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[l] at 4/17/24 9:25pm
On Wednesday, the House voted to advance the Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act (FANFSA), legislation that would restrict law enforcement and intelligence agencies from purchasing data on people in the United States without a warrant.FANFSA, which Democratic and Republican lawmakers cosponsored, would close a data-broker loophole that allows the government to buy data they would otherwise need a warrant to obtain. This means there can be warrantless government examination of information from websites, social networks, gaming platforms and other online applications that people in the United States routinely use. The data include geolocation information and other details that the government can use to determine Americans’ activities, associations and beliefs — with law enforcement and intelligence agencies able to exploit this information to disproportionately track and target people of color, immigrants, religious minorities and dissidents.Free Press Action Policy Counsel Jenna Ruddock said:“We’re grateful that the House passed these vital and popular protections. The bill would prevent flagrant abuses of our privacy by government authorities in league with unscrupulous third-party data brokers. Making this legislation into law with Senate passage too would be a decisive and long-overdue action against government misuse of this clandestine business sector that traffics in our personal data for profit.“Unfortunately, however, the passing of this legislation follows a House vote held last week to extend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act's Section 702 authority for two years. An amendment designed to constrain the U.S. government’s ability to search for and review Americans’ personal information collected under Section 702 without a warrant failed on a tie vote. So today’s vote is a victory but follows a recent loss and ongoing threat as that Section 702 bill moves to the Senate this week too.“No government entity should be able to buy its way around the Fourth Amendment. Requiring a warrant to access our private information not only protects our right to privacy but our freedoms of association, religion and belief. The Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act closes a legal loophole and ensures that law enforcement and intelligence agencies can’t do an end-run around the Constitution by buying information from data brokers that would require a warrant for the government to collect directly.“The privacy violations that flow from law-enforcement entities circumventing the Fourth Amendment undermine civil liberties, free expression and our ability to control what happens to our data. These impacts affect everyone who uses digital platforms that extract our personal information any time we open a browser or visit social media and other websites — even when we go to events like demonstrations and other places with our phones revealing our locations.“Such warrantless data collection and sale is an outrageous violation of the Constitution. As FANFSA and the 702 reauthorization move to the Senate, lawmakers in that chamber need to take a stand for the rights of people in the United States. That means passing FANFSA and reforming Section 702 authority — and prioritizing everyone’s First and Fourth Amendment rights.”Background: Four House Democrats and four House Republicans are cosponsoring FANFSA, which was first introduced in 2021 and passed out of the House Judiciary Committee in 2023. The bill has overwhelming support from the American public. According to a 2020 Harris poll, 77 percent of people believe the government should get a warrant to buy the kind of detailed location information that data brokers frequently purchase and sell on the commercial marketplace.
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[l] at 4/14/24 1:17pm
Okay all you naysayers whining shambolic House GOPers aren't doing their job just 'cause they're blocking border solutions, ignoring infrastructure, enabling Ukrainian deaths and barely keeping the government afloat: Listen up. Boldly showcasing their astute priorities, they will fight Monday to liberate your dishwashers, dryers, fridges and other home gizmos from a Marxist "avalanche" of new "Libby Boogyman" rules aimed at keeping the planet from vaporizing into air, and c'mon who cares about that?!Ever-steadfast in upholding their tradition of chasing fictional ills - Mike 'Election Chicanery' Johnson is now vowing to require proof of citizenship to prevent (brown-skinned) non-citizens from voting even though it's already illegal, also "not a thing" - the GOP-led House Rules Committee meets Monday to discuss six bills to prep them for final votes on the House floor. The six bills are the Stop Unaffordable Dishwasher Standards Act, the Liberty in Laundry Act, the Affordable Air Conditioning Act, the Clothes Dryer Reliability Act, the Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act and the Refrigerator Freedom Act. Yes. They are real. They're in response to a number of Biden regulations or proposals aimed at addressing climate change, part of a $369 billion Inflation Reduction Act that seeks to lower costs, reduce energy use, cut pollutants and move to more green-energy practices.To Republicans, however, they're aimed at letting tyrants "control everything Americans are able to do on a day-to-day basis," part of an insidious plot to allow "others" to come for their stuff, their choices and their God-given rights, evidently including the right to get a back-alley abortion with a coat hanger. (One sage: "REPUBLICANS: 'Keep gubmint OUT of our toasters and dish washers!' ALSO REPUBLICANS: 'We need surveillance cameras inside every cha-cha so we can keep an eye on what women are doing!'") Thus did Arizona's Rep. Debbie Lesko, declaring she is "proud (to) stand on the side of choice for American consumers," devise the Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act to prohibit "federal bureaucrats" from issuing an aforementioned "avalanche" of new energy standards "not technologically feasible and economically justified."In March, Iowa's Rep.Mariannette Miller-Meeks echoed her, introducing and eventually passing the Refrigerator Freedom Act to prohibit the same offenses - now "not cost-effective or technologically feasible" - because Biden has "done nothing but implement outrageous regulations" that only limit choice, increase prices, disenfranchise toilets and blenders, and move us toward dictatorship. MAGA-ites, of course, applaud these red-meat efforts to rescue heat pumps, gas stoves, washing machines, showers and air fryers from domination. "Finally, following American and not Globalist priorities," said one. "I am sick and tired of the government telling us what we can and cannot buy and use." And after 11 GOP-run states sued over some of the changes, a judge dismissed the rules as "arbitrary and capricious."That could also apply to a House focused on fighting to be able to buy a $7 toaster even if, okay, so it may burn your house down but FREEDUMB! Of course, confronting issues like national security or infrastructure require actual, unflashy, conciliatory, negotiating, attention-to-detail legislative work, and they're barely able to co-exist with their colleagues, never mind opponents, and anyway it's probably about time for another two-week recess, so let's go with hair dryers and ceiling fans. Along with the petty stupidity is the economic irony: Most appliances are made in China, so they're protecting Chinese companies from U.S. regulations, and for things made here, they're ensuring big business can be left alone to make over-priced, planet-killing, deliberately-soon-obsolete crap. Your tax dollars at work!Predictably, the cognitive dissonance drew its share of mockery, with Digby noting, "We all know the GOP likes to focus on kitchen table issues, but this is ridiculous." Others argued that, "Insurrectionists are now GOP Congresspersons" and that, thanks in part to such diversionary tomfoolery, "The GOP has Ukrainian blood on their hands." "First they came for my appliances," one intoned. "I was not an appliance, so I said nothing." Another suggested a key addition to the GOP agenda: a "Stop Wasting Our Time on Meaningless Legislation Act." There were also triumphant stories of deliverance born of the GOP's hard and noble work. "In honor of the Refrigerator Freedom Act, I just opened my front door and set my newly liberated Frigidaire free," one reported. "Needless to say, it's running."
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[l] at 4/12/24 12:10pm
Accountable.US today released the following statement in response to the publication of the Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management’s final oil and gas rule:“The Biden administration deserves our thanks for holding accountable the companies who have gotten a sweetheart deal to drill public property for far too long. Anyone who wants to profit from resources that belong to all American taxpayers should pay their fair share. This is an important step toward fixing a wildly irresponsible system that has given so much to massive corporations at the expense of everyone who enjoys the great outdoors.” —Chris Marshall spokesperson for Accountable.USAn Accountable.US report last year found that the public lands oil and gas leasing system is broken in favor of some of the biggest, most profitable corporations in the world that lock up hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands.
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[l] at 4/12/24 12:09pm
Today the White House announced new reforms to the federal oil and gas leasing system on public lands.The new regulations bring much-needed balance to a system that has long favored corporate profits over public benefit. The reforms enacted by the Biden Administration include:Reasonable increases in bonding rates, ensuring oil and gas companies, not taxpayers, pay to clean up messes left by extractive activities; New leasing criteria for future lease sales that will help reduce conflicts with wildlife, cultural, and outdoor recreation resources;An end to “speculative leasing,” which allows oil and gas companies to tie up public lands with little to no chance of resource development;Permanent increases to federal fees required to lease public lands for drilling, to the same levels required by many Western states; andEnding noncompetitive leasing, which allowed public lands to be auctioned off for as little as $1.50 per acre.In response, Sierra Club Lands Protection Program Director Athan Manuel, released the following statement:“These new regulations are the kind of common-sense reforms the federal oil and gas leasing program has needed for decades. The days of oil and gas companies locking up public lands for decades for pennies on the dollar and leaving polluted lands, water, and air in their wake are over.“Simply put, the rules governing the leasing system weren’t working for communities, taxpayers, or the environment. The only people for whom they did work were oil and gas CEOs, who could pad corporate bottom lines while leaving the public to foot the bill to clean up their messes.“The reforms announced by the Biden Administration are long-overdue, and will ensure that taxpayers get a fair return from the use of federal public lands while limiting harmful impacts to lands, wildlife, and community health.
