The Evening Blues - 2-27-24


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Walter Davis

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues singer Walter Davis. Enjoy!

Walter Davis - Oil Field Blues

"Much of the most important evils that mankind have to consider are those which they inflict upon each other through stupidity or malevolence or both."

-- Bertrand Russell

News and Opinion

One Month Later, Israel Has 'Simply Ignored' ICJ Ruling and Continued to Starve Gazans

In the month since the International Court of Justice handed down its interim ruling in the genocide case brought by South Africa, the Israeli government has continued to impede the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip in violation of the court's order, Human Rights Watch said Monday.

The ICJ's January 26 ruling, which is legally binding, requires Israel to do everything in its power to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza and ensure that basic assistance flows to the enclave's population.

But according to Human Rights Watch (HRW), "the daily average number of trucks entering Gaza with food, aid, and medicine dropped by more than a third in the weeks following the ICJ ruling: 93 trucks between January 27 and February 21, 2024, compared to 147 trucks between January 1 and 26, and only 57 between February 9 and 21."

HRW's analysis comes on the day the Israeli government is set to deliver its own 30-day assessment of compliance with the ICJ decision, which stated that Israel is plausibly committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. The Times of Israel reported late Sunday that the government report "is being drafted by the Justice Ministry and the Foreign Ministry but will not be released to the press or general public, and both ministries have been extremely tight-lipped about the information in the document."

Observers don't expect the government's self-assessment to reflect the catastrophic reality on the ground in Gaza, where most people are starving and at growing risk of infectious disease due to the scarcity of clean water and adequate shelter. U.S.-backed Israeli forces have been accused of firing on aid convoys and targeting crowds of civilians gathering to receive food and other assistance.

In desperation, some Gazans have resorted to eating grass and animal feed and drinking contaminated water. A majority of Gaza's population is currently crowded into the city of Rafah, which Israel plans to invade whether or not there's a cease-fire deal with Hamas.

"The Israeli government is starving Gaza's 2.3 million Palestinians, putting them in even more peril than before the World Court's binding order," Omar Shakir, HRW's Israel and Palestine director, said in a statement Monday. "The Israeli government has simply ignored the court's ruling, and in some ways even intensified its repression, including further blocking lifesaving aid."

HRW's analysis notes that in addition to blocking food aid and medicine shipments, Israeli authorities have also obstructed the delivery of fuel, the lack of which has forced many of Gaza's hospitals to shut down.

"Between February 1 and 15, Israeli authorities only facilitated 2 of 21 planned missions to deliver fuel to the north of the Wadi Gaza area in central Gaza and none of the 16 planned fuel delivery or assessment missions to water and wastewater pumping stations in the north," the group said. "Fewer than 20% of planned missions to deliver fuel and undertake assessments north of Wadi Gaza have been facilitated between January 1 and February 15, as compared with 86% of missions planned between October and December."

Israel's mass killing of Gazans has also not stopped in the wake of the ICJ order, HRW said Monday. Pointing to figures from Gaza's health ministry, the group noted that Israeli forces killed more than 3,400 people in the Palestinian enclave between the day of the ICJ ruling and February 23.

"Israel's blatant disregard for the World Court's order poses a direct challenge to the rules-based international order," Shakir said. "Failure to ensure Israel's compliance puts the lives of millions of Palestinians at risk and threatens to undermine the institutions charged with ensuring respect for international law and the system that ensures civilian protection worldwide."

The Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor similarly concluded in a report released over the weekend that Israel is in "flagrant violation" of the ICJ's order.

The group implored the international community "to uphold its legal and moral duties to the people of the Gaza Strip, and to ensure that the ICJ ruling is carried out to prevent the crime of genocide in the Gaza Strip."

Biden MUNCHES ICE CREAM While Telling Press Israel-Hamas CEASEFIRE Could Come MONDAY

Joe Biden says Gaza ceasefire could be reached by next Monday

Joe Biden said he believes a new, temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is possible by next Monday. The US president offered the update spontaneously during a visit to New York on Monday, in response to reporters inquiring about when he expected a ceasefire ceasefire could start. “My national security adviser tells me that we’re close. We’re close. We’re not done yet,” Biden said. “My hope is by next Monday, we’ll have a ceasefire.”

Biden made the comments in New York after taping an appearance on NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers.

