Early data casts doubt on PennWest University consolidation

Pennsylvania

Higher Education


Fig. 1. The Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh (“Pitt”). Photograph by “RealNordyNed,” December 17, 2015, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Maddie Aiken, “PennWest is struggling. Its campuses are experiencing those challenges differently,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 11, 2024, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2024/02/11/pennwest-california-edinboro-clarion-student-enrollment/stories/202402090083

Erie


Fig. 2. Lake Erie, from Presque Isle State Park. Photograph by author, April 3, 2021.

Regrettably, I am having to defer my intended move to northwestern Pennsylvania. Landlords check credit; mine was damaged severely when Uber blindsided me with a 40 percent pay cut in late 2022. Historically, Uber has blamed “seasonality” for such cuts,[1] but of course, once the pay is cut, they have almost no incentive to raise it again, and I didn’t see any sustained increase in 2023. Because I use credit cards to smooth the fluctuations in a highly variable income, the result was a substantial increase in credit card debt.

I’ve been making significantly-more-than-minimum payments on time, because I have a high cash flow, but have not yet turned the tide on my debt. With the addition of a pension from Social Security and the technological improvements I’ve made to improve my ability to be offered orders, I have some limited hope that I can improve the situation this year. In the meantime, because nearly all landlords check credit, I’m stuck where I am.

This is a problem because rents have been increasing dramatically nationwide.[2] My landlord here has been threatening a significant increase, pretty much since the first year I renewed the lease. (With a wife now in memory care, he actually does now need the money.)

Valerie Myers, “The truth about slavery in Erie County in the 19th century,” Erie Times-News, February 12, 2024, https://www.goerie.com/story/news/local/2024/02/12/erie-pa-black-history-month-slavery-enslavement-abolition-history-census-fugitive-hamot-grubb/72393483007/


Imperialism

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 3. 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,[3] fair use.

So long as you are supporting [Binyamin] Netanyahu’s military operation in Gaza without condition, it makes absolutely no difference how much you turn the dial in your comments. Fundamentally, you have to make a decision not to give Bibi a blank check of support.[4]

And until Joe Biden imposes, really imposes conditions on aid to Israel, he and the United States are complicit in Israel’s genocide. And for what? It’s not like Israel is indeed achieving “total victory” over Hamas:

In a closed-door briefing last week, U.S. intelligence officials told lawmakers that while Israel had degraded Hamas’s military capabilities, it is not close to exterminating the group more than 100 days into its campaign, said officials familiar with the briefing, which was first reported by the New York Times.

U.S. leaders are skeptical of Netanyahu’s claim that he has destroyed two-thirds of Hamas’s fighting regiments, and they warn that the high levels of civilian casualties are ensuring that a radicalized population will live adjacent to Israel for decades to come.[5]

That should not even be remotely surprising. As the Soviets discovered in Afghanistan, as the Russians should have discovered in Ukraine, as the U.S. should have learned in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, modern war simply fails to produce an expected result. It doesn’t work except in extraordinarily limited ways.

At this writing, I do not have confirmation of social media reports that Israel’s operation in Rafah has already begun, with its beginning apparently coinciding with the Super Bowl kickoff. Israel does, however, claim to have rescued two hostages in an operation that reportedly killed at least 67 Palestinians[6] and that some may have mistaken for a full attack on Rafah.

Yasmeen Abutaleb, John Hudson, and Tyler Pager, “Biden moving closer than ever to a breach with Netanyahu over war in Gaza,” Washington Post, February 11, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/11/biden-netanyahu-closer-to-a-breach/

Liz Goodwin and Mariana Alfaro, “Aid bill for Ukraine, Israel on track to pass Senate early this week,” Washington Post, February 11, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/11/senate-aid-ukraine-israel-taiwan-aid/

James Politi and Neri Zilber, “Biden says Israel must have plan to avoid civilian casualties in Rafah,” Financial Times, February 11, 2024, https://www.ft.com/content/b00a8dcc-f8e3-4da6-a65b-280bb2289f5f

Chao Deng, Carrie Keller-Lynn, and Daniel Michaels, “Defying Biden, Netanyahu Doubles Down on Plans to Fight in Rafah,” Wall Street Journal, February 12, 2024, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/defying-biden-israels-netanyahu-doubles-down-on-plans-to-fight-in-rafah-7b66d1dd

Emine Sinmaz, “Israel says two hostages freed in raid Gaza officials say killed 67 Palestinians,” Guardian, February 12, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/feb/12/israeli-hostages-freed-rafah-idf-gaza-report-dozens-palestinians-killed-strikes

Russia

Ukraine


Fig. 4. “Destroyed Russian military vehicles located on the main street Khreshchatyk are seen as part of the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine in Kyiv, August 24.” Photograph by Gleb Garanich for Reuters, August 24, 2022,[7] fair use.

Liz Goodwin and Mariana Alfaro, “Aid bill for Ukraine, Israel on track to pass Senate early this week,” Washington Post, February 11, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/11/senate-aid-ukraine-israel-taiwan-aid/


Illiberalism


Fig. 5. Photograph by Joachim F. Thurn, August 1991, Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F089030-0003, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE.

Ishaan Tharoor, “The powerful lesson behind Pakistan’s stunning election result,” Washington Post, February 11, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/02/11/pakistan-election-results-khan-lessons/


Neoliberalism

Banking

Commercial real estate


Fig. 6. The confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, with the “Golden Triangle” and downtown Pittsburgh. Photograph by author, October 15, 2023.

