Roaming Charges: Broken Windows Theory of Political Crime

Broken window, Alcatraz Prison. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

“In my country, you go to prison first, then become president.”

– Nelson Mandela

+ People griping about the trivial nature of the charges against Trump seem to have forgotten that the aggressive enforcement of trivial offenses has been the hallmark of American policing for 40 years, put into vicious deployment by Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani with Trump cheering him on. With hundreds of thousands of people arrested and jailed for minor offenses like subway fare evasion, loitering, jaywalking, or selling single cigarettes, isn’t it time we applied the Broken Windows Theory to political crimes and hold to account the people who enforced it on others?

+ Trump’s defenders say he’s been overcharged and that the crimes he may have committed were misdemeanors not felonies. They’re probably right. Overcharging is a common tactic of prosecutors to coerce guilty pleas. His own Justice Department aggressively overcharged as a matter of policy, always seeking the top charge and maximum penalty, especially in death penalty cases, which they fast-tracked. But let’s say Trump’s crimes were misdemeanors. New York City averages 125,000 misdemeanor arrests every year, 490 each day. There’s nothing exceptional about it. It’s one of the most common experiences in America. Welcome to the club, Donald.

+ Nearly all financial crimes are a matter of putting entries where they shouldn’t be and not putting them where they should be or, in the age of TurboTax, checking boxes that shouldn’t be checked and not checking boxes that should be, in order to conceal an underlying scheme, which is sometimes a massive rip-off (See: Bernie Madoff) and sometimes a sordid pay-off.

+ Trump’s Justice Department and many of the judges he appointed to the federal bench endeavored to undermine Miranda and other protections for criminal defendants that I assume Trump is wrapping himself tightly in at this moment.

+ If Republicans believe it’s okay to ignore indictments by “Soros-backed” prosecutors, I guess the rest of us are free to ignore the rulings of Federalist Society-backed judges and Supreme Court justices…

+ A month before the 2016 election Fox reporter Diana Falzone pitched a story on Trump’s hush money payments, but Falzone claims her editor killed the piece, saying: “Good reporting Kiddo, but Rupert wants Trump to win.”

+ Stephen Miller: “What is Donald Trump’s crime?…His crime is refusing to bow or bend to the corrupt and rotten foreign policy establishment that is used to always getting their way in this country.”

+ Let’s review: Trump appointed the Deep State’s top torturer to run the CIA, put 1000s of troops on the ground in Syria and stole their oil, broke Obama’s drone strike record, sanctified Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan Heights, separated children from their parents at the border, extracted pledges of higher military spending from NATO countries, plotted to kill Julian Assange then indicted him on espionage charges, wanted to bomb and invade Mexico…

+ Marjorie Taylor Greene (White Power-GA), after being freshly sanitized for mass consumption by Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes: “Trump is joining some of the most incredible people in history being arrested today. Nelson Mandela was arrested, served time in prison. Jesus! Jesus was arrested and murdered.”

+ Next weekend on 60 Minutes, Lesley sits down with Eugene Connor. His friends affectionately call him Bull. He likes dogs. In his spare time, Bull invented a new firehouse, so powerful it could knock down a cow. But he tells Lesley he promises not to use it …. on farm animals.

+ Greene to Tucker Carlson on New York City: “It’s disgusting. It was repulsive, it smells bad. I think it’s a very terrible place.” I guess it was the mere sight of blacks, gays and Jews she glimpsed from the confines of her Uber that set off her olfactory alarms, because this professional bigot’s district contains some of the largest confined feeding operations in the country.

+ In the statement of facts used to justify Trump’s indictment, the prosecutors have resurrected the story of the Trump Tower doorman, who was paid $30,000 by AMI (the parent company of the National Inquirer) to stay silent about his allegation that Trump had an affair an affair with a former housekeeper.  He didn’t stay quiet very long, though. In 2018 Dino Sajudin issued a statement saying: “I can confirm that while working at Trump World Tower I was instructed not to criticize President Trump’s former housekeeper due to a prior relationship she had with President Trump “which produced a child.”

