diane keaton, sustainable gardening, purple pumpkins, halloween

diane keaton is in the news.  she's a great actress and 1 of the few who can do comedy and drama equally well.  but she's not in the news for acting.  she's in the news for her lawn. she posted some photos of her dog and her backyard and 'homes and garden' noticed that she was part of the re-wilding movement which is supposed to be better for our enivornment:

As the expert explains, many pruned lawns are a monoculture and offer little habitat value for wildlife; however, longer grass will likely invite an abundance of new creatures, including frogs, newts, hedgehogs, and lizards, in some cases.

So, what more can we do to make our yard more wildlife-friendly? 'Replacing sections of your lawn with native wildflowers or other types of vegetation to create more habitat for wildlife is also essential for rewilding,' Catherine says. She also recommends we plant musk mallow, kidney vetch, tufted vetch, or clover – the latter of which is especially loved by bees. 

'Reducing your lawn size has multiple maintenance benefits, too, as it does not need to be mowed or watered as much - it's a win-win.'

For more advice on sustainable gardening, this time from HGTV's John Gidding, we're picking up this guide (available via Amazon) below.

good for diane and this is something we can all do if we have a backyard.  can do and should do.

speaking of our homes, halloween is just around the corner.  'house digest' notes:

Pumpkins and jack-o'-lanterns, time-honored traditions for fall and Halloween d├ęcor, usually have a familiar orange hue. But more and more, these decorative gourds are taking on out of the ordinary colors to raise awareness and foster conversations about health concerns. Purple is one of the chosen colors that stands out among all the orange, and it's used to encourage epilepsy mindfulness.
If you or someone in your family has epilepsy -- a neurological disorder creating flows of electrical activity in the brain that trigger seizures -- placing a purple pumpkin on your porch can alert others that may want to learn more about your experiences or exchange information with you. Even if you or someone in your family doesn't have epilepsy, you can still paint a pumpkin purple to raise awareness. The custom of using purple pumpkins in this way came about in 2012 as part of the Purple Pumpkin Project with the Epilepsy Foundation, which was announced on a popular Facebook page.

i was not aware of that.  i will get a purple pumpkin to show our support.  they're also very cute - another reason to display it.  

i love halloween, by the way.  t kicked a customer out of her salon last week.  a woman getting her hair done talked about how she was going to be taking her son trick or treating for the 1st time ever and she was so excited.  he wants to go as a kitty cat.  and this other woman - in her late 60s - pipes up that the woman and her son are going to hell for that.  t told her to pipe down and that she wasn't a part of the conversation.  the woman refused to do so.  t finally told her, 'you need to leave.  now.'  and then t stood up - and she can be imposing - and the woman did.  i don't get creeps like that.  why in the world would you ever tell any 1 that they and their child were going to hell?  how is that ever appropriate conversation for a beauty parlor?

let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Monday, October 2, 2023.  In Iraq, a report on the fire that left over 100 dead was issued Sunday and is already being called out today as a whitewash, in the US Congressional skirmishes take place on both sides, an elderly woman and her fan base want her appointed to the Senate because they believe the country needs more almost 80 year olds in elected office, and much more.

Over the weekend, a stop-gap measure was passed to avoid a government shutdown.  This was a kick-the-can measure that only funds the government until November 17th.  Which means, it could again come down to a nail biter right before Thanksgiving.

Many things took place over the weekend having to do with Congress -- and all more consequential than a pulled fire alarm.  In the House, Corbin Boiles (DAILY BEAST) notes:

Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota will step down from his post in Democratic leadership over his public statements that another Democrat should challenge Joe Biden for president next year, according to Axios. “My convictions relative to the 2024 presidential race are incongruent with the majority of my caucus, and I felt it appropriate to step aside from elected leadership,” he told Axios reporter Andrew Solender. Phillips has expressed his interest in a challenger, not ruling out the possibility of his own run as recently as last month.

When you hear the name Matt Gaetz, it generally means he's having another tantrum or dating another high school girl. Over the weekend, you heard his name because of a tantrum.  He wants to take down the Speaker of the House.  Aaron Parnas (MEIDAS TOUCH NETWORK) notes:

Hours after the House of Representatives narrowly avoided a government shutdown, talks on Capitol Hill have now turned to the possible (dare we say, bipartisan) expulsion of Congressman Matt Gaetz. As you may be aware, Gaetz is currently facing an ethics investigation into several allegations including sexual misconduct, illicit drug use, and others. Now, the rumor on Capitol Hill is that if the Ethics Committee comes back and has findings of guilt, House GOP leadership will seek to quickly expel Matt Gaetz. Such a decision would likely face little opposition from House Democrats, and only half of the House Republican Caucus would have to join this resolution. 
This ethics investigation was reopened weeks after the United States Attorney's Office declined to prosecute Gaetz for actions related to the possible sex trafficking of minors. But, a declination by a U.S. Attorney does not automatically end an ethics investigation on Capitol Hill. Quite the contrary actually. For example, when Senator Bob Menendez was first indicted and later acquitted, he did not face criminal accountability but was admonished by the Ethics Committee. 

