Prawnworks Archives 2023B

Zelenskyy argues a domino theory with Russia. If Ukraine falls, the war will not stop. Putin appears to argue that very same point.
Russia sends missiles to where there are no military targets.
Zelenskyy says the Ukrainian Army is the one best qualified to stand against Russia today. Support Ukraine, and there will be no need to send any other army. Both Washington and Brussels are unable to supply Ukraine right now.
France pledges to send aid.
Polish border unblocked.
Germany will provide over 7 billion Euros in aid.
Russia stuff being blown up.
Ukraine hits an airfield 200km inside Russia.

Trump was the de facto incumbent and running in a heavily evangelical state on Monday and had gotten a majority of Iowa votes, but just barely. Both DeSantis and Haley got roughly 20% each. As neither of them will openly confront Trump, there isn’t much chance for either to really get anywhere.

I went from reading this piece, where Larry Kudlow demonstrates that he has no idea what he’s talking about when he tells his audience about human-caused climate change, to this piece where the writer examines why large craters are opening up in the Siberian tundra. The author finishes off by posting several videos that have more detail. Yeah, night and day difference!

Russia and Ukraine have been fighting over Avdiivka for so long, it’s now just a bombed-out wasteland.
Downing of the Russian A-50 radar plane is confirmed. They only have eight other such planes.
Russia was able to produce roughly 2 million artillery rounds and received 1 million from North Korea last year. Russian army gets 1k to 1100 recruits a day.
Russians are aiming for military assets, but inaccurate missiles often mean civilian casualties.
Russia’s producing 115 to 130 strategic missiles per month.
Russian stuff blowing up.

A really large part of the policy rot in today’s GOP is traceable to Fox News, which rewards the yellers and the screamers. It’s a “pure performative gonzo politics of grievance.” Can this Congress get out the minimum necessary bills? Ehh, we’ll see.

“Impressing” Americans into service of the Royal Navy was a major cause of the War of 1812. Russia’s version of Amazon appears to have forced workers into joining the Russian Army to take part in the “meat waves,” the attacks on Ukrainian lines. It appears that the huge fire in Wildberries is a result of ticked-off Russian workers who were impressed into service.

So Speaker Johnson is saying there won't be any solution to any problem until November and then, only if their Glorious Leader wins. Keep a close eye on the major media to see how they report this as he was speaking very clearly.

Two Russian command-and-control aircraft downed over the Azov Sea. “The former is claimed to now be scuba diving…”
Ukraine conducting bilateral security talks with nine countries and counting.
Russia has big stockpiles of war materials and Iran and North Korea are helping, so not much danger they’ll run out soon. Russia’s on a full war footing. They’re producing 100 long-range missiles and 300 attack drones a month.
Heating, especially in the Moscow region, is in crisis. They’re calling it a “catastrophic disaster.” War is using up resources that would otherwise be used to maintain heating systems. What will the political effect be of an empire that can’t provide necessities? Ehh, who knows?

Senator Mike Lee says we can choose "Order" (Trump) or "Lawlessness" (Biden). Erm, I seem to recall that chaos was the usual Trump mode of operation. Trump couldn't build a wall or assemble a health-care plan or initiate an infrastructure bill because his administration was in a continual state of chaos. Also, we've had well over a year of the Oversight Committee trying to prove Biden crimes and they've regularly come up empty.

Update (9Apr):In another sign that "order" is hardly the way to descibe anything that Trump does, his takeover of the RNC was, as expected, a complete cluster#$@%!!!

In 1984-speak, this is double-plus ungood. This is very, very bad news. Federal border agents say that Texas National Guard troops prevented them from rescuing a woman and two children from drowning in the Rio Grande. Texas Governor Abbott needs to answer for this.

The problem for young people in Gaza is not simply bombardments, but the lack of healthy food and sanitary water. UNICEF reports serious problems keeping people in Gaza alive.

22 years and the Guantanamo Bay prison is still in operation! For those who have most likely committed crimes, the fact that they were tortured renders any further punishment as simply obscene.

Two attractive women poisoned 24 Russian soldiers. The women were later found, but were armed and shot their way out. Russian soldiers have been warned not to trust any gifts of food or drink from Ukrainians they don’t know. [We don’t have pictures of the two women, so the picture is just a guess]
Russian missile attack in the early morning. “Russia is depleting Ukrainian air-defense.”
Norway ramps up production of 155mm shells.
Blogger recommends that the US go on a full war footing. The alternative is to see Ukraine die.
Senate Minority Leader McConnell, his “
control has slipped as he decays and disintegrates before everyone’s eyes.
Russian city of Rostov-on-Don suffers power outage.

The whole south of St Petersburg is under unimaginable smoke from the fire on Wildberries warehouse. The fire has already spread on 50,000 square meters.

Artwork from the famous Ukrainian folk artist Maria Prymachenko. A museum of her work was bombed, but many of her paintings were saved.
Kyiv attacked again.
UK steps up with £ 2.5 billion defense package for Ukraine. They will also contribute “£ 200 million for the production of various drones for the Ukrainian military”
A Bradley IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) takes on a Russian T-90M tank. The tank loses.

Iran continues to try and enforce its rules on the wearing of hijabs among women, who continue to refuse to conform.

Biden has initiated a summer feeding program, y’know, so children who don’t have access to school lunches don’t go hungry. 35 states have signed up. 15 states are, I dunno, run by grinches, I guess. 

Steamboat Willie, starring Mickey Mouse, made in 1928, has now entered the public domain, so a horror movie has already been made using that as a base.

Is the House Oversight Committee serious? Ha, ha!  No

At the same hearing, the Democratic congressman asked House Republicans — who presumably have questions for Hunter Biden, since they had subpoenaed him — whether they were prepared to end the hearing and immediately hear testimony from the president’s son. They balked at that opportunity, too.

"Trump Confesses He Took Payments From Foreign Governments While In Office"
Now Trump is just openly bragging about violating the Constitution, in the case the Emoluments Clause.

Speaker Johnson reached a $1.7 trillion budget deal with the Senate Majority Leader and hoo boy, is the Freedom Caucus mad

Hardliners want to see spending cuts far deeper than what Johnson was able to pull out of Schumer and they also want any spending bills that pass with their support to include culture-war riders that are dead-on-arrival in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Russia obtained 485 components worth $7.3 billion for its army in Ukraine. China contributed a lot of that. US-owned companies in Asia are a big part of the problem.
Yasser Arafat used to give speeches in English. Then, he’d give a different speech in Arabic to his fellow Arabs, where he then said what he really thought! Bibi Netanyahu does the same with English and Hebrew to American and Israeli audiences.
Zelenskyy speaks to Estonian Parliament.
Ukraine’s air defense missile stocks are running down while the House wastes time demanding 900 miles of border wall.
Effectiveness of Russian troops going down, but there are still a lot of them and they have drones and artillery.
Russian heating is in crisis as maintenance people are all at the Ukrainian front.

Back during 2001, a person assisting the younger George Bush came up with the term "Axis of Evil." It was such a joke, I couldn't help but to pronounce the term in a Saturday-morning cartoon kind of way "Axisss of Eee-ville." But yeah, I think the term fits for Russia, Iran, North Korea and China.

South Africa has referred a case to the International Court of Justice accusing Israel of genocide against Palestinians. Piece explains the stakes of the case. “Both Israel and South Africa are parties to the [1948 Geneva] convention,” which outlaws genocide.

Human-caused climate change doesn’t JUST result in greater heat. It also brings natural disasters. Last year, the US suffered 28 disasters that cost over $1 billion each.

Democrats immediately took advantage of Donald Trump saying he hoped for a pre-election economic crash!

Putin must be proud of himself. This WAS a children’s summer camp!
A hotel where foreign journalists stayed has been hit. Children’s health center in same city also hit. Fortunately, it was empty of people at the time.
Problems with Russia’s expansionism go back to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Many Russians have been trying to regain lost territory since then.
Zelenskyy gets petitions to declare someone a Hero of Ukraine. He has received over 2k such petitions.
6.3 million Ukrainians are abroad.
Trump is completely anti-NATO. Blogger has problems with Biden’s NatSec team, but Biden is WAY better than Trump!
Public art can only be performed underground, in the subways.
A polymer plant in Moscow region is ablaze, with 8k km2 burning.
Russia probably has 6k tanks in storage, but as many are stored in the open air, they probably all need upgrades and refurbishment.

An appreciation of writers for Slate law and politics Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern. They chronicle how pregnant women have been treated since Roe v Wade was overturned. Problem is, in the nearly 50 years Roe was a law, anti-choicers never made any attempt to reconcile their view with the legitimate health needs of women with problem pregnancies. Unfortunately, it shows in how pregnancies that threaten the lives of women are treated.

World is concluding that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.

The US has been really slacking off on supplying arms to Ukraine, sending far less than they could have. This is not a new problem. This has been true from the beginning.
Has the Republican majority in the House treated “the survival of a country as a political weapon and bargaining chip?” Yeah.
Ukraine military leadership has carefully analyzed military logistical needs.
Morale is good, but the war has taken a toll. Russian attacks are very intense these days. Artillery shells are in short supply.
Pressure on Germany to send TAURUS missiles to Ukraine.
Russians constructing new railroads in occupied Ukraine.

The Democratic primary is kinda like “Joe Biden and the irrelevant also-rans.”

Good news on the presidential immunity case! Jonathan Turley is a strong pro-Trump advocate and he thinks the case is really weak! And yeah, the hypothetical of whether a president could order the assassination of a critic was a killer question that pretty much rendered the whole argument ridiculous.

Americans don’t really understand other cultures. What, pollsters asked Americans, does “Zionism” mean? 62% said they had no idea. Zionism fits well with many other ideologies, but Americans, by and large, don’t understand those either.

Russian bombers flying over the Caspian Sea launch missiles at civilian housing in Ukraine.
Blogger explains why using Russia assets in US is a legally complicated maneuver. Also could be politically risky.
Qatar is negotiating with Russia to bring Ukrainian hostages home.
The Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence has been penetrating Russian enterprises.
Bridgehead at Krynky still holding strong.
More Russian stuff blowing up.
Andri Derkach worked with Rudy Giulani to smear Joe Biden back in 2020. Derkach also helped to assist Russian forces as they entered Ukraine. Derkach supposedly has new evidence.

Hmm. Bummer. House won’t shut down government after all. Speaker Johnson has instead renewed the deal that Speaker McCarthy made in his debt ceiling deal of last June. The Freedom Caucus, of course hates the deal and are considering firing a Speaker yet again.

Congresspeople make $174k a year. Republicans are arguing that a pay increase would attract better people to Congress. Ya know what might make Congress more popular? National minimum wage is still $7.25 an hour. Many regard $15 an hour as the bare minimum to get by in today’s economy. Of course, Republicans have voted against raising the minimum wage!

"Get real and read some history. The past was worse."
My father firmly believed that the US has gotten better since “The Old Days.” Having been a history major in college, I agree!

News on Ukrainian allies Japan, Sweden and EU.
Asian allies strongly supporting Ukraine.
In Russian houses, heating systems have stopped working. The people who would ordinarily fix the systems are all at war. Russians have to make bonfires to stay warm.
With both sides using tens of thousands of drones each month, Russia is ahead in electronic warfare, but Ukraine is catching up.

Representative Jordan ignores that Republicans in the House passed HR 2, their preferred solution to the immigrant problem, without getting a single Democratic vote. Gee, ya think maybe Republicans might want to maybe talk with their counterparts to see if they might alter or add to their bill to see if Democrats might sign on?

"The Battle Cry of Freedom" is a book on the Civil War. The whole first section is devoted to why it started. It was absolutely crystal clear reading it that no, there was no common ground between the North and the South. There was no basis on which to even begin to discuss any compromise. Trump has very clearly not studied this period in any detail.

MSNBCs Kristen Welker is seriously falling down on the job. She permitted Elise Stefanik, the number 3 Republican in the House, to call J6 prisoners "hostages." Welker finished up that section of her segment with Stefanik by saying "We have to move on." That haste to get to the next topic is very easily exploited by gaslighters.

Yes, it’s embarrassing and infuriating that the US House of Representatives is slacking off so badly.
Zelenskyy advocates using the $300 billion in frozen Russian financial assets to arm Ukraine. Nice idea, but not likely to happen. It’s legally very complicated.
Summing up air targets destroyed in 2023, Ukraine gets an impressive tally.
Russia’s shooting far more ammunition than Ukraine is. Unless the US House gets its act together, that won’t change. Patriot missile batteries running low on missiles.
Does the US fear that victory in Ukraine will cause the Russian government to collapse?
Our blogger feels House Republicans want their anti-immigrant bill passed into law with no revisions. Only THEN will Ukraine aid pass.
Russia’s ramping up production. “War-related industrial output has risen 35 per cent compared with the period leading up to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, while civilian production has remained flat”
Poland making peace with Ukraine.
Radar and ammo storage dump hit in Saky, Crimea.
Epiphany celebration.

I had first really looked into the legal theory of “Originalism” during the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Robert Bork. I wasn’t impressed with it at all. The 14th Amendment case against Donald Trump being on the ballot could prove fatal to Originalism.

Senator Tom Cotton tweeted “When Donald Trump was president, America was safe, strong, and prosperous.” Sorry, not true. As the blogger points out, "crisis management, especially during a health emergency, is an essential element of presidential leadership." Covid didn't have to be a crisis! It was a crisis because Trump was incompetent.

Momentum grows to support South Africa in its charge that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians.

“What really happened at Istanbul peace talks in 2022?” I’ve heard about this meeting and the accusation that the US torpedoed the opportunity for peace for quite some time. Russia and Ukraine dispute whether there was ever any deal. The discovery of the horrors of Bucha completely ended any further talks of settling.

The apparent "Mrs. Trump #4" (the lawyer Alina Habba) opines on whether you can fake being smart. Ehh, yeah. IF you're smarter than your audience! You can't fool the people who are smarter than you are.

Puh-leez! Taking Trump off the ballot, in accordance with the 14th Amendment will lead to “backlash?” For Pete’s sake, bring it! MAGA is always mad and infuriated and upset about something!

North Korea provides Russia with missiles and missile launchers. NK missiles have 900km range. Why doesn’t Ukraine have similar missiles? Hmm, what IS Russia giving Iran and NK in response for their assistance?
Ukraine got tired of being hit by missile barrages and has bombarded Sevastopol.
Germany contributes, but it sure would be nice for the House to get serious.
From Financial Times: “At the moment, we are doing enough to stop Ukraine being defeated but not enough to help it win. In 2024, we could provide the tools for Kyiv to regain more territory and convince Russia it can’t prevail. That is the only path to a lasting peace.”
Russian stuff blowing up.
Kyiv has a “I want to live” hotline that Russian soldiers can use to surrender. Over 26K Russian soldiers have used it.

The group No Labels drops the mask and admits they’re just there to see to it that Biden loses in 2024. Harlan Crow, who’s underwritten big transfers of money and vacations to Supreme Court Justice Thomas, has contributed $130k to No Labels.

Donald Trump "received millions of dollars from foreign entities located in 20 different countries during his presidency." Second son Eric Trump claims that any improperlu received money went to the Treasury

Update (26 March): It should have been a very quick and simple task for either the Trump Organization or the Treasury to locate the contributions that Eric claims were made. A quick internet search shows no references to the issue after January 4th. My guess is that the lack of documentation means that no such contributions were ever made.

Trump wants everyone to think that 2019 was the last year of hiss single term in office. He’d like to have them forget that 2020, the year of the pandemic, was actually the last year of his term! And remember, the pandemic didn’t have to be a disaster! It was a disaster because Trump was incompetent.

So, the Republican Conference in the House decided to take Ukraine aid hostage in order to get a border deal. They had previously put out a legislative package, HR2, to deal with the border, but it was so one-sided, no Democrat voted for it. So now, if a deal is reached, they're afraid Biden would get credit for it, so no deal!

The Epstein flight logs are released. Mostly familiar names. A few prominent people are accused, but they deny those. There were a lot of wild accusations being thrown around previously, for instance, Representative Adam Schiff was described as a frequent flyer on Epstein’s flights. Schiff appears nowhere in the New York piece.

As is frequently the case, the American public is way ahead of Congress on both human-caused climate change and the carnage in Gaza.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan keeps trying to assert authority over District Attorneys and Attorneys General that he simply doesn’t have. They tell him, very decorously and politely, to $#@% off.

Russian Zoopark counter-battery radar. They’ve now lost seven of these.
Ukrainians hit for a 6th day of bombardment by missiles.

In better news, 230 Ukrainian POWs and civilians stolen by Russia are returning home!

Norway provides F-16s for training purposes. Training will be done in Denmark.
Both the ATACMS and/or TAURUS missile systems would be able to reach every corner of occupied Ukraine. “No Russian HQ or rocket launcher or ammunition storage site would be safe.” Holding them back is clearly a political decision.
Foreign Affairs says: Ukraine can break out beyond stalemate, but it needs strong Western support to do so. “Uncertainty about the long-term provision of aid to Ukraine risks not only giving Russia advantages on the battlefield but also emboldening Moscow further.“
Assessment by King’s College London’s Senior Lecturer in War Studies Ruth Deyermond. Russian goals unattainable but Russia can seek out new, more realistic goals. Ukraine and the West can still lose. Russia understands that it’s in a long-term war. Not sure the West grasps this. Negotiation is a non-solution.
Assessment by Ukrainian officer Tatarigami. He looks at each battlefield in turn.
Ooh! Russians try to hide behind a Western tank. FPV’s (First Person View) drones can see around obstacles. More Russian stuff blowing up.

Deepthink piece upon the media’s failure to recognize how the terrain has shifted under their feet. Reminds me of leaders in World War II not realizing how much the tank had transformed warfare and of people thinking that the war between Russia and Ukraine was just a repeat of the Iraq War with the US being the bad guy.

