The Bucha Atrocities and the Kremlin Apologists
Plus, David Perdue, Trump’s Sacrificial Lamb.
Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: A Governor Breaks Up With Trump and Confronting the Horror.
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CATHY YOUNG: The Bucha Atrocities and the Kremlin Apologists.
All of that, however, pales before the hair-raising reports from the liberated Kyiv suburbs. The photos and videos of dead people lying in the road, or slumped at the wheels of the cars where they were shot. The mass graves, reportedly containing more than 400 bodies. Victims of mass executions, some with tied hands, strewn in the yard of an office building amidst garbage. A man’s half-naked bloodied body dumped into a cistern. More bodies in the basements of homes. An old woman in the front yard of her house showing journalists the body of her middle-aged daughter who’d been gunned down from a passing Russian tank, the unburied dead woman’s legs sticking out from under plastic sheeting after the boards that had covered the body were lifted to allow visiting officials to examine it. Accounts of four weeks of living hell that included rape at gunpoint, followed by beatings the marks of which could still be seen on the victim. It makes for almost unbearable reading and viewing. A man shot dead for being out past the 3 p.m. curfew because he was running to the hospital after his wife had gone into labor. A 60-year-old veteran of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, shot dead because he refused to vacate his home.
Confronted with all this horror, what’s a pro-Russia spinner to do? Well, if you’re Glenn Greenwald, you lament the media’s uncritical use of “horrifying yet context-and-evidence-free photos and videos posted by Ukrainian officials” and praise the New York Times for at least acknowledging that these images and claims were not independently verified. Then you ignore the Times’s (and other media’s) subsequent firsthand coverage of the atrocities (and try to shift the focus to Hunter Biden’s laptop).
H. DAVID BAER: Hungary’s Autocrat Orbán Fends Off Opposition Challenge.
There’s a joke Hungarians tell about their kinsmen from Transylvania (in today’s Romania), who are supposedly passive and dull-witted. A Transylvanian Hungarian is driving a horse and cart along the road when he comes across a traveler on foot. The traveler calls out, “Can you tell me, is it far to Kolozsvár?” “No,” replies the driver. “Might I have a ride?” asks the traveler. “Yes,” says the driver. The traveler climbs into the cart and the two set off in silence. After an hour, the traveler grows restless and asks, “Is it far to Kolozsvár?” “No,” replies the driver, and the two continue in silence. Two hours later, the traveler, who at this point has grown really restless, asks again, “Is it far to Kolozsvár?” “Now it is,” says the driver, “I came from there and it’s about four hours behind us.”
The joke might just as well be a parable about the fate of Hungary’s democracy. Hungary’s political opposition, having overcome their differences and organized in ways that were truly impressive, believed they were mounting a serious challenge to Viktor Orbán and steering the country back toward liberal democracy. The truth, however, is that Hungary left the democratic station long ago and is well down the road to competitive autocracy. In the lead-up to today’s election, the democratic opposition came together, coordinated candidate lists in local districts, ran a primary to select a common candidate for prime minister. None of it made a difference.
This week, Sarah talks with Rep. Adam Kinzinger about our focus groups’ reactions to the attacks (including the conspiracy theories) and whether they think President Trump was responsible. They also discuss the work of the January 6th Committee (of which Kinzinger and Liz Cheney are the only Republican members), and the cost of doing the right thing even when it’s unpopular.
After Bucha, Russia has to be defeated, and Putin’s removal from power has to be a part of it. Plus, paleo-cons on Orbán, the return of Palin, and the war on Disney. Bill Kristol joins Charlie Sykes on today’s podcast.
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AMANDA CARPENTER on David Perdue, Trump’s Sacrificial Lamb.
His big new idea? Claiming his race was stolen, too.
Perdue recently appeared on a conservative talk radio show hosted by Brian Pritchard and said, “Most people in Georgia know that something untoward happened in November 2020. I’ll just say it, Brian. In my election and the president’s election, they were stolen. The evidence is compelling now.”
Soon after, Trump appeared at a Georgia rally as part of a “rescue mission” to invigorate Perdue’s campaign. Perdue reiterated his pitch on stage: “Let me be very clear. Very clear. In the state of Georgia, thanks to Brian Kemp, our elections in 2020 were absolutely stolen!”
Perdue said Kemp “refused to fight” and “sold us out.” Furthering his attacks on Kemp, Perdue said Kemp “kicked sand in the face of the president the last two years and said ‘no’ every time the president asked him anything.”
But that didn’t get the crowd excited. Perdue went further: “I’m fighting right now to find out what happened in 2020 and make sure that those people responsible for that fraud in 2020 go to jail!”
Happy Monday… I hope you had a good weekend! Mine was… normal. And by that, I mean it was one of the first “normal” weekends I’ve had since the pandemic started. Saturday, we played host to a bunch of old neighbors, two of whom are leaving the area. I smoked out a 10 lb. brisket on the PK Grill and some burgers and dogs. The weather was nice and the dogs got to run around a freshly mowed back yard. Area Dog Gus and his beloved best friend Harper were reunited. On Sunday, I played golf with some old friends at one of America’s most unique golf courses, Meadows Farm.
I was supposed to play this course over my bachelor weekend at a cabin in the woods, but it rained. So when the opportunity to get together a friend from high school and college, a college friend who just moved here, and my brother in law, all of whom live in different parts of the region, this is where we chose.
Definitely read the backstory about the farmer who became rich off of selling tomatoes and built his own 28 hole (yes, 28) course. Complete with a baseball stadium hole, a waterfall hole, and the longest hole in the United States, and 841 yard Par 6.
I lost my gargantuan drive, presumably to the water, and still ended up putting for par. I missed. Next time.
The “Putin is bad, but…” Republicans. Ben Jacobs has this great report at The Atlantic about the Republicans who can’t help but put qualifiers around their criticism of Vlad.
The coffins arrive in Russia… What it’s like, and how the reporters are treated.
Paying people to change the channel. A study paid FOX viewers to watch CNN for a month. Here are the results.
When you ban white markets… Somehow black markets mysteriously appear! Even in junk food at schools.
They did it first! Sen. Bill Cassidy creates a new standard for voting no on SCOTUS nominees.
Do the lower courts have an insubordination problem? Joe Patrice argues yes.
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