This pinned report from the NYT front page section that gives live updates on the war in Ukraine seems significant:
Not long after Mr. Biden arrived in Poland, the Russian military signaled that it might be reducing its war aims. After a month of a grinding war in which Russian forces have been met by unexpectedly fierce Ukrainian resistance and have failed to capture major cities across the country, Maj. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi said Russia would now be focused on defeating Ukrainian forces in the eastern Donbas region, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting a war since 2014.
He said the “first stage of the operation” had been “mainly accomplished,” with Ukraine’s combat power “significantly reduced.” But it is far from clear that the larger conflict might wind down: He added that Russia “does not exclude” that its forces will storm major Ukrainian cities such as Kyiv, the capital, though he said that taking them over was not a primary objective.
Is this the beginning of a Russian climb-down? A ruse before a renewed push toward the cities? I have no idea, obviously, but I figured it was worth sharing.
He had pizza with troopers from the 82nd!
Biden or Rudskoi?
@raven: It was nice to see them relaxed enough to joke around with Biden.
@Baud: Trump isn’t president any more.
I don’t trust anything coming from official government channels.
I do note, sadly, that Putin does not show any inclination to remove his forces from Ukraine.
Dude, if you haven’t destroyed the spirit of the people, you’ve lost. Period.
They may be prepping for a traditional Marxist solution: “Hello, I really must be going.”
Russia will be defeated in the battlefield in Donbas.
I have visions of dust clouds visible from orbit, stirred up by Ukrainian tank armies rushing over the dry summer steppe, towards Moscow.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
I figured the Russians were dead in the water and the war was in the negotiated truce stage when all the Chicken Hawks showed up in the MSM this week, those dude don’t come out from hiding until their personal safety is guaranteed.
@Baud: Joe, he was taking selfies and having a good ol time!
I assume they’re still desperate to find some way to take Kyiv and (, missing step 2,) install a puppet President and declare victory. Overt attacks haven’t worked, so their genius idea is to claim that they’ll mainly be fighting in the east (maybe hoping that Ukraine will drop its guard around Kyiv so they can sneak in some Little Green Men and decapitate the government).
It won’t work. And announcing it clearly shows that it’s propaganda.
@raven: It’s astounding that he can do this when he’s under so much pressure
After this week’s gross display of racist and misogynoir fuskshit from the GOP, just wanted to share a little celebratory, uplifting, musical salve titled Black Folk from New Orleans band, Tank & The Bangas. Happy Friday!!
I wouldn’t, and I’m sure Ukraine won’t, believe a word until every last Russian is far, far away from Kyiv.
And not even then.
I think this is more likely an excuse for why they’re going on the defensive outside of Donbas.
I vote for “ruse”; Russia is putting more forces in Belarus. What’s the worst that could happen? Russia strikes for Lviv, Poland heads for Minsk … Wars have their own ecology.
@Brachiator: Yeah, I’d wait until there’s confirmation, eg a change in domestic propaganda to something about “liberating” part of Ukraine. Otherwise it could be a feint, or even wishful thinking.
@Raoul Paste: This is someone who actually had someone who served in his family. Granted Beau was a JAG Officer but at least he did something. Joe gives a fuck unlike fat ass.
@Sebastian: @Sebastian: @zhena gogolia: second the wow
My vote is that this statement is one part propaganda to three parts ass-covering.
Shorter Russian general: “The war situation has developed not necessarily to our advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest.”
@UncleEbeneezer: Things can rough in the Easy
@Sebastian: Fragged his ass.
Maj. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi said Russia would now be focused on defeating Ukrainian forces in the eastern Donbas region, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting a war since 2014.
How about this: Ukraine gets Donbas and Crimea. Russia gets a 50-year lease on the naval facilities in Sevastopol and a 50-year lease for a rail corridor from the Ukraine-Russian border to that base.
@Raoul Paste: And so addled from his dementia.
Seriously, though, I’m trying to understand what this guy is saying. Isn’t retreating to the Donbas and using it to stage an proxy war against the Kyiv government basically…a return to the status quo ante? Previously Ukraine didn’t really have the wherewithal to challenge the separatists there and didn’t want to provoke Russia further, but now the gloves are off. Russian forces aren’t going to find some kind of safe haven there and the rest of the world sure as hell isn’t going to lift the sanctions on Russia if they’re still occupying Donetsk and Luhansk. It’s a non-starter.
