Wiretap: Mother Russia’s long trip back to the age of the Tsars

John Cassidy writes in the New Yorker that there are two ways to look at Putin’s speech on Crimean history. The optimistic view is that the loud railing against the United States and Europe is “an acknowledgement of his country’s weakness” in the post-Soviet era. And then there’s the pessimistic view that “the effective annexation of Crimea marks the beginning of something new and ominous: not another Cold War but, rather, a revival of a chauvinistic and expansive Russian nationalism that goes back to the tsars.”

There’s a new NSA report, via Edward Snowden, in the Washington Post, and it’s as bad as you might guess. In this one, a program called MYSTIC can record “100 percent” of a foreign country’s telephone calls. And the agency can review conversations as long as a month after the calls are made.

Nobelist Mario Molina, the scientist who saved the ozone layer, is now back to try to talk some scientific sense into people on climate change. He has an 18-page report written in language that all people can understand. But will they? Via New York Times.

And here’s the American Association for the Advancement of Science report.

Denver 9News reporter Brandon Rittiman looks at the anti-Obamacare attack ad running in Colorado on $850,000 $970,000 worth of TV time that was paid for by the oil billionaire Koch brothers through their political group Americans for Prosperity. Rittiman comes down where everyone is coming down on the ad: He finds it unsubstantiated “puffed up” opinion offered by a political-ad actress who says she doesn’t like political ads:

Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in the Atlantic that we shouldn’t be surprised by what Paul Ryan said about the “culture” of “inner city” black males. He says it’s pretty much the same thing Barack Obama has said. Via the Atlantic.

In the race for 2016, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have switched places. Once upon a time, Cruz, the Ivy Leaguer, was the establishment guy and Paul was the rebel. And now? Via the New Republic.

The headline is that the “young invincibles” are killing Obamacare. But Megan McCardle’s story really says that if Obamacare doesn’t sign up enough young people this year, it will be a setback. Via Bloomberg.

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