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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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   2801. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:55 PM (#4665078)
that pales in comparison to the heritage that exists tied to Russia proper

Oh, sure. But there were plenty of ethnic Germans in Sudetenland (and in Alsace-Lorraine for that matter).

Not a justification for invading and dismembering another country.
   2802. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:56 PM (#4665079)
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.

Jesus, the Munich analogy again. The Johnson administration was trotting that one out about once every two days to try to justify sending more troops to Southeast Asia. I was once covering a Platform Committee hearing in 1968, when Dean Rusk just blurted out in frustration, "We don't want to tell the Communists 'You can come as far as Chevy Chase Circle, but don't try to cross Dupont Circle'."

And again, outside of better quality Espousing, what are you calling on us to do about any of this? If you want to start proposing boycotts, trade embargos, and other forms of economic persuasion, I'm with you.
   2803. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:58 PM (#4665080)
Jesus, the Munich analogy again. The Johnson administration was trotting that one out about once every two days to try to justify sending more troops to Southeast Asia. I was once covering a Platform Committee hearing in 1968, when Dean Rusk just blurted out in frustration, "We don't want to tell the Communists 'You can come as far as Chevy Chase Circle, but don't try to cross Dupont Circle'."

And again, outside of better quality Espousing, what are you calling on us to do about any of this? If you want to start proposing boycotts, trade embargos, and other forms of economic persuasion, I'm with you.


Except here the analogy works. With LBJ, it was preposterous.

I've already said what should be done. Where is the American support, even rhetorical, for Ukraine regaining the Crimea, by force if necessary?

Does Barack Obama support military action by Ukraine to regain the Crimea? Doesn't seem like it.
   2804. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:59 PM (#4665081)
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


MAXIMUM APOLOGY, HARVEY! I wasn't meaning to be referring to you, or anyone else in particular. I was talking only about the collective response in general, but my total fault for not making that more clear.
   2805. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:00 PM (#4665082)
andy

I am speaking to the outbreaks of disturbances (possibly contrived) and the claim to protect 'native Russians'

that is part and parcel of the ruse the germans to cross Czech borders

if you are going to deny that similarity then we have nothing to discuss
   2806. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:03 PM (#4665083)
andy

regarding 2804, thanks

I am really willing to donate more if it makes those ads go away

I guess I am a prude
   2807. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:03 PM (#4665084)
I am speaking to the outbreaks of disturbances (possibly contrived) and the claim to protect 'native Russians'

Oh, they're obviously contrived. Russian propaganda has said that ethnic Russians in Crimea were threatened by the "fascists in Kiev." That's a lie. Russian propaganda has claimed that 675,000 people have fled Ukraine to Russia in January and February. That's a lie.

Rinse, repeat.
   2808. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:07 PM (#4665086)
I've already said what should be done. Where is the American support for Ukraine regaining the Crimea, by force if necessary?

The relevant question is where is the American public's support for any unilateral American military action? And if you don't consider Kabul close enough to Russia to be a proper comparison to the Crimea, then how close is the Crimea to the United States? Your logic here could have just as easily been used to "espouse" the Soviets' use of military force to break down the 1962 Cuban blockade.
   2809. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:07 PM (#4665087)
And Crimea voted in a 1992 referendum to join Ukraine. It wasn't just willy-nilly drunk drawn on the back of a napkin after too much vodka.
   2810. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:09 PM (#4665089)
The relevant question is where is the American public's support for any unilateral American military action?

That's not the relevant question. The relevant question is the one already posed: Does Barack Obama support Ukrainian military action to regain its territory?

I have no idea what you're babbling about with "unilateral American military action." What the hell are you talking about?
   2811. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:10 PM (#4665090)
it is also true that moscow has signed a number of treaties recognizing Ukraine’s sovereignty within its current borders.
   2812. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:11 PM (#4665091)
it is also true that moscow has signed a number of treaties recognizing Ukraine’s sovereignty within its current borders.

Including the 1994 agreement by which Ukraine gave up its nukes.

The lease of the naval base probably has a similar clause. The Russians are blatantly violating that one, too.
   2813. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:19 PM (#4665093)
of course the wild card in this situation are the Crimean tatars who hate the Russians with the passion of a 1000 burning suns

after all the purges there are not that many left but their ferocity of feeling can overcome lack of numbers

I am a tough sob with no fear of death and I wouldn't get crosswise of a Crimean tatar
   2814. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:22 PM (#4665094)
andy

I am speaking to the outbreaks of disturbances (possibly contrived) and the claim to protect 'native Russians'

that is part and parcel of the ruse the germans to cross Czech borders

if you are going to deny that similarity then we have nothing to discuss


I'm not denying the moral similarity between the Sudetenland and the Crimea, or the patented fabrication of the German and Russian excuses. But not every analogy, good or bad, comes wrapped up with an easy military response.

