March 11th, 2022: The War in Ukraine Week 3, Soaring Gas Prices, and A Supreme Court Ruling
This week, Paul gives us his insights on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and the ongoing actions of the U.S. government surrounding it. We'll also hear news about the economic impacts of the conflict, and a recent Supreme Court ruling with potential repercussions on the 2022 midterm elections.
Chilling stories as innocent civilians are targeted in Ukraine.
President Biden tightens the screws on Moscow further.
But the war — sparking a surge in gasoline prices — how high can they go?
I’m Paul Brandus — you’re listening to West Wing Reports from Washington — it’s Friday, March 11th.
It has been said that war is God’s way — of teaching Americans about geography. Surely most know now where Ukraine is — and what the stakes are as as a Russian invasion enters its third week.
The war got more brutal, more indiscriminate, more terrifying this week — as Russian invaders widened the scope of their bombing — we’ve all seen images on TV now of schools, hospitals, apartment buildings — reduced to rubble.
What is it like? What is it like to have death rain down upon you? One Ukrainian woman — her name is Yulia Za-donna-va — a mother — told Fox News this story about the Russian bombing of an apartment building in Cherna-hiv — in northern Ukrainian that Ukrainian authorities — and the international group Amnesty International - say killed 47 people.
Again — that’s a Ukrainian woman, a mother — Yulia Za-donna-va.
Here in Washington a senior Pentagon official told he New York Times that some five-to- six thousand Russian troops have been killed.
As for Ukrainian casualties — well, in one city alone, the southeastern port city of Mara-paul — the mayor claims 13-hundred civilians are dead, another three-thousand injured.
Such numbers cannot be independently verified — but images of the port city show widespread damage of civilian areas.
When will the fighting end? Well, Russia — which continues to downplay, deny and distort what’s going on — sent its foreign minister to Turkey for talks with Ukrainian officials Thursday. Those talks went nowhere.
The fighting has caused upwards of two million — Ukrainians to flee — the refugee crisis is called Europe’s worst since World War II.
The Russian invasion — which Russia still denies, by the way — was the focus of a hearing on Capitol Hill this week with the nation’s top intelligence officials.
Here’s CIA Director William Burns:
The intelligence community, by the way — which correctly forecast the scale and timing of the Russian invasion — now warns that Putin could order the use of chemical and biological weapons.
Meanwhile, the shockwaves from the Russian invasion continue to spread far and wide - here in Washington, President Biden — whose management of the crisis has been praised even by some Republicans - turned the screws on Moscow even tighter:
This is somewhat symbolic — we only get about seven percent of our oil imports from Russia anyway — and it can be easily replaced. Canada and Mexico supply America with about two-thirds of its imports.
Even before the war, energy prices were rising — but now they’re really taking off — triple-A says gas is up sixty cents in just the past week. That prompted this exchange between Peter Doocy of Fox and White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
That’s a good point — nine-thousand oil drilling permits that are NOT being used in this country right now. Nine-thousand.
But people don’t know this — they just know that gas is through the roof.
Of course gasoline’s not the only thing that;’s up. Consumer prices are up nearly eight percent overall in the year ended in February — the highest in four decades.
And 11-point-three U.S. job openings in January the Labor Dept. says — close to an all-time high — the data shows some four-point-three million Americans voluntarily quit — quitting your job is seen as a sign of economic confidence.
Something you might have missed — the Supreme Court has allowed congressional maps drawn up in North Carolina and Pennsylvania to stand — that’s a win for Democrats in those two key states — it’s also a surprise given that the Supreme Court now leans decisively to the right.
Now, lets hear about ANOTHER Evergreen podcast — that I know you'll enjoy”
On the history front — America moved closer to war with Nazi Germany and Japan this week in 1941 - when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Bill. It allowed us to send military aid to countries fighting those Axis powers. During the war, the U.S. sent today’s equivalent of about one-trillion in supplies to Britain, the Soviet Union, China, Free France, and other Allied nations. Kind of interesting today — given how we’re stepping up aid to Ukraine and NATO allies in Eastern Europe.
I like to end each week with a quote — something you might find thoughtful: This week: is’t from Dwight Eisenhower - the five-star general turned president:
“History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid.”
Think about it.
That’s all for this week. Got a question or comment? Here’s my email — [email protected].
West Wing Reports is a production of Evergreen Podcasts.
Special thanks to CSPAN, Fox, ABC and CBS for the audio clips.
Our producer and sound designer and engineer: Noah Foutz
Executive producers: Michael D’Aleoia and Gerardo Orlando.