More to ignore, Book 57........

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine update: Having nearly secured territory around Kharkiv, what's next for Ukraine?
kos

It was an eventful weekend in Ukraine, and Mark Sumner did an admirable job summing it all up here and here. In short, Ukraine is on the move around Kharkiv, pushing Russian forces to their side of the international border, while Russia is on the move in Donbas, picking up a stray kilometer here and there. If it sounds like I’m being too glib about Russia’s gains, just know that I’m not alone.



Ukraine advanced 30 miles in one week, while Russia managed “single digit” miles in the last what, two to three weeks? At this pace, it will only take a few millennia to accomplish their (supposed) strategic goal—to push Ukraine out of the 5,000+ square miles of Ukrainian-held territory inside the administrative boundaries of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts (collectively, the Donbas). Meanwhile, Russia will have to decide what to do about those frisky Ukrainians up north. Heck, the Ukrainians will have to decide what to do up north as well.

As you can see in the map below, there are two potential targets—Vovchansk to the northeast, or Kupiansk to the southeast.

decisions.png


The purple arrows denote the three rail lines feeding into Kupiansk, which in turn feeds the Russian advance in both the Izyum salient, as well as the approach down the east bank of the Oskil reservoir (directly south of Kupiansk). In an ideal world, Ukraine would hit both targets. In the real world, it’s a wonder Ukraine has managed to get as far as it has. Theirs is still not an army fully built for offensive operations.

Once Ukraine secures the areas around Kharkiv, digging new defensive emplacements and manning them with territorial defense forces, where does Ukraine go? Vovchansk is attractive as it would 1) cut off a major source of resupply to the war front, all the stuff arriving from Belgorod, and 2) place more Ukrainian artillery in range of Belgorod. On the other hand, every bridge over the Donets has been reportedly blown, and it’s doubtful Ukraine has extensive river-fording capabilities. But a Ukrainian presence in Vovchansk would force Russia to reinforce its border, “fixing” Russian troops in a defensive posture inside Russia, rather than gaining inches down in the Donbas front.

What about Kupiansk, then? This strategic city would, by far, be the most impactful of the two, cutting off all the supply lines to the northern edge of Russia’s main war effort, crippling a fatal blow to Russians on the Izyum salient, and severely hampering resupply of Russian forces directly to its east. Easy call, right? Except that Russia reportedly has around 22 battalion tactical groups (BTG) in the region that could pivot and potentially deal substantial losses to any under-resourced Ukrainian approach. (On paper, a BTG is 800-1,000 men, 10 tanks, 40 infantry fighting vehicles, and artillery and air defense support. In reality, current BTGs are operating at dramatically lower manpower.) There are also no natural defensive barriers in the way—great for avoiding rivers, but not-so-great for avoiding Russian air power. This is close enough to Russian-held territory that its timid air force could venture out and cause trouble in those wide open fields.


Kupiansk is certainly the bigger prize, but only after securing all Ukrainian territory near Kharkiv west of the Donets, leaving behind some of their old shorter-range Soviet artillery guns to pound Vovchansk’s rail lines and Russian supply convoys into powder. An assault on Kupiansk is risky, but the reward is game-changing.

Sunday was not a good day for Russian forces in Ukraine, and not because of anything on the battlefield. Vladimir Putin’s refusal to declare war and/or a general mobilization means that no help is on the way. Those 130,000 or so conscripts currently training in Russia can’t be legally deployed into Ukraine, and while some might be coerced into signing contracts, it won’t come close to making up the losses Russian and proxy forces are currently suffering. (And Russian mothers are getting increasingly good at working the system to get their boys to safety.)

Bringing those conscripts into Ukraine would further strain Russia’s sorry logistical efforts, and a lack of any functional reserves would leave them with ancient and ineffective gear. They aren’t a panacea for what ails Russia, but it might at least shore up some of Russia’s depleted BTGs. Unlike Ukraine’s army, sitting on hundreds of thousands of reservists eager to join the battle, Russia’s is getting smaller every single day. Given how weak and ineffective it’s proven thus far, there is no scenario, assuming conventional weapons, in which Russia comes out ahead.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Tuesday, May 10, 2022 · 9:15:36 AM EDT · Mark Sumner
Because you’ve been waiting to see something like this: What it means to have artillery that outranges your opponent and which is capable of conducting accurate counter-battery fire.

