7]

Lieberman’s leverage seems to lie in that rejection of a unity government, as either Likud or Blue and White could combine with his party to form a majority.[8] Likud and the religious parties remained loyal to Netanyahu and Gantz rejected a coalition with those parties.[9] (It had earlier appeared as if the knives were out for Netanyahu even within Likud.[10]) The curious part of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency story[11] is that it does not mention the possibility of Lieberman’s party helping to form the coalition,[12] focusing instead on the possibility of so-called “Arab” (meaning Palestinian) parties taking part.[13]

Finally, while I’m inclined to view Netanyahu’s defeat (assuming it actually transpires) as a positive step towards unpacking the mess of Israeli politics, Diana Buttu pours cold water on the idea of any immediate or even near-term progress for the Palestinians.[14]

Diana Buttu, “The Israeli Elections Are a Referendum on Who Can Treat Palestinians Most Harshly,” Nation, September 16, 2019, https://www.thenation.com/article/israel-election-2019/

Ruth Eglash and Steve Hendrix, “Election setback has Netanyahu now seeking to share power in a unity government,” Washington Post, September 19, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/election-setback-has-netanyahu-now-seeking-to-share-power-in-a-unity-government/2019/09/19/2449d634-dac1-11e9-ac63-3016711543fe_story.html

Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “Netanyahu reaches out to form a government with his rival — and gets rejected,” September 19, 2019, https://www.jta.org/quick-reads/with-final-votes-counted-gantzs-blue-and-white-takes-2-seat-lead

Felicia Schwartz and Dov Lieber, “Gantz Declares Win, Rejects Netanyahu’s Call for Negotiations,” Wall Street Journal, September 19, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/netanyahu-calls-for-unity-government-after-election-deadlock-11568881009


  1. [1]Aron Heller, “Gamble pays off for Lieberman, who becomes Israeli kingmaker,” Associated Press, September 17, 2019, https://apnews.com/192335a30dca44e59fb1534974de5891
  2. [2]Ruth Eglash and Steve Hendrix, “Election setback has Netanyahu now seeking to share power in a unity government,” Washington Post, September 19, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/election-setback-has-netanyahu-now-seeking-to-share-power-in-a-unity-government/2019/09/19/2449d634-dac1-11e9-ac63-3016711543fe_story.html; Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “Netanyahu reaches out to form a government with his rival — and gets rejected,” September 19, 2019, https://www.jta.org/quick-reads/with-final-votes-counted-gantzs-blue-and-white-takes-2-seat-lead; Felicia Schwartz and Dov Lieber, “Gantz Declares Win, Rejects Netanyahu’s Call for Negotiations,” Wall Street Journal, September 19, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/netanyahu-calls-for-unity-government-after-election-deadlock-11568881009
  3. [3]Felicia Schwartz and Dov Lieber, “Gantz Declares Win, Rejects Netanyahu’s Call for Negotiations,” Wall Street Journal, September 19, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/netanyahu-calls-for-unity-government-after-election-deadlock-11568881009
  4. [4]Ruth Eglash and Steve Hendrix, “Election setback has Netanyahu now seeking to share power in a unity government,” Washington Post, September 19, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/election-setback-has-netanyahu-now-seeking-to-share-power-in-a-unity-government/2019/09/19/2449d634-dac1-11e9-ac63-3016711543fe_story.html; Felicia Schwartz and Dov Lieber, “Gantz Declares Win, Rejects Netanyahu’s Call for Negotiations,” Wall Street Journal, September 19, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/netanyahu-calls-for-unity-government-after-election-deadlock-11568881009
  5. [5]Felicia Schwartz and Dov Lieber, “Gantz Declares Win, Rejects Netanyahu’s Call for Negotiations,” Wall Street Journal, September 19, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/netanyahu-calls-for-unity-government-after-election-deadlock-11568881009
  6. [6]Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “Netanyahu reaches out to form a government with his rival — and gets rejected,” September 19, 2019, https://www.jta.org/quick-reads/with-final-votes-counted-gantzs-blue-and-white-takes-2-seat-lead
  7. [7]Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “Netanyahu reaches out to form a government with his rival — and gets rejected,” September 19, 2019, https://www.jta.org/quick-reads/with-final-votes-counted-gantzs-blue-and-white-takes-2-seat-lead
  8. [8]Felicia Schwartz and Dov Lieber, “Gantz Declares Win, Rejects Netanyahu’s Call for Negotiations,” Wall Street Journal, September 19, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/netanyahu-calls-for-unity-government-after-election-deadlock-11568881009
  9. [9]Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “Netanyahu reaches out to form a government with his rival — and gets rejected,” September 19, 2019, https://www.jta.org/quick-reads/with-final-votes-counted-gantzs-blue-and-white-takes-2-seat-lead
  10. [10]Bernard Avishai, “A Climax to the Saga of Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman,” New Yorker, June 1, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/a-climax-to-the-saga-of-benjamin-netanyahu-and-avigdor-lieberman; Times of Israel, “Ehud Barak says Netanyahu is ‘finished,’ predicts Likud will turn on him,” May 31, 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/ehud-barak-says-netanyahu-is-finished-predicts-likud-will-turn-on-him/
  11. [11]Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “Netanyahu reaches out to form a government with his rival — and gets rejected,” September 19, 2019, https://www.jta.org/quick-reads/with-final-votes-counted-gantzs-blue-and-white-takes-2-seat-lead
  12. [12]Aron Heller, “Gamble pays off for Lieberman, who becomes Israeli kingmaker,” Associated Press, September 17, 2019, https://apnews.com/192335a30dca44e59fb1534974de5891; Aron Heller, “Gamble pays off for Lieberman, who becomes Israeli kingmaker,” Associated Press, September 17, 2019, https://apnews.com/192335a30dca44e59fb1534974de5891
  13. [13]Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “Netanyahu reaches out to form a government with his rival — and gets rejected,” September 19, 2019, https://www.jta.org/quick-reads/with-final-votes-counted-gantzs-blue-and-white-takes-2-seat-lead
  14. [14]Diana Buttu, “The Israeli Elections Are a Referendum on Who Can Treat Palestinians Most Harshly,” Nation, September 16, 2019, https://www.thenation.com/article/israel-election-2019/

