The Deeper Reason for the U.S. Military’s Recruitment Woes
Plus: MAGA Has TDS—Taylor Derangement Syndrome
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THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN ENDED two and a half years ago, yet the United States Armed Forces are as busy as ever, at least as measured by how much time service members are spending away from home. That’s partially because the United States is fielding its smallest military in eighty years, despite being involved (in various capacities) in multiple conflicts around the world. The Department of Defense is providing critical logistical, maintenance, and advisory support to Ukraine in its existential fight against Putin’s Russia, while also arming Israel in its struggle against Hamas. Next door, American forces in Iraq and Syria work to keep the Islamic State from reemerging while parrying blows from Iranian proxies. On January 28, those blows turned deadly, as a drone apparently launched by Iranian proxies killed three American soldiers in Jordan. Meanwhile, a few hundred miles south, the Navy is keeping vital sea lanes open as it battles the Houthis. While juggling all these responsibilities in different active theaters, the U.S. military is also trying to deter Chinese irredentist claims in the South China Sea.
MONA CHAREN: Trump’s $83.3 Million Temper Tantrum.
IN THE WAKE OF THE EYE-POPPING $83.3 million dollar verdict against Trump for defaming E. Jean Carroll, many commentators mocked Trump’s bumbling lawyer, Alina Habba, and not without cause. The 39-year-old fashion model, er, attorney, who had never tried a defamation case before (and, in fact, was lead attorney in only three previous cases) was repeatedly rebuked by Judge Lewis Kaplan for a variety of basic errors, such as referring to materials not introduced into evidence and persisting in bringing up matters already ruled out of bounds by the judge.
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A.B. STODDARD: MAGA Has TDS—Taylor Derangement Syndrome.
SOMETHING ABOUT THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS making it to the Super Bowl has destabilized MAGA. Or maybe it was Taylor Swift’s first appearance at a Chiefs game last fall. Or maybe it was her being named Time’s Person of the Year in December. Or all of it combined.
Addled Trumpers are sounding the alarm. They’re not just warning that Swift is out to brainwash America’s youth into liberalism or theorizing that she and Travis Kelce are in a fake relationship. Now they’re telling us that the Super Bowl is going to be fixed. Got that? Just as in Donald Trump’s Big Lie, evildoers are conspiring against Trump and his supporters—but this time they are going to steal a football game instead of a presidential election.
CATHY YOUNG: Don’t Rush to Assign Collective Guilt in Gaza.
FRIDAY’S PROVISIONAL RULING by the International Criminal Court on the genocide case brought by South Africa against Israel wasn’t a total victory for either side. While the court has directed Israel to take steps to prevent a possible genocide and to facilitate humanitarian aid for Palestinian civilians, it also recognized Israel’s right to self-defense after the Hamas attacks of October 7, declined to equate massive casualties with genocide (intent matters), and did not call on Israel to suspend its military operations. The court did signal, however, that as it considers the merits of the case—a process that will take years—it will take seriously some Israeli officials’ rhetoric about civilians and innocents (or the lack thereof) in Gaza.
Happy Tuesday… With a sick kids at home getting gourmet ramen. The cold is back!
These days, I’m thinking a lot about Jade Helm… And what a dupe Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been over the years. (Texas Tribune)
Human Events… The formerly venerable conservative publication is now owned by MAGA troll types… But apparently even they have discovered you can go too far in trolling… the troops via the stolen election lie but it’s also Brian Kemp’s fault? This is what happens when you feature Pizzagate Jack’s brand of crazy. Yikes.
Injustice Can Make You Crazy As A Bedbug… Ken White on billionaires and injustice.
‘Unless You’re a Purist, We Don’t Want You Voting’… The Nevada GOP wanted to ensure a Trump win. They wound up making the state irrelevant. (Politico)
Why MAGA hates Taylor Swift… An origin story.
Meanwhile, in Missouri… #Squad member Cori Bush is under DOJ investigation for her use of money for security because she hired… her husband. (NPR) This has been a known thing in St. Louis for a while. (Post Dispatch)
Inside the right-wing subculture… of Zyn-obsessed nicotine fiends. (Business Insider)
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