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Edward Luce at the Financial Times writes Putin cooks up Obama’s chicken Kiev moment:

In the dying days of the Soviet Union, President George H W Bush gave a speech in Kiev urging Ukrainian nationalists not to provoke Moscow. US conservatives dubbed it his “chicken Kiev” speech. Having long since been branded America’s appeaser-in-chief, President Barack Obama now confronts his own chicken Kiev moment. Can Mr Obama stand up to Vladimir Putin, the Russian fox circling the chicken coop? It is unclear whether he has the will and the skill – let alone the means – to do so. Yet the future of his presidency depends on it. There can be little doubt that Mr Putin wants to restore the boundaries of the Russian empire. Mr Obama must somehow find a way to frustrate him. [...]

Everything that Mr Obama wants—nation building at home, a nuclear deal with Iran, a quiescent Middle East and the pivot to Asia—hinges on how he responds to Mr Putin. At the start of his presidency, Mr Obama offered to “reset” US-Russia relations. That is now in tatters. Along with many others, Mr Obama has consistently underestimated Mr Putin’s readiness to challenge the status quo. As recently as last Thursday, the White House dismissed predictions of a Russian incursion into Crimea. In a 90-minute phone call on Saturday, Mr Putin hinted to Mr Obama he was prepared to extend Russia’s Crimean occupation into eastern Ukraine. It would be naive to assume he will not.

What can Mr Obama do to prevent it? His starting point must be to ignore the chicken hawks in Washington. Threatening a military response—as Mr Obama’s most trenchant critics are now urging—would be manifestly absurd. There is no US military solution to the crisis.

Matthew Rothschild at The Progressive writes On Russian Aggression and U.S. Hypocrisy:
I just saw John Kerry on Face the Nation about Russia’s invasion of the Crimea, and he was in full indignation mode, saying it was against international law, against the U.N. Charter, and a violation of Crimea’s sovereignty.

But who is the United States to object?

We’ve repeatedly violated international law and other county’s sovereignty as recently as the Iraq War (with John Kerry himself voting in favor of it). And the list prior to that is very long, including direct U.S. invasions of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Dominican Republican, Cuba, Haiti (several times in the twentieth century), Nicaragua (ditto), Panama and Guatemala. The U.S. has also supported coups from Brazil, Paraguay, Iran and Chile to Ghana and the Congo, and it has supported invasions by allies such as Indonesia into East Timor, Saudi Arabia into Bahrain and Israel into Lebanon. (For a more comprehensive list, see William Blum’s “Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II.)

This record of illegal U.S. interventions makes Kerry’s denunciations of Russia’s aggression ring extremely hollow.

You can find more pundit excerpts below the fold

The Editorial Board of the Los Angeles Times states Putin plays with fire in Ukraine:

Secretary of State John F. Kerry is right: Russia's deployment of troops in Crimea is an "incredible act of aggression" that violates express promises Russia made two decades ago to respect Ukraine's territorial integrity. If Russia doesn't reverse course, the United States and countries in Europe should impose economic sanctions. But even as they weigh such measures, the United States and its allies must be willing to show Russia that its concerns can be resolved, in Kerry's words, "according to the standards of the 21st century."

Some of those concerns are legitimate. Ukraine's elected, pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovich, was driven out of office by his own people even after he agreed to reforms and early elections. The forces now in control in the capital of Kiev include some ultranationalists who are hostile to Russian-speaking Ukrainians. Russians remember how Russian-speaking minorities in other former Soviet republics were targeted for discrimination after independence was achieved.

Simon Tisdall at The Guardian sneers that the West's puny response to Ukraine crisis will not deter Vladimir Putin:
Barack Obama has sternly warned Vladimir Putin there will be "costs" for Russia if it continues or expands its military intervention in Ukraine. But the American president did not specify what these costs might be, and this toothlessness, in a nutshell, is the dilemma now facing the US and its allies. Putin does not fear the west. On the contrary, he is once again forcefully demonstrating his deep contempt.[...]

Even if Obama did want to pursue a military option, he would be hard put to make it credible. US forces in western Europe have been cut back repeatedly. The US sixth fleet, headquartered in Naples, is a considerable weapon. But to make any sort of impact in Ukraine, it would have to deploy into the Black Sea via the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus, a move that Turkey would find highly objectionable, and which Russia would regard as a direct threat. [...]

o what can Obama do? He needs Russian help with key foreign agenda items – Iran and reducing nuclear proliferation. He needs Moscow if the Syrian war is ever to be halted. He is short of cash. And, it can be assumed, he lacks public support from a war-weary American public for any new foreign adventure.

Bob Dreyfuss at The Nation writes Vladimir Putin Must Back Down:
It’s outright war propaganda. A statement from Moscow described Putin’s call with President Obama thus:
“In response to the concern shown by Obama about the plans for the possible use of Russia’s armed forces on the territory of Ukraine, Putin drew attention to the provocative, criminal actions by ultra-nationalists, in essence encouraged by the current authorities in Kiev … The Russian President underlined that there are real threats to the life and health of Russian citizens and compatriots on Ukrainian territory. Vladimir Putin stressed that if violence spread further in the eastern regions of Ukraine and in Crimea, Russia reserves the right to protect its interests and those of Russian speakers living there.”
The trick for President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry is to create a face-saving way for Putin to accept the fact that Ukraine, including the disputed Crimea, isn’t Russia’s any longer, and neither the Russian empire nor the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics exist any longer. And the venue has to shift to the United Nations.
The Editorial Board of The New York Times challenges Russia’s Aggression:
There was a lot to criticize about the way President Viktor Yanukovych’s government was thrown out in Ukraine and hurriedly replaced with an interim team. The victorious opposition should have known how critical it was to reassure all groups in that country that their rights would be respected in any new order; instead, one of the Parliament’s first actions was to abolish a law that ensured a legal status for Russian and other minority languages, thus raising fears among Russian speakers that Ukrainian nationalists were taking over.

Yet none of this justifies Vladimir Putin’s cynical and outrageous exploitation of the Ukrainian crisis to seize control of Crimea, nor any other power grab he may be hatching. The United States and the European Union have few effective levers short of military force, which is not an option, to compel President Putin of Russia to back down, but they must make clear to him that he has stepped far outside the bounds of civilized behavior, and that this carries a steep price in international standing and in economic relations. Whatever else they do, the Western powers must provide prompt and substantial assistance to the Kiev government, whose treasury was left bare by Mr. Yanukovych.

The Editorial Board of The Washington Post, so eager to get the U.S. military into Iraq a dozen years ago, calls the president weak on foreign policy without actually using that word in President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy:
The White House often responds by accusing critics of being warmongers who want American “boots on the ground” all over the world and have yet to learn the lessons of Iraq. So let’s stipulate: We don’t want U.S. troops in Syria, and we don’t want U.S. troops in Crimea. A great power can become overextended, and if its economy falters, so will its ability to lead. None of this is simple.

