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You can’t even really call it news anymore. It’s some kind of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” scenario on display every single day. Yesterday, last night, the president of Ukraine showed up in Congress wearing a green sweatshirt and cargo pants for maximum disrespect, and demanded the United States continue to spend more on his country’s border security than we spend on our own. That actually happened.
It was a pretty cheeky performance if you think about it. But like Sam Bankman-Fried before him, Zelenskyy put a salesman’s gloss on what otherwise might look very much like a scam. So the tens of billions of dollars you’ll be sending me is not charity, Zelenskyy explained. It’s not a gift. It’s not like the 20 bucks you gave the homeless guy at Union Station this morning for a quart of vodka. No, it’s not that at all. This money, Zelenskyy said, is, quote, “an investment.” Oh, an investment.
So what exactly are the terms of this investment now that we’re talking finance? When do we get our dividend checks? Well, Zelenskyy didn’t specify that. Though, at one point in his speech, he did provide a hint. Are the tens of billions of dollars you’re sending me with no audit and no concrete proof of what I’m actually doing with it, will all that money be “enough,” Zelenskyy asked rhetorically. Answer: “Not really.”
“Not really.” In other words, the return on our investment in Ukraine will be more pitches for more investments in Ukraine. Give me money so I can demand more money. That’s what Zelenskyy promised us last night.
And under certain circumstances, that might actually be fine. If nothing else, Zelenskyy is quite an audacious young entrepreneur with the kind of pluck and fast-talking shamelessness where you think, “This guy is either going to wind up in prison or very rich, and maybe both.” And there are times when you might want to throw a kid like that a few bucks just to see where it goes. You don’t know.
But unfortunately, this is not one of those times. The United States is flat out of money and not just in some abstract PowerPoint presentation kind of way, where we show you graphs of the national debt and we all pretend to be shocked and horrified. No, no, no. The United States is broke in a real way, meaning we can no longer afford to take care of our citizens.
For example, 15 million Americans are about to lose their healthcare coverage under Medicaid. Now, these are people who got coverage during COVID, but will now lose that coverage thanks to a provision in the $1.7 trillion spending bill that’s about to become law. As CNBC reports, governors of various states have informed the Biden administration that the cost of keeping all those people on Medicaid is “too high.” And it is high. Undoubtedly, it is high.
How high is it? Well, over the last three years since COVID began, the federal government spent about $100 billion in extra Medicaid payments to Americans. That’s a lot of money. How much is it? Well, it turns out that $100 billion is roughly what Congress has sent to our fast-talking Ukrainian friend in the sweatshirt in less than a single year. Just for comparison, just you would know what the priorities are in Washington, your health care is just too expensive. Sorry. And your border is too. Can’t afford it. But for the strongman who runs Ukraine, no cost is too high.
That’s real. Does that frustrate you? Does hearing the details infuriate you as a citizen? Imagine if you went to Congress to plead your case. Maybe you showed up in a sweatshirt to tell them what you think. “I’m an American citizen,” you might say. “I’ve lived here my entire life. I’ve paid taxes, I’ve followed the law. I’ve supported the system my grandfathers built because I believed in that system. And now because corrupt ghouls like Janet Yellen at the Fed, so completely devalued the US dollar and so completely hollowed out our economy, I can no longer afford to go to the doctor. As an American citizen, please help me.”
So if you showed up on the floor of the House of Representatives wearing a sweatshirt and said that, what kind of response do you think you would get? Would the response look anything like this?
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY: I assure you that Ukrainian soldiers can perfectly operate American tanks and planes themselves. Thank you for both financial packages you have already provided us with and the ones you may be willing to decide on. Your money is not charity. It’s an investment in the global security and democracy that we handle in the most responsible way.
We’re handling your money in the “most responsible way.” Take our word for it. Take our word for it. And they clap like seals.
But here’s the interesting thing. Almost every person in the room clapped like a seal. So no matter what that man said — Send me more money! I command you! Send me more money! We’re taking care of it the most responsible ways — they applaud, all of them, almost like they have to.
Now there are 435 members of the House of Representatives, and they’re Republicans and Democrats. And famously, they don’t get along. They don’t agree on anything. They can’t even pass a budget because they disagree on everything very bitterly. And yet, when a foreign leader shows up in cargo pants to tell them lies and give them orders, they all applaud. That’s pretty weird behavior in a democracy if you think about it. The fractious debate we hear so much about doesn’t exist. And in fact, looking at the screen last night, it didn’t really look like a democracy, to be honest.
