Saturday, April 13, 2024


NDTV notes, "Iran launched more than 200 drones and missiles at Israel in an unprecedented attack late Saturday, the Israeli army announced, in a major escalation of the long-running covert war between the regional foes."  ABC NEWS adds, "Two U.S. officials confirmed that U.S. forces shot down about 70 Iranian drones headed towards Israel. One official added that one of the U.S. Navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean was also able to bring down an undetermined number of Iranian ballistic missiles."  The White House released a statement from US President Joe Biden proclaiming that  " we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles."

At Chatham House, Haid Haid wrote yesterday:

The suspected Israeli attack on Iran’s consulate in Damascus on 1 April marks an unprecedented escalation by Israel against Iran in Syria. The killing of Iran’s top soldier, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, among other Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commanders, is the clearest signal yet of Israel’s determination to shift the conflict’s rules of engagement – moving beyond simply preventing arms supplies to Hezbollah or pushing Iranian-backed groups away from its border, to directly eliminating Iranian leadership in Syria.

There is a real risk that Iranian-backed groups will intensify their targeting of US forces and Israel in response to this latest attack, leading to heightened escalations in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and possibly Jordan. This, along with US President Biden’s promise of ‘ironclad’ support for Israel in the case of a reprisal attack, presents a major risk of even greater escalation.

[. . .]

While Iran deliberates on its response to the consulate attack, its Syrian affiliates have wasted no time in launching retaliatory actions. On 2 and 4 April, cruise missiles and Katyusha rockets were fired towards the occupied Golan Heights. Moreover, since the consulate attack, US forces intercepted two drones in Syria, suggesting that the lull in attacks against them since early February may have ended.

Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said that the attack on the Iranian consulate ‘will be punished’, and that its response will be significant enough to deter Israel from repeating or escalating such attacks. This could mean attacks inside Israel or the targeting of its assets abroad.

Lyse Doucet (BBC NEWS) observes:

In the wars within wars of this grievous Gaza crisis, the most explosive of all is the searing official enmity between Israel and Iran.

It's now at its most perilous point.

And this region, and many capitals beyond, are watching and waiting with bated breath to see what Iran does next.

It's Tehran's move after the airstrike on its diplomatic compound in the heart of the Syrian capital, Damascus on 1 April, which killed senior commanders in its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

Israel never admits carrying out such attacks, but everyone knows it was its doing. 

And since the Israel-Gaza war erupted six months ago, Israel has ramped up its targeting of Iran, not just destroying arms supplies and infrastructure in Syria, but assassinating senior IRGC and Hezbollah commanders. 

In other news, Garrett Hargan (BELFAST TELGRAPH) reports:

A fundraising gig for Gaza featuring local bands and speakers will take place in Derry next month.

Acts include D:Ream, punk rockers TOUTS, Lavengro, ROE, Reevah and Niall McNamee.

Guest speakers on the day are chairman of Palestine Aid and Middle East expert Saeb Shaath, comedian Tadgh Hickey, who has been a prominent voice campaigning against the ongoing onslaught in Gaza, and veteran socialist Eamonn McCann.

Billed as Derry’s “largest fundraising event”, it is being run by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Derry branch, in partnership with Jika Jika and takes place on Monday, May 5 at Unit 8 Warehouse in Pennyburn Industrial Estate.

 Protests took place around the world today.  Bar Peleg, Nir Hasson, Eden Solomon and Adi Hashmonai (HAARETZ) report Israelis protested throughout the country including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as the family members of hostages called out the Netanyahu government for failing the hostages and called for Netanyahu to step down. Rami Amichay (REUTERS) notes, "As concern mounts in Israel for the wellbeing of the 129 remaining hostages, who cannot be contacted, their families and friends have organised increasingly vocal demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rightist government. They have dovetailed with activists who have long called for Netanyahu's ouster given his trial on graft charges - which he denies - and his attempts to overhaul the judiciary last year."  THE NATIONAL quotes Tel Aviv protester Marva Erez stating, "Our country's near the abyss. We've already started to drive down and we must stop it. I'm here to gather the force to tell the people that they need to come out and they need to tell our government that it's time to stop."


In Ireland, RTE reports:

Around one hundred people are attending a protest in support of Gaza outside the US Embassy in Dublin.