Covering the same story, FOX NEWS adds:

The House Republican members will seek to expel Gaetz if the ethics committee report comes back with findings of guilt, Fox News has learned. One member told Fox News the report is mostly written but does not know what it contains. Yet following threats to vacate McCarthy, the member said of Gaetz, "No one can stand him at this point. A smart guy without morals."

It takes a two-thirds vote to expel. And Republicans are treading on thin ice with their majority. The House is down to 433 members. It’s unclear where things stand with federally indicted Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y. If you were to have members expelled, retire or die, the majority could be right on the edge for the GOP. 

During an appearance on CNN Sunday morning, Gaetz said he planned "to file a motion to vacate against Speaker McCarthy this week."

Staying with the theme of Congress gone wild, Joshua Wilburn (RADAR) notes:

Brian Glenn, the boyfriend of Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and host for Right Side Broadcasting Network, went on a rampage against a heckler at a recent event featuring former President Donald Trump, RadarOnline.com has learned.

The incident occurred in Santa Monica, California, where a group of supporters greeted the GOP frontrunner. However, a heckler's question about Trump's popularity triggered Glenn's explosive response.

According to Mediaite, the event took place on Friday, with Trump delivering remarks earlier in the day in Anaheim.

During his speech, he mocked the Pelosi family, imitated President Joe Biden, and advised Californians to "dampen your forests" to prevent wildfires.

As Trump greeted his supporters in Santa Monica and signed autographs, a man in the crowd questioned the size of the gathering, asking, "Donald, why are there only a hundred people here? I thought you were popular."

This simple inquiry ignited Glenn's wrath, leaving him momentarily unable to articulate a coherent response.

In a fit of rage, Glenn berated the heckler, shouting, "Why are you an idiot? This guy's an idiot, President Trump. I'm going to throw his ass out of here."

The shocking spectacle unfolded as Glenn approached Trump, microphone in hand, attempting to reassure him of his popularity.

Moving over to the Georgia state senate, Dave Williams (GEORGIA PUBLIC RADIO) reports:

The Georgia Senate Republican Caucus has suspended freshman Sen. Colton Moore after he unsuccessfully pushed for a special legislative session to investigate Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s prosecution of former President Donald Trump.

Moore, R-Trenton, mounted his bid for a special session despite Gov. Brian Kemp publicly dismissing the idea and over the objections of the other 32 Republican state senators.

In a statement issued Thursday, the caucus accused Moore of using false statements to whip up public sentiment against those opposed to a special session .

“Senator Moore has a right to his opinion,” the statement read. “However, during his advocacy for his ill-conceived proposal, Senator Moore has knowingly misled people across Georgia and our nation, causing unnecessary tension and hostility while putting his caucus colleagues and their families at risk of personal harm.”

From Georgia to California, we find idiots like Ro demanding that Governor Gavin Newsom fill the empty seat in the US Senate (Dianne Feinstein passed away at the age of 90 last Friday) with the elderly Barbara Lee.  Lee is 77.  It's cute the way 'progressives' pretend to care about things one moment and jettison them the next.  Especially consider Barbara Lee's long term fake assery.

I'm against the war but I'm giving Barack one year to get us out of Afghanistan and then I'm going to hold him accountable -- she said at the start of 2009.

And then again in 2010 and then again and then again -- and never held him accountable.  He had eight years in the White House and never had to once fear 'pressure' from Barbara Lee.

She's really good at flapping her gums but that's all she's ever been good at.  She's failed to deliver repeatedly and she was behind the disbanding of the Out of Iraq caucus -- though that may be one of her few 'accomplishments' she doesn't rush to brag about.

There are way too many people in elected office right now who are over the age of 70.  The last thing the country needs is one more.  Gavin shouldn't appoint her to begin with  but her age should also rule her out.   

California needs younger representation.  Barbara Lee needs to find a nursing home, not a seat in the Senate.  She knows she's not liked in the state and that she probably can't win in 2024 unless she's the seated incumbent.  That's what her recent attacks on Gavin were about.  

Again,  Barbara Lee at 77 today is too old to be going to the US Senate.  The country needs young blood and 77 is too damn old.  She will be 78 next year and can run for the seat -- she won't win it because the people California actually know her -- as opposed to soft press she gets from left websites who think her empty words mean something.  She's too damn old.

From one empty politician (Barbara Lee) to another (Ron DeSantis), Florida's governor is not being greeted warmly.  Manasa Gogineni (THE CALIFORNIAN) reports:

GOP candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made a highly controversial trip to Salinas today, which was preceded by community protests on Sunday and Wednesday, a Salinas City Council resolution denouncing his visit, and widespread disapproval from county supervisorsorganizations and Salinas residents across social media.

Executives of big agriculture companies from Taylor Farms to Mission Produce hosted a private fundraising brunch for DeSantis this morning ahead of his bid for the White House, with tickets selling at $3,300 a seat.