[O]nly 26% of the $35.8 billion of office [commercial mortgage-backed securities] loans that matured in 2023 was actually paid off in full, as borrowers struggled to get refinancing or to sell their properties. . . .

The pool of troubled loans is growing, with 10.5% of CMBS office debt in distress by the end of January. Distressed loans are those that are more than 30 days late paying or have been transferred to a special servicer. This is more than triple the rate seen a year ago and is likely to rise as an additional $46.6 billion of CMBS office loans come due through 2025, CRED iQ data shows. . . .

Of a list of 220 troubled loans that have recent reappraisal data, the average valuation decline for offices is 40%, according to CRED iQ. Buildings that were revalued in 2023 have plunged almost 50%.[8]

Commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) data may be a bit pessimistic in relation to the commercial real estate market as a whole,[9] but I’m going out on a limb here and guessing the fun ain’t over.[10]

Something to remember is that people working from home are not the only threat to downtowns. Brick and mortar retail has been struggling due to online shopping. At some point, you have to ask, what do downtowns, let alone the “walkable cities” some advocate, even exist for? Is it so those of us who live in cities can fight traffic by day and listen to siren symphonies and gunshot percussion by night, all night?

Carol Ryan, “What Mortgage Bonds Say About the Office Meltdown,” Wall Street Journal, February 12, 2024, https://www.wsj.com/real-estate/commercial/what-mortgage-bonds-say-about-the-office-meltdown-a231bcb3


  1. [1]Sheldon Ingram, “Pittsburgh Uber drivers to launch Valentine’s weekend strike,” WTAE, February 11, 2016, https://www.wtae.com/article/pittsburgh-uber-drivers-to-launch-valentine-s-weekend-strike/7477721
  2. [2]Jordan Anderson, “Cost of rent is hitting record levels, including in Pittsburgh, but not enough low-cost units are available,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 10, 2024, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/social-services/2024/02/10/pittsburgh-cost-of-rent-harvard-study/stories/202402080091; Jacob Geanous, “As evictions soar in Allegheny County, a sense of urgency permeates,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 11, 2024, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/social-services/2024/02/11/landlord-evictions-allegheny-county-public-housing/stories/202402090067
  3. [3]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/
  4. [4]Ben Rhodes, quoted in Yasmeen Abutaleb, John Hudson, and Tyler Pager, “Biden moving closer than ever to a breach with Netanyahu over war in Gaza,” Washington Post, February 11, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/11/biden-netanyahu-closer-to-a-breach/
  5. [5]Yasmeen Abutaleb, John Hudson, and Tyler Pager, “Biden moving closer than ever to a breach with Netanyahu over war in Gaza,” Washington Post, February 11, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/11/biden-netanyahu-closer-to-a-breach/
  6. [6]Chao Deng, Carrie Keller-Lynn, and Daniel Michaels, “Defying Biden, Netanyahu Doubles Down on Plans to Fight in Rafah,” Wall Street Journal, February 12, 2024, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/defying-biden-israels-netanyahu-doubles-down-on-plans-to-fight-in-rafah-7b66d1dd; Emine Sinmaz, “Israel says two hostages freed in raid Gaza officials say killed 67 Palestinians,” Guardian, February 12, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/feb/12/israeli-hostages-freed-rafah-idf-gaza-report-dozens-palestinians-killed-strikes
  7. [7]Reuters, “Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display in Kyiv,” August 25, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/ukraine-puts-destroyed-russian-tanks-on-idUSRTSALV9Q
  8. [8]Carol Ryan, “What Mortgage Bonds Say About the Office Meltdown,” Wall Street Journal, February 12, 2024, https://www.wsj.com/real-estate/commercial/what-mortgage-bonds-say-about-the-office-meltdown-a231bcb3
  9. [9]Carol Ryan, “What Mortgage Bonds Say About the Office Meltdown,” Wall Street Journal, February 12, 2024, https://www.wsj.com/real-estate/commercial/what-mortgage-bonds-say-about-the-office-meltdown-a231bcb3
  10. [10]Alena Botros, “Morgan Stanley analysts are forecasting something ‘worse than in the Great Financial Crisis’ for commercial real estate,” Fortune, April 4, 2023, https://fortune.com/2023/04/04/how-bad-commercial-real-estate-banking-crisis-svb-morgan-stanley-outlook/; Eric Platt and Harriet Agnew, “Charlie Munger: US banks are ‘full of’ bad commercial property loans,” Financial Times, April 30, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/da9f8230-2eb1-49c5-b63a-f1507936d01b; Dror Poleg, “The Next Crisis Will Start With Empty Office Buildings,” Atlantic, June 7, 2023, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2023/06/commercial-real-estate-crisis-empty-offices/674310/; Akila Quinio, “Office space vacancies in US and London reach at least 20-year highs,” Financial Times, October 10, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/698f41af-0d88-424b-80b0-241be01dac35; Konrad Putzier, “America’s Downtowns Are Empty. Fixing Them Will Be Expensive,” Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/real-estate/commercial/wrecking-ball-targets-empty-downtown-offices-d0e3391; Carol Ryan, “Property Loans Are Starting to Crack,” Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/stock-market-today-dow-jones-06-09-2023/card/heard-on-the-street-property-loans-are-starting-to-crack-0tae3dxXRfn1hWR5jqar; Rachel Siegel, “How the ‘urban doom loop’ could pose the next economic threat,” Washington Post, August 28, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2023/08/28/commercial-real-estate-economy-urban-doom-loop/; Natalie Wong et al., “The World’s Empty Office Buildings Have Become a Debt Time Bomb,” Bloomberg, June 23, 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-06-23/commercial-real-estate-reset-is-causing-distress-from-san-francisco-to-hong-kong

Why are the most delusional people making the most money?

Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Coup attempt

2024

Fig. 1. Cartoon by Ben Jennings, January 24, 2024, via the Guardian,[1] fair use.

Alan Feuer and Charlie Savage, “Takeaways From the Trump Ballot Case,” New York Times, February 8, 2024, https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/08/us/politics/supreme-court-trump-ballot-takeaways.html

Chris Geidner, “The Supreme Court must fully resolve Trump disqualification case now to avert ‘chaos,’” Law Dork, February 9, 2024, https://www.lawdork.com/p/supreme-court-must-fully-resolve-sec-3-case


Imperialism

United States


Fig. 2. “American Progress,” painting by John Gast, 1872, digital version 2006, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Why are the most delusional people making the most money? My one quibble with Jon Schwarz would be that he seems to assume that U.S. imperialism is a thing of the past.[2] To be honest, I don’t know where he gets that or how anyone could even imagine it. As for the infinitely delusional Erik Prince, just never mind.

Guardian, “Donald Trump says he would encourage Russia to attack Nato allies who pay too little,” February 10, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/feb/11/donald-trump-says-he-would-encourage-russia-to-attack-nato-countries-who-dont-pay-bills

Jon Schwarz, “Erik Prince Calls for U.S. to Colonize Africa and Latin America,” Intercept, February 10, 2024, https://theintercept.com/2024/02/10/erik-prince-off-leash-imperialism-colonialism/

Russia


Fig. 3. Historic Russian empire, from the New York Times, possibly March 6, 2014, fair use.[3]

Who can be surprised by anything Donald Trump says?

Guardian, “Donald Trump says he would encourage Russia to attack Nato allies who pay too little,” February 10, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/feb/11/donald-trump-says-he-would-encourage-russia-to-attack-nato-countries-who-dont-pay-bills


Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh

Housing


Fig. 4. Once upon a time this was a Whole Foods Market. The store is part of a complex that replaced the Penn Plaza Apartments.[4] Whole Foods has now relocated to a larger location a few blocks away. Photograph by author, August 23, 2023.

It seems a large part of the problem is the apparent disappearance of affordable housing in combination with inflation.[5] There’s plenty of high-cost housing being built in “desirable” neighborhoods that techies can afford.

The root of the problem, according to Ms. [Cinda] Watkins, is that the costs of basics continue to outpace wages. In 2021, household costs in Allegheny County were well above the federal poverty level of $12,880 for a single adult and $26,500 for a family of four, according to PA 211 data. The average costs for housing, childcare, transportation, food, tax payments and other basics averaged to about $30,636. For a family of four, it was $74,424.[6]

In Pennsylvania, the supply of apartments below $999 shrunk by more than 191,000 units between 2012 and 2022, while apartments with rents above $1,000 multiplied by over 276,000 units.

Apartment operators’ cash flows siphoned as interest, insurance premiums and operating costs shot up during the pandemic. To keep pace with the market, property owners are pricing out vulnerable, low-income tenants.

“From the real estate side of things, we see a lot of these kinds of small apartment buildings go up for sale, and they are often marketed as an opportunity for a new owner to raise rents on existing tenants,” Mr. Madia said. “We’re actually losing apartments that would be considered naturally affordable apartments and could be a good option for somebody that has a Section Eight voucher, things like that. That creates just a ton of pressure for the folks who are really living paycheck to paycheck and need this housing the most.”[7]

But I also see the office construction in South Oakland along the Monongahela River. In Oakland itself, Fifth Avenue is forever tied up with lane closures for buildings under construction. Downtown now encroaches the Hill District with a bank building going up on the old Civic Arena site across Centre from the PPG Paints Arena that’s supposed to somehow reconnect the Hill with Downtown. I see ludicrous development in the Strip District along the Allegheny.

Politicians just talk about bringing in jobs. They don’t mention that the people who will fill those jobs will come from out of town. I still see a surprising number of California and even Oregon license plates as I drive around Pittsburgh. I assume those plates belong to techies who don’t solve any real problems but who certainly jack up the rent.

Meanwhile Uber keeps right on cutting my pay. For now, the technological upgrades I’ve made seem to be helping but the main help is that I was able to start collecting Social Security early. I’m still being squeezed out.

But because Uber blindsided me with a 40 percent pay cut late in 2022, my credit is now in shambles. And landlords check credit. I might soon be on the street myself. But hey, I’m clearly subhuman, rejected by this society from birth, tormented by my father and school children, abandoned on the side of the information superhighway in the dot-com crash, refused a decent job throughout my life, now even with a Ph.D., so obviously, who the fuck cares?

