Don't Let Putin Re-Divide Europe
Also, is Joe Biden getting his Charlie Brown moment?
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BLAKE SCOTT BALL asks: Is Joe Biden Charlie Brown with the Football?
Charles Schulz, creator of Charlie Brown and Peanuts, was once asked whether the new, explicitly political newspaper comic strips of the 1970s like Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury were leaving Peanuts behind. Schulz insisted that the type of politics Trudeau did was easy: Just kick whoever is in the White House, point, and laugh. By contrast, Schulz believed that he addressed the politics of everyday life. His was, to put a label on it, a politics of empathy.
Thanks to fifty years’ worth of newspaper strips and a television special for virtually every holiday, generations of Americans can picture the frustration Charlie Brown has experienced in his failed attempts to fly a kite or win a baseball game or, perhaps most vividly, kick a football. What’s more, we can all empathize in one way or another with just how Charlie Brown feels. We have all gotten our hopes up—despite past evidence to the contrary—only to be devastated when the result turns out just as we should have expected.
We have all had a Charlie Brown moment or two.
From lionizing Kyle Rittenhouse, to stopping abortion in Texas, and threatening to take over America's election apparatus, Republicans are sending a dangerous message: Take matters into your own hands. Real Clear Politics' A.B. Stoddard joins guest host Mona Charen on today's episode.
IAN KELLY, ERIC EDELMAN and DAVID KRAMER argue why Putin Can’t Be Allowed to Re-Divide Europe.
Thirty years ago this month, the fifteen republics of the USSR became independent states. They had watched as, two years before, the countries of the Warsaw Pact sloughed off communism and declared themselves free from the domination of the Soviet Union. There was more than just independence in the air then. There was also a growing consensus that liberal democracy and free markets represented a better future. Soviet citizens unfavorably compared the USSR’s decades of economic stagnation and political repression with the West’s growing prosperity and freedoms. People were tired as well of the zero-sum, confrontational approach of the Cold War.
The idea of Europe as a zone of shared security and prosperity was reflected in the Charter of Paris for a New Europe, signed in 1990 by the USSR and the countries of Europe and North America. It proclaimed the end of “the era of confrontation and division of Europe.” The signatories pledged to commit to “democracy based on human rights and fundamental freedoms,” and “refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State,” emphasizing as well “the freedom of States to choose their own security arrangements.”
Three more sleeps to go! Until Christmas is here, and I hope this message finds you with lots of holiday cheer. Our presents aren’t wrapped, but the tree and preparation for hosting has begun. As part of the Jim Swift Gift Guide, with all the food we’re about to prepare (I’m making a Tony Chachere’s cajun turkey!), I’ve had to break out the gigantic Igloo fishing cooler, which is surprisingly useful and far cheaper than buying another refrigerator. It keeps food cold for 7 days, which is useful when the power goes out or you have to wait a week for a part to come in for a broken fridge. And they’re a more practical gift than frozen dinners.
What’s it like living in an RV full time? An interesting guide from Tony Clark. I’ve always loved camping, and though my grandfather worked for Airstream, I’ve never been in an RV. Tony lives in a Winnebago, and if you’re looking for something to watch once the kids go to bed, consider this documentary about another Winnebago Man, Jack Rebney. One of my groomsmen lived in one in NYC to cut down on living expenses, but it’s always fascinated me since I read this story about a Duke grad student who lived out of an Econoline van. (He’s also a great writer!) It’s sort of becoming the rage, heck, even comedian Tom Green has been doing it. Hopefully, it won’t turn into Americathon.
Good news on the vaccine front. A new, potentially better, vaccine might be coming to market soon, thanks to Army scientists at Walter Reed.
A podcast to listen to… After you watch Jim Gaffigan’s new Netflix special, consider earmarking an hour for this podcast with former Senator and comedian Al Franken. Jim explains why he, after years of not being very public about his political views, spoke up during the 2020 election.
A Retired Colonel’s Unlikely Role in Pushing Baseless Election Claims… It will not shock you to discover this guy is not only far out there, but also a major league asshole.
If I don't turn it into a joke, it will destroy me… I’ve never read a better summation of what it means to be a Browns fan. But it’s also 100% true. When the Browns blow it, I just laugh maniacally like Ron Swanson and it took my wife a few years to understand that Browns fans cope with loss different than most fans, who would get angry.
A light in the trees. Sometimes, including this year, I can turn into a bit of Clark Griswold around Christmas. But I have it easy, compared to what Walter Kirn went through.
What are you thankful for? Aside from health, a patient and understanding spouse, I’m thankful for our new dog, Rusty. He can be an annoyance, and costly (in his early days he destroyed a lot of things), but a new dog can teach an old dog new tricks, and Rusty’s constant demand for attention has broken the spell of being constantly glued to the screen. As Ted Lasso said, sometimes things “come into our lives to help us get from one place to a better one.”
A White Castle Live Steam… In case the DVD of the logs on the fire doesn’t cut it anymore.
What it’s like to work at Family Dollar. I love dollar stores as much as the next guy, but like many things, the ability to keep prices low often comes at the expense of workers, as this Insider account details.
That’s it for me. We’ll see you tomorrow. Tech support questions? Email email@example.com. Questions for me? Respond to this message.
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