David Rothkopf/Daily Beast:
Here Are the Top U.S. National Security Flashpoints in 2023
For this reason, as we look ahead to 2023, humility is in order. Indeed, the true sign of foreign policy expertise is knowing how much you do not know. But that should not and must not stop us from assessing looming risks so that we may both prepare for them and seek to defuse them.
Humility. There’s a concept worth extending to US politics.
Three scenarios for how war in Ukraine could play out
The best one for Ukraine is also the most dangerous
The third scenario is the most encouraging—and perhaps the most dangerous. Ukraine keeps the initiative and the momentum, inflicting heavy damage on Russian forces as they leave Kherson and then bringing its long-range himars rockets within range of Crimea for the first time. Russian lines in Luhansk collapse, with Ukraine recapturing Severodonetsk and then quickly moving farther east. As Russian casualties mount, new recruits refuse to fight. Western countries rush new air-defence systems to Ukraine, blunting the impact of Russia’s terror tactics, based on its rapidly dwindling arsenal of precision missiles.
In the spring Mr Zelensky orders his army to open a new front in Zaporizhia. Five brigades slice through Russian lines, cutting Mr Putin’s land bridge to Crimea and encircling Mariupol by the summer. Ukraine moves its himars rocket launchers into the south, targeting ports, bases and depots in Russian-occupied Crimea. Ukraine threatens to enter the peninsula. Mr Putin issues an ultimatum: stop, or face the use of nuclear weapons. Victory is within sight. But so, too, are the risks that it brings.
The ‘Red Wave’ Washout: How Skewed Polls Fed a False Election Narrative
The errant surveys spooked some candidates into spending more money than necessary, and diverted help from others who otherwise had a fighting chance of winning.
Not for the first time, a warped understanding of the contours of a national election had come to dominate the views of political operatives, donors, journalists and, in some cases, the candidates themselves.
The misleading polls of 2022 did not just needlessly spook some worried candidates into spending more money than they may have needed to on their own races. They also led some candidates — in both parties — who had a fighting chance of winning to lose out on money that could have made it possible for them to do so, as those controlling the purse strings believed polls that inaccurately indicated they had no chance at all.
Ross Barkin/The Nation:
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Twitter Files?
Just because the mainstream media decided to ignore them doesn’t mean the files aren’t newsworthy—or important.
The Twitter Files, however, do matter. They matter because Twitter has become the de facto public square for a fourth or so of America—and for the many influential politicians, journalists, pundits, and celebrities who continue to populate the platform. Twitter has the power, as was revealed in 2020, to determine how far news travels. The files showed how Twitter deliberated over banning certain accounts (Donald Trump’s being the biggest) and ultimately suppressed—through the removal of links and even the blocking of direct messages—reporting by the New York Post on Hunter Biden’s laptop, which turned out to be a valid news story, in the sense that the younger Biden’s laptop was real and so were all of its contents. Most liberals did not care, because it was October 2020 and the defeat of Trump mattered more than any commitment to free speech principles; the locking of the account of a daily newspaper in New York City for weeks on end simply did not register as a crisis with a vital election looming. The reasoning was autocratic: For the greater good, a few must suffer, especially if their views are undesirable. (The Twitter Files held other smaller, if notable, revelations, including that the Stanford epidemiologist Jay Bhattacharya was placed on an internal backlist, his tweets artificially suppressed, because he was a critic of Covid-19 lockdowns.)
David Cay Johnston/Daily Beast:
Trump’s Taxes Are the Best Case Yet for Putting Him in Prison
Don’t let the cynics who know little about our tax system trick you into thinking there was nothing all that new or important in the six years of Donald Trump’s taxes released Friday by the House Ways and Means Committee.
In fact, even if some of it was previously teased by the committee, the dump includes a cornucopia of information that affects your wallet—including powerful evidence of criminal tax evasion.
Democracy won 2022. Can it keep winning?
Accepting that things have improved is almost never fashionable. It’s bad for page views and it carries the whiff of complacency. It’s safer to say that things are a mess because there are always so many injustices to be confronted and so much human suffering to be relieved. There’s also this: Since Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016, we’ve suffered from a frenzied addiction to the prospect of ruin.
Today, despite a decades-long war fought by Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum to preserve a KKK-law silencing Black voices on juries, the OR Supreme Court ruled against her.
She applauded the decision: “It has been a long & winding road to get here." Thread on her spectacular hypocrisy.
Trump Appears To Float Third-Party Threat If GOP Won't Back Him
If Republicans lose, it'll be what they deserve for not supporting Trump, warned the author of an article the former president posted on Truth Social.
Trump signaled the possibility by posting an article on Truth Social Wednesday ― “The Coming Split,” by Dan Gelernter, in the right-wing journal American Greatness ― promoting just such an option.