My jaw literally dropped (yes, Steve in WTFKN, literally) when I read about that brigade commander. Yes, I realize confirmation is needed, but still …
Could be Putin-Army politics, seen from outside. Putin can barely be reasoned with, Army wants out. Army makes bullshit political statements to appease Putin while actually GTFO of unsustainable positions. It’s a scenario, anyway.
@Sebastian: Maybe they’re just shitty drivers. They haven’t been competent at much of anything else.
Old Man Shadow
I hate doing taxes.
I don’t mind paying taxes. I just hate having to use someone’s tax prep site, pay a $100+ dollars to do so, and fill in the crap every year.
@Wapiti: Nonstarter. Russia gets WWII Yugoslav Partisan-style insurgency that makes Afghanistan look playful, and runs out of bodybags.
@TaMara: Best Music City in the world. Bar none. Every other claimant to the title, you have to go find the music. In New Orleans, the music comes and finds you.
West of the Rockies
Make it so…
@Brachiator: Putin will never remove his forces from Ukraine. Only the Ukrainian military will do that.
My reply to @Wapiti was based on a misreading of his comment, in which I thought he was suggesting Russia gets Donbas. That was dumb of me. Apologies.
@Roger Moore: I think maybe both. They are shifting focus to the Donbas because there is no chance of taking Kyiv with their current force, but the attacks around Kyiv could resume if Ukraine tries to shift some of their forces to Eastern Ukraine.
@Sebastian: “Friendly Tire” not mine but I like the sound of it
@Carlo Graziani: Russia can’t get anything within Ukraine’s sovereign borders. The lease idea sounds good to me. But it’s up to Ukraine. Hope they win.
Just wanted to see that sentence again.
I’m impressed AOC and The Squad can do such a good job controlling him from that far away!
@Another Scott: More likely they see their larger goal (regime decapitation) as out of reach now and want to just hold onto the larger amount of the eastern region they now hold after the past 4 weeks (think they hold 2x to 3x more territory there atm than when the war began) which seems to include a land corridor to the Crimea–though it sure seems uncertain that they have fully taken Maripul (sp) which would be be necessary for that corridor.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
So my own campaign trail continues to be interesting. As some of you may know, I am running for a nonpartisan judge position in an exurban commuting area consisting of three counties with a combined population of 90,000. Breakdown is, at best, 60R-40D (higher R number the further you go out of the city). As a result, I have to appeal to Republicans and attend their shit if I’m going to clear the primary in May.
The incumbent has no courage of her convictions and went with the “I’ for “independent” (despite any D proclivities, she’s an awful judge – slow, lazy, bitter to litigants and lawyers, petty, vindictive and pretty inconsistent overall). The other challenger is a Republican with the backing of a sizeable congregation – and she has a huge axe to grind with the incumbent, who screwed her over in her own post-divorce case. I’m actually friendly with the challenger, who has zero experience at doing any sort of litigation (much less family court); she’s an estate planner and title attorney – she is also a hot mess who said terrible things in her own case about her ex – the incumbent actually caused her to get slapped with a bar complaint over some things in that divorce.
Anyway, I am alarmed by a lot of what I hear at republican events. No event starts without a solid five to ten minutes of sheer hatred directed against Joe Biden – I just close my eyes and try to think happy thoughts. Knowing, though, that there are these hates leads me to a second point – Republican women. After a very positive and fruitful conversation with the Republican chair (male) of the most populous county in the circuit about having a judicial forum (covering how many values we shared even with me being a democrat, how difficult he thinks it is for anyone to know anything about prospective judges, how I’m not building any political empires at the age of 60 and how I’m absolutely the best agent of potential positive change), he stated his enthusiastic intention to hold judges forums in conjunction with various GOP womens’ committee meetings. In a week, word on the street is that the women have now spoken among themselves and have decided to make the forum about determining the amount of candidate fealty to the Republican cause on all the cultural war bullshit, the most insane judicial candidates to get their enthusiastic support.