Over the weekend, Israel’s war cabinet approved the broad terms of a deal to pause fighting for several weeks in exchange for the release of hostages. The weeks-long pause would allow hundreds of trucks to deliver aid to Gaza, where nearly 30,000 have been killed according its health ministry, and disease and hunger have gripped most of the population.

Last week, the United Nations food agency paused aid to northern Gaza, citing Israeli gunfire and “complete chaos and violence due to the collapse of civil order”, amid increasing reports of famine.

Netanyahu Says Hostage Deal Will Only Delay Attack on Rafah

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained that if Tel Aviv agrees to a new hostage deal with Hamas, it will only “delay” the Israeli attack on Rafah. International aid organizations have warned that an attack on the city of 1.5 million will be devastating to the civilian population of Gaza.

On Friday, the US, Egypt, and Qatar presented a new hostage deal that would see the release of 40 Israeli captives in exchange for a six-week pause in fighting. The deal was negotiated without the input of Tel Aviv and Hamas. While US and Israeli officials have presented the hostage release proposal as progress, neither Tel Aviv nor Hamas have signed on to it.

Hamas’ top priority is ending the Israeli onslaught. Netanyahu’s remarks signal Israel is unwilling to end the war until every city in Gaza is destroyed. “Once we begin the Rafah operation, the intense phase of the fighting is weeks away from completion. Not months,” Netanyahu told CBS. “If we don’t have a deal, we’ll do it anyway."

Matt Hoh: Principle and Sacrifice Confront Genocide

Israeli DM: Ceasefire in Gaza Would Mean Escalation in Lebanon

Ongoing fighting on the Lebanon-Israel border may well get much worse, according to Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. Commenting on the ongoing ceasefire talks looking to at least temporarily stop the open-ended offensive against the Gaza Strip, Gallant says that Israel will “increase the fire in the north independently” if there was a pause.

Interestingly, the only thing that was holding up Hezbollah in supporting their own ceasefire with Israel was the ongoing war in Gaza. If somehow that war came to an end, a deal in the north should be much more possible even if Israel sees it as a license to escalate.

Gallant says the fighting will continue until Hezbollah is forced from the border and displaced Israelis are able to return home to the north. He also said Hezbollah isn’t able to replace commanders that Israel has killed.

Ralph Nader at 90 on the "Genocidal War" in Gaza & Why Congress Is a Weapon of Mass Destruction

US Officials ‘Surprised’ by Houthi Military Capabilities

Joe Biden administration officials admitted that six weeks into the undeclared war in Yemen, the US and UK strikes have failed to erode the Houthis military capabilities. The officials said the US is surprised at the Houthis’ military capabilities and that Washington has a limited understanding of how advanced their weapons systems are.

On January 11, President Biden ordered the first round of strikes in Yemen. The White House claimed the attack was designed to force the Houthis to end attacks on Israeli-linked shipping. The Houthis, or Ansar Allah, are attacking ships they suspect to have ties with Israel to pressure Tel Aviv to end the genocide in Gaza.

Without any Congressional approval, Biden has ordered strikes on Yemen nearly every day. The attacks have not achieved their desired effects as the Houthis have expanded their targets to include US and UK-linked shipping. Last week, missiles fired from Yemen hit multiple ships in the waters off the country’s coast. One ship suffered significant damage and is leaking oil.


NYT 'Reviewing' Israeli Reporter Who Liked Gaza 'Slaughterhouse' Post

Higher-ups at The New York Times have confirmed Sunday that they are looking into Anat Schwartz, who contributed to widely criticized reporting about Hamas' alleged sexual violence on October 7, after it came to light over recent days that the Israeli freelancer liked a social media post calling for Israel to turn the Gaza Strip "into a slaughterhouse" and other content.

"We are aware that a freelance journalist in Israel who has worked with the Times has 'liked' several social media posts," Danielle Rhodes Ha, a spokesperson for the newspaper, toldThe Daily Beast. "Those 'likes' are unacceptable violations of our company policy. We are currently reviewing the matter."

Confirmation of the review came after the popular account @zei_squirrel on X, formerly Twitter, highlighted Friday that Schwartz had liked the hateful "slaughterhouse" message from editor and radio presenter David Mizrahy Verthaim and other posts circulating misinformation about the October Hamas-led attack.

Esha Krishnaswamy, host of the podcast, who also began digging into Schwartz's online activity and history, said Saturday on X that she "has reactivated her account. But she has purged it of her previous genocidal 'likes.'"