Jordan Anderson, “Cost of rent is hitting record levels, including in Pittsburgh, but not enough low-cost units are available,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 10, 2024, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/social-services/2024/02/10/pittsburgh-cost-of-rent-harvard-study/stories/202402080091

Jacob Geanous, “As evictions soar in Allegheny County, a sense of urgency permeates,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 11, 2024, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/social-services/2024/02/11/landlord-evictions-allegheny-county-public-housing/stories/202402090067


  1. [1]Ben Jennings, “Ben Jennings on Donald Trump’s progress along the Republican nomination trail – cartoon,” Guardian, January 24, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2024/jan/24/ben-jennings-on-donald-trumps-progress-along-the-republican-nomination-trail-cartoon
  2. [2]Jon Schwarz, “Erik Prince Calls for U.S. to Colonize Africa and Latin America,” Intercept, February 10, 2024, https://theintercept.com/2024/02/10/erik-prince-off-leash-imperialism-colonialism/
  3. [3]New York Times, “Ukraine Crisis in Maps,” n.d., http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/02/27/world/europe/ukraine-divisions-crimea.html
  4. [4]Bob Bauder, “Pittsburgh settles court battle over Penn Plaza Apartments,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 27, 2017, https://archive.triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/pittsburgh-settles-court-battle-over-penn-plaza-apartments/
  5. [5]Jordan Anderson, “Cost of rent is hitting record levels, including in Pittsburgh, but not enough low-cost units are available,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 10, 2024, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/social-services/2024/02/10/pittsburgh-cost-of-rent-harvard-study/stories/202402080091
  6. [6]Jordan Anderson, “‘The perfect storm’: Loss of pandemic-era benefits puts families on the brink,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 5, 2023, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/social-services/2023/09/04/pandemic-era-benefits-covid-snap-pennsylvania-government-assistance/stories/202308240096
  7. [7]Jordan Anderson, “Cost of rent is hitting record levels, including in Pittsburgh, but not enough low-cost units are available,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 10, 2024, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/social-services/2024/02/10/pittsburgh-cost-of-rent-harvard-study/stories/202402080091

Joe Biden finally does something about Israel. Maybe

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.

Joe Biden issued an executive order requiring recipients of some—air defense systems are exempt—military aid to comply with international human rights law. We’re obviously supposed to infer that this is directed at Israel, but this is not in the text.[2] There is also the question of how these words are interpreted and whether they will indeed be meaningfully applied to Israel.

Don’t hold your breath.

Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden says Israel’s military conduct in Gaza has been ‘over the top,’” Washington Post, February 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/08/biden-israel-gaza-speech-netanyahu/

Lazar Berman, “Israel cannot use Oct. 7 as ‘license to dehumanize others,’ Blinken warns in Tel Aviv,” Times of Israel, February 8, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-cannot-use-oct-7-as-a-license-to-dehumanize-others-fumes-blinken-in-tel-aviv/

Ron Kampeas, “Calling Israel’s response in Gaza ‘over the top,’ Biden conditions defense aid on allowing humanitarian assistance,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, February 9, 2024, https://www.jta.org/2024/02/09/politics/calling-israels-response-in-gaza-over-the-top-biden-conditions-defense-aid-on-humanitarian-assistance

Ishaan Tharoor, “Netanyahu’s delusional, deadly quest for ‘total victory,’” Washington Post, February 9, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/02/09/netanyahu-israel-total-victory-hamas-palestine/


Neoliberalism

Democratic (neoliberal) Party

Joe Biden


Fig. 1. Joe Biden and Pope Francis, unknown photographer, April 29, 2016, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

I have been contemplating the whole fiasco over the special counsel’s report on Joe Biden accusing him of some rather serious memory lapses.[3] Biden responded angrily and his explanation for the lapses might even have merit.[4]

In a newsletter for the American Prospect, Robert Kuttner points out that Special Counsel Robert Hur is a Republican. Therefore, Kuttner presumes, based on his reading of Hur’s report, that Hur was being unduly partisan.[5] I’m not saying Kuttner is wrong. On the contrary, he might well be right.

The problem is that neither of those are really the problem here. The problem is that people have already been worried about Biden’s age[6] and the special counsel’s report authoritatively confirmed their fears. Combine that with Biden’s enabling of genocide in Gaza and there’s just no two ways about it: Biden is in deep, deep trouble.

At this moment, I don’t even see how Biden wins re-election. Also at this moment, I don’t see how Donald Trump wins re-election. And finally at this moment, I don’t see how anybody dislodges either of them from their positions as runaway favorites to win their respective party nominations. This is why I’m still calling the race a toss-up.

Betsy Woodruff Swan, “Special counsel passes on charging Biden but paints damning portrait of him,” Politico, February 8, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/02/08/biden-classified-documents-charges-special-counsel-00140509

Matt Viser and Tyler Pager, “Biden responds angrily to special counsel report questioning his memory,” Washington Post, February 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/08/biden-hur-response/

Robert Kuttner, “A Partisan Hit Job on President Biden,” American Prospect, February 9, 2024, https://prospect.org/blogs-and-newsletters/tap/2024-02-09-partisan-hit-job-president-biden/