Politics, whether or not by other means

Iran

Paul Schemm, “Saudi military presents weapons debris, says oil attacks ‘unquestionably sponsored’ by Iran but launch point not yet determined,” Washington Post, September 18, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/iran-warns-us-of-broad-retaliation-in-case-of-any-attack/2019/09/18/35a1275c-d99f-11e9-a1a5-162b8a9c9ca2_story.html


Israel

Aron Heller, “Gamble pays off for Lieberman, who becomes Israeli kingmaker,” Associated Press, September 17, 2019, https://apnews.com/192335a30dca44e59fb1534974de5891


Gig economy

John Myers, Johana Bhuiyan, and Margot Roosevelt, “Newsom signs bill rewriting California employment law, limiting use of independent contractors,” Los Angeles Times, September 18, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-09-18/gavin-newsom-signs-ab5-employees0independent-contractors-california


 

Uber and Lyft defiant

Gig economy

We already knew Uber was planning to defy California’s AB 5 requiring it to classify its drivers as employees.[1] Now we see Lyft will do the same.[2] It’s no surprise and the Vox article[3] otherwise adds nothing new to earlier coverage.[4] Nathan Heller’s article[5] is a bit more retrospective, with little new for those of us who’ve paid close attention, but possibly useful for those who haven’t.

I guess two things are remarkable to me here: First, how widely and generally accepted it is that Uber and Lyft drivers deserve better protection from neoliberal bullshit; and second, that Uber and Lyft really imagine they can prevail in a court system that handed down the Dynamex decision. Really, what they can do is stall, and I suspect that’s the real plan, to delay being busted for their bezzle.

Shirin Ghaffary, “Uber and Lyft say they don’t plan to reclassify their drivers as employees,” Vox, September 11, 2019, https://www.vox.com/2019/9/11/20861599/ab-5-uber-lyft-drivers-contractors-reclassify-employees

Nathan Heller, “A New California Law Takes Aim at Uber and Lyft,” New Yorker, September 12, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-silicon-valley/a-new-california-law-takes-aim-at-uber-and-lyft


Brexit

Boris Johnson has repeated the lie[6] that everyone, including the Scottish Court of Session, knows is a lie.[7]

Francis Elliott, “I didn’t lie to the Queen, says Boris Johnson,” Times, September 12, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/i-didnt-lie-to-the-queen-says-johnson-q875lrxzk


Palestine

Times of Israel, “Netanyahu: I tried to annex Jordan Valley before election but AG said I couldn’t,” September 11, 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-tried-to-annex-jordan-valley-before-election-but-was-told-to-wait/

Jacob Magid, “PM’s Jordan Valley map was error-strewn, but is his vow worth taking seriously?” Times of Israel, September 12, 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/pms-jordan-valley-map-was-error-strewn-but-is-his-vow-worth-taking-seriously/


  1. [1]Kate Conger, “Uber Says It Will Not Change Driver Status Under California Gig-Worker Law,” New York Times, September 11, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/11/business/economy/uber-california-bill.html; Aaron Gordon, “Uber To California: Make Us,” Jalopnik, September 11, 2019, https://jalopnik.com/uber-and-lyft-drivers-shouldnt-expect-to-be-employees-a-1838048966
  2. [2]Shirin Ghaffary, “Uber and Lyft say they don’t plan to reclassify their drivers as employees,” Vox, September 11, 2019, https://www.vox.com/2019/9/11/20861599/ab-5-uber-lyft-drivers-contractors-reclassify-employees
  3. [3]Shirin Ghaffary, “Uber and Lyft say they don’t plan to reclassify their drivers as employees,” Vox, September 11, 2019, https://www.vox.com/2019/9/11/20861599/ab-5-uber-lyft-drivers-contractors-reclassify-employees
  4. [4]Kate Conger, “Uber Says It Will Not Change Driver Status Under California Gig-Worker Law,” New York Times, September 11, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/11/business/economy/uber-california-bill.html; Aaron Gordon, “Uber To California: Make Us,” Jalopnik, September 11, 2019, https://jalopnik.com/uber-and-lyft-drivers-shouldnt-expect-to-be-employees-a-1838048966
  5. [5]Nathan Heller, “A New California Law Takes Aim at Uber and Lyft,” New Yorker, September 12, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-silicon-valley/a-new-california-law-takes-aim-at-uber-and-lyft
  6. [6]Francis Elliott, “I didn’t lie to the Queen, says Boris Johnson,” Times, September 12, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/i-didnt-lie-to-the-queen-says-johnson-q875lrxzk
  7. [7]Karla Adam and Michael Birnbaum, “Allies of British prime minister resign amid outrage over Parliament suspension,” Washington Post, August 29, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/british-leaders-backers-dismiss-outrage-over-parliament-suspension-as-candyfloss/2019/08/29/fa1e2c96-ca3c-11e9-a4f3-c081a126de70_story.html; Griff Witte and Karla Adam, “Scottish court rules Johnson’s suspension of Britain’s Parliament was illegal,” Washington Post, September 11, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/scottish-court-rules-johnsons-suspension-of-britains-parliament-was-illegal/2019/09/11/84265a36-d40a-11e9-8924-1db7dac797fb_story.html; Griff Witte and Karla Adam, “Scottish court rules Johnson’s suspension of Britain’s Parliament was illegal,” Washington Post, September 11, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/scottish-court-rules-johnsons-suspension-of-britains-parliament-was-illegal/2019/09/11/84265a36-d40a-11e9-8924-1db7dac797fb_story.html

Uber. Toilet. Flush.

