Do you hear what I hear? Do you see what I see?

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Dave Barry/WaPo:

Dave Barry’s 2022 Year in Review

And there were other positive developments in 2022:

— Millions of Americans on social media realized — it took them a while, but they finally got there — that nobody wants to know how they did on “Wordle.”

— For the 13th consecutive year, the New York Yankees failed to even get into the World Series.

— Best of all, the looming apocalyptic threat of catastrophic global climate change was finally eliminated thanks to the breakthrough discovery that the solution — it has been staring us in the face all this time — was to throw food at art.

WaPo:

Republicans making moves toward entering 2024 primary against Trump

Their actions reflect a growing sense in the GOP that the former president is far from an inevitable nominee

So far, Trump is the only major candidate who has officially announced his 2024 bid. But both publicly and behind the scenes, major Republican figures are laying the foundations for potential campaigns, according to a review of their activities and interviews with people familiar with the planning, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal strategy.

A diminished force is still a force, and one that can yet wreck the GOP. This is true even if multiple candidates split the vote and Trump’s nominated (said nomination far from an inevitable scenario).

David French/Atlantic:

The Oddly Intense Anger Against Zelensky, Explained

Domestic animosity drives right-wing rage

And if you think that’s the entirety of right-wing hatred against Zelensky, you’re sadly mistaken. I simply highlighted a few of the people with huge platforms on the right. If you want an even more complete roundup, I’d suggest reading Cathy Young’s outstanding report over at The Bulwark.

In fact, Cathy and I are doing much the same thing. We’re trying to highlight and explain the incredible outpouring of right-wing anger against the president of a country that’s defending itself against an unprovoked, brutal invasion by one of our nation’s chief geopolitical foes. 

I highlighted Cathy’s report over the weekend.

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I support unions because we’ve all had bad bosses, bad management, and bad workplaces. Unions are a way for workers to fix those problems or at least defend against the worst outcomes of them. Who can’t get behind that?

— Mary Peltola (@MaryPeltola) December 25, 2022

WaPo:

Jan. 6 panel aimed to write history. Will it upend Trump’s political future?

Republicans’ midterm struggles, as well as some focus groups and polling, are signs the former president’s grip on the party is loosening, analysts say

The final weeks of the panel’s work had their share of internal drama, as current and former advisers battled over which pieces of the investigation to highlight — relegating law enforcement and security failures, for example, to a 30-page appendix in the back.

Regardless of those disputes, however, lawmakers and independent analysts credited the nine-member committee with providing the most authoritative account yet of Trump’s involvement in the events leading up to the Capitol assault and his lack of any action for more than three hours after it started.

Amanda Carpenter/Bulwark:

The January 6th Report Takeaway: Trump Incited the Riot

Violence was not a coincidence; it was the culmination.

The hardest thing to explain to our children about the Trump era will be the unrelenting torrent of chaos that Donald Trump inflicted upon the country. The House January 6th Committee’s report captures his final months in office—the climax and culmination of his years of lawlessness, of deceit, and of stoking dark forces in American politics.

Read in totality, the committee’s report has a dizzying quality, as it should. The audacity, pace, and escalation of Trump’s lies about the 2020 election are breathtaking when seen in full. The 800-page report is the product of more than eighteen months of investigation by a team of government prosecutors who interviewed more than a thousand witnesses, issued more than a hundred subpoenas, and filtered through more than a million documents. It’s overwhelming—as befits Trump’s vast, many-tentacled effort to overturn the election.

So, what’s it all about? Like Watergate, January 6th is about a lot more than a break-in. Trump had no single plan to overturn the election. He had many plans. The mob that attacked the United States Capitol to prevent Joe Biden from being certified as president was the final, most desperate option. After exhausting all other pathways, Trump incited an insurrection. This fact is what the report documents in painstaking, escalating detail.

The longer story of January 6th is how Trump unfurled conspiracies in his own madcap, unrelenting, iterative way, untethered to any bounds of reason or decency. He had a motive and was maniacally motivated. Trump wanted to win so badly that he weaponized and spun up any and all resources available—his campaign, his White House, his appointees inside the Department of Justice, elected officials, low-level flacks, and foot soldiers on the ground.

It’s important to keep in mind that while Trump is ultimately responsible, he did not act alone. Many people assisted him outright or enabled him with their silence. This is a dangerous trend that continues within the Republican party today. January 6th Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney wrote in the opening of the report:

Part of the tragedy of January 6th is the conduct of those who knew that what happened was profoundly wrong, but nevertheless tried to downplay it, minimize it or defend those responsible. That effort continues every day. Today, I am perhaps most disappointed in many of my fellow conservatives who know better, those who stood against the threats of communism and Islamic terrorism but concluded that it was easier to appease Donald Trump, or keep their heads down.

OIivia Nuzzi/New York:

The Final Campaign

Inside Donald Trump’s sad, lonely, thirsty, broken, basically pretend run for reelection. (Which isn’t to say he can’t win.)

He had wanted to be in the movie business. It’s important to never forget this about him. He watches Sunset Boulevard, “one of the greatest of all time,” again and again and again. A silent-picture star sidelined by the talkies, driven to madness, in denial over her faded celebrity. When he was a businessman, he showed it to guests aboard his 727. When he was president, he held screenings of it for White House staff at Camp David.

He once showed it to his press secretary Stephanie Grisham, who later described how “the president, who could never sit still for anything without talking on the phone, sending a tweet, or flipping through TV channels, sat enthralled.” And he once showed it to Tim O’Brien, the biographer, who wrote that when Norma Desmond cried, “Those idiot producers. Those imbeciles! Haven’t they got any eyes? Have they forgotten what a star looks like? I’ll show them. I’ll be up there again, so help me!,” Trump leaned over O’Brien’s shoulder and whispered, “Is this an incredible scene or what? Just incredible.”

A washed-up star locked away in a mansion from the 1920s, afraid of the world outside, afraid it will remind him that time has passed … Well, he does not like the way it sounds for Trump. He still talks that way, in the third person. “This was the same thing in 2016. They said first, ‘Oh, Trump is just doing it for fun,’ and then they learned that wasn’t true,” he told me. “And then they said, ‘Well, he won’t win.’ And they learned that wasn’t true.”

Joe Perticone/Bulwark:

George Santos’s Problems Are Just Getting Started

It’s not a lie if you believe it?

The seemingly never-ending revelations of how newly elected Congressman George Santos invented much of his resumé, accomplishments, and identity out of thin air, are likely to become the subject of ethics probes and investigations.

Santos, who handily defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman in November thanks to Republicans’ over-performance in New York, has created significant problems for Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, the House Ethics Committee, and the Republican Conference as a whole. What is there to be done with a member of Congress who has apparently fabricated so much of his life and background?

Historically speaking, the House and Senate ethics committees have not typically probed lawmakers for actions conducted prior to serving in Congress. That precedent recently changed, when the House Ethics Committee went after then-Nevada Democrat Ruben Kihuen.



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