The Ukraine Untruths of Disingenuous DeSantis
Plus: Here’s Why a Big Pork High Court Lawsuit Matters
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WILLIAM SALETAN: The Ukraine Untruths of Disingenuous DeSantis.
Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, bills himself as an enforcer. Speaking in Iowa last Friday as he prepared to run for president, DeSantis bragged about capturing Haitian migrants and sending the National Guard to control “BLM riots.”
“There’s a new sheriff in town,” he told an audience in Des Moines. He boasted that Sheriff DeSantis was finally taking on one of America’s worst villains: the Walt Disney Company. He proudly informed the crowd that he was “staring down the mouse” and “delivering them the biggest defeat” Disney had suffered in Florida.
That’s DeSantis’s idea of courage: rounding up boat people and stripping tax breaks from Mickey Mouse. But when a real menace emerges—hundreds of thousands of Russian troops invading Ukraine and slaughtering civilians—DeSantis chickens out. He preaches appeasement and blames America.
Pence warned us about the threat to our democracy, and we shrugged. Plus, Bethany Mandel can’t define woke, Fox can’t keep its talking points straight, DeSantis is Trump’s Mini Me, and the despicable elitism of the American right. Tom Nichols joins Charlie Sykes.
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KIMBERLY WEHLE: Here’s Why a Big Pork High Court Lawsuit Matters.
In a little-known case pending this term, National Pork Producers Council v. Ross, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide the constitutional validity of California voters’ 2018 ballot measure forbidding the sale of pork that does not come from animals born to pigs individually housed within at least 24 square feet of usable floor space. The case has implications not just for the humane treatment of pigs but also for Congress’s power to regulate commerce and states’ ability to enact laws that impact other states on a range of issues.
In industrialized U.S. agriculture, sows—female breeding pigs—are typically confined to “gestation crates,” which are barely larger than their bodies. In 2007, the largest pork producer in the world, Smithfield Foods, announced it would phase out gestation crates and transition to a “group housing” model. Nonetheless, in 2021, the Humane Society of the United States sued Smithfield, alleging that under company policy, “long periods of solitary, severe confinement begin before a sow’s pregnancy and continue for periods of her pregnancy, and then repeat after her piglets are born,” with the result that these highly social animals “are intensively confined for roughly half their lifetimes.” The lawsuit argues that Smithfield is deceiving consumers about its production practices in violation of Washington, D.C.’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act.
ELLEN BORK AND DAVID J. KRAMER: ‘Navalny’ Won an Oscar, But Navalny and Kara-Murza Are Still in Prison.
When Navalny, the film about Russian democracy leader Aleksei Navalny, won an Academy Award on Sunday for the year’s best documentary, director Daniel Roher dedicated the award to Navalny and to all political prisoners around the world: “We cannot, we must not, be afraid to oppose dictators and authoritarianism wherever it rears its head,” he said.
Jailed on trumped-up embezzlement charges, Navalny is in solitary confinement in Russia’s Prison Colony No. 2 for his opposition to Vladimir Putin and for leading a campaign for freedom, rule of law, and an end to corruption in Russia.
On Monday, a Moscow court began the trial of another pro-democracy figure, Vladimir Kara-Murza, on treason charges—the first to be brought for opposition to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Human Rights Watch. Kara-Murza has been in pre-trial detention for 11 months after being sentenced to 15 days for “disobeying police.”
Last chance! Join the Overtime NCAA March Madness Bracket! Nothing complicated, just standard ESPN rules. Fill out your bracket today! Prizes will be announced tomorrow in a shorter newsletter, as I am on the road for a St. Patrick’s Day wedding. While the Swifts are English, do the Irish a favor with name pronunciation, Liam Neeson pleas.
Take a tour of the Oval… With Kal Penn and President Biden.
“Woke” as a hollow attack. A co-author of a book (with an entire chapter on wokeness) struggled to define the term in an interview that went viral.
The problem is cults… At Vanity Fair, our friend Molly Jong-Fast observes: “The problem with embracing a cult of personality is that eventually you are left with a cult.”
Bannon’s Billionaire Busted… The Chinese expat, upon whose boat Bannon was arrested, got arrested himself for allegedly defrauding investors out of a cool billion. Sensing a trend?
Russia’s secret plan… To destabilize Moldova.
A grumpy man and a talking Westie? Shut up and take my money.
I miss my crackberry…Times change, but we can relive the clickity aughts in this new flick about the rise and fall of Canada’s RIM.
Should marijuana use nullify the Second amendment? Biden’s DOJ argues that the law says yes.
A railroad shutterbug in exile… Turns out taking pictures of Putin’s secret train will attract negative attention.
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