Rally - Russia and Ukraine

12Feb2022

gathering
Gathering in Love Park, across the street from Philadelpha's City Hall, to protest a possible war between Russia and Ukraine.

Interesting. The graphics that the news shows us that demonstrate that the Russian Army is a mean, lean, fightin' machine? The graphics are produced by Russia!
Julia Ioffe is frequently on TV as a commenter and is a writes for Puck, an online news magazine. She proudlu identifies as a Russian. She doesn't have much use for Putin, but has kept in touch with people in the leadership there. I found it very highly interesting, that she says in a tweet of hers,

Putin's foreign policy advisor, Yuri Ushakov, says President Biden's emphasis during their call this morning was on diplomacy. Biden "is an adherent of the diplomatic path," Ushakov said.

In other words, Russia is presenting the US President as earnestly seeking peace. And despite the latest war scares:

It's this weird leftie straw man argument that the U.S. is about to go to war with Russia when nothing could be further from the truth.

veteran

This piece is behind a paywall, but it also takes issue with the idea that war is imminent.

The US keeps raising the alarm about the near certainty of an invasion or the imminence of invasion, even as the Russians deny it (no surprise there) and the Ukrainians insist the situation isn’t that dire.

The author then examines the threat of war as a psychological manuever on both the side of Russia and the US/Ukraine.

Counterpoint: Putin, like our own TFG (The Forme Guy), doesn't depend on a staff to make decisions, but goes by his own gut instinct. So,

I would strongly recommend, that just to be prudent, everyone fill up their vehicles, make sure you have a week to ten days worth of non-perishable food and water including enough for your pets, and if possible you top up your prescription medications if you can just in case.

He also points out that, long term, Putin really can't prevent Ukraine from joing the EU/NATO as 60% of Ukrainians favor the idea. 

And BTW, Russia loves Republicans and Fox News!

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The current Trump scandal is that he made off with 15 boxes of documents that should have gone to the National Archives and NOT his privately-owned golf club. TFG's been stomping all over norms and expectations since he first started his presidentail campaign.

“He didn’t think the rules applied to him,” a former White House aide told CNN this week. And he was right.

Immediately, mainstream media sources began featuring Trump apologists whose excuses were highly questionable from the start. A “frenzied packing process” doesn't explain why aides took documents that didn't belong to the president. Presidentail work documents should have been in the White House filing system, documents that belonged to TFG should have been in an entirely separate section, most likely, other presidents would have kept private papers within their own private quarters and not in the official Oval Office filing system at all.

One of the more ludicrous excuses given for Trump's document destruction was

“when you have someone like Donald Trump, who, for whatever reason, was, as we have been reporting, ripping everything — information, memos, articles from the Washington Post he didn’t like — it’s hard to reach that bar of it being nefarious.”

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A reporter for the NY Times who wrote about The Former Guy quite a bit during his term reported in her forthcoming book:

...staff in the White House residence periodically discovered wads of printed paper clogging a toilet — and believed the president had flushed pieces of paper.

She claims that she only learned this after Trump left office. As both Omarosa Manigault Newman and Stephanie Grisham back up the reporter Haberman’s story, it sounds to me as though the staff was generally aware of this long-term behavior by him. 

By the way, not to give future presidents any ideas, but the White House has 28 fireplaces! Fun fact: it wasn't until the 1900s that fireplaces were replaced by modern heating systems there.

drummer

Was TFG informed after he had moved everything to Mar-a-Lago that he had taken quite a few douments that he should not have? Why yes! Yes, he was indeed! In fact the National Archives had to threaten him with legal action, they'd tell Congress, etc., if he didn't turn them over immediately!

Politicians from the Republican Party claim to be just shocked, shocked, I tell you!, that anyone could have mis-handled government information that way. After all, recall the outrage over the fomer Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her handling of email protocols. Of course, Republicans immediately condemned Trump, right? Ha, ha, ha! Nah, it's highly unlikely they ever cared in the first place. The NY Times headline on the matter reads: "Republicans Who Railed About Clinton Emails Are Quiet on Trump’s Records"
Trump's former White House Chief of Staff Meadows compares Speaker Pelosi tearing up a photocopy of Trump's State of the Union speech with Trump's very real scandal as though the two episodes are even remotely comparable.

Did the media treat the "But Her Emails..." story in an hysterically exaggerated manner?
Vox:

This has had the effect of further inscribing and reinscribing the notion that Clinton did something wrong, meaning that every bit of micro-news that puts the scandal back on cable amounts to reminding people of something bad that Clinton did. In total, network newscasts have, remarkably, dedicated more airtime to coverage of Clinton’s emails than to all policy issues combined.

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Dance for Peace

Unfortunately, as far as the Build Back Better bill goes, the Senate held a vote on the filibuster. All 50 Republicans and two Democrats voted to keep the filibuster intact. Not much chance of voting out Senator Manchin, but Senator Sinema's career is pretty much dead. Interestingly, Manchin seems motivated to try and convince her to change her position on how to pay for the bill. Her position is that we can't reverse Trump's 2017 tax cut. It did the economy no discernable good, so her reasoning is not at all clear.
In any event, Senator Ben Ray LujŠn had a stroke. He is expected to make a full recovery, but with only 49 Democratic senators availble to vote, no vote can be held for awhile anyway.

more of the group

Congresswoman AOC makes a campaign appearance in Texas, wowing the locals and showing that Democrats have a bright future there!
Stacey Abrams is raising plenty of campaign money in Georgia!
Congresswoman Val Demings is running to unseat Senator Marco Rubio.

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