And We’re Back! [DOT 28/2/22]

Hope you had a nice weekend! I got a hair cut, finally, and had book club. It’s not a new puppy or anything, but it was a nice weekend.

Various Ukraine Updates below, or stick with RIP, here.

Zelensky announces diplomatic talks; E.U. to restrict airspace

CNN Updates:

Donald Trump defends calling Putin ‘smart’, hints at 2024 presidential bid

You do you, but I’ll be wearing mine in crowds and on planes for a minute yet.

What you need to know about the CDC’s new coronavirus guidance


MLB lockout negotiations turn hostile as owners reject players’ comprehensive proposal


Dow futures fall around 400 points as traders assess ripple effects of Russia sanctions

And in local news, isn’t this ironic?

Youngkin seeks funding to beef up security at Virginia’s HBCUs

LOL this is great.

Have a great Monday!



  1. I don’t suppose any of you caught the SNL Covid Dinner Discussion skit over the weekend?

    Just a month ago that would have been considered blasphemy among the folks most likely to tune into SNL. But with California, DC, CT, NJ, and now NY falling into line because “the politics science has changed” this is the new normal.

    I am with you, Meg. I think I will continue to mask, especially since the weather has been so cold.

    Any local updates about The Great American Truck Convoy? That seems to have dropped out of the news cycle.

    • In my Ukraine scrolling – I happened on a thread where some idiots were claiming that the invasion of Ukraine had some weird inconsistencies and was probably a fake to distract from “The Freedom Truckers.” I somehow lost the link to the thread – but seriously those people need psychiatric help.

      • Probably a bunch of “freedumb fuckers” who are upset that the Ukrainians are showing who actually fights an oppressive dictator vs a bunch of posers play acting on a stage against one of the more liberal leaders in the West (and make it look like a spoiled shit’s tantrum.)

  2. Does your office building provide cosmetic surgery services? Maybe soon you’ll be able to get a lunch-hour “refresh.”

    (URL is so long to get you around the Daily News paywall.)

    The Solow Building is one of my favorite buildings in NYC. It curves upward for a while, which was unique for the early 70s. It also houses Brasserie 8 1/2, a wonderful restaurant but not somewhere most people could go three or four times a week.

  3. Last comment, then I’ll dummy up. Today is Paul Krugman’s birthday. Curious as to how old Krugman is (69) I discovered that his middle name is Robin, his first wife was Robin L. Bergman (div.) and his second and current wife is Robin Wells.

    I have never dated, let alone married, anyone with my first or middle names, and it wouldn’t have been that difficult because both those names are very common and I dated men.

    This would make for a good NOT. I’ll do one if anyone wants, about partners who have strange name-related relationships. For example, I’m thinking of George W. Bush’s niece Lauren Bush, who married Ralph Lauren’s son David Lauren, which could have turned her into Lauren Lauren, but she retained her maiden name so she is Lauren Bush Lauren. Which is still kind of a strange name.

      • Ew. Matt Dillon is almost exactly the same age as I am and one of my friends was high school buddies with one of his brothers (he has 4, plus a sister. Good Catholics.) When we were in our early 20s, oh yes, definitely, but he went on to date Cameron Diaz, among many other women, so I don’t think he would have felt a spark.

    • I agree. Freezing the billionaires is useless. They’ve got shell companies and hidden assets and most tellingly, cryptocurrency. They’re not going to miss any meals. If you want to affect Putin, you’ve got to get to the Russian middle class and the general population.

      Even China is freaked out by the implications of all this to their emerging middle class. You start telling people they can’t have cellphones and jeans and you’re going to get some shit.

    • …I think he makes some good points in principle but I’m not so sure about the way that some of them would play out in practice…particularly in the event of the somewhat extreme implementation of them he seems to be advocating?

      …a long time ago I visited some places around the caucuses & although it wasn’t so long ago that they were still soviet at that point the bulk of the population had spent more of their lives behind the iron curtain than outside & I think it’s a mistake to view pushing those people (at least the ones in russia itself on the basis of his suggestions) back behind it in a positive light in a few different ways

      …left cut off from the rest of the world in material & cultural ways the extent to which that suggests would (very probably rightly) likely be interpreted as meaning the population would be well advised to return to the mentality that prevailed during the soviet era…which would in turn pretty much take the wind out of any possibility that internal dissent could rise to a point of having any chance of taking the reins of power away from putin & giving us a road away from escalation & war…& it would efficiently drive russia into the arms of china in a host of ways that I don’t think are in anyone’s wider interests?

