US Vetoes Gaza Ceasefire Resolution - The Wednesday AM Quickie 2/21/24

I think El Chapo's granddaughter has as good a shot as anyone at finding the Loch Ness Monster. Vaya con dios. --Jacob

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US Vetoes UN Resolution Calling for a Gaza Ceasefire

On Tuesday, the United States vetoed a United Nations resolution that called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Of the 15-member UN Security Council, thirteen countries voted in favor of the resolution while the United Kingdom abstained. The US had previously discussed the possibility of a resolution calling for a "temporary ceasefire," though given their repeated disregard for an "immediate ceasefire," it's hard not to think that the US government opposes a cessation of hostilities in almost any form. Despite occasional public expressions of mild disappointment in Israel's conduct, the Biden administration continues to provide diplomatic cover and essential military aid to Israel as it devastates Gaza.

"Examine your conscience, how will history judge you," said Algeria's UN Ambassador Amar Bendjama, whose government proposed the resolution. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who continues to reject the very possibility of a Palestinian state, promised that his government would continue fighting. "There is no pressure, none, that can change this," he said.

It's possible that the US will still put forward its own temporary ceasefire resolution – one that includes some conditions preferred by Israel. But the US has already vetoed three UN ceasefire resolutions. And certain Israeli demands – like the immediate release of all hostages – were included in the recently vetoed resolution. When will it be enough?

21 Starbucks Locations Organizing Union Drive

On Tuesday, 21 Starbucks locations in 14 states sent a letter to Starbucks' CEO announcing their plan to unionize. The letter made demands for higher pay, "clear communication" from higher ups, and more power for local workers. "We have been met with higher and higher expectations without being given the resources to meet them," said the Starbucks workers. "It’s important that we’re recognized as people rather than profit machines." Although Starbucks' corporate management has resisted the union drive, "baristas at roughly 400 of Starbucks’ 9,000 corporate-owned stores have formed unions with Workers United as part of the campaign," according to HuffPost. At the same time, a coalition of union groups accused Starbucks of having a "flawed human capital management strategy" – that apparently is business-euphemism for union-busting – and warned that it could harm the company's precious shareholder value.

Lawyers for Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange have begun their final attempt to stop his extradition for the United States on 18 charges. Assange, who reportedly has osteoporosis, a chronic cough, a broken rib, and other health issues, did not attend the court hearing. He's spent years trying to avoid legal entanglements resulting from his publishing of US secrets that cast an enormous spotlight on the war on terror – and the many crimes committed by the US and its allies. Many press-freedom organizations and media outlets have warned that Assange's prosecution is both unjust and a dangerous precedent that may be used to go after future journalists and publishers. His supporters argue that he is a political prisoner.


  • US Promises "Major Sanctions" Against Russia for Navalny's Death In response to the death of dissident politician Alexei Navalny, President Joe Biden will announce new economic sanctions against Russia on Friday. The US previously sanctioned Putin's government after it invaded Ukraine, though the Russian economy is expected to grow a solid 2.6 percent this year. via USA Today and Financial Times.
  • Capital One's Takeover Of Discover Would Create a Credit Giant Capital One's proposed $35.3 billion takeover of Discover is already facing pushback from progressives like Senator Elizabeth Warren. Critics worry that a more consolidated credit-card market would limit competition and allow companies to gouge consumers with more fees. via NBC News.
  • Nikki Haley Isn't Ready to Quit Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley says she will continue her campaign, despite being about 60 points behind Trump in national polls. "I feel no need to kiss the ring," she said. "And I have no fear of Trump's retribution." via Reuters.
  • Russian Defector Murdered in Spain A Russian military helicopter pilot who defected to Ukraine was shot to death in Spain. Maksim Kuzminov had been considered a marked man since he flew his Mi-8 helicopter to Ukraine last August. via Washington Post.


$610 million

That's how much money very cranky hedge-fund billionaire Bill Ackman made last year. Ackman's firm Pershing Square Capital Management didn't make many trades in 2023. It only employs 8 people and owns 10 stocks, with Chipotle its biggest holding. But that was enough for a 26.7 percent gain and a lucrative payday for Ackman, who, with all of his well-subsidized free time, has become a compulsive poster on X and a full-time participant in the anti-woke campus wars.


2/21: It's Hump Day! First, in a pre-taped conversation, Sam speaks with Seth Goldstein, legal counsel for Trader Joe's United & the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), to discuss a recent legal filing by Amazon, Trader Joe's, and SpaceX that alleges that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is unconstitutional. Then, Emma speaks with Dr. Tarek Loubani, associate professor at the University of Western Ontario and leader of the Glia Project, to discuss what is happening on the ground now that hospitals in Gaza are mostly non-operational.


Dems Struggle To Demonize ‘Uncommitted’ Push In Michigan Primary

A minor bit of electoral protest is too much for some Democratic Party loyalists.

Frozen Embryos Are "Children" In Alabama Now

Alabama's State Supreme Court is embracing a theocratic vision of human life.


"Successive Israeli governments have given the Palestinian people only three options: displacement, subjugation or death. But our people are here to stay, they have a right to live in freedom and dignity in their ancestral land. They will not forsake their rights."

-- Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki speaking before the International Court of Justice about Israel's occupation of the West Bank. "Fifty-two countries will participate in arguments at The Hague over the six-day hearing – more than any other case heard by the court in its history," according to CNN. This case is distinct from the South African-led ICJ case accusing Israel of perpetrating a genocide against Palestinian. It also is an indication that Palestinian officials plan to continue their liberation effort through multilateral international institutions that may be tired of Israel's intransigence.

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