Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: The Pro-Putin Wing of the GOP.
THE SECRET SHOW: Cancel This! 🔐
HANNAH YOEST: Getting to the Desert.
THE SONNY BUNCH COLLECTION:
A Plea to Amazon: You Have (Part of) MGM’s Library. Let People Watch It
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New from me: J.D. Vance Gets Canceled.
It seems J.D. Vance’s “No BS Tour” is skipping a stop in Minnesota. The Ohio Senate hopeful, currently polling in third place, was slated to speak at the Minnesota GOP’s annual Lincoln-Reagan dinner fundraising event. Then, without explanation, he was pulled.
Scheduled on April Fool’s Day with no apparent sense of irony, the invite went out in late February and almost immediately, Minnesota Republicans pushed back against Vance’s selection. Brian McClung, former spokesman for Gov. Tim Pawlenty tweeted:
Got my invite to @mngop Lincoln Reagan Dinner feat. Putin apologist @JDVance1. The guy who said “I gotta be honest I don’t really care what happens to Ukraine one way or another.” Seems appropriate the dinner is on April Fools Day. Cancel it & raise $$ for Ukraine instead.
Michael Brodkorb, former deputy chair of the Minnesota Republican party, observed that “numerous Republican operatives” were “fuming” about the selection of Vance as the keynote speaker, highlighting Vance’s ill-informed and callous (not to mention electorally stupid) comments about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a primary reason for their ire. Though maybe the objection is really about Vance being Vance.
Most elected Republicans and the base are moving in a different direction from the pro-Putin and anti-anti-Putin crowd. How far can Marjorie Taylor Greene and Madison Cawthorn go without breaking the silo? Bill Kristol joins Charlie Sykes for this weekend’s podcast.
Ukraine’s brave stand against Russia has united Americans behind them. Will this new found bipartisanship mute extremists on the right and left?
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MARGARET MCMULLIN: “What Must It Be Like for Children?”
While the war raged, President Franklin D. Roosevelt conceived of an international organization to prevent future wars; he was to speak at its opening conference in May 1945 but had died the month before. By October 24, 1945, enough governments had ratified the U.N. Charter that the organization officially came into existence. The first U.N. group intended to help WWII refugees was established in early 1946, and by 1950, a permanent new refugee agency had been established, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
Flash forward to our own day.
In 2014, Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, calling his annexation of Crimea a “homecoming.” Then Russian troops crossed into Russian-speaking parts of eastern Ukraine. By 2021, 7 percent of Ukraine was in the hands of Moscow-backed separatists and some 15,000 Ukrainians had been killed.
DANIEL J. SAMET: China’s Hold on American Elites.
The real value of America Second is not in its overarching argument. Stone Fish’s observation that American elites’ “accommodation—or ‘friendship,’ as the Party and its allies call it—is widespread across America” isn’t particularly novel or noteworthy. Rather, the book’s main contribution is in substantiating a known pathology. Stone Fish rattles off example after example of bigshots who have wittingly or unwittingly done the CCP’s bidding, from Bob Iger to Bob Zoellick.
Stone Fish does not dwell much on the question of why our elites have cast their lot with the CCP in the first place, because the answer seems too obvious: money, of course. The possibility of profit is too lucrative to forgo, so no one is surprised when NBA bosses and film producers dare not offend Xi Jinping lest he and his thin-skinned comrades cut off their massive revenue stream.
But does profit alone explain why Americans are putting their country second? According to Stone Fish, some people, such as Jimmy Carter, may even believe that they’re promoting constructive Sino-American relations in partnering with the CCP. Yet this is not convincing. Only the most naïve could look at an increasingly authoritarian and aggressive CCP and think as much.
Happy Friday! One of the worst parts of Lent is the slam on pizza joints when you’re trying to get a busy pizza dinner delivered. Our local Long John’s (don’t judge) often has a 30 car line. With that in mind, here is a great recipe for cast iron skillet pizza if you need one in a pinch.
When you find out, by accident… That you’re married to one of the world’s best Tetris players.
All’s not fair in life and trademarks… How a BBQ joint in Cleveland lost its name. (And why it shouldn’t.)
Fumbling towards post-Trumpism. Our friends at National Review and their discussion over whether that former guy should run in 2024.
Bitcoin and NIMBYs… This story about bitcoin miners in Appalachia reminds me of this prescient quote from Andy Ferguson: “Urban planners are like libertarians: They’re wonderful to have around so long as their advice is never, ever followed all the way through.”
That’s a no from me… Deshaun Watson? For $230 million? Can he even play? Jimmy Haslam has really outdone himself this time, and, for the second time during his ownership, I am going to have to pause my Browns fandom. The XFL couldn’t come soon enough.
What do the truckers want? I was told this movement was about COVID and “freedom” but alas:
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