the Rocket's Red Glare
What do "A Sound of Thunder" and "The Sound of Drums" have in common?
Publisher’s note - due to a scheduling conflict, our staff will not be available at 1510GMT Thursday. we have decided to publish early rather than risk more news developing before publication.
When the American government tells a journalist to do something, the journalists have a laugh about it at the bar1.
When the British government tells a journalist to do something, the journalists also have a laugh about it at the bar.
The difference is, in Britain, the journalists will actually do exactly what the government demands before they go to the bar.
They don’t have the First Amendment in Britain, after all.
And in Canada, they technically do have a First Amendment - but my sources say the first amendment there reads (roughly) “Manitoba is part of Canada”. Of course, the recent protesters in Ottawa apparently didn’t appreciate this distinction (ref CBC).
To make a long story short, there is no column this week2, just a syndicated joke. But first, the week’s news:
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In short, the 32-year old woman attended a sleepover with a group of pre-teens, mixed wine with sleeping medications, called one of the pre-teens a “Hispanic fucker”, and vomited on the shoes.
Perhaps it is not surprising that she did not have enough self-awareness to withdraw4 from her current campaign.
Amazing Grace: The magician known as The Amazing Johnathan died this week. “Not like we didn’t have warning” is an understatement — a documentary about his life and terminal illness came out a few years ago. AVClub has more on his life.
No News From Donetsk #fogofwar: Russia made the expected announcement about the “independence” of the governments in Donetsk and Luhansk on Monday. The Western establishment immediately declared that Russia had invaded Ukraine. However, I am not convinced that anything has actually happened (yet).
Yes, there are probably Russian troops in Donetsk — but there were irregular Russian troops in Donetsk last week, and last year, and the year before that, and the year before that.
On the other hand, it appears Putin’s calculations on timing may have been “2/22/2022 is an auspicious day for action”. He apparently telegraphed his intentions, according to a report in the Telegraph, with a certain Vladimir Zhirinovsky announcing a February 22nd date in December 2021.
In any event, at some point in the next 3 months, we will see a forcing of the issue of whether Donetsk and Luhansk end at the armistice line, or the pre-2014 provincial border. It may not happen until May; it could also already be happening. Time will tell.
Party Political Broadcast: After declining to have any agenda other than “we support Donald Trump” and “we support the Republican Party agenda” in 2020, the GOP is likely to have an agenda in the 2022 elections. Rick Scott has a plan entitled “Rescue America”. The pundits hate5 it — which probably means it’s not that bad. On the other hand, there are a few very silly points in there. the Newslettr will give him at least a week to revise and extend his remarks before we analyze them in any detail.
Tweet of the Week: Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley visits a local ice cream shop.
Hark! I hear the cannon roar!
We quote the great Robert De Niro, as quoted in Mother Jones, as quoted in Playboy Magazine. (Well, we did quote him, but if you’re not an email subscriber, you will have to click the link to read the joke.)
The word “bar” has many meanings; synonyms here include “pub”, “alehouse”, and “biergarten”.
There is a saying about Saturday Night Live that the show doesn’t go out because it is ready, it goes out because it is Saturday 11:35PM. While we make all reasonable efforts to publish at 1510GMT Thursday, ultimately the Newslettr publishes when it is ready.
As she has never been elected to anything, I hesitate to call her a “politician”. Also, yes, she is a Democrat. There is a meme among certain conservative groups that the media doesn’t mention party affiliation when it is a Democrat engaged in malfeasance. In this case, it is simply redundant.
Our sober analysis: this is not the type of incident you can’t come back from, but is the type of incident you do have to “come back from”. And before she can come back, she has to leave.
Mother Jones Magazine calls Rick Scott’s agenda "unhinged", New York Magazine says it is "bonkers", and Esquire Magazine calls it "a Haunted-House Version of Newt Gingrich's 'Contract With America' ".