Taliban Cashes in on Destroyed Buddha Statues - The Friday AM Quickie 6/16/23

According to Miami New Times, Donald Trump skipped out immediately after promising "food for everyone" at a Cuban restaurant he used for a photo op following his arraignment this week. Who else saw that coming? - Corey

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World Tour: Beyoncé Is Innocent!

U.S. Secretary of State is in Beijing today trying to smooth things over with China. Here's what else is going on:

  • Sunk Refugee Boat Carried 40-100 Children Below Deck 78 people are confirmed dead in the disaster off the Greek coast, but the boat carried 750 migrants, and only 100 people, all adult men, were rescued. via the Associated Press and BBC News.
  • Powerful Cyclone Brings Flooding to India, Pakistan Cyclone Biparjoy made landfall in Gujarat yesterday; some 173,000 people in both countries have evacuated. via the New York Times.
  • Drought Hampers Vietnam's Clean Energy Transition Cities are enduring prolonged blackouts as severe drought shut down two out of the country's three largest hydroelectric reservoirs. via the AP.
  • Russian Landmines Slow Ukrainian Advance U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Mark Milley told NATO defense ministers in Brussels yesterday that Ukraine's counteroffensive "will likely take a considerable amount of time at a high cost." via the Times.
  • Sudanese Governor Kidnapped and Killed After Warning of 'Genocide' Sudan's military is blaming the rival RSF for the murder of West Darfur state governor Khamis Abakar, hours after he gave a TV interview warning that "civilians are being killed randomly and in large numbers." via Al Jazeera.
  • Netanyahu Faces Setbacks with Knesset Votes on Judicial Coup Plan "The threat to democracy has not been removed," opposition leader and former prime minister Yair Lapid warned. via the Guardian.
  • Taliban Now Sells Tickets to Bamian Buddha Statues It Destroyed The word "terrorist" has been crossed out from a plaque blaming the "terrorist Taliban group" for destroying the massive Buddhist icons. via the Washington Post.
  • Swedish Economist Blames Beyoncé for Inflation Some experts disagree with Danske Bank economist Michael Grahn, who says the American singer "is the prime suspect" behind Sweden's May inflation figures, on account of higher hotel rates around her world tour kickoff in Stockholm. via NBC News.

Supreme Court Upholds Tribal Sovereignty

In a 7-2 decision yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld a provision of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act that gives preference to Native Americans seeking to adopt or foster Native American children. The law was challenged by a white evangelical Christian couple from Texas who sought to adopt a Navajo boy over the objections of tribal authorities, and defended by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American to serve as a Cabinet secretary. Per NBC News:

The ruling will come as a major relief to tribes, who were concerned that the court would weaken or entirely strike down a law that plays an important role in maintaining tribal identity.
"By ruling on the side of children's health and safety, the U.S. constitution, and centuries of precedent, the justices have landed on the right side of history," the leaders of four tribes involved in the case, Cherokee Nation, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Oneida Nation, and Quinault Indian Nation, said in a joint statement. Another tribe, Navajo Nation, also defended the law.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented, predictably.

Anti-Trans Front Group Pushes Junk Science

A reputable-sounding organization called the American College of Pediatricians, which has lobbied against trans care and abortion rights, is actually a right-wing front allied with religious groups and "viewed with skepticism by the medical establishment," the Washington Post reports. The group left a cache of 10,000 confidential records exposed on a publicly accessible Google Drive, allowing reporters to peer at its inner workings. Those documents reveal how the group used its medical veneer to push harmful pseudoscience -- such as writing to 14,800 public school superintendents to urge that they push students with "unwanted homosexual attractions" into a discredited conversion therapy program. The documents also show that the "college" opens and closes its meetings with prayer, despite claiming not to be a religious organization. In contrast to the real professional group, the 67,000-member American Academy of Pediatrics, the so-called college has a paltry 700 members, only 60 percent of whom claim to hold medical degrees. The more you know!


  • West Coast Dockworkers Reach Deal with Port Owners President Joe Biden credited Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su with keeping the unions and employers talking "after a long and sometimes acrimonious negotiation." via Reuters.
  • Grand Jury Indicts Man Who Choked Jordan Neely to Death on New York Subway Specific charges against Daniel Penny will be unveiled on June 28. via the Associated Press.
  • Six White Mississippi Cops Tortured Two Black Men Rankin County Sheriff's Office deputies beat, Tased, waterboarded, racially abused and sexually assaulted Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker in January, according to a lawsuit; they also shot Jenkins in the mouth. via the Post.
  • North Carolina Democrat-Turned-Republican Changes Story on Abortion Rep. Tricia Cotham, who switched parties this year, once spoke openly about a past abortion and in defense of abortion rights, but not anymore. via HuffPost.
  • Air National Guard Leaker Indicted on New Charges Airman Jack Teixeira, 21, faces up to 60 years in prison for sharing military secrets in a racist gamer chatroom. via the New York Times.
  • Trump Blew Off Lawyer's Advice to Make a Deal with DOJ Trump paid attorney Christopher Kise $3 million up front to join his legal team, then rejected his advice on avoiding a felony indictment for stealing classified documents -- apparently because he really wanted to keep them. via the Post.



That's how much lawyers for former billionaire Elizabeth Holmes say she cannot afford to pay as monthly restitution to victims of her scam medical startup, Theranos. Holmes' 11-year prison sentence began last month.


6/16: It's a special All Calls Casual Friday! Call into the show at 646-257-3920! Sam and Emma also talk to Astra Taylor, co-founder of the Debt Collective, about what's next in the fight to maintain student debt forgiveness as the Supreme Court gears up to rule on President's Biden's plan.


Millionaire BUSTED Union-Busting

Insider's editor-in-chief does not cut an inspiring figure here.

Fox News Calls Biden a Wannabe Dictator Who Had Trump Arrested

Unfortunate placement of the MR logo next to that Fox News chyron!


"I go there and it's seven in the morning, which means my motor skills are not at their best. I put on these gloves, and they're like, 'Here's a groundhog,' I'm like, 'What the f*ck?' ... It was idiocy. Why would you want an elected official to hold a groundhog? I don't know anything about holding groundhogs. So the whole thing is just insane. There's an original sin here. ... And do you squeeze it really tight? I mean, what do you do? So I'm like, talk about a lack of advance work."

-- Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaking to New York Magazine about the defining moment of his political career: his 2014 Groundhog Day visit to the Staten Island Zoo, where he dropped one of the poor creatures, which later died.

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