+ There’s some karma here. For years rightwing media has pushed the story that Bill Clinton has a “black love child” named Danney Williams, the biological issue of an alleged affair with a Little Rock prostitute named Bobbie Ann Williams.

+ In thinking about the extramarital sex lives of our presidents–Jefferson, Harding, FDR, Eisenhower, JFK, George HW Bush, Clinton, Trump–they all share a passionless, abrasive, rapine quality. None of these men were Romantics. They didn’t have “relationships” with women. They used them, sometimes brutally, and moved on. One of JFK’s longtime mistresses, Mimi Beardsley, a White House intern who the president cornered in Jackie’s powder room for the first of many rushed sexual encounters, said he never once in two years kissed her on the lips.

+ Warren Harding paid his mistress Carrie Phillips–a German spy who attempted to blackmail Harding into opposing US entry into World War I–$5000 a month to keep their 15-year-long affair secret.

+ One of the problems with the Trump presidency is that he apparently had a lot of sex before being elected (even if he had to pay for it eventually) and none afterwards. Not the optimal scenario for someone with the supreme command over 4,000 nuclear warheads.

+ Trump spent the day before his arraignment hacking golf balls with Gary Player. It should surprise no one that Player was a propagandist for the South African apartheid regime, paid by the government to entice international business elites to come play golf in SA.

+ Will the indictment of Trump really “destabilize” Democracy? Other “democracies” seem to have survived indicting their former leaders, including France’s Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy, Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Olmert, Moshe Katsav, South Korea’s Park Geun-hye and Lee Meung-bak, Japan’s Kakuei Tanaka, Taiwan’s Chen Shiu-bian, Malaysia’s Najib Razak, and Argentina’s Isabel Kirchner…

+ It’s not true that Trump is the first ex-President in the US to be indicted, that would be Jefferson Davis, the president of the 11 states in the Confederacy. Davis’ trial for treason and sedition was scheduled to start on February 15, 1869, when, after Davis had spent two years in a military prison, federal prosecutors abruptly entered a nolle prosequi order (statement of decision not to prosecute) in order to “heal the nation.” (It didn’t.)

+ Trump himself should have been somewhat familiar with the booking process. After all, his father Fred had been arrested twice–first in 1927 at a Klan (yes, that Klan) rally-turned-riot and again over building code violations at a low-income housing project he owned in Maryland in 1976, when Donald was 30 and working for his father’s real estate company.

+ Trump has reportedly raised $7 million since his indictment. (His lawyers and staff still won’t get paid.)

+ We’ve entered the My Pillow Promo Code Stage of Capitalism…

+ Now that Trump has been charged, arrested and booked, he might have a more legitimate claim to being the first black president than Clinton or Obama. Of course, he’d have to release his booking and arrest report, long-form naturally.

+ And if he doesn’t quite qualify as the first black president, he may well be the first Country and Western president. Consider the parallels to Conway Twitty.


+ A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) looked at 134 school shootings and found that the presence of armed guards increased deaths by 2.83 times.

+ In 2014, there were 273 mass shootings in the US. The number has risen sharply ever since: 283 in 2016, 417 in 2018, 610 in 2020 and 290 in 2021. In the first three months of 2023, there already have been 135 mass shootings.

+ The first three months of U.S. gun violence in 2023:

+ 4,529 gun deaths
+ 8,085 gun injuries
+135 mass shootings
+197 children shot
+1,258 teenagers shot
+268 incidents of defensive gun use
+368 unintentional shootings
+ 6,138 suicides

+ An investigation by the Baltimore Banner reveals that since the start of the academic year last fall, two dozen high school-age teens have been shot in Baltimore within approximately two blocks of 16 different schools.