Let me ask you not WWJD in this situation, but "What would Eisenhower do?" Think back to Hungary in 1956 for one possibly relevant piece of historical evidence. And think of Truman's response to MacArthur's reaction to the the Chinese Army's forcing the UN forces back below the 38th parallel, a war you fought in yourself.

It's when people start pretending that what the British and the French didn't do in 1938 gives us an "easy, one hand" opposite solution to what's going on in the Crimea today that makes me part company. This is especially true when unlike 1938, there are both plenty of nuclear weapons and madmen who are quite possibly ready to use them.
   2815. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:22 PM (#4665095)
Crimea is roughly 12% Tatar.
   2816. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:26 PM (#4665096)
comes wrapped up with an easy military response.

you jump to way too many conclusions

never suggested there was an easy solution

the president has been dealt an ugly hand because his counterpart knows precisely what he wants, has no internal politics to manage and his immediate neighbors take a hands off attitude on anything barring self-preservation.

   2817. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:30 PM (#4665097)
but it's life and death to putin to KEEP crimea. if Russia loses crimea it's ability to project power is greatly diminished


Nonsense.

First of all, the ability for the Black Sea fleet to project anything beyond it's salt water lake home is nil.

Second, Russia owns a large swath of said lake of their very own. They could have built a first class naval facility of their very own for about half of what it cost them to put on a 2 week ice festival.
   2818. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:31 PM (#4665098)
The relevant question is where is the American public's support for any unilateral American military action?

That's not the relevant question. The relevant question is the one already posed: Does Barack Obama support Ukrainian military action to regain its territory?


The somewhat more relevant question might be what do you mean by "support" that doesn't include outside military intervention? We actually might both agree here that talk is cheap, but what is there beyond that? I'd favor sanctions and boycotts and other possible forms of economic pressure, but if there were to be any sort of military intervention I'd want it to be multilateral.
   2819. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:33 PM (#4665099)
Crimea is roughly 12% Tatar.


And less than that Ukrainian. OK, twice that, but it's well over 50% Russian. Crimea, ethnically, culturally, demographically, historically, has never been part of Ukraine, other than by a stroke of a pen by some Soviet technocrat, who never in a million years thought there would ever be an independent Ukraine.
   2820. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:34 PM (#4665100)
comes wrapped up with an easy military response.

you jump to way too many conclusions

never suggested there was an easy solution


And again, my response wasn't directed against arguments I've seen you make. Again my apologies if I seemed to imply otherwise.
   2821. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:35 PM (#4665101)
misir

that is how the Russian military views it

   2822. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:38 PM (#4665102)
I don't believe Obama has even said publicly that the Ukrainians have the fundamental right under international law to defend their territorial integrity.


Who cares? I am not being contrary, but that is what you are using to judge Obama? Whether he has publicly endorsed the idea that they can defend their own country? Do you keep a running log of world leaders endorsing random crap?

That is just silly. Yes words are important, especially from the most powerful man in the world, but actions matter much more. You have just decided to be anti-Obama. Full stop.
   2823. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:39 PM (#4665103)
that is how the Russian military views it


I don't disagree, but that's letting the tail wag the dog. Maybe it's par for the course for the region, but it's a ridiculous reason to risk a global crisis.
   2824. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:39 PM (#4665104)
The somewhat more relevant question might be what do you mean by "support" that doesn't include outside military intervention?

I mean "support" under the definition of that word. Is he in favor of it? Or does he support Ukraine acceding to the invasion and theft and occupation of its territory? (*)

Still an open question -- which is kind of strange.

(*) Along the laughable lines that it's not "really" theirs, or otherwise.
   2825. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:42 PM (#4665105)
it's a ridiculous reason to risk a global crisis.

putin is looking for any pretense to keep Ukraine in the fold. if he can get into crimea he likely figures he can use that to reach his end goal.

since his military has a skewed perspective of the black fleet (which has a lot of historical significance) that only helps his cause internally
   2826. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:44 PM (#4665107)
it's a ridiculous reason to risk a global crisis


This. Times ten. There is zero reason for us to get involved. If Putin wants to bog down Russia while invading a country and annexing land why should the US care? First stop the Crimea, second stop? Seriously it is a giant pile of nothing, except of course to those involved.