Whether that fire is being directed by the firing solutions calculated from fire-control systems on the artillery itself, or from this handy observation drone isn’t clear. The absolute obliteration of this artillery positions is.

Oh, and if you still hadn’t grabbed that morning cup of coffee, this soundtrack should be an adequate substitute.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Tuesday, May 10, 2022 · 12:33:38 PM EDT · Mark Sumner
From the morning briefing from the U,S. DOD:
  • Russia has added two more BTGs to Ukraine, bringing the estimated total to 99. That’s a lot, but is 20% less than the 120 BTGs that Russia had in Ukraine at the start of the invasion. Some of the BTGs there now are patchwork creations made from BTGs that took heavy damage in the opening month of the war.
  • U.S. Intelligence believes that Russia is focusing much of its effort on the area between Izyum and Sloviansk. It also acknowledged that Russian has taken Popasna. Sigh.
  • Of the 90 M777 howitzers promised by the U.S., 89 are now in Ukraine. So are 120,000 of the promised 184,000 155mm shells. (It’s still unclear what kind of mix of shells have been provided. How many of these rounds are extended range? How many precision guided?)
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine update: Russian soldiers reported 'missing in action' actually piled high in 'body dump'
Mark Sumner

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This fragment of a destroyed Russian aircraft was added to museum exhibits in Kyiv, May 9, 2022.

Since the invasion began, Ukrainian-living-in-London Dmitri has translated hundreds of documents, text messages, and transcripts into English. His translations have helped to reveal disgruntled Russian soldiers who are aware that their leaders are lying to them, soldiers terrified that they are being sent into a meat grinder, and soldiers who have simply had enough and refuse to go when ordered.

Some of Dmitri’s translations have been
intensely difficult to read. Not because of an issue with grammar, but because of the content. That includes not just Russian soldiers phoning home to brag about the civilians they’ve killed and the items they’ve stolen from Ukrainian homes, but a Russian wife giving her husband permission to rape Ukrainian women. (That couple has since been identified.)

Still, none of the translations has been quite this grisly. Trigger warnings are usually reserved for video or images, but one seems appropriate in this case. So … be warned.

From the beginning of the war, we’ve seen claims that Russia had been underreporting their losses. On a few occasions, a number of dead and wounded at least close to what Ukrainian officials and U.S. intelligence have been estimating have made it onto Russian TV or other media outlets, but those numbers have quickly been replaced or walked back, often with numbers an order of magnitude lower. There have also been images of Russian war widows sullenly clutching a few dollars’ worth of compensation, but that compensation has been coming from private institutions, not the government of Vladimir Putin.

Groups in Ukraine have set up “help lines” for Russian families, both with the purpose of helping locate soldiers who have gone silent after crossing into Ukraine, and driving home the point that Russian soldiers are dying in Putin’s illegal invasion in large numbers. Meanwhile, the Kremlin not only continues to report low numbers of casualties overall, but to list large numbers of troops as simply “missing in action,” sometimes with a hint of accusation that those missing are actually AWOL.


In this translation, a woman is looking for her brother, who has been among the missing in Ukraine. After a long search, his sister has found him. Though not in a way that anyone would want to find a family member.

Man: His sister, she went to Donetsk … there was a, basically a dump.
Woman: Oh, ****.
Man: She paid money [to let them search through the bodies]. They are stacked on top of one another.
Woman: Oh, ****.
Man: … She paid money, good money, so they moved the bodies around until they found him. … She says it’s a pile there. There’s nowhere else to put them. It’s a dump. I’m telling you in Russian — a dump.
Woman: Oh, ****. Shit …

Man: She says thousands. Thousands. They are thrown here and there, for them it’s easier to make it look like they are missing in action. … It’s not a morgue. It’s a dump.

The phrase “I’m telling you in Russian” in this exchange means more or less “I’m being serious.”

Recently, Putin has made promises about increasing the compensation for families of those lost in Ukraine, with payments as high as $45,000. Except those new promises also come with caveats. Limitations. Special circumstances. And don’t expect any of that money to go to those who are only “missing in action” at a dump where Russian bodies are stacked like cordwood.


KHARKIV​

Not only has the Kharkiv region seen some of the most significant action over the last two weeks, it’s also some of the most visible. The work Ukrainian forces are doing to harass Russian battalion tactical groups gathered around Izyum may be doing just as much to disrupt Russia’s offensive, but because in that area Ukraine appears to be conducting more hit-and-run raids rather than systematically recapturing villages and clearing areas of Russian control, it’s much harder to follow the progress.