Gig economy

Bullshit:

“Our hope with these changes is to reset and improve how we work day to day — ruthlessly prioritizing, and always holding ourselves accountable to a high bar of performance and agility,” an Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch. “While certainly painful in the moment, especially for those directly affected, we believe that this will result in a much stronger technical organization, which going forward will continue to hire some of the very best talent around the world.”[1]

For crying out loud, it even sounds like bullshit. And that’s exactly what it is.

What’s worse, it’s neoliberal bullshit, the bullshit that, among other things, asserts the problem of profitability is never with the company itself, never with its business plan, and certainly never with management, but always with the workers. Efficiency here is always defined in terms of cutting labor costs. Drivers have borne the brunt of this from the beginning (and California, at least, is finally calling bullshit[2]); that failed (and still fails), so now Uber lays off employees.

Megan Rose Dickey, “Uber lays off 435 people across engineering and product teams,” TechCrunch, September 10, 2019, https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/10/uber-lays-off-435-people-across-engineering-and-product-teams/

Heather Somerville and Mark Maurer, “Uber Cuts More Than 400 Technical Jobs,” Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-cuts-more-than-400-technical-jobs-11568144111

Sophia Bollag, “California Uber, Lyft drivers to become employees under measure Gov. Gavin Newsom says he’ll sign,” Sacramento Bee, September 11, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article234973107.html

Kate Conger, “Uber Says It Will Not Change Driver Status Under California Gig-Worker Law,” New York Times, September 11, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/11/business/economy/uber-california-bill.html

Alejandro Lazo, “California Passes Landmark Bill Requiring Contract Workers to Be Labeled as Employees,” Wall Street Journal, September 11, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/california-governor-still-in-talks-with-uber-lyft-over-gig-workers-law-11568212014


Brexit

This is what Boris Johnson’s government has denied,[3] cannot admit, and why:

The Court of Session said that the decision was invalid because it was “motivated by the improper purpose of stymieing parliament” in an excoriating judgment that effectively accused the prime minister of misleading the Queen to make her act unlawfully.[4]

Chris Smyth, Kieran Andrews, and Jonathan Ames, “Parliament suspension ‘unlawful,’” Times, September 11, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/scottish-court-rules-parliament-suspension-unlawful-xdzj2c6kk

Griff Witte and Karla Adam, “Scottish court rules Johnson’s suspension of Britain’s Parliament was illegal,” Washington Post, September 11, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/scottish-court-rules-johnsons-suspension-of-britains-parliament-was-illegal/2019/09/11/84265a36-d40a-11e9-8924-1db7dac797fb_story.html


Palestine

In a previous installment,[5] Binyamin Netanyahu had promised to annex almost all of the West Bank.[6] He might not be getting the reaction he hoped for:

Yamina, a coalition of right-wing religious parties, also dismissed Netanyahu’s statement as “spin” and said only it would ensure that large swaths of the West Bank currently under Israeli control are retained.

“With regards to the Jordan Valley, we call on Netanyahu to pass a cabinet decision already this evening as was done when sovereignty was applied over Jerusalem. There is no need for legislation. We will stand behind him immediately,” it said in a statement.

“Otherwise, the entire nation of Israel will know that this was a cheap political spin meant to snarf up votes and nothing more,” the statement added. . . .

On the left-side of the political map, Labor MK Itzik Shmuli linked the announcement to Netanyahu’s efforts to avoid prosecution in a series of graft probes.

“In order to obtain enough mandates for immunity from prison Netanyahu will even promise to annex the moon,” Shmuli tweeted.[7]

I have little doubt Binyamin Netanyahu is desperately attempting to avoid prosecution, but I fear Ayman Odeh gets it right:

However, Ayman Odeh, who heads the Joint List alliance of Arab majority parties, warned Netanyahu’s vow was no mere campaign promise.

“This isn’t only election spin,” Odeh wrote on Twitter, claiming the annexation of areas of the West Bank was part of the Israel right’s “vision of apartheid.

“They don’t want to make the [West] Bank part of Israel, they want to make Israel an extension of the West Bank. A minority of Jewish citizens ruling a majority of Palestinian subjects without rights,” Odeh added.[8]

Israel already engages in ethnic cleansing and operates an apartheid system, preferring Jews to those it calls “Arabs,” seeking to erase Palestinian identity (a genocidal act).

Times of Israel, “Netanyahu’s Jordan Valley sovereignty vow widely panned by politicians as ‘spin,’” Times of Israel, September 11, 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahus-jordan-valley-vow-widely-panned-by-politicians-as-spin/


  1. [1]Megan Rose Dickey, “Uber lays off 435 people across engineering and product teams,” TechCrunch, September 10, 2019, https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/10/uber-lays-off-435-people-across-engineering-and-product-teams/
  2. [2]Sophia Bollag, “California Uber, Lyft drivers to become employees under measure Gov. Gavin Newsom says he’ll sign,” Sacramento Bee, September 11, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article234973107.html; Alejandro Lazo, “California Passes Landmark Bill Requiring Contract Workers to Be Labeled as Employees,” Wall Street Journal, September 11, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/california-governor-still-in-talks-with-uber-lyft-over-gig-workers-law-11568212014
  3. [3]Karla Adam and Michael Birnbaum, “Allies of British prime minister resign amid outrage over Parliament suspension,” Washington Post, August 29, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/british-leaders-backers-dismiss-outrage-over-parliament-suspension-as-candyfloss/2019/08/29/fa1e2c96-ca3c-11e9-a4f3-c081a126de70_story.html
  4. [4]Chris Smyth, Kieran Andrews, and Jonathan Ames, “Parliament suspension ‘unlawful,’” Times, September 11, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/scottish-court-rules-parliament-suspension-unlawful-xdzj2c6kk
  5. [5]David Benfell, “The U.S. is now a little less likely to invade Iran,” Irregular Bullshit, September 10, 2019, https://disunitedstates.com/2019/09/10/the-u-s-is-now-a-little-less-likely-to-invade-iran/
  6. [6]Oliver Holmes, “Netanyahu vows to annex large parts of occupied West Bank,” Guardian, September 10, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/10/netanyahu-vows-annex-large-parts-occupied-west-bank-trump
  7. [7]Times of Israel, “Netanyahu’s Jordan Valley sovereignty vow widely panned by politicians as ‘spin,’” Times of Israel, September 11, 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahus-jordan-valley-vow-widely-panned-by-politicians-as-spin/
  8. [8]Times of Israel, “Netanyahu’s Jordan Valley sovereignty vow widely panned by politicians as ‘spin,’” Times of Israel, September 11, 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahus-jordan-valley-vow-widely-panned-by-politicians-as-spin/

