Prawnworks Archives 2023A

Media is very good about covering the economy when things are going badly (at least when there’s a Democrat in the Oval Office), but aren’t very good about noticing when thing improve.

Republicans are perfectly happy to take advantage of this fact.

Reviewing the idea of a one-state solution for Israel-Palestine.

Former VP Mike Pence visited Zelenskyy in Ukraine.
Ukraine pressed hard North of Bakhmut.
White House is favorably inclined to send Ukraine ATACMS rockets. They use the same launchers as HIMARS, but have longer rance.
Lukashenko, President of Belarus, not thrilled to be hosting Prigozhin indefinitely, but may have to.
Blogger tries to figure out status of Wagner Group.
Piece on Russian drone production.

So once Justice Thomas climbed up into the treehouse where all the kool kidz hung out, he kicked away the ladder that got him there so that he could pretend that it was only his unique talents that go him up there.

Justice Thomas' comments on Justice Jackson's observations remind me of the old observation that you can't possibly fix a problem if you don't acknowledge the problem to begin with. First, you must admit the problem. Then you can try and fix it!

It’s difficult to take Republican rhetoric about overspending and deficits seriously when they turn around and appear to take credit for projects that they voted against.

Corporations will always and universally be “fair weather friends.”

C’mon guys! China’s ahead of us! We can catch up and install more renewable energy, but we’re behind! China will spend $7 trillion by 2040 in order to turn their economy green. Spain is also racing ahead.

Very good to see lawyers who filed frivolous lawsuits to try and overturn the 2020 election get legally hammered for it!

Award given for stopping over 200 Russian missiles and drones.
No one knows what the story on General Surovikin is.
The Swiss again! “The decision deepens the wealthy alpine country’s diplomatic isolation in Europe…”
Thread on land mines. These are why we haven’t been witnessing a real “blitzkrieg” from Ukraine.

Speaker McCarthy blurts out something true, but impolitic. The Freedom Caucus “yanks his chain” and he scrambles to apologize.

Woo hoo! Ukraine regains territory that’s been under Russia occupation since 2014!
Video where Russian soldier expresses having extremely low morale!
Aftermath of the Russian missile strike on Kramatorsk.
Some sort of purge appears to be underway in the wake of the Wagner mutiny.

This has been a concern of mine for many years, the conflating of anti-Zionism with antisemitism. Anti-Zionism is when you oppose the foreign policy of the state of Israel. Antisemitism is when you oppose the existence of the Jewish people as a group. It is a terrible idea to say that "Free Palestine" is antisemitic.

Ukraine has established a bridgehead over the Dnipro River, across from Kherson. For about a year, Ukraine focused on destroying Russian tanks and other armored vehicles (now it's heavily focused on taking out artillery). Turns out that was a good focus to have because now Russia doesn't have the battlefield reserves to be able to plug holes in their front lines.

Obama has "never really looking at things from an American perspective.”

Barack Obama’s not “really” an American, don’cha know? Not like “us” y’know “real” Americans (*wink*, *wink*).

Human-caused climate change is contributing to a heat wave in Texas. The good news is that wind and solar power are keeping the Texas energy grid working. The reason that wind, solar and batte

Trump had a conversation with a few people where he waved around a document that he admitted was classified and that he hadn'r declassified it. Essentially, Trump admits to every element of the crime in his retention of classified documents.

Ah, that's what Trump thought he was proving by showing off the classified document about a plan to attack Iran to buddies of his. Trump thought General Milley had plans to attack Iran because he was planning to attack Iran! No, the Pentagon routinely draws up such plans for just about every country. 

The polling on the Mar-a-Lago classified documents is very bad for Trump and Republican rhetoric doesn’t help. This is despite Democrats being silent on the issue.

Heh! Trump uses that ol’ “’stable genius’ energy and ‘fake news’ schoolyard bullying to "shrug off” a very highly credible charge.

At a time when America really could have used a reliable source of new about a far-off, troubling event (Prigozhin's Wagner mercenary group got to within 200 km of Moscow), Twitter turns out to be deeply flawed. Thanks, Elon Musk!

"No Labels: New third party is on Colorado ballot"
%$#& these people! They’re a bunch of Republican-lite candidates masquerading as “problem-solvers!”

Putin makes angry speech. Pro-Putin partisans aren’t pleased.
Zelenskyy praises Ukrainian army for making progress on all fronts.
On the way to visiting troops, Zelenskyy stops for coffee at a gas station, gets lots of selfies taken from the people there.

Prigozhin’s full post-insurrection statement

Hmm. Prigozin’s “really tapping into popular anger about the war’s slow progress”
Also full, very angry, speech by Putin.

Clinton and Obama and I'm sure Biden, all made great a frequent use of the president's power to call in world-class experts to give them detailed briefings. Elon Musk has this power as well. The 2nd paragraph here is accurate (Climate change is a big risk), but Musk shows his lack of knowledge in the 1st (Humans do not affect the climate) and in the 3rd (Clmate change isn't here yet), he's confusing a far-off, potential problem with a current, now problem that requires immediate solutions!

Is Alabama pro-life? Ehh, it depends on what you mean by that. If you mean that AL’s a safe place to have and raise a child, not so much. If you mean that AL is anti-choice, then yes.

Zelenskyy is concerned about the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
Zelenskyy warns that “The longer Russian aggression lasts, the more degradation it causes in Russia itself.”
Detailed description of Prigozhin’s mutiny.
Argument that Putin is not the sole decision-maker. Russian elites operate with some degree of consensus. Putin “relies on the compliance of an economic, bureaucratic, and security elite.”
Russians had set up first line of defense against the Wagner offensive at the Oka River.

China will look with great concern at recent events in Russia

Putin’s hold on power is driven by the fact that he has destroyed any alternatives to his rule.

The protests in Iran that commenced with the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini (she had some hair peeking out from underneath her hijab) never stopped. Rebels now call themselves the “women, life, freedom” movement. Religious and ethnic minorities have suffered disproportionately.

Hmm, yeah. Gee. I wonder why Democrats didn’t take the censure of Representative Schiff seriously. Probably because the vote was made along straight party-lines because Republicans made a poor case that Schiff did anything wrong.

Nikki Haley puts out a truly silly piece of nostalgia for a time that never existed. I saw her piece get quoted many times on Twitter, always with very critical comments.

Do you remember when you were growing up, do you remember how simple life was, how easy it felt? It was about faith, family, and country. We can have that again, but to do that, we must vote Joe Biden out.

First comment on Twitter in response:

I remember as a kid back in the seventies and racist white people in South Dakota telling my father, a boarding school survivor and decorated military veteran to, “get his prairie n*gger ass back to the reservation.”

Zelenskyy promises to protect Europe no matter what Russia does, no matter how much chaos it falls into.

What we actually watched was about 36 hours of a true, albeit quite limited, civil war

Prigozhin appeared to have strong local support in Rostov.

Putin will be strong and in control and look strong and in control until he is not. Over the past 36 hours or so he has not looked strong and in control.

Ukrainian battalion vs a Russian battalion. The Russian battalion has pretty much ceased to exist.

Leonard Leo is the Co-Chairman and former Executive Vice President of the Federalist Society, the organization that has apparently been matching up right-wing Supreme Court Justices with billionaires.

Hmm. Not good. Young male Orca whales have been attacking boats off the coast of Portugal. Now that behavior has spread to the coasts of Scotland and Scandinavia.

A look at the confused patchwork of laws on abortion today.

Alexander Vindman -Yep! War in Ukraine is going really well!

Some guy spouts words to the effect of: "It's a plot, I tell you! A plot to distract from Hunter Biden!"

Back in May, Senator Cruz described the Ukrainian army as “a woke, emasculated military…” because they were LGBTQ+ friendly and had plenty of women in their ranks. Now he’s awfully quiet on the masculine, all-man Russian military! (I just checked his Twitter feed. Lots of comments on lots of issues, nothing on Russia).

As someone said on TV this morning, there is no downside for Ukraine in the Wagner group insurrection in Russia! Major problem for Russians now is that Rostov is the logistical hub for Russia's army in Ukraine and Wagner just seized it!

Prigozhin's Wagner Group turns back when they got to within 200 km of Moscow. Advance wasn't quite bloodless, a few planes and helicopters were shot down, but no armed clashes took place. 

Zelenskyy has a good reaction.

My feelings about Prigozhin vs Putin is pretty much like my feelings about former AG Bill Barr and Donald Trump. Is Barr saying great stuff about Trump? Absolutely! Well worth quoting. Is Barr "rehabilitated" from when he was AG? Ha, ha, ha! No. Same with Prigozhin. It's cool that he's causing trouble for Putin, but that's as far as it goes.

Pretty amazing to see, among other things, teenagers posing for selfies with Wagner mercenaries. These are the bad guys that their president just denounced.

Former Vice President Mike Pence said he believes pushing for greater abortion restrictions is a “winning issue” for the Republican Party

"Never interfere with your enemy when your enemy is making a mistake." Napoleon? Sun Tzu? Probably a popular saying long before either of them.

The Federalist Society is the real problem in the Supreme Court corruption cases.

Officially, Russia says everything is fine. Everyone is calm. No need to worry.

D. Earl Stephens says:“Things are getting very sporty in Moscow right now.

Seth Abramson: "Moscow on high alert. Prigozhin said to be heading there with 25,000 men. If he starts picking up conscripts along the way, this could get really ugly really fast."

Very unclear what is happening in Russia right now.
Prigozhin of the mercenary Wagner group is allegedly marching on Moscow.
What’s a trusty news source in Russia? Ha, ha, ha! There is none. We have no real idea of what’s happening. Blogger thinks it might be a diversion.

The Russian-born commenter Julia Yoffe is all-in on this fight! She's eager to see both sides lose!

Solovyev gets all philosophical about the anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. What would have happened had Russia not invaded and seized Crimea? Not much. Ukraine might have joined the EU and perhaps even NATO, but it's unlikely that anything further would have happened.

Heh! Gotta love it when bad people fight! Not only Representatives Greene and Boebert, but a Trump lawyer and a Trump wannabe VP candidate are also fighting!

Woo hoo! Even better! A purge! Yesss!!!

Ukrainians are really going after artillery pieces these days, seeking to deprive Russia of one of its greatest assets.
There aren’t many bridges connecting Crimea to the Ukrainian mainland. Ukraine just fired a missile at one of them.

Israeli squatters (Israelis have no right to establish homes for themselves in the West Bank) attacked Palestinians

They shot down 12 locals with live fire, set fire to 30 homes, and burned 60 vehicles. They also set fire to fields, including to crops. Israeli squatters often attempt to destroy olive trees…

Representative Adam Schiff shows why he got himself censured, by proving that he’s pretty good a questioning witnesses. Questioning of the former Special Counsel Durham by Schiff and others showed that yes, Russia did interfere in US elections.

A substantial number of miscarriages happen after the 12-week period. This is a serious problem for doctors because what they can and can’t do isn’t clear.

Good to hear this! These women suffered greatly from Trump’s false accusations. They’ve been exonerated.

Zelenskyy attends the Kyiv Book Fair.

UA intelligence has received information that Russia is considering a scenario of a terrorist attack on the Zaporizhzhia [Nuclear Power Plant].

Zelenskyy warns of danger posed by the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and suggests world community should monitor the situation.
Bridge from Kherson to Crimea is hit.
As der Fuhrer did during the later part of World War II, Putin appears to demand just good news from his briefers.
Foreign companies that assist Russia in getting around sanctions. “Russian imports of a range of dual-use goods from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have skyrocketed…”

Yes, I think for John Eastman to lose his license to practice law would greatly assist the public in understanding that the law is something to be taken seriously!

Not the slightest bit surprising. After the ridiculous censure of Representative Schiff, that was based on a very thin pretext, naturally House Republicans will try and “clear” their Glorious Leader Trump .

So Governor DeSantis promised a "lean" government that delivered needed services at a cut-rate cost. Problem is, an excessively lean government is also a dysfunctional government. Vacancies are soaring and employees are getting burned out.

Honestly, I just have no idea how Chief Justice Roberts can stand the fact that he’s running what’s perhaps the most corrupt Supreme Court ever! You’d think he’d be concerned about his place in history.

Cool! Thanks to Senator McConnell packing the Supreme Court (The replacement for Justice Scalia should have been picked by Obama, for Bader-Ginsburg by Biden), Republicans have essentially strapped heavy metal boots to their election/reelection bids!

"Pentagon accounting error provides an extra $6.2 billion for Ukraine military aid"
CodePink wonders how this accounting error came about and why we can't find extra money for other needs. The cynicism is understandable. The military is essentially emptying the attic of a lot of stuff that would have been junked anyway, but they were pricing it as though it was still new equipment that still had years of useful life left. Now it's being correctly priced

Durham knows full well that as an independent prosecutor, he could get away with saying just about anything in his report, but as a person testifying before Congress under oath, he had to be more discreet. Numerous claims he made in his report that he didn't repeat before the House!

Hurricanes can push heat deep into the ocean. Global warming and hurricanes reinforce each other.

Military doctrine is that when you have multiple defense lines, you abandon each one as it becomes compromised and make an orderly retreat to the next line back. Russia’s not doing that. It’s trying to hold all of the ground! This is a serious waste of resources. Ah well, their bad!

The World Bank estimated in March that the cost of reconstruction and losses to the Ukrainian economy from Russia’s war stood at $411bn with $14bn needed for priority repairs this year.

Ukraine has 60 country representatives and 20 organization representatives physically in Ukraine.
Zelenskyy warns that the Spring Offensive is not a Hollywood movie. They’re moving in a slow and steady manner. Mines are a big hold-up.

Ukraine would never sit down with whoever was president in Moscow, if Russia remained on Ukraine’s territory.

Ukraine’s relations with Israel.
A German assistance package to Ukraine.
David Sacks agrees with Elon Musk that Ukraine is a “forever war.” A rebuttal. “..Ukrainian people see this war as an existential.”

Wow! Durham is slammed by Democrats during what was supposed to be an attack on Democratic officials!

"Asked for the top U.S. issue, Trump picks one of his weaknesses"
Yeah, America's global standing took a severe pummeling under Trump. Also, things the blogger doesn't mention: Neither Mike Pompeo not Nikki Haley, Trump's two top foreign policy people, had anything they could brag about as they ran to be president. I followed negotiations with Iran. Those were completely "dead in the water" as Trump couldn't come up with a single positive incentive for Iran to talk with the US.

Sure, senators should be able to stamp their feet and performatively hold up a project that everyone else wants, but not indefinitely. The Senate should be able to say “Okay, enough. Your objection has been overruled.”

Please let’s not turn our military into an arm of theocracy! If we permit Republicans to spread anti-choice restrictions into the military, that could crucially affect recruitment and retention.

How a Black family fought for freedom after Juneteenth.

Ukrainians are dealing with a lot of landmines and have already lost some vehicles. They all seem to have gotten the message: “Don’t rush forward and risk a disaster to make things move quickly. Take it slow. Take it carefully. Win.”

There’s an accusation being circulated that Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, vetoed a Russian-Ukrainian peace deal. Actually, Ukrainian officials and the public were very highly skeptical of any such deal.

Ukrainian air defenders very busy lately, shooting down drones and missiles.
“New satellite imagery confirms that, in effect, the Kakhovka Reservoir no longer exists.“
Ukrainians prepared to stick it out for as long as necessary.
Blogger answers questions from readers.

Democrats, both politicians and the rank-and-file, made it perfectly clear all along that they were content to see Hunter Biden found guilty. Well, now he has been. Fox News expresses the Republican hate and discontent because, I dunno, Hunter's not sent to a gulag or something.

Gee! I’m so surprised. Not! Of course, Republicans are now moving to investigate the investigator over the Hunter Biden case.

A submersible (short of being a true submarine as it has no independent propoulsion) went down to see the wreck of the Titanic. As of 6:00am on June 20th, Tuesday morning, the submersible has an estimated 70 hours of air left.   

Yeah, there are some things that you just do at your own risk. Puttering around over two miles deep isn’t something the Coast Guard needs to be prepared for.

The submersible implodes while deep in the ocean. It would most likely have been fine if appropriate standards been observed. 

I’ve seen some complaints about this. Note that Senator Blackburn used the word “suspected” in her tweet. That means the USN and USCG weren’t absolutely certain that the submersible was gone. They quite properly waited until they were certain before they said anything.

Woo hoo! Electric vehicles sales are very strong right now!

MSNBCs Lawrence O’Donnell ran some clips from this interview last night. Trump just absolutely destroys himself! Both with the economy and with ISIS, Trump did fine as long as he followed the Obama plan.

Very important WaPo piece on January 6th investigation. The investigation was actually delayed for quite awhile, the January 6th Committee chaired by Representative Bennie Thompson helped to get the investigation formally started.

All of the pellet-like looking things are anti-tank mines. The drone that bombed them was destroyed by the resulting explosion.
Woo hoo! Eight Russian missiles and drones, eight shootdowns!
Discussions with the World Bank about reconstructing Ukraine after the war.
Ukrainian Navy SEALS rescue some Russians who were caught by the collapse of the Kakhovka Dam.
Ukrainian teenagers give a Russian soldier a piece of their minds.

Russia had the means, motive and opportunity to bring down a Ukrainian dam that collapsed earlier this month while under Russian control

French-Italian air defense are installed.
Anti-vaxxers connected to Russian propaganda. That same propaganda has also targeted climate scientists.

This piece complains that a "nefarious" group called the 65 Project is actively punishing lawyers who seek to help Donald Trump.

What's the real reason behind 65 Project's activities? Might be because right-wingers are the only ones engaged in nefarious election activities!

"Was Sybil Faking Multiple Personalities?"
Huh! Interesting. I was aware of the book and saw it on sale a lot and knew the general story, but never knew there was an update to the story until today.

From late 2019:

Trump leaves NATO summit early after video shows leaders laughing at him. Trump called Trudeau"'two-faced" after video showed him laughing at Trump with other leaders.

Honestly, does anyone take Trump seriously when he claims he could make peace between Russia and Ukraine within a day? The guy has zero diplomatic ability!

Children greeting their fathers for Father’s Day.
Zelenskyy feels that aerial defense and offense have both been successful lately. He also feels African delegation has seen Russians for who they are.

The US Holocaust Museum has some thoughts on Putin’s anti-Semitic remarks

Russians try using a remote-controlled kamikaze tank.
Ammo dump 110km from the front goes up in flames.
Rescue operations South of the Kakhovka Dam.

There are specific, mitigating steps that cities can take against excessive heat. The Mayor of Phoenix AZ is taking a few, like special covering for pavements that cool the pavements down.

I wouldn't be at all surprised at any or all Republican candidates pledging to pardon Trump. If any Democrat does that, that's disqualifying.

About the only possible way for Trump to win 2024 is for Biden to be dragged down by a third party candidate. Obviously, Republican donors will spend whatever it takes to push whoever the No Labels candidate is to be a spoiler.

Problem here seems pretty simple and straightforward. Reporters from the NY Times seem to have Republican sources, but there's no indication they have Democratic ones. Both of these questions could have been quickly and easily cleared with a short phone call.

Interesting piece on Biden working hard to end the “forever wars.”

Nikki Haley gives us a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” lecture. “[my parents] raised me to know that I was responsible for my success.” Hmm. Well, the problem with the theory that groups like Black people didn’t rise in society due to not working hard enough is contradicted by events like the destruction of Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma is 1921.

Special Counsel Jack Smith was involved in a corruption case involving a Governor of Virginia. After conviction, the Supreme Court reversed the case and the governor was exonerated.

...some of the favors the former governor allegedly did for the businessman could not be the basis for a corruption prosecution.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has been banned in the UAE. Why? Perhaps because of a poster that Gwen Stacey has that’s seen very briefly in her room. Generally, the movie is doing quite well.

Good! A doctor agrees to surrender his medical license after it was found that he was selling fake waivers so that people could avoid getting a Covid shot.

As I’ve said before, if you’re a Democrat and support RFK Jr., you’re either not really a Democrat or you’re confusing him with his father and you’re recalling “Camelot.”

The African leaders seeking to mediate between Ukraine and Russia get completely disrespected by Putin.
Zelenskyy thanks a whole series of countries.
After a deep dive into the evidence, yes, Russia blew up the Kakhovka Dam.
Russian army is gaining sense of focus.
Gee, exciting Russian entertainment! 🙄
“Meduza is reporting that Putin has ordered an investigation into the social behavior of LGBTQ Russians.” This is VERY bad news for LGBTQ Russians!
Two former Ukrainian POWs speak of horrible tortures.

Terrible action coming back to haunt Russians.

An epidemic of cholera is spreading among Russian military personnel in Kherson Oblast and Crimea following a Russian terrorist attack on the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant, the Atesh partisan movement reports.

Good! New Mexico just used the 14th Amendment to fire a County Commissioner as he had taken part in the January 6th attack on the Capitol!

Chinese women perform marches. Yeah, being able to march in formation like this is certainly good and took a bit of training to learn properly. The Ukrainian army looks pretty ragged and casual by comparison. But someone once told me he was a “field Marine” as opposed to a “barracks Marine,” he could fix an artillery piece or set up an ambush is two shakes, but wasn’t that great at “spit ‘n’ polish.”

Sorry, but the idea that Hillary Clinton “wasn’t investigated” is just utterly and absolutely ridiculous.

China supports bringing Palestine into the Shanghai Cooperative Organization, a group consisting of China, Russia, India and several nations in Central Asia.

“The president of South Africa, along with three other heads of African states” were visiting Kyiv when Russia fired 2 drones, 6 cruise missiles and 6 allegedly supersonic missiles at Kyiv. They were trying to mediate a peace agreement between Russia and Ukraine. South African President said that he was not deterred from seeking peace.
Zelensky’s primary demand for peace talks: “no peace talks with Putin until Russian troops withdraw from Ukraine.”
Thread on mines.
Piece on Russian private military group.
Russian aviation able to operate better, meaning more casualties for Ukraine
Putin calls Zelenskyy “a disgrace to the Jewish people.” The blogger examines the influence operation against George Soros.

Aww! Daniel Ellsberg has died! He was the one who released the Pentagon Papers.
Rather interesting that, under Elon Musk. The “search” section of Twitter doesn’t have his name, but does feature Ronna McDaniels!

That’s pretty cool! The two Black Democrats who were tossed out of the Tennessee House just won their primaries, which in their districts, amounts to winning the general election as well.

That's why the Presidential Records Act gives ex-presidents, and ex-vice presidents for that matter, a five-year period to go through their documents and work with NARA.

Right. Okay. It takes five years to sort through all of a president's documents. Which is why ALL of his documents, with the exception of clearly personal ones (which can usually fit into a single shopping bag), are turned over to NARA! This is not difficult.

It's certainly a nice idea that "Our news programming appeals to smart people, that's why viewers of that other news program disagree with us." Actually, MSNBC is between CNN and Fox in terms of the education of its viewers, but what's very interesting is that it's favored by a higher proportion of women. The other two are much more evenly balanced.

Governor DeSantis has been quite popular for his anti-Trans, anti-immigrant policies, but those policies have been an absolute disaster for Florida’s economy.

Now that the water reservoir that was behind the Kakhovka Dam has been pretty much emptied out, many riverside cities are now experiencing water shortages.
Ramstein Contact Group meets again to discuss how they can further help Ukraine.
Maryinka’s a battle that’s been ongoing since 2014.
Ukrainian drones are delivering humanitarian supplies to civilians on the Russian-occupied side of the Dnipro River.
Protesters in the Georgian Parliament.
“Russia is to adopt powers to seize assets of ‘naughty’ western companies and will make it harder for them to exit the country, as Vladimir Putin seeks ways to retaliate against US and European sanctions.”
The US wants to seize Russian assets so as to pay for Ukrainian reconstruction. Biden is being asked to establish a “common international compensation mechanism.”
The Spring Offensive has still not reached the Russian main defensive line. Ukrainians ae trying for an extremely broad approach so as to keep Russian defenders uncertain and guessing where their main effort (schwerpunkt) will be.

“No Labels” is essentially promising to be in the presidential race IF the race is tight enough that they can be a spoiler! In other words, if they can throw the race to Trump!

Trump’s fundraising haul was bigger for his first indictment (rape of E. Jean Carroll) than for his second (Mar-a-Lago papers). Think the mathematical term is "Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns."

The press is seriously dysfunctional. When polling on the two most likely presidential candidates, they should ask questions like “Do you prefer democracy over autocracy?” or “Would you like to see the Justice Department essentially become the president’s personal law firm?” or “Are you comfortable with a president who came into the office not knowing anything about policy and who still hasn’t learned anything?” These are the questions that should be asked!

A very unusual, very good piece from the NY Times! Warns that in a second term, Trump wants to erase the boundaries between the Justice Department and the President. This would be an extremely radical shift.

Letting Trump go with no real restrictions means that he’ll keep running his mouth and thereby digging his own legal hole that much deeper. So as far as legal strategy goes, setting Trump free to keep making speeches is actually pretty smart.

Good grief! No objctivity whatsoever! Picture was clearly composed by a slobbering fanboy! Keep in mind, this is the NY Times! The headline starts off with the word “momentous,” Trump is seen raising his fist. Sure looks like “Our Glorious Leader threatens his foes with a terrible vengeance!”

Private military groups in Russia don’t like each other! Nothing for Westerners to do but sit back, grab some popcorn and enjoy the fight!
More drone and missile attacks.
NATO membership will probably have to wait until the war is over, but both seem pretty likely at this point, a Ukrainian victory followed by a NATO membership. Or NATO might just provide guarantees to Ukraine.
“Ukraine Recovery Conference” to be held, anticipating a successful end to the war.
Airman’s prayer.

By driving out Palestinians and thereby depopulating East Jerusalem, Israel makes it difficult for the US to maintain the fig leaf of trying for a “Two-State Solution.”

Trump’s ability to gin up crowds is pretty obviously declined.

This is how to do fact-checking! MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle is clear, concise and to the point!

The comic book artist John Romita has passed away.

More on John Romita Sr. Majority of his well-known work was on Spider-Man.

Very important distinction here that Fox News host Hannity doesn’t appear to want to grasp. The migrants that were moved to Martha’s Vineyard were given a document that even the Governor of California couldn’t understand. No, they were not transported with their informed consent. Also, the difference between Biden moving migrants and the Texas and Florida Governors moving them is that with Biden, there were people on the other end who knew the migrants were coming.

Human-caused climate change is affecting water supplies in areas where water is jealously guarded and fought over.

The Chairman of the House Judicial Committee essentially claims that all of the charges against the sitting president are true, but they somehow can’t get access to the necessary documents to prove it!

The “Biden bribery recordings” are nothing more than an unsubstantiated accusation at this point. It’s ridiculous to say that treating the Trump and Biden cases in a separate way is in any way unfair or unjust. Nikki Haley should know this.

One thing I saw in the Navy was that when we’re out at sea, we just kept on sailing all day and night. The crew regularly worked from 7:00am to 4:00pm, but a portion of the ship was always “on duty” and worked a 24-hour day, we sailors would do at least one 4-hour watch-station shift in that period. Ukrainian soldiers, having plenty of night-vision equipment, can similarly keep on the move 24 hours a day. It’s fine to be a Ukrainian, as they can arrange shifts, but if you’re one of their opponents, hoo boy!

Ben Shapiro

"...the only way that you actually restore the credibility of the justice system is to have Republicans prosecute Republicans and Democrats prosecute Democrats"

Nope. Wrong answer. Not ever gonna happen. We have one justice system at a time and it has to work for all parties! Also: speedy trials and Statutes of Limitations. 

Trump was not president in either of his indictments. So preventing his indictment would amount to granting ex-presidents legal immunity for life.

John “Torture memo” Yoo argues that charging Trump would violate a norm

Yoo wrote the memo that purported to justify torture, most especially including waterboarding (it makes the subject feel as though he’s drowning), so yeah, Yoo’s a great guy to defend “norms.”

Numerous towns and villages liberated!

Heh! Russians thought they were hitting a Leopard tank! They actually destroyed a wooden decoy.

River-side areas South of the Kakhovka Dam have been on lockdown since the dam broke. 

The Russians disinformed ppl claiming that the water would stop in a few hours and there was no need to evacuate, many people drowned particularly due to this disinfo.

Another Russian general taken out.

Putin tries to act innocent, that Russia doesn’t routinely fire missiles at Ukrainian civilians.

Can the president declassify a broad class of documents by sending out a memo during his next-to-last day as president? Trump tried to do so. The ABA says the power to declassify involves some tested and extensive procedures that, among other things, mean checking with agencies to see whether they object.

Whether the president himself can declassify and under what conditions and using what procedures is subject to litigation. Senator Grassley complained that over a year after Trump insta-declassified the Crossfire-Hurricane papers, 

...the Justice Department has not only failed to declassify a single page, the Department has failed to identify for Congress records that it knows with certainty to be covered by the declassification directive.

Republicans are busily engaged in whataboutism concerning But Her Emails. Sorry, but there just isn't anything there. Trump did not "magnanimously decide" to not charge her. There was nothing to charge her with.

Ukrainian advance is doing well so far, but they're just dealing with the initial lines. The main defensive line is still ahead.

So how exactly is Tulsi Gabbard suggesting Trump's case be handled? We don't have a separate justice system with which we can handle Republican lawbreakers during Democratic administrations. What? We're supposed to wait until a Republican takes over? Doesn't that conflict with the idea of a speedy trial? Or "No man should be the judge in his own trial?"

Again, Republicans are just wildly grasping at straws, desperately seeking something, anything, that might possibly represent a convincing argument! No, ex-presidents are not authorized to keep classified material to begin with and cannot simply store classified material however they please!

700k Ukrainians are facing a dire shortage of drinking water due to the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam. 

Russia has not yet given access to areas it controls for the U.N. to help flood victims.

Moldova is assisting flood victims.

"Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse"
Good stuff! Really deepens the character Spider-Gwen (The Spider-person of Earth-65) and her relationship to Miles Morales, the Spider-Man of Earth-1610. The usual Earth we all know and love and live on is Earth-616.

Where’s Ivanka Trump while her daddy is in trouble? Nowhere to be seen.

Ukrainian volunteers help out Ukrainians trapped on the other side of the Dnipro (after the destruction of of the Kakhovka Dam) with a donated motorboat.
Other dams being destroyed.
Zelenskyy offers to help Canada with its wildfires.
Russia is doing nothing to help people that were hurt and displaced by the collapse of the Kakhovka Dam.
Videos of rescues, cats, dogs and humans.
Ukrainian officers are working hard to shed their Soviet training and Ukrainians do not have air superiority. Also, Ukraine is still in its muddy season. These factors means there will be casualties. “It will be a long, grinding campaign.”
NY Times: “Only 10% believe that Ukraine should give up some territories to achieve peace and preserve independence.”
Germany’s Chancellor argues “What is unacceptable is that Ukraine is forced to accept Putin's territorial raid.”

In which I parse a defender of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago papers problem.

Apparently, the Spring Offensive is headed for the Tokmak/Melitopol area. This is the most direct route to the Azov Sea and, for that reason, is very heavily defended! The best news on that is that Ukraine is reporting that they've taken out 34 artillery pieces! That's very good as artillery is the most effective defense.

Do I love or hate Trump? No, I just think he's a criminal. He thinks and acts like a mob boss. Pardoning Nixon was something that horrified me as a tween. Happy to see that many people have come around to the idea that it was a terrible thing to do. We need to prosecute!

Wow!!!! Trump just had amazingly derelict storage methods, No concern for the safety or security of the boxes at all! Yeah. Sigh! The aide was a USN Senior Chief (E8) Culinary Specialist before he went to work for Trump.

Sigh! Obviously, a Special Counsel is not going to include speculation in his report. A report is for verified facts only. But “the FBI listed 48 folders labeled ‘CLASSIFIED’ and 42 folders labeled ‘return to staff secretary/military aide’ that were empty.” The obvious conclusion is that unknown persons were going through the boxes of papers that were left out in the open, probably at 2 or 3 in the morning, with a flashlight and canvas shopping bag or two, removed the classified documents from their folders and took them.