On the other hand, Ukrainian actions in Kharkiv have been more on the order of a classic counteroffensive, rolling back Russian-occupied territory town by town, putting in place members of territorial defense, preparing locations against any threat by Russia to retake the offensive. All of that generates chatter on Twitter and Telegram. The accompanying work from artillery, as reflected by data from satellites generally intended to track wildfires, also gives a good sense of priority targets and upcoming thrusts by infantry.

But when it comes to what’s happening in the Kharkiv area on Wednesday, the answer is a big shrug.

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Kharkiv area on May 9, 2022.

For the moment, there are no reports of new, big movements in the Kharkiv area. A number of villages near Staryi Saltiv were recaptured on Saturday, and Ukrainian forces made progress at the western end of the line at Tsupivka, but both Sunday and Monday appear to have been relatively quiet. That includes a big reduction in the amount of shelling. On Sunday, Ukraine directed some shells into the area northwest of Lyptsi, which Ukrainian soldiers have entered, but reportedly do not control. There was also firing on an area about a kilometer north of Vesele, which Ukrainian soldiers have entered, but reportedly do not control. And there was firing at a chain of locations near Petrivka which, so far as can be determined, is still under Russian control.

But on Monday, the FIRMS data is all but clear. Whether that means Ukraine has taken some of these towns and it just hasn’t made it onto Twitter/Telegram in a recognizable way or something else is going on, I don’t know.

One reason to think something else might be going on: Ukraine seemed to be racing up the west bank of the Siverskyi Donets River in an effort to secure a bridge to the east. However, the bridge at Staryi Saltiv was blown by the Russians, then the bridge at Rubiznhe, then the bridge at Starytsya, then the bridge at Ohirtseve. And that’s it. There are no more bridges to race for.

It’s entirely possible that, without being able to claim one of those bridges intact, Ukraine is rethinking its strategy for the area west of the Donets. Ukraine may leave fewer people in the area to secure existing gains and continue to press what are reportedly three Russian BTGs in the area, while doing something like what kos suggests in shifting forces to go after critical Russian supply points to the southeast. Ukraine might even decide to fold some of those experienced winners from around Kharkiv into the push against Izyum. The Kharkiv map may become a little more stable over the next few days … or not.

Oh, and one thing that may be worth noting is that Ukraine spent three solid days firing artillery into the area around the east end of the bridge across from Staryi Saltiv. There is a reservoir at that location, making the water almost 2 kilometers wide, which would seem to make this a very unlikely point for Ukraine to create a crossing, especially when the river is just 100 meters wide near Rubiznhe and 60 meters wide upstream at Startsya. However, Ukrainian engineers may have had a chance to examine the bridge at Staryi Saltiv and determined that repairs were possible. Or ... Ukraine was just firing at Russian gun emplacements on the far side of the river and it had nothing to do with the bridge. We’ll see.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian Ministry of Defense officials included Ruski Tyshky, Bairak, and Rubizhne on the list of locations officially liberated.

Note: As I was putting this together, there were conflicting claims that Ukraine has taken Lyptsi. It seems likely that Ukraine has recaptured much of the town proper, but Russian forces remain in positions very close on the west. There were also claims that Ukraine is in control of the road between Vesele and Bairak, which would seem like a very bad thing for those Russian troops still down at Petrivka.

EASTERN UKRAINE​

Russian forces are slowly walking their way toward Lyman, with reports of Russian forces in Derylove to the north and some reports of small numbers of Russian troops on the north side of Lyman itself. Within the next day or two, the town could be pressed from west, east, and north. But that’s not happening yet, no matter how many people are sweating about it.

At the extreme east of Ukrainian-held positions, the The Wall Street Journal this morning has an article on conditions in Severeodonetsk, which is now connected to the rest of Ukrainian-controlled territory by a single road—a road that is under fire from Russian artillery. It’s a good reminder of the kind of sacrifices that are being made by everyone in Ukraine, not just those in the military.

There’s also this bit from Igor Girkin. (A reminder that Girkin is a Russian who formerly headed up the DNR and expected to become the leader of a Donetsk “republic” before he found himself on the losing end of political maneuvering among pro-Russian forces.)



