The Progressive Case for Free Speech
Plus: What Happens When Russia’s Criminal Soldiers Come Home.
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BILL LUEDERS: The Progressive Case for Free Speech.
The protesting students did not want to hear it, not a word of it. “Shut it down!” they shouted, as others lined up to enter the event. The dozens of protesters who turned out on March 9 for a joint appearance of right-wing luminaries Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens at the University of Illinois Chicago not only did not come to hear the talk but didn’t want anyone else to hear it, either.
“I think it’s disgusting that the university has these people on campus,” student Jonathan May told the Chicago Sun Times. “Essentially these people are calling for the genocide of LGBTQ people, specifically trans people. Don’t have these kinds of people come here.”
The event, as it happens, was not sponsored by the university but by the campus chapter of Turning Point USA, a nationwide conservative student group of which Kirk is the founder and Owens the former communications director. (She stepped down in 2019, not long after making some widely reported comments about how Hitler was an “OK” leader until he took things a bit too far.)
The Republican Party had been showing signs it was beginning to move on from Trump, but now it’s wrapping itself around him once again — because attention of any kind is Trump’s fuel. Plus, a reminder that Kevin McCarthy doesn’t believe in anything. Dana Milbank joins Charlie Sykes today.
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NATALIA ANTONOVA: What Happens When Russia’s Criminal Soldiers Come Home.
Recently, a Russian friend who left the country years ago got in touch to ask me if I could talk to her former colleague, a woman was finally ready to leave too and needed some advice and reassurance. This colleague, let’s call her Maria, did not want to abandon her home and her various volunteering jobs, but now felt she had no choice.
At first, I was not especially interested in talking to Maria—as a native of Ukraine, I prefer to leave pep talks for Russians to someone else—until I found out what had prompted Maria’s decision. Maria had a relative who had gone to prison for murder. After PMC Wagner began recruiting cannon fodder for the war against Ukraine in Russian prisons, he had signed up. He was wounded in Ukraine, and was coming home a free man. Maria was terrified of him.
I have a bit of a history with Wagner. They killed my friend Sasha Rastorguev, a filmmaker, in 2018.
Happy Tuesday! Trump is going to Waco on the anniversary of the deadly siege there as he is stirring up his supporters in the face of possible indictment. What could go wrong?
Beware… Lindsey Graham is trying to act reasonable again. There are many moments in this clip that bother me. Like applauding to certify Georgia’s votes. That was your job. It’s like we’ve stepped in a time machine when he was running for President and saying things like this. Before, well, you know. Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself.
Does Donald Trump finally have… A competent lawyer? Will it matter at this point?
Oh look, a bomb threat! As if that’s going to stop Alvin Bragg or Letitia James. There is a certain irony in the lemming like willingness of Trump die hards to go to jail (and whoever did this most likely will) because they think they’re taking a bullet for the Orange man.
Biden awards The Boss… Among other recipients of the National Medal of the Arts? Gladys Knight, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, José Feliciano, Vera Wang.
How COVID ignited the school culture wars… A dispatch from Mentor, Ohio.
Nobody likes Mike Pence… As McKay Coppins lays out in The Atlantic. (Don’t blame Sarah Longwell for her awesome focus groups, Team Pence!)
Meet James Comer… The NYT profile of the Biden antagonist reveals a number things about him… Some including servers that don’t involve Hunter Biden.
The FBI raided a notable journalist’s home… There was outcry about potential overreach at the time, but now we know why.
“Prime News…” Newsmax, which will replace Fox if Fox ever pays for its sins, put on two Trump supporters to talk about the potential indictment. One of them spent 17.5 years in prison for shooting at police, among other questionable behavior. Oh, he was wearing a hat that said “Fuck Biden.” On air. Classy. Also on Newsmax: what is happening to Trump could happen to you!
Inside the strange and necessary work… Of NIST. (A place I have always wanted to tour!)
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