The rally has been organised by Irish Healthcare Workers for Palestine and Mothers Against Genocide.

It is calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and for the US government to end its support for the Israeli attacks on Gaza.

In England?  UK SOCIALIST WORKER reports:

Tens of thousands of pro-Palestine protesters again took over the streets of central London on Saturday—this time for a regional, city-wide demonstration.

Marchers were furious at the way the West continues to back Israel’s genocidal war. And many also expressed their loathing of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

But they were buoyed by yet another big turnout for the march from Russell Square. The protest end point, Parliament Square, was completely packed for a final rally.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign said that over 80,000 people had joined the march.

 [, , ,]

Seasoned activists and new marchers in London told Socialist Worker the movement must now be ready to fight against Israel’s expansion of the war across the Middle East.

Ayesha, who has been on three demonstrations since January, worries about the “potential of the war to widen” into a fight against Iran. But, she says, “the very vocal support for Palestine from the movement has educated lots more British people”.

David, an administration worker from Edinburgh, took up the same theme. He said that despite Biden’s calls for a ceasefire, he is “still committed to having Israel as a docking station and launch pad for US imperialism”.

He slammed Labour’s complicity in Israel’s genocide, arguing that it’s because “Labour is a political party within a capitalist system”. The writing is on the wall. It’s not possible to describe Labour as a socialist party,” he said. 

Gaza remains under assault. Day 190 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 Saturday said 33,686 Palestinians have been killed and 76,309 injured in Israel's military offensive there since October 7. The ministry said that 52 people were killed and 95 injured in the past 24 hours."  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, "n 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."

Today's violence?  MEMO notes, "Within 24 hours, the Israeli army on Saturday once again bombed a UN school housing displaced persons in the Nuseirat camp in the central Gaza Strip, Anadolu reports. Eyewitnesses told Anadolu that Israeli artillery bombed a school run by the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) in the New Camp area in Nuseirat, causing severe damage to the school."  ALJAZEERA reports, "According to eyewitnesses on the ground in the north of Nuseirat refugee camp, Israeli drones have been opening fire against people. They also said Israel is demolishing houses and destroying agricultural land which could be a sign, according to experts, that Israel is expanding the corridor that it has recently established splitting the north and the south of the Strip."

Yesterday, another aid worker was killed.  THE NATIONAL reports:

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) said that a member of its West Bank and Gaza mission was killed on Friday in Jaffa, Israel.

The agency said it was working with the US embassy for "further details about this fatal incident and how it will be investigated".

The most infamous attack on aid workers occurred earlier this month when the Israeli government murdered seven aid workers with World Central Kitchen.  Sharon Zhang (TRUTHOUT) notes a development in that story:

An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) commander who was a senior figure in the execution of the drone strike on a World Central Kitchen (WCK) convoy that killed seven workers last week had previously signed a letter calling for humanitarian aid to Gaza to be restricted — at a time when Israel was already blocking the vast majority of aid at the border.

According to The Telegraph, IDF Colonel Nochi Mandel signed an open letter “calling for [Gaza] to be deprived of aid,” as the Telegraph wrote, and demanding a “siege” of Gaza City in January. Mandel, who The Telegraph identifies as a “religious nationalist” and a resident of a settlement in the occupied West Bank, was one of two IDF officers dismissed after the WCK strike as Israel faced pressure from international leaders over the killing of the workers, one of whom was a U.S. citizen.

The letter asked the Israeli War Cabinet and the IDF chief of staff to “do everything in your power” to block “humanitarian supplies and operations of hospitals inside Gaza City.”

“As far as we understand … it is permissible and legal according to the laws of armed conflict, to impose a siege on a certain area, on the condition that the citizens who are in it are allowed evacuation corridors,” the letter said, according to the Telegraph. The letter was written in Hebrew.

Mandel’s signing of the letter reinforces concerns that the IDF purposefully attacked the aid convoy. Humanitarian groups have been saying for months that the IDF has been attacking them intentionally, with numerous reports finding vast amounts of evidence that targeting aid is a goal of the IDF. The letter signing also potentially undercuts Israel’s narrative that the attack was done in error; notably, the findings of the IDF’s own probe into the strike are riddled with inconsistencies.

Ramzy Baroud (ZNET) notes:

Israel described its clearly deliberate killing of seven humanitarian aid workers on April 1 as a “grave mistake”, a “tragic event” that “happens in war”. 

