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On left: Germans look on as Soviet soldiers begin construction of the Berlin Wall. On right: Russian forces prepare to enter the Ukraine.
Left: Germans look on as Soviet soldiers begin building the Berlin Wall
Right: Russian forces near the Crimean town of Balaclava
Rachel Maddow on another Cold War relic we can do without... the New York Times says goodbye to the class of compromise... Ross Douthat bravely defends bigotry... Maureen Dowd makes a stab of at fitting every right-wing "scandal" of the Clinton era into one sentence... Timothy Egan has a sincerely held belief about sincerely held beliefs... Kathleen Parker says nice things about the president... and Leonard Pitts delivers the best piece of the week.  All coming up inside, but first...

Sam Tanenhaus delivers a blast from the past of a kind none of us wanted.

Suddently the specter of the Cold War is back. Prompted by the political crisis in Ukraine, some conservatives have called for President Obama to stand up to Vladimir V. Putin in the grand tradition of previous American presidents who stared eyeball to eyeball with Soviet leaders from Joseph Stalin to Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

Mr. Obama came close on Friday. Responding to reports of Russian mobilization, he said, “There will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.”

His critics acknowledge that times have changed. “No one wants a new Cold War,” a Wall Street Journal editorial put it, before going on to imply the opposite, that Mr. Obama could prevent a civil war in Eastern Europe “if he finally admits Vladimir Putin’s hostility to a free and democratic Europe and clearly tells protesting Ukrainians that we’re on their side.”

Such a sentiment inevitably conjures John F. Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech before a crowd in West Berlin in 1963, or Ronald Reagan, on a visit there in 1987, urging the Soviets to “tear down this wall.”

While Kennedy's speech came only months after the Cuban missile crisis, you could make a good argument that the position President Obama faces today is several notches tougher--something close to the decisions made at the time of the Berlin airlift. Then, just as now, the United States was war-weary, more interested in getting troops home than in risking new conflicts overseas. Support for getting into a fight with another massive army was very slim. In the case of the airlift, cleverness and persistence won the day, but that's a rare outcome.
In 1952, Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected on a Republican platform that promised to replace the Communist containment strategy of President Harry S. Truman with a more aggressive “liberation” policy that would seize the initiative from the Soviet Union.

Yet throughout his two terms, Eisenhower consistently opted for stability over conflict. ... A year later, when Moscow sent two Red Army tank divisions to quell anti-Communist protesters in Budapest, killing as many as 30,000 people, the cry went up for action. “What are the West and the United Nations going to do?” one despairing protester asked an American reporter.

The answer: nothing. Counteraction would only provoke Moscow to tighten its noose and perhaps “go back on de-Stalinization,” Eisenhower explained.

...

Or consider the most hallowed of Republican Cold War presidents, Ronald Reagan. Early in his first term, he too faced a Ukraine-like emergency when the Solidarity movement was crushed in Poland. Many expected a powerful response. Instead he showed restraint. He voiced sympathy for the movement, but the assistance he provided came quietly — and covertly, in part — through money and communications equipment funneled to anti-Communists. Eventually, Poland and other Soviet satellites were freed, but the change was partly made possible after Reagan realized he could negotiate with Mr. Gorbachev.

Lyndon Johnson certainly didn't do any better at his turn to confront the Soviets. When the Warsaw Pact invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968. Johnson was heavily focused on Vietnam, and more interested in smoothing the path for the SALT arms control treaty than doing anything that would upset the Soviets. Vietnam also made it hard to gather support for an anti-Soviet position, as even the UN Secretary General said "if Russians were bombing and napalming the villages of Czechoslovakia" it might make the UN more inclined toward action.

One thing was the same for all these presidents (yes, even Reagan). In every decade since the 1940s, there's been an outcry by conservatives for "a tough response" to Soviet Russian actions in Eastern Europe. Though details of that tough response are rarely made available. It's no surprise that those same voices are being raised again.

It's not hard to be unhappy with what's happening in the Ukraine. (see former Bush official David Kramer in the Washington Post calling for a series of actions that include cutting off negotiations and sending US ships into the Black Sea). It's a whole lot harder to come up with a plan of action that doesn't end with a lot of people very dead.

That mess up in the title? That's "I am a Kievan," in Ukrainian, by way of Google Translate. And no, I don't know if Kievan is the name of a pastry.

Rachel Maddow wishes we could get rid of one Cold War holdover.

The Pentagon just announced plans to shrink the Army to a size smaller than at any point since World War II; the "sequester" cuts that Congress voted for in 2011 demanded an even smaller force, but the Defense Department and the Obama administration are pushing back on that. They also want a larger Marine Corps than the sequester dictates and to increase the number of Special Forces — but the overall direction is still a smaller force.

This is no surprise: As we wind down the longest war in American history — fought alongside another of our longest wars — no one reasonably expects that the U.S. military would stay, indefinitely, on the same footing. The Pentagon’s requested cuts would mean no more A-10 Warthogs, saying goodbye to our U-2 spy planes in favor of Global Hawk drones and 20 fewer Littoral Combat Ships for the Navy. And as for the Ground Combat Vehicle, the tank of the future — that future will have to wait.

How is it, though, that we’re cutting all those things yet keeping the full complement of 1970s-era nuclear missiles in silos in Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana?

Like the drunk general said, those intercontinental missiles are an operationally deployed nuclear force. They’re not in silos for storage; they are ready to fly. But do we really believe the general’s drunken boast that those hair-trigger missiles are saving the world from war every day? Even if there is a scenario in which a threat to the United States is best handled by us firing off hundreds of nuclear weapons, B-2 bombers and Trident submarines could handily launch such weapons at any attacker on the planet who is kind enough to provide us with a return address. As Vladi­mir Putin considers his options in Crimea, do we really think he feels his decisions are constrained by our nuclear weapons . . . but not the ones on U.S. military planes or submarines, only the ones underground in Montana?

I think you could stop with "do we really think he feels his decisions are constrained by our nuclear weapons." Clearly the answer is no. Nuclear weapons make a miserable deterrent, and they always have.

The New York Times says they don't make them like they used to. And by them, they mean laws.

Nearly half of the current House members were not yet alive when John Dingell first walked onto the floor in 1955. Though he became one of the era’s most consequential legislators over six decades, he endured his share of setbacks, including being ousted as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee in 2008. But not until this year did he decide the atmosphere was so toxic, so “obnoxious,” that he could not continue serving.

“This is not the Congress I know and love,” he told The Detroit News last week, announcing his retirement at the end of 29 terms, the longest House tenure ever. “It’s hard for me to accept, but it’s time to cash it in.”

Mr. Dingell is one of many distinguished lawmakers who are walking away in disgust from the 113th Congress, which may be the least productive in history. George Miller of California is leaving after 20 terms, fuming about the malign influence of unlimited secret money on American politics. Henry Waxman, another 20-term liberal from California, is retiring, too, fed up with battling the right-wing radicalism that often dominates the House.

“It’s been frustrating because of the extremism of Tea Party Republicans,” Mr. Waxman told The Times in January. “Nothing seems to be happening.”

Which is, of course, music to the ears of those who pay the Tea Party to fill the halls of Congress with nonsense.  And if you think you won't miss these guys next season...
Among the problems they tackled was the rising threat to the environment, which required a new generation of federal laws. Mr. Dingell was instrumental in passing the 1964 Wilderness Act and the 1972 Clean Water Act. Mr. Waxman was crucial to the overhaul of the Clean Air Act in 1990. Mr. Miller fought off coastal oil drilling and helped protect the Endangered Species Act from Republican efforts to gut it.
Remember that when the House passes the CO2 is good for Plants, Solar Energy is a Communist Plot, Frack You, America Bill of 2015.

Ross Douthat admits that it's all done but the shouting... and the self-righteousness.

It now seems certain that before too many years elapse, the Supreme Court will be forced to acknowledge the logic of its own jurisprudence on same-sex marriage and redefine marriage to include gay couples in all 50 states.

Once this happens, the national debate essentially will be finished, but the country will remain divided, with a substantial minority of Americans, most of them religious, still committed to the older view of marriage.

So what then? One possibility is that this division will recede into the cultural background, with marriage joining the long list of topics on which Americans disagree without making a political issue out of it.

You could end the piece right there, and Douthat would be, what's that term? Right for once. But of course...
But there’s another possibility, in which the oft-invoked analogy between opposition to gay marriage and support for segregation in the 1960s South is pushed to its logical public-policy conclusion. ...  this constant-pressure scenario has seemed the less-likely one, since Americans are better at agreeing to disagree than the culture war would suggest. But it feels a little bit more likely after last week’s “debate” in Arizona, over a bill that was designed to clarify whether existing religious freedom protections can be invoked by defendants like the florist or the photographer.