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[l] at 4/12/24 11:57am
Today, the Biden administration unveiled long-awaited reforms that will hold the fossil fuel industry to more reasonable standards when operators seek to lease and develop oil and gas on public lands. The Bureau of Land Management’s new Oil and Gas Rule includes new provisions that will save taxpayers money, help ensure public lands are used for their highest value, and better protect communities and the environment.Earthjustice applauded the announcement and issued the following statement:“This new rule should be regarded as a long overdue win for communities and the environment. For decades, taxpayers have been left to foot the bill to clean up toxic messes left behind by oil companies across the West, while some of the same companies made record profits,” said Earthjustice attorney Mike Freeman. “BLM also has tolerated rampant speculation on leases that industry only purchased to pad its books and attract investors, while preventing those lands from being protected for other uses. On top of this, oil and gas drilling on public lands accelerates the climate crisis and results in oil spills and threats to drinking water. The Biden administration’s Oil and Gas Rule is an important step toward correcting these long-standing problems and holding oil and gas companies accountable. We look forward to seeing BLM’s next steps toward tackling the climate impacts of federal oil and gas drilling.” Background Public lands overseen by the Bureau of Land Management are essential to fishing and hunting, wildlife and land conservation, and outdoor recreation economies. The final version of BLM’s Oil and Gas Rule implements reforms included in the Inflation Reduction Act such as increased royalty rates, a realignment of rents and minimum bids to account for decades of inflation, a prohibition on non-competitive leasing, and a new fee to ensure oil and gas operators carefully consider the lands they nominate for lease. The new rule increases minimum bonding rates for the first time since 1960, to require oil and gas companies take more responsibility for covering the costs of well clean-up, contamination, and remediation. It will also help focus leasing decisions away from areas with significant cultural and wildlife value.
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[l] at 4/12/24 10:53am
Today the Bureau of Land Management announced its final rule to reform oil and gas leasing on federal lands. While the rule takes important steps to address some oil and gas subsidies in the leasing program, including increasing bonding requirements so industry is on the hook for cleanup instead of taxpayers, it fails to address climate despite nearly a quarter of U.S. emissions resulting from fossil fuel extraction on public lands. Nicole Ghio, Senior Fossil Fuels Program Manager at Friends of the Earth, issued the following statement: While we support BLM’s steps to curb financial giveaways to Big Oil, this rule fails to confront the massive tide of climate emissions stemming from its leasing program. If Interior intends to manage our public lands for the public good, then it must account for the future generations living under the threat of catastrophic climate change. Interior must do what the science demands and end the expansion of fossil fuels.
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[l] at 4/11/24 6:54pm
Kudos to Arizona's wingnut Supreme Court, who in their deranged upholding of an 1864 abortion ban so extreme even GOPers are fleeing it have dragged us back to a time when doctors used leeches, snake oil, opiates and a nice long asylum stay to treat women with "hysteria." If the law's upheld, "People will die." Still, a stalwart group of zealots took to the Senate floor to kneel, pray, babble in tongues and implore, "Let it be so, Father God." Be warned: "This is today's Republican Party."The court's ruling came in the case of Planned Parenthood v. Hazelrigg, in which Dr. Eric Hazelrigg, who owns a chain of anti-abortion clinics and declares himself "guardian ad litem for all Arizona unborn infants," appealed a 2022 decision upholding the state's current, already-extreme 15-week abortion ban. Instead, the good doctor urged the court to reinstate a long-dormant law passed 160 years ago - as the Civil War still raged, before Arizona was a state, decades before the vast majority of those affected by it could vote - which allows abortions only if the mother’s life is in danger, provides no exceptions for rape, incest, non-viable fetuses or other ugly facts of life, and suggests abortion providers be prosecuted. It also passed when male doctors with no clinical experience relied on the ancient concept of balancing the Four Humors: blood, phlegm, black bile and yellow bile. Women - frail, submissive, emotional - were deemed especially prone to illness, most often hysteria, or "womb disease," because their uterus, "the great central pivotal organ of her existence," moved and caused mood swings. Aggravating factors: too-tight corsets, sexual urges, reading, challenging the status quo. Treatments: bloodletting, magnetizers, snake oil, smelling salts, leeches on the abdomen to reduce blood in the womb, clitoral stimulation via pelvic massage to create orgasm and release excess fluid, "patent medicine" or opiates - most addicts were women - and the asylum, a "convenient, socially acceptable excuse (for) potentially scandalous behavior."Laws then on the books addressed the possible pernicious results of said scandalous behavior: "If any woman shall endeavor, privately, either by herself or the procurement of others, to conceal the death of any issue of her body, which, if born alive, would be a bastard, so that it may not come to light, whether it shall have been murdered or not, every such mother being convicted thereof shall suffer imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding one year." Other laws made it illegal to entice Black people to leave the state to be sold into slavery. But in the name of mercy another law creates the category of "excusable homicide" if, say, "a man is at work with an axe, and the head flies off and kills a bystander,” or a parent is "moderately correcting his child, or a master his servant."Cue today's Arizona, or "Fetuzona, where all zygotes matter," the hateful likes of Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs can get elected, and GOP governors can pack a helpfully expanded Supreme Court - thanks then-Gov. Doug "Fucking Douchey, Anus Maximus" - with seven, male, far-right ideologues who can pass a "devastating, cruel" anti-choice law "wildly out of step with where Arizonan voters are at." Democratic, female state officials have made it very clear they will not go gentle into the night. "Let me be clear," said Gov. Katie Hobbs of an extreme ban that "hurts women." "Let me be completely clear," said A.G. Kris Mayes of an "unconscionable" ruling and "stain our state" she's already vowed not to enforce, with help from a proactive Hobbs who already gave Mayes' office sole enforcement authority. Last week, reproductive rights organizers announced they'd collected over 500,000 signatures, far over the requisite 383,923, for a November referendum on a constitutional amendment enshrining the right to abortion, and activists and lawmakers vow, with abortion on the ballot, extremists will "feel the power of pissed-off women voters." Sadly, doctors and those they care for are caught in the middle. Lamenting she'll be "phoning lawyers for guidance on what i can do" rather than "making clinical decisions based on what my patients are telling me," one doctor decried "legal jargon (with no) ability to capture the nuance of taking care of a patient." "It completely wreaks havoc on our ability to do our job," she said. "And patients are going to be the ones who suffer." — (@) Of course the "Republi-nazi terrorist attack" in Arizona, while more extreme than some, reflects a nationwide GOP war on women; today, more than one in three women of reproductive age live in a state with an abortion ban. Still, a glaring dissonance persists: Since the 2022 Dobbs ruling on Roe, voters in Kansas, Kentucky and other states have voted for expanding not restricting access to abortion, and similar proposals are on ballots in multiple states. Meanwhile, right-wingers on the wrong side of history remain stubbornly clueless about the grim possible consequences - fury, sorrow, sepsis, bleeding out in parking lots - facing millions of women. Citing Arizona's "earthquake of epic proportions," one GOP strategist admitted, "Anytime Republicans are talking about abortion, they’re losing."Cue hapless rich white dude in a bad Beatles wig Mark Simone, who went on a Fox panel of more rich white dudes to discuss lady parts and say it's all good. A radio host who online trashes "Biden's kids who've all been involved in horrible drug scandals," lauds a brilliant Trump "who builds 100-story skyscrapers in his sleep," and claims Bernie Sanders "never held a job until age 53 and lived off welfare and four different women," he shrugged that any sloppy, pregnant ho has it easy with a simple, solo bus ride: "If you had to travel to another state for an abortion, buying a bus ticket to (go) get it is not the worst thing in the world." Says the guy who def doesn't know how grief, terror, vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, financial panic, ectopic pregnancy or worrying about who's watching the kids feels.Nationally, he's got much oblivious company, with even anti-choice GOPers so freaked out by Arizona's illustration of "what happens when abortion policy is left up to the (often rabid) states" they're running away from it. That night, Fox talking heads literally ignored the ruling, though they found time to accuse NPR of being liberal and Kamala of doing "abortion hit jobs." While a coalition of right-wing sages has reportedly published a 920-page, Comstock Act -based plan for a Trump Mandate for Leadership to target abortion pills, Trump continues to just say whatever he thinks will keep him out of jail - which rightly hasn't stopped anyone from laying Arizona at his tacky door, from Elizabeth Warren - "Remember, this is brought to you by Trump" - to Biden: "This is Trump's fault."Arizona's GOP pols are flip-flopping so fast they forget what they just said. Kari Lake, who once proclaimed she was "incredibly thrilled we (have) a great law that's already on the books" - from 1864 - now says the law is "out of step with Arizonans,” which never stopped her before. Rep. David Schweikert, a Roe opponent and six-time sponsor of a radical Life at Conception Act up for re-election, now says abortion should "not be legislated from the bench." Rep. Juan Ciscomani, who fought to ban health insurance that covers abortion, called the ruling a "disaster" and wants the 15-week ban back please. As stupid as these people are, they've evidently grasped that "Let The Men Decide" - the sign of a protester rigged in top hat and mutton chaps - may not be the greatest campaign slogan. — (@) Not state Sen. and Jan 6-er Anthony Kern, though. The day before the ruling, Kern led a small prayer group onto the Senate floor - the Senate seal, actually - where they kneeled, cried out in tongues and summoned "the hovering glory of God almighty" to, yes, let the men decide. "Lord, we ask thee to release the presence of the Lord in the Senate chamber," Kern bellowed, as acolytes who regrettably missed out on 1692 Salem wailed, "Let it be so, let it be so, let it be so." Kern was an apt guru. Now under investigation as a fake elector for Trump in 2020, he turned his back on Gov Hobbs during her State of the State speech and just successfully pushed through a Senate bill permitting the Ten Commandments to be recited aloud in public schools: "This is the guy the writers of our Constitution warned us about."After the head of Secular Arizona pointed out Kern's garish play-acting on government property - "So this happened today" - the reaction was swift. Most people agreed, "If you believe, fine, but believe on your own time, not mine." Also on "archaic beliefs in imaginary bearded sky daddies": "Yup. Freedom of religion. Support sky pilots, that's your option. But keep it out (of) public facilities." They raged - "The Taliban has infiltrated state government" - mourned - "God cringes" - snarked - "The state of Arizona is showing the long-term effects of living in an Easy Bake Oven," "Oh those zany GOP politicians - next he's bringing snakes and a goat to sacrifice" - mused, in the 21st century, "You actually have to put effort into being as willfully ignorant." Many imagined the furor if, say, Muslim prayers were recited. The "speaking in tongues" shtick also sparked debate. Given they're Repubs, maybe it's just gibberish, or one of the migrant languages Trump says "no one has ever heard of." In the Bible, it was noted, the apostles spoke in tongues when the Holy Spirit filled them, and each person heard them in their native tongue; if it's not understood by all, it's just showmanship. Or theocracy. "They weren't speaking in tongues - they were articulating Republican policy," one argued. And, "This is how Republicans make decisions for your family and future." Our fave: "My wife spoke to me in tongues and I couldn't understand her, so with her preacher's advice she divorced me. We were 'unyoked.' After a few years, I met and married a wonderful woman. Best thing that ever happened to me!"After the response, Kern sneered, "Looks like our prayer team stirred up some God-haters." In the venerable traditiion of learning nothing, ever, his House colleagues also acted like douchebags - or kids sneaking out before their mom can make them clean their room - by twice blocking Dem efforts to repeal the 160-year-old baby mama law and then up and quitting, voting to adjourn until "cooler heads prevail." "Democrats were screaming at us and engaging (in) insurrectionist behavior," one whined, and besides, "removing healthy babies from healthy mothers is not health care." Jesus. They never seem to realize maybe they have to go so far back in time to strip women's rights because it's been that long since we wanted to live like that. As GOPers left, Dems chanted, "Shame! Shame! Shame!" If only they had some. "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." - George Orwell.