      …it’s complicated…& I don’t think I have my head around what some of the steps taken thus far translate to in terms I can understand enough to base much on in terms of conjecture…but my feeling is that although I instinctively agree that it feels like we’re not doing all we can & that maybe we ought to be doing more of what we could…we can’t put russia in a box…so putting a wall between them & as much of the world as we can isn’t necessarily playing to our wider interests…& there’s arguments to be made for what the hierarchy of those interests ought to look like if we’re serious about the principles we claim those are founded on…but if one of them remains not making this worse in, for want of a better word, unhelpful ways…then I think his take overall lands on the too-extreme side of the line for me on the basis that I think it would precipitate drawbacks that would cost everyone more than it might gain?

      • The devil is in the details, and no smart writer (this is my complaint about Friedman too) should be putting this kind of heavy handed framework of certainties out there like this.

        It’s posturing, not analysis. Comparisons to Hitler as a reason for a path of action are nuts. And events have already outstripped what Truscott is complaining about, as the US moves today against the Russian central bank have shown.

        You’re absolutely right that this stuff is crazy complicated, and putting Russia in a box is extremely risky. There is no simple path forward, and what we’re seeing is a a lot of cheeseball types trying to build cases based on “obvious” things that evaporate with just a little bit of examination.

        The press wants simple narratives, and the selfish goal for money, ego and ideology of the cheeseballs is to fill that demand. The question isn’t whether some kind of sanctions program that raises the stakes on ordinary Russians will be imposed — it already has, and more will come. The question is how, when, and who is involved. And even more important, how does it relate to diplomacy with Russia and allies of Ukraine and the efforts of Ukraine to sustain its fight.

        Bad thinkers rush conclusions based on incomplete evidence. It’s hard to impossible to know what good evidence is, but it’s easy to tell who is rushing to judgment. They’re dangerous people.

        • …pretty much…although the flip side is I guess that sometimes overstatements can work to push things the way you’re hoping they might go in a thumb-on-the-scales sort of a way…not least when it comes to nebulous things like “market confidence”…& the kinds of people I suspect friedman thinks he’s talking to seem to sort of expect it…I’d agree it tends to rub me the wrong way…much as it does when campaigning political candidates talk about “when I win” rather than “should I win”

          …but the other day ukraine (zlelensky, iirc) tweeted something about turkey denying russia passage through its waters that turned out to be more by way of a request phrased as more of an assertion complete with thanks

          …& if I’m not mistaken today turkey pretty much said it was going to start taking pretty much that line

          …so it sometimes flirts with having some virtues?

          • I think a key question around narrative building is whether the narrator is letting the facts drive the narrative or the narrative drive the facts.

            The more bound someone is by abstract first principles — Putin = Hitler, macro econ drives the world, Biden = bad — the more likely the screwups. I think Zelensky is operating from a much, much more grounded place than almost every US pundit, and his agenda is too.

            There’s been a slide into superficial cynicism in the press that treats all narrative building as the same, so that political reporting around Covid is functionally almost the same as political reporting around Ebola. The net effect is elevating the harmful and damaging the helpful, and you get Maggie Haberman glibly saying the problem is never her reporting, it’s only about the PR that feeds it.

  4. War is not a game of Risk, Trump.

    Roll triple 6s and pick up a card.

    But then again, Private Bone Spurs knows all and sees all because he’s a galaxy brained genius (just ask him.)

  5. Not today’s headline, but worth remembering:

    Mike Pompeo — “Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?”

    The context was NPR interviewing Pompeo about his punishment of Marie Yovanovitch, US Ambassador to Ukraine, amidst Giuliani’s corrupt maneuvers in Ukraine on behalf of Trump prior to his first impeachment.

    Pompeo attempted to embarass NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly with the stunt of showing her a blank map of Europe and asking her to identify Ukraine, which she did.

    Giuliani and his allies Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman (since convicted on campaign finance charges) were bargaining with Putin to manufacture dirt on Biden, and had identified removing Ambassador Yovanovitch as a major piece of their scheme.

    Just two days ago CBS ran a piece whitewashing Pompeo and gave him a blank check to smear Biden. This article by Aaron Navarro is an embarrassing reminder of how biased the mainstream press can be.


    • Remember Manafort’s boss, Oleg Deripaska?

      Also Mitch McConnell’s buddy who put an aluminum plant in KY.

      To your point, the MSM has always been the stenographer of the connected, even traitors like Pompeo.

    • It’s also contemptuous, elitist, and fatuously stupid. In 2020, 8.6 percent of the US population, some 28 million people, didn’t have medical insurance at all.  They can’t ask their doctor because they don’t have one.

    • People who were repeating the original story should have stopped to ask themselves — if the Ukranians were all dead, who is telling this story? Maybe they have an ulterior motive of selling a resistance is futile story?

  6. So why hasn’t the U.S. shut down all flights to/from Russia?

    This was a feel good story!

    You go Dee!

  7. We were just talking about masks yesterday. For the foreseeable future, I will always have masks on me when I travel, especially by air. I have really enjoyed not being sick, and intend to continue doing so.

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