DeSantis has gained notoriety for supporting policies that harm farmworkers and make it more difficult for undocumented immigrants to gain employment.

Salinas has a large population of immigrant and migrant farm workers, which agriculture companies have historically failed to protect from voter intimidation, COVID-19, wildfires and harmful pesticides (which are used in fields near local schools despite being linked to leukemia in children).

Ben Blanchet (HUFFINGTON POST) notes the response to Ronald wasn't that much warmer on FOX NEWS:

Fox News host Maria Bartiromo kept it frank with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over former President Donald Trump’s big lead against him in national polls. (You can check out the interview in the clip below)

The Florida governor has trailed Trump the entire year in an average of national polls and, as of Sunday, is behind the GOP frontrunner by over 40 percentage points, according to polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight.

“Let’s face it, governor, Donald Trump is ahead of you by a significant margin,” Bartiromo told DeSantis during his appearance on “Sunday Morning Futures.”

“I think the last poll was 52 percent, above, right now, for Trump. How are you going to cut into Trump’s lead? What truly is your path to victory?”

He has none.  Turns out, when you attack women, African-Americans, immigrants, teachers, professors and the LGBTQ+ community, you are left with very few that can support you.  Oops, almost forgot his war on DISNEY.  Molly Sprayregen (LGBTQ NATION) explains:

The Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis-appointed board overseeing Disney World’s tax district has officially approved a $4.5 million budget for the year to fund the anti-LGBTQ+ governor’s legal battle with the entertainment company.

The board approved an overall $194.5 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year, setting aside an anticipated $4.5 million in legal fees for DeSantis to defend himself against Disney. According to the Washington Post, taxpayers have already footed the $1.9 million that has been spent on lawyers for the case this year. 

Yeah, that's not good business.  Mike Schneider (AP) reports on Ronald's war on DISNEY:

The Florida governor asked that the company’s First Amendment lawsuit against him be tossed from federal court, and Disney demanded emails, texts and other communications from the governor’s office in a separate state court lawsuit originally brought by DeSantis appointees of Walt Disney World’s governing district.

The legal filings marked an escalation in the battle between the entertainment giant and DeSantis, a candidate for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. The confrontation started last year when Disney publicly opposed a state law banning classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades, and DeSantis retaliated by taking over the governing district that provides municipal services for the 25,000-acre (10,117-hectare) Disney World theme park resort in Florida.

[. . .]

Disney also sent a notice to DeSantis’ office demanding internal communications, including text messages and emails, and documents regarding the district’s comprehensive plan, the development agreements and the legislation that shifted control of the district to DeSantis. The notice said a subpoena would be issued requiring the governor’s office to turn over the materials to Disney’s attorneys by Oct. 27. 

Ronald's like a cock roach, he skirts off when caught in the light of day.   As Tori Otten (THE NEW REPUBLIC) notes, Ronald's wasting millions of tax dollars on lawsuits:

 In reality, DeSantis has spent more than $17 million defending his terrible laws in court since he took office. As a result, the state budget for 2023 includes a $15.8 million allotment just to defend his policies.

That allotment includes $6 million for the governor’s office, compared to just $1.6 million last year. The State University System Board of Governors received an extra $2 million to defend DeSantis’s “Stop Woke” Act, and the attorney general’s office got an additional $5 million to defend the state’s backward Covid-19 vaccination policies.

The extra money for legal costs means that DeSantis is able to hire outside (and much more expensive) lawyers to defend his policies. So far, his administration has spent the most defending laws restricting voting rights, transgender health care, and academic freedom. But despite his best efforts, and his hefty coffers, most of those laws were still overturned.

Lweek saw a fire at an Iraqi wedding that left at least 100 people dead  (by Friday, the death toll had risen to 102 and by Friday night, NYT's Alissa J. Rubin notes, it had climbed to 119) with at least 150 more injured.  Though the wedding couple was initially reported dead on Wednesday, they actually survived.  And now Revan, and Haneen are plagued with survivor's guilt.  Friday, they attended funerals for Haneen's brother and her mother.  (Some reports spell the bride's name Hannen.)  In addition, her father was injured and remains hospitalized (critical condition).  The groom's home has been attacked and his car windows broken -- some have blamed him and Haneen for the fire.

Haneen and Revan were initially feared dead following the blaze, which claimed the lives of 114 others.

Revan's father later confirmed the couple had survived the blaze, which tore through the large hall in the Christian town, which had survived ISIS occupation.

"It's true that we're sitting here in front of you alive. But inside we are dead. We are numb. We are dead inside," Revan told Sky News.

The horror inferno claimed the lives of 15 members of Revan's family, with the groom adding that his bride "can't speak" following the loss of 10 of her own relatives.

Hunar Rasheed (RUDAW) notes another family haunted by the fire:

The harrowing and tragic deaths of 22 people from one single family during the heartbreaking wedding inferno in Nineveh province's Hamdaniya town over the weekend has echoed across the country.