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[l] at 4/11/24 6:44am
Thousands of youth activists, led by groups including the Sunrise Movement, Fridays For Future USA, and the Campus Climate Network, will hold protests in hundreds of cities nationwide around Earth Day to demand President Biden and other decision-makers take action to end fossil fuels and respond to the climate emergency. The groups are demanding President Biden declare a climate emergency and use his executive powers to create green union jobs, phase out fossil fuels, and prepare for climate disasters. This can and must include: reinstating the 2015 crude oil export ban, stopping approvals of new fossil fuel projects, and building resilient and distributed renewable energy systems in climate-vulnerable communities. Thousands of young people will participate in the actions, which include: ● Friday, April 19: Fridays For Future USA leads a Day of Climate Action, in solidarity with actions being organized in hundreds of cities around the world, to demand action from President Biden to end the era of fossil fuels. In New York City alone, thousands of students will walk out of their classes and march from Foley Square in Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn Borough Hall. ● Monday, April 22nd: The Sunrise Movement is leading dozens of Earth Day Teach-Ins at congressional offices and other locations to urge Members of Congress to publicly call on President Biden to declare a national climate emergency. ● Monday, April 22: Student organizers with the Campus Climate Network will lead Reclaim Earth Day actions on more than 100 college campuses, demanding that universities become true environmental justice leaders and cut ties with the fossil fuel industry.Background: President Biden promised to be a climate president. Ahead of the 2024 election, young people are mobilizing to hold him accountable to that promise. Despite critically pausing the authorizations for some new LNG export infrastructure in the Gulf, under the Biden administration, U.S. oil and gas production has surged to record highs. Hundreds of thousands of young people took action to demand the administration reject fossil fuel projects like the Willow drilling project in Alaska, and tens of thousands joined the March to End Fossil Fuels last September calling on Biden to phase out fossil fuels and declare a climate emergency. In February, over 21 young people were arrested at Biden’s campaign offices calling for a climate emergency. As the election approaches, young people are mobilizing to demand President Biden take bold action to protect young peoples’ futures. That begins with declaring a climate emergency that meaningfully addresses fossil fuels, creates millions of good-paying union jobs, and helps us prepare for incessant climate disasters.
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[l] at 4/10/24 8:00am
Today, EPA Administrator Michael Regan announced the final regulations that set enforceable limits on six PFAS — the toxic lab-made compounds known as “forever chemicals” — in drinking water. The EPA set maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for PFOA and PFOS of 4 ppt each; MCLs for PFHxS, PFNA and GenX at 10 ppt, and limits on a combination of four PFAS types (PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS and GenX) based on a hazard index. Utilities will have five years to comply with the new limits.Water systems serving at least 100 million people are expected to be contaminated with PFAS, and the new rule requires water systems to complete testing within three years. The EPA estimates the total cost of compliance would be $1.5 billion a year; the American Water Works Association puts that figure closer to $3.8 billion. The EPA has yet to finalize regulations that would designate certain forms of PFAS as “hazardous substances” under the superfund law to facilitate holding polluters accountable for clean-up costs. This topic has been the subject of heavy lobbying from the chemical industry. A Food & Water Watch report found that from 2019 to 2022, PFAS manufacturers spent more than $55 million lobbying on PFAS and other issues, and the American Chemical Council spent an additional $58.7 on lobbying on PFAS and other issues during that period. In response, Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter issued the following statement: “At long last, the EPA has set enforceable limits to remove toxic forever chemicals from drinking water that will help protect public health nationally. These regulations come after decades of community organizing and will save many lives. While we applaud the EPA for not bowing to industry pressure to weaken the regulations, this must mark the beginning — not the culmination — of its efforts to rein in these toxic PFAS. “The science is clear: No amount of PFAS in water is safe. Today’s action addresses just six of thousands of these toxic chemicals. The EPA must regulate the entire class to remove all PFAS from our drinking water, ban the manufacture of nonessential PFAS, and hold polluters accountable to pay to clean up their toxic mess. The brunt of the compliance costs must be borne by the PFAS polluters, so that households already struggling with unaffordable water bills are not stuck picking up the tab of corporate water pollution. “Corporate polluters long hid evidence of the toxicity of these chemicals, and they have spent millions of dollars lobbying against regulations that would protect people from this harm. Congress must reject corporate efforts to carve various polluters out of liability, and it must pass the PFAS Action Act to continue the work to address this toxic crisis. “Communities also need more federal support to comply with these necessary new standards. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided a down payment of $9 billion to address PFAS in drinking water, but our communities deserve a permanent source of federal funding. The WATER Act is the right vision to fully fund our public water infrastructure at the level that is needed to ensure safe and clean water for all.”
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[l] at 4/10/24 7:28am
Amnesty International is urging shareholders in the US-based Dow to consider withdrawing their investment from the chemicals company if it fails to rapidly meet its human rights responsibilities towards the more than 500,000 people still suffering from the Bhopal disaster, one of the world’s worst industrial incidents.Ahead of the company’s annual general meeting tomorrow 11 April, Amnesty International has written to Dow’s largest investors, sharing its recent report Bhopal: 40 Years of Injustice, and asking them to help address Dow’s failure to adhere to international business and human rights standards since it purchased Union Carbide Corporation in 2001. Union Carbide Corporation was the ultimate owner of the pesticide plant in the Indian city of Bhopal at the time of the disastrous gas leak in 1984.Mark Dummett, Amnesty International’s Head of Business and Human Rights said:“Bhopal is not a case of the past. The human rights abuses resulting from the gas leak and site contamination are unresolved and ongoing. Survivors and their descendants are still awaiting just compensation, a thorough clean-up of their environment, adequate medical assistance and treatment, punishment of all perpetrators, and comprehensive economic and social rehabilitation.”“We have written to major investors in Dow and asked them to engage with us and to raise concerns directly with the company about the continuing human rights abuses in Bhopal. We have asked shareholders to end their relationship with Dow if it fails to take meaningful and rapid action to address the suffering.” We have asked shareholders to end their relationship with Dow if it fails to take meaningful and rapid action to address the suffering. —Mark Dummett, Amnesty International’s Head of Business and Human Rights “More than half a million people continue to suffer some degree of permanent injury from the disaster in Bhopal. Those who survived the initial exposure were often permanently injured or developed chronic and debilitating illnesses, as well as experiencing miscarriages and the birth of children with congenital disorders.”The facility was never cleaned-up, leading to increasing contamination of local water sources from the chemicals left on site, with often catastrophic and enduring health consequences for local communities.Investors in Dow which Amnesty International have written to include the US-based investment groups or financial institutions Vanguard Group, Blackrock, and State Street.The letter asks investors to ensure that Dow reports on its responsibilities regarding Bhopal based on the UN Guiding Principles, and publicly discloses its findings without delay. Amnesty International is asking investors to request that Dow meets these following specific recommendations: Provide additional compensation to Bhopal survivors, their children and grandchildren, to cover the actual number of deaths and injuries caused by the gas disaster. Provide compensation for the adverse health, economic and social impacts caused by the ongoing contamination at the plant site and of the groundwater. Contribute an appropriate and fair financial sum towards clean-up works at the contaminated plant site and surrounding areas, and towards the cost of health monitoring and healthcare for the affected population. Disclose all information about the leaked Methyl Isocyanate gas, and other chemicals released, including their toxicity, long-term impact on people’s health, and the most appropriate medical treatment. The letter follows Amnesty International’s request to Dow’s customers and suppliers in Bhopal: 40 Years of Injustice to consider withdrawing their business from the company if it fails to rapidly act to offer remedy and prevent future harms in Bhopal.It says Dow became directly linked to its adverse human rights impacts from the disaster, and the ongoing failure to remediate them, from the moment in 2001 it purchased Union Carbide Corporation, which was the ultimate owner of the plant at the time of the gas leak. The letter says the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights make clear that companies should exercise their leverage to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts to the greatest extent possible. In choosing not to do so, and disavowing its human rights responsibilities, Dow is failing to live up its own publicly stated commitments to international business and human rights standards. Background At about midnight on 2 December 1984, a leak of about 40 tonnes of lethal Methyl Isocyanate gas (MIC) from the pesticide plant in Bhopal, then owned by US-based Union Carbide Corporation, quickly killed thousands of people in the informal housing around the plant. It is estimated that more than 22,000 people have died prematurely as a direct result of exposure to the gas, with deaths continuing to occur.More than 500,000 were injured or have suffered permanent harms, including through the inter-generational impact of MIC exposure on reproductive health, and through water sources contaminated by chemicals left on the site.
