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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

OTP - March 2014: Russia denies calling shots in Ukraine’s Crimea standoff

Only Babe Ruth calls shots!

At a press conference for Kremlin-controlled media on Tuesday, Putin reiterated his position that Moscow has the right to use “all means” necessary to protect ethnic Russians and vital military assets in Ukraine, first among them the Black Sea fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

 

Bitter Mouse Posted: March 05, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 3254 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: lies, politics, war

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   1401. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 15, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4672135)
I think they have also grown tired of the disdain that Democratic elites have directed toward their state. West Virginia has changed a lot since the days when even Mike Dukakis could win the state as a Democrat. Al Gore would have been President if he'd carried West Virginia. He didn't, and neither did John Kerry. Those suggesting Obama's race is his problem in West Virginia are showing their own ignorance.

There is literally no state that Gore lost in 2000 which wouldn't have been enough to give him the electoral college had he won it.

In May 1960, Albert Maysles and D.A. Pennebaker shot the documentary "Election." The film is entirely about the West Virginia primary race between John Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey. In it, there's a scene where Humphrey speaks to a group of voters and tells them he's been up to New York and Massachusetts, meeting with editors from the New York Times-- and that those big city eastern elitists are laughing at West Virginians, laughing I tell you. (But he, Humphrey, fully understands their concerns and will tirelessly represent them.)

That was 54 years ago, and Humphrey thought he was playing off old resentments. So I'm not sure this Dukakis/Gore/Obama timeline for lost WV affections is all it's cracked up to be.
   1402. Mefisto Posted: March 15, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4672136)
Should have been "better than mediocre economy".
   1403. Mefisto Posted: March 15, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4672137)
Should have been "better than mediocre economy".
   1404. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4672138)
It wasn't mocking.

It most certainly was. He's infantilizing them saying they don't even know their own interests in opposing free-trade and immigration (which is 100% rational for them), and they need the sainted libs to take care of them.

Then he says their religious beliefs and belief in Constitutional rights are just the product of bitterness? Please, the disdain virtually drips off his lips. Just like Cuomo's comments about pro-life, pro-gun people not belonging in NY. The hatred is evident.

This is wrong. The Dems do just fine with white working class voters outside the South. It's only in the South where those voters skew R. The reason for that I think we can leave to Occam's Razor.

That study shows Dems losing working class whites everywhere except the MidWest. For the party that supports giving them money and health insurance for free, that's not very good.

Also, as I've said, the Reps have offered these people less than nothing. Hell, Romney himself was an off-shoring vulture capitalist. No surprise Mid Western industrial voters don't flock to him.

Wrong again. Not only do the numbers in the link above show the difficulty there, but white voters are becoming an increasingly smaller share of the electorate. The Rs got 59% of those voters last time and it's hard to see them doing better against an unblack candidate in a mediocre economy.

And as the Dems become more and more aligned with minority interests, that share will go higher and higher. The Republicans need to be non-treatening to minorities, so they can pick off the socially conservative Hispanic and Asian voters, and have populist agenda to cement the support of the white working class.

As long as they follow the WSJ agenda, your analysis holds. If they behave differently, it doesn't.
   1405. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4672139)
Should have been "better than mediocre economy".

When's that going to show up? The current economy is mediocre at best.
   1406. Jim Wisinski Posted: March 15, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4672140)
And I had a tree fall on my house, and couldn't even live there for a week. Disasters happen.


Nobody is claiming that modern tree planting technology is perfectly safe
   1407. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 15, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4672141)
. . . I just wanted to get you on record as to where this super duper wave of 10 Senate seats was going to come from, so I can mock you for it later.

6-10 is what I said, but as far as who mocks who, what is your 2014 election prediction? Counting on big Democratic gains, I suppose?
   1408. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4672145)
Nobody is claiming that modern tree planting technology is perfectly safe

8 people just died in NYC in a gas explosion. Are we going to regulate natural gas out of existence too?

Something being "perfectly safe" means people will die from it every year. More people die every year in swimming pools than in coal accidents, and swimming pools are 100% unnecessary. That's life, people die.
   1409. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 15, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4672146)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/apr/14/barackobama.uselections2008


Ah. As Mefisto points out, those comments were not mocking, though of course they were spun that way by GOP friendly propaganda outlets.
   1410. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 15, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4672147)
6-10 is what I said, but as far as who mocks who, what is your 2014 election prediction? Counting on big Democratic gains, I suppose?


I've stated my position on likely outcomes for 2014 multiple times in these threads. The fact that you can't or don't read what others write is... Actually, it's kind of expected behavior.
   1411. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 15, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4672148)
but white voters are becoming an increasingly smaller share of the electorate. The Rs got 59% of those voters last time and it's hard to see them doing better against an unblack candidate in a mediocre economy.

And as the Dems become more and more aligned with minority interests, that share will go higher and higher.