A quick look at page 2 of the charging document of Trump's indictment. 1. Yeah, someone told me that there were no classified documents about nuclear weapons in Trump's possession. Oops! 2. Trump moved documents that he wasn't authorized to possess after Biden's inauguration!

Pretty insane legal theory. Taken to its extreme, Trump could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and then just pardon himself. But I have a question. Suppose he's truly guilty? With everybody talking about a "corrupt" Biden Justice Department, how would they suggest Trump be tried? We don't have an alternate legal system to handle people from the other party.

The smog that we've just experienced from Canadian wildfires is just a very modest taste of what a "limited" nuclear war would produce.

How Republican candidates are handling their party’s position on abortion. 

Republicans are losing the battle of public opinion on abortion.

This is a problem people don’t usually face while dealing with a natural disaster*, Ukrainians are having to deal with Russian shelling during their evacuation from the flooding of the Dnipro (Dneiper) River. *There’s now plenty of evidence that the breaking of the Kakhovka Dam was deliberate. 
Ukrainian Red Cross is helping even though International Red Cross is not. 
Chief Rabbi of Ukraine gets close call with a Russian shell, but is unharmed. 
120 km2 (square kilometers) are now flooded. Before and after views of the flooding. 
Examining the statements of propagandist-in-chief Margarita Simonyan.

Hoo yah to this! America is a democracy and not a banana republic!

Functioning democracies hold corrupt elected leaders accountable to the law. Banana Republics put them in charge.

Woo hoo!

The former senator Al Franken asks a very good question: Will Republican candidates support a convicted candidate for President?

Senator Hawley makes an interesting accusation, he accuses the “people in power” of jailing “their political opponents at will.” But that’s not what happened. Trump was indicted after a lengthy investigation. And Trump wasn’t tossed into jail the way the opponent of Putin, Alexei Navalny was. Trump now has a chance to try and prove his innocence.

Mark Levin, a hard-line, right-wing conservative, delivers a furious rant on the subject.

It was perhaps a good idea for Trump to get out ahead of the news and to announce his indictment himself. 

In early evening, the Republican issued a 180-word written statement, followed by a four-minute video message.

Bit of a problem with that was that he couldn't come up with any sort of compelling defense!

Well, it was thought that the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam was perhaps accidental, that maybe Russia was merely negligent as opposed to deliberately destructive. Nope. Other dams in the area have also been destroyed, meaning it's all quite deliberate.

Also, Norway detected the explosion at the dam.

Woo hoo! Trump is officially indicted! He's charged for the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case. 

Woo hoo! SCOTUS makes a good choice and strengthens the Voting Rights Act!

Huh! Twitter Files is still a thing? I thought they’d lost so much credibility that Musk had just given up on them.

Hmm, so basically, we’ve seen people dumping all over the Steele Dossier for years, but this latest from Representative Comer supposedly, allegedly, theoretically proves that Biden did something terrible. But in reality, it’s no more solidly base than the Steele Dossier’s more outlandish accusations ever were.

Ukrainian military apparently uses a drone to get a bottle of water to a stranded civilian on the Russian-occupied side of the river. 
Not content with blowing up the Nova Kakhovka dam, Russia is also trying to blow up an ammonia pipeline
2k people from dozens of settlements have been evacuated after the Kakhovka dam was blown up. “The occupiers simply abandoned people in these terrible conditions.” Ukraine is saving as many animals as possible, but thousands have drowned. “diseases and pandemics are inevitable” with all of the death by drowning. 
Does the dam’s destruction matter to the Spring Offensive? Ehh, probably not. 
NPRs Science desk makes the case that the dam was destroyed due to negligence. Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant is good, for now! As the water drops, it might be in danger. 
The breaking of the dam is “the biggest crime against food security in the world.”

Huh! So demonizing immigrants might have a cost? Passing an anti-immigrant bill might cause immigrants who are working in various industries to flee the state? Who'd a thunk it?

This is the document that Republicans have been saying “proves” that Biden is corrupt.

The Kakhovka Dam in Ukraine is blown open in a very obvious sabotage move. Guess Russians have decided "Hey, we're gonna get booted out of Ukraine soon anyway. Might as well destroy what we can on the way out."

Explanation as to why the F/A-18 is good one for Ukraine. 
Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant blown up. Zelenskyy calls it "ecocide." 
He again calls for "the complete liberation of Ukrainian land." Water at the dam got to a suspiciously high level right before loud explosions were heard early in the morning. The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station needs 12.7 meters of water in the reservoir. It's currently at 16.4 meters and is dropping by 5 centimeters an hour. 
300 animals died at the local zoo. This has caused major damage to Ukrainian agriculture. At the minimum, Russia failed to establish a demilitarized zone around the dam and the nuclear plant upstream. 
Woo hoo! 35 cruise missiles launched, all 35 shot down!

Of course, Tucker Carlson feels Ukraine blew up the Nova Kakhovka dam, because why would Russia blow up "its own" infrastructure? Note that the infrastructure is merely under Russian occupation and not "theirs." In the meantime, blowing the dam makes it harder for Ukrainian forces to cross the river in force.


Na-a-a-ww! Tucker Carlson, an antisemite? Aww, say it ain’t so!

Russian state TV discusses the blown-up dam. Russian pundit says Russia simply moved its defensive line easy-peasy! In the meantime, heavy armor can’t make it through the floodwaters.

Consequences for Crimea’s water situation could be utterly and absolutely disastrous! It could take a decade or more to restore water services to the peninsula.

RFK Jr. shows us that he’s not an idiot as he conducts an interview with Elon Musk where he’s “now comparing Elon Musk to a Revolutionary War soldier.” RFK Jr. know which side of the bread to put butter on.

A blogger notes an NY Times piece "Nazi Symbols on Ukraine’s Front Lines Highlight Thorny Issues of History"
I followed the news coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There was no attempt to deny that there were Nazis among Ukrainian troops. What they did notice though, was that there weren’t enough Nazis in Ukraine to elect even a single member of the legislature. Nazis dominated the Azov battalion, but as the battalion suffered casualties, they dropped their ideological requirements.

A fairly convincing hack job, “Putin” appears and announces a general mobilization! 
Ukraine is confident! “Although the global trend is clear – Russia will lose this war, Russia’s rulers continue to deny reality.“ F/A-18s on the way from Australia to Ukraine. 
Horribly-treated Russian officer forced by the Wagner group to testify to the camera. 
Just what Russia needs while facing a Ukrainian offensive! The Wagner mercenaries vs the Russian army! 
US believes drone attack on the Kremlin originated inside Russia and drones did not fly all the way from Ukraine.

Republican candidates are not handling the abortion issue well. Nikki Haley tried to dodge a question on restricting early abortions by asking about late-term abortions, within the last week or two before the baby is due.

Generally a piece I agree with. I do not agree that the war between Russia and Ukraine is "stalemated," I think Ukraine's upcoming Spring (Summer?) Offensive is likely to make big gains. Russia's inventory of armored vehicles is so low that tactical manuals are being written so as to assume Russia is reduced to fighting with only infantry backed up by artillery.

Update (10 Jul): "Ukraine has notched several hundred square kilometers of gains, wiping out Russia’s gains from the entire last year."

Ukraine "is destroying Russia’s biggest asset, its artillery, and it’s doing so in droves."

I agree with this. The left and the right are fundamentally different on how they approach the Jewish people. The left has a real problem with Israeli policies, mostly policies towards the Palestinians, but we don’t make the sweeping generalization that the Jewish people should be condemned for those policies.

Our blogger looks at Casey DeSantis and her many outfits (Think: Dress for the job you want as opposed to the one you're currently in), noting of course, that the NY Times critic can't go beyond the blindingly obvious in her analysis.

From Balloon Juice:

...Casey, whom Baker calls “Walmart Melania.” That’s not really fair to Walmart. Casey DeSantis is a grubby flea market trinket angling for a Dollar General distribution deal at best.

With occasional exceptions, far right wing attacks have outnumbered Jihadist attacks for quite some time.

Bunch of Russian armored vehicles are now in the land equivalent of Davy Jones’ Locker! Takes lots of training for Ukrainians to launch an offensive, but when they do, they’re unstoppable. 
Too many Kyiv air raid shelters failed inspection. Ukraine-backed Russian militias move into Belgorod Oblast (Province). Russian civilians do some preemptive looting, y’know, just in case Ukraine invades. 
Russian militias are following Lenin’s dictum:”When you encounter mush, continue to advance…” Moscow must take charge. Russian “Men evacuated from Shebekino are causing havoc at Belgorod State University, where they've been relocated. Students are complaining of sexual harassment, drunkenness and rowdy behaviour.”

Heh! Yeah, gee! I wonder why other social media sites won't follow Elon Musk's lead and "chose (sic) free speech over anything else." Yeah, funny how that is. Could that be because Twitter is now worth about a third of what Musk paid for it? As a Twitter user myself, who was on it before Musk took over, my timeline is now cluttered with right-wingers whose opinions I have absolutely zero interest in.

Chuck Todd's leaving MSNBC? Good riddance! He appears to have gotten all his briefings from right-wing pundits as he always seemed surprised when liberals brought up good reasons as to why his assertions were ridiculous.

Funny. When Russian pundits talk about Russia's plans for Ukraine, they sound like a certain Fuhrer of the 30s and 40s with his “Final Solution” to the "Jewish question."

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is trying to do many, and many contradictory things, at once. 

Concurrently, Netanyahu wants good relations with the Arabs and Muslims, while constantly humiliating, oppressing and killing Arabs and Muslims.

Ohio Secretary of State admits behind closed doors what he has repeatedly denied in public, that a provision to make the state constitution harder to amend had everything to do with abortion!

Baffling! Switzerland refuses to allow its arms to be sent to Ukraine. They’re essentially choosing Russian bank deposits over their own arms industry. Good analysis from the blogger.
The one real concern Ukraine has over the Spring Offensive is that Russia has too big an edge in aircraft.
Zelenskyy presses for NATO membership.
Russians loot store near Belgorod as, hey, Ukraine would otherwise loot it first.

Our media has a real thing for the Goldilocks paradigm, the idea that the political “far right and hard left” are bad and that the center is preferable to both. The right has changed in recent decades to be radicalized, the left has remained very mainstream.

Russia’s in very bad shape! If Putin were to be somehow overthrown or otherwise eliminated, there’s no indication that would help as one of the primary weapons Putin deployed was to make sure that no other power center could arise to replace him.

Yeah, I don’t agree at all that the way Patton treated a soldier with PTSD was appropriate. If that’s Trump’s idea of good leadership, thank heavens he didn’t start up any wars!

This is the fellow CNN should be listening to! Jay Rosen runs PressThink, a media criticism site. Quickie summary of extensive piece on Chris Licht, the fellow who arranged the Trump “Town Hall” (That is, a rally) for CNN.

Extensive excerpts from the piece: Licht spoke with Republicans, trying to reassure them that CNN wasn’t biased against them. This was seen as an “apology tour,” and that really ticked Licht off. Licht resembles Elon Musk WAY too much!

Da-yum! Secretary of State Blinken seriously disses Russian army
Ukraine puts lots of time, effort and energy into keeping their cell phone towers up an running. 
During an aerial attack, Ukraine takes out all missiles and drones! “15 cruise missiles and 21 drones.” 
Gazprom, a Russian energy company, has its own Private Military Contractors (PMC). Having lots of PMCs avoids mass mobilization. Blogger: “Last time I did a count, there were ten or eleven of these different Russian PMCs operating in Ukraine including Wagner.”

Trump suggested he had a document that detailed attack plans against Iran. There’s no indication the document was ever returned. That could be worth a lot of money to Iran and quite a bit to Saudi Arabia!

After comparing Trump post-2020 election to Nixon in his final days

Trump was furious about the depiction of Milley as the adult in the room, restraining Trump from doing something crazy to Iran, and said so.

Buddy of mine suggested that the US would feel compelled to eventually go to war with China as China is extremely well-supplied with the minerals it needs to make electric vehicle batteries. Ehh, maybe if the US just got busy finding supplies of the necessary minerals. It took China a decade to get to where they are, but finding more is clearly in the interests of all humankind. Going to war with China just shifts supplies from one power to another.

Heh! Trump 

...spent almost his entire life with blue collar workers and everyday citizens, which is where he feels most comfortable.

Yeah, funny thing about that. The blue collar values of honesty, loyalty and hard work most certainly did not rub off on Trump! Paying your bills is an important part of being a blue-collar kinda guy!

The blogger doesn't mention it, but this is actually a boast that Trump is currently using to "solve" the Russia-Ukraine conflict, he'll get the two sides into a room and browbeat them into compromising. Trump will, of course, run into the same problem he had during his term, the problem he's trying to solve is just too complicated to be solved in one sitting. Biden has shown he understands the full complexity of the problems people are trying to solve.

Senator Tuberville’s continued tantrum protesting the military’s abortion policy is pressing Democrats to rethink permitting single senators from holding up needed policies.

Again, Trump presents Ashli Babbitt like the Horst Wessel of the Republican Party.

A few Ukrainian children died on Children’s Day by getting hit from debris from shot-down missiles.
“This morning, our Ukrainian delegation was in Moldova for the Summit of the European Political Community.”
Zelenskyy reads a child’s account of life in wartime.
About 20k Russians died at Bakhmut, another 40k were wounded. Total casualties since the war began in February 2022 is at least 200k.
Chechen warlord scolds the Wagner leader for complaining about the lack of ammunition.
The Legion of Freedom of Russia attacks in Belgorod.
Plenty of Russian bases getting destroyed.
Musk, SpaceX, Starlink and the US military.

Back in 1980, Reagan successfully ran on the idea that the federal budget was chock full of "Waste, Fraud and Abuse." Problem is, Reagan found some genuine WFA in 1981, but quickly ran out of serious targets because there simply wasn't much. Speaker McCarthy is trying desperately to revive the old idea.

A guest on Fox News (See other blog entry below) asks: "why in the world are Democrats consistently trying to protect a dementia-riddled incompetent who is the worst president of any of our lives." Fox Business host Maria Bartirom asks here "Are you saying you think Joe Biden outsmarted Kevin McCarthy?" Representative Byron Donalds threw a blizzard of words at her that seemed convincing until you realize there's no there there. Donalds had no answer to her question.

The justification for asking why Democrats are refusing to hold primaries is because RFK Jr. and Marianne Williamson are supposedly "viable candidates." Bwah-hah-hah!

"Twitter’s value down two-thirds since Musk takeover"
Mmm. Yeah. That’s really not the picture of success that investors look for!

Seems a California (CA) computer system was seen by CA as being overly helpful to out-of-state law enforcement agencies that wanted to track women seeking abortions in women-friendly states.

Blow-by-blow description on passing the debt limit bill.

Which side, exactly, has been derelict in submitting budget?

Debt ceiling bill passes Senate 63-36. On its way to the President for signature.

Russian elites, so willing to sacrifice millions of nameless poorer Russians, are suddenly feeling vulnerable.
The importance of Odesa for the food security of Ukraine and the world.
Drone attack on Moscow causes real estate customers to ask “about properties with a bunker or at least a basement.”
Russian soldiers suffering PTSD could a real problem after the war. Mutiny is already a serious problem.
Russians ask: “What exactly would victory in Ukraine look like?”
French are advocating NATO membership for Ukraine.
Latest package for Ukraine from the US headed up by air defense items. Also: “Mine clearing equipment and systems; Demolition munitions for obstacle clearing.”
Oil depot fairly deep (roughly 150 miles) into Russia hit.

Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Russian defenses can be overcome, but it will take planning, training and coordination.

Starts off with explanation as to why Russians want to assassinate Senator Lindsey Graham.


Historian Michael Beschloss:

Have asked my Twitter followers whether they were ever taught about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre in school. About four thousand have replied. Almost all say no.

Not surprising. I didn't know anything about it until just a few years ago and when I did learn about it, it was from the comic book, Doomsday Clock, a sequel to Watchmen.

Interesting. Trump gets some rare right-wing pushback after attacking his former Press Secretary, now a Fox News host.

Tara Reade seems quite happy to be in Moscow. We’re sure she’ll have no trouble reading off her propaganda lines.
Another wave of Shahed drones. Ukrainians shoot down 29 out of 31 of them.
After ceaselessly bombing Ukrainian cities, Russia is panic-stricken at getting a few bombs on their cities. They claim 10 UAVs shot down. Putin says “...areas of improvement remain.”

Mixed feeling about Tara Reade’s defection to Russia.

More details.

As a number of commenters on Twitter show, Tara Reade has very serious credibility problems. "Believe women" does not mean "Believe all women!"

Pretty horrifying that Florida's Covid deaths really jumped after vaccines became available. And yes, I noticed at the time that mainstream media like CNN were WAY overstating the success of Florida.

Representative Mace:

Republicans got outsmarted by a President who can’t find his pants.

Representative Mace likes to present herself as a reasonable moderate. Obviously, she's a far-right MAGA Republican.

How does a nation find common ground and negotiate peace when the other side says things like:

Alexei Didenko: "Neither this nation [Ukraine] nor this language [Ukrainian] should exist! Cleanse it all out, cleanse out all of its sources”

Great answer by Biden! Question was where he stood on pardoning Trump. His answer was to shake his head, smile and walk off. 

A Pennsylvania company (Located in Malvern, near Philadelphia) invests heavily in fossil fuels. That makes them a target for activists. Piece details the complex protesting plans that activists use.

“ this day and age, there's nothing disqualifying for any candidate.” Which means the Republican Party simply has no standards anymore.

Uh-oh! Unionized strippers! The employees of a topless bar vote to join the Actor’s Equity Association.

Very sad! Kids running for the bomb shelter. They were calm until a bomb sounded close by.
More big air raids by Russia. Ukrainian air defense again very successful. They get most, but not all missiles.
Zelenskyy and Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense give America a Memorial Day thanks!
The remains of Americans who were defending Ukraine are returned.

The essential problem of how indictments (the blogger looks at three coming down the pike) will play into the presidential prospects of the Republican front-runner Donald Trump is an extremely important one. So important that any horse-race analysis that ignores them is worthless. Thing to keep in mind is that any movement has a hard-core, committed base. Trump certainly has the MAGA people who don't care about any indictments. But it also has a large number of less-committed folks who can be persuaded that Trump's a criminal who shouldn't hold any position of authority.

Heh! Fox News granted Tucker Carlson lots of equipment with which he could build a home studio. Now that his happy little butt has been fired, they’ve taken their equipment back!

Russian news show mulls over disposing of Putin.
Woman has to de-mine fields before her cow can graze.
A drone retrieves a downed drone.
Live-fire exercise with tank.

[Worshipful, slobbering, fanboy interview of Trump]
No, I don’t look back on Trump’s one term with any fondness, nor do I say “He was right about…” People thought he was a crappy president because, News Flash!, he was a crappy president!

Calculation is that Trump is responsible for over 760k deaths in the US due to Covid.

The Taliban have apparently been using dams and reservoirs to divert water from the Helmand River and deny the water to Iran. Human-caused climate change is making water scarcer and causing nations to hoard it. Egypt and Ethiopia are engaged in a similar fight.

Commenter asks how the West can make sure the Russia military remains broken after the war. Blogger responds that the priority is to strengthen Ukraine the same way Germany and Japan were rebuilt and strengthened after World War II.

Russia celebrates the 1541st anniversary of the founding of Kyiv by sending 54 drones. Ukraine shot down 52. On the other hand, the Ukrainian Storm Shadow rockets hit 100% of their Russian targets.

Kyiv looks pretty normal, even as the war carries on. Out of 40 million people, 3 million are directly involved in the military. 

Many millions of others are involved indirectly in defense effort, but they are civilians – volunteers, analysts, donors, logistics, R&D, diplomacy, cyber warfare, etc.

The blogger explains how the debt ceiling deal is a win for progressives (another blogger explained how it's like a gunman comes into a Denny's, demands they empty the cash register and ultimately leaves with a few breadsticks). How do we know it's a good deal? Well, Steve Bannon describes it is "Total and complete sell-out!" Much more crying, whining, moaning and groanning from the other guys!

Hmm. Exhortation from a highly-placed Ukrainian officer.
The squeezing of sanctions on Russia continues.
A murderous pro-war nationalist against the head of the Wagner mercenaries. Cool. Let ‘em fight!
F-16s to Ukraine is a long-term insurance policy to ensure that Russia can’t invade Ukraine again after it’s driven back to the 1991 borders.

The head of the Wagner mercenaries essentially suggests Russia has to become a large North Korea in order to win in Ukraine. Russia should give up all modern luxuries and should be extremely Spartan.

"Sad Reality: The Ukraine War Is Now Going Russia’s Way"
I find this “1945” article seriously lacking. Russia won a few Pyrrhic victories over some cities, but is very severely lacking in trained personnel and has critical shortages of equipment. I’ve commented a few times on Russia’s shortage of tanks. Ukraine is doing quite well on both counts.

"60% of Americans think a debt ceiling increase should come with spending cuts."
Many years ago, I looked into the whole issue of making federal budget spending cuts. It’s vastly easier said than done! Obviously, no one wants to cut programs that benefit them. The people who seriously want to cut military spending are few and far between. The most popular item to be cut was foreign aid. What exactly is foreign aid? The government gives credits to foreign nation to purchase American products! Meaning no, cutting foreign aid is a very bad idea.

"Debt limit deal reached; Republican hard-liners are livid"
Sounds like yer classic political compromise, nobody’s entirely happy, but disaster has been averted. We appear to have a debt-limit deal! Republican hard-liners hate the deal, which is a good sign that they ended up on the short end of it.

...pushing the next debt limit fight until after the 2024 election is a huge concession to the Democrats. …

Good explainer of the debt limit deal.

I agree with this. No one who's working a full 40-hour week should have to be receiving government assistance just to cover all of their basic living expenses. A guaranteed minimum income experiment showed that people want to work and to contribute. If nothing else, that's a reason to "get out of the house" and to be sociable.

So the woman who was behind the banning of Amanda Gorman poem says: 

...she had only read parts of the books.  "They have to read for me because I’m not an expert," she said. "I’m not a reader. I’m not a book person. I’m a mom involved in my children’s education.” 

In other words, she’s wholly and completely unqualified to weigh in on the subject of what other people’s children should be reading.

Amanda Gorman speaks about her poetry being banned.

Only 13% of Americans have student loan debt. There's NO REASON 87% of Americans should be forced to pay off debts these 13% willingly chose to incur.

Very sad to hear this, because the basic logic is “Well, I had to suffer, so you should as well,” applies to slavery, women not having the vote, children having to work in the coal mines, etc., etc. College costs vastly more than it did in the old days. Back then, you could work a summer job and pay most, if not all, of your tuition. Also, there is real economic value in young people being able to start families without having to turn over half of their paychecks to reimburse the government for their education. 

An armored artillery boat, a Gyuza-M Class, enters service.
A drone’s view of the remains of Bakhmut.
Ammo dump beyond HIMARS range is hit.
T-90 tank hit by multiple bombs.
Ukraine’s Nazi problem. It’s small and controlled, but Russian propaganda has blown it out of proportion.
A case for supplying F-16s to Ukraine.

No, Governor DeSantis doesn’t understand how weather is produced. The weather isn’t being politicized, human-caused climate change has a real and measurable effect on how weather works. Currently, Category 5 is the highest level of wind speed and destructiveness. Thanks to climate change, we may need to add 6 and 7 categories.

Republican Representative thinks there’s something fundamentally wrong with not having white, straight, cisgender guys in every batch of new judges, even though white, heterosexual men make up 46% of all serving judges.

White men are only 31% of the population and that doesn’t take account of non-heterosexuals.

"The Little Mermaid"
Good stuff! To address the most political of questions, how did they have a Black woman get together with a white fellow? The undersea and on-shore communities were both extremely multi-ethnic! As I’ve said before, modern racial prejudice, where skin color is considered important, only goes back to about the year 1500 or so.

Lengthy, good piece on how the attitudes of liberal Democrats in the US have changed toward Israel and the Palestinians.

I read the Breitbart "fact check" on this tweet by the President. Ehh, nice try, but Biden's right. Republicans want a debt default because they think they'll gain politically.

Yeah, saying that the Target store is "waging war" is an example of just ridiculously overblown rhetoric. Target looked at social trends, consulted their spreadsheets and decided that catering to the pro-LGBTQ+ audience was a good financial bet.

Several paragraphs down, under the title "Debt Ceiling Resolution? Or Nah?," the blogger figures that Biden has made a deal where Democrats get most of what they want and Republicans get some of what they want. Neither one is completely happy, but we avoid gimmicks. I concluded back in the early 2010s that the only practical way for Republicans to make any progress was for moderates to align with Democrats and for both to simply ignore the Freedom Caucus. Looks as though Speaker McCarthy is accepting that logic.

One of the big advantage of solar energy is that it can be decentralized. You can set up panels to serve a single household. But if you need a permit to set them up and the state denies those permits, then you’re suffering an artificial energy shortage. Palestinians rely very heavily on energy imported from Israel, which sees no need to supply reliable energy.

The term here is “consciousness of guilt.”

Two of Donald Trump’s employees moved boxes of papers the day before FBI agents and a prosecutor visited the former president’s Florida home to retrieve classified documents in response to a subpoena.

There will be no “D-Day” that will begin the Spring Offensive. It will take place bit by bit. It will unfold in a leisurely manner.
Newsman survives five days in Bakhmut. The experience changes him.
Wagner mercenary group will be out of Bakhmut by June 1st.
Good criticism of “peace” proposal.

Update (23 Jun): Amazingly, Russians aren't making use of their fortifications. They're charging advancing Ukrainian forces! Ukrainians are just like "Oh, okay," and blasting attacking Russians from high ground. Russians are suffering massive losses of men and equipment.

Yep! The Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee (fundraising arm of the party) admits that she sees debt default as an electoral winner for her party.

Chris Licht was the driving force behind CNN's Trump Town Hall. So how's CNN doing these days? Bwah-hah-hah!

Human-caused climate change already has steep costs and the costs are projected to keep on rising, so local and state governments that are suing the corporations that are causing climate change to try and recover some of those costs. The good news is that the Supreme Court has ruled that these cases cannot be appealed to federal courts, they have to be decided at a lower level.

The long-awaited Durham Report is out!
Representative Goldman tears it apart.

The Bakhmut chevron is out!
Out of 1160 Iranian Shaheed drones, Ukraine has shot down about 900 of them.
The Russian Volunteer Corps is back from invading Belgorod, with apparently no losses except for some vehicles. The Free Russia Legion, which was with them, apparently suffered more casualties.

Governor DeSantis makes presidential announcement. Takes place on a Twitter space that’s plagued with technical problems.

Elon Musk invites other candidates to follow suit. Oh yeah! I’m sure candidates will run to get onto a glitchy platform to announce their candidacy!

Joy Reid examines the utter disaster that was the Ron DeSantis presidential announcement.


Aww! Tina Turner passed away! That's too bad! A truly amazing singer!

Excellent Tine Turner video!

Senator Cruz has been fighting a losing batle on Twitter to make it appear that history stopped in the mid-60s and that the Republican and Democratic parties haven't essentially switched places as the party of Civil Rights.

The blogger has a good capsule history, but I've been listening to the audiobook "Myth America" and it has a really good chapter on the changeover between the two parties.

More on how “No Labels” is just an awful, terrible, no good, rotten, horrible group.

And then some.

This is a very frequent problem with the mainstream media. To acknowledge that they played an active role in events is to give up on the idea of examining events from 30k feet up in the air. The NY Times played a serious role in keeping suspicions about the Clinton Foundation going.

Big temptation to blame “BothSides” for the debt ceiling problem. The specific problem? Assigning any blame to Democrats.

Perfect example: "Republicans on the debt limit are like children playing with matches." Problem with this description: "Republicans never have any agency or culpability for anything." 

Wow! This is completely crazy! The power of Congress to investigate precedes the full establishment of and exact definition of the Supreme Court. No, no one ever built in an exception that says the Supreme Court can't be investigated.

What the newsroom bosses seek to do is to legitimize a vague, fuzzy, “view from 30k feet” that fails to explain how, to take an immediate and urgent issue, the debt-limit problem is anything other than an act of terrorism. There are no “BothSides” to the issue!

Russia achieves Pyrrhic victory in taking Bakhmut.
Pro-Russian bloggers celebrate the fall of Bakhmut.
Details on deploying F-16s.
The city of Kharkiv has largely been restored

Israelis launch yet another incursion onto the grounds of the al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Russian Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps are crossing Ukraine’s borders into Russia to “liberate” it.
Ukraine starts an “I want to live” project so that Russian soldiers can surrender. Russia responds by announcing “counter-terrorist” operation.
An American who’s reliably wrong about everything claims that “the US is funding, arming, and operationally coordinating Ukraine's war effort on an incredibly intricate level, as well as singularly enabling the continued existence of the Ukrainian state itself.” A reasonably accurate description, except that the US isn’t acting alone and NATO is leaving the details of Ukrainian deployments to Ukraine.

A 2016 article is still 100% relevant and timely today. The mainstream press hasn't just failed to keep up with the radicalization of the Republican Party, they've refused to keep up and to make the necessary changes needed to understand what's going on.

Right-wing rocker Ted Nugent gives us a reasonably accurate description of the Jordan Neely-Daniel Penny murder by choking until he gets to: "[Penny] encounters an engineered, recidivistic, multiviolent felon monster..." How did Penny know that Neely was a "violent felon?" He didn't. He just knew that Neely was being loud and annoying. "...and Alan Bragg, and Eric Adams, all these people that got jobs because of the color of their skin instead of qualifications." That's a racist-as-%$#@ statement! Then of course, Nugent claims: "I'm anti-racism." Puh-leez!

Senator Scott talks a great game about cross-aisle friendship and getting along with Democrats, but his list of actual bipartisan accomplishments is completely nonexistent.

Just recently, Scott Ritter was on Russian State TV, saying that Russia had unlimited ammunition and could easily keep shooting at Ukraine forever.

Meanwhile in Russia: head of RT Margarita Simonyan acknowledges that ammo shortages are very real.

Mainstream press does a really, really awful job of accurately describing the debt limit struggle between the Republican House and the Democratic Senate and President.

By winning the information war back in 2014, Russia convinced NATO that they were symbolically 10 feet tall and essentially invincible. It’s taken NATO nations a long time to unlearn that.
Zelenskyy sets out his conditions for peace.
The US doesn’t want Ukraine to attack Russia, but Crimea is Ukraine and is therefore a completely legitimate target.
In the past year, Russian forces advanced 30 kilometers. With the complete conquest of Bakhmut, the Russian offensive has “culminated” and won’t go any further.
Bucha, a year ago and today.
Technical details on getting F-16s to Ukraine. Main problem is getting all of the infrastructure over there. Blogger provides detailed picture of strengths and weaknesses.
Looking back on a very old genocide by Russia.

Dang! Bakhmut has fallen! Too bad, but it held out for over nine months, though. The cost to the Russians has been astronomical, both in terms of troops killed and wounded and in vehicles and equipment of all kinds. And now Ukraine has a clear field of fire into the city!
Blogger figures that for the Spring Offensive to concentrate at the middle of the front, at Zaporizhzhia heading towards Melitopol or Mariupol, would make the most sense.

It can be done! It is entirely possible to run the whole country on just green power alone!

Was Hillary Clinton "taking money from foreigners for her Clinton Global Initiative and the Clinton Foundation?" Um, yeah! That was the whole point of the Clinton Foundation! The Clintons took money from various governments and then spent it on good things like mosquito netting for countries in Africa. Not quite sure why Representative Jordan wants to "investigate" that.