And I feel bad for them. I wish them well. But I doubt sanctions or military actions will make their life better. There may come a point to do something, but not now.
   2827. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:47 PM (#4665108)
This. Times ten. There is zero reason for us to get involved.

define involved. i presume you are speaking to military action specifically but want to be certain
   2828. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:49 PM (#4665109)
That is just silly. Yes words are important, especially from the most powerful man in the world, but actions matter much more. You have just decided to be anti-Obama. Full stop.

I'm anti-appeasement -- appeasement is gutless, ignoble, and dangerous. The whiff of appeasement is in the air. Maybe that will change.

If Putin wants to bog down Russia while invading a country and annexing land why should the US care?

Because we have a national interest in a country that was two hours away from joining Europe not getting invaded and dismembered by a corrupt, illiberal goon. It's bizarre that this would have to be explained.
   2829. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:54 PM (#4665111)
It may be too late to boycott the Olympics, but the G8 just announced itself to be once again the G7 and cancelled the upcoming meeting of the "G8" in Sochi. I'm sure Charles Krauthammer thinks this is far too little. This is why no one listens to neocons, of course.
   2830. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 02, 2014 at 09:54 PM (#4665112)
. . . the ability for the Black Sea fleet to project anything beyond it's salt water lake home is nil.

It has been suggested that the Italian Navy could easily destroy it. For those that remember their WWII history, that doesn't seem like much of a force.
   2831. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:01 PM (#4665114)
yankee

i will just keep pointing out that the Russians view the black fleet as something integral to Russia's military identity

folks can say it's nothing and it stinks and it's irrelevant

it matters to the Russians.

we need to stop projecting if that makes sense
   2832. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:06 PM (#4665115)
off topic but was Harrison ford drunk while presenting at the Oscars?

he's only 71 so not writing that off to age.......................
   2833. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:06 PM (#4665116)
we need to stop projecting if that makes sense


It makes perfect sense. Sevastopol is extremely important in Russia's identity as a nation. It's been a Russian base since Catherine The Great. The link about the fleet's actual fighting power is interesting, but beside the point. Russia isn't going to let Sevastopol go without a fight. They'd prefer to have Ukraine install another strongman who favors Russia, but will fight for a "free Crimea" if needs be. Quite possibly the best outcome for the rest of the world* might be having Russia and Ukraine go into some actual fighting scenarios, and have Ukraine fight Russia to a draw. Obviously that wouldn't be the best solution for Ukrainians.
   2834. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:07 PM (#4665117)
folks can say it's nothing and it stinks and it's irrelevant

it matters to the Russians.


Again, I don't disagree with that. That said, where was the stink that their country spent $50 billion on a winter carnival rather than building a base on their own undisputed soil? Imagine that Gitmo were the only base for the US Atlantic fleet, and rather than building a base at Norfolk or Jacksonville, it built new stadiums for every MLB, NFL, and NBA franchise, just as Cuba devolves into civil war, and now we have to invade Cuba and risk the wrath of the world?
   2835. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:10 PM (#4665118)
This is why no one listens to neocons, of course.

Even those dastardly neocons at Think Progress suggest doing more, Sam. But go ahead, keep yelling at Krauthammer and Kristol if that's what it takes to feel so alive.
   2836. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:12 PM (#4665119)
misir

sorry, you lost me.

only pointing out that you have a guy with a vision of Russia as a global power and losing a vassal state and correspondingly easy access to a several hundred year old naval base doesn't fit that vision.

i understand this may seem crazy to some but it makes sense to putin and he's the guy with the muscle to make everyone nervous
   2837. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:13 PM (#4665120)
Harvey, what browser are you running? If it's Chrome or Firefox, the AdBlock plugins/extensions do a great job of wiping out ads.
   2838. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:14 PM (#4665121)
Marco Rubio - 8 Steps To Punish Russia:
First, President Obama should speak unequivocally and call this what it is: a military invasion. The Obama administration must publicly acknowledge that its “reset” with Russia is dead. . . . Second, President Obama should dispatch Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to Kiev to show U.S. support for Ukraine’s transitional government, and urge our allies in the European Union and NATO to send representatives there as well. The United States should convene an emergency meeting of NATO to develop a strong united response from the trans-Atlantic alliance.

Third, the United States should rally our allies to boycott this June’s G-8 summit in Sochi, Russia. And if Russian troops do not leave Ukraine immediately, Russia should be expelled from this group altogether.

Fourth, any and all discussions and negotiations with Moscow on any issue unrelated to this crisis, including trade and other matters, should be immediately suspended.

More at link. Nothing is likely to have an immediate effect, but this is a long-term process, not unlike a lower-level Cold War in some respects.
   2839. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:15 PM (#4665122)
Even those dastardly neocons at Think Progress suggest doing more, Sam.