If you don’t recognize my description of the bill, then you probably followed the press coverage, which was mendacious and hysterical — evincing no familiarity with the legal issues, and endlessly parroting the line that the bill would institute “Jim Crow” for gays. (Never mind that in Arizona it’s currently legal to discriminate based on sexual orientation — and mass discrimination isn't exactly breaking out.) Allegedly sensible centrists compared the bill’s supporters to segregationist politicians, liberals invoked the Bob Jones precedent to dismiss religious-liberty concerns, and Republican politicians behaved as though the law had been written by David Duke.

What makes this response particularly instructive is that such bills have been seen, in the past, as a way for religious conservatives to negotiate surrender — to accept same-sex marriage’s inevitability while carving out protections for dissent. But now, apparently, the official line is that you bigots don’t get to negotiate anymore.

Wait, Ross is right again -- you bigots don't get to negotiate anymore.

Maureen Dowd says we should all get ready for familiar names.

By the time the Bushes and Clintons are finished, they are going to make the Tudors and the Plantagenets look like pikers.

Before these two families release their death grip on the American electoral system, we’re going to have to watch Chelsea’s granddaughter try to knock off George P.’s grandson, Prescott Walker Bush II. Barack Obama, who once dreamed of being a transformational president, will turn out to be a mere hiccup in history, the interim guy who provided a tepid respite while Hillary and Jeb geared up to go at it.

Elections for president are supposed to make us feel young and excited, as if we’re getting a fresh start. That’s the way it was with J.F.K. and Obama and, even though he was turning 70 when he got inaugurated, Ronald Reagan.

But, as the Clinton library tardily disgorged 3,546 pages of official papers Friday — dredging up memories of a presidency that was eight years of turbulence held steady by a roaring economy and an incompetent opposition, a reign roiled by Hillarycare, Vince Foster, Whitewater, Webb Hubbell, Travelgate, Monica, impeachment, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Marc Rich — the looming prospect of another Clinton-Bush race makes us feel fatigued.

See, Maureen can't get excited over the prospect of the first woman president because she's already used all her Clinton jokes. She doesn't even have a super-casual dis name like "Barry" on hand. But she'll think of one... yes, she will.

Leonard Pitts is also looking at brushing off a few old campaign signs.

President Clinton?

Maybe, if Democratic voters have their way. While the Republican faithful are divided among a number of contenders and not particularly enthusiastic about any of them, a new poll finds Democrats overwhelmingly united behind a Hillary Clinton candidacy for 2016. A commanding 82 percent of the party, according to the CBS News/New York Times poll, wants to see her run.

It is, of course, way too early to be taking polls seriously. But perhaps an observer can nevertheless be forgiven for being heartened at the prospect of a Clinton campaign, much less a Clinton victory. Either would send a much-needed message to those who are still waiting for America to get back to normal.

You know the definition of “normal,” right? A world wherein straight, white Christian men still call all the shots. That world has been under assault for the last 50 years, and the pressure has only increased in the last 10 as gay people roll back restrictions of their human rights, as a black man with an exotic name makes an improbable ascent to the presidency, as a woman positions herself to make the same climb.

The political right has responded with apoplexy, a temper tantrum of epic proportions:

While not of epic proportions, Pitt's article is of epic quality. Go read the rest.

Timothy Egan looks at the Arizona veto from another angle.

The Arizona bill, in the eyes of some, was a religious version of the Stand Your Ground law, most recently associated with Florida but used in more than 20 states. You can kill someone, so the Florida statute states, if you “reasonably believe” that homicide is necessary to prevent great harm to yourself. But who says what’s reasonable? Or, in the case of Arizona, how do you judge the sincerity of beliefs? Gumby is less squishy than those standards.

A more apt comparison to Arizona is to the legal movement to expand the definition of corporations as people. Lawmakers in the Grand Canyon state would have allowed businesses to use religion as a shield against secular laws they don’t like. The same principle is behind the Supreme Court challenge to the birth control requirements of the new health care law. In one case, religion is an excuse for refusing service. In another, it’s a reason to oppose a package of medically recognized health care benefits. In both cases, the “sincerely held” belief, once the province of an individual citizen, now belongs to a moneymaking entity.

Even if you think a corporation has a conscience, this strain of thought can lead to protection for the patriarchs who control the cult’s business operations, or a company run on Shariah law.

So, yes — it’s good news that the last two Republican nominees for president, Mitt Romney and John McCain, urged the governor to veto. So did three Republicans who voted for the bill. “We feel very badly that the state reputation has been tarnished by our vote,” said State Senator Bob Worsley, eating his vote while begging Brewer to save him from himself. Even some of the usual enemies of common sense, Fox News and Newt Gingrich, raised objections.

But many of these same voices are on the opposite side of the Supreme Court case that would give corporations the right to withhold part of a standard health care package because of their religious beliefs. This road, once taken, is fraught with trouble for a country founded on the idea that church does not dictate to state.

Kathleen Parker likes one of the president's new proposals.
President Obama’s new outreach initiative to help at-risk boys of color — “My Brother’s Keeper” — is cause for cheer.

It isn't that we haven’t known for some time that minority boys are in trouble. Poor school performance, truancy, delinquency and, ultimately, high incarceration rates cannot be separated from the absence of fathers in many homes. Out-of-wedlock births are at 72 percent in the African American community and 53 percent among Latinos, compared with 29 percent among non-Hispanic whites.

But sometimes things can change only when the right messenger comes along. Obama is that man, though he seems to have realized it late in his game. Or perhaps he feared criticism for focusing on the black half of himself and waited for a second term.

While Parker praises the president on this program, she doesn't miss the opportunity to go after Hollywood, music, or the horrors of welfare.

Originally posted to Devil's Tower on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 09:52 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  From the land of food, fever, and fugue... (86+ / 0-)

    I bit into a bad taco (as in, ate the whole thing) some time back on Wednesday and within six hours was rolling in the abyss of bacterial food poisoning.  Since then I've been living in a kind of extended lost-weekend of sweat, hallucinations, and an ongoing experiment to see if a human being can evert his stomach like a starfish.

    So this week's APR is brought to you by the letters Salmonella, and by the 2.5 saltines I've managed to eat in the last four days.  Grammar, sense, and agreement with events of this universe are not guaranteed.

    In the words of Liz Lemon: blerg.

    •  Not fun. Hope you feel better soon. (14+ / 0-)

      From someone who has been there before, too, also.

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:30:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So sorry. Feel better. n/t (6+ / 0-)

      The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

      by Alice Olson on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:37:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  ah. stomach eversion. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      salmo, rl en france, ER Doc, FarWestGirl

      that's what i had.

      i did, for a long while, suspect imminent death.
      it was a preposterous orifice revolution, i'll say.

      TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes? -- Addington's Perpwalk.

      by greenbird on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:41:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  From the land of food, fever, and fugue... (6+ / 0-)

      Other wise know as a Republican Think Tank...

    •  Hang in there! (5+ / 0-)

      From somebody who just came out of a big bout with the flu.

      "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

      by Stude Dude on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:23:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds awful. (11+ / 0-)

      Feel better, and soon. And seek medical help if you don't. I don't want to spend another one of these nights around here for quite a while.

      I am of Ukrainian Jewish ancestry. Part of my family came from Kiev, so I guess I could say, "I am a Kievan". A Kievan is not a pastry. It is a chicken.

      "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

      by sidnora on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:33:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Taco Hell (4+ / 0-)

      cured me of fast food forever. My sympathies- make sure to drink as much fluid as you can keep down.
      I would say if you're not better by tomorrow, go to the doctor- salmonellosis is no joke.

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:53:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why I'm probably not going to eat Chinese (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes, FarWestGirl

        Until the middle of next summer when I'm doing a parts run to Onawa, Iowa around noonish.

        My flu kicked off with indigestion from Hy-Vee sweet & sour chicken.

        OTOH, you got to love the '90s and beyond in that alot of these rural county seats have Asian restaurants now.

        Even if the local rednecks don't know what to make of it, with such nickanmes of affection like "Kung Fu Kitchen" and "Poodles 'n' Noodles"....

        "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

        by Stude Dude on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:14:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I live in a town of about 3000 (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stude Dude, FarWestGirl

          way out in rural Kansas. Even we have a Chinese restaurant, set up in an old gas station. Judging by the crowd, it's pretty popular.
          I got the flu once as a teen after eating a couple of pop tarts. To this day, I can't even look at pop tarts without getting nauseous.

          Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

          by skohayes on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:06:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry to hear it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbird, rl en france, FarWestGirl

      Last time I had     food poisoning was in Chiloe, Chile, 2008
      Laid up for 3 days, sitting on the toilet with my head in the waste basket, coming out both ends at once.
      Sickest I ever was, took me a week to get over it.