Do Chinese nuclear weapons scientists have the right priorities? They take time off from pursuing weapons research to produce a medically important tool. But...but doesn't that mean they're slacking off on what really matters? Or does it mean they actually have better priorities?

Fox News pundit: “It better be nine-nothing, because if any of those justices vote to remove Trump from the ballot…” Or what, darlin’? Are the MAGA people gonna revolt or something? Let ‘em! Let’s have that fight take place right now!

Lots and lots of Russian missiles destroyed before they could hit Ukrainian targets! Kyiv and Kharkiv main targets. Pictures of destruction.
A child writes a thank-you note to soldiers.
China is exporting valuable machine tools to Russia, which is crucial to its weapons industry. Blogger blames the Biden Administration’s NatSec team for being averse to risk.
Sanctions are insufficiently aggressive as many missiles that have landed in Ukraine were manufactured quite recently.
Russia shows picture of Ukrainian man being tortured. “This is how they are Russian ‘liberators’”.
Russian missile lands in Russia! Oops!

These two stories together tell a disturbing tale. The Trump Campaign spent well over half a million dollars each to two professional firms to examine the 2020 election for any sign that Trump had somehow been cheated and that he might have actually won. They both came up with zero evidence. The really disturbing part is that belief that Trump was cheated has grown! More people than ever are convinced that Trump should be finishing up his second term about now!

From the piece

Since October 7, reports of antisemitism and Islamaphobia have soared. There have also been heightened efforts to conflate antisemitism and legitimate criticism of Israel, with U.S. critics facing shuttered campus groups, lost jobs, congressional resolutions, and other consequences for daring to condemn the mass killing of Palestinian civilians.

An amazingly blatant example of double standards and hypocrisy concerning who should and who shouldn’t be allowed to run for office, starting with the "Obama Birtherism.”

Yet another night of an absolutely massive air attack. Ukraine knocks down 87 out of 90 Iranian-made Shaheds.
Canada supplies additional NASAMS.
Russian stuff blowing up.
The “Donbas Palace Hotel” was struck a few nights ago. Turned out since then that several high-ranking officials were all staying there.
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones claims that Russia isn’t hitting civilian targets.
Russia tried to establish a naval blockade to prevent Ukraine from exporting any food. Description of how the blockade was defeated. Destroying 20% of the Russian Black Sea Fleet is pretty good when you consider that Ukraine doesn’t have a Navy. Russia moved ships to Novorossiysk, Ukraine them hit them there, too.
The Economist interviews Zelenskyy. He’s annoyed because the world seems to be losing interest in Ukraine’s struggles. He strongly believes in a ”Domino Theory,” if Ukraine falls, NATO will be next. Crimea will be a big target in 2024.

Very good news on solar energy! We’re getting more and more panels into place!

Woo hoo! Federal minimum wage is still stuck at $7.25 an hour, but states have taken the initiative to raise their own wages.

Vivek Ramaswamy has been posting the video clip where Trump tells the January 6th attackers to go home. Can’t imagine why anyone thinks that clip is exonerating as Trump was clearly on their side and was hoping they’d succeed.


The Russian city of Belgorod was hit, but it appears that Russian air defense dropped some debris on the city. Ukrainians have no sympathy.
Hotel that houses many foreign journalists hit.
Ukraine is rebuilding from the strikes of yesterday. At least 16 people killed in Kyiv.
APC charges through deep mud puddles, “The Donbas Sea!”
Russian self-propelled howitzer meets HIMARS rocket!
Contribution link.

It’s now official. Israel has been charged by South Africa of committing genocide against the Palestinian people. Our blogger assures us that South Africa knows exactly what it’s talking about.

Why does Taylor Swift anger right-wingers so much? Probably because, for her first 10 years, she was “coded” (Wore the fashions of, spoke the language of) as a red-stater. Right-wingers feel betrayed.

What you're missing by not watching Fox News! The token liberal from The Five tries to discuss the last election and has to deal with "Hunter Biden's penis pictures."

Summing up the legislative year. The Republican-led House produced lots and lots of bills, but as they had no interest  in crafting bills that could win the Democratic-run Senate's support, virtually no laws got a presidential signature as they mostly never got taken up by th Senate. 

Year in review:

2022 Number of votes taken by House: 549
Bills signed into law: 248

2023 Votes taken by House: 724
Bills signed into law: 27

Largest Russian barrage of Ukrainian civilian targets ever! “The occupiers used a variety of types of ballistic missiles, air-launched cruise missiles, and Shahed UAVs to target civilian targets. A total of 158 missiles and UAVs were fired against Ukraine; 87 missiles and 27 Shaheds were shot down by Ukrainian air defense.” As Congress hasn’t resupplied Ukraine with air defenses yet, Russia is trying to make them use up their supplies.

The UK is sending hundreds of air defence missiles to Ukraine to restock…

Meanwhile, Israel gets emergency supplies for their 155 mm shells.
Biden makes official statement.
One of the missiles went into Polish air-space.
Zelenskyy visits Avdiivka.

More on the Houthi support for Gaza and their attacks on Red Sea shipping. As there’s no way to distinguish shipping that’s headed for Israel from other shipping, Houthis are simply attacking everyone.

Contributions from Norway, Germany and the G7 might have up to $300 billion in confiscated Russian funds that could be used for Ukraine defense. This is just a pie-in-the-sky plan at the moment. LOTS of work to be done!
A look at Russia’s goals. “Russia is at war not with Ukraine, but with NATO”
Russian stuff blowing up.

Seems that Biden's Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is the ACA/Obamacare of the 2020s. The stakes are even bigger this time, because of human-caused climate change and because the IRA directly addresses that, possibly the survival of humans.

Representative Boebert gives a lengthy talk about why she's switching districts, but yeah, it pretty clearly boils down to "I can't win in my current district."

Representative Boebert is NOT favorably impressing her fellow Colorado Republicans with her planned switch of districts to represent. They’re calling it a “desperate stunt” on her part.

Odesa attacked with Shahed drones. Most shot down, but the debris caused damage.
Ukrainian defense industry employs about 300k people.
NATO is under-producing artillery shells, Russia is making plenty, even though their economy is about the size of Italy’s.
Daring escape by a member of the Azov Battalion.
Video of drone attack on a tank.
The remains of the Russian landing ship Novocherkassk are what the insurance companies call a “total loss.”

The same fellow who wrote “On Tyranny,” a guide for surviving tyrants, writes about Ukraine and repeats the refrain “Would You Sell Them Out?”

The war in Gaza, as seen from social media platforms such as TikTok. Young people are learning quite a bit about Islam as they go to online sources.

Senator Ron Johnson takes two positions on immigration, the first one showing that the Republican Party wants to preserve immigration as an issue and has no intention of solving the problem until, at least, after the 2024 election has been decided.

A committee of Democrats write to Supreme Court Justice Thomas and point out that the Code of Conduct he recently agreed to requires, for the credibility of the Court, to recuse himself from any case involving Trump

Updaye (4 Mar): When Justice Thomas was faced with a clear choice in the Trump immunity case, he essentially said "#$@% y'all!" and did not recuse himself.

Governor DeSantis complains that Trump's many indictments made him more popular and then wishes the indictments hadn't occurred. But...isn't that a problem with the party? Doesn't that indicate something is seriously wrong with the GOP?

Ukrainian bombers blew up landing ship Novocherkassk.” Russia has now lost 23 ships and boats! Ukraine essentially has no Navy.
Russia hits a railway station when it was packed with civilian travelers.
Training on F-16s.
General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, gives a press conference.
Ukraine needs aid, Ukraine is in a frantic arms race, with new innovations coming all the time, Russia just doesn’t care about losses.
Good! The EU is bypassing Viktor Orbán of Hungary in order to help Ukraine.
A Russian T-90M tank costs around $4.5 million. This one was taken out by a $500 drone.

Very interesting piece on Ukraine’s Christmas celebration Their celebration takes a lot from the pre-Christian Era (pagan rites were co-opted by Christianity) rituals and even takes some recipes from pre-Agricultural Revolution Ukraine.
A deepthink piece from the Ukrainian officer Tatarigami. He assesses how Russia would attack NATO once Ukraine is disposed of. Russia might try to reproduce Donbas 2014. A major concern is that Russia is currently demonstrating that it is willing to fight a war of attrition. Will NATO do so if that’s the only way to succeed?
Assessment followed by critiques.

Is Trump likely to win next year? Nah. The media has created a false narrative. Trump’ll lose.

The US has moved a carrier strike group off the coast of Yemen. Attacks on civilian shipping directly affect insurance costs. Moving routes from the Red Sea to going around Africa also adds lots of expense to commerce.

I don’t think the self-identified “prophet” Julie Green is in any way out of it or deluded. I think she’s a grifter who’s making lots and lots of money off of Michael Flynn and Eric Trump. She’s telling them what they want to hear.

Video of Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska at an awards ceremony for diplomats.
Netherlands are preparing to sen Ukraine F-16s.
Video of Zelenskyy speaking to diplomats.
Three Russian SU-34 fighter-bombers shot down.
Conclusion is that Patriot missiles shot them down.
Only then, with Russia on the back foot, will negotiations become possible.Absolutely! As long as Russia has ANY possibility of victory, negotiations will never happen. Yes, Ukraine is using artillery more effectively, but 20k shells per day vs 7k shells per day is very bad.
Russian stuff blowing up.
The US can do a little bit with drawdowns, but not too much. We really need Congress to appropriate money.

A scholar of Constitutional Law describes what the 14th Amendment covers. Conservative members of the Supreme Court like to cite original intent. The original intent in this case is quite clear.

The also-ran Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson demonstrates that she doesn’t understand how to define an insurrection.

Voter fraud is simply not a systemic problem, so investigations of such fraud inevitably end up targeting racial minorities that happen to vote Democratic.

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan wraps up a year of accomplishing pretty dang close to nothing.

Ukrainians don’t have the luxury of war fatigue. They’re too busy defending their homeland.
Woo hoo! 34 out of 35 Shahed missiles shot down!
The clear objective of the Russians is to wear down Ukraine’s air defenses.
Germany delivers 120 Marder 1A3 IFVs.
Toronto Sun takes blatantly antisemitic tone.
Is Europe really standing tall for Ukraine? Or are they just convincing themselves of that?
Russian stuff blowing up. The TOS-1 makes awesome explosions!
US needs to get more M2 Bradley IFVs to Ukraine, ASAP!

Purity balls are creepy and gross but not uncommon among far-right evangelicals.” And sure enough, Speaker Johnson and his daughter attended one.

A look back at the year and the role that burning fossil fuels played in our climate.

A hilarious look at how conspiracy theorists explain human-caused climate change.

Russian propaganda claims that Ukrainian President Zelenskyy just purchased two yachts with US aid money. Amazingly, some US Representatives took this claim seriously and are using the claim as a reason to deny Ukraine further aid. The US has no effective way to counter Russia’s propaganda warfare.
Are we in an actual world war with Russia?
Putin certainly thinks so and has thought so since 2007.
US is juggling resources to deal with funding shortfall.
Remembering Bakhmut, a city of 70k, just two years ago. “It was a city of coffee shops, soccer stadiums, flower beds, fountains, and a famous local sparkling wine brand.” No one lives there now.
Russian stuff blowing up.

Rare interview with the commander of a Bradley IFV belonging to the Ukrainian 47th Mechanised Brigade.

Biden tries to keep it really simple. Of course the former president tried to carry out a coup!
Tiger Beat on the Potomac (
Politico), doesn’t want to come right out and say that Trump sure sounds an awful lot like Hitler did. No, they have to get all fancy and subtle and indirect about it. 

In most situations, comparing a political opponent to Adolf Hitler might seem like an extraordinary step. For Joe Biden’s campaign, it has become part of the routine of running against Donald Trump.

Hoo boy, what a mess! The Houthis want to cut off ships going to Israel, but with many ships flying "flags of convenience," it's difficult to tell, which means even more ships will be attacked. Petroleum products are affected, which makes even more of an incentive to switch to renewable energy!

Rachel Maddow covered this on her Monday show. Why does Trump sound a whole lot like der Fuhrer of the 1930s? Because that kind of rhetoric strikes a chord and causes some people to enthusiastically support Trump.

Woo hoo! Colorado has declared Donald Trump to be ineligible to run for president due to his taking part in a rebellion against the United States! Colorado is printing ballots very soon, so the Supreme Court has to rule on this question very quickly.
My own view is that even if Trump’s lawyers have parsed the terms to mean that a president is not an “officer,” I simply can’t believe that the authors of the 14th Amendment desired to permit a rebel to run for president. If they had truly meant that, they would have explicitly said so. Lys wants to return to his unit and fight alongside his brothers-in-arms.

More military aid for Ukraine will simply have to wait until the next legislative year begins.
Ukrainian p
lan is to mobilize about half a million men from age 25 and up. Woman can join if they want, but will not be compelled.
had a coal plant. “The biggest European producer of coke coal is now officially ruined by Russia to the point of no return.”
A Ukrainian office
r is frantically trying to acquire drones after a shipment was held up on the Polish border.
Film on the Azov Legion.

A deep dive into whether Trump read Mein Kampf. Maybe not, but Trump did have a book of der Fuhrer's speeches and he seems to have read them all very carefully.

Even the Israeli public is asking for a ceasefire! Israeli armed forces losing credibility.

US Marine veteran perishes in combat with Russians.
the Ukrainians have begun self rationing their remaining munitions, which has affected their planning and operations.” Both US and EU aid have been held up.
US aid will last until end of December.
Estonia estimates that Ukraine needs 200k artillery shells a month in order to fight effectively.
Ukrainians expected to hold out for months without military aid.
Ukraine is running low on recruits and has to begin a dr
ogger feels Ukraine is pursuing good PR strategy.
ssessment of Russia’s strategy.
A Ukrainian criticizes a NY Times story.
What the city of Avdiivka looks like now.
Fighting in the smoke and fog.
Polling in Ukraine on morale and support is decent. There’s strong support. Zelenskyy’s popularity has declined, but very few don’t trust him.

As Joe Biden once said “This is a big %$#@ing deal!” The Best Pope Ever is permitting priests to bless same-sex unions!

The Houthi of Yemen have now closed off the Red Sea to Israeli and America shipping. Major shipping lines are avoiding the Red Sea. How much shipping is effected? “Some 10 percent of world trade goes through the Suez Canal on 17,000 ships a year.”
Also: “There have been Shiite militia attacks on US personnel in Syria and Iraq, with more threatened.”

Ukraine is dominating the airspace above Avdivka, but they had to concentrate their resources, which left other areas vulnerable.

I like this interviewer! MSNBC's Symone Sanders-Townsend understands the issue well enough to be able to call out lies as soon as they’re uttered. She’s also willing to toss the schedule aside in order to answer a liar.

In contrast, back in July, CNN’s Jake Tapper interviews Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis about abortion. DeSantis said some nonsense about “post-birth abortion” which translates to plain old murder. Instead of challenging DeSantis right away, Tapper had a very weak and delayed response.

Ukraine is running short of manpower and needs to mobilize.
Our blogger dates World War III from 2007. What’s baffling the US and our NATO allies is that it’s largely non-kinetic. It’s fought mostly through propaganda and influencers. What we need to do is to counter-influence by using the truth.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan
feels Russia is putting on a brave face, but is very badly hurting. Sullivan doesn’t really understand the many reasons why the war will continue for a while. We need to understand their perspective as opposed to just mirroring ours. Trump, in contrast, understands Putin perfectly. The two work well together.
Ukraine is fighting a long-term war that will continue for the foreseeable future.
Russia shoots down a Ukrainian SU-25.

Review of M109, an American self-propelled howitzer.”

Just because I’ve been seeing posts about “OMG! Fraudulent election ballots in Georgia! This is the biggest, most awful scandal evar!!!!” Nah, some errors were uncovered, no fraud and nowhere near enough to affect the results.

More on the 10-inch thick binder that contained information on the Russian attack on our democracy in 2016.

Illia Ponomarenko spells out Putin’s conditions for Ukraine to surrender.
TikTok took down over 12k accounts that were spreading Russian propaganda about Ukrainian officials owning luxury cars, clothing, boats and houses.
Blogger feels that, over a decade into World War III, we in the West don’t have a handle on Russian/Chinese information warfare.
US Cyber Command has no idea how to make mem
Is Ukraine in a “proxy war?” No, because Ukraine will continue fighting long after the aid runs out.
Book recommended on Bakmuht, before and during the war.
Film on an artillery position.

"Godzilla Minus One"
Awesome mass destruction film! Godzilla is awfully formidable here. Very good characters. Very interesting look at how the Japanese settled back into a ruined Tokyo after World War II and how they gradually rebuilt their lives.. 

The M777 is a howitzer that can fire shells that are accurate to within 10 meters or 33 feet after being shot from 24 kilometers or 15 miles away.
Lithuania steps up to supply Ukraine.
Ukraine has liquidity through January, but things get tight after that.
Russian losses in Avdiivka.
Russian stuff getting blown up.
Russian artillery barrels not doing so good as they need to be replaced after a certain number of shots.

Way too much “BothSides” from former Ohio Governor John Kasich. No, Caspar Weinberger didn’t suffer from too much partisanship, he was investigated because he was part of the “October Surprise” plot of 1980. The reason Weinberger didn’t serve jail time is because the elder George Bush pardoned him. But the fight between Rs and Ds got nasty because people like Newt Gingich and Rush Limbaugh made it that way!