The newspaper's social media policy states in part that journalists "must not express partisan opinions, promote political views, endorse candidates, make offensive comments, or do anything else that undercuts the Times' journalistic reputation," and "should be especially mindful of appearing to take sides on issues that the Times is seeking to cover objectively."

A filmmaker whose LinkedIn identifies her as working at the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (Kan), Schwartz contributed to Times reporting from November to January, focusing on the Hamas attack and Israel's retaliation in Gaza—which has killed over 30,000 Palestinians and is being investigated at the International Court of Justice as genocide.

Schwartz has bylines on multiple pieces about accusations that Hamas militants committed sexual violence during the attack on Israel. She repeatedly collaborated with Times international correspondent Jeffrey Gettleman and Adam Sella, who has written dozens of articles for the paper since mid-October and is reportedly her nephew. ...

Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch wrote that "as a veteran journalist, I know there are a lot of award-winning reporters who would kill to get their byline in the NYT. But a filmmaker with ZERO experience shows up and gets on the front page covering the world's most controversial story? Something here is not right."

Worth a click and a full read:

New York Times report demolishes the narrative of the “unprovoked war” in Ukraine

For the past two years, nearly every reference in the US media to the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine by Russia has been preceded by an obligatory word—“unprovoked.” The public was told that this was a war without cause, that Ukraine was blameless, and that the invasion was to be explained entirely in terms of the intentions and psychology of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

However, on the weekend of the second anniversary of the war, the New York Times published a lengthy article revealing that the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 was instigated by a systematic and widespread campaign of military-intelligence aggression on the part of the United States. The article details longstanding Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operations in Ukraine, in which the agency sponsored and built up the Ukrainian military intelligence agency HUR, using it as a weapon of spying, assassination and provocation directed against Russia for more than a decade.

The Times writes:

Toward the end of 2021, according to a senior European official, Mr. Putin was weighing whether to launch his full-scale invasion when he met with the head of one of Russia’s main spy services, who told him that the C.I.A., together with Britain’s MI6, were controlling Ukraine and turning it into a beachhead for operations against Moscow.

The Times report demonstrates that this Russian intelligence assessment was absolutely true. For more than a decade, dating back to 2014, the CIA was building up, training and arming Ukrainian intelligence and paramilitary forces that were engaging in assassinations and other provocations against pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, against Russian forces in Crimea and across the border into Russia itself.

In a critical passage, the Times writes:

As the partnership deepened after 2016, the Ukrainians became impatient with what they considered Washington’s undue caution, and began staging assassinations and other lethal operations, which violated the terms the White House thought the Ukrainians had agreed to. Infuriated, officials in Washington threatened to cut off support, but they never did.

In other words, Ukrainian paramilitary forces that were armed, funded and led by the United States and NATO were systematically assassinating forces supporting closer relations with Russia.

The newspaper’s account begins with the Maidan Coup of February 2014, when right-wing and neo-Nazi forces backed by the US and the European Union overthrew the elected pro-Russian president and installed a pro-imperialist regime headed by the billionaire Petro Poroshenko. This coup was the culmination of two decades of imperialist inroads into the former Soviet bloc, including the expansion of NATO to include virtually all of Eastern Europe in violation of pledges made to the leaders of the former Soviet Union. The Times is silent on this earlier history, as well as on the role of the CIA in the Maidan events.

Russia GUARANTEES War After NATO Floats BOOTS In Ukraine

Macron is freaking out over Ukraine collapse

Macron refuses to rule out putting troops on ground in Ukraine in call to galvanise Europe

France’s President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday he refused to rule out sending ground troops to Ukraine, but said no consensus existed on the step, at a meeting of 20 mainly European leaders in Paris convened by Macron to ramp up the European response to the Russian military advances inside Ukraine. ...

French officials have become worried there has been no single galvanising western force responding to Vladimir Putin putting his economy on such an effective war footing, and insufficiently clear practical responses had emerged from the west.

He said the meeting, called in haste by Macron in the wake of the Ukrainian frontline starting to crumble, had agreed to focus on five key action areas: cyber defence, joint production of military weapons and ammunition in Ukraine, defence of countries directly threatened by Russian offensives such as Moldova, greater military protection for Ukraine on its border with Russian-backed Belarus, and the demining of Ukraine. He also announced a new coalition to provide long and medium-range strike missile capability.

