HomeUncategorized3/16-17 News Roundup & OT
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T and R x 2, Ms. Benny!!☮️😊👍 Grateful thanks to you and jcb for hosting the Nest.👏👏



crazy likes crazy




Oh, so rape is no longer a crime now? The fringe FRighties just get worse and more stupid!




The attacks reflect what has emerged in recent months as a Republican effort to vilify and discredit Biden administration judicial nominees who have served as public defenders, by suggesting that they acted inappropriately in representing clients accused of serious, sometimes vicious crimes.

Democrats say the tactic ignores a fundamental principle of the American justice system — that everyone has the constitutional right to be represented by counsel — and effectively seeks to disqualify from the bench anyone who has taken that obligation seriously when it comes to the accused.

The Republican strategy is a response to a concerted push by the Biden administration to diversify the federal bench by nominating more people with experience in criminal defense work, many of them women of color.

It is a sea change in the world of judicial nominations, where presidents of both political parties have long shied away from defense attorneys because of their susceptibility to political attacks tied to the crimes attributed to their clients, instead selecting tough-on-crime prosecutors. The type of high-profile murder cases handled by some of Mr. Biden’s nominees would have been considered disqualifying only a few years ago; now the president, who himself served briefly as a public defender early in his legal career, is actively seeking to name more jurists who have such experience, as well as to broaden racial diversity on the federal bench by naming more people of color.

The nomination of Judge Jackson, who would be the first public defender and the first Black woman to sit on the high court, will be the biggest test yet of whether a lawyer who represented accused criminals can draw broad Republican support. Her defense work and membership on a commission that reviewed sentencing guidelines will no doubt draw scrutiny during the upcoming hearing.

But she is hardly the only candidate who has faced such condemnation by Republicans. At least 20 other lawyers with significant public defender experience have been nominated by the Biden administration, representing about 30 percent of those considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee so far during Mr. Biden’s term. About half of them, including Ms. Jackson and Ms. Freeman, are women of color.



It’s definitely not over



The recent, much-publicized wave of union victories in the US at companies as varied as the giant coffee chain Starbucks, trendy outdoor outfitters REI and media group the New York Times is spurring hopes that this will somehow turn into a much larger unionization wave that lifts millions of Americans.

This is an unusually promising moment for unions, labor strategists say, as they strain to figure out how best to build a larger wave, although they acknowledge it won’t be easy because US corporations fight so fiercely against unionization.

Union strategists are debating whether there are ways to transform the wins at Starbucks – workers at six Starbucks have voted to unionize so far – into a wave of unionization at McDonald’s and other fast-food companies, and whether the REI victory could be a springboard to victories elsewhere in retail, perhaps at Walmart or Whole Foods.

“We have a moment right now,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, the union that the REI workers voted to join. “I think that success breeds more success. When people see what’s happened at some Starbucks in Buffalo, they ask, ‘Why can’t we do that, too?’”

His union is campaigning hard to win a rerun union election at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, but labor experts say it’s much easier for unions to win at a Starbucks with 30 employees or an REI store with 100 than at an Amazon warehouse with perhaps 5,000 workers and management running an all-out, anti-union campaign.

“You have thousands of people who are standing up at Amazon wanting to be part of this movement,” Appelbaum said. “It relates to how people feel they were treated during the pandemic. Their contributions were not being rewarded sufficiently, and the risks they took were not being recognized sufficiently. Workers felt the callous indifference of too many employers. Plus, workers were concerned about the profiteering that was going on and the exponential explosion of income inequality. That we have such a pro-union president is helpful, too.”

Moreover, workers feel unusually empowered because of the low unemployment rate and record number of job openings.

It is a moment when many workers are making inquiries about unionizing (beyond the well-known efforts among grad students, adjunct professors and museum workers). Organizers say workers at McDonald’s, Target and Trader Joe’s are asking about unionizing. That first union victory at a Starbucks in Buffalo, New York, in December has led to workers at 140 Starbucks in 27 states petitioning for unionization votes. What is happening at Starbucks is the wildfire that union organizers dream of – an organic, bottom-up, fast-spreading effort.

Erica Smiley, executive director of Jobs with Justice, a labor rights group, said all this worker energy is great. But acknowledging how fierce anti-union campaigns can be, she said: “The pressure is on us as a movement to help move this forward. It’s really an uphill battle.”

The recent string of lopsided union wins was impressive and inspiring: 88 to 14 at REI in Manhattan, 25 to three at Starbucks in Mesa, Arizona, 404 to 88 among New York Times tech workers, and 142 to 44 at the Art Institute of Chicago. These victories came despite vigorous anti-union campaigns by management.

