“Two different worlds, we live in two different worlds.” — Jerry Vale

America is cleft in twain, no doubt about that. Even if we aren’t going to do something sublimely stupid like Marjorie Taylor Greene suggests and have red states form one country and blue states form another, we are nevertheless two different countries, coexisting and commingled, our borders both contiguous and invisible.

Just scan the headlines. On the one side of the cultural divide we have Donald Trump strutting and fretting about going to Ohio, and falsely claiming that FEMA only released funds to the disaster area when they heard about his visit. [Pssst: they did it when Mike DeWine declared a state of disaster.] On the other side, we have Joe Biden making an appearance in a war zone, in a show of solidarity for democracy worldwide, not just for our ally, Ukraine. And we have Paul Gosar disparaging him for doing so, while MTG spouts Kremlin talking points. The MAGAs are very upset with Uncle Joe, the Marmalade MAGAt most of all.

I wonder if Trump’s visit will include this little nugget of knowledge?

Meanwhile, in the real world, we see a real American president functioning as a statesman. Symbols matter. Joe Biden’s trip to Ukraine was quite the coup. Citizens of Kyiv were out in force. New York Times:

“Officially, today was the most pleasant many-hours traffic jam on Kyiv streets in all the history of independence,” said Serhiy Koshman, a 41-year-old business consultant. After so much hardship, so much trauma, he said, the visit of the American president was a moment to reflect on the past and be hopeful for the future.

Mr. Koshman looked at a headline on his phone from a year ago predicting that Kyiv could fall in a matter of days. Then he pulled up a picture from Monday, showing Mr. Biden and his own president, Volodymyr Zelensky, embracing in the heart of the city.

“I even cried of happiness for it,” he said. “It’s euphoric, something psychological.”

Mr. Biden’s tour through Kyiv, a closely held secret until he arrived, started at the gilded halls of the Mariinskyi Palace, the official residence of Mr. Zelensky. Then he traveled to St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery, and finally to the United States Embassy before departing by train for Poland.

With each stop, the shroud of secrecy surrounding his visit began to fall, and the excitement of Ukrainians grew.

Since Russia invaded a year ago this week, Kyiv has played host to scores of prime ministers, presidents and world leaders. Hollywood stars have come to offer their support and global icons from the world of music have staged clandestine concerts deep in the capital’s underground.

But Mr. Biden’s visit on Monday was unlike any that had come before.

Central Kyiv was locked down, the streets closed to cars and hastily erected barriers blocking pedestrians. By early morning, social media was rife with rumors about a presidential visit, and Ukrainian officials hinted that a historic event was underway.

By the time Mr. Biden stood outside St. Michael’s with Mr. Zelensky, camera crews were positioned in the distance to capture the scene. Images of Mr. Biden and Mr. Zelensky strolling in the sunshine were soon playing on a loop across Ukrainian television channels.

That grunting sound you hear in the distance is Vladimir Putin reacting to this gut punch.

Nobody knows what will happen on Friday, February 24, which is the one year anniversary of Russia invading Ukraine. Speculation runs to Putin unleashing large-scale aerial bombardment. Speculation has always run rampant to biological warfare and even nuclear warheads. Remember, Putin is not a sane man.

And that’s why the right-wing extremists love him and tout him to their followers. While it’s a wonderful thing what is taking place in Kyiv today, it is not a wonderful thing how much pro-Putin, anti-democracy forces are embedded in our Congress.

Marge was on a real roll with the tweet box today.

The irony of disparaging an “actor” president is utterly lost on her. Psst…Marge? Zelensky is also a lawyer. He’s well educated and a man of many gifts, something of which you would know nothing.

Here’s more of her idiocy, mis-spelled and misunderstood.

Meanwhile, let’s have the last laugh, shall we? This is the crowd at Mar-a-Lago, all eagerly anticipating Trump’s upcoming speech. And no, I don’t know where the token minorities are, or whether they’re going to photoshop them in later.

From arenas to happy hour. For a guy to whom crowd size is everything, this can’t be good.

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  1. A President visiting a President on Presidents Day and appearing Presidential contrasts well with a toxic dump site visiting a toxic dump site that his own actions caused.

    A clearer contrast is hard to imagine.

  2. Statesmanship from Biden, cheap political grandstanding from Trump. Sadly predictable.

    It was the best of use of Presidential influence (Biden), it was the worst use of (ex) Presidential influence (Trump)


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