But it’s also true that, as long as some leaders play by what Mr. Kerry dismisses as 19th-century rules, the United States can’t pretend that the only game is in another arena altogether. Military strength, trustworthiness as an ally, staying power in difficult corners of the world such as Afghanistan—these still matter, much as we might wish they did not. While the United States has been retrenching, the tide of democracy in the world, which once seemed inexorable, has been receding. In the long run, that’s harmful to U.S. national security, too.

As Mr. Putin ponders whether to advance further—into eastern Ukraine, say—he will measure the seriousness of U.S. and allied actions, not their statements. China, pondering its next steps in the East China Sea, will do the same. Sadly, that’s the nature of the century we’re living in.

David Ignatius at The Washington Post writes Putin’s error in Ukraine is the kind that leads to catastrophe:
Vladimir Putin has made a mistake invading Crimea, escalating a crisis for Russia that has been brewing for many months. It might have been beneficial if President Obama could have dissuaded him from this error. But Putin’s move into Crimea appeared to spring from a deeper misjudgment about the reversibility of the process that led to the breakup of Soviet Union in 1991. The further Russia wades into this revanchist strategy, the worse its troubles will become.

The Russian leader’s nostalgia for the past was on display at the Sochi Olympics. As David Remnick wrote last week in the New Yorker, Putin regards the fall of the Soviet Union as a “tragic error,” and the Olympics celebrated his vision that a strong Russia is back. That attitude led Putin to what Secretary of State John Kerry described on Sunday as a “brazen act of aggression” and a “violation of international obligations.”

David Sirota at In These Times writes—The Real Welfare Queens:
Entitled “Subsidizing the Corporate One Percent,” the report from the taxpayer watchdog group Good Jobs First shows that the world’s largest companies aren’t models of self-sufficiency and unbridled capitalism. To the contrary, they’re propped up by billions of dollars in welfare payments from state and local governments.

Such subsidies might be a bit more defensible if they were being doled out in a way that promoted upstart entrepreneurialism. But as the study also shows, a full “three-quarters of all the economic development dollars awarded and disclosed by state and local governments have gone to just 965 large corporations”—not to the small businesses and startups that politicians so often pretend to care about.

In dollar figures, that’s a whopping $110 billion going to big companies. Fortune 500 firms alone receive more than 16,000 subsidies at a total cost of $63 billion.

Bob Lefsetz at The Guardian gets deep into Academy Awards hate with his The Oscars are a forgettable pageant for the 1%. Good luck changing that:
The official theme for this year’s Oscars is “heroes”. Once upon a time, movie stars were heroes, people we looked up to, tried to emulate. Now they’re all self-satisfied pricks we denigrate, except for those few who transition to television and do real work.

Kind of like Kevin Spacey, hanging it out there in Netflix’s House of Cards, which is more dangerous than American Hustle and more truthful. Oh, I like Jennifer Lawrence—who doesn’t?—and Christian Bale did a masterful job, but where’s the deeper meaning?

Entertainment. Made to play around the world. Dumbed down so far beyond comprehension that even Americans are flummoxed.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Luce is right that the west miscalculated (13+ / 0-)

    and that threatening a military response would be absurd.  But he totally ignores the west's role in constantly provoking Russia and raising its historical fear of encirclement.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:37:22 AM PST

    •  Crimea's unique position between Ukraine & Russia (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buffie

      makes it not an obvious precursor to actions by Putin

      to restore the boundaries of the Russian empire.
      •  Crimea is not between Ukraine & Russia (7+ / 0-)

        in any geographical sense.  It sits on the far southern border of Ukraine.  Or did you mean between Russia and Russian citizens of Ukraine?

        If the U.S. feels they must do something about the situation inside Ukraine, probably the best thing they can do is work with the new government and try to convince it to quell the fears of Ukraine's Russian speaking population and reassure them that the new government will respect their rights.  The nationalists in the new government can not afford to alienate this population and hope to keep the Russians from coming to their defense.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:34:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I mean Crimea's transfer to Ukraine from Russia, (0+ / 0-)

          and continuing majority in Crimea of Russian ethnicity, and Russian naval base.

        •  AN interesting thought. Wonder where Putin's (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nautical Knots, SueDe

          head actually is on all this?

          I see several folks referring to his mistake in invading the Crimea.  Wonder if he sees it as a mistake?

          From a "cult of me" leader who wishes to restore lost national boundaries, to government+rising industry partnerships to international showcase Olympics to invasion of a smallish area for the benefit if Russian nationals, to a world struggling to recover from economic depression/recession, this whole scenario looks eerily like the run-up to WWII.

          So -- is Putin a reasonable man (for real, as opposed to the vision of some modern-day Chamberlain) or is he a modern-day version of Adolph Hitler -- with the weaponry Hitler always wanted, the weapons that could reach North America?

          Depending on the answer, these could be some very scary times.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:25:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The word I haven't yet heard anyone speak (10+ / 0-)

        Though surely by now someone has.  The word is Sudetenland.

        Russia's excuse that she is invading the Crimea to protect the interests of ethnic Russians there is eerily reminiscent of Hitler's claims that he was invading Czechoslovakia only to protect the German speakers in the Sudetenland.

        It is only an excuse. The real reason is Russia's eternal desire for a port on the Black Sea. And the question is whether obtaining such a port is all Putin really wants, or whether he is pumped up with imperial dreams of a Greater Russia.  Nothing in his history, personality, or demeanor during the recent games is reassuring on that point. But it's possible he's smart enough to realize that big a meal could give the Bear a sour case of indigestion.

        No one is going to confront Putin militarily over this, or over  a wholesale grab of the Ukraine, and no one should. The unknown on the Western side is whether NATO can stand firm against the temptation to provide Putin with an ongoing market for Gazprom - our only real levers at this point being international reputation (for which Putin appears to care nothing, believing that power trumps warm feelings) and economics.

    •  I have never found the encirclement (5+ / 0-)

      theory much more than a justification for Russian Imperialism which has been constant for at least 400 years.

       

    •  LIVE Update from Guardian-UK ... and ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tobendaro, Meteor Blades, IL clb

      link is here.

      Andrew Sparrow has full details on his UK politics blog of the government briefing on Ukraine. A few key points are: ...
      Sparrow's blog link.

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

      by greenbird on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:22:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Didn't the Koch bros fortune begin with (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, rb608, salmo, buffie, IL clb

      their father's involvement in Russian oil development. I really think the west's "provocation" is hardly unequivocal.
      Putin is a criminal mastermind at the head of a kleptocracy.
      That being said, the Russian argument for intervention is understandable.
      This is vintage if not ancient stuff, the involvement of the
      Russian empire in the Crimea, just as their involvement in central Asia is part of the old "Great Game".
      This is a situation that will have to be dealt with diplomatically.
      Putin needs to have his claws trimmed, and Europe has got to confront the neo-nazi problem. They can't let this fester any further.
      I'm with the people who see part of the solution in the rapid expansion of renewable energy.
      Ukraine should be a no-brainer for wind farms.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:18:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The only people wanting us to threaten a military (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rb608, Heart of the Rockies, mmacdDE

      response are the chicken hawks in Congress who would immediately launch impeachment proceedings against Obama if he took their advice in Ukraine/Syria, etc.