In the Donetsk direction, the occupiers attempted assault operations in the directions of the town of Marinka, the settlements of Kamyanka, Yasynuvata district, and Novomykhailivka, Pokrovsky district, Donetsk region. They were unsuccessful.

Whenever you see phrases like “they were unsuccessful,” read that as vehicles and soldiers were wasted. For every small advance Russia makes, it appears to make many, many more of these unsuccessful attempts.

RUSSIAN STUFF BLOWING UP THEATER​

And now, let’s watch Russian tanks, vehicles, and artillery go boom.



This could be why Ukrainian artillery moved on past Vesele on Saturday and was hitting positions to the north: no Russian equipment left in Vesele itself to hit.



Remember the extremely rare and new T-90M tank Russia sent into Ukraine only to have it turn up dead north of Kharkiv within a week? Turns out there is another one. I mean was.



It’s possible this is the same tank as some of the landscape features look similar. On the other hand, the explosion itself looks different and if Ukraine is now putting more than one drone in the air to capture multiple angles of Russian tanks being obliterated, that would be just showing off.

In any case, what happens to both these tanks shows just how incredibly powerful a Javelin is. This is a missile that is not screwing around.



I know it was in the last update, but watching those artillery positions fall one by one was too good to skip a repeat.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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PA-Sen: Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D), A Pro-Life Democrat, Will Vote Yes To Codify Roe v Wade
poopdogcomedy


Pennsylvania Senator Robert P. Casey Jr., today announced his support for the Women’s Health Protection Act, stating not only will he vote yes to advance debate but also to support a vote on final passage of the bill.

“This week, I will again vote yes to advance debate on the Women’s Health Protection Act and I will support the bill if there is a vote on final passage in the future.

“In the nearly three months since the Senate last voted on the Women’s Health Protection Act, the circumstances around the entire debate on abortion have changed. In light of the leaked Supreme Court decision draft overturning Roe v. Wade, and subsequent reports that Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate will introduce legislation to enact a nationwide six-week ban, the real question of the moment is: do you support a categorical ban on abortion? During my time in public office, I have never voted for—nor do I support—such a ban.”

Casey, who refers to himself as a pro-life Democrat, has a record on abortion rights issues that is difficult to put a label upon. The son of former Pennsylvania governor Robert P. Casey, who fought against Planned Parenthood in the 1992 Supreme Court decision Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, has consistently opposed Roe v. Wade while voting in support of other abortion rights issues......
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.....Asked whether his own personal beliefs had changed, Casey said it was “really just about a bill.”

“I do think that when an issue is of such concern to folks all across the country, especially women and their families, you should make it clear how you’re going to vote on a bill even though we’re not at … the final passage,” he said.

Casey added that the labels that have described this debate for a long time — such as “pro-life” or “pro-choice” — seem to have changed.

“I think it’s come down now to [abortion] ban or no ban,” Casey said. “I think that’s the way it’s going to be going forward. And this bill is a direct pushback against an abortion ban, and I support it.”......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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OAN broadcasts terse statement admitting they lied outright about Georgia election workers
Hunter

After Donald Trump lost his reelection bid in November of 2020, conservative "news" outlets began aggressively spreading conspiracy theories alleging that the election's results were simply invalid, because reasons. Those promoted hoaxes quickly became the foundation of what would become a violent attempted coup. The hoaxes, however, were entirely fabricated. They were based on nothing.

The most famous hoax is the convoluted half-theories suggesting that voting machines were rigged by their manufacturers, Dominion and SmartMatic, or by dead Venezuelan leaders, by Italian satellites, and by nearly any other supposed conspirator you can think of. Another hoax claimed election workers were stuffing the ballot boxes nationwide; these hoaxes resulted in assaults and death threats aimed at anyone—from those election workers to random air conditioner repairmen whose work trucks were deemed "suspicious" by unhinged hoax believers.

And which outlet was among the most aggressive in spreading those violence-provoking, coup-justifying lies targeting anyone they wanted to? Pro-Trump conspiracy network OAN, a thoroughly fascist AT&T-backed network devoted to authoritarian-backing conspiracy theories featuring a battalion of talking heads that themselves range from merely amoral to conspicuously delusional.

OAN is now once again walking back one of those violence-provoking hoaxes, but only after another lawsuit threatened its bank accounts. And it's much too late to do anybody a damn bit of good.

