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      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – January 29, 2023 by Tony Wikrent   Altercation: Goodbye and Thanks Eric Alterman, January 27, 2023 [The American Prospect] The key question I want to leave people with is this: Given the lack of guardrails, how far are these people willing to go? Trump is as popular as he was before January 6th and has been invited back on […]
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Clean News

The Washington Post posted warnings and suggestions about how to avoid spreading misinformation about Ukraine and what news is considered trustworthy. They’re pretty good. Of course, if you think that WaPo is fake news to begin with, this post may not be for you.

One of my strategies is to never rely on one source, to read up on history, and to pay attention to foreign sources. I listen to podcasts, I listen to news in audio format, I check Twitter, I check the news services like Reuters and foreign news outlets like the BBC. Even German and French sites can be translated. (Kudos to Le Figaro for turning Putin into Poutine) The truth, the clean news, will start to coalesce around a few key points.

I also try to stay away from video sources and images in general. That’s because they can be emotional triggers and when serious news is happening, letting your emotional buttons get pushed could lead to responding to misleading or dangerous information. Stay on top of stuff in as clear headed a manner as possible.

With that in mind, here is a Twitter thread from the BBC that gives background information on the current situation in Ukraine. The news is coalescing around this history and Putin’s motivations:

Might vs Right could get us all killed.

We should all be discussing the historic nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court but the news is being dominated by Putin’s outrageous attack on Ukraine.

You know what’s more outrageous? The right’s stupid and childish finger pointing at Biden for not making Putin stop right this minute. They stomp their feet and shake their tiny fists and demand that Biden…

…impose tougher sanctions right away. And send more weapons. And they call NATO useless. Yeah, that’ll learn Putin!

It is at this point that I want to administer dope slaps to the heads of every one of them and remind them that their bloated orange hero was IMPEACHED because he tried to extort Ukraine into helping his campaign by threatening to withhold badly needed weapons to them a couple of years ago.

Remember that perfect phone call? I’ll bet none of you actually read the transcript. So here it is. The intention was very clear. Big Orange was deliberately delaying the Congressionally approved budgeted funds for the sale of weapons to Ukraine in 2019 in exchange for defamatory dirt on Hunter Biden. There are emails from people who were supposed to spend that money on weapons to Ukraine who were stopped from doing it. It was a very big deal because if the money wasn’t spent in time, it would have to be sent back to the Treasury and Ukraine wouldn’t get their weapons. As I recall, they didn’t get all of the funds allocated. Only a fraction of that money was used to buy weapons for Ukraine.

Here is the Politico article about it. It’s titled, “Trump holds up Military Aid to Ukraine meant to confront Russia”. It’s from 2019.

I repeat, since it didn’t sink in the first time when you guys were worried about transsexuals using the bathroom or the new wardrobe changes of candy coated chocolate avatars:

Former twice impeached president Trump pulled his ambassador from Ukraine when she was not helping him get manufactured dirt on Hunter Biden and he held up the sale of badly needed weapons to Ukraine until President Zelensky (you know, the guy who Putin is going to arrest and possibly execute any second now?) cooperated with his plan to bring down Biden with made up documents on Hunter Biden.

By the way, have any of you bothered to find out where Ukraine is located? It’s right next door to Russia. Nevermind. Here’s a map;

Putin could have marched right in whenever he felt like it. He’s got a bigger army, nukes and Ukraine wasn’t yet a member of NATO. You remember NATO, right? The big military alliance that keeps Western Europe safe from the Russians? The thing that Annoying Orange was always mocking, threatening to defund and wanted the US to leave? Yeah. That’s the NATO we’re talking about.

Oh, but now your mouthpieces like Hugh Hewitt are shocked, SHOCKED that Joe Biden isn’t doing something other than slow moving sanctions. Oh my god! Doesn’t Joe see that Ukraine needs weapons??

Yeah, probably. He probably recognized the problem right away. If only Annoying Orange had conceded back in November 2020 when he lost the election and had cooperated with the smooth transition of power instead of giving Vladimir Putin more lead time to get his ducks in a row.

He probably also knows that the US getting directly involved in conflict in Ukraine could get us all killed with that whole nuclear mutual destruction thing. Remember duck and cover drills? Good times, good times. We are very lucky that we don’t have a raging hothead in the Oval Office with access to the nuclear football and an attitude of why do we have nukes if we aren’t going to use them? He probably had a fantasy in his head where he vanquishes Russia and proclaims himself King of the World. It’s a dog eat dog world out there.

It is time for Republicans to grow up and pay attention. Pissing fellow Americans off is a distraction and not behavior worthy of a superpower. Putin took advantage of it. Congratulations. Now STFU.