Peaceful demonstration in Kyiv over the budget.
Zelenskyy visits the commander of US forces in Europe.
The European Council has decided to open accession negotiations with Ukraine & Moldova.
Viktor Orbán of Hun
gary was given €10 billion, so he might have grumbled, but didn’t object
The allocation from the US to Ukraine was in the NDAA,which is good, but actually getting to spending the money isn’t a done deal.
Germany steps up and provides.
Estonia pledges o.25% of its GDP to helping Ukraine.
Big Russian missile strike for third day in a row.
Putin identifies Russian goal for the war with Ukraine as complete capitulation.
Interview with member of the Avdiivka garrison.
Huh! There’s such a thing as an anti-drone rifle!
Kyivstar will need weeks to recover from cyber attack.

Woo hoo! Great news for Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss. awful news for Rudy Giulani! He owes them some big bucks!

Yeah. This

The more Republicans abuse their power and pursue a baseless and evidence-free impeachment crusade, the more they jolt the Democratic base and create a fresh target for the president to run against.

Blogger also brings up a West Wing episode that's quite relevant today.

"A Binder Full of Top Secret Info on Russian Interference in 2016 Election Went Missing Under Trump"
Yeah, I'd say there's about a 100% chance that that binder has been in Moscow, with Trump's good buddy Putin, for the past 2+ years.

The deaths of Palestinian citizens in Gaza is unacceptable. Netanyahu must end the attack on Gaza!

Overseeing the financial disclosure statements of the Judicial Branch must be done with a staff that has no connection to any active judges. Yes, that means the Chief Justice must be relieved of his duty of overseeing the financial disclosures that judges make.

Notice that Maria Bartiromo of Fox News isn't trying to catch Representative Nancy Mace in a "Gotcha!" kind of question! But Mace's answer on the proposed impeachment of Biden reveals that there's no serious substance behind the Republican charges.

A look at protest marches as viewed by the media.

But journalism isn’t stenography and journalists tip their hands all the time. They make choices about what’s news and how to frame it; what to include, emphasize, or omit; who gets quoted and who’s considered a reliable source or expert.

Zelenskyy goes to a much better reception in Norway than he got in the US.
He also spoke at the Second Ukraine-Northern Europe Summit.
20 drones and missiles intercepted, but people hurt by falling debris.
Biden pledges to supply Kyiv as long as possible. “As of right now, as long as we can is about two more weeks.”
Biden Administration proposing seriously compromising border policies to get Ukraine aid. The fault for this is Biden’s. He should have nailed down Ukraine aid when he had the chance in 2022. Biden’s people are “already taking the negative political hits without any actual upside.”
EU to unblock €10bn for Hungary ahead of Ukraine summit”
in order to get Hungary to support Ukraine.
Norway, Denmark, Latvia and Germany all step up to support Ukraine.
Russian propagandists tell us how they see the war.
A look at the city of Mariupal under occupation.
Russian stuff blowing up.
Russian hackers claim they were the ones behind Kyivstar cyber-attack.

Yep, the Heritage Foundation was once a bastion of hawkish GOP interventionism. No longer, as the Republicans Glorious Leader has now turned against Ukraine.

Huh! Elizabeth I was the first to bake gingerbread men!
Also, lots of stuff here on
Biden Administration trying to help Ukraine.

Kate Cox, the woman who had to leave Texas to get reproductive care, is a constituent of Senators Cornyn and Cruz. Neither senator feels as though he can support either the Texas Attorney General/Texas Supreme Court or Ms. Cox! They've both maintained a cowardly silence.

Lech Walesa’s still around. Polish hero in the last years of the Soviet Union.
Zelenskyy visited the US and spoke with senators and representatives,
where he had “friendly and candid conversation” with them.

Ukraine’s greatest wish is to near this war’s victorious end. No one but Putin wants a prolonged war. We dream of a Christmas in peacetime.

There was apparently a lot of hate and discontent in the top ranks of Ukraine. That appears to be all settled and cheers all around.
Massive cyber attack on Ukraine’s mobile phone system. Also affects air raid warning systems.
Russian troops are REALLY hurting at Avdiivka. Since October, Russia has lost over 13k killed and wounded plus 220 vehicles.
Video of Russian soldier reviewing losses on his side.
New Polish Prime Minister looks forward to a “full mobilisation of the free world to help Ukraine."
Russians love how House Republicans are holding up aid to Ukraine.
Assessment of Fiona Hill. Russia wins when Ukraine loses.
Russians feel they can outlast Western support.

Special Counsel Jack Smith asks an extremely good question that cuts to the heart of the various Trump prosecutions. Is the president immune to prosecution for crimes that were committed while he was president? Trump is claiming he’s immune. I agree with the blogger that if Trump’s claim is upheld, then we’re no longer a democracy.


Just four years ago, [now-Speaker] Johnson blasted Democrats for opening an impeachment inquiry into Trump largely along party lines less than a year before the next presidential election…

Hmm. Sounds rather similar to what Republicans are doing right now, doesn’t it? Gotta say, for an alleged Christian, the lies come off of Johnson’s tongue as smooth as butter!

Trump says that a NY Times reporters is claiming that "I want to be a Dictator, but doesn't mention it was said in a joking manner." Bit of a problem with this is that Trump doesn't have any sense of humor. He doesn't joke about anything.

Woo hoo! All 26 cruise and ballistic missiles were shot down! Not one exploded on Ukrainian soil! Eight of the missiles were aimed at a large sewage treatment plant.
Zelenskyy had a very busy day in Washington DC, with lots of speeches and meetings!
He speaks at the National Defense University of Russia today battling the freedom that was launched back in 1989 with the coming down of the Berlin Wall.
Britain and Norway providing the beginnings of a Ukrainian Navy!
A discussion about Russia’s objectives. People who advocate negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow should take note.
Situation in Avdiivka, on the outskirts of Bakhmut.
Progress on resolving the Polish-Ukrainian border problem.
Companies from 70 countries are supplying components for Russian drones.

This is why it’s critical that there be a cease-fire in Gaza. Surely, it’s not Israel’s intention that the Palestinians there should die of disease and/or starvation!

Many abortion-banning bills contain an exception for the life and/or health of the woman involved. In Texas, a woman tried to use that exception. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is trying very hard to see to it that the exception is used as little as possible.

[Paxton] went on to argue that Cox’s numerous health risks aren’t life-threatening enough to qualify her for the procedure.

Update: Texas Supreme Court, agreeing with Paxton, says Kate Cox’s condition was not immediately life-threatening, therefore she had to wait until her pregnancy actually threatened her life before she was able to have an abortion.

Rudy Giuliani reaches that “cranky old man” stage where “I’m absolutely right about everything! (bangs fist on table) And everybody else is wrong!” (hits table again)

2023 will end up being the warmest on record for the last 125k years!

Antarctic sea ice loss is accelerating at frightening rates

Both President Zelenskyy and Hungary’s elected dictator Victor Orban visited Argentina to meet the new president.
Zelenskyy will head to Washington DC to coordinate with Biden and his people. Orban will too, but he’ll meet with the Heritage Foundation
and some Congresspeople.
A bit less than half of US voters believe the US is spending too much on aid to Ukraine. Serious partisan tilt to the numbers.
Putin brags about how Ukraine is smaller and weaker than Russia.
Russians near the Dnipro River are having serious problems with reporting actions up and down heir chain of command.
Poland has new vehicle in the fight, an”M120 Rak self-propelled wheeled gun-mortar.”

Tch, tch, tch! Howard Kurtz of Fox News is very annoyed that people keep talking about Donald Trump wanting be a dictator! The fact that he has shown precisely such tendencies is just on of those nagging little details.

An exploration of comments like “From the river to the sea…” and their meaning and the disastrous responses of university presidents.

Does being anti-Zionist equal being antisemitic? How do we oppose racist language while preserving free speech?
The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) says: 

We therefore call on all members of the US House of Representatives to refrain from making policy on the basis of the conflation of anti-Zionism and antisemitism.

Senator Tuberville asks a reasonably good question. Why is recruiting down? Recruiting is down 37% since 1987. I served from 1991 to 2001, my commands were generally 1/3rd women. As recruitment has fluctuated since 2001, this is hardly some recent cultural problem. In a survey of why people won’t join, no one mentions any cultural issues. Basically, potential recruits don’t like the idea of getting hurt or killed and long separations from family and friends. History of Americans and the military tells us that if there is a real threat, then they’ll overcome those things and join up anyway.

Russia’s economy is already geared up to be a war economy while the US can’t even get bills to help Ukraine passed. It would really help Kyiv to begin negotiations for EU acceptance. Russia has created a global food crisis that encourages NATO to reach an accommodation with it.
North Korea unable to produce ammunition up to par, Russia soldiers eating snow, corpses all over the place, Putin doesn’t care. He’s winning and he knows it.
Russia used video manipulation to make it appear that American celebrities supported Putin and that Zelenskyy is an addict. Russia also attacking Ukrainian agriculture. The US does not have any good response to what Russia is doing in cyberspace.
Ukrainian explains why the Bradley M2A2 Armored Personnel Carrier is so valuable to troops.

So, according to conservatives on the Supreme Court, nothing of legal significance has occurred since 1791. Because, sure. Let’s make rules as though wife-beating and slavery and union-free workplaces were still things!
The blogger brings up really interesting stuff on abortifacients and the fact that immigration was largely unregulated until the 1870s.

Understandably, Americans don't like to cite the "Domino Effect" as, in Vietnam, it turned out to be inaccurate. But that appears to be a very accurate description of the likely outcome of a Russia victory in the war in Ukraine right now.

Our blogger makes the point that the GOP has been consistently putting party above country since the beginning of Obama’s first term. Biden should have acted to protect the arms pipeline from the US to Ukraine while he had majorities in both houses of Congress.
Germany provides new arms package to Ukraine.
Bulgaria provides 100 BTRs (Russian tracked infantry fighting vehicle) to Ukraine. Still, amount of aid to Ukraine reaches a very low point.
14 out of 19 Russian missiles intercepted.
Russian stuff blowing up.
Gas pipeline hit near Kerch. 30K people lost gas supply until it gets fixed.
Cover helicopter base is struck.
Russian ship in Crimean shipyard is damaged beyond repair.
Putin will run for president again in 2024. “Symbolic: previously the civilians performed the play ‘Dear president, the people need you to run’, now it's the military”

One of the problems with the Supreme Court overruling Roe v Wade is where exactly to draw the line between a necessary abortion versus one that the woman in question didn’t really need for her health. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tips the scales against the woman and to make it as difficult as possible for her to get a legal abortion.

An examination of just how honest and sincere Tucker Carlson is (not very). Elon Musk, who hired Carlson to do “news” broadcasts using Twitter/X as a platform, gives us some unintentional comedy:

None of the language that Carlson used in his post has been confirmed by any other source. That didn’t stop X owner Elon Musk from wading in to reply, asking Carlson, He really said this?" to which Carlson replied, "He really did. Confirmed.”

Yeesh! Elon’s as gullible af!

Speaker, then Representative Kevin McCarthy was the last “Young Gun” to leave office. Basic problem was that back in 2010, they were looking forward to years of “spending cuts and deficit reduction.” They had no idea Trump would render all of that meaningless.

Fox News tries desperately to try and downplay the talk of Trump being a wannabe dictator.

Ukrainian sniper makes world record shot. He hit his target at 3800 meters (2 1/3 miles).
Speaker Johnson has ruled out money for Ukraine for the remainder of the year.
Democrats could have established a long-term authority that would have continued even if Republicans took over the House (as they did) or the Senate. Heeding the thin margin Democrats had in both chambers, it was strategic malpractice not to do that. Ukrainians will fight on, of course.
Ukrainians meet with Pentagon officials anyway.

Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia has regularly threatened Poland and the Baltic states with military force, while sabre-rattling using nuclear weapons on multiple occasions.

Looking an awful lot like Russia’s going to keep going after Ukraine is defeated. Its alliance with Iran and North Korea is helping it do that.
Drone attacks are getting closer to the Ukraine-Poland border.
Russian stuff getting blown up..

"Steve Bannon Thinks Pillow Guy Mike Lindell Is Like Taylor Swift"
Erm, Mike Lindell is a poor, deluded fellow who thoroughly deserved to lose his fortune for being gullible af. By no means does he even remotely compare to Taylor Swift!

After Hamas launched a brutal and bloody attack on October 7th, Israel had the moral high ground. But after 15k civilian deaths in Gaza, Israel has lost it. Israeli force does not have the effect on Arab countries that it used to.

The Uvalde, TX shooting was in May 2022. The children were thoroughly trained and knew just what to do. The police? Ehh, not so much.

Another package of aid goes to Ukraine. Will this be one of the last such packages?

Ukrainian Air Forces shot down 41 out of 48 ‘Shahed’ kamikaze drones in our sky.

There are 11 special schools in hospitals where children can learn and recover at the same time.
Minister of Defense Umerov
meets with Speaker Johnson.
Why is the NY Times referring to Ukraine as a “former Soviet republic?” Makes it sound as though their independence is no big deal.
A statue to Hero of Ukraine Oleksandr Matsievsky
Russian stuff blowing up.
r Ukrainian lawmaker killed, likely by Ukrainian security service agents.

Pundits Hugh Hewitt and Bret Baier go "Tut-tut" and "Pish-tosh" over concerns that Trump plans to rule as a dictator. I do not agree that liberal concerns are groundless.

Kash Patel, a Trump insider, promises that, when going after Trump's enemies in a second Trump Administration, they would "follow the facts and the law." Which sounds nice, but Trump's people have been trying to "investigate the investigators" since the Mueller Report came out.

Doctors without Borders demands that the Gaza war cease as hospitals are turning into morgues.

They note the Israeli cut-off of potable water, food aid, and fuel to the civilian population

Russian Su-24M bomber taken down near Odesa.
Ukrainians meet with heads of the committees of the US House of Representatives.
Illia Ponomarenko
is working with medics tonight.
Lots of Russian vehicles blowing up.
Blogger feels Biden should have acted to get more from the House when he had the chance to.
House Republicans want to have Senate approve an immigration bill that won only Republican votes in the House in order to approve bill to fund Ukraine. This is not a easy lift.
For Russia to win here will demonstrate that it can defeat American power anywhere.

Very interesting! It’s clear from the way Representative Troy Nehls tells us the real reason he wants to see President Biden impeached is that he’s trying to get revenge for the way Trump was treated by Democrats and the Justice Department.
I’ve always thought Clinton was impeached, at least partially, as a way to get revenge for Nixon’s almost-impeachment. The confession by Nehls seems to confirm that.

After roughly 10 months blockading military promotion, Senator Tuberville more or less ends the exercise with, effectively, nothing to show for it.

Woo hoo! 425 military officers promoted by the Senate! Senator Tuberville mostly released his very damaging holds on them. Some 4-stars are still held back. Hopefully they’ll be cleared up soon.

Not quite as historic as the end of the Berlin Blockade in 1949, but we’re very happy to see Senator Tuberville end his #@$%ing useless blockade of military promotions with the last few officers promoted! 

White House spokesperson carefully parses words. “That is not the statement you make when you are trying to build support, it is the statement you make to start assigning blame…”
Russia has taken civilian hostages along with other war crimes. Ukraine says there are nearly 800 such hostages. A
prominent Russian NGO protecting convicts’ rights estimates Russia has actually taken about 8,000.
Ukraine thanks Australia for their armored vehicles that were contributed.
US ai to Ukraine will run out at the end of the year unless Congress acts. Biggest obstacle is the Republican-led House.
Judging by Biden Administration statements, they’re not expecting the House to pass aid to Ukraine, so they’re looking to assign blame to the correct parties. Our blogger concludes that Putin must be very happy at this tun of events.
Is Putin threatening to invade Latvia?
Viktor Orbán of Hungary opposes Ukraine’s membership in EU.
Oil depot in occupied Luhansk hit.
Ukraine enhancing the Neptune anti-ship missile to hit ground targets at longer range.
Ukraine producing six self-propelled howitzers per month.
German company gets artillery ammunition contract.

Armored vehicles aren't just good for assaults. What they're really good for is getting troops up to the line where they can begin their assault without suffering a lot of casualties beforehand! Also, if they march too far before they start fighting, they're exhausted by the time they get to the front line. 

ALL civilians should be protected in wartime. No exceptions.

Christmas tree raised in vicinity of Bakhmut.
The NATO General Secretary voices concern about Ukraine. He agrees that it’s caught in a war of attrition.
Apparently, only 20 (give or take) ATACMS missiles were moved to Ukraine. Not clear why.
Retired General David Petraeus gives an assessment.
EU is showing hesitation.
US and EU leaderships must get their acts together! The consequences of not doing so are terrible to contemplate. Ukrainians are willing to expend their blood and treasure. The least we can do is to supply them. Keep in mind that the US profits from the war there!
Two Ukrainian soldiers surrendered to the Russians but were killed anyway. “Later, the positions of the Russians were covered and all were eliminated.”
Destroyed Russian armored vehicles. Russian vehicles destroyed at night.
Moscow car factory aflame.
Putin’s regime is certain to fall. Will the future be a democratic one? A dissenting view.

Very cool! The US is now committed to no new coal power plants and to phase out all such existing plants by 2035!

Sandra Day O’Connor has died. Interesting obituary. I notice the piece doesn’t say anything coherent about her decision to permit the younger George Bush to take office instead of Al Gore. She was the decisive vote. To me, that one decision pretty much wiped out all the good things she did previously.

D’oh! Well, that was a Russian BUK, a mobile, radar-guided surface-to-air missile system.
Ukrainians thank their Polish partners
Russians slaughter Ukrainian soldiers who have surrendered.
Russians complain that Ukrainian drones fill the sky.
Russia’s one advantage is that they don’t care about the human cost of anything. However many people have to die to achieve an objective is fine.

So Hillary Clinton makes her "deplorables" and it's major news. Donald Trump calls people "vermin" and it's barely noticed. Why? The blogger says it's all Ronald Reagan's fault!