The U.S. is now a little less likely to invade Iran

Guns

Lisa Marie Pane, “NRA sues San Francisco over terrorist declaration,” Washington Post, September 9, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/nra-sues-san-francisco-over-terrorist-declaration/2019/09/09/34f4fd3c-d360-11e9-8924-1db7dac797fb_story.html

Jack Crowe, “NRA Sues San Francisco over ‘Domestic Terrorist Organization’ Label,” National Review, September 10, 2019, https://www.nationalreview.com/news/nra-sues-san-francisco-over-domestic-terrorist-organization-label/


Homelessness

There is a new blog post entitled, “Crocodile tears for the homeless.”

Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks, “Sacramento wants to overturn this homeless ruling. Now it’s asking the Supreme Court for help,” Sacramento Bee, September 10, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article234894477.html


John Bolton

We are now a little less likely to invade Iran.[1]

Anne Gearan, John Wagner, and Robert Costa, “Bolton out as national security adviser after clashing with Trump,” Washington Post, September 10, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-fires-bolton-as-national-security-adviser-saying-he-disagreed-strongly-with-many-of-his-suggestions/2019/09/10/13409e2c-d3b9-11e9-9610-fb56c5522e1c_story.html


Brexit

Griff Witte and Karla Adam, “A chaotic final night for Parliament leaves Johnson with bleak choices on the path to Brexit,” Washington Post, September 10, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/a-chaotic-final-night-for-parliament-leaves-johnson-with-bleak-choices-on-the-path-to-brexit/2019/09/10/443a835a-d33a-11e9-8924-1db7dac797fb_story.html


Palestine

Palestinians would be left with nearly nothing under Binyamin Netanyahu’s campaign promise:[2]

In Israeli politics, however, annexation is a popular position. Israel has long stated it would want to keep the 2,400-sq km (926.65-sqmile) Jordan Valley to maintain control over the international border.[3]

Oliver Holmes, “Netanyahu vows to annex large parts of occupied West Bank,” Guardian, September 10, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/10/netanyahu-vows-annex-large-parts-occupied-west-bank-trump


  1. [1]Peter Beinart, “The Question the Iran Hawks Haven’t Answered,” Atlantic, June 24, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/iran-hawks-owe-americans-some-answers/592390/; Dexter Filkins, “John Bolton on the Warpath,” New Yorker, April 29, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/05/06/john-bolton-on-the-warpath; Anne Gearan, John Wagner, and Robert Costa, “Bolton out as national security adviser after clashing with Trump,” Washington Post, September 10, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-fires-bolton-as-national-security-adviser-saying-he-disagreed-strongly-with-many-of-his-suggestions/2019/09/10/13409e2c-d3b9-11e9-9610-fb56c5522e1c_story.html;
  2. [2]Oliver Holmes, “Netanyahu vows to annex large parts of occupied West Bank,” Guardian, September 10, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/10/netanyahu-vows-annex-large-parts-occupied-west-bank-trump
  3. [3]Oliver Holmes, “Netanyahu vows to annex large parts of occupied West Bank,” Guardian, September 10, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/10/netanyahu-vows-annex-large-parts-occupied-west-bank-trump

Owned

Migration

There is a new blog post entitled, “Owning the libtards.”

Analysts say the public charge change [announced August 12] could dramatically reduce family-based legal immigration to the United States, particularly from Latin America and Africa, where incomes are generally lower than the rest of the world. It also could lead to an increase in deportations, as those present with some form of provisional or temporary immigration status in the United States are denied legal residency.[1]

Abigail Hauslohner et al., “Trump officials move to deny green cards, path to citizenship for poor immigrants,” Washington Post, August 12, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/trump-administration-aims-to-make-citizenship-more-difficult-for-immigrants-who-rely-on-public-assistance/2019/08/12/fe3f8162-b565-11e9-8949-5f36ff92706e_story.html

Public Broadcasting System, “Trump administration issues rules to deny green cards for immigrants on food stamps,” August 12, 2019, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/new-rules-can-deny-green-cards-for-immigrants-on-food-stamps?fbclid=IwAR3ucMIKGcFP9nPmwyvnfib6SfsYY4zV0H-KFvoAEwaiOmgPkHbcLHJ5aOU

Devan Cole, “Cuccinelli rewrites Statue of Liberty poem to make case for limiting immigration,” CNN, August 13, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/13/politics/ken-cuccinelli-statue-of-liberty/index.html


Pittsburgh

Beaver County is getting a Royal Dutch Shell ethylene cracker plant. Because U.S. Steel’s pollution isn’t enough already.[2] And Donald Trump was here to celebrate claim credit for the plant which was announced in 2012.[3]

Do I need to say it? I mean, I get it. It’s been a long, long two and a half years. But Trump was inaugurated in 2017, five years after the plant was announced.[4]

Eric Heyl, “Trump Takes Credit For Plant Announced 5 Years Before Presidency,” Patch, August 13, 2019, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/gt5wi/trump-takes-credit-for-plant-announced-5-years-before-presidency

Eric Heyl, “Trump To Tour Shell Cracker Plant, Protesters Anticipated,” Patch, August 13, 2019, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/gt595/trump-to-tour-shell-cracker-plant-protesters-anticipated


Military

William Astore[5] inspired me to resurrect and update my adaptation of The History Guy’s “American Military History.”[6] My adaptation is in spreadsheet form and is intended to expose the number of calendar years without some sort of U.S. war. The total number remains sixteen; the longest interregnum remains eight. A limitation is that the History Guy uses 1890 as an ending date for the American Indian Wars;[7] some would dispute this. We have been in a continuous state of war (this includes the Cold War from 1945 through 1991) since 1941. The spreadsheet is now available via Google Sheets so I think anyone with a modern web browser (certainly Google Chrome) should be able to view it.

