Open thread April 15, 2022 Dan Crawford | April 15, 2022 7:12 am Comments (13) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
(Punishing Kyiv for an ‘accidental shipboard fire’?)
Russia loses warship, says it will increase attacks on Kyiv
Boston Globe – April 15
Prized Russian Ship Was Hit by Missiles, US Officials Say
NY Times – April 15
The Moskva was the pride of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, a symbol of the country’s dominance of the region and a powerful war machine that had been used to launch precision cruise missiles deep inside Ukraine.
Despite claims by Russia that an accidental fire broke out on the ship, U.S. officials confirmed on Friday that two Ukrainian Neptune missiles had struck the vessel, killing an unknown number of sailors and sending it and its arsenal to the bottom of the Black Sea.
The sinking of the Moskva on Thursday was a grave blow to the Russian fleet and a dramatic demonstration of the current era of warfare in which missiles fired from shore can destroy even the biggest, most powerful ships. …
‘Russia’s warship, the Moskva, was hit by missiles about 65 nautical miles south of Odesa, according to a Defense official.’ (i.e., it was well out to sea when attacked.)
What newly obtained texts between Mark Meadows, Mike Lee, and Chip Roy reveal
Washington Post via Boston Globe – April 15
The tense situation at times boiled over, with the lawmakers complaining about their treatment and the cast of characters involved. At one point, Lee even suggested his close ally Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., were being self-serving by pushing to object to the election results.
“I have grave concerns with the way my friend Ted is going about this effort,” Lee said Jan. 3, a day after Cruz announced he and 10 other senators would object. “This will not inure to the benefit of the president.
Lee said that, absent states submitting alternate slates of electors – which they hadn’t yet done – “this could help people like Ted and Josh to the detriment of [Trump].”
When Lee declined to go along with the effort, Trump repeatedly brought him up at a rally on Jan. 4, saying he was “a little angry” at the senator. The same day, Lee texted Meadows, “I’ve been spending 14 hours a day for the last week trying to unravel this for him. To have him take a shot at me like that in such a public setting without even asking me about it is pretty discouraging.”
A few days after the Nov. 19 news conference, Roy responded to more Giuliani claims by texting, “Frigging Rudy needs to hush…”
The shoddiness of it all
One of the effort’s defining features was how half-baked it was. And Lee’s texts reinforce that.
In addition to complaining about the evidence presented (or the lack thereof), he repeatedly argued that the Trump campaign needed states to submit alternate slates of electors for any of it to work: Congress needed competing slates to choose from.
On Jan. 3, Lee texted a link to Meadows that he hoped showed Trump understood that.
“Should I take this as a good sign that he gets it?” Lee asked.
“Well. Not as good as it appears,” Meadows responded.
Meadows suggested that Trump was pressuring Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election through his historically ceremonial role on Jan. 6: “He thinks the legislatures have the power but that the Vp has power too.”
“VP but not the House and Senate?” Lee asked.
Meadows responded: “I am not sure.”
That turned out to be an unreliable strategy. Pence declined to help overturn the election, dooming the whole thing to failure.
As noted at the top, neither Lee nor Roy wound up objecting to the election results. But both tried to bargain with Meadows in the closing days.
“He’s got a very real opportunity for a win in 2024,” Lee said of Trump on Jan. 3, while complaining about Cruz and Hawley. “That opportunity could be harmed in multiple ways this effort.”
Roy made clear by Dec. 31 that he wasn’t on board.
“The President should call everyone off. It’s the only path. If we substitute the will of states through electors with a vote by Congress every 4 years… we have destroyed the electoral college… Respectfully,” Roy said.
He urged Trump to “Give a statesman speech. End strong.”
The following day, Roy added: “If POTUS allows this to occur… we’re driving a stake in the heart of the federal republic…”
Roy also decided to make a point on the House floor. Jan. 3 was swearing-in day, and just as members could object to the presidential election results, they could also object to the seating of their colleagues. If the presidential election results were so suspect, Roy reasoned, shouldn’t those doubts apply to the election of members of Congress, in those same states, on the same ballots? So he pushed for a vote.
Only two Republicans objected to seating their colleagues, apparently believing that though Biden’s win was in doubt, their wins somehow weren’t.
Mar-a-Lago Machine: Trump as a Modern-Day Party Boss
NY Times – April 17
Democrats Can Avoid Disaster in November
Boston Globe – Liz Warren – April 18
(Owning mutual funds should be okay. MA’s wealthiest person, Abigail Johnson, Fidelity Investments CEO would no doubt agree. FWIW, so do I.)
Who’s Afraid of Abby Johnson?
Elizabeth Warren: Democrats Can Avoid Disaster in November
Boston Globe – April 18
Political scientist and member of the Russian legislative body Vyacheslav Nikonov: “in reality, we embody the forces of good in the modern world because this clash is metaphysical…. We are on the side of good against the forces of absolute evil…. This is truly a holy war that we’re waging, and we have to win it and of course we will because our cause is just. We have no other choice. Our cause is not only just, our cause is righteous and victory will certainly be ours.”
Prof Heather, Letters From An American