Welcome to Friday, October 20, 2023, with cat shabbos beginning at sundown; all moggies must have their tails home then. It’s National Brandied Fruit Day, something I used to make during my Canning Period in Davis, California, when I had access to tons of fresh produce. Yes, I had a cupboard full of jams, canned fruit, brandied fruit, and so on.
It’s also National Mammorgraphy Day, Office Chocolate Day, The International Day of the Air Traffic Controller (which one?), International Chefs Day, National Chicken and Waffles Day (I’ve still never had this dish), National Day on Writing, World Osteoporosis Day, and World Statistics Day.
Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot) celebrates the 122nd birthday of Adelaide Hall (1901-1993) described by Wikipedia as:
an American-born UK-based jazz singer and entertainer. Her long career spanned more than 70 years from 1921 until her death and she was a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Hall entered the Guinness Book of World Records in 2003 as the world’s most enduring recording artist, having released material over eight consecutive decades.She performed with major artists such as Art Tatum, Ethel Waters, Josephine Baker, Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Cab Calloway, Fela Sowande, Rudy Vallee,and Jools Holland, and recorded as a jazz singer with Duke Ellington (with whom she made her most famous recording, “Creole Love Call” in 1927) and with Fats Waller.
Here’s the famous recording of “Creole Love Call” (1927), with an early Duke Ellington Band. Bubber Miley, who died of tuberculosis at 29, is on the trumpet. It’s an amazingly advanced song for that era of jazz, with scat singing and no lyrics that I can discern:
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the October 20 Wikipedia page.
*Here’s Biden’s speech about the war, Israel, and Ukraine given last night from the Oval Office. He also asked for more aid for Ukraine. From the NYT:
In the days ahead, Mr. Biden is sure to face questions about whether the United States can afford to be financing two foreign wars. Although the U.S. economy has proved remarkably resilient this year, new data is expected to show on Friday that the deficit approached $2 trillion this fiscal year, and inflation remains uncomfortably high.
On Thursday, Mr. Biden described his request for aid as “a smart investment that’s going to pay dividends for American security for generations.” But he faces skepticism among members of both parties: progressive Democrats who fiercely oppose sending arms to Israel and conservative Republicans who have questioned the need to add to the more than $100 billion already approved in military and economic aid already sent to Ukraine.
*At last it looks as if humanitarian aid will start flowing into Gaza, but Israeli troops will be flowing into Gaza as well. The WSJ says this:
The United Nations and world leaders were pushing Thursday to get immediate aid flowing into the Gaza Strip as the humanitarian crisis worsened for two million Palestinians who are trying to flee deadly Israeli airstrikes and struggling to find food, water and fuel during a near-total siege.
President Biden said early Thursday that the U.S. had secured a deal with Egypt and Israel to send 20 trucks of humanitarian aid into Gaza as soon as Friday.
The U.N. warned that the situation is growing increasingly desperate. A spokesman for the Hamas-run interior ministry said the thousands of wounded exceeds what Gazan hospitals can handle.
“I fear that we are at the brink of a deep and dangerous abyss that could change the trajectory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Tor Wennesland, the U.N.’s special coordinator for Middle East peace, told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday.
The push to get aid into Gaza comes as Israel’s defense minister said a ground assault on the enclave could be imminent. The Israeli military has directed residents in the northern Gaza Strip to flee south as it prepares for what is expected to be a difficult ground assault designed to end the rule of Hamas, a U.S.-designated terror group.
“You now see Gaza from afar, soon you will see it from the inside. The order will come,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told troops on the Gaza border.
I’m beginning to wonder if the ground invasion by Israel will ever happen. Is it just a big ruse? I don’t think so, as bombing alone can’t destroy Hamas, but we’ll know soon. Still, I’m glad the humanitarian aid is about to flow to the Palestinians, even though Malgorzata thinks that Hamas will siphon off most of it. Biden will address the nation tonight (I’m writing this Thursday evening), and I’ll post his speech here if it’s embeddable.
*The search for a Speaker of the House goes on, but it’s not going to be Jim Jordan. The search goes on, but perhaps Patrick McHenry will nab the position until at least the next election.
The path forward for House Republicans on choosing a speaker was uncertain Thursday after members emerged from a lengthy, heated meeting. Earlier Thursday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the embattled GOP speaker nominee, told his conference that he would back a plan to temporarily expand the powers of Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (R-N.C.), the temporary speaker, and delay a third ballot for speaker. Jordan later suggested to reporters that the plan won’t move forward as of now. He said he would seek a third ballot for speaker, though the timing was unclear.
*Democrats are reacting in a predictable way to Biden’s speech supporting Israel: some far left-wing Democrats are criticizing him, while the centrist like what he’s done. I’m with the centrists, and abhor the anti-Semites who constitute some of the “progressive” Democrats:
Mr. Biden’s speech comes as his political coalition has begun to fray over the Israeli conflict. Progressives and young Democrats are demanding that he press Israel to stop its incursion on Gaza, while more centrist Democrats who make up the core of his political base were nearly unanimous in their praise of his Tel Aviv speech.