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[l] at 4/9/24 2:05am
Lordy. Our apocalyptic circus of bigots, morons, loudmouths and clowns has stayed in town too long. To wit: a ceaseless GOP House "shit show," racists freaking out at too-tanned NCAA players "invading," pastors cancelling autism awareness as "demonic," Klan Mom decrying black market harvesting of baby organs - thanks Dr. Fauci! - and now, from God or the Gazpacho police, an earthquake and end-of-the-world eclipse telling us to "repent." First, maybe repent for an electoral college that gave us this lunacy. The seedy grandstand for the mayhem is the (barely) GOP-controlled House, which for a while has been "imploding in plain sight." After skipping town for Easter, they left behind yet more flops earning yet more declarations of "Republicans in disarray." Amidst a "Great Resignation" that's seen the highest number of lawmakers quitting in 40 years, two more Reps - Gallagher and Buck - are bowing out, leaving the GOP a paltry one-seat majority. The showboats of what Raskin calls the "chaos-and- cannibalism caucus" still don't like their Speaker for (five months late) keeping the government open with a $1.2 trillion spending bill, Comer's Biden impeachment effort has crashed and burned like his other "investigations," the sole accomplishments of the shortest and least productive House session since the Great Depression are re-naming some Veterans Affairs clinics and authorizing a coin to mark the Marine Corps' 250th anniversary, and even George Santos says he's (inexplicably) running again as an Independent 'cause the GOP is too "embarrassing." For once, he has a point. Self-righteous blowhards venting ignorance and hate, they seem to do nothing but voice imaginary grievances when grownups do things they don't like. When the effort to remove Fani Willis from Trump's election interference case failed, they shrieked, "It's all rigged!" and "There is no justice in America today." When Kamala Harris touted an effort to keep guns away from dangerous people, yahoos who send out Christmas cards of their kids cradling AR-15's bayed, "What the hell is this evil?" When a Transgender Day of Visibility coincidentally fell on Easter, they ranted it was part of a "years-long assault on the Christian faith" and the Catholic Biden - to Trump, one of "MANY PEOPLE THAT I COMPLETELY & TOTALLY DESPISE BECAUSE THEY WANT TO DESTROY AMERICA," would now "commandeer" Christmas with a Trans-Siberian Orchestra playing and say what? When a Florida school planned Autism Awareness Week, the pastor cancelled it as "demonic" (like "Santa Clause") because "anything that exalts itself above the name of Christ should be brought down."And when racist moron and Michigan state rep Matt Maddock - who boasts he's America's "Most Conservative" pol, tried to imprison "war criminal" Gretchen Whitmer for requiring masks during COVID, got kicked out of the House GOP Caucus as too conspiracy-y even for them, posts things like "the left hates farmers," "government controls your air conditioning," "bail reform kills people," "communists are lonely, bitter, angry cowards with sad kids," and whose wife is under indictment as one of Michigan's fake electors - saw three buses at Detroit Airport and some scary dark guys alight, squawked they were "illegal invaders" and "everyone knows" Whitmer is "bussing in illegals and asking (us) to shack them up in their homes for $6,000 a year." Except they were the Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball team there to play in the NCAA Mens Sweet 16 March Madness against Purdue. Confronted with his "spectacular stupidity" and the facts, even by supporters, he snarled back - “Sure kommie. Good talking point" - and doubled down with replacement theory: "How long till the #HostileMedia calls the invaders homesteaders?" He seems nice.The implausible queen of this GOP rabble is grandstanding, hate-mongering, self-promoting "purveyor of political pageantry" Marjorie Taylor Greene, a useless, performative troll most recently appointed to chair the "useless, performative impeachment" of Homeland Security's Alejandro Mayorkas by Mike Johnson in hopes of shutting her up as she tries to oust him for keeping the government running, or something. Among other memorable ventures since her Jewish Space Laser and school-shooting-survivor-harassing days: Inventing an Antifa plan for a "Trans Day of Vengeance," arguing 8-to-10-year-old Uvalde victims should've been armed with JR-15 rifles, spreading a replacement theory video about "the Democrat (sic) open border plan to entrench single party rule," and after Mexico's president proposed several U.S. actions to ease border crossings, refuting them with a "Declaration of War" against Mexican cartels for fentanyl trafficking, even though it's mostly produced in China and smuggled into this country not by migrants but U.S. citizens or other legal visitors.Last month she also hosted, with live stream, a "Hearing Investigating the Black Market of Baby Organ Harvesting" to explore "the "aborrent (sic) truth of the industrial abortion complex (to) profit off the murder of unborn babies." She'd announced the event, based on repeatedly debunked conspiracy theories that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue for profit - including grafting "the scalps of unborn babies onto the backs of rodents in a study funded by Anthony Fauci under the NIH" - with a beaming photo of herself that, noted one observer, "looked oddly bubbly for a hearing on dead babies." Her two speakers were David Daleiden, who in 2015 released heavily edited videos of himself as a fake biomedical researcher trying to buy fetal tissue, after which Planned Parenthood successfully sued him for $2 million; and Terrisa Bukovinac, who in 2022 was convicted with another anti-abortion activist of blocking access to a health clinic, stealing 115 aborted fetuses from a medical waste truck, burying most of them, and keeping five they claimed without evidence were "born alive and then murdered."Greene said she wanted the hearing, attended by five people though she invited every member of Congress, to be a graphic, gory, in-your-face rebuttal to genteel talk of "women's health care." And so it was, with her use of pointedly incendiary language and images: "abortionists," not doctors, "babies sucked out while still alive" by an instrument "more powerful than a household vacuum," "tiny brains and hearts," "over 63 million people murdered in the womb" - misinformation so prevalent House Dems created a website to refute it - and no mention of vital medical advances facilitated by fetal tissue research. Still, wise-acres weren't buying it: "Baby Organ Harvesting is my Norwegian Death Metal cover band," "Marge hungry," "Do you know how many fetus livers it would take to make a single kabob?", "Curious how she'll tie it into Hunter's dick pics," "She should do her genealogy - she would have led lots of witch trials if she was alive back then," and, "This is absolutely ridiculous. No one harvests baby organs. Infants are only run through hydraulic presses to make baby oil, and THAT'S IT!"But not even abortion, or terrorists collapsing Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge, or earthquakes in what Rudy Giuliani called "the communist states" of New York and New Jersey - with its epicenter at Trump's Bedminster golf course deemed "Ivana's revenge" -come close to the "Super Bowl for Conspiracists" that is an eclipse. Marge was on it: "God is sending America strong signs to tell us to repent." So was her squinty-eyed, right-wing boyfriend Brian Glenn - Wonkette calls him "the dude she has been having what we assume is very sweaty, pale, Godly white-person sex with" - who very scientifically "explains astronomy" and eclipses with, “I think we're going to see where the largest kind of a spiritual awakening in this country that people are realizing how much evil has creeped (sic) into (our) lives." He also warned of its fallout, "combined with earthquakes, and this infestation of locusts that have been dormant for years that all of a sudden will attack mankind, and oh then throw in Joe Biden trying to get into a war with eye-ran." He seems nice too, also smart. — (@) There are about three, mathematically predictable solar eclipses a year, and many unpredictable earthquakes caused by shifting tectonic plates, not God being mad about gay marriage; both have occurred since creation, and you can read about them here and here. Regardless, news of these events made the right wing lose whatever's left of their minds. Alex Jones - not much left there - called the eclipse "a dress rehearsal" for declaring martial law if Trump wins the election. He cited “Major Events" like "Masonic rituals (to) usher in a New World Order," noting the eclipse trajectory in the U.S. forms an “Aleph” and “Tav,” the first and last Hebrew letters, signaling end times. Another genius saw a "perfect cover story if our terrorist government wanted to take down the power grid and cause mass chaos while blocking citizen communications (to) unleash a dictatorship" before Trump can win. And to ensure "no Satanic forces come through" during the eclipse, Steve Bannon hosted a live Mass with newly fired, financially sketchy, MAGA Bishop Joseph Strickland "in prayer and penance for our country."It didn't help that a nerdy NASA project in Virginia measuring changes in electric and magnetic fields - Project APEP, short for Atmospheric Perturbations Around the Eclipse Path, referencing the snake god of darkness - planned to shoot rockets at the moon during the eclipse. To one wise wingnut, that meant there would be "rituals performed by Masonic, Satanic, Esoteric, Gnostic, Brotherhood of the Snake and other occult-like groups." And because if it's Monday, it must be the frog-raining end of days, several red states, Oklahoma and Texas among them, issued various disaster warnings and executive orders because when in doubt or fear just go totalitarian. In Arkansas, "out of an abundance of caution," lying Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders declared a state of emergency over a possible "backlog of deliveries by commercial vehicles transporting essential items of commerce" during maybe four minutes of darkness. In truth, noted one of her constituents, "The real emergency is that "the governor of an entire state is a fucking moron."In honor of the fraught occasion, Fox News took its usual, balanced, erudite approach and went with racist paranoia on the subject of the dangers of an eclipse at the border even though it was so cloudy it wouldn't have much effect. Host Dana Perino: "A rare celestial event collides with a policy failure on the ground." Host Bill Hemmer: Officials bracing for higher traffic under cover of darkness "means a real opportunity for smugglers and cartels and migrants to come right in..." Vile correspondent Bill Melugin: "While everybody is gonna be looking up, if you're looking down here at the border, here's some of what you're gonna see." He offers video of "a surge of illegal alien evaders" (two poor guys scrambling through brush) with, "You'll see illegal immigrants dressed in dark clothing, sometimes camouflage...And you'll see outnumbered border agents trying to respond as these guys flood in" (one sad guy gets caught) "as they're trying to sneak into the United States." Cruelty, as usual, is the point here, and the eclipse gives us one more ugly, feckless chance to flaunt it.Four years ago, amidst a pandemic needlessly killing hundreds of thousands, the "leader" of all these loathsome, inept people was showing them how it's done, sputtering nobody's thanking him for the great job he's doing, yet more tests bring more cases: "So I said to my people, 'Slow the testing down, please.'" Somehow, now it's worse. For the eclipse, he released a deeply weird, insanely narcissistic ad declaring, to the soaring music of 2001, "The Most Important Moment In Human History." As awe-struck crowds watch, we see the sun slowly eclipsed by....his wattled, blubbery, grotesque silhouette. Comments: "The most accidentally honest ad Trump's team ever put out," "this fucking moron won't even let himself be upstaged by the solar system," "what a freak," "not a cult," "how can I make this about me?," "going all in with the anti-Christ thing," "Stephen Miller is no Leni Riefenstahl," "fat boy ate the sun," "total eclipse of the brain," "dark side of the buffoon," "totalitarian eclipse." For a laugh, someone added light passing ear to ear. Not a laugh: "So, Trump will bring darkness to us. Got it."