So gee! Ya think maybe going beyond “BothSides” and trying to determine who’s really to blame might be a worthwhile exercise?!?!?! Y’all wanna just settle for the brain-dead notion that both sides are to blame for the Republican House violating every norm and precept of democracy?!?!?!

The blogger details how the NY Times tries so desperately to “BothSides” the issue.

Senator Sinema sends out campaign literature saying she wants to hear from constituents, but only if their comments fall under specific headings. Blogger looks at all of the issues that Sinema fails to address.

The Israeli extremists who marched on “Flag Day” were so openly hateful towards Palestinians, they were condemned by the US State Department!

Yeah, I find it highly implausible that anyone in the past six years has been “beaten up” for wearing a Trump ballcap!

Hospitals dealing with a necessary abortion are between a rock and a hard place. Abortion laws place an unnecessarily difficult decision on hospitals.

If Republicans would permit Senator Feinstein to be replaced by another Senator on the Judiciary Committee, then encouraging her to retire would be a simple decision. As it is, the very best decision is to leave her there.

Very interesting how Nina Jankowicz has been sanctioned by both Russia and Fox News! Hmm. 

Still more Russian air assaults on Kyiv.
Zelenskyy challenges India and Brazil at the G7 Summit on why they aren't supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russia.
Small corner of Bakhmut is all that remains of Ukrainian-controlled part. Prigozhin, head of the Wagner, makes a perhaps premature announcement of victory.
Ukraine's Minister of Defense thanks “Santa Claus” for the incoming F-16s.
Blogger complains that Ukrainian pilots training to use the F-16 could have started a long time ago, meaning they'd be able to use the planes for the Spring Offensive.

Excellent video showing the ever-credulous mainstream media falling hook, line and sinker for completely made-up stuff about the Durham Report. Had the media simply told the unvarnished truth, the public would have been far better served, but no-o-o-o-o.…

Zelenskyy speaks at the Arab League Summit.
Woo hoo! Ukrainian pilots will train of flying F-16s!
Storm Shadow cruise missiles are hitting targets further away than HIMARS rockets could reach.
On the 450th day of the war, a meditation on what it means.

Don’t think we’re quite ready to declare Ukraine’s Spring Offensive to be a “champagne campaign” or a “cakewalk,” but a 19-minute film clip shows a Ukrainian squad and an armored personnel carrier beating the crap out of a platoon of “elite” VDV paratroopers! The Russian Igor Girkin provides some commentary.

Good thread about a businessman who's done great things in business, but who's hopelessly out of his depth and wildly uninformed about the Russia-Ukraine war.

The House committees on Oversight and the Judiciary have proven to be complete embarrassments. Now the Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan is making it crystal clear that he really doesn't have any sort of case he can bring against Democrats.

This principle, “We look at both sides of every issue,” works fine as a vague, fuzzy generalization, but Hasan is right. CNN needs to draw the line somewhere. There are many issues that are not “BothSides,” and CNN needs to show that it’s aware of that.

Debt ceiling fight hurting US foreign policy as G-7 allies worry.

Nina Jankowicz shows off her Vyshyvanka Day outfit.
Russia has proven over the last 15 months that nuclear weapons can be extremely useful in a conventional conflict when used appropriately.
May 18th 1944 is the day the Crimean Tatar people were removed from Crimea.
Ukraine shoots down 29 out of 30 missiles.
Ukraine working hard against corruption.
Film about fighting in Bakhmut.
Woo hoo! F-16s on the way! Or are they?

Moldova wants to join EU ASAP!

Not terribly surprising. Airman Teixeira was posting top-secret information to a chat group, some of whom had foreign IP addresses. Conversation reproduced where Teixeira clearly knew that he was talking with a foreigner and that he was disclosing information that was supposed to be kept secret.

Exasperated with DeSantis and his anti-Disney crusade, Disney cancels a project that would have spent $1 billion in Florida and that would have created 2k job.

Amazing video! A Russian soldier uses sign language to plead with a Ukrainian drone to surrender, the drone directs him to Ukrainian lines. He has to dodge Russian artillery fire to get there. Drone operator interviews the escapee.

And Ukrainian drones have just been picking off these Russians at this trench for weeks, to the tune of dozens.

Whoa!!! This is very serious! Airman Teixiera’s chain of command was very derelict in it’s duty! Lots of people being extremely casual about him accessing highly classified information!

So, the Durham probe is finally at an end! As we knew it would, it ended with a whimper, though Durham tries mightily to make it appear that he had lots of criticisms over the investigation over whether Trump was working with Russia on the 2016 election.
"Durham concluded that U.S. intelligence and law enforcement did not possess any 'actual evidence' of collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia..." Erm, okay. If someone is working with a foreign power to win an election, how solid must the evidence be in order to open up an investigation?

Aww! Poor Steve Bannon! He’s very upset that the Durham investigation took over twice as long as the Mueller investigation did and produced bupkis! Trump of course, has simply pretended that Durham has produced something of value, a report that has completely exonerated him and has condemned his foes. Bannon’s right. It was a clowns show.

Ugh! Several bloggers gave up on Maureen Dowd many years ago. She’s still utterly useless. Maggie Haberman does herself no favors by claiming Dowd is worth reading.

Zelenskyy speaks in Germany. “There were hundreds of rounds of negotiations between 2014 and 2022 in various formats with Russia after its occupation of our Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and the incitement of a hybrid war against Ukraine in Donbas. There were all these negotiations.” He goes to Paris next.
So of course Russia bombs the hometown of Ukrainian contestants while the Eurovision contest is taking place. 
Two Russian colonels taken out.
Russian nuclear threats have delayed weapons deliveries and thereby have delayed Ukrainian victory.

Zelenskyy throws cold water all over Trump’s claim that he could end the war in Ukraine overnight.

On the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Palestinian American television journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, it’s clear that she’s just the most famous example, that killings of journalists have been happening almost once a year for 22 years.

Israel confesses to the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American. The Israeli military’s chief spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said “We want journalists to feel safe in Israel, especially in war time, even if they criticise us.” Confessing to Akleh’s killing is a step in the right direction.

MAGA Trump fans are perfectly free to send Mike “My Pillow” Lindell their hard-earned money to buy stock to compensate Lindell for spending $40 million on a fool’s quest. I doubt liberals will spend a penny on this quest.

Y'know, I hate to sound like a "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" conservative, but I don't remember Democrats during either of the Trump impeachments complaining that Congressional Republicans weren't helping them with investigations or that they hadn't personally gotten in touch with or spoken in person with informants. Sounds to me as though the GOP got some information from 2018 and haven't done anything to develop that evidence!

Marjorie Taylor Greene: I’m gonna ‘track down’ Hunter Biden’s prostitutes and bring them before Congress

Hmm. I suspect Hunter Biden and the prostitutes he uses do as much to hide or obscure those transactions as possible. Representative Greene is highly unlikely to find her job easy. 

The UN will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Nakba (Catastrophe) on the 15th of May. It’s now the ‘Right of Return” vs the assertion that the Palestinians decided to leave!

Again, anti-choicers claim to be largely motivated by their religious faith. If it’s so wonderful to make policies based on Christian faith, why is it that there’s a direct correlation between a state being pro or anti-choice and how healthy it is to give birth in that state? The pro-choicers are the top healthiest states in which to give birth, the anti-choicers are the worst

This is kind of the logical legal-endpoint of the anti-choice movement. A woman has an abortion, the zygote or fetus is considered to be the equivalent of a human being. So hey, a life for a life!

Rockets hit city of Luhansk, which is well outside HIMARS range.
Zelenskyy estimates that Russians are demoralized and have concluded they can’t win.
Apparently, Ukraine has NOT launched its Spring Offensive, but has launched several small, local efforts that are making substantive progress. Commenter figures Ukraine is “preparing the battlefield.”
WaPo story on Bakhmut.
Russians were probably aiming for Patriot missile batteries as those batteries were emitting a distinctive signal.
How new units get integrated into the army at the front.

Back during the 70s, the Comics Journal fought a lawsuit against someone whose comic book they had reviewed. They ultimately won the lawsuit, but noted that all of their enemies, everyone that they had ever ticked off, all came at them all at once. Fortunately, they survived quite nicely. But something similar is happening with Fox News. Nina Jankowicz follows the Dominion lawsuit with one of her own. Of course this time, I'm rooting for the other guys!

Representative Madeleine Dean was my Representative until my township got redistricted. She does an awesome job here. She charges that Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jordan wants to defund the FBI, which contradicts Jordan’s professed desire to support “the POLICE Act, which cracks down on crimes by immigrants,” Jordan talks about how the FBI supposedly wants to target Roman Catholics because they’re opposed to abortion, which Dean, quite properly, takes as a confession that yes, Jordan wants to defund the FBI.

Zelenskyy addresses the Spring Offensive with words to the effect of "We'll launch it when we're gol-durn jolly well good and ready!"
The US is concerned that the offensive will result in a Russian rout, which is a pretty good problem to have.

Ukraine makes modest advances in two areas, Bakhmut and Vuhledar.
Details on how the Wagner mercenaries and Russian army are working against each other at the expense of their own military effectiveness.
The super-duper Russian missile that was knocked down by the Patriot missile.
Heh! “Downfall” is a film segment where der Fuhrer berates his staff. People have frequently given Hitler modern dialogue and new enemies to rail against. Here he complains that RFK Jr. and other American traitors have failed him.

BTW, here’s RFK Jr. blaming America for the war in Ukraine.

Senator Tuberville objects to the military assisting members to have abortions in states that don’t allow it. This is a personnel retention issue. If servicemembers are going to be subject to the abortion rules of anti-choice states, members will refuse to be stationed in those states. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks Tuberville is wrong. 

Trump’s Republican presidential opponents avoiding the subject of his losing the civil case from E. Jean Carroll.

Haunting video of a survivor.
Mourning the death of a combat journalist.
Small counter-moves in Bakhmut and
Absolutely amazing message from Russian volunteer Anastasiya Kashevarova. Heh! She explains that fellow Russian and Wagner soldiers are engaged in what’s essentially a dick-measuring contest. “Worse than women, honestly.”
Wagner mercenaries continuing to have problems with ammunition supplies.
On the inadequate training of Russian troops.
Russian propagandists concerned with how to cover Ukraine’s coming Spring Offensive.

How bad was the CNN Town Hall featuring Donald Trump? The head of CNN was fired, largely due to the Town Hall!

CNN lost credibility with liberals, as demonstrted by Representative AOC the next day.  

Soledad O’Brien gives us an honest appraisal of how the CNN host ran Trump’s “Town Hall.”  Yup!     Yup!     Yup

Good Lord CNN! Why do you have this guy on your show to begin with!

I can almost hear the announcement from the bridge of USS CNN: "General Quarters. General Quarters. All hands man your battle stations." Water is still flooding into the engine room and they haven't plugged the holes yet.
And yeah, I agree, I have no idea what Kaitlan Collins means when she speaks of an "inflection point."

Frankly, prosecuting attorneys probably considered Trump's "Town Hall" to be an absolute gold mine of incriminating statements. The blogger looks at the many ways Trump made his cases tougher.

The problem with Chris Licht’s approach to making CNN palatable to Trump and his supporters is that Trump and his people want complete and utter subjugation. They aren’t satisfied with some cooperation, or adopting some of their talking points, they want CNN to be a Trump mouthpiece.

The other day, I saw a Democracy Now interview with a CodePink opponent of US support for Ukraine. She felt Russia and Ukraine were hopelessly deadlocked and neither could possibly hope to win. This piece takes very strong issue with the idea that Russia can hold out indefinitely.

Update (11 Jun): Ukraine's Spring Offensive has not yet reached the main line of defense and might run into real problems then, but they're moving faster than expected and long-range weapons are hammering the Russian-occupied back areas.

Republicans hold a press conference to assert that the "Biden Crime Family" (A term that some Congresspeople are using) received money from China. When asked for evidence, they produced bupkis.

*Sigh!* The late, great I.F. Stone (1950s) and the late, great Eric Boehlert (2000s) were awesome reporters because they did the reading necessary to understand the issues they before (frequently instead of) interviewing subjects! The reporter who grills Biden here clearly doesn't understand her subject very well as she's obviously dependent on her interview subjects to brief her on the subject!

The Republican debt-limit plan is already very, very bad. What the blogger asks us to consider is just how deeply and radically the plan would alter our system of government. Our Madisonian system of government is filled with all sorts of opportunities for people and interest groups to make themselves heard. What the Republican debt-limit plan would do is to replace all that complexity with a simple blackmail scheme. "Do it our way or else!" 

Good question. Are mass shooters de facto working with right-wing media and bloggers?

The tanks of Moscow’s Victory Day parade. Yep, it was a single T-34, a tank they used in World War II.
Zelenskyy looks back at Victory Day, both in Russia and in Europe.
All of Ukraine’s provinces were under air raid alert.
Kyiv has undergone five aerial assaults just since the beginning of May. Very little damage has resulted.
Putin’s speech. Essentially, Russia wants peace with the world and is completely innocent of aggression, but “Western globalist elites” are provoking “bloody conflicts and coups.” Putin’s been making essentially the same speech over and over, since 2007.

Woo hoo! Jury finds Trump guilty of sexually assaulting E. Jean Carroll!

The “Access Hollywood” tape showed us Trump’s state of mind. Once jurors understood that, it was easy to make the connection to how he treated E. Jean Carroll.

"FBI Training Video On Active Shooter Resurfaces On The Internet
Of course, watching this video is highly recommended, but oh! It's so incredibly sad that it's even needed!

Yeah, this is a serious problem. The NY Times reporters calls Representative Nancy Mace "savvy" and "irreverent." These are considered to be highly complimentary terms. But Mace also supports some really weird and highly insulting conspiracy theories about President Biden. So what the $&#@!?!?!?

Essentially, Republicans just don't want to admit that they're perfectly fine with corruption, just as long as Justice Thomas votes in favor of their priorities. If Thomas was a liberal and did exactly, precisely the same thing, they'd be outraged! Outraged, I tell you!

The employment picture does not help Republicans right now! They need a collapsing economy to justify their policies. Rather difficult to convince people to make massive, painful changes when  the economy is piping merrily along. 

Interesting. Victory Day in Russia is May 9th. Victory in Europe Day is May 8th. Ukraine celebrates along with Europe.
Zelenskyy says there are 170k square kilometers (km2) that are mined. Ukraine has total area of 603k km2.
Woo hoo! Russia shot 35 drones at Ukraine, Ukraine knocked down 35!
Soldier describes the siege of Bakhmut.
Russians are trying hard to have Bakhmut by Victory Day.
Thread on Russian defenses.
Western allies really want to see Ukraine succeed. Putting a lot of pressure on Ukraine. Ukraine is trying to downplay expectations.
The new Czech president, Petr Pavel, is telling Ukraine not to worry and don’t rush anything.
Medics saving cows.

Russia just wants to destroy everyone’s security.
“Colonel General Syrskyi visited Bakhmut. “
Prigozhin of the Wagner mercenaries says he’s now completely satisfied with the supply situation.
Request for donations to fund drone reconnaissance.
Kyiv’s fight against corruption.
How will Ukraine conduct the Spring Offensive? Good question as they clearly don’t trust the US to keep secrets. They’ve “earned the benefit of the doubt.”

Jordan Neely, a homeles man with mental problems, was being loud and obnoxious in a New York subway station. A white guy put him in a chokehold and Neely quickly died.

This, where a Black guy takes on an obnoxious white guy, is perfectly fine. No one is saying that Jordan Neely couldn't be roughed up the way this white dude is. Notice that the Black guy is holding the white dude around his arms and not his neck. The white guy takes a few punches, but is essentially unharmed.

Interesting to see Representative Greene's unconscious bias display itself here. I seriously doubt that she's aware of her complete and utter double standard that's being demonstrated here. She compares Jack Teixeira, a white guy, to Mauricio Garcia, an Hispanic. Teixeira committed a major security violation and later investigation showed he was a potential mass shooter and Garcia was a  white supremacist and a mass shooter. 

More on the ethnicity of the shooter and Representative Greene’s racism.

It’s long been conventional wisdom that you can either have solar panels or you can have living plants on a single patch of ground. But what if you could combine the two?

Aww! Friendless Megyn Kelly! She got fired from Fox News because Trump made it clear he regarded her as an enemy, then ran a talk show at NBC News, from which she quickly wore out her welcome as it was clear she wasn’t a liberal. Now she’s defending the current state of affairs concerning gun violence. Problem is, liberals didn’t lose any sort of debate. Those who support rampant gun violence are very much a minority.

I will be so happy when this person is forced into retirement by the 2024 election! Can’t come soon enough! Senator Sinema has no appreciation of the debt-limit issue or why Biden s taking the position he does.

Fashions at the coronation of King Charles III.

D’oh! Senator Cruz sends out an ad about his new opponent, Congressman Allred. Bit of a problem is that the picture on his ad is that of NYC DA Bragg! And yes, both men are Black. 

Oh, and there was another mass shooting (a mall) in Texas Cruz puts out some more meaningless, useless “thoughts and prayers.”

China appears to be supervising negotiations between the Houthis and the Saudi-backed anti-Houthi coalition, with the US playing a side role.

The Quincy Institute has some truly silly ideas on why Ukraine should make concessions to Russia.
The system that HIMARS rockets use for guidance, GPS, is one that Russians are trying hard to mess with. It's a software battle between the two sides.
Russia is very determinedly building fortifications to slow down Ukraine's upcoming Spring Offensive.

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3"
Good stuff! Has the origin of Rocket Raccoon. Heh! Gamora died back in Avengers: Endgame (2019), but they keep finding ways of bringing her back anyway!

Those damned No Labels grifters! They employ Joe Lieberman (the guy the Democrats threw out in the early aughts for committing "partisan treaon") and Senator Manchin might sign on.

The centrist group No Labels is just rotten to the core. It's the plaything of corrupt billionaires and should be avoided by every liberal in the country!

You never leave anyone behind if you can at all help it!
Bakhmut: “...we’re going to start with the reality that the fuckers have decided to burn what they can neither take nor hold. The Russians have been using various incendiary munitions…”
Zelenskyy says Ukraine is getting along great with the US but the relationship can be close still!
Further thoughts on the drone attack on the Kremlin. “...if it was a Ukrainian attack its purpose was purely symbolic and demonstrative.”
Prigozhin of the Wagner mercenaries goes nuts!
The Clintons and Ukraine and Putin’s plans.
Blogger says we’ve been in World War III since 2007.

How is democracy supposed to function if the press refuses to describe reality accurately?

We are nearing a crash into the debt ceiling, the most tangible threat to the full faith and credit of the United States in our lifetimes. But unless you’re paying close attention, you might not know why default is a genuine threat, nor why this crisis is really happening. The problem is that much of the press coverage reflects neither the direness of the situation nor the reality of whose actions are actually threatening default.

Kayleigh McEnany thinks that life is generally better for all citizens under anti-choice leadership.

Actually, states where women can obtain abortions are measurably better places to give birth in than states that limit abortion rights.

At the end of the post, the blogger shares some of his favorite music.
Interestingly, our blogger figures the drone attack on the Kremlin was real, it was launched from Ukraine and it was meant as a demonstration that yes, they could penetrate Russian air defenses and could get that far.
A Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 drone malfunctioned, went out of control and had to be shot down.
When Moscow turned off the GPS so as to foil further attacks from Ukraine, that messed up the taxicabs, too!
Zelenskyy goes to a meeting in the Netherlands and says “De facto, Ukraine has already become a part of NATO – we cooperate, we trust each other and together we truly make Europe stronger. So, it stands to reason that Ukraine should become part of the Alliance de jure – the thirty-third NATO country.”
The Institute for the Study of War has put it out that they think the drone attack on the Kremlin was a false flag that was arranged by Russia. These guys are usually very good sources.
Twitter’s blue checkmarks are a real mess. They’re resulting in misinformation.

“the judge shopping pipeline” is conservatives utilizing right-wing judges to take cases that they can then launch into higher courts. The Justice Department pushes back.

Now that Justice Thomas is on the hot seat again for taking cash from his good buddy Harlan Crow, right-wingers are eagerly dragging Justice Sotomayer's name through the mud! Is her case also a case of corruption? Ehh, it's a declared business relationship that some judges will recuse in the case of and some won't. So it's not a straightforward right or wrong matter.

"Proud Boys Leader, Three Others Found Guilty Of Seditious Conspiracy"
Hats off to our Attorney General! Seditious conspiracy is a difficult charge to prove and Trump is going to be prosecuted on that very same charge! Woo-hoo!

This is the fellow who was placed in a chokehold for the “crime” of being loud on the subway.

And I’m sorry, but she’s 100% right here! The NY Times grossly, grossly mischaracterizes what happened here!

How #MeToo and the Harvey Weinstein cases have both impacted the E. Jean Carroll case.

Moving to electric vehicles makes a lot of sense, actually. If there’s a major war in the next decade or two, it’s highly unlikely that the Persian Gulf would be accessible. During World War II and the wars with Iraq under the elder and younger George Bushes, US enemies were nowhere near the Gulf. Iran is right there these days and might very well close it off, so having electric vehicles might very well provide a decisive advantage.

Besides which, it’s estimated 18% of new vehicle purchases this year will be EVs.

Representative Boebert vs veterans.
Also, Zooey Zephyr stands up for herself and her constituents.
Wow! Justice Scalia took over 70 hunting trips! Justice Thomas’ suspicious trips go back to 2011!

Still more corruption from Justice Thomas!

“Captain HIMARS” explains why not a single HIMARS system has been destroyed.
Ukraine IS improving its long-range strike capabilities, but our blogger is pretty sure that the drone attack on the Kremlin was a “false flag” attack, an attack that was designed to look as though somebody other than Russia did it. Russia’s likely to use the footage as agitprop, to build sympathy for itself. Zelenskyy denies Ukraine did it.
Kherson, abandoned back in November of last year, is getting shelled daily.
Big oil storage facility on other side of Kerch Bridge and Bryansk airfield (North of Belgorod) gets hit.

Lengthy consideration of drone attack on Kremlin.

Yeah, Justice Thomas' defenders are having a very hard time justifying the all-expenses-paid excursions to exotic locations that his good buddy Harlan Crow paid for. As I've said, Thomas knew full well that his trips gave off the very strong appearance of corruption.

Very interestingly, while Senator Cruz rattles off the number of trips each Justice took, he fails to mention how many of those trips were all-expenses-paid excursions to exotic locations. That part of the question goes completely unexplored!

Hmm. Yeah. Sounds to me like either a "false flag" or massive incompetence on the part of Russian air defenses. Seems pretty likely it's number one, plus rebel Russians. We saw a guerrilla attack a few months back near the Russian-Ukrainian border on the Russian side.

Update (1 Jun):  Still no resolution as to who's responsible for the drones that hit the Kremlin. 

Problem is, you’ve got one person who’s basically running Twitter all by himself. Whaddaya want ‘im to do? If you don’t want him complying with government requests, there should be some clear, black & white rules for what he should comply with.

Nine Ukrainian brigades have been organized, trained and equipped by NATO, totaling something around 50k-60k people.
The most likely, best-case result is for the “land bridge” between the Donbas and Crimea to be broken. It’s doubtful Ukraine will get all of its territory back in one gulp.
Good statement from defense editor of Economist.
Video of driving into Bakhmut.

The Republican Party whines and complains that solar panels are mostly made in China. Whose fault is that? Who stood in the way to the US doing more to obtain alternative, renewable energy?

Buddy of mine told me that China is better off in supplies of the minerals needed to make electric vehicles. True, China ranks as #1 while the US is #15, but the 2nd, 3rd and 4th best are Australia, Brazil and Canada.

The siege of Bakhmut.
An examination of how the Russians use their missiles and drones to demoralize Ukrainians and to make their job of air defense harder.
How the Ukrainian military deals with wounded soldiers who can still perform functions.
Just a small corner of Bakhmut left.
Russian trains overturned.
All that and Russia lost territory in April!
Patriot anti-air missiles are now active in Ukraine!

The website Pornhub can’t work with Utah’s demand that they verify the ages of their users by seeing their ID cards. Pornhub argues that this compromises customer privacy. They instead use your device to make sure you’re of age.

Louisiana has a similar law, but it also has digital wallets for users that allow for age verification without risking anyone’s identity online.

Israel seizes 70 Palestinian homes so that it can turn them over to Israeli squatters.

Interesting excuse. Rudy Giuliani says he can’t afford to search his own records!

So basically, Representative Greene has a really long list of problems (I don't agree that they're all bipartisan ones), but no clear solutions and the party that she's a member of has even fewer solutions. Their only idea currently is to hold the debt limit hostage, with the very real chance of crashing the global economy unless a long list of wildly unrealistic demands are met. Nah, I'm for keeping Democrats in charge and for them to regain control in the House.

Putin has to attend the next meeting of the BRIC countries by Zoom as he’s wanted for war crimes.
Our blogger came up with a plan for Ukraine’s Spring Offensive. A Ukrainian took his idea and made it better!

Republicans are trying to turn Democrats into the bad guys of the debt ceiling fight by condemning them for not surrendering to their no good, very bad, absolutely horrible bill.

CNN will feature Trump in a candidate’s forum on May 10th. Obviously, all of the questions will be of the variety of “How do you deal with such a busy schedule?” or “When do you find time to sleep amid all of your activities?” Yeah, I’ll read he reviews in the blogs after it happens.

Update (11  May): It wasn't quite that bad! But it was certainly a poor debut for the interviewer Kaitlan Collins as she allowed several false claims to slide by without comment. 
It was not a ratings success. CNN's been doing poorly ever since then.

Just as Trump’s idea of peace between Ukraine and Russia consists of Ukraine surrendering everything to Russia, the House GOP Whip has come up with a “great” idea for the debt ceiling negotiation! Biden should simply give in and hand over everything that Speaker McCarthy asks for! See? Simple!

Could be as many as 6 billion earth-like planets within Milky Way Galaxy.

But Covid did not have to be a Trump failure! There was absolutely no reason why Covid had to be a political loser! Trump could very easily have handled it in a competent manner and could have gotten credit for having handled it well!

Trump didn't even have to get creative! There actually was a system in place for dealing with pandemics when Trump took office!

Trump shows us why his "diplomacy" achieved pretty much nothing during his term. He sent a white flag of surrender to German Chancellor Merkel, not to indicate he was surrendering, but to make some comment about how Germany was surrendering. 

Biden's "Dark Brandon" persona wows 'em at the White House Correspondents Dinner!

Governor DeSantis takes on the question of whether there has ever been a Palestinian state. No, but neither was there a Southern Italian state until the 1860s, where the DeSantis family comes from.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel feels Republicans need to take an aggressive, forward-looking anti-choice position. Problem is, there simply is no good way to talk about abortion. I looked into the issue in the late 70s. There is no position that will ever be acceptable to both sides!

More Russian bombardments of civilian buildings.
Aftermath of Russian attacks.
PBS interviews MG Kyrylo Budanov, the Director of Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence.
94 casualties for a little over 100 meters gained? Yeah, that’s not sustainable.
Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenaries, goes back and forth on pulling his men out of Bakhmut. Lots of fighting between them and Ministry of Defense. Actually, there’s a lot of competition between military groups! Helps if staying power is your primary goal, not so great if you’re fighting a near-peer power.
For some reason, American media still dismisses the idea that Ukraine will win this fight.
A bit about polecats.

More on Russia’s fragmented military.

Heh! Opponents of the Black Little Mermaid defeated! After the movie is previewed, the Ariel doll outsells all other dolls on the market!

Update (26 May):  Good stuff! Very well-done movie!


"Ted Cruz: Democrats 'Hate' Clarence Thomas 'Because He's A Black Man'"
But Justice Thomas was pretending to be jes’ reg’lar folks, puttering around in a camper while he was actually living it up in grand style, taking all-expenses-paid international trips! He also “forgot” that his wife earned multiple hundreds of thousands working for the Heritage Foundation. So yeah, in addition to being a "Black Man," Thomas is also wildly corrupt! Problem is, he’s a lifetime appointee, so the only consequence is that he’s temporarily a bit embarrassed.

Noam Chomsky feels that US atrocities in Iraq outweigh Russian atrocities in Ukraine. I opposed the Iraq War from well before it was launched, but it seems to me that the worst US atrocity was Abu Ghraib, where grown men who were at least suspected of guerrilla activity were brutalized. Bucha in Ukraine, on the other hand, was just mass atrocities on civilians.

Neither Biden nor Trump wants to hold primaries. Biden’s two opponents are both completely hopeless. DeSantis was Trump’s most credible opponent. Now he’s just clearly going to be an asterisk to the 2024 race.

Tch, tch, tch! Another “smoking accident,” it appears! “An oil depot is on fire in Sevastopol after being hit by a drone…”
Zelenskyy talks about missile attack at Uman. He then said “It is not enough for Ukraine and the world that Russia is weak, as it is already happening. It must fully answer for everything it has done.”
Math, casualties vs distance gained.
Wow! Anti-aircraft truck with symbols of all the aircraft knocked down!
Soldiers successfully remove polecat from defensive ditch.
Russian missile landed in Poland back in December. It’s now been found.

When he took over Twitter, it was clear that Elon Musk didn’t understand free speech and the 1st Amendment vs running an online platform like Twitter. In his talk with Bill Maher, it’s crystal clear that Musk has learned nothing.

A fellow who was shooting an AR-15 in his front yard was asked to stop doing so because they had a baby that was trying to sleep. He had "an angry response" and he "shot and killed five people..."
OMG!!! An "angry response?!?!?!"
The leading paragraph here is way too polite! What this particular mass shooter was, was off-the-wall insane!

CNN’s Acosta discusses gun violence with a Congressional supporter of unlimited guns everywhere. It’s clear the fellow isn’t willing to reform the 2nd Amendment and how we deal with guns, but he has absolutely no idea how to address the gun problems.

This is very deeply concerning. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has a lot of wacky beliefs. The public should be made aware of those beliefs because they would then realize to stay far away from the guy. ABC News presents him as a just a regular politician, then admits, in a forum that very few people will ever even be aware of, that yeah, it was wildly irresponsible of them to put out that highly misleading interview!

I learned about libertarianism during my Freshman year in college. I thought it was wildly impractical then. Still do. The blogger goes over the many contradictions between "boot-strapping" conservatives and their independent ways versus how the urban people live that the libertarians look down on.

And here's more on red-staters expecting the government to bail them out. It's truly awful that people are caught in "war-torn countries," (Sudan, in this case) but what the %$#&?!?! How is the US Government supposed to keep everyone who's in a foreign country safe and secure?

Update (24 May):  

Since fighting began on April 15 between the forces of two rival generals, more than 132,000 refugees have arrived in Egypt, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Wednesday. More than a million others have been displaced internally in Sudan, and across the borders of other countries.

What’s going on and the stakes in Sudan.

McCarthy brought his indefensible debt ceiling hostage note to the House floor this week. How many “pragmatic and governance-minded” Republicans voted against it?

Keep in mind that just four "Nay" votes could have ended the whole debt limit "crisis" right off the bat. There were no such votes. There essentially is no moderate wing of the Republican Party. They’re all “Freedom Caucus” members!

Russian missile attack on a civilian high-rise building.
“Today, the President of Slovakia and the President of the Czech Republic visited Kyiv.”
“We separately discussed with the President of the European Council the situation..”
A mother and her child remembered.
Ukraine really needs F-16s.

Polite Society
Lot like the two Disney “Frozen” movies.  Two sisters are the main protagonists and there’s some science fiction/sorcery/superhero-type stuff. The sisters are Pakistani and there's some martial arts involved.

Officer from the Wagner mercenary group takes over Russian forces in Ukraine. Also, a member of Putin’s personal guard the Rosgvardia (“national guard”).
The Russian army is SO corrupt, they’ve been selling off tank engines that are needed to fight the war in Ukraine.
Russia knew they would be hit with sanctions if they invaded Ukraine, so they stocked up on supplies from the West.
Russian games that were supposed to show off their military readiness have been canceled this year.

