Discover more from The Bulwark
The Ukraine War Has Transformed Europe—for Good
Plus: Why We Have a Child Labor Problem.
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WILLIAM KRISTOL AND JEFFREY GEDMIN: The Ukraine War Has Transformed Europe—for Good.
Here’s a brief report from a just-concluded trip to Europe, where we had private and candid discussions in Prague and Berlin with Czechs and Germans, but also with Finns, Danes, Lithuanians, Poles, Belarusians, Slovaks, Romanians, and Ukrainians.
It’s worth saying that the people with whom we spoke were, admittedly, pretty much all of a pro-Ukrainian and pro-American bent. So take our conclusions with that caveat. But consider also that our interlocutors thought Europe’s pro-Putin and anti-American lobby was on the defense and shrinking.
And consider more fundamentally: Zeitenwende—the idea that we are at a major, even transformational, turning point—is not just a German affair. Europe as a whole is at a Zeitenwende.
Sunday marks seventy years since the March 5, 1953 death—or repatriation to Hell, if you believe in Hell—of one of history’s great monsters: Joseph Stalin, the seminarian turned Communist revolutionary turned all-powerful “Red Tsar,” in the apt phrase of his biographer Simon Sebag Montefiore. It is perhaps fitting that this anniversary is taking place just as the tyrant’s latest heir, Vladimir Putin, is fighting an insane war in a quest to rebuild Stalin’s empire—and in the process, perhaps, finally driving a stake through its heart.
Stalin’s twenty-plus year rule was one of the long, dark, exceptionally bloody nights of twentieth-century history. For me, it is also a part of family history: Both my parents grew up in his suffocating shadow—especially my father, whose parents were sent to the gulag in 1947, when he was 11 years old.
The base wants the sugar, the fat, and the salt — not someone afraid to say how they’re different from Trump. Plus, DeSantis doesn’t want to face the CPAC straw poll, Trump attacks Fox, and Paul Ryan doesn’t see the world has moved on. Rick Wilson joins Charlie Sykes for the weekend pod.
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LINDA CHAVEZ: Why We Have a Child Labor Problem.
A February 25 New York Times exposé on unaccompanied migrant children as young as 12 who end up working in dangerous jobs in meat and food processing plants and on construction sites has sparked widespread outcries from both liberals and conservatives. The Biden administration quickly moved to set up a task force to investigate the flagrant abuse of child labor laws. But the facts in the story should surprise no one. Tragedy doesn’t end for unaccompanied children who come across the border once the government releases them here to family members or other sponsors to await adjudication of their asylum claims. For many, as the report demonstrates, the exploitation and dangers they were fleeing simply follow them, with little hope they can achieve the security and opportunity their families were seeking by sending them north in the first place.
In 2022, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) received nearly 129,000 referrals from the Department of Homeland Security for children apprehended at the border. ORR’s procedures are complex and depend on a variety of factors, including a quick evaluation of the health and other needs of the children before placing them with a care provider on a temporary basis.
Happy Friday! We’re looking forward to seeing some of you at Principles First tomorrow! I’ll be there all day, and will stick around for our Bulwark happy hour. I don’t get into D.C. that much these days, so it’ll be fun to dress up (which watch do I pick?!) and see some old friends and make some new ones.
Here’s what you missed at CPAC. It’s lunacy, but at least life is imitating art, as Donald Jr. is putting golden chocolate bars under peoples’ seats. And Kim Guilfoyle is doing an encore of her screamed RNC speech to a similarly small live audience. But the best. is. yet. to. come. Tomorrow, at Principles First. See you there.
If it’s a Friday in Lent… You’re probably eating fish. (Not me, as I don’t care for seafood.) Alaska’s seafood economy is in trouble. Rep. Mary Peltola blames the industry.
It’s tax season! And the IRS is preparing for… normalcy after the pandemic.
Inside the pandemic-driven rise… Of the Solostove.
Living the #Ahoy life… You can now live in a cruise ship. For $30k a year.
Meanwhile, in the “Free State of Florida”… Ron DeSantis has picked a new board member for the replacement Reedy Creek Improvement District who thinks that tap water can make people gay. A claim you’d expect from Alex Jones. Maybe the flouride in the tap water is why Disney got so #woke? The DeSantistans will get to the bottom of this!
Florida’s not-so-serious Republicans… Are proposing an unconstitutional ban on the Democratic party.
Rubio brings back ‘Sunshine Protection Act’… Daylight Saving Time is coming up on March 12! Efforts to repeal DST came close to becoming law last Congress! I agree with him that changing the clock constantly is stupid, but which side of DST do you pick? (Jonah Ryan in Veep agrees.)
How Democrats got away from ‘third way’ politics… Does Biden need the Bill Clinton Democratic party?
Scott Adams’s Moist Robots… The Dilbert creator has been cancelled, but this review of his book by Adam Garfinkle is worth your time.
San Jose isn’t enforcing its gun insurance requirement… If you’re going to come up with a requirement to make gun ownership more onerous, at least follow through with it. Going with the honor system creates an atmosphere that encourages noncompliance with future laws.
DeSantis tries walking back touching entitlements… Good luck putting that genie back in the bottle!
Bring back the #BeerSnake… Come on, Rock. It’s tradition.
How the “weaponization committee” is going… The first three GOP selected “whistleblowers” are “aggrieved former F.B.I. officials who have trafficked in right-wing conspiracy theories, including about the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol, and received financial support from a top ally of former President Donald J. Trump.”
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