Roaming Charges: All the Girls Around Him Say He Had It Coming

“Life is brief and to have to spend every day of it doing what somebody else wants you to do is not the way to live it.”
– Cormac McCarthy

+ If Trump had given his trove of documents to say Wikileaks (or even Tucker Carlson), he might have a credible claim as a whistleblower. Instead he kept them for his own vanity, flashed them to visitors and had his Justice Department file charges against Julian Assange for violating … the Espionage Act.

+ When I think about the many victims of the Espionage Act, my thoughts immediately go to Ethel Rosenberg, convicted not, as many believe, for treason, but of being engaged in a conspiracy to “commit espionage.” The case against Ethel was thin and manufactured. Even J. Edgar Hoover opposed her execution, which was in the hands of Federal Judge Irving Kaufman, a close friend of her tormentor and prosecutor Roy Cohn.  In condemning the couple to death, Kaufman bizarrely blamed them for starting the Korean War, a judgment so irrational it alone should have been grounds for reversal:

[the Rosenbergs] already caused, in my opinion, the Communist aggression in Korea, with the resultant casualties exceeding 50,000 and who knows but that millions more of innocent people may pay the price of your treason.

It was later revealed that over the course of the trial and again before imposing the death penalty, Kaufman had engaged in secret and grossly unethical communications with Cohn, conversations which sealed Ethel’s fate. Her electrocution was nothing short of judicial murder. (See: Judgment and Mercy: the Turbulent Life and Times of the Judge Who Condemned the Rosenbergs by Martin J. Siegel)

I guess there’s some cold karma in fact that Trump is ensnared by the very same merciless law that his mentor Cohn invoked in his “public burning” of the Rosenbergs 70 years ago. The evidence against Trump is far more voluminous than it was against Julius and Ethel, much of it captured in his own words and in his own gilded bathroom. The Rosenbergs, after all, were convicted of giving away secrets, which weren’t really secrets (and no longer secret in any event) but merely physics. Yet in this case, and here’s where the karmic resonances begin to move in reverse, the Judge who will preside over Trump’s fate is his own appointee, a minimally qualified jurist, who landed on the bench because she was a fawning acolyte of the great swindler, a woman whose one qualification for her lifetime federal gig is that she probably doesn’t even need ex parté communiques to know which decisions she’s expected to make.

+ The Espionage Act has never been primarily about the keeping of secrets, but in using secrecy to punish dissent against government malfeasance. Yet in Trump, the Espionage Act may have met its match. If documents can be viewed by someone as stupid, venal and careless as him, even as president, they should be freely available to all Americans.

+ One of the most consequential criminal trials in US history will be overseen by one of the least qualified judges to ever assume a seat on the federal bench, Aileen Cannon. But how did she get there? You guessed it, Democrats. 12 Democratic Senators voted to confirm Cannon’s nomination after the 2020 election as a favor to the GOP majority, which didn’t have enough Senators present that day. The 12 Democratic senators were: Biden’s two Delaware pals Carper and Coons, the two Nevada senators Cortez-Masto and Jacky Rosen, Dianne Feinstein (though who can tell if she even knew what she was voting on), the two Virginia senators Warner and HRC’s running mate Tim Kaine, Maggie Hassan, the now departed Doug Jones, Chris Murphy, Patrick Leahy(!), and Joe Manchin, naturally.

+ Forbes ran a piece saying that during the time Trump was warehousing classified documents in Mar-a-Lago’s bathrooms, showers and stages, his resort was looking to hire more than 400 foreign workers. The story here isn’t the “secret documents” but Trump wanting to hire 400 foreign workers at Mar-a-Lago. Are they forced to work to free their separated family members from detention in ICE concentration camps?

+ What country have these people been living in? It’s not like most of them stood in Niemöller-like silence for 40 years as the feds came for crack users, welfare mothers, immigrant families, striking workers, jaywalkers, whistleblowers, and medical pot users–they cheered them on!

+ There are 2 million people currently incarcerated in US prisons and jails. There are 5 million formerly incarcerated people in the US. 20 million people have been convicted of felonies. 80 million have some kind of criminal record. They’ve already come for and gotten almost all the rest of us.

+ Still, I’m afraid this may help prove Trump’s claim that he’s been the victim of selective prosecution…

+ Tyler, Jackson, Johnson, Grant, Harding, FDR, Truman, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama (droning of American citizens) all should have been indicted for felonies by any country which purports to operate by “the rule of law.”

+ Wouldn’t this be a welcome development? The people who break the laws they make or swear to uphold or enforce should be the first ones prosecuted not the last. Why should they skate just because they’re politicians?