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:59:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This article, regrettably , is nonsense: (6+ / 0-)

      Exhibit A:

      While Kennedy's speech came only months after the Cuban missile crisis, you could make a good argument that the position President Obama faces today is several notches tougher--something close to the decisions made at the time of the Berlin airlift.
      There is nothing about the situation involving the Ukraine, Russia, and the Crimea that remotely resembles the Cuban Missile Crisis.

      We're not facing nuclear annihilation unless some idiot in the White House manages to catch who would be an incredibly idiotic President.

      Central Europe is also not a risk of war. Set aside the mobilization orders within Ukraine and Russia; this is a dispute within what Putin considers the Russian sphere of influence. It has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with U.S. national security.

      Can anyone set forth any aspect of U.S. territorial integrity or governmental survival placed at any risk by the events in Ukraine?

      All of this blathering to go to Ukraine's aid is just another outbreak of Empire Addiction Syndrome. Everyone need to go read themselves some J.Q. Adams:

      Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself, beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. The frontlet upon her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished lustre the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.
      The bottom line is that everyone lining up to take over in Ukraine is as graft-infested as Yanukovych. The mistake Yanukovych made was to actually start shooting unarmed protestors in the streets and on t.v.  The steps the Russians are taking to protect what they see as their national security interests may outrage those who are spoiling for a war with Russia that they, nor their children, will ever fight in, but it's not reason to talk nonsense.

      My idea of the ideal GOP speech invariably involves negligent intoxication together with breathing helium for that special vocal nuance.

      by Superskepticalman on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:59:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Central europe is at risk of war (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc

        Putin's "sphere of influence" extends all the way to the Rhine in his mind.  You have to stop thinking like an American and start thinking like a Russian.  Their old empire still lives in their mind and is still under their authority.  That includes what was East Germany.

        U.S. interests are definately under threat.  Even if they weren't directly under threat (which they are at the moment), any time a big, empire seeking country starts invading its neighbors, it's a threat to the world.  After all, it's how world war two started, and your Chamberlainesque attitude is going to get a lot of people killed.

        Unfortunately for us and Eastern Europe, I think Obama shares your philosophy and is oblivious to the threat.  Russia is fighting the cold war and making it hot.  You can ignore that fact, or respond to it, but russia is fighting that war regardless.

        GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

        by LordMike on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:33:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Take comfort in the fact that (0+ / 0-)

      many otherwise intelligent people pay money and risk dangers to find ingestibles that provide essentially the same experience.

      I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

      by Crashing Vor on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:21:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Keifer- Liquid yoghurt with live cultures, helps (0+ / 0-)

      to outcompete the bad bacteria in the gut. Regular yoghurt works, too, as long as it has the live cultures, as many as possible, ( 3 types, minimum). Gatorade or other electrolyte replacement,(Pedialyte). Mashed potatoes also help buffer and absorb. Pepto. Kaopectate used to, but they don't use kaolin clay as an ingredient anymore. Clay absorbs toxins and buffers acid.

      Hope you feel better soon. You may have to resort to antibiotics. If it's not resolved by Sunday nite, go to the docs.

      FWG RN

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
      ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

      by FarWestGirl on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:06:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Reasonable belief does not have to be actual.. (13+ / 0-)

    ..danger, just the perception of it.. (paraphrased) from the jury instruction on Michael Dunn trial

    "In deciding whether defendant was justified in the use of deadly force, you must judge [him] [her] by the circumstances by which [he] [she] was surrounded at the time the force was used. The danger facing the defendant need not have been actual; however, to justify the use of deadly force, the appearance of danger must have been so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of that force. Based upon appearances, the defendant must have actually believed that the danger was real."

    So yeah:

    The same principle is behind the Supreme Court challenge to the birth control requirements of the new health care law. In one case, religion is an excuse for refusing service. In another, it’s a reason to oppose a package of medically recognized health care benefits. In both cases, the “sincerely held” belief, once the province of an individual citizen, now belongs to a moneymaking entity.
    Hope you feel better real soon Mark Summer

    Thx

    tuna fish salad sandwiches did our entire work crew in for a night many moons ago - blerg - indeed

    •  SYG = bad law; the GOP Modus operandi iow's (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, JaxDem
    •  Note the second half of that instruction (0+ / 0-)
      that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of that force.

      We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

      by Samer on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:04:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Faith Instead of Reality Based (0+ / 0-)

      The entire US legal regime is trending to basis in belief instead of action. The American Dream rules, even as the American reality rots.

      In Arizona that anti-gay bill was based on assigning corporations as "persons" with "religious beliefs" that could deny service to anyone on their belief, rather than the reality. It passed their legislature, before an otherwise friendly governor who'd have signed it if big business (eg. Superbowl next year) hadn't publicly complained. That high-water mark will be exceeded next time, when a less reality based governor will sign it. Indeed, having guided Arizona's precedent nearly into law, the political machine that peddles this law will have an easier time getting the next legislature to pass it, perhaps even without its anti-gay focus. In fact that could be Arizona.

      The unprovable assertions of corporations will define America if we let them.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:51:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  jail (13+ / 0-)

    If corporations are people, when they commit serious crimes, they need to be jailed.  Instead of fighting this preposterous idea of personhood, we ought to embrace it as we watch bank ceos cuffed and carted away.  Jimmie Dimon will make a great bunk mate in some cell--as would the polluters at Duke Energy.  We might even be able to RICO the Koch brothers.  Finally--the IRS could treat them as individuals and tax companies like Exxon.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 10:54:49 PM PST

    •  Just put them under house arrest. Let them pay for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      salmo

      their own incarceration in their gilded cages.

      http://hannah.smith-family.com

      by hannah on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:40:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's way too good for them. (14+ / 0-)

        I want them in cells, with cots with 2" mattresses and stainless steel toilets, dining on bologna sandwiches. Teach them that they're no better than anyone else.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:35:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Never going to happen (8+ / 0-)

          unfortunately. White collar prisons are several levels above the conditions of most federal prisons.
          I agree with you, of course. Why we have to treat white collar criminals better than anyone else, when they do so much more damage to our society than the average burglar, is a mystery.

          Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

          by skohayes on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:57:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Where exactly are these (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sidnora, Laconic Lib

            White collar country club prisons?  I used to work in criminal justice and my father still does, and I have yet to ever hear or see an actual one of these. For example Bernie Madoff is in very ordinary federal prison. I don't believe he's in a maximum security unit, but it certainly isn't pleasant.

            I think these so called white collar prisons are next to all the FEMA concentration camps and Obama reeducation camps.

            "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

            by dankester on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:58:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Forbes says (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wintergreen8694, skohayes

              otherwise. And of course their readership is very interested.

              "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

              by sidnora on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:45:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  All I saw (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Laconic Lib, melvynny, sidnora

                In that Forbes piece was that there were federal prisons that didn't recreate Dante's Inferno. That's a pretty low standard, places that treat prisoners like (gasp) humans.

                Being sent to prison is supposed to be the punishment, not being tortured and brutalized while there.  

                Believe me, there is no prison in the U.S. that is preferable to freedom due to their conditions.  

                "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

                by dankester on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:52:05 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No one said that prison is (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sidnora

                  preferable to freedom. Try getting those strawmen out of your way.

                  Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

                  by skohayes on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:14:33 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  What skohayes said. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  skohayes

                  I wouldn't willingly go to prison if it looked like this. Freedom is freedom.

                  "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

                  by sidnora on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:33:13 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I never said they were country clubs (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wintergreen8694

              But there are minimum security prisons that have no violence, no fences, and perks like being able to work outside the prison.
              The Best Places to Go to Prison

              The worst federal criminals wind up behind bars in U.S. penitentiaries. But there are also medium-, low-, and minimum-security prisons. Of those minimum-security facilities, known as federal prison camps, some are adjacent to higher-security prisons and others stand alone. It’s the stand-alone ones that Ellis believes are most preferable.

              “The staff is less stressed out,” he said. “As I like to say, happy staff makes happy inmates.”

              Federal prison camps also have limited or no fencing, and “zero” violence. Ellis cautioned, however, that these are no country-club — or “Club Fed” — facilities. The inmates are still in prison and away from their loved ones.

              Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

              by skohayes on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:12:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  And the converse to that: (5+ / 0-)

      If corporations are not people, they can have no rights; no part of the Constitution may attach, including the Bill of Rights and any and all Amendments; they may be dissolved at will, for any or no reason; nor may they sue any Natural Person. As a chair has no right to life, or any other right, so goes the Corporation.