OAN broadcast a 30-second statement on Monday in which it admitted that two Georgia election workers who it had previously targeted by name, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, "did not engage in ballot fraud or criminal misconduct." It also proclaimed that OAN had settled a "legal matter" with Freeman and Moss, referring to the lawsuit filed against the network by Freeman and Moss for promoting a truly asinine claim by "Gateway Pundit" conspiracy theorist Jim Hoft declaring that the two plotted to count "illegal" ballots they had smuggled in from "a suitcase stashed under a table."

It was an absolutely crackpot claim—it had literally no basis whatsoever. But from Hoft, it made it to OAN, and from OAN it made it into the delusional Donald Trump's ears, and Trump himself both promoted the hoax and insisted Freeman, by name, was "a professional vote scammer" in his infamous call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger demanding Georgia's presidential vote counts be altered.

It was a huge deal, it played a significant role in Donald Trump convincing himself to attempt a coup rather than abide a loss his narcissistic and delusional brain could not process, and it resulted in Freeman having to flee her home after several instances in which conspiracy believers attempted to force their way into her home to "make a citizen's arrest." And it was a hoax from the very beginning.

Nonetheless, OAN produced "dozens" of stories accusing Freeman and Moss of rigging Georgia's election, all of them false, as the network attempted to stoke a passion for nullifying this nation's democracy and reappointing Donald Trump, a delusional incompetent, as the nation's leader no matter what the vote counts might have been. It was absolutely a fascist scheme, a scheme in which it invented enemies, named and targeted them, and declared that because of these enemies and their secret crimes the rule of law must be abandoned so that Dear Leader and his movement can set things right.


Yeah, they got their asses sued off for it, and now here comes the settlement. Unfortunately, we don't know how much the two victims of their fascist hoax were able to squeeze out of these little Juice Box Hitlers, but it had better be enough that neither of them ever need to work another day in their lives. If a fake news network convinces a president of the United States and his uncountable many minions that you, personally, are the reason the nation has to topple democracy and install themselves as national leaders, it seems to me that the penalty the "network" should face ought to be a considerably higher sum than the grand total of everything the "network" has ever had invested into it.

Freeman? Moss? Please tell us you were able to bleed these violence-provoking jackasses for, at the least, billionaire's yacht money.

OAN may or may not come out of all these lawsuits with a penny to their name—because America has some extremely wealthy people backing its shift to fascism, however, it is likely that its backers see settlements like this one an acceptable price to be able to keep promoting new hoaxes attacking new targets. But any settlement that results in anything less than the indentured servitude of the network's talking heads, giving them new forced positions standing watch outside their targets' front doors so that they themselves can face the wrath of the frothing twits they so eagerly incited, is still a damn shame.


American law simply doesn't have a proper punishment for "incited a violent coup for personal political advantage." And that's a shame, because I think we can all think of some pretty good punishment regimens for suit-wearing fascists who use the trappings of "news" to goad such things.
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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At least he’s consistent? Jan. 6 defendant is also a convicted abortion clinic terrorist
Rebekah Sager

ScreenShot2022-05-10at11.25.07AM.png

John Brockhoeft, infamous Cincinnati, Ohio, Planned Parenthood bomber.

In addition to the violent, right-wing, and white supremacist groups we know rushed the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, there was also a small and mostly underreported group of pro-lifers present.

The extremists who have been targeting abortion providers and clinics are many of the same people who continue to support former President Donald Trump, and were more than willing to storm the Capitol to stop the official count of the Electoral College results they refused to accept.

According to VICE, infamous anti-abortionist John Brockhoeft, a convicted Planned Parenthood bomber, livestreamed himself on the steps of the Capitol during the insurrection.
......
In 1991, Brockhoeft was sentenced to seven years after he pleaded guilty to a charge of setting a fire in the basement of the Margaret Sanger Center in Cincinnati on Dec. 30, 1985. No one was injured, but the clinic was destroyed.



Ms. Magazine reports that Brockhoeft joined other pro-lifer militants such as Chad Estes, Bobby Lee, Dave Daubenmire, and Derrick Evans, a West Virginia politician who was arrested following Jan. 6.

Evans was accused of harassing and stalking a volunteer at a West Virginia abortion clinic in 2019.

A well-known Baby Lives Matter member, Taylor Hansen, was at the door of the U.S. Capitol when Ashli Babbitt was shot by police while trying to break into the Speakers Lobby outside of the House Chamber, Ms. Magazine reports.