+ When General David Petraeus pled guilty to giving classified materials to his paramour and biographer, Paula Broadwell, the crime of “mishandling” classified information was a misdemeanor, where the maximum penalty was a year in prison. After Trump took office, largely in response to his haranguing of HRC, the crime was upgraded to a felony and his Justice Department vigorously enforced it.

+ For example, Trump’s DOJ sent Nghia Pho, who worked for the National Security Agency’s hacking unit, to prison for more than five years under the Espionage Act for taking classified documents home to get extra work done on nights and weekends.

+ The Wall Street Journal editorial page, January 5, 2001: “Yes, Mr. Clinton should be indicted, upholding the principle that even Presidents and ex-Presidents are not above the law.”

+ Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley said that he hadn’t read the indictment of Trump because he’s “not a legal analyst.” Shouldn’t he have told us this before he served as Chairman of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee?

+ We’ve entered (or perhaps never left) the Anal Stage of American politics…

“There are 33 bathrooms at Mar-a-Lago,” asserted Florida Rep. Bryon Donalds. “So don’t act like it’s just in some random bathroom that the guests can go into.”

Reporter: “Was that a good look for [Trump] to have boxes in a bathroom?”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy: “Is it a good picture to have boxes in a garage that opens up? A bathroom door locks.”

+ Of course, bathroom doors lock from the inside so you can take a crap in peace and won’t be disturbed as you thumb through the boxes looking for the CIA’s assessment of the results from Little Rocket Man’s last colonoscopy.

+ If the US is, in fact, becoming a “Banana Republic” as many Republicans now insist, it seems only appropriate, since we invented and have supported (often with death squads) that form of government for the last 125 years…

+ The worm has turned…

+ Former White House chief of staff John Kelly on Trump’s post-arraignment rally: “He’s scared shitless. This is the way he compensates for that. He gives people the appearance he doesn’t care by doing this. For the first time in his life, it looks like he’s being held accountable. Up until this point in his life, it’s like, I’m not going to pay you, take me to court. He’s never been held accountable before.”


+ Who knew the war on corporations would finally be launched because they sold t-shirts and beer to gay and trans people and not because they gouged prices, poisoned your drinking water, evicted you from your home, killed the Gulf of Mexico, made life-saving drugs too expensive to buy and turned the atmosphere into an air fryer?

+ DeSantis is the big money candidate for the Republican nomination. In May, he raised $8.2 million on day one, but from only 40,000 donors for an average of more than $200 a pop. For comparison, Bernie Sanders raised $5.9 million on day one of his 2019 campaign from 220,000 donors for an average of $26 averaged per donation.

+ Here’s Nikki Haley, described as the most reasonable of the Republican candidates for president, trashing trans kids on CNN: “How are we supposed to get our girls used to the fact that biological boys are in their locker room. And then we wonder why a third of our teenage girls seriously contemplated suicide last year.” This is a disgusting lie. Has one girl ever “seriously contemplated suicide” because a trans kid was in the locker room? Is there even one case? But we know the reverse is true. Trans kids are some of the most vulnerable to suicide ideation, in large part because of the savage bigotry directed against them.

+ Nearly 70% of people, regardless of party, oppose legal restrictions on gender-affirming care for minor. But their opinion doesn’t seem to matter…

+ Trump in North Carolina this week: “It’s amazing how strongly people feel about that [trans]. I talk about cutting taxes, people go like that, I talk about transgender everybody goes crazy. Five years ago you didn’t know what the hell it was.”

+ Anyone who wears a cowboy hat inside of a television studio is obviously compensating for some perceived inadequacy about their own identity.

+ Scientific American: “A moral panic is sweeping though state legislatures in the U.S., an irrational feeling that harmless groups pose a threat to society and need to be stopped.”

+But it’s not just the US… In British Columbia this week,  grandparents attending a school track meet in Kelowna stopped the event and demanded that a 9-year-old female student be examined to make sure they weren’t a boy competing in a girls event.

+ RIP Pat Robertson: “The feminist agenda is … about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism & become lesbians.” You go, girls!

+ Give Rev. Pat Robertson credit. He had an unshakeable belief in anthropogenic climate change. Every extreme weather event he attributed to human causality and that cause was: iniquity. Probably due to some atmospheric signal interference, Pat simply misinterpreted the message from the Supreme Deity, who’s condemnation of “drilling” Pat understood as meaning “sodomy.”

+ The Southern Baptists, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, whose leadership has been implicated in a decades-long coverup of sexual abuse in the church, is set to officially ban women pastors this week, arguing that they’re a gateway to the “acceptance of homosexuality and sexual immorality.”


