Saturday, April 23, 2022

Great COVID News: We Have Nothing to Worry About!

By Vincent Boom-Batz, M.D.
Medical Editor

Great news: we don't have to worry about COVID anymore.

Lots of people are telling us this, from white male gasbags to airline presidents to a bent unqualified Former Loser Grifter judge in Florida to – uh, a real doctor.

That's so great, except for one little thing, as reported every day in The Boston Globe:


That case count is nearly quadruple what it was a couple of months ago, and the reported positivity rate (not including the positive tests people take at home and don't report) is over 4.5%, which does not compare especially favorably with the record of the entire pandemic:

With the pandemic still raging, although with death rates down due to vaccination and more effective treatments, of course we are still taking sensible no-downside precautions like masking in crowded public places, like planes, trains, and buses, right?

Wrong, aerosolized virus breath!

First, the considered judgments of the Centers for Disease Control, acting under its statutory authority to limit the transmission of communicable diseases were chucked out by a bent judge rammed through on a party line vote after the Tangerine-Faced Grifter, who nominated her, had been voted out of office and was spending his days plotting sedition:

Mizelle's judicial qualifications are evident

In her ruling, Judge Mizelle adopted a narrow interpretation of the authority Congress granted to the C.D.C. to issue rules aimed at preventing the interstate spread of communicable diseases.

The law says the agency may take such measures as it deems “necessary,” and provides a list of examples, like “sanitation.” The judge wrote that this power was limited to things like cleaning property — not requiring people to take hygienic steps. 

We're just lucky the TFG didn't appoint Jeannie Pinot Noir Pirro to a lifetime judgeship, although according to the American Bar Association, she would have been no less qualified than Mizelle, who owes her life-tenured position solely to her willingness to embrace insane reactionary judicial activism:

President Trump appointed Judge Mizelle to the bench in November 2020, after he had lost re-election. A former clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas, she was 33 at the time, making her the youngest person Mr. Trump had appointed to a life-tenured judgeship. The American Bar Association declared her not qualified because of her lack of experience, but Republican senators confirmed her in a party-line vote.

As a result, everyone on an airplane or an Amtrak train must be permitted to spew the contents of their lungs all over you on your next 14-hour flight, because...freedom!  The airlines tout their great ventilation while the engines are turning, which they are not most of the time the plane is sitting on the ground, like when you board, squirm in your seat waiting for the airline to scare up a pilot, or push and shove to disembark without getting a concussion from some putz's overstuffed bag:

“When planes are at the gate, their ventilation systems aren’t always running,” Allen wrote. “If they’re not running, there is no air coming into the cabin, and, importantly, no air running across those great HEPA filters. Combine that with high-occupant density and a small volume space, and you have a recipe for transmission. 

As for Amtrak – probably better not to ask.

That masks in public indoor places help limit transmission of COVID is an unquestioned scientific fact.   The Centers for Disease Control, the core agency for protecting us from infectious disease states flatly: “Masking is a critical public health tool for preventing spread of COVID-19, and it is important to remember that any mask is better than no mask.”

Fortunately, in America 2022, wherever there's unquestionable science there's a white man who knows better:

We're just the same way: we don't stop for red lights unless we have a printout that we have reviewed in advance rigorously quantifying the number of lives that are likely to be saved by said red light so that we can weigh the benefit of stopping vs. the undeniable assault on our freedom as a white man to put the pedal to the metal and barrel right through the intersection.

If one of these positions sounds stupider than the other, maybe ask yourself why. 

Fairness compels us to note that you don't have to be a white man to have an idiotic view on the continued value of masking in a time of pandemic.  Leana Wen, MD, come on down:


Why, ffs?  Here's her answer:

So long as hospitals have good capacity and vaccines still work well against variants, mask requirements and other government mandates should not be reinstated.

It's OK to expose someone needlessly to a case of COVID so bad they have to be admitted to the hospital as long as there's a bed?  Even if the case could have been prevented by wearing a mask on a plane or train?   Hoh-kay. As for the immunocompromised or children under five (who aren't eligible for vaccination), well f*** 'em. And the millions still grappling with long COVID and a possible lifetime of injury and suffering, for Dr. Wen, that' s too bad, so sad.