  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]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden says Israel’s military conduct in Gaza has been ‘over the top,’” Washington Post, February 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/08/biden-israel-gaza-speech-netanyahu/; Ron Kampeas, “Calling Israel’s response in Gaza ‘over the top,’ Biden conditions defense aid on allowing humanitarian assistance,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, February 9, 2024, https://www.jta.org/2024/02/09/politics/calling-israels-response-in-gaza-over-the-top-biden-conditions-defense-aid-on-humanitarian-assistance
  3. [3]Betsy Woodruff Swan, “Special counsel passes on charging Biden but paints damning portrait of him,” Politico, February 8, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/02/08/biden-classified-documents-charges-special-counsel-00140509
  4. [4]Matt Viser and Tyler Pager, “Biden responds angrily to special counsel report questioning his memory,” Washington Post, February 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/08/biden-hur-response/
  5. [5]Robert Kuttner, “A Partisan Hit Job on President Biden,” American Prospect, February 9, 2024, https://prospect.org/blogs-and-newsletters/tap/2024-02-09-partisan-hit-job-president-biden/
  6. [6]Richard M. Nixon [Justin Sherrin], “The Politics of Old Age,” Patreon, June 4, 2023, https://www.patreon.com/posts/politics-of-old-84054418

Binyamin Netanyahu rambles on about ‘total victory.’ What he really means is delaying an election as long as possible

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.

When asked by a reporter to further explain what “total victory” meant in the current context, [Binyamin] Netanyahu invoked a chilling metaphor, citing how one smashes glass “into small pieces, and then you continue to smash it into even smaller pieces and you continue hitting them.”[2]

Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden says Israel’s military conduct in Gaza has been ‘over the top,’” Washington Post, February 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/08/biden-israel-gaza-speech-netanyahu/

Lazar Berman, “Israel cannot use Oct. 7 as ‘license to dehumanize others,’ Blinken warns in Tel Aviv,” Times of Israel, February 8, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-cannot-use-oct-7-as-a-license-to-dehumanize-others-fumes-blinken-in-tel-aviv/

Ishaan Tharoor, “Netanyahu’s delusional, deadly quest for ‘total victory,’” Washington Post, February 9, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/02/09/netanyahu-israel-total-victory-hamas-palestine/


  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]Ishaan Tharoor, “Netanyahu’s delusional, deadly quest for ‘total victory,’” Washington Post, February 9, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/02/09/netanyahu-israel-total-victory-hamas-palestine/

So maybe Joe Biden does have memory issues

Okay, I’m up way past my bedtime catching up on email and preparing this, so light up some midnight oil. I’ll surely be sound asleep. Like real soon.


Neoliberalism

Democratic (neoliberal) Party

Joe Biden


Fig. 1. Joe Biden and Pope Francis, unknown photographer, April 29, 2016, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

I’ve been blocking people on social media as ageist for accusing Joe Biden of dementia:

[W]hile the report withheld condemnation of [Joe] Biden on legal grounds, it presented a harsh portrait of his conduct and mental faculties. . . .

In the report, Special Counsel Robert Hur, a well-respected former U.S. Attorney, explained the president’s “lapses in attention and vigilance demonstrate why former officials should not keep classified materials unsecured at home and read them aloud to others, but jurors could well conclude that Mr. Biden’s actions were unintentional.” . . .

One of [Biden’s] attorneys, Bob Bauer, took umbrage with the portrayal, accusing Hur of “essentially, ‘trashing’ the subject of an investigation” with extraneous, unfounded and irrelevant critical commentary.” Biden’s attorneys also wrote directly to Hur and his team before the report’s publication to complain about the focus on the president’s memory lapses. As documented in the report, they called the focus “gratuitous” and urged Hur to revise his summarizations, saying it was beyond his “expertise and remit.”[1]

Biden himself also objected[2]—I don’t know how he even could let this stand when he’s running for re-election—but it seems he couldn’t remember accurately when he was vice president or when his son Beau died. The “memory lapses” dated even to his time as vice president[3] and, I would certainly expect, have gotten worse since. Indeed it seems he also confused Mexico with Egypt[4] (potential or real cross-border migration flows are relevant with both countries so I don’t think this is quite as weird as it sounds). I’d be inclined to give him benefit of the doubt here, but I’ll bet you my mother could tell you to the minute—certainly the hour—when her husband (my stepfather) passed away and, at least to the month and year, when she retired. Biden apparently wasn’t even close.[5]

I’m guessing it’s too late for Biden to pull a Lyndon Johnson. Johnson chose to abandon his expected quest for re-election as it became clear that the Vietnam War was in fact going very poorly and protests against it swelled.[6] But this country needs to do far better.

Betsy Woodruff Swan, “Special counsel passes on charging Biden but paints damning portrait of him,” Politico, February 8, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/02/08/biden-classified-documents-charges-special-counsel-00140509

Matt Viser and Tyler Pager, “Biden responds angrily to special counsel report questioning his memory,” Washington Post, February 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/08/biden-hur-response/


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Coup attempt

2024

Fig. 2. Cartoon by Ben Jennings, January 24, 2024, via the Guardian,[7] fair use.

The consensus I saw on social media that the Supreme Court will rule to keep Donald Trump on the Colorado ballot seems to be largely borne out in the reporting and analysis I’m seeing really pretty much across the board in the email newsletters I see.[8]

Alan Feuer and Charlie Savage, “Takeaways From the Trump Ballot Case,” New York Times, February 8, 2024, https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/08/us/politics/supreme-court-trump-ballot-takeaways.html

Chris Geidner, “Supreme Court almost certain to allow Trump to remain on Colorado’s primary ballot,” Law Dork, February 8, 2024, https://www.lawdork.com/p/supreme-court-trump-colorado-section-three


Imperialism

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 3. 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,[9] fair use.