[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 4/9/24 2:05am
Lordy. Our apocalyptic circus of bigots, morons, loudmouths and clowns has stayed in town too long. To wit: a ceaseless GOP House "shit show," racists freaking out at too-tanned NCAA players "invading," pastors cancelling autism awareness as "demonic," Klan Mom decrying black market harvesting of baby organs - thanks Dr. Fauci! - and now, from God or the Gazpacho police, an earthquake and end-of-the-world eclipse telling us to "repent." First, maybe repent for an electoral college that gave us this lunacy. The seedy grandstand for the mayhem is the (barely) GOP-controlled House, which for a while has been "imploding in plain sight." After skipping town for Easter, they left behind yet more flops earning yet more declarations of "Republicans in disarray." Amidst a "Great Resignation" that's seen the highest number of lawmakers quitting in 40 years, two more Reps - Gallagher and Buck - are bowing out, leaving the GOP a paltry one-seat majority. The showboats of what Raskin calls the "chaos-and- cannibalism caucus" still don't like their Speaker for (five months late) keeping the government open with a $1.2 trillion spending bill, Comer's Biden impeachment effort has crashed and burned like his other "investigations," the sole accomplishments of the shortest and least productive House session since the Great Depression are re-naming some Veterans Affairs clinics and authorizing a coin to mark the Marine Corps' 250th anniversary, and even George Santos says he's (inexplicably) running again as an Independent 'cause the GOP is too "embarrassing." For once, he has a point. Self-righteous blowhards venting ignorance and hate, they seem to do nothing but voice imaginary grievances when grownups do things they don't like. When the effort to remove Fani Willis from Trump's election interference case failed, they shrieked, "It's all rigged!" and "There is no justice in America today." When Kamala Harris touted an effort to keep guns away from dangerous people, yahoos who send out Christmas cards of their kids cradling AR-15's bayed, "What the hell is this evil?" When a Transgender Day of Visibility coincidentally fell on Easter, they ranted it was part of a "years-long assault on the Christian faith" and the Catholic Biden - to Trump, one of "MANY PEOPLE THAT I COMPLETELY & TOTALLY DESPISE BECAUSE THEY WANT TO DESTROY AMERICA," would now "commandeer" Christmas with a Trans-Siberian Orchestra playing and say what? When a Florida school planned Autism Awareness Week, the pastor cancelled it as "demonic" (like "Santa Clause") because "anything that exalts itself above the name of Christ should be brought down."And when racist moron and Michigan state rep Matt Maddock - who boasts he's America's "Most Conservative" pol, tried to imprison "war criminal" Gretchen Whitmer for requiring masks during COVID, got kicked out of the House GOP Caucus as too conspiracy-y even for them, posts things like "the left hates farmers," "government controls your air conditioning," "bail reform kills people," "communists are lonely, bitter, angry cowards with sad kids," and whose wife is under indictment as one of Michigan's fake electors - saw three buses at Detroit Airport and some scary dark guys alight, squawked they were "illegal invaders" and "everyone knows" Whitmer is "bussing in illegals and asking (us) to shack them up in their homes for $6,000 a year." Except they were the Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball team there to play in the NCAA Mens Sweet 16 March Madness against Purdue. Confronted with his "spectacular stupidity" and the facts, even by supporters, he snarled back - “Sure kommie. Good talking point" - and doubled down with replacement theory: "How long till the #HostileMedia calls the invaders homesteaders?" He seems nice.The implausible queen of this GOP rabble is grandstanding, hate-mongering, self-promoting "purveyor of political pageantry" Marjorie Taylor Greene, a useless, performative troll most recently appointed to chair the "useless, performative impeachment" of Homeland Security's Alejandro Mayorkas by Mike Johnson in hopes of shutting her up as she tries to oust him for keeping the government running, or something. Among other memorable ventures since her Jewish Space Laser and school-shooting-survivor-harassing days: Inventing an Antifa plan for a "Trans Day of Vengeance," arguing 8-to-10-year-old Uvalde victims should've been armed with JR-15 rifles, spreading a replacement theory video about "the Democrat (sic) open border plan to entrench single party rule," and after Mexico's president proposed several U.S. actions to ease border crossings, refuting them with a "Declaration of War" against Mexican cartels for fentanyl trafficking, even though it's mostly produced in China and smuggled into this country not by migrants but U.S. citizens or other legal visitors.Last month she also hosted, with live stream, a "Hearing Investigating the Black Market of Baby Organ Harvesting" to explore "the "aborrent (sic) truth of the industrial abortion complex (to) profit off the murder of unborn babies." She'd announced the event, based on repeatedly debunked conspiracy theories that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue for profit - including grafting "the scalps of unborn babies onto the backs of rodents in a study funded by Anthony Fauci under the NIH" - with a beaming photo of herself that, noted one observer, "looked oddly bubbly for a hearing on dead babies." Her two speakers were David Daleiden, who in 2015 released heavily edited videos of himself as a fake biomedical researcher trying to buy fetal tissue, after which Planned Parenthood successfully sued him for $2 million; and Terrisa Bukovinac, who in 2022 was convicted with another anti-abortion activist of blocking access to a health clinic, stealing 115 aborted fetuses from a medical waste truck, burying most of them, and keeping five they claimed without evidence were "born alive and then murdered."Greene said she wanted the hearing, attended by five people though she invited every member of Congress, to be a graphic, gory, in-your-face rebuttal to genteel talk of "women's health care." And so it was, with her use of pointedly incendiary language and images: "abortionists," not doctors, "babies sucked out while still alive" by an instrument "more powerful than a household vacuum," "tiny brains and hearts," "over 63 million people murdered in the womb" - misinformation so prevalent House Dems created a website to refute it - and no mention of vital medical advances facilitated by fetal tissue research. Still, wise-acres weren't buying it: "Baby Organ Harvesting is my Norwegian Death Metal cover band," "Marge hungry," "Do you know how many fetus livers it would take to make a single kabob?", "Curious how she'll tie it into Hunter's dick pics," "She should do her genealogy - she would have led lots of witch trials if she was alive back then," and, "This is absolutely ridiculous. No one harvests baby organs. Infants are only run through hydraulic presses to make baby oil, and THAT'S IT!"But not even abortion, or terrorists collapsing Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge, or earthquakes in what Rudy Giuliani called "the communist states" of New York and New Jersey - with its epicenter at Trump's Bedminster golf course deemed "Ivana's revenge" -come close to the "Super Bowl for Conspiracists" that is an eclipse. Marge was on it: "God is sending America strong signs to tell us to repent." So was her squinty-eyed, right-wing boyfriend Brian Glenn - Wonkette calls him "the dude she has been having what we assume is very sweaty, pale, Godly white-person sex with" - who very scientifically "explains astronomy" and eclipses with, “I think we're going to see where the largest kind of a spiritual awakening in this country that people are realizing how much evil has creeped (sic) into (our) lives." He also warned of its fallout, "combined with earthquakes, and this infestation of locusts that have been dormant for years that all of a sudden will attack mankind, and oh then throw in Joe Biden trying to get into a war with eye-ran." He seems nice too, also smart. — (@) There are about three, mathematically predictable solar eclipses a year, and many unpredictable earthquakes caused by shifting tectonic plates, not God being mad about gay marriage; both have occurred since creation, and you can read about them here and here. Regardless, news of these events made the right wing lose whatever's left of their minds. Alex Jones - not much left there - called the eclipse "a dress rehearsal" for declaring martial law if Trump wins the election. He cited “Major Events" like "Masonic rituals (to) usher in a New World Order," noting the eclipse trajectory in the U.S. forms an “Aleph” and “Tav,” the first and last Hebrew letters, signaling end times. Another genius saw a "perfect cover story if our terrorist government wanted to take down the power grid and cause mass chaos while blocking citizen communications (to) unleash a dictatorship" before Trump can win. And to ensure "no Satanic forces come through" during the eclipse, Steve Bannon hosted a live Mass with newly fired, financially sketchy, MAGA Bishop Joseph Strickland "in prayer and penance for our country."It didn't help that a nerdy NASA project in Virginia measuring changes in electric and magnetic fields - Project APEP, short for Atmospheric Perturbations Around the Eclipse Path, referencing the snake god of darkness - planned to shoot rockets at the moon during the eclipse. To one wise wingnut, that meant there would be "rituals performed by Masonic, Satanic, Esoteric, Gnostic, Brotherhood of the Snake and other occult-like groups." And because if it's Monday, it must be the frog-raining end of days, several red states, Oklahoma and Texas among them, issued various disaster warnings and executive orders because when in doubt or fear just go totalitarian. In Arkansas, "out of an abundance of caution," lying Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders declared a state of emergency over a possible "backlog of deliveries by commercial vehicles transporting essential items of commerce" during maybe four minutes of darkness. In truth, noted one of her constituents, "The real emergency is that "the governor of an entire state is a fucking moron."In honor of the fraught