As another blogger put it, Speaker McCarthy is not explicitly telling businesses: “Just write the checks and then look the other way while we pursue far-right priorities,” but...yeah, that's pretty much what he's saying!

Extremist Republicans have been enabled by media coverage that treats what is essentially a hostage crisis created exclusively by one side as a normal, two-sided partisan squabble

The mainstream media can deal with a situation where both sides can reasonably be assigned at least some of the blame. They’re proven for many decades now, that they simply can’t deal with a situation where blame can only be assigned to one side, This is a very bad habit that only helps the blame-worthy side!

We seriously need to cooperate with China if we’re going to survive human-caused climate change.

Senator Tim Scott decides to go the bombthrower route and accuses the left of being "The enemy for the American people...”

BTW, Scott is in the latest Fox News poll as being in the middle of a group of five Republican candidates, all of whom are getting “strong likes” by less than 10% of the Republican electorate. Mike Pence and Nikki Haley are both doing better than he is. This poll is on page 7.

Mural on side of building in Bakhmut. The building was blown up.
Video about Ukrainian soldier tasked to remove dead and wounded from the battlefield.
Around 20k Ukrainian children were abducted by Russia. The world’s legal system is slowly beginning to catch up.
Kyiv Independent is putting out a weekly newsletter.
More cruise missiles hitting more residences.
Russians fortifying Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant.

The Supreme Court Justices collectively put out a letter concerning their ethics. The letter is widely considered to fall considerably short of satisfactory.

Representative Greene asks a lesbian whether she's a mother. The lesbian responds that she is, by marriage. Greene feels that she's not a "real" mother then and goes on to insult the woman as being unqualified to fulfill her governmental function.
Which is interesting because anti-choicers like to hold out adoption as being a way to have their cake and eat it, too. "You can have a baby. You don't want to raise it? Fine, you can give it up for adoption."
But if being an adoptive parent means you're a second-class parent, a "not really" a parent, then that pretty much ends that idea!

A woman describes a horrific medical condition that she wasn't able to end because she wasn't permitted to have an abortion. Senator Graham raises his eyes to the ceiling, clearly bored by her description.

Interesting to compare the two reelection ads from Biden and Trump. Biden’s presents a hopeful picture of a successful nation that’s nowhere near finished. Trump presents an America in decline, that of course only “Our Glorious Leader” can rescue.

This is very concerning! Seems the background investigation process that incoming military members have to pass is badly broken. Airman Texiera should never have passed it!

Our blogger had a more extensive background check to work at UPS than Airman Texeira did to have access to top-secret information!

Representative Greene gets all confused about human-caused climate change, rambling on about taxes, the Ice Age and government.

Very good news! Democratic Senator Sinema has zero chance of being re-elected, no matter what scenario we look at!

Early summary of E. Jean Carroll case that Donald Trump sexually abused her. 

Consumer electronics, specifically smartphones, can have all kinds of military uses!
Slovenia gets armored personnel carriers to Ukraine.

Chornobyl (Chernobyl) stamp, representing anniversary of the disaster and survival.
More Ukrainian POWs come home! 2279 Ukrainians have been returned.
Zelenskyy speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He reports the conversation as useful and productive. China supplied its own summary.
Ooh! “Surprise” for Russian forces in Bakhmut!
Interview with Colonel-General Sirsky.
Civilians surviving Slovyansk, which is close to the front line.

Video of Patriot anti-aircraft missile.
Wow! Unmanned torpedoes with a 2k km range?
Governor DeSantis calls for cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine. With a picture of the “Red Dawn” movie, a Ukrainian asks why.

The House bill that's written to address the debt ceiling and that everyone’s been waiting for has passed! Speaker McCarthy has been asking to sit down with President Biden to discuss what they’re going to do about the debt ceiling. For many weeks, Biden has said “Pass a bill first, that way I know where your party stands.” So now they have. The bill is, of course, an utter monstrosity.

Details on the bill.

I don’t know what the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Roberts, has planned to tackle the corruption in the Supreme Court, which is clearly the worst since the 1800s, but skipping down the path, humming a cheerful tune, just isn’t going to do it!

Will the Russians give Ukraine the opportunity to blow up a T-14? Ehh, probably not. They’ll probably keep a few in reserve and break them out for the victory parade over Bakhmut, if of course, they ever take that city. Ukraine has allocated 100 “kamikaze drones” to Bakhmut.
Russia is storing ammunition closer to the front to support an upcoming offensive, which spells opportunity for Ukraine!
The British Challenger 2 tank uses depleted uranium shells. The CDC says that’s not a problem.

Update (24 May): Still no sign of the T-14 on the battlefield, even though Bakhmut has fallen.

Republicans have long loved to add the term “freedom” to everything, from “freedom fries” to “Freedom Caucus,” so what happens when Democrats appropriate the term?

NY Times cites low unemployment rate, saying it’s a sign of a good economy, then wonders why Biden isn’t more popular. Gee, ya think it may be because the NY Times doesn’t tell people about good news? Mainstream media has the problem of not recognizing that they affect the news!

Mildly interesting. Neither Biden nor Trump will engage in debates prior to debating each other. Of course, neither one has significant opposition, either.

Yup! Every day I see another post from Speaker McCarthy blaming Biden for not negotiating the debt ceiling and calling for negotiations to reduce our debt. This is a great response from Politics Girl!

The Montana House is just determined that the Montana state Representative Zooey Zephyr not be permitted to speak on a bill that intimately affects her. A large crowd of protesters demanded “Let her speak!”

The Senator from Montana defends the suppression of speech by the transgender lawmaker Zooey Zephyr.

Many Republicans just can’t seem to grasp the political impact of the demise of Roe v Wade. They’re convinced that women will simply get over it. A recent poll shows that, nope, they’re very much on the wrong side of the issue.

The blogger agrees with the Rachel Maddow Show of 24 April. Yeah, Tucker Carlson will be just like Father Coughlin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly, super-popular, until one day, he just isn’t.

Truly amazing. A report that Don Lemon was fired from CNN, apparently for disagreeing with a complete nutcase who was arguing that Blacks benefited from the 2nd Amendment. In the video clip, the white woman keeps her distance from the conversation between the two Black men.

Russia’s biggest propagandist, Vladimir Soloviev, offers Tucker Carlson a job with his team.
Colonel-General Syrsky is praised for having occupied the enemy’s attention for so long.
Ukrainian unit in Bakhmut suffering from “shell hunger.”
Set of cool videos.
Ukrainian maritime drones test Sevastopol’s defenses.
Ukrainians use thermal imaging to detect Russian soldiers at night. Allegedly, Russia is supplying its troops with “anti-thermal blankets.” Could be very useful to forward troops and snipers.
Seems Hungary’s Viktor Orbán was betting on both Carlson and Trump.
China has distances itself from ambassador who insulted Ukraine’s allies in Eastern Europe.

Tucker Carlson is out a Fox News! That was unexpected, but a very welcome consequence of Fox nearly losing the Dominion lawsuit. Nina Jankowicz, of course, is very happy to see this!

Tucker Carlson says he wanted to interview Putin. Granted, that was a year before the war with Ukraine, but hey, now he has the free time! He can now join Russian state TV!

Blogger reviews Tucker Carlson’s “Greatest Hits,” including the French Nazi theory of “Great Replacement.” After World War II, the fellow fretted “against ‘the invasion of Europe by Negroes and Mongols,’ by which he meant Americans and Soviets.”

So as far as political values go, both Donald Trump and Representative Jordan seem to put partisan loyalty at the absolute center. Absolutely nothing outweighs it. The heck with "Truth, Justice and the American Way," these guys figure that supporting the Republican Party is a matter of supreme importance.

Thinkpiece on where Ukraine’s Spring Offensive could go.
Taking Tokmak would effectively cut the Russian army in half.
If Ukraine takes Berdyansk, on the shores of the Sea of Azov, missiles would have a straight path of a little over 100 mils to the Kerch Bridge.
It’s not just Putin. Video of Russian woman declaring that she wants Russia to expand.

GOP in Montana calls for civility while misgendering Zooey Zephyr. Essential problem is that the Montana legislature can’t abide criticism and felt the need to simply shut her down rather than to try and reason with her.

It’s important for morale that theater commanders show up at the front line to recognize troops who are doing well.
Zelenskyy: “Since the 90s, the World Book and Copyright Day has been celebrated annually on April 23.“ With a substantial diaspora, celebrating that is more important than ever.
Farmer builds an anti-mine tractor for cost of about $27k.
When will the Spring Offensive start? Not during this!
China has annoyed the formerly Soviet Socialist Republics that are now independent states. France wasn’t pleased either.

Republicans are pressing for a radical wish list. If they don’t get it, they have no problem causing an economic catastrophe.

Representative AOC suggests Speaker McCarthy is essentially a puppet for more radical manipulators within his caucus. Hard to disagree with that.

The President made a comment on the environment for Earth Day. The comments on Twitter are filled with skepticism and denial.

Blogger reviews the statistics. Global heating is a real and serious problem. Summer glacial melt is an extremely important source of drinking water. Glaciers that supply India and Pakistan are not regenerating the way they used to.

Julie Su is extremely well-qualified for the pot she’s been nominated for. The California Business and Industrial Alliance is dead-set against her.

Update (22 May):: "Biden’s Labor pick in limbo as confirmation comes down to the wire"

Elon Musk launched a rocket that was a bit bigger than th Saturn rockets that got our men to the Moon. The ship blew up shortly after launch. Looks like Musk did some serious corner-cutting that may have blown up the rocket.

It's just absolutely amazing that this guy gets interviewed on CNN. Of what possible value can it be to have someone who says things like "Trump ushered global harmony, not war." I mean...what?!?!?!  This fellow actually thinks the former president ran a foreign policy that was something other than a complete disaster! Must've been living under a rock the whole time!

Looking at Representative Byron Donald's Twitter feed, he thinks Senator Tim Scott would make a good president, Whoopi Goldberg and Sunny Hostis of The View think he's got "Clrence Thomas Syndrome," and that the Republican debt ceiling "plan" is the only plan on the table! Actually, the Democratic plan is to raise the ceiling and to handle all of the Republican budgetary demands via the usual budget procedures.

A Ukrainian soldier in shadow answers questions questions about life on the front.
Col. Pavlo Palisa has been overseeing the battle for Bakhmut for this whole time and says that his troops have tied down Russian forces so as to give other Ukrainians time to train and equip themselves.
Zelenskyy: “Everyone in Ukraine must understand that the main task of the state is the de-occupation of our territories…”
Cool video on providing F-16s.
Ooh! Any chance Australia could provide F/A-18s?
Close-up aerial looks at Bakhmut defenses.
Russia concerned about NATO talks at Ramstein. A concern is that Ukraine will tire out and bore Russia with constant warnings hat the offensive will start any minute, so that the eventual offensive will be a surprise.
Igor Girkin “posted plenty of ‘angry questions’ that he wants to ask the Russian government.”

Belgorod is only about 30km from the Ukrainian border and is a major supply center. It’s well within rocket artillery range and just at the limits of shell artillery. The city of Donetsk is within easy range of everything in Ukraine’s arsenal. Ukraine could very easily reduce these cities to a smoking ruin. Why don’t they? Ukraine wants the moral high ground. They want to appear more civilized than their foes.

I’ve really never understood Speaker McCarthy’s point here. By comparing the US federal budget to a child with a credit card, he makes it sound as though his party has no effect on the level of spending or taxes. The budget is open to negotiation and always has been.

From the Full Send podcast

"The world community should get rid of nuclear weapons instead of focusing on the problem of global warming", - said Donald trump.

"instead of?" Why choose? We can walk and chew gum at the same time. We're entirely capable of both denuclearizing and heading off human-caused climate change. I disagree with the idea that we have to choose one or the other.

If anyone needs an argument to present to skeptics as to why the US supports Ukraine, this is a lengthy and eloquent one. It looks at a popular “peace” proposal and finds it seriously flawed.
Weird lights that might have been a meteorite.
The Ukrainian soldier whose call sign is “Witch.” She explains that Ukraine depends more on smarts and flexibility than on brute force.

Mike Lindell issued a $5 million challenge to prove his electronic data was false. Someone stepped up and did so.

Update (19 May): Fellow who won the $5 million still hasn't been paid.

Pre-war Bakhmut.
Zelenskyy argues to keep Russia out of the Olympics.
Russian metallurgical 'Kirovsky Plant' in St. Petersburg burns.
Svetlana Maniovich, wife of Russian Deputy Minister of Defence and her glamorous life.
The first day of the Ukrainian Spring Offensive is likely to be decisive.

Emptywheel presents a 10-minute segment by Chris Hayes where Hayes explains the jam that Fox News put itself into. A jam that was exploited by Trump, who was a bigger demagogue then they were.

People Magazine (!!!) is actually doing a pretty good job covering the abortion issue. They successfully cover many important aspects of it.

Speaker McCarthy releases list of budget cuts he’d like to make. Biden kicks McCarthy’s proposal to the curb.

The 320-page document is a panoply of red-meat base messaging and benefits cuts...

Representative Nancy Mace is considered a "serious" Republican. Here she is, doing a walking selfie, accusing the "Biden crime family" of supporting prostitution. Does she have the slightest scrap of real evidence, something she'd be willing to take to court? Ha, ha, ha! Of course not!

Hmm, perhaps I'm just a liberal American who hasn't personally visited Iran, but it didn't appear to me in 1979 that the utterly corrupt Shah of Iran was leaving any affection behind. I got the impression he was widely hated. I find the idea that his son leads any political movement there as highly implausible.

Oh, okay. So launching an unprovoked war of aggression contributes to world peace, eh? BTW, the war is in violation of the Budapest Accord, where Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in return for non-aggression from Russia.

Representative Cori Bush joins Representative AOC in calling for the impeachment of Justice Thomas.

NYC DA Bragg is unimpressed with Representative Jordan’s “field hearing.”

US to prosecute Wagner mercenaries.
Zelenskyy says he got a long well with Speaker McCarthy.
American evaluations of the war in Ukraine. Ukraine expected to make big gains in Spring Offensive. Blogger feels writers of piece don’t really understand situation.
Colonel-General Sirsky gives us an update.
Soldiers evacuate civilians from Bakhmut.
Russia introduces another private military group into Bakhmut, the Wolves.
Patriot air defense systems introduced.
List of supplies Germany has provided to Ukraine.

Dominion Voting Systems settles with Fox for $787.5 million. Fox admits in a press release that it lied.

Hmm. On second thought, this is an awfully vague, fuzzy statement from Fox that will most likely go over the heads of many of their supporters: “We acknowledge the Court’s ruling finding certain claims about Dominion to be false.”

The $%#@ing “No Labels” group!!! In a closely-divided electorate, are they idiots or deliberate saboteurs? Seriously Senators Manchin, Sinema and Collins make really lousy allies! The contributions of Manchin and Sinema in an evenly-divided Senate were purely destructive!

Speaker McCarthy’s speech at the NY Stock Exchange.

His speech was, as usual, devoid of details about those spending hard lines: He vaguely mentioned work requirements, reducing spending to fiscal year 2022 levels, limiting future growth of spending during the next decade to one percent and not raising taxes.

McCarthy brags about all the bills the House has passed, but he knows full well that if the Senate refuses to take up the bill and also pass it, it’s a waste of time. What the Republican House needs to do is to work with the Democratic Senate.

Yep, sure is a deep and troubling problem to see how anti-trans hatred takes root in the US and how it’s helped along by the NY Times!

Blogger expects Ukraine to request F-16s at the next Ramstein Airbase meeting and for the US to turn them down.
Westerners concerned about a rapid Ukrainian victory. They’d prefer that Russia conduct a semi-voluntary retreat.
Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defense responds to negative news about Ukrainian casualties at Bakhmut. Report on repelling an attack at Bakhmut. Russians are being kept away from the supply routes.
More on the American propagandist and podcaster Donbass Devushka, actually a former Navy NCO 2nd Class Sarah Bils. She played a role in spreading the documents that Airman Teixeira posted to his gamer group. Oh, and she officially had her name changed to Lyudmila Mikhailova Kazakova.

Justice Thomas knows full well that what he and his billionaire buddy are doing is plainly corrupt as $%#@!!! That's why he "forgot" to disclose the goodies he was getting!

TPM reproduces a claim made by an aide of Thomas that, yeah, pretty much confirms the claim I made above.

Good! C-Span will not televise Representative Jordan’s DA Bragg’s hearing.

Democrats are calling for the Justice Department to investigate Justice Thomas as his fellow Justices clearly won’t do anything.

In prisoner swap, 130 more Ukrainian have been returned.
Zelenskyy and the Ministry of Defense both call for victory.
Pictures of Easter celebrations.
“Rescue operation in Sloviansk has been completed.“
Wow! 12 HIMARS rockets hit a location that was a repair shop for damaged tanks and other vehicles.
Reporting on Sudan. Wagner mercenaries involved.
NATO gets around export laws.

It’s very highly doubtful that Representative Greene is this stupid. What’s far more likely is that she knows that her audience IS this stupid! Greene goes through a lot of vague, fuzzy language and misleading points to bamboozle her audience into thinking that human-caused climate change is not a thing.

A better chart than the one the piece offers at the end.

More on the science. 350 Parts Per Million (ppm) of carbon in the atmosphere is safe. We’re above 420 ppm today.

Hey, there we go! Recruiting problem solved! Just serve six months (Wagner mercenaries) or a year (regular Russian army) and you can get free admission to a strip club!

Yep! Pretty sad. Looks like Trump will run without any Republican opposition.

More on Airman Teixeira and the online group he was moderating. BTW, he and his group admired Vladimir Putin!!!
Zelenskyy insists that Russia must withdraw from all Ukrainian territory.
Over 50 residential buildings in Sloviansk were hit by Russian missiles, 30 of which were apartment buildings.
Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has not put out any reports for several days.
Russian soldier complains of not being paid to be on the front line, even though he undergoes constant artillery fire.
Update on Alexei Navalny.
Situation in Sudan.

The effects of a lower court that’s able to issue nationwide injunctions.

Nationwide injunctions are also associated with forum shopping, which hinders the equitable administration of laws.

“It’s the ‘oh shit, this is a Nazi bar now’ problem.” What to do when your social media platform is a little too dedicated a free speech and Nazis start hanging out there.


Way over the top, hugely over the top on "the old ultraviolence." Good stuff though, a combination of Dracula and self-help therapy, of getting out from under toxic people and of finding yourself.

Unfortunately, while relations between the US and the Palestinians became very bad during the Trump Administration, they haven’t improved much during the Biden Administration. That gives Iran an opening and Iran is using it.

Why the WaPo feels it necessary to paint Airman 1st Class Teixeira in bright, shiny, patriotic colors is a very good question. Because really, Teixeira sounds like a mass shooter who simply hasn’t had the opportunity to carry out a mass shooting!
Victory Day (9 May) has been raised to the status of July 4th here, only more so. That makes it very painful for Putin to have to cancel it for lack of tanks to put on display.
“Russia isn’t just hurting for equipment and ammunition; it’s seriously short on leadership at every level.“

Tennessee House members are astonished and upset that they’re being considered racists for how they’re treated two Black members of the TN House.

During World War II, Russians maintain a line behind the line to kill anyone who deserts.
Air Force briefing on Airman First Class (E-3) Jake Teixeira, who had been supplying top-secret information for years to his small online chat group.
A mercenary company is being introduced to be alongside the Wagner mercenaries.
Apparently, Russian soldiers are being lured in buildings in Bakhmut, then the buildings are blown up.
Piece on railway sabotage.
Putin and Ukraine.

Completely agree about Airman Jake Teixeira, he needs to get the full weight of the UCMJ thrown onto him! This is in response to a tweet by Representative Greene. Curiously, she claims Teixeria is "antiwar." I've been reading a lot of his case, but I've seen absolutely nothing suggesting he had any serious political views. Racist and antisemitic views, yes, but can't see that he was opposed to war.

Yeah, there was very clearly no public purpose behing Texieira's postings. He's not a "leaker" by any reasonable definition of the term.

Update (26 Apr): Seems Greene was engaged in wishful thinking as there's no evidence Teixeria was opposed to war in principle. There was evidence that he was a mass shooter who simply hadn't gotten around to have carried out a gun massacre.

Yep! Just had a discussion with someone about human-caused climate change (He was terribly concerned that we'd lose access to Mideast oil). This is why we need to transition to renewables!

Film clip is of a major street in Fort Lauderdale, FL. It's been turned into a river by flooding. The flooding was caused, of course, by human-caused climate change.

"It should be evident to people that I don't have a problem opposing Trump when I think he's wrong." Barr said.

Oh, okay. Barr means that when January 6th was about to happen, he quit and got outta Dodge and kept his head under the covers until that event was safely over!

Huh! How very interesting! After supporting judicial moves against abortion for decades, Republicans are being very, very quiet about the abortion pill mifepristone. Pharmaceutical companies already prefer to support Democrats politically. Look for pharmaceutical contributions to Republicans drop to zero as the Rs support bringing uncertainty into the FDA approval process.

It just truly amazes me that QAnon insisted that kids were victimized by the (unproven) pedophilia and “grooming” by Democrats, yet right-wingers see noting wrong with 12-year olds getting married!

Good! Peter Navarro has been trying desperately to keep emails out of the hands of the government. His opportunities have run out.

Video of two Russia soldiers surrendering.
Russians using Ukrainian civilian hospitals for their wounded troops. They’re also building tent camps.
Wooo! Close call!
Bakhmut holds!
Incendiary ammo used.
Should we translate the comments of the Russians who behead the Ukrainian? Nah, no point.
US Secretary of Defense meets with Ukrainian Prime Minister.

Kari Lake has been referred to as "Trump in a skirt." Senator Tim Scott is essentially just "Trump as a Black fellow." BTW, is Scott a "leader?" Not as far as I've ever been aware.

Erm, no. The candidacy of Senator Scott doesn't cause me to "panic."

Sad to see NPR dropping their membership in Twitter (Elon Musk declared that they were a government agency, just like RT or VOA, which it is not), but I certainly understand their choice. Musk is singlehandedly destroying what was once a good platform.

PBS joins NPR in dropping its Twitter account.

What Bud Light wants to do is move away from reliance on older White consumers to preserve its market share.

Good point! Bud Light is making the very move that the Republican Party desperately needs to make in order to stay relevant.

Yeah, I’m sorry, but when Senator Feinstein misses well over 50% of Senate votes because of advanced age, it’s time for her to move on and leave her job to someone who can handle it.

Update (11 May): Feinstein is back on the job. Good for her, but wow! She looks really old and frail!

Trump talks as though nobody ever discussed “nuclear winter,” a theory from back in the 80s. The idea was that setting off nuclear weapons anywhere, even if you exploded them all in Russia, the dirt kicked up by the explosions, would blot out the Sun. 

Updates to the theory reduce the impact of "nuclear winter" to something more like "nuclear autmn." .It's a little strong to say the theory is "debunked." More like "softened."

Hmm. “Why doesn't [NYC DA Bragg] want oversight?” Well, gee. Maybe the state of New York has “sovereign authority.” Perhaps “Congress has no authority to ‘conduct oversight.’” Maybe Congress is engaged in over-reach

And Bragg is not putting up with Congress trying to interfere.

A detailed description of fighting in Bakhmut.
Report of Elon Musk interfering with the app the Thread Reader.
A close look at Russian defenses.

This mifepristone case is just an extremely bad one. The FDA approved the drug in 2000. For a judge to go back and say that there were errors in how the drug was approved without showing that the drug has caused harm to the patients who have taken it. I mean, what?!?!?! No, we can't permit that sort of long-after-the-fact second-guessing!

Starting in late November 2020, Bret Baier repeatedly proposed devoting an hour-long special to debunking election fraud myths.

Interesting to know, but Froomkin’s correct. Bret Baier gets no points because he just said “Oh, okay” and went back to work and did his job anyway. A truly principled news-person would have quit and told everyone that Fox News was being irresponsible.

Aww! Al Jaffee of Mad Magazine has passed away! He was a good cartoonist.

Piece on the young medics who are assigned to Bakhmut.
More prisoner exchanges. Russia also returned 24 children!
Fearing attacks, Russia trying to restrict movements around the Starobyl and Tokmak areas.
Russia using “Syrian tactic” of indiscriminate air and artillery strikes in Bakhmut.
NY Times does deep dive on Bakhmut.
Guided bomb is Russia’s answer to Ukrainian precise munitions like HIMARS.

Excellent! Looks like the Tennessee House finally understood how badly they had messed up!

Uh, yeah. Comparing January 6th to the actions of the Tennessee Three is utterly an apples-to-oranges comparison. Two completely unalike events with nothing in common.

350 ppm (parts per million) of carbon in the atmosphere is safe. We’re now at 423 ppm, the highest level in human history.

Planting trees is far from a complete solution, but it is a positive, worthwhile step in the right direction.

For the past two days, Israeli settlers, aided by Israel occupation police, have pushed into the Al- Aqsa Mosque in order to celebrate Passover. Palestinians respond by having 140k worshippers in the Mosque. 

The heavily-armed police officers were seen pushing peaceful Muslim worshippers off their prayer mats, including elderly men, forcing them to leave the site.

Problem with CNN interviewers generally is that they seem more concerned with getting to all of their points than to stop and explore any. Representative Tony Gonzales: “'s important that we have real discussions on women's health care...” But of course CNNs Dana Bash simply allows him to continue on to discuss the border, because that’s what he really cares about. A better interviewer would have stopped to repeat that mifepristone aids women’s health. It isn’t just used for abortions. So denying women access to it has real and serious health care consequences. 

A portion of Trump’s Easter Greetings.


Voter fraud is, of course, an almost entirely theoretical problem that exists mostly in the rhetoric of right-wingers.

A few months after the series "WandaVision," someone who starred in that, Kathryn Hahn playing Agatha Harkness, was featured in Vanity Fair. It was a really comprehensive, lengthy interview! Is Melania Trump really ready for an interview that covers things like her inauguration speech (that borrowed heavily from Michelle Obama's)? The coat that declared she didn't care (children on the border were being horribly abused at the time)? Her unpreparedness to handle the 2017 White House Easter Egg Roll (her husband had to step in and take charge)? I mean, sure, if she's ready to address all that, let's see the Vogue interview!

GOP argues over ransom over debt limit increase. Not that they're holding hearings of any sort, they're just arguing behind closed doors. 

As of now, the Russian army has lost 10k vehicles (Little over 1k T-72s, over 500 other tanks) and heavy weapons (Over 350 artillery pieces, almost 200 mobile rocket systems).
“Russia has now lost 50% of all tanks that it had in active service before beginning the invasion of Ukraine.” At current rate of production, it would take Russia a decade to replace them all.
Russia was firing 60k shells a day at beginning of invasion, that fell to 10k a day, now it’s around 5k to 10k. Russia can’t hang onto Crimea if their army is out of ammunition.

Uh-oh! Trump waned to hire Laura Loomer, but Representative Greene was not having it!

Apparently Marjorie Taylor Greene plays by Highlander rules. She just criticized Laura Loomer whom Trump wants as an advisor. There can be ONLY ONE hateful unhinged anti-semitic Islamophobic woman next to Trump. There can be ONLY ONE.

Update (9 May): Loomis is interviewed by Steve Bannon for his podcast, but she doesn't appear to be working for Trump.

The connection between human-caused climate change and baseball players batting home runs.

Lots of help promised from allies, including lots of reconstruction aid.
Iftar (breaks the Ramadan fasting) now officially celebrated in Ukraine.
Russian aerial attacks are causing tremendous damage behind the lines. Ukraine needs F-16s to fight back!
Russia shows debris from “rocket.” As Ukraine is 250km away, it’s unlikely to be a rocket.
Maryinka has been holding out for over a year. Still holding strongly.

Apparently, Trump was hoping to sell his records off to the National Archives and that’s why he claimed to have been in negotiations with them. Problem was that in 1978, the Presidential Records Act made it clear that he was not in legal possession of those records. He could conduct a hostage negotiation ("Whayt will you give me for these records?"), but could not carry out any legitimate negotiation.

Interesting way to interpret the campaign finance laws. ABC News showed Trump's speech the other day (Good on MSNBC for refusing to show the speech at all), but they fuzzed out Trump's campaign contribution ad that he had plastered on the front of his podium. Don Jr. interprets that as a "campaign contribution to Democrats!"

Story of Tennessee House members being booted is all over the media, but media is both-sidesing it. A series of entirely one-sided examples is incorrectly summarized as “polarization.” Overall, actions taken by only one specific party are vaguely attributed, leaving readers to guess as to why these actions are happening.

So after thoroughly embarrassing themselves by hugely overreacting to rogue legislators making “Good Trouble,” the Tennessee House is going to embarrass itself still further? Okay. It’s their reputation they’re setting on fire!

Illustrates the stakes of our democracy today by looking at the case of the Tennessee Three.

An old problem, heavily magnified with Trump. He really appeals to his hard-core base, but the base isn’t enough to win elections. But he doesn’t have any appeal outside his base.

New batch of classified documents appear online after Ukrainian war plans appeared. Is the former president to blame?

Update (17 Apr):  No, no Trump connection. Airman Jack Teixeira of the Air National Guard in Massachusetts is the perp. 

Two contradictory rulings on abortion drug issued, meaning Supreme Court has to decide.

Russians fight each other. One soldier is expelled after they tear his shirt off.
Good to hear about the top-secret documents about Ukraine that were on-line: “The documents do not reveal details of when, how, or where Ukraine intends to launch its counteroffensive and are five weeks old.” Blogger isn’t sure that any real damage has been done.
he Muslim holiday of Ramadan is observed “everywhere, and even at the frontline, even in combat conditions.”

The Russian occupiers are actively pursuing the forced passportization of the population of the temporarily occupied territories of the Zaporizhia and Kherson regions,

Ukraine again asks for F-16s.
Wagner barracks is located and hit with HIMARS.
Ukraine delivers food supplies to civilians at Avdivka.
Night in Kyiv. Various other scenes for “Why we fight.”

Last June, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, but Justice Kavanaugh felt that traveling to another state to get an abortion was legal. Idaho’s proposed law only applies to minors, but it’s clearly a Trojan Horse to outlaw traveling for abortions.

Charlie Kirk of TPUSA drew a parallel between shooting guns and driving cars. Unfortunately, his and the NRAs “solution” is to provide armed guards everywhere, which is clearly no solution at all. Why can't we provide armed guards for at least schools?
There are over 130k different K-12 schools in the US! Figure at least two guards per school, that’s 260k guards. The Allied troops in the invasion of Normandy only numbered 133k, the German counter-offensive at the Battle of the Bulge was 200k. Isn’t it simpler to just reduce the number of combat-style weapons on America’s streets?

Last week, students protested gun violence in the Tennessee capitol. Several Democratic lawmakers joined them. In a show of authoritarianism, the Republican majority is kicking out those Democrats!

Soledad O’Brien points out that busting the two Black Democrats while letting the white Democratic woman go “Looks kinda racist.”

Biden’s statement on the action taken by the Tennessee Legislature.

The Tennessee Speaker of the House tries to defend his highly undemocratic conduct.

The blogger compares and contrasts the reaction to the very similar sit-down protest by Democrats in the US House to that of the TN Legislature. The blogger emphasizes that US Speaker Paul Ryan was not an idiot!

The Tennessee legislature clearly failed to understand that they were on the other side of the "Tennessee Three's" Good Trouble!*

*The late Representative John Lewis used this phrase frequently. It means that what you're doing is illegal, but you're doing for a good cause!

Administration spokesperson John Kirby (Why yes, he is a former Navy guy, an admiral) defends Biden's withdrawal from Afghanistan. Biden had clearly done the best he could with what he had.

The bloggers call him "Barely-Speaker," as he made it into the office by making a whole long list of promises. One of those promises was clearly to get something in terms of really big spending cuts. McCarthy isn't "Staring down a debt crisis," he helped to create the crisis! The only way to end the "crisis" is for McCarthy to tell his Freedom Caucus people that it's hopeless and that they can't possibly get their goal.

