Monday, June 24, 2024

The Convicted Felon report

You know the debate between President Joe Biden and Convicted Felon Donald Trump is mere days away if Mr. Trump has stopped trashing Mr. Biden.  Stephen Collinson (CNN) explains

After months lampooning President Joe Biden as a cognitively impaired “brain-dead zombie” who can’t finish a sentence or navigate off a stage, former President Donald Trump and his campaign are changing their tune days ahead of the critical debate of the election.

The commander in chief has suddenly morphed into a “worthy debater,” someone of considerable ability and a veteran political performer who is not to be underestimated, according to Trump and his lieutenants.

The game of pre-debate expectation-setting is often absurd – one aide to former President George W. Bush once claimed that John Kerry, his Democratic opponent in 2004, was a better debater than Roman rhetorician Cicero. But the Trump team’s shift is remarkable given their relentless assault on Biden’s faculties. And it hints at their possible concerns that they’ve set an unnecessarily low bar for the president’s performance ahead of Thursday’s clash hosted by CNN in Atlanta.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a possible Trump vice presidential picktried to reset the balance on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “The guy’s run for office more than a dozen times. He’s run for president four times. He’s been campaigning since President Nixon was in office,” he said. “This guy has got the ability.”

The debate is this Thursday.  CNN is hosting it but I am sure it will be aired on all the broadcast networks.  Okay, per David Artavia (YAHOO NEWS), you can catch the debate on the following: 

The first debate will take place on Thursday, June 27, at 9 p.m. EST. It will be hosted by CNN at the cable network’s studios in Atlanta and will run 90 minutes with only two commercial breaks.

You can watch it live on CNN, Fox News or ABC, all of which will include full coverage as well as pre- and post-debate analysis. If you don’t have a cable subscription, you can livestream the debate on, Max and Hulu, or watch it on YouTube.

I don't see CBS, NBC, nor PBS on that list.  C.I. just confirmed to me that PBS will be airing the debate. 

In other news, Daniel Dale (CNN) reports on how hard basic facts are for our Convicted Felon:

Former President Donald Trump delivered another litany of false claims during two speeches on Saturday. And he expressed an opinion on American history that is clearly contradicted by the facts.
During a speech to the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a conservative Christian group, Trump criticized proposals to change the names of schools, military facilities and other places that honor slaveowners and Confederate leaders. (Under President Joe Biden, the Army has renamed nine installations that had been named for Confederate generals.) And Trump said, “How about George Washington high school? ‘We want the name removed from that high school.’ They don’t know why. You know, they thought he had slaves. Actually I think he probably didn’t.’”

Facts First: Washington owned slaves. This is an extensively documented fact. At the time of Washington’s death in 1799, there were 317 enslaved people at Mount Vernon, his home and plantation in Virginia, including 123 people owned by Washington himself

“George Washington owned slaves. We know this by his own hand. He kept ledgers on everyone he enslaved,” said Alexis Coe, a senior fellow at the think tank New America and author of “You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington.” Coe said it is “reprehensible, on a personal level, to deny such a thing” and also “dangerous to our country” to have a leading presidential candidate espousing such inaccurate views on US history.

The website for Mount Vernon, which is now maintained as a historic place, says that the number of slaves at the property “grew steadily” over Washington’s time there from 1754 to 1799.

Washington inherited 10 slaves from his father at age 11. The Mount Vernon website notes that “as a young man, Washington purchased dozens of enslaved people from estate sales and in private transactions” – and that the first US president also rented slaves from others, inherited them from siblings, and enslaved the children who were born to slaves at Mount Vernon. When he married his wife Martha, the website notes, he also gained control of “a large number” of enslaved people from the estate of her first husband.

The list of 317 enslaved people at Mount Vernon at the time of his death included 41 people rented from other plantations and 153 people from Martha’s first husband’s estate.

Washington privately struggled with the idea of slavery and, in the last two decades of his life, expressed private support for the idea of abolishing slavery by legislation. But when he died, he immediately freed just one person in his will, his longtime manservant, and decreed that the other slaves he owned would be freed upon the death of his wife Martha. She ended up signing a deed to free all of his remaining slaves the year after his death, but she kept the slaves she had inherited herself.

Continue reading the CNN report above for more examples of the many lies Mr. Trump told over the weekend.  On Convicted Felon Trump and CNN, Ewan Palmer (NEWSWEEK) reports:

CNN anchor Kasie Hunt abruptly ended a live interview with Donald Trump press secretary Karoline Leavitt on Monday morning after the spokesperson questioned a moderator in the network's upcoming presidential debate.

Hunt had asked Leavitt what to expect from Joe Biden ahead of the first live televised presidential debate of the 2024 campaign, scheduled for June 27. CNN's Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate.

In reply, Leavitt said: "Well, first of all, it takes someone five minutes to Google 'Jake Tapper Donald Trump' to see that Jake Tapper has consistently..."

Hunt interrupted and warned Leavitt, "I am going to stop this interview if you continue to attack my colleagues."