    •  Maybe some Yippie-sh pranks (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tobendaro, DocGonzo

      Like handcuffing oneself to a business, making a citizen's arrest until it's tried as a person, and making a media event out of it.

      "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

      by Stude Dude on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:26:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think the whole fight against corporate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude

      "personhood" is misdirected. The Citizens United case was not decided upon "personhood" grounds (it was decided upon the difference between "actual fraud" and "perceived fraud" in elections), so repealing "personhood" doesn't change the Citizens United case.

      Also, we WANT "personhood" for corporations--that is what makes the company responsible for things like environmental pollution, violating labor laws, product safety responsibility and the like. Suing or jailing the CEO is a great emotional release and certainly makes us feel lots better, but the CEO is not where the real money lies. No matter how much the CEO of Exxon has in his bank account, the corporation has several thousand times more. Making the CEO of BP pay for the oil spill is a whole different ball of wax than making BP itself pay for it.

      (The CEOs, by the way, are just hired employees. They are no different in principle than the janitor--just paid more. The actual OWNERS of the company are the stockholders--they are the ones who elect the board of directors and hire the CEO--and who get the profits. Making the corporation pay rather than the CEO means all the money comes from corporate profits--from stockholder dividends. As it should. They make the money--they should pay the costs.)

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:13:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jail Executives (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Laconic Lib

        Of course we don't want corporations to be "persons", and instead need executives to face jail for breaking the law using their corporate power. Your preference is letting corporations pollute, violate labor laws, ignore product hazards and the like. The "great emotional release" of jailing a CEO is in the CEO, and their peers, who could be deterred from committing those crimes. Instead of just paying a somewhat higher cost of doing business - when they're sometimes caught and convicted, after lots of time and public expense. The proof is that the abuses continue ever worse through the fiction of "punish the corporation" rather than the people who acted to commit these crimes.

        The CEOs, by the way, are also proven to be far more than just hired employees. They routinely escape the consequences of actions that would have production or maintenance employees fired or jailed. The stockholders are increasingly ignored even when they're not completely complacent behind the corporate veil. You've got the reality completely reversed. You're reading the advertisements for corporate people (whether humans at their top or the legal fiction themselves), not their actual record in the world.

        What "reality" are you living in? The one you describe is directly contrary to the one the rest of us see every day.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:57:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  please don't be a dumbass (0+ / 0-)
          Your preference is letting corporations pollute, violate labor laws, ignore product hazards and the like.
          My preference is no such thing.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:26:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't Say Please (0+ / 0-)

            If you're going to be a douche, just be a douche.

            The fact is that you are arguing for leaving executives free from criminal liability for their actions, the status quo that lets them continue those crimes. As opposed to jailing them, which would actually reduce those crimes. I suppose you're arguing for the status quo though you don't prefer it. That doesn't make me the dumbass for noticing it.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:25:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  um, I'm not the one accusing people here of being (0+ / 0-)

              corporate shills.

              If you have some evidence that I am a corporate shill, or a plant, or an infiltrator, or that I support any corporation's agenda in any way shape or form, then let's see it.

              If not, then shut the fuck up.

              I'm tired of seeing idiotic bullshit like this on the site, and I'm long past the point where I'll tolerate it.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:43:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes You Are (0+ / 0-)

                I didn't accuse you of being a corporate shill, or plant, or infiltrator - or any of that increasingly hysterical list of strawman complaints. You just did, to accuse me of doing that to you.

                You are committed to being a douche, and a bigger one with every post, and more wrong with every sentence. Goodbye.

                "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                by DocGonzo on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:09:40 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  horse shit (0+ / 0-)

                  You did.  And I resent it.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:11:01 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  OK (0+ / 0-)

                    I'll give this one more try, since I don't want you mad at me for some copout charge like I called you a shill. You should be mad at me for what I actually did, or not at all.

                    You said that corporations should retain personhood so the people can get damages and fines money from them when they pollute and oppress, rather than jail their CEOs. I said that way just lets them continue polluting and oppressing at an increased cost, as demonstrated in reality. So what you want, by wanting CEOs protected from jail for their crimes, is more crimes.

                    I did not say you were a shill. I never said why you believe that, because I don't know; I certainly didn't say that you are paid to say it without believing it, or were planted to say so, or are a worse "infiltrator". You said all those things. They come from your mind, not my words.

                    As for "douche", you called me a dumbass for saying your request to protect the status quo reflects your desire for the status quo, without even bothering to say how my analysis is "dumbass" - except to glibly deny it. That was douchey.

                    So you can keep denying without supporting the denial with anything factual, or offer a strawman fallacy that you resent me for, or being douchey, or whatever else you self-righteously rage about me doing when it's you behaving badly. Or you can recognize the reality you're creating. It's up to you. I've been clear about it.

                    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                    by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:13:51 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  yes, anyone who accuses me of supporting a (0+ / 0-)

                      corporate agenda is a dumbass.

                      That is not an insult--that is a simple fact. Anyone who can possibly say that with a straight face, is a dumbass. And perhaps illiterate to boot.

                      You did.

                      And I resent it.

                      In the end, reality always wins.

                      by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:49:20 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No More (0+ / 0-)

                        I just explained, again, how you support the corporate agenda of continuing to pollute and oppress and pay the fine, instead of its execs facing jail time without corporate limited liability.

                        You respond by calling me a dumbass again, and illiterate. And never even bothering to respond to what I pointed out about your position. Instead you've commited to "douche".

                        Please continue to feel resentful, if it makes you feel better.

                        Goodbye.

                        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                        by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:57:40 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

    •  I at least support the death penalty here. (4+ / 0-)

      Accidents will happen, but when a corporation has been proven to have willfully and negligently caused multiple deaths through its actions it should face corporate death. It is quite simple. Corporations exist only in state charters and state and federal courts can order that charter "killed" with the corporate assets dissolved.

      Shareholders face the "death" of their investment, though a more fair way would be to return some cash share value to the small and institutional minority investors who had no real say in governance. Perhaps that would go a way toward making majority investors pay more attention to basic ethics in corporate behavior. Otherwise, liquidated corporation's assets are put on the block with proceeds going to the damaged parties—including the public.

      Then, go for criminal charges against those actually responsible in the corporate governance, boards and the executive suite.

      Actually, that should be the operative rule whether corporations have personhood or not. And, most definitely, we need to push back hard at this relatively new idea that corporations are persons beyond the very limited scope that once existed allowing them to do business, enter into contracts and such as if a person.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:42:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed... (0+ / 0-)

        With the exception that assets be divided among the victims' survivors & then as severance to any employees who will be losing their jobs as a result of this corporate death (so long as their hands were clean, of course).

  •  Ukraine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B

    Rarely mentioned--Ukraine has nukes--Ukraine is facing bankruptcy--Ukraine, and most of Europe, needs Russian natural gas.  This not the Cuban missile crisis--this is much scarier--I'm glad Obama is not the type to overreact.  Russia is holding all the aces in the deck--not the situation we want, but it is the situation that exists.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 11:03:14 PM PST

  •  Excellent New Republic piece by Julia Joffe (20+ / 0-)

    on Russia's intentions re Ukraine.  Mentioned on Digby's blog and much more trenchant commentary than the pundits are spewing.

    It's not a happy read.

    The fruits of the toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few, unprecedented in the history of mankind; and the possessors of those, in turn, despise the republic and endanger liberty. - Omaha Platform, 1892

    by Rikon Snow on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:03:56 AM PST

    •  Thank you for the link (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hulibow, Rikon Snow, rl en france

      it was a great article.

    •  Pretty much sums up what I have been telling... (3+ / 0-)

      others for over a week.  Good article....Putin couldn't wait for the Olympics to end...

      "Here's your medals; now go home....Vasili.....Fire up the tanks!"

      And we just know that Putin will just stop with the Ukraine...LOL!

      •  Precise timing. Could almost have predicted the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FrankSpoke, Rikon Snow

        closing ceremony as D-1 for some such action.

        The mentality and danger of further grabbyness is seen in the closing paragraph of the link you cite (my emphasis):

        This is another howl you often hear rending the skies over Moscow: Western double standards. But let's get real for a second. We've spoken already about the U.N., but what about the holy Russian mantra of non-interference in a nation's internal affairs? When it comes to Syria, to take a most recent example, the fight between Assad and the rebels is something only the Syrians can sort out. Ditto every other country in the world—unless it's in Russia's backyard, where Russia still experiences phantom limb syndrome. The internal issues of former Soviet republics, you see, are not truly internal issues of sovereign nations. This is because, by Stalin's very conscious design and very deliberate border drawing and population movement, most former Soviet republics are ethnic hodgepodges. So Ukraine has a sizable Russian population. Ditto Estonia, ditto Georgia, ditto Kazakhstan. And, according to Putin's unspoken doctrine, anywhere Russian citizens are determined to be at risk, Mother Moscow can intercede with force on their behalf.
        While military action makes no sense, despite our guarantees under the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances and other agreements, the actions in the Washington Post editorial make sense to me, my emphasis:
        Mr. Obama should make clear that he will no longer shrink from applying sanctions to Russian leaders and businesses complicit in aggression or human rights violations. An expanded list of Russian officials subject to visa denials and asset freezes that was drawn up by the State Department late last year should be immediately approved by the White House. Russian officials in the chain of command of the Ukraine invasion, as well as Russian companies and banks operating in Crimea, should be the next targets of financial sanctions.