Don't see any transmission here

It's perhaps this kind of thinking that got her s**tcanned from her previous gig as President of Planned Parenthood.  Maybe since she lives in Baltimore, she knows her life is at risk every time she walks out her door.  A plane full of coughing covidiots probably seems salubrious by comparison.

The airlines were naturally thrilled not to have to enforce public health mandates because once the passengers shuffle off the plane, their future suffering and death is someon else's problem.  But why were transit agencies not at all subject to Judge Auda Herass's injunction so eager to drop their mask mandates?  Have the pols who run these systems ever ridden on them at rush hour?

For example, the MBTA couldn't wait a day to drop its mask mandate, on the illogical grounds that it follows federal guidance, and the CDC was now prohibited from enforcing the federal mask mandate.  But the CDC guidance hasn't changed:  “CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings at this time.” 

Despite the endless whining from the usual reactionary sources, in fact the majority of people would be perfectly happy to wear masks as long as the pandemic rages:

The normal rejoinder, regarded as brilliant by those who say it is to ask how long we think the mask mandates should remain?  Forever?   

The answer is not hard: we'll rely on the judgment of infectious-disease experts, not known to be paid off by Big Mask, the same way we rely on the judgment of our health professionals for other health care matters.  If your doctor says it's time for your tetanus shot, do you ask to see the peer-reviewed research estimating how many lives would be saved by a tetanus shot?  Or do you get the f***in' shot?

It's important to remember that infectious disease control and public health is not the same as say managing the Red Sox.  In the former case, not everyone is qualified to express an opinion, and sadly some of those who claim expertise turn out to be auditioning for the revival of Baltimore's favorite show: Homicide.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Immigration through the Ages: What if They Become Too Numerous?

Editors' Note: Once again, our publication today wears reversed rules, this time  in memory of the great Gilbert Gottfried, who died at 67 last week after a long illness. He was known for being brilliant, funny, and fearless, not to mention crass, crude, and tasteless.  So whenever the Spy is too crass, crude, and tasteless for you, just think of it as an homage to this genius. 

By Immigration Editor Emma Goldman
with Isabel Archer in London

We read a ripping yarn this week that struck a familiar note. In this story, a small group of economic migrants head into a richer stronger neighboring country.  They become successful and even influential.  But then the country changed leaders, and found one who wanted to make their country great again.

He persuaded his subjects that these plucky immigrants were in fact a threat:

A new king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph.  And he said to his people, "Look, the Israelite people are much too numerous for us.  Let us deal shrewdly with them, so that they may not increase; otherwise in the event of war they may join our enemies in fighting against us and gain ascendancy over the country.

Or, as this anti-immigrant hate speech is known today, the Great Replacement Theory.  Let's let Media Matters explains this toxic stew of fear and bigotry:

(c) Media Matters for America

While Tucker Carlson has been flirting with white nationalism for years, 2021 was the year he went full-tilt and repeatedly said the quiet part aloud, explicitly referencing the white supremacist “great replacement” conspiracy theory – and earning praise from infamous former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. And Carlson’s status as the most-watched Fox prime-time star seemingly encouraged his fellow hosts to follow suit; Laura Ingraham warned her viewers that Democrats “will import new voters to offset and eventually replace all you old people.”

Carlson has long pushed white supremacist talking points with full corporate support from Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch. In the process, he has gained praise from white nationalists, while the Anti-Defamation League has repeatedly called for his firing. White nationalism is now a pillar of Fox’s prime-time platform, and the Murdochs are willing to fund and defend their hosts’ hatred....

By repeatedly launching nativist attacks with warnings of an “invasion of your neighborhood” and migrants “coming to our backyard,” Fox News’ goal here is clear: to scare its audience into buying the fantasy of “white genocide.”