+ Republicans in Tennessee tried to expel three Democratic members of the state legislature (Justin Jones, Justin Pearson, and Gloria Johnson) for expressing support for peaceful protesters (many of them high school students) calling for new gun safety legislation in the wake of the Covenant School in Nashville. The three Democrats have been accused of leading “an insurrection” that “stormed the capitol.” Yet, there were no injuries, no property damage and no arrests. The protestors went through the building’s security, which was operated by officers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol, and left the galleries willingly when the chamber went into recess.

+ Rep. Gloria Johnson: “We’ve had members pee in each other’s chairs. We’ve had members illegally prescribe drugs to their cousin-mistress, and nothing happened. But talk on the floor without permission, and you’ll get expelled.”

+ In the end, the Tennessee legislature expelled the two black men (Jones and Pearson) and retained the white woman (Johnson).

+ A couple of months after the murder of  Tyre Nichols by Memphis cops, the Tennessee legislature has voted to override police accountability measures passed by voters, strip civilian review boards of their power, and make it difficult to investigate abuse and excessive force.

+ The female incarceration rate in the US is more than 6 times higher now than in 1980.

+ And once in prison, their menstrual cycles are exploited as a form of punishment, degradation and humiliation.

+ “A routine discomfort”: how the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals describes solitary confinement in prison.

+ Pro Publica has published a devastating exposé of the secret gratuities, trips and  Clarence Thomas has pocketed from his sugar daddy, Harlan Crow, a Dallas tycoon who is a big time GOP donor. For two decades, Thomas has been indulged by Crow with yearly vacations and soirees, including international cruises on Crow’s super-yacht, flights on Crow’s Global 5000 jet, and retreats at Crow’s east Texas ranch and private resort in the Adirondacks. Crow even took Thomas to the Bohemian Grove gathering of the world’s top male power-brokers, a confab which the anti-globalist right has portrayed as a kind of annual Black Mass of the financiers of the Deep State, where the members satiate themselves on the blood of sacrificed infants.

+ At his home in Dallas, Thomas’s sugar daddy Harlan Crow has a collection Hitler artifacts, including two of the frustrated watercolorist’s paintings, along with a signed copy of Mein Kampf and other assorted Nazi memorabilia. His garden is decorated with statues of some of the 20th century’s most notorious dictators.

+ In the wake of these revelations came the inevitable calls for new ethics rules for members of the court. But this entirely misses the fact that were already rules and laws in place and Thomas violated them, knowing he’d never be held to account.

+ Clarence Thomas: Reparations for me, but not for thee.

+ Paul Roland: “From Jim Crow to Harlan Crow in one generation.”

+ Even in his short tenure on the court, Abe Fortas was one of the most consequential and progressive jurists in American history. Yet Fortas resigned (and rightly so) after it was revealed he was paid for teaching a summer law course at my alma mater, American University, and had received and returned a $20,000 check from the Wolfson Foundation, a charity run by the family of Wall Street financier Louis Wolfson, who had been indicted for securities fraud (ie, falsifying business records and checking the wrong boxes). So will Thomas the bag man, resign? You’re kidding, right? Yeah.

+ Be sure to set your clocks back 23 years tonight…

+ In 2019, the US Department of Justice issued a blistering survey of the state of Alabama’s failures to protect incarcerated people from violence, sexual abuse, excessive force by staff. Since then 698 more incarcerated Alabamians have died in state prisons.

+ Before the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe vs. Wade, the LAPD operated one of the country’s few “abortion squads,” tracking down women who had terminated their pregnancies. Why hasn’t this become a James Ellroy novel?

+ According to a report in Vice, ICE (remember them?)  has been using 1509 summonses to demand data from elementary schools, news organizations, and abortion clinics.

+ More than three million people in the US are on probation or parole. About 750,000 of them have no health insurance. They risk incarceration if they can’t do things like pass regular drug tests.

+ A Bureau of Justice Statistics study of victims of child sexual abuse in detention facilities found that among 499 substantiated incidents, perpetrators faced legal action only 31% of the time, and that incidents were typically handled internally, with a reprimand or discipline, demotion or temporary suspension.

