21 March 2024

Come now, gentleman, I know there's some mistake

"Pink Flower 11" by Rosi Roys is from the rose collection.

Some excellent news to get rid of judge-shopping: "Conference Acts to Promote Random Case Assignment: The Judicial Conference of the United States has strengthened the policy governing random case assignment, limiting the ability of litigants to effectively choose judges in certain cases by where they file a lawsuit. The policy addresses all civil actions that seek to bar or mandate state or federal actions, 'whether by declaratory judgment and/or any form of injunctive relief.' In such cases, judges would be assigned through a district-wide random selection process." Ryan Cooper explains why this is such a big deal, here.

"Confusion in Texas after appeals court blocks border arrest law: State law that would allow local officers to arrest migrants halted hours after US supreme court allowed it [...] [Judge] Hidalgo said many members of law enforcement she dealt with were not prepared to enforce the law. She told CNN she could imagine a scenario where she herself went for a jog and was stopped by local police saying, 'You look like you may be here on an undocumented basis,' and said: 'This is a terrible precedent.'" Crackpot legislators making crackpot laws and a crackpot Supreme Court making crackpot rulings and, yeah, you're gonna get confusion...and disbelief.

"The Strange Death of a Boeing Whistleblower: There's no way America's last great manufacturer murdered a prominent critic … is there? [...] But the end was almost in sight. 'He was in very good spirits and really looking forward to putting this phase of his life behind him,' Turkewitz said. 'We didn't see any indication he would take his own life. We need more information … No one can believe it.'"

Mapping Police Violence: Law enforcement agencies across the country are failing to provide us with even basic information about the lives they take. So we collect the data ourselves. Scroll to explore."

"The Spectacle of Policing: 'Swatting' innocent people is the latest incarnation of the decades-long gestation of an infrastructure of fear. On February 25, an active-duty airman named Aaron Bushnell set himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., while yelling, 'Free Palestine.' I'll leave it to others to analyze the politics. I want to focus on something else that emerged from that most harrowing event: what first responders did on the scene before anyone even knew what was going on. The first first responder, according to a witness, either a security guard or a cop, asked the man before him who was on fire, 'May I help you, sir?' Then he ordered him to the ground. The second first responder—a Secret Service agent, it turns out—then approached 'with a gun drawn on the man after he collapses, still consumed by flames.' A picture of that moment emerged. It looks like he thought he was keeping a murderer from fleeing the scene of the crime. It was the third responder who tried to actually put out the fire. As he did, he cried something that ought to live on in popular lore for the way it concentrates attention on just how sick our weapons-addicted society has become—like when a University of Florida student cried, 'Don't tase me, bro,' when six officers assaulted him for asking an embarrassing question of a politician in 2007. He told the guy aiming the pistol, 'I don't need guns, I need fire extinguishers!' By the time enough of those arrived, it was too late. Bushnell died in the hospital."

I can't imagine why some people think the economy is not so great.
• "Nearly 50% of US parents financially supporting adult children, study finds"
• "American dream of owning a home is dead, majority of renters say"
• "HUD: Homelessness Up by 12 Percent"

"Man of Steel: Today on TAP: President Biden's blockage of the proposed purchase of U.S. Steel by Japan's Nippon Steel is unprecedented and magnificently pro-union. You'd think it would be hard for Biden to top his full-on embrace of the UAW and their stunningly successful strike against the Big Three automakers. But Biden has just done it by declaring that he opposes the takeover by Japan's Nippon Steel of U.S. Steel. The U.S. needs to 'maintain strong American steel companies powered by American steel workers,' Biden declared, adding: 'U.S. Steel has been an iconic American steel company for more than a century, and it is vital for it to remain an American steel company that is domestically owned and operated.' This move doubles down on Biden's commitment to rebuild domestic industry and rejection of corporate-driven 'free trade' and his alliance with the labor movement. There is a process for government evaluation of proposed foreign takeovers of American companies on national-security grounds. A review is conducted by an interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS). The final decision whether to allow a deal to proceed is made by the president."

"UNRWA report says Israel coerced some agency employees to falsely admit Hamas links [...] The document says several UNRWA Palestinian staffers had been detained by the Israeli army, and added that the ill-treatment and abuse they said they had experienced included severe physical beatings, waterboarding, and threats of harm to family members. 'Agency staff members have been subject to threats and coercion by the Israeli authorities while in detention, and pressured to make false statements against the Agency, including that the Agency has affiliations with Hamas and that UNRWA staff members took part in the 7 October 2023 atrocities,' the report says. UNRWA declined a Reuters request to see transcripts of its interviews containing allegations of coerced false confessions. In addition to the alleged abuse endured by UNRWA staff members, Palestinian detainees more broadly described allegations of abuse, including beatings, humiliation, threats, dog attacks, sexual violence, and deaths of detainees denied medical treatment, the UNRWA report says."

"Allegations UNRWA collaborated with Hamas are 'flat-out lies': Van Hollen: Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) ripped into Israel's allegations that the U.N.'s Palestinian refugee agency, commonly referred to as UNRWA, is a proxy for the Palestinian militant group Hamas, arguing the accusations are an attempt by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to eliminate the agency. There's no doubt that the claim that Prime Minister Netanyahu and others are making, that somehow UNRWA is a proxy for Hamas, are just flat-out lies,' Van Hollen said Sunday in an interview on CBS News's 'Face the Nation.' 'If you look at the person who's in charge of operations on the ground for UNRWA, it's about a 20-year U.S. Army veteran. You can be sure he's not in cahoots with Hamas.'" Nice to see my Senator saying it out loud.