When Leavitt responded, "I am stating facts that your colleagues have stated in the past," Hunt cut her off and ended the interview.

Hunt later posted on X, formerly Twitter, about the exchange, writing: "You come on my show, you respect my colleagues. Period."

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:

Monday, June 24, 2025. Despite right-wing lies, children continue to starve in Gaza, Israeli forces attack the International Red Cross and Red Crescent as well as the office of the United Nations, two US service members object publicly to the ongoing slaughter in Gaza, and much more.

Starting with children, Edward Carver (COMMON DREAMS) reports:

  A 42-year-old white woman has been charged with attempted murder and injury to a child following her attempt to drown a 3-year-old Palestinian-American in the pool of a Euless, Texas apartment complex last month, according toCNN and other media outlets.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest civil rights and advocacy group in the United States, called for a hate crime investigation at a press conference Saturday and warned that the incident was part of an alarming increase in anti-Muslim hate since the war in Gaza began in October.

"My country is facing a war, and we are facing that hate here," the 3-year-old's mother, identified only as Mrs. H. due to safety concerns, said in a statement from CAIR's Texas chapter. "My daughter is traumatized. Whenever I open the apartment door, she runs away and hides, telling me she is afraid the lady will come and immerse her head in the water again."

According to CAIR's account and media reports of the May 19 incident, Elizabeth Wolf, a 42-year-old white woman, allegedly approached Mrs. H. making racist interrogations about what country the family was from and the foreign language they were speaking. Mrs. H., a 32-year-old Palestinian-American woman, was wearing a hijab as she watched her two children play in the shallow end of the pool.

Wolf jumped into the pool and tried to drag the two children to the deep end. The elder of the two escaped, but Wolf allegedly held the 3-year-old child's head underwater. When Mrs. H. tried to intercede, Wolf allegedly took the hijab and tried to beat Mrs. H. with it, and also kicked her to keep her away as she attacked the child. A man then rescued the child.

Wolf was initially arrested for public intoxication and was released on bond the next day. She has since been charged with attempted murder and injury to a child, according toCNN. Wolf has again been released on bail after paying at least $40,000 in bond fees. 

Staying on the topic of children, this morning the aid charity Save The Children notes:

At least 10,000 people are reported missing under the rubble, presumed dead. Children are reported to make up 43% of total casualties in this devastating war.

So, it’s reasonable to estimate that at least 5,160 children are dead under the rubble.  

As of February, an estimated 17,000 children were unaccompanied and separated from their families. This number is likely much higher now, with our team in Gaza finding more unaccompanied children every day. 

Furthermore, the bodies of children have been among those recently found in mass graves with many showing signs of torture.

The UN has also raised the alarm about the mass detention of possibly thousands of people, including children, reporting cases of ill-treatment in detention by Israeli forces. 

On the topic of children, in Thursday's "Iraq snapshot," we noted Jonathan S. Tobin's lie that children were not starving in Gaza -- a lie that THE NEW YORK POST attempted to multiply on Friday.  Sunday, ALJAZEERA noted, "Two more babies have died from malnutrition at Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, bringing the known death toll from hunger and thirst to 31, health officials say."  But these children apparently never existed in the eyes of Tobin or THE NEW YORK POST.  In the real world, NDTV notes:

Gaza's hunger crisis is also a product of war. The Israeli military invaded the Strip in response to the Oct. 7 cross-border assault by Hamas on Israel. More than 37,000 Palestinians and nearly 1,500 Israelis have been killed since then, Gazan and Israeli tallies show.

The Israeli assault has destroyed swathes of Gazan farmland. In the early days of the war, Israel imposed a total blockade on Gaza. It later allowed some humanitarian supplies to enter but is still facing international calls to let in more.

The International Criminal Court's prosecutor, in seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, last month accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant of using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare, among other alleged crimes. Netanyahu, calling that move "a moral outrage of historic proportions," said Israel is fighting in full compliance with international law and taking unprecedented measures to ensure aid reaches those in need.

Friday, on DEMOCRACY NOW!, Amy Goodman noted, "The first Palestinian athlete to ever participate in the Olympics died last week in Gaza’s Nuseirat refugee camp after he was unable to receive medical care for kidney failure. Majed Abu Maraheel, a long-distance runner, represented Palestine in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was the flag bearer."  DAWN notes that the civilians killed over the weekend include another professional soccer player: 

Palestinian soccer player Ahmad Abu al-Atta and his family were killed in their home by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) said.

Abu al-Atta, 34, who played as a defender for the Gaza Strip team Al-Ahly Gaza, died along with his wife Ruba Esmael Abu al-Atta, a medical professional, and their two children after the airstrike hit their home in Gaza City, the PFA said in a statement released on Saturday.

Local media reported that the airstrike took place on Friday, but the PFA did not give a date.