+ For some reason, I’d always thought of Enrico Fermi as one of the more humane of the mad scientists working on the military application of splitting atoms. Then I read Fermi proposed that instead of building a bomb, the Manhattan project physicists should concentrate on amassing as much radioactive material as possible and using it to poison the food supply of Nazi Germany. This, like so many other mad schemes, appealed to Edward Teller who promptly worked out a plan to separate piles of Strontium-90. In the end, Oppenheimer rejected the scheme–not because it might end up irradiating half of Europe for the next 1000 years but because wouldn’t kill enough German soldiers. Oppenheimer wrote to Fermi: “I think we should not attempt a plan unless we can poison food enough to kill a half a million men.” May, 1943.

+ When we think about the criminal legacy of Harvard, high on the list should be the fact that the first person to recommend targeting civilians with atomic weapons was Harvard’s president James B. Conant, who during a May 1945 meeting of Truman’s Interim Committee, rejected pleas from scientists like Leo Szilard that representatives from the Japanese government, who were looking for ways to end the war, be invited to see a test shot of the A bomb. Instead Conant insisted that the bomb should be dropped without warning on an industrial target, which “employed a large number of workers and [was] closely surrounded by workers’ houses.” It was Conant’s argument that persuaded Defense Secretary Henry Stimson to put Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the target list.

+ Speaking of Harvard, the manager of Harvard Medical School’s morgue is accused of allowing buyers come into the morgue to select what remains they wanted to buy, then stealing parts of donated cadavers such as brains, skin and bones to sell on the black market.

+ John von Neumann, one of the most celebrated mathematicians of the 20th century, invented one of the first computers & left the technology in the public domain. He was a polymath and a dandy, who wore 3 piece suits everywhere he went, including on a mule ride in the Grand Canyon. Neumann loved music & played it loud, often German marches that caused Einstein to flee his office down the hall in Princeton. This cultured genius also wanted to annihilate the USSR by launching an all-out preemptive nuclear strike on Russia before they got the bomb. Perhaps fittingly, Von Neumann died of bone cancer from radiation exposure during his nuclear weapons work at Los Alamos. It’s surely just a coincidence that Von Neumann and Edward Teller, two of the most rabid anti-Soviet nuclear hawks, were Hungarian. After all, consider Curtis Lemay: the monster they called “The Big Cigar” was homegrown on Ohio corn, cherry bombs and the marches of John Phillip Susa.

+ Harry Truman’s defenders celebrate him for his “common sense” approach to the presidency. Yet this often played out as a kind of arrogant stupidity. When Truman met with Oppenheimer weeks after the nuclear bombings of Japan, the scientist pleaded with him to work with the Soviets on nuclear deterrence. (This after Truman had  stubbornly refused to tell his ally Stalin about the bomb at Potsdam.) Truman scoffed at the man who supervised the creation of the world’s first nuclear weapons and asked him to guess when the Soviets would get the bomb. Oppenheimer said he didn’t know but likely soon. Truman laughed and said: “I know when. Never!”

+ Triad National Security, the contractor that runs Los Alamos Nuclear Labs, was just cited for four major safety violations in 2021.  The IG also criticized the company for placing “too much of the blame on workers rather than looking at systemic problems and defective equipment.”

+ Jonathan Swift, the judge who just denied Julian Assange’s appeal against extradition to the US, said in a 2018 interview that his “Favourite clients were the security and intelligence agencies. ‘They take preparation and evidence-gathering seriously: a real commitment to getting things right.’”

+ It’s often said around here that the New York Times runs corrections in order to convince its readers that everything else in the paper is true. But even by that cynical standard this correction on a scurrilous piece it ran earlier in the week on Nicaragua is remarkable and gives you an idea how bad the rest of the story (and probably that entire day’s worth of stories) must’ve been: “An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to the murders of dozens of priests and nuns in the civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala. They were killed by security forces and allied paramilitaries aligned with the government, not both sides.”

+ This week Barack Obama shared his top piece of career advice for Gen Z: “Just learn how to get stuff done.” Like droning American citizens and their kids without the trouble of a trial?

+ Mike Pence: “No State should use government authority to punish businesses that hold different political views, in California or anywhere else.” When Mike Pence was governor of Indiana, he signed into a law that divests state funds from companies that boycott Israel.

+ The scourging of Roger Waters is a textbook example of the strategy of Israeli-funded operations in the US and UK to stifle any criticism of its policies and smear its critics–especially in the arts and academia–as described by James Bamford in his important new book, Spyfail.

