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Created
Fri, 21/06/2024 - 23:00
Reggie Jackson takes sports fans to school Listen to “Mr. October” describe his experiences as a Black professional baseball player beginning in the mid-1960s after passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts. As Elie Mystal tweets, this is history that many people want buried. The Washington Post fills in context: Brought onto a set Thursday to share memories of playing at a historic baseball stadium in Alabama, MLB Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson expressed raw, unsparing thoughts about the racism he experienced decades ago. “I walked into restaurants and they would point at me and say, ‘The [n-word] can’t eat here.’ I would go to a hotel and they would say, ‘The [n-word] can’t stay here,’” the 78-year-old told a Fox Sports panel that featured recently retired major league stars Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz and Derek Jeter. The comments came ahead of an MLB game between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants staged at Birmingham’s Rickwood Field. Billed as the country’s oldest ballpark, it was home to the Negro Leagues’ Black Barons as well as the minor league Birmingham Barons.
Created
Sat, 22/06/2024 - 03:30
It’s going to be a blockbuster All over cable news today are breathless reports about how “momentum” has shifted toward Trump because he collected $141 million last month compared to Biden’s apparently paltry $84 million. But they fail to mention that most of Trump’s money came from 3 billionaires, one of whom was this guy: Timothy Mellon, a reclusive heir to a Gilded Age fortune, donated $50 million to a super PAC supporting Donald J. Trump the day after the former president was convicted of 34 felonies, according to new federal filings, an enormous gift that is among the largest single disclosed contributions ever. The donation’s impact on the 2024 race is expected to be felt almost immediately. Within days of the contribution, the pro-Trump super PAC, Make America Great Again Inc., said in a memo that it would begin reserving $100 million in advertising through Labor Day. The group had only $34.5 million on hand at the end of April, and Mr. Mellon’s contribution accounted for much of the nearly $70 million that the super PAC raised in May.
Created
Sat, 22/06/2024 - 09:30
Two beluga whales are rescued from war-ravaged Kharkiv, Ukraine and taken to an aquarium in Spain. Salma Abdelaziz has more on their remarkable journey. pic.twitter.com/Tnll5fryp9 — Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) June 21, 2024   From the New York Times ( good news gift link for you!) It was a whale of an evacuation. Actually, two. In what experts said was among the most complex marine mammal rescue ever undertaken, the pair of beluga whales were extricated from an aquarium in the battered city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine and transported to Europe’s largest aquarium in Valencia, Spain, on Wednesday morning. As Russian aerial bombardments of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, have intensified, the evacuation of Plombir, a 15-year-old male, and Miranda, a 14-year-old female, came just in time, marine mammal experts said. “If they had continued in Kharkiv, their chances of survival would have been very slim,” said Daniel Garcia-Párraga, director of zoological operations at Oceanogràfic de Valencia, who helped lead the rescue. Belugas, whose natural habitat is the Arctic, need cold water to survive.
Created
Sat, 22/06/2024 - 00:30
With a heaping helping of retribution Gov. Tim Walz (D) of Minnesota on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning gave a tight “elevator speech” contrasting Democrats’ approach as caretakers of these United States versus the grievance and retribution agenda of a second Trump administration (transcribed so you don’t miss any of it in the X condensation): You’re seeing the contrast in this when you get a Democratic governor versus a Republican governor. We don’t have the Ten Commandments posted in our classrooms, but we have free breakfast and lunch. Those are policies that the Biden-Harris administration are talking about going nationally. It makes a huge difference. We use what we learned during the pandemic on the child tax credit. Minnesota’s going to reduce childhood poverty by a third. We already have one of the lowest numbers. Those are things that make a real difference in people’s lives, money back in the pockets of the middle class, policies that are making a difference in our schools. There’s a big contrast. What do you hear from the Trump administration other than grievance, retribution?
Created
Sat, 22/06/2024 - 05:00
In today’s excellent newsletter, Brian Beutler is absolutely right about this. We know that most of the kvetching about the economy at this point is coming from Republicans and even then they are reporting that their own finances are fine it’s everyone else who is suffering terribly under the horrors of Joe Biden’s economy. There are some independents and Democrats who are complaining as well which is where the real problem lies. Beutler points out that this phenomenon is asymmetric: [S]urvey data reliably shows that Republican economic sentiment is much, much more sensitive to partisan control of the White House than Democratic sentiment. Republican voters are trained by their media, or acculturated by their communities, to dissemble about their economic sentiments depending on who’s president—or, more generously, to feel so invested in who holds power in America that they lose touch with reality. Every poll like this one from Monmouth will sweep in voters whose responses are tethered to facts, and others, mostly Republicans, whose responses are shaped by partisanship and tribalism.
