Just when you thought things can’t get any dumber …

Zoe Tillman/BuzzFeed news:

Ketanji Brown Jackson Reminded Republicans They Could Fix The Range Of Grievances They Aired

“Congress makes political decisions,” Jackson told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Federal sentencing experts have described Jackson’s sentencing practices in cases of child sex abuse materials as “mainstream,” pointing out that the majority of federal judges go below sentencing guidelines ranges in cases that don’t involve people charged with actually producing content. (Judges aren’t required to follow these guidelines, but they’re meant to ensure some consistency across the criminal justice system.) Near the end of Graham’s questioning, which saw him repeatedly interrupt Jackson, Sen. Dick Durbin, the Democratic chair of the committee, jumped in to point out that Congress had “failed” to update federal criminal laws related to offenses of child sex abuse materials in more than a decade.

Graham asked, “This is our fault?” Durbin replied: “Partially it is, senator. To be honest with you, it is.”

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Tim Miller/Bulwark:

Jared Polis: The Gaymer Democrats Need?

Look to the Colorado governor for a model of how you can build a coalition of the normal and decent.

He’s a gaymer who has reached Anivia Main status on League of Legends (whatever that means). A redditor who is an active poster on the “Denver Circle Jerk” and “Rock Tumbling” subreddits. A child prodigy who went to Princeton at age 16 and was a self-made millionaire by 23. A dad whose cringey sartorial aesthetic often includes wearing bright blue sneakers with suits and led him to cosplay in a judge’s robe as a young member of the Colorado State Board of Education when asked to rule on charter school accreditations.

Mmmkkkaayyyyy.

When Polis and I hung out in his office at the Colorado State Capitol last week, surrounded by a mix of Western and anime art, he maintained a comfortable interpersonal manner, but throughout the conversation you could sense that it was a comfort. That he was really working for it and had prepped a few lines of banter about Jeb! memes and our kids. At times you’d suspect that beneath his pleasant demeanor was a guy who would rather be alone with a headset in front of a big computer screen.

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Montgomery Advisor:

‘You just blew the Election’: Donald Trump withdraws endorsement of Mo Brooks for Alabama Senate seat

The decision, which Trump had telegraphed for months, could be a mortal blow to Brooks’ Senate campaign, which had centered the former president’s endorsement in its advertising. Recent polls have shown Brooks falling behind Republican candidates Mike Durant, the owner of a Huntsville engineering firm who was held captive in Somalia in 1993, and Katie Britt, the former president of CEO of the Business Council of Alabama.

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David Rothkopf/Daily Beast:

NATO Is Preparing for Cold War II, While Trying to Avoid World War III

Biden and Western leaders meeting in Brussels are working on defending Ukraine and NATO countries, containing Russia, and avoiding a global conflict.

President Biden’s National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, described one goal of the meeting as establishing a “longer-term game plan” for the deployment of NATO forces along the alliance’s eastern frontiers. US officials told me that this will also be a central component of discussions regarding NATO’s “new strategic concept” to take place at the upcoming NATO Summit, scheduled to take place in Madrid in June. It was also announced that Stoltenberg would stay on as NATO Secretary General for an additional year in order to help the alliance manage the current crisis.

The emergency meetings taking place this week were also intended to define ways that the alliance could provide additional support for Ukraine.

President Biden has indicated the US will do so via the provision of additional military assistance. In a written statement the president said, “We are committed to identifying additional equipment, including air defense systems, to help Ukraine.”…

It was noteworthy that Zelenskyy’s past calls for a NATO-enforced no-fly-zone were not repeated.

Clearly, Zelenskyy is reluctantly coming to terms with the fact that while NATO is committed to supporting Ukraine, it is also committed to stopping short of providing anything that might trigger a wider escalation of the war, one that might draw in NATO forces and thereby triggering the onset of World War III.

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