+ I don’t think even Norman Finkelstein could have predicted that in response to Roger Waters’ performance of The Wall featuring her name as a victim of state violence, the Anne Frank foundation would attempt to trademark the name “Anne Frank”– although it was the logical outcome of the dynamic described in his book The Holocaust Industry...

+ Will they come after Bob Dylan next? He’s been croaking out these lyrics at nearly every venue on his Rough and Rowdy Ways tour:

I’m just like Anne Frank,
Like Indiana Jones,
And them British bad boys,
the Rolling Stones.

+ At least Roger Waters didn’t consign Anne Frank into an embarrassing stanza of doggerel. In his dotage, Dylan seems to have proved Adorno’s line that there can be no poetry after Auschwitz (or Bergen-Belsen, for that matter.)


+ In the 90 largest cities in the US, the murder rate is down by  12%. If this trend continues, it would represent one of the largest declines in the murder rate in the US in history. But where’s the press coverage?

+ Almost 70 percent of the homicides in the US each year (13,927 in 2019) are committed by people who know their victims and according to the FBI’s own statistics, people in the US are now almost as likely to be killed by police (1,039) as they are by a stranger (1,372).

+ Prior to 2007, gun sales in the US never topped more than 7 million guns in a single year. By the time Obama left office in 2017, the US was purchasing nearly 17 million guns a year. In 2020, US gun sales had soared to 23  million guns in a single year.

+ More than 4o percent of the people sentenced to life without parole were 25 or younger at the time of their conviction. Numerous studies show that their younger age contributes to diminished capacity to comprehend the risk and consequences of their actions.

+ A report by the Pew Charitable Trusts examined the cases of 33,128 children who were placed on probation in Texas from October 2013 to September 2017. Despite making up only 13% of Texas’ population, Black children accounted for 27% of youth on probation in Texas. In comparison, white children make up about 33% of the state’s population, but only 23% were placed on probation. Black children were also 1.5 times more likely to be placed in a facility and 1.2 times more likely to be placed on probation when compared to white children, who were most likely to receive alternatives like diversion or dismissal, according to the report. These disparities existed despite Black and white children being charged with a similar share of f felony offenses — 23.1% for Black children compared to 22.7% for white children. The report found that nearly half of the kids — 15,362 in total — remained on probation for more than one year, despite a low risk of recidivism.

+ A Chicago cop got out of 44 tickets by repeatedly that his girlfriend stole his car. 44 times!

+ Oakland police paid a broke homeless woman $30,000 to testify about a slaying she didn’t witness. Based on her testimony, two young men were sentenced to serve life in prison for a murder they didn’t commit. The real killer was never caught and the men’s three children grew up without a father.

+ At least two people appear to have died this year in Los Angeles’s jails from … hypothermia. There have been a total of 22 deaths in LA jails already this year.

+ In July 2016, Philando Castille was shot and killed by police in Minnesota after being pulled over for a broken taillight. In the wake of his killing, Ramsey County, Minnesota  changed its prosecution policies related to traffic stops based solely on minor infractions in 2021. Since then, the county has seen 66% decrease in traffic stops of Black motorists and an 86% decline in non-public safety traffic stops.

+ 37% of trans people who were receiving hormone therapy before incarceration were denied their hormones once inside.

+ An analysis by the New York Post disclosed that the NYPD issued 10,000 summonses to people for having open alcoholic beverages in public in the last year– 90% of people who received these tickets are Black or Hispanic.

+ Speaking of the “weaponization” of the Justice Department, after the Dobbs ruling came down the FBI increased the number of its investigations into abortion-rights activists by 1o-fold. Over to you, Jim Jordan. Jim? Hello? Are you there, Jim?

+ According to a new court filing on the atrocious conditions inside the jails of Los Angeles, prisoners are not getting toilet paper and instead have had to wipe themselves with orange juice cartons.

+ Sex offender registries don’t work and often punish those they seek to protect: “Those on registries are primarily men, and these laws are presented as policies that protect women and children. Yet those on registries live with partners, children, and parents who are also directly impacted by these restrictions.”


+ More than two-thirds of the aluminum on the London Metals Exchange  is now of Russian origin.

+ In an attempt to rationalize their premature termination of Covid protocols, the Biden administration is resorting to victim blaming. Here’s HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra last week: “If you’re dying of Covid today, you didn’t take precautions.”

+ New research out of the University of Kansas shows that “the South had the highest percentages of people worried about finances. During the early pandemic, Northeastern residents reported the most anxiety, but the later period saw more anxiety in the South.”