      That's an entirely domestic political issue.

      The cold war is on, and its on for the same reasons it was on last time.
      1. Russia.
      2. The West has no appetite for major war right now.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:25:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  USNW Buzzes Bellows' Non-Beltway Bi-Partisanship (5+ / 0-)

    David Catanese in US News & World Report:

    TITLE:

    National Security Drives Maine Race Against Collins

    Meet the U.S. Senate candidate who seems as eager to work with Rand Paul as she is Elizabeth Warren.

    RAGS TO REACH-OUT:
    Democrat Shenna Bellows, a former American Civil Liberties Union leader who grew up without electricity or running water until the fifth grade, is attempting to cobble together a unique coalition of liberals and libertarians to try and upset Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins.
    PERSONALITIES’ PINCER-ATTACK:
    But while she’s been dubbed “the Elizabeth Warren of Civil Liberties” by the liberal Progressive Change Campaign Committee, she also finds herself seeing eye to eye with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on issues of national security and foreign policy.

    “I think he and I do share a lot in common in terms on our perspective on NSA surveillance and the USA Patriot Act and I think it would be very exciting to work with Republicans in the Congress to restore our checks and balances, to restore our individual liberties,” she told U.S. News in an interview.

    •  the libertartians are an odd sort of hybrid (6+ / 0-)

      On social issues and civil liberties, they are enormously progressive. But on economic issues, they are rightwing troglodytes. Sort of a weird hybrid between Mikhail Bakunin and Ayn Rand. That's why the libertarians often come here looking for new recruits, emphasizing things like civil liberties and anti-war views.

      But as soon as they open their mouths that unemployment insurance is communism and social security should be abolished because free market!, they lose us.

      It's almost schizophrenic.

      Yes, we can work together with them on social issues.  But on the fundamental issues of power and money, liberals and libertarians are fundamentally incompatible.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:01:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I actually don't see ... (5+ / 0-)

        that many libertarians "enormously progressive" on social issues ... it seems like they always emphasize only the economic libertarianism and are absent on the social issues.

      •  .... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude, rb608

        I don't think it's that schizophrenic.  Libertarians preach less government intrusion to the extreme.  So they're thoughts on economic issues (while screwy and wrong) are from that running theme,  as are their take on most social issues and security issues...  They agree on the same outcome, just have different reasons for it.

        •   libertarians are in essence rightwing anarchists. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nautical Knots

          It is often said that the far-right and the far-left curve around and meet each other.  If so, then "anarchism" is where they meet. There are actually two distinct schools of anarchism which really have virtually nothing in common other than the name: on the one hand is the "individualist" school of anarchism, which is basically the philosophy of the 17-year old male ("I can do whatever I want and you can't tell me what to do!") That is the libertarian wing. Then there is the "collective" school of anarchism, which is basically socialism without the Leninist centralized state/party. That is the wing of people like Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, and . . . well . . . me.

          :)

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:28:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Libertarians are largely consistent in advocating (0+ / 0-)

        limited roles for government in economic and social areas.  Essentially, governments role should be limited to providing rule of law ( courts to enforce civil contracts and police protection to protect lives and property), defense from invasion and a limited set of services.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:05:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes, they are consistent. Nutty, but consistent. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nautical Knots

          The whole "government is evil" and "free market" nonsense leads inevitably to corporate domination of everything (as indeed it already has), since the only entity potentially large and powerful enough to control corporations are governments--and the libertarian loonies want to dismantle governments.

          When you let rich and powerful people do whatever they want, they will do . . . well . . .  whatever they want. (shrug)

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:25:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the roundup, MB (19+ / 0-)

    Someone--can't remember whether it was you or Greg Dworkin--said the WaPo never met a war it didn't like. I think that's going to be true in this case too.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:40:50 AM PST

  •  WE got nuthin......in Technicolor!!...... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, rb608, salmo
    •  And 70mm 6-Channel Dolby Surround Sound! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skillet, rb608

      Sorry.

      Just thinking about Steam Punk Space Opera fanfics this morning and what they would be like if they were a product of the '70s....

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

      by Stude Dude on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:19:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not so sure this is true: (6+ / 0-)
    Threatening a military response—as Mr Obama’s most trenchant critics are now urging—would be manifestly absurd. There is no US military solution to the crisis.
    But if we're going to do it, I do think it's time to get the Panzers tuned up and ready to go.  It's a hell of a long way to Stalingrad and starting too late in the spring will make it impossible.
  •  The Washington Post is the chickenhawks' bible (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, lineatus, Greenfinches, buffie

    Bush I understood spheres of influence and balance of power.  Something succeeding presidents have not.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:43:19 AM PST

  •  Deeper Crimea autonomy within Ukraine could (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rb608, salmo

    be better for Putin than removing Crimea from Ukraine and thereby making Ukraine into a smaller but strongly anti-Russian country.

  •  From the NYT yesterday - Putin, out of touch (18+ / 0-)

    with reality, per Merkel.

    Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told Mr. Obama by telephone on Sunday that after speaking with Mr. Putin she was not sure he was in touch with reality, people briefed on the call said. “In another world,” she said.
    As Soonergrunt put it at Balloon-Juice. There are two ways to look at this revelation, neither is good:
    I don’t know what bothers me more–that Merkel said that she thinks the leader of one of the most powerful nuclear armed states in the world, who has embarked on a very dangerous course of action is not playing with a full deck, or that staff thought that this was something that needed to be put out into the world.
  •  Yeah, this I don't like. (15+ / 0-)
    Dumbed down so far beyond comprehension that even Americans are flummoxed.
    You can never go wrong calling Americans in toto ignorant fools. The Europeans love it in that it feeds their cultural superiority complex, we love it because it's always those other Americans being talked about.

    You know, those dumb Americans waddling around the Uffizi or the Orsay in their mismatched polyester. Nothing like you and me, dear reader, in our charcoal cashmere turtlenecks.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:56:10 AM PST

    •  American TV (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare, tobendaro, StrayCat, rb608

      Proof Americas' IQ is somewhere south of 90.

      Legal means "good".
      [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

      by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:16:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You mean shows such as... (7+ / 0-)

        "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," "House of Cards," "The Wire," "The Sopranos," etc.?

        Yeah, I know, there are a lot of "CSI: The Real Housewives of Honey Boo-Boo"-type shows out there, but there are a thousand channels and 24 hours a day to fill them.

        It all can't be "Playhouse 90."

        How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

        by BenderRodriguez on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:45:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I expect people who are....habituated to TV (5+ / 0-)

          to be defensive of it.

          I have never watched any of those shows but there are 10 shitty ones for every half-decent example you can cite. And not including the sub-universe of 'talk shows'.

