Hello and welcome to a special Solstice edition of the Update!
That’s right: Today’s the winter solstice (in the northern hemisphere; happy midsummer to everyone else). To celebrate it, and at the same time to honor ancient tradition, we’re serving up a lovely new batch of news items for you today. Cleverly hidden within one of them is a twice-baked small hard bean; if you find it, you’re the Bean King for the next year.
But enough about the weather; let’s get on with the news!
– Володимир Зеленський is coming to Washington today. That’s right; the president of Ukraine has made the trip across the Atlantic to consult in person with President Biden and congressional decision-makers following an address to Congress. At stake: the question of whether or not the United States is willing to supply Patriot missile batteries as well as long-range munitions with the capability of making strikes deep inside Russian territory. Lacking sources that high in the government, we asked our Magic 8-Ball for a quote; it’s response: “Prepare for nuclear winter.”
– In Sportsball news: A new “Greatest Of All Time” player was named following a victory by one country over another in a game held in a different country altogether. After the game he was congratulated by a former “Greatest Of All Time”, who was replaced by a different “Greatest Of All Time” a few years ago. The next “Greatest Of All Time” is expected to be named in four years.
– Surprising no one, the Taliban has banned university education for women. Afghanistan’s Ministry for Higher Education announced the decree from the Cabinet, and that it will take effect immediately. This follows previous decrees forbidding secondary education for most girls, and marks a return to the policies effective before the American conquest two decades ago. In response, Congressional Democrats have increased the military budget while Congressional Republicans approved increased international weapons sales, and both sides bought stock in Raytheon and Lockheed-Martin.
– Self-proclaimed Chief Twit of Twitter, Elon Musk, has announced that he will step down from running the company as soon as he can find a replacement. This move follows a no-confidence poll of users which Musk had declared as binding. Twitter’s ad revenue, its primary source of income, has crashed since Musk’s takeover, though usage numbers have reached new peaks — in part due to the recent “Twitter Files” revelations about the platform’s former complicity with the U.S. government’s own misinformation campaigns. In related news, sales of tinfoil headgear have been spiking.
– Speaking of the Twitter Files: Revelations implicating the F.B.I., the U.S. Military, Homeland Security, both political parties, and pretty much anyone who wasn’t working for a foreign government paying Twitter for the privilege of mounting a war of information suppression, misinformation, and disinformation against the American people continue, as several highly-respected investigative reporters continue to write up and release previously confidential documents from the Twitter archive. Major media, for some reason, has yet to say much of anything about this, perhaps in order to keep the paychecks coming.
– Japan has reversed a defense policy of strict pacifism held since the end of the Second World War, likely in response to recent aggressive moves by North Korea. Military spending is expected to double over the next year and increase further from there. Rumors of plans to raise and re-arm the battleship Yamato, equipping it for space flight, have been met with incredulity from members of the government, but as of yet have not bean formally denied.
– Some tens of thousands of migrants wait just south of the Mexican border for the expiration of Title 42, the legal provision enacted under the COVID emergency that permitted some 2.5 million migrant expulsions over the past two years (many of them the same people). Title 42 is set to expire today, but is being held up in the courts. SCOTUS could issue a ruling one way or the other at any moment, as Texas braces to become the focus of what some officials are terming a “truly legendary humanitarian crisis” at the border.
– Artifacts from what has been called the “biggest jewel heist in history” have been recovered, presumably from thieves hoping to broker a better deal during their trial. Some thirty-one artifacts from a royal collection stolen in 2019 were handed over to authorities. Still missing are such items as a 49-carat diamond, a gem-studded brooch, and so on, collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The treasures had been stored in a museum wing of the Royal Palace in Dresden for centuries, along with literally tons of other wealth, this despite there having been no kings in Saxony for over a century.
– Thousands of files relating to the assassination of President Kennedy were released by the Biden Administration. Mostly phone logs and internal “Cover Your Ass” memos, these do nothing to support the conspiracy theory that the C.I.A. was involved in the assassination, though multiple media blowhards and one of the few surviving members of the heroically inbred Kennedy clan have proclaimed otherwise. Asked for a comment about the revelations, one prominent figure, on condition of anonymity, replied, “Credulous fools, all of them! They still believe that there actually was a President named Kennedy!”
– Congress is expected to rush through a massive last-minute omnibus spending bill with a $1.7 trillion price tag. The bill, which is comprised of multiple other bills that had been waiting for a bundle to be snuck through on, contains a revised military budget, a multi-billion dollar aid package for Ukraine, and a revision to the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which would include among other provisions the words “Never Trump”. Numbering more than 4,000 pages, there is no way anyone in Congress could have read the whole thing, but they’re passing it anyway.
– THIS JUST IN: Epstein is still dead. Just recently celebrating the forty-month anniversary of being dead, the former billionaire, sex addict, and human trafficker had no comment.
And that’s all the news that is news, plus as always some that isn’t. Stay tuned to this channel if you enjoy the sound of static; I’m sick (again!) and going back to bed. Contributions to this Update will be spent exclusively on over-the-counter cold remedies.
You can send cash to PayPal in order to help support us, set up a subscription donation at Patreon, or buy us a coffee. Remember: Today’s dollar will only be worth 87 cents tomorrow, so donate now while it’s still worth something!
Besides, you know if you don’t donate to us, you’d just end up piddling the money away on rent and groceries.