Israel is, obviously, lying. This entire so-called war – actually genocide – in Gaza, has been based on a series of lies, some of which Israel continues to peddle. 

For some, in the mainstream media, it took months to accept the obvious fact that Israel has been lying about the events that led to the war and the military objectives of its constant targeting of hospitals, schools, shelters and other civilian facilities.

So, it was only logical for Israel to lie about killing the six internationals, and their Palestinian driver, of the World Central Kitchen (WCK). Notwithstanding an event as atrocious as this, it is implausible for Israel to start telling the truth now.

Luckily, few seem to believe Israel’s version regarding WCK, or its continued massacres elsewhere in Gaza. Israel “cannot credibly investigate its own failure in Gaza,” the US-based NGO said in a statement on April 5.

At THE NEW YORKER, Keith Gessen has an interesting article entitled "Is This Israel's Forever War?" from which we'll note this section on former US State Dept worker Annelle Sheline:

Sheline had been in government for just six months when the Hamas attacks took place. The killings shocked and dismayed her. With colleagues, she discussed what Israel’s response would likely be. She was encouraged that President Biden had warned Benjamin Netanyahu not to repeat America’s post-9/11 mistakes.

She did not have to wait long to see that Netanyahu had not listened. In the first week of Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron, its Air Force dropped more bombs on Gaza than had been dropped by the U.S. in the most high-intensity month of the campaign against ISIS, back in 2017. Civilians were being killed at an astonishing pace—more than three hundred Gaza residents died a day in the first month of the war, many of them children. In mid-October, a State Department official, Josh Paul, resigned. He had worked in the bureau that oversaw weapons transfers to Israel. In the past, he said, citing the example of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the attention paid to how weapons would be used had been “microscopic.” In this case, however, “there was none of that. It was, ‘Open doors. Go.’ ”

Sheline was impressed by Paul’s resignation, but she had no intention of following suit. For one thing, she was far more junior. For another, she had just arrived in government after a long period of trying to do so. She and her husband had a mortgage and a toddler—a little girl.

Sheline has trouble pinpointing the moment she changed her mind. During the next several months, she watched the State Department work on negotiations for a substantial ceasefire, which never seemed to come to fruition. She watched U.S. planes airdrop food packages into Gaza, Berlin Airlift-style, while its ally Israel endlessly inspected trucks that could have delivered far more food at the crossings into Gaza. She watched the Administration leak, over and over, that the President was very frustrated with Netanyahu. “It’s, like, Well, clearly he’s not,” Sheline said, “because he has a lot of power here.” If Biden were genuinely frustrated, she thought, he could demand that the ceasefire happen and that civilians be granted more access to humanitarian aid. “They’re building this stupid pier instead of just insisting on the trucks getting across the border,” she told me last month.

“Often, inside the State Department, there’s this belief in the process,” Sheline continued. “You know, ‘It’s a slow process. You have to just go through the steps.’ But, really, from what I’ve observed, the only thing that seems to be causing any shift is public pressure. I had done what I could. I had tried to do what small things are available for someone in my position on the inside.” In mid-February, citing the Israeli campaign in Gaza, she told her superiors that she was going to leave, though only after she finished a yearlong commitment to the job, and completed her work on the bureau’s annual human-rights reports. Once that was done, she shut down her personal Web site and wrote an editorial for CNN. “Unable to serve an administration that enables such atrocities,” she wrote, “I have decided to resign from my position at the Department of State.”

The experience was still very raw when we spoke over Zoom a few days later. “I know that I won’t ever probably get to work for the government again, which in D.C. may be tricky,” she said. “It’s hard to even say what a professional impact this may end up having. But, you know, I think about my daughter. I assume that she will learn about this in school. And I just want to be able to let her know that I did what I could on the inside. But then it became clear that that just wasn’t having any impact.”

While I write these posts -- on the weekend, I'm generally writing and not dictating -- I'm bouncing from screen to screen.  I use one browser to write and to read e-mails and another to pull up news articles.  Zach's e-mailed the public account ( noting that he was reading a brief Gaza post that went up at about fifty minutes ago.  It's this post Zach.  I was writing the Iraq one and this one at the same time and hit "Publish" on this one when I meant to post Iraq (I had finished that one).  When I realized my error, I reverted this post back to draft form and published "Iraq."