The other thing – I attended a Right to Life award banquet last night. I was invited by a former law partner who is a legislative lobbyist/retired legislator who is super Catholic but in the Chamber of Commerce wing of the party (he primarily lobbies on behalf of equine interests). He spends $1000 for this table; he’s done it every year for the last 47 years, and he specifically invites judicial candidates that he knows and likes, in a bid to get them a few votes. Before going, he told me that there may be some cracks in the group, because the leadership had passed from the old line conservative Catholics to evangelicals, and tensions were building.
Crowd looked to be about half old-style K of C Catholics, primarily interested in drinking, collecting some plaques, doing the silent auction and maybe throwing in on the half-and-half. They were obvious because they were a little frumpier and reminded me of my neighborhood moms, dads and grandparents when I was a kid. The other half was evangelical. They were younger, dressed better and the women were wearing flattering clothes.
Anyway, I was pretty OK with the first half (except for the loathsome Scott Jennings being MC and the tribble top’s opening greeting). There was some middle aged priest that started the thing with an inoffensive prayer, the gave out some plaques, etc.) .
But then, the keynote speaker stepped up. Some fucking evangelical idiot from San Clemente that had been marinated in evangelical homeschooling and debate club. His speech was, quite frankly, offensive and eliminationist. In his speech, abortion is a satanic sacrament and anyone who doesn’t oppose it is knowingly in league with Satan. He mocked the crowd for not doing enough. He smirked, smeared and mugged about Biden, women, Democrats, non-Christians, nonbelievers, Fauci, nonreligious civil governments, all while advocating complete unity between state and church. I almost walked out, but didn’t want to do that to Bob, so I just kept quietly muttering “fuck you” with each wild premise. Also, the guy kept droning on and on, finding new things to get worked up about.
Looking around the room, it was apparent to me that the Catholics saw the writing on the wall about what the future of the “partnership” leads to, because they weren’t happy. Bob was miserable, kept apologizing to all of us and admitting that after 47 years, he probably won’t be attending again.
Thing that occurred to me is this – if that’s what they preach to a mixed crowd, what do they preach from the pulpit?
Tomorrow, I get to go to a smaller event headlined by Thomas Massie (R-Crazeballs). Massie knows I hate him, so I look forward (not) to being in his immediate presence.
I flash back to that scene in Dr Zhivago where the “replacements” marching to the front meet the “deserters” coming the other way. A youngish officer of the former jumps onto a barrel to lecture the latter – and falls through the top and is then shot by one of them. (FF to 1:35 or so.)
@marcopolo: How about “Tracks for the memories!”
With the caveat that this is likely just bullshit, I’ve always wondered if Putin has always seen something like this as his out. Might explain what happened in Mariupol, e.g., they were under pressure to take something so that they could declare victory, but they were so hapless and unwelcome that they resorted to obliterating it because they lack the skills, tech and logistics that the US and NATO have and are basically a quasi-criminal bunch of thugs incapable of all the other soft things you need to do to “liberate” an area. They repeatedly resort to massive artillery and aerial bombardment because their land and air forces pretty much suck at maneuver or asymmetrical warfare. It is also one way for them to avoid even greater casualties than they’ve already suffered. If they did that to Kyiv, however, there’s a much greater chance that NATO would have seen enough and unleashed hell on what is left of the Russian Army in Ukraine (as hapless as the Russians appear, it might resemble something like the Highway of Death in the first Gulf War). It might have also really tip the balance of opinion in Russia, especially among the armed forces.
What you see with Putin is a guy who periodically picks a fight with a neighboring country where the West is hard pressed to do anything to stop him because he’s got nukes and it’s not a favorable place for NATO force projection. These fights allow him to deflect domestic resentments about being a corrupt, third rate shithole economically to evil foreign actors, gin up patriotic fervor for a re-establishment of Imperial Russia and crack down on dissidents. Enhanced by deliberate brutality, these operations also inflate the perception of Russia’s power and ambitions, which he may think has some deterrent effect against the West trying to further spread liberalization in the FSU. However, most of these “victories” are pretty small potatoes, e.g., slice off a bit of Georgia here, a little bit of Ukraine there, etc., and the haplessness of his armed forces makes it pretty clear he’s really not that much of a threat to the eastern flank of NATO unless he uses nukes. This, and his logistical limitations as a whole, mean he has to break off once he has met the barest objective that he can characterize as meaningful, even it it is obtained at a horrific cost.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
Sounds like fun. Here’s hoping the suffering is worth it.