From the link, Jason:

1. Suspend Russia’s membership in the G-8
2. Place travel bans on Putin and his family
3. Enact trade sanctions against Russia
4. Suspension of NATO cooperation and participation
5. Accelerate missile defense programs in Russia’s near abroad

From that list:

1. Done
2. Probably a secondary step if things continue downhill
3. Probably the next step after #1
4. Almost certainly already done
5. Okay, have at that one kids

Of course, it may be moot, as Ukraine seems reasonably intent on not needing the help:

Maxim Tucker @MaxRTucker
Follow
Long queues at #Ukraine army recruitment posts.Sergeant tells volunteers 3 million signed up in 24 hours, eager to fight #Russia in #Crimea


(NOTE: I have no idea who Maxim Tucker is.)
   2840. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:15 PM (#4665123)
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
And this is why the West won't get very much involved: Russia simply wants it far more than we do.
   2841. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:16 PM (#4665124)
Harvey, what browser are you running? If it's Chrome or Firefox, the AdBlock plugins/extensions do a great job of wiping out ads.

ok. thanks

i still think these are rotten ads and would be willing to contribute to make them go away

   2842. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:16 PM (#4665125)
I'm sure Marc Rubio is the guy we want managing this thing.
   2843. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:17 PM (#4665126)
i still think these are rotten ads and would be willing to contribute to make them go away


Do you want me to relay this info to Jimmy?
   2844. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:18 PM (#4665127)
i still think these are rotten ads and would be willing to contribute to make them go away
Well, there are many things rotten with BBTF and I, too, would be willing to pay to fix/make go away.

But The Jim is an uncaring, unfeeling deity, and so we must suffer.
   2845. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:20 PM (#4665128)
Do you want me to relay this info to Jimmy?

i am pretty sure i have written him

   2846. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:21 PM (#4665129)
Sevastopol is extremely important in Russia's identity as a nation. It's been a Russian base since Catherine The Great. The link about the fleet's actual fighting power is interesting, but beside the point. Russia isn't going to let Sevastopol go without a fight.

Except there was no threat to Russia's naval bases in Crimea. Even the new Ukraine government accepted the lease agreement. Russian isn't responding to a threat, it's making one.
   2847. greenback calls it soccer Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4665130)
And this is why the West won't get very much involved: Russia simply wants it far more than we do.

What is "the West" now? I can't see Poland and the Baltics -- all members of NATO -- standing idly by if Putin does a full-scale takeover in Ukraine.
   2848. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4665131)
I'm sure Marc Rubio is the guy we want managing this thing.

I would be willing to take that chance, Sam. But as I have said elsewhere, I remain hopeful that Biden, who has long been a foreign policy activist, is taking charge behind the scenes.
   2849. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:24 PM (#4665132)
The following is a literal statement: I have just thrown an American flag into the washing machine, with a load of cold-water darks. The flag had been in the laundry room, collecting lint and dust, ever since an expensive-yet-flimsy flag stand fell off a front-porch pillar. The intent is to give the flag a proper folding* and then tuck it away until I buy a better flag stand.

* - Although ending up with the blue triangle will make me think of the military funerals I've attended. Perhaps I should hand off the flag and say, "On behalf of a grateful nation."
   2850. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:25 PM (#4665133)
I would be willing to take that chance, Sam. But as I have said elsewhere, I remain hopeful that Biden is taking charge behind the scenes.


I know. You hates you some Barry Lamar.
   2851. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:26 PM (#4665134)
What is "the West" now? I can't see Poland and the Baltics -- all members of NATO -- standing idly by if Putin does a full-scale takeover in Ukraine.


The question is what Belarus and Poland will do, yes.
   2852. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:28 PM (#4665136)
I remain hopeful that Biden, who has long been a foreign policy activist, is taking charge behind the scenes.

you do realize that the vice president has been wrong on just about every major foreign policy question of his career, correct?

i mean, i think the vice president is well meaning but for all his book learning he has one ugly losing streak.

   2853. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:30 PM (#4665139)
in his book secretary gates described Putin as a man of Russia's past, "haunted by lost empire, lost glory and lost power."
   2854. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:33 PM (#4665142)
for the record the mrs is unimpressed with Olivia wilde's choice of fellas, that sudekis guy
   2855. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:35 PM (#4665144)
I remain hopeful that Biden, who has long been a foreign policy activist, is taking charge behind the scenes.

GROAN. Joe Biden has been wrong on every foreign policy & national security issue for 40 years.
   2856. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:37 PM (#4665145)
you do realize that the vice president has been wrong on just about every major foreign policy question of his career, correct?

i mean, i think the vice president is well meaning but for all his book learning he has one ugly losing streak.