+ Despite the howls about the supposed leniency of NYC prosecutors and recent bail reforms,  inmates spend an average of 115 days at the city’s Rikers jail, four times the national average. Most of them are stuck in jail awaiting trial.

+ If you read most of the coverage (and especially that in the New York Times) on the results of the Chicago mayoral primary, you’d probably come away convinced that former mayor Lori Lightfoot lost because she was soft on crime. Thus it must have come as a shock to you to learn that she was replaced by someone even “softer” on crime than she supposedly was: Brandon Johnson, who handily defeated the tough-on-crime candidate Paul Vallas. In the run-up to the election, the head of the Chicago Police Union said at least 1,000 officers would quit their jobs if Johnson was elected. Let’s see if it happens.

+ Wisconsin seems intent on becoming the Tennessee of the Great Lakes. Even before Milwaukee Judge Janet Protasiewicz won election to the state’s Supreme Court, Wisconsin Republicans have vowed to impeach her and remove her from office. And given the gerrymandered supermajority Republicans enjoy in the Wisconsin state house, it looks like they have the votes to do it, even if they’ll have to concoct a reason.

+ At least, the virulent concession rant from Protasiewicz’s opponent, Dan Kelly, who lost by an 11-point margin, wasn’t cribbed from Nixon’s Checker’s speech…

+ State Police in Michigan are now classifying what anti-police bias incidents as hate crimes.

+ Speaking of Michigan, it has sentenced more minors to life without parole than any other state.

+ $2.8 million: the amount the city of Portland has settled in dozens of claims and lawsuits for injuries cause by Portland police during the 2020 protests.

+ In Australia, Indigenous children between the ages of 10 and 17 are 24 times more likely to be placed in detention than other kids their age.

+ The City of Belleair Beach, Florida, has banned all political gatherings of more than 10 people on city parks, streets and sidewalks.

+ In 1963, Fanny Lou Hamer toured the Deep South as an organizer for SNCC, giving “citizenship classes” on a stipend of $10 a week. Hamer taught poor blacks in the region how to read, how to take voter registration tests, how to set up bank accounts and how to get lawyers. She was arrested and beaten multiple times. Chases out of towns by sheriffs and thugs. She never backed down. When she finally got back home that summer in a pile of mail she found a water bill for $9000. Her house had no running water.


+ You know things are off the rails when the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is the only person in the administration and one of the very few in the entire government to urge de-escalation of the war-mongering rhetoric on China…

+ Ted Cruz: “China is waging 1000 year war against the United States. And still the Biden White House and the Democrat Party is structurally pro-China.” Is that in dog years, Ted?

+ Ted Olsen, the former Solicitor General under George W. Bush, who once argued in favor of the decision to prosecute terrorism suspects at Guantanamo is now calling that effort “doomed from the start” and is urging Biden to settle the remaining 9/11 cases rather than pursue death-penalty trials. “It’s an open sore that needs to be resolved,” said Olson. “It can’t go on forever.” Olson’s wife Barbara died in one of the hijacked planes.

+ Many backers of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have predicted a big winter/spring offensive that would decisively recapture the ground lost last year, if not drive all the way to Kiev and topple the Ukrainian government. Well, that hasn’t materialized. Instead, the battle for Bakhmut, now in its ninth month, is looking like a reverse image of the siege of Stalingrad. Russia has been forced to announce a very unpopular conscription of another 147,000 young people and they’re having to plead with China and Iran for more weapons, parts and drones. So why aren’t things going as planned (as if they ever do in a war) or expected? One reason might be found in a fascinating piece in Popular Mechanics, which examines the depleted and outdated state of Russia’s space satellite system, which is vital for not only surveillance of Ukrainian troop and weapons movements but also for the targeting of high-tech Russian weapons. According to Popular Mechanics, “Russia has just two optical intelligence (photographic) satellites in orbit now.” And only one of those passes over Ukraine. Moreover, the article notes that “while the GLONASS GPS satellites work, users (troops in the field) lack terminals and electronic maps to utilize satellite navigation…which only exacerbates the Russian military’s rigid and compartmentalized command system.” Settle in, this is going to be a long and bloody war, where neither side can secure advances or capitalize on the other’s retreats.

