UN Human Rights Official Steps Down, Warning of 'Genocide' - The Wednesday AM Quickie 11/1/23

Congratulations to Oregon Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer on the occasion of his forthcoming retirement. He's been in Congress since 1996, when I was just starting high school, and was among the first members of Congress I covered as a reporter. - Corey

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IDF Defends Bombing of Gaza Refugee Camp

  • Dozens of Civilians Killed, Hundreds Injured in Airstrike Israel Boasts Killed One Hamas Commander "Children were carrying other injured children and running, with grey dust filling the air. Bodies were hanging on the rubble... Some were bleeding and others were burnt," says an eyewitness to the Israeli airstrike targeting the crowded Jabalya refugee camp, Gaza's largest. via CNN, the Los Angeles Times and NBC News.
  • State Department Declines Comment on Report U.S. Troops May Occupy Gaza as Part of Multinational Force "Several dozen" U.S. Special Operations commandos are already in Israel in non-combatant roles to help "identify hostages, including American hostages." via Bloomberg News, the New York Times and the LA Times.
  • U.N. Human Rights Official Resigns, Saying 'Once Again We Are Seeing a Genocide Unfolding Before Our Eyes' "Criticism of Israel's human rights violations is not antisemitic, any more than criticism of Saudi violations is Islamophobic, criticism of Myanmar violations is anti-Buddhist, or criticism of Indian violations is anti-Hindu," former high-ranking United Nations human rights official Craig Mokhiber wrote in his resignation letter, which called out U.S. and European complicity. via the Guardian and the NY Times.
  • Head of Israel's Holocaust Museum Faults U.N. Ambassador for Wearing Yellow Star Patch to Security Council Session Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan "did not immediately respond" to criticism of his conduct posted yesterday by Dani Dayan, chairman of Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem. via the NY Times.
  • Protesters Interrupt Antony Blinken at Senate Hearing on Military Aid to Israel, Ukraine Though he still rejects calls for a "cease-fire," Secretary of State now says "humanitarian pauses must be considered" to ensure "the flow of food, water, medicine, fuel and other essential humanitarian aid into Gaza." via BBC News and Politico.
  • Cornell University Junior Charged Over Online Threats to Kill Jewish Students Meanwhile, the "Council on American-Islamic Relations said that it received 774 requests for help and reports of bias incidents from Muslims across the U.S. from Oct. 7 to Oct. 24, a 182% jump from any given 16-day stretch last year." via Politico and NBC News.
  • Swing-State Muslim Voters Bail on Biden And New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman's calls for peace have inspired Israel hawks to back a primary challenger. via NBC News and the NY Times.
  • Patience With Netanyahu Wearing Thin Among the Israeli Public and His Own War Cabinet "While it is unlikely Netanyahu would ever step down willingly – on Monday, he dismissed a question about whether he would resign – and a general election is still three years away, it is possible a no-confidence vote from inside his government could oust him, paving the way for a more centrist coalition." via the Guardian, NBC News and Al Jazeera.

Gun Purchases Spike in Wake of Maine Massacre

Maine gun shop owners tell the New York Times sales have increased up to 80 percent following the mass shooting in Lewiston. This consumerist panic response could well prove to be the only concrete action that will be taken in the state following the year's deadliest mass shooting so far. Democratic Gov. Janet Mills can introduce gun control legislation at any time, but has "stopped short of endorsing any specific policy measure, like a ban on assault weapons. Instead, [she has] called for 'a serious and robust conversation about gun violence and public safety.'" In case you missed it, that's blah-blah-bullsh*t. Rep. Jared Golden remains the only Maine politician to have changed his mind about gun laws since the shooting. "Action is needed," the term-limited Mills says. So do something!

Trump and Family Increasingly Angry, Paranoid

Donald Jr., Eric, and daddy's favorite, Ivanka Trump – once considered "heir apparent" to the family empire, but now hiding from public view in a mansion on a private island near Miami – will all take the witness stand in the Trump Organization's New York civil fraud trial in the week ahead. Junior appears today, Eric tomorrow and Ivanka next Wednesday, per the Washington Post; she is not a co-defendant, as her two brothers are, but the trial could to put a dent in the fortunes of all three. A Trumpworld source claims "the family has grown [even] more conspiratorial and now is leery of 'enemies around every corner.'" Yesterday, the elder Trump filed a lawsuit in Michigan seeking to block an effort to keep him off the 2024 presidential ballot on the grounds that he violated the Constitution's 14th Amendment by fomenting insurrection. In a related case in Colorado, a law professor expert witness noted that Trump could and should have ordered the National Guard and other agencies to defend the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 – but of course he failed to do so, since it would've complicated his coup attempt. At least one of the 14th Amendment cases is likely to rise to the Supreme Court, which is already considering a couple of other Trump-related cases. Finally, the Guardian reports that Trump reneged on a promise to cover the legal bills of his dangerously tipsy adviser, Rudy Giuliani, who owes his estranged counsel $1.4 million. It's enough to drive a man to drink.


  • House May Vote on George Santos Explusion as Soon as Today The expulsion resolution is not expected to pass due to tepid Republican support, but the fabulist, formerly fabulous, and now criminally indicted New York Rep. says that his removal would be "a clear indication that this country has now gone down the drain." via the Washington Post.
  • King Charles Offers No Apologies for Colonial Atrocities on Visit to Kenya "What is most painful is that years after the brutalities and the stealing of our land, British companies are still in possession of our ancestral homes, earning millions from their comfortable headquarters in the U.K., while our people remain squatters," says 74-year-old Joel Kimutai Kimetto, whose family was kicked out of their home by the British. via the Associated Press and the Post.
  • Democratic Arizona Attorney General Subpoenas Two Republican County Officials Who Refused to Certify 2022 Election Results "I don't feel like I broke a law," says Cochise County supervisor Peggy Judd, though she previously acknowledged she "might go to jail" for sabotaging the election. via the AP and Votebeat.
  • FDA Panel Green-Lights Groundbreaking Gene Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease If approved, the new therapy will be the first medicine to use the CRISPR gene-editing technique, but the cure will be arduous, requiring long hospital stays and chemotherapy. via the New York Times.


51 percent

That's roughly how many more kids are being home-schooled today as compared to six years ago, according to a Washington Post analysis of enrollment figures from 7,000 school districts in 32 states and the District of Columbia. "Public school enrollment dropped 4 percent in those states over the same period," the Post says, "a decline partly attributable to home schooling."


11/1: It's Hump Day! Sam and Emma speak with author and labor organizer Jane McAlevey about the UAW's recent progress in obtaining tentative agreements with the Big Three automakers, as well as the state of U.S. labor organizing writ large.


Senate Might Sink New GOP Leader's First Bill

Hateful Theocrat Mike Johnson is no stranger to failure.

Biden's NLRB Delivers Another Huge Win for Workers

No more impunity for exploitative franchisees and contractors.


"I've dealt with these politicians many times. I've helped them with their lifts. [Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis] is wearing lifts; there's no doubt."

-- Bespoke bootmaker Zephan Parker of Houston, speaking to Politico about his experience making height-increasing cowboy boots for Texas politicians, and his expert opinion that the supposedly 5'11" Republican presidential candidate from Florida is attempting to appear taller by padding his boots. The DeSantis campaign vehemently denies he does this, but at least two other top footwear experts concur with Parker's assessment.

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