Heh! Concerning HIMARS rockets: “This weapon became a true legend on the battlefield. It sends flaming gifts to occupiers on a daily basis…”
Russian army expanded by 170k troops.
Ukraine acts to strengthen defensive lines. Zelenskyy sort of blames the West for not supplying enough weapons, but “I also can’t complain too much."
Also “Winter as a whole is a new phase of war.” He also recognizes that Ukraine is competing with Israel for resources and attention.
GLSDB long-range missiles will get to Ukraine next year.
Sad video. Mariupol in 2021 and today.
A Ukrainian soldier who’s been fighting since 2014 gives us a detailed look at volunteers in Avdiivka.
Russian soldier documents himself looting a Ukrainian house.
Fuel trains burned well behind the lines.

According to 1k ton rule, every time 1k tons of carbon fuel is burnt, one human dies. Unless big changes are made by 2100, a billion people could die.

The debate between Gavin Newsome of California and Ron DeSantis of Florida was pretty good. Featured here is Newsome’s opening statement.

As I’ve stated before, in my tweens, I did a lot of World War II reading and one incident that struck me powerfully was that I think it was three different spies successfully reported the correct date to Joseph Stalin upon which der Fuhrer would launch Operation Barbarossa (invasion of the Soviet Union). I’ve seen many times since that there’s usually some low-level person or people who successfully predict an attack, but their advice gets lost somewhere between them and the commanders in the field. Same here. The attack by Hamas was predicted, but for whatever reason, wasn’t acted upon.

Yeah, House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer is allegedly concerned about Democratic misbehavior during an open hearing with Hunter Biden. As the blogger reminds us, it was a Republican Congresswoman (Greene) who showed a picture of Hunter Biden in silhouette, but he and the person with him were clearly naked and clearly performing a sexual act.

The story of Israel’s sabotage of the 2015 nuclear deal that the US had with Iran. Was anything Netanyahu uncovered decisive in convincing the US to turn away from the deal? Nah, Trump wanted to dump the deal anyway.

Democrats manage to get subpoenas voted on and out the door to question billionaires Harlan Crow and Leonard Leo.

Details on subpoenaing billionaires Harlan Crow and Leonard Leo.

Rail tunnel collapsed with military goods from China in it.
th anniversary of Finland’s war with Russia.
When the US spends money on Ukraine, most of that money is spent here in the US to buy or refurbish/repair weapons. Republicans are trying to cut funding for weapons systems that are being built in their own states or districts! When we give Ukraine old weapons, we need to crank up our factories to replace those weapons with new ones for our forces.
Russia has placed its economy on a war footing. The West is slacking off and doesn’t seem determined to win. As the war is about endurance rather than about capturing territory, that gives Russia the advantage.
Russia pursuing disinformation campaign o weaken West. Not all “Russian experts” are “Russian assets,” but a great many are.


House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer is trying his best to make an impeachment case against the president. Those darned, annoying facts just won't cooperate!

In other news, Representative Greene repeats claims about Ukrainian President Zelenskyy having big money squirrelled away. We've heard such claims about properties he's secretly purchased and those claims have all turned out to be false. This time, we can trace her claim directly to a Russian source.

Offensive across the Dnipro opposite Kherson is proceeding at a deliberate pace.
Woo hoo! 21 out of 21 drones eliminated!
Russia is trying really hard to take out Ukrainian civilian infrastructure.
Czech president feels NATO is slacking off on supplying Ukraine with what it needs.
Christmas preparations in Irpin.
Air defense system gets zapped.
Coastal defenses in Crimea badly damaged by recent storm. Pens for trained dolphin are gone. Dolphins have most likely escaped.
Warehouse housing Shahed drones destroyed.
Financial Times looks at Russia’s winter strategy. Russia’s economy is clearly on a war footing.

The battle between the war-time Israeli government and a liberal newspaper.

Henry Kissinger has died.

Examining the legacy of Henry Kissinger. His “realism.”

Yet Kissinger’s record reveals the problems with the narrow conception of national interest devoid of values.

A look at Henry Kissinger’s career and his many crimes.

I fully understand why a lawyer might dedicate himself fiercely to a client and believe that the client is as pure and spotless as freshly-fallen snow. But I was paying close attention during Trump’s impeachment hearings and I believed then and believe now, that the Senate failed to convict Trump because he had an R after his name. He was a Republican and the party couldn’t bear to remove one of their own. Speaker Johnson doesn’t support Trump and oppose Biden because there’s any evidence that justifies taking either position.

Senator Tuberville is absolutely correct here: “Tuberville also extolled the long-standing traditions of the Senate, which he said would be eroded if the Senate passes a Democratic-led resolution that would allow most military promotions to be voted on simultaneously." Clearly, this Senate tradition is much more harmful than it is helpful. It needs to go.

Very interesting. The battlefront in Ukraine and the Black Sea had a once-in-a-century storm. Ukraine was able to work with it, Russia wasn't.

House Oversight Committee Chair Comer demonstrates that his request for Hunter Biden to testify simply isn’t serious. If the inquiry was a serious one, Biden testifying publicly wouldn’t be a problem. As it is, Biden’s lawyer argues “We have seen you use closed-door sessions to manipulate, even distort the facts and misinform the public.”

Happy to see some Republicans pushing back against Comer’s refusal to accept Biden’s offer of an open deposition. They realize how bad Comer’s refusal makes them look.

Twitter/X has become a seriously toxic brand, with advertisers leaving in droves. With Musk having paid $44 billion for it, he will have lost at least $35 billion by the time he finally has to sell.

Representative Gaetz persists in examining policy in a vacuum, as though the Palestinian citizens of Gaza weren't depending on food aid from the West to just survive from day to day. It would be nice to know that trading hostages would never lead to more hostages being taken, but do we really want to abandon hostages?

Will the EU use carrots or sticks to deal with Hungary’s mischief? We’re confident there are people working behind the scenes to decide.
The 100-year storm in the Black Sea caused great damage that Ukrainians are trying to repair.
Retired British general Sir Richard Barrons estimates that 75 billion Euros a year for 2 to 3 years will be enough for Ukraine to defeat Russia.
Illia Ponomarenko has some words for Viktor Orban of Hungary.
Destroyed Russian vehicles.
Kerch Bridge has been fortified against sea drone assault.
Why is Turkey supplying Russia with goods vital to Russia’s war on Ukraine?
Fourth release of hostages not going well as Hamas is not releasing mothers with their daughters. Hamas is also not protecting Red Cross vehicles
Two-day extension of the truce in Gaza agreed upon.

Not at all surprisingly, the Biden campaign is looking forward to having a debate over the ACA/Obamacare. Republicans lost over the issue in 2017 because they had no plans that were better than the ACA. That remains the case six years later.

The two Fox News personalities (and one sidelined liberal who speaks the truth) try heroically to suggest that Speaker Johnson is seen as an extremist for some reason other than that he's an extremist!

Very interesting. Smuggling and Mexico are in the news again, but this time women are smuggling themselves into Mexico! They’re escaping out of anti-choice states so that they can get abortions and likely other reproductive care as Mexico is now more liberal than many US states are.

NY Times corrects a bad headline.
Major storm hits Black sea, hitting Crimea very hard.
Regardless of whether Ukraine gets accepted into NATO, Ukraine will adopt NATO standards anyway.
A BTR-82A gets stuck in a ditch and hit shortly after by a drone.
Electrical system in Donetsk suffers major damage.
Stronger air defenses this year could make this winter easier than last.

Russia could refurbish 1,000 tanks a year by 2025

Hamas breaks agreement by playing games with captives.
Not clear how many more hostages Hamas has to trade.

Muslims and Jews are historically quite close.

Actually, similarities between Judaism and Islam made Jews targets in Christian Europe.

"The Washington Post is very worried that American women don't want to marry Trump supporters"
Heh! The “Darwin Awards” are given for people who manage to find really creative and interesting ways to kill themselves (suicides or anything deliberate are ineligible). Ideally, a Darwin Award is given before the subject has had a chance to reproduce. So guys who like Trump have found a way to get Darwin Awards without actually killing themselves? Cool!

Huh. Interesting. “Zoom Fatigue” seems to be a real thing.

Did the Iranians hold the hostages until Reagan's inauguration in 1981 because they were scared of him? I read "October Surprise" and am reasonably convinced Reagan made a deal with them. I doubt we'll ever get a definitive answer, of course.

Russia launched massive drone attack on the anniversary of the end of the Holodomor. 74 out of 75 drones knocked down. 60 over Kyiv.
Zelenskyy talks about the Holodomor. University of Minnesota adds details.
Russia stuff blowing up.
Ukraine expects more air defense systems to protect grain shipments.
NY Times writes misleading article on number of Palestinian women and children killed since early October and Ukrainian women and children killed since last February.
Definition of placing industry “on a war footing.” A look at the propaganda Russians have received.
Hamas and hostages. How the Israeli military views the current situation.

Why are viewpoints on the economy so gloomy when actually, the economy is doing quite well? Maybe political partisanship has something to do with it.

Tracking down the decision to water down a critical part of the Voting Rights Act.

All kinds of hate and discontent being expressed by the Republican-run House over the question of Ukraine aid, thereby giving aid and comfort to Russia.

This is why I tend not to trust initial reports and feel that getting word of news early isn’t necessarily a good thing. The “terrorist attack” at Niagara Falls wasn’t actually any such thing.

There was an explosion at the Rainbow Bridge near Niagara Falls. Sensibly, the US immediately closed the border with Canada because no one was sure why the explosion happened. Problem is, some peopl didn't care about truth or facts or reality. They just wanted to get accusations out there about how it was all the Democratic President's fault.

Quite good. I remembered a lot from my history readings, but there were a number of things I had either forgotten or wasn’t aware of. Probably a bit risqué for showing to a
middle school class, though a high school class might be able to handle it. Generally a really good introduction to people not familiar with the era.  

Our blogger is a history professor and wrote a book about Napoleon in Egypt. Good supplement to the Ridley Scot movie that just came out.

I ran across this piece because a co-congregant asked me to recommend a book on Napoleon (see below). Josephine was quite an interesting person in her own right.

A 150-page book on Napoleon's life and career by an author who has written many other books.

The film 20 Days in Mariupol is now available on Youtube.
Canada, Denmark, Lithuania and Germany all make contributions. Unfortunately, the MAGA movement is keeping both the US and Canada from contributing more.
Speaker Johnson owes his position to the Freedom Caucus, which in turn, is dominated by anti-Ukraine people. The US policy of giving Ukraine just enough, is coming back to bite us in the butt.
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and how it’s used when visibility is low.
Russia making small gains around Avdiivka.
Russia wants China to help them build an underwater tunnel across the Kerch Strait. As another blogger pointed out, this indicates Russia is in this war for the long haul.
The Israel-Hamas truce is more or less holding. In a nice surprise, an Israeli woman who was reported to have died, turned up alive. Hamas has gained a propaganda victory.

The Colombia Journalism Review took a close look at how the news services covered the election campaign for 2022. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much just horse race, Who’s up, who’s down, prospects for the future rather than what the candidates stand for.

Children being stolen away by Russians. This is a war crime.
The train line from Kyiv to Izium is open! The train featured is a food train, designed to produce meals for front-line troops.
Geert Wilders wins in the Netherlands. That’s probably not good news for Ukraine.

A recounting of all of the “evidence” of Joe and Hunter Biden’s “corruption” is very thin, watery gruel. You simply can’t build any sort of case out of the alleged “evidence” that Newsbusters assembles.

Yeah, I’m one of the three-quarters that thinks the ethics code that the Supreme Court came up with for itself falls very seriously short. Democrats feel this by a margin of 90%, but even Republicans agree by 57%.

Update (8 Feb):  It's an extremely bad time for the Supreme Court to not have the trust of the people as it is now deciding an extremeky important question on elections and Donald Trump's qualification to run for president and how the 14th Amendment ties into that.

So the idea of the Robot Apocalypse was that machines would grow beyond the control of their creators. OpenAI designed their corporate governance so that couldn't happen. So what happened? The corporation grew beyond the control of its founders!

Aww, that’s too bad. Witchers has lost its star Henry Cavill (Who also played Superman in Man of Steel, Justice League, etc.). It just finished its third season on Netflix.

The ceasefire is just in time. Palestinians of Gaza are at severe risk.

First snows in Ukraine have fallen, thus the second winter campaign of the war begins.
Zelenskyy meets on integration of Ukraine into Europe.

A new Ground-Based Air Defence coalition has been formed. Germany and France took leadership. The coalition includes 20 countries.

More military assistance announced.
Problem with winter arriving is that Russia will concentrate on heating infrastructure now.
Cluster ammunition is proving very effective against Russian attacks.
In order to make war on Ukraine, Russia broke nine treaties/understanding, but sure, Ukraine is the obstacle to peace. Thread on negotiating with Russia.
Financial Times asks if US and Europe are wavering in their support of Ukraine.

The blogger takes a hard look at the theory that Israelis and all Palestinians are together occupying a single state and that many Palestinians are second-class citizens within that state. The US, as an ultimate guarantor of Israel’s security, makes compromise unnecessary. No clear idea of how to resolve the problem.

Interesting. Seems there’s a Russian network, sort of like Mexican-border “coyotes,” who move refugees from countries in the Middle East to the Russian-Finnish border. Finland has halted their entry, which has resulted in a big build-up of refugees on the Russian side.

Video of very unhappy Russian marine.
This is the ten-year anniversary of the EuroMaidan protest and Revolution of Dignity.
Visit from the President of the European Council and President of Moldova.
US Secretary of Defense and German Defense Minister visit, as well.
Germany in some political trouble.
Russia is building new infrastructure, Iran and North Korea are increasing shipments, arms deliveries from Europe are slowing.
“The Israeli cabinet approves Hostages deal with Hamas, PM office says”.
Israel will permit 300 aid trucks to Gaza per day. More hostages will be released. Israeli government intends to continue the war after hostages are freed. Agreement is a victory for Hamas and a loss for Netanyahu, so expect him to strike out to save face.

For those who, like me, don't wish to buy a WaPo subscription, but who wish to read Biden's letter on both Ukraine and Gaza, here you go.

Many, many problems with getting to a peace agreement in the Israel-Hamas war.

This is truly heartbreaking! Republicans want to change immigration policy as the price for sending aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Okay. Democrats have said that’s cool, let’s talk about Dreamers and DACA.

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, insists that’s not on the table. “We’re talking about border security.”

1. Perhaps if we have a law enforcement problem, maybe it would be a good idea to establish some statutes of limitations so that we’re not wasting money and personnel pursuing non-problems.

2. Gee, ya think maybe if Republicans agreed to address problems that the Democrats considered important, maybe Democrats might address what Republicans considered important?

Ever since late in the Obama Administration, Saudi Arabia has been trying to eliminate, or at least suppress, Yemen's Houthi rebels. The fighting there has been largely stalemated and the US has taken a lot of criticism for continuing to support Saudi Arabia's fight against the Houthis.

Oh, and now the Houthis have seized a cargo ship on the Red Sea and raised both the Yemeni and Palestinian flags. Who owns the ship? Not sure.

Are the Abraham Accords dead? Because the UAE has normalized relations with Israel, does that give them any leverage over Israeli policy towards Palestinians? If not, what’s the point?

Ukrainian escapes Russia, makes his way to Belarus and then to home.
Zelenskyy says Ukraine needs to upgrade their medicine. Includes thread on how to get medical supplies to Ukraine.
Is Russia planning a big offensive?
Russian stuff blowing up.
Israel-Hamas situation. Hamas does NOT have all of the Israeli hostages nor do they know where all of the hostages are. Hamas seen hurrying a hostage into the Shifaa Hospital.

But why are Russians trying to get into Finland when Putin says life is so good in Russia? But seriously, asylum seekers are being moved from Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria as part of Russia’s deliberate strategy.
Ooh! 29 out of 38 drones shot down! Good, but far too many got through!
Germany, Finland and Lithuania all sent aid to Ukraine this week. Estonia, UK and Norway will send more.
Journalist unjustly detained in Russia.
D’oh! North Korea sends shells to Russia for use in Ukraine. Because of mismatch between shell size and gun barrels, there have been explosions.

Very interesting stuff that has a direct bearing on whether there's other life in the universe.

As my own college education is long since paid for (Thanks, Dad!), I have zero self-interest in the student loan issue. But as a citizen, I believe I have a great interest in seeing to it that young people are able to afford to live decently, have money left over to invest and especially, to raise families. Hoo yah to the President!

"Jenna Ellis Lashes Out At Don Jr Over His Crush On Laura Loomer"
MAGA people have decided that Jenna Ellis is a “disloyal harlot” and is therefore no longer a MAGA person. Statement from her:

"Apparently true Christianity is not based on belief in Christ as Lord, but rather belief in Donald Trump as Savior, King, and next President!"

Ukrainian advances more troops across the Dnipro River.
Zelenskyy reports on US-Ukrainian plans for joint arms production. He’s also confirmed that “deliveries of the munitions [artillery shells] have ‘really slowed down.’" Warehouses are empty and production hasn’t caught up yet. Blogger says we should have put our industries on a war footing many months ago.
Ukraine is officially reporting they have positions on the Eastern bank of the Dnipro.

One thing I suggested in my prawnworks piece is that Russia doesn't offer any positive reasons as to why any country should want to be a buffer state for Russia. Russia has the same problem here. They want to use force to pressure women into having more babies instead of making it more desirable to not just have babies but to raise them in decent surroundings.

Nikki Haley vs Ron DeSantis reminds me of Democrats running against Reagan. They wondered whether to be "Reagan-lite," y'know "Just like Reagan only less so," but  Bill Clinton found the right formula "I have a lot in common with the elder George Bush, but am offering something different," Haley appears to be on the right path.