Oh, yes, good point. Good point, sir. We’re so proud you’re here. Throw your foreign flag on the dais and we’ll applaud more. That’s honestly what it looked like last night. You’ve got to clap. You get in trouble if you don’t clap, so everyone just claps all the time.
Clapping is mandatory as long as Zelenskyy is speaking. Now there were a few who didn’t obey. That would include Matt Gaetz of Florida, Lauren Boebert of Colorado. And when they didn’t stand up and applaud, they found out the hard way what happens to people who dare not to applaud.
NBC News took off right after them. That was the headline for NBC. Its house “historian” Michael Beschloss declared this: “For any members of Congress who refuse to clap for Zelenskyy, we need to know from them exactly why. We need to know why.” Thought crime alert. You’ve been reported as not applauding. Explain yourself, pleb. And then Beschloss went on television to drive home the point. Our sources have reported you are not clapping. Watch this.
MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: And I think the other thing I’d like to ask is the number of members of Congress — almost all Republican — who did not show up tonight or who showed up and refused to clap. I’d like to know why that was for two reasons. Number one, you’re a public servant. We’re allowed to know those things. You’re supposed to tell us, if you’re serving in Congress, what the reason was. Do you love Putin or are you just opposed to democracy or is there something else?
We have a right to know why you didn’t clap. We have a right to know your thoughts. You thought you were a free person, able to make decisions for yourself. You could love or hate whoever you wanted in a free country. But no, Michael Beschloss has a right to know why you feel the way you do. Do you love Putin?
Why wouldn’t you clap for a man who banned a Christian denomination? A man who arrested priests, raided monasteries, seized churches outlawed opposition media outlets, outlawed political parties that opposed him, threw his primary political opponent in jail. Why would you applaud for a man like that? Do you love Putin? Are you opposed to democracy? Explain yourself. That’s what he’s saying. That’s what they’re all saying.
It’s absurd. What they’re describing is the opposite of democracy. There’s no democracy in Ukraine, obviously. Banning a Christian denomination. Shut up. But he did.
So why all the hysteria? You’ve got two people who didn’t clap for a foreign dictator, and Michael Beschloss gets red in the face. Why? Oh, almost everybody clapped for him. But a couple of people didn’t. And Michael Beschloss can’t handle that. What’s going on here?
Is it possible that the more ludicrous the lie they tell you, the fewer questions they can tolerate about it, the less dissent they can put up with because they fear the whole edifice might crumble if they allow one person to ask one reasonable question. It’s possible that’s what’s happening.
Remember when Joe Biden told us about Nord Stream? There were two stories. The first story was Joe Biden promised to blow up Nord Stream, the pipeline that brought natural gas from Russia to Western Europe. He’s going to blow it up. Do you remember that? You’re not allowed to remember it, but we remember it. And we saved the tape. Here it is.
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: If Russia invades, that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine, again, then there will be no longer a Nord Stream tube. We will bring an end to it.
REPORTER: But how will you do that exactly? Since the project and control of the project is within Germany’s control.
JOE BIDEN: We will. I promise you. We’ll be able to do it.
Yeah. So he said it on tape. I’m going to do to that pipeline what I did to Corn Pop at the pool at Wilmington. I’m gonna take a chain to it.
So he promises to destroy the pipeline. And then, so does his number two at the State Department, Toria Nuland. We’ll destroy the pipeline. And then the pipeline is destroyed, and that hurts Russia. It eliminates Russia’s leverage over Europe. Okay. So we know how that happened.
But no, they told us. Russia did it. Putin blew up his own pipeline. That’s how evil he is. That’s how much destruction he wreaks. He doesn’t just attack others. He attacks himself. Okay, now. That’s what they told us. And some of us had questions about it. Is that really what happened?
Michael Beschloss and his friends didn’t like that. Anyone who asked questions about what happened to Nord Stream, which, by the way, sent more carbon into the atmosphere than any manmade event in history. So if you care about the climate, maybe be a little worried about what just happened in Nord Stream. If you suggested that the administration, the Biden administration, had anything to do with that, including prior knowledge of it, you were a Russian agent. Really, is that right? Can you fill us in a little bit more? No, you’re working for Putin.
Foreign Policy Magazine, which used to be a real magazine, called any questions about what happened to Nord Stream a “Kremlin talking point.” Wow. Could it be they were lying? Oh, yeah, they were lying. Oh, they were lying.