+ A map showing every US Air Force bombing raid on Laos from 1965 to 1973…

+ In the months before the D-Day invasion, the US Air Force presented a plan to bomb the railroad infrastructure of occupied France in order to stall the reinforcement of German positions before the Allied forces had secured a foothold in Normandy.  The plan came with a terrible caveat: the bombings might kill as many as 70,000 French civilians. Even Winston Churchill, whose record is as bloodstained as any 20th century leader’s, was aghast. But the prospect of killing so many thousands of people the US came to liberate didn’t faze the Supreme Commander, Dwight Eisenhower, who said simply: “It must be done.” For the US, the price has almost always been worth it.

+ It’s hard to think of Richard Nixon as the voice of reason, but in 1959 after meeting with Fidel Castro Nixon advised Eisenhower to maintain diplomatic ties with Havana. Ike refused. He wanted Castro killed, telling the CIA’s Col JC King Fidel‘s assassination would “accelerate the fall of his government.”

+ During the 1960 presidential campaign when Robert McNamara invented the “missile gap” to make JFK seem more hawkish (which he was in many ways) than Nixon, the operational nuclear arsenal of the US outnumbered the Soviet arsenal by a ratio of 17 to 1.

+ In 1961, Che Guevara tried once again to reopen ties with the US when he met with JFK advisor Richard Goodwin in Uruguay. Che said that Cuba was willing to cut ties with the USSR (who he never trusted) and compensate US companies for confiscated property if the US would recognize legitimacy of Cuban govt. JFK never even replied. The Prince of Camelot did respond in a way with Operation Mongoose, the CIA’s plan–supervised by RFK–to assassinate Fidel & covertly overthrow the Cuban government. Having been a staffer for Joe McCarthy, Bobby was a virulent Red-Baiter–a driving force behind the US’s insane Cuba policy. (See Kai Bird’s book on the Bundy brothers, The Color of Truth)

+ Che saw more clearly than Fidel the dangers of Cuba becoming a vassal state of any other nation, although after the US rejected normalization they weren’t left with much choice. Still the economic consequences were dire and it nearly got the entire island obliterated. The Cubans learned quickly they would have little if any say in the relationship. They were given no choice but to accept the long-range missiles Khrushchev placed in Cuba. Khrushchev flatly rejected Fidel’s plea they be open about it, citing the US precedent of placing missiles in Turkey. Khrushchev even deceived his own ambassador, Anatoly Dobrynin, who ranks with Chou En-lai as one of the most skilled diplomats of the 60s and 70s. Dobrynin, who unknowingly lied to the UN about the missiles, later said: “It was a moral shock that stayed with me for years to come.”

+ We seem intent on repeating even the dumbest follies of the Cold War but with even more incompetent leaders on all sides. When the USSR shot down the U-2 spy plane flown by Gary Powers, the initial US response was to claim it was a NASA flight doing a meteorological survey over Turkey. When Moscow displayed the photographs from the U-2 to the world, Khrushchev quipped: “Ours take better pictures.” But the Soviets didn’t exactly inspire confidence themselves. When Khrushchev ordered the U-2 shot down, one of the new S-75 missiles hit a Soviet MiG-19s instead.

+ Secretary of State Anthony Blinken urged his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to release Wall Street Journal reporter, Evan Gershkovich. There’s an obvious solution: a falsely-imprisoned-on-espionage-charges reporter swap of Gershkovich for Julian Assange.

+ 4166: the number of years Hunter Biden would have had to serve on the board of Burisma ($50,000 a month) to pocket the amount of money Jared Kushner has banked ($2.5 billion) from Middle East governments.

