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CSotD: State of the World

Christian Adams makes use of Putin’s long table to demonstrate the current state of affairs, as, in the wake of a United Nations condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine, Russia finds itself isolated from the rest of the world.

 

Well, somewhat isolated. Here’s the vote on that resolution, and it’s not surprising that Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea and Syria voted against it. Russia’s ambassador even declared that our rightfully elected president had been robbed of his victory, though he kept both shoes on.

The more interesting factor is the yellow markers for the 34 nations that abstained. Some are non-aligned nations, though a senior diplomat from the Lon Nol government of Cambodia explained to me once that you can’t really be non-aligned and that his government tilted towards the US because China was on their border and the USSR, well, was the USSR.

One should always take “non-alignment” with a large and pragmatic grain of salt.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Zapiro)

 

(Madam and Eve)

This notion of not taking sides has not gone down well in South Africa, where two major cartoonists ridiculed their government for declining to weigh in.

Note that, while Zapiro is harsher in saying so, they both agree with my Kampuchean friend that “non-alignment” is a polite, diplomatic fiction, and that, when you don’t take a side, you are taking a side.

 

China was among those who bravely declined to take a stand, but Peter Broelman suggests that they are still keeping a sharp eye on developments in Ukraine. I particularly like this because, not only does it address earlier fears that China would watch Putin snap up Ukraine and then do the same with Taiwan, but Broelman does not suggest that Ukraine is defeating the Bear, only making his task far more difficult than expected.

Even opinions should be grounded in facts.

 

Which brings us to Lisa Benson (WPWG)‘s commentary on continued imports of Russia oil, which I’ve seen echoed by other rightwing Americans. It’s a good way to come out against Russian aggression without supporting the President, but there are rising cries from Democrats as well to choke off the trade.

On the one hand, gestures matter. Our governor ordered Russian vodka off the shelves of our state liquor stores, and it’s a nice gesture, but it turns out very little vodka comes from Russia anyway, even the stuff that was once made there.

Oil is more complex, and there are reasons it wasn’t included in the sanctions, in part to keep gas and oil prices from going through the ceiling and in part because the distribution system is complex, but the critics are right.

And I assume they’ll STFU about gas prices if Biden makes the call they’re demanding.

The “nice gesture” part is that Russian imports are only about seven to nine percent of our imports, which, in turn, account for just under 20 percent of our usage, so we’re really looking at a drop in the bucket. This makes it both a gesture we could certainly be making and a dubious complaint.

Fact is, it’s both hard and risky to do business with Russia anyway, for oil or much of anything. Whether imports are banned or not, Russia’s taking a hit in its most valuable export.

 

Now, about that State of the Union Address

(Ann Telnaes)

 

(Gary Varvel)

 

(Tom Stiglich)

Here’s what I had in my folder yesterday, which is why I decided to wait a day and see what else popped up.

Telnaes had obviously listened to the speech, though her direct quote only touched on one aspect, making it less about the SOTU and more about Ukraine. Fair enough.

But I can’t really count Varvel and Stiglich as commenting on the SOTU at all; Stiglich even posted his “response” on Twitter 45 minutes before it began.

 

But 24 hours hasn’t done much, the Piglet Sisters having mostly upstaged the President with their junior-high theatrics.

Steve Kelley (Creators) echoes a couple of other rightwingers in criticizing the speech for not addressing inflation — which it did — or police funding and crime — which it also did — or the border crisis — which it also also did.

Here’s the speech; Hit F-Ctl and search for those terms yourself.

Given the multiple conservative cartoonists claiming Biden ignored those topics, I’m simply going to assume Hannity and Carlson prepared their marching orders before the speech, too.

 

Kevin Siers criticizes the president for doing well with the foreign policy portion, but offering more hope than steady policy on the domestic side.

I thought Biden did well by breaking his proposals into bite-sized pieces and not mentioning BBB, but I’d agree that he was more forceful in the first part than in the rest.

Anyway, Siers shows signs of having actually been paying attention and thinking for himself. This should not be so rare.

Not that we need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows:

 

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Pat Bagley)

 

(Steve Breen)

Biden did mention Kitanji Brown Jackson in his speech, calling her “A former top litigator in private practice, a former federal public defender from a family of public-school educators and police officers.”

Conservatives could attack her for not having been on the bench long enough, but that criticism would also have to be applied to Amy Coney Barrett, and, besides, it’s not why they oppose her.

 

Tuckyo Rose explains why white supremacists oppose putting Black people on the Supreme Court or in the White House.

His cross-burning cronies also demanded to see Obama’s grades, because they simply find it impossible to believe that anyone who isn’t Caucasian could possibly be intelligent.

Nobody demanded to see Kavanaugh’s LSATs, and Dear Leader had his lawyers threaten to sue colleges if they let anybody view his academic record.

Trump claimed to have graduated with honors, though the university forgot to list him among the honorees at his graduation and his classmates don’t recall it that way, either.

Meanwhile, Carlson’s own Wikipedia entry is as amusing on the topic as it is enlightening:

 

Don’t touch that dial

 Pros and Cons (KFS) provides this bookmark while we wait to parse the news that the January 6 Committee has disclosed a little something:

 

Community Comments

#1 Wiley Miller
March/3/2022
@ 9:58 am

Actually watching/listening or reading the transcript of the State of the Union address before positing an opinion on it…what a concept.

#2 Phil Maish
March/3/2022
@ 3:15 pm

I particularly like how Ms. Telnaes has Putin enjoying a TV dinner, given the connections of one of his most strident Fox spokescreatures to the Swanson frozen food fortune.

#3 Mike Peterson
March/3/2022
@ 3:40 pm

She doesn’t miss much.

#4 Mary McNeil
March/3/2022
@ 6:37 pm

Yeh what a shock. Tuckyo Rose ain’t no EInstein either.

He’d better not ask for Ann Telnaes’ scores – even in her bowling league.

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