"This is my sister. This is my father. This is my mother. This is another sister of mine. This is my wife. She is missing," Fuad Silewa, a member of the family that lost 22 members in total, sighed while sobbing and holding their photographs. "I am grateful for God [on all occasions]."

He went on to introduce more family members who died of suffocation during the tragic inferno: "This is my brother's wife. Yesterday, I received [from health authorities] their dead and burned bodies. They have all died of suffocation. This sister had come back from abroad to change her atmosphere by visiting us. Thank you, God."

Over a hundred people lost their lives when a deadly fire engulfed a wedding hall in Hamdaniya after the roof’s flammable plastic ceiling caught fire when fireworks were ignited from the floor.

Naif Ramadhan (RUDAW) notes the dead includes a one-year-and-eight-month old girl named Marya Asaad whose father tried to carry her to safety but she died in his arms.  Her father states, "My daughter loved me more than anyone. She used to be very eager to see me when I returned from work. She would wait for me near the gate and give me my clothes although she was young."  Ayub Nasri (RUDAW) notes that 12-year-old Nazdin Khazwan also perished in the fire.  Nazdin was playing drums for the wedding.  After the roof caught fire and crashed in, Nazdin was not be found (there are over 30 corpses that have yet to be identified).  His father, Khazwan Sulaiman, states, "He told me that a fire had broken out. I looked at the stage and saw him burning. I asked him to leave [the hall]. He followed me to the exit. He told me ‘Come Daddy’ and I saw him running towards the kitchen door.  I saw him until he reached the kitchen door. Sulaiman was behind me and asked where Nazdin was. I told him that Nazdin had exited because he was in front of me and I saw him. We went out but did not find him."  Karwan Faidhi Dri (RUDAW) notes that an engaged couple, Steven and Maryam, had planned to marry next week at the same hall but cannot because Maryam perished in the fire.                                                                            

It should have been a beautiful event and a wonderful memory.  The building was fairly new (built in 2016).  Abeer Khan (AL ARABYIYA) explains that the hall lacked "sufficient emergency exits," as well as a sprinkler system and ample fire extinguishers.  Saturday, Alissa J. Rubin (NEW YORK TIMES) reported on the study ordered by Iraq's prime minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani:

The draft report from the investigation, ordered by Mr. Sudani, found that in addition to lacking emergency exits and sprinklers, the building had been constructed illegally on agricultural land — a common practice in Iraq as those who no longer farm seek to make money off their fallow acreage.

The report also said the building was made of a substance described by investigators as Ecobond board, which itself is not illegal, but its use must be approved on a case-by-case basis because certain types are highly flammable. It is known locally as sandwich board because it consists of two layers of metal with a synthetic filling between them.

The report found negligence by the owner of the hall — who was detained by the authorities on Wednesday — and his two partners; by the local province’s tourist commission because it had fined the owner for failing to meet fire safety requirements, but did not close the hall; by the mayor of Qaraqosh because he knew about the failings, but, the report said, did not do anything about them; and by other administrative units aware that the hall was illegally built but failed to take any action.

The Civil Defense Force responsible for the area, however, was not named in the initial report. Although the force is responsible for building safety and fire fighting, many residents were critical of its response, saying the authorities were slow to arrive at the scene and ill prepared.

For many people in the area, the fire and the report were painful reminders of the combination of corruption, weak governance and lack of accountability in Iraq.

Rubin did a feature article (a profile) of the prime minister ahead of his visit to New York last week.  That may have been why she was given an advance look at the report.  The report came out Sunday and, as REUTERS notes, pins the blame on "gross negligence."  Some are not accepting the report's conclusions.  AP reports:

Christian religious leaders in northern Iraq called for an international investigation Monday into a deadly wedding fire that killed more than 100 people last week and slammed the government’s probe, which had blamed the blaze on negligence and lack of precautionary measures.

An Iraqi Syriac Catholic priest, meanwhile, said widespread corruption in the country and the influence of armed militias on the government was one of the factors that enabled the fire.

Father Boutros Sheeto, spoke to The Associated Press over the phone from the town of Qaraqosh, where five members of his family, including his Iraqi-American sister, were buried on Monday morning. He claimed the fire was “intentional,” without offering any evidence. 


The following sites updated:


tupac, beyonce, nikita

read betty's 'DiFi dies' and loved it.  we don't need to lionize a bad u.s. senator 

she triangulated every chance she got.  she wasn't a leftist.  barbara boxer was far to the left of difi.  

we can pin some of the blame for the overtuning of 'roe v. wade' on difi.

she will not be missed.

news from 'cnn':

 As far back as 1998, Duane Keith Davis was telling a cable channel that he was a front-seat passenger in a car from which a fellow passenger fired the shots that killed Tupac Shakur.

In 2009, Davis, known as “Keffe D,” confessed to police a role in the case, a former detective who investigated the shooting told CNN, but authorities couldn’t immediately use the information.