Every now and then, on a Saturday, I'll be running late and post with a note that it's still in progress and I'll keep adding to it.  I could have done that tonight but I had already done the Iraq post (and it was complete except for one story I'll try to note in a snapshot this coming week).  

If you read it while it was briefly up, the BELFAST TELEGRAPH story was the first thing noted and I skipped around from there.  I usually write in patches and then move stuff around.  

The following sites updated:



    FOX NEWS is doing their usual garbage where they pretend to care about veterans.

    They don't care about veterans, they never have.  They're led by chicken hawks and put nothing but chicken hawks on the air.  Jesse Watters, for example, began 'serving' in FOX NEWS back in 2003, two years after graduating college.  He didn't serve in the military but he loves to puff up that breasty chest of his and pretend to be all about veterans.

    Unless they are gay.

    Or women.

    In an article so bad it took two FOX NEWS 'journalists' to write -- Aubrie Spady and Andrew Murray (no link to trash) -- the network tries to defend Tim Sheehy.

    Sheehy's a liar and there's no defense for it.

    You can refer to Elaine's "If Tim Sheehy's not lying, he should have kept his mouth shut" where she goes through step by step.

    I'm going to do it much shorter because I'm trying to make this an Iraq post because we've focused on Gaza and I don't think I've done much more than briefly note Iraq in at least two weeks.

    Tim's a liar.

    It's recently emerged that he was in a National Park and went to the hospital.  He was cited for firing a gun -- by accident -- and the gun left him wounded.

    If that is true, Tim's lied about his wound because on the campaign trail -- he's trying to replace Jon Tester in the US Senate -- Tim's been saying he was actually shot in Afghanistan.

    So he's a liar that way

    He's also a liar if his new claims -- shot in Afghanistan -- are true.  

    He's a liar because he concealed an event that should have been reported, should have been written up and should have been investigated.  He lied to the US military -- if he's telling the truth now.

    He wants you to believe that he's telling the truth now.  If he is, he was a liar back then but he's also something worse.  He's a glory hog.

    He took part in a cover up and now he's blasting the news of that.  He's not just implicating himself if he really was shot by 'friendly fire' in Afghanistan, he's implicating the person who shot him and the others who were part of the cover up.

    You can't lie about stuff like this in the military.  

    If he organized and took part in a cover up, as he now insists he did, the US military is going to have to investigate and people who were part of the cover up -- even in if they're not still in the service -- can face consequences for that -- including a reduction in rank that would lower the benefits that they are entitled to.

    This is not something minor.  However, it's FOX NEWS so they rush to defend the liar.  

    There is no happy outcome resulting from this.  And Sheehy needs to get honest about which is the lie -- he covered up an Afghanistan shooting or he really did shoot himself in a National Park.

    MANGALOREAN reports:

    Iraq suspended all civilian flights within its airspace on Saturday, as a precaution to ensure the safety and security of civil aviation amid regional tensions, the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority said.

    The closure became effective from 11:30 p.m. local time on Saturday to 5:30 a.m. local time on Sunday, the authority said on Saturday, indicating that this suspension might be prolonged if necessary, Xinhua news agency reported.

    ALJAZEERA explains, "Iran has launched dozens of drones and missiles at Israel, the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) confirmed, after Israel said Tehran had begun attacks. The IRGC said on Saturday that it had released the drones and missiles under the operation “True Promise”, adding that the move was part of the punishment for 'Israeli crimes'."

    Turning to politics,  October 10, 2021, Iraq held parliamentary elections.  That should mean that they hold them again in the fall of 2025.  Should mean.  It's true, however, that it was over a year later, October 22, 2022, before a prime minister was named.  This was due largely to the inept Moqtada al-Sadr who -- even with boosting from the US government -- could not assemble enough support within Iraq to either become prime minister (he's always insisted he doesn't want that job) or to name one of his loyalists to the post of prime minister.  He was out maneuvered by his bitter rival -- former prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki.  After many failed attempts and months and months of humiliation  Moqtada announced August 29, 2022, that he was drawing the veil and retiring from political life.  He's apparently finally sick of licking his own wounds and trying desperately to get back in the game.  SHAFAQ reports:

    A prominent leader within the Sadrist Movement revealed, on Saturday, the movements of various Shiite factions outside the Coordination Framework (CF) towards the leader of the Movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, aiming to join the Patriotic Shiite Movement (PSM).