        The most powerful non-military tool the United States possesses is exclusion from its banking system. Mr. Obama should make clear that if Russia does not retreat from Ukraine, it will expose itself to this sanction, which could sink its financial system. Russia’s economy, unlike that of the Soviet Union, is heavily dependent on Western trade and investment. It must be made clear to the Kremlin that the Ukraine invasion will put that at risk.

        Many in the West did not believe Mr. Putin would dare attempt a military intervention in Ukraine because of the steep potential consequences. That the Russian ruler plunged ahead shows that he doubts Western leaders will respond forcefully. If he does not quickly retreat, the United States must prove him wrong.

        And there is where Munich does have an echo. Keep believing "won't dare" and then "no consequences" and it is entirely possible the next grab would be for Russian ethnic "defense" in the Baltic states and thus trigger a NATO crisis—and then . . . Poland, 1939?

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:14:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  "feared, not loved" - interesting summation .. (0+ / 0-)
      [..] it is better to be feared than loved, it is better to be overly strong than to risk appearing weak [..]
      I once asked a co-worker of Yugoslavian origin what made Putin's (IMO the scariest character to appear on the geo-political stage for some time) popularity - even among some nations that would seem to risk Russia's ire at an inopportune moment - so enduring?

      He replied immediately, "Because he tells the West to go f* themselves every chance he gets."

      (Paraphrasing, now..) The older people in the East don't value certainty, freedom or opportunity. They're watching a boxing match and want 'their' guy to destroy whoever is in the ring with him.

      This generation of Ukrainians have their work cut out for them.

      Excellent article, btw - Thx.

      ..now, where did I leave my torches and villagers?

      by FrankSpoke on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:09:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  really sorry to read about (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, skohayes, greenbird, rl en france

    your digestive trials - hope you feel better soon and can consume more than saltines.

    "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:25:05 AM PST

  •  "The Terms of Our Surrender" (0+ / 0-)

    my examination of the Ross Douthat NY Times column of that title

    in in this post to which I invite your attention

    peace

    "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is more people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

    by teacherken on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:34:20 AM PST

  •  I'll give you that Leonard Pitts wrote a good (7+ / 0-)

    column and I'm grateful to you for bringing it to my attention.  But, really, the best of the week was Nicholas Kristof's "The Compassion Gap."  Indeed, I'm calling it the best of forever:  http://www.nytimes.com/...

    The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

    by Alice Olson on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:36:38 AM PST

    •  Thanks for the link. (0+ / 0-)

      Too many people forget the whole idea of "there but for the grace of God..."

      "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." John Kenneth Galbraith

      by wintergreen8694 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:14:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fantastic (0+ / 0-)

      Kristof nails it.  I have too many conservative friends who are perfectly nice people generally, but fiercely resent having their tax dollars used to help poor people.  Some of them are practicing Christians.  I don't get it.

      I don't know what's been trickling down, but it hasn't been pleasant---N. Pelosi

      by Russycle on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:20:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dowd vs history, Connecticut or Texas (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, Mark Sumner, Subterranean

    Maureen Dowd said that "by the time their finished" the Bushes will make the Tudors look like pikers ?  The Tudors kept it up for just 3 generations: Henry VII then Henry VIII then his kids.  The Bushes are already on the fourth generation as George P Bush is going to run for office in Texas (oh and Prescott was a Senator (R-Conn)).

  •  you can stay right on top of this (7+ / 0-)

    with Live Updates from Guardian-UK.

    the link is here. there are live updates very frequently.

    occasionally there are additional links, tweets, and assistance from other sources.

    TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes? -- Addington's Perpwalk.

    by greenbird on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:38:40 AM PST

  •  Russian troops (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Subterranean, agnostic

    look more like the NYPD.

    I will not vote for Hillary. What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:39:32 AM PST

  •  We didn't have the troops to intervene in '68 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DrTerwilliker, skohayes, exlrrp

    At the time, Westmoreland had escalated Vietnam after Tet to 550,000 troops. We simply didn't have enough troops to do anything about Czechoslovakia nor were we inclined to do so just like in Hungary in 1956.

  •  re: Maddow column (18+ / 0-)

    In an offhand mention in her column, Maddow pinpoints exactly what's wrong with the Pentagon and its approach to budget cutting:

    ... no more A-10 Warthogs ...
    The A-10 is the single most effective manned aircraft in the U.S. arsenal, especially for the kind of wars we have been and likely will be facing in the future. It's relatively inexpensive to build, ridiculously east to maintain, can withstand a tremendous amount of damage and continue flying, and can deliver a devastating package of munitions onto a ground target quickly and with a great deal of precision.

    But it's being cut, despite being a tiny fraction of the military budget. OTOH, the total boondoggle that is the F-35 is  staying in the budget. And, as Rachel points out, so is funding to maintain our obsolete ground-based nuclear ICBM arsenal.

    That's what happens when politics enter into a decision that should be based solely upon financial effectiveness.

    I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

    by ObamOcala on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:14:26 AM PST

    •  I remember when the A10 was first deployed.... (7+ / 0-)

      Air Force didn't want it.....wasn't sexy enough.

      •  I always felt a little bit better (6+ / 0-)

        with Warthogs overhead.

      •  You mention the root of lots of problems: USAF. (0+ / 0-)

        The parochial drive that was embryonic with Billy Mitchell and actually became a bit of a problem in WW II with the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) beginning to act like a separate service in contracting and supply, sometimes at cross purposes with the rest of the Department of War, exploded with the creation of the USAF and the "glamorous flyboy" syndrome.

        Consider the missions of the USAF: Strategic, i.e., long range bombers and ICBMs and support of the other services, explicitly Army since Navy has its own air forces (Naval Air & Marine).

        Marine air long had the reputation for effective ground support to Marines bar none. They trained explicitly to support their companions on the ground and could reportedly lay fire closer to their people without amicide than any other air force. Army air has somewhat the same reputation today, but without the same assets being confined largely to helicopter operations.

        So, the "support" other services combat wise is largely winged or rotored artillery with air defense capability. Yet the USAF had (not really current on that) a reputation of not training nearly as closely with the grunts on the ground in that role. Solution: Return combat air support and logistics to the Army and keep it with Navy and Marines.

        Strategic is a bit more of a problem, but I'd consider it just really long range artillery and also put it back with a special branch in Army. Navy has its own, probably the best actual deterrent, sailing deep.

        There would be wrinkles, but in pure military terms I have a bit of trouble finding a real reason, now that flying things have proven they aren't "worthless" as was sometimes seen in Mitchell's day, in finding a reason to maintain a third service with academy, uniforms, a cadre of officers seeking high rank and all the trappings and expense that go with that status and inter-service rivalry.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:30:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The A-10 is the epitome of form follows function (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skillet, Stude Dude, Subterranean

        What a wonderfully designed airplane!

      "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Mahatma Gandhi

      by PlinytheWelder on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:01:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      The USAF doesn't like the ground support role and the Army is invested in helicopters.  Unfortunately, neither the F-35 or helicopters can do what the A-10 does efficiently and effectively.  You can down a copter with an RPG, never heard of an A-10 being downed by one.

  •  Talking about pun-dits, I had no clue john fund (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    salmo, judyms9

    Is still alive. Older, fatter, just as stupid as ever. Then again, he is a national review writer and loves him his teabuggerers.

    On Washington journal now

    Oh my effing gawd!
    A female caller decried the liberal media bias. Only Fox News gives the truth.

    What a sad statement about the fate of our country.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:16:50 AM PST

  •  Obama could set a good example for Putin (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0, Laconic Lib, mightymouse

    by withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan.

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:18:30 AM PST

  •  Dont Blow things out of proportion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0

    US has a bunch of other areas where they are working with Russia.  Including Iran and Afghanistan.

  •  Russia hurtles back to the future....when do they (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0

    start killing people.

  •  THAT'S GREAT NEWS!!!FOR JOHN McCAIN!!!!!1!!!111!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0, skohayes

    That Timothy Egan mentioned him....