+ Israel is currently holding 971 people in administrative detention, the highest number in 20 years. All but four of the detainees are Palestinians. None of them have received a trial.

+ Some of those now detained were beaten first, while worshiping inside the al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan…


+ A 25-year rail engineer for Norfolk Southern has filed a federal whistleblower suit. Lance Johnston was fired after he reported a defective brake that could have caused a derailment. A Norfolk supervisor told him to use the train anyway. Johnston said operations really began deteriorating 4 years ago when Norfolk adopted “efficiency measures” known in the industry as “precision-scheduled railroading.” Johnson said the cutbacks meant there were not enough people to repair and maintain trains.

+ A recent US Labor Department investigation of more than 50 garment-sewing contractors and manufacturers discovered labor violations in 80% of the cases.

+ At least Harvard practices what its economics department teaches: impose starvation wages on its workers.

+ Speaking of Harvard, in a suspected “Swatting” event, Harvard University campus raided the Leverett House dorm room of four black students, who were held at rifle-point by the rent-a-cops. All based on a prank call to 9/11.

+ Carleton University has hired private Investigators to surveil and film students, instructors and teaching assistants who are striking against ‘exploitative’ wages at the Ottawa-based college.

+ Meanwhile, in Colorado, an intelligence agency called the Colorado Information Analysis Center has been monitoring student groups that planned non-violent protests against gun violence. The Colorado spy shop, a so-called fusion center, was established to prevent “acts of terrorism, taking an all-crimes/all-threats approach.” Instead they’ve apparently been snooping on the legally protected free-speech rights of students.

+ Last week a federal appeals court has ruled that Elon Musk violated US labor law when he Tweeted in 2018 that Tesla employees would lose their stock options if they joined a union.

+ About 17% of the people who bought new cars this year have an auto loan payment of $1000 or more–the highest share on record. The average monthly payment for a new car loan, according to the Wall Street Journal, was $730.

+ “Protect the children” (from everything except early, preventable deaths) is such a perverse political platform to run on. But it seems to be working best in precisely those places where the deaths of young people are the highest….

America is the only place in the world or modern history where lifespans are shortening and people are dying earlier. This shocking turn is not driven by middle-aged “deaths of despair” but by those among children and teenagers, often by violence.

+ Ashish Jha: “If you are up to date with your vaccines and you get treated with Paxolovid, and you get an infection, you just don’t die of this virus. Almost no one dies of this virus.” Number of people in the US who have died of Covid-19 since Jha became Biden’s Covid-19 Response Coordinator: 135,000 and rising at a rate of more than 300 a day.

+ There have been 170,300 excess deaths in the UK since the start of the pandemic, according to the Continuous Mortality Investigator (CMI). The total has increased by 18,900 in the first 12 weeks of 2023.

+ San Antonio has highest rate of Sexually Transmitted Diseases of Texas’ large cities. Nearly 20% of San Antonio’s residents under 65 lack health insurance.

+ As obesity rates about young people in the US surge, the Air Force has been forced to loosen its body fat standards to address sagging recruiting levels.

+ Oregon just became the first state in union to allow children who enroll in Medicaid at birth to stay until age six.

+ Kentucky has become the 38th state to legal medical cannabis. A reminder that Al Gore–as Cockburn and I reported in our biography of the Ozone Man–opposed the legalization of medical cannabis even as his sister Nancy endured excruciating pain while dying of cancer…

+ Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and John Quincy Adams…for starters.

+ Joe Manchin on whether he’ll run for re-election: “I just can’t sail off into the sunset even though I have a boat.” If he sails anywhere in his yacht, it ought to be into as smog-bound coal slurry pond…

+ The Nebraska High School Press Association filed a lawsuit against the Cornhusker state’s Northwest School District for shutting down a student newspaper at Grand Island Northwest High School for publishing LGBT stories.

