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Showing posts from February, 2024

Ukraine is Fighting Our Battles, So We Don’t Have To

As I steal a week off, please allow me to offer this piece from January of last year, back when Republicans had just taken control of the House and we were first entertained by the leadership skills on display, especially those of Kevin McCarthy. The piece is about Ukraine, but in re-reading it, what struck me was how much of what we’re seeing today was completely foreseeable, and widely foreseen. So while I can’t claim any special prescience, most of the speculations here have indeed come to pass, most appallingly the obtuse obstruction of supplemental funding for Ukraine. With only minor updating, I could have written this piece yesterday. If there is one thing Republicans have always professed to believe — one rock-solid conviction you could absolutely take to the bank, no matter how much they otherwise distorted facts, history, and reality itself — it’s that Russia is an existential threat to the world in general, and the United States in particular. But now

Assassination With Style Points

  Remember Evgeny Prigozhin? Founder of the Wagner Group? His plane blown out of the sky by Putin, just last summer? It was a sensational story at the time. I wrote about it myself, here and here . But despite all the coverage, a particularly chilling detail seems to have eluded everyone but my friend Dennis, who shared with me a remarkable insight that has haunted me ever since: Putin didn’t just want Prigozhin dead. He wanted Prigozhin to think about it, all the way down to the ground. Expert analysis of the crash supports this, though nobody talks about it. It’s clear that a bomb was on the plane, and that it blew one of the wings off. Which apparently left the fuselage intact. Which presumably left Prigozhin strapped in his seat, wide awake, with a little more than a minute to contemplate both his political missteps and the meaning of life. Who knows what his thought process might’ve been, but I’m guessing he thought, even if just for a few of those pre

What Could Be Worse than the Dobbs Decision?

  I’ve tried to be a bit more optimistic in my posts of late. I’ve focused on the evidence — of which there’s plenty — that maybe Trump and the Republican party are driving themselves, as opposed to us, off a cliff. The politics of preserving democracy have indeed been somewhat encouraging, especially when one considers the virtually unbeaten record of Democrats in every election since the fall of Roe v. Wade . I’d like nothing more than to give up the gloom-and-doom thing on a permanent basis. But not today. Today, once again, I have to bum us all out. I have to tell you about one of those boring and esoteric legal issues that tend to slip right by us, but which, in this case, carries a level of threat arguably more alarming even than the tanking of Roe . Once again, the Supreme Court is up to no good, and it has nothing to do with the criminality of Donald Trump. One of the decisions they’re cooking up for this June could dwarf the Dobbs decision, both in

To the GOP, Immigration is the New Abortion

  To understand the current non-action on immigration, one need look no further than the Republican stance on abortion, before and after the fall of Roe v. Wade. I’ve said many times that abortion was always a winning issue for Republicans, but only as long as it stayed legal. For decades, they were able to paint Democrats as baby-killers, seizing what they thought of as the moral high ground, safe in the knowledge that abortion was here to stay. Or so they thought. It was a great scam while it lasted. They were able to create a legion of single-issue voters, gullible rubes who lived for the day Roe would be overturned. And as long as Republicans could keep waving that shiny object, the rube vote was assured forever. It was okay to promise the end of Roe, but they must never, under any circumstances, deliver it. Of course, the Supreme Court had other ideas. And quite predictably, the minute Roe was overturned, abortion became the GOP’s worst nightmare. It went i