Hostage Talks Could Be Key to Avoiding Wider War - The Monday AM Quickie 10/23/23

The Bluesky invites I offered last week went faster than I expected! If you're among the dozen-odd people who wrote me asking for one and to whom I haven't yet responded, sit tight and I'll send you a code when I get one. And if I sent you a code and you haven't yet used it, please do soon or I'll give it to someone else. - Corey

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Publicly, Israeli Leaders Say Gaza War 'May Take a Month'; Privately, They Warn It Could Last 10 Years

  • U.S. Asks Israel to Delay Gaza Ground Invasion Questions President Joe Biden has posed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu include: "What if there is more Hamas resistance to a ground attack than you anticipate, and your forces get bogged down? What about humanitarian aid? How will you protect civilians? What about the hundreds of Israelis and foreigners being held hostage? What if the West Bank becomes a war zone? If Hezbollah attacks from the north? If Iran gets directly involved? ... [And ultimately] what will you do with Gaza?" via the New York Times and the Washington Post.
  • Israel Bombs West Bank, Trades Fire with Hezbollah Meanwhile, Syria claimed "Israel had struck the Damascus and Aleppo international airports in early-morning attacks, damaging runways." via the Post, the Associated Press, and BBC News.
  • Diplomats Hope to Build on Hamas Hostage Release to Avoid Wider War, Open Aid to Gaza "Many relatives of those held in Gaza remain at a sit-in outside the Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv, holding signs begging officials to negotiate." via NBC News and the Guardian.
  • 14 More Aid Trucks Arrive in Gaza, But Still Without Fuel for Hospitals "At least 130 premature babies are at 'grave risk' across six neonatal units, aid workers said." via the AP, BBC News, and the Post.
  • Hamas Claims No Evidence Remains of Whatever Struck Gaza City Hospital Courtyard "Without examining the munition that hit the parking lot, it may be impossible to draw a definitive conclusion about who fired it." via the Times, the AP, Forensic Architecture and Channel 4 News.
  • Israel's Dissent Crackdown Targets 'Not Only Criticism, But Also Just Compassion' Meanwhile in the U.S., "Republican presidential candidates have called to revoke student visas and deport foreign nationals who express support for Palestinians or criticize Israel's military response — moves that would amount to violations of their First Amendment rights." via the Guardian and the Post.
  • Unsanctioned Lobbying Campaign Ramps Up on Capitol Hill as More Democrats Call for Cease-Fire Reps. Barbara Lee, Pramila Jayapal, Maxwell Frost and Greg Casar have added their names Missouri Rep. Cori Bush's Ceasefire Now Resolution. via Politico and the Intercept.
  • Police Find No Evidence of Antisemitic Motives in Fatal Stabbing of Detroit Synagogue Leader Samantha Woll, 40, was active in Democratic politics, "led work on Black Jewish outreach initiatives and was involved in organizing gatherings between Jews and Muslims." via the Times and the AP.

New Global Corporate Tax Has Glaring Loopholes

An "ambitious" deal signed two years ago by more than 140 countries to establish a global minimum corporate tax "has been weakened by loopholes and will raise only a fraction of the revenue that was envisioned," the Associated Press reports. The EU Tax Observatory, a watchdog group backed by the European Union, says in a new report that despite the yet-to-be-finalized 2021 tax agreement, multinational corporations are still shifting more than a third of the profits they earn overseas -- $1 trillion worth -- to tax havens, with American companies accounting for about 40 percent of that tax avoidance. Meanwhile, in a story that also cites the Observatory, the Guardian reports that billionaires may be crossing the line into outright tax evasion by using shell companies to dodge income taxes; the group says G20 leaders should open talks on a global minimum tax on wealth, as opposed to income. Bring it!

Ex-Members of U.S. Maoist Group Agree: It's a Cult

The Daily Beast interviewed former members of the Red Guards, "a multi-city [American] Maoist [wrecker] group that made headlines in 2020 for its aggressive disruptions of other leftist organizations and candidates," including placing a bloody pig's head outside a Democratic Socialists of America event, and physically intimidating or even attacking members of other groups. And while it may not come as a surprise, they describe the Red Guards as a coercive cult that "dictated where members could work, whom they could date, where they could live, and how they could behave, while meting out draconian punishments on members who disobeyed." Those punishments reportedly included beatings. The group's chairman, Jared Roark, has "a small cross inked on his forehead, reminiscent of Charles Manson"; Roark completed a two-year prison sentence this year on gun charges stemming from an incident in which he pistol-whipped a man. In light of Roark's release, the former members want to warn potential recruits against getting involved with the Red Guards, noting that some traumatized former leaders in the group have "just vanished" due to fear. In case it wasn't clear who the real pigs are...


  • House GOP Hopes to Vote on New Speaker Candidates Tomorrow "Out of the nine Republicans running, only two voted to certify the results of the 2020 election." via the Washington Post and NBC News.
  • Australian Billionaire Given Nuclear Secrets By Trump Says Donald Runs His Business 'Like the Mafia' Cardboard box tycoon Anthony Pratt allegedly "spent $1 million for tickets to a Mar-a-Lago New Year's Eve gala — voluntarily paying the club a huge markup for tickets that actually cost $50,000 or less." via the New York Times.
  • Center-Left Argentinian Presidential Candidate Takes Early Lead Over 'Anarcho-Capitalist' Tantric Sex Coach with 5 Cloned Dogs Far-right freakshow Javier Milei performed worse than polling predicted in voting yesterday; he will face economy minister Sergio Massa four weeks from now. via the Times, the Guardian, and the Associated Press.
  • After Walking Away, Hollywood Studios Will Return to Bargaining Table with Striking Actors Tomorrow "The resumption of talks follows a meeting between SAG-AFTRA leaders and A-list actors including George Clooney" who "sought to find a way to resolve the strike." via the Los Angeles Times.


1 in 4

That's how many American neighborhoods are "pharmacy deserts," the Washington Post reports, and the problem is getting worse as drugstore chains close thousands of stores due to declining profits.


10/23: Happy Monday! Sam and Emma speak 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.


You'll Never Guess Who This Bat-Crap MAGA Woman Believes Is Going to Save Trump

Bizarre and yet predictable how quickly the American right went from warning about imminent martial law to rooting for it.

Workers of the World Are Standing With the UAW

Emma speaks with Jeff Schuhrke, assistant professor in labor studies at SUNY Empire State University.


"'If he'd have touched me like that, I'd have broke his neck like a piece of balsa wood.'"

-- Former Ohio State University wrestling coach-turned-Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, responding to a wrestler's complaint that team doctor Richard Strauss had groped him, as quoted by another former wrestler. A lengthy Washington Post profile of Jordan makes clear that he's almost certainly lying when he claims to have had no knowledge of Strauss's serial sexual abuse of students during his overlapping tenure at the university. Jordan abandoned his bid for House Speaker on Friday after losing three internal GOP votes.

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