And then after what police say was a reinvigorated investigation, Davis, 60, was arrested in Las Vegas on Friday, with a grand jury indicting him in the case on charges of murder with use of a deadly weapon. The arrest comes some 27 years after the rapper was shot as he was leaving a boxing match on the Las Vegas Strip.   


       Shakur’s shooting stems from a conflict between two gangs based in Compton, California, police said Friday.

Shakur and Marion “Suge” Knight, then the CEO of the rapper’s label Death Row Records, were affiliated with the Mob Piru gang in Compton, Johansson said. Davis was affiliated with the Southside Compton Crips, he added.

Shakur was in Las Vegas to attend a Mike Tyson boxing match at MGM Grand Hotel – an event that Davis and his nephew Orlando Anderson also attended.

After the match, members of Death Row Records saw Anderson near elevator bank inside the hotel, approached him and began kicking and punching him, Johansson said Friday during the news conference, where he showed hotel surveillance footage of the altercation. Shakur and Knight were visible among the men who attacked Anderson.

Both crews left the hotel after the fight, with Shakur and his group headed to a post-fight party at a nightclub.

When Davis learned of the attack on his nephew, Davis “began to devise a plan to obtain a firearm and retaliate against Suge Knight and Mr. Shakur,” Johansson said.

After securing a gun “from a close associate,” Davis got into a white Cadillac with Terrence Brown, Deandre Smith and Anderson, Johansson said. While in the car, Davis handed the gun “to the passengers in the rear seat of the vehicle,” Johansson said.    

so what do you think?  is the mystery solved?

in other news, talks are taking place to film beyonce's renaissance tour for a concert.  good  she's been packing venues and delivering a career setting show so it needs to be captured for posterity.

hank e-mailed asking if i was watching anything these days?

i'm sorry, i love 'minx' but the way blogger/blogspot censored that post really has soured me on writing about the show.  if you missed it, there was an episode where, to save a party, they showed an infamous 70s film - the title inspired woodward & bernstein to nickname their watergate source.  in the episode, they end up with the wrong film.  they have to find another copy.  joan didion attends the party and she's asked to write an essay about the film.  because of the film title, my post was put behind a wall.  every time i log in - including tonight - i see that message that they put it behind a wall.  i have x-ed that message but it refuses to go away.  

at any rate, on the roku channel, i've started rewatching 'the cw' classic 'nikita.' i loved that show but haven't watched it since it wrapped up.  that was ten years ago.  wow, right?  but it's really good and i'm 1/2 way through season 1 and loving it. 

let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Friday, September 29, 2023.  More on Wednesday night's debate, a new candidate has entered the presidential race and we'll provide the detailed biography, Ronald DeSantis continues his war on freedom, democracy and humanity, a woman doesn't seem to grasp that the US doesn't need to help her and that her insults don't make want to help her, and much more.

I'm really sick of people who can't handle their own problems.  I'm referring to one ____ in particular who is working my last damn nerve. Emma Tsurkov.

Her sister may or may not be a spy.  Her sister is the stupid woman who went to Iraq -- despite being Israelie -- to 'research' terrorism.  Now her sister is a citizen of Israel.  And she's a citizen of Russia.  Yet for some reason the ___'s family can't get it through their damn heads that a kidnapping in Iraq of a non-US citizen, isn't this country's problem.  

Last week, ahead of the face to face Iraq's Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani was to have with US President Joe Biden -- a fleeting moment -- Emma and her crowd got to Shady Senator Robert Menendez and had him insisting that the matter be addressed between the two leaders -- an outrageous demand.  There would be time to address one or two issues -- and address just means brought up, not really discussed.  There is an Australian man held by the Iraqi government, Robert Pether, who has done nothing wrong but is being held in prison as Iraq tries to get a better deal with his company.  

He didn't go to Iraq to spy and he didn't go traipsing in like some stupid bimbo who fancied herself Kim Aldrich in some children's book adventure.   He didn't invite what happened to him.  But an idiot who goes to Iraq when they know how hostile that country is to Israelis and to Jews -- they ran all but three of them out of Baghdad -- yes, the five Iraqis left in Iraq after 2010 is now supposed to have been reduced to three -- an idiot who chooses to go knowing she is at risk and, on top of that, wants to nose around in terrorism -- for a college paper! -- is really not a US issue.

But her stupid sister can't stop trying to drum up support for her.  All she's doing is turning off people in the US.

Emma Tsurkov has now gone whining to THE DAILY BEAST -- we're not linking to the garbage article.  This is from the sister's garbage:

“Princeton has been one of the most infuriating institutions or organizations to deal with throughout the process,” said Emma, who has been engaging with American lawmakers, the U.S. State Department, Israeli officials, and several other advocacy groups on the case. “I’m feeling that it’s being treated as a PR problem that needs to be handled, rather than a life or death matter for its graduate student.”

Someone let the stupid idiot know that Princeton's done more than it had to.  Campus safety officers patrol the campus, they don't go to other countries and Princeton has no military force to deploy.