    The leader, speaking to Shafaq News Agency, stated that "different political and popular Shiite forces outside CF have conducted and met in Baghdad with prominent Sadrist figures to join PSM, recently announced by Muqtada al-Sadr."

    The Sadrist leader, who preferred anonymity, added that "independent Shiite deputies have also conveyed their desire to join PSM to Sadrist leadership in Baghdad and some governorates. Therefore, this movement will be the broadest politically and popularly for the Shiite component and will be a front to confront the majority of Shiite CF during the coming period."

    THE NEW ARAB Tweets:

    CHANNEL 8 Tweets.

    No confirmation on whether or not Moqtada's managed to shed pounds during his long self-imposed exile or whether he's returned ready for swimsuit season.

    December 18th, Iraq held provincial elections so Moqtada's return -- if it's happening -- would be for the parliamentary elections.  Moqtada boycotted those elections.  Nouri did not and his State of Law candidates won 35 seats in the governorates.  Nabi, led by PMF leader Hadi al-Amiri, won the most seats across Iraq with 43.  It's thought that the current prime minister, Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani, will be starting a new coalition or party ahead of the parliamentary elections. 
    And what's Nouri up to?

    If true, it would certainly explain the firing of missiles by Iran at Israel today.  That's why Iraq has closed its air space.  Who but the US government would still have faith in Nouri al-Maliki.  

    The following sites updated:


    Full Performance By Diana Ross At Tv Land Awards - 2006 - ("The Boss" "Do You Know Where You're Going To?" "Ain't No Mountain High Enough")

    Tina Turner-You Don't Bring Me Flowers and Sometimes When We Touch-Warner Theatre 1978

    Make No Mistake, He's Mine · Barbra Streisand · Kim Carnes

    New BlackCommentator - Issue 996 Cover Story: For the Love of Guns

    The Black Commentator Issue #996 is now Online

      April 11, 2024

    Read issue 996

    The Black Commenentator | P.O. Box 2635A weekly publication dedicated to economic justice, social justice and peace.,
    Tarpon Springs, FL 34688-2635

    Dionne Warwick & Natalie Cole | SOLID GOLD | “You’ve Got a Friend" (11/15/1980)


    Batcrap Drunk Roseanne Video Contains Hilarious Easter Egg

    Aretha Franklin Oh Me Oh My I'm A Fool For You Baby

    The $17,500,000 Rebrand of Jesus Christ

    Heart: Barracuda | The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

    Marianne Williamson on Health | Roca News

    RAYE - Black Mascara.

    Why are food prices out of control? | The Coffee Klatch with Robert Reich ft. Michael Pollan

    News highlights on week 27 of Israel's genocide in Gaza, with Nora Barrows-Friedman

    REACH OUT AND TOUCH - Diana Ross live at Mile High Stadium -

    This Just Keeps Happening... | Lolo & Olay

    Chaka Khan sings "Angel" Live in London Nov, 2007

    Kelly Clarkson Covers 'Ain't Nobody' By Chaka Khan | Kellyoke

    Chaka Khan Castles Made Of Sand

    Corporate Dirty Tricks EXPOSED By Union-Busting Report

    Janet "Nasty & Throb (BMA 2018)"

    Janet Jackson Crashes Jimmy's Monologue to Teach Him the "Rhythm Nation" Countdown | Tonight Show

    The Motels - Only The Lonely


    Reps. Casar, Castro, & Cuellar Secure New Shelter and Services Dollars for San Antonio


    Reps. Casar, Castro, & Cuellar Secure New Shelter and Services Dollars for San Antonio

    April 12, 2024

    WASHINGTON – Today, Congressmen Henry Cuellar, Ph.D. (TX-28), Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, and Greg Casar (TX-35) released the following statement in appreciation of the newly announced $17.8 million from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s Shelter and Services Program (SSP) to support San Antonio groups and nonprofits providing services to migrants.

    “Because of the historic number of people being displaced from Latin America, this additional funding for shelter and services for migrants is a lifeline to the San Antonio and South Texas region,” said the lawmakers. “We have been in constant communication with Secretary Mayorkas and Administrator Criswell about the urgent need for this funding in San Antonio, and we thank them for their work in allocating the first tranche of FY24 funds quickly. We will continue working at all levels of government to ensure that the San Antonio region is equipped with the necessary resources to work with migrants traveling through our community.”