“I am grateful to have @POTUS thoughtful leadership in this moment,” Representative Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri wrote on social media. “As we continue working save the lives of hostages and hold Hamas accountable, I encourage him to continue using his platform to call for restraint and the protection of innocent Israelis and Palestinians alike.”
. . .Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland said Mr. Biden “speaks for me and speaks for all of America” on Israel. And Richard Haass, the former chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, called the Wednesday speech “nothing less than masterful.”
And while Biden campaign officials insist they aren’t planning to use the Israel trip as campaign fodder, Representative Jake Auchincloss of Massachusetts forecast what could become the sort of contrast the president’s aides and allies make with former President Donald J. Trump should he win the Republican presidential nomination.
“Joe Biden flew into a war zone to stand with Israel,” Mr. Auchincloss said late Wednesday. “Trump wouldn’t even visit a cemetery of American war dead.” (Mr. Trump, in 2018, canceled a planned trip to a French cemetery, and his aides cited the rainy weather.)
. . . and the others, who know that their calling for a cease fire could only affect Israel’s engaging in a cease fire (which it won’t); their bleatings won’t affect Hamas at all, and of course they don’t care:
“We cannot bomb our way to peace,” wrote Representative Cori Bush of Missouri. “We need a cease-fire,” said Representative André Carson of Indiana. And several left-wing members of Congress reposted a message from Pope Francis in which he called the situation in Gaza “desperate” and pleaded that “the weapons be silenced; let the cry for peace be heard from the poor, from the people, from the children!”
Some used especially heated language: Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, speaking outside the Capitol, said, “We are literally watching people commit genocide and killing a vast majority, just like this, and we still stand by and say nothing.”
I fervently hope Tlaib will be defeated, but I think her constituents (and those of Ilhan Omar) share her hatred of Israel. I stand with Hoyer!
Kurmasheva’s arrest highlights the continuing dangers for journalists traveling in wartime Russia and operating in an environment in which senior officials have described their work as part of an “information war” against Moscow.
Kurmasheva, who is based in Prague, also was charged with failing to register as a “foreign agent,” although she does not reside in Russia. She was initially detained in June, as she was waiting to fly out of Russia, after visiting the country for family reasons. Her employer, RFE/RL, has been designated a foreign agent by Russian authorities.
She’s going to get a long sentence in a labor camp, like Brittney Griner, and then will be traded for some real spy or Russian bad buy in an American prison. If I were an American journalist, I wouldn’t set foot in Russia. The danger of being arrested is too great.
*I greatly enjoyed this hour of Bari Weiss conversing about Israel with Konstantin Kisin and Francis Foster. She does most of the talking, which is fine because she gives a thoughtful and eloquent take. Of course you know where she stands: strongly pro-Israel. But listen for a few minutes and you might get hooked–as I was (h/t Rosemary):
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili appears to have temporarily found peace.
A: What are you doing here?Hili: I’m looking at the world with a stoic calm.
Ja: Co tu robisz?Hili: Patrzę na świat ze stoickim spokojem.
And a picture of the loving Szaron:
From Divy, a trenchant meme:
A Gary Larson Far Side cartoon from Merilee:
A demonstration of Shrinkflation from BuzzFeed:
From Masih, some Iranian booing:
Marzieh Boroumand, a well-known director in Iran, pleaded with the Iranian regime for kindness, suggesting the people would then support the regime against Israel and Zionism. Yet, the response from the masses was a resounding 'boo'. This reveals that those chanting… pic.twitter.com/U2jHHdhcpc
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) October 18, 2023
What a paradise is Iran! They kill their protestors (or blind them), and start the legislative day like this! See this post on the Elder of Ziyon for a huge collection of tweets (most of them anti-Semitic) relating to the war. (Trigger warning: pervasive hatred.)
Another day in the paradise that is the Islamic Republic. 🇮🇷 Today's meeting of the Iranian parliament began with shouting slogans: “Death to Israel! Death to America! pic.twitter.com/qLWL0hvxrI
— Mike (@Doranimated) October 18, 2023
J. K. Rowling doesn’t pull any punches:
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) October 17, 2023
These nice people helped the octopus go back home:
A Giant pacific octopus caught in the fishing net on accident off the coast of California pic.twitter.com/tkeOvlzdvt
— Nature is Amazing ☘️ (@AMAZlNGNATURE) October 18, 2023
I’m not sure the dog likes this:
Making friends.. 😊 pic.twitter.com/2qvH69AGMl
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) October 18, 2023
From the Auschwitz Memorial, a two-year-old boy gassed upon arrival:
20 October 1939 | A French Jewish boy, Albert Klochendler, was born in Paris.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) October 19, 2023
We’re down to two tweets a day from Matthew, taken from my stockpile, as the boy has left Twitter. First, a runner duck and then a gazillion other ducks:
— caenhillcc (@caenhillcc) October 13, 2023
A life-and-death chase:
Bluefin Tuna chasing after Garfish, South Devon pic.twitter.com/OKLGaBdjO1
— Henry Kirkwood 🦅 (@HenryKWildlife) October 10, 2023