The Washington Post, of all places, now reporting and we’re quoting, “some Western officials now doubt the Kremlin was responsible. Oh, you think. There’s, quote, “no conclusive evidence that Russia is behind the Nord Stream attack.” Okay, so it’s a binary here. It’s Russia against a Western coalition led by the United States. So either Russia blew up the Nord Stream pipeline or the Biden administration had a hand in blowing up the Nord Stream pipeline. Those are your two options.
So if Russia didn’t do it, then the people who suggested maybe the Biden people were behind it were 100% right. So you’d think in a free country, in a democracy, you would get to discuss that in public. But you can’t. And the press corps is not going to help you. They don’t ask questions. We don’t have that anymore. Here’s what we have.
JOHN BERMAN: Politicians and the press often toss around comparisons to Winston Churchill. But this time, minus the cigar and the whiskey, it fits.
ANA CABRERA: President Biden face-to-face with the man who has drawn comparisons to Winston Churchill.
ANDREA MITCHELL: And in a dramatic wartime appearance reminiscent of Winston Churchill in World War II.
HILLARY CLINTON: This was historic. Some people have compared it to when Churchill came.
JON MEACHAM: Zelenskyy is very much acting in the Churchillian tradition.
JONATHAN LEMIER: What could be a Churchillian moment.
JOHN SPENCER: I mean, he is a modern Winston Churchill with an iPhone.
SEN. JACK REED: Someone who probably is the most courageous and inspirational leader since Winston Churchill.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER: Where Winston Churchill stood generations ago, so to President Zelenskyy stands.
JOHN BERMAN: So you’re almost saying that Zelenskyy’s had a harder job than Churchill had?
MARGARET HOOVER: That’s exactly what I’m saying.
GEN. BARRY MCCAFFREY: This is a historical figure. This guy actually can be compared to Winston Churchill, to Lincoln in 1860.
So that kind of solves a mystery from last night. How can any self-respecting American sit there when some foreign dictator shows up wearing his workout clothes in the US Congress and starts demanding, with a very apparent lack of gratitude, that we send him tens of billions of dollars when we’re running out of money? How could you sit and put up with that? And then drapes a Ukrainian flag in our Congress. How could you put up with that?
Well, because you’re not a self-respecting American. You have no self-respect. You have no dignity. You don’t care. You’ll say anything. You’ll tell any lie. You’ll repeat any talking point. And when someone from the DNC or the White House sends you a note by text, saying, “Compare him to Churchill,” you do because you have no self-respect. That’s the problem. So while millions of Americans can’t afford to go to the doctor and we have no border, our leaders and our media are imagining they’re very close to Winston Churchill.
Alright. So this is clearly some sort of weird psychodrama that a ruling class is engaging in that gives meaning to their otherwise barren lives. The problem is there are potential consequences that could end the world. So the other day, Lindsey Graham came out, the Republican from South Carolina, and said that he agreed with Joe Biden and Zelenskyy. The real goal is not to move Russian troops out of Ukraine, back to pre-February borders. The real goal is regime change in Russia. Watch this.
LINDSEY GRAHAM: How does this war end? When Russia breaks and they take Putin out. Anything short of that, the war is going to continue. To ask the Ukrainians to give Russia part of their country after all this death and destruction is not going to happen. To signal a cease fire, Russia will take the opportunity to rearm and come at them again. So we’re in it to win it. And the only way you’re going to win it is to break the Russian military and have somebody in Russia take Putin out.
So it’s really hard to overstate how crazy this is. And you don’t want to play shrink and wonder about, you know, what emptiness at the core of Lindsey Graham’s personal life causes him to identify so strongly with a country he’s not a citizen of. Something’s going on there. But the effect is incredibly reckless and crazy.
Take out Putin. Putin’s bad. Kill him. Fine. What happens then? Well, the world’s largest landmass falls into ungovernable chaos. And that country has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal. What happens to all those weapons? In a country with a lot of people who hate us. Lindsey Graham has no idea. He doesn’t care. He’s not interested. He’s not going to be here to find out.
And none of the lawmakers who clapped yesterday had any idea either. They’re clapping for regime change. They’re clapping for an uncertain and incredibly dangerous future. It’s not getting the Russian military out of Ukraine. It’s much more than that. And they don’t want to know more.
And you know what they don’t care about? You, your health care, your southern border, your children, your schools, your country. They don’t care.