This month marks the second anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic here in the United States.

In many ways, writes Domenica Ghanem this week in OtherWords, the virus changed life in unimaginable ways. But in our politics, things haven’t changed nearly enough. As we strain to get back to “normal,” she argues, we should remember that “normal” was exactly what made the pandemic so painful for so many.

Of course, with a brutal new war in Europe and inflation around the world, there’s a lot that doesn’t feel normal.

In a must-read piece, Mitchell Zimmerman explains how an innocuous-sounding “no-fly zone” over Ukraine could actually lead to nuclear war. In another, Sonali Kolhatkar argues persuasively that rising oil and gasoline prices in the wake of the conflict show why we need to kick our addiction to fossil fuels — not drill more of them.

Also this week, Wendy Cervantes lays out how the Biden administration can put families and children first in our immigration policy, regardless of what Congress does. And Paul Armentano answers some sensationalist concerns about marijuana safety with a simple solution: legalize and regulate.

Finally, as senators grill Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Jackson Brown, it’s worth taking another look at Mitchell Zimmerman’s piece on the hollowness of the GOP’s attacks.

New This Week…

Two Years In, We Need to Learn the Lessons of This Pandemic | Domenica Ghanem
America’s pre-existing condition when the pandemic hit was inequality. That’s not a “normal” we should return to.

How A ‘No-Fly Zone’ Could Lead to Nuclear War | Mitchell Zimmerman
Launching a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine means starting an air war with Russia. The risks are incalculable.

We Must Stop Family Separation — And We Can Do It Now | Wendy Cervantes
The Biden administration has tools it can use right now to put kids and families first in immigration policy.

There’s No Better Time to Start Kicking Our Oil Addiction | Sonali Kolhatkar
As gas prices rise, this highly profitable industry wants more drilling — not to save us money, but to profit at our expense.

Want to Ensure Marijuana Is Safe? Legalize and Regulate It | Paul Armentano
Public officials are spreading rumors about “fentanyl-laced” cannabis. These concerns are way overblown, but there is an easy solution.

Russian Roulette | Khalil Bendib
Broad-based sanctions on Russia will also cause hardship in the West.

In Case You Missed It…

GOP Hostility to Ketanji Brown Jackson Goes Beyond Hypocrisy | Mitchell Zimmerman
Republicans complain about “reverse discrimination” on the Supreme Court. Their real complaint is against constitutional democracy.

Our Military Budget Is More Lopsided Than Ever | Lindsay Koshgarian
Spending 12 times as much on our military as Russia didn’t prevent a war in Europe. It just deprived us of resources at home.

Covering War Without Prejudice | Farrah Hassen
Ukrainians deserve our compassion — and their rights under international law. So do victims of war everywhere else.

Cracking Down on Russian Oligarchs Means Cracking Down on U.S. Tax Havens | Chuck Collins
If the U.S. wants to clamp down on “ill-gotten gains” abroad, the first step is to get our own house in order.

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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of

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