The Supreme Court under Chief Justice Roberts is by far the most corrupt since at least the early 1800s! The undisclosed gifts that Justice Clarene Thomas received put him well into the category of "appearance of conflict of interest!" Time for Congress to impose a code of ethics!

100% agree with this! Biden should be equally accountable for any crimes he commits, whether in or out of office. And yeah, Representative Comer kinda gives the game away. When you explicitly say you’re doing this to get revenge, that’s not what the law is about!

A pity to see the Kennedy family decline so badly! Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is running for president as a Democrat. He’s also an anti-vaxxer quack.

Update (4 May): Kennedy "has assembled a bizarre, crackpot coalition of fascists and anti-progressive leftists who are united in a desire to see the American system burn."

Two authors argue that we still don’t know enough about DA Bragg’s case against Trump to really evaluate it. Because every right-winger has been dismissing the case as too weak!

Presswatch examines the question “are the allegations supported by the known facts?” And answers “Yes.”

Excellent short piece on why NYC DA Bragg's charges against Trump are very highly likely to stick.

Zelenskyy makes speech in Poland.
Russians make a thermobaric MLRS strike in Bakhmut. That’s a highly effective weapon in urban fighting.
Ukrainian artillery makes up for shortage of artillery shells by being extremely accurate and making every shot count. They make heavy use of drones for directing fire.
Account from a Russian attacking Vuhledar.

Elon Musk’s feud with the press continues. 

National Public Radio denounced Twitter’s decision to label the non-profit media organization a "state-affiliated media" account, calling the move "unacceptable."

NPR gets less than 1% of its funding from the government, the bulk of the rest comes from corporate sponsorship and individual donations.

Update (3 May): "Elon Musk threatens to reassign @NPR on Twitter to 'another company'"

I put out a piece on how Russia is running very low on tanks. They’re getting a lot of tanks by dragging old tanks out of storage and re-furbishing them. They’ve been reduced to putting tanks from the 1950s into the field! When the war began a bit over a year ago, Russia had perhaps half a million artillery shells in storage. But as it’s used shells far more quickly than new ones are manufactured, they have to dig deeply into their supplies. “CNN noted that many Russian shells arriving in Ukraine were over 40 years old.”

Agree. Trump knows full well that he's putting a target onto the backs of people who were either just doing their job or just living their life. If a deranged Trump supporter attacks any of these people, Trump will consider that a "win."

(Picture of Paula Jones asking Bill Clinton "How does hush money work?")
Except that Paula Jones was not paid “hush money.” She sued and won a settlement and Bill Clinton accounted for it properly. Zero relevance between meme and the real cases.

Yep! “Persecution” of Trump boosts Dem turnout, depresses R turnout! The opposite of what were told would happen by pundits.

The Wagner mercenaries seized “the rubble of buildings that had once been the equivalent of Bakhmut’s city hall.”
The UR-77 is a Soviet mine-clearing vehicle. It does a pretty amazing job wiping out an area 90 meters long and 6 meters wide.
Tanks brought into Bakhmut. New drones.
Good cartoon, but LOTS of swearing!

About a month ago, a blogger reported that the Judiciary and Oversight Committees were pretty much just spinning their wheels, making lots of appearances on right-wing news channels, but not finding any evidence of Democratic misbehavior. Situation hasn't really changed.

Hmm, Representative Jordan makes a good point here. If Donald Trump had not been running for president, he would have had no need to have paid off Stormy Daniels because they just would have been two private citizens, no one would have cared that they had been sleeping together.

Interesting. Trump may have made off with White House documents to share them with donors, possibly to sell access to them.

By far the biggest loser of the invasion of Ukraine has been Vladimir Putin. NATO has been re-energized, Finland joins NATO, Germany and Japan are re-arming, Poland has a formidable army, Russia’s “answer to NATO,” the CSTO, is pretty much dead and China is keeping its distance.

BTW, China is paying close attention to the war in Ukraine.

Trump thinks Russia will ultimately win in Ukraine. Absolutely nobody agrees with Trump on that.

The right wing is obsessed with “woke” bankers who fund pro-climate plans. In 15 out of 19 states “that emit the most carbon per dollar of production (and, not coincidentally, are among the top oil, gas, and coal producers),” the Governor and the legislature are both dominated by Republicans. These are the states that are most strongly anti-environment.

A mass protest by Tennessee schoolchildren over guns was supported by members of the TN legislature. The legislature wants to expel those members.

Russians feel they’ve identified the woman who brought a bomb into the bar where a Russian blogger was. He was then killed. She is a resident of St. Petersberg, but is currently “at large.”
Zelenskyy wishes for Putin to “spend the rest of his days in a basement.”
Lots of unsuccessful attacks. Heavy urban fighting in Bakhmut.
Assassination attempt on a collaborator in the occupied area of Ukraine. He’s in critical condition.
A piece on a Georgian being tortured by Wagner Group.
On the “Club of Angry Patriots,” a pro-Russian group.
Russians have lost 2k officers KIA.
Ethnic minorities make up the majority of Russian casualties.

As a tween, I read a considerable amount about German generals in World War II (Patton and Eisenhower had it relatively easy with plentiful supplies and a good Commander in Chief), I broadened my reading a bit and decided that Helmuth von Moltke (the Elder), the Chief of Staff of the Prussian Army, was the The Man! Turns out here that he also developed the concept of the modern NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer). I was a Petty Officer in the Navy and a PO is essentially a maritime NCO. The point of the piece is that NATO armies, and by extension, the Ukrainian army, has NCOs as its backbone, the Russian army doesn't. The Russian army uses a much older system where officers have all of the real professional knowledge.

How badly did CBS's 60 Minutes screw up with their interview of Representative Greene? They did so badly, Steve Bannon was overjoyed at how badly they did!


If the media was truly liberal, as conservatives have asserted without evidence for over 50 years, they wouldn’t behave like this.

Our blogger examines many Republican excuses for the former president, all of which fall well short of being convincing. One very good point is that if it's "election interference" to put a leading presidential candidate on trial for a crime, then why didn't they object to putting Hillary Clinton on trial for "Her Emails?" The essential argument, that Republicans are quite rightly, hesitant to take openly, is they think Trump is above the law.

Oh, please! Right-wingers have been weaponizing Hunter Biden’s screw-ups for years! They didn’t suddenly start doing it because Trump got indicted!

When exactly did horses appear in the American West? We now believe it’s much earlier than was previously thought.

Eric Trump tells his audience that the impeachment of his father began almost immediately after Hillary Clinton had called him to concede (the blogger notes that Trump still hasn't conceded to Biden). In other words, the "Deep State" was determined to boot Trump out of office from the very beginning.

But it's very interesting how Trump rather blatantly obstructs justice when it came to the classified and unclassified documents he was illegally holding.

Ted Nugent and Kyle Rittenhouse have a discussion. What I’m seeing here are two perfectly healthy guys who aren't in Ukraine, fighting the good fight against evil! Nugent’s too old? There are still things behind the lines he could do! He could be running supplies to the front line or could be clearing mines. But instead, they’re just shooting their mouths off in comfortable circumstances.

Horrifying! A young girl of 9 years old loses three grandparents in a year and wants to keep a goat that she had raised for the 4-H club. “...sheriff’s deputies drove 500 miles to kill the goat” because the club didn’t want to “set a bad example.”

In November 2024, the Artemis will launch. It will not land on the Moon, but will go over 10k miles beyond it.

Cool! Fantastic Four movie will be out in November 2024!

Idaho’s three branches (Governor, Senate and House) are all Republican-dominated, so they’re on track to pass a bill that criminalizes "abortion trafficking," or helping a minor get abortion care out-of-state.

Russia using incendiaries in Vuhledar.
Good! “Switzerland joined the tenth sanctions package of the European Union.”
Russia chairs the UN Security Council this month.
Russia forced citizens of the city of Tokmak to adopt Russian passports.
The Ukrainian officer serving in/near Vuhledar who tweets as Tatarigami talks at length about reforms in the training of the Ukrainian army he’d like to see.
Graphs showing the land controlled by each side from month to month.
Putin glamorizes Russia’s history and recent developments. Russia wants “a just and sustainable world order” against “Western hegemony.” “Russia consistently stands for the strengthening of the legal foundations of international relations…” Yeah, never mind that there wasn’t a shred of legality to the re-invasion of Ukraine.

I've brought this up several times in the past few days, Meghan McCain said: "“Pathetic, partisan Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg..."
How does she "know" Bragg is partisan? She's engaged in mind-reading! No one has seen what Trump has been charged with, let alone the underlying evidence!
Too bad when McCain was last publicly heard from, she didn't just retire forever from political comments!

"Florida lawmakers OK carrying guns without a permit"

Seems pretty clear this is a problem of priorities. "Yeah, uncontrolled guns are a problem, but 'owning the libs' is a really fun thing to do and the GOP spends lots of money on ads, so I hardly ever see any Dem ads."

Very, very sad to see the NY Times fail so badly to understand that the indictment of Trump is actually a pro-rule of law thing!

Can’t you just hear that being declaimed in some kind of weird do-I-think-I’m-British-or -do-I-think-I’m-a-Kennedy tones? Or maybe a World War II-era newsreel narrator?

Heh! Trump expresses his displeasure at being indicted

Interesting piece on why Russia keeps attacking civilian infrastructure.

Iranians have been protesting ever since the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini. Is the protest now a “secular" one?

Letters are flying between Republican House committee heads, led by Representative Jordan and NYC DA Bragg’s office.

Book bans are getting absolutely dystopian.

TPM says:

Even if the neutral report privilege did apply, the evidence does not support that FNN [Fox News Network] conducted good-faith, disinterested reporting.

The White House joins several major media organizations in refusing to pay Twitter for “Twitter Blue” verification. Sounds to me like the concept is dead.

Zelenskyy discusses the horrors of Bucha a year later. The states that took part in the summit issue a declaration.
Desertion is a real problem on the Russian side.
Russia continues to attack civilian infrastructure.

Ukraine's Air Force now using JDAM "smart’ bombs” that are “precision-guided munitions.


If you go to the legislative description on the Congress website, the descriptions of H.R. 1 are pretty horrifying: *waiving environmental review requirements and other specified requirements under certain environmental laws, *eliminating certain restrictions on the import and…

Good news for Republicans: Americans agree there is widespread over-spending. Bad news: They don’t agree on what to cut. When you really get down to details, Americans actually want to increase spending!

Good! We had faith that Senator Fetterman would get better!

“Lithuania’s Regional Cyber Defense Center has issued a new report on Russia’s use of offensive cyber operations
“The Russians arrested Wall Street Journal Reporter Evan Gershkovich on charges of espionage.” First American to be arrested on those charges since 1986.
400 days since the re-invasion!
“UKR reports breaking up 28 RU attacks during the last 12 hours.” Attacks meant 560 casualties!
EU President talks about EU-China relationship.

Woo hoo! Finally!!! Trump is officially indicted! Trump can now hear the heavy footsteps of Justice tromping up to him!!!

Now we can really play this song! Dancin' in the Streets by Martha and the Vandellas! 

Aww! Jesse Waters is having a really hard time dealing with Trump's indictment!
And no, to bring in Bill Clinton's case is an apples to oranges example.

Detailed set of developments after Trump’s indictment.

The threat of the Florida Governor  concerning Trump's indictment is completely contrary to the rule of law Trump has a chance for a trial, he’s not simply being put into jail. He has ample opportunity to show that his arrest is politically motivated, if indeed that’s the case. Also, the dog-whistle of George Soros is a clear antisemitic message.

Yeah, this very seriously calls into question Senator Romney's credibility, the fact that "companies" do not decide on unionization, employees do. Why wouldn't a company with high turnover not also seek to unionize? Maybe there's a high turnover because it's a lousy workplace!

And Representative Bowman is 100% correct. The "good guy with a gun" theory has been tried and is only valid in about 0.02% of all cases.

From Governor Reed of Mississppi: 

In times of crisis, Mississippians stand up and they show up.

From the NY Times: “‘We’re Going Away’: A State’s Choice to Forgo Medicaid Funds Is Killing Hospitals” so, ehh, no. Mississippi does not “stand up and … show up.”

If Representative Boebert thinks the current situation is unprecedented, she should familiarize herself with the period 2019-2020, when the situation was the exact reverse. Democrats held the House and Republicans the Senate and the Presidency. The House passed bill after bill, only to have all of them simply filed away by the Senate.

Huh! I never knew that she auditioned for this! Raquel Welch was interested in playing Mary Ann of Gilligan's Isle! 

Woo hoo! A terrible error has now been corrected! The 2002 AUMF has been repealed!

The AUMF that authorized the Iraq War has been repealed. Piece looks at senators who wanted the AUMF to be used against Iran today. Yeah, I think there should be a separate declaration for that.

A deep dive on Ginni Thomas., wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Another episode in the "Kids of Bomb Shelters" series.
Interesting! It was thought that the latest vote in Italy meant that Italy would become more neutral in regards to Ukraine and Russia, but Zelenskyy is getting along fine with Giorgia Meloni, the head of the Italian government.
President Zelenskyy addresses to the Global Democracy Summit. He wants more aid, now!
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Milley says Ukrainian casualties in Bakhmut are enormous.
Many looks at the daily lives of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians.
The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) analyzes the early months of the war.
If Russians have an unrealistic view of their situation, that could affect deterrence.

From Daily Kos:

...the actions at Melitopol and other points in the south certainly have the look of ‘shaping the battlefield.’ Ukraine is striking transportation hubs, driving Russian forces from established positions, and creating chaos behind the lines. Which is all the sort of things that often come in advance of a major push into an area.

Keep in mind when reading Trump's statement and when watching the video at the end (Both talk about what a weak case NYC DA Bragg has presented), Bragg has not presented his case yet! That will only be shared with Trump's defense after the indictment is handed down.

A sad eulogy for Twitter. It was a good platform. It's only been five months since Musk bought it and it's in its death throes.

Good commentaries on the mass shootings issue.

Heh! The Fox News guest tries to go away from his anti-Democrats talking points. The host Harris Faulkner has to rein him in and redirect him!

There are now two factions in the Republican Party on mass shootings. The first tries urgently to pretend that it gives a damn and puts out a lot of nonsense solutions (side doors, drag queens, etc.). The second one just doesn't give a $%#@ and has members that just plain say so.

It isn’t wonderful that natural gas made great gains (it’s a better fossil fuel, but it’s still a fossil fuel), but it’s very good news that renewables are delivering more energy to America than coal is.

The first and most important thing the House can do before it begins negotiating finances with President Biden is to pass a budget! They haven’t done that and it looks like they won’t agree on one. Speaker McCarthy is hoping that by shouting loud enough, people won’t notice.

Nah, the term “pro-life” refers strictly and entirely to denying woman abortion rights. It’s never referred to anything broader!

How hard is sending Ukraine 31 tanks? Not very. How hard is it to include all of the support people and vehicles? Very!

Alabama ranks 46th out of 50 states on education, so when the governor found that their education fund had a $2 billion surplus in state education funds. Hmm, what to do? What to do? Hey, we know! Let's spend it on a financially troubled water park and...uh...various other projects (none of which have anything to do with education).

Hoo-wee! Dunno what kinds of drugs Mike Lindell is sniffing or smoking, but 

"We know there's the evil does not want [Trump] as our president, but when 75% of our country want him as president..." 

Polling Report actually shows Trump getting roughly 40% of the vote, which is consistent with his average approval rating while in office.

It’s Ukraine’s National Guard Day.
Zelenskyy meets with the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Russia commandeering Ukrainian hospitals to treat troops.
In Bakhmut: “UKR says RU losses include 11 main battle tanks, 15 infantry fighting vehicles and upwards of 700 Russian troops Killed in Action (KIA).”
A notable Russian music producer and an Azerbaijani businessman have an antiwar conversation.
Zelenskyy won’t launch an offensive without more weapons.
Good piece on the importance of Bakhmut.

Yes, the Taliban has a tremendous number of military vehicles that used to belong to the US. The US military says the vehicles were all disabled, though who knows how permanent the disablement was? In the comments, people make it quite clear that Trump bears the lion’s share of the blame for this.

The current Israeli government is a problem. The underlying problem appears to be Israelis are convinced of “Jewish supremacy,” the belief that Jewish people should tell Palestinians what to do. Blogger reject the two-state solution. Israelis and Palestinians must share the same state.

ABC News video tells us what’s going on in Israel. 

Reuters video, same subject.

Sounds like the relatively small-sounding charge of “falsifying of business records” is the strongest aspect of the NYC DA Bragg’s case.

Yeah, I read a detailed comparison of the Trump vs the John Edwards cases. There are differences, but there are many similarities. Doesn’t sound as though the salacious aspects of the case will result in any damage to Trump.

Blogger figures DeSantis is now the victim of groupthink. People believe he’s lost to Trump, so Trump grows larger in their imaginations.

Yeah, what are US troops still doing in Syria, five years after ISIS was said to have been defeated?

The camera pans over a crowd at Waco, TX, waiting to hear Trump speak. But hey, don't call them a cult!

The blogger reviews the Trump rally of last nigh so you don't have to watch or read any more than necessary. Kind of amazing. Do these people actually believe anything that guy says? If so, yeah, they shouldn't be trusted with any complex equipment that they might hurt themselves with!

Representative Jordan seeks to make former President Trump immune to justice.

If the Iraq War was intended to increase US power and influence, it was a complete failure. But the leader who has learned the least from the Iraq War has been Vladimir Putin. The blogger has no use for “tankies,” people who believe that the US is the only imperialist power on the planet.

Not being able to make any progress on the battlefield, Russia turns its artillery towards civilian settlements.
Our blogger figures the announced building of a facility in Belarus to hold nuclear weapons is a psy-op to appeal to isolationist elements in the West.
Zelenskyy talks of receiving European assistance.
The use of drone-dropped tear gas in cleaning out trenches full of soldiers. If the soldiers leave their dugouts, they then get his by fragmentation grenades. Standard gas masks are effective protection.
The NY Times takes a look at Americans who have traveled to the front in Ukraine, some of who performed heroic and selfless service. Others? Ehh, not so much.

Heh! All of the Texas representatives have suddenly found someplace they can be, besides of course at Waco with Trump’s rally!

Cigna makes an excellent case for single-payer health care or essentially, the ACA/Obamacare for everyone! Private, profit-seeking corporations simply do not mix well with health care, a lesson that just about every other wealthy, industrialized nation has learned.

Truly amazing that Kathy Hochul is New York State's first woman governor. She seems determined to show New Yorkers that they should never elect a woman again. Big problem is that she's apparently taking the advice of the former mayor of NYC, Michael Bloomberg, who appears to like pro-wealthy, neoliberal politics.

But for all his fancy talk, objectivity as practiced in our elite newsrooms is a construct of comfortable white cis men.

I think the WaPo writer misunderstands the meaning of the term “objectivity.” I think what people really want is “accuracy.” We want doctors to make accurate diagnoses, judges to understand the law and to apply it accurately. Journalists to accurately locate where the truth lies and to convey that to us. “Objectivity” is a means to an end. It isn’t an end in itself.

Very, very serious report on the environment. Humanity can turn things around, but we need to act! Now!

Seems Trump is trying to get a riot going! Is there actually a Soros connection to NY DA Bragg? 

Bragg received support in his 2021 campaign from a liberal group that endorses progressive prosecutors, which Soros donated to.

Representative Jordan knows nothing about Trump’s comments concerning “death and destruction.”

Sigh! Another “glorious victory” for Russian forces.
Mass Russian shelling of civilian targets.
Security Service of Ukraine has been reorganized.
Mass offensive actions, no enemy success anywhere.
Production of UAVs simplified, so that many more of high quality can be produced.
Russian soldiers complain of lack of support.

“...a Ukrainian orphanage and the Russian re-invaders.”

Lots and lots of terrible things going on in foreign policy. Gee, who exactly is responsible for the world being such a mess? Democratic representatives do an excellent job of getting answers out of Secretary of State Blinken.

Hard agree on this! If the opposition party had wanted to fix our immigration/border problems, why didn’t they do anything during Trump’s first two years when they held the House, the Senate and the Presidency? They could be working with Democrats in a cooperative manner instead of continually complaining!

Kari Lake loses yet again. Ehh, don’t worry. Like Trump, she’ll keep insisting that she won.

Kidnapped and returned Ukrainian children describe Russian psychological torments.

“Even the historical museum in Beryslav is a threat to Russia for some reason”

Zelenskyy is being protected by crowds of security personnel wherever he goes, but he does run the very real risk of getting hit by a shell, bomb or missile.

“May the power of prayer in this holy month of Ramadan help us cleanse Ukraine of Russian godless evil..”

Mig-29 fighter jets from Slovakia. US offers to give Slovakia 12 new helicopters in return.
Many items about aircraft.

The judge in this case insisted on seqestering the jury before it appeared in court. They were also kept anonymous throughout the testimony.

The Federal judge handling E. Jean Carroll’s rape/defamation lawsuits against Donald Trump just gave Trump a treatment generally reserved for mafia bosses and terrorists.

Y'see, the problem with investigating the personal life of a District Attorney is that the DA knows he or she has to present their case to a jury. They can't rely on "We all know Trump's a bum," they need facts and evidence. Everybody has viewpoints! What separates a professional is the ability to put on an "objective" hat. A professional is someone who can put their personal prejudices aside and can present a case with just the real and honest facts.

The Manhattan DA’s general counsel Leslie B. Dubeck says that the reason for calling for Bragg’s testimony is not “a legitimate basis for congressional inquiry.”

Yes, US hypocrisy in approving of the International Criminal Court’s condemnation of Russia for kidnapping Ukrainian children, while at the same time, the US broke international law in its invasion of Iraq, is appalling. Does that mean we shouldn’t support the ICC in it’s condemnation of Russia? Of course not. But we should be aware of the double standard and should work to hold members of the younger George Bush Administration accountable.

Women in states with abortion bans are nearly three times more likely to die during pregnancy, childbirth or soon after giving birth.

Zelenskyy poses with some young people.
Zelenskyy makes a surprise visit to Bakhmut to issue awards for valor.
41 air strikes and “rockets hit a residential multi-storey building.” Russia pressuring Ukrainians to get Russian passports or they’ll lose their pensions.

Fragments of projectiles and casings collected after plowing just one field

Naval drone attack the Russian-occupied military base of Sevastopol.
Russian cemetery that was empty just a few months ago.
Russia putting T-54 tanks into service. They date back to 1946.

Politico reported our losses of 100,000 [KIA, MIA & WIA]. Yet, then Politico immediately gives information that Ukraine’s counteroffensive will begin in May.

A rangefinder is an extremely small, compact and quite valuable item both to thieves and for military purposes. A shortage of them, and the lack of ability to ramp up production of them, is a really crucial weakness for the Russian army.

I agree with the commenter. Senator Graham says that busting former President Trump would set a precedent. Yes, a very positive and pro-democratic precedent!

Ukraine strikes deeply into occupied territory, destroys an unknown number of multi-million dollar drones. Really cool 21-minute video about how drones in Rwanda are used to deliver goods directly to people's backyards. Bonus is that the delivery method reduces car use on the roads.

My own reading of the situation is that the US, by supplying Ukraine with weapons, is absolutely chewing up Russian forces and rendering the country incapable of launching an attack against anyone else for years. China is observing this in the context of wanting to grab Taiwan. Biden’s policies are working!

Yeah, I think the “blue slips” tradition (senators should be able to veto a judge’s nomination who’s from their home state) has come and gone. It served a purpose back in the day, but just like the filibuster, it’s no longer useful.

Arizona’s had a bipartisan consensus that their politics had no place for dark money. Naturally, the dark money people want to protect their anonymity. Lengthy piece, but I didn’t see any compelling argument in favor of secrecy.

NYC DA Alvin Bragg has no patience with conspiracy-mongering Republican Congressmen.

Kind of interesting that Representative Jordan thinks that, once Trump announced that he was running for president again, that the legal accusation was sort of spontaneously manufactured out of thin air.

Russian missiles took out Kyiv’s lights, those lights are now restored.
Looking at a Soldier with PTSD.
Zelenskyy celebrates the first reverse of the Russian invasion.
Zelenskyy welcomes the Prime Minister of Japan.
Russian forces at Bakhmut being attrited.
Wagner mercenary group warns that Ukrainians will launch offensive in a month or so.

Essentially, yes. Speaker McCarthy is arguing that politicians should be above the law. As Trump is a former president and not an active one, politicians should get permanent immunity, that is, there should be an ever-growing class of people who can ignore the law.

This is exactly what I said about the shooting in Uvalde, TX, and all kinds of people declared that “Well, in theory, the cops shouldn’t have reacted out of fear!” No, they shouldn’t have, but they did!

Really? So former Congressman Trey Gowdy thinks it’s normal to pay $130k for sex? Gowdy says the New York District Attorney promised not to bust people for “paying for sex,” but is that really all Trump was paying for?

Former VP Cheney and leaks of info.
Post on 20th anniversary of Iraq War. Great piece on the “snipe hunt” of searching for WMD in Iraq.

1 million 155mm rounds for Ukraine, thanks to Estonia.
Explosion of a cruise missile occurs in Northern Crimea.
Thread on Bakhmut. City is being held by newly-mobilized troops in order to permit more extensive training for troops further in the rear.
Ukraine impatiently awaits F-16s.

Zelenskyy makes it clear. Ukrainians want all occupied land to be returned to them!
One real challenge for Ukrainians is conducting a war with a mature social media environment. Every one from average Soldiers to division commanders can complain and the top people in the chain of command can get their complaints in real time.
“United24 charity platform has crossed the $300 million mark in donations.”
“...our pyrotechnics and explosives specialists have already inspected more than 100 thousand hectares of territory. (p) Over 400 thousand enemy shells have been neutralized.”
“...the Russian occupiers continue to commit looting, taking away housing from peaceful citizens of Ukraine.”
Russians take major losses while attacking Avdiivka.
Remembering Mariupol.

Our blogger looks back at the beginning of the Iraq War. He foresaw that “The war will inevitably be seen in the Arab world as a neo-colonial war.”

20 years after the invasion of Iraq, examining the lack of democracy in that country. Blogger talks about the institution Freedom House and how it measures freedom in countries.

Putin visits Mariupol. Y’know, another dictator visited the same city back in 1941. History doesn’t necessarily repeat itself, but it does often rhyme!

Speaker McCarthy strongly objects to the Manhattan District Attorney, y'know, doing his job!!! Alvin Bragg's job is not to overlook crimes just because a former president committed them! Also, "Soros-backed DA" is a grossly and blatantly antisemitic charge to make!

Ian Williams draws an extremely important distinction here. Is China pressing for a "ceasefire" or for a "peace?" A ceasefire would benefit Russia because that would allow it to reconstitute its forces and to re-start the war once their army and industry are sufficiently rebuilt.

Reagan probably would have won the presidency in 1980 anyway, but Harold Pollack feels bad that he helped Reagn win. Pollack says Reagan’s team was more crooked than many people thought. I welcomed his arrival into office, but I had gotten pretty thoroughly disillusioned by the summer of 1981. And yeah, I opposed the covert operations in Nicaragua and El Salvador and thought the “October Surprise” was a real thing once I started reading about it.

There’s evidence the Biden family was taking money from China, but that investigation is still in its early stages. No idea as to why or what China expected in return.

Wow! Ukraine zaps 10 tanks in a single night!
Ukraine is defending the people of Syria by fighting Russia.
Ukraine doesn’t mobilize women without their consent.
No one goes to the front without training. There is a hotline you can get on if you are sent to the front unprepared.
Mobiks make hopeless plea.
Putin is seen limping.
Alexei Navalnys wife interviewed.

More racism from Florida Governor DeSantis, he’s just not as obvious about it as Trump was.

Not a final assessment, but it looks like the raccoon dogs of Wuhan are the perps who spread Covid!

More jets to Ukraine!
“The International Criminal Court issued a warrant of arrest for Putin.” At least 16k Ukrainian children have been scattered around in Russia.
General Staff summarizes the front.
Slovakia sending jets to Ukraine.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Good stuff! City of Philadelphia gets torn apart!

Aww! That's great news! Smiles and happiness all around! Free school lunches for all the students in the state, no income test!

Donald Trump attorney Evan Corcoran provided a sworn statement that federal authorities had retrieved all of the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, after which several hundred documents were found. Corcoran afterwards testified that he couldn't answer certain questions due to attorney-client privilege. Judge has now ruled that he must testify due to crime-fraud exception!

Very interesting that while Hunter Biden's physical laptop computer was indeed subject to being possessed by the repairs shop owner, who then could have resold it, the data should have been wiped and should never have been viewed.

Very happy to see this! Long since time the AUMF was repealed! Back in 2016, President Obama used the AUMF to authorize a war against ISIS. I certainly supported fighting ISIS, but it was troubling that Congress didn't simply pass something new. Happy to see that any new wars will require fresh authorization.

As the world economy passes the $100 trillion mark, from 1950 to 2021, trade grew by 4,300%. The price though, has been in environmental degradation and the rise of greenhouse gases that threaten us with human-caused climate change. Transportation for trade plays a large role in that. Many are determined to keep “free trade” going regardless of the cost.

Remembering the bombing of the theater in Mariupol, a truly horrid war crime as it was clear that it contained nothing but civilian refugees. Ukrainians are looking forward to the tribunal where Russia will be charged with that.
Lots of unsuccessful attacks. Russia continues to steal grain.
Russia makes gains in Bakhmut.
The Russians have been building the “Surovikin” line and it seems to built pretty well to stop tanks, but there are a number of problems with it, owing to it being built by civilians and with no military advice.
Sending fighter jets to Ukraine.
Lithuania will have sent 450 million Euros worth of aid to Ukraine.
Various tweets on Europe and Canada.
Video of Russian attack on US drone.
Wagner freed prisoners to fight in Ukraine. An interview with some of them.

Fox News host Maria Bartiromo and Senator Rand Paul agree that Ivermectin was a fine, fine Covid remedy.

The fellow who runs Daily Kos details some of the idiots who died from "eating horse paste" that is, Ivermectin.

There's a right-wing database that charges various groups with giving millions to BLM. Sample: 

Claremont lists 3M pledging a whopping $50 million to “BLM.” But the cited document, published in September 2020, appears to be mainly focused on supporting STEM learning in Black communities. It’s a pledge of $50 million over 5 years…

Senator Scott asks why, when individuals balance their family budgets, why can’t the federal government? Actually, American families and businesses take on debt all the time.

Mike Pompeo is as misinformed as Senator Scott is.

Zelenskyy honors Fox News reporters who were killed by the Russians a year ago.
Russian SU-25 bomber shot down.
Wagner mercenaries accuse Russia of preventing them from taking Bakhmut by denying them ammunition. Also, Wagner group is running recruiting ads on the adult site Pornhub.
Russian soldier in hiding for six months decides to surrender.
Russians talk about recovering the shot-down American drone.

Chef José Andres has the perfect response to a Minnesota state legislator who feels that there are no hungry people in his state because he’s never personally met anyone of that description.

Dear Senator: Don’t be like that. Let’s us walk you out around Minnesota and show you where hunger exist. Hunger is hidden, but is around. Makes our communities less successful. Makes people not able to thrive….come with me to any low income neighborhood in USA…!

At the end of this lengthy piece, the blogger looks at the US drone that was taken down by the Russian jet over international waters. Nope, doesn't look like an accident, but rather like a deliberate provocation by Russia.

Very good point. A Congressman goes on about the wonderful effects of Trump’s 2017 tax cut, but our commenter notes that no one brought up the tax cut during the 2022 mid term election.

An Oklahoma lawmaker defends "corporal punishment for kids with disabilities in schools."
After that, people wondered why Volkswagen chose Canada instead of the US to build a new factory!

