Patrick Cockburn at Counterpunch reminds us that Vladimir Putin "Has Gambled Everything on His Snap Invasion of Ukraine" but "Now His Political Survival is in Doubt." "So why did Putin do it? Explanations that he has gone mad or plans to rebuild the Soviet Union are propagandistic. More convincing as a reason for him taking this present extraordinary risk is hubris, which is an occupational disease among those who have been too long in power -- 22 years in Putin’s case." I actually thought Russia would roll over Ukraine fairly quickly and then get worn down by years of guerrilla war, but now I'm not even sure Russia will do that well. Even George W. Bush could claim MISHUNZ ACCOMPLISHEDZ!!!!! for a few minutes.
In case you've been caught short by Mr. Putin's claim that his real aim is to fight "neo-Nazis" in Ukraine who practice "genocide," Jeffrey Veidlinger at The Conversation will set you straight. Long story short: Russians have more free speech rights in Ukraine than they do in Russia, and the neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine today have virtually no electoral power. I guess Mr. Putin is hoping you'll remember there were pogroms in Ukraine in the 19th century and that many Ukrainians collaborated with the actual Nazis, but these facts don't exactly make Ukraine unique (and the Ukranian pogrom occurred while it was part of the Russian empire, maybe that's a cautionary tale!). Besides, if Mr. Putin really wants to punish the sin of Nazi collaboration, why isn't he invading Norway or France?
If you've been thinking how refreshing it is that our "liberal" media has learned to hate imperialist wars, Jeff Cohen at Common Dreams will bring you back to Earth with the reminder that our "liberal" media never refer to American imperialism, except in quotation marks meant to be ironic. I'm still a bit puzzled that folks aren't thinking of the Iraq war when they think of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia has deployed 190,000 soldiers to take over a nation of 44 million people living on a little over 600,000 square miles; America deployed 150,000 soldiers to take over a nation of a little over 25.5 million folks living on a bit less than 440,000 square miles. The numbers ain't that different; I guess some Americans just want to forget it all, particularly that part where they called folks like me who opposed the war traitor.
When I heard that nationalizing the fossil fuel industry might be a good way of controlling inflation, I thought, well, with all the corporate welfare they already get, this isn't such a bad idea. We would (per Robert Pollin, who makes a lot of good suggestions in the article) spend about $350 billion buying a controlling interest in the three biggest oil corporations, but that's a one-time cost, of course, and it'll save the taxpayer a lot years down the line! I also remembered that the Trump Administration imposed (and the Biden Administration has, sadly, continued) imposed economy-crippling sanctions on Venezuela essentially because they had the same idea. Does that mean that if we nationalized the oil industry in America, our government would impose sanctions on itself?
You won't be surprised to learn that dark money is funding women's groups opposed to the nomination of Judge Jackson to our Supreme Court. I hope, after all these years of pretending the exception to the rule destroys all rules, we've learned not to devour every perceived irony as if it were manna from heaven. Women against women? Big whoop! The world's a big place, with lots of places for Teh Stupid to hide! I'm about as tired of hearing that right-wing judges always respect "the rule of law" while liberal judges are all "activists." Have they read some of these decisions coming from Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh? If it's not "activist" to ignore precedent, or to go on a fishing expedition for a precedent that fits your conclusion, I don't know what is.
Finally, Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) spewed this forth on Twitter this past Sunday: "You millennial leftists who never lived one day under nuclear threat can now reflect upon your woke sky. You made quite a non-binary fuss to save the world from intercontinental ballistic tweets." The rest of the Twittersphere roasted him, but I would like to point out that incoherence is a step up for this guy -- just five years ago, he was a first-term House Rep yelling that we "kill" "all" "radicalized Muslim suspects." To think this dude was a police captain and he still said, out loud, that we should kill suspects! And now he's a Congressdolt. I hope no one uses him as an example of "how people rise on merit in the Republican Party."