One of their students kidnapped?  I know they've expressed their concern and I know that they've tried to get attention for the student's plight.  

They've done more than they had to and they continue attempts to drum up support for the kidnapped victim.  

It's just not there.  And it won't be.  You're pushing in the wrong country, you pushy stooge.

You need to stick with the "Israeli officials" and you need to pick up some Russian officials -- because that's what you are, citizens of Israel and Russia.  Your plight is not our problem.  The stupidity of your sister (if she's not a spy as the group holding her believes she is) is not our problem.

And if Joe Biden were to spend time on one of the two issues -- the plight of Robert Pether matters a lot more.  We know what he is -- a working father of many children.  We know why he really went to Iraq -- it was part of his job.  We know his location and we know how he ended up (wrongly) imprisoned.

By contrast, Emma, you and your sister are the portraits of privilege and you make that clear with each day as you become ruder and ruder while supposedly 'asking' for help.  Now you're attacking Princeton?

Go work with your own governments to free your sister.  She's not an American citizen.  You've given one interview after another attacking American officials and now Princeton.  Clearly, nothing the US could do would ever meet your approval so take your problem back to your own countries.  Again, countries.  You and your sister have dual citizenship so take it up with the governments of Russia and the governments of Israel.  Unless you just enjoy making a spectacle of yourself.

Let's move on to a different topic.  What the hell has happened to WSWS?

There's really no excuse in the 21st century for them not being able to post about a debate the night of the debate.  From approximately 9:00 pm EST to one in the morning EST, their new content goes up.  So Wednesday night's debate really should have been covered Wednesday night to early Thursday morning.  That did not happen and I'm not surprised.  But that they didn't cover the debate in the articles they posted last night does surprise me.  The candidates attacked labor repeatedly while pretending otherwise.  It's really something when, for example, Tim Scott feels the need to dog whistle ("right to work").  Why don't you just say what you mean, speak to everyone on the same page?  It's a public debate.  "Right to work" is not about any individual's right to have a job.  

"Right to work" is about killing unions and their memberships.

Apparently, that's not a pressing issue to WSWS.  

At any rate, Jeffrey St. Clair (COUNTERPUNCH) shares his thoughts on the debate:

The Republican “debate” at the Reagan Library seemed like an exercise in collective madness. And 24 hours and half a bottle of Jameson’s later, I still don’t know what’s crazier, Nikki Haley saying that she’d solve the health care crisis by letting patients negotiate the price of treatment with hospitals and doctors,  Tim Scott’s assertion that LBJ’s Great Society program was harder for black people to survive than slavery or Ron DeSantis’ pledge to use the Civil Rights Act to target “left-wing” prosecutors: “I will use the Justice Department to bring civil rights cases against all of those left-wing Soros-funded prosecutors. We’re not going to let them get away with it anymore. We want to reverse this country’s decline. We need to choose law and order over rioting and disorder.”

Daniel Villareal (LGBTQ NATION) zooms in on one of the many anti-trans moments of the debate:

At last night’s Republican presidential debate, former Vice President Mike Pence said, “We’re going to pass a federal ban on transgender chemical or surgical surgery anywhere in the country.” LGBTQ Nation contacted his campaign asking if he intended to outlaw gender-affirming care for all people, regardless of age. His campaign hadn’t responded by the time of publication.

While Pence’s comment also mentioned “protecting” kids from “radical gender ideology,” his response caught the attention of Alejandra Caraballo, a civil rights attorney and clinical instructor at the Harvard Law School Cyberlaw Clinic. Caraballo posted a video of Pence’s comment on Wednesday night and wrote via Twitter, “They’re going to ban care for trans adults too. It was never about protecting kids.”

“While most anti-transgender healthcare bills in recent years focus on minors, anti-LGBTQ forces ultimately seek to ban all forms of transition-related care, regardless of age,” a recently released report by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), an organization that tracks policies on LGBTQ+ issues and voting, stated.
“They are pursuing this goal in a variety of ways,” the report added, “including: defining ‘minor’ to include at least some adults; by banning state funds from covering this medical care (e.g., in Medicaid, state employee health plans, and for those in incarceration); explicitly allowing private insurers to refuse to cover this care; and more.”

Most of the time, GIF-like zingers aside, the debate was really just an exercise in click-bait extremism. Why were college students burdened by so much debt? Well, DeSantis opined, partly because so many colleges were teaching gender studies to their captive students. Why were Americans feeling so much economic pain? Well, said Ramaswamy, in addition to Bidenomics, there was the problem that “the Federal Reserve is an agency that has gone rogue.” Did the candidates agree with Florida’s new education guidelines, championed by DeSantis, for how to teach about slavery? No, said Scott, it was wrong to minimize the atrocities of slavery. But, he continued, perhaps suddenly aware that he had come off as too moderate for the GOP crowd, Black families did indeed survive slavery only to be destroyed a century later by LBJ’s Great Society and its expansion of family-destroying welfare programs. Ramaswamy came up with a novel interpretation of constitutional law that would allow him to instantly end birthright citizenship. Pence advocated a massive increase in use of the federal death penalty.