William J. Astore, “In Wars and Weapons We Trust: America’s Militarized Profession of Faith,” TomDispatch, August 13, 2019, http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176596/tomgram%3A_william_astore%2C_military_strength_is_our_national_religion/


My old high school

Carol Pogash, “San Francisco School Board May Save Controversial George Washington Mural,” New York Times, August 10, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/10/arts/san-francisco-murals.html


Jeffrey Epstein

As predicted,[8] heads are rolling at the Metropolitan Correctional Center,[9] presumably making the understaffing problem[10] there worse.

David Shortell, “Warden at prison where Epstein died is temporarily reassigned and staffers placed on leave,” CNN, August 13, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/13/politics/epstein-mcc-warden/index.html


Palestine

You didn’t really think Israel wants a two-state solution, did you? Apparently some U.S. lawmakers made that mistake when they authored and passed an anti-BDS (Boycott, Diversity and Sanction) bill.[11]

Gil Hoffman, “Israeli MKs to Congress: Thanks, but BDS bill ‘dangerous for
Israel,’” Jerusalem Post, August 12, 2019, https://www.jpost.com/American-Politics/Israeli-MKs-to-Congress-Thanks-but-BDS-bill-dangerous-for-Israel-598392

Michael Arria, “Israeli lawmakers to Congress: two-state solution far more dangerous to Israel than BDS,” Mondoweiss, August 13, 2019, https://mondoweiss.net/2019/08/lawmakers-congress-dangerous/


  1. [1]Abigail Hauslohner et al., “Trump officials move to deny green cards, path to citizenship for poor immigrants,” Washington Post, August 12, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/trump-administration-aims-to-make-citizenship-more-difficult-for-immigrants-who-rely-on-public-assistance/2019/08/12/fe3f8162-b565-11e9-8949-5f36ff92706e_story.html
  2. [2]Jessi Quinn Alperin, “Clairton, PA, wants to be clear: Residents demand accountability from U.S. Steel,” Environmental Health Network, May 13, 2019, https://www.ehn.org/clairton-coke-works-air-pollution-2636784943.html; Eric Heyl, “Trump To Tour Shell Cracker Plant, Protesters Anticipated,” Patch, August 13, 2019, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/gt595/trump-to-tour-shell-cracker-plant-protesters-anticipated; Kris Maher, “Pittsburgh Breathes Easier After Repairs at U.S. Steel Coke Plant,” Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/pittsburgh-breathes-easier-after-repairs-at-u-s-steel-coke-plant-11558872000; Kris Maher, “U.S. Steel Suffers New Fire Knocking Out Pollution Controls in Plant Near Pittsburgh,” Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-steel-suffers-new-fire-knocking-out-pollution-controls-in-plant-near-pittsburgh-11560795102
  3. [3]Eric Heyl, “Trump Takes Credit For Plant Announced 5 Years Before Presidency,” Patch, August 13, 2019, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/gt5wi/trump-takes-credit-for-plant-announced-5-years-before-presidency; Eric Heyl, “Trump To Tour Shell Cracker Plant, Protesters Anticipated,” Patch, August 13, 2019, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/gt595/trump-to-tour-shell-cracker-plant-protesters-anticipated
  4. [4]Eric Heyl, “Trump Takes Credit For Plant Announced 5 Years Before Presidency,” Patch, August 13, 2019, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/gt5wi/trump-takes-credit-for-plant-announced-5-years-before-presidency
  5. [5]William J. Astore, “In Wars and Weapons We Trust: America’s Militarized Profession of Faith,” TomDispatch, August 13, 2019, http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176596/tomgram%3A_william_astore%2C_military_strength_is_our_national_religion/
  6. [6]The History Guy, “American Military History,” 2017, https://www.historyguy.com/american_military_history.html
  7. [7]The History Guy, “American Military History,” 2017, https://www.historyguy.com/american_military_history.html
  8. [8]David Benfell, “Jeffrey Epstein almost certainly committed suicide. Not that that will quiet the conspiracy clowns,” Irregular Bullshit, August 12, 2019, https://disunitedstates.com/2019/08/12/jeffrey-epstein-almost-certainly-committed-suicide-not-that-that-will-quiet-the-conspiracy-clowns/
  9. [9]David Shortell, “Warden at prison where Epstein died is temporarily reassigned and staffers placed on leave,” CNN, August 13, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/13/politics/epstein-mcc-warden/index.html
  10. [10]Matt Zapotosky and Devlin Barrett, “Corrections officers did not check on Epstein for ‘several’ hours before his death, violating protocol, person familiar with case says,” Washington Post, August 11, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/it-was-inevitable-officers-watching-epstein-were-on-overtime-due-to-jail-staffing-shortage-union-president-says/2019/08/11/2b611404-bc5e-11e9-a5c6-1e74f7ec4a93_story.html
  11. [11]Michael Arria, “Israeli lawmakers to Congress: two-state solution far more dangerous to Israel than BDS,” Mondoweiss, August 13, 2019, https://mondoweiss.net/2019/08/lawmakers-congress-dangerous/; Gil Hoffman, “Israeli MKs to Congress: Thanks, but BDS bill ‘dangerous for
    Israel,’” Jerusalem Post, August 12, 2019, https://www.jpost.com/American-Politics/Israeli-MKs-to-Congress-Thanks-but-BDS-bill-dangerous-for-Israel-598392

The European Union insists on an Irish backstop. Boris Johnson insists he won’t tolerate one.