          I don't call my friends and gush endlessly about the last happenings on Game of Thrones.

          I hated 24 long before other did.

          The TV is technology with vast promise, but is enslaved to selling products people don't need and the rest of the time it is focused on making people believe stupid shit so they will vote for stupid people, against their better interests.

          So, currently, TV is a vast wasteland, its potentially completely hobbled at the behest of capitalists.

          Legal means "good".
          [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

          by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:52:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Think we'll find Bigfoot this season? (4+ / 0-)

            and if we do, will Honey Boo-Boo give it fleas?

            Legal means "good".
            [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

            by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:55:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's difficult for an instrument of (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Stude Dude, dinotrac

            communication to be very fulfilling when the communication is only one-way.  I do plenty of talking to my TV (and sometimes swearing), but it never seems to respond.

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:16:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ham radio + TV = worldwide communication. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SueDe

              Imagine each person having access to a TV transmitter. Sort of like the internet is now.

              The People having access to a TV station would be an utter disaster for the America we know and is why protecting TV stations is a high priority in the PATRIOT Act.

              TV controls American thought (by broadcasting or blacking out particular topics).

              Control the TV - as conservatives do - and then just sit around waiting for Bigfoot to be captured.

              Hey...American Idol! WOOOOOOOO!

              Legal means "good".
              [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

              by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:51:59 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  If you don't actually consume culture (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BenderRodriguez

            you're hardly in a position to comment on it.

            High-horse much?

          •  Remind me to toast your intellectual superiority (0+ / 0-)

            as soon as I can figure out what a toast is and where I can buy a good box of wine.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:35:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Might as well use a Mexican coca cola (0+ / 0-)

              I don't drink wine, either.

              Not even from the finest box.

              Don't let my internet commentary distract you from consuming the finest entertainment ever invented.

              Legal means "good".
              [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

              by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:48:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Can't afford the finest entertainment ever (0+ / 0-)

                invented.

                That would be, depending on mood of the moment,
                polo (even as a mere spectator),
                sailing,
                theater (almost any kind),
                skads and skads of fireworks,
                etc.

                Fortunately, there's enough good stuff on TV and the internet to fill in. And -- it's also great fun to sing and play when one has the energy and nobody's shouting at you to shut up.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:56:27 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Hear, hear! (4+ / 0-)

          Yes, there's a lot of crap on US TV these days, but the good far outweighs - in both quality and quantity - nearly any other popular art form coming out of America today, and this "golden age" is a good 10+ years old and going.

          And my baby's my common sense, so don't feed me planned obsolescence.

          by vadasz on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:56:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Television often outshines movies these days (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hillbilly Dem, MBNYC, BenderRodriguez

            It's where the good writers are going,  and for good reason.  Movies have now become a huge international spectacle.  Good writing rarely has a place.

            On the other hand, television is more personal, and gives you plenty of time to tell your story.

            Lots and lots of junk, to be sure...but, as others have pointed out, lots of time to fill and they can't all be winners.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:37:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Tired old cliche... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mmacdDE, Peace Missile, MBNYC

        ...about how dumb American TV is.

        Folks have been prattling about the intellectual vacancy of American TV longer than I've been alive (see Newton Minnow's famous "vast wasteland" speech in the early sixties), and the criticism is as unfair today as it was then.

        Yes, there are vast quantities of junk on television -- that true in the US, and it's equally true in every other country (note that some of the most insipid reality show concepts are actually licensed from European broadcast networks).  

        But as has often been observed, 99% of everything is crap -- if you started at one end of a bookstore and just started looking at everything that is on the shelves, you would be apalled about the amount of garbage that is being published.  But we don't look at a bookstore that way -- we go to the sections that interest us, and ignore the stuff that we don't care about.  Same thing with television -- if you look at what is good and ignore the rest, there really is a surprising amount of good television programming to choose from.

        But what it requires is that the viewer seek out those shows, turn on the TV to watch the particular programs that they like, and then turn it off when the show is done.  In other words, use television in the same way that we might use other sources of information and entertainment.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:17:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Speak for yourself. (0+ / 0-)

        143 here, thanks.

        Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

        by MBNYC on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:55:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Uffizi? Orasy? (5+ / 0-)

      I'm going over to that creation museum in Kentucky!

      The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

      by Hillbilly Dem on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:41:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  ... (0+ / 0-)

      There are d-bags in every country.

    •  You ever watch Euro TV? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmacdDE, MBNYC

      Not. Good.

      •  It's crap too. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Peace Missile

        I just do not like this broad assumption, especially in certain declining ex-colonial countries, that Americans are of necessity stupid.

        It's a self-serving fiction along the lines of being Athens to our Rome. Too many Americans buy into it for my taste at least; 'cultural cringe' I believe is the term.

        You want to see dumb? Fly to any European summer resort when the Germans march around in socks and sandals or the British win any drinking game without even trying.

        We're actually not all that bad in the aggregate, and believe me, my best times in Europe were spent with other Americans. We have the confidence to laugh at ourselves.

        Okay, end of pet peeve :-)

        Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

        by MBNYC on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:06:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  As peeves go (0+ / 0-)

          That's a good one to have. Rational self-examination of society has to be both ways or what is the point anyway?

          And I can't take seriously someone mocking the US while drinking Budweiser on the east side of the atlantic.

          Australians in the UK tend to be ok though.

          It is better to be making the news than taking it; to be an actor rather than a critic. - WSC

          by Solarian on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:57:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  And by the way, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MBNYC

      weren't Orsay and Uffizi those two nitwit sons of Saddam Hussein?

      The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

      by Hillbilly Dem on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:14:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Penny Pritzger on Mojo: (13+ / 0-)
    paraphrased quote:  I've talked to 1000 (small?) business owners in the last [timeframe] and they tell me time and again, they simply cannot find the workers trained to fill the job openings they have.
    This is the crap that absolutely kills me.  Businesses can't find the perfectly trained workers they need because they won't hire them, then train them.  Yes, there are often basic skillsets necessary to even be trained effectively for a given job.  But so many employers have completely outsourced job training, expecting to simply find fully-trained, experienced workers.  

    There are plenty of workers, and plenty of jobs they could work, if businesses were willing to spend more time actually training people on the job again.  Quit expecting fully-formed prime of their skills workers, and invest in actually training workers and providing them a paycheck and a work environment that will make them loyal and willing too spend their careers with you.

    Businesses want to fully outsource the cost of training workers onto the backs of government - ie, taxpayers.  They want to make us pay for every bit of our own job training, while they keep all of the money they aren't spending on it for shareholders.

    •  ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rb608, nextstep

      The problem stems in the perception of making that commitment and then having the employee leave after a year.  It's becoming more and more common, especially with younger workers who have no issues with job hopping every year or so to move up economically and in job status.  And it is working more and more.   I was raised to stay a few years and those quick leaps are bad but that is starting to become obsolescent.  

      Not defending the whining, but that's a factor that needs to be consider in the equation.  How do you train them without guarantees they stay?  

