Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent/Wapo:
How Trump Lost One of His Greatest Fights – and No One Noticed
We forget that now, but Trump tried to do [Confederate-named military bases] in a major battle in the culture wars, an existential test of whether the nation would succumb to the dark forces of political correctness.
Yet, by doing this, Trump ended up pushing the country into a tough stance – against his position. As long as hardly anyone knew or cared who Braxton Bragg, Henry L. Benning, or John Bell Hood were, their names could be honored on military bases. A few names could be dropped here or there without any sense of urgency.
But after Trump forced the issue, he could no longer continue under the radar. And no conservative could offer even a moderately convincing argument as to why American soldiers should train and live on bases named in honor of America’s enemies who fought in support of one of America’s worst evils. history of mankind.
The removal of these names is a long overdue correction of outright obscenity. But Trump appeared to be the last Republican determined to keep Confederate names on bases.
One odd thing about this saga was how it combined Trump’s relentless baiting with his zeal to force the country into entirely unnecessary social and political strife.
Biden’s approval rises sharply ahead of midterms: AP-NORC poll
Support for Biden has risen from a low of 36% in July to 45%, driven largely by a rebound in support from Democrats just two months prior November midterm elections. For a few dark summer months when gasoline prices have peaked and lawmakers seemed deadlocked, Democrats faced the possibility of catastrophic losses to Republicans.
US House panel receives Secret Service chat messages from January 6
“It’s a combination of a number of text messages, radio traffic, that sort of thing. Thousands of exposures,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat who chairs the committee, on Wednesday.
Good thread from Terry Moran:
News from Julia Ioffe/Puck:
Fear and loathing in Moscow
The former queen mother of the Russian opposition, now in exile, looks back on the terror that drove her compatriots from the capital, the contempt for the left behind and the oligarchs on the verge of revolt.
How is it in Moscow?
Moscow is unbearable. I couldn’t bear to be there. In the square where I live, I saw the PriceWaterhouseCoopers sign fall, the Starbucks close and the office towers empty. Even the faces have changed. They are completely different. Suddenly you see these fat men with beer bellies and t-shirts with Z’s on them. It’s amazing how quickly the audience has changed. Some people still recognize me on the street and thank me, while others literally spit on me.
There is this absolute generational divide. There is, for example, the 35-year-old couple I met in Pskov. They are horrified by what is happening but their parents are for the war and think they are being paid by the US government to be against it. Meanwhile, their children are taught in school that the way to tell real information from fake information is to go to the Department of Defense website and if the information is there, then it’s true. If not, it’s a fake. I can understand why they would want to save their children from the Russian school system.
General Mark Hertling: The Russian army is terrible. But it is not finished.
Our dive into the war in Ukraine
On the corruption of the Russian army
Charly: So what happened? When we look at the success of this counter-offensive and the failure of the Russians, is it only the new Western weapons? Or is it a more complex story? … I would like your opinion on why you think the Ukrainians did so well in the short term, as well as the role of Western weaponry and the strategy they employed.
Lieutenant General Hertling: Well…I kinda bristle every time I see on the internet or on TV shows or listening to podcasts, when I hear people say that it’s all about western technology, and we should give more. We should give them everything they want.
Because, while that’s certainly part of what has enabled Ukraine to successfully defend its homeland, there are so many other complexities involved, as you just said.
The first thing is that the Ukrainian army has transformed over the last 15 years, and I proudly say that I was part of it when we trained with the Ukrainian army, when I was commander of American forces in Europe …
So, we started that way around 2008, and honestly, it was for selfish reasons. It’s because Ukraine had volunteered to send forces to Iraq and Afghanistan, which they did until the very end of those two wars, and we needed them to be competent on the battlefield and fight side by side with us. They weren’t that kind of army when we started working with them.
So, over the past 15 years, they have transformed internally. They held western-style training events and exercises, they built a more professional leadership corps, not just at the senior officer level, but at the NCO or sergeant level, and they really bought into the game. western approach to security. So that’s another factor.
But, one factor that few people talk about is, frankly, that the Russian military is bad.
The army Putin spent 2 decades building has been largely destroyed in Ukraine, and Russia’s ‘strategic defeat’ could threaten his regime
- The Russian army will have to be rebuilt following the war in Ukraine, experts say.
- The war has “significantly” changed perceptions of Russia’s military strength, an expert told Insider.
- Putin’s regime could also be in danger, as it faces rare instances of dissent.
With Proposed Abortion Bans, GOP Considers Criminal Lawsuits Against Doctors
GOP candidates were asked to say the party “didn’t want to throw doctors…in jail.” And yet, the Republican proposals keep saying the opposite.
As regular readers can remember, rhetorical suggestions were defensive, not celebratory. Party leaders seemed to realize that most of the country wanted to leave the Roe precedent intact, so the Republican National Senate Committee advised incumbents and candidates to tell voters, among other things, “Republicans DO NOT want to throw the doctors… in prison. ”
The rhetorical strategy made sense: many Americans would be repelled by the idea of Republican politics leading to the prosecution of doctors. The problem, of course, was that the GOP measures were look already possible felony charges against doctors who help end unwanted pregnancies.
The push hasn’t gone away. Senator Lindsey Graham unveiled a nationwide ban on abortion yesterday, and USA Today took note of a key provision of the South Carolina Republican’s proposal.
His bill also provides criminal penalties for doctors who perform abortions, including up to five years in prison.