    Specifically, funding announced today from the Shelter and Services Program was awarded to: 

    • Catholic Charities Archdiocese of San Antonio, Inc. - $10,877,226
    • City of San Antonio - $3,000,000
    • San Antonio Food Bank - $2,400,000
    • Episcopal Diocese of West Texas - $1,041,370
    • Interfaith Welcome Coalition - $500,000
    • Corazon Ministries, Inc. - $10,000

    The Shelter and Services Program is administered by the FEMA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and provides federal funding for non-federal entities to reimburse costs incurred for services associated with noncitizen migrant arrivals in their communities. The funding announced today is the first tranche in FY24 federal assistance, with more funding to be announced at a later date. 

    More information on the Shelter and Services program can be found here



    Patrice Rushen - Forget Me Nots (Official Video)

    Reps. Takano and Lee, Sen. Schatz Demand Fair Treatment for LGBTQ Youth in Schools

     April 12, 2024

    Reps. Takano and Lee, Sen. Schatz Demand Fair Treatment for LGBTQ Youth in Schools

    New Resolution Coincides with the Annual Day of (No) Silence

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Reps. Mark Takano (CA-39), Barbara Lee (CA-12), and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced a resolution to support the Rise Up for LGBTQI+ Youth in Schools Initiative. This resolution was cosponsored by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and coincides with the Annual Day of (No) Silence.

    “As a former teacher, I know that school shouldn’t be about just surviving — it should be about thriving,” said Rep. Mark Takano, Co-Chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus. “LGBTQ students across the country who are being targeted by this wave of culture war politics are being denied safety in the educational institutions that are supposed to support them. We need to protect LGBTQ student’s right to thrive, to find joy in learning, to discover their passions, and to embark on the rest of their lives in educational settings that support and affirm them. We have to do better and those in power must demand it.”

    “With the rise of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the last year, it is clear that queer youth need our help. GOP extremists are using the lives of this vulnerable population as political tools at the expense of their mental health and well-being,” said Rep. Barbara Lee, Vice-Chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus. I am proud to stand with Congressman Takano and Senator Schatz to re-introduce the Rise Up for LGBTQI+ Youth in School Initiative. For the sake of our children’s lives, it is imperative for my colleagues to support this resolution to ensure their safety and success in school.”

    “Every child should feel safe at school,” said Senator Schatz. “As attacks against LGBTQ+ students increase across the country, we need to take action to protect these students and fight back against the discriminatory policies that harm them. Our resolution pledges support to LGBTQ+ students, and makes clear this discrimination will not be tolerated in the Congress.”

    “Also, GLSEN provided this as well for folks: "This year has already been marked by tragic reminders of the persistent bullying and harassment faced by LGBTQI+ students, especially as extremists at every level of government continue to pursue discriminatory policies that exclude youth from equitable access to educational opportunity,” said GLSEN Executive Director Melanie Willingham-Jaggers. “We must reject the politics of hate and division. Today, individuals across the country - including students, educators, activists, and allies - are coming together for GLSEN's annual Day of (No) Silence to fight back against bullying and harassment in schools. I applaud Senator Schatz, Representative Takano, and Representative Lee for their sustained leadership in rising up for LGBTQI+ youth by leading this resolution and showing up with full faith in the boundless potential of the next generation.”

    Text to the resolution can be found here.


    Diana Ross & The Supremes - More - Live - Toppop

    Tlaib Opposes Reauthorizing Unchecked Government Surveillance


    Tlaib Opposes Reauthorizing Unchecked Government Surveillance

    Apr 12, 2024
    Justice for All

    WASHINGTON D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) released the following statement after voting against H.R. 7888:

    “It’s extremely disturbing that our government under both parties continues to abuse the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to surveil and spy on Americans in violation of our civil liberties, disproportionately targeting Black and brown communities. I voted to try and end these abuses, but we were blocked by politicians who would rather maintain the power to invade your privacy than protect your rights. FISA cannot continue without reform. I opposed reauthorizing FISA and will continue to work to protect the rights, liberties, and privacy of our residents and people across our country.”