      •  Ask for guarantees when you hire them. (8+ / 0-)

        And give them incentives to stick around.  Right now, if I were simply offered the standard salary for a new nurse, I'd sign a 3 or even 5 year contract.  But people WANT job security.  They often don't 'hop' because they want to, but because they're not given any reason to feel any loyalty to an employer that seems to feel no loyalty to them.

        •  Exactly right. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, dinotrac

          If a company trains a new employee, and that employee becomes good at their job, that's great; but now that company has a competent worker, it needs to compensate with new challenges and commensurate salary.  If they do, the worker will stay.  If not, it's their own fault if he leaves.

          You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

          by rb608 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:03:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The plutocracy brought this on themselves (4+ / 0-)

        Today's young adults see how the previous generations were treated. People who put in years of loyal service were eliminated like so much outdated equipment. The corporate world had no loyalty and the youngsters learned. Get the best deal possible because no else has your back. And promises? Not worth the paper on which they are written.

        A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

        by slatsg on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:38:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Spot on. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slatsg, dinotrac

          We grew up in an era when loyalty between employee and employer was reciprocal.  Our advice to our adult children is look out for yourself.  Today employers consider you fungible.  Or a drag on profitability.

          •  I live in Michigan (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies

            I witnessed it many times.

            Union contracts? Pensions? Health care agreements? Not a problem. Declare bankruptcy and they magically disappear.

            A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

            by slatsg on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:48:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I spent 8 years in corporate America (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies

            and lived through two lay-offs in two years before I figured out that no one was going to take care of me, and I had to take care of myself.  That was in 1980.  And that's when I started working for myself, first in an independent contractor capacity, then starting my own business.  Eventually I owned five businesses, and then sold them all and retired.  The trick, at least for me, was in amassing a large network and carefully choosing mentors.  Those mentors taught me more than any corporation was going to be willing to to teach me, my being a woman and all.

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:40:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  They wanted "right-to-work"... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mmacdDE

        ...then they bitch when workers actually exercise that "right" and leave for better offers?

        I don't have a problem at all with leaving a company behind for a better offer, no matter the time frame since I joined.  They'll make it worth my while to stay or they'll find a replacement for me.  The second I'm not needed anymore, they'll lay me off, so why should I give a crap about them and their needs when they don't reciprocate?

        Everyday Magic

        Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
        -- Clarke's Third Law

        by The Technomancer on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:15:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And the stockholders appreciate it. (3+ / 0-)

      They appreciate it so much they're willing to pay millions of dollars to their companies' CEO's, even if the CEO's don't keep their companies' products and services from losing market share.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:20:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oddly, one criticism of Costco by investors is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SueDe, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

        that they pay their employees too much money.

        The former CEO -- don't know about the current one -- took a proof is in the pudding position: We are making money hand over fist. We must be doing something right.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:41:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  During my last stint of unemployment, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

      I was sitting with the jobs 'counselor" looking at the list of factory openings. There was one for quality control at a potato chip plant.
      "I'd like to apply for this" sez I.
      "They won't hire you, you don't have any experience."
      "It says 'entry level' position." sez me.
      "You need to have experience before they will hire you".
      "How do I get experience if they won't hire me for an entry level position?"
      ~~~~~~"You get a job like this one!"~~~~~~
      badaboom. We were there all week.

      Only thing more infuriating than an ignorant man is one who tries to make others ignorant for his own gain. Crashing Vor

      by emmasnacker on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:35:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Disingenuous, too. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SueDe, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

      Lots of highly experienced older workers who have adapted over and over to the demands of new technologies and new ways of doing things.

      Bring some of that talent in and let them do what they've done before -- change with the times!

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:39:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Color me confused (6+ / 0-)

    on Luce. Who is President Obama supposed to be? The wimpy guy who doesn't stand up to Putin? Or the pragmatic one who doesn't threaten Putin? It's paywalled which may explain my lack of understanding.

    Having long since been branded America’s appeaser-in-chief, President Barack Obama now confronts his own chicken Kiev moment. Can Mr Obama stand up to Vladimir Putin, the Russian fox circling the chicken coop? It is unclear whether he has the will and the skill – let alone the means – to do so.
    and later
    His starting point must be to ignore the chicken hawks in Washington. Threatening a military response—as Mr Obama’s most trenchant critics are now urging—would be manifestly absurd.
    •  Confusion would be the new black (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hulibow

      if everybody read this excerpt.

      Absent a hole in the paywall, I can only figure that Luce understands perfectly well there is nothing substantive Obama can do, or should do; he wants his readers to give him credit for being wise enough to understand that; and he wants to retain some sort of punditocracy credit, which can only be retained by calling Democrats, especially the Democrat in chief, a bunch of sissies.

      On the other hand, if he were that sort of pundit, what the heck would he be doing in The Guardian?  In the immortal words of the imaginary king of Siam: "Is a Puzzlement".

  •  I despise the Matthew Rothschild attitude (18+ / 0-)

    Of course our hands are not clean, but does that mean we have to wallow in a fit of self imposed paralysis?  As of September 1938, we had massacred and starved most of our Native Americans, launched a war of aggression against Mexico seizing 55% of their country, and had more recently invaded and occupied Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Nicaragua.  The British and the French had between them invaded and occupied most of Africa and much of Asia.  But does that mean that, in September of 1938, the three western democracies were right not to stand up to Hitler?

    No I do not favor military action against Russia.  I'm merely denouncing this mindset.

    And Kerry and Hillary Clinton voted for war in an act of political cowardice.  Both cast their votes to protect their presidential ambitions.  Kerry's vote would come back to haunt him in 2004, and haunts us today every time we get an obnoxious SCOTUS ruling with Alito and Roberts in the 5-4 majority.

    "Corporations exist not for themselves, but for the people." Ida Tarbell 1908.

    by Navy Vet Terp on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:07:42 AM PST

    •  What mindset? Rothschild is not (0+ / 0-)

      saying we should never ever go to war.  He's pointing out Kerry's and the United States's blatant hypocrisy.

      That hypocrisy was on full display after WW I and many think had a part in the start of WWII.  If we hadn't humiliated Germany and assessed reparations that exacerbated the depression, there might not have been fertile ground for a Hitler and Nazism to develop.  Also at Versailles, Woodrow Wilson told Ho Chi Minh to go pound sand when he wanted support against the French colonialists.  Maybe if we hadn't been such hypocrites (national determination for you but not for you) there wouldn't have been a Vietnam War.

      •  Humiliating the Germans and reparations (0+ / 0-)

        Was more the doing of the French and the British, Lloyd George and especially Georges Clemenceau.  Wilson wasn't thrilled about it, but kept making one concession after another to save his precious League of Nations.  The strain and  personal agony that Wilson suffered as he saw his vision of world peace and national self-determination vanish led to his stroke.

        "Corporations exist not for themselves, but for the people." Ida Tarbell 1908.

        by Navy Vet Terp on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:33:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. Since when does "We screwed up (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SueDe

      badly, led to many deaths and destabilized a region" mean that it's ok to do it again -- for us or anybody else?

