Welcome to 2024! Our troubles are over. -Jacob
THE BIG NEWS
Small Planet Completes Rotation Around Nearby Star
It's New Years Day, January 1st, another day of life in the late American imperium. With fireworks, cheer, and hope, people across the world celebrated the end of 2023 and the arrival of 2024. It's a year sure to bring tectonic upheavals via wars in Gaza and Ukraine; presidential elections in the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, South Africa, Rwanda, and many other countries; runaway climate change; Donald Trump's designs on an American dictatorship; and the arrival of Shohei Ohtani in Los Angeles. (We all have our priorities.)
Here at AM Quickie HQ, we wish you a happy new year and some much-needed good luck to the human species in 2024. Thanks for following this space. We plan to keep you informed and entertained until Generalissimo-for-Life Eric Trump outlaws newsletters sometime around Q2 2031.
MORE STORIES TO WATCH
Unrelenting Crisis in Gaza
Israel continued its devastating military campaign in Gaza as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised that the war would continue for "many more months." Netanyahu, who must cling to office in order to dodge political corruption charges, said that he would not resign when the war in Gaza ends – whenever that might be. Israelis in Tel Aviv launched more street protests over the weekend, calling for a change in leadership.
Meanwhile, in further signs that the Israeli government has no plans to allow the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, Netanyahu and his ministers have made repeated calls to depopulate Gaza and make decisions about its borders and governance. Israeli air strikes killed at least 35 people in Gaza on Sunday, as the overall Palestinian death toll neared 22,000.
No End in Sight for Russia's War in Ukraine
The bloody war in Ukraine drags on as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin gave dueling New Years speeches to their respective populations. They were exercises in contrasts, to borrow a pundit's cliche. Putin spoke airily about Russian destiny for 4 minutes and didn't mention his illegal invasion of Ukraine; Zelensky made a rousing call for his country (and its supporters) to fight on against a brutal enemy.
"No matter how many missiles the enemy fires, no matter how many shellings and attacks, we will still rise," said Zelensky.
"What united us and unites us is the fate of the Fatherland, a deep understanding of the highest significance of the historical stage through which Russia is passing," said Putin.
The Ukraine-Russia war has become defined by slow, grueling battles in eastern Ukraine, surprising acts of sabotage, assassination, and drone strikes occurring deep inside Russia, and political skirmishes among western donors over continuing to supply the military materiel that Ukraine relies on. In the US, Senate Republicans have blocked the passage of more military aid to Ukraine and Israel until the Biden administration further militarizes the US-Mexico border and limits asylum opportunities.
- US Fights Houthis in Red Sea US military forces fought off an attack by Houthi militants, who had been harassing commercial shipping in the Red Sea. In the skirmish, the sank 3 Houthi boats and killed 10 militants. via Reuters.
- Migrants Are Political Pawns in Governors' Rivalries Texas Governor Greg Abbott has directed his government to send thousands of migrants to traditionally liberal cities like New York, Chicago, and Denver – often with little notice to the cities or the migrants themselves. New York City Mayor Eric Adams has tried to stop the practice, so in response, some buses are dumping migrants in New Jersey. via CNN and Town of Seaucus.
- US Makes Progress in Renewable Energy While global emissions remain frustratingly high, the US has quietly reached a point where 40 percent of electricity is being provided by renewable energy, with wind and solar production in a virtual dead heat with coal. via Ars Technica.
- Raskin Demands Clarence Thomas Recuse Himself Rep. Jamie Raskin stated publicly that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should recuse himself from any deliberations over whether former President Donald Trump can be charged with criminal offenses over the attempted January 6 insurrection. As Raskin noted, Ginni Thomas, the judge's wife, "was involved in the big lie," encouraging Trump administration officials to overturn the election results by any means possible. via USA Today.
That's how many games the Detroit Pistons lost in a row, setting a new NBA record, before finally beating the Toronto Raptors by two points on Saturday. The historic exercise in futility gave way to an extraordinary, practically tearful celebration among Pistons players and coaches. It's been ugly, but the Pistons have a charismatic young star guard in Cade Cunningham, who said about the ignominious streak, "I learned a ton about myself, which is something I want to live with forever. I did a lot of reflecting every night."
ON THE SHOW TODAY
1/1: HAPPY NEW YEAR! It's the 5th and FINAL day of the Majority Report's Best Clips of 2023. First, the MR Crew revisit their interview with Ilan Pappe, professor of history at the University of Exeter and Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies, to discuss the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza. Then, comedian David Feldman of The David Feldman Show (or is it?)
DON'T MISS MR CLIPS
Sam and Emma chat with journalist Roge Karma about how the private-equity industry is draining the American economy of dynamism.
Ghoulish Trump advisor Stephen Miller is telegraphing the horrors we might expect from a second Trump term.
"Frank Sinatra once saved my life. A bunch of guys were beating on me and Frank said, ‘Okay that’s enough."
-- From a classic bit by legendary Vegas comic Shecky Greene, who died at age 97 yesterday. Greene, who said he made up his act on the fly, was a Las Vegas entertainment staple for decades.
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