Israel Declares War After Hamas Attack - The Monday AM Quickie 10/9/23

We had another typhoon. They don't worry me anymore. - Corey

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Israel Declares War, Sends Tanks to Gaza; Iran Denies Role in Hamas Attack; 1,100 Already Dead

The world looks worse this week. On Saturday, hundreds of Hamas gunmen launched a coordinated attack that caught Israeli intelligence totally off-guard, killing at least 700 Israelis and taking more than 130 hostages, both "soldiers and civilians, [and] including women, children and older adults." Foreign citizens are among the dead and missing. One of the first Hamas targets was a trance music festival held just three miles from the Gaza wall; "the gunmen blocked roads, ambushed escaping cars and scoured the area looking for people to kidnap." While Hamas may have hoped taking hostages would complicate Israeli retaliation, hardliners in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's far-right government have been urging him to "hit Hamas brutally and not take the matter of the captives into significant consideration." Many Israeli families already fault the government response and are still looking for their loved ones.

"We don't know anything. The Home Front, the police, the army, no one has any information to give us," the brother of one missing man tells the Guardian. "All this technology, all this stuff we have done to keep ourselves safe, the army, it meant nothing."

So far, Israel has responded to the Hamas attack with a formal declaration of war and a relentless bombing campaign that has already killed 413 people inside Gaza, including dozens of children. The Israeli bombardment has damaged or destroyed more than 1,300 housing units, totally flattened a residential high-rise, and apparently also struck a school. According to the United Nations, tens of thousands more Gazans have become internal refugees since Saturday -- nearly 124,000 in all.

"What I feared most when the escalation began was that my wife was about to give birth. I was worried how we would get to the hospital in light of the continuous bombing," one father-to-be in Gaza tells Al Jazeera. "But I did not at all expect my house will be bombed and destroyed."

The big question now is how far this escalates. Netanyahu has vowed "mighty revenge" and warned Israelis to expect a "long and difficult war." Citing "senior members of Hamas and Hezbollah," which also launched rockets into Israel from Lebanon, the Wall Street Journal reports that Iranian military officers helped plan the Hamas attack, and "gave the green light" for it at a meeting in Beirut last Monday. Hamas and Iranian officials deny this; the U.S. State Department says it can't corroborate the story. Promising "full support" for Israel including additional military aid, President Joe Biden ordered one aircraft carrier and five guided-missile warships to the eastern Mediterranean as a deterrent to further Hezbollah strikes. The administration's regional diplomatic agenda has now been stalled, and one objective of the Hamas attack may have been to derail the Saudi-Israeli deal Biden has been brokering. (The domestic politics aren't pretty, either.) As of last night, gun battles were ongoing, and Israeli tanks were rolling toward Gaza in anticipation of a ground invasion. Netanyahu has warned Palestinians to evacuate Gaza, but of course they have nowhere to run.

2024 Roundup: Anxiety All Around

  • McConnell, Trump Beg GOP Candidates to Pretend They Support Exceptions to Abortion Bans A polling memo from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's party campaign machine warns that "any candidate who does not support exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother will be vulnerable." via the Washington Post.
  • Democratic Fundraisers Fret About Biden's Show of Support for Labor One donor wrangler "summarized the argument heard from some [crybaby] business executives as 'I don't really love Trump. On the other hand, how bad could it be? He gave me a bunch of money and he didn't f*ck with me the way Biden is.'" via NBC News.
  • RFK Jr. Expected to Abandon Democratic Nomination Bid Today The Trump campaign will start dropping opposition research on Kennedy, who is expected to announce he'll be running as an independent, because internal polling shows the anti-vax crank may pull more votes from Trump than Biden. via Semafor and NBC News.
  • Dem Senate Candidate, Barbara Lee, Calls for $50 Federal Minimum Hourly Wage Rep. Lee's rivals, fellow California Reps. Adam Schiff and Katie Porter, said at a Sunday candidate forum that the federal minimum wage should be $25 and $20, respectively. via the Los Angeles Times.

WTF Gavin?! Gov. Newsom Vetoes More Dem Bills

California Democratic Gov. and someday-wannabe presidential candidate Gavin Newsom went on a veto spree against his own party's legislative agenda over the weekend. He vetoed a bill that would have capped insulin prices at $35, saying the state plans to make its own brand of the diabetes drug. But the bill's sponsor, San Francisco state Sen. Scott Wiener, says Newsom's decision will force diabetic Californians "to wait months or years for relief from the skyrocketing costs of medical care when they could have had it immediately." He vetoed a bill to give free condoms to high schoolers, saying it was too expensive. He vetoed a bill to decriminalize natural psychedelics, prompting "overwhelming sadness and frustration" among military veterans using them to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. And he vetoed an historic bill banning caste discrimination, calling it "unnecessary," which will certainly come as news to the Dalit rights activists supporting the bill who staged a hunger strike at the state Capitol. What's going on here? Newsom's ex, the Trump-betrothed Kimberly Guilfoyle, says "he's fallen prey to the left, the radical left." Maybe he's trying to prove her wrong?


  • Afghanistan Quakes Kill More Than 2,400 "Almost 36 hours after the first earthquake hit Herat province, there have been no planes of aid flying in, no specialists." via the Associated Press.
  • Far Right Makes Gains in German State Elections "The increased performance of the AfD can only worry every democrat in this country," says Greens co-leader Ricarda Lang. via Politico and the New York Times.
  • 7 Suspected Assassins of Ecuadorian Anti-Corruption Candidate Found Dead in Prison "Days earlier, the men had asked the attorney general's office and Ecuador's prison agency to be moved to a safer prison and were denied." via the Washington Post.
  • Mack Trucks Workers Go on Strike This Morning And on Friday, the United Auto Workers said it would hold off on expanding its nationwide strike, citing a "major breakthrough" in negotiations. via the AP and the Post.


60 percent

That's how many American adults in a new poll approve of the removal of California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker. A further 71 percent say they want the new speaker to "try to work with Democrats," and 51 percent want them to "stand up to the 'MAGA' movement."


10/9: Sam is out today, but in honor of Indigenous People's Day he spoke with Peter D'Errico, professor emeritus of legal studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst,  about his recent book Federal Anti-Indian Law: The Legal Entrapment of Indigenous Peoples.


Is AMLO a Leftist Success Story?

Journalist Edwin F. Ackerman joins Emma to discuss his recent article on Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Fox Host Wants Civil War Because 'Elections Don't Work'

Gutfeld! is taking chicken-hawkery to new heights.


"Let me be clear: I am extremely proud of this."

-- Former Trump State Department official Michael Benz, 39, in a statement published after NBC News reported he ran a pseudonymous online account promoting white nationalism and antisemitism before joining the government.

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