Insisting Russia’s defeat is absolutely essential for peace and security in Europe, he said it was necessary for Europe to move from words into action so clear decisions are made to build a European defence pillar independent of America.

Asked about the possibility of continuing to support Ukraine in the context of the US presidential elections this November, he said: “We cannot wait for the outcome of the American elections to decide what our future is going to be. It is the future of Europe that is at stake so therefore it is up to the Europeans to decide. If others want to join in and help, fantastic, but that is just an added bonus.”

Sweden Joins NATO as RUSSIA Warns of "Legitimate" Military Consequences

Denmark Finds 'Deliberate Sabotage' of Nord Stream—But Ends Probe With No Charges

Denmark became the latest country to close its investigation into the underwater explosions that caused leaks in two pipelines that were built to carry gas from Russia to Germany, with authorities saying they had found that "there was deliberate sabotage" of the infrastructure but would not go further in their probe to confirm who was behind the blasts.

"The assessment is that there are not sufficient grounds to pursue a criminal case," said the Danish police, prompting criticism from Russian officials and other critics.

Since the gas leaks were discovered in September 2022, seven months after Russia invaded Ukraine, various observers have accused the two countries as well as the United States of being at fault. ...

Earlier this month, Sweden concluded its own investigation, saying the case did not fall under its jurisdiction and noting that they had given "material that can be used as evidence" to German authorities for their probe. Swedish prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist said that the "primary assumption is that a state is behind it."

The German federal prosecutor's investigation is ongoing.

Journalist Thomas Fazi suggested U.S. allies have dropped their probes because they are "terrified of actually finding the culprit."

The question of who caused the Nord Stream gas leaks, said author Tony Norfield, "has troubled Swedish and Danish investigators so much, they have closed their inquiries. Just in case they uncover something embarrassing."

Social Media Sites BEG for 1A Protections from SCOTUS as Conservatives Show Political CENSORSHIP

US supreme court appears skeptical of social media content moderation laws

Members of the United States supreme court expressed skepticism regarding two laws being debated in oral arguments Monday, both of which deal with how social media platforms moderate content and could have broad implications for freedom of speech online. Filed by NetChoice, an association representing the world’s largest social media firms, both cases challenge state laws blocking social media platforms from moderating certain user content or banning users. ...

While justices did not seem convinced of the constitutionality of the laws, they were also “unpersuaded by the Internet companies’ broad arguments that almost everything they do is protected by the first amendment”, said James Grimmelmann, professor of digital and information law at Cornell University. “I would predict that the court will issue relatively narrow rulings that make it clear that the most restrictive portions of the state laws are unconstitutional, and then let litigation play out to determine whether other provisions of these laws – or of other future laws – are constitutional,” he said.

The court first heard arguments in the case of Moody v NetChoice, which deals with a Florida law passed in 2021 that prevents platforms from “censoring” certain political candidates and media outlets by means of demonetization or removal. The law would also limit platforms’ ability to label and moderate misinformation from specific sources.

Justices also questioned whether removal of content by algorithms rather than by humans qualifies as censorship, with Amy Coney Barrett asking specifically about TikTok’s algorithm boosting pro-Palestine posts rather than pro-Israel posts. “If you have an algorithm do it, is it not speech?” she asked. Justice Samuel Alito asked of content moderation, “Is it anything more than a euphemism for censorship?”

The second case is NetChoice v Paxton, targeting a Texas law that broadly prohibits social media platforms from “censoring on the basis of user viewpoint, user expression, or the ability of a user to receive the expression of others”. NetChoice, with members including Pinterest, TikTok, X and Meta, has argued these laws violate the first amendment right to free speech of the companies. The association argues that the law unconstitutionally restricts their ability to decide what content is published on their platforms.

Explosive device detonated outside Alabama attorney general’s office

Officials in Alabama said on Monday they had launched an investigation into the detonation of an explosive device outside the office of the state’s attorney general at the weekend.

“Thankfully, no staff or personnel were injured by the explosion. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (Alea) will be leading the investigation, and we are urging anyone with information to contact them immediately,” the attorney general, Steve Marshall, said in a statement.

The explosion occurred early on Saturday morning, and the statement gave no other details. The extent of any property damage is not yet known. ...