I disagree with your assessment, Harv. Among other things, as senator he supported robust intervention in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq (twice), and Afghanistan, and urged quick action in response to the horrors of Rwanda. As far as I'm concerned, that's a pretty good record.
   2857. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:40 PM (#4665147)
Clapper, Bob Gates and Joe Biden have very different philosophies on foreign policy so it hardly surprised me that he bashed the Veep in the book.
   2858. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:41 PM (#4665148)
in his book secretary gates described Putin as a man of Russia's past, "haunted by lost empire, lost glory and lost power."

In his 2005 State of the Union speech, Putin described the collapse of the Soviet Union as "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the 20th century.(*) In the same speech, he further bemoaned the tens of millions of ethnic Russians left outside the Russian Federation by the USSR's breakup.

(*) Not WWI, WWII, or the rise of the Third Reich, or the Holocaust -- the collapse of the Soviet Union. That's some ####### loony tunes right there.
   2859. The District Attorney Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:43 PM (#4665149)
I guess a sensible agreement that we only need to start fighting once people are being involuntarily conquered was too boring and insufficiently trolltacular. Now we have to take back the whole country, even if that is both impossible to accomplish, and not what the people in the east want. Okay.
   2860. Morty Causa Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:43 PM (#4665150)
Biden was right about Afghanistan. He said Petraeus couldn't do there what he did in Iraq, and even Petraeus came to acknowledge that, and the best thing for the US to do was scale it down and try to make a dignified exit. Gates does like that, but what was his alternative?
   2861. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:56 PM (#4665154)
Here's the latest from Rogin:
Behind the scenes, Obama administration officials are preparing a series of possible battle plans for a potential economic assault on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, an administration source close to the issue told The Daily Beast. Among the possible targets for these financial attacks: everyone from high-ranking Russian military officials to government leaders to top businessmen to Russian-speaking separatists in Ukraine. It’s all part of the work to prepare an executive order now under consideration at the Obama administration’s highest levels. ...

Several administration officials said Sunday that the process of sanctioning Russian would take time to implement and could take even more time to garner a reaction from Russian president Vladimir Putin. The U.S. also wants to work with European Union countries to make sure the sanctions are coordinated for maximum effectiveness, while also preparing a multi-billion dollar economic aid package for the new leaders in Kiev.

The drive to find ways to tighten the economic noose around Putin’s neck is at the center of the administration’s strategy to not only punish Russian leaders but also to change their calculus about pushing forward with their occupation of Ukraine. ...

Even Russian business leaders could be targets for asset freezes and visa bans. Administration officials added that Russian companies were fair game for sanctions if they can be shown to have been involved in either the invasion of Ukraine, or the effort to destabilizing the interim government that replaced ousted President Viktor Yanukovich, who fled to Russia last week.

I give the administration credit for keeping W's man in charge of terror finance at Treasury and being willing to consider the options listed above in response to recent events. Hopefully, Obama will push forward without much delay.
   2862. Morty Causa Posted: March 02, 2014 at 11:05 PM (#4665157)
Some people forget this is the President that said he was going to get Bin Laden and then, to many people's surprise did exactly that. Don't sell him short. He comes across as pretty affable, but he has his ways and he has his concerns. I think he also is aware of the limits of what he can do with impunity. It's funny how those that hate him seem to be bipolar--he's a demagogue out to brutally and treacherously establish an authoritarian state here in the USA, but he's also a weakling when it comes to foreign affairs. Somebody needs some cognitive dissonance counseling.
   2863. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 02, 2014 at 11:05 PM (#4665158)
In his 2005 State of the Union speech, Putin described the collapse of the Soviet Union as "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the 20th century.(*) In the same speech, he further bemoaned the tens of millions of ethnic Russians left outside the Russian Federation by the USSR's breakup.

(*) Not WWI, WWII, or the rise of the Third Reich, or the Holocaust -- the collapse of the Soviet Union. That's some ####### loony tunes right there.
All politics is local.
   2864. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 02, 2014 at 11:42 PM (#4665169)
so, i've been watching yes, minister for the first time, and i'm just starting the 1st episode of the 4th season (the first with hacker as prime minister), and funnily enough, this is the scene that's been playing as i've been catching up on this page of the thread:

nuclear deterrent.


must. watch. seriously. click the link and stare.
   2865. Howie Menckel Posted: March 02, 2014 at 11:53 PM (#4665171)

"Well, there are many things rotten with BBTF and I, too, would be willing to pay to fix/make go away."

i finally got a new computer a month ago. at times, BBTF still finds a way to bring me back to those lovely "NOT RESPONDING" days of yore, like no other site

   2866. RollingWave Posted: March 03, 2014 at 12:32 AM (#4665178)
Crimea is roughly 12% Tatar.
It use to be more like 90%, I wonder what happened ...