Created
Sat, 22/06/2024 - 08:00
This time it’s for “debauchery” This morning I wrote about the use of the Comstock Act and other zombie laws to help the right take America back to the 1890s. Get a load of this one: A government watchdog group filed suit in Delaware federal court this week, seeking to compel the Justice Department to produce records that may determine whether Hunter Biden should be further investigated under a 1910 law relating to “prostitution or debauchery.” The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project petitioned the same Wilmington bench where Biden was found guilty on gun charges this month, contending that there is a significant amount of evidence the first son was being probed on Mann Act grounds. The law, stemming from a time when prostitution was more prevalent in urban areas, states it is a felony to “knowingly transport… in interstate or foreign commerce… any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery.” The legal brief, obtained by Fox News Digital, includes part of a 2023 interview transcript from IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler before the House Ways & Means Committee.
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Sat, 22/06/2024 - 02:00
Anyone with a passing knowledge of the history of reproductive rights in America had heard of the antediluvian Comstock Act but I doubt most of them ever thought it would actually be back in use in the 21st century. The notorious “anti-vice” laws from 1873 banned the shipment of “lewd” written materials, contraceptives and any “instrument, substance, drug, medicine, or thing” for the purpose of abortion, had not been in force for many decades since the passage of various laws and the recognition of a constitutional right to abortion in 1973’s Roe v. Wade. Nonetheless, it remained on the books and leave it to the radicals putting together Project 2025 to exhume it the minute Samuel Alito and company gave them the green light.
Created
Sat, 22/06/2024 - 06:30
Trump keeps telling his fans that he doesn’t need any votes. He says he has more than enough. He says everything depends on stopping Democrats from “cheating” (by which he means voting.) So it makes sense that they wouldn’t be putting much effort into get out the vote. They figure they don’t really need it. Bill Sher at the Washington Monthly discusses the Trump “ground game” here and it turns out that they’re outsourcing it to a grifter. Yep: CNN reported that “Donald Trump’s campaign is taking a vastly different approach to 2024 compared with 2020, with plans for fewer staff and expenses [and instead] relying on wealthy conservative groups for data, infrastructure, and significant bank accounts.” It further noted that one of the most important of these groups is Turning Point Action, part of the Turning Point network that began with Turning Point USA.  Turning Point USA is a right-wing student group founded in 2012 by Charlie Kirk, an 18-year-old soon-to-be college dropout, and Bill Montgomery, an elderly Tea Party activist.  You know about Kirk by now.
Created
Sat, 22/06/2024 - 05:39
The summer after I graduated college, a group of friends and I moved out west and lived together in Berkeley, California. There were about ten of us in Rochdale Village, a complex of student cooperative housing on Haste Street, just off Telegraph Avenue, not far from the Berkley campus. I hadn’t thought about those apartments, or their name, till this afternoon, when I was reading Marx’s chapter on cooperation (chapter 11) in the first volume of Capital. I’m reading Capital in a new and amazing translation by Paul Reitter; it’s edited by Paul North. Wendy Brown has a foreword, and Will Roberts has an afterward. It’s due out this September. I’ll be reviewing it. In the middle of chapter 11, […]
Created
Thu, 20/06/2024 - 23:00
Louisiana again The Pelican State is in the news again. No, it’s not for House Speaker Mike “18th-century values” Johnson, or for Rep. Clay “I’d drop any 10 of you where you stand” Higgins, or for Sen. John “Wanna buy my pig?”* Kennedy, all Republicans. Gov. Jeff Landry on Wednesday signed into law a bill requiring display of the Ten Commandments in every public classroom in Louisiana. This makes Louisiana the only state with such a requirement. A similar bill proposed in Texas last year failed. Someone recently suggested that if Christian legislators insist that the Ten Commandments be displayed in public schools, make them display The Beatitudes (the words of Jesus) right beside them. It’d likely be a deal-breaker. “I can’t wait to be sued,” Landry told the crowd at a Tennessee GOP fundraiser last Saturday. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom From Religion Foundation promise to make Landry’s day.