      A more production approach might be "We went down that path and regret it deeply. Let us help you work this situation out. Let us put what we've learned from our tragic mistake to good use on your behalf.

      A lot depends on whether or not Putin is Hitler, of course.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:45:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Realpolitik (0+ / 0-)

      Of course, morally Kerry is blowing out his ass. But I don't think Kerry is talking morality to Putin -- why would he?

      It's like his 'global test' mistake where he doesn't frame clearly and gets pounced on.  The 19th century reference is on point.  Europe spent the 19th century setting the stage to destroy itself in the 2 World Wars. Our actions have been horrible but nothing we've done has been as catastrophic or self-destructive as the Napoleonic or World Wars.  And our biggest disasters, Nam and Iraq, were 19th century-style stupid.  Brzezinski described Iraq as a "colonial war in a post-colonial era", innately doomed to fail.

      I think of Japan. First they imitated the European powers.  After their imperial dreams were crushed, they chose a radically better path. Today their economy is bigger than Russia's and they don't even have an army.  If Putin wasn't a clumsy brute stuck on repeat, he could compete at the table with the E.U. and he wouldn't be in this mess.

  •  so Bob Lefsetz is apperantly shocked, I tell you, (6+ / 0-)

    to learn that Hollywood is capable of ignoring real-world issues and giving us entertainment, glitz, and distraction instead. I don't know who Lefsetz is, but how can anyone comment on Hollywood who never saw a Busbie Berkeley film, or Fred Astaire, or all those socialite dramas, or a comedy of just about any type, or Star Wars? What an idiot.

    Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

    by p gorden lippy on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:11:20 AM PST

  •  Procedural democracy "go start a party" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro, mmacdDE, dinotrac

    I have been following the decline of democracy in Turkey for about a year.

    There was such hope in a Muslim country moving toward democracy, but corruption and power have taken over. The Prime Minister, Erdogan, is hell bent on maintaining power and is taking the country down and his political party as well.

    There have been criticisms from the EU, USA, UK and others of the direction of Turkey.

    There are local elections at the end of March and if Erdogan's party has a sufficient showing, the march toward strong man rule will continue.

    I have been reading from a Turkish paper todayszaman.org and find the discussion of democracy and other topics well done.

    Here on DK there has been a lot of "procedural democracy"  which roughly translates that what matters is the votes and who are the winners, rather than say, the rule of law. Here is something from Turkey that has themes applicable to USA.

    Another serious manifestation of Turkey's democratic deficit is the minimalist understanding of legitimacy by constraining it to electoral success. It has become a habit for members of the government to dismiss any criticism by pointing out the number it received. Such a “Go and start a party!” attitude indicates an immature understanding of democracy that does not match the expectations and dynamism of our society. Turkey can hardly make any meaningful progress unless it goes beyond the procedural democracy mindset that currently dominates the realm of politics. What is even worse is that even the electoral version of democracy is full of flaws as it functions on a highly problematic election mechanism where the deputies are powerless vis-à-vis their leaders.

    The time has come for Turkey to develop a whole new political architecture that recognizes and welcomes all legitimate entities, both vertically and horizontally. To elaborate, by vertical openness I am referring to civic actors who possess a certain level of social legitimacy and a universal right to have a say on decisions that will affect their lives. Horizontal openness, on the other hand, is about opposition actors on the political spectrum who lack executive power but enjoy political legitimacy. It is only by going beyond the outdated "winner takes all" mindset that Turkey will ensure no citizen or group is left a political orphan.

    Turkey's democracy deficit
  •  No military solution = capitalists haven't looked (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    geez53, bygorry, Stude Dude

    hard enough.

    There is ALWAYS a military 'solution', depending on how you actually define "solution". And that "solution' will line some rich person's already well-lined pockets.

    It would be UnAmerican to let a crisis go unexploited and deprive the wealthy of further wealth.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:19:33 AM PST

  •  Luce's bullshit quote: (7+ / 0-)

    "Yet the future of his [Obama's] presidency depends on it."

    Uh, no.

    Failure to Publicize Acts of Hatred Only Allows Them to Fester and Metastasize.

    by BoxerDave on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:25:09 AM PST

  •  What the Oscars REALLY think about their viewers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, dinotrac

    Am I the only one who found the skit in the (endless) build-up to the actual Awards show incredibly contemptuous of the at-home audience?

    In the skit, a young celebrity (he looked familiar but I can't remember his name) climbs out of the TV and into the living room of the slobbiest, piggiest couple and berates them for tweeting an insult about an actress onscreen. The husband hasn't shaved for days and the wife has orange fingers (which are shown in extreme close-up) from gorging on Cheezy Poofs.

    What's the take-away: if you're not a gorgeous film star/celebrity, you're a pathetic loser? Hooray for Hollywood!

    You can't stop progress (or is that "profit"?)

    by Miscweant on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:33:20 AM PST

  •  The right time for war? (0+ / 0-)

    All these anti-war comments are ridiculous. People seem to think war is a game. Stop the knee-jerk reactions and kumbaya and get real.  This is not “World of Warcraft” or a football game.  This is about world domination, forrealzies.

    Iraq was a war of convenience; a war we should never have fought, but our cowboy President lied, and dragged our nation into it. It's a shame Americans must bear. The American people should hold those responsible accountable, but that hasn’t happened, yet, and we should be ashamed.

    Because of that shame, Americans are willing to give up our status as a superpower in the world? Just close our eyes to the suffering of others, or ignore atrocities and aggression of other nations, or turn our back on our agreements, making our word and our commitments as meaningless as Putin's word?  

    What gives you the right to ridicule our country, our own President, and cheer for another country, because we didn’t go after our own war criminals? What kind of person will cheer for the spy that took classified information to Putin?

    Somebody is going to be the world’s greatest superpower. Who do you want that to be? If it’s somebody else, do you think they care more about you than the corrupt, imperfect, dysfunctional American government?

    Nobody cares about you, and your opinion is only important on the day you vote, and the right wing is trying their best to minimize that impact.

    When a justified war comes, it's not by choice. It's not convenient. It's never the right time. It often looks like it’s "none of our business".

    When Hitler was building up his forces, and committing atrocities in Germany, America heard rumors of his mayhem and aggression.  But, America had her own problems, as the Republicans had brought on the Great Depression, and deprived veterans of their entitlement payment (bonus army).  The country was in no mood for war.  "No more war", "We can't afford it", “ It's not the right time”, “It's none of our business", “Let Europe deal with it” was the talk of the day.

    Germany, Italy and Japan formed a pact in 1937, to further their individual interests in expansion, conquering new territory.  As Hitler expanded his territory in Europe, Japan moved into Indochina, provoking oil sanctions from the USA and Britain. Japan decided to provoke the USA, planning to negotiate for oil.  They bombed Pearl Harbor.  