Joe Biden seems finally to be realizing that his position on Israel has been a vote-loser. So it’s good to see Antony Blinken lecturing Israelis on the need to not dehumanize others[10] and good for Biden to admit that the Israel Defense Force has been excessively brutal.[11] But on the other hand, the U.S. gives Israel considerable diplomatic cover, especially in the United Nations Security Council and billions of dollars in financial and military aid. There are concrete things that Biden can do. Deeds matter much more than words.

Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden says Israel’s military conduct in Gaza has been ‘over the top,’” Washington Post, February 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/08/biden-israel-gaza-speech-netanyahu/

Lazar Berman, “Israel cannot use Oct. 7 as ‘license to dehumanize others,’ Blinken warns in Tel Aviv,” Times of Israel, February 8, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-cannot-use-oct-7-as-a-license-to-dehumanize-others-fumes-blinken-in-tel-aviv/


  1. [1]Betsy Woodruff Swan, “Special counsel passes on charging Biden but paints damning portrait of him,” Politico, February 8, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/02/08/biden-classified-documents-charges-special-counsel-00140509
  2. [2]Matt Viser and Tyler Pager, “Biden responds angrily to special counsel report questioning his memory,” Washington Post, February 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/08/biden-hur-response/
  3. [3]Betsy Woodruff Swan, “Special counsel passes on charging Biden but paints damning portrait of him,” Politico, February 8, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/02/08/biden-classified-documents-charges-special-counsel-00140509
  4. [4]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden says Israel’s military conduct in Gaza has been ‘over the top,’” Washington Post, February 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/08/biden-israel-gaza-speech-netanyahu/
  5. [5]Betsy Woodruff Swan, “Special counsel passes on charging Biden but paints damning portrait of him,” Politico, February 8, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/02/08/biden-classified-documents-charges-special-counsel-00140509
  6. [6]Paul S. Boyer et al., The Enduring Vision, 8th ed. (Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2014).
  7. [7]Ben Jennings, “Ben Jennings on Donald Trump’s progress along the Republican nomination trail – cartoon,” Guardian, January 24, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2024/jan/24/ben-jennings-on-donald-trumps-progress-along-the-republican-nomination-trail-cartoon
  8. [8]For examples: Alan Feuer and Charlie Savage, “Takeaways From the Trump Ballot Case,” New York Times, February 8, 2024, https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/08/us/politics/supreme-court-trump-ballot-takeaways.html; Chris Geidner, “Supreme Court almost certain to allow Trump to remain on Colorado’s primary ballot,” Law Dork, February 8, 2024, https://www.lawdork.com/p/supreme-court-trump-colorado-section-three
  9. [9]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/
  10. [10]Lazar Berman, “Israel cannot use Oct. 7 as ‘license to dehumanize others,’ Blinken warns in Tel Aviv,” Times of Israel, February 8, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-cannot-use-oct-7-as-a-license-to-dehumanize-others-fumes-blinken-in-tel-aviv/
  11. [11]Lazar Berman, “Israel cannot use Oct. 7 as ‘license to dehumanize others,’ Blinken warns in Tel Aviv,” Times of Israel, February 8, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-cannot-use-oct-7-as-a-license-to-dehumanize-others-fumes-blinken-in-tel-aviv/

Will we have a third Speaker of the House this session?

Illiberalism

Gilead

Speaker of the House of Representatives, 2023-2024


Fig. 1. Photograph credited to Office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy, date inconsistent with title but given as November 9, 2022, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Supposedly Mike Johnson is not in any danger, at least for now, of losing his job. But, according to Tina Nguyen, he clearly also doesn’t have the command of his conference that’d normally be expected of House leadership. Meanwhile there are issues that need dealing with that aren’t getting dealt with.[1]

This is a picture that isn’t making sense. For anyone. This ongoing debacle in the House of Representatives certainly doesn’t help Republicans appear prepared to govern. Democrats aren’t getting the Ukraine aid or even the Israel and Taiwan aid that Republicans have been holding hostage to far right demands. Five months into the federal fiscal year, the federal government still isn’t getting a budget.[2]

Donald Trump thinks he wins from all this.[3] He might win, but I very strongly doubt this will be the reason. And yeah, I gotta wonder if we’ll see a third Speaker of the House this session.

Tina Nguyen, “The Johnson Piñata,” Puck, February 7, 2024, https://puck.news/the-johnson-pinata/


So-called ‘ridesharing’

Bezzle


Fig. 2. “Clarkdale Classic Gas Station, Clarkdale, Arizona,” Photograph by Alan Levine, October 28, 2016, via Wikimedia Commons, CC0.

The easy availability of capital for much of the past decade had Uber and other startups burning through tens of billions of dollars in an attempt to gain market share. From 2016 through the first quarter of 2023, Uber collectively racked up close to $30 billion in operating losses, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. The company posted its first quarterly operating profit in the second quarter of 2023. The company was founded in 2009.[4]

Okay, I see the $30 billion in operating losses from 2016 into 2023. How much money did Uber lose from 2009 through 2015?