According to Jezebel, Abby Johnson, one of the most ardent anti-abortion fanatics, was on the Hill during the insurrection.

We know Trump caters to the anti-abortion crowd, as Ms. Magazine points out, he was the first sitting president to speak at a March for Life gathering.

“Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House,” Trump said at the May 2020 rally. “The far left is actively working to erase our God-given rights,” he said, adding that they want to “silence Americans who believe in the sanctity of life.”

Pro-choice advocates and law enforcement are now bracing for the country to explode in violence should Roe v. Wade be steamrolled by the U.S. Supreme Court, as the recent leak to Politico indicates.

Ms. Magazine reports a recent call by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security to discuss the reports outlining the possibilities of pro-life extremists reacting violently toward pro-choice activists in the wake of the overturning of Roe, which would prove that the decades of violence against abortion providers and clinics has been effective.

According to the National Abortion Federation, despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, targeted violence and disruption against abortion providers has escalated—increased vandalism, assault and battery, death threats, stalking, and hoax devices dating back to 2019.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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‘We will never be bullied’: Delaware officials outraged over Georgia cops’ search of lacrosse team
Aysha Qamar

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A video of Georgia state sheriff’s deputies on a bus has gone viral after a women’s lacrosse team shared that they feel traumatized by the officers stopping them. The Delaware State University team was traveling through Georgia after a game when their charter bus was stopped by the officers off Interstate 95.

But that’s not the odd part, the officers not only stopped the bus for allegedly driving in a lane prohibited to buses, but proceeded to remove the onboarded luggage. “We’re sitting on the bus waiting, and then one of my student-athletes says, ‘They’re pulling our luggage off of the bus,’’’ Pamella Jenkins told PBS’s WHYY on Monday. “And so we all look over, and then we see a dog sniffing and going through our belongings, going through the bags as they’re coming off of the bus.”

Jenkins said she thought, “What is going on? What is the need for this for just a traffic stop?”

While Jenkins didn’t understand why the bus was stopped, she noted that most of her team was Black, while the deputies were white.

“If there is anything in you-all’s luggage, we’re probably gonna find it,’’ the deputy said in a video captured by one of the players. They were allegedly looking for drugs and paraphernalia.

“I’m not looking for a little bit of marijuana, but I’m pretty sure you guys’ chaperones will probably be disappointed if we find it.” The officers implied they knew the girls were on a sports team.

“If there is something in there that is questionable, please tell me now because if we find it, guess what? We’re not gonna be able to help you. … Marijuana is still illegal in the state of Georgia.”

According to Jenkins, the entire incident was not captured on video. This included a question one of her students asked, she told WHYY.

“One of my student-athletes asks the question, ‘How did this go from a routine traffic stop to dogs sniffing for narcotics, animals going through our things?’ And he says on these highways that they often see charter buses smuggling narcotics or people and they have to be vigilant to stop that from happening.”

The entire incident occurred in a span of 30 minutes, officers not only pulled out intimate items during the search but even unwrapped a gift one of the girls had received from a friend. The interior of the bus was not searched, Jenkins said.

“They came on the bus and they said, ‘Okay, ladies. We didn’t find anything. You’re free to go,’’’ Jenkins recalled. “They did not apologize.”

Jenkins noted that as a Black woman she’s accustomed to people of color being pulled over and interrogated, but in this incident, she was worried for her students.

“I was more scared for my players,’’ she said. “They were kind of quiet and kind of shocked that this was happening to them when all we’re trying to do is just get home after a long road trip.”





While the incident occurred on April 20, the university’s newspaper published an article about it last week, drawing attention to it nationwide. The article was written by Sydney Anderson, a sophomore player who was on the bus.

The article resulted in a statement from Delaware State President Tony Allen, who said he has informed Delaware Gov. John Carney, the state Attorney General’s office, Delaware’s congressional delegation, and the Congressional Black Caucus about the incident.

"They, like me, are incensed," Allen wrote. "We have also reached out to Georgia Law Enforcement and are exploring options for recourse—legal and otherwise—available to our student-athletes, our coaches, and the university."

“We do not intend to let this or any other incident like it pass idly by. We are prepared to go wherever the evidence leads us. We have video. We have allies. Perhaps more significantly, we have the courage of our convictions.”

He added: “To be clear, nothing illegal was discovered in this search, and all of our coaches and student-athletes comported themselves with dignity throughout a trying and humiliating process.”