occasion, Fox News took its usual, balanced, erudite approach and went with racist paranoia on the subject of the dangers of an eclipse at the border even though it was so cloudy it wouldn't have much effect. Host Dana Perino: "A rare celestial event collides with a policy failure on the ground." Host Bill Hemmer: Officials bracing for higher traffic under cover of darkness "means a real opportunity for smugglers and cartels and migrants to come right in..." Vile correspondent Bill Melugin: "While everybody is gonna be looking up, if you're looking down here at the border, here's some of what you're gonna see." He offers video of "a surge of illegal alien evaders" (two poor guys scrambling through brush) with, "You'll see illegal immigrants dressed in dark clothing, sometimes camouflage...And you'll see outnumbered border agents trying to respond as these guys flood in" (one sad guy gets caught) "as they're trying to sneak into the United States." Cruelty, as usual, is the point here, and the eclipse gives us one more ugly, feckless chance to flaunt it.Four years ago, amidst a pandemic needlessly killing hundreds of thousands, the "leader" of all these loathsome, inept people was showing them how it's done, sputtering nobody's thanking him for the great job he's doing, yet more tests bring more cases: "So I said to my people, 'Slow the testing down, please.'" Somehow, now it's worse. For the eclipse, he released a deeply weird, insanely narcissistic ad declaring, to the soaring music of 2001, "The Most Important Moment In Human History." As awe-struck crowds watch, we see the sun slowly eclipsed by....his wattled, blubbery, grotesque silhouette. Comments: "The most accidentally honest ad Trump's team ever put out," "this fucking moron won't even let himself be upstaged by the solar system," "what a freak," "not a cult," "how can I make this about me?," "going all in with the anti-Christ thing," "Stephen Miller is no Leni Riefenstahl," "fat boy ate the sun," "total eclipse of the brain," "dark side of the buffoon," "totalitarian eclipse." For a laugh, someone added light passing ear to ear. Not a laugh: "So, Trump will bring darkness to us. Got it."
[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 4/8/24 2:25pm
Today, Common Cause filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court of the United States urging the court to decide Donald J. Trump v. United States expeditiously in order to avoid perceptions of political bias and to allow a lower court trial of the former president on conspiracy and corruption charges to be held before the November presidential election.“The American people deserve a trial and a verdict on these serious charges before they go to the polls in November,” said Virginia Kase Solomón, president of Common Cause. “The presumptive Republican presidential nominee stands criminally charged with conspiracy and obstruction stemming from his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. It is critically important that the Supreme Court rule quickly, as it has in past presidential cases, so that justice can be rendered before Americans cast their ballots.”The brief emphasizes that Trump’s claim of absolute immunity from prosecution for the criminal acts alleged in his pending indictment is “untenable and poses a direct threat to the rule of law.” In urging the High Court to rule quickly in the case, the Common Cause brief cites previous cases – including United States v. Nixon and Bush v. Gore – where the Justices acted quickly when the presidency was at stake and the public interest demanded speed.The brief asks the Supreme Court to act with the same expediency it did earlier this year in deciding Trump v. Anderson in the former president’s favor when it ruled that states cannot disqualify any candidate for federal office under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. In light of that ruling, the brief warns that a failure to act quickly could open the Court to the perception that it is attempting to influence the 2024 election in favor of Trump.“Any impression that the Supreme Court is slow-walking a decision about presidential immunity when they have acted with speed in Anderson, Bush and Nixon could dangerously undermine public faith in the court,” said Kathay Feng, vice president of programs for Common Cause. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved above the main entrance to the Supreme Court, and Americans expect no less. There is no caveat.”A grand jury indicted Trump in In August 2023, on four charges related to his actions to overturn the 2020 presidential election. In February, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the trial should move forward.Oral arguments before the Supreme Court in Trump v. United States will be held on April 25.To read Common Cause’s amicus brief, click here.
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[l] at 4/8/24 2:09pm
Public Citizen today filed an amicus brief in Trump v. United States. Donald Trump is charged in that case with federal crimes allegedly committed to keep himself in power and prevent Joe Biden, the lawful winner of the 2020 Presidential election, from taking office. In the U.S. Supreme Court, Trump is arguing that he is immune from prosecution because, he claims, the acts with which he is charged fall within the scope of a president’s duties. Public Citizen’s amicus brief explains that the acts cannot reasonably be claimed to fall within a president’s duties. A president has no specific constitutionally assigned role in the conduct of presidential elections. Any assertion that a president’s authority empowers him to conspire to overturn the result of a valid election and retain power beyond his term in office would be absurd.“Accepting a view of the outer limits of presidential authority that would sweep in a conspiracy to overturn an election and remain in office unlawfully would have exceptionally broad implications and threaten severe damage to our constitutional democracy,” the brief states. “The Constitution does not silently prohibit holding a former president accountable to the law when he is alleged to have engaged in criminal violations aimed at overthrowing our constitutional form of government.”“Trump’s legal theory defies common sense and would enable an almost limitless tyranny. Nothing in the Constitution – which aims to prevent tyranny – supports Trump’s theory,” stated Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen.
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[l] at 4/5/24 8:54am
CODEPINK's Ann Wright, Medea Benjamin and hundreds of other human rights activists with the Freedom Flotilla Coalition are due to set sail on multiple vessels in mid-April to carry 5,500 tons of aid for Gaza. Their mission, aside from delivering the much-needed humanitarian aid, is to challenge Israel's illegal blockade of Gaza amid dire conditions, including widespread hunger and lack of medical attention intentionally caused by Israeli policies. Time is running out for many in Gaza as Israel threatens an all-out attack on Rafah and experts warn hunger and disease could soon surpass casualties from bombings. “I have been walking the halls of Congress every day since October, going to rallies every weekend, writing letters of outrage to President Biden every night–and nothing has worked to stop Israel from murdering thousands upon thousands of innocent people. What more can I do? I can go on this flotilla to try to break the criminal siege that Israel has imposed on Gaza,” said CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin. “President Biden waited six months, waited until 33,000 had been killed, mostly women and children, before picking up the phone and demanding that Netanyahu reduce civilian harm, allow more aid in, and protect aid workers,” said CODEPINK Ret. Army Colonel and former U.S. Diplomat Ann Wright. “But even if Israel allows more humanitarian aid in, it is still bombing Gaza with U.S. bombs, shooting innocent people and imprisoning the 2.2 million people that live in Gaza. Getting humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza is urgent, but it is not sufficient. We must end Israel’s unlawful, deadly blockade as well as Israel’s overall control of Gaza. That’s why we need this flotilla, filled with unarmed civilians, human rights observers from 30 countries, to challenge Israel’s brutal grip on the Gaza strip.” Israel's longstanding neglect of its responsibility as an occupying power to safeguard the health and wellbeing of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank has escalated into genocidal actions, including using starvation as a weapon of war. Israeli leaders have openly declared intentions to collectively punish Gaza's population. The Freedom Flotilla opposes Israel's authority over aid and will refuse any inspection of our cargo. For safety and effective aid distribution, the flotilla will deploy numerous international humanitarian observers from diverse backgrounds and countries. Despite air drops of food and temporary docks, Israel continues to block thousands of aid trucks from entering Gaza through land crossings. The International Court of Justice's rulings on January 26 and March 28 emphasize Israel's obligation to ensure the safety and security of Palestinians in Gaza, including facilitating humanitarian assistance without obstruction. "The International Court of Justice's preliminary measures ordered against Israel are very clear," comments Ismail Moola of South Africa's Palestine Solidarity Alliance, which is part of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition. "The court's ruling requires the whole world to play their part to stop the genocide unfolding in Gaza, including unobstructed access to vital aid. While our governments fail to lead in these urgently required humanitarian responses, people of conscience and our grassroots organizations must act to take leadership. When governments fail, we sail!" The Freedom Flotilla Coalition is a non-partisan international coalition of campaigns that stand for freedom and human rights in Palestine. They have sailed since 2010 with the goal of breaking the blockade of Gaza, and in solidarity with Palestinians cries for freedom and equality. Their non-violent direct action missions support the dignity and humanity of Palestinians, working with civil society partners, rather than any party, faction or government.
