Patrick Cockburn at Counterpunch informs us that "(t)he essence of the crisis in Ukraine is that Russia can gain many benefits from its unspoken threat to invade, but none at all from actually doing so." When you hear that "Russian troops might be able to capture Kyiv in a week" but not keep it, you may well be reminded of our adventure in Iraq -- right down to the part where apparent Western efforts to "stoke a phony crisis" in the Ukraine resemble how Western intelligence got Saddam Hussein's WMD holdings dead wrong. So the next time you hear media histrionics about the Ukraine, take a deep breath.
Florida legislators are actually trying to limit the scope of future ballot initiatives there, mindful of the fact that Florida has a $15/hour minimum wage and has restored voting rights to some felons, which Florida legislators would never have done on their own, no matter how much good Floridians agitated about it. Limiting the people's say in their government and their own lives -- yeah, that'll go over well! When we hear from Florida legislators about this effort, they'll of course deny that's what they're doing -- they'll brandish words like "reform" and "streamline," because they know they're doing evil, and they know their constituents know it, and what choice will they have? Besides, you know, not doing evil.
A.B. Stoddard at The Bulwark says Republicans are winning the new culture war over vaccines -- and says "(i)t's time for Democrats to stop worrying about alienating the unvaccinated and start explaining to the rest of the country how the unvaccinated -- and the Republicans who coddle and truckle to them -- have screwed the rest of us." Yes, I agree that President Biden should have done that already. I'd add that he also needs to blame the big actors driving all the controversy -- i.e., the dark money groups funding anti-vaxxers. Folks who won't get vaccinated deserve our scorn, but they don't operate alone -- bad people with a lot of unearned money enable them.
Uh oh: somehow-former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores sues the NFL and three of its clubs for racism in conducting head coaching searches -- and texts from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick help his case. The key takeaway here is not that all Brians look alike to Mr. Belichick, but that he apparently learned that the Giants would hire Brian Daboll before they'd even interviewed Mr. Flores, rendering the latter's interview a token one, and I doubt the Giants can explain that away without alleging that Mr. Belichick lied. And if you're thinking Mr. Flores's charges of "bad faith" can't stick, just remember that year everyone interviewed Falcons Special Teams Coordinator Keith Armstrong though no one had any intention of hiring him -- and remember, also, how many teams have lined up to give Josh McDaniels second chances, although he's a demonstrably worse head coach than Mr. Flores.
Finally, I hate to celebrate the failings of others, but I'm sure going to do that here: daily cable "news" viewership "fell off a cliff" in 2021. Of course, they "fell off a cliff" compared to their record numbers in 2020, but still, this is cause for celebration. The article wonders whether folks are just tired of all the COVID and all the politics, but does not, sadly, evaluate the thesis that people are simply sick and tired of all the drama and cowardice and venality inherent in cable "news" programming for the past several decades. Not likely, you say? C'mon, let a man dream of a world in which everyone is as sick and tired of cable "news" as he is.