+ Since 2012, the state of Mississippi has slashed  its public-health staff by more than 500 employees since 2012. Meanwhile, the state’s infant congenital syphilis is up by 900% and Mississippi now ranks first in the nation for gonorrhea and second for chlamydia.

+ The political economy of parking in America, according to Harry Grabar’s new book, Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World:

* More square footage is dedicated to parking each car than to housing each person.

* There are more 3 car garages in the US than one-bedroom apartments.

* Between 1950 and 1980, Los Angeles County aides 850 new parking spots every day.

* There are more than six parking spots for every car in the US.

* By 1940, at least 80% of all traffic signs in US cities involved parking.

* At least 72% of the land area in Detroit is devoted to the transport and storage of automobiles.

* Des Moines, Iowa has nearly the same number of parking spaces as Seattle, even though Seattle’s population is three times the size of Des Moines, where there are 20 parking spaces per household.

* At many airports in the US, parking generates more money than air traffic.

* Even at peak periods, most parking lots are only 60% occupied. Malls designed their parking lots to handle the maximum traffic experienced on only a few days a year during the peak Christmas shopping period.

* Los Angeles’ zoning laws require two parking spaces for each two-bedroom apartment, even though it doesn’t require two toilets.

+ The number crashes involving Teslas running on Autopilot continues to climb. At last count, there have been 736 crashes and 17 fatalities, 11 of the deaths since last May. According an analysis of the new government report.  Tesla’s self-driving capability is around 10 times more deadly than a regular car piloted by a human.

+ Here’s Elon Musk bragging about the advantages of using a Chinese labor force in Xinjiang to manufacture his Teslas: “They won’t just be burning the midnight oil. They will be burning the 3 a.m. oil. They won’t even leave the factory type of thing, whereas in America people are trying to avoid going to work at all.”

+ These kinds of “grind it out” labor practices aren’t saving Twitter, who’s Second Quarter advertising revenues fell to $88 million (down 59%), which would amount to less than a billion dollars a year. Musk himself has said that Twitter needs to bring $3 billion a year just to break even.

+ Speaking of Musk, this week that apostle of unfettered speech mused that it might be time for the US to welcome a military dictator, like the Roman tyrant Sulla, Julius Caesar’s murderous role model, who after putting down a revolt in Athens, demolished both Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum (those early purveyors of Cultural Marxism) and destroyed one of the greatest libraries of the Classical World…

+ Here’s historian Tom Holland’s description of Sulla’s destruction of the centers of Athenian learning…

[Sulla] ordered the groves where Plato and Aristotle had taught to be chopped down and used to build siege engines. When an Athenian peace delegation did what Athenian peace delegations had always done and began to discourse windily on the glories of its city’s past, Sulla silenced the talk with a gesture of his hand. “Rome did not send me here to be lectured on ancient history.” With this dismissal, he sent the delegates back to their city to eat boiled shoe leather and starve. Athens’s cultural capital had reached the limits of its overdraft. (Rubicon: the Last Days of the Roman Republic)


+ “It’s not just the debt limit. What we’ve seen in the United States is a steady deterioration of governance,” James McCormack, managing director of Fitch Ratings.

+  At a recent Yale CEO Summit, 42% of the corporate bosses surveyed said AI has the potential to destroy humanity 5 to 10 years from now. Kindergarteners now being asked to fill out their bucket lists…

+ In 2011, the AFL-CIO’s operating budget for new organizing initiatives was $133.9 million dollars. Last year it was only $93.6 million.

+ An Arby’s employee who was found dead inside a freezer in May had “beat her hands bloody trying to escape.” A lawsuit against the company filed by the deceased woman’s children disclosed that “a latch on the freezer door had been broken since Aug. 22 and the store franchise owner and regional manager knew about it and didn’t fix it.” But at least Arby’s isn’t dispensing its sodas into Pride-themed plastic cups. So no reason to boycott them…

+ Despite $445 million in funding. Zume, Silicon Valley’s robot pizza-making startup, is shutting down. Trump’s former national security advisor, H.R. McMaster, served on Zume’s advisory board.

+ A survey of professional investors by Bloomberg shows that 90% think that “companies on both sides of the Atlantic have been raising prices in excess of their costs since the pandemic began in 2020.”

+ Good work, if you can get it: Harmeet Dhillon, an RNC committeewoman and Tucker Carlson legal advisor, pulls $120,000 salary from non-profit Center for American Liberty for a two-hour week.

+ In May, only 450 homes in the Denver metro area sold for less than $500,000–807 fewer than last year. The figure is now so low that the Denver Metro Association of Realtors has stopped analyzing that home price range entirely in its monthly market trend reports.

+ At the same time, foreclosure filings in the US are up by 14% from a year ago. A total of 35,196 U.S. properties carried foreclosure filings in May, a 7% increase from April of this year and a 14% rise from May 2022.

+ More and more American cities seem to be falling apart from the inside-out, incapable of providing even the basic level of services. Here Greater Stumptown, ambulances in Multnomah County (Portland) were unavailable to respond to more than 6,300 calls since January…

+ More than a quarter of the next-generation cancer drugs are being developed in China.

+ The Swiss capital of Bern announce this week that it will begin testing the controlled sale of cocaine. The CIA won’t like the competition.

+ It’s a different story on the high seas, where drug prohibition remains the rule. For example, Carnival Cruise liners have been using marijuana detection dogs on some routes. Jim Walker, a Miami-based maritime attorney, told the Sun Sentinel: “It’s obviously geared toward making certain that the only depressants used by cruise guests is booze sold by Carnival.”

+ Since the beginning of the year, the media industry has announced at least 17,436 job cuts, the most on record for this period of time. There have been more cuts in the last five months  than at the outset of the pandemic in 2020…and that’s not including CNN’s Chris Licht.

+ Charlie won’t use the condiments, unless he can be sure they contain his Daily Recommendation Allowance of micro-plastics,  forever chemicals and DDT…

+ Though the rise of the New Right seems in large measure to be fueled by a reaction against him, at his core Obama was certainly no paragon of “wokeness.” In 2006, he put these reactionary sentiments into print in The Audacity of Hope:

And if I’m honest with myself, I must admit that I’m not entirely immune to such nativist sentiments. When I see Mexican flags waved at pro immigration demonstrations, I sometimes feel a flush of patriotic resentment. When I’m forced to use a translator to communicate with the guy fixing my car, I feel a certain frustration.

+ So it’s clear the sermons of Jeremiah Wright didn’t have the slightest influence on him after all….


+ Let’s check in on the Magical Mystery Tour known as the RFK, Jr campaign. This week the New York Times profiled Bobby’s wife, the actress Cheryl Hines, most well known for her role as Larry David’s ex on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Jr. intruded on Cheryl’s story by announcing that he “felt a lot of love and support from most of her friends, including Larry.” This provoked a response from David, who texted the Times: “Yes, love and support, but I’m not ‘supporting’ him.”

Next Bobby, whose father once marched with Cesar Chavez, took a night trip to a border crossing near Yuma, where he deprecated immigrants in language almost indistinguishable from Ted Cruz:

We’ve watched about 150 people come across in the last hour. They’re released into our country, and most of them are never seen or heard from again. There are people being drawn here. They’re being abused. This is not a good thing for our country.

To reinforce these rancid sentiments, Jr. then met with a group of Big Irrigators, and reiterated their outrageous claims about a “tsunami of migrants” defecating on their fields of arugula, broccoli and iceberg lettuce…

I met with local farmers Cory Mellon, Alex Mueller, Hank Auza, and Robert Barkley in Yuma, Arizona. Yuma County provides 90% of the green leafy vegetables, like iceberg lettuce, arugula, spinach, and broccoli, to American tables between November and April. The tsunami of migrants walking across farm fields and defecating in irrigation canals threatens the safety of that food supply. Last year, one of their neighbors had to plow under 88 acres of broccoli and personally absorb the $10k per acre cost after migrants tainted irrigation water.

Did Jr. stop for a moment to think that one of the reasons migrants are crossing the border to plant, tend and pick the crops grown by the Big Ag irrigators he’s palling around with is because they’ve sucked the Colorado River so dry in the American Southwest it no longer reaches the sea in Mexico?

Edward Abbey said some offensive things about migrants over the years, but never in the defense of desert grown arugula and the profits of Big Ag irrigators…

“Like a drunk Netanyahu.” That’s how our friend Sam Husseini described Kennedy’s performance during an appearance on Glenn Greenwald’s “System Update” show on Rumble, where his hawkish views on Israel (much like his father’s) popped out as aggressively as the monster in Alien. “Glenn’s questions were moderate,” Sam wrote. “Kennedy’s answers came off like incoherent propaganda. Like if Netanyahu were drunk. Arabs want to kill all Jews. No one ever claims Israel kills Palestinians intentionally. It comes off like a purpose of his campaign is to divide people skeptical of Covid propaganda from serious critics of US-Israeli axis.”

Over to you, Cornel (Now a Green) West.


+ Last week as the smoke from the Quebec fires settled over the east coast,  200 air quality monitoring stations recorded all-time high air pollution. More than 100 million people were impacted by unhealthy levels of air pollution over the week.