Brexit

Boris Johnson does not have a majority for “no deal.”[1] But we knew that already. This is largely the same parliament that didn’t have a majority for any option.[2] The changes that have occurred and are occurring can only make Johnson’s life more difficult.[3]

In a column this Sunday, Johnson embraced the legacy of the American moon landing. If astronauts “could use hand-knit computer codes to make a frictionless reentry to the Earth’s atmosphere,” he wrote, “we can solve the problem of frictionless trade at the Northern Ireland border.”[4]

There is exactly one way that analogy works: “You can’t BS your way into space.”[5] And you can’t bullshit your way to a deal with the European Union either:[6]

Now, under a Johnson government, Britain could crash out of the E.U. without a divorce deal in place this Halloween, unleashing untold horrors on the British economy. Westminster watchers puzzle over the profound impediments still facing Johnson in Parliament, the sharpening of knives by rivals within his own party and the probable humiliating concessions he may have to make to get European counterparts to consider renegotiating Britain’s terms of withdrawal.[7]

But as it has been, the legal default is “no deal”[8] and Johnson has indicated his government will be preparing for it while sticking to his magical thinking that there are alternatives to the Irish backstop.[9]

And indeed, utterly unsurprisingly, Michael Barnier, the European Union’s chief negotiator has already vetoed Johnson’s plan. That doesn’t seem to have clarified matters for the true believers who continue to cling to their delusions, but it should for a lot of other folks in Parliament and for British subjects who will bear the predicted recession that follows from “no deal.” It certainly seems to have for Scottish politicians who are now looking to a second referendum on independence.[10]

Rajeev Syal, “‘Summer’s day massacre’ may spell backbench trouble for Boris Johnson,” Guardian, July 24, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/24/philip-hammond-quits-johnson-fully-aligned-chancellor-gauke-stewart

Anna Mikhailova et al, “Michel Barnier rejects Boris Johnson’s ‘unacceptable’ Brexit plan,” Telegraph, July 25, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/07/25/boris-johnson-new-prime-minister-cabinet-parliament-brexit-latest/


James Comey

My dissertation defense was not like that at all. It’s interesting to me that, I guess, many are. Academia is a weird place but the Human Science program I did my Ph.D. in was about honest scholarship and I remain profoundly grateful to Joann McAllister (erstwhile department chair and a member of my committee), Bob McAndrews (my advisor and committee chair), and other professors in that program, now still being “taught out,” but well on its way to being defunct, for their honesty and their brilliance. (My comments here would be incomplete without a similar acknowledgment of Marc Pilisuk, not of the Human Science program, but the third member of my committee, also brilliant, also honest, and to whom I am also profoundly grateful. I honestly cannot imagine having a better committee than the one I had.)

All in all, [Robert] Mueller’s low-key performance probably didn’t give either the majority or the minority what they might have hoped for. But the incomplete nature of his testimony was, in a way, the point. At the hearings’ end, [Adam] Schiff closed by noting the many things Mueller had not done: he had not told Congress whether he would have indicted the president in the absence of the OLC memo; he had not said whether the president should be impeached; he had not spoken to the findings of any counterintelligence investigation or of any investigation into corrupt financial dealings within the administration. In each instance, Schiff said, Mueller had acted properly; the responsibility was not the former special counsel’s, but that of Congress. Schiff’s remarks were a kind of mustering call for the House, an acknowledgement to Mueller that the former special counsel’s role was over and that he had successfully passed the baton to the legislative branch.[11]

The consensus following Robert Mueller’s testimony is that it changed very little and that his performance was, well,[12] as Jill Wine-Banks put it, “not made for TV.”[13] The latter is a disappointment but the former was to be expected:

There has been discussion about an appearance before Congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. It contains our findings and analysis, and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself.

The report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.[14]

An interesting legal argument for impeachment to emerge from the hearings is that Donald Trump would run out the statute of limitations on an obstruction of justice charge simply by remaining in office if re-elected next year.[15]

Interesting but ultimately meaningless: Barack Obama demonstrated what the neoliberal party will do with executive branch criminality under a previous administration: Refuse to prosecute.[16] The neoliberals will chant their mantra about healing a deeply divided country while human beings continue to suffer from the crimes committed against them, then embrace and extend that criminality.[17] And we’ll all be supposed to sing Kumbaya.

One thing we won’t do is sing Kumbaya. It won’t work that way. It never does. But if there’s one thing neoliberals never do, it’s learn. Because learning would require them to abandon their oh so precious ideologies. And in this case, the precedent that would follow from such learning might expose one of their own should a subsequent Republican administration find that a neoliberal president was criminal, which they all are, but generally not in ways that any Republican would ever prosecute under any circumstances.

Another bit to emerge is that Mueller believes Russia is working to interfere in U.S. elections again in 2020[18] and that other countries are developing the capabilities to interfere in U.S. elections.[19] Given the U.S. record in other countries, including Palestine with Hamas, Guatemala with a coup, what we’ve been trying to do in Venezuela for years, and many, many more, to be so disturbed about this is nothing short of absolute hypocrisy.

It’s the political science theory of realism at work, in which countries act not according to any high-minded principle but rather in their own interest. It’s an ugly and flawed theory, but many politicians, including Donald Trump, around the world take it as their lodestar: Other countries will interfere in U.S. elections, just as the U.S. does in theirs.

