Wow, it turns out there was a whole huge scandal with Joy Reid, the only MSNBC newscaster I liked. The only moderately charming one turns out to be a jerk. I haven’t watched in a while so I missed it.

The We

Of all people, it’s got to be Bret Stephens who gets it:

Today’s social democracy falls apart on the contradiction between advocating nearly unlimited government largess and nearly unlimited immigration. “Abolish ICE” is a proper rallying cry for hard-core libertarians and Davos globalists, not democratic socialists or social democrats. A federal job guarantee is an intriguing idea — assuming the jobs are for some defined “us” that doesn’t include every immigrant, asylum-seeker or undocumented worker.

Without a defined “we”, also known as the nation-state, there’s no welfare. I dislike Stephens, to put it mildly, but why isn’t anybody else pointing out this centrally important fact?

We all laughed so hard at the “get the government out of my Medicare” folks but “I want open borders and a federal job guarantee” is the exact same thing. “I want the nation-state to go away but to keep giving.” It’s delusional, and what a shame that only an unsavory Bret Stephens has the brains to point out that there is no welfare without a defined “we.”

Will of the People

It seems that many people have forgotten this, but at first and for years Putin was very pro-American, pro-Western, pro-EU, pro-modernization, and pro-NATO expansion into former Soviet Republics. He was positively glowing with approval when the Baltics joined. I have quotes if people have forgotten.

I don’t believe Putin himself as an individual cares about Ukraine, Georgia, Syria, the EU, the Western values, or anything of the kind. I think he cares about palaces, luxury, whores, and exotic animals.

He must have noticed, though, that unless he invaded, his ratings plummeted and an opposition movement grew. The moment he invaded somebody, the ratings soared and everybody, including the opposition, began to adore him. So he does whatever he needs to keep his palaces, exotic animals, and whores. The whatever happens to be invasions, so that’s what he does.

The largest country on the planet is populated by 120 million people, 88% of whom aren’t happy unless somebody is getting invaded in their name. Putin is just a symptom.