June is here! Yes, it’s Thursday, June 1, 2023, and although Summer doesn’t officially start for three weeks, June really IS summer. It’s National Hazelnut Cake Day, which nobody has ever eaten, as well as these food-month designations for June:
National Candy Month
National Dairy Month
National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month
National Iced Tea Month
National Papaya Month
It’s also Dinosaur Day, Heimlich Maneuver Day (note that there are now two ways to do this: abdominal thrusts and back blows, and you should alternate between them), International Children’s Day, National Go Barefoot Day, National Nail Polish Day, National Olive Day, Say Something Nice Day (how about “you look maah-velous!”?), Wear a Dress Day, World Milk Day, and Global Day of Parents.
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the June 1 Wikipedia page.
*Yesterday the House passed a bill affirming the bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling, so the U.S. won’t go into default (the Senate is almost certain to pass it, too). The support was bipartisan, but so was the opposition:
The bill would defer the federal debt limit for two years — allowing the government to borrow unlimited sums as necessary to pay its obligations — while imposing two years of spending caps and a string of policy changes that Republicans demanded in exchange for allowing the country to avoid a disastrous default. The 314-to-117 vote came days before the nation was set to exhaust its borrowing limit, and days after a marathon set of talks between White House negotiators and top House Republicans yielded a breakthrough agreement.
With both far-right and hard-left lawmakers in revolt over the deal, it fell to a bipartisan coalition powered by Democrats to push the bill over the finish line, throwing their support behind the compromise in an effort to break the fiscal stalemate that had gripped Washington for weeks. On the final vote, 149 Republicans and 165 Democrats backed the measure, while 71 Republicans and 46 Democrats opposed it.
That was a blow to the Republican speaker, whose hard-fought victory on the measure was dampened by the fact that more Democrats ultimately voted for the bill than members of his own party.
The measure nearly collapsed on its way to the House floor, when hard-right Republicans sought to block its consideration, and in a suspenseful scene, Democrats waited several minutes before swooping in to supply their votes for a procedural measure that allowed the plan to move ahead.
The “progressive” Democrats, including Jayapal and Ocasio-Cortez, voted against the bill because it didn’t give them what they wanted (same reason the Republicans voted against the bill), but do these people want to throw the country into a crisis? AOC:
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, said she, too, would vote against the bill, in part because of changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
“Republicans need to own this vote,” she said. “This was their deal, this was their negotiations. They’re the ones trying to come in and cut SNAP, cut environmental protections, trying to ram through an oil pipeline through a community that does not want it.”
Sorry, but both Dems and Republicans own this vote, and it was negotiations and a deal from both parties. And a good thing, too.
*As reported in Forbes Magazine, a nationwide telephone poll of 1,680 adults conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago assayed Americans on a number of issues, the one reported in this piece being how much weight should be given to race in college admissions. According to Americans, “some, but not much.” We should find out shortly if the Supreme Court will allow any consideration of race in admissions, and it doesn’t look likely.
A new poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that 63% of adults believe that the Supreme Court should not prohibit colleges from considering race or ethnicity as one factor in their admission decisions, but most also believe it should not be treated as a major factor.
. . . Support for the limited use of race as an admission factor was surprisingly consistent across political and racial lines. A majority of both Democrats (65%) and Republicans (60%) favored allowing applicants’ race to be considered. Likewise, there was no significant difference based on race or ethnicity. Sixty-two percent of white adults, along with 62% of Black adults and 65% of Hispanic adults said consideration of race and ethnicity should be permitted by colleges.
. . . There were, however, differences in how much consideration people thought race/ethnicity should be given in college admissions with Blacks, Hispanics and Democrats more likely to say they should be important.
When asked about the importance of several other admission factors, respondents assigned relatively low priority to race/ethnicity (only 13% said it should be extremely or very important), donations to the school (10% said the same), athletic ability (9%), gender (9%), and legacy status (9%). Overall, 68% of adults said race and ethnicity should not be a significant factor.
And although the Supreme Court will be the ultimate arbiter of this issue, Americans have lost confidence in the Court in a large measure: only 12% of those polled expressing great confidence in it—down more than 50% from 2020.
*Yesterday North Korea just tried to launch its first spy satellite, but it failed miserably, with the rocket falling into the sea.
North Korea’s attempt to put its first spy satellite into space failed Wednesday in a setback to leader Kim Jong Un’s push to boost his military capabilities as tensions with the United States and South Korea rise.
After an unusually quick admission of failure, North Korea vowed to conduct a second launch after it learns what went wrong. It suggests Kim remains determined to expand his weapons arsenal and apply more pressure on Washington and Seoul while diplomacy is stalled.
South Korea and Japan briefly urged residents in some areas to take shelter after the launch.
The South Korean military said it was salvaging an object presumed to be part of the crashed North Korean rocket in waters 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of the southwestern island of Eocheongdo. Later, the Defense Ministry released photos of a white, metal cylinder it described as a suspected rocket part.
A satellite launch by North Korea is a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions that ban the country from conducting any launch based on ballistic technology. Observers say North Korea’s previous satellite launches helped improve its long-range missile technology. North Korean long-range missile tests in recent years demonstrated a potential to reach all of the continental U.S., but outside experts say the North still has some work to do to develop functioning nuclear missiles.
They’ll eventually succeed, even as they’ll eventually succeed in producing workable ICBMs with nuclear warheads. This is one of the most difficult diplomatic problems to solve—if it even needs solving. Negotiating, of course, won’t work, and, the country not being suicidal, it’s not going to launch nukes without provocation. But all the money for this war material is coming out of the mouths of North Koreans, who are starving en masse. And there’s no hope of a regime change.
*The NYT has discovered that the James Beard Foundation, which gives prestigious award to various chefs, has gone full Pecksniff and is now grilling candidate chefs about their sociopolitical backgrounds and scrutinizing their past social media accounts. After all, our chefs must be politically correct!
[Chef Sam] Fore is a finalist in the James Beard awards, which for nearly three decades have been considered the most prestigious culinary honors in the United States, the so-called “Oscars of the food world.” As the #MeToo movement led to high-profile revelations of misbehavior and workplace abuse in the restaurant world in recent years, the Beard foundation overhauled its processes to make the awards more equitable and diverse, and to ensure that chefs with troubling histories are not honored.
Ms. Fore is among the first subjects of an investigatory process created in 2021 as part of that overhaul. But in many ways she is the kind of chef the retooled awards are meant to recognize more fully. Early indications suggest that the new process is vulnerable to failure in several ways.
While the awards have historically honored mostly white chefs serving European-derived food in expensive urban restaurants — in fact, the other four finalists in the Best Chef: Southeast category with Ms. Fore are white men — her business, Tuk Tuk, is a pop-up that serves cuisine inspired by what she grew up eating in Lexington, Ky., as the daughter of Sri Lankan immigrants.
In what she called “an interrogation,” the investigators asked her about social media posts she had made on both private and public accounts. Someone had sent them to the foundation through an anonymous tip line on its website. The men told Ms. Fore that the posts potentially violated the organization’s code of ethics — specifically that they amounted to “targeted harassment” and “bullying.”
They included an Instagram post, she said, that was part of a domestic-violence awareness campaign, and others related to her advocacy for victims of sexual violence, including “vague tweets” about people the posts did not name.
Here’s the “problematic” post, which isn’t problematic at all:
The Foundation even has an anonymous “tip line”, where you can report a chef or restaurant for not practicing Social Justice correctly. It’s a good thing that there is no Big Brother to record people’s words, for then all of us would have been guilty of at least one such offense in our lives.
*Talk about May-December romances, India Today reports that actor Al Pacino, who’s now 83, is expecting a baby with his 29-year-old wife Noor Alfallah. I found one photo of them on her Instagram page (below), but he’s not named (the guy on the right is artist James Bennett).
Veteran American actor and filmmaker Alfredo James “Al” Pacino is set to become a dad for the fourth time. He is 82 years old! As per TMZ, the actor’s 29-year-old girlfriend, Noor Alfallah is eight-months pregnant. Pacino’s representative also confirmed the news to PEOPLE
Al Pacino and Noor Alfallah have been linked since April 2022 when they were spotted grabbing dinner together. According to Page Six sources, it was revealed that the couple had actually been quietly dating since the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Pacino and Noor started seeing each other during the pandemic. She mostly dates very rich older men. She has been with Al for some time and they get on very well. The age gap doesn’t seem to be a problem, even though he is older than her father. She moves with the wealthy jet-set crowd, and she comes from a family with money,” the source revealed.
Meanwhile, Al Pacino already shares daughter Julie Marie, 33, with his ex-girlfriend, Jan Tarrant. She is an acting coach. He also has 22-year-old twins Anton and Olivia with ex-partner Beverly D’Angelo. The duo dated from 1997 to 2003. Meanwhile, this appears to be Alfallah’s first child.
Previously, Alfallah was linked to Mick Jagger, who was 74 at the time, and she was just 22. She was also linked to billionaire Nicolas Berggruen, 60.
I’ve heard people criticize Pacino for this, presumably on the grounds that his child won’t have a father for very long, but this seems to be the business of Pacino and Alfallah alone. But as long as we’re gossiping, Robert DeNiro just had his seventh kid at 79.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili still despises molehills, but Andrzej likes them:
Hili: A tragedy.A: How so?Hili: Six molehills in my field of vision.A: But I like moles and their molehills very much.
Hili: Rozpacz.Ja: Z czym?Hili: Sześć kretowisk w polu widzenia.Ja: A ja bardzo lubię krety i ich kretowiska.
. . . and a photo of baby Kulka:
. . . and a photo of Baby Kulka:
This guy won the Grand Prize in the claw machine! (Click on screenshot to see the short video.)
From Masih. I never fail to be impressed by the bravery of Iranian women. She could certainly be imprisoned for going unveiled in public:
She stands unveiled in the middle of the busiest street in Tehran protesting the mandatory wearing of the hijab. Her friend shows the victory sign saying, “This is In hopes of ending the Islamic Republic”. Iranian women will not go back one step.#WomanLifeFreedom pic.twitter.com/cK7kKB2Fik
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) May 30, 2023
Here are a few “life tips” from “Strong Minded”, who self-identifies as “Investor, Learner, Out Of The Rat Race. Sharing Wealth, Wisdom, And Motivational Tips To Help You Perform At Your Highest Level.” They actually seem to make a lot of sense, so I’ll post them here (click on each tweet to see all the “wisdom”).
Of course nobody could adhere to all of these all of the time—if you did you’d be like Jesus was supposed to be, but much of this advice is good. And #20, the last tip, is the best.
— Strong Minded (@strongminded101) May 25, 2023
— Strong Minded (@strongminded101) May 25, 2023
From Barry: spa day for human and kitty!
I am posting this without comment.
Because I honestly don't know what to say.pic.twitter.com/3Tme9LbSfT
— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) May 27, 2023
From Malcolm, the beginning of a cat brawl:
Our fight techniques are very… pic.twitter.com/wAnf7W3g5A
— The Six 'Stinky' Cats Gang (@SixStinkyCats) May 25, 2023
From the Auschwitz Memorial, a mother and child gassed upon arrival:
1 June 1937 | A Dutch Jewish boy, Manuel Scheffer, was born in Amsterdam.
In September 1942 he was deported to #Auschwitz and murdered in a gas chamber together with his mother, Rachel. pic.twitter.com/W04IldUukK
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) May 31, 2023
Tweets from Professor Cobb. First, a Dali Hamster:
The hamster melting while sleeping is too cute pic.twitter.com/UnXHb0oE7U
— why you should have an animal (@shouldhaveanima) May 31, 2023
Ah, those crafty Norwegians. What a way to change!
Norway changes to color television live in 1972 pic.twitter.com/moVzr02PGK
— Historic Vids (@historyinmemes) May 30, 2023
The headline is a bit confusing (it’s about Matthew’s book), but it sure impressed his daughter:
When this was on the front page of the Telegraph in 2011, my youngest daughter was bemused. Am I really the man who cracked the genetic code, she asked. pic.twitter.com/HetgN7u5Op
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) May 31, 2023