Young woman sentenced to 7 years in prison for “replacing supermarket price tags with messages critical of Russia's war in Ukraine.” Total slips of paper: 5.
A look a a teen a year later in Kherson.
An old Soviet amphibious vehicle loaded with two tons of explosives hits a mine!
Lots of Russian equipment getting blown up.

Rocket strike on the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza.

Although the Israelis maintained that the al-Shifa hospital complex was a Hamas command and control center and that hostages were being held there, they have presented no evidence at all that this was the case. They have displayed a few small arms they found on the premises, which is not surprising in the midst of a guerrilla war.

Republicans putting up all kinds of amendments on two subpoena requests, to question “Harlan Crow and Leonard Leo — two individuals who have refused to comply with this Committee’s oversight requests…” and to resolve Senator Tuberville’s holdup of military promotions.

Ooh! Ow! That's gotta hurt! Biden remembered Xi's wife's birthday. Xi himself did not!

A comparison of numbers of weapons supplied to each side. Hard to say how many weapons were stored in Russia. They may be running out of some items, but they still have large reserves. The West has not provided anywhere near the same amounts.
Holding on to Avdiivka. BBC considers it unimportant, Ukrainian officer in reserves Tatarigami disagrees.
Bridge near Kyiv rebuilt.
Russian propaganda in occupied areas.
The “Starlink Snowflake” Elon Musk, condemns the many casualties of the war between Russia and Ukraine, apparently not realizing that Russia kills people anyway.

How well has the 20+ year War on Terror worked? Ehh, not so great

...since the United States ramped up its counterterrorism operations in Africa, terrorism has spiked 75,000%.

US buys 100 Dutch Gepards from Jordan and distributes them to Ukraine.
Ukraine is apparently, very close to breaking open the case of the Hunter Biden laptop!
The EU gave Ukraine seven conditions for joining them. Zelenskyy advocates Ukraine fulfill all seven.
Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs feels a cease-fire would help Russia, but not Ukraine.
Hungary prevents Europe from spending on Ukraine’s defense.
100th ship uses Humanitarian Corridor to export food. 3.7 million tons of food have been distributed.

GOP says “The world is on fire!” But that’s been said many times for the last several decades because the world is not at peace. Regardless of the PR that Trump is putting out, he didn’t bring peace to the world. Biden is dealing with problems that began long before he came into office.

It’s certainly a good thing that the Supreme Court has adopted a code of ethics. The lack of any means to enforce the code is a problem, though. The blogger emptywheel asks: 

Why would Clarence Thomas adhere to a code of conduct w/no enforcement mechanism when he doesn't even comply with disclosure requirements?

It's clear that the Supreme Court's utterly toothless code of conduct (f'rinstance, it keeps using the voluntary sounding "should" instead of the far less discretionary "shall") is meant to respond to the Senate's annoyance with Justices Thomas and Alito, but the Senate should proceed with any disciplinary plans anyway.

On the “weak sauce” that is the Supreme Court proposed code of conduct.

Yeah, for a long time, mainstream media would go out on "safari" to rural diners and would breathlessly report on what the folks there thought about politics. I never had any interest in such stories because I think Hillary Clinton had them pegged right the first time. They're “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, [and] Islamaphobic.” People have asked: Is Trump echoing or taking after Hitler's language? No, he's pretty much just using that language verbatim.

Excerpts from Jen Psaki's MSNBC show on Donald Trump and howhe  relates to the rule of law

Sure are a lot of similarities between the language used by der Fuhrer back in the day and that used by Donald Trump these days.

I agree with the blogger If you just looking af Speaker Johnson"s latest plan as just Season 3, Part 1 of the Biden Administration, these news stories are well-written. If you're Joe or Jane Average, trying to figure things out, they're awful.The people who write this stuff seem to think everybody's all caught up and are familiar with all the details. 

Saying that Trump is going to weaponize government agencies against his political foes is not news and should be covered as “When they tell you who they are, believe them the first time.”

“Why we fight.” Soldier greets his daughter after five months deployment.
Ukraine is helping their own citizens and those of other countries to escape being in Gaza.
Lithuania buys NASAMs (Antiaircraft missile systems) for Ukraine.
More Russian ships sunk, convoy blown up, base hit by HIMARS and gunpowder factory hit by drones.
Half-hour film on Russian disinformation.
Blogger says the Netanyahu government is firmly stuck on its course with no easy way for outsiders to change it.

Good! It appears the Senate is ready to act against their rogue member, Senator Tuberville. And I agree with the blogger, I think Trump is behind Tuberville's promotions blockade.

Sigh! So, effectively, Senate Republican are putting party over country. The military is taking the hit for Senate Republican inability to choose good priorities.

Ukraine might have a foothold across the Dnipro River. The important thing is that the crossing has to be far enough from Russian tube artillery to be reasonably safe for bringing heavy vehicles across,

Tonight is the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht.
Our blogger feels Israel is badly messing up and suggests better ways to deal with Hamas. Israelis are not trying to ethnically cleanse the Gazan Palestinians, but they might as well be for all the effect they’re having.
Driving through Avdiivka.
Looking at Russian idea of “conflict freezing.” They carried it out first in Moldova. “...any calls for a ‘frozen conflict’ merely play into the achievement of military and political goals outlined in Russian military thought…”
Germany to produce 100k mortar rounds.

For an alleged doddering and out-of-it old man, Joe Biden shows he’s able to think and react on his feet.

Sad to hear about Jezebel. It was a daily go-to site of mine for a while, though I haven’t gone to it in recent years.

I’m very bothered by the fact that Representative Rashida Tlaib was censured for political speech. My impression was that censure is usually reserved for actions, like associating with outright fascists or financial shenanigans, not for just disagreeing politically.

Our blogger, who’s a history professor, is extremely unimpressed with the history cited by Congresswoman’s Tlaib’s censure.


not only has Comer serially swapped land with his brother, but has done so while directly overseeing the industry.

Shades of the Clinton impeachment! Clinton was busted for lying about an adulterous affair, while every single one of the people prosecuting Clinton’s case were also having adulterous affairs!

Very good election night for Democrats generally!

Woo hoo! My town of Horsham, PA was running two candidates for Town Council and four for School Board. Blowout! All six won by big margins!

"Even Republicans now agree: The ACA’s future is ‘largely settled’"
I thought the issue of the ACA/Obamacare was pretty much settled back in 2017, when Republicans simply couldn’t answer the question “What would you replace it with?”

Update (15 Jan):  So, of course, "The Affordable Care Act Saved My Life. Donald Trump Wants To Destroy It, Again"

The right-wing pundit Candace Owens has no idea what Native Americans mean by “Two-Spirit People” (essentially anyone who doesn’t conform to “one man-one woman” sexuality), but really goes off the deep end of calling Tribal People druggies and cannibals. In other words, Native or Tribal People shouldn't look to the right wing to be sympathetic to any of their causes. 

Zelenskyy was interviewed by Meet the Press today.
Russian ammo dump goes up.
I keep telling a buddy of mine this “Negotiations cannot resolve this conflict right now just as they haven’t since 2014”
Military balance, like in World War I, favors defense right now.
Was the Ukrainian counteroffensive a failure? Also, a dissenter.

Oh yeah! This sounds like a great idea! In the aftermath of a deadly plague that we eventually developed a vaccine for, but which still doesn’t have a cure, sure, let’s just ignore all vaccine research!

Judge Cannon, in charge of the Mar-a-Lago papers case, received a stark warning from the prosecutor’s office that Trump was trying o manipulate his case so that it would take place after November 2024. After that, he’d either lose the election anyway or he could make the case disappear. Cannon noted that the warning to her exceeded the word limit (it was 237 words and the limit was 200).

Israel has support, for now. That support will erode if no one sees an endgame, an offered deal that Palestinians can live with. The status quo before the Hamas attack an atrocities won't work.

A look at the devastation wrought by Hurricane Otis on Acapulco, Mexico, on October 25th. And yes, of course, human-caused climate change was the culprit. The problem was that Otis went from a Category 1 to a category 5 in only 12 hours, taking the city by surprise. The hot sea surface caused the strengthening of the storm.

Update (20 Dec): Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is optimistic about eventual recovery, 

But some residents still don’t have running water, sewage treatment is still deficient, tons of garbage and debris remain in the streets, and few hotels are fully open.

Senate Republicans demonstrate that they just couldn’t care less about Supreme Court Justices being bought off. Even knowing that the subpoenas would be issued anyway and that they’d be seen as corrupt, along with Justices Thomas and Alito, they opposed the subpoenas anyway.

Yeah, when I heard that Representative Nancy Mace was cursing out the hard-core anti-choice stance of her party in private, but then voted along party lines, I completely gave up any conviction that she had any principles. The piece here shows she’s just completely dishonest.

Truly amazing how people can be convinced that they’re weary of war when the war is just something they see on TV. Unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, when those wars only involved about 1% of the population, there was some national engagement!
Defense minister of the Netherlands visits Kyiv.
Ukraine’s commander-in-chief, General Valery Zaluzhny,gives his views on the war and on how to break the current stalemate. Western allies have been overly cautious in supplying Ukraine with what it needs to win. The blogger agrees with this.
More on the battle at Avdiivka.
Annoyed Russian wives whose husbands leave them fo someone they met in the occupied territories.

Daily Kos is very unimpressed with the inability of the NY Times to say, plainly and openly, that Donald Trump is a wannabe fascist dictator.

More on the effort to recruit really right-wing lawyers for a Trump second term. Amazingly: “conservative Federalist Society attorneys simply aren’t radical enough.”

Russia conducted major air offensive against Ukraine last night.
Video clip “Why we fight.”
General Zaluzhnyi sketches out what victory will require. Ukraine needs to break out of “positional warfare” with air superiority, they need to breach mine barriers, get even better at counter-battery fire, build up reserves and increase electronic warfare.
Excellent statement by someone who blogs frequently fo Ukraine.
A TOS-1A is just a driving coffin if it’s hit when fully loaded!
The “Starlink Snowflake” (Elon Musk) is again messing with the visibility of pro-Ukrainian posts.
Putin cools it on the talk of nuclear strikes.

I don't know why Trump lawyer Alina Habba brings up the Secret Service here! Trump has claimed that the USSS was protecting the government documents he stole and stashed at Mar-a-Lago. No, they weren't. They are there to protect his person. Period! They are not to protect him from going to prison! They would protect him from other prisoners, but not from the law.

Zelenskyy’s meetings focused on the Black Sea today.
Defenders of Avdiivka are doing the job as well as it can be done.
Thoughts on the antisemitic riot in Dagestan. The violent scene there indicates that it isn’t Ukraine that needs “de-Nazifying.” Putin is blaming Kyiv for the riot.
Criminal organization caught supplying Russia with electronics.
Russia spent $22.8 billion on missiles to hit Ukraine with. Ukraine’s air defense steadily improves.
A look at how North Korea is supplying Russia.
Naval drones.
Russian disinformation on Twitter/X.

Republicans, and the Trump reelection campaign in particular, have been trying really hard to prove that Joe Biden is too old and dotty to continue as President. That would be a lot more convincing if Trump himself was sharp and on the ball.

Neither the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, nor Hamas, nor the Palestinian Authority in its present state, is likely to survive much longer after Hamas is defeated. The question in all three cases is what’s likely to take their place?

A close look at Iran and Israel. To keep Iran out of Israel/Palestine affairs, solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “A genuine peace settlement would leave Iran with little leverage.“

Aww! Poor Jesse Waters of Fox News! He was promised a smoking gun that would bust Joe Biden a long time ago and no one has produced one yet!

Our hero, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse! The billionaires who have been supporting lavish lifestyles for various Supreme Court Justices are being subpoenaed to answer some questions.

Heh! After years of disliking Senator Kyrsten Sinema, all of the sudden, I’m a fan of hers! She’s splitting the right-wing vote. If Sinema quits, Kari Lake would most likely win, but if Sinema stays in until the end, then Ruben Gallegos will win!
Sinema told Senator Romney: “I saved the Senate filibuster by myself.” Ehh, I think she needs to split the “credit” with Senator Manchin. “I saved the Senate by myself”! The filibuster is and was an old, decrepit tool that ceased to be useful back when Obama was President. It became far more harmful than useful and belongs on the ash-heap of history.


Usually, when parties fail to win at the ballot box, they do a course correction. Republican leaders of the House just keep moving further and further to the right.

Republicans are pursuing the crazy notion that we have to take away a dollar of spending elsewhere in the budget for every dollar we spend on necessities. So sure, Israel gets $14.3 billion, but Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (Which has indeed reduced inflation) has to give up $14.3 billion. Senate says “No.”
New Speaker of the House doesn’t appear to be very concerned about Ukraine, despite having been spoken to by the President and Senate Minority Leader.
Three childhood friends look back on the war so far.
Russian stuff blowing up, plane knocked down.
Russian 114
th Brigade, which has been in the fight for a long time, suffers catastrophic losses. Problems include lack of training for troops and for lack of permitted flexibility in the field. Lack of artillery is also a big problem.
Apparently, Ukrainian forces have crossed the Dnipro River in the South. Russians were depending on the river to shield them, but the dam was blown, so they’re now vulnerable.
Ukrainian family massacred because Russian soldiers wanted to use their house.

Gateway Pundit is a famously inaccurate blog because it has very low standards for stories that are “fit for posting.” GP published some posts about Virginia’s voting system that were, of course, wildly inaccurate, but with the admission of the governor’s staff that 3,400 voters were inadvertently “scrubbed” from the voter rolls, one has to wonder how many other “errors” there are.

Israel had a wink-wink relationship with Russia where Israel would bomb targets in Syria and Russian air defenses would remain quiet. In return, Israel held Ukraine at arm's length. Seems that arrangement is coming to an end and once Israel has dealt with Hamas, will be 100% on Ukraine's side.

Good remembrance of Matthew Perry/Chandler Bing.

An airfield in Northern Caucasus (Between the Black and Caspian Seas) overrun by Muslims boarding flights from Tel Aviv, looking for Jewish people. Because of Russian propaganda, this is not an isolated incident.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense regularly posts the status of aerial defense. Our blogger can access the post, but it’s a bit difficult to get to.

Russia is basically treading water on its munitions.” Meaning they’re producing about as many shells as they’re firing. It’s “helping” that Ukraine engages in energetic counter-battery fire, meaning Russia can’t fire as many shells as they used to be able to.
Woo hoo! 53 ships have now made it out to the open sea despite Russia having a blockade.
Russian stuff being blown up.
Westerners failed to understand Putin and so encouraged him to be more reckless. “Now the battle is for the lands between the two worlds. Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova will either join the west or be recolonised.”

The US has its eye on the bigger picture, what Israel does after they achieve a victory! What’s the endgame? Israeli leaders are distracted by pointing fingers at each other. The US has learned from its many occupations over the past few decades.

NY Magazine has a series of blog posts on the Israel vs Hamas situation. Israel has authorized more aid trucks to Gaza, the US has insisted that the internet in Gaza be turned back on so that First Responders can locate bombings and thereby casualties, in the North Caucasus (between the Black and Caspian Seas), the Muslim-majority population searches flights from Tel Aviv for Jewish passengers and Jewish settlers in the West Bank attack Palestinians.

Senator J.D. Vance doesn’t show any sign that he’s aware that Israel and the Red Cross have had detailed discussions on getting supplies to the Palestinian people in Gaza without any of those supplies going to Hamas. He’s a complainer, not a problem-solver.

This is a very bad time to be pushing the spokespeople for Palestinians out of sight.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu seems to have priorities other than just defending Israel.

Building in Avdiivka. Ukraine’s Minister of Defense figures Russians have lost 4k men trying to take the city. Description of a single day: “UKR forces broke up more than ten attacks in the Avdiivka area of operations, inflicting losses of at least 9 main battle tanks, 8 Infantry fighting vehicles, 6 artillery systems and 400 Russian troops killed in action.”
Zelenskyy discusses his “10 Point Peace Formula” that he produced last year. 66 countries have now endorsed it.
Is Avdiivka the new Bakhmut? Something to fought over until it’s utterly obliterated?
War in Ukraine is one of attrition. It’s costing the Russians a lot, but is also costing Ukraine.
Back in the field after getting prosthetic limbs to replace limbs lost in combat.

Russia accused Ukraine of damaging a nuclear waste storage warehouse in a drone attack on the Kursk nuclear power plant and claimed its air defenses shot down eight Ukrainian drones.

Elon Musk promotes Russian disinformation.
Propaganda in occupied areas of Ukraine. They try to excite Russians and demoralize Ukrainians.

Seems to me that, back in the old days (President Obama and previous), senators were smart enough to see that a tactic of theirs wasn’t working and would drop their tactic and try something new. Senator Tuberville obviously isn’t that smart. He’s continuing a non-working strategy long past the point that it very obviously won’t work. Good to see Democrats trying a go-around.

So Mike Pence, the former VP, is calling it quits. Not terribly surprising as he had a really bad, unpopular mix of issues and his relationship to Trump was highly problematic.

Why was Dr. Hern's slide-show on abortion complications cancelled?

Although specific reasons for this exclusion were not given to Dr. Hern or the physicians who invited him, it appeared that the reason was the fear of anti-abortion violence, security risks that accompanied Dr. Hern’s presence and liability risks for the ACS.

So what's the story on the House and more Ukraine aid? Ehh, it's dicey. Touch and go. We'll see.

So the fellow challenging Biden for the 2024 nomination, Representative Dean Phillips (*Ahem!*), er, um, "doesn't remember" (yeah, right!) that Harlan Crow, the same GOP megadonor who lavishly rewards Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, gave Phillips the maximum contribution just a few years ago.

Estimate are that over 7k Palestinians have died, over 18k are wounded and children are over 41% of the dead. 38 mosques and 189 schools were damaged or destroyed.

Not only does Russia have air defense systems that are knocked out by ballistic and cruise missiles, now they have a mine-clearing boat that “offed itself by hitting a Russian mine.”

