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Saturday, February 01, 2014

OTP - Feb 2014: Politics remains a hurdle for immigration reform

Yet Obama might find his best-chance legislative compromise in an issue that lately has seemed to be on life support: an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.

Curiously, immigration was an issue the president barely mentioned in this year’s speech. Maybe he does not want to interfere with those Republicans who actually agree with him on the need to bring the nation’s millions of undocumented workers out of the shadows.

Bitter Mouse Posted: February 01, 2014 at 04:01 PM | 3524 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   2701. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4664860)
The Soviet conquest of Kabul in that final Golden Year of Progress (1979) took less than 48 hours to complete. Remind us of how that invasion "worked" for the Soviets over the next 9 years.


See also the US in Iraq, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Marching in and holding the land worked great in the 19th century, not so much since then.

But hey regale me with all the instances of glorious and successful military imperialism in the last 100 years or so. If this strategy "works" then it must have a long list of successes. So where are they?
   2702. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4664861)
There, there. No one's going to take your delusions from you if they make you feel better.


Oh for ####'s sake. What do you propose be done in retaliation for this massive land grab of a peninsula that was already firmly and completely within Russia's military control, Bear? Should we fire up the ICBMs? Roll a couple of brigades of tanks into Kiev and threaten Kursk with some live fire ammo? What move would make your penis feel bigger, Bear? What would give you the stiffy for power that you can only get these days from topless pictures of Vlad on horseback?
   2703. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4664863)
   2704. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4664864)
Oh for ####'s sake. What do you propose be done in retaliation for this massive land grab of a peninsula that was already firmly and completely within Russia's military control, Bear? Should we fire up the ICBMs? Roll a couple of brigades of tanks into Kiev and threaten Kursk with some live fire ammo? What move would make your penis feel bigger, Bear? What would give you the stiffy for power that you can only get these days from topless pictures of Vlad on horseback?

Your delusion was that a country "has" another country if it has a naval base there.

   2705. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4664865)
Switching gears, if you want to read a fine example over Christian bed-wetting panic over SSM then check out "crunchy-con" Rod Dreher.

Some typical passages:
American Christians are about to learn what it means to live in a country where being a faithful Christian is going to exact significant costs. It may not be persecution, but it’s still going to hurt, and in ways most Christians scarcely understand.
To come to the point where you have to choose between your conscience and your livelihood because you have good reason to fear the state and activists will destroy you — that’s incredibly dramatic content.
   2706. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4664868)
Your delusion was that a country "has" another country if it has a naval base there.


For the sake of 19th century imperial politics, it does. Crimea was an autonomous zone within the Ukraine that did most of its business leasing naval bases to Russia. Now it's...well, it's the same thing so far, with Russia parking troops outside its naval bases while Ukraine threatens to break up and go to civil war.
   2707. BDC Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4664872)
choose between your conscience and your livelihood

Ah, the martyrdom of having to put two guys in tuxes on top of a cake.
   2708. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4664875)
Ah, the martyrdom of having to put two guys in tuxes on top of a cake.


The Dreher post was about journalism and bias, and framing the narrative. Calling it bedwetting is just ignoring his points.
   2709. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4664876)
Ah, the martyrdom of having to put two guys in tuxes on top of a cake.

That's almost as gutwrenching as being forced at gunpoint to serve a Negro a cup of coffee.
   2710. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4664877)
Joey if you want us to go to war so bad are you going to sign up and fight over there? willing to die for them?
   2711. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4664879)
Joey supports the war, but he supports it a lot more on TV.
   2712. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4664880)
Joey if you want us to go to war so bad are you going to sign up and fight over there? willing to die for them?


Of course not. But let US service members get killed in Kiev and see how long it takes him to start a "Mogadishu" spin off of that.
   2713. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4664887)
The Dreher post was about journalism and bias, and framing the narrative. Calling it bedwetting is just ignoring his points.
Then Dreher should've stuck with his point, rather than going on a wild-eyed rant about how TEH GHEY IS COMING FOR US.
   2714. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4664888)
Love how Putin is once again in the process of completely humiliating his sad little bittch boy Obama, as he has done so many times over the last year or so.
Joey loves this. He roots for other countries over the United States. That's all you need to know about Joey.
   2715. Jim Wisinski Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4664890)
This is such passive-aggressive bullshit. You guys won't say that the US should start bombing Russia or send in troops because you know it's a ludicrous idea so you just sit on the sidelines and claim that Obama needs to "do something" because we're looking bad. Nebulous criticism without solutions is all you've got because you know damn well that there's no good direct action for the US to take but why pass up an opportunity to complain about ####?
   2716. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4664891)
Nebulous criticism without solutions is all you've got because you know damn well that there's no good direct action for the US to take but why pass up an opportunity to complain about ####?
Which pretty much sums up the state of the opposition starting, oh, Jan. 20, 2009.
   2717. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4664894)
This is such passive-aggressive ########. You guys won't say that the US should start bombing Russia or send in troops because you know it's a ludicrous idea so you just sit on the sidelines and claim that Obama needs to "do something" because we're looking bad. Nebulous criticism without solutions is all you've got because you know damn well that there's no good direct action for the US to take but why pass up an opportunity to complain about ####?

If that's addressed at me, my red line is Western Ukraine -- a European people anxious to be part of Europe. They cannot be allowed to be doomed to Putin/Russian corruption, backwardness, and authoritarianism -- the kind of thing we spent decades fighting against.

There really isn't much to be done about Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. The dilemma comes if Kiev refuses to let them go, which they probably will. In that case, we need to stand firmly behind them -- particularly since we conspired to take their nukes away. What that entails needs further deliberation. It's plainly the case that American servicemen have died for far less important goals; where that observation leaves us also requires further deliberation.
   2718. BDC Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4664895)
ignoring his points

I'm happy to address his points. News stories, particularly feature stories (the piece that Dreher links to is a human-interest feature about gay couples), are necessarily about something or somebody. The nature of a text being about something is that it's not about its opposite. Every time astronomers discover a new planet, you do not have to go out and give equal time to somebody who thinks that the night sky is a stage curtain with pinholes cut in it.

Now, I have no doubt that the author of the Star-Tribune piece is pretty cool with gay marriage, but what of it? People who write about swimsuit fashions are cool with half-clad people on beaches. People who write about civil-rights veterans are OK with black people voting. Some people aren't. Do we need to devote half of every such feature story to them?

And would Dreher object to a story about beleaguered bakers, if the story didn't contain 50% material on happy couples admiring their cakes?
   2719. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4664896)
If Putin wants Western Ukraine enough to use force, I'd be in favor of the US/NATO/EU supplying the opposition with hardware and intel. No troops, although a relative handful of "advisors" is inevitable.
   2720. spike Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4664899)
Do we need to devote half of every such feature story to them?

The whole argument in the article was an ode to the Fallacy of The Midpoint.
   2721. Publius Publicola Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4664900)
To come to the point where you have to choose between your conscience and your livelihood because you have good reason to fear the state and activists will destroy you — that’s incredibly dramatic content.


McCarthyism anyone?
   2722. greenback calls it soccer Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4664902)
If Putin wants Western Ukraine enough to use force, I'd be in favor of the US/NATO/EU supplying the opposition with hardware and intel. No troops, although a relative handful of "advisors" is inevitable.

Send in the Black Panthers. Those thugs would kick Putin's ass halfway to Vladivostok.
   2723. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4664907)
Send in the Black Panthers. Those thugs would kick Putin's ass halfway to Vladivostok.

You wouldn't even need the Black Panthers. Just send it the most intimidating organization of them all: ACORN. If they can make Andrew Breitbart drop dead of a heart attack, a lesser clown like Putin should be a piece of cake.
   2724. Srul Itza At Home Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4664908)
Russia has "had" Crimea all along.


Bingo. The Crimea is and always has been Russia. Placing it administratively in Ukraine in 1954 did not change that. Ukrainian independence did not change that.

It reminds me of that scene in Lion in Winter:


Henry II: The Vexin's mine.

Philip II: By what authority?

Henry II: It's got my troops all over it; that makes it mine.



Nobody was ever going to pry the Russia's Black Sea Naval Base out of Russian hands. To think so was foolish. Putin has simply made that fact more open and apparent.

The question is -- does he stop there, or does he slice off some more pieces of Ukraine, simply because he can?


   2725. Morty Causa Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4664910)
To come to the point where you have to choose between your conscience and your livelihood because you have good reason to fear the state and activists will destroy you — that’s incredibly dramatic content.


McCarthyism anyone?

Or Affirmative Action? Or Ollie's Barbeque?

Or any number of issues involving an individual's rights versus government power to enforce collective will. It's a real dilemma, and denigrating the essential issue with a caricature of the principle involved advances nothing except conflict and controversy.
   2726. Publius Publicola Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4664912)
I think that's what he's shooting for. Crimea would be impossible to manage without a land bridge connecting it to Mother Russia.
   2727. BDC Posted: March 02, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4664921)
It's a real dilemma

It's a made-up dilemma. Actual religious groups carrying out their religious beliefs in religious settings have all kinds of latitude to discriminate. The Catholic Church doesn't have to ordain women priests; First Baptist doesn't have to hire a well-qualified rabbi as pastor; the LDS did not have to allow black priests and bishops after 1964 (though they eventually changed that policy).

In secular business, though, if everyone can make up his or her mind about who to discriminate against based on personal conscience, you soon have no anti-discrimination protections and no area of life that is not subject to (usually someone else's) religion.

   2728. spike Posted: March 02, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4664924)
It's a real dilemma

It's a made-up dilemma.


I fail to grasp why religious beliefs get some sort of special status over every other kind in the first place, given that one's religion can entail whatever anyone says it does in the first place.
   2729. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: March 02, 2014 at 03:19 PM (#4664926)
Joey loves this. He roots for other countries over the United States.

Ummm, no. You're the one who has no pride or patriotism; I do. You're the one who subscribes to the "weakness is strength" philosophy and loves seeing America be diminished on the international stage; I hate it.

And we all know full well that Obama is doing this on purpose, and that things are only going to continue to get worse over the next three years as he goes full steam ahead with his effort and rogue states continue to take advantage.
   2730. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 02, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4664927)
And we all know full well that Obama is doing this on purpose...
We do?

But, really, this gets to my point about Obama haters losing their minds to the point they can't stick to a narrative. Either he's an in-over-his-head community organizer, or he's an agent of Islam deviously slipping Sharia law into America - pick one.
   2731. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: March 02, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4664929)
Joey will you sign up to fight and die for your country?
   2732. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4664930)
And we all know full well that Obama is doing this on purpose


Because he hates America. Because he's a Kenyan socialist. Stepping up with the Birther angle like we all knew he would. You're precious, Joey baby. Just precious. Try not to wet yourself in fear of the big bad Obama if you go outside.
   2733. Gonfalon B. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4664931)
Shut up, dopers! Stop stalking him!
   2734. Jim Wisinski Posted: March 02, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4664933)
If that's addressed at me, my red line is Western Ukraine -- a European people anxious to be part of Europe. They cannot be allowed to be doomed to Putin/Russian corruption, backwardness, and authoritarianism -- the kind of thing we spent decades fighting against.

There really isn't much to be done about Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. The dilemma comes if Kiev refuses to let them go, which they probably will. In that case, we need to stand firmly behind them -- particularly since we conspired to take their nukes away. What that entails needs further deliberation. It's plainly the case that American servicemen have died for far less important goals; where that observation leaves us also requires further deliberation.


Thank you, I appreciate the response.

For what it's worth I agree with you about Western Ukraine, there's no way Putin can be allowed to invade and subjugate a people that obviously want nothing to do with him. If that becomes the case then the US needs to get NATO moving to act in their defense (I know Ukraine isn't actually covered by the NATO treaty but this kind of stuff clearly falls under what the treaty was signed for in the first place and they should be willing to act)
   2735. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 02, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4664935)
The Dreher post was about journalism and bias, and framing the narrative. Calling it bedwetting is just ignoring his points.
this was his setup:
The story comes in at about 2,200 words — long for a newspaper feature. It profiles a gay male married couple and a lesbian married couple, and is filled with rich details about how their lives have changed since SSM became legal. That’s good journalism. I have no objection there. But the reporter makes only a half-hearted glance towards the lives of SSM opponents


and his conclusion:
I did a word count of the piece. How many words are dedicated to neutral background material? About 400.

How many words are dedicated to exploring the lives and opinions of SSM opponents in Minnesota? About 300.

How many words are dedicated to exploring the lives and opinions of SSM supporters? About 1,500.

This is bias. This is bad journalism.



he's complaining that a story about the ways that same sex marriage has affected same sex couples doesn't include enough complaints from people who aren't in same sex marriages. it's horseshit.

   2736. OCF Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4664936)
The Crimea is and always has been Russia. Placing it administratively in Ukraine in 1954 did not change that. Ukrainian independence did not change that.

Well, "always" except for all that time it spent being part of the Ottoman Empire. The Russification of the population since the Crimean War of the 1850's was probably a conscious policy of the tsars, emphasized later by Stalin exiling all the Tatars to regions further east. In recent years, the Crimean Tatars have been trickling back. For the most part, I don't imagine that they're big fans of the Russian Empire.
   2737. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4664938)
But, really, this gets to my point about Obama haters losing their minds to the point they can't stick to a narrative. Either he's an in-over-his-head community organizer, or he's an agent of Islam deviously slipping Sharia law into America - pick one.

Eh, it's a little bit of this and a little bit of that. But mostly it's just a lot of the other, which pretty much represents the Joey mentality in a nutshell.
   2738. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4664940)
Joey will you sign up to fight and die for your country?


Actually, you're asking him to sign up to fight and die for someone else's country (Ukraine).

   2739. The District Attorney Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:08 PM (#4664943)
For what it's worth I agree with you about Western Ukraine, there's no way Putin can be allowed to invade and subjugate a people that obviously want nothing to do with him. If that becomes the case then the US needs to get NATO moving to act in their defense (I know Ukraine isn't actually covered by the NATO treaty but this kind of stuff clearly falls under what the treaty was signed for in the first place and they should be willing to act)
Right. And I'd bet that, if that scenario plays out -- Russia moves into western Ukraine, negotiation seems hopeless, Europe is motivated to act -- you'd have a lot of Democrats willing to go to war, along with presumably the vast majority of Republicans.

So WTF are we arguing about, exactly? We're not nearly at that point yet. And if we do get there, and Europe is as angry as we are about it, then I bet we don't even have much of a controversy. If Europe isn't willing, then we'll have a Syria-like "controversy" where, although hawks will insist on going it alone, there will be no sensible option other than the US acknowledging that it can't put troops on the ground and trying to figure something else out.

BTW, although I don't exactly expect any bombshells to come from the Clinton Library doc dump, I do have to admit this was amusing.
   2740. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4664945)
So WTF are we arguing about, exactly?

Some people insinuated very obliquely that Barack Obama isn't perfect, which brought forth the usual suspects and the usual suspicions.
   2741. BDC Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4664947)
It's interesting: when Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980, I remember a lot of predictions from the left that he was a warmonger who would bring about WW3 with his belligerence and insouciance. I probably made some of them myself. But by 1986, it was clear that the predictions were seriously wrong, and most people came round to an appreciation of reality. Reagan didn't mind invading Grenada and that sort of thing, but when it came to going toe-to-toe with the Russkies, he much preferred detente. I was wrong. I didn't like Reagan any better, or think highly of antics like Iran-Contra, but I was wrong about his being a warmonger.

What would it take for people prejudiced against Obama in analogous ways to admit that they were wrong? Has there been some sort of international anti-American realignment that I've missed? Am I actually typing this in French right now, or something? :)

Of course, one can always answer, yeah, we've had 5 years of relative international stability and security despite tons of potential problems, but the wily Obama is just setting us up for utter capitulation, which is always fixing to happen next year.



   2742. spike Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:21 PM (#4664948)
Some people insinuated very obliquely that Barack Obama isn't perfect


What an oblique insinuation of imperfection might look like:
Obama is obviously in way over his head.

Subtle. F***ing subtle.
   2743. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4664949)
Yeah, I agree, this is totally about Obama's perceived weakness overseas. I mean, if we had a President with some balls, somebody with a record of invading other countries, hell, somebody that the world knew would go so far as make up reasons to invade countries, a decisive American leader, then there's no way that Russia would invent reasons to invade a neighbor in clear defiance of the West.

Oh ... wait.
   2744. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4664950)
RTG he obviously wants us to go to war over this which would mean that we have to send us troops to fight and die there. if he isn't willing to go over there and fight with them than don't advocate sending peoples kids to die there.
   2745. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4664951)
Oh and to follow up on [2743] this is what George W. Bush did in response to Putin's invasion of Georgia:

kicked some ass


James F. Jeffrey was Mr. Bush’s deputy national security adviser in August 2008, the first to inform him that Russian troops were moving into Georgia in response to what the Kremlin called Georgian aggression against South Ossetia. As it happened, the clash also took place at Olympic time; Mr. Bush and Mr. Putin were both in Beijing for the Summer Games.

Mr. Bush confronted Mr. Putin to no avail, then ordered American ships to the region and provided a military transport to return home Georgian troops on duty in Iraq. He sent humanitarian aid on a military aircraft, assuming that Russia would be loath to attack the capital of Tbilisi with American military personnel present. Mr. Bush also suspended a pending civilian nuclear agreement, and NATO suspended military contacts.

“We did a lot but in the end there was not that much that you could do,” Mr. Jeffrey recalled.
   2746. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4664952)
What would it take for people prejudiced against Obama in analogous ways to admit that they were wrong?
It would take an outside event/force. Not one that gets Obama haters to do a 180; that won't happen because they're dug in too deep. As proof, consider that not even the killing of Osama bin Laden prompted people to change their minds. Instead, it'll take something that makes them reconsider their own side and, in time, reject it.

The key is, people need a face-saving way off the bus. I learned this during Hurricane Katrina and the fallout for Bush. By mid-2005, it was obvious the war in Iraq wasn't going well - but the people who had supported the war couldn't simply dump Bush then because that would mean admitting they were wrong in following him. But when the administration so completely bungled Katrina, that was an opportunity for people to jump ship. And they did.
   2747. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4664953)
Hey, are we going to get a March OTP thread? I'd do it - just need a baseball-related political article to post.
   2748. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4664954)
Obama is obviously in way over his head.

Subtle. F***ing subtle.


On Putin and Russia's intentions and aims, he is.

Though the appeasement has been bipartisan, as with Bush II and Georgia.
   2749. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4664955)
we've had 5 years of relative international stability

Is this supposed to be a serious comment, or is it a joke I didn't quite get?
   2750. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4664957)
What would it take for people prejudiced against Obama in analogous ways to admit that they were wrong?

Wrong about what? He hasn't done anything special internationally. He certainly doesn't vigorously espouse and support American interests, properly defined.
   2751. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4664958)
Is this supposed to be a serious comment, or is it a joke I didn't quite get?

It had to have been a joke. I laughed, anyway.

International stability? The last 5 years? Huh?
   2752. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4664961)
Having opted for his much-publicized RESET with Russia, and so-called "smart diplomacy", many doubt Obama's resolve, interest and ability to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine:
For much of his time in office, President Obama has been accused by a mix of conservative hawks and liberal interventionists of overseeing a dangerous retreat from the world at a time when American influence is needed most.

The once-hopeful Arab Spring has staggered into civil war and military coup. China is stepping up territorial claims in the waters off East Asia. Longtime allies in Europe and in the Persian Gulf are worried by the inconsistency of a president who came to office promising the end of the United States’ post-Sept. 11 wars.

Now Ukraine has emerged as a test of Obama’s argument that, far from weakening American power, he has enhanced it through smarter diplomacy, stronger alliances and a realism untainted by the ideology that guided his predecessor. It will be a hard argument for him to make, analysts say.
. . .
Rarely has a threat from a U.S. president been dismissed as quickly — and comprehensively — as Obama’s warning Friday night to Russian President Vladi mir Putin. The former community organizer and the former Cold Warrior share the barest of common interests, and their relationship has been defined far more by the vastly different ways they see everything from gay rights to history’s legacy.

Obama has yet to demonstrate he can even match Jimmy Carter's willingness to stand up to the former USSR, although he still has time to do so. Allowing Russia a pass on Crimea, puts the Baltics and all unwilling subjects of the Soviet & Russian empires at risk.
   2753. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4664962)
Joey and Sugar, please tell me you aren't wistfully pining for the international stability of 2001-09.
   2754. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4664964)
Now Ukraine has emerged as a test of Obama’s argument that, far from weakening American power, he has enhanced it through smarter diplomacy, stronger alliances and a realism untainted by the ideology that guided his predecessor. It will be a hard argument for him to make, analysts say.

That's because it's silly.
   2755. BDC Posted: March 02, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4664967)
There's no convincing the prejudiced, but 2009-14 has been nothing like the JFK, LBJ, Nixon, or 43 administrations in terms of international crisis. In part that's the breaks (Presidents don't choose all their crises) but in part it's not a coincidence either. A President can foster stability in the world, or he can be an adventurer. The distinction doesn't really break down by party (Carter, Reagan, 41, and Clinton all held diplomacy and stability to be values).

Y'all may want an adventurer. Or y'all may simply want a Republican :-D
   2756. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 05:05 PM (#4664970)
A President can foster stability in the world, or he can be an adventurer.

Stability in the world can recede even if the American president isn't an "adventurer."

The Middle East and Russia's so-called near abroad have been anything but "stable" since January 20, 2009.
   2757. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: March 02, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4664971)
Im still waiting for joey to answer the question I posed to him.
   2758. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 02, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4664977)
Im still waiting for joey to answer the question I posed to him.

And I'm still waiting to hear from Joey or SugarBear how that Soviet conquest of Kabul in 1979 "worked" after the first 48 hours of Brezhnev's Mission Accomplished, and what exactly they would do in Obama's place today. Boycott? Blockade? Unilateral or multi-lateral? Call up the reserves to show Putin we're serious?
   2759. Srul Itza At Home Posted: March 02, 2014 at 05:59 PM (#4664984)
Allowing Russia a pass on Crimea, puts the Baltics and all unwilling subjects of the Soviet & Russian empires at risk.


No it doesn't.
   2760. spike Posted: March 02, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4664987)
What would it take for people prejudiced against Obama in analogous ways to admit that they were wrong?

That's really been the crux of the problem for the last 6 years - they can't. Ever. Not one little bit.
   2761. Publius Publicola Posted: March 02, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4664991)
Wrong about what? He hasn't done anything special internationally.


I don't know if it's special or not but by nullifying the Bush Doctrine he's convinced the rest of NATO that America is no longer insane. They even gave him the Nobel Peace Prize for that.

Winning a Nobel is kind of special, isn't it?
   2762. Publius Publicola Posted: March 02, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4664992)
President Obama has been accused by a mix of conservative hawks and liberal interventionists of overseeing a dangerous retreat from the world at a time when American influence is needed most.


TYC, they key phrases are "conservative hawks" and liberal interventionists".
   2763. Publius Publicola Posted: March 02, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4664995)
Rarely has a threat from a U.S. president been dismissed as quickly — and comprehensively — as Obama’s warning Friday night to Russian President Vladimir Putin.


This though, is true. Putin sees Ukraine as an essential Russian interest that the US, or the EU for that matter, has any business meddling in. It could backfire on him though, if he overreaches and a genuine insurgency starts. I can see that happening, considering how the Kiev crowds kept showing up even after some of them got shot by snipers.
   2764. BDC Posted: March 02, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4665001)
The Middle East and Russia's so-called near abroad have been anything but "stable" since January 20, 2009

When was the last time the Middle East was stable? The 16th century? The 9th? This is Obama's fault? Was the instability of the "Arab Spring" a negative thing on the whole? (Leaving aside whether Obama had anything to do with that, and could have done anything about it.)

As for the stability of the margins of Russia, they were pretty stable in the 1970s. You want Brezhnev back? In fact, isn't the whole recent history of the Ukraine one of a positive and very promising instability? Again, leaving aside whether the Ukrainians give two hoots about Barack Obama, or that he could influence thing one that goes on there.

Seriously, you might as well fault Ronald Reagan for the Iran-Iraq War. Or Franklin Pierce for the Crimean War, speaking of which.

The narrative that the world fell apart because of a power vacuum left by the electoral defeat of John McCain exists entirely in the minds of its tellers.
   2765. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4665002)
And I'm still waiting to hear from Joey or SugarBear


Add Clappy McClapperson to the list and sit back and wait. They'll get you that right after they deliver the conservative alternative to Obamacare. If the GOP and it's lackeys have learned anything since 2008, it's that sitting back and complaining loudly while offering absolutely no alternative or plan is a perfectly feasible tactic for domestic politics. And none of them care anything about anything other than domestic politics. All Clapper is concerned with is how this might impact Obama's polling.
   2766. spike Posted: March 02, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4665008)
It could backfire on him though, if he overreaches and a genuine insurgency starts.

This business could backfire in a ton of ways, an insurgency in Ukraine being one of them. There are serious doubts about the Russian level of military preparedness, and this could easily wind up not only exposing this, but actually causing a withdrawal. It's still a corrupt force heavily reliant on conscripts with a dodgy NCO corps, a political officer corps, and a bunch of crap gear (AKs excluded). They have a crap-ton of bodies, and crappy nukes but nukes nonetheless. Not exactly a "project your power abroad" kinda force - a lot more paper than tiger.
   2767. Jim Wisinski Posted: March 02, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4665009)
The narrative that the world fell apart because of a power vacuum left by the electoral defeat of John McCain exists entirely in the minds of its tellers.


Everything was so much more stable and we were so much more respected internationally when we were dropping bombs on other people all the time.
   2768. Publius Publicola Posted: March 02, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4665011)
When was the last time the Middle East was stable? The 16th century? The 9th?


Never. There have always been divisions within, even at the height of the Empire. It's too diverse and surrounded by threats to be anything but unstable.
   2769. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: March 02, 2014 at 07:00 PM (#4665013)
And I'm still waiting to hear from Joey or SugarBear how that Soviet conquest of Kabul in 1979 "worked" after the first 48 hours of Brezhnev's Mission Accomplished, and what exactly they would do in Obama's place today. Boycott? Blockade? Unilateral or multi-lateral? Call up the reserves to show Putin we're serious?


Too bad it's too late to boycott the Olympics.
   2770. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 02, 2014 at 07:22 PM (#4665017)
The Middle East and Russia's so-called near abroad have been anything but "stable" since January 20, 2009
I long for the days of the Bush Administration, when the Middle East was nothing but peace and stability.
   2771. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4665026)
Add Clappy McClapperson to the list and sit back and wait. They'll get you that right after they deliver the conservative alternative to Obamacare. If the GOP and it's lackeys have learned anything since 2008, it's that sitting back and complaining loudly while offering absolutely no alternative or plan is a perfectly feasible tactic for domestic politics. And none of them care anything about anything other than domestic politics. All Clapper is concerned with is how this might impact Obama's polling.

Try as you might -- and oh you try -- you're not going to drag me into these provincial red/blue squabbles. Just as I'm not going to laud W Bush's policies because he has an R next to his name, I'm not going to pretend Barack Obama is some kind of foreign policy genius because he has a D next to his name. "Things were worse under W" isn't an answer to anything for me.

And I'm still waiting to hear from Joey or SugarBear how that Soviet conquest of Kabul in 1979 "worked" after the first 48 hours of Brezhnev's Mission Accomplished, and what exactly they would do in Obama's place today. Boycott? Blockade? Unilateral or multi-lateral? Call up the reserves to show Putin we're serious?

Asked and answered. (Other than your Kabul gambit, which isn't remotely the "gotcha" you think it is.)

What I would do in Obama's place is more vocally espouse and defend American and Western interests. We have a national interest in the Europeanization and non-Russification of (at least) Western Ukraine. The United States has that interest. Not the "international community" or "Europe" -- the United States. Has Obama even said so? We fought the Cold War so areas like Western Ukraine would be free of Soviet/Russian control.
   2772. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 02, 2014 at 07:46 PM (#4665027)
What I would do in Obama's place is more vocally espouse and defend American and Western interests. We have a national interest in the Europeanization and non-Russification of (at least) Western Ukraine. The United States. Not the "international community" or "Europe" -- the United States. Has Obama even said so? We fought the Cold War so areas like Western Ukraine would be free of Soviet/Russian control.
so you'd give a speech. why hasn't obama thought of doing that.
   2773. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 02, 2014 at 07:48 PM (#4665028)
Too bad it's too late to boycott the Olympics.

Actually the Paralympics begin on Friday in Sochi, but I don't think that we're going to be boycotting that.
   2774. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: March 02, 2014 at 07:48 PM (#4665029)
Well, for starters I would begin by attending my national security council meetings and pretending like I actually cared about what the heck is going on, instead of inviting another bunch of celebrities to the White House, or playing another 18 holes of golf, or playing another pickup basketball game with Arne Duncan and the gang, which are what this assclown seems to care about more than anything else.
   2775. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 02, 2014 at 07:58 PM (#4665033)
Well, for starters I would begin by attending my national security council meetings and pretending like I actually cared about what the heck is going on, instead of inviting another bunch of celebrities to the White House, or playing another 18 holes of golf, or playing another pickup basketball game with Arne Duncan and the gang, which are what this assclown seems to care about more than anything else.
In other words, no idea on what you'd do.
   2776. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:02 PM (#4665038)
And I'm still waiting to hear from Joey or SugarBear how that Soviet conquest of Kabul in 1979 "worked" after the first 48 hours of Brezhnev's Mission Accomplished, and what exactly they would do in Obama's place today. Boycott? Blockade? Unilateral or multi-lateral? Call up the reserves to show Putin we're serious?

Asked and answered. (Other than your Kabul gambit, which isn't remotely the "gotcha" you think it is.)


I can see why you don't even bother to explain why you don't think it has any relevance, though I wasn't intending it as any sort of topographical comparison.

What I would do in Obama's place is more vocally espouse and defend American and Western interests. We have a national interest in the Europeanization and non-Russification of (at least) Western Ukraine.

Move over, you pink tea sipping wimp Obama, and make way for Espouserman!

The United States has that interest. Not the "international community" or "Europe" -- the United States.

And why would Europe's interest diverge from ours? Is is because we have so many Ukrainians living in the Rust Belt?

Has Obama even said so? We fought the Cold War so areas like Western Ukraine would be free of Soviet/Russian control.

Which is why we were so quick to do something about the invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia, not to mention the Stalinization of Eastern Europe in the aftermath of WWII.
   2777. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:04 PM (#4665040)
The newly appointed head of Ukraine's navy has sworn allegiance to the Crimea region, in the presence of its unrecognised pro-Russian leader.

Rear Admiral Denys Berezovsky was only made head of the navy on Saturday, as the government in Kiev reacted to the threat of Russian invasion.

Ukraine's interim leaders have put him under investigation for treason.


quislings, ukraine version
   2778. Greg K Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4665042)
The newly appointed head of Ukraine's navy has sworn allegiance to the Crimea region, in the presence of its unrecognised pro-Russian leader.

Rear Admiral Denys Berezovsky was only made head of the navy on Saturday, as the government in Kiev reacted to the threat of Russian invasion.

Ukraine's interim leaders have put him under investigation for treason.

I suppose that's why you vet people.
   2779. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4665044)
I can see why you don't even bother to explain why you don't think it has any relevance,

What the hell relevance does a Soviet adventure outside the typical Russian sphere of influence have to the Crimea and Ukraine? None.

And why would Europe's interest diverge from ours? Is is because we have so many Ukrainians living in the Rust Belt?

Is Barack Obama the head of the EU?
   2780. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4665045)
Well, for starters I would begin by attending my national security council meetings and pretending like I actually cared about what the heck is going on, instead of inviting another bunch of celebrities to the White House, or playing another 18 holes of golf, or playing another pickup basketball game with Arne Duncan and the gang, which are what this assclown seems to care about more than anything else.


In other words, no idea on what you'd do.

Joey sounds like he's angling to play Robin to Sugar Bear's Espouserman. They'd make the greatest pair of Espousers since The Ev and Charlie Show.
   2781. Greg K Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:11 PM (#4665047)
What the hell relevance does a Soviet adventure outside the typical Russian sphere of influence have to the Crimea and Ukraine? None.

While Ukraine is certainly closer to home for Russia, I'm not sure if Afghanistan can be described as outside the typical Russian sphere of influence. The Russians have had their finger in that geo-political pie since the 1830s at least.
   2782. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:14 PM (#4665050)
I don't believe Obama has even said publicly that the Ukrainians have the fundamental right under international law to defend their territorial integrity.
   2783. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:15 PM (#4665051)
Joey sounds like he's angling to play Robin to Sugar Bear's Espouserman. They'd make the greatest pair of Espousers since The Ev and Charlie Show.

Andy's never come across an international thug he hasn't wanted to appease.
   2784. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:18 PM (#4665053)
the ukraine owes russian about 1.6 billion for fuel. the u.s. could pay that in a heartbeat.

sure putin could move the goalposts but it would force him to be a jack8ss on a public stage which he hates to do

that's his weakness you know. his vanity.

not trying to tell the state dept how to do its job but that flaw is staring everyone in the face

he's smaug with the bald spot on his chest
   2785. Greg K Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:19 PM (#4665054)
The state department's latest (I think) statement says this:

The Secretary [in a meeting with Ukrainian government] will reaffirm the United States’ strong support for Ukrainian sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and the right of the Ukrainian people to determine their own future, without outside interference or provocation.


That sounds like a claim that Ukraine has the right to defend its sovereignty.
   2786. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:20 PM (#4665055)
and being a jack8ss is different from being a bully or a thug.

putin rationalizes all of his behaviors.
   2787. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:29 PM (#4665058)
Joey sounds like he's angling to play Robin to Sugar Bear's Espouserman. They'd make the greatest pair of Espousers since The Ev and Charlie Show.

Andy's never come across an international thug he hasn't wanted to appease.


Little Brown Diaper Doper Joey, Yapper-in-Chief. Cartoon villains tremble at the very thought of him.
   2788. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:34 PM (#4665060)
The United States isn't powerless, and Russia has some weaknesses - Ruble To Weaken Over Ukraine Incursion:
The threat of Western sanctions against Russia stands to dry up demand for the country’s assets and deepen a selloff in the ruble after President Vladimir Putin’s military forces took over parts of neighboring Ukraine.
. . .
The looming conflict, which follows deadly Ukrainian protests that ousted a Putin ally from the presidency, was already driving down Russian asset prices last week even before he made his military intentions clearer over the past couple days. The ruble slid 0.6 percent last week to 42.0474 against Bank Rossii’s target basket of dollars and euros, extending its rout this year to 8.5 percent. Russia’s Micex (INDEXCF) stock index declined 2.9 percent, the biggest weekly drop in eight months.