Marshall, a Republican, has recently become embroiled in controversy following last week’s decision by Alabama’s supreme court that embryos created by in vitro fertilization are “extrauterine children”, a decision that has effectively halted IVF treatments in the state as providers fearful of prosecution have shuttered operations.

the horse race

Matt Taibbi: Intel Blob COOKED THE BOOKS In 2016 Probe; Russians Wanted HILLARY, Not Trump

Donald Trump appeals $454m New York civil fraud judgment

Donald Trump has appealed his $454m New York civil fraud judgment, challenging a judge’s finding that the former president lied about his wealth as he grew the real estate empire that launched him to stardom and the presidency.

The former US president’s lawyers filed notices of appeal on Monday asking the state’s mid-level appeals court to overturn Judge Arthur Engoron’s 16 February verdict in the lawsuit brought by the New York attorney general, Letitia James, and reverse staggering penalties that threaten to wipe out Trump’s cash reserves.

Trump’s lawyers wrote in court papers that they were asking the appeals court to decide whether Engoron “committed errors of law and/or fact” and whether he abused his discretion or “acted in excess” of his jurisdiction.

Trump’s appeal paperwork did not address whether Trump was seeking to pause collection of the judgment while he appeals by putting up money, assets or an appeal bond covering the amount owed to qualify for an automatic stay. ...

The appeal ensures that the legal fight over Trump’s business practices will persist into the thick of the presidential primary season, and probably beyond, as he tries to clinch the Republican presidential nomination in his quest to retake the White House.

the evening greens

Vast swaths of US will be exposed to polluted air by 2054, says report

Vast swaths of the continental US will be exposed to unhealthy, polluted air by 2054, according to an alarming new report. Researchers at First Street Foundation, a non-profit that analyzes climate risk, found that one in four Americans are already exposed to air that is deemed “unhealthy” by the Air Quality Index (AQI), which provides daily air quality readings. That number is expected to grow by 50% in the next few decades, with an estimated total of 125 million Americans experiencing dangerous air pollution by the middle of the century.

The report warns that climate-related wildfires and heatwaves are undoing many of the gains from federal clean air regulations. Between 2010 and 2016, the United States started to see an increase in air pollution for the first time in 80 years, said Jeremy Porter, head of climate implications research at First Street. “If we’re going to start thinking about solutions, we have to start combating the origin of the air pollutants, which are wildfires and extreme heat,” Porter said.

In June 2023, smoke from forest fires in Canada caused Americans to suffer the worst day of average exposure to such pollution since 2006. The orange, apocalyptic haze that blanketed much of the continent carried PM2.5, tiny air pollutants that can lodge deep inside a person’s lungs. The particles, which measure less than 2.5 microns in diameter, are tiny enough to cross the blood-brain barrier, and high levels of exposure are linked to dementia and Parkinson’s disease, along with a host of respiratory illnesses.

British and Irish rivers in desperate state from pollution, report reveals

The rivers of Britain and Ireland are in a desperate state from the impact of pollution, with not a single waterway in England or Northern Ireland listed as being in good overall health, a report said on Monday.

The Rivers Trust annual State of Our Rivers report reveals that the impact of pollution from treated and untreated sewage and agricultural and industrial runoff means rivers are in a worse condition than ever.

More than half – 54% – of rivers in England failed to pass chemical and ecological tests because of pollution from water industry releases of treated and untreated sewage, based on data from the EU-derived water framework directive (WFD) in 2022.

Agricultural pollution contributes to 62% of waterways in England failing to meet good standards for chemical and biological pollution. Urban runoff from transport contributes to 26% of rivers not achieving good overall status.

The report shows none of England’s rivers are in good chemical health, which means the concentrations of toxic chemicals are higher than the safe limit in every river. Failing to pass chemical tests means no river in England is considered to be in good overall health. ... Similarly, no stretch of river in Northern Ireland is in good overall health.

Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

Aaron Bushnell Burned Himself Alive To Make You Turn Your Eyes To Gaza

Aaron Burned Himself To Make Us Look At Gaza

With all eyes on Gaza, Israel steps up demolitions of Palestinian homes

Biden wants to put the US on permanent war footing

War Is Bad for You — And the Economy

NATO Chief Gives Ukraine Green Light for Attacks Inside Russia

NATO Freakout Over Crumbling Ukraine Military: Poland Threatens US with Nuclear Development if No Aid Package

A Blueprint for Counter-Insurgency in the West

Democracy Now: Should the U.S. Send More Weapons to Ukraine? A Debate on Funding & Ways to End Two-Year-Old War

Fani Willis, Nathan Wade Texted 10K TIMES in 11 MONTHS In 2021— BEFORE She Hired Him

Pelosi FREEZES In Face Of Basic Israel Facts

Rep Rashida Tlaib pushes starvation sanctions for Syrians

A Little Night Music

Walter Davis - M & O Blues

Walter Davis (with Roosevelt Sykes, p) - Mr. Davis' Blues

Walter Davis - Root Man Blues

Walter Davis (with Roosevelt Sykes, p) - M. & O. Blues No. 2 (My Baby's Come Back)

Walter Davis - Travellin' This Lonesome Road

Walter Davis - L & N Blues

Walter Davis - Why Should I Be Blue?

Walter Davis - You Don't Smell Right

Walter Davis - Oh! Me! Oh! My! Blues

13 users have voted.


Trump isn't going to give the NY courts custody of over $400 million in cash accounts, even if he was able to do that. Few appellants would do so. He'll have to go the appeal bond route. Not that many insurance companies have a Federal Treasury Limitation large enough to issue a bond of this size (and not all the companies that are large enough write surety bonds). Those that do require 100% collateral for appeal bonds in the form of cash or an irrevocable letter of credit.

8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


it seems like a bit of a dilemma for trump since the interest raises the amount of the fine by better than $100k a day. regardless of how he feels about his chances on appeal, he still might have to attempt to sue new york to obtain compensation for his losses if he wins.

7 users have voted.

@joe shikspack He needs to request a stay of execution from the Appeal Court to stop the interest charge tolling on the judgment. Without that the amount of the cash deposit or appeal bond can't be calculated. Or the court could require a deposit or bond for some amount in excess of the judgment to cover the interest costs for a delayed payment.

Does he have any mega-banker and insurance company friends? While his cash or bond needs is merely a business transaction, some companies may not want the publicity of working with him, and this will get reported by the media. He sure isn't going to get a bank that will issue a LOC based on Trump's estimate of his equity in real estate assets. Wouldn't want to be the banker that has to evaluate the collateral requirements to issue that LOC.

7 users have voted.

One hundred down and $364 million to go. NY AG has barred Trump from getting new real estate loans and is threatening to seize his prime real estate holdings. Doubt the NY AG has any authority over Trump properties not located in NY. She may know that Trump's outside NY real estate holdings don't have much equity.

Would be fascinating to know who/what Trump has hit on to help him out. He might find that all his super wealthy friends have calculated that their interests would be better served by sitting on their hands for the moment.

Trump could consider turning to Go-Fund-Me. He only needs $68.25 from each of eight million MAGA folks. (Only $45.50 for the bond and the balance for income taxes on all those gifts.)

4 users have voted.

want to take his property
unusual for the state to strip
billionaires of their wealth
may set a precedent in
modern times?

4 users have voted.

The NY AG just wants Trump to pay up and quit stalling (his standard MO). The State doesn't really want the headache of seizing his properties and having to sell them. Trump also doesn't want them to do that because he knows the State has no interest in getting top dollar; they want quick sales.

This is interesting to me for a couple of reasons. I have surety bond experience. Appeal bonds are relatively straightforward and not particularly interesting. Taking custody of collateral is mostly a pain in the ass. Although I never handled one anywhere near as large as what Trump requires.

What's more interesting is that in appealing this decision, Trump could end up financially in much worse shape than if he paid now. He appears to be scrambling. This may be the consequence of how poorly he's treated business partners, including banks, in the past.

3 users have voted.

in these matters, as I have none.
Tried to point out the after effects
of shaking down a big fish.
It weakens the hand of the state.

Their paymasters may get a bit testy.

4 users have voted.

in mind. I'm coming up with a blank. Generally in the US the state doesn't go that hard against a big fish and big fishes tend to be open to a quick settlement with admission of little to no wrongdoing. (A reason why mega-appeal bonds are so rare.)

Plenty of moving pieces in this case which makes an informed prediction as to final outcome impossible. Recall a case of a major bank suing ten or so surety bonding companies. (Considered offering my services as an expert witness to the plaintiff. Didn't because they had been greedy crooks and the defendants had been greedy and stupid.) At the end of the trial, both sides got cold feet and except for one of the defendants, entered a settlement conference. I laughed at the attorney for the defendant hold out. (He was an arrogant jerk - reminds me of Trump.) His defiance lasted about thirty minutes when the CEO called and ordered him to get his ass into the settlement negotiations. In the end they split their respective losses 50/50, a bit less than a billion dollars for each.