    Cheryl Lynn - Shake It Up Tonight (Official Video)


    Congresswoman Bush Statement on House Vote to Reauthorize Warrantless Government Surveillance

     April 12, 2024

    Congresswoman Bush Statement on House Vote to Reauthorize Warrantless Government Surveillance

    Washington, D.C. (Apr. 12, 2024) — Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) released the below statement following the House passage of H.R. 7888, the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act. This bill reauthorizes Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) despite failing to impose a warrant requirement when the government wants to spy on U.S. citizens, and despite its inclusion of amendments dramatically expanding unnecessary surveillance of immigrants and the types of businesses that the government could compel to turn over electronic communications.

    Our government has a long and dark history of illegally surveilling U.S. citizens. Black and brown communities, as well as anti-war and other social movements, have borne the brunt of this injustice, enduring disproportionate targeting—from COINTELPRO to the protests ignited by the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and now, the protests against Cop City in Atlanta. I voted no to reauthorize FISA Section 702 because I refuse to sanction this shameful expansion of unrestricted, warrantless government surveillance. I will continue to be a relentless champion for safety and privacy for all people in St. Louis and across our country.”


    Tracy Chapman - Baby Can I Hold You (Live 2009)


    Senator Baldwin Delivers Over $2.6 Million for Rural Airports in Wisconsin


    Senator Baldwin Delivers Over $2.6 Million for Rural Airports in Wisconsin

    Baldwin-supported Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will boost capacity and increase safety

    WISCONSIN – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) announced that several rural Wisconsin airports will receive over $2.6 million in federal infrastructure funding to make critical upgrades to improve safety and increase revenue.

    “Wisconsin airports help travelers get where they need to go while boosting tourism, growing the local economy, and creating jobs throughout the state,” said Senator Baldwin. “This funding will allow airports in our rural communities to make much-needed infrastructure improvements, improving safety, increasing efficiency, and ensuring our airports can welcome new passengers for years to come.”

    The funding for the projects comes from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Grants (AIG), a program funded by the Baldwin-backed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Through AIG, the following projects will receive funding: 

    Chippewa Valley Regional Airport: $2,022,075 to construct a new 4,993 square foot two-bay south general aviation apron hanger for aircraft storage, maintenance, or service to assist the airport to be as self-sustaining as possible by generating revenue. 

    West Bend Municipal Airport: $12,554 to install Runway 13 end identifier light and Runway 31 precision approach path indicators and end identifier lights.

    Palmyra Municipal Airport: $448,000 to construct a new six-bay t-hangar

    Waupaca Municipal Airport: $55,730 to construct a new nine-bay t-hangar

    Manitowish Waters Airport: $110,471 to construct a new six-bay t-hangar with two box hangers.



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    SONNY & CHER ! "Mama Was A Rock & Roll Singer"

    At Veterans Affairs Committee Hearing on Women Veterans Health Care, Murray Raises Importance of Mammography Services for WA State Veterans, IVF Care


    At Veterans Affairs Committee Hearing on Women Veterans Health Care, Murray Raises Importance of Mammography Services for WA State Veterans, IVF Care

    ICYMI: Senator Murray Meets with Women Veterans in Seattle, Discusses Efforts to Secure Strong Investments in Women Veterans’ Health Care

    As Appropriations Chair, Murray secured a record $990 million for women veterans’ health care at VA this year

    Women are the fastest growing demographic within the veteran population; Puget Sound VA in Washington State saw a 7 percent increase in women veterans utilizing their services over the past two years

    ***VIDEO of Senator Murray’s Q&A HERE***

    Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member and former Chair of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, attended a Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on “Ensuring Equity for Women Veterans at VA” to examine whether VA is providing adequate resources and care for women veterans. Witnesses at the hearing included Dr. Erica Scavella, the Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Clinical Services at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) at VA, and Dr. Sally Haskell, Acting Chief Officer at the VHA’s Office of Women’s Health.

    The hearing comes after Murray secured a record $990 million—a $150 million boost—for gender-specific health care services and improvements to help women veterans in the VA Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2024, which was signed into law last month. In February, Murray hosted a roundtable discussion with women veterans in Seattle and heard directly from them about the challenges they face in getting health care through VA.