North Carolina is a Red state that is trying to become a Blue state, but Republicans are heavily gerrymandering the Congressional District maps.

Jewish Voice for Peace objects to permittingthe suffering of the Jewish people to be weaponized against others.”

Canada’s planning to junk 67 armored personnel carriers. A private company wants to refurbish them and send them to Ukraine.
First Responder station destroyed by Russian missile.
A collaborator with Russia has been shot and is wounded near his home in Yalta, Crimea.
David Sachs and Elon Musk are the people making “reasonable arguments” say the Russians.
With the new Speaker of the House, Ukraine aid is dead unless the Biden Administration can convince them otherwise. “...any additional aid for Israel would have to be offset by cuts to other programs.” Biden Administration cannot say what the “endgame” is in Ukraine because Ukraine is directing the strategy.
Hungary and Slovakia are objecting to aid for Ukraine.

The S-400 air defense system is Russia's equivalent to the US Patriot system or Israel's Iron Dome. Though it's kinda hard to sell any when they're successfully taken out by both cruise and ballistic missiles! Mildly amusing anecdote at the end about the utter and absolute control Putin has over Russia.

Piece on administration and state dinners.

Piece on fleeing Ukraine and ending up in Israel..
What might be the last package of aid that gets sent for a while heads off to Ukraine.
“Representatives of Hamas have highly appreciated the position of Putin and the efforts of Russian diplomacy” Hamas representatives visit Russia.
Denmark pitches in an arms package worth $520 million. At the same time, Slovakia cuts off military aid to Ukraine.
Four FSB officers met their ends.

Ukraine does not disclose its casualties but the latest US estimates suggest that about 130,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been injured and 70,000 killed since February 2022.

Ukraine’s problem with the new Speaker, Mike Johnson, is that he opposes Ukraine aid. He’ll probably also oversee a government shutdown as well as press for major cuts to the federal budget. Biden should’ve sent more money, more quickly.
Australia steps up with $20 million for Ukraine.
Russians moving aerial assets further away in order to escape ATACMS strikes.
Russian attacks at Avdiivka don’t let up.
Estimate is that 820k Russians left Russia after their invasion of Ukraine. 35K went to Israel. Many have returned to Russia as the standard of living abroad is usually no so good.

Johnson got voted in. We have a new Speaker in Congress. Representative Gaetz and Steve Bannon are very happy. Republican moderates have proven their utter uselessness.

Trump has been working very hard, since even before he was elected, to suggest that it’s highly suspicious when a Democrat allegedly wins an election. It’s just fundamentally illegitimate for a Democrat to win a fair and honest election. The new Speaker is very much on that same page with Trump.

House Minority Leader Jeffries welcomes the new Speaker. And yes, the right from the left sections of the House are very easily distinguishable! The two sides agreed on Israel/Hamas and Ukraine/Russia, though.

In response to this scene here, a right-winger says: "Republicans are apparently tired of being called insurrectionists by people like [ABC reporter] Rachel Scott." Well, y'all may be tired of the label, but that doesn't mean it isn't true!

These guys give us a good summary of the new (4th) Speaker candidate: "Johnson is just a spiffed-up, polished version of Rep. Jim Jordan." Looks highly likely he'll get voted in.

Why did Tom Emmer (3rd) fail? Essentially, he not only voter to certify the 2020 election, but he was pro-gay marriage.

Ukrainian ingenuity, they turned air-to-air missiles into surface-to-air missiles.
Zelenskyy’s daily address: “Dear Ukrainians! All of you feel that the Russian presence on our land is not permanent. I know this.”
The ruins of Avdiivka.
Examining the Russian offensive against Avdiivka.
Preparing for anther winter combat season.

After Russian bombing, postal employees re-wrapped and send 2700 packages. President Zelenskyy explains that there are many connections between Hamas, Iran and Russia. He also points out that Ukraine needed friends when the Russians invaded and that Israel needs to hear from their friends as well. There are 260 Ukrainians trapped in Gaza. Photo analysis of destroyed Russian vehicles. A Russian describes what he and his buddies are going through. "Chatham House has published report about Russia’s military vulnerabilities."
Ukrainian hospitality and a courageous grandmother.

The RICO case put together by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis marks up yet another success! The former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis also pleads guilty and agrees to provide materials to the state that the prosecution will find helpful.

Mark Meadows turns and gives evidence. No one knew that for four months. Meadows came out right after his aide Cassidy Hutchinson did.

One of the many Republican candidates for Speaker is Congressman Byron Donaldson. Representative AOC suggests that the position of Speaker requires just a bit of working knowledge of the House first.

Several House Republicans make their pitch to be elected Speaker.

My sister remarked that cabbies in Ireland are asking American tourists what in the heck is going on with the House? Status of the utterly pathetic inability of the GOP.

Ukrainian drones have been truly amazing and promise to make Ukraine an exporter of them after Russia is defeated. An underwater drone is essentially a torpedo that's launched from the docks and can travel and wait to strike, US Civil War combat casualties were about 205k (Combat casualties were about a third of the total deaths). Russia, which has been fighting for less than 2 yrs, appears to have lost well in excess of that.

One of the reasons I objected to Trump’s proposed foreign and energy policies so much is that we don't have to remain chained to oil-producing countries!

The International Energy Agency has predicted that this year or next will see peak oil in China. That is, the country will start purchasing less and less gasoline every year from here on in.

How well-equipped are Russian troops? A Polutorka, a 1930s pre-WWII GAZ AA truck.
Consequences of a Russia missile striking a postal terminal.
Zelenskyy sums up status of the front.
Plenty of Russian vehicles going “Boom!”

Christopher Miller, who covers Ukraine for The Financial Times, dives into the legitimate concerns that Ukraine will get lost in the Israel-Hamas war shuffle.

Ukrainians are now wondering if the world has the attention span and courage to focus on two major wars.

Unfortunately, news media is not keeping up with modern news gathering techniques like Open-Source Intelligence, satellite images, map data, etc. I would note that the explosion at a hospital in Gaza is still unresolved. Only some news organizations can investigate.
Tamir Rice’s mother has some words for Shaun King.

DA Fani Willis has set off a race to be early to turn on the Trump-led group that tried to overturn the 2020 election. Now that they all see their peril, Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro should be just the first dominoes to fall. Trump is, of course, not AT ALL pleased!

A pity that Meet the Press, host Kristen Welker just had former Speaker Kevin McCarthy just run circles around her. What TV interviewers really need to do is to sit down and game out their interviews with a few confederates. They need to practice asking in several different scenarios. Under Speaker Pelosi, getting the chair to be vacated was a bit tougher to accomplish. Speaker McCarthy reverted to the old rule in order to gain the gavel. A good staff would have informed Welker of this.

Good philosophical statement on how, ideally, the Jewish and Palestinian people should live together in Israel.

In the view of our blogger, a two-state solution for Israel-Palestine is not possible and hasn’t been possible for at least two decades.

One of the first steps the Israelis took against Gaza was that “Gaza’s water plant and public water networks were deactivated by the Israelis.”

The pipelines Israel cut off bring in potable water. UNRWA explains, "Three water desalination plants, previously producing 21 million liters of drinking water per day, have halted operations.”

The hard-right wing House Freedom Caucus appears to be using their hopelessly dysfunctional Speaker election to force massive budget cuts on the US. This is because they will never achieve such cuts using regular order as such cuts would be incredibly unpopular. There of course cannot be any new appropriations for Ukraine or Israel until the House has a new Speaker.
Russians renew assault on Avdiivka.
A well-known Black Sea Cossack dies.
Kharkiv undertaking a movement of schools to underground.
Assessing damage at the Berdyansk air base for damage from ATACMS.

Russia has arrested another US journalist, RFE's Alsu Kurmasheva, on the more or less explicit basis that reporting on the war in Ukraine is illegal.

Russia and Israel breaking apart.

President Biden connects the two foes: “Hamas and Putin represent different threats," Biden said. "But they share this in common. They both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy.” He asks Congress for $100 billion to arm both Israel and Ukraine.

Update (4 Jan 24): "US unable to continue Ukraine arms support without Congressional vote, says White House"

See Rally at Fetterman's office for why that is.

Heh! North Korean citizens “spontaneously” gather to welcome Russian visitors.
Our blogger thinks the explosion at the Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza was most likely hit with a misfired rocket from within Gaza. More on that at the bottom of the post.
Zelenskyy talks several foreign delegations.
Ukrainian General Staff very happy with performance of ATACMS!
Our blogger is really annoyed that the US has permitted Putin’s threats to slow down what we’ve supplied Ukraine with. He and many others note the invidious comparison between our supplying of Ukraine and of Israel.
“an ordinary five-story residential building” hit with missile.
DeepState has visually confirmed that at least 65 Russian armored vehicles have been destroyed in front of Avdiivka.
Two Ukrainian brigades land across the Dnipro River a bit East of Kherson.
Sevastopol hit.
Member of Putin’s entourage very prominently carries nuclear briefcase.
Lots and lots of technical details on what hit the hospital.

In what would make an awesome ad for Democrats, a Republican praises Representative Jordan for having the “courage’ to propose creating a debt commission that would recommend cuts in Social Security and Medicare.

I have no idea why Representative Jordan is trying for a third time to be voted in as Speaker. Insanity is trying the same thing again and expecting a different result.

With every vote, Jordan's share of the vote gets smaller and smaller.

For a great many years, media critics have dinged the media for soft-pedaling and covering up Republican incompetence and malfeasance. Democrats are now taking the lead in making their behavior clear to the American public. (18Oct2023)

Quite a while ago, I read a piece on the possibility of replacing Planned Parenthood (PPFA) in anti-choice states with a pregnancy service that would provide everything except abortions. Anti-choicers recognized the need to provide pregnancy services to women who weren’t wealthy. Problem is, that’s expensive, PPFA makes ends meet from contributions as well as Medicaid reimbursements. Providing a replacement service has been a right-wing proposal for many decades, but has simply never gotten off the ground.

Representative Jordan is in the lead for Speaker of the House. Sean Hannity of Fox News defends his “just asking questions” that were designed to pressure Republican House members into voting for Jordan.

So Republicans don't like the idea of picking the Democratic Minority Leader as the Speaker. Okay, there are compromise candidates the Democrats would be able to work with.

Really old restaurant near Avdiivka still standing after much combat nearby.
ATACMS finally delivered to Ukraine! They can strike targets at up to 160km behind the lines. HIMARS range is about 70km. Russian airfield at Berdyansk hit.
Lithuania starts repairing damaged German Leopard 2 taks.

I saw a clip on the Nikki Haley interview. She blames Democrats for the difficulty in picking a new Speaker. I think the problem is that the party is unable to think one step ahead. The GOP wanted to repeal the ACA/Obamacare. They didn't have a replacement. Trump threw out the Iran nuclear deal. He didn't have a replacement. The problem is far deeper than anything the current President is doing.

Four Ukrainian children brought home!
Day 600 of the full-scale war between Russia and Ukraine, but really, the war began in 2014.
Russian forces completely lose all ground gained with their surprise attack of a few days ago.
Explosions in Berdiansk, which is well behind enemy lines.
Heating season begins n Ukraine.

$400 FPV Drone vs $60 million russian "Tor" air defence system 1:0

A bread factory is repurposed to making drones.

"Trump Supporter Says Space Force Will Fix 'Stolen Election'"
Hoo boy! This woman has access to some truly high-grade hallucinogens or was dropped on her head a few days ago! She comes up with a really spectacular fantasy about how Trump will be reinstated.

Getting really tired of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy blaming everyone and his brother for his own screw-ups! Had he made any sort of serious outreach to Democrats, offered them something real and serious, he might still be Speaker today.

Again, we’ve got a Republican trying to make the removal of Speaker McCarthy a “BothSides” issue. It isn’t. Republicans were the ones who put in the rule saying it should be easy to oust the Speaker.

Offensive vs defensive wars. Russo-Ukraine war is definitely a war where the defense is stronger than the offense, that is, it’s more like World War I than World War II.
Minefields can be much more easily defended these days, thanks to drones.
Ukraine is way ahead in terms of training. Russia would need an extended period of peace to catch up.

Families of Israeli hostages could be political force.
What Hamas did was an act called PSYACT, sort of like PSYOPS, but intended to produce an overreaction that will “unmask” or discredit the power that’s attacked. There are laws of war that cover urban warfare. Is what Hamas did to Israeli civilians covered under
Just Revolution Theory or the Islamic concept of jihad? No. It doesn’t fall under either category.
One of the objectives of Hamas might have been to draw Iran further into their conflict with Israel. Don’t think they succeeded with that.
By moving a Carrier Strike Group to the Eastern Mediterranean, the US most likely prevented any move by Lebanon’s Hizbollah to join the attack on Israel.
Who hit the evacuating Gazans? Evidence indicates it was Hamas as the explosion was clearly not air-delivered.
Hamas succeeded in getting politicians in the US to be their worst selves.
Idea is to lump “Hamas, BLM, DSA, and academic ‘decolonization’” so they’re all one big group.
Yes, Hamas was elected, but that was WAY back in 2006.
Good! Water supply resumed to Gaza!
Arabs seem pretty universally opposed to Hamas and what they did.
Old report on Netanyahu.
Israeli government has internal problems
Israeli protests resume.
Good grief! Secretary of State Blinken meets with Israeli survivors of Hamas assault when Netanyahu hasn’t done so!
Not sure where Israeli hostages fit into Israeli military plans.
Words of inspiration.

US should have known Gaza was about to explode.

Note especially the absolutely massive losses of Russian artillery!
Bloggers warns against conflating. Don’t conflate residents of Gaza with Hamas, don’t conflate Jews with Israelis, etc.
North Korea has supplied Russia with “more than 1,000 containers of military equipment and munitions.”
Russians have committed at least two mechanized battalions to attacking Avdiivka and still aren’t making any progress. Russians have lost at least 45 tanks in fruitless assaults.
US is delivering GLSDBs (Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb) to Ukraine.
Food preparation video. Ukrainians want to make sure that troops eat well!

Representative Jordan is very short of the votes needed to become Speaker. Listening to McCarthy’s interview, it just annoys the Hell out of me that McCarthy keeps trying to blame Democrats for the obvious governing failures of the House Republicans!

Sample from Asteroid Bennu finally analyzed after the sample had been scooped up three years ago. It contains the building blocks of life, water, carbon and organic materials.

This was, or should have been, an easily foreseeable result. Trump started it, Kari Lake really pushed it and now House Republicans openly embrace election denialism.

Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz recommends that the International Monetary Fund should be giving poor countries $300 billion annually in order to fight human-caused climate change.

It appears that Representative Jordan is now the nominee for Speaker. He got 99 votes on the first round. Now he’s got 124. Still well short of the majority needed.

Russian woman signs off after asking people on social media to send her body bags as they’re all out. This is near Avdiivka, where Russians have suffered a disaster.
Zelenskyy does both his regular daily speech and one to the Joint Expeditionary Force Conference.
Russia launched a full-scale, multi-battalion offensive at Avdiivka that, unfortunately for them, didn’t get anywhere.
Lots of Russian vehicles going “Boom!”
Ukrainian pilots to begin training on F-16s.

This is very good news!

#Hamas leadership understands they have a problem. They understand they went too far. They understand they lost significant public support.

My latest on the Israeli-Palestinian situation.

I comment on "BothSides," this is what I mean by that.

"Nancy Mace Tells Jake Tapper That Democrats Trust Jim Jordan"
The subtitle is: "Of course, she refused to name one Democrat."
The idea that any Democrat trusts Representative Jordan sounds highly implausible!

Representative Jordan keeps on making meritless claims and wasting Fani Willises time. But she knows she can ignore him because she knows the law.

President Zelenskyy would like to visit Israel in order to stand in solidarity with the people there.
Photos of people hiding from rockets in Kyiv and Israel.
The leader of Hamas says in an interview that all the weapons used by Hamas were produced locally, but that Iran and Russia are strong allies.
Zelenskyy is in Ramstein, meeting with US officials and allies.
More defense packages from US and allied countries.
Blogger considers possibility of getting more aid for Ukraine out of the House. One of the problems is that Senator Tim Scott has completely blown up his reputation as a nice guy. That makes it tough to get aid through. Amid increasing chaos, Ukraine is our first line of defense.
Russia launching assault on the Eastern industrial city of Avdiivka.
More on Hroza, the town that was hit with a missile during a memorial service.
Series of before and after pictures.

In Wisconsin, the Republican Speaker would really like to impeach the newest state Supreme Court Justice as she threatens to undo Wisconsin’s gerrymandering. Problem is, even a former stalwart apparatchik won’t go along with his plans.

Does the former Speaker McCarthy have a five-point plan for aiding Israel? Ehh, sort of. It’s far from clear how point 3, bring back Trump’s “maximum pressure” on Iran is supposed to work as it was a complete failure when Trump tried it.

Kneeling in remembrance of the fallen. 
If the new “Axis of Evil” is Russia and Iran, is Netanyahu of Israel and his party the third member?
Ukraine plans new railroad through Moldova.
Germany sends aid package to Ukraine.
Russians tend to mix military targets in with civilian ones so as to make it difficult to hit just military targets.
Russia accusing Ukraine of sending weapons to Hamas. This is 100% untrue.

An amusing headline:

Robert F. Kennedy is headed for a breakup with the Democratic Party

No. In order to break up, Democrats had to have been going out with him to begin with, and that never happened!

Heh! Republicans in the face of the RFK Jr. candidacy be like "General Quarters! General Quarters! All hands man your battle stations!" 
Problem is, Kennedy draws more votes away from Trump than away from Biden

Another reason as to why Senate "holds" are a useless and ancient and archaic procedure. The first problem, of course, is Senator Tuberville's hold-up of all military promotions. All Senate holds must cease to exist, yesterday!