+ Florida Republicans have introduced a bill to impose a criminal ban on Pride events throughout the state if anyone present is dressed in drag. The bill would also ban live performances of this bill would ban live performances of musicals like Rocky Horror Picture Show, La Cage au Faux and Hair.

+ Meanwhile, down at Mar-a-Lago…

You’ve got your mother in a whirl ’cause she’s
Not sure if you’re a boy or a girl
Hey babe, your hair’s alrightHey babe, let’s stay out tonightYou like me, and I like it allWe like dancing and we look divine

+ The Supreme Court is now to the Left of Biden on trans athletes…

+ The Kansas state legislature just overrode the Governor’s veto to enact a law enabling schools to perform genital inspections of children to determine if they are transgender, which is a clear case of actual child sex abuse in the name of fighting imagined child sex abuse.

+ For decades my working assumption was that most Americans wanted their government to be helpful and generous to the poor and weak, knowing that it wouldn’t be. Now it seems more and more people want the government to be mean and cruel to the marginalized expecting that it will be…

+ Milan Kundera: “But when the strong were too weak to hurt the weak, the weak had to be strong enough to leave.”

+ Here are the cast members of Irving Berlin’s traveling WW II U.S. military play This Is The Army putting their makeup and wigs on in the dressing room before a performance of the “Ladies of the Chorus” skit…

National Archives.

+ FoxNews’ Pete Hegseth: “The more elite the university and advanced a graduate is, the dumber they are. If you went to the Ivy League, prove to me you have any common sense at all.” Lachlan Murdoch: Princeton; Ron DeSantis: Yale/Harvard; Laura Ingraham: Dartmouth; Trump: Penn/Wharton; Pete Hegseth: Princeton/Harvard…So, I guess he’s got a point.

+ But why do so many MAGA politicians habitually lie about attending the same elite universities they profess to hate?


+ Don’t be a climate doomsayer, we’re admonished. You’ll scare the children. Okay, okay. We’ll try to be more upbeat. Look for the bright side. Emphasize the positive developments, such as they are. Then you read that globally new oil and gas projects either approved in 2022 or slated to be approved between 2023 and 2025 “could cause 70 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions,” an amount that is more than 30 times the United States’ total carbon dioxide emissions in 2021.

+ According to a new report by researchers from the University of Michigan and Stanford, methane pollution in the Gulf of Mexico totals 600,000 metric tons a year. The average methane levels in federal waters were three times higher than official inventories, and 13 times higher in state waters. This grim disclosure didn’t deter Biden from offering one of the largest oil lease sales in history in the Gulf, opening up for drilling an area the size of Italy…

+ As the UAE prepares to host the next climate summit, Sultan Al Jaber is overseeing the expansion of the nation’s oil and gas production to 7.5 billion barrels of oil–90% of which would have to remain in the ground to meet the net zero scenario established by the International Energy Agency.

+ The European Parliament voted to list “ecocide” as an international atrocity on par with genocide. Ecocide statutes could soon be part of domestic law in all 27 countries of the EU.

+ Up to 38% of air pollution that poses a threat to human health in UK cities is the result of agriculture, more than produced by the cities themselves.

+ According to the latest data from NOAA, global sea-surface temperatures are now in excess of 21°C, temperature that has not been previously recorded at any time of year.

+ By studying sediment from the last ice age, scientists now calculate that melting ice sheets can collapse at a rate of 600 meters per day, far faster than previously believed.

+ Parking lots consume an average of 20% of the prime locations in U.S. city centers.

+ According to a study by Atelier Parisien d’Urbanisme (the city’s planning department), between 2001 and 2018 car trips within Paris’ city limits declined by 60%, while car trips between the city and its suburbs have fallen by 35 percent. Meanwhile, car crashes have fallen by 30 percent and mass transit ridership to jump by almost 40 percent in that time.

+ Since the mid-1990s Norway has been taxing their oil and gas industry at 78%, building a public fund worth $1.9 trillion. That’s $350,000 for every adult and child in Norway.