2 users have voted.

Biden's handlers are pretending to be caught off guard
about 'polling voters' push-back against his administration's
policy toward Palestine. They can't admit to the depth of the cave
they live in. The light of day is harsh to these vampires.

10 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


yep you can almost hear them wondering among themselves about it. "gosh, presidents have been murdering arabs all over the middle east for decades, what's the deal with this?"

11 users have voted.

has finally caught up to some of the truth about the Ukrainian War. Could have had it a couple years earlier and at few hundred billion dollars less if their reporters hung out here and at MOA. And that doesn't even include the human and structural losses in Ukraine.

(I said "some of the truth," because this latest western promulgated disaster didn't begin in 2014. It was twenty years in the making.)

12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


i've been reading about our spooks working with ukronazis for years now. granted it was without the splashy details of the super-sekrit underground bunkers with all of the video screens that the nyt provided. i do remember reading ages ago about how the spooks were training the ukronazis in asymmetric warfare so that they could raise hell with russians and russian speakers.

9 users have voted.

Michigan even after eating ice cream and saying a ceasefire is in the offing.

JERUSALEM — Israel and Hamas on Tuesday played down chances of an imminent breakthrough in talks for a cease-fire in Gaza, after President Joe Biden said Israel has agreed to pause its offensive during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan if a deal is reached to release some hostages.

.The president’s remarks came on the eve of the Michigan primary, where he faces pressure from the state’s large Arab American population over his staunch support for Israel’s offensive. Biden said he had been briefed on the status of talks by his national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, but said his comments reflected his optimism for a deal, not that all the remaining hurdles had been overcome.

The results are not over but as of 10:25 EST

There are over 34,000 uncommitted votes and in reality it could be the difference with regards as to who carries the state.

9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


sounds like michigan is having excellent results. in a piece that i'll post tomorrow the organizers of "uncommitted" hopes have apparently been greatly exceeded:

In an interview with the Guardian, Layla Elabed, Tlaib’s sister and campaign director for Listen to Michigan, said organizers were hoping for a showing of between 10,000 and 15,000 uncommitted votes, a mirror of the margin by which Hillary Clinton lost the state to Donald Trump in 2016. “We can use uncommitted to send a clear and powerful message to Joe Biden if we get enough uncommitted votes for a margin of victory,” Elabed, who voted for Biden in 2020, said. “If we’re able to replicate those numbers we can really send a message that he’s at risk of losing Michigan in the general election come November.” The Listen to Michigan campaign on Tuesday evening said they believed they would win at least one delegate at the Democratic national convention. Delegates can be awarded to candidates who earn at least 15% of the vote in a congressional district.

8 users have voted.

@joe shikspack

5 users have voted.
soryang's picture

This is from one of the articles in USNI that KJ Noh cites, suggesting that the "kill chain" shared command and control network is being used in Ukraine.

Coalition Kill Chain for the Pacific: Lessons from Ukraine

Russia’s war in Ukraine offers a critical case study on why—and how—to build a more robust kill chain that leverages partners’ and allies’ capabilities. A more expansive satellite communications (SATCOM) network that enables a real-time integrated common operational picture (COP) will be necessary to generate the relative combat power advantage over the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Russia initiated combat operations in Ukraine with cyberattacks on SATCOM to disrupt Ukraine’s kill chain—the methodology for finding, fixing, targeting, tracking, engaging, and assessing (F2T2EA) an adversarial objective. The United States, alongside partners, allies, and industry, was able to blunt Russia’s invasion by reconstructing Ukraine’s SATCOM network and sharing critical intelligence. However, the kill chain architecture leveraged against Russia does not exist in the first island chain of the western Pacific.

USNI makes the historical analogy to WWII for data and code sharing that developed into five eyes.

KJ Noh makes the analogy to "Buddha's eyes" in constructing the war machine:

What exactly is Link 16? Link 16 is a key system in the US military communications arsenal. Specifically, it is the jam-resistant tactical data network for coordinating NATO weapons systems for joint operations in war. If this sale is completed, it signals serious, granular, and single-minded commitment to kinetic war: it would signal that the Biden administration is serious and unwavering in its desire to provoke and wage large-scale war with China over Taiwan, as it was with Russia over Ukraine, which also saw the implementation of this system. More important than any single weapons platform, this system allows the Taiwan/ROC military to integrate and coordinate all its warfighting platforms with US, NATO, Japanese & Korean militaries in combined arms warfare.