Finally, we should note that Mueller’s condemnation of Wikileaks, and Trump’s embrace of the organization while a candidate,[20] was in part for exposing how Hillary Clinton had co-opted the Democratic National Committee, sinking Bernie Sanders’ bid for the 2016 nomination.[21] Neoliberals really don’t want a full accounting.

Scott R. Anderson et al., “Mueller’s Testimony: The Baton Passes to Congress,” Lawfare, July 24, 2019, https://www.lawfareblog.com/muellers-testimony-baton-passes-congress

Politico, “‘A New Legal Argument for Impeachment,’” July 24, 2019, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/07/24/mueller-testimony-legal-experts-analysis-227419


Migration

Maria Sacchetti and Spencer S. Hsu, “Federal judge in California halts Trump’s latest asylum ban,” Washington Post, July 24, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/federal-judge-allows-trump-administration-rule-restricting-asylum-access-to-continue/2019/07/24/eec83cfe-adba-11e9-8e77-03b30bc29f64_story.html


Lunch shaming

It turns out there’s a federal program to pay for those school lunches in poor enough districts. The Pennsylvania school district that sent those threatening letters and then initially refused donations to cover lunch debts[22]  qualifies.[23]

The problem here for me is that I don’t care nearly so much about what somebody does after they’ve been shamed as I do about what they do before being shamed. There is no apology, no reparation, no restitution, and no explanation that makes what the Wyoming Valley West School District did acceptable or in any way excusable. These people should never be allowed any control over any children again anywhere. I still want their heads.

Susan Scutti, “Pennsylvania school lunch debt furor ends with an apology and an announcement: free lunch for all,” CNN, July 25, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/25/us/pennsylvania-lunch-debt-furor-apology/index.html


