So Russia invades Ukraine, and then the marvelous happens: good Russians take to the streets to protest the war. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: when you protest in America, your leaders ignore you and a good chunk of people proud of their cynicism just laugh at you, but when you protest in Russia, you lose your job and get dragged off to jail. These Russian folks are brave, and though they face terrible consequences for their activism, they will probably get more done than we do when we take to the streets. Unless, of course, we're right-wingers taking to the streets to protest tax hikes or vaccine mandates that don't exist; then our government will act like we're more important than we really are.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is going so well that now Tucker Carlson is trying to pretend he never said any nice things about Vladimir Putin, although this is the future, where the enterprising scholar (here Bess Levin at Vanity Fair) can find everything you've said and done in public with ease. I just wish pointing out his obvious hypocrisy meant more -- Fox News won't ever fire Mr. Carlson, who also has a cush landing as a Hungry Man heir if things ever get really tight. But even Donald Trump is now trying to say that when he said Vladimir Putin was "smart" it wasn't really praise, which suggests that Vladimir Putin will be a very lonely fellow if he wins his land war, and that is, after all, the best he deserves after what he's done.
Better news from Mexico: workers at another Mexican auto plant are trying to shake off their employer-friendly union for a real one that might actually help them get better pay and benefits and working conditions. The incumbent union is supposedly offering 500 pesos per vote, which ain't much (it would allow good Mexicans to subsist at the poverty level for about four and a half days), but which, sadly, may buy a lot of votes anyway. I'm always distressed by how little it takes to buy people -- remember how Bank of America got workers to put more homeowners in foreclosure with $25 bonuses and gift cards? -- though after 40-plus years of neoliberalism I probably shouldn't be surprised. Anyway, I wish these auto workers luck, since they have a long road ahead of them.
When I hear that 17% of Americans are QAnon true believers, per a PRRI survey, I have to say I'm not too surprised, having long figured that the portion of the electorate that's bat-guano insane is around 25%. 17% ain't 25%, but right-wing enablers have created plenty of other dramas to keep that portion of the electorate crazy. I'll say the crazy beliefs have gotten crazier -- used to be I said you were crazy if you thought George W. Bush was doing a good job in 2007, which doesn't quite compare to "a Satanic cabal of child molesters control our government." I still think folks who thought George W. Bush was doing a good job in 2007 were crazy -- and I also think they've just been swapping one crazy belief for another all these years. Maybe they just put them all on a lazy Susan and give it a spin. I'm pretty sure that's what right-wing "influencers" do.
When confronted with the fact that he advocated raising taxes on 100 million Americans who supposedly "don't pay taxes" and don't have "skin in the game" in his 11-point plan to "Rescue America," Sen. Rick Scott (E-FL) does what they all do: he lies about it. And Sean Hannity helps him, of course, saying that he "couldn't find" the tax hike in the Scott plan, that it must be in "invisible ink"! Then again, if Donald Trump shoved a broomstick up Mr. Hannity's ass, he'd tell you he couldn't find that, either. "I couldn't find it! It must be invisible!"
Finally, Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro at Lawfare remind us that "Putin Can’t Destroy the International Order by Himself," because other nations' response to his lawlessness, if it's vigorous enough, will help preserve that order. Messrs. Hathaway and Shapiro talk strictly about war's own illegality as established by Kellogg-Briand and the U.N. charter -- we could argue about how, say, our little Iraq adventure damaged the international order, though we might not refer to the aforementioned two documents to prove it. But their post is a pretty good primer on law and order, particularly for those who think "law and order" only refers to shooting Black folks.