Trump says he’s long worked ‘hand in hand’ with Black people. Let’s review. (Glenn Kessler, February 27, 2024, Washington Post)

You could begin the story in the 1950s, when Trump’s father, Fred, became the subject of a protest song, “Old Man Trump,” written by one of his tenants, folk singer Woody Guthrie, who objected to the all-White environs of his apartment complex. “I suppose that Old Man Trump knows just how much racial hate he stirred up in that bloodpot of human hearts when he drawed that color line here at his Beach Haven family project … Beach Haven is Trump’s Tower / Where no black folks come to roam,” the lyrics go.

Trump’s first appearance in the New York Times was under the headline “Major Landlord Accused of Antiblack Bias in City.” The front-page article detailed how the Justice Department had brought suit in federal court against Trump and his father, charging them with violating the 1968 Fair Housing Act (another LBJ bill that helped Black people) in the operation of 39 buildings through their Trump Management Corporation. The city Human Rights Commission had tested what would happen if Black and White people tried to rent the same Trump apartments — and discovered White people could easily get a rental but Black people were told nothing was available. A DOJ subpoena revealed that Black applications were marked with a “C,” for “colored.”

Donald Trump, then 27, took the lead in defending the case and told the Times that the charges “are absolutely ridiculous.” He added: “We never have discriminated and we never would.” The Trump Management Corporation turned around and sued the U.S. government right back.

Elyse Goldweber, a Justice Department lawyer who brought the suit, recalled in 2019 that Trump remarked to her during a coffee break: “You know, you don’t want to live with them either.”


Netanyahu’s ‘day after’ plan for Gaza is unviable (Ishaan Tharoor, 2/26/24, Washington Post)

Much of this flies in the face of the stated expectations of the United States, European and Arab governments. The Biden administration has repeatedly stressed that Israel should not maintain an indefinite occupation of Gaza and wants to see the Palestinian Authority assume responsibilities there. Egypt has rejected any Israeli role on its border with Gaza. UNRWA is a vital institution for the delivery of services to millions of Palestinians, especially in Gaza, and, for all the controversy surrounding some of its employees, would be difficult to replace.

In the West Bank, Palestinian Authority officials rejected Netanyahu’s approach. “The plans proposed by Netanyahu are aimed at continuing Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “Israel will not succeed in its attempts to change the geographical and demographic reality in the Gaza Strip.”

On Monday, the Palestinian Authority’s prime minister presented the resignation of the beleaguered entity’s entire government, as the United States and other governments look to it to reform and pick up the slack after the fighting eventually stops. The PA is deeply unpopular among Palestinians for its role as handmaiden to Israel’s occupation, as well as the alleged corruption of its entrenched political elites.

Recognizing Likud’s mission of the river to the sea is Israel’s existential threat.


March of the humanoids: Figure shows off autonomous warehouse work (Loz Blain, February 26, 2024, New Atlas)

It seems the Figure 01 won’t just be making coffee when it shows up to work at BMW. New video shows the humanoid getting its shiny metal butt to work, doing exactly the sort of “pick this up and put it over there” tasks it’ll be doing in factories.

Figure teaches its robots new tasks through teleoperation and simulated learning. If its videos are to believed – which is not always a given in this rapidly evolving space – its humanoids are capable of ‘figuring’ out the success and failure states of a given task, and working out how best to get it done autonomously, complete with the ability to make real-time corrections if things appear to be going off-track.