Let's see how political leaders on both sides of the drink are responding to this supposed invasion of your backyard, ranging from the questionable to the hypocritical to the ridiculous (yes, we're going to Texas):

First we take you to our nation's capital, where the Biden Administration is doing clean up on Aisle 42.  The Administration at long last is moving to repeal what has been commonly referred to as “Title 42.”  As we have told any number of attractive single women in bars and clubs over the years to absolutely no good effect, Title 42 is the title of the United States Code in which laws relating to Public Health are collected.  Many volumes away rests Title 8, which covers immigration.

Republicans warn that caravans could come back

So what is “Title 42” in the immigration context anyway?  A thousand years ago in America, when the government was in the hands of a corrupt Russian-owned bigot who was personally responsible for transmission of any number of communicable diseases, said corrupt bigot perverted public health laws to ban immigrants on the grounds that they might transmit COVID-19.  This was about the same time he was advocating horse dewormer and bleach enemas to control the pandemic.

As a result, a million people died, and thousands of others pooped their pants in Wal-Mart after ingesting ivermectin.  And thousands of immigrants, including those entitled to seek asylum under U.S. and international law were turned away in violation of their rights on the basis of Title 42.  (Of course, any immigrant presenting with a real communicable disease was perforce inadmissible and in any event could be confined until no longer contagious.)

Meanwhile, at the southern border,

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Biden administration, and a federal judge ruled that the government couldn’t send entire families back home under this edict, limiting its impact mostly to single adults trying to cross the border. In March, a federal court said the Biden administration could keep using Title 42 but couldn’t send people back to countries where they would face persecution, “citing ‘stomach-churning evidence’ that the U.S. government has delivered people to places where they face rape, torture and even death,” report The Washington Post’s Maria Sacchetti and Nick Miroff. 

To remedy this outrage, the Biden Administration is proposing to drop the illegal use of Title 42 and restore the status quo prevailing up to 2020.  This simple act of decency is causing conniptions:

Making it easier for migrants to cross the border is not a popular move on Capitol Hill. Senate Republicans blocked covid funding last week, to try to tack on a vote about keeping Title 42. Now some Senate Democrats up for re-election this year have joined them in expressing concern about the policy.

“The Biden administration was wrong to set an end date for Title 42 without a comprehensive plan in place,” Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), who faces a difficult race for his seat this fall, said in a statement. He and several other Democrats introduced a bipartisan bill to delay ending Title 42 restrictions.

“I think this is the wrong time, and I haven’t seen a plan that gives me comfort,” Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), perhaps the most vulnerable Senate Democrat right now, told reporters.

When a moral force as respected as Sen. and Rev. Warnock is uneasy, you know Democrats have got a big problem. Both Senators face tough re-election contests in marginal states. If the Republicans retake the Senate, we've got catastrophes that make Title 42 exclusions look like a flea bite. This is usually where we pronounce what should be done in our most overbearing tones, but here we're pretty stumped. Our friend Nick Machiavelli reminded us that in politics, sometimes necessity triumphs over choice.

Let's move along to rather clearer offenses against decency.  Calling London, Isabel can you hear us?

Isabel Archer reports from London:  Yes, Emma, I can hear you.  This week in London appalling lummox and pride of Eton Boris Johnson tried to distract what's left of the UK from his criminal liability for partying hearty during lockdown and then lying his ass off in the House of Commons by proposing to ship asylum seekers off to the only place he could find worse than Hartlepool: Rwanda.

The reaction was, um:

Gillian Triggs, the assistant high commissioner at the UNHCR, said the proposed arrangement would only accommodate a few hundred people a year, making it extremely expensive as well as illegal and discriminatory.

But government insiders said the expected torrent of legal battles could leave it costing substantially more, with some predicting it could take two years before anyone was flown to Rwanda.

Home Office sources said they were braced for judicial reviews and a wave of immigration tribunals over the lawfulness of attempts to offshore asylum seekers who arrive after travelling across the Channel on small boats.

The ever mendacious Tory leader claimed that this transportation-to-Africa scheme was made possible by Brexit, although in fact had Britain remained in the EU, it could have easily sent asylum seekers back to the first EU country they entered under EU law.

Sir Humphrey Appleby was not amused:

So far the plan is working great, if by working great you mean distracting attention from Boris's criminal record.  Back to you, Emma.

