U.S. Calls for Gaza Cease-Fire at U.N. Today - The Friday AM Quickie 3/22/24

I'm pleased to report that I'm going on vacation for two weeks. Jacob will have you covered until I get back. Enjoy! - Corey

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32,000 Dead Later, the Biden Administration Finally Came Up with a Cease-Fire Resolution It Can Support

After vetoing three separate United Nations Security Council resolutions calling for a cease-fire in Israel's bloody purge of Palestinians from Gaza – the most recent of which had the approval of 13 out of 15 member countries – the U.S. will introduce a cease-fire resolution of its own this morning. According to the New York Times, the draft resolution calls for "an immediate and sustained cease-fire to protect civilians on all sides, allow for the delivery of essential humanitarian assistance, and alleviate humanitarian suffering." It goes on to say that towards that end, the Council "unequivocally supports ongoing international diplomatic efforts to secure such a cease-fire in connection with the release of all remaining hostages" while noting "deep concern about the threat of conflict-induced famine and epidemics."

News of the draft U.S. resolution apparently inspired all 27 European Union leaders to agree to a text calling for "an immediate humanitarian pause leading to a sustainable cease-fire" with "the unconditional release of all hostages and the provision of humanitarian assistance," Politico reports.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet in Israel with far-right Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today; Netanyahu has vowed to go ahead with the Rafah invasion over U.S. objections, which Blinken publicly reiterated yesterday. Netanyahu will no doubt continue to blow off international pressure until its key ally, the U.S., exercises real leverage by withholding military aid. Axios reports that his Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, "will come to Washington next week with a long list of U.S. weapons Israel wants to receive in an expedited manner."

Meanwhile in northern Gaza, the World Health Organization says it has lost contact with medical staff at Al-Shifa hospital, raided days ago by Israeli soldiers. British surgeon Nick Maynard, who recently returned from a delegation to southern Gaza's Nasser Hospital, similarly raided and forced to close last month, tells the Times that Israel is engaged in "the deliberate destruction of the whole health care system" in Gaza. Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib yesterday warned colleagues that "the Israeli government using starvation as a weapon of war" and is committing "some of the worst crimes against humanity 'of this century.'" A temporary cease-fire is no solution, she argues -- it must be lasting and permanent.

Trump's Lawyers Will Get First Cut of RNC Donations

New Federal Election Commission filings show just how desperate Sick F*ck Donald Trump is for cash to cover his ever-growing legal bills -- and how wholly the Republican Party has come under his control. The fine print of an invitation to an upcoming big-dollar fundraiser in Palm Beach says Trump's campaign and legal defense will get paid first out of the pot, ahead of the Republican National Committee, through the Trump 47 Committee, a joint fundraising entity formed through negotiations between the Trump campaign and the RNC -- which you may recall is now run by Trump's daughter-in-law Lara. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that Trump will be able to leverage $3 billion in new paper wealth depending on the outcome of a merger vote today by shareholders in the money-losing, lawsuit-plagued, failing Truth Social platform. Legal experts say he's unlikely to be able to use the post-merger stock as collateral to obtain cash to pay down his legal expenses without Truth Social board members exposing themselves to "legal scrutiny." Of course, if there's one thing Trump has never lacked for, it's willing suckers. Asked directly yesterday if Trump has asked Saudi Arabia, Russia or another country for help with his half-billion-dollar-plus legal liabilities, Trump lawyer Alina Habba didn't say "no," but rather, "I can't speak about strategy."

Six Very Bad Apples Sentenced to Prison; Mississippi Sheriff Who Oversaw Torture Squad Still Reigns

They called themselves the "Goon Squad." This week, the six white former Mississippi cops who tortured two Black men last year after breaking into a home without a warrant, beating and abusing them for hours with stun guns and a sex toy before mistakenly shooting one victim in the mouth during a mock execution, all received prison sentences of between 10 and 40 years on federal civil rights charges. "I felt like a slave," one of the victims, Michael Corey Jenkins, told the court. Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey, who was reelected last year without opposition, has so far resisted calls to resign; per the New York Times, one former subordinate said "a culture of misconduct reigned at the sheriff's office and that he rose through the ranks at the department because of his willingness 'to do bad things.'" Experts say Bailey's denial that he knew about the Goon Squad's reign of terror is not credible. Blake Feldman of the Mississippi Center for Justice calls this week's guilty verdicts a "glimmer of accountability," saying "brazen misconduct also demonstrates just how confident Mississippi cops are in their systemic impunity."


  • Claiming 'Mutual Combat,' Oklahoma Prosecutors Levy No Charges on Teens Who Beat Up Nex Benedict Prior to His Death The trans 16-year-old "was failed by their school, and failed by every elected official who allowed a culture of bullying and harassment to grow unchecked," says Human Rights Campaign president Kelley Robinson said, who is demanding an independent investigation. "We won't stop until there is justice for Nex and for all kids — in Oklahoma and beyond." via NBC News and the Washington Post.
  • Justice Department Sues Apple Over Illegal Smartphone Monopoly "Apple has created a moat around its kingdom and trapped customers into continuing to use iPhones and buy more iPhones, which are the leading revenue driver in Apple's business model, and keeping out other types of technologies or services that could provide a better user experience," explains California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who joined the DOJ antitrust lawsuit with 15 other state AGs. via the Los Angeles Times and Politico.
  • Federal Police in India Arrest Anti-Corruption Opposition Leader, Alleging Bribery Lawyers for Arvind Kejriwal, founder of the Common People's Party and chief minister of New Delhi, say his arrest is part of a broader opposition crackdown by Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of national elections to be held in the coming months. via the Associated Press and the Washington Post.
  • Bernie Sanders and AOC Introduce 'Green New Deal for Public Housing' to Overhaul and Build New Units "It's the latest sign that Democrats across the ideological spectrum are zeroing in on housing as an under-addressed issue that could carry a huge upside politically." via Politico and the Guardian.



That's how many times the House Republican Study Committee's proposed federal budget, released Wednesday, includes the word "woke," per the Intercept. The GOP's austerity wish list includes raising the age for Social Security eligibility and nationwide cuts to school lunch programs, which mercifully did not make it into the $1.2 trillion spending package set for a vote today in the House and Senate.


1/22: It's Casual Friday! At long last.


House Democrats Give GOP Huge Win with HORRIBLE Budget Deal

The constant shutdown threats seem to be working.

Trump's New Favorite MAGA Weirdo TERRIFIED of Abortion Discussion

Did you know Bernie Moreno was an "unscrupulous" car salesman before he got into politics? A little too on the nose!


"You have this rosy picture of life here in the U.S., but then you show up and see all this and it's not anything you thought it would be. It's awful."

-- Nubia Reyes, a migrant from South America who has been living in a tent on the streets of Los Angeles with her three children -- 2, 3, and 7 years old -- speaking to the LA Times about the family's existence on "Skid Row, an intense environment with half-clothed people wandering aimlessly, open drug use and a pervasive stench, [that] is universally judged an unfit place for children to live." After crossing into the U.S. from Mexico, Reyes' family was bused from Texas to LA, then kicked out of a rescue mission for failure to pay rent; after the Times story was published, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority moved 15 Skid Row families, including hers, into hotels.

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