I agree. Bethany Mandel was unable to describe what “Woke” meant because even though she wrote on the subject, it’s a term that supposed to inspire the viewer to supply their own meaning.

And yes, excellent comment!

Update on her.

Hmm, so she's asked to define "Woke," which has been a major topic in her writing. She can't, due to some BS "brain freeze" and now, given a whole article in which she can take her time and produce a careful definition, she still can't define the term!

Hmm, no. I agree with Soledad O’Brien. I just can’t see that Trump is “brilliant on policy and the big picture…”

Representative James Comer makes up a whole bunch of stuff to justify treating Biden in a tougher way than Trump was. BTW, Trump was not negotiating with the National Archives on whether documents were classified or not. All of the documents, classified or not, had to be turned in!

"21 'Pro-Life' GOPers Want Death Penalty For Women Who Have Abortions"
See, the problem when you morally promote a zygote or a fetus to the level of a fully-grown adult is that you get bizarre results like what the blogger describes. That's why I use the term "anti-choicer" instead of the term they'd prefer. 

Hmm, in the video that Tucker Carlson presents, supporters of the January 6th attempted autogolpe think it’s exonerating to have some of the perps talking about the right to peaceably assemble after they’ve violently broken into the Capitol. Uh-huh. Okay.

Prosecutors push back on claims that Tucker Carlson’s videos cleared anybody.

Yeah, Howard Kurtz comes with a very iffy and questionable theory in order to bring the First Amendment into the Fox News/Dominion voting machine case. Primary problem is that Fox News wasn’t merely commenting on allegations that the 2020 election was stolen, they were actively promoting that theory.

"On the defensive, Kevin McCarthy resorts to Jan. 6 ‘whataboutism’"
Speaker McCarthy uses the “whataboutism” defense quite frequently. But in this case, it's an apples to oranges comparison. The response to the street execution of George Floyd was violent, but the violent phase was soon over and BLM turned to peaceful protests. January 6th was a planned and organized attempt at an autogolpe, a "self-coup."

It’s kind of a problem for those Republicans who want to radically change the budget that actually, Biden’s policies are working quite well, thank you very much!

170k square kilometers have been liberated, but still not cleared of mines or unexploded ordinance and we’re approaching farming season.
Russians renew offensives.
Colonel-General Syrskyi is in charge of Bakhmut and he has thoughts
Le’s be realistic about how much ground a new offensive will take.
They’re having a "Kids of Bomb Shelters" series.

Just as with the train derailment in East Palestine OH, the problem with the Silicon Valley Bank has less to do with "Woke" policies and far more to do with Trumps deregulations during his single term in office. Had the regulations been kept in place, it's unlikely that either problem would have occurred.

The Iranian rebellion that started eight months ago never really stopped, but has now issued formal demands.
The hijab was a symbol of rejecting the West’s codes of morality, now it is a symbol of oppression.

Greta Thunberg deletes 2018 tweet saying world will end in 2023 after world does not end

Ehh, whatevuh. The important question is whether or not Earth is headed in that direction, and yes it is.

NASA points out that 350 parts per million (ppm) is the safe level of carbon in the atmosphere. The Earth is currently at 419 ppm and the average global temperature is up by 1.1 degrees Centigrade since 1750 (beginning of large-scale burning of coal). Sea level is up 4 inches since January 1993. Oceans are getting warmer and sea ice is shrinking.

Yeah, I don’t see much of a distinction between Russia’s 2022 re-invasion of Ukraine and the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Putin himself drew a comparison at the beginning of this invasion.

Whenever people advocate for school choice (the state funds tuition for private and parochial, as well as public schools), they have a strong preference for working through state legislatures rather than to bring their proposal to the voters. The grades of students who go to private or religious schools are no better than those for public schools.

Ukrainian power grid damaged by Russian missiles. Ukrainians fix it.
More on Dmytro Kotsiubailo, whose funeral was yesterday.
Russian mob inside BND (Germany’s CIA).
Russia faces a serious manpower problem. Losses for January 2023 were 795 per day. Compared with 337 for North Korea during that war and 448 for Vietnam during that war, but not as bad as Germany in World War I, which was 1,272 per day.
Leopard 1A5 tanks on the way! Our blogger advocates sending everything possible.
Pakistan is offering T-80UD tanks in return for financial assistance.

Who blew up the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that was supplying natural gas from Russia to Europe?  Lots of theories. No one has enough evidence to pin down the perp(s). Interesting idea about a German yacht. Maybe, if materials were pre-positioned.

I think the essential difference between the neocons that Max Boot describes and my liberal self and my buddies in the anti-war movement is that I was always aware of the limits of military force to introduce democracy. I always understood that overthrowing the dictator is only a first step. The US, at the minimum, needed to deploy a "Colonial Corps" that would direct substantive resources to the towns and cities of Iraq.

How are Russians able to field enough tanks to keep going?

Oh, okay. So, according to Russia, their foreign policy problems with the rest of the world are all due to “Russophobia,” which is kind of like Trump blaming “Trump Derangement Syndrome” for people wanting to prosecute him. From the vantage point of  both of them, their problems are all due to inexplicable, irrational, unthinking hatred on the part of others.

The far-right House Freedom Caucus has decided on its hostage demand, for which it will raise the debt limit. Biden (Good for him!) essentially responds "eff y'all!"

Details on their budget demand.

More on the far-right Freedom Caucus and their federal budget plan.

So I'm looking through Twitter, trying to find Speaker McCarthy's response to Biden's budget proposal and find McCarthy's proposal to extract more carbon-based fuels from the ground. Near the end of his spiel, he says "There's no downside to this!" Erm, yeah, except that more carbon in the atmosphere means more human-caused climate change and thereby more droughts, really large storms, etc.

Russia was in demographic trouble anyway, with declining life expectancy, but the war in Ukraine has made the supply of young and middle-aged men very short. "And because so many men of fighting age are dead or in exile, women now outnumber men by at least 10m."

Lengthy thread in answer to the people who say there are only two genders.

Florida Governor “DeSantis was stationed [at Guantánamo Bay] around that time, serving as a trial counsel (aka prosecutor) in the [Navy] Office of the Staff Judge Advocate at Guantánamo for at least six months between March 2006 and January 2007”

Crater left by S-300 missile. Over a dozen such missiles hit Kharkiv.
“RU fired 81 missiles of various types at UKR last night, as well as 8 Shahed 136s.“
After several missiles hit utilities, work at restoring power is in full swing.
“ a result of this strike, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was disconnected from the power grid again.”
“Ukraine has achieved the greatest national unity in its history.”
A father and son die together near Bakhmut.
Slovakia considers giving Ukraine their old MIG-29 fighters.
“Today is the birthday of Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861), a great Ukrainian artist and poet” Thread with his many paintings.

The President is putting out a bold budget plan, daring Republicans to respond to it.

Speaker McCarthy says that Biden's budget spends too much and that raising taxes to cover the deficit is a no-go. Can't do it. Sounds to me like he's got to come up with highly specific cuts that America as a whole can live with. I very seriously doubt he can do that. Ball's in his court. It's up to him to produce a plan.

A problem Republicans have had with budget cuts for decades has been that they don’t want to say what, exactly, they want to cut. Democrats rub their faces in that fact.

Update (17 April): McCarthy made a speech at the NY Stock Exchange in which it was clear that, no, he still hasn't come up with anything resembling a plan.

Senate Minority Leader McConnell is an 81-year old who had a bad fall (9 March). Nothing amusing about that.

Update (18 April): McConnell returns to the Senate.

So the Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis admits that one or more of the standards that she violated were "dishonesty, fraud, deceit, OR misrepresentation.” None of that is good or defensible. A commenter says that she was found guilty of misrepresentation, or in other words, of lying.

Love it! Protesters in Tbilisi, Georgia, are telling the police they love them. Police then dispersed them anyway. “Rallies will definitely continue.”
“UN Secretary-General António Guterres visited Kyiv.”
Russians launched 30 assaults on village of Dubovo-Vasylivka in one day.
Wagner mercenaries still complaining of insufficient ammunition.
“Ukraine is firing an average of 110,000 155mm artillery rounds per month (1/4 of what Russia is firing)” Ukraine is asking for 250k rounds per month.
Ukraine is talking about investing so that it can be successful in 2024-2025.
Cybersecurity is a big concern in Ukraine.
The US 2023 Threat Assessment is out.
Georgians are carrying out really big pro-EU demonstrations and flying the Ukrainian flag in sympathy. Policeman takes off uniform and joins the crowd!

The blogger tells us a story that seems awfully familiar. Turns out the story is about Georgia in 2003. Lots of similarities between Georgia and Ukraine.
Georgians are now engaged in really big demonstration in Tbilisi. Government is trying to crush NGOs. Awesome video of Georgian citizen stubbornly waving the EU flag while being sprayed by a firehose!
Updates on Ukraine.

Ukraine is essentially planning to repeat last Fall's offensive, probably in the late Spring or early Summer. Basically, they're going to engage in an extensive period of training and equipping and then they'll strike with a mailed fist. Russians, in the meantime, will exhaust themselves by launching "zerg" attacks against increasingly tough Ukrainian defenses.

Interesting that, because Senate Minority Leader McConnell is not pro-insurrectionist, Musk considers him to no longer be a "real" Republican.

Lithium is used in electric vehicles and Iran has really large deposits of the stuff! “It is emerging as the world’s most strategically important mineral…” At present, we only know of 89 million tons of it, but geologists haven’t really begun looking for it yet.

They’ve identified the fellow who was executed by the Russians. Tymofii Shadura of the 30th Separate Mechanized Brigade.
Ukrainian forces at village of Dubovo-Vasylivka repelled 37 Russian attacks in one day.
Big losses on both sides in Bakhmut.
For many Russian soldiers, the war was an opportunity for financial gain.
Accusations on “blowing the NordStream2 pipeline.” Not much evidence Ukraine did it.
Troubles in Tbilisi, Georgia.

A Congressman condemns Joe Biden for "weak leadership" because four Americans were kidnapped, two of which were shot.
Kind of a problem with that assertion is that an NY Post story says that they: "... were abducted at gunpoint in broad daylight on March 3, shortly after they crossed the border from Texas into the crime-ridden border city of Matamoros." (emphasis added) In other words, Biden had absolutely zip to do with it.

Interesting theory:

Rep. Greg Steube says he thinks China may have intentionally unleashed covid on the world because Trump was so tough on them...

If Trump had simply handled Covid in a reasonably competent manner, it would not have been the dire liability that it was.

"Netanyahu: 'I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons'"
Absolutely amazing that this piece doesn't mention Obama's nuclear deal of 2015. Obama had gotten Iran to give up its nuclear program. Iran's nuclear weapons program was dead and then Trump revived it.

Rolling Stone reviews Tucker Carlson’s revisionist history of January 6th based on surveillance tapes.

So, just as many suspected he would, Tucker Carlson of Fox News showed us many scenes of the "peaceful" January 6th protesters just innocently wandering around the Capitol in an orderly manner. Never mind the fact that a great many of them engaged in violence before and after those scenes occurred. And no, they were NOT correct in their belief that the 2020 election was stolen. Here we are, more than two years after it occurred, and no evidence has been produced.

Well, Elon Musk was convinced by Tucker Carlson’s video.

Good! Fellow Republicans call BS on Tucker Carlson’s video.

Democrats push back strongly on Tucker Carlson’s revisionist video.

A Ukrainian martyr is born! He showed utter contempt for his executioners.
Zelenskyy consulted with his people and decided to continue to hold Bakhmut for as long as possible.
US Secretary of Defense is confident that Ukraine will hold Bakhmut, but if it’s lost, they’ll survive.
Report from the Kyiv Independent.
Concerning report about Ukrainian troops not being properly supported.

Ooh! Ow! So mean! Yeah, the Biden Administration clearly doesn’t take Marianne Williamson seriously at all!

"How a single engineer brought down Twitter on Monday"
Presented because Steve Doocy of Fox News is recommending that "Elon Musk is the solution to train derailments in the US."

Also, an assessment of Musk's software development process.

Zero code reviews before commit.
Zero deployment to an integration environment.
Zero Continuous Improvement Testing.
Zero Quality Assurance Validation.
Zero chance that Mister Melon Husk knows what ANY of that is.
Zero chance this isn't a regular occurrence.

John Bolton very poorly (and unconvincingly) explains why he went to work for Trump in the first place and, even less coherently, why he refused to testify in Trump's impeachment. I don't agree that there was anything Democrats could have brought up that would have resulted in Trumps removal from office, but no, it was not "malpractice" to go ahead with the impeachment anyway.

I knew a lot of this, but hadn't heard about the Democratic Mayor of Minneapolis asking the Democratic Governor of Minnesota for National Guard assistance with unrest in the city. The Governor's request for the Guard went out and seven hours later, President Trump called for the same thing. In Trump's CPAC speech, he portrayed the Democrats as not doing anything and himself as the hero who saved the day.

Just in case you missed it, a six-minute summary of this years CPAC (sound goes up and down a lot).

Agree! This fellow doesn’t appear to understand that the trans movement is not a movement aimed at doing anything to straight people. It’s a movement where people want to live their lives in a way that feels right to them.

Senator Rand Paul thinks he’s found a “Gotcha!” A scientific journal predicted that Arctic ice would be gone by 2016.

The rate of shrinkage may be off, but NASA says Arctic sea ice is definitely shrinking.

"Ukraine update: Russia is inviting the pro-Putin American right to come join them (but BYO toilet)"
Ehh, 25 acres of land isn’t too bad. Settlers on the Great Plains back in the late 1800s did pretty much the same thing these modern-day settlers would be asked to do, that is, to build a house and work the land, going into town two or three times a year to sell their crops. Of course settlers back then built houses out of sod bricks and what little wood was available, there was no electricity and no indoor plumbing and most certainly no wi-fi! But sure, Russia’s going to find 7 million white folks who will go for this deal!

I looked at the Chinese “peace deal.” It’s a pretty vague statement of principles that doesn’t mention the disposition of territory during the talks. Naturally, the Russians would want to have their troops stay right where they are. The Ukrainians want Russian troops to go back to the borders of 2014, leaving Crimea and the Donbas. If Russian troops stay where they are, they can simply use the talking time to re-constitute their forces and to start the war up again as soon as they feel they’re ready.

Representative Jordan, the head of the House Judiciary Committee, presented three “whistleblowers” who are actually quite close to people of the former Trump Administration, some got financially remunerated, had ties to Trump allies and they’re all believers in conspiracy theories.

Also, y’all might notice that the Weaponization of the Federal Government subcommittee hasn’t found anything yet, very likely because there simply isn’t anything to find.

Bakhmut increasingly encircled.
State Anti-Corruption Program approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
“First Lady Zelenska’s remarks at the United for Justice Conference.”
“...sexual violence as a weapon by the Russian army in Ukraine”
Russian Minister of Defence Shoigu.
Russian “mobiks” make a futile plea.
Reporters get “embedded” with a helicopter unit for a few days.

This was a problem that the US ran into with Vietnam. Suppression of dissent doesn’t stay within nice, neat boundaries. Nixon’s “plumbers” arose out of the attempt to locate the author of the Pentagon Papers and there were former CIA operatives among them who took the same approach to Americans as they previously had to foreigners. A group of Jewish people and Palestinian-Israeli citizens tried to protest Netanyahu’s latest policies and found themselves treated as Palestinians usually get treated.

Trump at first tried to support the January 6th self-coup (autogolpe) attempt, distanced himself from it, now he’s back to supporting it.

Russia is digging trenches all along the shores of Crimea.
Ukraine is preparing an international law case against Russia’s actions in Ukraine. The UN General Assembly will vote on it. “And here’s his address to the United for Justice Conference.“
Zelenskyy visits hospital to see the troops.
The retreat from Bakhmut is preparing to get underway.
Heh! Both this blog and Daily Kos refuse to post the Prigozhin video.
Yet another village where people stay put.
Ukraine’s biggest need is for artillery pieces and ammo.
France providing jets.
Training in Germany.
Request for donations.

Vuhledar is just chewin’ ‘em up an’ spittin’ them out! The town has really flat ground in front of it, so defending it is easy. 

Now there's a blast from the past! Sirius XM does have a folk music station, but only in the larger home version, not in the smaller car version, so I sometimes listen to their punk rock station. Just now heard a punk rock version of "The Man Who Never Returned," which was one of the first songs I learned the words to!

So now that Representative Jordan’s committee has been up and running for a while now, it’s become clear that he really doesn’t have any evidence with which to condemn the Biden Administration. So much for the hysterically overheated descriptions of “Biden crime family.”

Update (4 Apr): A month later, the Judiciary and Oversight Committees are still pretty much just spinning their wheels.

India joins China in telling Putin that any use of nuclear weapons would be unacceptable.

I believe I did indeed hear that Trump liked having people argue a policy before him, but his team, on a scale of 1 to 10,with 10 being far right, was strictly 7 or above. He had no leftists or centrists serving him. So the “different points of view” were all within a very narrow range.

Unfortunately, not surprising that companies are succumbing to pressure to not dispense abortion pills.

Heh! His argument is that the left has chilled male-female relationships.  

Dennis Prager: "I make no defense here for sexual harassment. However, the attempt to create a world where there is no pain is at the root of all progressive/leftist/woke policies"

Hmm, dunno, sounds to me like "progressive/leftist/woke policies" are pretty good ones that should be widely enforced! 

Wow! About 5k people remain in Bakhmut, even knowing that they won’t like being under Russian occupation.
The flat, open space in front of Vuhledar makes it pretty much impossible to overcome.
A drone attack on an airbase.
An attack was made over the border by a group “made up largely of ostensible anti-Putin Russian far-right extremists in Ukraine.”

Mike Pence:

To ignore a looming debt crisis that is driven by social security and medicare is unconscionable.

Really? Hmm, and where was Pence's allegedly deep and serious concern when Trump got a massive, unpaid-for tax cut passed in 2017? Nah, this "crisis" is complete BS.

Trump’s Iran policy came back to bite Biden. It was obvious at the time that Trump’s policy was really terrible. Recent discoveries confirm this.

Why former Speaker Paul Ryan is like an ostrich. Why Ryan just keeps on failing.

US gives 5.9% of its military budget to Ukraine, 14 nations give a larger percentage.
Zelenskyy celebrates Ukraine getting through the Winter in reasonably good shape.
Bakhmut situation is deteriorating, but Ukraine continues to hold it.
According the head of the Wagner mercenaries, Prigozhin, Ukraine is reinforcing Bakhmut, not retreating.
British-made six-minute video on the 68th Brigade.
Vuhledar continues to hold, taking a major toll in Russian men and equipment.
A Japanese member of the Yakuza joined Ukraine’s military.

AG Garland testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, saying that “white supremacists are currently the ‘most dangerous and most lethal’ domestic terror group in the United States.”

Representative Raskin points out, yet again, that AT&T is a privately-owned company and that their programming decision to drop Newsmax is not something that senators and representatives are properly concerned with.

Representative Swalwell explains why his Republican colleagues have created a deficit of trust and why the two sides aren’t getting along.

Bakhmut might not hold out for too much longer. Russians are paying dearly for every meter gained, but if the ratio of losses becomes too even, Ukrainians will withdraw.
The incredible losses in front of Vulhedar.

Update (4 Apr): Bakhmut's still holding out! The Ukrainian chain of command decided to hold on anyway, despite the casualties. Russians have made a few blocks of progress over the past month, but that's it. 

Religion is rapidly losing favor among the young. Exploring the meaning of secularization today.

The lies of Fox News and how they couldn’t stop.

Zelenskyy talks about himself and how he relates to his family in wartime.
Soldier explains how he keeps clean in the trenches.
Recruitment video in Japanese.
Ukrainians are sick and tired of everyone wanting to own their productive, fertile land. A discussion of the making of Medieval rye bread.

Biden shows how to ridicule his opponents with a bit of class and style.


Huh! So former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (One of the most useless, inconsequential Speakers ever) scolded Rupert Murdoch behind closed doors because, Heaven forfend!, he didn't want to do anything that might have interrupted the flow of money from being on the Fox Board of Directors.

Uuh...whut?!?!?! Representative Greene makes a sound and sensible point? She does, actually. She’s very rightly concerned that releasing too much footage of the January 6th tapes could tell foreign adversaries things that we’d prefer they not know. Wish she’d realized that earlier, but better late than never.

Good! A plurality of voters blame the correct party for the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine.

Railroad unions “denounced a business model known as ‘precision scheduled railroading,’ which aims to boost profits by running bigger and faster trains with smaller crews”
Yep, we need to nationalize the railroads.

CNN continues its lurch to the right. Why aren’t viewers informed they’re watching a lobbyist for Norfolk Southern discussing the East Palestine train derailment in East Palestine?

"Scott's speech was a relentlessly partisan screed accusing Joe Biden and 'the left' of pursuing a 'blueprint for ruining America,'" she quoted

and when Senator Scott described his critique, it was clear that the quote was absolutely on target. Scott describes a series of problems that preceded the Biden Administration and that progressives did not make worse. His first target, inflation, has been improving over the last several months.

Zelenskyy reviews an eventful week. He also makes it clear that Ukraine won’t rest until Crimea is restored as a province of Ukraine.
Bakhmut’s pretty much a desert at this point.
“The Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs) are getting replaced with a new unit called the ‘Assault Unit’ …” Really not much bigger than a BTG and so few tanks! Daily Kos does a detailed review of this.
A soldier looks back on what Bucha was like before the war.
Apparently, Pink Floyd (David Gilmour) doesn’t agree with Roger Waters on the war. Gilmour has Ukrainian relatives.

Detailed review of the Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs) and their replacement, the Assault Unit, which really isn’t much of an improvement. The equivalent US unit, an independent unit that can carry out missions on its own, is called the Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCT) and it has almost six times the personnel and almost nine times the tanks.

Ha, ha, ha! Nikki Haley’s most important activity at the UN was to compose a book! In other words, she was so bored and useless after beating up on Palestinians, she was left with plenty of time to write a book!

Julia Ioffe's grandfather assures her that Ukrainians will remember what the Russians have done for a long time! An Irish person in the comments agrees and brings up Cromwell and Drogheda (1649).

"Jessa Duggar Reveals She Had a Miscarriage: 'I Just Immediately Started Crying'"
You have to read this piece to the end and you have to know what the terms mean, but yeah. The message is “Abortion for me, but not for thee.” Because, y’know, some people are mature and responsible, but I mean, not everybody can deal with such difficult decisions!

Politicians can oppose aid to Ukraine all they want, but they might want to take a look at how many Eastern Europeans, as well as just Ukrainians, live in their district. They’re hardly a majority anywhere, but they’re numerous enough to tip an election.

Scott Adams, the Dilbert cartoonist, claims that he sees videos of Black people beating up white people every day. I’ve never seen even one such video. That of course doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but it does mean that Adams is seeking these out, whether consciously or not!

Nope. When a privately-owned corporation decides not to carry the shows of another privately-owned corporation, 1. it isn’t censorship and 2. why is a senator getting involved? Doesn’t the senator have anything better to do to improve the lives of his constituents?

After yet another failed attack on Vuhledar: “Morale in the Russian unit is abysmal.”

She is one of an estimated 20,000 Ukrainian civilians who have gone missing after they were abducted or detained following interrogations at Russia’s notorious ‘filtration’ camps.

Neither Ukrainians nor Russians want to discuss Russian anti-Putin partisans. Ukrainians want them to be safe, Russians don’t want to be embarrassed.
A piece on Ukrainians in Russia, trying to keep conducting guerrilla activities. Video on same subject.

This is the type of footage the left doesn’t want you to see.

Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me! Right-wingers want us to be angry about a guy getting pushed off a ledge and obviously landing on his feet? If this is the most shocking and horrifying thing Tucker Carlson will uncover, liberals have nothing to be concerned about!

Okay, and why do forgotten towns in conservative states struggle against uncaring mega-corporations? Absolutely, positively guarantee you it’s not because of Democratic policies!

All right! Friday night dancing!

Several Republican factions on debt ceiling controversy, one of which wants a default, period. One member explains “I’ve made commitments and I’ve run on fiscal responsibility.” Of course, default would be an utter catastrophe, so it’s far from clear what he means.

So among the “improvements” Elon Musk has brought to Twitter are to make the blue check mark indicating a “verified” account completely useless. There’s no actual verification process as the blue check marks are simply sold for cash.

That’s gotta do something to your head when your girlfriend leaves you for someone like Chelsea Manning. No wonder Elon Musk is having such problems!

This phase of the war started a year ago, but the war overall started in April 2014.
Russian troops mutiny near Vuhledar and refuse to advance.
Hackers make air raid sirens in Russian cities go off.
Double tap attack. Rescuers were shelled upon arrival.
Piece on Mariupol.
The Russian invasion was a very closely held secret until it happened. Putin not as good a leader as Stalin was.
Suspending the START Agreement was a blackmail attempt. Russia can’t make any progress anyway.
What our blogger wrote a year ago.
US aid up to $30.4 billion.

Ukraine is supplied with up to 30 balloons a month that look just like HIMARS, other rocket systems and howitzers. They use empty shell casings to improve the realism of the target. The cost ration is a multi-thousand dollar missile versus a realistic target that costs in the hundreds of dollars.

The wannabe fascist dictator objects to people pointing out his fascist and dictatorial tendencies.

Florida Governor DeSantis is a fascist, part 16,784.

Wow! Between wanting to trash Social Security, desperately and kind of pathetically seeking the approval of MAGA voters (Spoiler alert: He's not going to win their approval) and taking a hard-line anti-choice stance (he thinks abortion pills should be made illegal), I'd be very surprised if Pence got over 1% in the first primary.

Ivanka & Jared subpoenaed. Interesting because one or both was in the room when Trump & Pence talked, so Special Counsel Smith will begin with their testimony.

A discussion of Wagner Group tactics.
Ukrainian military academy graduated today.
22 million tons of food was exported to 43 countries over the past seven months.
A film clip discusses "Magyar's birds," reconnaissance drones.
Wagner mercenary battle tactics. Blogger recommends more NATO-style tactics for Ukrainians, more initiative from below.
The Russian Winter offensive has been in full swing for a while.
Looking back on the year.

What an awful list! 1. Smaller government means upper-income whites crush all the other groups. 
2. States running education means colleges reject large groups of people, Remedial education would be needed to bring students up to speed. 
3. Killing off the planet via fossil fuels? Oh yeah Great idea!
4. Republicans are actually rethinking this as it’s a really stupid excuse for having lost elections. 
5. Yeah, okay.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs takes on the “woke” accusation.

Ukraine has been fighting for independence from Russia for a very long time. Yesterday was the anniversary of “the Heavenly Hundred - who died nine years ago for Ukrainian freedom and democracy.”
GBU-39 Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb might be in use. Mariupol is beyond HIIMARS range,but got hit.
History of EuroMaidan or Revolution of Dignity.

In 2014: “Russia has done a good job ... exploiting an all too credulous American news media, to assert that the popular uprising in Ukraine is almost exclusively the work of Ukrainian neo-fascists and neo-NAZIs.” Yes, there were Nazis within the Ukrainian protest movement, but also many other factions.

Rep. Eastman says it’s a benefit to society when children who are victims of abuse die...

I think the Representative is probably stating something accurate, but wow! What a cruel, heartless, vicious thing to say! And yes, I’m sure he’s a “pro-lifer.”

Yep! Sure enough, he proposed HB 215, which says “the Constitution of the State of Alaska never intended ... to recognize a right of a person to take the life of an innocent child…”

So it seems Russians were very tempted to fire missiles at Kyiv while Biden was there, but decided not to because VP Harris would have been less restrained and would have brought Armageddon closer. The piece looks at various other Russians and Representative Greene.

Yesterday, we wondered how President Biden’s Kyiv visit would land with Russians. (Summary of the consensus: it makes Putin look like a weak chump.)”

According to Putin, bad relations are all America’s fault.

What bothers me about the statements made by Representative Greene is the assertion that she and Speaker McCarthy are just "releasing the tapes." No, McCarthy earlier spoke of the Twitter Files as though they were just a release of information. They weren't and the J6 tapes won't be. In both cases, information is handed over to highly partisan writers who will very deliberately construct a narrative made to make liberals look bad and right-wingers look like heroes.

Trump "was asked whether he trusted Putin more than the US intelligence community it 'could be the toughest question I've ever been asked as a politician'"
Actually, it was a really easy call and he totally whiffed on it. BTW, I re-watched the footage of Trump getting that question and he didn’t appear to regard it as a hard question at all.

Again, Medea Benjamin completely fails to explain what she wants to see in a Ukraine-Russia peace deal. She’s, as usual, extremely vague about that. Is Ukraine expected to surrender land, land that Russia has no right to take? Is she at all concerned about rewarding aggression? Wouldn’t China be more likely to start a war over Taiwan if Russia is successful in getting a favorable deal? How about kidnapped Ukrainians who have been taken to Russia? We are left with no answers.

Ultimate goal of Ukraine – according to the Ukrainian Maria Abdul, the goal is very simple and straightforward, Ukraine wants all of its land back!

Benjamin said that polls tell of a weakening American resolve. Gallup took a poll on February 6, 2023

A stable 65% of U.S. adults prefer that the United States support Ukraine in reclaiming its territory, even if that results in a prolonged conflict.

Main concern of anti-war Republicans seems to be that the US is writing a “blank check” to endlessly spend money on a foreign conflict.

Good! James O'Keefe, who founded Project Veritas, has been fired by Project Veritas. He revealed he simply isn't competent to run the organization.

Oh, good grief! No only does Nikki Haley mess up on when the Constitution was written, but yes, the American Army was “unstoppable” only because they were allied with the French! It took until the Civil War for the US military to be considered as being on a par with European powers.

Good heavens! Melania Trump is still carrying on about the new presidential couple disregarding her designs fo the White House? Definitely page A17 stuff! Had she actually accomplished anything significant during her time there, she wouldn’t have to obsess over stuff that nobody cares about. IMHO, choosing to specialize in manners and bullying on the internet was, quite obviously, a really bad choice! Most of all, because she herself doesn’t really care about the issue.

Legacy of a wasted four years in the White House.

Seymour Hersh is a celebrated investigative reporter, but how credible is his accusation that US covert operatives blew up the Nord Steam pipeline?

Yup! Railroads need to be owned by the public!

Zelenskyy tells us the status of many matters, both on the front and internally.
Bakhmut looking ever-more encircled, but Russian casualties remain very high.
Wagner mercenary group replaced by regular Russian army soldiers.
Press conference on Wagner mercenaries.
Report on a Black Sea Cossack named Girkin. Wagner mercenaries need ammunition and reinforcements aren’t getting them.
People “don’t realize that this series of sputtering pushes
is the offensive.” Biden doesn’t agree and thinks the Russian Spring offensive hasn’t begun yet.

Governor DeSantis is not only a fascist, he’s willing to make Florida high school education worthless. No Florida high school students will go directly into any college in the country if they graduate with this junk.

Whoa! President Biden visits Ukraine!

Biden visits Kyiv.
He and Zelenskyy discussed what their common objectives were.
Bucha’s streetlights are all on!
Russia’s Winter Offensive began three weeks ago. They’ve made at best, incremental gains. Offensive now is draining Russian strength.

Prigozhin (runs Wagner mercenaries) “is forced to ‘apologise and obey’ to get ammunition…”

Aww! Matt Taibbi’s upset because everyone’s figured out that the “Twitter Files” are highly biased and not very significant anyways.

Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes) is producing a grown-up graphic novel that will be out in October.

Of course Governor DeSantis fired the person who revealed the empty bookshelves in a middle school, thereby revealing his book-cancellation policy.

On Senator Fetterman checking himself into the hospital for depression.

Most power outages have been fixed. Zelenskyy has been promised “concrete legal consequences for the terrorist state.”
Something blew up deep in Russian-occupied territory!
Systematic destruction of Ukrainian-language books.