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:33:05 AM PST

  •  The West will do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    the same thing it does every time Russians attack - nothing.

  •  Most on Daily Kos Support Russia (9+ / 0-)

    When Ukraine's debt crisis materialized last year, the EU, the World Bank and the IMF refused to lend them aid money unless they implemented a sensationally abusive austerity program designed to drive them into Greece-like poverty and desperation.

    The Ukrainian president could not accept these terms, as in his politically divided country, doing so would have led to a total breakdown of order.

    So, he was forced into the arms of Russia, which caused a rebellion in the parties that oppose him anyway. He fled and the subsequent collapse of order led Russia to make a small but significant move to signify that they would not tolerate anarchy on their southern flank.

    Listen:

    The Crimeans are going to be the lucky ones, as Russia will now have to keep supplies flowing.

    As this crisis has grown worse, the IMF has come up with new, even more punishing and more abusive terms for a bailout package for the rest of Ukraine. Western Ukrainian leaders in Kiev will be forced by the US and Europe to take it. Things are going to be really bad there for years.

    Russia is going to look better to them all the time.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:41:17 AM PST

    •  Ukraine to Be Ruined by IMF (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skillet, PhilK, Celtic Legacy

      Guess I'm not the only one with this opinion:

      http://www.forbes.com/...

      "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

      by bink on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:46:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  When Russian troops roll into Kiev (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike

      and re-install their puppet regime, those IMF terms will look pretty tame compared to what the regime will do to those who advocated closer ties with the West.

      I'm not saying the IMF terms weren't awful, but being under the control of Putin's army could be brutal to the people of Ukraine.

      Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

      by bear83 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:53:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This Scenario Will Not Happen (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Celtic Legacy

        Russia does not wish to be responsible for the welfare of the entire Ukraine. Russian troops will not roll into Kiev.

        "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

        by bink on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:54:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Until it happens... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bear83

          People have to stop thinking like Americans and start thinking like Russians.  Everything Putin has done so far "has not made sense", and yet he did it anyways.  Western motivations are not the same as Eastern ones.  Putin just invoked the munich accords when he said that any russian ehtnic is under his control anywhere int he world.  He'll push as far as he can. Why not? No one is even lifting a finger to stop him.

          GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

          by LordMike on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:59:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LordMike

            The last thing Putin wants is a West-leaning government in  Ukraine that might eventually join the EU and NATO. The easiest way to stop that is to put his man back in charge in Kiev, backed by Russian troops who wouldn't hesitate to fire on pro-Democracy protesters.

            It's the Tiananmen Square scenario, Russian-style.

            Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

            by bear83 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:25:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Is that really any different (0+ / 0-)

            from what motivates American foreign policy?  Natural resources, political power, greed, and relgious and ethnic tribalism also animate US foreign policy.  

            I'm not saying that since the US isn't perfect, we shouldn't call out Russia on this.  We should.  But it's not so difficult to understand Putin's point of view if we think in terms of pure self interest.

            "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

            by Subterranean on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:22:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yep, it is more complicated than John McCain ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, Subterranean

      thinks.

      For one thing I'm not sure that if it was us who had a base in a country that was falling into chaos that we might act any differently.  I'm not excusing the Russians, but looked at from Putin's view the Black Sea naval base is threatened.

      The IMF has to take some responsibility.

      Note that the Russians were basically helpless to stop us from going into Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. How could we intervene in such a war without igniting WW III.

      We probably should put some pressure on Putin, especially if his soldiers don't stay in Crimea and march to Kiev, but don't expect miracles, especially if people want to avoid a major war that kills millions.  

      Gee, Putin was the Right's hero only a week ago! They compared Obama unfavorably with him.  They sure are fickle.  

  •  Gee thanks Kathleen (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, tobendaro, wintergreen8694

    Praise for anything President Obama always needs to be coupled with criticism. Here's to My Brother's Keeper, better late than never:

    But sometimes things can change only when the right messenger comes along. Obama is that man, though he seems to have realized it late in his game. Or perhaps he feared criticism for focusing on the black half of himself and waited for a second term.
  •  if the goppers want to stop imperialist powers . . (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK, judyms9, Laconic Lib

    they can start with the USA, which has invaded more countries in the last century than any other, and has more military bases outside its own borders than the rest of the world combined.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:54:32 AM PST

    •  Imperialism (0+ / 0-)

      Because the USA, with its plutocratic dreams of world domination and economic enslavement is fundamentally no different from either Russia or the USSR. And that explains why today we use our troops and puppet governments to rule Germany and Italy, S. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Greece, The Dominican Republic, the Philippines, Somalia and, of course, Panama and Grenada, etc., etc.

      •  yes, that is exactly right (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        judyms9, Celtic Legacy, Laconic Lib

        That is why people have been fighting US or US-backed troops (commanded by US-backed dictators) since the 1890s, in Cuba, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Mexico, Chile, Haiti, Hawaii, Korea, Panama, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Russia, Turkey, El Salvador, Greece, Iran, Lebanon, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Angola, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, Iraq and Afghanistan.

        Not to mention the training center in Panama which taught dictators how to torture their own people.

        If you'd like to explain to me how propping up unelected dictators all over the world for almost a century was really a way of "defending democracy", I'm all ears . . . . . . . . .

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:23:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And where did I say anything about (0+ / 0-)

          "defending democracy?" My skepticism is directed entirely against your ideologically constrained view of the U.S. as plutocratic-imperialist-colonialist ravager of other lands.

          That said, there is little obligation on the part of the U.S., or any nation, to do anything other than defend its security and economic interests. If it is in our interest in a given country to support a repressive regime favorable to our interests, vs. supporting an alternative liberal regime unfavorable, then there is no political or moral principle that makes us responsible to choose anything but our own benefit. If it is in our interest to see a democratic government in place, then that is what we ought to choose.

          In point of fact, rather than simply prop up dictators, the U.S. has frequently attempted to install democratic governments, if with very limited success. As for teaching torture in Panama, you speak as if that were the very purpose of the School of the Americas, as opposed to one unhappy facet of a program whose purpose was to strengthen governments so as to prevent the spread of communism in Latin America. Preventing the spread of anti-capitalist ideology is a reasonable goal of a capitalist government.

          And just as an aside, I hadn't noticed that the self-proclaimed socialist republics of the past century have been conspicuous in their support for democracy and freedom, let alone reticent to invade, occupy, and control other countries. You might possibly recall the Soviet Union, its satellite states in Eastern Europe, N. Vietnam, China, and so on.

          •  the US set up friendly client states in areas (0+ / 0-)

            where it could dominate and extract wealth, taught those client states how to torture and repress their own people, and sent military aid and/or troops as needed, whenever those client states were threatened by their own people.

            Exactly like the USSR did.

            In point of fact, rather than simply prop up dictators, the U.S. has frequently attempted to install democratic governments, if with very limited success.
            Horse shit.  The US opposed democracy and propped up dictatorships all over the world for over half a century.  It's hard to name ANY murderous tinhorn dictator of the 20th century, from Pahlavi to Marcos to Batista to Pinochet to Diem to Somoza (both of them) to Duvalier (both of them) to Noriega to Zia to Mubarak to Suharto to Saud to Saddam Hussein, that we did NOT prop up and defend from their own people.
            And just as an aside, I hadn't noticed that the self-proclaimed socialist republics of the past century have been conspicuous in their support for democracy and freedom, let alone reticent to invade, occupy, and control other countries. You might possibly recall the Soviet Union, its satellite states in Eastern Europe, N. Vietnam, China, and so on.
            You seem to be under the delusion that I have some sort of love for those single-party police states. I don't.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:35:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Domination (0+ / 0-)
              the US set up friendly client states in areas where it could dominate and extract wealth
              Sure, like S. Korea, from which we extract...
              Well, I'm sure we extract something. And then we taught them to torture. We teach everyone to torture, because they never thought of this on their own, nor would they know how to do such a thing.
              And it's just amazing what we extract from Italy and Germany, whose dictatorial puppet regimes bend to our will.
              As you say, horse shit.
              It's hard to name ANY murderous tinhorn dictator of the 20th century, from Pahlavi to Marcos to Batista to Pinochet to Diem to Somoza (both of them) to Duvalier (both of them) to Noriega to Zia to Mubarak to Suharto to Saud to Saddam Hussein, that we did NOT prop up and defend from their own people.
              As for the murderous tinhorn dictators we did not prop up, well, we can start with Fidel Castro and Mao, and go on to Enver Hoxha. Peron was a mixed case, I suppose, as was Mugabe. We were surprisingly uncuddly with Nasser. Angola belongs in a class by itself. But there, that ought to get you started.
              •  thanks for not answering any of my points (0+ / 0-)

                You're right, the USA is an angel in a white hat.