    In her Q&A, Murray asked Dr. Scavella about issues including the lack of in-house mammography services in Veterans Integrated Services Network (VISN) 20—which covers Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska—and steps VA can take to further expand access to IVF care.

    “We all know that women are the fastest-growing demographic within the veteran population. In my home state of Washington, the Puget Sound VA saw a 7 percent increase in women veterans who are utilizing their services over the past two years.

    “In February, I met with women veterans in Seattle who told me about barriers that they have faced in receiving health care through the VA. I heard a story from a veteran who was looking for care at American Lake VA, which was very close to where she lived, but the women’s clinic was completely full. So, she had to go to the Seattle VA to get care—close but not close—and I know that a lot of other women veterans are facing the same stories. Her story is not unique, I hear that all the time—many women are having trouble getting the care they need.

    “And additionally, mammography services are an important part of health care for women veterans—but right now VISN 20… is the only VISN without in-house mammography. And that is really not acceptable.

    “Dr. Scavella—does VA have plans to expand their in-house mammography services to VISN 20?”

    Dr. Scavella spoke about challenges VA faces in finding qualified employees who are adequately trained to mammography services. Dr. Haskell added that VA currently has in-house mammography at 78 sites—with those services “increasingly very rapidly”—and that VA is looking at additional ways of providing mammography through teleradiology as well as potentially looking into more mobile mammography services.

    “We are limited in that we want our mammography programs to be very high-quality care, and in order to do that, we need to ensure that there are a certain number of women at a facility—there are requirements both for the radiology technologists and the radiologists themselves that they need to do a certain number of cases per year in order to be qualified and certified… I do want to say we are very aware of that VISN 20 gap and I know that the radiology program is looking at it very carefully,” Dr. Haskell said. Murray asked Dr. Haskell to look into the gap further and follow up on when VISN 20 could begin to provide mammography services.

    Murray also asked Dr. Scavella about VA’s recent announcement that it will expand its IVF services to single and unmarried servicemembers and will allow servicemembers to utilize donor gametes. “This is really great news for active-duty servicemembers and veterans, and I know we have a lot of work to be done to make sure everyone has the access they need—which is exactly why I introduced the Veteran Families Health Services Act which will expand IVF services to more servicemembers and their families. And I’ll be working very hard to get that passed,” Murray said, referencing her legislation that would expand IVF care to all veterans and servicemembers who are unable to conceive without assistance.

    Murray asked Dr. Scavella to speak to how VA’s recent expansion in IVF services will help more women veterans and why IVF care is so crucial for veterans who cannot conceive naturally. “I will just say that, when we ask our men and women to serve our country, we tell them we will take care of them when they go home. To tell them that doesn’t include having a family, to me, is outrageous,” Murray concluded. “So I think this is really important, and I appreciate the work you are doing on it and we will continue to do everything we can to make sure we get this done for families.”

    Senator Murray was the first woman to join the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the first woman to chair the Committee—as the daughter of a WWII veteran, supporting veterans and their families has always been an important priority for Murray.

    Advocating for women veterans in particular has been a longtime focus for Senator Murray, as Chair of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee in 2010, Senator Murray passed her landmark Women Veterans Health Improvement Act into law. Murray has worked to permanently authorize the VA child care pilot program to increase access to free, quality child care for veterans during their appointments, make much-needed improvements to the women veterans call center, and fix a loophole that left veterans footing the bill for medically-necessary emergency newborn transportation that VA should be covering. Murray introduced and helped pass the Deborah Sampson Act, legislation to address gender disparities at VA that established a dedicated Office of Women’s Health at VA and required every VA health facility to have a dedicated women’s health primary care provider, among other things. Murray also helped to pass the MAMMO Act to expand access to high-quality breast cancer screening and treatment services for veterans.

    In September, Murray reintroduced her Veteran Families Health Services Act, comprehensive legislation that would expand fertility treatments and family-building services for servicemembers and veterans who are unable to conceive without assistance. Murray sought unanimous consent to pass the legislation last month but was blocked by Senate Republicans. Also last month, Murray led a bipartisan letter urging VA to remove barriers for women veterans seeking support for military sexual trauma, noting that many existing VA resources are underutilized.

    During her time as Chair of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Senator Murray oversaw the initial implementation of the Caregiver Support Program in 2011, fought successfully to pass legislation to greatly expand the program and has been closely following its implementation since then.