@Old Man Shadow: Same, and IIRC, the IRS proposed a free app so people could do their taxes online some years back but Intuit, etc., successful deployed lobbyists to kill that idea. Bastids!
Gin & Tonic
@marcopolo: Any such corridor would have to pass through Berdyansk, where Russia has not done well.
@Old Man Shadow: Depending on exactly how old a man you are, an AARP volunteer will do your taxes for free. I’m pretty sure you don’t even have to be a member.
That’s my sister’s retirement volunteer gig. Unlike most normal people, she loves, loves, loves fine print, and has worked her way up to being in charge of AARP tax volunteers in her area.
Seniors come in with their tax papers (often the tax clinic is held in a public library), the volunteer looks it over and requests any missing paper work, fills out the tax form when they have all they need, and returns it all to the senior without any charge.
Now how to find out if AARP offers this service where you live, google AARP’s web site.
@Betty Cracker: There are free tax programs available now–though they are not made easy to find. What the IRS proposed (and what a lot of other countries do) is to send everyone like a postcard that says, “Hey, according to what we know about your finances (and they know almost all of it which they would show) this year we think you owe this amount in taxes. If that sounds right, just pay it. If you think it is wrong, calculate your own and send us your homework so we can check it.”
Places like Intuit & other lobbyists killed the legislation that would have allowed it to happen in return for there being free versions of tax prep software available, which as I said above tends to be hidden from easy search.
@Gin & Tonic: Yeah, they just lost a ship there yesterday (from a drone strike) but I was under the impression that they nominally control it & that the only coastal city they don’t fully control was Marupol (sp). I mean, that is why they were using the docks there to unload those supply ships.
He’s also not tightly wound up in his own legend.
@Uncle Cosmo: Well, it definitely left a mark, right?
Okay, off to the gym, everyone place nice.
@marcopolo: Thanks for the clarification!
@zhena gogolia: It’s obviously up to Ukraine, but with Russia using its Black Sea Fleet to attack Ukraine, this seems like a non-starter to me. Russia can’t be trusted with a “lease” and the Russian military can’t be allowed to continue to operate inside Ukraine. And, frankly, why would Russia consider its fleet safe in leased Ukrainian territory now, after all that’s happened in the last 30 days, when they were concerned about it enough in 2014 to launch invasion #1?
Either Russia manages to hold onto Crimea or the Black Sea Fleet finds a new home.
I don’t expect Ukraine to move forces from around Kyiv except following on the heels of retreating Russians.
Old Man Shadow
@Ohio Mom: Not quite that old yet. I just feel old.
@Old Man Shadow: Well, something to look forward to then. But you only have to be 50: https://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide/
@Wapiti: Doesn’t make any sense from the Ukrainian side. Russia would just use that base in Sevastopol to invade Crimea again, as they did before.
Old Man Shadow
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
Pretty much the same thing:
Democrats are evil god hating, anti-American, Satanic baby killers, abortion is murder, people who seek abortions are Satanic baby killers, LGBTQ people want to recruit your children for gay sex, atheists want to shut down the churches, teachers are liberal indoctrinators of your children, scientists know that fundamentalists are right, they’re just lying because they hate God or want to sin, etc; Black people are lazy welfare bums; etc.
Us vs. them. We are good, they are the worst. No compromise. We are losing America and losing power and privilege, we must fight and reclaim it for white Jesus.
Bullshit all the way down.
Nothing out of official Russian channels is meaningful. It could be true, it could be lies, there is no telling because it’s not chosen for that. It’s whatever Putin thinks sounds good.
Putin could back out of this war at any time and lose nothing but his pride. Or more accurately, any internal shakiness it causes would be much less than what he faces continuing the war. All the stuff we hear about how Putin has built a system to protect himself from coups will function vastly better against the grumbling of a failed war than against the grumbling of Russia’s economy being decimated by sanctions while the army is decimated in Ukraine. ‘This one didn’t work out’ sells a Hell of a lot better to your inner circle than ‘My plan is destroying your livelihoods and I will blame you and punish you for it.’
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
Hope you can manage to hold onto your happy thoughts. It sounds like you’ll really need them.