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[l] at 4/4/24 10:30pm
Mournfully - and astoundingly for those of us who so clearly remember it - we mark the 56th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on a Memphis motel balcony in what is a dark America still riven by the same hate that killed him, and still woefully failing to fulfill his goal of racial equity. Robert Kennedy, the long-ago night of King's death: "It is perhaps well to ask what kind of nation we are, and what direction we want to move in." Civil rights "trailblazer, prophet, and champion of justice," King was struck down at just 39 by a single bullet to the neck on April 4, 1968. He had come to Memphis the day before to help striking sanitation workers rally for better wages and safer working conditions. The night of April 3, speaking extemporaneously to an overflow crowd at the Mason Temple, he gave what became his prophetic final speech, urging his audience, "We've got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. "We've got some difficult days ahead," he warned. "But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop...And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."The next evening, as King stood on a balcony at the Lorraine Motel, he was fatally wounded by a rifle fired from a rooming house across the street; he lost consciousness and was pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Hospital about an hour later. In one later book account, when his "grieving disciples" - Ralph Abernathy, Andrew Young and several others - left the hospital, "back they went to Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel." It was both a grim spot to reconvene, with King's blood still staining the balcony cement, and an apt place to mourn with its remnants of his last day on earth - his attaché case, a crumpled white shirt, a half-filled Styrofoam coffee cup, his Bible. In their anguish, they brooded: What would happen to their movement, who could take King's place, how could they help stop the rioting that had swiftly broken out at the news, "the violent antithesis of everything for which King had stood."To millions of black Americans, King represented their hopes for the commitment of white America to racial equality. To them, the next day's New York Times obituary read, King was "the prophet of their crusade for racial equality, their voice of anguish, their eloquence in humiliation, their battle cry for human dignity...He forged for them the weapons of nonviolence that withstood and blunted the ferocity of segregation." Said Stokely Carmichael, "When (America) killed Dr. King, (she) killed the one man of our race that this country’s older generation, the militants and the revolutionaries, and the masses of black people would still listen to." In the motel room that night, though, King's comrades found "consolation in a 19-inch Philco Starlite television set" where they saw former Attorney General and presidential candidate Robert Kennedy announce the death to a mostly black crowd in Indianapolis. — (@) One account describes that 24 hours as "a tragic, extraordinary moment in American history" when two of the nation's most visible leaders, one black, one white, each offered "elegant statements of belief" - King, his final night before, Kennedy, coincidentally campaigning as the news hit and word of the riots began to spread. In his book The Promise and the Dream, David Margolick describes a "wary" relationship between two men often "shadow-boxing," "not pals" - the racial and cultural divide was too broad - but allies. Said the ever-generous John Lewis, who worked with both, "They were friends and didn’t even know they were friends." Kennedy's staff tried to dissuade him from speaking to the crowd - too politically and literally dangerous - but Kennedy was newly at home and welcome in the black community, and so stubborn he liked to echo press criticism by calling himself “Senator Ruthless."He spoke soon after King was declared dead; as audio starts, you hear him ask aides, "Do they know about Martin Luther King?" Standing on the back of a flatbed truck, wrapped in his big brother’s old overcoat, he spoke for seven minutes; he held some notes, glanced briefly at them, then ignored them. "I have bad news for you," he told the crowd in the city's worst neighborhood. "Martin Luther King was shot and killed tonight." Shrieks from the crowd. Kennedy calmly went on. "(King) dedicated his life to love and to justice for his fellow human beings, and he died because of that effort," he said. "In this difficult time, (it) is perhaps well to ask what kind of nation we are and what direction we want to move in." "For those of you who are black," he said, they may wish to move toward bitterness, hate, revenge; or they could try to understand, have compassion and move past "the injustice of such an act."Incongruously - impossibly, in today's dumbed-down America - he summoned "my favorite poet Aeschylus," the ancient Greek often deemed the father of tragedy: "Even in our sleep, pain which we cannot forget falls drop by drop from the heart, until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God." What America needed was not division, hatred, violence, but "love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice towards those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black." Silence from the crowd; he stands, unsure. Then, a slow rise of applause. Aeschylus, again. "Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago, to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world," he said. "Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and our people."To King's grieving allies watching from the Lorraine Motel, "Bobby Kennedy’s was the only voice we identified with that night - we were grateful he was out there." In that fraught moment, said Andrew Young, "We wanted to get on television and tell people not to fight, not to burn down the cities...to get the message out 'this is not what Dr. King would have you doing,' but the press didn't want to talk to us." In the next days, violence erupted in over 125 American cities across 29 states; nearly 50,000 federal troops occupied urban areas, with 40 deaths, many arrests and injuries, vast property damage. But Indianapolis stayed calm. For many, it seemed Kennedy had "picked up (King's) torch," Young said, but they also somehow questioned "how long he would get to hold it." Two months later, after winning the California primary on June 5, Kennedy was shot and killed in the kitchen of a Los Angeles hotel.This week, marking the mournful anniversary, members of the King family still sought to address RFK's decades-old, still-unrealized plea "to ask what kind of a nation we are," and then righteously act on it. "Daddy, it's been 56 years, and your presence is still dearly missed. Your words bring comfort and direction despite your absence from your earthly body," wrote daughter Bernice King. And from The King Center, "We honor you, sir." Relatives made a rare, painful trip back to Memphis and the site of King's murder, now the National Civil Rights Museum, to decry the enduring evils of racism, poverty, war and political violence he preached and fought against. In this very, very dark moment" in a right-leaning America, they said, "We are asking for us all to stand together, to walk together, to continue his work together to make real his dream of the beloved community." And may he rest in power.
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[l] at 4/4/24 10:23am
The Biden administration today issued a final rule that protects 2.2 million federal civil service employees from political hirings and firings. Bitsy Skerry, regulatory policy associate for Public Citizen, issued the following statement: “An independent federal workforce ensures that our government works for all of us, not for one party or one person. Our nation’s civil servants, the workhorses of our democracy, deserve strong protections to ensure their jobs are based on a foundation of nonpartisan merit and expertise, not partisan bias and loyalty. Civil servants across the country, not just in Washington, D.C., serve the public interest every day by delivering our mail, ensuring the food and medicine we purchase is safe, and protecting our national security. Safeguarding their jobs protects us all, and the Biden administration’s new rule does just that.”
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[l] at 4/4/24 8:23am
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that three non-profits will manage the distribution of the National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF), a $14 billion fund that can help leverage additional private sector capital to significantly expand clean energy projects across the country. The fund—a part of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) created by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)—is designed to increase access to affordable financing for critical clean energy technology and efficiency projects. The EPA also announced that five non-profits will manage $6 billion in awards under the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA). According to White House officials, 70% of the GGRF capital announced today will flow to low-income and disadvantaged communities. Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael Regan will formally announce these award selections later today in North Carolina.The NCIF builds on the success of over 40 existing state and local green bank programs that are using limited public funding to leverage greater private sector investment in clean energy. These programs have mobilized $21.8 billion in cumulative investments for clean energy projects since 2011, including $7 billion in 2023 alone, according to the Coalition for Green Capital.Below is a statement by Steve Clemmer, the director of energy research and analysis at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).“Establishing the National Clean Investment Fund is pivotal in catalyzing the transition to an equitable, decarbonized economy. Using seed money from public funding to unlock additional private sector investment and new low-cost financing is a cornerstone in the transition to clean energy, and this program ensures the associated benefits are accessible to all. It is hopeful to see a list of non-profits that have a proven track record of financing clean energy in low-income and disadvantaged communities.“With the lead nonprofit institutions and a consortium of partners in place, the hard work begins to ensure capital and resources are directed to the communities most in need. This is a unique opportunity to empower all communities, businesses, and families to benefit from the clean energy transition. While the NCIF is a significant step forward, UCS research shows clearly that even more ambition by all levels of government is needed to meet U.S. climate goals and advance environmental justice.”UCS strongly advocates for the acceleration of renewable energy deployment across the country, with a particular focus on ensuring the transition to clean energy is done equitably and does not leave vulnerable, historically burdened communities behind. UCS is a member of the Equitable and Just National Climate Forum (EJNCF), which put forward joint recommendations on the GGRF urging the EPA to design and implement this fund to maximize investments and benefits delivered to disadvantaged and low-income communities. UCS has also worked closely with the Coalition for Green Capital and state green bank programs, as well as contributing to a joint letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s design and implementation.A recent UCS study found that for the United States to meet its climate goals—including cutting economywide heat-trapping emissions in half by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions no later than 2050—wind, solar, and other renewables would need to nearly triple from 22% of U.S. electricity generation in 2021 to 60% in 2030, and 92% in 2050. The analysis also found that the IRA’s clean energy incentives provide important momentum for the United States to make major near-term emissions reductions, but those could be at risk if fossil fuel use is expanded simultaneously. Additionally, while the IRA roughly doubles the current pace of annual emissions reductions to about 3% per year through 2030, the country will need to further accelerate its reductions to roughly 5% per year to achieve its climate targets.