I'm all for a independent Crimea..... for the Tartars. (of course, then we'll have folks going nuts over another muslim country in Europe. )

Ukraine as an single identity is indeed historically weak, but one do have to point out that until it got Mongoled , the heart of what is currently the Russian civilization was in Kiev.

Let's suggest the logical solution, return to the days of Kievan Rus, where Russia and Kiev both gets carved up into a dozen state.
   2867. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: March 03, 2014 at 12:33 AM (#4665179)
The books that were made out of Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister are terrific. They're not scripts and they're not just fictionalizations. They're framed as Hacker's self-serving memoirs, with material added in from Bernard and Sir Humphrey. They're not as great as the show, but they're quite good. And there's extra material in there!
   2868. RollingWave Posted: March 03, 2014 at 12:37 AM (#4665181)
As for all this situation , I think it be very very hard for the USA to literally let Russia annex a large country (Ukraine is the size of Alaska and the population of California.) Although if something like this does happen, if Russia actually annex Ukraine in a real war, the long term outlook for Russia will be very very bad.
   2869. bobm Posted: March 03, 2014 at 12:40 AM (#4665182)
[2864] Great clip. One more clip from YPM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSD1d-6P6qI



   2870. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 12:41 AM (#4665183)
Albert Brooks: Gravity has won all these awards and not one person has thanked Sir Isaac Newton.
   2871. bobm Posted: March 03, 2014 at 12:45 AM (#4665184)
I'm all for a independent Crimea..... for the Tartars.

My first association is to "Cream of Tartar." It does stabilize ... egg whites and whipped cream! :-)
   2872. bobm Posted: March 03, 2014 at 12:51 AM (#4665186)
The books that were made out of Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister are terrific. They're not scripts and they're not just fictionalizations. They're framed as Hacker's self-serving memoirs, with material added in from Bernard and Sir Humphrey. They're not as great as the show, but they're quite good. And there's extra material in there!

Agreed. The series' writers did a nice job of converting the episodes into readable works without boring and wordy description or exposition, by substituting editorial notes and "reproductions" of other materials, like memoirs of other politicians and civil servants besides the big 3, interview transcripts, government documents, etc.

It's also nice to learn how Hacker, Humphrey and Bernard all end up in life.
   2873. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 03, 2014 at 01:00 AM (#4665187)
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

I am a bit behind on the thread. But I just wanted to suggest to Harv, that if some adds are annoying you, and you never click on them anyway, you may just want to install adblock plus.
   2874. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 03, 2014 at 01:29 AM (#4665191)
From Europe, two decent political sketches: 1, 2.
   2875. Morty Causa Posted: March 03, 2014 at 01:41 AM (#4665193)
   2876. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 03, 2014 at 02:28 AM (#4665197)
As for all this situation , I think it be very very hard for the USA to literally let Russia annex a large country (Ukraine is the size of Alaska and the population of California.) Although if something like this does happen, if Russia actually annex Ukraine in a real war, the long term outlook for Russia will be very very bad.
Eh, Ukraine's population is close to 20 percent larger but your point stands re: Ukraine's ability to field a defense force. That would be a very ugly fight.
   2877. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 03, 2014 at 02:37 AM (#4665199)
In his 2005 State of the Union speech, Putin described the collapse of the Soviet Union as "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the 20th century.(*) In the same speech, he further bemoaned the tens of millions of ethnic Russians left outside the Russian Federation by the USSR's breakup.
As for all this situation , I think it be very very hard for the USA to literally let Russia annex a large country (Ukraine is the size of Alaska and the population of California.) Although if something like this does happen, if Russia actually annex Ukraine in a real war, the long term outlook for Russia will be very very bad.
If my FB feed is any indication, Russians are pretty strongly in support of this move. The disintegration of the Eastern Bloc was rough for Russians, and watching these countries break away from the old USSR was, for them, like watching California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida break away from the United States.

Imagine if, during some crazy political upheaval, California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida did actually break away in a non-violent manner and became sovereign nations. A couple of decades later, when the US had recovered its internal strength, what do you think the general sentiment would be towards re-absorbing those states? I'd bet they'd be pretty good. Russia looks at Ukraine, and the Crimean Peninsula in particular, that same way: rightful property that had been allowed, in a moment of weakness, to fall away.