@Carlo Graziani: As a cousin of Croatian partisans, raises hand…
from what I understand, as of yesterday, the RU have control of the port and the airport, the City itself is still in UA hands.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Yeesh! Best of luck. This process must be intensely painful on all kinds of levels.
@sdhays: if your definition of removal includes burial, yeah Ukraine will do it.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
That’s a good sign at least.
I hope you win, but if you lose, it would be great to read a compilation of your experience in running.
But not Balloon Juice? This saddens me.
Old Man Shadow
@Ohio Mom: Oof… 50’s a lot closer than I’d like to admit.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Are the speakers local? Or are they imported from crazier areas to rile up the locals?
If the latter, you might be able to make that a campaign issue. The imported hate and lunacy is a distraction from issues that actually affect people. Local courts aren’t for any of that stuff; they’re for family law, civil cases, and some criminal law. What does that have to do with the froth-flecked BS they’re screaming about?
They’re easier to find now. Right on the IRS main page. “Browse” sends you to the various contractors and you pick one. I send people there all the time and I’ve used it myself to do my teenagers taxes and it worked fine. Some throw in a free state return too.
ProPublica did an expose, Los Angeles sued and then there was a class action lawsuit.
Anyway. Fixed :)
And now it’s free up to 72k, not 66k.
@Old Man Shadow: In Australia, online tax prep is set up by govt and FREE.
Gin & Tonic
Trying to recall, didn’t somebody say that Russia had something like 20 generals? Or 20 devoted to this invasion? Somehow the number 20 sticks in mind. The Ukrainians have reportedly killed 7 so far. That’s not very good for Russia, is it?
@Betty Cracker: But you CAN do it free online! Folks under a certain income level file directly w/ the IRS, I think, and everyone above that has to go to another site, but it’s still all electronic and free free free.
I have that Godfather 2 scene in my head—- “My offer is this… nothing”.
Two quick items before I jump on a call:
1) I talked with RWNJ Dad today to wish him a happy birthday. He wanted to give me a heads-up to stock up on flour and cooking oil (yes, really) since he saw on Fox that there were about to be “food shortages”. This irritated me to no end, so even though I have avoided talking politics with him since 1/6/21 and even though it’s his birthday, I asked him, “Have you seen even one news item about Ginni Thomas and her insane, insurrection-supporting texts, or about how Clarence Thomas was the sole vote to withhold info – namely, THOSE SAME TEXTS – from the 1/6 Commission?” He had no idea what I was talking about. North Korea, folks, these people live in North Korea.
2) Kay, you will love this:
, according to Gary Abernathy. Here’s hoping they keep it up! =)
Dorothy A. Winsor
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: I’m in awe that you can sit through that without blood spurting from a vein in your temples.
People who think they have god on their side are the reason we’re supposed to separate church and state. I fear for that principle’s survival
Re income tax time – Ever since I went to efiling, I’ve used FreeTaxUSA and have had no problems at all.
It is funny but the ODP is in chaos too. I had a zoom call this week where the entire thing was me crankily explaining that individual county parties cannot endorse a candidate if the state party has already endorsed a different candidate. They can remain nuetral, but they can’t endorse. It was about Tim Ryan.
I feel like I tell the same person this every three months.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Those political evangelicals sure are pushy. I’m glad the old-line Catholics got to see their “ally” showing his ass.
That minister probably preached the way he does on Sunday, except for leaving out the stuff about how deluded Catholics are.
They wanted to endorse Morgan, right?
Late in WWII, German radio became notorious* for reporting along the lines of “After heavy fighting by our valiant troops, a brilliant German tactical plan succeeded in holding the front lines” without mentioning that the new lines were 30 miles closer to Berlin than the day before. Maybe we’ll start hearing of that sort of reporting from Russia.
* Though I may be remembering this from Hogan’s Heroes.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
I’ve been to their churches. They preach the same shit, they just don’t cut it off after the first hour because the congregation doesn’t get bored. Also, they don’t tell people to go donate to this or that grifter’s latest endeavor, or hawk quite so many books when they’re outside their congregation.
When you realize the entire service is primarily a combo grift/delivery mechanism for dopamine/hate hormone orgies masquerading as sacrament, it makes more…I won’t say ‘sense’, but you begin to see how the mechanism works.