    We never saw Pearl Harbor coming. We were not prepared. We thought we could sit on the sidelines, and let “those other people” have their war, while we chose economic sanctions  and verbal condemnations, not wanting to get our hands dirty.

    Now, we see Bashir al-Assad using chemical warfare on his own people, and a proxy world war being fought in his own country.  He has the largest stockpile of chemical weapons in the world.

    Putin has a port in Tartus, Syria, and is quietly providing weapons and support to al-Assad, while “graciously” stepping in between the USA/United Nations and al-Assad, to handle the chemical weapons, that never seem to make it to be destroyed.  Some called Putin a hero, coming to America’s aid, avoiding a war – NOT!

    America was in no mood for war. "No more war", "We can't afford it", “It’s not the right time”, “It's none of our business", “Let the Middle-East deal with it” was the talk of the day

    Suddenly, there’s unrest in Ukraine, where Putin has a port in Crimea.  The despised and deposed President Yanukovich runs to his owner, Putin for safe harbor, and Putin exploits the situation, leading an incursion into the former USSR country, against all treaties and international law, KNOWING the Americans don’t have the stomach for a fight.

    "No more war", "We can't afford it", “It’s not the right time”, “It's none of our business", “Let Europe deal with it” is the talk of the day

    Yeah, all that is history, and we now live in the 21st century, when everyone is enlightened, and everyone has what they need, and no one wants war, and SZSCCRRREEEECHZEE!   Oh, wait, back to reality.

    We now live in the age of instant information and a population explosion leading to food and water shortages, climate destabilization and the greatest transfer of wealth (robbery) from the people to the elite, in the history of mankind.

    Don’t kid yourself.  Every action taken by governments, the elite, the rich, the powerful is about world domination.  We need to either get in the game, or prepare to be owned.  America may not want to go to war, but we can not hesitate to fight back against an aggressor, before it has a chance to snowball.

    America is the world’s greatest superpower, and we’re not always wrong. If the war is not convenient, or it’s not a good time, or we can’t afford it, or it is in response to aggression, or to put down a cruel dictator, perhaps that’s the right war for a superpower to fight.

    •  PJ Parker's bluster (0+ / 0-)

      Maybe there is a silver lining to this perhaps being a "right war for a superpower to fight".  Should there be a war, this one will be a very short one, once nuclear tipped missiles start flying.  It will then be easy to many war hawks on both sides bending over and kissing their ideologies good bye, along with much of the rest of humanity  Perhaps this will be a fitting ending for a species that hasn't been able to get its act together anyway.

    •  tl;dnr. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, Laconic Lib

      I started to, but quickly realized it was all just hippie punching and nothing new beyond scolding and sneering, and nationalistic jingoism.

      •  I am a hippy (0+ / 0-)

        Seriously? I am an old hippy. Come up with another lame blame.

        I'm just tired of the Bush apologists who have a knee-jerk reaction to the word "war".

        There's another cowboy loose in the world, and he has nuclear and chemical weapons. He has perpetuated an incursion against a nation we are sworn to protect, and he thinks Americans will not support Obama because of Bush.

        In your case, he's right.

        •  Nope, he's not. (0+ / 0-)

          What I do not support is military action, whether by the US or by Russia.

          Military action is passe.

          A united economic action by the world against Russia would be far more powerful.

          •  Putin didn't ask for your support (0+ / 0-)

            It doesn't really matter what you want.  Putin ignored all laws and agreements and made his military action against Ukraine, his host for his seaport, against all agreements to the contrary.

            He now intends to widen his incursion to all of Ukraine, despite your wishes and opinion.

            The UN, and all the countries of the G-8, have denounced Putin's action (except of course Russia), and threatened economic sanctions, which will be a real hardship on Europe, since they get their oil from Russia.

            Aside from Europe and the G-7, and the UN, America has an agreement with Ukraine. Do you suggest we simply walk away from that agreement? (Budapest memorandum)

            If we turn our back, what message does that give to the rest of the world about America?

            BTW, if it were easy, or simple, it would already be done.

            •  Well bless your heart. (0+ / 0-)
              Do you suggest we simply walk away from that agreement?
              Nope, as I've said in many comments, I say we hit him where it actually hurts, in the pocketbook.  Not do something stupidly 19th century that actually unites his country behind him in jingoistic nationalism.
              •  Putin is seizing Crimea (0+ / 0-)

                Putin has used the crisis in Ukraine as an excuse to seize Crimea.  He intends to build a bridge from Russia to Crimea to make the seaport part of Russia.

                He is in violation of the treaty he has with Ukraine concerning the use of that port.  He is in violation of every international law, by an act of aggression against a sovereign nation.

                Putin has pretty much told the world you can't trust Russia, you can't trust Putin, and whatever agreement you have with Russia is meaningless.

                There's an emergency meeting of the UN security council at 3 PM EST

          •  Military action is passe only when everybody (0+ / 0-)

            agrees that it is passe.

            Wouldn't be surprised if 1930s Europeans had the same outlook.

            What we see now is that Vladimir Putin does not consider military action passe.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:49:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I have no doubt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac

      that if one were to poll a sample of Americans, a majority would probably be against military intervention in the Ukraine.
      Being the world's "superpower" doesn't always mean dropping bombs or invading when something happens that we don't like.

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

      by skohayes on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:14:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not a matter of what we like or don't like (0+ / 0-)

        We have a sworn duty to protect Ukraine from Russia.

        Russia has a sworn duty to abide by international law and their own agreements with former Soviet countries. Russia has chosen to tell the world their word means nothing. The world is taking note of that, and reevaluating every agreement they have with Russia.

        This is the United States of America. We don't back down from our obligations just because we change our mind or it's too hard or we're not in the mood to honor our commitments.

        Do you?

        •  Uh, yes, we do (0+ / 0-)

          We change our minds all the time, we break agreements, we look the other way when some strongman takes over, until he does something to piss us off and then we're all OMG he's so horrible!

          There's not a hell of a lot we can do about this. Putin knows it. The rest of the world knows it. Ukraine knows it.

          Apparently you don't, but that's ok. Go ahead and think we can do something if it makes you feel better.

          •  Prove it (0+ / 0-)

            "We change our minds all the time, we break agreements, we look the other way when some strongman takes over,"

            Prove it.  I don't care what happened before Obama took office, because I don't expect his foreign policy to reflect an act of attrition for Republican malfeasance.

            Show me how Obama has changed his mind all the time, or broken an agreement with a foreign country, or looked the other way, afraid of a strongman.

            You're just lying to make your argument. That' should be a clear indication to you that you have no argument.

            It's not about winning an argument on the internet.

            Figure out what your afraid of, what you know is true, and which country you want to rule your life.

        •  We have a sworn duty to protect the Ukraine? (0+ / 0-)

          Since when?

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

          by skohayes on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:30:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Overheated rhetoric on Crimea (4+ / 0-)

    is to be expected right about now.

    One thing that I think is clear is that this is not about Obama or the U.S. This is a highly complicated situation that would best be served by letting the president do his job. And please, can idiots like Lindsey Graham just shut up?