It seems impossible for the West to have any say in curbing Russia's feelings towards their former lands. I have no idea what the US or the EU should do. Almost everything I've been reading from the pols here seem entirely driven by political posturing.
   2878. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 03, 2014 at 02:53 AM (#4665200)
Imagine if, during some crazy political upheaval, California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida did actually break away in a non-violent manner and became sovereign nations. A couple of decades later, when the US had recovered its internal strength, what do you think the general sentiment would be towards re-absorbing those states? I'd bet they'd be pretty good. Russia looks at Ukraine, and the Crimean Peninsula in particular, that same way: rightful property that had been allowed, in a moment of weakness, to fall away.

How many countries are you going to apply that "principle" to? Germany had some historical lands "slip away" in the 20th century, do they get to "re-absorb" those lost territories? More importantly, why would Russia's sentiments matter more than those of the newly independent states that don't want to be part of Russia, or under its thumb.
   2879. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 03, 2014 at 03:56 AM (#4665204)
How many countries are you going to apply that "principle" to? Germany had some historical lands "slip away" in the 20th century, do they get to "re-absorb" those lost territories? More importantly, why would Russia's sentiments matter more than those of the newly independent states that don't want to be part of Russia, or under its thumb.
From our point of voiew, it doesn't. That's my point: it's not our point of view that matters in this case. And for those people who think the US is acting weak, how far are you willing to go to assert American dominance in the area?
   2880. RollingWave Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:27 AM (#4665205)
Imagine if, during some crazy political upheaval, California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida did actually break away in a non-violent manner and became sovereign nations. A couple of decades later, when the US had recovered its internal strength, what do you think the general sentiment would be towards re-absorbing those states? I'd bet they'd be pretty good. Russia looks at Ukraine, and the Crimean Peninsula in particular, that same way: rightful property that had been allowed, in a moment of weakness, to fall away.

As YC noted above, that sort of slippery slope will open a really really ugly flood gate, hey let's re-create the Ottoman Empire while we're at it, No one in the former empire outside of Egypt and Israel stand a chance against Turkey anyway.

Meanwhile China retaking Taiwan? of course, forget about Taiwan, Mongolia too, and really, the Russians own us Chinese quite a bit of land too (well actually they owe the Manchurians but who's counting)

   2881. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:33 AM (#4665207)
As YC noted above, that sort of slippery slope will open a really really ugly flood gate, hey let's re-create the Ottoman Empire while we're at it, No one in the former empire outside of Egypt and Israel stand a chance against Turkey anyway.
Again, the question is, how far are you willing to go to stop it? The assumption seems to be that if only America would assert its interests firmly enough, people will back off. I find that difficult proposition to buy into. That usually works with weaker countries. I'm not sure that's going to work this time.
   2882. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 03, 2014 at 07:08 AM (#4665213)
From our point of voiew, it doesn't. That's my point: it's not our point of view that matters in this case. And for those people who think the US is acting weak, how far are you willing to go to assert American dominance in the area?

There's no reason to credit the Russian man in the street's feeling of grief at "losing" places like Lithuania, East Germany, Poland, and Ukraine. The difference between them and California, Florida, et al., is obvious.

Like others said, there's no logical end to the principle -- I'm sure there are people in England who decry the "loss" of India.
   2883. RollingWave Posted: March 03, 2014 at 07:20 AM (#4665214)
Again, the question is, how far are you willing to go to stop it? The assumption seems to be that if only America would assert its interests firmly enough, people will back off. I find that difficult proposition to buy into. That usually works with weaker countries. I'm not sure that's going to work this time.
That's the problem isn't it, it's a game of super high risk poker, but since Russia has far less to lose while the US has less to gain, it seems obvious that who's going to be the one to fold first.

Of Course, if the US DOESN'T Fold... welp, god help us.
   2884. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 03, 2014 at 07:34 AM (#4665215)
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told Mr.Obama by telephone on Sunday that after speaking with Mr. Putin she was not sure he was in touch with reality, people briefed on the call said. “In another world,” she said.

From today's NYT.

That's obviously the danger here, and it's real. The idea that he's just sitting around looking at his resource charts and making ultra-rational risk/reward calculations is pure fancy.
   2885. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 07:59 AM (#4665216)
Obviously Pootie-Poot is intoxicated by Obama's weakness.
   2886. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 03, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4665219)
He's not intoxicated by it, but he's certainly emboldened by it. It started with the unilateral pullback on the agreement to build missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic in 2009 in the face of Russian opposition and threats.

Putin took Obama's measure in that episode and Obama failed the test.
   2887. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 03, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4665220)
Putin took Obama's measure in that episode and Obama failed the test.


So in your book the way to deal with every international crisis is maximum bellicosity. Sabre rattling is it, because you know, "Strength."

I am so glad adults are in power now. I don't agree with everything Obama does on the world stage, but at least he is not a moron, compensating for things internationally. We have had enough of that in the past.
   2888. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4665221)
It started with the unilateral pullback on the agreement to build missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic in 2009 in the face of Russian opposition and threats.


We decided not to go ahead in part because it was needlessly antagonizing, in part because the Poles and Czechs didn't want them. But go on, you're rolling.
   2889. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 03, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4665223)
We decided not to go ahead in part because it was needlessly antagonizing

That's the inherent logic of appeasement. "Antagonizing" the nonsensical sensibilities of an authoritarian, revanchist state shouldn't be feared.

We have had enough of that in the past.

And it wound up freeing a bunch of countries from the Russian yoke, as opposed to today when they're returning thereto.


   2890. spike Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4665228)
nm
   2891. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4665229)
"Antagonizing" the nonsensical sensibilities of an authoritarian, revanchist state shouldn't be feared.


There's no point needlessly antagonizing a state, authoritarian or not, over something that is not in your national interest. Do you go around yelling at drug addicts and hobos? No, of course not, you have better things to do.

I also like the way you glossed over antagonizing our allies. Apparently it's good foreign policy to step on our allies in the process of antagonizing countries we don't like.
   2892. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:10 AM (#4665230)
to all the suggestions of loading software to manage the offensive ads I have three responses:

--if I have to adjust my environment to accommodate a content provider I typically stop accessing the content. I don't have these issues with the wall street journal as one example.

--I am leery of loading software onto my system. however tried and true I do not confess to being an expert in managing applications, I have experienced much frustration in just managing upgrades of existing applications and see point 1.

--i am willing to PAY to make such ads unnecessary.

   2893. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4665231)
I also like the way you glossed over antagonizing our allies in the process.

It wouldn't have "antagonized" our allies. People like Lech Walesa and the Czech foreign minister decried the decision at the time. Parts of the citizenry in those countries were against it -- not surprising given the Russian threats about it. Russia threatened to attack Poland if the installations were deployed there.

It's in our national interest to build proper missile defense systems on NATO soil. How is it not?
   2894. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4665233)
And it wound up freeing a bunch of countries from the Russian yoke, as opposed to today when they're returning thereto.


Sure it did. Manly Ronald Reagan single handedly intimidated the Soviets into having their empire dissolve, and if Obama were only manly enough. What a trite and yet odd little world view you have.

FYI, the USSR fell apart largely from internal pressures. There are costs to being an empire. Sure it looks all cool on maps and everything, but it doesn't really work out very well for the empire builder. Invading your neighbor is generally a sign of weakness, not strength.

And I am not suggesting that diplomatic pressure should not be brought and economic pressure as well, but there is no need for any military adventurism by the US needed here.

Harvey's - You are of course entitled to those opinions, but I for one would rather deal with the ads than pay. This site has a much different profile than the WSJ. Right now your options are software you don't want to deal with, ads you don't like, or not use the site. Maybe there will be a premium version of the site without ads someday, but for now it seems you are stuck. On the bright side after a bit a different set of ads will show up - maybe you will get the Asian Brides cycle, much better than adult gamer ads (right now I have a National Guard banner). :)
   2895. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4665234)
That's obviously the danger here, and it's real. The idea that he's just sitting around looking at his resource charts and making ultra-rational risk/reward calculations is pure fancy.


Maybe God ... or perhaps Stalin? ... is talking to him, the way He did to Obama's immediate predecessor.
   2896. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4665236)
Sure it did. Manly Ronald Reagan single handedly intimidated the Soviets into having their empire dissolve, and if Obama were only manly enough. What a trite and yet odd little world view you have.

Huh? Project much?

Invading your neighbor is generally a sign of weakness, not strength.

Back off, Putin! A bunch of American lefties see your invasion as weak!!! They're on to you!!!!!!


   2897. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4665239)
off topic but was Harrison ford drunk while presenting at the Oscars?


I assume they all are. Did you see Travolta?
   2898. Len Lansford, Carney Barker Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4665241)
For someone who has a hard firm point for America starting its decline in 1979, SBB sure has a huge fondness for Reagan / Cheney foreign policy.

But then again, I remember when Bush looked into Putin's eyes and saw his soul. Oh well, the GOP is back at war with Eastasia again.
   2899. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4665243)
Bush also appeased Putin. The "eyes/soul" thing was ridiculous.
   2900. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4665244)
off topic but was Harrison ford drunk while presenting at the Oscars?

I assume they all are. Did you see Travolta?


I assume Travolta was back to snorting rubber hose.
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