Seriously. If these people ever win, the rest of us will get the small, thin, threadbare comfort of watching their little psycho screwball alliance rip itself to shreds.
Too many people think being in the ingroup will save them. They don’t realize that in the GOP, being white/saved/rich/whatever can be revoked on a whim. Even the folks in the ingroup are only there on sufferance.
@jonas: Not to give putin any ideas but the personnel and machinery he’s using to try to defeat Ukraine could be better used concentrated on securing the eastern provinces.
Just looking at what putin could consider his off ramps.
@Old Man Shadow:
There are some free file services, depending on income, etc. Info at the IRS website.
@debbie: Morgan le Faye? I saw a strip a few weeks ago where le Faye told Prince Valiant that she had lost her power. When she summoned a raven it just gave her the side-eye.
@Gin & Tonic: Yeah, that was me. 20 was the Western estimate of how many generals were involved in the invasion. Pretty sure I read it in the Guardian. And it’s indeed not good news for the Russian army, but for Putin it means there’s a few less generals he needs to keep an eye on in case they get ideas.
Heh, no. Morgan Harper, a self-styled Progressive.
She asked the Democrats hold off on endorsements until after the primary. They did not. She’s resorted to debating Josh Mandel (twice so far, I think).
@Sebastian: A good-ole’ Russian fragging? If even half of these are true…?
@Kay: Abernathy has quite the laundry list of the OH GOP’s many failings going in that piece…lots of trump-bashing, too!
Putin’s war has managed to revive NATO, invigorate American leadership, create a hostile Western-oriented democratic nation on Russia’s southern border, change everyone’s opinion about the effectiveness of Russia’s military institutions, and crater Russia’s economy. I can see why a faction of Russian leadership would start saying ‘uh, no, we didn’t mean any of that.’ What Putin will do now is the big unknown. We shall see.
This is the point I keep trying to make. If there is more than one class of citizen, there’s no logical dividing line between first and lower class citizenship. The only way to be sure your citizenship is first class is to have first class be the only class.
@narya: I use something called free fillable forms—such an obvious name—no wonder people don’t know about it. Very basic functionality and you have to enter all the stuff from your w2 by hand and then do state taxes separately, but… it’s free, my finances are simple and I’m too stubborn to pay someone (I don’t qualify for free TurboTax and the like)
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
Great detail on your campaign experiences.
@Subsole: Yep. First thing that happens in an authoritarian transition is religion and firearms are banned and media outlets get nationalized because the authoritarian wants to take away anything that might threaten their power, which is no longer voters and voting.
So god and guns are the first to go away.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: I hope you persevere. In the 1990s, my oldest brother ran for a district court judgeship with similar demographics, and odds were not in his favor. But, it was an off-year election, and low voter turnout (less than 15%). He won by about 200 votes out of 25,000 cast. Getting more of his folks to the polls than the other guy was key.
Religion is only banned if it can’t be subverted. There is a long history of religious leaders who have been more than happy to back the civil leader in exchange for government support. Putin’s relationship with the Russian Orthodox church is a great example of this. What too few religious leaders understand is that separation of church and state is as much about protecting religion from the corrupting influence of civil power as the other way around.
According to Kremlin Tv, as Russia’s war against Ukraine enters its second month, the grim picture of destruction and suffering is breaking through on state-controlled television. Before the invasion, military experts predicted a rapid takeover of Russia’s peaceful neighbor in a matter of minutes. Now that the reality is starting to set in, they’re grimly surmising that it will take several decades to subdue freedom-loving Ukraine.
State TV’s talking heads have tried in vain to paint a rosy picture of the Kremlin’s invasion, but the cracks are starting to show. On Thursday, with screens depicting dramatic images of demolished Mariupol flashing behind them, hosts of state television show 60 Minutes, Olga Skabeeva and Evgeny Popov, tried to point out the “positives.” They noted that Russia promised to pay compensation to some Ukrainians from the “affected” territories—10,000 rubles each, amounting to a mere $100 dollars.
To make matters worse, Ukrainians forcefully deported to Russia might end up in places like the Russian island of Sakhalin in the Pacific, with freezing cold temperatures and stark landscapes. After discussing news reports about ongoing relocations, Evgeny Popov helpfully pointed out: “But in Sakhalin the salaries are the highest in the country!”