Two missiles flew in a close proximity to nuclear reactors of South-Ukrainian NPP.
Long-range missiles and MiG jets will go to Ukraine.
US Secretary of State formally accuses Russia of war crimes.

Amazingly bad sub-heading: Rs & Ds “have sharply divergent approaches to repairing the [Social Security & Medicare] programs.” No they don’t. Democrats want to fix the programs (not at all hard to do) while Republicans want to cut them! Only one side wishes to fix the programs.

Former President Jimmy Carter enters hospice care, meaning they'll try to make him comfortable, but won't try to save his life.
He was an okay president and a marvelous ex-president.

Nice testimonial.    Accomplishments.

Story by Rachel Maddow.

With the train derailment in East Palestine, OH, Fox News and Republicans are trying to make it sound as though derailments are a highly unusual thing that almost never happens. In 2004, there were almost 2,500 derailments. Thankfully, we've been making great progress in subsequent years, but there were still over a thousand in 2014.

Yeah, the libertarian idea of how to manage water in community outside of Scottsdale, Arizona appeared to be a workable idea until, y'know, theory crashed headlong into reality! People tried to sell me on libertarianism back in my Freshman year at college. Yep, never took.

Scientists have figured out the deadline for humanity to de-carbonize in order to survive. Let’s not put too much faith in that. Let’s work to beat that deadline.

Major and important distinction between Ukrainian and Russian armies is that Ukraine has NCOs and Russia is dependent on the “zerg rush” as pretty much their only tactic. As we’ve seen the zerg rush can be defeated, but an army with a strong NCO corps is really hard to beat.
Russians make a bit of progress around Bakhmut.
Wagner mercenary group begging for more ammunition.
Representative Gaetz is leading the Congressional faction that wants to abandon Ukraine.
Ukraine and air power.
German intelligence determines that the location of HIMARS and IRIS-T rockets are an important target for Russian intelligence.
Russia’s having a hard time generating enough forces to keep up with losses.

"Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania"
Good stuff! Another “family” film as the old and new Ant-Man and the old and new Wasp are joined by yet another family member. Two old Marvel villains are also introduced.

Republican National Committee presents: "24 minutes of Democrats denying election results."
But Democrats never tried to overturn the 2016 election by saying that the people actually voted for Clinton. Trump has been repeatedly saying that actually, the people voted for him overwhelmingly and that Biden's share of the 2020 vote didn't outnumber his by 7 million.

Nikki Haley is from India and has always had the option of declaring herself to be “Asian.” She is deliberately and consciously choosing to classify herself as “white.” Both designations are legal and it's up to her which one she classifies herself as.

Judiciary Chairman Jordan complains that Democrats are always blaming Trump. But in the case of the derailment at East Palestine OH, yes, the Trump Administration took regulatory actions that enabled the disaster. So I guess Jordan would prefer that we ignore Trump’s very real responsibility and blame their preferred scapegoat of the day?

Florida Governor DeSantis is using taxpayer money ($10 million) to illegally ship migrants off to Sanctuary cities. This, of course, treats living people as plastic chess pieces in a political game.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian fellow who’s in charge of the Wagner mercenaries (They’ve been charging against and around the town of Bakhmut for the past several months, losing up to 20k troops) is actually proud of his role in the 2016 election and promises to keep interfering.

The Russian Children’s Right Commissioner doesn’t appear to understand her job.
Zelenskyy talks to the Berlin Film Festival.
Wagner mercenaries begging the Russians for ammunition.
US Ambassador reviews the war on the eve of its first anniversary.

So Pence pretty much just wants to repeat the younger George Bush's Social Security plan of 2005. Did anybody ever tell Pence how that plan worked out? That Bush's popularity never recovered from that?

During Trump’s Administration, it was a source of great pride for Republicans that they got so many judges placed. Biden has made great progress toward exceeding that number. As the House is unlikely to produce any bills that the Senate is likely to take up, expect many more confirmations!

Vladimir Solovyov has been a strong proponent of the war in Ukraine, encouraging every young, able-bodied man to go fight in Ukraine.

His own family? Welll, that's a different story. He has eight children from three women, one of his sons is a male model in London (None are in the military) while ordinary Russians fighting in Ukraine go by the name of “mobiks.” The name is a combination of “mobilized” and “vatnik,” and means those forced into conscription.

Simlarly, Mitt Romney in 2007 had “five strapping sons,” all of whom were of military age, none of whom were in uniform while the Iraq War was still raging. It was a bit of a political problem for him.

White House prepared to use the idea of the trillion-dollar coin to head off default if we get too close.

Reconnaissance balloons being used by Russia over Ukraine.
If the war in Ukraine were to suddenly end tomorrow, the greatest need would be the clearance of mines. As Ukraine progresses, mine-clearance is their biggest priority.
Decent news from around Bakhmut.
Russians are on the attack because Putin is insisting on it. That gives Ukraine the initiative to either attack or defend.
Light tanks from France will arrive by end of February.
Ukrainian economy becomes more integrated with economy of EU.
Russia has stolen over 6k children from Ukraine. 30 bodies of people who died a violent death while under Russian occupation.

Aww! Sad to hear this! Raquel Welch has passed on.

A few days ago, it was clear that Ukraine had no interest in peace talks with Russia under the current conditions. With this report, it's quite clear that the opposite is also true, that Russia has no interest in peace talks either.

Representative Boebert thinks learning about governing from Rachel Maddow would be...a bad thing?!?!?! Let's have a look-see on who's undoubtedly a hero of hers. Representative Jordan, who's never gotten a bill passed, is conducting hearings that are such a complete cluster#$@%, even Fox News isn't carrying them!

Joe Rogan and Matt Taibbi say Elon Musk is unfairly being portrayed as a right-winger.

And you can make a great case for that, if you ignore Musk's words and actions for the past several months. 

The Yale Humanitarian Research Lab points out that by moving Ukrainian children into Russia, that's a war crime

Instead of blaming Transportation Secretary Buttigieg for a train derailment, we could look at the Trump Administration and how they rolled back an Obama rule that had kept rail tanks from exploding near communities.

BTW, setting the toxins on fire was the decision of the Governor of Ohio. Buttigieg had absolutely nothing to do with that decision.

Fortress Bakhmut” now has ts own anthem.
The significance and urgency of the struggle.
Russians deliberately killed aid workers. They knew full well that the aid workers were unarmed non-combatants.
The exodus of Russians fleeing Russia is certainly over 500k and probably as many as a million. “Russia’s Communications Ministry reported that 10 percent of the country’s IT workers had left in 2022” Their reason is simply that of self-preservation not anti-war.

Trump’s 2020 campaign team spent $600k for a research group to examine that election and to see whether there was any fraud. They were told “No.”

Sarah Silverman on her first Daily Show episode.

An extremely important video to watch for the people who want NATO to negotiate with Russia over Ukraine. What’s in it for Russia’s neighbors? How does Eastern Europe benefit from NATO granting concessions to Russia? How would Ukraine benefit from Russia taking chunks of Ukrainian territory?

No, y’all just need to stop watching the Super Bowl if you’re so angry that their half-time shows are so “woke” (in other words, so dominated by Black people).

"Tuberville: A society that allows abortion up to and past the moment of birth after the baby has been born is not progressive, it’s barbaric"
I can understand allowing abortion up until birth if the woman can’t give birth and survive, in other words, if it’s her life or that of the child. Abortion after birth? Uh, that’s just plain murder.

Satellites prove to be an extremely useful aid to earthquake rescue efforts.

Only way for Russians to deal with this tactic (Ukrainians shoot artillery shells that break up and scatter anti-tank mines) by Ukrainians is combined arms warfare. They need to have armor and infantry advance together, the infantry to clear mines as the tanks cover their advance. As that appears to be beyond their capabilities, their attempts to take Vuhledar seem doomed to failure.

Dealing with Governor DeSantis and the New College.

"Jordan: Our Hearing Was Bipartisan Because We Invited Tulsi Gabbard"
Uuh...whut?!?!?! Tulsi Gabbard is a Democrat? Since when? Gabbard accused Hillary Clinton of turning other Democratic candidates against her, but Democrats in general considered Gabbard to be a Russian asset.

There is no “responsible” way to cut Social Security and absolutely no need to do so. The comparison to defense spending is an apple to oranges.

Putin doesn’t appear to be aware of the situation.
Offensive North of Bakhmut. Ukrainians hang on.
Russians continue to make fruitless assaults against Vuhledar.
Cold of Winter is ending and the situation in Europe and Ukraine never got close to forcing anyone to beg Russia for mercy.
Russia and Iran. Russia’s running short on missiles.
Yet another balloon shot down over Lake Huron.

The reporter Matt Taibbi bemoans that the Twitter Files was seen by the public as a one-sided "partisan pissing match!" The files covered only things that made liberals look bad! Now we're learning they ignored items that made conservatives look bad! Sorry, 100% their fault!

The “Two-State Solution” is a dodge for avoiding the reality of apartheid being applied to Palestinians.

Wow! The NY Times has a really, really bad new columnist! I had seen a few positive pieces on Governor DeSantis since Covid hit and usually went over to the death figures to see how Florida was doing. I was like “Why are people praising him for how he’s handling Covid? He’s doing a terrible job!” This columnist praises him anyway.

A line of six Main Battle Tanks were parked in a nice, neat row when they were hit by Ukrainian artillery.

With the war raging in neighbouring Ukraine, Moldova has been facing inflation, high energy prices, a refugee influx and Russian aggression.

For the attack at Vuhledar, they had the brigade commander carrying a rifle. “If your brigade commander has to carry a rifle- you need a better plan.”
Mobiks” Russian recruits sent to the front with very little training or equipment, are rebelling because of extremely high casualty rates.

...a Trump aide (who works for Save America PAC) had previously copied those same pages onto a laptop and thumb drive—the aide reportedly did not realize they were classified.

In order for a secret document to make its way onto a computer, it has to be scanned. Wonder who did the scanning in the first place? Because if a page from a government document is classified, it's very clearly marked! 

Ah, this was the aide that “accidentally” copied scans of classified documents to her laptop!

Republicans make budget-cutting recommendations, some of which might be worthwhile.

The continued crashing and burning of witnesses for “weaponization.”

Hmm, so there have been "dozens" of interviews with whistleblowers, eh? Yeah, funny how there doesn't appear to be anything on paper to substantiate any of those alleged meetings.

Good! The NRA appears to be circling the drain!

A micro-blogging platforms like Twitter is extremely useful in natural catastrophes like Turkey’s earthquake on the 8th. It may help the government politically to block the platform, but that hurts search-and-rescue efforts.

A woman who’s done soft-core porn posing for “Gentleman's magazines, often in bathing suits or holding guns” appears to be another George Santos. She claimed a Jewish heritage, but actually her “paternal grandfather was a reluctant soldier in the Nazi regime.” There are a number of other discrepancies in her life’s story.

Comparison of how the NY Times assessed Adolf Hitler back in 1922 and how they assess Florida Governor DeSantis today.

President Zelenskyy meets with European Parliament. In what’s probably not a coincidence, Ukraine gets hit with over 70 drones and missiles. Ukraine claims over 85% of missiles shot down,
Ukraine warms Moldova that Russia planned to destroy that country.
Unknown object, much smaller than balloon of the past week, enters airspace at around 40k feet up in Alaska. US shoots it down.

As a young'un, I got teased and picked on a lot. Thankfully, in high school, all of the bullies self-selected and stayed in the football/car repair subculture. I took a quiz a few years ago and found I was in the hippie/geek subculture, so socially, high school was very pleasant for me. What Representative Jordan wants is clearly that the "greaser" subculture (football/car repair) should be dominant.

There have been accusations that TikTok is owned by China and is therefore under suspicion, but Iranian dissidents have been making use of it to communicate with each other.

Zelenskyy asks for sanctions to diminish Russia’s missile and drone industries.
Russia bombarding Kremmina, meaning Ukrainians have gained a foothold in the city.
Russians still can’t make progress at Vuhledar! Russian units transferred to there try to get out of it.
Soldier interviews civilian in Bakhmut who just doesn’t want to leave.
Huh! Seems Russian prisoners don’t want to sign up to be Wagner mercenaries. Probably because the casualty rate is close to 100%.
Putin making excuses. would be a disaster for everyone if Russian nuclear blackmail succeeded.  If any nuclear state can coerce others by references to its nuclear stockpile, then foreign policy of any kind becomes impossible.

Seymour Hersh used to be a good reporter. Very sad to see his decline.

Our blogger marvels at how utterly unprepared Republicans were to handle their first hearing on alleged government abuses and Twitter. 

Update (10 Mar): "Weaponization of Government" Committee is still a complete cluster$%#@.

Fox News presents a clip of Senator Joe Biden from back in the 90s proposing to do to Social Security what Republicans now want to do to it. Senator Scott points to it and denouces Biden for hypocrisy. So the appropriate question for Scott is why did Biden then abandon this idea? Could it be because it was a really bad idea that would lead to disaster?

Financially successful Black man in Colorado (owns 1k acres) has to put up with harassment and attacks on his farm animals because neighbors want his land.

Update (25 Feb): No progress to report.

Lots of bad arguments to try and shift the burden of heading off default to Biden and company.

Speaker McCarthy reiterates his determination to keep Social Security and Medicare off the table. What’s amusing is their continued insistence that they never wanted to sunset these programs in the first place. The blogger brings the receipts and shows that, yes indeed, they have said exactly that!

Zelenskyy’s speech in Westminster Hall and press conference with Prime Minister Sunak.

Video and report of house-to-house fighting in Bakhmut.

...what the US’s and its allies shifting red lines on material support for Ukraine mean and why they keep shifting:

Mmm, yes. Very, very strange how the "Twitter Files," which were all about Twitter "censoring" statements that right-wingers were perfectly okay with, somehow didn't get around to reporting that left-wingers had just as many, if not more complaints about being muzzled!

Representative Jordan: “It appears that the Biden Administration pressured social media companies to censor Americans.”

During the SOTU, Biden got Republicans to put themselves on record as opposing cuts in Social Security and Medicare. Senator Scott bangs his fist on the table and heatedly denies that he wants to repeal Social Security and Medicare, but he includes them in his "Let's renew all of our laws every five years" plan.
Erm, does anyone recall what happened with the Civil Rights Act when the Supreme Court partially disabled it in 2013? Remember how Congress rushed to repair the Act, which still isn't properly fixed?

House Judiciary Chairman pretty completely destroys his own point. No, Twitter's Terms of Service do not have to comply with the First Amendment, thereby leaving the hearing kind of pointless. 1stA only applies to the government.

In Biden's State of the Union (SOTU) address, it was a pretty rowdy crowd generally, so that when people yelled insults, everyone else was too loud, so we never heard the awful stuff.

So the idea of the Republican Party in getting Governor Sarah Sanders to give the SOTU response was to appear more "youthful" than Biden? Yeah, I guess if your idea of youth and vigor and an appealing mother-figure is Nurse Ratched

Sanders made an ... interesting fashion choice.

And yeah, describing the current state of America as a "dystopian hellscape" is, uh, an interesting rhetorical choice!

Wow! Senator Cruz is so completely wrong here! Respect for America crashed and burned during The Former Guy’s (TFG) term in office, Russia is very considerably weaker than they were a year ago, other nations have noticed. The Chinese mocked TFG more!

Did Russia already launch its big Winter offensive? If so, it’s doing very poorly. The “zerg rush” tactic (throw enormous amounts of people against Ukrainian lines) is seriously stalling out. Blogger explains how the “orc rush” developed in video games and turned into the “zerg rush.”

Yeah, Republicans really like free markets, unless those markets do something to their ideological buddies! Yes, DirecTV and OANN are both private corporations. DirecTV cannot be forced to continue having a corporate relationship with OANN.

Ukrainian army is within urban area of Kreminna.
Germany sending “as many as 178 refurbished Leopard 1 tanks from industrial stocks.”

Ukraine has been firing an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 artillery rounds a day.” Piece on artillery supply chain.
Fratricide is serious problem in Russian army. “Soldiers were now launching continuous and rolling assaults that sometimes lasted ‘for 10 hours.’”
On the Wagner mercenary group

Russia is firing an estimated 20,000 artillery rounds per day. The good news is that they aren't very accurate, so many end up just hitting dirt, rocks and trees.

That’s a cool lifetimes’ revenge! She nearly starved to death under Stalin’s regime. Now she makes camouflage for Ukrainian snipers!

That's very good news! Mainstream outfits like the NY Times are discovering that hot-button culture war issues are complete duds with the usual voters. It's only the hard-core already-committed voters who like them.

Considering today's Republican Party, no, political centrists are not going to save us from the crazy radicals!

Elon Musk interfering in damaging ways. The guy simply doesn’t understand how to verify stories.
Bakhmut looking increasingly surrounded.
Vulhedar continues to hold.

Russian forces have launched a midwinter surge..”
Mobilization has doubled Russian forces and has stabilized the front. Ukraine probably wants to avoid the appearance of stalemate.

A secret plans to end the war” has a lengthy history. Such plans have always turned out to be con jobs.

A Jerusalem neighborhood that's been occupied by Israeli settlers since 1972 was the site of a massacre by a Palestinian gunman. What's distressing is that the neighborhood is given a neutral description, as though it was not a settlement.
Note: All West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements are illegal under international law.

In the debt ceiling “hostage crisis,” the WaPo is clearly part of the problem.

Wow! Wildfires in the American West are destroying huge amounts of land and property. A look as to why and what can be done.

I was stationed for two years in Italy and dealt with lots of high-value coins. Everything from the 1000 Lira coin (worth $0.55) to the 10 Franc coin (was worth about $7). The modern Euro coins range from about a cent to around $2. Back then, the government was planning to spend money to advertise the Sacagawea $1 coin. Even more amazingly, they've just plain stopped producing them. Quite puzzling

The Palestinian Authority, which is in charge of the West Bank, is losing the trust of younger Palestinians. The Palestinian public has warmed to the idea of armed resistance. Covert suppression by Israelis have made the picture more violent.

Belgorod is a major supply depot in Russia that connects to the Russian army in Ukraine.
Another prisoner swap.
Only really stubborn, older Ukrainians still in Bakhmut, except of course for soldiers.

The  Ukrainian soldiers here have been fighting for a long time and they are tired, but morale remains high.”
All about the Bratstvo battalion, a Ukrainian guerrilla group fighting in Russia.
Field justice for a Russian mercenary.

Good! Iowa has been tossed out as the Democrat's first primary state. South Caroline is the first, New Hampshire and Nevada are both second. As Biden lost both Iowa and New Hampshire, but won the presidency, South Carolina has more predictive value.

Okay, the "crisis" is over. The Chinese spy balloon has been shot down. Once it was over the Atlantic, the Pentagon was assured that no one would be hit by falling debris.

Biden wanted to shoot it down as soon as it was discovred, but  the Pentagon thought that would be unwise. 

The U-2 spy plane flew at 80k feet in the air, the balloon was about that high up. Commercial aircraft usually fly at 40k feet.

Of course Don Jr. was trying to incite people from Montana to shoot down the balloon.

China’s now insisting that their spy balloon was just a weather balloon that was off-course.

Yeah, hysterical reactions from Republicans over the Chinese spy balloon just got ridiculous. I saw a news host saying that the two big issues that the GOP tries to claim ownership of are the economy and national defense. The economy is doing quite well, thank you very much and with Ukraine and Biden's vigorous defense of it, Republicans are left with bits and scraps to showcase themselves as the better party.

An absolutely bonkers decision that, in retrospect, was entirely predictable and one that should have been foreseen. A wife-beater who also abused his children was ruled on as being permitted to own a gun because there were no such restraining laws back in 1791. "Originalism" was always a truly terrible philosophy and now has shown that it is morally bankrupt as well.

Despite Bakhmut being under an intensive siege, the city that used to have 75k people in it still has 7k hanging in there despite shelling and drones every day.
Zelenskyy is determined to hold on to Bakhmut at all costs.
European Union support’s Zelenskyy’s conditions for peace.
$2.2 billion aid package for Ukraine.
Biden is following an “escalate to de-escalate” strategy.

Ukraine sees time as its enemy. It must exploit Russia’s weakened, poorly equipped forces now.”
Putin is betting on Western exhaustion.
A look at a shop that puts Russian vehicles back into service for Ukraine.
Russian killed and wounded is approaching 200k.
About 40k to 50k Russian troops are former inmates.

Hmm. Fascinating! Our commenter uses the Hebrew language to help him to interpret Genesis 1 & 2 to conclude that the Serpent in the Garden of Eden was not Satan!

Well, that's good! Speaker McCarthy agrees that Ashli Babbitt was not “murdered.”
"I think the police officer did his job," McCarthy said. Trump didn't like that answer very much! 

Speaker McCarthy thinks it’s just awful that 100 Democrats voted not to condemn socialism. What a $#%&ing idiotic, waste of time bill to even recommend!

Kevin McCarthy claims that Democrats are telling him that he ran the House better than Nancy Pelosi. However, McCarthy doesn't name any of these Democrats, so they could be imaginary.

Yeah, this sounds to me like a “sir story.” Whenever Trump has people calling him “sir” in a story he’s telling, that’s a tip-off that he’s making the whole thing up.

Questions on whether or not to try and hang on to Bakhmut.
Russians double down on trying to take Vuhledar.
Russian missiles strike residential buildings in Kramatorsk.
Biden wanted to shoot down the Chinese spy balloon seen above the US. Pentagon opposed doing so, fearing that shooting it down could cause civilian casualties.

Detailed breakdown on Russian assaults on Bakhmut.
Details on the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB). No as good as the ATACMS would be, but big improvement over HIMARS.

The Columbia Journalism Review published a 24k word piece on the Trump-Russia collusion story. The author Jeff Gerth writes that “Clinton and her campaign would secretly sponsor and promote an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that there was a secret alliance between Trump and Russia.” But actually, there was a very substantive connection between the two parties and the author of the Mother Jones piece goes into quite a bit of detail about those connections. CJR should be condemned for putting out a very irresponsible piece.

Good heavens. Is there no end to how wonderful Dolly Parton is? Parton secretly produced Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Speaker McCarthy says; “We have waste in our government.” Sure, but does the “waste” make up a significant portion of our $1.45 trillion annual budget? How much waste is there to cut? How much waste is “in the eye of the beholder” and not generally agreed upon?

The Supreme Court members pride themselves on not being influence by “special interests,” unless of course, they’re in ideological agreement with such interests.

Good Heavens! An Iranian couple is sentenced to over 10 years for dancing!!! They were “convicted of promoting indecency, colluding against national security, and producing propaganda against Iran's government”

“Full Width Mine Ploughs” on the way to Ukraine, a way to quickly clear landmines out of the way of an advance.
Animated film on battle over the Kyiv airport.
“Russia has not surrendered its ambitions to capture and occupy all of Ukraine—it’s just lost the fight on the battlefield.” Putin’s “in a win-or-die situation.” To win Ukraine just needs a force upgrade.

They said in 1973 that the now-113 year old Hudson Tunnel couldn’t be replaced. Thanks to Biden, work on replacing it will begin soon.

Austria and Hungary are neutral, but Czech Republic is with Ukraine & NATO.
Corrupt Ukrainian oligarch’s home searched. US is investigating same person.
“A missile just levels a residential block in Kramatorsk in Donbas.”
Minor changes to fronts at Bakhmut and Kreminna. Vuhledar holds firm
Moscow has over 320k troops in Ukraine and 150k to 250k in reserve. Russia is “acquiring more weapons from other authoritarian states like Iran and North Korea.”
New HIMARS rockets on the way. All of mainland, occupied Ukraine will be within range.
Turkey’s Erdogan threatening to be an annoyance.

I disagree with a phrase that Representative Greene used. She said Ashli Babbitt was "murdered." No, when a Ukrainian soldier kills a Russian soldier, it isn't murder because there is no personal animosity between the two. It's simply a killing. Babbitt was "killed" because she presented a mortal danger to the hiding Senators and Representatives. Had she been allowed to live, she would have opened the way for the mob that was following her.

Yeah, that “ready-to-go” GOP agenda sure stalled out quickly!

Hmm, I wonder just which promises Vance thinks Trump "delivered on." A MAGA guy claimed Trump's "kids in cages" policy reduced immigration. I looked up the figures and, uh, no it didn't.

Governor DeSantis engages in outright, unequivocal fascism and the NY Times says “Aw, he’s just building has brand, nothing to worry about!”

Governors DeSantis, Abbott and others compared with Southern planting aristocracy in the 1850s and again during Jim Crow.

Representative Boebert attributes the cancellation of Newsmax by DirecTV to, what else?, conspiracy theories.

Sigh! Musk and Starlink again! Thought this issue was settled.
Still a few thousand citizens living in Bakhmut.
Vuldehar is holding very strongly. Casualties from trying to take it are enormous. Land is flat and artillery can lay new mines at will. 
Ukraine may not get the EU membership it desires. Blogger looks at EU and Ukraine.

Palestine is an issue that Arabs in general support. Their support crosses national boundaries and class differences. Their problem with Israel is mostly 

Israel’s colonial and expansionist policies, as well as its racism toward the Palestinians and its persistence in expropriating Palestinian land.

Governments and mainstream media both need to give up on the “Two-State Solution.” It isn’t working and will never work. That solution supports apartheid, which can never be the basis for peace.

A Russian couple talks about the war. They get reported to the police and are locked up. Their nine-year old daughter had to spend the night with strangers. The husband was designated a “hooligan” for talking so disrespectfully.


Bit of a problem. There's a group that's working with the Russian army that has been "wilding" around Russian-occupied territory in Ukraine. Now they've raped a Russian news presenter and beat up her cameraman.

As with rates of getting Covid, there is a big and easily detectable difference between the political parties when it comes to murder rates. The Red states that favor lax gun laws have much higher murder rates than Blue states, that try to control guns.

The “Fair Tax,” a 23% national sales tax and every other tax being tossed out, is a public relations gold mine for Democrats! Now members of the Freedom Caucus are beginning to understand why it’s such a bad idea! Too late to distance themselves from it!

Cool! Speaker McCarthy appears to say that Social Security and Medicare are off the table when it comes to cuts to meet the desired reduction of the national debt.

Representative Stefanik is asked what she would like to cut. She says “national security” money is off the table, but the best she can do for what’s on the table is “woke agenda”money!

Does anyone think that there is no waste in government and that we can’t make any reductions? Of course not, but the budget is $1.45 trillion. The odds of finding, say, $25 billion in savings, more than 40 years after Reagan began cutting the federal budget, is pretty darn close to zero.

The blogger emptywheel asks: “wHy WoNT mErRIcK GaRlaND dO anYThiNG?” And the answer is, well, Representative Scott Perry’s phone was seized in August. The DOJ is still trying to get access to it! Perry was very important to January 6th, but he’s a Congressman, so the courts have been going back and forth about whether he and his phone are protected.

Residential building in Kharkiv’s center hit. Major damage with lots of casualties.
A Ukrainian pilot was descending steeply. He maneuvered his plane away from a town, which left him too little time to eject.
Russia concentrating forces for offensive aimed at Lyman.
Bakhmut increasingly surrounded.
A Russian pundit justifies war crimes.
Our blogger sees the process of the Russian Federation dissolving already beginning. That could lead to LOTS of chaos and destruction.

FBI leaks fueled the NY Times story, the "October Surprise" of 2016. Those leaks have been traced to a single FBI agent, Charles McGonigal. When is the NY Times going to do a review of how the paper was snookered into printing this bogus story? Yes, social media means we can ask them questions, but only an ombudsman can demand answers.

I've always listed the three villains of the 2016 election as James Comey, the NY Times and Vladimir Putin. Now it appears that Putin had a bigger role than we thought. NY Times really needs to come clean!

One of the problems that Will Bunch brings up here reminds me that people were saying in the early aughts (from when blogs became popular) was that blogs were "self-correcting," that is, they utilized immediate, real-time public criticism to correct themselves. As Bunch points out though, self-correcting only happens when institutions heed and respond to the criticism. For the NY Times to fire its Public Editor was an inexcusably bad move that was either an intentional cover-up or just an error of hubris. Either way, the Public Editor needs to be reinstated.

The NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman has concluded that a two-state solution for Israel and Palestinians cannot work. Blogger examines Friedman’s views on Israel.

Israel’s trajectory since its founding has been moving away from everything liberals claim to value and respect. 

After the beating death of Tyre Nichols, Representative Jordan feels that the beating of Black people is just a mysterious, hopeless problem that has no solution.

Again, the Secret Service is not responsible for anything but the personal safety of Donald Trump and his family! They were not protecting documents as they were most likely not even aware that Trump had any secret documents!

If you have any spare change, the Kyiv Independent needs contributions.
Both Ukraine and Russia are racing to be the first to launch a Spring offensive. Lot of hard, slow fighting until then.
Spring is expected to be the most intense phase of the war.
“Norwegian intelligence suggests that Russian dead and wounded combined are 180,000, with total Ukrainian casualties at 100,000.”
Russians being extremely secretive about economic data, which really isn’t good for the economy.
The Quran burning in Stockholm. It “was funded by a far-right journalist with links to Kremlin-backed media…”
Winner of Czechia election promises to “keep the country firmly anchored in the West.”

So, as is usual for the tankies, the preferred solution that Don Jr. is recommending is to throw Ukraine to the Russian bear to be mauled. Because who cares that Ukraine is a struggling democracy while Russia is a centralized, authoritarian state?

Yeah, it’s pretty amazing to have people say that Biden is senile when Trump says crazy $%#@ like “I paid down the national debt during my term in office.” (The national debt rose by $7 trillion).

Sigh! Y’know WaPo, you might try talking a bit about what DeSantis actually, y’know stands for as opposed to just doing pure horse-race stuff.

More Russian missile attacks on civilians. Ukrainian girl tells us of the losses she’s suffered.
Zelenskyy makes a plea to Olympics to not permit Russians to compete.
To those who would romanticize Russia: “Russian culture must be seen in its totality — it’s not just Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy or ballet; it’s first and foremost the Gulag, prisons, firing squads, rape and torture.”
Ukraine is ready for fighter jets.
Recent anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine.
Lots of explosions in Iran.

Good! Polls show that House Republicans really getting off on the wrong foot.

Examining the impact that Black Lives Matter made. It’s produced lots of outrage, but has also led to some good changes.

For many decades, nuclear weapons kept large-scale conflicts from breaking out. Those days are ending. It’s interesting to see arms dealers realizing that the days of tanks and artillery haven’t ended.

Summary of NY Times investigation of the Durham investigation. Amazingly corrupt!

Thoughtful summary of the deadly beating of Tyre Nichols.

Huh. Funny. In the case of the Tyre Nichols beating, the Blue Lives Matter folks are strangely silent! How very puzzling!

Senator Blackburn is usually very highly active on Twitter. Funny, but in her state of Tennessee, Tyre Nichols was brutally murdered by police. Don't seem to be able to find any statements from her on that.

Dinesh D'Souza calls this Dan Bongino's "considered take" on the killing of Tyre Nichols. Problem is that this take is completely unhelpful. Saying that the police officers were just "bad guys," does nothing to help us prevent the next killing. We couldn't have known the policemen were "bad guys" until they did something bad. We need to know why they were so bad.

Trump says that since Biden has forced Putin to threaten nuclear war, he will build an “impenetrable dome” to protect the US from missile attacks

Unlike Reagan's "Star Wars" defense against ICBMs, Israel's "Iron Dome" defense is used against short-range rockets and missiles, but it  has not been tested against a near-peer adversary. Ukraine is currently defending against Russian missile and drone attacks and they can shoot down about two-thirds of incoming attacks. No, if we avoid nuclear war, that will be done via diplomacy, not through technology.

The idea of cutting taxes and that will lead to growth has been repeatedly tried over several decades and has always failed.