But for sheer buffoonish a**holery, you can't beat Texas and its ludicrously inept and slimy Governor Greg “Hell on Wheels” Abbott, who decided he would score a few political points with immigrant-hating mouth breathers by starting the Great Avocado War of 2022.

Having left Texans helpless during and after the collapse of their state's power grid and again during the raging COVID pandemic, ol' Hell on Wheels decided his only course was to distract Bubba by declaring war...on avocados.

His genius plan: sabotage the international commerce between Mexico and the United States by imposing fake “truck safety” inspections at the border on the transparently ridiculous grounds that he was thus protecting Texas from unauthorized immigrants hiding inside spare tires.  The resulting chaos illegally interfered with interstate commerce and caused $240 million of produce to rot, thus ensuring media-ready shortages and price hikes to be blamed on – Joe Biden.

Bonus: since neither Texas nor any other state has any power over immigration or interstate commerce, it did nothing to address his ostensible concern, which was stirring up even more anti-immigrant hatred and hysteria.

Unfortunately for the Law North of the Rio Grande, his own rich reactionary backers weren't buying in:

Know your enemy!

Adam Isacson, director for defense oversight at the Washington Office on Latin America, an advocacy group for human rights in the Americas, said Abbott may have made a political miscalculation with the inspections.

“This seems like it's not working out for him. His base is pro-business and anti-immigrant and he has just antagonized business while giving voluntary free rides to immigrants,” he said, referring to another Abbott order that has provided bus rides to Washington, D.C., to transport asylum-seekers who have been processed and released by federal authorities — if they volunteered to go.

Gov. Lepetomane [Surely, Abbott? – Ed.] tried to cover up his humiliating climb down by touting supposed agreements with Mexican states to do something or another.  But as all Republicans are known for their devotion to strict construction of the Constitution they must know that Art. I, Sec. 10 states: “No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation;..” Abbott's treaties are as useful as, in words even a Texas Republican could understand, tits on a bull.

But Texas, Mexico, and the rest of us should count ourselves lucky at getting off so easily.  Sometimes anti-immigrant hysteria exacts a much higher price.

In Egypt, according to that ripping yarn we told you about, hatred against immigrants led to this: 

Every first born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the first-born of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; and all the first-born of the cattle. And there shall be a loud cry in all the land of Egypt, such as never been or will ever be again.

And you're upset about a truckload of rotten avocados?

UPDATE: April 18 (Patriots' Day in these parts) - You don't have to take our word for it. Here's the considered judgment of a seasoned immigration lawyer, Ben Orlebke: 

In March 2020, Miller and Vice President Mike Pence successfully pressured then-CDC Director Robert Redfield to issue an order that applied Title 42 exclusively to noncitizens arriving at the border without documentation, expelling them near-instantly. They did so over the strenuous objections of CDC scientists, who reiterated that no public health justification existed for this hamfisted effort by a nativist cretin to weaponize a deadly pandemic against Black and brown migrants, eviscerating a human right codified in federal and international law since World War II.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Supreme Court confirmations: a deep dive

Editors' Note: Our publication today wears reversed rules in memory of Eric Boehlert, who died suddenly this week at 57, after a long and brilliant career of press criticism. With wit, courage, judgment, and meticulous research, he trenchantly criticized our most self-important media outlets for their shortcomings, notably their devotion to propagating a false equivalence between America's center-right political party (the Democratic Party) and the fascist-revival subversives doing business as another major political party.  We dedicate ourselves to continuing his work as best we can.

By Scott V. Sandford
Law and Justice Correspondent

We got the happy ending to the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court: she was confirmed 53-47 notwithstanding the antics of white Republican racists.  And pretty much on schedule, per the McConnell Rule.