+ There was a 64% percent increase from 2021 to 2022 in European private jet traffic. Private flights climbed from 350,078 to 572,806, and the emissions more than doubled, according to a new research paper commissioned by Greenpeace.

+ The Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) seems to be falling apart from the inside. The UN-sponsored alliance was set up to transition their insurance and reinsurance underwriting portfolios to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. Two of the Alliance’s founding members, Zurich and Munich Re, have withdrawn in the last week.

+ 1067 bison were killed outside Yellowstone Park this year–a record high and moral low.

+ This year, fewer than 170,000 fall Chinook are expected to return to Central Valley rivers. That’s down from highs of over a million as recently as 1995.

+ Now derailing trains are spilling fascist brewed near-beer into Montana trout streams…


+ Tanya Tucker on her move to LA in 1978: “I was the wildest thing out there. I could stay up longer, drink more and kick the biggest ass in town.”

+ Who killed the Brady Bunch? Sanford and Son, which, in one of the great triumphs of urban black culture, crushed the white bread suburban banality in the ratings when they went head-to-head on Friday nights, driving the mawkish show off the air in 1974.

+ The artist and writer Gary Indiana on the transformation of the East Village from the 1980s to 2023: “It’s completely changed, so it’s not even possible to compare. This used to be a block full of prostitutes, and the parallel block on 12th Street, that was where all the pimps worked on the corner. There used to be a slumlord bar on the corner called Eileen’s Reno Bar. Gay people wouldn’t even go there — it was all transgender people, Mafiosi, a serial killer in one instance — but I would go there all the time. The neighborhood gay bar was on Fourth Street and Second Avenue. There was Princess Pamela’s, and if you’d go at two in the morning, Miles Davis would be there eating chicken. There was a time when, if I walked from here to Houston Street on Second Avenue, I would know almost everybody that I saw. I have no particular love for New York whatsoever. When I’m here, I spend most of my time right here. I don’t like going out there.”

+ Stephen Spielberg on Joan Crawford: “She is 5 feet 4, but looks 6 feet on the screen. In a 2-shot with anyone, even Gable, your eyes fix on her. She is imperious, yet with a childlike sparkle. She is haughty, yet tender…in her range she can perform better than any of her contemporaries.” “Childlike sparkle?” Joan Crawford??

Policemen are Hiding Behind the Skirts of Little Girls

Booked Up
What I’m reading this week…

Injustice, Inc.: How America’s Justice System Commodifies Children and the Poor
Daniel L. Hatcher
(University of California)

What Is Intergenerational Justice?
Axel Gosseries

Empire of Rubber: Firestone’s Scramble for Land and Power in Liberia
Gregg Mitman
(New Press)

Sound Grammar
What I’m listening to this week…

Eddie Chacon
(Stones Throw)

The Birth of Bop: the Savoy 10
Various Artists

All Roads Lead to Home
Talbot, Molina, Lofgren & Young

Reading Was My Salvation

“Reading was my salvation. Libraries and universities and schools from all over Louisiana donated books to Angola and for once, the willful ignorance of the prison administration paid off for us, because there were a lot of radical books in the prison library: Books we wouldn’t have been allowed to get through the mail. Books we never could have afforded to buy. Books we had never heard of. I first gravitated to books and authors that dealt with politics and race—George Jackson, Frantz Fanon, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Steve Biko, Eldridge Cleaver’s Soul on Ice, J. A. Rogers’s From “Superman” to Man. We read anything we could find on slavery, communism, socialism, Marxism, anti-imperialism, the African independence movements, and independence movements from around the world. I would check off these books on the library order form and never expect to get them until they came. Leaning against my wall in the cell, sitting on the floor, on my bed, or at my table, I read.” (Albert Woodfox, Solitary: Unbroken by Four Decades of Solitary Confinement)


Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is An Orgy of Thieves: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents (with Alexander Cockburn). He can be reached at: or on Twitter @JeffreyStClair3