The candidates were quick to spout nonsense on one issue after the next. Yet on the elephant in the room, most of them had nothing to say: There was a deafening silence on Trump’s myriad malfeasances, such a silence that it was hard to take anything they said about the importance of the rule of law seriously.


Yesterday’s debate showcased a Republican Party consumed by anger: anger at themselves, at Donald Trump, at Mexico, at the whole wide world. Voters looking for a positive conservative vision of the future should look elsewhere. This GOP is fixated not on building a better future but on settling scores both foreign and domestic without concern for the long-term consequences. The American people must reject a Republican ideology that would lead us into civil strife at home and years of global conflict abroad. 

It was a mess. It's a shame WSWS found nothing worth correcting or calling out.

As for me, I have no idea whether it's true or not that, in his spare time, Ronald DeSantis puts on a girdle and dress to go marching with Moms For Bigotry.  But if he did, it wouldn't be at all surprising, he's joined at the hip with those hate merchants.  And if you're not getting how much hate he and Moms For Bigotry (who he keeps appointing to state positions) are spreading in Florida, AP reports:

Top officials at a Florida school district ordered the removal of all books and material containing LBGTQ+ characters and themes from classrooms and campus libraries, saying that was needed to conform to a state law backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis that critics have dubbed “Don't Say Gay.”

Charlotte County Schools Superintendent Mark Vianello and the school board’s attorney, Michael McKinley, were responding to questions from the district's librarians at a July meeting asking whether the bill, officially the “Florida Parental Rights in Education Act,” required the removal of any books that simply had a gay character but no explicit sex scenes.

“Books with LBGTQ+ characters are not to be included in classroom libraries or school library media centers,” the pair responded, according to a district memo obtained under a public information request by the Florida Freedom to Read Project. The nonprofit group, which opposes the law, provided the memo to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The district later backed off a bit, allowing some exceptions for high school libraries. But Charlotte's policy remains one of the more stringent policies adopted by the state's 67 countywide school districts to enforce the bill.

So no biographies on John Wayne even?  He became a dedicated homophobe in later life but he put out for men all the time early in his career.  Let's out them all.  Let's out everyone of your right-wing heroes for the closeted men they were.  

I'm fine with it.  If it makes you hate John Wayne to know he had sex with men, great.  Maybe I won't have to see his garbage films on TCM anymore?  Do we need to talk about Gary Cooper and his long term affair with Anderson Lawler -- which Lawler couldn't keep quiet about when they were living together and only grew more vocal when he was dumped.  I heard about it from Katharine Hepburn who was friends with Anderson -- we were discussing what an awful actor Cooper was -- everyone's heard of it except apparently homophobic right-wingers who don't seem to grasp that they have known gay people their whole lives.  We can do that too.  You love some Gary Cooper on the right because he was a right-winger who named names to the House Unamerican Activities Committee.  You embrace him so embrace his sexuality.   

Moms For Bigotry and Ronald DeSantis want to deny reality and deny humanity.  And their hate has consequences.   Charlie Jones (THE MIRROR) reports:

LGBT+ people, many of who are born and raised in the state, are fleeing Florida as legislators led by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis continue to clamp down on LGBT+ rights.

One expert, who works supporting LGBT+ people and has lost count of the number of people leaving Florida for more liberal parts of the country, told the Mirror DeSantis' culture wars is "putting a target'' on their backs.

The Sunshine State has become one of the most oppressive parts of the US for LGBT+ people as DeSantis desperately tries to boost his profile as a culture warrior in support of his ailing 2024 Presidential bid. Amid the growing numbers of anti-LGBT+ laws brought in by Republican legislators, bigots feel more empowered to lash out at LGBT+ people.

Carlos Guillermo Smith, former Florida legislator and Senior Policy Advisor at LGBT+ charity Equality Florida, spoke to the Mirror about the exodus of LGBT+ people. He said: "They're leaving because they don't feel welcome here. Many do not feel safe, and many are directly impacted by hateful laws that directly target them, and have put them in harm's way."

In August, murals at two LGBT+ centers in Orlando, were defaced with anti-LGBT+ messages and hate symbols. According to the Florida Attorney General, hate crimes based on sexual orientation currently account for 22 percent of all hate crimes

Mr Smith puts the responsibility at the feet of Republican legislators. He said: "When you pass all of these hateful laws as Ron DeSantis has done, it is putting a target on the backs of LGBTQ people. Governor DeSantis and his term coined the term 'groomer' a year ago during the debates around the 'Don't say gay' bill. And that has escalated online attacks against LGBTQ people making baseless accusations about how gay and trans folks are a danger to children."

He needs to be held responsible for the hate that he has spewed -- and for that modified Mo Howard hair cut he sports.  Alex Henderson notes:

Ron DeSantis' hardcore supporters continue to hope that he will turn his struggling presidential campaign around, but polls released in late September are showing no signs of that happening. The far-right Florida governor, according to polls, is trailing 2024 GOP presidential frontrunner by 39 percent (The Economist/YouGov), 43 percent (Morning Consult) or 38 percent (Monmouth University).

