The clownish Russian government imposed sanctions on Americans like Biden and his son Hunter, Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Mark Milley, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Jen Psaki, CIA chief William Burns and-- just to be sure everyone is aware the list was drawn up by GOP operatives-- Hillary Clinton, in retaliation for U.S. sanctions on Russian kleptocrats. None would be allowed to enter Russia and the measure freezes assets held in Russia. None of them have any assets in Russia and the Americans who do-- like Trump and Tucker Carlson-- are certainly not on the sanctions list!
Ted Lieu laughed when I told him about it. "Vladimir Putin," he told me this morning, "is many things: an evil authoritarian, a war criminal, a boring humorless dinner guest. But one thing he is not is the leader of an economic powerhouse. In fact, quite the opposite. Russia has a puny economy for being the largest country in the world. Russia’s GDP is half of California’s GDP. Russia imposing economic sanctions is like a high school basketball team telling NBA players that they are not welcomed." Ro Khanna noted that "The sanctions are a badge of honor for President Biden and his team who have handled the situation with prudence and statesmanship."
In George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece, 1984 (published in 1949 ), he coined the words "Doublethink" and "Newspeak," together a kind of debased propaganda language that purposefully distorts or even reverses the meaning of words, in service to the party's agenda of psychological manipulation. Orwell came up with the term largely while observing Russia. Three years earlier he had written Politics And The English Language which asserts that the language of politics "is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."
In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them... The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.
The Russian wing of the Republican Party is no less adept at using Newspeak and Doublethink-- and Doublespeak, which Orwell never used in either 1984 or Politics And The English Language-- than the Russians themselves. Anthony Adragna illustrated exactly that for Politico readers today: A bunch of GOP lawmakers are taking credit for local funding in the government spending bill. Never mind the fact that they voted against it. He singled out 4 crackpot House members from the Trump-Putin wing of the GOP who boast about voting against the government funding bill while they take credit for the provisions in it that benefit their districts.
Claudia Tenney (R-NY): She lists eight projects that she "secured" while noting: "While I could not support this portion of the bill, I am pleased that the bill includes several Community Funding Projects I advocated for to benefit our local communities."
Clay Higgins (R-LA): The Louisiana conservative lists four projects that will get funding "specifically requested and secured" by the congressman. "Despite my objections to the bill in its totality, we worked closely with the House Appropriations Committee to secure funding for several important Louisiana projects," he said.
Chris Jacobs (R-NY): He lists seven community projects while noting he opposed the overall legislation due to "partisan policies that erode the Second Amendment and grow domestic spending."
Dan Meuser (R-PA): He touts $14 million going to eight projects for his district in a press release. "Passage of this bill is the culmination of more than a year of working with stakeholders in our communities to identify and secure federal support for their critical needs," he said.