Classless to the end, two of the loudest and most louche of the breed – Rand Paul and Lindsay Graham – were too shy to step onto the Senate floor to cast their votes in the light of day.  Instead, they voted no from the privacy of the Senate cloakroom.  The reason for their sudden stage fright (after years of preening in front of every TV camera on Capitol Hill)?  Wait for it: they supposedly forgot their ties, which are required for male Senators.  There were apparently none to be had anywhere in the U.S. Capitol complex, where thousands of men every day run around wearing ties.  Then guess what happened:

This performative contempt for a superbly qualified Black woman was the final squirrel dropping in the s**t sundae the Republicans whipped up in honor of Judge Jackson.  We don’t need to recount the many outrages and unforgivable insults offered up by Republican stooges like Cancun Ted, Fist of Fury Josh, and the gal with the “post-orgy” hair, Marsha Blackburn.   We’ll let Michelle Cottle do it for us:

Top showboaters this time around included Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, Marsha Blackburn, Josh Hawley and Lindsey Graham — a master of the self-righteous hissy fit. These folks really went the extra mile to turn the proceedings into a circus. So much performative outrage. So little interest in reality.

Surprising no one, Mr. Cruz was the most embarrassing of the lot. In a convoluted effort to paint Judge Jackson as a radical wokester...the senator whipped out a copy of the picture book “Antiracist Baby” and started tossing off bizarre, misleading questions, “Do you agree with this book that is being taught with kids that babies are racist?” (The book doesn’t teach that.)

We’re not always Ms. Cottle’s biggest fans, but when she hits it, we don’t have to.

Among the most ludicrous performances: when a bunch of Republican Senators, most of whom lacked any first, uh, hand experience in the question of lady parts, tried to grill Judge Jackson on what constitutes a woman. They got a lot of mileage over that bit, except the minute the confirmation was over they got a taste of their own medicine:

From "Never Have I Ever" to Justice

A question about defining “woman” – one that baffled Republicans last month during Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings and was also labelled by Senator Marsha Blackburn as “fundamental” to being able to answer – is proving to be a stumbling block for GOP lawmakers to provide a succinct answer to.

One in particular, Sen Josh Hawley...seemed...genuinely confused about human anatomy works. In a series of hallway interviews, HuffPost asked Republicans who sat on the Judiciary Committee [to]...define woman....

...Mr Hawley boldly began by explaining that womanhood is inherently tied to a person’s ability to give birth, saying: “Someone who can give birth to a child, a mother, is a woman,” Mr Hawley said, before adding “someone who has a uterus is a woman. It doesn’t seem that complicated to me.”

The reporter then ...ask[ed] if a woman has had her uterus removed, a procedure that the CDC estimates 20 million people in the country have done, then would that disqualify them from being included in Mr Hawley’s definition?

Mr Hawley responded to the question by asking another question: “Yeah. Well, I don’t know, would they?” When pressed further by the reporter about whether or not a woman would still be defined as such if she, for instance, lost her reproductive organs to cancer, he again answered with a question: “I mean, a woman has a vagina, right?”

You tell us, Fist of Fury.  By the way, Ladies’ Man Josh may be interested to know that many trans women (whom he is eager to exclude from the definition of woman) have vaginas.  Isn’t that the point of gender-affirming bottom surgery?

But when we said we wanted to take a deep dive into the confirmation process, that’s not where we wanted to go.  What we have to do is take issue with the effort of Republican Both-Siders to frame the problem.  Here’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who had no problem putting a sex offender on the Supreme Court four years ago, saying her vote “also rests on my rejection of the corrosive politicization of the review process for Supreme Court nominees, which on both sides of the aisle is growing worse and more detached from reality by the year.”  

Republicans accuse a superbly qualified judge with an exceptional and spotless record of supporting pedophilia?  Democrats listen to a victim of a sex crime at the hands of a hack perjuring nominee and want an investigation?  Both Sides!

But the problem runs deeper than equating disgusting smears with inquiring into evidence of a nominee’s attempted rape.

It’s the notion that somehow in our glorious past, confirmation hearings were bipartisan kumbayah sessions in which the only issue was the nominee’s “qualifications” by which Republicans meant graduating from Harvard or Yale Law School, unless it was a month before the election in which case Notre Dame would do just fine.

Or Ruth Marcus mythologized it:

Time was (starting with Robert H. Bork), the Senate debated whether a nominee was in or outside the judicial mainstream. That assessment was in the eye of the beholder, of course, but at least it was a nod at deliberation.

As a reminder, that’s how we got Nino Scalia and Bill Rehnquist, both of whom voted to stop counting ballots in 2000 and install George W. Bush as President.  And that turned out great!

The nomination and confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice, a lifetime appointment whose future decisions will be forever out of the control of the democratic branches, has to be a political act.  All this crap about how Congress should only review the nominee's “qualifications” (by which Republicans most certainly do not mean their propensity for committing sex crimes) is an abdication of their responsibility.

Bork, who did well on his law school exams, was “qualified,” but no one who thinks that the Civil Rights Act is unconstitutional has any place on the Supreme Court.  And it's the job of the Senate to make sure the Supreme Court doesn't try to void the Civil Rights Act.  (Spoiler alert: it might!)

Sometimes a nominee comes along who presents both repellent legal and policy views and disgusting personal conduct that should disqualify him from federal office regardless of the political views of the Senate.  Today we call such a nominee Justice Brett “Watch It Grow!” Kavanaugh.

Even if he had not been a repeat sexual criminal and perjurer, his terrible views on abortion rights and executive power were ample grounds to disqualify him.

Sure Amy Coney Barrett was qualified...

I hear you saying but what about Ruth Bader Ginsburg?  Weren't Republicans who wanted to bring back the days of back alley abortions right to oppose her?  Well, they were right to take into account their policy preferences.  However, those preferences are horrible and wrong.  Opposing Ginsburg's nomination was not some perversion of the role of the Senate.  It was just plain immoral.

Does this mean that a President of one party will never be able to fill a Supreme Court vacancy when the Senate is controlled by the other party?  It might.  But guess what: if Moscow Mitch McConnell and his fellow seditionists get a majority next year, they'll block any nominee no matter what.  They're not interested in pious lectures about non-partisanship.  They're interested in packing the Court, or, more accurately, continuing to pack the Court.

And if in the future there is a horrible Republican President and a Democratic Senate, that Senate should block any nominee who does not reflect the political judgment of the Democratic majority, even if they can keep it in their pants.  I'm sure there are some Republicans out there who do not regard the Supreme Court as a vehicle to enact the partisan Republican agenda.  Gerald Ford found one: John Paul Stevens. 

Where does this leave us?  It leaves us where we have been for the past 50 years: if you care about the issues likely to come before the Supreme Court, then you need to vote for every Democrat for President and for Senate, whether they give you a thrill deep inside your soul or not.  

If you want to know who to thank for the imminent loss of the right to legal abortion and a whole bunch of other good stuff, it was anyone who voted for Ralph Nader and Jill Stein. 

Here's your coat hanger; take a bow.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Confused About the Ukraine War? We Consult the World's Greatest Expert!

Editors' Note: With the Russian invasion of Ukraine now in its second month and no end in sight, every media outlet is trotting out their own doddering white man and former general to pontificate on the military situation and offer their analysis on what each side should be doing.  As usual, the Spy outdoes them all with its distinguished military expert. Please stand up and salute Spy expert commentator and former General-in-Chief of the United States Army at its most desperate hour, Gen. George McClellan, who was interviewed in his modest 22-room home in bucolic West Orange, New Jersey by our intern Louise.

The military genius

TMS:  Gen. McClellan, it's a pleasure and an honor to drink in your military genius.

GM:  Yes, it is. Speaking of drinking in, George, please fetch me a double Chivas rocks and a root beer for this young girl.

TMSThank you, General.  Actually I am of legal drinking age.  But let's get right to it.  Based on your strategic genius and legendary command experience, how do you assess the military situation in Ukraine now?  

GM:  From a strategic perspective, the battle space can only be described as fluid.  Or confused.  Or in flux.  

TMS:  But surely the war has not gone as the Russians have predicted.  What happened?

GM:  The Russians made the classic mistake of underestimating their adversary.  As I often told that meddling amateur Abe Lincoln, one must have at least a 10:1 advantage before invading enemy territory.  Anything less is inviting disaster.