The chorus of concerned voices in Russian state media blamed their country’s information war failures on the fact that the Kremlin’s propaganda channels have been banished in Ukraine. State TV pundit Nikolai Starikov proposed: “When we talk about the organizers of the info-war, I’m convinced that their place is on the same bench where Nazi criminals will be tried.” The hosts, who for years agitated for war against Ukraine under false pretenses, nervously looked on without commenting
ETA: H/T DU
Enhanced Voting Techniques
“It’s unfair they are fighting back” ROFL That’s literally the entire Russian complaint in all this “you are being mean by not letting me win.” No wonder Putin and Trump are such life partners.
I would instead vote for Nashville, Tn as best music city. True, Nashville’s music scene was built atop a foundation of serving a schmaltzy “countrpolitan“ format the marketing promoters and record labels corrupted the original genuine carter family and early george jones material with.
But OTOH commercial success also facilitated growth of a huge army of fabulous studio musicians and local clubs like the Station. And like the john sebastian song, there’s 3200 guitar pickers in nashville, and every one of them can pick better than I will”.
Formerly disgruntled in Oregon
Formerly disgruntled in Oregon
@CaseyL: Me too. Can recommend FreeTaxUSA. It’s only free for the federal return. I think my state return cost $12 or $13 to file through them.
When I was a kid in third grade, I told the teacher that I should get an A on the arithmetic test, because I had achieved my objective of getting one out of the 30 questions right. That made sense to me.
@Sebastian: You will love this wiki article
Yes. I like one of them a lot so I was really only listening to him and I honestly feel bad that he never gets his candidate. Never. Not once. It must suck.
@Raoul Paste: He’s an extrovert and loves people. Extroverts are energized by being around other people. Introverts. like myself, may be comfortable with other people for limited periods of time, but they’re really a drain on our batteries.
She has no interest in broadening the Democratic base. I listened to a local big shot at the Urban League who likes her, but objected because, he said, she hadn’t even bothered to build an organization that would support her campaign; she just waltzed in and tried to take over. She and I graduated from the same girls school (a billion years apart, obviously), so I know bullshit when I see it. Just so much entitlement.
@Martin: There’s been several ‘clerico-fascist’ regiemes and movements ,eg Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Tiso’s Slovakia, Dollfuss’s Fatherland Front in Austria, the Ustase, the Iron Guard, the Metaxists, the Rexists, Lapua in Finland and Trujillo’s Dominican Republic. The clergy weren’t subverted, they were enthusiastic backers and in several cases leaders
@CaseyL: Thanks, I’ll have to give them a try! Their website says Federal is free, and while they charge for state returns, here in Maryland you can do your taxes directly on the Comptroller of Maryland’s website, as I’ve been doing for the past 20 years, once your Federal return is done and you can plug in those numbers.
I agree but it’s a meeting and he’s entitled to make his case. But, there are rules about endorsements and that’s one of them. He was fairly gracious when I told him what the rule was and immediately switched to asking us to remain neutral – so good save! :)
My middle son went to high school with him – he’s a programmer. He works for school systems, so for the state – they have them work remotely for various systems throughout the state.
I’ve just always liked him. I want him to win one!
@Old Man Shadow: One thing I really miss about England. Never had to do taxes, it’s done automatically for you by your employer through the year (PAYE, ditto for unearned income).
98% of the population spene zero time and money doing taxes. I had to do some when it was my company but it was easy
@Wapiti: And they can put up the fee for the gaming license personally.
I think Putin will try to make lemonade out of lemons. He’ll claim they greatly weakened Ukraine, go for some territory, consolidate what he can, and claim victory. And it might work. Russia doesn’t have to necessarily win, just not lose. And Putin will define what is not losing to the Russian people. Putin can’t possible withdraw and say my bad.
@Frankensteinbeck: Putin could back out of this war at any time and lose nothing but his pride.
I don’t see it that way at all. This is a guy whose stock and trade is I’m a tough guy, and we Russians don’t lose. He backs out and he admits they lost. I think he backs down and he is gone sooner rather than later. IMO better chance that he does something really drastic than pulling out.
@Old Man Shadow: If you make big bucks, the websites okayed by the IRS might cost 10-30 bucks. If you are lower or middle income, free free free.
