Thu, 18/04/2024 - 11:10

The legal team representing high-powered insurers Lloyd’s and Arch says that since the Nord Stream explosions were “more likely than not to have been inflicted by… a government,” they have no responsibility to pay for damages to the pipelines. To succeed with that defense, the companies will presumably be compelled to prove, in court, who carried out those attacks.  British insurers are arguing that they have no obligation to honor their coverage of the Nord Stream pipelines, which were blown […]

The post UK insurers refuse to pay Nord Stream because blasts were ‘government’ backed first appeared on The Grayzone.

The post UK insurers refuse to pay Nord Stream because blasts were ‘government’ backed appeared first on The Grayzone.

Wed, 17/04/2024 - 09:00
Here’s the rundown from Ian Millhiser: The Supreme Court spent about an hour and a half on Tuesday morning arguing over whether to make it much harder for the Justice Department to prosecute hundreds of people who joined the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. It appears, after Tuesday’s arguments, that a majority of the justices will side with the insurrectionists — though it is far from clear how those justices will justify such an outcome. The case, known as Fischer v. United States, involved a federal law which provides that anyone who “obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so” commits a very serious federal felony and can be imprisoned for up to 20 years — although, as Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar pointed out during Tuesday’s argument, actual sentences against January 6 defendants convicted under this statute have been much shorter, normally ranging from a little less than one year to slightly over two years. According to the Justice Department, more than 1,265 people have been arrested for playing some role in the attack on the Capitol.
Thu, 18/04/2024 - 00:30
Fueling ecumenical extremism What Alan Bloom’s “The Closing of the American Mind” left me with most, beside his “these kids today” tone, was how, in our congenital hubris, many Americans believe their thoughts are their own. With no real schooling in the evolution of ideas or in critical thinking, Americans may ignore what they’ve absorbed from their cultural melieu as having no real bearing except perhaps on their sartorial and musical preferences. Fundamentalists, of course, receive an upbringing not only in what to think but in what not to, and to distrust ideas not handed down by the patriarchs, the apostles and megachurch prosperity peddlers. A habit of not interrogating one’s own thoughts make a mind fertile ground for those deliberately sowing weeds.
Thu, 18/04/2024 - 05:00
It’s the Republicans, stupid. Or rather, the stupid Republicans. This is so idiotic. Everyone knows that Mayorkas will not be convicted in the Senate. This kabuki today, with some MAGA Republican Senators caterwauling that there must be a full trial is supposed to jam up the Democrats running in tight Senate races but I find it hard to believe this mess means much to the average voter. Do most people even know it’s happening? I expect we’ll see more of this in the future. Just as they set the precedent for presidential non-accountability with the criminal Richard Nixon’s pardon, they did the same with Clinton’s absurd impeachment. The Republicans have been destroying norms for many decades now. It just ramped up to warp speed under Trump. This Mayorkas impeachment is particularly pathetic because it’s all happening because they can’t muster a reason to impeach the president even though they want to do that more than anything as a gift to their Dear Leader so they’re doing this as a sop to their base and a means to flog immigration for their electoral benefit.
Thu, 18/04/2024 - 08:00
Brian Beutler argues today in his newsletter (subscribe here) that even though the media has belatedly begun to acknowledge the booming Biden economy, we live in a world where there are too many people with vested interests in denying to allow Biden to have a “Morning In America” validation: Even as the mainstream press comes around, there are more than enough individuals and institutions with a rooting interest in denying the health of the economy to keep economic perceptions anchored way below where they’d be under a Republican president. Indeed, it would be remarkable if sentiment pokes above water before the year is out. If you’re wondering why I think that, here’s a rough-and-ready taxonomy of the doomsayers. THE REPUBLICAN GRASSROOTS I’m thinking of millions of partisan voters, mostly anonymous, who are so invested in GOP politics or movement conservatism or even just Donald Trump that they interpret Democratic rule as coterminous with apocalyptic decline. They huff right-wing media for hours a day. Their identities are wrapped up in their disdain for liberals, big cities, Hollywood, and the mainstream media.
Wed, 17/04/2024 - 23:00
The play’s the thing MAGA House Republicans on Tuesday peformed “The Impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Act 2.” You wonder why Republicans get nothing done? So does Chip Roy. “One thing: I want my Republican colleagues to give me one thing—one—that I can go campaign on and say we did. One!” Texas Rep. Chip Roy thundered on the floor of the House in November. Roy got no takers. They were too busy performing for the Fox News audience and Donald Trump. The play’s the thing, they thought, wherein we’ll win approval from the MAGA king. “What’s especially striking about Alejandro Mayorkas’ impeachment is how little effort Republicans are investing in keeping up appearances,” Maddowblog observes: It’s been more than a month since House Republicans made history by impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. His GOP detractors couldn’t find any evidence of him committing high crimes, but they nevertheless made Mayorkas the first sitting cabinet secretary in American history to impeached. And then, nothing happened.
Thu, 18/04/2024 - 03:30
Half of Republicans think the Arizona ban is wrong It’s the other half that is the problem: Think about that. A quarter of Arizona’s Republicans strongly approve of that grotesque law. And another 21% sort of approve of it. It’s sick. They’re sick.
Thu, 18/04/2024 - 06:30
This is abnormal, even for him There’s a lot going on in this world right now. This man is running for president and has a business that’s failing. Why in the world is he thinking about this at 8:00 in the morning? And, needless to say I’m sure, it was Al Pacino who made the gaffe about “Best Picture” (not Picture of the Year) not Kimmel. And I don’t think anyone said “Don’t read his truth, Jimmy” because it’s stupid. His mind is not working right. Not that it ever did but it’s getting a lot worse, right before our eyes. This is just bizarre.
Tue, 16/04/2024 - 23:00
With apologies to Digby For most on the right, pitching a hissy fit is a ploy to control the political narrative. A little phony sanctimony here, some faux outrage there, and plenty of echo-chamber volume, and Democrats run for cover. Maybe even beg forgiveness for something they did not do. But for Donald Trump, pitching a hissy fit is a way of life to which that Marvelous he is entitled. How dare any lesser being deprive him of his birthright? Yet, here Trump sits facing justice for falsifying business records and defrauding voters, a mere pleb in an ungilded New York City courtroom where hissy-fitting is not permitted. On Monday, Justice Juan Merchan explained to Trump just how things work in his domain (New York Times): As part of the pretrial housekeeping, Justice Juan Merchan delivered the so-called Parker warnings on courtroom behavior directly to the defendant, reminding him that he could be jailed if he disrupted the proceedings.