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[l] at 4/2/24 1:17pm
People’s Action today released the following statement from People’s Action Health Care for All Campaign Director Aija Nemer-Aanerud in response to the Biden administration’s final notice of a 3.7% rate increase in 2025 for so-called “Medicare Advantage” plans. The announcement represents a victory over greedy insurance corporations that overcharge the Medicare program, engage in systemic denials of care to increase profits–and had lobbied the administration for a larger rate increase. “The private insurance industry is used to getting its way, but this year we out-organized them.“Medicare is one of the most popular government programs because it delivers health care to people when and where they need it. Private insurance companies like UnitedHealthcare spent millions in advertising and lobbying in Washington to demand more of our public money for privatized, so-called ‘Medicare Advantage’ plans.“We countered their lobbying by helping people share their stories with lawmakers about how Medicare Advantage plans harmed them by denying care when they needed it most. We commend the Biden administration for listening to our people and refusing to cave to the insurance lobby’s demands. “We urge President Biden to do more to rein in abuse of the Medicare program by private corporations and reinvest public funds into expanding and strengthening traditional Medicare.”Medicare Advantage is a privatized form of Medicare in which the federal government gives Medicare funds to private health insurers to administer Medicare plans. These corporations use much of this money to invest heavily in advertising while skimping on care. These privatized plans create opaque bureaucracies and extraordinary fees. The corporations that run these private plans profit while denying care, spending 15-25% less than traditional Medicare on their enrollees' medical services while being paid 23% more.
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[l] at 4/2/24 8:23am
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, joined by 125 national, state, and local organizations, wrote to senators today expressing strong support for the confirmation of Adeel Mangi to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and condemning the baseless and bigoted attacks being waged against him. The organizations represent the breadth and depth of the civil and human rights community, including faith groups, labor unions, and organizations fighting for LGBTQ rights, reproductive freedom, women’s rights, voting rights, disability rights, and immigrant, economic, and environmental justice. “Mr. Mangi is fair-minded, brilliant, and has shown throughout his impressive legal career a steadfast dedication to equal justice for all, and he will be a tremendous judge on the Third Circuit,” the groups write. “His work has secured landmark victories and has made a positive impact on people’s lives, and his confirmation would bring to the appellate bench important but underrepresented civil rights experience that is greatly needed in the federal judiciary.” Despite his impeccable qualifications, Mr. Mangi has faced manufactured and baseless attacks that should never be endured by any nominee. “The anti-Muslim tropes and unfounded assertions against him are the kinds of stereotyping that have long driven Islamophobia, which is on the rise. They also send a dangerous message to communities across the nation and potential future lawyers and judges that their path to the bench and desire to serve our nation will be obstructed by unfounded accusations based solely on their identity,” the groups write. The letter urges senators to assess Mr. Mangi’s nomination based on his credentials rather than his religion, race, or ethnicity, and it acknowledges that racism and hate facing many communities across the nation — including hate and bias experienced by Muslim, South Asian, and Arab communities — is further stoked by the kind of dangerous attacks that have surrounded Mr. Mangi’s nomination. “Mr. Mangi is eminently qualified and will be a fair-minded judge. No one should tolerate baseless and bigoted attacks and lies that are being created by an orchestrated campaign to take down the first Muslim federal appellate judge,” the letter states. “History will remember this powerfully important moment for the future of equal justice in America.” Read the letter here.
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[l] at 4/2/24 6:12am
Sunrise Movement has continued its support for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza by calling youth voters in the lead up to the April 2nd primary in Wisconsin. This follows mobilization by Sunrise volunteers in Michigan and other states with uncommitted on the ballot. This effort for voters to vote uninstructed in Wisconsin is the latest effort by progressives to show the Biden administration that its current leadership on Gaza is out of touch with the Democratic Party’s base. “Biden’s best chance to succeed in November is by supporting an immediate and permanent ceasefire and ending unconditional military aid to the Israeli government, " said Michele Wiendling, Political Director of Sunrise Movement. “The president is hemorrhaging the support of young voters by aiding in the destruction of people’s lives and homes in Gaza. If President Biden wants to defeat Trump, he must listen to young people, people of color, and the working class who put him in office in 2020 and immediately change course.” This follows direct actions that young people have taken including at Biden’s 2024 campaign headquarters where Sunrise members demanded the president finance “climate not genocide” and interrupted fundraisers demanding more climate action. “Gaza is a climate voter issue. Sunrise Movement is fighting for clean air, drinkable water, and safe communities. We believe the people of Palestine deserve that too. There has been more emissions produced by US financed bombs in Gaza than the emissions of 20 small countries. We need Biden to fight for peace so that we can collectively fight for more climate wins in the future.” said Aru Shiney-Ajay, Executive Director of Sunrise Movement.
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[l] at 4/2/24 12:52am
Honestly, we were going to mark the date with a spoof report - light in the darkness! - of Israel razing multiple pavilions at the upcoming Venice Art Biennale because they mistook talk of a new hummus place for threats of a new Hamas attack. But Gaza's latest news is too gutting: Hundreds of burned, tied, crushed bodies left at al-Shifa hospital, and seven World Central Kitchen workers murdered delivering food to starving people. WTF. Sorry, but no room for light in this savage "genocidal machine." Progressive art forum Hyperallergic brought a bleak April Fool's Day to bear on the horrors: Nearly 33,000 dead, most women and children, over 75,000 wounded, many thousands still buried, starvation spreading. In Pavilions Flattened at the Venice Biennale, they reported that international artists and curators woke to find their exhibits leveled by a paranoid Israel that misinterpreted buzz about a new hummus joint as word of a Hamas action; they noted the U.S. quickly offered to pay for rebuilding while congratulating Israeli authorities for "dealing with the threat posed by the local hummus stand, which (they) later sanctioned for its allegorical ties to terrorism as outlined in a haiku provided to them by the Israeli military." Another piece reported that Germany's National Gallery has removed all artwork depicting rivers or seas "to prevent creating the conditions for the probability of the possibility of inadvertently alluding to the chant ‘From the River to Sea, Palestine Will Be Free.'”Still, it couldn't counter grim real news in the wake of Israel's retreat from al-Shifa medical complex after a brutal two-week assault in which they claimed to have killed 200 "terrorists" and arrested over 500 people "associated with terrorist organizations." Refuting them, aid workers said they executed scores of civilians, including over a dozen children, killed at least 21 patients, and left dozens critically wounded. A journalist reported "hundreds of bodies" outside, many burned, tied up, or crushed by a bulldozer; many more are believed buried under the charred rubble of what was Gaza's largest hospital. Dr Ghassan Abu-Sittah, a volunteer surgeon, charged Shifa's destruction is "a critical component of Israel's plan to genocidally make sure Gaza becomes an uninhabitable place"; he also mourned the murder of a friend and brilliant young surgeon, one of 345 doctors, nurses or paramedics killed by Israel: "Remember their names and remember their stories." The same goes for seven aid workers, updated from original reports of five, killed by Israel while bringing food to starving people. We repeat: Bringing food to starving people. They were a Polish, Australian, dual US/Canadian worker, three British nationals and a Palestinian translator; all were killed. Volunteers for chef José Andrés' World Central Kitchen, they were in a three-car, IDF-approved convoy hit in succession - by three drone strikes, one after the other, as they ran from car to car; they'd just left a warehouse in Deir al-Bala where they unloaded some of the 400 tons of food delivered hours earlier by a ship from Cyprus at WCK's nearby newly built jetty. The attack was one of many strikes that have killed multiple aid workers and at least 400 hungry people seeking the food they carried. As yet, only the Australian has been named as "effervescent...shining light of comfort" Zomi Frankcom. Here she is, days before with "Chef Oli," happily showing off WCK's Deir al-Balah kitchen. See on Instagram After the IDF strike, the bodies of five dead were brought to a makeshift morgue at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. A Palestinian Red Crescent paramedic who helped transport them said the bodies were not fully blown apart due to the WCK protective gear they wore; hospital staff displayed the bloodied foreign passports of three. Warning: Here is graphic video of the scene. On the WCK site, Andrés' wrote he was "heartbroken" by the loss of "our sisters and brothers," "angels" he'd worked with around the world: "Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should NEVER be a target. EVER...They are not faceless, they are not nameless." He added Israel must "stop this indiscriminate killing (and) stop using food as a weapon. No more innocent lives lost." WCK has paused deliveries, and Gazan media denounced "another Israeli massacre." Australian P.M. Anthony Albanese called the death of Frankcom "completely unacceptable" in what he deemed "beyond any reasonable circumstances."An Israeli spokesman said the IDF will conduct "a thorough review (of) this tragic incident" and it makes "extensive efforts to enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid." Israel has said many things. On the same day last week, the U. N. both passed a resolution demanding a ceasefire and released a draft report, Anatomy of a Genocide, finding "reasonable grounds to believe" Israel is committing genocide in Gaza with "an intent to physically destroy Palestinians as a group...transforming everything and everyone into either a target or collateral damage, hence killable or destroyable." Israel said the report was "an obscene inversion of reality." They also said, as at least 27 Gazan children die of starvation and hundreds of thousands more face it, they will no longer allow UNRWA food convoys into northern Gaza. Now they're murdering others bearing food. You wanna talk obscene? By any "reasonable circumstances" - a shard of humanity, probity, justness, mercy - Israel is it.

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