Been to both and NO is heads and shoulders a better music town. A million percent better. A trillion percent better. I did not enjoy Nashville at all. I could spend the rest of my life in NO boogying all day and night.
WOW! God punished them with fire. They are cursed.
J R in WV
I’m using a diff computer, older formerly Wife’s tool, so much is different. Very glad the Putinsky generals are suffering from proficient Ukrainian snipers, and perhaps their own troops, pissed at being led into a meat-grinder, secretly, without proper prep work and shitty logistics. Fragging is the least those staff officers deserve.
The ship exploding was pretty good war video if you aren’t on the RU side of the war… Big Balls of Fire!!!
I agree that New Orleans is the best Music City around, at least in America. Austin ha!s good music. We haven’t ever been to downtown Nashville, tho we’ve driven through or around it several times. Good BBQ tho.
@debbie: I was a little surprised to see that Harper was fourth in a Democratic primary poll taken three weeks ago (by Emerson I think). Ryan led with 31%; Harper was behind a Columbus social worker and a Columbus “activist.” All three were in single digits.
And nothing happens.
Yeah, I think she didn’t listen to the voters, just started the same thing all over again. It’s too bad, she’s worked with Rich Cordray at the CFPB and should have had a platform. It’s just the way she’s gone about it.
“i can summon spirits from the vasty deep!”
“Aye, but when you summon, do they come?”
For the russians? War breaks out in Belarus.
@Frankensteinbeck: I don’t see it that way. Putin is a strongman ruler, and appearing that weak to the Russian people and the oligarchs will not go over well.
@J R in WV:
My $0.02: NOLA is one of a handful of unique, sui generis world cities. There is nothing like it, anywhere, not just in the US, but in the world. Part of it is the hardship, and the poverty, but one of the things that one immediately notices is that people there translate low expectations of comfort into an urge to maximize immediate joy. And they do it better than any population I know of.
Another thing I noticed is that sitting in any music bar, a good half of the audience could probably have gotten up and jammed with the band. There is so much music talent walking around that almost nobody can get paid for playing. It is essential to stuff the tip jars every time, because that’s the only revenue those people get. But it is so worth it.
I think the reason they get that way is that music is valued more highly than, say STEM subjects from school onward, which has its downsides, of course (scientist here) but damn, what a culture it produces, they have citywide high school parades you would not believe.
A private theory of mine: the common music culture is what kept the city from just giving up after Katrina. I’m not sure there would still be a Houston, say, if it had been hit by that kind of devastation. Could be wrong.
And it’s not just Dixieland jazz, it’s everything. One evening, I was walking back through the French quarter when I heard something extraordinary: a young woman in the doorway of an art gallery, accompanied by a guitarist, singing Edith Piaf, note-perfect. Mesmerizing.
And that’s the thing about NOLA. You don’t even need to go find the music. Wait a bit. It will find you.
@catclub: It was sort of sad. Ms. le Faye had been Mr. Valiant’s nemesis but now had to travel under his protection. But, being a true Prince he did not rub it in.
I was interested to see le Faye describe Valiant’s wife, Princess Aleta, as a member of her “sisterhood” who still possessed her powers. I had not known this.
@Carlo Graziani: My wife is from New Orleans. .When we.moved in together she was living in a slave quarter apartment in the building on the bourbon st. side of Preservation Jazz Hall. Our patio was next to theirs, and we could sit and listen to them warm up, and practice.
@Carlo Graziani: Stellar description of an urban star.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
I’d say kick Massie in the balls for me, but that would only get you in trouble. I don’t know how you keep quiet…I would be making loud heckler remarks after the first 5 minutes lol
@UncleEbeneezer: Beautiful video and music and poem, thanks!
@Geminid: Yes…this. A lot of Catholics aren’t aware of the red-hot hatred talibangelicals have for the Mother Church. They usually won’t say anything in public, but in private they go off if they are sure you aren’t one. That’s one tack I take when I am trying to spike the guns of some MAGAt talibangelical who is going on and on about prayer in the public schools – I just propose having some one lead the kids in a Hail Mary over the loudspeaker every AM and suddenly there’s nothing but crickets. Then I follow up with how all religions have to get a turn leading prayers, if you are going to go there. The subject usually gets changed quickly lol
More Ginni news
Major generals don’t exactly have a good life expectancy in Ukraine.