    This is not Hungary 1956 or Czechoslovakia in 1968.

    Oh yeah. We have had a bit of a military intervention habit ourselves.  Lets see, an incomplete list would include Panama, Greneda and Iraq.

    •  Exactly, this is not about Obama. (3+ / 0-)

      The Ukrainians elected a crook who robbed them blind (I'm being polite; he's also slaughtered a bunch of people).  His fleecing led to huge economic problems in the Ukraine about which the European Union did absolutely nothing to help float the Ukrainian economy. Viktor Yanukovych was then toppled, not by an election, but by far-right Ukrainian neo-Nazi thugs who hate Russian-speaking people (cuz, ya know, neo-Nazis are xenophobic and all that). Which has given the despot-like Putin to run to aid the despot-like Viktor Yanukovych and his supporters.

      Putin looks tough to the locals there (and he is), but he has gotten himself into an ugly, messy quagmire.

      All of which has nothing to do with President Obama.

      The Russian government did little but watch as the United States stupidly and illegally invaded and destroyed Iraq. Which was smart on Russia's part. Our Iraqi invasion cost the United States dearly in many, many ways. Now it's our turn to watch as Putin walks into the quicksand of Ukrainian politics.

      Failure to Publicize Acts of Hatred Only Allows Them to Fester and Metastasize.

      by BoxerDave on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:00:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just as we watched when the ussr walked into (0+ / 0-)

        The quagmire of Afghanistan. Then we picked a side, and we all know how well that worked out.

        And when we did the same thing 30 yrs later they just shook their heads and laughed. Served us right, I'm sure they thought.

        It's absurdly easy now for resistance movements to destabilize a country, look at how they've overthrown govts in the Middle East and Africa. Military might is pretty useless against that kind of thing, unless you just go in and kill everybody and repopulate with your own people.

        Which isn't very likely anymore.

        •  Strange thing is if Kleptocrat in Chief Yanukovych (0+ / 0-)

          had let the demonstrators in Kiev alone and had not turned his Golden Eagle (Berkut) thugs loose on them, slaughtering  scores, he would probably still be president. From what I've been reading he was not that unpopular in the Ukraine.

          Like I said above, this is no black and white, good guy, bad guy crisis. Way too complicated for simple answers. Sadly, so many of our politicians are seemingly without any sort of nuance. And you just know the Rethugs will use this as another club to beat the president with.  

  •  Military solution is possible! (4+ / 0-)

    First step: Introduce a budget authorization in Congress to raise taxes to pay for military intervention in the Black Sea and Persian Gulf/Arabian Peninsula.

    Second step: Start slinging the cruise missiles.
    My guess is the first step will shut the chicken hawks up.

    Then we can get on with solving this problem diplomatically, this time with American Senators involved in the solution.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:55:48 AM PST

  •  The best, last. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes
    Threatening a military response—as Mr Obama’s most trenchant critics are now urging—would be manifestly absurd. There is no US military solution to the crisis.
  •  Cold War Rhetoric (0+ / 0-)

    OMG, Putin has a missile gap and a billion little Red Chinese at his disposal!  Quick kids, get under your desks and put your hands over your heads!  He wants to take away your freedom and make everyone eat cold borscht in the snow.

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:14:40 AM PST

  •  Memory & the 99% (0+ / 0-)

    The Oscars are many things, few good, but contrary to what The Guardian's Mr. Bob Lefsetz says, they are anything but forgettable. I still remember Liza Minelli's laughable performance of "What's New, Pussycat?" back in the 60's, Sacheen Littlefeather and David Niven's streaker in the 70's, Rob Lowe rocking out with Snow White and Madonna's pitiable attempt to sing live and in tune in the 80's---the cavalcade of awfulness seems to be endless. In contrast, no one remembers Stalin's big number at the 18th Party Congress. The Guardian and Mr. Lefsetz should lighten up or at least focus on the problems raised by the Windsor Inbreds before criticizing America's version of rapaciously royal bad taste.

    •  Most of them are forgettable, and even (0+ / 0-)

      the ones you claim aren't are best remembered by what was written about them or viewing short clips. To watch hours of mind numbing boring celebrity self-congratulation in the hopes for a tidbit of interest is not worth the time.

      We lasted a full 10 minutes last night after having not watched any for a decade at least.

  •  Back here at home, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE

    Boehner makes noises about legislation (I hear the House has scheduled another vote to repeal Obamacare):

    The speaker was discussing immigration, but he could have been referencing any number of policies his GOP members want to bring to a vote—tax reform, health care, privacy, and welfare reform among them. Republicans want action, but it's becoming clear that most of these will share immigration's fate: Principles will be shared and a discussion will be had, but a vote will not.

    Tax reform is the latest example. Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, made a splash last week by introducing a long-awaited overhaul of the tax code. Many conservatives have eagerly anticipated Camp's proposal for three years, and are now agitating for a vote. "If this is a really powerful document that can rally a bunch of support in the party, then what's to stop us from having a vote in the House?" Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina said of Camp's tax plan.

    Boehner's response when asked about Camp's plan on Wednesday: "Blah, blah, blah, blah."

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/...

    Note this is from the National Journal, not some liberal media rag...

    Here's another funny paragraph:

    The one major issue that Boehner's strategy won't apply to is Obamacare. Conservatives have demanded action—and were promised votes—on an alternative to the Affordable Care Act. Majority Leader Eric Cantor earned applause in Cambridge when he guaranteed an Obamacare replacement plan, and is beginning to meet with colleagues to piece something together. Cantor is widely expected to deliver.
    Cantor has yet to deliver anything to the House, especially when it comes to an alternative to the ACA, because his Tea Party caucus is currently running the show.

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

    by skohayes on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:22:35 AM PST

  •  Kmart/sears merger, Russia style. (0+ / 0-)

    So fail-ish state incorporates failed state, and gets what?  Reminds me of the merger of struggling sears and struggling Kmart.

    The dossier on my DKos activities during the Bush administration will be presented on February 3, 2014, with an appendix consisting an adjudication, dated "a long time ago", that I am Wrong.

    by Inland on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:47:17 AM PST

  •  Rachel's blog said it best: (0+ / 0-)

    This is not Putin playing chess. This is Putin throwing the chessboard in the air and having a tantrum.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:48:12 AM PST

  •  Here's the challenge (0+ / 0-)

    Putin has some significant tactical advantages in the eastern Ukraine.  These include support among the population and a lot of forward military units.  This makes him think that he can act there with impunity.

    The problem is that he's already pretty much Westernized the regime in Kiev.  There is zero we can do militarily, but I don't doubt that Kiev will have any difficulty finding someone to keep their military supplied.  Neither the Russian nor the Ukranian army are very well trained or motivated but the Ukranians will be motivated; most of Russia is opposed to intervention and this isn't the Soviet Union where Putin can completely hide the opposition.

    And it's unclear what will happen when the body bags start coming back to Russia.

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