                Cheer louder.  (shrug)

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:34:05 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  ps--perhaps you are not aware (0+ / 0-)

                that the USA for decades interfered directly with elections in Italy, Germany, France and Spain, so parties that were "unfriendly to US interests" would not win.

                As for the murderous tinhorn dictators we did not prop up, well, we can start with Fidel Castro and Mao, and go on to Enver Hoxha
                Since you cannot possibly be this dumb, I will assume you are simply being deliberately obtuse. But on the off chance that you really are this dumb---we, um, support dictators who support our interests.  Not dictators who don't.

                PS--I find your statement pretty funny given that our BFFs in China are the current unelected Communist Party single-party police state. As long as they let Pepsi and GM build factories there.

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:41:03 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Your points were answered (0+ / 0-)

                  You claimed that the U.S. set up client states for domination and exploitation. I showed you that this contention certainly does not hold in all cases, suggesting that your model needs work.

                  You claimed that it was hard to name "ANY" (your extreme emphasis) murderous dictators of the 20th century not supported by the US. I gave you several. Another model that needs work.

                  But instead of revising your own failed contentions, you decided to sneer about angels in white hats. Particularly dumb, as I was very explicit that the US need not be such an angel, making that the second thing I didn't say for which you take me to task. Work on those reading skills, would you.

                  As one who spent most of 10 years working in Italy, I could probably teach you quite a bit about Italian postwar politics. But here, all I need to do is to point out that dictatorships in Germany and Italy were toppled and democratic regimes put in their place. The US certainly strongly supported Christian Democratic movements, but I know of no evidence that elections in Italy, say, were anything but free, and certainly both the PSI and the PCI attracted substantial voting blocs and elected regional governments. Kinda strange imperialism/colonialism, non è?

                  Really? You want to bring in China as...what? A dictatorship whose existence is owed to U.S. government support? Now, that's really funny.

                  BTW, maybe you should also bring up Japan, where we conquered and then set up a dictatorship under the emperor, in order that we might extract their resources put in place a democratic regime. Lordy lord—we are such inept imperialists!

                  •  you're right. everyone loves us (0+ / 0-)

                    because of our unswerving support for democracy everywhere, and our unstinting fight against dictatorship everywhere.

                    And all our military bases are there to protect everyone from . . . something.

                    USA !! USA !!! USA !!!!

                    In the end, reality always wins.

                    by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:24:42 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Nice rant. So not the point. (0+ / 0-)

                      But so clearly the best you can do in the absence of, you know, evidence, well-supported points, all that mysterious stuff.

                      Since you seem to be pretty far out of the loop—those military bases were put in place largely to dissuade the USSR from going any farther in the direction of European subjugation than it had gotten already. Silly us. Especially now that we know that Russia would never militarily threaten anyone outside her borders.

                      Please, never lose that charming innocence.

                      •  perhaps you haven't noticed that the USSR (0+ / 0-)

                        has not existed for a quarter-century, and the Cold War ended a long time ago . . .

                        Oh, and you may want to remind me when is the last time anyone militarily threatened the other 140-odd nations that we have military bases in.

                        Russians gonna invade them all too . . . ?

                        In the end, reality always wins.

                        by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:09:35 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Subtle points (0+ / 0-)

                          1) You may not have noticed the use first of USSR and then of Russia. Sorry for presuming that you could follow that distinction.

                          2) Many in the military strategy biz are convinced that stationing troops on foreign bases acts to prevent threats.

                          3) The discussion concerned Germany, Italy, and Japan, and those were the bases I was referring to. I'd say they are still useful, as would the Europeans and Asians generally—the former who worry about Russia and the latter looking over their shoulders at China and N. Korea.

                          But why are you off on this tangent? If some bases are useful, keep them. If not, close them. End of story, and nothing to do with your unsustainable contentions about imperialism, dictators, and the like.

                          Squirrel!

                          •  odd, isn't it, that only the US seems to have (0+ / 0-)

                            bases in 150-odd nations . . .

                             . . . and absolutely NOBODY else has any bases HERE.

                            PS--I'd sure like to hear about the "threats" faced by all of these 150 nations that we have bases in . . .  

                            PPS--Russia is not the Soviet Union. But at least you didn't declare "China" to be the big bad threat oh noez, like most military apologists do. China has no military bases outside its own borders. Russia has one, IIRC--in Syria. (Though to be fair Russia has not yet moved many of its bases out of the former Soviet Republics--I guess they're "protecting" them from "threats" too.)

                            In the end, reality always wins.

                            by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:45:02 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The price of eggs (0+ / 0-)

                            Where the USA has military bases is undoubtedly an interesting topic, but has no bearing on what was under discussion. Store up your sarcasm until that becomes a thread topic. Until then, I'm gone. Ciao.

                          •  if you say so (shrug). I always find it funny, (0+ / 0-)

                            though, how every empire in history that ends up with its military roaming all over the planet--Rome to England to the US--ALWAYS manages to convince itself that it is acting totally defensively . . . . . and yet it keeps invading country after country after country . . . . .

                            In the end, reality always wins.

                            by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:37:43 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Russian Bases (0+ / 0-)

                            Just to help you keep up on things.

                            Russia is planning to expand its permanent military presence outside its borders by placing military bases in a number of foreign countries, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.
                            Shoigu said the list includes Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, the Seychelles, Singapore and several other countries.
                            “The talks are under way, and we are close to signing the relevant documents,” Shoigu told reporters in Moscow.
                            http://en.ria.ru/...
                            HAVANA (Reuters) - A Russian spy ship slipped into Havana Bay for an unannounced visit during a period of turmoil in Ukraine and displays of military strength elsewhere in the world.

                            The Viktor Leonov SSV-175, part of the Vishnya class of intelligence ships, quietly entered Cuban waters earlier this week and was docked at a cruise ship terminal on Thursday, its crew casually taking in the view of the old colonial section of the Cuban capital as passers-by gawked.

                            http://articles.chicagotribune.com/...
                          •  "plan to build" is not the same as "has" (0+ / 0-)

                            And they still have one hell of a long way to go to get anywhere near what we have--we have over 900 bases outside our own country, more than the entire rest of the world put together, doubled.  Russia has, uh, one, and "plans" on a few dozen more.  When Russia spends even one-third as much on their military as we do on ours (currently we spend six times as much as they do), then I'll begin to worry about them as a global force.

                            Russia is not the USSR. Putin may dream it is, but it's not.  (shrug)

                            In the end, reality always wins.

                            by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:19:55 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

  •  I do not care if this offends people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro

    One of my favorite lyrics in a song I loved "back in the day" said: "War....what is it good for".  Since then the U.S. has been involved in so many military actions overseas I have lost count.  Why in the hell do we continue to get involved in other country's internal problems?  I'm speaking specifically to the military involvement.  I'm talking about the U.S. issuing threats if one country gets militarily involved in another country.  

    Democrats for years have been against America getting involved with other country's military interventions.  We not only have no business involving ourselves in this latest Russian involvement in Ukraine, we have no right to intervene even if we pull out the "UN card".  We also can not afford to start sending ships and mounting military build ups in our military bases all around the area and such.  Aren't we reducing the size of our military because of fiscal restraints?  

    This might offend someone here and I am sure someone will have a very good reason why we should be sticking our noses in this mess.  But, in my humble opinion, we need to stay the fuck out of this and for once, let another country solve their own internal AND external problems.

    •  What is it good for? (0+ / 0-)

      More like who is it good for.  We can't stop the corporate shadow government that make all the decisions regarding war.  It will do what it wants to do which is make money off the blood and treasure of the US.

      Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

      by tobendaro on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:06:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As "The Saker" writes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, BigAlinWashSt

    The Vineyard of the Saker:

    It looks like the US and the EU have overplayed their hand in Ukraine.

    ... The leaders of the USA and the EU have to now understand that they are playing with fire and that this is not a "Ukrainian" problem: now they themselves are at risk of ending up in a war against Russia, possibly a nuclear one.  And even if they never admit to that publicly, they need to at least have to courage to admit to themselves that they themselves created that situation and that the responsibility for it is fully theirs.
    Many more details at the link above.

    Col. Pat Lang, an experienced and knowledgeable gentlemen at Sic Semper Tyrannis, in a comment, writes ... "I think an occupation and annexation of at least part of Ukraine is likely."

    Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

    by truong son traveler on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:00:37 AM PST

    •  His analysis is colored by his ODS: (0+ / 0-)
      That is yet another absolute and TOTAL DISASTER of the Obama Presidency.  This man is as dishonest, as he is mediocre, arrogant and reckless and I hope and pray that the US Joint Chiefs are going to have a "frank exchange of views" with him as soon as possible.  In an ideal world, the Congress should have impeached that despicable loser, but since they are even worse then him, it is for the JCS to act.
      I don't know this guy's background, but his bedwetting reaction to Russia's unanimous vote authorizing Putin to use military force is silly.  He betrays his ignorance of Russian government by likening it to a unanimous vote in our own congress.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:33:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One thing the Russians will never forget (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, Stude Dude

    The 1918 Siberian 'Intervention."

    That doesn't justify anything, but the only Russian/Soviet invasion of the U.S. has been fiction.

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:01:59 AM PST

    •  I'm interested in what the Russian people think of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo

      this new muscular Putin approach to foreign policy.

      •  40 minutes ago live in German TV from Kiev (4+ / 0-)

        and evaluation of the situation in Kiev a German correspondent (whom I know personally) says, that more and more Ukrainian young men enlist to for a potential fight against a Russian invasion. The Russian media "prepare" the Russian population for a possible invasion of the Ukraine with reports,which are then refuted by the

        Russians say that there is an exodus of Ukrainians at the border from the Ukraine to Russia. Around 140000 Ukrainian civilians had applied for asylum in Russia, saying as well that there are signs of a "humanitarian catastrophy".

        That was refuted and judged as an Russian attempt of propaganda. Ukrainian border patrol says the numbers of Ukrainians crossing the border are completely normal.

        In addition there were reports that the right-wing nationalist leaders among the Ukrainians (radical group Pravy Sektor (Right Sector), Dmitry Yarosh) had asked the right-wing terrorist Doku Umarov for help in the fight against a Russian invasion. (by RT) These reports have also been refuted, saying that the website of Umarov had been hacked.

        After the outrageous message caught the attention of world media, a Right Sector representative has claimed that the movement has nothing to do with the posting and that one of their administrator's accounts was "hacked."
        Nothing more specific than that.

        Pheww. Everything clear as mud. Sigh.

  •  Not happy with Obama (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, judyms9, Subterranean, bibble

    "Responding to reports of Russian mobilization, he said, “There will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.”

    -- there is nothing to back that up.  So why say it?

    •  "costs" as in, (0+ / 0-)

      no more G8 summit, limited economic sanctions, that sort of thing.  Nothing that would stop the Russians from taking the Ukraine.

      His statement struck me as being aimed at appeasing wingnuts as much as being aimed at Putin.  It lacked subtlety and probably shouldn't have been said.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:48:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The guy in the picture is wearing a baklava (0+ / 0-)

    In Baclava.

    Not a very effective mask, I don't see mask bags slung, so they don't seem to be expecting much in terms of riot control, other than using high velocity projectiles. No gloves to protect hands, instead bare hands for better weapon control. Cross them and it will most likely be a bloody mess.

  •  Yea, yea, blah, blah - JOBS, JOBS, JOBS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet

    Putin, Russia, blah, blah....

    The 2014 elections will be about THREE things...jobs, jobs, jobs......

    Democrat..???  Want to hold the Senate and take back the House..?!?!?    Create some jobs.....
    Tea bagger..???  Create some jobs and I will vote for you.!!!

    How much clearer can it be..??????

  •  Soviets Ordered Missiles Launched in Cuba (0+ / 0-)

    It's far too unknown, but the actual peak of the Cuban Missile Crisis came when the Soviets ordered their subs to launch their nuke missiles at the US. It's only because Soviet sub officer Vasily Arkhipov refused to launch that we didn't get armageddon, and we're here to talk about it.

    Kennedy gets far too much credit for handling the crisis. In fact he blew it. His moves gave us Soviet countermoves that, without that one man, would have extinguished humanity and so much else with it.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:45:27 AM PST

    •  Uh, no (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike

      Reread the link. He refused to use conventional torpedoes that may have lead to a broader conflict, possibly ending in the big one. We should be thankful.

      Missile crisis was masterfully handled by Kennedy an his brother Bobby as well as Sec of Defense  McNamara. Lots of bad advice from the generals not followed. A study in steady nerves and good judgement.

      •  Not No (0+ / 0-)

        No, you reread what's at the link:

        The captain of the submarine, Valentin Grigorievitch Savitsky, believing that a war might already have started, wanted to launch a nuclear torpedo.

        That's a nuclear torpedo, not a conventional one. It would have been the beginning of a nuclear war, even if it promptly ended with no nuclear response from the US. Which is exceedingly unlikey.

        Kennedy and his team were one sub officer of three from that launch. They did what they did, and it resulted in a one Soviet officer difference from the start of nuclear war. For whom they cannot take credit.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:09:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It was the sub commander (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike

      who wanted to launch a nuke torpedo in the absence of orders.  They did not receive orders from Moscow.

      Luckily, unanimous consent of three officers was required to launch a nuke, and one of the officers wasn't a bloodthirsty madman.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:07:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Orders from Moscow (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Subterranean
        Three officers on board the submarine – Savitsky, the political officer Ivan Semonovich Maslennikov, and the second-in-command Arkhipov – were authorized to launch the torpedo if agreeing unanimously in favor of doing so.

        That authorization was the orders from Moscow.

        Luckily, Moscow's orders relied on all three agreeing, and luckily one of them disagreed, whatever his reason.

        So Kennedy's handling of the crisis succeeded because of those two strokes of luck. For which Arkhipov deserves credit. Kennedy not so much.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:11:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah, I see what you meant (0+ / 0-)

          I misunderstood and thought you meant Moscow ordered them to launch a nuke.  

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:28:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How They Ordered (0+ / 0-)

            Well, indeed Moscow ordered them to launch a nuke, but the orders allowed them not to launch if even one of them thought it wrong. There's some nuance, and though that nuance mattered (no nuke, no armageddon) those orders were as close to just "launch" as could be (and only one person's conscience away). As far as Moscow goes, it gave the order.

            And as far as Kennedy goes, his handling the crisis gave us Moscow giving the order. Only Arkhipov gave a counter order, and Kennedy shouldn't get credit for that. Arkhipov's conscience decided despite the position he was in courtesy of Kennedy and Khruschev.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:20:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Hungarian revolt: FOUR years after Ike elected, (0+ / 0-)

    not one.

    Also, I would love for Hilary to be Secretary of State. Kerry is honorable, but never manipulative. That's bad for our country, guys! Every secretary of state was manipulative, except for Colin Powell (that was manipulated to go to Iraq).

    Look at Syria and chemical weapons. Look at Iran playing us silly. Look at North Korea playing us silly. The guy is a brilliant human being that slams his head against the wall, without an ounce of cunning. In a world of full of hyenas being the one loud lion would get you eaten up.

  •  Nuclear weapons? (0+ / 0-)

    Any pundit who thinks Obama might or should nuke Putin over Ukraine has multiple screws loose. This is why we didn't elect McCain/Palin in 2008.

    American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

    by atana on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:44:11 AM PST

  •  The most important move that won (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    the Cold War for the United States had little to do with the military buildups on both sides, but with food. When Carter placed a wheat embargo on the Soviet Union, they slowly began to destabilize

  •  Either defcon 2 or partition of Ukraine (0+ / 0-)

    Personally, I prefer partition. Russia wants to keep its fleet in Sevastopol -- it's going to lose its base in Syria

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    Countries like China (and Iran?) will fear a partition of Ukraine

    http://www.theguardian.com/...

    Russia doesn't matter enough to fight it. http://www.theguardian.com/...

    If the cold war starts again, we lose the chance to finally realize a peace dividend: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/...

    I don’t know how big a fight Obama will face on this radical rethink of our military spending. But whatever disappointment I may have over the President’s embrace of the establishment thinking on wiretapping or Wall Street reform, his decisions on foreign policy and defense could be the basis of a legacy that redounds to the benefit of our country for the next century. There are so many signs that an America freed of the burdens of empire can flourish in the next global age of innovation driven by 5 Billion people connected to a global broadband network that will furnish education and commerce at unimagined scale. Perhaps our only fear is that Obama’s successor might not continue to embrace this new defense posture.

    "Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place." -- Mandela

    by agoldnyc on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:39:46 AM PST

  •  american aggression (0+ / 0-)

    Americans worry about Putin? ask the Iraqis about American aggression.

  •  What if Russia throws a nuclear confrontation (0+ / 0-)

    party and nobody goes?

  •  Ross Douthat appeals to LGBT Community... (0+ / 0-)

    Come on!  Why do you have to be such poor winners?!  It's inevitable: SCOTUS will recognize your right to marry.  You've won!  It's only sporting, really, to give this one to all those Christians out there who have been fighting the "good fight".  Don't think of it as Jim Crow...  Think of it as a consolation prize!!  Seriously?!

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