As the deaths continue, ALJAZEERA notes this morning, "Israel kills Gaza’s Director of Ambulances and Emergency Hani al-Jaafarawi, considered a pillar in the enclave’s crippled health system, in an air strike in Gaza City."  It's one War Crime after another.  Friday, the Israeli government attacked the International Red Cross and Red Crescent.  CBS NEWS notes that "the United Nations says no place in Gaza is safe and humanitarian conditions are dire as families shelter in tents and cramped apartments without adequate food, water or medical supplies."  Robert Plummer (BBC News) notes that the attacks also left the "the office and residences of the International Committee of the Red Cross" damaged and Plummer quotes the European Union's "foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the EU condemned the attack and called for an independent investigation and for those responsible to be held accountable." Wednesday strike on Al-Mawasi began.   Aurora Almendral (NBC NEWS) notes, "An investigation by NBC News into seven deadly airstrikes found Palestinians were killed in areas of southern Gaza that the Israeli military had explicitly designated as safe zones, including Al-Mawasi."   

Sunday, the Israeli government attacked the UN aid center.  ALJAZEERA reports:

At least eight people have been killed in an Israeli air attack near an aid centre that was the main headquarters of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip.

The air strike on Sunday hit the main gate of the organisation’s compound in Gaza City in the north of the enclave, injuring multiple Palestinians. The facility is used to distribute the little humanitarian aid that gets into Gaza.

Where's the red line, Joe?

While Joe Biden seems unsure where his previously declared red line went, others have found their own.  Katherine Doyle and Courtney Kube (NBC NEWS) report:

The death of 6-year-old Hind Rajab in February after she was trapped under Israeli fire in Gaza sparked international condemnation — and for Larry Hebert Jr., an active duty U.S. airman, the incident accelerated his decision to seek conscientious objector status from the U.S. military.

“She looks almost just like my daughter, and that was something that was extremely hard to grasp, is that all these children that have aspirations and dreams and lives that many of us are living and want, and it’s wholly unjustified to support what’s happening,” said Hebert, who told NBC News in an interview that he worked directly on a U.S. operation to provide weapons sales to Israel.

After witnessing footage of death and destruction in Gaza, senior U.S. Airman Juan Bettancourt said he could no longer ignore the U.S. government’s role in the war, including its supply of weapons, diplomatic coverage and intelligence.

“I see the slaughter of thousands of innocent civilians,” Bettancourt said during an interview in San Antonio, Texas, “all while the world watches through their smartphones.”

They have a red line.  Joe?  As the War Crimes continue, Joe can't find it.  But REUTERS notes, "Israeli army forces strapped a wounded Palestinian man to the hood of a military Jeep during an arrest raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Saturday.  A video circulating on social media and verified by Reuters showed a Palestinian resident of Jenin, Mujahed Azmi, on the Jeep that passes two ambulances."  THE NATIONAL notes the man's "family said there was an arrest raid and that he was injured, but when the family asked for an ambulance, the army strapped him onto the bonnet and drove off."   Peter Beaumont (GUARDIAN) reports today:

The Israel Defense Forces have said they are investigating an incident in which soldiers strapped a wounded Palestinian man to the bonnet of a military vehicle during a raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Saturday.

A video circulating on social media showed a man, variously identified as Mujahid Azmi or Fayyad, from the Jabriyat neighbourhood between the towns of Burqin and Jenin, tied to the front of an off-road vehicle that is seen passing two ambulances.

ALJAZEERA spoke with Mujahid and notes, "He says Israeli forces continued to beat him while he was injured."  Willy Lowry and Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) report:

Mujahed Abbadeh grimaced as he shifted in his hospital bed, his right arm held by metal rods, as he told The National how he was arrested by Israeli troops, tied to the front of a military vehicle and driven through the streets of Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

The incident on Saturday was captured in a video that caused global outrage and an admission from the Israeli military that Mr Abbadeh's treatment was “in violation of orders and standard operating procedures”.

“I can’t move my leg,” Mr Abbadeh said. “My arm hurts tremendously. I feel very bad about what happened.”

The vegetable seller, 23, said the soldiers beat and abused him as they arrested him, despite finding nothing incriminating when they raided his family home.

“They were hitting me on my head, they were hitting me on my leg before even putting me on the jeep,” said Mr Abbadeh, who in earlier reports was misnamed as Mujahed Azmi.

Gaza remains under assault. Day 261 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  THE NATIONAL notes, "The Gaza Health Ministry on Sunday reported that 37,598 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the start of the Israel-Gaza war on October 7.  The number of injured has reached 86,032, the ministry said."    Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:


April 11th, Sharon Zhang (TRUTHOUT) reported, "In addition to the over 34,000 Palestinians who have been counted as killed in Israel’s genocidal assault so far, there are 13,000 Palestinians in Gaza who are missing, a humanitarian aid group has estimated, either buried in rubble or mass graves or disappeared into Israeli prisons.  In a report released Thursday, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said that the estimate is based on initial reports and that the actual number of people missing is likely even higher."

As for the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."

The following sites updated: