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At The Nation, Bob Dreyfuss weighs in on the tensions over Crimea with The Fatal Flaw in Putin's America Policy:

Obama’s moderation vis-à-vis Russia continues even after the takeover of Crimea. Despite fierce pressure from hawks—for the latest, see the open letter to Obama from virtually the entire neoconservative movement calling on the president to “strengthen Ukraine, isolate Russia, and strengthen NATO”—Obama has responded judiciously to the Russia-Crimea action so far, imposing a very limited set of sanctions and avoiding anthing like Cold War rhetoric. Hopefully, that means that the White House is still committed to diplomacy with Russia, and to continuing business-as-usual over Iran, Syria, and other hot spots.

But all bets are off if Russia moves into eastern Ukraine and/or Moldova, or acts elsewhere along its periphery in supposed defense of ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking cities of the former USSR. In that case, the hawks will almost certainly get what they want.

In the wake of 9/11, just about everyone hawkish, authoritarian, and police- and surveillance minded politician, agency and authority in the United States hauled out their wish list and used the 9/11 attacks to justify getting what they wanted: more money for the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence agencies, an expanded FBI counterintelligence division, new domestic powers through the Patriot Act and other laws, more money for police intelligence units, and so on. So today are the same folks using the Crimea events to appeal to Obama for their own, updated laundry lists: more money for defense, expanding NATO, reinstalling missiles in eastern Europe, more military aid to Poland, the Baltic countries, and other former USSR nations, boosting military spending in Europe, and even semi-irrelevant issues such as accelerating U.S. exports of natural gas to compete with Russia in Europe and approving the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada.

For now, Obama can resist most or all of that pressure. But if Putin moves beyond Crimea militarily, he’ll cave in to the hawks on most of what they want—and the world will be launched into, well, not a Cold War exactly, but a prolonged, hostile relationship with Moscow that will probably only end when Putin is toppled by a domestic, democratic movement.


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2010Strategy Memo: putting a silver lining on GOP obstructionism:

As debate on the reconciliation "fix" bill winds down and Senate Democrats have been unifying around a strategy of defeating all amendments (including a public option amendment, which is why we won't see it offered) so that the bill remains intact, I've been wondering whether that strategy could or should change if a Republican amendment were somehow adopted despite the plan.

The adoption of any amendment anywhere along the line would make the question of whether or not the reconciliation bill would have to go back to the House moot. Any change would send the bill back to the House. So if the bill were amended at any point, it would basically be costless to attempt to send the bill back to the House with a public option attached.

But it now occurs to me that the points of order the Republicans are threatening might not be handled until the end of debate on the bill and any amendments, so it may well be the case that Democrats are able to prevail against all amendments and keep the bill intact until that point, and only after the opportunity for amendments to be offered had expired would any of the changes that points of order could force actually be made. So it could be that supporters of the public option in the Senate would feel constrained from offering it until it was too late. The "costless" opportunity to add it by amendment might arise only after amendment time had come and gone.

But if the bill does have to be amended due to Republican points of order, that just creates an opportunity for public option supporters in the House. Yes, the path of least resistance at that point would be for the House to concur in the Senate's changes and pass the reconciliation bill without further amendment. But if the House is going to have to take another vote on the bill, it might as well extract some price for it.


Tweet of the Day:

Dan Snyder can't bring about structural change to the economic plight of Native Americans. He can only offer a slur and some coats.
@jasoncherkis



On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin joins us for the morning chatter about Hobby Lobby, Nate Silver, Chris Christie, etc., before turning to Radley Balko's latest on his "warrior cop" theme, E.J. Dionne, Mike Konczal and even Greg himself on the persistent Republican fantasy of "voluntarism." Afterwards, we double back on the "warrior cop" issue, and then back to Hobby Lobby for a look at just how wrong this whole thing really is.





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Comment Preferences

  •  1,005,768 registered users on dKos now. (20+ / 0-)

    Here are the 10 newest registered users on dKos.  Hope to see their comments and diaries here soon!  (If they're not spammers.)

    Consolia (user #1,005,759: spammer)
    Hilario192vq
    hodo22
    Ryan9516vvv4
    hodor22
    James3725gwm9
    rplinpa
    tomyoung703
    James3692ugr9
    Ryan5048qkc5


    And since our society is obsessed with numbers that end in a lot of zeros as milestones, here's a special shoutout to users:
    #1,005,500: Alexander1086jqw1
    #1,005,600: Joseph1470rfs0
    #1,005,700: Daniel6814ylx2

    We've added 320 more users in the last 24 hours.  There's definitely been a recent increase in spammers in the last couple days.


    And for your Diary Rescue music pleasure, here's the biggest contrast in a group's song stylings, possibly ever.  Here's the intensely powerful "Say Something" from A Great Big World, with Christina Aguilera.

    And then here's A Great Big World's "Everyone Is Gay".

  •  Today in Ron Paul fan nuttery... (8+ / 0-)

    My friend says when sharing a graphic from the libertarian Facebook page Statist Idiot of the Day:

    Being Liberal is hands down one of the most intellectually dishonest pages on Facebook. The problem with anyone who pushes for more government intervention in any aspect of the market, especially including a set forced wage at what you emotionally feel is a good wage for the current situation (why $11/hr? Why not $100??), is that they refuse to look into the actual past historical examples, logic, and the most basic of economics when pushing for their beliefs. What's mind blowing is the fact that proponents of forced wages would never want to cut taxes to get more money (which would actually yield them more than higher forced wages) but would instead prefer to destroy the dollar even faster with their backwards, illogical and emotional beliefs that have never worked and will never work. The laws of economics don't stop where your emotions start, sorry. Government intervention in the market only creates negative problems, not positive solutions.
    Yes, Statist Idiot of the Day, who writes illuminating thoughts like this:
    There are 1.8 million people around the world that work at McDonald's- and about 750,000 work in the US. They profited $5.5 billion last year. The CEO made $8.75M. If the CEO's pay was divided between employees each employee would make around $11.67 more per year- and I can be certain that on average McDonald's employees spend over $11.67 a year on weed.
    He's also PRAISING the Koch brothers for the money they spend on philanthropic causes, citing this National Review piece from Deroy Murdock.  Because capitalism, that's why.
  •  How Long Did it Take to Topple Stalin With a (11+ / 0-)

    democratic movement? We think Putin will fall in short order because...?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:38:40 PM PDT

    •  Because magic. And stuff. n/t (7+ / 0-)

      If you don't watch news, you're un-informed. If you watch Fox news, you're mis-informed. (paraphrasing Mark Twain)

      by edg on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:45:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Beat me to it. I was going to quote and ask when (9+ / 0-)

        and how.  Russians are not going back to what they know of capitalism and "democracy":  some of the worst yrs of most of their lives.  Remind yourself that in the American political environment, Putin could be a very successful American politician.

        If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu.

        by CarolinNJ on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:06:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No doubt (5+ / 0-)

          In an American politics, Putin would be in lead for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination right now.

          Remind yourself that in the American political environment, Putin could be a very successful American politician.

          “I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they're out there and it really bothers me.” ― Kurt Cobain

          by Jeff Y on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:13:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I wouldn't confine his opportunism and smarts, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LinSea, techno

            be honest, he's a master of maneuver, to the republican party.  There are plenty of Putins eyeing the main chances across the political spectrums of every country.  Putin is just a brilliant example of a human type and happened to be in the right place at the right time for himself.  Truthfully, Russia was in terrible condition after the capitalist MOTU worked their black magic and if it hadn't been Putin, it would have been someone like him.  Russia needed rescuing from predatory exploiters and the system reverted to stability around its historic cultural genetics.  Apples don't fall far from any tree:  consider the socioeconomic means America and Britain and Spain and and and and and continually revert to.  Altho decades of severe abuse seem to be able to distort cultural history, as is evident in Africa and probably native Americans; but a dominant cultural set will (almost) always assert itself and Russia reverted to its mean very quickly.  I have to think a lot of Russians thank god for that.

            I got an email from some petition org urging that Russia be struck from hosting some sports event:  I'm being vague because the details didn't stick.  But the hypocrisy of any American raising the flag over Russia's Crimea behavior is obscene:  Afghanistan, Irag, Libya, Syria...........just for starters.  And Afghanistan, Irag, Libya, Syria are in ruins.  Crimea is not.

            If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu.

            by CarolinNJ on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 11:14:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Putin's probably the most popular (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CarolinNJ

          Politician on the planet.  His approval ratings in Russia are well north of 70%—15 YEARS after he first appeared on their national scene.  Just because historically illiterate 'Merikuns don't like him doesn't mean his countrymen don't.  

          •  This is how they celebrated his re-election (0+ / 0-)
            How's that for a little history lesson?

            There is no existence without doubt.

            by Mark Lippman on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 01:27:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Their brief, disastrous acquaintance with American (0+ / 0-)

            style economic rip off will carry Putin to an honored grave.

            If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu.

            by CarolinNJ on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:26:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It may be Koch's dream, but not American (0+ / 0-)

              We're not the great society we were in the 1960s, but I don't remember any massive selloff of government properties. Even Reagan wasn't that much a deregulator; and even if he had sold off all the dams the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Tennessee Valley Authority to cronies for rockbottom prices, that wouldn't have come close to Yeltsin's version of an American Style economy.

              Also, even if you don't have an "Enemy of my Enemy" attitude yourself, you should be aware that many Putin apologists do, and I'd appreciate it if you showed that you're criticizing Neoliberal economics and not covering Putin's real faults.

              Freedom's just another word for not enough to eat. --Paul Krugman's characterization of conservative attitudes.

              by Judge Moonbox on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 08:18:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Patriotism, the last refuge of a scoundrel. (0+ / 0-)

            It may be that Putin's the most popular politician around; but his actions show that he has to manipulate every feeling to get there.

            He responds to critics of his thieving by jailing the critics. He tries to use every pressure point, every gimmick to win a landslide election.

            As for the Ukrainian crisis, are the Union of Right Forces any more typical of Ukrainian voters than Vladimir Zhirinovsky is of Russians? Putin doesn't want people asking the question, so he shuts down the media that raise it.

            Lastly, he goes to war when there's no other way to distract people from his corruption.

            You may be right that Putin's the most popular., but that doesn't mean that he still would be if Russians knew the truth.

            Freedom's just another word for not enough to eat. --Paul Krugman's characterization of conservative attitudes.

            by Judge Moonbox on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 08:34:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  50+ years after bugs bunny (4+ / 0-)

      I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

      by JML9999 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:08:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The thing that gets me is, apparently most of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      techno

      the Crimea would prefer to be reunited with Russia. They may not like Putin, but they sure prefer him to the Ukrainian opposition.

      And that was decided by a vote. About as democratic as you can get, unless somebody has evidence that the result was the product of fraud.

      Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 10:13:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Climate Change (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, LinSea, Jeff Y, 714day, KJG52, ozsea1

    Fairly interesting video discussion of the media and why Americans have a hard time believing in climate change - from University of Chicago (Booth School)

    http://www.chicagobooth.edu/...

  •  I'm in Manhattan until tomorrow a.m. (8+ / 0-)

    I had the treat of meeting fellow Kossacks tonight (special guest Chacounne). Food and company a delight.
    We have a damned fine bunch of folks in this virtual community - bright as buttons, smart as whips, etc., etc., etc.

  •  MSNBC highlights: Russia and missing airliner (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, 714day, JML9999, Oh Mary Oh, laurnj, ozsea1

    So we finally know what happened to the missing Malaysian airliner.  Chris covered it with Eunice Yoon and Clive Irving.  Lawrence talked with Ian Williams, Robert Hager, and Anthony Roman.  And Ed talked with Kerry Walsh and Keith Wolzinger.

    The other big news was the latest developments regarding Russia and the rest of the G7.  Chris blasted Mitt Romney for patting himself on the back over this.  Rachel had on Ryan Grim.  Lawrence had on former ambassador Michael McFaul and Steve Clemons.

    There was also the report Chris Christie's lawyers gave that claimed Christie was absolved of everything, supposedly.  Chris covered this with Paul Butler.  Rachel had on Steve Kornacki.  Lawrence had on Matt Katz.

    And you NEED to watch Lawrence O'Donnell honoring Dorothy Height, who got a Google Doodle for today in honor of her 102nd birthday.  (She passed away in 2010.)

    Chris also talked with Irin Carmon about the Supreme Court taking up the Hobby Lobby birth control mandate case, and what it could mean.  Ed also covered it.  Chris also talked about Duke Energy's pollution issues with state rep. Pricey Harrison (D-NC), and on oil spills with Kate Sinding and Dan Dicker.  Rachel also covered the latest in oil spills.

    Rachel also covered the ruling that allowed gay marriages in Michigan for a few hours before the Republicans who control the state government stepped in to get a stay on the ruling.

    Lawrence also covered the horrific mudslide in Washington state with Lt. Gov. Brad Owen (D) that has killed at least 14 people, with possibly over 100 more still missing.  (BTW, note the URL I have to use for that link.  The original links get redirected to the main page now, but if I attach the video's specific number to another clip from Chris or Rachel's show, then it works.  Don't ask me why.)

    Ed talked about the latest in good news for Obamacare enrollments with Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Dr. Corey Hebert, and about the budget battles with the GOP with Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY).  He then blasted Newt Gingrich for some of his Internet fearmongering.  He then talked with Bob Shrum about Nate Silver's midterm prediction that Democrats will probably lose the Senate to the GOP.

  •  Police kill homeless man for the crime of camping (8+ / 0-)

    "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 Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:53:52 PM PDT

  •  cold war (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, LinSea, CarolinNJ, JML9999, laurnj

    Both Putin and the American industrial and intelligence military complex need a cold war. Americans and Russians will fall    for it as always.

    Russia tried American capitalism and  created a few billionaires.

  •  This takes balls (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, MTmofo

    “I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they're out there and it really bothers me.” ― Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:06:46 PM PDT

  •  Will the hawkish (5+ / 0-)

    always find an excuse to be hawkish?

    'A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit' Greek Proverb

    by janis b on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:12:39 PM PDT

  •  Ahhhh "Chainsaw Dan" Snyder ... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, LinSea, JeffW, Calamity Jean

    for true!

    For too long, the struggles of Native Americans have been ignored, unnoticed and unresolved.
    As a team, we have honored them through our words and on the field, but now we will honor them
    through our actions. We commit to the tribes that we stand together with you, to help you build a
    brighter future for your communities.
    parodied here better than I can

    HAHAHA! Deadskins!! Lmao #redskins #suck #photooftheday

    "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro"

    by gravlax on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:13:02 PM PDT

    •  So he listened and heard what he already (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gravlax, JeffW

      believed...

      Wishing not to demean sincere efforts to assist tribal needs from wherever they may spring; still, removal of the slur is needed as well. Jes' sayin' and IMHO.

      Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

      by LinSea on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:22:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Netroots Radio Presents... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, LinSea, Eric Nelson, Pluto, ozsea1
    Justice Putnam Self-Portrait / copyright Justice Putnam

    The Justice Department is on Netroots Radio.com Sundays 8pm to 9pm Pacific and Mondays 9pm to Midnight Pacific. Powered by Unity Radio Net!

    I'm Special Agent DJ Justice; Radio Host and Program Director for Netroots Radio.com; and I'm manning the dials, spinning the discs, warbling the woofers, putting a slip in your hip and a trip to your hop.

    The playlist for Monday 24 March 14 9pm to Midnight Pacific Edition of The Justice Department: Musique sans Frontieres

     ~~ "I Was So Proud Not To Feel My Heart" ~~

    1 - Gil Scott-Heron -- "Jose Campos Torres"
    2 - Midnight Oil -- "Beds Are Burning"
    3 - Siouxsie and The Banshees -- "Cities In Dust"
    4 - Wall of Voodoo -- "Factory"
    5 - Style Council -- "With Everything to Lose"
    6 - Ghostland Observatory -- "Stranger Lover"
    7 - Chumbawamba -- "Jacobs Ladder"

    Station Break

    8 - Cat Power -- "The Moon"
    9 - Kate Bush -- "Lily"
    10 - Band of Susans -- "The Last Temptation of Susan"
    11 - Igor Stravinsky -- "Elegy for Solo Viola"
    12 - Nina Simone -- "Wild is the Wind"
    13 - Philip Glass -- "Kyokos House"
    14 - The Cranberries -- "Linger"

    Station Break

    15 - Los Straitjackets -- "University Boulevard"
    16 - Laika and The Cosmonauts -- "Salt Mine Twist"
    17 - The Mermen -- "Sponge Cookie"
    18 - Daikaiju -- "Farewell To Monster Island"
    19 - The Calm Blue Sea -- "We Will Never Be As Young As We Are Tonight"
    20 - Seabear -- "In Winters Eyes"
    21 - Yatu -- "La Luna"

    Station Break

    22 - Stereolab -- "Cosmic Country Noir"
    23 - Beth Orton -- "She Cries Your Name"
    24 - Josh Roseman Unit -- "Long Day Short Night"
    25 - Horace Silver -- "Song For My Father"
    26 - Hank Crawford -- "Whispering Grass"

    Station Break

    27 - Poncho Sanchez -- "Besame Mama"
    28 - Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros -- "Mondo Bongo"
    29 - Tin Hat Trio -- "Fear of the South"
    30 - Milladoiro -- "Alala das Marianas"
    31 - Souljazz Orchestra -- "Kapital"

    Station Break

    32 - Vangelis -- "Memories of Green"
    33 - Boards of Canada -- "Music is Math"
    34 - Zero 7 -- "Give It  Away"
    35 - Radiohead - "Reckoner"
    36 - Bjork -- "The Hunter"
    37 - God Is an Astronaut -- "Fall from the Stars"
    38 - Hannah Georgas -- "Ode To Mom"

    Who luvs ya, baby?

    The Netroots Radio Player






     photo CrystalRadioKit.jpg

    Listen to The After Show & The Justice Department on Netroots Radio. Join us on The Porch Tue & Fri at Black Kos, all are welcome!

    by justiceputnam on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:13:59 PM PDT

  •  Great Post MB. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, LinSea, Pluto

    Hey everyone I posted this earlier and would appreciate any visitors.

    "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

    by HoundDog on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:15:51 PM PDT

  •  This doesn't sound good for us. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, truong son traveler

    We've already emulated the Soviet Union's mistake of entering the quagmire of Afghanistan.  Now, for good measure, we're on the verge of emulating the Soviet's path to bankruptcy, via an unsustainable peacetime military buildup.

    I'm a Christian, therefore I'm a liberal.

    by VirginiaJeff on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:19:02 PM PDT

    •  Actually, Russia is emulating the Soviet's path (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LinSea, Eric Nelson

      to bankruptcy. We're getting out of the Afghan war that a corrupt, unelected dictator started over 10 years ago.

      If Putin wants to try to recreate the Soviet empire, good luck, when his economy is $2.5 trillion and ours is $16 trillion. He's ruined his country economically and may very well resort to ruinous militarism to hide his failures. But, as the article points out, Obama has stayed calm and acted judiciously so far. There is every indication we will act appropriately in the future.

      Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

      by tekno2600 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:33:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was reacting to this part: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LinSea
        "But all bets are off if Russia moves into eastern Ukraine and/or Moldova, or acts elsewhere along its periphery in supposed defense of ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking cities of the former USSR. In that case, the hawks will almost certainly get what they want."

        I'm a Christian, therefore I'm a liberal.

        by VirginiaJeff on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:41:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, but that wouldn't be a mistake. It would be (0+ / 0-)

          the one of the few cases where they are actually correct. If Putin launches a massive invasion or Ukraine, Moldova, and/or other neighbors, he should and will get a massive response by the United States, NATO, and the entire world. That is is appropriate. I wouldn't even use the word "hawkish" to describe reacting to a clear threat. That's kind of like saying ducking a punch is an act of violence. Don't get me wrong, we won't be in an immediate shooting war, but there will be huge standoff.  

          Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

          by tekno2600 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 10:54:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The article was not about a direct military (0+ / 0-)

            response to Putin. It was about hawks having an excuse to expand our military. We already have a military budget nearly equal to what all other nations spend combined.  Do you really think we need to spend even more?

            I'm a Christian, therefore I'm a liberal.

            by VirginiaJeff on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 08:46:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not about what you think or want. If Putin (0+ / 0-)

              starts a huge war, you can't just say to the NATO allies, "you know, I think we spend too much on the military. If Russia invades and occupies Eastern Europe, that whole Iron Curtain thing is a shame, but we spend too much, so maybe if we just ignore Putin he'll go away."

              So, "excuse" or not, if Putin starts a war, he's going to get a response. And it wouldn't be responsible to just ignore him in the name of being not-hawkish.

              Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

              by tekno2600 on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:17:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I hope President Obama has good advisors (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LinSea, VirginiaJeff
    •  I think the thrust of the article (0+ / 0-)

      Is that we should consider the possibility of Putin acting in such a way that any US military buildup will not be a peacetime military buildup.  What if the probability of that happening depends solely on what goes on in Putin's head and nothing Obama or the United States can do that?

      •  If you read the last paragraph (0+ / 0-)

        of the full article, the implication is not that we will build up for war. It's that we'll build up for the sake of renewed puffery.  We already have a military budget that's about 4x Russia's.

        I'm a Christian, therefore I'm a liberal.

        by VirginiaJeff on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 08:49:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  We hear you voice (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, LinSea

    Get the full story in the diary I just published.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:44:19 PM PDT

  •  Acording to Wa. Bureau chief/HuffPo Ryan Grim.. (4+ / 0-)

    ..the republicans are blocking reasonable sanctions involving reforms of the IMF; holding "dark money" as the hostage. They want the DOJ to stop investigating 501(c)4 before they will allow any solutions (except maybe a bombing campaign) to move forward

    (Ryan Grim begins @ minute 12:00)
    transcript @ link:  http://video.msnbc.msn.com/...

    So we have a very delicate international situation going on in Ukraine and the RWNJ's want to protect their big money donors from any investigation of shady money being funneled into rigging elections.

    Al this while squealing about;

    ..the entire neoconservative movement calling on the president to “strengthen Ukraine, isolate Russia, and strengthen NATO”
    And the chickenhawks want more money for MIC; missles in Europe

    The more neo-cons in government will mean an increased likelihood war - imo

    Thx MB

  •  What is gained by not (0+ / 0-)

    confronting Russia as the hostile nation that it is?

  •  Just wait till Hillary gets in. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, MTmofo, LinSea, tardis10

    The best we'll be able to hope for is that the Republicans will hate her so much that they'll refuse to approve any war she wants.  Kind of like why Obama can't get Social Security cuts. Yes, folks, we're averting horrors with petty spite.

    Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 10:12:00 PM PDT

  •  Wishful Thinking (0+ / 0-)

    It's pure wishful thinking that Putin will ever be toppled by a domestic, democratic movement. How would that work, exactly? Could you imagine a "domestic, democratic movement" toppling our government? The same set of hawks that bedevil Obama would see to it that all the leaders of that democratic movement were rounded up and tortured.

    Russia, I'm sure, has its share of hawks and spy agencies. Anything you think the NSA is doing here, I'm sure their spies are doing there, but safe from any niggling criticism that civil libertarians might offer. Considering Pussy Riot was literally whipped by cossacks (the other kind) for daring to try to sing a song, it's unlikely a democracy movement could retire Putin. He'll be term-limited again, long before that happens. Maybe twice.

    But, yes, it would be a stupid overreach for him to invade Ukraine. He'd be much smarter to consolidate his gains by offering something to lessen the sting of grabbing Crimea. He could start by paying Ukraine for their bases there and restraining the zealots in Crimea. If he moved to protect minorities there he would start to look a bit less like a tired, old dictator.

    There are so many ways to improve things that he might just stumble on something that leads to peace. He'd better. What place does war have in the modern world? Don't we have a bigger problem to worry about?

    •  Yanukovych was toppled by a domestic democratic (0+ / 0-)

      movement very much like our OWS.  The difference was that the Maidan protesters had real popular support because they were fighting against a patently undemocratic administration.

      But, yes, it would be a stupid overreach for him to invade Ukraine. He'd be much smarter to consolidate his gains by offering something to lessen the sting of grabbing Crimea. He could start by paying Ukraine for their bases there and restraining the zealots in Crimea.
      Why?

      Assuming that he has concluded that the US will not fight for Eastern Ukraine, why would it be "stupid overreach" for him to invade Ukraine and take the east?

      All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
      •  The Military Option Is the Only Option? (0+ / 0-)

        Are you saying that unless we're willing to go to war over the eastern Ukraine Putin can just take it without consequences? As long as he doesn't continue to invade places, Obama can probably handle the war hawks here. But if he goes further, he's going to trigger a much larger response. I think that would be stupid and certainly overreach.

        As for the democratic movement that toppled Yanukovych, it's one thing to do that in Ukraine, which didn't really have a stable government, and another thing to do it in Russia, where basically Putin has much more power at his disposal and more popular backing. And Putin may be a smuck and a bully, but I don't think he has a garage full of fancy cars with money he's skimmed off the Russian economy. (Caveat: I don't have any inside information on that.)

        OWS went nowhere, as far as gaining any real power, and the jury is still out on the democracy movement in the Ukraine. The better example is probably the devolution of the USSR. It didn't result in a totally free society, but compared with the Soviet Union it's enormously more democratic.

        But even there the people who were in power (let's say, insiders in the KGB) turned out to be more-or-less in power now (let's say, insiders from the KGB). The more it changes, the more it stays the same, some would say.

        •  What consequences? (0+ / 0-)
          Are you saying that unless we're willing to go to war over the eastern Ukraine Putin can just take it without consequences? As long as he doesn't continue to invade places, Obama can probably handle the war hawks here. But if he goes further, he's going to trigger a much larger response. I think that would be stupid and certainly overreach.
          When you say a "larger response" do you mean a military response?  You seem to be supporting my point.

          I don't think a military response is the only thing that would stop Putin.  For example, I don't think he wants a sudden eastward expansion of NATO into Georgia, Moldavia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia either.

          However, the very calibrated response of the Obama administration so far runs the risk of making Putin feel that he can go further without ruinous consequences.

          Obama could have easily taken sanctions a big step further without major negative consequences for the US.  What about cutting Russia off from all US payment networks?  All of a sudden, all Russian Visa, Mastercard, and AmEx cards stop working.  Foreign tourism to Russia would be gutted.  Russians traveling abroad would be incredibly inconvenienced.  This could have been done with 48 hour notice so Americans currently in Russia could get some cash before the cut off.  

          As for the democratic movement that toppled Yanukovych, it's one thing to do that in Ukraine, which didn't really have a stable government, and another thing to do it in Russia, where basically Putin has much more power at his disposal and more popular backing.
          It would be harder, but as they saw in Ukraine, if the military loses confidence in the leadership then the leadership will not last long.
          And Putin may be a smuck and a bully, but I don't think he has a garage full of fancy cars with money he's skimmed off the Russian economy.
          You really don't know very much about Russia, do you?  See http://en.wikipedia.org/...
          Unconfirmed claims by some Russian opposition politicians and journalists allege that Putin secretly possesses a large fortune (as much as $70 billion[321]) via successive ownership of stakes in a number of Russian companies.[322][323] Nina L. Khrushcheva of the The New School estimates his net worth to be between $40–70 billion.[324] Asked at a press conference on 14 February 2008 whether he was the richest person in Europe, as some newspapers claimed; and if so, to state the source of his wealth, Putin said "This is plain chatter, not worthy discussion, plain bosh. They have picked this in their noses and have smeared this across their pieces of paper. This is how I view this."[325]
          ...
          Furthermore, a massive Italianate-style mansion costing an alleged USD 1 billion[318] and dubbed "Putin's Palace" is under construction near the Black Sea village of Praskoveevka. The mansion, built on government land and sporting 3 helipads, a private road paid for from state funds and guarded by officials wearing uniforms of the official Kremlin guard service, is said to have been built for Putin's private use. In 2012 Sergei Kolesnikov, a former business associate of Putin's, told the BBC's Newsnight programme, that he had been ordered by deputy prime minister, Igor Sechin, to oversee the building of it.[329]
          OWS went nowhere, as far as gaining any real power, and the jury is still out on the democracy movement in the Ukraine.
          Of course.  OWS was never going to get mass support because the American people believe they can change the government by voting.  (I know some here disagree with that, but it does not change the belief).

          In Ukraine, the democratic movement has deposed the previous government.  It got traction that OWS could never get in the US because of the behavior of the government that it opposed.

          •  No (0+ / 0-)

            By "larger response" I do not mean a military response.

            And, no, I don't know a lot about Russia. It's not my area of expertise. What I know about it is what's commonly known.

            Unsubstantiated reports of Putin having billions are interesting, and I would not doubt he's profited from his position. Perhaps that's why he has a habit of putting his competitors in jail if they get too much money.

            But the people who run the United States are also billionaires. As Alvin Toffler pointed out many years ago, the U.S. was destined to become more like Russia and Russia to become more like the U.S. Unfortunately, the kleptocracy seems to have spread in both directions.

            We will see where events take us. My advice to Putin (which is never even going to reach his ears, let alone be considered) is to cool it and consolidate his gains. It's just the smart thing to do. And I do know something of history.

            As for what we should do, the best way for the Obama Administration to send a strong message to Putin over Ukraine would be to pack up George Bush and Dick Cheney and trundle them off to The Hague to stand trial for waging a war of aggression in Iraq. Putin might get the message that there will someday be a new dictator in Russia.

            But that would, of course, really rile up the neo-cons.

  •  I so love the hawks who float majestically (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Eric Nelson

    overhead, even though their presence sometimes frighten the small feathered beings who feed at my patio. And I so hate that their name has been conscripted to stand for warmonger, whose true terrorisms take their toll upon us all.

    Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

    by LinSea on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 11:46:41 PM PDT

  •  I'm watching Jimmy Carter on Letterman (0+ / 0-)

    Good stuff!

    "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 Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 12:06:47 AM PDT

  •  Ukraine Pravy Sector leader Muzychko (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    shot dead. He was also known as Sashko Bili.

    Muzuchko was killed in Rovno, western Ukraine. There are conflicting reports about his death, with some claiming that Muzychko was kidnapped, along with others and then murdered, others relating his death to a shootout at a local café.

    nsnbc international

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

    by truong son traveler on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:40:48 AM PDT

  •  A thought I thunk.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    Not sure if this is logical...or too far fetched...but....as I was reading the diary about Hobby Lobby and "corporate religious rights" I wondered.....

    How long will it be before some corporation refuses to pay taxes on religious grounds? Not like they pay many taxes now...but this argument could get them out of paying any taxes for anything...just like churches.... I know I am stretching it....but we never thought corporations would be claiming religious rights of any kind before now, did we?

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abbey

    by SaraBeth on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:58:50 AM PDT

  •  Exactly the wrong ACA arguments (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, progressives should be running hard on ACA right now. But the arguments I've heard will do absolutely nothing to change the minds of the small wedge in the middle; they honestly could care less that a poor family in the city now has health care. (I may sound crass, but I've talked to so many...)

    We look at the world as if everyone else sees it the way we do. The right thinks that ACA is a sop to get votes for Democrats, and therefore perceives it as a personal threat!

    The one and only argument that has worked at all with my right wing neighbors is "Why do you want to pick up the bill for that guy when he shows up at the emergency room?"

    Get real, run hard, and make the pundits look stupid in November. Remember the deer-in-headlights look Rove had when he found out he had lost?

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