FSUZlH3WQAIHeFY


Following Allen’s letter, Carney shared that he too saw the video of the incident.

“I have watched video of this incident—it is upsetting, concerning, and disappointing,’’ he said. “Moments like these should be relegated to part of our country’s complicated history, but they continue to occur with sad regularity in communities across our country. It’s especially hard when it impacts our own community.”

According to the Delaware News Journal, when contacted Monday morning, the Liberty County Sheriff's Office said it would have a statement by the end of the day. But ultimately, no statement was released or provided to the outlet.

The incident is not isolated. Similar incidents have taken place in which Delaware State and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities have repeatedly been victims of hate. In one incident, Howard University’s women's lacrosse team was also verbally assaulted by white boys when making their way to a game at Presbyterian College, NBC News reported. During the incident, the boys allegedly shouted: ‘If it ain’t white, it ain’t right!’”

But despite how heart-wrenching the incident is and the other several incidents POC have faced, Allen stressed not to lose hope.

“We will never be bullied into believing anything other than what we are,’’ Allen wrote. “Americans, learners, teachers, builders—useful and honorable people ready to soar.”
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Texas lawmakers ask Treasury Department to probe how Abbott is now funding his border theatrics
Gabe Ortiz

A group of Texas lawmakers are calling on Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen to probe whether Greg Abbott misused federal coronavirus funding for an ongoing political stunt at the border. With Operation Lone Star on track to run out of money, the right-wing governor and GOP officials raided hundreds of millions in federal coronavirus funds in order to keep the multi-billion dollar border scheme operational.

Abbott “is taking this funding away from integral public sector resources,” lawmakers led by Joaquin Castro and Veronica Escobar tell Yellen. “It is negligent and irresponsible for Governor Abbot to direct additional funding to Operation Lone Star, especially if the funding in question was intended to help Texans rebuild from the pandemic.”
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“Essentially, Texas this year transferred money away from its public health and safety agencies and to the governor’s office to administer Operation Lone Star,” The Texas Tribune reports. “That cash, totaling nearly $1 billion, was available because the state had backfilled those same public health and safety agencies with stimulus funds it received from Washington, according to interviews with local officials,” the report continued.

Abbott eagerly snatched this federal coronavirus relief despite enacting numerous pro-pandemic policies. I don’t mean policies to combat the virus, I mean policies to help it, including blocking businesses in the state from requiring vaccinations. Abbott tested positive for the virus one day after attending a maskless GOP fundraiser last August.

While The Texas Tribune reports that GOP lawmakers’ funding trick does “appear to be legal under the stimulus law known as the Cares Act,” the Texas lawmakers said the Treasure Department rules state that “funding should be used to replace lost public sector revenue due to the pandemic, respond to the far-reaching public health and negative economic impacts of the pandemic, provide premium pay for essential workers, and invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.”

There is nothing essential about Operation Lone Star, other than it being essential to Abbott’s political ambitions. The state has refused to be fully transparent about the scheme, blocking dozens of public records requests for media outlets.

“To date, Operation Lone Star has hampered Texas’s economic recovery from the pandemic and caused significant harm to Texas National Guard members and their families,” lawmakers note. “Soldiers have attempted suicide, and one solder drowned trying to save migrants because he wasn’t equipped with a flotation device.” The Texas Tribune and Military Times reported that the Texas Military Department didn’t order any flotation devices until February, nearly a year into the scheme.

Federal funding is also being redirected to benefit a racist program that violating the state’s own law. A group of migrants recently sued Texas, after being unlawfully detained for months at a time without any formal charges. These aren’t outliers, they’re the norm, with advocates ringing the alarm about these unlawful detentions since at least the fall. “Virtually all of those arrested on trespass charges are Black or brown, the overwhelming majority of whom are Latino, and virtually all of those arrested are migrants,” a court filing said.

That lawsuit warned that without court intervention, Texas plans to continue terrorizing Black and brown migrants through this racist program for several more years. Or at least until a Republican is president again, because Texas coincidentally chills out on the border theatrics when Democrats aren’t in power.

“As you continue your oversight of the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds, we urge you to ensure all states are using these crucial funds for the reasons they were meant to be used,” they continue. “Texas has struggled immensely during the pandemic, and these funds are critical to help our state recover from the devastation of the past two years. Governor Abbott must not be allowed to use federal coronavirus relief funds to further his political theater at the expense of Texas families.”