Mad Props: “Current and former employees describe Russian state television as an army, one with a few generals and many foot soldiers who never question their orders.” Masha Gessen in The New Yorker: Inside Putin’s Propaganda Machine. It’s critical to understand this stuff. Propaganda machines are all the rage these days…

+ Joementum: “The findings reflect a widespread sense of exasperation in a country facing a cascade of challenges ranging from inflation, gun violence, and a sudden shortage of baby formula to a persistent pandemic.” Biden’s approval dips to lowest of presidency.

+ Tour de Force: “Based on our review of evidence in the select committee’s possession, we believe you have information regarding a tour you led through parts of the Capitol complex on Jan 5, 2021.” Congress members led ‘reconnaissance tours’ of Capitol before attack, evidence suggests. And, “Virginia ‘Ginni’ Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and a conservative political activist, urged Republican lawmakers in Arizona after the 2020 presidential election to choose their own slate of electors, arguing that results giving Joe Biden a victory in the state were marred by fraud.” (We’ll continue to learn more about who was in on it. Will we ever see any punishment?)

+ Hoops D’état: “On the eve of the current NBA playoffs, the league’s games returned to state-run TV in China after a nearly three-year ban. It was a quiet return, with nary a word from New York or Beijing trumpeting the apparent end of a bitter conflict. NBA owners had remained largely silent throughout the ban, even as the league worked behind the scenes to repair a ruptured relationship that had cost hundreds of millions of dollars and laid bare the complexities of doing business with an authoritarian regime.” NBA owners, mum on China relationship, have more than $10 billion invested there.

+ Counter Revolution: “Starbucks, put your money where your mouth is. Otherwise, I might have to put my hand where your counter is — again. End the vegan upcharge.” A pretty interesting argument and the headline of 2022 so far. James Cromwell in WaPo (Gift Article): I glued my hand to a Starbucks counter. Here’s why. (Looks like I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue.)