Putin Grovels as Xi Visits Moscow - The Wednesday AM Quickie 3/22/23

According to the Los Angeles Times, the recently "emancipated" Nancy Pelosi has ice cream for breakfast and follows it up with a hot dog for lunch. Bon appetit! - Corey

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World Tour: Don't F*ck Around with French Workers

Let's see what else is going on while we wait to see Donald Trump's mugshot.

  • Journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi has one regret: "I only had two shoes." The Iraqi "national hero," who gained fame as well as a prison sentence for throwing his shoes at George W. Bush during a 2008 press conference, tells CBS News that while he was detained and tortured, "there was a rumor that I had apologized. I told the investigator I did not apologize, and if time was rewound I would do it all over again. Even knowing what I would go through, still I would stand up and throw my shoes at him."
  • Aspiring Tsar Vladimir Putin is "a bit envious" of China's economic success, he said at a summit in Moscow with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Russia is also, as the Associated Press reports, increasingly dependent on China as a result of U.S. and European sanctions enacted in response to the Ukraine invasion. Those sanctions could expand to include certain Chinese companies suspected of aiding the Russian war effort, the Washington Post reports. In a counterpoint to Xi's chummy showing with Putin, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited Kyiv, to "show solidarity and unwavering support."
  • 30 million people in India have been cut off from the internet by a draconian censorship policy targeting the entire state of Punjab. As the Guardian reports, the shutdown "was imposed to stop the spread of fake news [about a police manhunt] but it has also paralysed shops, businesses, colleges and digital payments for everyone in the state."
  • Saudi Arabia released a U.S. dual citizen from prison after 16 months, the Washington Post reports. Saad Almadi of Florida was arrested at the airport in Riyadh and sentenced to 19 years in prison for critical Tweets about the Saudi government.
  • An estimated 43,000 Somalis, half of them children under 5 years old, have died in the country's ongoing drought, according to a new United Nations report. Despite the horrifying statistics the UN has held off on making a formal famine declaration. "Many of the traditional donors have washed their hands and focused on Ukraine," a UN official in Somalia said recently.
  • The Biden administration wants Canada to take the lead on a multinational "security intervention" to Haiti, where, per the Guardian, the UN has counted 531 killings, 300 injuries and 277 kidnappings so far this year by the gangs that rule the streets.
  • British police are racist, misogynist, homophobic bullies who are bad at their jobs, according to a 363-page independent review. The Met Police claim to welcome the report, calling it "a catalyst for police reform."
  • "It doesn't bother me because it's for a good cause": so says a French small business owner whose establishment is faring poorly amid ongoing strikes over the government's plan to raise the retirement age. Garbage has piled up in the streets of Paris and workers are continuing to occupy oil terminals, leading to fears of fuel shortages, Le Monde reports.

Trumpdates: Will Today Be the Day That Charges Drop?

A Manhattan grand jury reconvenes today to discuss the possible indictment of Donald Trump over hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, an arrangement one of Trump's current lawyers, Joe Tacopina, called "illegal" back in 2018. Very few people have taken up Trump's call to protest, with longtime allies like Alex Jones expressing their fear of getting arrested; New York Republicans claim the dismal turnout at a Monday rally outside Manhattan Criminal Court was by design as the event was supposed to be "low key." Indicted or not, Trump is planning a Saturday rally in Waco, Texas, during what just so happens to be the 30th anniversary of the siege of the Branch Davidian compound there, which USA Today reports "clearly looks like a signal to far-right and anti-government extremists."

65,000 School Workers Strike Over Poverty Wages in LA

Classes were canceled yesterday in the second-largest school district in the U.S., the Los Angeles Unified School District, as teachers joined low-wage teachers' assistants, bus drivers, custodians and cafeteria workers in a three-day solidarity strike. The union leading the strike, SEIU Local 99, is seeking a 30 percent pay increase for workers, many of whom make only $20,000 a year in one of the country's most expensive metro areas. "People with some of the most important responsibilities in our schools should not have to live in poverty," Democratic Rep. (and Senate candidate) Adam Schiff told the LA Times. "They deserve to work in dignity and live in dignity." Workers are still reportedly offering child supervision and meal pickup to local families during the strike.


  • Four Red States Are Copying Florida's Voter Suppression Squad Republican bills in Texas, Missouri, Ohio and Arkansas "would create new police agencies to investigate voter fraud, an exceedingly rare crime." via Bloomberg News.
  • Amazon Labor Union Organizers Are Frustrated with Chris Smalls ALU president "Smalls called the revolt by his former allies an attempted coup and emphasized that many of the dissidents are white while the union leadership is largely Black, as are many workers." via the New York Times.
  • Video Shows Deputy Laughing as Colleagues Kill Man in Hospital Seven Henrico County, Virginia sheriff's deputies have been charged with murdering 28-year-old Irvo Otieno, by crushing him while he was handcuffed and enduring a mental health crisis. via the Wsahington Post.
  • California Man Wins $750,000 Settlement After Cops Painted a Swastika on His Car Kiley Swaine, who is part Jewish, was wrongfully arrested by Torrance police in 2020; criminal cases against the officers who trashed his car are ongoing. via the Post.


$400 million

That's how much the finance industry spent in 2017 and 2018 lobbying members of Congress to weaken banking regulations, contributing to the collapse this month of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, according to the Associated Press.


3/22: Sam and Emma host Meg O'Connor, senior reporter with The Appeal, to discuss her recent piece "POLICE KILLED HIS SON. PROSECUTORS CHARGED THE TEEN’S FRIENDS WITH HIS MURDER." Then, they're joined by Tricia Brooks, research professor at the Georgetown University School of Public Policy, to discuss the impending unwinding of Medicaid continuous enrollment benefits.


Tennessee Homophobic Anti-Trans Legislation Gains Support of Literal Nazis

Definitely not-gay-curious Lt. Gov. Randy McNally is doing well, in related news.

Trump's Possible Arrest Leads to Unhinged 'Truth' Meltdown



"I wish I had taken my cellphone and just live streamed myself yelling at the top of my lungs. More people would have been alive if I had done that."

-- Dr. Daniel Wozniczka, a former employee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Epidemic Intelligence Service, speaking to the New York Times about a period early in the coronavirus pandemic when the Trump administration was muzzling the agency's press briefings and suppressing its reports.

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