Preetika Rana, “Uber Posts First Annual Profit Since Its IPO,” Wall Street Journal, February 7, 2024, https://www.wsj.com/business/earnings/uber-q4-earnings-report-2023-4e0d59f6


Imperialism

Russia

Ukraine


Fig. 3. “Destroyed Russian military vehicles located on the main street Khreshchatyk are seen as part of the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine in Kyiv, August 24.” Photograph by Gleb Garanich for Reuters, August 24, 2022,[5] fair use.

I’m inclined to see this Politico headline[6] as a bit alarmist. But only a bit: A lot is certainly going south right now.

James Angelos, “Trump’s already back, America has ditched Ukraine. What does Europe do now?,” Politico, February 8, 2024, https://www.politico.eu/article/olaf-scholz-joe-biden-united-states-support-ukraine-trump-return/

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 4. 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,[7] fair use.

Lazar Berman, “Israel cannot use Oct. 7 as ‘license to dehumanize others,’ Blinken warns in Tel Aviv,” Times of Israel, February 8, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-cannot-use-oct-7-as-a-license-to-dehumanize-others-fumes-blinken-in-tel-aviv/


  1. [1]Tina Nguyen, “The Johnson Piñata,” Puck, February 7, 2024, https://puck.news/the-johnson-pinata/
  2. [2]Tina Nguyen, “The Johnson Piñata,” Puck, February 7, 2024, https://puck.news/the-johnson-pinata/
  3. [3]Tina Nguyen, “The Johnson Piñata,” Puck, February 7, 2024, https://puck.news/the-johnson-pinata/
  4. [4]Preetika Rana, “Uber Posts First Annual Profit Since Its IPO,” Wall Street Journal, February 7, 2024, https://www.wsj.com/business/earnings/uber-q4-earnings-report-2023-4e0d59f6
  5. [5]Reuters, “Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display in Kyiv,” August 25, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/ukraine-puts-destroyed-russian-tanks-on-idUSRTSALV9Q
  6. [6]James Angelos, “Trump’s already back, America has ditched Ukraine. What does Europe do now?,” Politico, February 8, 2024, https://www.politico.eu/article/olaf-scholz-joe-biden-united-states-support-ukraine-trump-return/
  7. [7]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/

Four U.S. presidents have failed on the Middle East. Is Brett McGurk the reason why?

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.

Julia Ioffe does not offer a straightforward conclusion about Brett McGurk, who apparently has served four successive presidents, focusing on Iraq, but prominent in negotiating the Abraham Accords between Israel and some Arab states, which some blame for the October 7 attack because it ignored the Palestinians.[2] But she’s echoing questions, including about his race and gender privilege, that probably almost no one outside the Beltway would ask, so I pretty much have to think she’s dubious.

Usually I’m not into personalities. I want to deal with policy. But Ioffe’s article was the first I’d seen that suggested a link between the Abraham Accords and the October 7 attack.[3] Whatever McGurk actually is, it would seem he’s important.

Julia Ioffe, “Who’s Afraid of Brett McGurk?” Puck, February 6, 2024, https://puck.news/whos-afraid-of-brett-mcgurk/


Illiberalism


Fig. 2. Photograph by Joachim F. Thurn, August 1991, Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F089030-0003, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE.

Nicolas Camut, “Geert Wilders left stranded as Dutch coalition talks collapse,” Politico, February 6, 2024, https://www.politico.eu/article/geert-wilders-stranded-dutch-government-coalition-talk-collapse-netherlands/

Right-wing militias
Police White supremacist gangs


Fig. 3. Photograph by Lorie Shaull, April 1, 2021, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Dan Atkinson, “Stingrays, Simulators, Surveillance, and Silverados,” HorizonMass, February 6, 2024, https://horizonmass.news/2024/02/06/stingrays-simulators-surveillance-and-silverados/


  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]Julia Ioffe, “Who’s Afraid of Brett McGurk?” Puck, February 6, 2024, https://puck.news/whos-afraid-of-brett-mcgurk/
  3. [3]Julia Ioffe, “Who’s Afraid of Brett McGurk?” Puck, February 6, 2024, https://puck.news/whos-afraid-of-brett-mcgurk/

Ford as the Tesla-wannabeat?

Electric vehicles


Fig. 1. “A Toyota bZ4X electric sport utility vehicle: EVs currently on the market are fitted with batteries that use liquid lithium-ion electrolytes.” Photograph by Kiyoshi Ota, n.d., via Financial Times, fair use.

Claudia Assis, “Ford says that it will launch a Tesla ‘Model 2’ rival, calls for ‘strong’ year,” MarketWatch, February 6, 2024, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/ford-calls-for-a-healthy-2024-and-its-stock-rallies-6-c4be4254


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Coup attempt

2024

Fig. 1. Cartoon by Ben Jennings, January 24, 2024, via the Guardian,[1] fair use.

It’d be safe to say that George Conway, III, likes—really likes[2]—the appellate decision to deny Donald Trump’s claim to criminal immunity.[3] He thinks the Supreme Court should decline to review the decision.[4] Of course, saying what the Court should do is different from what it actually does. We’ll see.