“Russia is the most vulnerable, obviously besides Ukraine,” Tim Ash, chief emerging markets economist at Standard Bank Group Ltd. in London, said by phone yesterday. The ruble will weaken “as capital flight will increase significantly,” he said.

The ruble’s 8.4 percent slide against the dollar this year is the biggest decline among the 31 most-traded currencies tracked by Bloomberg after the Argentine peso.

Not seeing any real indication that Obama is willing to put the squeeze on Putin for the long haul, but perhaps he'll surprise us. Economic sanctions against Russia coupled with efforts to encourage development of alternatives to Russian oil & natural gas would raise the short-term & long-term costs to Putin.
   2789. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:38 PM (#4665062)
That sounds like a claim that Ukraine has the right to defend its sovereignty.

Except that's nowhere to be found in the statement.

Does Barack Obama support the fundamental right of the Ukrainians to use military force to regain the territory invaded and occupied by Russia? (*)

That's the big question. It's yet unanswered.

Any suggestion by the United States that the Ukrainians refrain from taking military action is appeasement in its purest, most ignoble form.

(*) By at least 6,000 troops as reported most recently.

   2790. greenback calls it soccer Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:38 PM (#4665063)
Yes, in retrospect this probably wasn't the best day to protest the Keystone XL pipeline by tying yourself to the fence in front of the White House.
   2791. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:39 PM (#4665064)
yankee

true, but Russia is fairly energy independent plus putin is not that concerned with inconveniencing his citizens

it would take quite some time or him to be influenced by such things I suspect
   2792. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:40 PM (#4665065)
Little Brown Diaper Doper Joey, Yapper-in-Chief. Cartoon villains tremble at the very thought of him.

That wasn't Joey, it was me.

We're already seeing the outlines of the lefty defense of the appeasement likely to come, in the absurd suggestion that the Crimea is "really just Russia's anyway."
   2793. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:41 PM (#4665067)
what type of donation would it take to bbtf to get rid of the half naked gamer ads?

serious question.
   2794. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:44 PM (#4665069)
Crimea is "really just Russia's anyway."

while there is a historical basis to this statement it is not justification for this 1938 Czech like maneuver in carving off a section of a sovereign nation.
   2795. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:46 PM (#4665070)
while there is a historical basis to this statement it is not justification for this 1938 Czech like maneuver in carving off a section of a sovereign nation.

Of course.

Crimea has been part of Ukraine for 60 years.

What if the Germans decided they wanted Alsace-Lorraine back? Hey, no problem -- it was there's, so it's "really" there's.

And 1938's a very good analogy. If Russia is allowed to keep Crimea by some kind of agreement, it won't be materially different than Chamberlain, et al., selling out the Sudetenland.
   2796. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:48 PM (#4665071)
Little Brown Diaper Doper Joey, Yapper-in-Chief. Cartoon villains tremble at the very thought of him.

That wasn't Joey, it was me.


Not surprising, given that the tone of your posts is interchangeable, not to mention your fondness for Espousing over anything else while at the same time claiming Obama is somehow not Espousing up to your standards, whatever standards those might be.

-----------------------------------------------------

what type of donation would it take to bbtf to get rid of the half naked gamer ads?

serious question.


Good question, but when I think about it, I haven't noticed those neo-BALCO ads for quack "supplements" in quite some time. Maybe the best way to stop the neo-porno ads is simply not ever to click on them.
   2797. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:50 PM (#4665073)
Maybe the best way to stop the neo-porno ads is simply not ever to click on them.

that's insulting. I have never clicked on any ad on any website much less a gamer ad

go pound sand
   2798. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:51 PM (#4665074)
but Russia is fairly energy independent plus putin is not that concerned with inconveniencing his citizens. it would take quite some time or him to be influenced by such things I suspect

Quite possibly, but the United States shouldn't shrink from the task just because it may be difficult and/or take time. Russia needs to sell oil & gas abroad at a fairly high price to earn foreign exchange and subsidize prices within Russia. It's in our national interest to help Europe develop alternative energy sources, as well as continuing to do so ourselves.
   2799. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:53 PM (#4665075)
Crimea has been part of Ukraine for 60 years.

that pales in comparison to the heritage that exists tied to Russia proper

look, not saying it's OK to have this nonsense happen

but it's life and death to putin to KEEP crimea. if Russia loses crimea it's ability to project power is greatly diminished

the only desperate people in this situation are the Russians. that makes them very dangerous. they are likely viewing this situation as a seminal moment in their ability to remain a global power.
   2800. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:55 PM (#4665077)
the only desperate people in this situation are the Russians

meaning those outside of the Ukraine.

just pointing out that the eu, nato and the u.s. are not DESPERATE to keep the crimea with the Ukraine. Russia is desperate to keep crimea

this gives Russia an advantage. they have focus
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