Like most of his rivals in the primary, DeSantis has offered only tepid and lukewarm criticism of Trump. The Florida governor has made his "anti-woke" agenda a key theme of his presidential campaign, arguing that he is tougher on "wokeness" than Trump. So far, however, that messaging isn't resonating with most GOP primary voters.

DeSantis is also campaigning on his economic record. But according to The New Republic's Tori Otten, DeSantis' "anti-woke" obsession is costing Florida taxpayers a fortune.

"The Republican-controlled (Florida) State Legislature has helped DeSantis easily take on some of the right's favorite culture wars," Otten explains in an article published on September 28. "He gutted abortion rights, LGBTQ protections, and academic freedom. He also has been locked in a bizarre legal back-and-forth with Disney for the past year. He has repeatedly held up these accomplishments as signs of success."

As Marcia noted last night, a new candidate has declared that they are running for the Green Party's presidential nomination.  Already Randy Tolar (Green Party icon) and Cornel West (political gadfly who most recently had the presidential nomination of The People's Party) were vying for the nomination and now 58-year-old Emanuel Pastreich has entered the race.  Let's do some background since no one else will.  Emanuel got his BA at Yale and his masters at the University of Tokyo.  Of the Nashville, TN born Emanuel, WIKIPEDIA notes:

Emanuel Pastreich (born October 16, 1964) is an international relations expert who serves as the president of the Asia Institute, a think tank with offices in Washington DC, Tokyo, Seoul and Hanoi. He is also a senior fellow at the Global Peace Foundation where he strives to solve geopolitical tensions in Northeast Asia. Pastreich was briefly an independent candidate for president of the United States 2020.[1] In September 2023, Pastreich officially became a candidate for the Green Party’s presidential nomination in 2024.[2][3] Trained as a scholar of Asian studies, Pastreich writes on both East Asian classical literature[4][5][6][7] and current issues in international relations and technology in multiple languages.[8][9][10][11]

Fluent in four languages (English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean), he's written over 20 books.  He has two children and he lost his wife in 2022 (after 25 years of marriage).  His mother is painter Marie Louise Rouff  who has over 20 individual exhibits and had her works included in at least 20 group exhibits.  In 2018, Hermine Hull (MARTHA'S VINEYARD TIMES) covered an exhibit and noted:

“High Square” is the first painting on the left as you enter the program room. A glowing not-quite-square floats in the upper third of the painting, surrounded by hints of other lightnesses that could be parts of other squares. Or not. By glazing with thin washes of paint mixed with lots of medium, the artist has produced a surface of luminosity, with shadows of lightness and darkness on an overall ochre face. There is a sense of redness underneath, and charcoal drawing that begins to describe something, then disappears or fades off. A change of color or value appears to heighten the sense of descriptive meaning of those charcoal lines.

Dad?  In 2016, Peter Pastreich became the interem director of the American Conservatory Theater and AMERICAN THEATRE noted:

Pastreich comes from a background in managing symphony orchestras. He served as executive director of the San Francisco Symphony for 21 years, during which time the symphony more than sextupled its budget. Prior to his time with the San Francisco Symphony, Pastreich served as executive director of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra for 12 years. He has done management consulting in Europe, and from 2009 to 2012, he served as executive director of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.

He has two sisters -- Anna Schlagel (Director of Annual Giving & Events at 10,000 Degrees) and Milena Pastreich (who is a cinematographer and a director (most recent direction was of the film PIGEON KINGS) ) -- and one brother.  Brother Michael has also had a career in the arts.  Sarah L Kaufman (WASHINGTON POST) reported at the end of July, 2020:

The Washington Ballet announced Thursday that Executive Director Michael Pastreich is resigning Friday, after 14 months on the job. His departure follows that of two previous executive directors who have left since ballerina Julie Kent became artistic director in 2016.

[. . .]

In an email to The Washington Post, Pastreich wrote that he, Kent and board chairwoman Jean-Marie Fernandez have been preparing for the announcement for months.

“I was in the midst of purchasing a business before coming to TWB,” Pastreich wrote. “With all that is happening in the world right now, this seems like a very opportune moment to return to the business buying path.” He indicated that he does not yet have a specific business target and that a decision on that will “take months to do well.”

[. . .]

Greenberg wrote in an email that Pastreich’s brief tenure is ending at “a natural pivot point. There will be huge shifts in leadership and greatly reduced staffing in all organizations, especially those in the arts community, during the global health crisis. Michael’s decision to leave was his own, but supported by all.”

Adam Gasner, a criminal law attorney in San Francisco, is Emanuel's step-brother.  His step-mother is Jamie Garrard Whittington, the former Director of Development for the Exploratorium in San Francisco.  

Let's wind down with a Tweet from Paul Rudnick.

The following sites updated: