Greetings at a chilly end to the work week (in Chicago): it’s September 23, 2022, and the first full day of autumn, which began last night at around 9 p.m. It’s also National Pancake Day. Here are some Polish pancakes that I had when I visited Poznań in 2016:
It’s also National Great American Pot Pie Day (an underappreciated dish), National Snack Stick Day, Native American Day, Love Note Day, Celebrate Bisexuality Day ,and International Day of Sign Languages
Not much happened on September 23, but these things did:
- 38 – Drusilla, Caligula‘s sister who died in June, with whom the emperor is said to have an incestuous relationship, is deified.
- 1642 – The first commencement exercises occur at Harvard College.
- 1806 – Lewis and Clark return to St. Louis after exploring the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
The journey and back took them about 2½ years. Here’s a map of the expedition; note that the eastern part of the journal is red outlined in green, implying that they retraced their steps:
- 1845 – The Knickerbockers Baseball Club, the first baseball team to play under the modern rules, is founded in New York.
The caption: “The Knickerbockers (left) posing with their rivals in 1858.” Is the guy in the top hat an umpire?
- 1962 – The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts opens in New York City.
- 1986 – Houston Astros’ Jim Deshaies sets a record, striking out the first eight batters he faces against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Here’s the last strikeout in the record, now shared with the Mets’ Jacob deGrom. But the record number of consecutive strikeouts during any part of a game is ten, held by three pitchers. Now what is the record number of strikeouts in a single game by one pitcher? That’s also shared by three pitchers, one of whom accomplished the feat twice. Check the link.
*As I reported recently, there’s a mass exodus of draft-age Russian men from their country, either avoiding being called up in the new mobilization of 300,000 reservists, or fear that they will be called up in a second and universal mobilization.
Turkey already was among the countries that received a large exodus of Russians at the beginning of the Ukraine invasion. Many were fleeing the crackdown at home, including the criminalization of dissent, with speaking out against the invasion or even calling it a war now carrying serious penalties. Others worried about the impact of international sanctions and Russia’s growing isolation on the economy and their jobs.
Now, a new wave may be beginning, and while the exact scope of it was not immediately clear, the rush for plane tickets and the long lines of cars at the borders were indications that the prospects of an expanded conscription have alarmed a swath of Russian society.
Apparently Russian men were getting called up for service within hours of Putin’s announcement, and it hasn’t been received well. Nobody wants to die in a useless and unpopular war:
By declaring for the first time that Russian civilians could be pressed into service in Ukraine, Mr. Putin risked a public backlash but said the move was “necessary and urgent” because the West had “crossed all lines” by providing sophisticated weapons to Ukraine.
Despite the Kremlin’s crackdown on dissent, protests erupted on Wednesday night across Russia in response to Mr. Putin’s move, with at least 1,312 people arrested, according to the human rights watchdog OVD-Info. Many Russians sought to travel to other countries to escape being called up to fight as men across the country reported to draft offices.
Russian officials said the call-up would be limited to people with combat experience. But Yanina Nimayeva, a journalist from the Buryatia region of Siberia, wrote on Thursday that her husband — a father of five and an employee in the emergency department in the regional capital — had been called up despite never having served in the military. She said he had received a summons to an urgent meeting at 4 a.m. in which it was announced that a train had been organized to bring reservists to the city of Chita.
. . . In Ulan-Ude, the regional capital of Buryatia, draft papers “were distributed to houses and apartments all night,” according to a report from Arig-Us, a local independent television station. The local news media reported that new recruits had gathered at a military facility a short walk from a sports complex where funerals are held for soldiers who die in Ukraine.
Can you imagine the pandemonium that would ensue if Putin decides to mount a full mobilization—a full draft? You’d have to be crazy to want to go to Ukraine to fight, for even many Russian civilians know that this is an unjust war. There would be mass protests, and perhaps Putin would have to go.
*A federal appeals court overruled part of District Judge Aileen Cannon’s decisions about the disposition of papers seized from Trump at Mar-a-Lago. As you may recall, Cannon ruled that not only would all the papers be vetted by a “special master”—something the Justice Dept. did not appeal—but also that the government could not yet use about 100 files labeled “classified” in its criminal investigation of Trump. That would have impeded the government’s investigation—but that was the part overruled by the appeals court:
A federal appeals court on Wednesday freed the Justice Department to resume using documents marked as classified that were seized from former President Donald J. Trump, blocking for now a lower court’s order that had strictly limited the investigation into Mr. Trump’s handling of government materials.
In a strongly worded 29-page decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit set aside key parts of an order by a Florida federal judge that has kept the department from using about 100 files with classification markings in its inquiry into whether Mr. Trump illegally retained national defense documents and obstructed repeated efforts to recover them.
The appeals court also agreed with the Justice Department that Mr. Trump’s lawyers — and an independent arbiter recently appointed to review the seized materials — need not look at the classified documents that the F.B.I. carted away from Mr. Trump’s estate, Mar-a-Lago, on Aug. 8.
The Justice Department “argues that the district court likely erred in exercising its jurisdiction to enjoin the United States’ use of the classified records in its criminal investigation and to require the United States to submit the marked classified documents to a special master for review,” a three-judge panel of the appeals court wrote. “We agree.”
The decision by the Atlanta-based court was a repudiation of the decision by Judge Aileen M. Cannon, whom Mr. Trump appointed to the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida, to broadly intervene in the Justice Department’s investigation. The appellate ruling will permit the arbiter, known as a special master, to review most of the more than 11,000 files seized from Mar-a-Lago, but allow prosecutors unfettered access to the smaller batch of classified records.
The appellate panel consisted of two other Trump appointees, Judges Britt Grant and Andrew L. Brasher, and Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum, an Obama appointee.
And this is the sad but hilarious part (see tweet below showing the exchange):
But in an interview that aired late Wednesday, Mr. Trump made the extraordinary claim — not advanced by his own lawyers or supported by prior practice or legal precedent — that he had the right as president to declassify documents by wordlessly willing it to be so.
“You can declassify just by saying ‘it’s declassified,’ even by thinking about it,” Mr. Trump told Sean Hannity on Fox News.
The deranged ex-President says he has magical powers; he doesn’t even need a formal procedure to declassify documents! He just thinks away their classified nature!
*I didn’t realize that the Republicans were contemplating legislation that would impose a national ban on abortions after 15 weeks, but that’s what Senator Lindsey Graham just proposed. Now given the composition of the House and Senate, this has no chance of passing right now, and if the Senate stays Democratic or 50/50, it still won’t pass in the next two years even if the House flips to a Republican majority. But it shows you where the Republicans are going.
Upending the political debate, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a nationwide abortion ban Tuesday, sending shockwaves through both parties and igniting fresh debate on a fraught issue weeks before the midterm elections that will determine control of Congress.
Graham’s own Republican Party leaders did not immediately embrace his abortion ban bill, which would prohibit the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy with rare exceptions, and has almost no chance of becoming law in the Democratic-held Congress. Democrats torched it as an alarming signal of where “MAGA” Republicans are headed if they win control of the House and Senate in November.
“America’s got to make some decisions,” Graham said at a news conference at the Capitol.
The South Carolina Republican said that rather than shying away from the Supreme Court’s ruling this summer overturning Roe v. Wade’s nearly 50-year right to abortion access, Republicans are preparing to fight to make a nationwide abortion ban federal law.
“Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, we’re going nowhere,” the senator said while flanked by female advocates from the anti-abortion movement. “We welcome the debate. We welcome the vote in the United States Senate as to what America should look like in 2022.”
. . .Reaction was swift, fierce and unwavering from Democrats who viewed Graham’s legislation as an extreme example of the far-right’s hold on the GOP, and as a political gift of self-inflicted pain for Republican candidates now having to answer questions about an abortion ban heading toward the midterm elections.
“A nationwide abortion ban — that’s the contrast between the two parties, plain and simple,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
I’m not surprised that Graham’s proposal wasn’t enthusiastically embraced by Republicans! A recent Pew poll showed that 61% of all adult Americans think that “abortion should be legal in all or most cases“—a standard even more permissive than that of the now-overturned Roe v. Wade, which ruled that states could restrict but not absolutely prohibit abortion during the second trimester.
Only 37% said that abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. Given that Republicans in many states have managed to restrict abortion nearly completely, surely a nationally unpopular stand, the Republicans are choosing a strange hill to die on. It’s no surprise, then, that savvy Democrats are campaigning on a pro-choice plank, as they are here in Illinois. Ad after Democratic ad on t.v. show clips of the Republican nominee for governor, Darren Bailey, saying that he doesn’t think abortion should be allowed even in cases of rape or incest. What a goon! I wonder if James Carville has anything to say about this. “It’s the fetus, stupid!”
And, lo and behold, I just found Carville discussing this (he agrees with me) and other ways the Democrats need to approach the impending midterms.
*If you don’t know by now that the “squad” in Congress is anti-Semitic, favoring the elimination of Israel by uniting it with Palestine, or allowing the “right of return” of millions of Arabs descended from those who left Israel in 1948 largely at the behest of Arab states, then you aren’t paying attention. As in this clip, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib calls Israel an “apartheid state” when, in reality, it is Palestine that is the apartheid state, banning Jews, gays, oppressing women, and so on. (This reversal of the truth is a diagnostic sign of an anti-Semite).
Now Tlaib tells us that Democrats cannot be “progressive” if they support the “apartheid state of Israel. (h/t Malgorzata)
Several House Democrats on Wednesday slammed Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) over her claim that supporting “Israel’s apartheid government” is incompatible with “progressive values.”
“I want you all to know that among progressives, it’s become clear that you cannot claim to hold progressive values, yet back Israel’s apartheid government, and we will continue to push back and not accept that you are progressive except for Palestine,” Tlaib said in an online forum hosted by “American Muslims for Palestine” and “Americans for Justice in Palestine Action.”
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) accused Tlaib of antisemitism.
“The outrageous progressive litmus test on Israel by [Tlaib] is nothing short of antisemitic,” Wasserman Schultz wrote on Twitter. “Proud progressives do support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state. Suggesting otherwise is shameful and dangerous.”
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, tweeted, “In one sentence, Rep. Rashida simultaneously tells American Jews that they need to pass an anti-Zionist litmus test to participate in progressive spaces even as she doubles down on her antisemitism by slandering Israel as an apartheid state.”
In one sentence, @RepRashida simultaneously tells American Jews that they need to pass an anti-Zionist litmus test to participate in progressive spaces even as she doubles down on her #antisemitism by slandering Israel as an apartheid state. 1/2 https://t.co/9AIEnA6i5t
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) September 21, 2022
Do people not know who these “progressives” really are? Is it really “progressive” to support terrorists, the killing of gays, apostates, and atheists, to teach little children to hate Jews, and to oppress women?
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili disses Szaron (they’re still not fast friends):
Szaron: Do you have a moment?Hili: No, I’m very busy.
From Divy. Will we be seeing this soon as a court exhibit?
From Nicole; life the way it should be:
Remember, though, NEVER FEED BREAD TO DUCKS! But I do the same thing when the bread comes. . .
Two Tweets of God. And He’s plenty pissed off at the recent murder in Iran (a woman who didn’t wear her hijab properly!), and at the country’s theocracy. And yes, the government has shut down the Internet.
The internet in Iran is going down.
— God (thee/thy) (@TheTweetOfGod) September 22, 2022
I am unfit to represent the Iranian people.
— God (thee/thy) (@TheTweetOfGod) September 21, 2022
From Malcolm: a cool painting:
A brilliant anamorphic painting technique that makes the painting itself disappear
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) September 21, 2022
From Ken, who says this: “Makes sense, doesn’t it? This guy is going to get even more crazy, and more dangerous, now that he’s cornered.” Apparently when Trump thinks about declassifying a document, it becomes declassified. It’s magic!
By the end of this clip, Trump almost completely decomposes.
If you saw someone on a sidewalk talking this way, you’d put your phone to your ear, stare at the ground and cross the street as fast as possible.
— Bill Grueskin (@BGrueskin) September 22, 2022
From Simon: A response to “thought declassification”:
The Declassifier pic.twitter.com/Os5woqAJ71
— Roger Parloff (@rparloff) September 22, 2022
From the Auschwitz Memorial:
22 September 1943 | A transport of 1,425 Jews deported from Malines / Mechelen arrived at #Auschwitz. After the selection 371 men & 179 women were registered in the camp.
The remaining 875 people were murdered in gas chambers. One of them was Eddie Steiner. He was 9 years old. pic.twitter.com/suOqCpouZO
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) September 22, 2022
Tweets from Matthew. The first video, from Iran, is horrifying. Only now is the media beginning to apprehend the horrors this country inflicts on its people—especially its women.
The essence of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 15 seconds. “Although the 1979 revolution in Iran is often called an Islamic revolution, it can actually be said to be a revolution of men against women." -Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi pic.twitter.com/gVN1QsO4cv
— Karim Sadjadpour (@ksadjadpour) September 20, 2022
literally meowed the whole time pic.twitter.com/Tp3d7cR4zj
— faye (@fayemikah) September 21, 2022
This is very sweet:
Every year on the anniversary of his death, the National Trust leave the bedroom light on in John Lennon’s childhood home, all night.
— Michael Warburton (@MichaelWarbur17) September 21, 2022