+ Since the beginning of the year, more than 17,800 square miles have burned in Canada, far more than previous averages. The fires are expected to burn all summer.

+ On Monday of this week, nearly half a million acres of forests burned in Canada–scorching considerably more land in a single day than burned in California all of last year.

+ $125 billion: amount in lost annual earnings in US from workers exposed to drifting smoke from wildfires.

+ A new paper in PNAS by Marco Turco, John Abatzoglou, and Sixto Herrrera finds that in California “nearly all of the observed increase in burned area over the past half-century is attributable to anthropogenic climate change.”

+ Despite the preening of Justin Trudeau over his nation’s enlightened policies, Canada has the worst record on emissions reduction in the G7 since 1990.

+ In 2020, rich nations mobilized $83.3 billion for climate finance, but according to a new Oxfam analysis only $24.5 billion in new donor money actually went to climate projects.

+ Despite the fact that Columbia University’s oral history of the Obama administration is funded by the Obama Foundation, it still can’t salvage his pathetic record on climate change.

+ The Arctic Ocean will be ice-free a decade earlier than previously predicted.

+ Sea temperatures at a depth of about 10 meters were a quarter of a degree Celsius higher than ice-free oceans in May averaged across 1991 to 2020, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). Year-round, long-term trends have added 0.6C to the ocean’s surface waters in 40 years. April also set a new record for heat.

+ The temperature of the North Atlantic is literally off-the-fucking-chart…

+ Since 1971, the Earth (largely its oceans)  has absorbed the heat equivalent of over 6 billion atomic explosions of the size that decimated Hiroshima in 1945.

+ Ken Saro-Wiwa’s killers are coming for us all…”Shell scrapped projects in offshore wind, hydrogen and biofuels, due to projections of weak returns. At the same time, Shell reported record profits of $40 billion last year on the back of strong oil and gas prices.”

+ Three decades after a federal law mandated the repatriation of Native human remains and funerary items, the state of Arizona still retains one-third of them in storage.

+ $21 million: the amount Indiana taxpayers had to shell out for the decontamination of gas stations owned by Mike Pence’s family after their company, Kiel Bros. Oil Co., went bankrupt in 2004.

+ The DuPont had evidence of the toxicity of PFAS, yet did not publish it in the scientific literature and failed to report the findings to the EPA. Internal documents were all marked as ‘confidential,’ and in some cases, industry executives were explicit that they “wanted this memo destroyed.”

+ The economic losses caused by the industrial clearing of the Amazon have amounted to around $317 billion a year, more than seven times higher than the revenues from commodity extraction.

+ Since 2008, the Earth has accumulated almost as much heat as it did in the previous 45 years, with most of the heat being absorbed into the oceans. One reason climatologists are expected a super-charged El Niño this year.

+ A new report co-published by Defend Our Health and Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Beyond Petrochemicals campaign demonstrates that PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottles cause hazardous chemical pollution at every stage of their life cycle.”

+ State Farm–the insurance behemoth which says it will no longer sell new home insurance policies in California partly because of climate-fueled wildfire risks–has tens of billions of dollars invested in fossil fuels.

+ When mice ingest nanoplastics at the estimated human consumption dose, it took less than two months before they exhibited reduced cognition and short-term memory loses.

+ A Portland jury found the electric utility PacifiCorp culpable for causing the devastating fires in Oregon during the 2020 Labor Day weekend. The jury ordered the company to pay more than $70 million to 17 homeowners who sued and held it liable for broader damages that could raise the total award into the billions.

+ According to stats compiled by the Department of Energy, the average annual number of miles that a combination truck (a tractor with at least one trailer) was driven in 2021 was 62,229 miles. Single-unit trucks are more often driven locally or regionally, resulting in much lower average annual miles driven, only 12,306 miles in 2021.

+ $64.1 billion: the annual cost of maintaining the car-based economy of Massachusetts, most of it public money, according researchers at Harvard.

+ Apparently, Stephen Hawking wanted scientists to “make black holes” on Earth. But isn’t that what Shell, Exxon, Arch Coal and Peabody Energy have been doing for the last century?

+ + +

+ Happy Bloomsday! “It soared, a bird, it held its flight, a swift pure cry, soar silver orb it leaped serene, speeding, sustained, to come, don’t spin it out too long long breath he breath long life, soaring high, high resplendent, aflame, crowned, high in the effulgence symbolistic, high, of the ethereal bosom, high, of the high vast irradiation everywhere all soaring all around about the all, the endlessnessnessness…” – Ulysses, James Joyce

+ Garth Brooks on his new Nashville bar (Friends In Low Places Bar & Honky Tonk), which he says will be a safe space for trans people and Bud Lite drinkers: “Our thing is this: if you [are let] into this house, love one another. If you’re an asshole, there are plenty of other places on lower Broadway.”

