Plus: Donald Trump gets indicted and an emergency livestream.
Recently in The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: Chris Christie Redux?
JOE PERTICONE: Two Congressmen Got Into a Verbal Altercation After Votes Concluded Wednesday Evening. 🔐
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CATHY YOUNG: Ukrainian Spring?
For the past few months, the war in Ukraine has been in a holding pattern. The West has stepped up deliveries of weapons to Ukraine in anticipation of a coming offensive and the “Russia is winning” side has kept up its usual grim chorus. But the fighting itself has been largely limited to positional warfare in Donbass—mostly around the town of Bakhmut and nearby Avdiivka. And in the past couple of weeks, such mainstream publications as the Washington Post and Politico have published reports that strike a pessimistic note about Ukrainian successes, pointing out that high attrition and a continuing shortage of weapons and ammunition are wearing out Ukrainian troops’ ability to confront the enemy and even their will to soldier on.
Were previous Ukraine-friendly assessments of the war too optimistic? Is a stalemate the best Ukraine can hope for? Is it possible that Russia could still eke out of a victory of some sort? Or is the pessimistic narrative a tendentious spin—perhaps intended to create more drama, or even to prepare the public to accept other countries pressuring Ukraine to negotiate a peace agreement or at least a ceasefire with the invaders?
“Tiny D” thought he’d puff up his chest to go after Mickey Mouse — only to get outflanked. Plus, loony GOP state legislators, Wisconsin’s $45 million judicial seat, the very un-elite cabal in the Manhattan grand jury, and the torment of not knowing about Annette Funicello. Tim Miller joins Charlie Sykes today.
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JAMES C. CAPRETTA: As the Debt Ceiling Crisis Looms, Republicans Resort to a Gimmick.
House Republicans are in a tough spot. They realized only after picking a fight with President Joe Biden over raising the debt limit that they lack a plan for winning it, and that coming up with one will be difficult with their thin majority and internal divisions.
Now some in the party think they have identified a helpful tactic in a revised version of a bill that, when borrowing is constrained, prioritizes some broad categories of spending accounts over others. The hope is that passing such a bill will deliver a kind of political victory, or, if not that, at least allow the party to fight to a draw with the president.
It won’t work. Even a casual review of what the prioritization bill calls for reveals that is too flawed to be taken seriously.
It’s worth re-reading AMANDA CARPENTER’s “Why Trump’s Hush Money Matters” from earlier this month. As Amanda reminds everyone: “This is not a "hush money" case. It's a case about Trump's secret and illegal scheme to deceive voters.”
Happy Thursday / Opening Day! A bunch of us met up in the new Bulwark office space for lunch today. While traffic was bonkers ($11 to cross the 14th Street bridge) it was good to sit down with the D.C.-area Bulwarkers. It was weird to be back in town, where I saw baseball fans walking around as I visited D.C.’s H Street Walmart on its penultimate day.
I’m glad baseball is back, but I still hate the pitch clock and the bigger bases.
The Dodgers… Keep signing a player to a $0 salary. So he can keep his health insurance.
Please negotiate with me!! Kevin McCarthy, knowing his caucus is being reckless, is begging Biden to negotiate with him.
He came to D.C. as a Brazilian student… The U.S. says he’s a Russian spy.
Just remember… Whenever Trump accuses somebody of something, it’s always projection. Every time.
Meanwhile, in “The Free State of Florida…” A bill that would make it easier to ban books via a heckler’s veto could cause problems for Ron DeSantis.
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