I seem to have run out of words, just in time for my return to the sensory deprivation tank. Jacob's back Monday! - Corey
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THE BIG NEWS
Gaza Deaths Exceed 17,000; U.N. Leader Warns of Impending 'Humanitarian Catastrophe'
Hanukkah this year brings "complicated emotions" to many who celebrate, the New York Times reports in a story about a candle-light vigil in Manhattan last night led by Jews calling for a cease-fire as Israel's invasion of Gaza fills morgues and hospitals. Upstate in Albany, a man fired a shotgun twice outside a synagogue, "then said 'Free Palestine' as he was taken into custody." The Los Angeles Times reports that some American Jews who usually publicly display menorahs are not doing so this year for fear of harassment.
While presidential candidates promote banning TikTok on the spurious basis that it makes people "pro-Hamas," members of Congress are haranguing Ivy League university presidents over vague claims of antisemitism at student anti-war protests. Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, meanwhile, is demanding "insubordination" investigations into more than 500 federal employees who signed an open letter last month urging President Joe Biden to call for a cease-fire in the Israel-Gaza war. In this climate, it's understandable why State Department staffers choose to remain anonymous when they tell HuffPost that about their growing concern that far-right Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could drag the U.S. into a wider regional war. One official "voiced frustration with recent news articles suggesting the U.S. is encouraging Israeli caution and similar public statements, arguing: 'It just feels like patting ourselves on the back while it increasingly seems like the IDF are waging a campaign of ethnic cleansing.'"
A new Amnesty International report documents Israel's use of U.S.-made Joint Direct Attack Munitions "in two illegal strikes on homes full of families, killing 43 civilians: 19 children, 14 women and 10 men." Experts tell the Washington Post that it will cost tens of millions of dollars and take many years to clear Gaza of unexploded ordinance when the fighting finally stops and that "the contamination will be unbelievable, like something from World War II." But it could be some time before the fighting does stop. Politico reports that talks to free the more than 130 hostages still held by Hamas "have hit a stalemate in recent days," while NBC News reports that Israel may flood the tunnel network under Gaza, despite the likely presence of hostages there and the risk of contaminating the aquifer, rendering Gaza "unviable" for future habitation. Amid these horrors, it's surreal to see politicians obsessed with banning TikTok and cracking down on campus protest – as though they can force their children to feel good about what they've made of this world.
MORE STORIES TO WATCH
Texas AG Ken Paxton Vows to Go After Doctors Despite Court-Approved Abortion Ban Exemption
In one of the first cases where a pregnant person has sought court approval for an abortion since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, a Texas judge granted an emergency request to Kate Cox, a 31-year-old mother of two who learned last week that her 20-month-old fetus had a genetic condition that will doom it to die, and that if she doesn't abort, she may lose the ability to have another child. Despite all this, Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton has is threatening doctors with felony prosecutions if the abortion takes place, the Washington Post reports:
"In a letter addressed to the hospitals involved with Cox's care, Paxton said that Cox's doctor did not meet 'all of the elements necessary to fall within an exception to Texas' abortion laws' and that the judge was 'not medically qualified to make this determination.'
Grand Jury Charges Hunter Biden with Tax Evasion
Charges filed yesterday in California, which could put President Joe Biden's son Hunter in prison for 17 years, mark the culmination of a five-year investigation by Justice Department special counsel David Weiss, which began when he was the Trump-appointed U.S. attorney for Delaware, the New York Times reports. Weiss claims Hunter Biden schemed to dodge $1.4 million in taxes over four years.
"'Between 2016 and Oct. 15, 2020, the defendant spent this money on drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature, in short, everything but his taxes,' he added.
In his defense, the younger Biden hopes to "subpoena Trump, former Attorney General William Barr and other Trump administration officials." House Republicans will vote next week to authorize an impeachment inquiry against President Biden, despite a glaring lack of evidence showing he benefited from his son's business. Watch how North Dakota GOP Sen. Kevin Cramer votes on that: his own troubled middle-aged son was just charged with manslaughter after seizing the wheel of an SUV, plowing it through a hospital door, then speeding over 100 mph with two flat tires before slamming head-on into a sheriff's deputy's squad car, killing him.
- Trump Demands Freeze in Jan. 6 Case; If Appeals Judges and Supreme Court Don't Act Fast, Trial Could Be Delayed Past Election Meanwhile in Georgia, emails from Fulton County prosecutors in the racketeering case show they expect to seek jail time for wannabe dictator Trump and other top conspirators. via the New York Times and the Washington Post.
- Las Vegas University Shooter Was a Fan of Alex Jones, Dave Rubin and Donald Trump Anthony Polito, 67, a shut-in nicknamed "mafia dude" by his neighbors, killed three people at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus with a legally purchased 9-millimeter pistol. via the Los Angeles Times.
- U.N. Security Council to Hold Emergency Meeting Today Over Venezuela's Land-Grab in Guyana Venezuela's government now accuses Guyana of giving "the U.S. military's Southern Command a green light to enter Essequibo," the resource-rich territory President Nicolas Maduro wants to annex. via the Associated Press and the Washington Post.
- Price-Gouging Pharma Corporations May Lose Drug Patents Under Biden Plan "The White House also intends to focus more closely on private equity firms that purchase hospitals and health systems, then often whittle them down and sell quickly for a profit." via the AP.
That's how much former GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's campaign committees spent, on average, every month at the luxury seaside Terranea Resort on California's Palos Verdes Peninsula, the Los Angeles Times report. The more than $1 million McCarthy dropped on hotels, private air travel and eateries since 2012 is "more than double the combined total spent by the leadership PACs" of other Senate and House leaders, and shows how the Federal Election Commission has abdicated its authority.
ON THE SHOW TODAY
12/8: It's Casual Friday! Sam and Emma speak with Alex Pareene, contributing editor at the New Republic, proprietor of the AP newsletter on SubStack, and co-host of the Politics of Everything podcast, to round up the week in news. Then, they're joined by Francesca Fiorentini, host of the Bitchuation Room podcast!
DON'T MISS MR CLIPS
"Several polls show he would be forced to step down if elections were held now."
The evidence? It includes women.
"People are standing up like never before. There are a lot of young workers in the plant now, and this generation wants respect. They're not OK with mistreatment by management. They see what's happening at Starbucks and Amazon. They know that standing up to join the union is how you win fair treatment, fair pay and a better life."
-- Steve Cochran, a Volkswagen worker in Chattanooga, Tennessee, speaking to the Guardian about his efforts to organize the plant for the United Auto Workers. The plant, whose workers narrowly rejected past UAW campaigns, just passed a card check for a union election on the heels of UAW's successful strike against the Big Three U.S. carmakers.
Quickie Discount Code Corner
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