Crooked Media - What A Day: The backhand of Oz

Friday, May 6, 2022

 -Ginni Thomas, normal Supreme Court spouse

Russia’s war in Ukraine appears to have turned a corner from “reckless, world historic catastrophe” to “the underdog is now mocking its tormentor.”

  • It started with what appeared to be a wild, somewhat terrifying leak from U.S. intelligence sources on Thursday, who wanted the world (and presumably Russia) to know that the intelligence it has shared with Ukraine has allowed Ukraine to pick off Russian generals like sitting ducks. It touched off a guessing game about why, exactly, American officials would want to blow up deniability about something that might send Vladimir Putin off the deep end. Was it a one-off move by a rogue source? Or a deliberate strategy?
  • We may (may) have gotten our answer later the same day, when multiple, different outlets published similar leaks, in which American officials claimed credit for providing Ukraine the intelligence it used to sink Russia’s flagship missile cruiser, the Moskva, last month. That lends credence to the theory that the leaks are intended to wrongfoot and demoralize Russian forces.
  • At the same time, Ukraine has some extra spring in its step. President Volodymyr Zelensky has begun dictating conditions for a ceasefire to Russia, insisting Ukraine will reject any ceasefire agreement that doesn’t include a complete withdrawal of Russian forces from its territory.

We can see this shift in momentum reflected in alliances (Ukraine’s with the entire free world, Russia’s with one former Soviet republic.)

  • The leaders of the G7 nations, including President Biden, will host a video conference with Zelensky on Sunday. The virtual summit is meant to pre-empt Russia’s May 9 Victory Day (its annual celebration of victory over the Nazis) with a show of western solidarity. Many analysts have worried that Russia will peg a major escalation in Ukraine to Victory Day, though U.S. officials have not articulated that threat publicly, the way they have at other junctures when they had intelligence pointing to Russian aggression. 
  • On the other hand, Putin’s only friend, Belarusan President Aleksandr Lukashenko told the Associated Press, “I feel like this operation has dragged on,” adding that it was time for the “war,” to “end.” Careful readers will detect a few subtle ways that this departs from the official Russian line that its war isn’t a war, and that its not-war is going splendidly.   
Many analysts worry that U.S. braggadocio, Ukrainian military gains, and even possibly Russian defeat will (as the kids say) “trigger” Putin. Their fears are understandable and well taken, but a bigger picture points to real confidence among western and Ukrainian leaders that the real danger would be pulling punches, just as they’ve gained the upper hand. Let’s hope they’re right.
Abortion Access Is at a Crisis Point

Protecting abortion access has never been more urgent.

Across the nation, our right to abortion care is under attack. The Supreme Court has turned its back onTexans by failing to block the state’s extreme abortion ban and now SCOTUS seems poised to overturn Roe v. Wade with a major ruling coming soon–which could jeopardize essential abortion care for much of the country. State politicians are also doubling down on efforts to ban abortion in half the country as they’ve done in Texas. We’ve already seen Florida’s Governor sign an extreme 15-week abortion ban that criminalizes doctor’s for providing abortion care; Oklahoma’s Governor has signed a total abortion ban into law; and, in Kentucky, the legislature has vetoed the Governor’s veto on a series of abortion restrictions, including a 15-week ban, which has been temporarily blocked by the courts.

The ability to control our own bodies is facing the greatest threat in generations. We need your help more than ever. Sign up today to defend abortion access. 

The ACLU has been fighting for abortion access since before Roe v. Wade was decided, and we’ll continue working tireless to ensure everyone has access to the care they need.

Defend abortion access with the ACLU. Sign up today to stay up to date on all the fights ahead.

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The same dishonest right-wingers who insisted liberals were exaggerating the Republican threat to Roe v. Wade now say we’re exaggerating the threat to other, similar rights. Apart from sending the goalposts sailing over the horizon, though, who are you gonna believe? The people who were right? Or the people who were lying? Well, nobody can say for certain what’s going to happen, but liberals are right to worry. The leaked Supreme Court opinion by Samuel Alito cut the legs out from under the whole idea that the liberty interests outlined in the 14th amendment protect people’s personal decisions—not just abortion, but marriage, contraception, and “every other decision related to the notion of privacy,” as President Biden said. And when you think through the Court’s apparent notion that there’s no right to abortion, and states have a compelling interest in prohibiting it, it’s a quick leap to the idea that they might also have the power to prohibit the sale, purchase, or use of contraception. And since Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, only to be replaced by Amy Coney Barrett, and Anthony Kennedy (the pivotal vote to enshrine the right to same-sex marriage) retired so Donald Trump could appoint Brett Kavanaugh, it’s unclear whether there’d be five votes to uphold that right should states begin trying to limit or eliminate it. 

In Joe Biden’s America, the rich get poorer and the poor get richer, but you probably won’t ever hear that from political journalists who mostly take their cues from Republicans insisting inflation is the only thing that matters. Inflation is obviously part of the story of the Biden economy, but the other half is a durably robust labor market that has created lots of upward pressure on low-end wages. The result is that many of the people we normally think of as hit hardest by inflation have seen their incomes rise enough to keep pace with, or even outpace, it, while the super rich have lost over a trillion dollars in wealth thanks to an asset sell-off driven by inflation and the concomitant increase in interest rates. These trends won’t last forever, but they’re the story of the moment. The Department of Labor’s monthly employment report showed the economy added 428,000 jobs in April, while inflation slowed, all while the Federal Reserve just increased interest rates to bring inflation down even further.

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Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) paid a visit to a local abortion clinic to boost morale and they TikTok’d. 

This California abortion provider saw the writing on the wall, so she underwent training to provide second-trimester abortions, and moved to a purple state where the right to abortion will likely survive, anticipating that many women from red states will travel there, and need to terminate their pregnancies in their second trimesters. 

Starbucks is shook by the success of the Starbucks union drive

A judge in Nashville, TN, has vacated the seemingly wrongful murder conviction of a man accused of setting the fire that killed his girlfriend 30 years ago.

. . . . . .

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