  1. [1]Rajeev Syal, “‘Summer’s day massacre’ may spell backbench trouble for Boris Johnson,” Guardian, July 24, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/24/philip-hammond-quits-johnson-fully-aligned-chancellor-gauke-stewart
  2. [2]Heather Stewart, Jessica Elgot, and Rowena Mason, “Brexit: May calls for cabinet showdown as MPs reject all options,” Guardian, April 2, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/apr/01/brexit-deadlock-continues-as-mps-fail-to-find-compromise
  3. [3]Rajeev Syal, “‘Summer’s day massacre’ may spell backbench trouble for Boris Johnson,” Guardian, July 24, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/24/philip-hammond-quits-johnson-fully-aligned-chancellor-gauke-stewart
  4. [4]Ishaan Tharoor, “Boris Johnson’s rise could be a preamble to his fall,” Washington Post, July 23, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/07/23/boris-johnsons-rise-could-be-preamble-his-fall/
  5. [5]Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, “Another NASA moonshot? Nope. You can’t BS your way to space,” ZDNet, July 19, 2019, https://www.zdnet.com/article/another-nasa-moonshote-you-cant-bs-your-way-to-space/
  6. [6]Peter Foster and James Rothwell, “Tepid Barnier welcomes Boris Johnson as EU takes ‘wait and see’ approach to Brexit talks,” Telegraph, July 23, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/07/23/tepid-barnier-welcomes-boris-johnson-eu-takes-wait-see-approach/
  7. [7]Ishaan Tharoor, “Boris Johnson’s rise could be a preamble to his fall,” Washington Post, July 23, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/07/23/boris-johnsons-rise-could-be-preamble-his-fall/
  8. [8]Jack Maidment, “Brexit latest news: Theresa May’s deal defeated again by
    58 votes – PM hints at general election to break deadlock,” Telegraph, March 29, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/29/brexit-latest-news-theresa-may-final-push-mps-prepare-vote-withdrawal/; Peter Walker, “Could parliament’s latest amendment stop no-deal Brexit?” Guardian, July 18, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/18/could-parliaments-latest-amendment-stop-no-deal-brexit
  9. [9]Steven Swinford, “Boris Johnson: preparing for no-deal Brexit is top priority,” Times, July 25, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/boris-johnson-preparing-for-no-deal-brexit-is-top-priority-n8j9lffph; see also Daniel Boffey, “However you look at it, the logic of a Brexit backstop refuses to yield,” Guardian, June 24, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/24/however-look-logic-brexit-backstop-refuses-to-yield-irish; British Broadcasting Corporation, “Irish deputy PM Coveney: No deal Brexit would mean customs checks in Ireland,” July 21, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-politics-49062367/irish-deputy-pm-coveney-no-deal-brexit-would-mean-customs-checks-in-ireland
  10. [10]Anna Mikhailova et al, “Michel Barnier rejects Boris Johnson’s ‘unacceptable’ Brexit plan,” Telegraph, July 25, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/07/25/boris-johnson-new-prime-minister-cabinet-parliament-brexit-latest/
  11. [11]Scott R. Anderson et al., “Mueller’s Testimony: The Baton Passes to Congress,” Lawfare, July 24, 2019, https://www.lawfareblog.com/muellers-testimony-baton-passes-congress
  12. [12]Politico, “‘A New Legal Argument for Impeachment,’” July 24, 2019, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/07/24/mueller-testimony-legal-experts-analysis-227419
  13. [13]Jill Wine-Banks in Politico, “‘A New Legal Argument for Impeachment,’” July 24, 2019, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/07/24/mueller-testimony-legal-experts-analysis-227419
  14. [14]Department of Justice, “Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III Makes Statement on Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election,” May 29, 2019, https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/special-counsel-robert-s-mueller-iii-makes-statement-investigation-russian-interference
  15. [15]Politico, “‘A New Legal Argument for Impeachment,’” July 24, 2019, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/07/24/mueller-testimony-legal-experts-analysis-227419
  16. [16]Glenn Greenwald, “Obama’s justice department grants final immunity to Bush’s CIA torturers,” Guardian, August 31, 2012, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/31/obama-justice-department-immunity-bush-cia-torturer; David Johnston and Charlie Savage, “Obama signals his reluctance to investigate Bush programs,” New York Times, January 2, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/12/world/americas/12iht-12inquire.19265701.html
  17. [17]David Benfell, “Obama and the Power of Prayer,” Not Housebroken, January 20, 2011, https://disunitedstates.org/?p=2015; David Benfell, “Raining on Terrell’s parade,” Not Housebroken, December 17, 2012, https://disunitedstates.org/?p=5266; David Benfell, “Oy Vey: Paleoconservatives, Neoconservatives, and Alleged Anti-Semitism,” April 1, 2014, https://parts-unknown.org/wp/2014/04/01/oy-vey-paleoconservatives-neoconservatives-and-alleged-anti-semitism/
  18. [18]Politico, “‘A New Legal Argument for Impeachment,’” July 24, 2019, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/07/24/mueller-testimony-legal-experts-analysis-227419
  19. [19]Scott R. Anderson et al., “Mueller’s Testimony: The Baton Passes to Congress,” Lawfare, July 24, 2019, https://www.lawfareblog.com/muellers-testimony-baton-passes-congress
  20. [20]Scott R. Anderson et al., “Mueller’s Testimony: The Baton Passes to Congress,” Lawfare, July 24, 2019, https://www.lawfareblog.com/muellers-testimony-baton-passes-congress
  21. [21]Clare Foran, “Unity Won’t Come Easily for Democrats,” Atlantic, May 24, 2016, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/bernie-sanders-hillary-clinton-democratic-party-platform/484067/; Kevin Gosztola, “Establishment Collectively Stunned To See Citizens Reject Rigged Democratic Primary,” Common Dreams, May 20, 2016, http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/05/20/establishment-collectively-stunned-see-citizens-reject-rigged-democratic-primary; Lauren McCauley, “‘Rigged’ 2016 Election Has Voters Feeling Helpless, Unheard, and Ashamed,” Common Dreams, May 31, 2016, http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/05/31/rigged-2016-election-has-voters-feeling-helpless-unheard-and-ashamed; Amy Sherman, “Democratic debates set to ‘maximize’ exposure, Wasserman Schultz claims, but evidence is dubious,” Politifact, January 20, 2016, http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2016/jan/20/debbie-wasserman-schultz/democratic-debates-maximize-exposure-debbie-wasser/; Byron Tau and Colleen McCain Nelson, “Hacked Emails Show Clinton Links With Democratic Party,” Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/hacked-emails-show-clinton-links-with-democratic-party-1476315158; Ben Ptashnik and Victoria Collier, “Was the Democratic Primary Just Manipulated, or Was It Stolen?” Truthout, June 13, 2016, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/36408-was-the-democratic-primary-just-manipulated-or-was-it-stolen; Greg Sargent, “It’s on: We’re getting four more Democratic debates,” Washington Post, February 3, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2016/02/03/its-on-looks-like-were-getting-four-more-democratic-debates/; Steven Shepard, “Democratic insiders give low marks to Wasserman Schultz,” Politico, May 27, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/debbie-wasserman-schultz-democratic-insiders-223631; Wall Street Journal, “Bernie Sanders Gets No Respect,” March 27, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/bernie-sanders-gets-no-respect-1459117222; Katie Bo Williams, “WikiLeaks email suggests Brazile sent debate question to Clinton camp,” Hill, October 31, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/303556-emails-brazile-leaked-debate-question-to-clinton-camp; Megan R. Wilson, “DNC rolls back restrictions on lobbyist donations,” Hill, February 12, 2016, http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/business-a-lobbying/269266-dnc-rolls-back-restrictions-on-lobbyist-donations
  22. [22]Bobby Allyn, “Offers Pour In To Cover Pa. Students’ Meal Debt, But School Officials Not Interested,” National Public Radio, July 24, 2019, https://www.npr.org/2019/07/24/744744051/offers-pour-in-to-cover-pa-students-meal-debt-but-school-officials-not-intereste; Bobby Allyn, “Pa. School District Reverses Course And Will Now Accept Donations To Cover Lunch Debt,” National Public Radio, July 24, 2019, https://www.npr.org/2019/07/24/745046246/pa-school-district-reverses-course-and-will-now-accept-donations-to-cover-lunch-; Amir Vera, “Pennsylvania school district tells parents to pay their lunch debt, or their kids will go into foster care,” CNN, July 20, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/20/us/pennsylvania-school-lunch-debt-trnd/index.html
  23. [23]Susan Scutti, “Pennsylvania school lunch debt furor ends with an apology and an announcement: free lunch for all,” CNN, July 25, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/25/us/pennsylvania-lunch-debt-furor-apology/index.html

Oh gee, an economic plan for Palestine. See what happened to the last one.

Palestine

This is what economic development means to the Palestinians:
07_09:10:47-2
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, fair use.[1]

Israel destroys whatever the Palestinians build and, with its blockade of Gaza, seeks to stop them from building anything at all. And it continues an ethnic cleansing campaign against Palestinians in the territory it controls, both inside and outside the 1967 borders. So Jared Kushner’s plan[2] means only more destruction. And yes, Binyamin Netanyahu is absolutely a fascist[3] as he relies on right-wing coalitions that include parties devoted to annexation of the West Bank to build governments.

Raphael Ahren, “As Bahrain showed, even Trump’s Arab allies see two-state solution as essential,” Times of Israel, July 5, 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/as-bahrain-showed-even-trumps-arab-allies-see-two-state-solution-as-essential/


  1. [1]Agence France-Presse and Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” Times of Israel, September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Raphael Ahren, “As Bahrain showed, even Trump’s Arab allies see two-state solution as essential,” Times of Israel, July 5, 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/as-bahrain-showed-even-trumps-arab-allies-see-two-state-solution-as-essential/
  3. [3]David Benfell, “A simple definition of fascism,” Not Housebroken, July 6, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/07/06/a-simple-definition-of-fascism/