“We’re in a moment when we are questioning how effective traditional union-busting tactics are,” said Rebecca Givan, a labor studies professor at Rutgers. “Traditional union-busting tactics like scaring immigrants and dividing workers by race – how effective they are has been brought into question.” Givan said workers at Starbucks stores that have unionized speak with workers at other Starbucks to inoculate them against anti-union efforts by telling them what anti-union message and tactics to expect.

While the recent union wins fuel optimism, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in January that just 10.3% of US workers are in unions and just 6.1% in the private sector. In the 1950s, more than one in three private-sector workers were in unions, in the 1980s, more than one in five. Now it’s just one in 16.

Tefere Gebre, who recently stepped down as executive vice-president of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s main labor federation, said unions were doing far too little to seize the moment and unionize workers. “Workers want unions, but the question is, do unions want workers?” Gebre said. “If you talk to any labor leader, they’ll tell you, “That’s what we’re really for. We want members.’ How you mechanize that is a different thing.”

Gebre said far too many union leaders don’t want to stick their necks out and spend members’ dues money on unionizing more workers. “Right now we have fiefdoms that people think are big enough,” Gebre said, warning that if union membership continues to decline, unions will inevitably lose clout.

“For far too long our growth strategy has been entirely attached to politics, but that has failed us over and over,” Gebre said. A Republican filibuster has blocked Joe Biden’s push to enact the Pro Act, which would make it easier for workers to unionize.

Gebre said the nation’s unions should send far more organizers and money to back the union drives at Starbucks and Amazon. “The rest of the labor movement should be willing to lend a hand,” even if they don’t get any of the members, said Gebre, who was recently named Greenpeace’s chief program officer. “That’s what solidarity means.”



Got news for Zelensky: this dump isn’t “the leader of the world.”



There have been 43 attacks on Ukrainian healthcare facilities, infrastructure and workers since the beginning of the invasion, says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization.

Dr Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies programme, said colleagues were working to get medical teams on the ground to shore up the “teetering” Ukrainian health system.

“But how can we put emergency medical teams on the ground if the very facilities that they may want to go and support are going to be attacked and going to be bombed and going to suffer catastrophic damage?” he said.

Two health workers had been killed and at least 8 injured in the attacks, the WHO said.

Ryan said:

“This crisis is reaching a point where the health system in Ukraine is teetering on the brink. It is doing exceptionally well. It needs to be supported. It needs to be shored up.

It needs to be given the basic tools to save lives, and part of that is deploying teams in to support that – but how can you do that in all conscience if the very infrastructure that those people will go in to support is under direct attack?”

Ryan added:

“This issue is more important than bricks and mortar. This isn’t just about the destruction of buildings. This is about the destruction of hope.”



A number of witnesses trapped in Mariupol say the Russians are bombing radio and telecommunications towers, Lonrezo Tondo writes.

Talking to people becomes more and more difficult, hour after hour.

For days, the Ukrainian port city, in south eastern Ukraine, has been facing a humanitarian catastrophe, besieged by Russian tanks advancing towards the centre of the city, hour after hour, one blast at a time, razing everything in their path to the ground.

More than 400,000 people are still trapped, without running water, food and medical supplies, while over 500 remain hostage in the Regional Hospital of Intensive Care seized by the Russians.





Interesting, thought-provoking read, jcb. Very true, too.


The disease of fascism- Naziism has been with us since its defeat in WW-2 People like Cult -45 allowed it to resurface in the US but other countries as well. In todays world there are always people that will blindly follow them.-I sure hope the species evolves beyond it but not in whats left of my life time



Stepping up the search for alternatives to Russian energy, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday visited Saudi Arabia in hopes of persuading the oil producer to boost output and relieve pressure on global markets.

But at home, critics had another take on Mr. Johnson’s efforts to reduce western reliance on Russia’s President Vladimir V. Putin: Going from one dictator to another.

With Europeans seeking to wean their economies off supplies of Russian fossil fuels, Mr. Johnson has described Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which he also visited on Wednesday, as “key international parties.” The world needs to “deal with the new reality” following the invasion of Ukraine, Mr. Johnson said before leaving London.

But his visit to Saudi Arabia comes just days after the country executed 81 people. And Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, also approved the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, according to a U.S. intelligence report.


Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

If Stacy has to run against this dude, she’s a shoe in. Hope he makes it.


Thomas Piketty


The western elite is preventing us from going after the assets of Russia’s hyper-rich

The Ukrainian crisis has revived an old debate: how to effectively sanction a state like Russia? Let’s say it straight away: it is time to imagine a new type of sanction focused on the oligarchs who have prospered thanks to the regime in question. This will require the establishment of an international financial register, which will not be to the liking of western fortunes, whose interests are much more closely linked to those of the Russian and Chinese oligarchs than is sometimes claimed. However, it is at this price that western countries will succeed in winning the political and moral battle against the autocracies and in demonstrating to the world that the resounding speeches on democracy and justice are not simply empty words.