TMS: What about the Ukrainian Army? 

GM:  It is highly motivated and fast-moving, with a decentralized command-and-control structure that allows it to respond to the ever-changing demands of war.

TMS:  How important is motivation?

GM:  It is impossible to overestimate the importance of a cause.  Men will fight tenaciously when they believe in their cause, whether it be defense of their homeland or the right to enslave other people with a different skin color.

TMSYou mention men, but many Ukrainian troops are women.  Surely they too will fight fiercely for their nation?

GM:  Women are too emotional to serve in war.  That's why I wouldn't let so-called women nurses accompany the troops.  When that bastard Lincoln overruled me, I sulked in my tent for weeks.  That showed him.

TMSLet's talk about weapons.  Has the Ukrainian Army used its U.S. supplied weapons well?

GM:  Nothing is more important than equipping your Army, even if it takes two years before the army is ready to fight.  

TMS: Of course the Ukrainian Army didn't have that luxury.  They had to fight off the invaders.

The Army is no place for a lady, says our expert

GM:  Who's the military genius here, young lady? 

TMS: You are, Rock of Antietam.  

GM: And don't you forget it.  Now where were we?  Ah yes, George, another Chivas rocks.

TMS: Your butler introduced himself to me as Reginald.

GM: Details.  But back to the weapons.  The Ukrainian Army has taken full advantage of U.S. supplied weapons through hit and run tactics and ambushes, just like that damned Bobby Lee.  

TMSDo you think the U.S. should supply fighter jets?

GM:  Absolutely.  You cannot tie the hands of your troops by denying them the weapons they need to win.  Fighter jets would permit the Ukrainian Air Force to devastate Russian armor and play havoc with their supply lines.

TMS: What about the argument that supplying fighters would lead to a wider war?

GM: You make a good point. There is a fine line between courage and rashness.

TMS: And one you never crossed, Gen'l McClellan.

GM: Damned right, if you'll forgive the oath.

TMS: Let's turn to the Russian Army.  What went wrong?

GM: They lacked strategic cohesion and decentralized command-and-control.

TMS: Aren't those things contradictory?  How can you be cohesive if each commander can do what they want?

GM: That's just what I told that ignorant buffoon Abe Lincoln.  How could I march to Richmond unless the Army of the Ohio cleared the enemy out of east Tennessee?

TMS: What do you make of Russian tactics?

GM: They have used a blunderbuss when a stiletto would have been more effective.  At the same time they have failed to concentrate their forces at the decisive point.

TMS: And what is the decisive point?

GM:  Why clearly the Ukrainian capital.  Also the Eastern regions.  And the Black Sea coast.  That is where the decisive battle must be fought.

TMS: Isn't that pretty much the whole country?

GM: A wise commander overlooks nothing, child.

TMSWhat is your assessment of Russian troops?

Our expert warns: this is what happens when you
cross the Potomac [Surely, Dneiper? – Ed.] too soon

GM: They are ill-equipped, ill-led, and ill-informed.  You can't win a war with a rabble like that.  You need well-drilled, well-equipped, highly-motivated divisions.  I would have been ready to win the war in '64, had I not been stabbed in the back by Stanton, Seward, and Lincoln.

TMS: Yes, well, let's go back to the Ukrainian War.  How do you see the war going forward?

GM: The dynamics of a kinetic battlefield are difficult to predict.  The Russian Army has the advantage of numbers and equipment.  They may redeploy to the east or to the south or on the other hand they may rest and refit and once again try to take Kyiv.  Only time will tell.

TMS: Do you think their onslaught on civilian targets like Mariupol will lead the Russians to victory?

GM: The massive Russian attacks on civilian targets are taking their toll.  But what civilians like you fail to recognize is wars are decided on the battlefield, so these decisions must be left to military commanders.

TMS: Do you think Putin is interfering with his commanders?

GM: What else could explain the disastrous performance of the Russian Army?  If I had commanded that army, I would have been in Richmond by summer.

TMS: You mean Kyiv?

GM:  No, I mean Richmond.  Stay focused, little girl.

TMS: Thank you, General McClellan.