In other words, it supplies a brain and nervous system to the various deadly limbs and arms that the Taiwan authorities have been acquiring and preparing on the prompting of the US. It ensures interoperability and US control.

The Responsible Statecraft article, Biden wants to put the US on a permanent war footing, posted by JS is excellent. So let's get our allies to fight China. Won't the "kill chain" in Taiwan make them our ally? Won't they become de facto a part of the Indo-Pacific alliance? It's now or never according to the time tables of Admiral Davidson, General Minihan and others. What could go wrong?

Finally here is a link to a rant concerning China's expanded influence in the Western Pacific.

US extends losing streak to China in the Pacific

The author demonstrates a severe case of projecting the worst motives onto China.

I also liked Hartung's article War is Bad for You and its focus on opportunity cost. We are currently paying the opportunity costs now for our prior elective "wars on terror" and the world wide network of military bases upon which trillions in resources have been wasted. The opportunity cost of the wars for which we are either preparing or currently engaged will be paid by future generations. The previous wars contributed to our relative decline in the world, the current war efforts will accelerate that decline. I guess it's too esoteric for our leaders to understand. Or it's in the category of "apres moi, le deluge."

Thanks for the great news roundup JS. I'm not completely through it yet. Always like hearing from Matt Hoh. The Walter Davis tunes- great for hard times.

9 users have voted.

語必忠信 行必正直

joe shikspack's picture


it looks like the neocons just want to get it over with. how many wars can you lose in a few decades and still continue as a government or a state?

6 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

According to Sputnik, the Ukies have been using chemical weapons in Zaporozhye region which they suspect were provided by the US. They also claim that they took our an Abramstank in the fighting around Avdeyevka.

Meanwhile, per the South China Morning Post A judge ruled that prosecutors failed to prove Fujian Jinhua misappropriated proprietary data from Micron, So China is a horrible threat because of industrial espionage that we, of course, cannot prove ever happened.

Thnks for the tunes
be well and have a good one

10 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

i am shocked, shocked to find that the ukronazis are committing war crimes aided and abetted by u.s. spooks.

have a good one!

6 users have voted.

Not sure if any of you are close to this.

5 users have voted.

House Oversight and Accountability Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) went after the FBI on Tuesday, in the wake of the arrest and charging of an informant central to the GOP’s allegations against the president.

Comer said that everything that he’s had “to do with the FBI has been very suspicious” throughout House Republicans’ probe into President Biden.

“The trust level that I have with the FBI is zero, Maria,” Comer said in an interview on “Mornings with Maria” on Fox Business with anchor Maria Bartiromo.

Comer also said all he and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) knew about the informant was that FBI Director Christopher Wray had said the informant “was one of their most trusted, highest paid, in the bureau.“

“They had successfully used this informant to prosecute criminals in the past, and that he had been with the bureau over a decade,” Comer continued.

The informant, Alexander Smirnov, has been important in House Republicans’ allegations that Biden accepted a bribe. Republican lawmakers have often noted conversations that Smirnov had with the FBI about the head of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma telling him that he paid both Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, $5 million.

9 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

Will a temporary cease-fire in Gaza still include a thumbs-up on Palestinian starvation?

9 users have voted.


The political system is what it is because the People are who they are. — Plato
joe shikspack's picture

@Pluto's Republic

well, i read that the non-existent deal that the ice cream man is peddling contains provisions for large increases in aid to be delivered by up to 500 trucks a day, which, of course will be described later as "aspirational."

6 users have voted.
Cassiodorus's picture

-- and in so doing actually followed through on a belief he had. Cornel West, on the other hand, is crashing and burning in the eyes of a great number of people who might otherwise be his allies, and will, like Aaron Bushnell, also disappear. But Aaron Bushnell will leave behind a memory, whereas we'll probably forget Cornel West, because, unlike Bushnell, Cornel West does not seem to be any good at follow-through.

6 users have voted.

'French theory is a product of US cultural imperialism." -- Gabriel Rockhill

usefewersyllables's picture

For Nikki Haley. I wanted to vote against Trump, even in a token way. Still not planning to vote in the general.

4 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.