Examining the UAW’s successful strategy against the big three automakers.

Zelenskyy says: “Russia is interested in triggering a war in the Middle East” Moscow is likely working with Tehran.
Russia seems pleased about the attack on Israel by Hamas. “There’s as yet no evidence that Russia knew of the impending attack,”
The idea that Hamas could be using American weapons transferred to it from Afghanistan or Ukraine is very likely a story planted by Russia.
Zelenskyy warns that Russia is trying to split the West apart.
52 people died in the Ukrainian town of Hroza. It was holding funeral services. Russians claim that Nazis were attending the service.
HIMARS very busy.
Republican House and aid to Ukraine.

A true hero. This 61-year old Israeli veteran, upon hearing of the Hamas attack on Israel, put on his uniform and started rescuing Israelis. A frantic father tells of how Yair Golan rescued the man’s son an hour after being told that the son was missing. Golan is also a liberal who disagrees with Netanyahu and his buddies.
Israelis seem content to just rush in and kill members of Hamas and doesn’t seem overly concerned about hostages dying. Netanyahu feels Israeli troops HAVE to go into Gaza! Do Israelis need a professional communications team? Nah!
Two lengthy, detailed reports about how Hamas deceived Israeli intelligence into thinking that Hamas has no intention of launching a war. No indication that foreigners, whether Iran or Russia, played any role at all. Many people have problems with the Wall St. Journal report that said Iran played a role.
Main “support” for Israel in the US is white evangelicals who really couldn’t care less about the Jews as people, but who feel the Jewish people play a role in the prophecy of the End Times.
The Republican House is pretty useless right now.

Gaza, the “open air prison” is about to undergo a full-scale attack. Where can civilians run to? Well, they can’t.

The blogger draws some very sensible distinctions between "collateral damage" and "murder victims." There's a big moral difference even if one is just as dead as the other.

Israel says it will impose a ‘total blockade’ on Gaza, including a ban on admitting food and fuel, amid increasing indications of a possible ground operation. Such a siege by the Israeli army, with the intent to starve a population, is a war crime under UN statutes.

Whatever moral position Israel gained with the atrocities that Hamas carried out has now been squandered.

Senator Tuberville isn't budging in his blockade of military promotions, but it's good to see that he's inspiring still more hate and discontent from the Senate.

Russian Armored Personnel Carrier tries to outrun a kamikaze drone. Nope, didn’t work.
Zelenskyy has completely sided with Israel (Another blogger thinks it’s very smart of him to do so). According to Zelenskyy, both Russia and Hamas are terrorist organizations.
No, Olena Zelenska, the wife of Volodymyr Zelenskyy did not spend $1.1 million on jewelry. That’s disinformation. And no, the couple doesn’t own a luxury villa in Egypt or anywhere else.
Yowza! Tank taken out by an Anti-Tank Guided Missile.
Russian attitude towards Israel pretty negative. Russia restricts flights to Israel.
US moving Naval assets to Israel. Blogger recommends we move more Army assets to Poland and he Baltic States. He doubts the House will move any further aid packages.

To some extent, Kristin Welker redeems herself from her first Meet The Press. She grills two Republicans, first Nikki Haley for throwing around wild accusations without proof. Was Iran behind Saturday’s attack? They likely were, but Haley should be more cautious and should emphasize that she doesn’t know for certain.

Was it irresponsible for the House to boot McCarthy from the Speakership without having another Speaker lined up? I’ll agree with Welker on that.

Shani Louk, a German-Israeli, viciously abused, murdered and desecrated by Hamas.
Very, very lengthy blog post on Israel-Palestine. Our blogger has no use for either Netanyahu (a cynical manipulator) or for Hamas (brutal thugs).
There were plenty of warnings before the attack of Saturday morning.
There were 7 battalions near Gaza and 23 around the West Bank.
Plenty of false accusations clogging up the information flows
Still more squabbling over the US getting prisoners back from Iran.
We believe we have confirmation that Iran played a role in the Hamas attack.

Just because all the people on the right wing are endlessly repeating that the money spent by the US on freeing Iranian hostages has fueled the attack by Hamas on Israel. Sigh! No.

A few hours before the Hamas attack on Israel, the blogger pointed out that Israel is using the water supply of the region against Palestinians. 

Israel’s relentless attacks on water infrastructure, such as pipelines, sewage treatment facilities and pumping stations, reveal an intent that goes beyond tactical advantage.

Trump uses some rhetoric that appears to be borrowed directly from der Fuhrer. The blogger concludes that’s no accident. The rhetoric is intentional.

A few weeks ago, I saw a short exchange where the people all agreed that, of course, an anti-abortion state would be a better place to have a baby in. Because naturally, that state would care about all of the principle people involved. But in Idaho (where Republicans dominate the state government), the health of the mother seems to be a very distant second-place priority to having them just plain giving birth.
Especially interesting are the conflicts between being a state with a small government and between taking care of the health of mothers.
It’s suggested that churches could see to the health of mothers instead of the state. I’m part of a church. We’d have to undergo major changes in order to serve mothers.

The editor of TPM ponders some mysteries about the Hamas attack on Israel.

Russian-run classroom in occupied Ukraine.
Ukraine sends Israel heartfelt sympathies for the Hamas attack on Southern Israel.
Zelenskyy feels both Russia and Hamas are terrorists who butcher civilians.
Pentagon spokesperson urges Congress to pass more Ukraine aid. Many Democratic Congresspeople are concerned as well. Biden is being asked to make a statement that lays out the justification for supporting Ukraine. Our blogger says he’s been warning about this since way back when.
Russian-run classroom in Kherson province.
Film of kamikaze drones.
Russians take rhetorical advantage of the Hamas attack in Israel to suggest that the only solution for the US is civil war.

Israel gets surprise attack from Hamas. An Israeli woman narrates.

More details

The fellow who usually composes extensive daily pieces on the war in Ukraine does an extensive piece on the Israel-Hamas war that's currently underway.

The political left has absolutely zero problems with RFK Jr. running as he’s likely to take votes away from Trump, thereby making Biden’s win more likely. For the exact same reason, the left hates it when No Labels and Cornel West run, as they’re likely to take votes from Biden and to thereby make Trump’s win more likely. It’s interesting to see how their spokespeople stubbornly resist that logic.

Elon Musk continues to prove, with each new "brilliant" idea, that he hasn't the vaguest clue how to run a social media platform

Frikkin' hilarious! A Ukrainian officer calls the Russian tank manufacturer to complain of the tank's mechanical problems! I tell ya, ya just can't capture good tanks these days!

Democrats decide they’d really like Representative Jordan as the next Speaker as he’d be a marvelous opponent that they can easily demonize.

Representative Jordan describes what he considers the high point of Republican legislative accomplishments this year, “the strongest immigration and border enforcement bill ever.” Problem is, the Senate simply placed it in a filing cabinet, never to see the light of day again.

Putin says Odesa is “certainly a Russian city, but a little bit Jewish." Wow! If I were a Jewish resident and (highly unlikely) if Russia had a chance to take the city, I’d be out of there!
In yet another genocidal act, Russia wipes out 1/6th of the population of a village. The missile had hit a local grocery store-cafe during a memorial service. Zelenskyy denounces the attack as “evil.”
Can the US keep spending on Ukraine even though we only have a few billion left until the House appropriates more? With some creative accounting and help from allies, yes.
A musician who went to war died today.
A Russian figures it might take 20 years of genocidal massacres to crush Ukrainian resistance.
Putin makes wild claim about Prigozhin’s office (he ran the Wagner mercenaries, is now dead).
Russians constructing training grounds in occupied Ukrainian and Russian territory.

Seems like all of his fellow Congresspeople hate Representative Matt Gaetz. Is he likely to actually get tossed from Congress? Nah.

Apparently, Trump blabbed about some of the top secret information he stole from the White House to a billionaire friend of his, who promptly blabbed it to all of his friends.

Mahsa Amin was the young Kurdish woman who had a few wisps of hair peeking out from under her hijab. She died soon after the Iranian Morality Police took her into custody. That set off a rebellion by young Iranians and ethnic minorities that continues to this day. "A search for 'Mahsa Amin' and 'Code Pink' brings up zero hits." Oh, and Representative Greene and Code Pink are completely on the same page when it comes to Ukraine. They both support Russia.

Back in 2013, the Supreme Court made the overly optimistic assumption that racism was dead and we no longer needed the Civil Rights Act of 1965. How do we know that?

The court took the responsibility of redrawing from the Alabama officials after they brazenly ignored the directives of both the federal panel and the Supreme Court.

As I've said, I've got a buddy who sends me messages saying "Ukraine is doomed, I tell you! Doomed!" His evidence? He usually quotes some fellow with reasonably relevant experience assessing Ukrainian chances and concluding that Ukraine has none. But as this piece shows, a reasoably sound assessment of Ukraine's chances to defeat Russia's Navy in 2022 would have concluded that Ukraine's mission was hopeless. Today, Ukraine is seriously kicking Russia's butt in the Black Sea!

How the Biden Inflation Reduction Act is driving good climate results.

Already, 272 new or expanded clean energy manufacturing projects in the US, including 91 in batteries, 65 in electric vehicles and 84 in wind and solar power, have been announced.

A look at the post-Speaker McCarthy House.

Trump was not required to be at court today. It was his right to be there, but when he claimed he was forced to be, that was untrue. A look at his reasons.

Yeah, these guys (Russians) are having a hard enough time dealing with just Ukraine. Don’t think they’re ready to deal with Poland, the Baltic states, and Finland.
Our blogger doubts the $24 billion Ukraine assistance bill will go anywhere. It rewarded the crazy caucus to leave it out of the Continuing Resolution.
Zelenskyy agrees that everyone is getting tired of the war, but it’s important that they keep going. They’d like for this to be the last major war for awhile.
Ukrainian POWs have been forced to transport ammunition through minefields.
Russians used time before counter-offensive to dig elaborate trenchworks.
Examining how Mariupol has fared under Russian occupation.
US spending on Ukraine during Republican shenanigans. Republican constituents have now fully adopted anti-democratic, pro-Russian positions.

Update (9 Dec): No apparent sign that Ukraine will get any appropriations anytime soon. Looks like they're on their own for a while.

Just because I'm seeing a lot of chatter on Twitter about how Democrats are to blame for McCarthy losing his Speakership, this reminds me of Trump and the Iranians. Trump kept expecting the Iranians to come back to the bargaining table, where he planned to really apply the screws. They stayed away and no deal was ever offered. McCarthy apparently expected Democrats to come to him and offer a deal! They might have considered a deal from him, but they were never going to offer anything.

30 out of 32 drones shot down! Good record, but short of perfect!
The blogger suggests that the Freedom Caucus usually wins something, even if it’s very small, every time they “go crazy” and make absurd demands. Have to wonder if Ukraine aid will get passed at all.
Zelenskyy mentions Kharkiv in his daily address and visits the territorial defense force there.
A Ukrainian man heard his whole family killed on the phone. He’s been battling the Russians ever since.
Ukraine is going to try and get ships with food out of the Black Sea. Insurance companies are insuring the ships. The Russian Black Sea fleet is largely bottled up anyway and their air defense systems are neutralized.
Ukrainian grain will transit Poland and Lithuania, be loaded onto ships on the Baltic Sea and transported to Africa, the Middle East, etc.

McCarthy's Speakership is on the line. Republicans argue amongst themselves, Democrats are mostly sitting silently by.

McCarthy loses his Speakership, thanks to both the Democrats and to eight Republicans.

On Alex Wagner Tonight, the show confirmed my suspicion that Speaker McCarthy lost the support of the Democratic Party when he blamed them for trying to cause the shutdown. The shutdown that was averted at the last minute thanks to Democratic votes! He convinced Democrats that he was utterly untrustworthy.

Ultimately, the Republican Party proved to be composed of nihilists who just really don’t appear to want to govern at all!

Not at all surprising, unfortunately. Woman who had serious careers and professional challenges ahead of them were suddenly forced into roles where no education was called for.

Forced and early marriages of teenage girls have also spiked across Afghanistan, with parents marrying off their adolescent daughters to avoid forced marriages to Taliban fighters.

Huh! Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recuses himself from a January 6th case! Unexpected, but very good to see.

This ocean-going sailboat is listed as $22k. Adding trailer, motor and safety gear brings it up to $31k.
Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed she spent $19k on a speaker’s podium. When people asked to see it, she hurriedly purchased one for $700. So the question was “Where did that $19k actually go?” Turns out it was corruption.

Russia paints decoy jets onto at least one of their airfields.
Elon Musk used to be a hero in Ukraine. They have no use for him these days.
A “Hero of Ukraine” dies. He was a genetic scientist as well as a soldier.
Piece on new Minister of Defense.
Leopard 2A4 tank sent to Germany, repaired and sent back to the front.
Russian officer defects to Ukraine with 11 companions.
Ukrainska Pravda has taken a deep dive into who is funding Telegram (social media site that both sides have been using since beginning of full-scale war).
Friend of Jared Kushner and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Heh! RFK Jr. was supposed to be the opponent of Biden that Republicans would quietly fund and support. Oops! Turns out he's more of an electoral threat to Trump!

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis supports burning natural gas. Ehh, natural gas burs a bit cleaner than coal or oil, but it’s still a carbon-emitting fossil fuel, so it’s only marginally better.

Documentary film made of defense of Kharkiv in the early days of the war.
Zelenskyy celebrate Day of Defenders of Ukraine .
Ships entering and leaving Odesa. Russian blockade doesn't appear to be working.
Video of drone taking out a T-90 tank.
Russians ambushed civilian drivers for almost a month and burned their cars and bodies afterwards.
Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian military plants.
Britain placing training camp inside Ukraine. Britain's Defence Secretary is suggesting Britain might move ships into the Black Sea. NATO and Biden Administration will most likely veto that.
Secretary of Defense Austin respectfully urges Congress to approve Ukraine aid ASAP.
Disagreements over the Nazi massacre of Ukrainian Jews at Babin Yar.

"Wisconsin Speaker Vos Denies Threat To Impeach New Justice"
Huh! Very interesting. Wisconsin Speaker Robin Vos must've received lots of angry pushback after his very clear and explicit threat to impeach Wisconsin's new Supreme Court Justice if she didn't recuse herself from the electoral map case.

The NY Times (yeah, I know, I'm always beating up on them for their lousy political coverage) assesses the military balance between Ukraine and Russia strictly by territory won or lost since the counter-offensive began. As the blogger demonstrates, this is not a war of maneuver, but of attrition. Territory is relatively meaningless. There are a whole host of other factors showing that Ukraine is kicking Russia's butt.

You just knew Mattel would follow up Barbie with another toy, didn't you?

Mattel is following up Barbie with Barney, the purple dinosaur. I dunno, my favorite Barney videio is still this one.

Just as the battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack made wooden ships obsolete, drones are making many modern weapons obsolete. Of course, just as many wooden ships were built after the M&M battle, don’t expect too rapid a phase-out of tanks or of artillery.

Cool! A new X-Men movie is in the very beginning stages of being made!

Shutdown threat averted. Congressional Republicans 

...settled for giving Vladimir Putin a big sloppy kiss in the form of killing any new aid to Ukraine in this continuing resolution. 


Doing Putin a solid provided enough psychic satisfaction to make this happen.

And yes, Democrats saved the day by prviding enough votes to fund the government.

Joining the military is optional for women in Ukraine. Olenka is a volunteer who even chose which unit she’d fight with.
Looks like the Continuing Resolution will pass and the government will not shut down after all, but Ukraine was let out of it. We’ll see how the Democrats deal with that.
The Defense Industries Alliance is a group of defense industry companies, all committed to helping out Ukraine. Ukraine wants to be a weapons producer after peace is attained.
A British army colonel assesses how Ukraine is doing and advocates more weapons for them.
Russian troops complain that they are being sent to certain death.
Ukrainian traitor narrowly escapes HIMARS strikes twice.
Ukrainian artist who covers over bare wood with paintings.
Refugees and Germany.
Elon Musk really should stop talking about politics because his ignorance is really showing.


After seven long years, it appears that the NY Times is finally acknowledging that Donald Trump represents a unique danger to the country! Masha Gessen put ot a book in November 2016, “Autocracy: Rules for Survival.” It has been proven to be reliable time and again.

Human-caused climate change means that the Mississippi River can’t keep salt water from the Gulf of Mexico from traveling upstream, where it’s compromising drinking water and agriculture.

Looks as though Ukraine had better get a move on in defeating Russia. Support seems to be eroding.

Mourning Senator Feinstein.

Looks like RFK Jr. has given up on running as a Democrat. He’ll now run as an independent.

Senator Tim Scott and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley are both "coded" as moderates because neither has much use for Trump, but looking at their positions in detail, they're both really radical! Good section on Fentanyl.

Yeah, I was never impressed by President Reagan’s economic policies. The nostalgia shown by Larry Kudlow is completely unjustified.

After choosing General Milley to be the Chairman for Joint Chiefs, Trump’s attitude has gotten steadily more hostile, now coming out and openly threatening Milley with the death penalty for alleged treason. Milley gives his views.

Speaker McCarthy is in serious trouble with his caucus. If he wants any assistance from Democrats, it’ll cost him. Democrats are going to want control of some committees. 

How the Waffen SS Ukrainian soldier has been used for Russian propaganda and the roles that Russians played in the German Wehrmacht.
NATO Secretary General visits Ukraine.
Ukraine has become a member of the Board of Governors of the IAEA.
Tatarigami is a frequent contributor and I starting a new open-source analysis project.
Using a T-62 kamikaze tank to clear mines.
Russia has committed a new army (25k men) to the front.
New infantry fighting vehicle.

Two awesome speeches by Representatives Raskin and AOC, showing us how silly and hollow the Biden impeachment hearing is. Seriously, what a complete waste of time!


Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina claimed at the Thursday hearing, “We already know the president took bribes from Burisma,” a Ukrainian energy company where Hunter Biden sat on the board of directors.

Actually, we "know" nothing of the sort. President Biden taking bribes from anyone has not been proven.

On a possible government shutdown, shorter Representative Williams: "My pay is important! The peasants? Ha, ha, ha!"

Speaker McCarthy wants to re-litigate the deal of several months ago. In response, Representative AOC says “McCarthy can go pound sand.”

"From secretaries to secretary of state, Biden documents probe casts wide net: Sources"
After 2 1/2 paragraphs that describe an extensive investigation, we get to the really essential point of the piece: seemed to them that the improper removal of classified documents from Biden's office when he left the White House in 2017 was more likely a mistake than a criminal act.

Heh! Senator Mike Lee spends his time employing Russian propaganda in order to fight off a cartoon dog!

A Twitter/X post where Senator Lee develops a conspiracy theory. I have some comments about that.

More Russian terrorist drone attacks on Ukrainian cities.
Ferry crossing on border with Romania attacked.
Real estate investor in Odesa.
Russian stuff getting blown up.
Thread on trains in military logistics. Series of Q&As on how easy it would be to take out trains/tracks vs how quick and easily they can be repaired.
Wild, hysterical conspiracy theories from Representative Greene.

Iraq had two religious groups, the Sunni and the Shia. The Shia battled the IS (Islamic State, popularly know in the US as ISIS). Two university professors decided to study the struggle from the Shia side through their music videos.

Biden joins a picket line. It’s historically unprecedented for a sitting president to do that.

UAW workers show no confusion about who’s on their side!

"A Blackout on The Phony 'Union Members' At Trump’s Event?"
There were apparently a few genuine auto workers and union members at the Trump rally, but out of several hundred people, not many were either. It's understandable that Politico would fail to report that, but why was the WaPo and NY Times so apparently gullible?

The whole Trump speech to auto workers seems pretty fake.

It's unclear how many auto workers attended Trump's speech. A person in the crowd with a "union members for Trump" sign acknowledged she wasn't a union member. A person with an "auto workers for Trump" sign said he wasn't an auto worker.

The Republican accusation that there’s a two-tier justice system, one that goes easy on Democrats and harshly punishes Republicans, is simply not a true picture of reality.

Very interesting. Charlie Kirk is a prominent booster of the Republican Party and strongly pro-Trump and even he admits that being anti-choice is a loser of a position!

First Trump didn't know who he beat in 2016, promised to save us from WWII, and now he doesn't know who ELSE he beat in 2016.

What amazes me is that Trump displays real and serious cognitive problems like this and then they say Biden is too old!

Soldier atop a Naval drone. Essentially, a guided torpedo with the ability to loiter (wait for targets).
Massive missile attack on Odesa. Most of them shot downbeat
There’s a U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine’s Recovery.
Zelenskyy welcomes Abrams tanks to Ukraine! Their announced schedule was several months from now.
D’oh! A former member of the Waffen SS Galician Division spoke. Zelenskyy introduced the 98-year old. His being there was widely denounced, but it isn’t clear Zelenskyy or anyone else responsible for the event knew. It’s a bad thing that no one vetted him. The Kremlin, of course, and many others, are trying to exploit the error.
Ukrainians making lots of god progress. Russian defense has not collapsed, but they’re on their heels.

After the attack on the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, 34 officers died, among them the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Victor Sokolov. Another 105 were injured.


Under the banner "Kyrsten’s Path to Victory,’ the document says Sinema can win by attracting 10% to 20% of Democrats, 60% to 70% of independents and 25% to 35% of Republicans."

The small number of Democrats is a testament to how badly she’s burned her bridges with the party. Republican figure might be reasonable, at least until they discover she voted to impeach Trump twice, and is pro-choice. The independents appears to be the heaviest lift.

Unfortunately, Kristin Welker continues to show she’s no improvement over Chuck Todd.
Representative Craig has a good idea. Shut-downs should result in Congress not getting paid either. As the blogger notes: 

McCarthy’s not that dumb, but he is completely powerless against the GOP Angry Tantrum Carcass.

Moms for Liberty, who platformed all of the major Republican candidates in Philadelphia this past June, is the group behind the censorship of a graphic novel about Anne Frank.

Cool! Writers for Hollywood end strike as they feel they’ve gotten a fair deal!

Some details on the corruption of the Supreme Court Justice Thomas.

Tucker Carlson, formerly of Fox News, will be getting his own regular TV show in Russia.
The US and Ukraine will jointly produce air defenses. Zelenskyy reports good, deep discussions with Americans and Canadians.
Sevastopol Harbor has had to erect defenses of barriers, nets, and barges to protect their ships from naval drones.
Drone attack on Kursk airfield.
Yowza! Drone goes directly into fortifications beneath a trench.
Ukraine & Poland making up and agreeing to work out grain problems.

Update (1 Dec): Nope. The Russians may copy what Carlson does for American TV, but he hasn't done a TV show for Russia.

Very sad that not a single high-level Republican showed up for the gun-safety rally.
And yes, there is a very high degree of Biden doing good things and progressives agreeing with them.

Woo hoo! Another Russian patrol boat gets hit! The picture shows the boat right after it got hit, trailing fire and smoke.
Zelenskyy makes speech in Canada.
Ukraine’ expecting about 100 ATACMS from the US.
Interview with a Ukrainian general who “is the architect of the constant asymmetrical operations against Ukraine’s great foe, Russia…” Yeah, when Russia suffers attacks on its home turf, that reduces consumer demand for Russian air defense products! Ukraine can’t sell drones now, but consumer demand is high, so they definitely will after the war ends!
Sevastopol gets hit.
Ukraine breaking through defensive lines.

"Oops! GOP Rep. Forced To Admit ‘Unserious’ COVID Almost Killed Him"
Wow! This is about the greatest ad against anti-vaxxers I’ve ever seen! The fellow makes an extremely poor case against getting vaccinated!

So a gloomy, sour buddy of mine (“Ukraine is doomed, I tell you! Doomed!”) sent me the following film clip that takes a very downbeat, pessimistic view of the war between Russia and Ukraine. 
One of the reasons I have a hard time swallowing what the people on it say is because of this piece about artillery and how both sides are using it. Russian artillery is relatively short range and not very accurate, so they have to fire many rounds to makes sure they hit their target. Ukrainian artillery is widely dispersed and extremely accurate, so it takes far less to do the job.

Yeah, I recall Russians saying that the Western sanctions had failed, that sanctions weren't hurting Russian consumers a bit. Now they're saying "Hey look at North Korea! People can get by without modern conveniences and can skip a meal every now and then!"

As Rupert Murdoch shuffles off to semi-retirement, our blogger examines his career and finds it truly revolting. It’s good that he’s sort-of no longer a denier of human-caused climate change, but boy, he caused a lot of damage by being a denier for so long!

Good! It’s long since time that legal cannabis has had full access to banking and other financial services.

Max, who lost both legs and an arm, is learning to be a drone operator.

First Lady Zelenska made an address at Georgetown University.

Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters hit really hard.
Zelenskyy wasn’t able to address a Joint Session of Congress, but Canada allowed him to address their Parliament. Canada had the first Holoomor monument in the world in 1983.

Russians collected & dumped out the last Ukrainian books from the Mariupol library. 

The missile strike on Sevastopol was designed to hit while senior Black Sea Fleet leaders were in the buildings. Interestingly, Russian TV stations didn’t cover the attack.
While Ukraine hits military targets, Russia hits civilian targets.
Woo hoo! Ukraine will get ATACMS missiles!
Music video with troops relaxing to the sounds.

David Brooks (Sigh, yes, he's a NY Times columnist) showed us a picture of a hamburger and fries and complained that his meal cost him a lot of money and then drew conclusions from that. Slight oversight: his drink was 80% of the cost!

Update (21 Nov):  Fox News pundit Jason Chaffetz does something similar by complaining about the cost of a Thanksgiving turkey. The average price of a turkey is actually down from last year as the Inflation Reduction Act has been working, but Chaffetz claimed that they cost $90 and then found a super-duper, high-end $114 turkey that "proved" his point.

"Surprise failure makes matters even worse for GOP’s McCarthy"
Many years ago, when John Boehner replaced Nancy Pelosi as the Speaker of the House, I was absolutely astonished when Boehner was shocked and surprised when votes didn't go the way he thought they would. Pelosi made it look so easy to, y'know, count votes!

Yep! Even a Republican Congressman recognizes that “Y’know, Speaker Pelosi was really good at this vote-counting thing.”

Speaker McCarthy refused to permit President Zelenskyy to address a joint session of Congress. Other right-wingers made their opposition to further aid to Ukraine known. Interestingly, McCarthy turned down a classified briefing on Ukraine. Blogger figures McCarthy is incapable of allowing US aid to Ukraine to continue.
Zelenskyy appears with Biden and appreciates the military aid that Ukraine has received.
Russia launches 43 cruise missiles. Most are intercepted.
Pepsi still does business in Russia. Russia repays their assistance by (accidentally?) destroying a factory of theirs in Ukraine.
Surovikin Line broken!
Fight between Ukraine & Poland.
Sanctions not tight enough. People putting profit above patriotism.
Trembita, a popular folk instrument in Ukraine.

Global markets, inequality and nations trying to climb the ladder of success. The wealthier economies have the means to transition to clean energy, poor economies don’t.

Interesting rhetorical strategy. As it’s difficult to prove anything, y’know, facts require research and questioning and further research, the Judiciary Committee Chairman, among others, has found it much easier to just say “As everybody knows…”

One of the pieces here (Josh Marshall) is really on-target. He essentially describes how things are actually done in the House. The far-right Freedom Caucus says “Jump” and other Republican Party members ask “How high?” Moderate pretend that there’s some daylight between them and the extreme radicals, but there really isn’t any.

The House Minority Leader makes it clear. No one’s going to pay the ransom that’s being demanded. If the government shuts down, the House Freedom Caucus will be 100% to blame.

Some pretty powerful ads here.

Libyan dam collapse of just a few days ago was made more likely by human-caused climate change. It was also made more intense. Up to 20k Libyans were swept out to sea. Problem is, climate change means that everything has to be built to more rigorous specifications.

Heartbreaking! Soldier serves year and a half, goes to work as civilian and dies his first day by a Russian missile attack!
Zelenskyy’s speech to the UN. He call for the General Assembly to be able to override the veto of any member of the Security Council. He calls for restoration of Ukraine’s borders to those of 1991.
Ukraine restores an anti-corruption measure that was put on hold over 500 days ago.
Zaporizhzhia Salt, a Ukrainian Army commo specialist, looks at the tactics of Ukraine and recognizes the importance of their lack of air superiority.
Crimea being hit.
A Togo-flagged ship near Ukraine was hit.

The ethnic Armenian resistance in Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh has surrendered.

According to the blogger

The pro-life movement – as opposed to the bans in various states – is in a state of irreversible collapse.

They’ve discovered that they can’t move elections any more. Support from them isn’t worth anything any more.

A buddy of mine likes to send me gloomy, depressing reports of how the front in Ukraine is "stalemated" and how Ukraine is making such slow progress. This piece is very interesting for showing how artillery affects the front and how Russians are simply tossing lives away as though they're just replaceable machine parts.

Biden has been trying to build on the Trump-negotiated Abraham Accords to help Palestinians in some way

The Israelis are said to have been convinced that they could do a deal with Riyadh that excluded the Palestinians.

And another lawyer turns on Trump! Jenna Ellis is regretting helping out Trump’s legal offensive against the 2020 vote.

Meeting at Ramstein Airfield focuses on future aid to Ukraine.
Russian drones destroy a warehouse containing 300 tons of aid from the Vatican.
Cars containing volunteers were also attacked.
Zelenskyy makes his case to the UN to help his country.
Biden joins in and asks how safe any country is if Ukraine is allowed to be carved up.
Speaker McCarthy makes it clear that he opposes Ukraine aid. What does the House Freedom Caucus or Donald Trump want? Not at all clear.
Combat medics in Bakhmut.
Russians using railroad line as a defense. Russian stuff blowing up.
Russian attack on journalists.

Putin is killing Armenians by the hands of Azerbaijanis

Corruption, Ukraine vs Russia.

Donald Trump is trying hard to appeal to union workers but it’s far from clear what he brings to the table. His only policy accomplishment during his term was a tax break for the wealthy.

For a supposedly pro-worker party, Republicans seem to have an awfully tough time coming out in favor of UAW strikers. Senator Tim Scott and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley were the most explicitly anti-UAW candidates, but no Republican really stood up for the union.

Republicans in the House are saying they too, want to avoid a shutdown of the government, if only the Senate and President agree to go back on an earlier agreement.

South Korea will send two K600 ‘Rhino’ minefield breaching vehicles to Ukraine
Zelenskyy praises heroic action by the air defenses around Kharkiv, shooting down well over half the incoming drones and missiles.
Zelenskyy arrives in Washington DC for his visit to the US.
Zelenskyy absolutely rejects giving up any Ukrainian territory for peace.
The documentary film 20 Days in Mariupol will represent Ukraine at the Oscars.
Russians occupied the village of Andriivka for over a year. There are no buildings let standing.
The submarine that was at dry-dock and hit by missiles has much worse damage than at first thought.
Blast from the past – the US and Britain were more concerned in 2014 about provoking Putin than in protecting Ukraine. Our blogger didn’t like the US response.
To teach the F-16, pilots must first get a five-week English course.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was acquitted on all of his impeachment charges. Trump is now claiming credit for that. Turning Point USA's Charlie Kirk also played a role, posting the phone numbers of the Texas “jurors,” siccing his followers on them and pressuring them to not convict Paxton.

Janet Protasiewicz, a Milwaukee circuit court judge and self-described progressive, won an 11-percentage point victory

and thereby changed the Wisconsin Supreme Court from Republican Red to Democratic Blue. The GOP is charging that she’s biased and therefore should recuse herself from considering some gerrymandering cases. This is, of course, an absurd demand.

Rachel Maddow and Kristen Welker both work for MSNBC. Hmm, how does Maddow's blogger cover Welker's heavily-panned interview with Trump? The blogger finds a good solution by focusing on a statement that Trump made.

Seems MSNBC learned a little bit about interviewing Trump. Not much but at least a little bit. The detailed commentary by Jay Rosen is worth a read.

Sigh! The one unquestionably good deed that the younger George Bush ever did (The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), an African AIDS prevention initiative that’s estimated to have saved more than 25 million lives in the two decades since its implementation). The continuation of that good deed is now being threatened by the ever-more extreme and radical Republican Freedom Caucus.

Representative Boebert was caught in a heavy petting session at a concert filled with young people. Good question is why the audience was being surveilled. The answer is mass shootings. Not all that far from where she was doing some mutual groping, a mass shooting took place in a movie theater. So yes, night-vision surveillance video is required for “random regional” events!

Someone sent me a film suggesting Europe is getting tired of supporting Ukraine. I looked around a bit and found this:

European Peace Facility, an enterprise of the European Union, accounts for non-US, non-UK expenditures on behalf of Ukraine. 

28Feb2022  EUR 4 400 000 000
15Nov2022: EUR 16 000 000
2Feb2023:  EUR 45 000 000
5May2023: EUR 1 000 000 000

Nope, no evidence I can see that Europe is close to abandoning Ukraine.

Kharkiv hit with several missiles. In return, Ukraine took out two Buk-M3 anti-aircraft missile complexes. Is that an asymmetrical situation, one side hits civilian targets while the other restricts itself to military targets? Why yes. Yes it is.
Looking to after the war with Russia, Ukraine wants an arms production capacity that will deter any attacker.
Damage to ships at the dock in Sevastopol may have been more extensive than we thought.
Ukraine will get the missiles they thought they’d get, but 18 months from now.
Abrams tanks just arrived. Now where are the ATACMS?
Russian general says “liberating” Ukraine s only the first step. After Ukraine has been conquered, Europe is next. Our blogger assures us that this is the official policy of Putin and others.
Very nice that four Republican senators want increased aid to Ukraine, but that’s not enough to prevent a future filibuster.
Drone production has increased over 100 times since last year and will probably be 120 to 140 by years end.
A look at an as-yet unpublished book.

Ahh! Technology continues to advance and improve! Batteries are a serious part of solving the human-caused climate change problem and it looks as though zinc might very well replace lithium as the battery-ingredient of choice!

It certainly doesn’t seem to our blogger that justice was done by acquitting the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of all impeachment charges. Is he truly innocent or is Texas just corrupt? As believers in the law, we generally don’t ask that question. Fortunately, Paxton’s legal troubles aren’t over yet, so time will tell.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Major media, please do better this time!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A kamikaze remote-controlled tank strikes Russian lines!

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

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

Musk, Twitter/X and antisemitism.

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

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

"Where Chuck Todd failed"

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

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

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

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

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

Video of the Ukrainian ice dancers performance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Zelenskyy commemorates Remembrance Day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heh! Representative Greene is very upset

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senator Hawley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sigh! Still more corruption by Justice Clarence Thomas!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump was furious when he found out about this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Ukrainian Air Force Day!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update (6 Aug): Problem with Voyager 2 was quickly fixed. After 45 years of travel, Voyager 2 is roughly 18½ hours away at light speed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the piece

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Very interesting statement from piece: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Woo hoo! Trump’s 3rd indictment drops! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How it started this morning.

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

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

Elon Musk and his career as a con man.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Government-owned TV channel Russia-1:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Robert F. Kennedy Jr. boomlet is over

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seems Governor DeSantis wants a heavily militarized private state army

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Again, the complete and utter uselessness of moderates.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And yes, this!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and the US rate is rising sharply.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interesting, informed speculations on Epstein, Trump and kompromat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Biden not defeated on student loan decision by Supreme Court.