1. “Ukraine, Putin, and the West" by The n+1 Editors (n+1 Magazine)
"It got to the point where, arriving in Sochi for Putin’s overpriced Olympics, Western journalists were greeted like heroes for tweeting about how the curtains in their hotel rooms were falling down. It was funny, but it was also not funny. Should Putin, the president of a country with inadequate hospitals, schools, and housing for its 150-million population, have spent $50 billion on hosting the Olympics? Absolutely not—especially when a third of the money was apparently expropriated by various officials. But the gleeful complaints about Olympic conditions seemed mostly bent on humiliating Russia in toto."
2. “NBA Bag: 10 Steps to Tanking Perfection" by Bill Simmons (Grantland)
"Stern stuck his head in the sand. He pretended self-sabotage wasn’t a recurring danger, just like he pretended the broken officiating system was fine … and the always-disappointing All-Star Saturday was fine … and the annoying 2-3-2 Finals format was fine … and the stunning lack of minority league executives at every CBA bargaining table was fine … and the embarrassing Chris Paul trade veto was fine … and The Decision was fine … and the Maloofs destroying basketball in Sacramento to the point that the fans had to revolt was fine … and Clay Bennett extorting Seattle for a new arena and ultimately hijacking the team was fine … and the league owning the New Orleans franchise as it landed the no. 1 overall pick was fine … and starting off Silver’s commissioner transition by hovering over him for an extra eight months was fine.
I don’t think Adam Silver wants to stick his head in the sand. I really don’t. But conquering the self-sabotage corner is a good place for him to start. This isn’t tanking. Nobody is throwing games. They’re just shitting on them. And they’re doing it because it’s the smartest thing to do. Don’t pretend this is fine. It’s not.”
3. “Bernie Sanders: I Am Prepared to Run for President" by John Nichols (The Nation)
"But the real issue is how do you bring tens of millions of working-class and middle-class people together around an agenda that works for them? How do we make politics relevant to their lives? That’s going to involve some very, very radical thinking. At the end of the day, it’s not just going to be decisions from Washington. It really means empowering, in a variety of ways, ordinary people in the political process. To me, when you talk about the need for a political revolution, it is not just single-payer health care, it’s not just aggressive action on climate change, it’s not just creating the millions of jobs that we need, it is literally empowering people to take control over their lives. That’s clearly a lot harder to do than it is to talk about, but that’s what the political revolution is about.”
4. “The Third Party That’s Winning" by Sarah Jaffe (In These Times)
"But it is the ways that Working Families is wielding its power outside of liberal New York that deserve a closer look. As public discontent with mainstream Democrats builds, is it possible for a third party to grow—not by running a famous big name on a presidential ticket, but from the bottom up? And if it succeeds at that task, can Working Families pull national politics back in the direction of ordinary people and away from the 1%?"
5. “The Disgraceful Rejection of Debo Adegbile” by Scott Lemieux (The American Prospect)
"One can forgive Faulkner for saying this given her loss, but for members of the United States Senate—many of whom are lawyers—to publicly endorse this transparently dangerous and irresponsible position is a disgrace. Everyone, including Mumia Abu-Jamal, is entitled to a fair trial an a competent defense of their constitutional rights. To equate a defense counsel with the defendant is not only grossly unfair guilt-by-association, it would essentially make criminal defense impossible."