"AIPAC Talking Points Revealed: Documents show that the powerful lobby is spreading its influence on Capitol Hill by calling for unconditional military aid to Israel and hyping up threats from Iran. [...] The Prospect has obtained documents from the conference that preview the PAC's lobbying blitz on Capitol Hill this week. The documents reveal AIPAC's legislative strategy and the talking points it will use to support an unconditional $14 billion military funding package that has thus far been held up, among other policy changes. They also include numerous positions on aspects of the U.S. response to the war that have not previously been made public, from abolishing the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to opposing recent restrictions imposed by the Biden administration on Israeli settlers. There is no mention of a two-state solution. [...] THOUGH THE PRIMARY MOTIVATION FOR THE CONFERENCE was lobbying, the event also informed members about the PAC's congressional spending plans. AIPAC has pledged to drop over $100 million on campaigns this election cycle to defeat any congressional candidates critical of Israel." Those candidates will, of course, be progressives. AIPAC has been funding right-wing candidates in Democratic primaries as well as supporting Republicans in general elections. "AIPAC is instructing members to make assertions of fact to congressional staff that are not supported by credible evidence other than statements by the Israel Defense Forces, according to experts who reviewed the documents. 'They're going to the Hill to repeat a foreign government's talking points,' said Matt Duss at the Center for International Policy, a former policy adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders."

"Oregon Gov. Kotek to Sign 'Unconscionable' Bill Recriminalizing Drugs: The landmark decriminalization measure passed by state voters in 2020 "now stands as a cautionary tale about the failure to match bold policy reform with competent administration," said one reporter. [...] Oregon voters passed Measure 110, also called the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act, by a 17% margin in 2020, and it took effect the following February. The state was the first and only in the country to take the decriminalization and treatment approach, a shift widely lauded by drug policy groups."

"CNN changed a headline about EV sales from a success story to a failure: On February 25, CNN published a piece on electric vehicles outlining the reasons that sales, which are trending upward and reached record levels in 2023, are not as high as analysts once predicted they'd be. The next day, a new headline appeared above the article that radically altered the main takeaway of the story without any new information added. Why did CNN change 'No, electric vehicle sales aren't dropping' to 'How EVs became such a massive disappointment'?"

The thing about these people is, they have money. They have money and it puts them at the top of a hierarchy that they don't simply want to enjoy, but want the rest of us to revere. They can't stand it that we don't respect their place. "Inside A Secret Society Of Prominent Right-Wing Christian Men Prepping For A 'National Divorce': A secret, men-only right-wing society with members in influential positions around the country is on a crusade: to recruit a Christian government that will form after the right achieves regime change in the United States, potentially via a 'national divorce.'"

"The Lie That's Inflating Your Credit Card Bills: Credit card companies doubled interest rates on the false claim of inflated financial risk — and now to fight new late-fee rules, they're threatening to raise them even higher. Over the last decade, credit card companies have jacked up interest rates to a record high, costing Americans $25 billion each year, even though regulators say lenders' risk of losses has declined. Now, in response to a new ban on excessive credit card late fees, the banking industry is threatening to punish debtors with even higher interest rates as lenders' profits skyrocket. In response to new late-fee caps announced on Tuesday, the banking industry's largest trade group is arguing that consumer penalties and sky-high interest rates account for the risk of people failing to pay their credit card bills. But as a recent federal report showed, credit card companies have nearly doubled the interest rates they charge to consumers — far outpacing the financial risk they're taking on by lending people money. This means that corporate greed, not financial hazards, is behind the soaring credit card fees that cardholders face."

From 2018, "Meet the Hidden Architect Behind America's Racist Economics: Ask people to name the key minds that have shaped America's burst of radical right-wing attacks on working conditions, consumer rights and public services, and they will typically mention figures like free market-champion Milton Friedman, libertarian guru Ayn Rand, and laissez-faire economists Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises. James McGill Buchanan is a name you will rarely hear unless you've taken several classes in economics. And if the Tennessee-born Nobel laureate were alive today, it would suit him just fine that most well-informed journalists, liberal politicians, and even many economics students have little understanding of his work. The reason? Duke historian Nancy MacLean contends that his philosophy is so stark that even young libertarian acolytes are only introduced to it after they have accepted the relatively sunny perspective of Ayn Rand. (Yes, you read that correctly). If Americans really knew what Buchanan thought and promoted, and how destructively his vision is manifesting under their noses, it would dawn on them how close the country is to a transformation most would not even want to imagine, much less accept."

I had no idea this version of "Memo From Turner" existed: "The first version of Memo From Turner recorded by Mick Jagger with Steve Winwood on all instruments and Jim Capaldi on drums. This version has never been officially released, the vocals from this track was used for the final mix produced by Jack Nitzsche, I slowed down the track to go with the clip (From Performance) and also slowed some clips down as well. Enjoy!"


  1. Very cool take on Memo from Turner. But I still love Ry Cooder's slide guitar from the movie.

    1. Oh, yes, Cooder's slide on that track is fantastic, and a brilliant choice by Nitzsche. This version sounds like Traffic. And I love Traffic, so I have to like it, but I still want to hear the version with Cooder.