Ukrainian citizens sheltering from missile attack.
Russians launch 55 missiles at ten Ukrainian regions, 47 were shot down
How the Abrams tanks to be supplied to Ukraine will differ from the regular American versions.
Norway will train Ukrainians on field medicine.
“The US Departments of State and Treasury have designated Wagner PMC a transnational criminal organization…”
Putin accuses Ukrainians of doing what the Soviet Union did during World War II, having units behind the front lines shooting anyone who tries to desert. Kremlin appears to be in an information bubble.

The complete and utter cluster&^$% that was the Durham “investigation of the [Mueller] investigation.”

More on Barr and Durham

Horrifying breaches of professional ethics, misuse of DOJ investigative resources, and deliberate lies to, and gaslighting of the public.

Absolutely hilarious example of reaching sweeping conclusions from a single example

...Ukraine and NATO should heed the history lesson that Petr Bystron presented to his fellow German parliamentarians — German tanks do not historically fare well against Russian tanks on Ukrainian soil.

The piece has a number of other real problems on the part of the "tankies."

Hmm, interesting argument. Let’s abandon Ukraine so that we can focus on China, who of course we’re not fighting at the moment. Also, wouldn’t abandoning Ukraine lead China to conclude that launching a war of aggression would be a cost-free exercise?

There’s absolutely no question that arms manufacturers benefit from the war in Ukraine. The recent decision by the US to provide Abrams tanks to Ukraine, not from our current stockpile, but special export versions, made a lot of eyes turn into dollar signs. But does that justify abandoning Ukraine to be mauled by the Russian bear? Hardly.

How the US handled the 9/11 defendants, now that we’ve had 13 years to look at it in a less emotional way.

Blogger explains the two stories Speaker McCarthy told about Representatives Schiff and Swalwell. Schiff paraphrased as opposed to lied and Swalwell’s relationship was in 2014. Basically, McCarthhy is establishing the precedent that you can toss Congress members off of the Intelligence Committee for any ol' reason. 

Zelenskyy’s wife writes a touching birthday greeting to her husband.
Woo hoo! Ukraine to receive 80 battle tanks from Europe! In the longer run, they’ll get 31 tanks from the US.
Switzerland sends Ukraine ammunition.
Morocco sends over 20 T-72s to Ukraine.
Israel refuses to send one of its outdated air defense systems to Ukraine.
Is the US ready for a conflict in the Pacific?

Looking at various peace proposals for Ukraine.

So the Chairman of the House Judiciary never gets around to explaining how he and his fellow Republicans plan to lower expenditures so that we can dispose of the national debt in just ten years. He takes Medicare and Social Security off the table. That's good. But "Congress is spending like crazy" is hardly an answer. The party as a whole has to deliver specific answers.

It would also help if papers like the WaPo weren't acting as apologists for Republican budget-cutters.

Heh! More of “Putin, the Master Strategist!” After spending three generations building an energy market in Europe, Putin basically loses it all in just one year. 

Tweet from Roger Stone:

Why hasn't John Kerry been prosecuted for violating the Logan Act for his secret efforts to renew a nuclear weapons deal with Iran in violation of US law?

Just as with having classified documents in your possession, intent is key to deciding whether or not your actions are criminal. It is entirely routine for former diplomats to contact old negotiating partners and to move the ball forward a bit. As far as Kerry was concerned, he was being helpful. Had Trump had a coherent position on Iran's nuclear weapons, it would have been reasonable to have insisted that Kerry follow Trump's lead.

Senate Republicans make it clear that in the debt ceiling fight, House Republicans are on their own!

Senator Cruz thinks there’s a double standard between Trump and Biden on the matter of having unauthorized documents in their possession.
Incorrect. The DOJ is looking at criminal intent. Trump very clearly did not just make an innocent error. His taking of documents that he had no right to take was not an accident. Trump acted knowingly, deliberately, with malice and forethought. None of that is true for Biden.

D'oh! So much for that talking point against Biden! Former VP Pence just admitted to finding a few classified documents among his papers from when he was in office.

A drive through a really wrecked-up Bakhmut.
Charles McGonigal was the Supervisory Special Agent in Charge (SSAC) for Counterintelligence in the New York Field Office. With what he’s been charged with, he’ll spend decades behind bars.
Ukrainian Defense Ministry allegedly overpaid for food for troops. President Zelenskyy is not taking a “business as usual” approach to this and is vigorously prosecuting the Minister.

Russian anti-war resisters lay flowers at a statue. That’s about all they can safely do.
Poland advocates helping Ukraine.

Comment on Charles McGonigal by Representative Gaetz makes it sound as though entire government was working with Russia. As far as we know, McGonigal was acting alone.

Florida Governor DeSantis is younger and a bit smarter than Trump, but both men have a strong desire to rule as fascist dictators.

Representative Greene has absolutely no clue as to what constitutes fascism.

Good! Representative Ruben Gallegos is going to run for Arizona Senator to replace Senator Sinema!

Democratic Senator Sinema tries selling herself as someone who achieved great results for her constituents during the last Congress. Kind of a problem with that is that she did far more to obstruct and to frustrate than to move programs forward.

Daily Kos takes another look at the “tankies,” of which Code Pink is a prominent member.

This statement: "Weapons are the way to peace" NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stresses the importance of stepping up military support for Ukraine’s self-defence.

Caused the heads of tankies to explode as they can’t credit the idea that helping Ukraine to defend itself will lead to peace. Their idea appears to be to throw Ukraine to the Russian bear to be mauled.

Ah, that‘s what BRICS means!Brazil, Russia, India, and China” Are they in any way an alliance? No more than the 2002 “Axis of Evil” was.

Truly sad. Mike Pompeo has absolutely zero decency. Jamal Khashoggi’s widow denies everything that Pompeo says about her murdered husband.

Why do some victims of abuse not speak up? Unfortunately, abusers are often allied with enablers, people who defends the abusers against the accusations of the abused. The Duggars were the abusers who found friends and allies in the community.

See, the problem is not that we can't discuss Social Security & Medicare, it's that politicians don't want to publicly discuss cutting benefits as being part of their preferred "solution."

Medieval peasants, compared to regular people today. Mmm, yeah. Both good and very, very bad points! Peasants had a much more relaxed lifestyle, but no healthcare and no concept of sanitation.

What motivates people to do crazy things like kill 10 people? Ehh, that’s of mild interest. What’s of very deep interest to me is how society can prevent these things from happening and that involves keeping weapons that are more suited for the battlefield ou tof civilian hands.

The city of Soledar is lost. First notable Russian success since last July.
Russians are also planning on a Spring offensive.
Providing Leopard tanks to Ukraine might be a problem for Germany in an economically competitive sense.
Interesting discussion beween Russian pundits who agree that they like Tucker Carlson.
Russians favor the idea of killing tens of thousands of US service-people over that of nuclear war. My own view is that the purpose of the war matters. Simply killing lots of Americans may not have the same effect that it did in Vietnam.

Update (15 Feb): The Russian Spring Offensive appears to be underway, but it depends on the tactic of the "zerg rush," rushing the other side with sheer numbers of troops after an artillery barrage. It isn't working very well.

Woo hoo! Leopard tanks are headed to the Ukraine front! Seems Germany was made to feel a lot of heat.
No all-out offensives in winter, but Ukrainians hope to have enough good equipment to launch something in the Spring. Nibbling away at front.
Why both sides fight so hard for Novoselivs’ke,

Our blogger summarizes Andrew McCabe’s work on how secret documents are handled.

An extended piece on population declines and how that relates to standards of living. The dread predictions made by Peter Peterson anti-Social Security people (a 90s group of economists) just were never borne out.

Back in the old days (starting in the mid-40s, the change began in the mid-70s), average Americans could get a house and a car and raise a family on a single average paycheck. The cost of raising a child averages out to $17k a year, the average paycheck today is $54k. Average mortgage comes to $17k (rent is a bit less at $16k). If you finance a car for 36 months and pay the average $47k, that comes out to $16k a year. So having a single child on a single salary leaves you with $5k for everything else.

Aww! Poor Rudy Giuliani! He clearly agrees with his co-host:

"I don't want a senile president, and I don't want a corrupt president," co-host Dr. Maria Ryan said.
"Nobody knew about it; nobody talked about it until I uncovered it," Giuliani proclaimed.

But what exactly did Giuliani "uncover?" Biden's "corruption" is completely unproven. 

As to the "senility" charge, the former President Trump said he never met “Silk” (Rochelle Richardson), even though there are photos of them with each other.

Corruption: The Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine wonders whether the Trump era reflects “Elite avarice and country-club cronyism” or whether the US has ever “had a president with so many ongoing businesses and conflicts of interests before.”

Israelis trying to erase Palestinian identity. The removal of all Palestinian flags is a first step.

Estonian Prime Minister says Russia is 100% responsible for the war.
“Every day of delay is the death of Ukrainians.“
Kreminna hotly contested.
Baltic states urge Germany to supply Leopards to Ukraine.
“But what we hear when you say ‘no Leopards’: - UKR offense postponed, RU has more time to kill our people”
By refusing to supply Leopards, Germany is convincing Europe not to buy German weapons in the future.

As Talking Points Memo put it, the NY Times is "Whitewatering very strongly" here. They clearly miss having a Democratic president defending against a scandal.

"Justice Department Politely Blows Off Jim Jordan's Request"
So it appears that the Republican House's overreach and the reaction to it (see comment) has now fully commenced!

"How freaked are Republicans about the House GOP maniacs? Oh, let us count the ways"
Yep! Looking forward to a Democratic House in 2025!

Was Nixon the most popular president ever? Not really. Nixon was many terrible things, but he was an extremely good political strategist. He also had a strong economy in 1972 and his opponent, McGovern, was focused on the Vietnam War, which Nixon had promised to win “with honor.” Nixon had already deescalated the war significantly. So saying that Nixon was super-popular was true, but only when you compared him to his opponent.

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s victory over Alf Landon in 1936 was 46 states to Landon’s two, and both Nixon and Roosevelt got a bit over 60% of the vote, so Nixon’s victory wasn’t all that unusual.

The House under Speaker McCarthy has proposed a national sales tax. Without some serious PR work, this is going to be a major political liability.

The Fair Tax proposal is an extremely regressive tax that indeed helps the poor and is something the rich love, but middle-income people would end up shouldering most of the cost of running the government.

Update (28 Jan): This was first proposed in 1999 and just keeps getting proposed every year, even though it's a self-evidently terrible idea.

Hoo wee! Judge slams Trump and his lawyers for “a pattern of abusing the court system for political purposes.” Charges them nearly $1 million!

One of the problems with the Republican House’s demand for massive spending cuts is that they haven’t quite decided what to cut.
Reminder: If the House has a specific idea on what to cut, they can pass a bill that cuts that item. No need for any threats.

German Defense Minister claims that Germany is not demanding that Abrams tanks be deployed before they deploy Leopards.
Estonia has contributed over 1% of its GDP to help defend Ukraine.
Estonian Prime Minister urges victory for Ukraine.
Russia is confident of prevailing, so the best route to peace is to convince Russia it can’t win.

On the investigation of the leak of the abortion decision several months ago. The investigators swear to us (with words to the effect of) “Honest! We looked everywhere! We interviewed everybody! What’s that? Did we interview Justice Alito or Justice Thomas or Thomas’ wife? Why, er, um, no. Justices are above suspicion, don’cha know?”

Were the obvious suspects, Alito and Thomas and Thomas’ wife, interviewed? Supreme Court has not responded to inquiry about whether any Justices were questioned.

That evening, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnnell Show at 10pm, asserted in no uncertain terms that the Justices were not interviewed.

All nine Supreme Court Justices questioned, none of them had to sign an affadavit, none were placed under oath.

Wow! Didn’t realize that the search of non-Justice employees of the Supreme Court was that invasive and total. Makes the failure to really search the Justices even less defensible.

New: Trump claims on Truth Social that he had so many empty folders marked classified because when Oval Office briefings were over, “they would collect the papers, but not the folders, & I saved hundreds of them…”

Reason I don’t find this the slightest bit credible is that if a thief came across a folder containing classified documents, the quickest and simplest thing to do is to take the documents (standard office paper) and leave the folder (card stock). With the lack of internal security at Mar-a-Lago, once you’ve got the documents in a pocket or bag and you’ve gotten back to a regular common area, you’re home free!

Europeans, Canadians and Americans sending still more arms to Ukraine.

...two big factors fueling international assistance to Ukraine. One is the incredible toughness and resilience demonstrated by the Ukrainian people. … The second factor fueling support for Ukraine is Russia’s willingness to engage in wanton cruelty, not as the necessary side effect of waging war, but as a tactic.

House Republicans have determined that the US needs to cut at least $130 billion from the budget. How did they arrive at that number? No one knows. The good news is that they can pass a bill to do that. They just need to come up with the details that will add up to a practical plan that the Democratic Senate and President can sign off on. 

Huh! There is apparently footage of Representative George Santos in drag! We liberals, of course, thiink that humanizes him and makes hhim a bit more sympathetic. 

A helicopter with the Minister of Internal Affairs on it crashed into a school with many casualties.
Ukrainian defense around Bakhmut continue to hold.
The US is hesitant to send the Abrams Main Battle Tank, not because of any concern about Russia’s reaction, but because of the logistics involved. The Leopard 2 is far easier to support, but Germany doesn’t want to send it unless the US sends Abrams tanks first.
The US has stocks of ammunition in Israel that it’s now sending to Ukraine.

Please keep in mind that when Florida Governor DeSantis talks about Covid, that FL is within the top ten states for deaths from Covid.

Representative Chip Roy seems to be a lead proponent of allowing the government to default in order to force legislative changes that he’d like to see.

Update (15 Feb): Whew! Senate Minority Leader McConnell has ruled "No default!"

The trillion-dollar coin was first suggested in 2011. The NY Times really doesn’t like the idea and says investors will lose faith if it’s minted. Funny, they aren’t able to quote a single investor who will take any significant action in response.

Iran is now resorting to just plain brutality to put down protests.

Finland’s Prime Minister outlines a sort of domino theory. If Russia wins against Ukraine, it will be the beginning of decades of conquests.
Russia gained a salient near Bakhmut. Ukrainians are clobbering it with artillery & aviation.
Close look at a Wagner mercenary.
Film of “The hellscape of Russian liberation.”
Putin suggest that Russia withdraw from the “European Conventions on the Protection of Human Rights.”

I read Z Magazine a lot during the 80s, so I was pleased to see that they take the same position that Daily Kos does, that Russia is an imperial power fully as bad as the US was in its invasion of Iraq. The two countries were imperialist in both cases and both should be condemned for their actions.

"Lady Sings the Blues"
Interesting stuff. At one point Billie Holiday (played by Diana Ross) gets really emotional about a Klan procession that's passing by and starts screaming at them. Why did she do something so indiscreet and unsafe? Earlier, she was traveling on a bus with a whole crew of white fellows. They all went into a restaurant for a meal. She couldn't join them because the restaurant had a sign outside saying "Whites Only." This kind of stuff wears on a person. Good portrait of a person caught in a historical moment.

What's the difference between a far-right "Freedom Caucus" Congressperson and a moderate? Unfortunately, they're six of one and a half-dozen of the other.

Democrats are refusing to open negotiations on the debt limit. The limit should be raised, period!

Republicans have detailed plans for how the Biden Administration should handle the “hostage” negotiations over increasing the debt limit.

British tanks are on the way!
Zelenskyy discusses the missile strike on Dnipro.
British Defence Secretary points out “But no matter how cruel or how much loss of life accompanies it, Russia has singularly failed to break the will of the Ukrainian people or change the policy of its leaders.“ Good, substantive, security package is on the way!
“Dmitry Golenkov, the chief of staff of an aviation squadron of the Shaikovka aviation group” makes it very clear what he thinks of Ukraine’s status as an independent state.
At least some Russians are getting fed up with the war.
Ukrainian music video.

Svatove & Starobilsk are the two cities that, if taken by Ukraine, can make the job of supplying Russian troops very difficult. By making progress at Kreminna, that threatens Svatove.
Russians post video showing multiple T-90s that was helpfully geo-located. I checked out the comments on the post on Twitter. People who see such good HIMARS targets are encouraged to tell the Ukrainian military before posting them online!

Matt Taibbi accuses Hillary Clinton of having “fantasies about Russian collusion.” Erm, no. They were and continue to be backed by solid evidence. Anyone who thinks we have the complete story on Donald Trump and Russia is clearly not fir to report on the story.

Bit of a problem with Speaker McCarthy’s proposal, the Twitter Files weren’t simply releases of data. Select reporters were given access to the internal files of the company and they then wrote about what they found. People have had a problem with the perspectives and conclusions of those reporters.

Update (13 Feb): Turns out the Twitter Files were also a very highly selective release. They were specifically designed to make liberals and Democrats look bad.

Heartbreaking tragedy!
Sanctions expanded against Russia.
Part of Kreminna in Ukrainian hands. It’s directly South and less than 50 miles from Svatove.
WaPo does story on crime against Dnipro.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and how his words have been weaponized by right-wingers to say what Rev. King never said.

NATO is pretty inclined to give Ukraine the heavy tanks it needs to push Russian troops out of Ukraine’s territory, but the recent missile attack on the city of Dnipro has really galvanized them to speed up those deliveries. Blogger recommends just send Ukraine everything we can, now! At the very least, promise it so everyone knows its on the way.
First picture is of Ukrainian apartment with its outer wall torn away. We’ve found a video of a birthday party that took place in that very apartment.

Donald Trump claims that Mar-a-Lago is a "walled fortress" and therefore that any documents he stored there were perfectly safe. Pictured: Trump posing for a picture on the golf course with a known Russian grifter.

News outlets like MSNBC have been very good about explaining the distinction between the Trump and Biden document problems. Unfortunately, WaPo here is clearly editorializing for Biden’s problems to be a deal-killer for prosecuting Trump.

Progress on the Agatha Harkness movie (played by Kathryn Hahn in the series WandaVision and again by her here). The series should be released later this year.

More acts of terrorism as Russia hits apartment buildings with missiles. Target were all 100% civilian.
Zelenskyy repeats his ask for more weapons. The ratio of missiles shot down to missiles launched was about 2/3rds.
Partisans and Special Operations Forces continue to carry out reconnaissance missions across the river from Kherson.
Ukraine pursuing deliberate strategy of forcing pyrrhic victories onto Russians.
“Russia is calculating that Ukraine will run out of resources first.”
Ukraine is looking forward to a Spring offensive.

Everything you could possibly want to know about tanks in Ukraine.

This is really, really grossly and seriously excessive! These cops need to be charged with murder.

Update (6 Feb):  Keenan Anderson's cousin and Black Lives Matter co-founder speaks out on his death.


Good stuff! All about teamwork and trust and getting by with what’s on hand.

Harvard University violates the principle of academic freedom in order to punish an advocate who served as executive director of Human Rights Watch.

...according to a recent article in The Nation, Dean Elmendorf barred Roth from taking up this position because some of the Harvard Kennedy School’s donors deemed Roth and HRW overly critical of Israel’s policies and actions toward the Palestinians subject to its control.

Make big cuts in the budget for the Department of Homeland Security? Hey, not a problem! The department simply includes the Coast Guard, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Citizenship & Immigration Services, Customs & Border Protection, etc. Good way to punish those agencies for failing to seal off the border from migrants.

A poll shows a big gap between what the GOP considers to be important and what voters consider to be bigger priorities.

The debt ceiling hostage crisis may hit as early as next week. For the Treasury to take “extraordinary measures” might buy us a few months.

Wildly irresponsible framing of the coming fight over the debt limit. Issue is framed as though both sides were equally responsible.

Ukraine is pushing for full NATO membership, ASAP. They want to change their status from de facto to de jure members. For Russia to successfully take Bakhmut would be of enormous symbolic significance.
Russians apparently make progress South of Bakhmut.
NATO is speaking of getting tanks to Ukraine in time for a Spring offensive.
Cutting Russia’s cash flow even further.
Beaver dams are helping to make an attack from Belarus unlikely.

Kevin Sorbo thinks that for a woman to have an abortion because she's too financially poor to raise the child is a terrible reason. Easy for a multi-milliomaire Hollywood star to say
Being poor isn't just a problem for the child. It's problem for the whole family and having an unplanned child could really complicate her/their lives. You think that's just a minor technical problem? Could the rest of society pitch in to help? Well, it can, but that requires a close community and that just doesn’t exist in a lot of places.

Okay, so we’ve got a video of what we believe was Ashli Babbit punching a fellow named Zachary Alam. What was her motivation in doing so? Hard to say, but she was shot because she stepped out into the hallway. The Capitol Policeman who shot her said that he had to very forcefully tell the crowd to stop or else the people he was protecting would have been killed or captured by the mob.

Sigh! Some days, there’s not a whole lot of difference between the NY Times and Fox News.

How human-caused climate change is affecting water cycles.

I’m presuming former Trump Press Secretary, Governor Sarah Sanders, just knows her audience and that they all want culture wars all the time.

Images of bomb craters from satellites in Bakhmut.
Very muddled situation around the town of Soledar (immediately North of Bakhmut).
“Witch” (Vedma) and her brother (Kiyanyn), narrate a short video.
A Sargeant with the 46th Brigade insists the situation in Soledar is under control and they will not be encircled. There’s been a real push there by the Russians since the New Years.
Thread on the Ukrainian painter Maria Prymachenko (1909-1997).
Podcast on Ukrainian culture.

Trump's team was negotiating with the DOJ over the documents… 

What? What was there to negotiate? Trump took items that weren’t his to take. He needed to return them. Period!

I dealt with other various points that Levin brings up at PRAWNBlog. No, the Secret Service is not assigned to do anything bu to protect the persons of Trump and his family members. They are not responsible for guarding documents as Trump wasn’t supposed to have any documents to guard!

Seriously, the NY Times has a real tin ear for politics. No, the Biden document case has no impact on the Trump document case. It's strictly a political problem that the cases have any similarities.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries tells us what the Republican agenda's all about from what he's observed of their first three days. Yeah, we're gonna have two years of preening and posturing with zero productive bills making it through the House.

The GOP gains a slight majority that's opposed to helping Ukraine

These trends aren’t complicated. Russia represents the global rightist authoritarian movement; Ukraine represents liberal civic democracy.

As MSNBC’s Alex Wagner Tonight documented, this Fox News report tells us of a nonexistent problem. No one’s ever heard of a baby born alive and then killed because it survived an abortion attempt. If such a thing were to happen, it wouldn’t require a special law, it would simply be murder.

Poland sending full company (typically means 14 tanks) of German Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
Soledar is surrounded on three sides, Russians are throwing everything they can at it, but it’s still holding.
A look into the demotion of General Surovikin.

General Sergey Surovikin who was replaced with Valery Gerasimov (equivalent to the chair of our Joint Chiefs of Staff) did a great deal to turn Ukraine’s war of maneuver into a stalemate, but hitting Ukraine’s power grid with missiles severely backfired on Russia by opening the floodgates to supplying Ukraine with MBTs (Main Battle Tanks) from Europe.

Where I review some silly statements.

It appears that Kevin McCarthy made a three-page side agreement in order to become the Speaker. We have a pretty good idea of what was in that agreement, but it hasn’t been publicly acknowledged.

McCarthy also boasted via Twitter this morning that the new GOP majority was increasing 'transparency' and creating a 'more open' Congress.

Not if they’ve reached secret deals, they haven’t.

People in the US have expressed great concern over demographic changes where whites have become less numerous than other ethnicities. Israel is going through similar anxieties as the Arab portion of their population makes demographic gains.

A bit less than a year of war with Ukraine and Russians are fearing they’ll soon be starving.

Not only does China think Russia will lose its war with Ukraine, but China wants to be in a position to profit from what they see as a Ukrainian reconstruction boom.

Why is Trump’s retention of classified documents a bad thing whereas Biden’s retention of classified documents no big deal? Duh, Biden’s people discovered the documents and immediately reported/handed them over to the National Archives. Trump deliberately and consciously, with malice and forethought, removed them from where they were supposed to remain and moved them to insecure quarters. Many of those documents are missing due to sloppy storage.

Of course, CNN takes wildly irresponsible view of the matter.

Ooh! The newest Ant-Man & The Wasp will star Kang, who goes way back in the Marvel universe. Movie also appears to star MODOK.

Appreciating the new House Minority Leader.

Russia launched missiles to a market. Two killed, five injured. No military targets were hit.

The Russia Federation may not survive the war in Ukraine by very long or it may break up before the war is over. What happens next? No one knows.

The expansion of NATO over the past few decades has had nothing to do with what Russia is today.

Russia is preparing its population for a all-out total war of elimination in Ukraine, at any cost.

The six varieties of Russian war crimes.

I subscribed to Z Magazine back in the 80s. I notice here that they completely agree with Biden, that austerity policies are not only useless but actually harmful.

Brazil suffers an attack on their seat of government that’s very much like January 6th in our country.

The role that social media played in the attempted coup in Brazil. Musk gets hammered for Dereliction of Duty as he fired the very people who might have headed off the problem, but social media in general did a poor job.

Steve Bannon's fingerprints are all over the Bolsonaro rebellion in Brazil. Trump and people associated with him appear to be involved too.

Electric vehicles are very good provided you live in a suburb or in the country. If you can park the car next to your home and can run a cord out to recharge it every night, it’d make a marvelous commuting or weekend vehicle. At a distance from home, doing a charging for 30 to 60 minutes is fine if you can hook it up and then walk into a restaurant for a meal or something like that. Our blogger looks at how the Chevy Volt works out.

The new House wants to access the files of the Attorney General. Obviously, they want to know exactly what information they have on Trump et al. Good thing there are long-standing precedents against the House being able to look at those files.

No Labels has to be the most useless political group ever. They were completely invisible during the fight to seat the new Speaker.

And yeah, the “Problem Solvers” in the GOP were just as worthless.

Okay, so Code Pink is convinced that NATO is the aggressor here (See Daily Kos discussions of “tankies”). This sentence: 

Under Presidents Clinton, Obama and Trump, however, NATO expanded from 12 countries at the fall of the Soviet Union to 30 countries

is woefully incomplete. Why did NATO expand? Initially, turns out there were votes in it for Clinton. Polish people in the US were very clear that defending Poland from Russian aggression would be a vote-winner. Obama discovered the same. Eastern Europe wanted NATO to expand because they were concerned about Russian aggression.

Also, really not sure this Code Pink statement is accurate history. NATO 

back(ed) a coup to overthrow a democratically elected President.

But as Open Society makes clear, then-president Viktor Yanukovych fell primarily because of popular pressure, not because of NATO plotting and planning.

It took 15 votes, but Kevin McCarthy is finally the Speaker!

Yep! Freedom Caucus will push for a debt default, endangering the world economy.

Summary, excerpts and a free link to economist Paul Krugman’s NY Times piece on how World War II was essentially a matter of tossing enough troops, tanks, ships and planes at the other side until victory was won. Ukraine is wining the war because the economies of the European Union and the US are bigger than that of Russia.

Russia produces oil at roughly $43 a barrel. That oil sells for about $50. 

Russia has to import at least between 200 and 300 billion dollars a year of goods to just keep going.

On top of that, they have to raise taxes to keep the war in Ukraine going.

President Zelenskyy announces new US aid package of over $3 billion, including Bradley fighting vehicles.
Moscow doesn’t feel the war happening about 500 miles away. Discusses Russian coping strategies.
Military music video.

“You’re doomed, I tell you! Doom...what...what’s that? Inflation is no longer a problem? Dang! Er, I mean, that’s wonderful!” (Damn! Got to scratch one more problem off the list.)

Secretary of Transportation Buttigieg asks, very sensibly, why the double standard between me taking my husband to an event when other secretaries take their wives?

Germany and the US both sending armored personnel carriers to Ukraine.
Zelenskyy feels the Russian-proposed truce will be used by them to replensh their supplies and to redeploy troops.
A description of battling near Bakhmut.
No, Ukraine will not respond to Russian-proposed truce. Russian mil-bloggrs don’t care for the idea either.

Several years ago, our blogger wrote a book about Republicans being a "Post-Policy Party." In the fight over the vote for a Speaker, they appear to be proving him right.

This is about what happened to the GOP beginning in 2008/9 when it ceased to be a center-right party of governance and became a party of breaking things.

Agree completely. I felt at the time that Newt Gingrich was the real breakaway radical who trashed political norms to make gains.

Chaya Raichik, representing LibsofTikTok, is causing very real harm to members of the L:GBTQ community.

Sigh! In these QAnon-influenced times, yes, we have Republicans accusing each other of witchcraft!

Ukrainian ballet resumed in May, even though performances are often interrupted by air raid sirens.
Ukraine launches air strikes across the river from Kherson.
The leader of the Wagner mercenaries feels obliged to explain why his troops aren’t getting anywhere.
A few thousand residents of the town of Sumy defended their town when their armed forces had abandoned it for lost.
A Russian influence operation in Germany.

This squad commander is called "Witch" 'cause she's got a bit of an appearance of one. She comments here on how the Wagner mercenaries keep their troops disciplined.

Yep! Voting for the Speaker is a leadership test, and McCarthy failing it very badly!

Russia started the war in Ukraine with 3,300 tanks. They’ve now lost in excess of 3,000. Personnel casualties are well over 100k.

It makes no sense to blame the Transportation Secretary for the Southwest cluster%$#@ over the holidays. The problems there are deep-rooted and not subject to quick fixes.

President Zelenskyy discusses the ice arena Altair that was destroyed by a Russian missile.
Yowza! Bomb from drone seen hitting a weapons stockpile!
Russians have suffered vast losses of tanks, but both sides still find them highly useful.
Shoulder-launched anti-tank rockets are useful, but main anti-tank weapon is artillery.

Daily Kos did a piece on the German Leopard 2 vs the US Abrams M1A1. Yeah, the Leopard is the more suitable tank for Ukraine right now.

Former Trump aide Hope Hicks was terribly disappointed by the January 6th attack on our Capitol as “We all look like domestic terrorists now” and that “this made us all unemployable Like untouchable”

Commentary on Hope Hicks and her planned future career after the Trump Administration closed down.

Why was the DC National Guard nowhere to be seen on January 6th? According to this letter by the acting Secretary of Defense two days beforehand, they were given strict and explicit orders not to do anything to interfere with the attack on the Capitol.

Russia’s mood after casualties in Ukraine have long passed the 100k mark (very cheerful and upbeat). 

Retired Lt. Gen. Flynn feels Russia has obtained all of its objectives. Really? The people in the video above are vowing to fight on for as long as it takes!

Around 600 Russian soldiers occupied a barracks, we think the Russians may have been storing ammunition below, which might explain why the building went “poof!”
Another barracks hit, this time with about 70 soldiers.
How Wagner mercenaries deal with mutineers.
POW! Thieves get their just reward!

The anti-”woke” posts are kind of ridiculous. Modern warfare has changed so that the service people in the selfie with VP Harris are quite as capable as the all-men Chinese military. Also, the all-men, all-straight Russian military has been gittin’ it’s arse kicked by the “woke” Ukrainians!
As another blogger points out, only 15% of an average NATO division makes front line, direct contact with the enemy. The rest of them serve as support staff and frankly, are just as likely to get hit by artillery shells or rockets as front-line troops.

A look at the anti-Ukraine right wing in the US, reprinted from a few weeks ago.

Mississippi’s governor battled bravely against Critical Race Theory (that isn’t taught in elementary or secondary schools anyway), “Biden’s COVID Vaccine Mandates” (that said that people should get “the jab” of vaccine) and “COVID Vaccine Passports” (that said people should have paperwork proving they had gotten “the jab”).
And by a strange and unusual coincidence that’s totally a coincidence, oddly enough, MS also has the highest Covid death rate.

MS earlier said that if you had a “sincerely held religious objections,” then you shouldn’t be forced to get vaxxed.

Ukrainian air force was busy last night shooting down Russian drones and missiles.

Aw! I don't think there's anything fake or even self-conscious here. I think Levin's genuinely upset that we can now see what a criminal Trump has been for these many years.