Chris Geidner, “FAQ: Trump, the 14th Amendment, and Thursday’s SCOTUS arguments,” Law Dork, February 5, 2024, https://www.lawdork.com/p/faq-trump-14th-amendment-scotus

Ankush Khardori, “What Happens, Exactly, If Trump Is Sentenced to Prison?” New York, February 5, 2024, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/what-happens-exactly-if-trump-is-sentenced-to-prison.html

George T. Conway, III, “An Airtight Ruling Against Trump,” Atlantic, February 6, 2024, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2024/02/dc-circuit-court-ruling-on-trump-immunity/677367/

Rachel Weiner, “Trump has no immunity from Jan. 6 prosecution, appeals court rules,” Washington Post, February 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2024/02/06/trump-jan-6-immunity-appeal-denied/


  1. [1]Ben Jennings, “Ben Jennings on Donald Trump’s progress along the Republican nomination trail – cartoon,” Guardian, January 24, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2024/jan/24/ben-jennings-on-donald-trumps-progress-along-the-republican-nomination-trail-cartoon
  2. [2]George T. Conway, III, “An Airtight Ruling Against Trump,” Atlantic, February 6, 2024, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2024/02/dc-circuit-court-ruling-on-trump-immunity/677367/
  3. [3]Rachel Weiner, “Trump has no immunity from Jan. 6 prosecution, appeals court rules,” Washington Post, February 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2024/02/06/trump-jan-6-immunity-appeal-denied/
  4. [4]George T. Conway, III, “An Airtight Ruling Against Trump,” Atlantic, February 6, 2024, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2024/02/dc-circuit-court-ruling-on-trump-immunity/677367/

Poor baby: Donald Trump denied immunity by appeals court

Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Coup attempt

2024

Fig. 1. Cartoon by Ben Jennings, January 24, 2024, via the Guardian,[1] fair use.

Chris Geidner, “FAQ: Trump, the 14th Amendment, and Thursday’s SCOTUS arguments,” Law Dork, February 5, 2024, https://www.lawdork.com/p/faq-trump-14th-amendment-scotus

Ankush Khardori, “What Happens, Exactly, If Trump Is Sentenced to Prison?” New York, February 5, 2024, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/what-happens-exactly-if-trump-is-sentenced-to-prison.html

Rachel Weiner, “Trump has no immunity from Jan. 6 prosecution, appeals court rules,” Washington Post, February 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2024/02/06/trump-jan-6-immunity-appeal-denied/


  1. [1]Ben Jennings, “Ben Jennings on Donald Trump’s progress along the Republican nomination trail – cartoon,” Guardian, January 24, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2024/jan/24/ben-jennings-on-donald-trumps-progress-along-the-republican-nomination-trail-cartoon

Not that he’s listening, but Joe Biden is on notice

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.

The legal conclusions are there: The U.S. is clearly on notice that its actions are in violation of both international and domestic law.[2]

Juan Cole, “Israel’s Reputation forever Besmirched by UN Court Injunction to Cease Genociding Palestinians,” Informed Comment, January 27, 2024, https://www.juancole.com/2024/01/reputation-besmirched-palestinians.html

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

Ed Pilkington, “Pro-Palestinian protests hound Biden, casting shadow on his re-election effort,” Guardian, January 31, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/31/biden-pro-palestine-protest-israel

Yasmeen Abutaleb and Karen DeYoung, “Biden imposes sanctions on Israeli West Bank settlers,” Washington Post, February 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/01/biden-signs-executive-order-sanctioning-west-bank-settlers/

Gabriel Debenedetti, “Bernie’s Pressure Campaign,” New York, February 1, 2024, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2024/02/bernie-sanders-israel-gaza-democrats-biden.html

Alice Speri, “After Historic Ruling, Lawyers Vow to Keep Fighting Biden Over Complicity in Gaza Genocide,” Intercept, February 1, 2024, https://theintercept.com/2024/02/01/gaza-biden-genocide-lawsuit-ruling/

Adam Taylor, “UNRWA funding pauses come amid uncertainty over Gaza aid future,” Washington Post, February 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/02/01/unrwa-funding-pause-united-nations-future-aid/

Daniel Hurst, “‘Shockingly amateurish’: Australian government delivers veiled rebuke to Israel over UN agency comments,” Guardian, February 2, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2024/feb/03/shockingly-amateurish-australian-government-delivers-veiled-rebuke-to-israel-over-un-agency-comments

Kaamil Ahmed, “‘Everything beautiful has been destroyed’: Palestinians mourn a city in tatters,” Guardian, February 4, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/feb/04/everything-beautiful-has-been-destroyed-palestinians-mourn-a-city-in-tatters


Pennsylvania and surrounding areas

Pittsburgh, the Ohio Valley, and surrounding areas

Pollution


Fig. 1. 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,[3] fair use.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review included drone video of U.S. Steel’s Clairton works in the article.[4] This plant looks a lot grungier when viewed in person. Nothing has happened to change my view that the plant should be razed, the land remediated, and put to some use that will benefit Clairton residents.

Justin Vellucci, “‘This is what money smells like,’” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 4, 2024, https://triblive.com/local/2-2m-fine-is-latest-entry-in-clairtons-air-pollution-history/


  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]Katherine Gallagher, quoted in Alice Speri, “After Historic Ruling, Lawyers Vow to Keep Fighting Biden Over Complicity in Gaza Genocide,” Intercept, February 1, 2024, https://theintercept.com/2024/02/01/gaza-biden-genocide-lawsuit-ruling/
  3. [3]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
  4. [4]Justin Vellucci, “‘This is what money smells like,’” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 4, 2024, https://triblive.com/local/2-2m-fine-is-latest-entry-in-clairtons-air-pollution-history/