So why has no progress still not been made in this direction? For one simple reason: western wealthy people fear that such transparency will ultimately harm them. This is one of the main contradictions of our time. The confrontation between “democracies” and “autocracies” is overplayed, forgetting that western countries share with Russia and China an unbridled, hyper-capitalist ideology, and a legal, fiscal and political system that is increasingly favourable to large fortunes.

In Europe and the United States, everything is done to distinguish useful and deserving western “entrepreneurs” from harmful and parasitic Russian, Chinese, Indian or African “oligarchs”. But the truth is that they have much in common. In particular, the immense prosperity of multimillionaires on all continents since the 1980s and 90s can be explained to a large extent by the same factors, and in particular by the favours and privileges granted to them. The free movement of capital without fiscal and collective compensation is an unsustainable system in the long term. It is by questioning this common doxa that we will be able to effectively sanction autocracies and promote another development model.


Doesn’t matter what country an oligarch is from they are loyal to one thing and one thing only,
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ once your in the club your in.



Ukraine and Russia have made significant progress on a tentative 15-point peace plan including a ceasefire and Russian withdrawal if Kyiv declares neutrality and accepts limits on its armed forces, according to three people involved in the talks.

The proposed deal, which Ukrainian and Russian negotiators discussed in full for the first time on Monday, would involve Kyiv renouncing its ambitions to join Nato and promising not to host foreign military bases or weaponry in exchange for protection from allies such as the US, UK and Turkey, the people said.

The nature of western guarantees for Ukrainian security — and their acceptability to Moscow — could yet prove to be a big obstacle to any deal, as could the status of Ukrainian territories seized by Russia and its proxies in 2014. A 1994 agreement underpinning Ukrainian security failed to prevent Russian aggression against its neighbour.

Although Moscow and Kyiv both said that they had made progress on the terms of a deal, Ukrainian officials remain sceptical Russian president Vladimir Putin is fully committed to peace and worry that Moscow could be buying time to regroup its forces and resume its offensive. Putin showed no sign of compromise on Wednesday, vowing Moscow would achieve all of its war aims in Ukraine.

“We will never allow Ukraine to become a stronghold of aggressive actions against our country,” he said.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, told the Financial Times that any deal would involve “the troops of the Russian Federation in any case leaving the territory of Ukraine” captured since the invasion began on February 24 — namely southern regions along the Azov and Black seas, as well as territory to the east and north of Kyiv.

Ukraine would maintain its armed forces but would be obliged to stay outside military alliances such as Nato and refrain from hosting foreign military bases on its territory.

Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday that neutrality for Ukraine based on the status of Austria or Sweden was a possibility.

“This option is really being discussed now, and is one that can be considered neutral,” said Peskov.

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, said that “absolutely specific wordings” were “close to being agreed” in the negotiations.



As Russia’s military progress in Ukraine has slowed and its army has suffered some apparent setbacks, Russian officials say that their negotiations with Kyiv have shown “progress on a number of positions” and that there is “hope that a certain compromise can be reached.”

Russian and Ukrainian representatives were scheduled to talk via video link on Wednesday for a third straight day, their longest round of discussions since Moscow launched its invasion three weeks ago.

The two sides are discussing “a whole range of issues regarding the size of the Ukrainian Army,” Vladimir R. Medinsky, the head of the Russian delegation, said in televised remarks on Wednesday. He said Russia needed “a peaceful, free, independent Ukraine, neutral, not a member of military blocs, not a member of NATO.”

In Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky has also expressed optimism, saying that the sides’ positions at the talks were becoming “more realistic.” He also said that Ukraine “must recognize” that it would not join NATO, which the bloc itself has said is a distant prospect at best.

Before the talks resumed on Wednesday, Mykhailo Podolyak, a Ukrainian negotiator, said that the two sides’ “dispositions” had changed after Ukraine had launched a counteroffensive.

Russia said that among the options on the table was neutral status for Ukraine along the lines of Austria and Sweden, which are not NATO members. Mr. Podolyak said in a statement that Ukraine wanted “absolute security guarantees,” including from partner countries that would agree to “take an active part on the side of Ukraine” in any future conflict.

Russia’s demands go beyond military matters, said Sergey V. Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister — including the status of the Russian-language and Russian news media outlets in Ukraine. “There are concrete formulas that are close to being agreed on,” he told RBC, a Russian business news television network.

Russia has sent mixed signals about the talks’ progress this week. While President Vladimir V. Putin said on Tuesday that Kyiv was “not showing a serious commitment to finding mutually acceptable solutions,” his officials were more optimistic.

Mr. Lavrov said that there was “a certain hope that a compromise can be reached,” and Mr. Medinsky said that there had been “a certain progress on a number of positions, but not all of them.”


You cant trust Putin with any promise unless its backed by military might for Ukraine as they have embarrassed him by not surrendering right away. Putin will try again. He’s alike Cult-45 in many ways