+ The Free Speech Zone of Twitter determined that this quotation from Ginsberg’s America was “hateful content”. Matt? Bari? Hello? Anybody home?

+ This is silly. But the permanent ban Twitter imposed on our friend (and CP contributor) Susan Abulhawa, the Palestinian-American novelist (Mornings in Jenin), is yet another glaring example of the suppression of the most articulate voices speaking out for the dignity of Palestinian lives.

+ John Kruth describing his relationship with Ornette Coleman, the free jazz pioneer who gave Kruth his last interview:  “I loved going over to Ornette’s place and not just for the obvious reasons. He had a pool table in his Midtown Manhattan loft and before anything else could take place you had to oblige him and shoot a few rounds. Coleman was a tricky fellow, always a gentleman but a bit of a hustler too. He’d smile sweetly and nod his head gently as you take your shot. But sooner or later that congenial host façade would give way and at some point, he’d mop the floor with you – one game after the next, acting surprised the whole time, wondering where that “lucky shot” came from.”

+ Jennifer Coolidge: “I was a waitress, and I always fell in love with the angry chefs. I don’t know what it is. I just like the way they throw the food down. It was so sexy. They’d be like, ‘Take it. Just take it.’ And there’s something about a man who can do something fast.”

+ Monty Python couldn’t have done it any better…

+ Some people seemed a little shocked by the news that retiring game show host Pat Sajak is now the chairman of the Board of Trustees for the rightwing Hillsdale College. But he’s served on the board of the Christian nationalist school (whose curriculum has been embraced as a model by Ron DeSantis, among others) since 2003. The best thing Sajak ever did was accidentally cut off Richard Nixon’s 1969 Xmas day broadcast to the troops. Sajak had taken over Adrian Cornauer’s Dawn Busters (“Good Morning, Vietnam”) radio show for the Armed Forces in Vietnam Network, when he pushed the wrong button and preempted Nixon’s speech. But he’s always been a political reactionary and long served on boards of the Claremont Institute and Eagle publishing.

+ In the 1970s, Thomas Pynchon was something of a vagabond: yo-yoing up and down the West Coast, looking like Frank Zappa, smelling like he’d spent a weekend with the Dead, leaving a trail of junk food in his wake. He slept in hammocks, on couches and in the beds of evicted children. After one night in the Oregon house of the writer Mary F. Beal (Amazon One and Angel’s Dance, two of the best feminist novels of the 70s), he issued a rare (for him) compliment: “People put me up in their kids’ rooms all the time, and hers (Beal’s daughter) is the first bed that doesn’t smell of urine.”

+ Greg Grandin: “Cormac McCarthy is dead. A tough read to be the empire’s muse, with little of the joy one finds in Melville. But he knew the US began with Mexico. Blood Meridian was End of Myth’s lodestar. ‘He never sleeps, the judge. He is dancing, dancing. He says that he will never die.'”

+ Number of copies Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece, Blood Meridian, sold before it was tossed into the remainder bins by its publisher: 1,883. If only DeSantis had been around to ban it, the book might have become a bestseller. (We’re not a literate, never mind literary, culture.)

+ Living with Cormac McCarthy:

McCarthy has never shown interest in a steady job, a trait that seems to have annoyed both his ex-wives. “We lived in total poverty,” says the second, Annie DeLisle, now a restaurateur in Florida. For nearly eight years they lived in a dairy barn outside Knoxville. “We were bathing in the lake,” she says with some nostalgia. “Someone would call up and offer him $2,000 to come speak at a university about his books. And he would tell them that everything he had to say was there on the page. So we would eat beans for another week.”

I Don’t Need to be Forgiven by Them People in the Neighborhood

Booked Up
What I’m reading this week…

Kirkpatrick Sale

Bodies Under Siege: How the Far Right’s Attack on Reproductive Rights Went Global
Sian Norris

The Killer Whale Journals: Our Love and Fear of Orcas
Hanne Strager
(Johns Hopkins)

Sound Grammar
What I’m listening to this week…

Live at Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, 1972
Sonny Rollins with the Heikki Sarmanto Trio

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit

Best of Me
Joanna Connor
(Gulf Coast)

Lost in a Mysterious Universe

“I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here. I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell.”  – Richard Feynman, What Do You Care What Other People Think?

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