2012: White voters were 72% of the electorate, Romney 59, Obama 39
2008: 74% of electorate, McCain 55, Obama 43
2004: 77% of electorate, Bush 58, Kerry 41
2000: 81% of electorate, Bush 55, Gore 42
1996: 83% of electorate, Dole 46, Clinton 44 (Perot 9)
1992: 87% of electorate, Bush 41, Clinton 39 (Perot 21) -- 101%?
1988: 85% of electorate, Bush 60, Dukakis 40
1984: 86% of electorate, Reagan 66, Mondale 34
1980: 88% of electorate, Reagan 56, Carter 36 (Anderson 8)
1976: 89% of electorate, Ford 52, Carter 48

Not seeing the trend. The only trackable trend is on the lefthand side. If the share really does go higher and higher, Republicans will be lucky to stay even. In an environment where they've reached 50.01% of the national vote once in the last six elections.
   1412. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 15, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4672149)
8 people just died in NYC in a gas explosion. Are we going to regulate natural gas out of existence too?


You're smart enough to know that a one-off gas leak and explosion is not comparable to ground water contamination from the wash process for "clean coal."
   1413. Mefisto Posted: March 15, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4672150)
That study shows Dems losing working class whites everywhere except the MidWest.


Those are numbers for Obama, who has, shall we say, "peculiar" issues, and even with those it's close everywhere outside the South.

When's that going to show up? The current economy is mediocre at best.


I don't know, but it would sure help if the Rs would stop trying to torpedo the economy just to improve their own electoral prospects. Not that Obama's been very good on the economy -- he's done enough to stabilize the crash and induce slow growth, but not much more. Recovery will come, but it's hard to say when.

For the party that supports giving them money and health insurance for free


If only this were true. As you've noted, both parties are too interested in the .01%.
   1414. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 15, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4672152)
6-10 is what I said, but as far as who mocks who, what is your 2014 election prediction? Counting on big Democratic gains, I suppose?

I've stated my position on likely outcomes for 2014 multiple times in these threads. The fact that you can't or don't read what others write is... Actually, it's kind of expected behavior.

Evasive and non-responsive. What is your prediction, or should I just start mocking now?
   1415. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4672154)
Evasive and non-responsive.


No, #######. I've literally stated my projected results here three or four times already. Do you even read these threads? (Of course not. We all know you're in no way whatsoever interested in discourse, merely in spreading talking points.)

But whatever, here, for the fifth time, is what I think about 2014.

* Midterms skew old, white and conservative.
* 6th year midterms are generally bad for incumbent presidents.
* 2014 is is a 6th year midterm
* Additionally, the 2014 map is bad for Dems in general, because of which districts are up for election

These things being the case, I expect the GOP to gain seats in both chambers. I expect them to increase their control of the House and come within a seat or two of taking the Senate. In their best case, they will take 5-6 seats and control that chamber.

None of this will be meaningful to the legislative process in America, because anything passed by a GOP controlled Congress will be vetoed by the POTUS.

In 2016, the map flips and the demographics of general elections change and the Dems will regain seats in both houses, while retaining the Presidency.

Further, while you and your like-minded propagandists will spin the results of 2014 as a referendum on "Obamacare" and a resurgent GOP, it will be neither of those things. It will be simple demographics and the map.
   1416. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4672158)
If the Republican could figure how to shed the WSJ agenda, and come up with a platform to appeal to working class whites, they'd win the Presidency every time.

The goal is to appeal to a braod cross-section of voters, Snapper, not shrink the party by preaching protectionism and the closing our doors to legal immigrants. I reluctantly give props to the Clintons, Chuck Schumer, Zoe Lofgren, and other Democrats who have managed to pry loose much of white-collar America -- including Silicon Valley and Wall Street -- from the GOP while not alienating *too* many traditional Dem constituencies.
   1417. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4672161)
None of this will be meaningful to the legislative process in America, because anything passed by a GOP controlled Congress will be vetoed by the POTUS.

Two minor points in case the GOP takes the Senate, Sam:

1. A vote will be held on the Iran sanctions legislation immediately and enough Democrats will join with the GOP to override a POTUS veto.
2. Judicial nominations will go nowhere.
   1418. Lassus Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4672162)
Nobody should want to be 90, with all that entails.

I'd live to be 900 if I could. I certainly want to live past 90, and I'm practically guaranteed to lose organs and limbs to juvenile diabetes by that point.
   1419. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4672163)
In their best case, they will take 5-6 seats and control that chamber.

Not that different than the lower end of my 6-10 Senate seat prediction, but perhaps both of our numbers will go up.
   1420. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4672164)
1. A vote will be held on the Iran sanctions legislation immediately and enough Democrats will join with the GOP to override a POTUS veto.
2. Judicial nominations will go nowhere.


1. Of course. Give them the gavel and they're going to get their neocon on again. Idiots.

2. Judicial appointments have gone nowhere since 2008. Barring Antonin Scalia choking on a spare rib - a man can dream - won't be a game changer.
   1421. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4672165)
Not that different than the lower end of my 6-10 Senate seat prediction, but perhaps both of our numbers will go up.


Yes, and if you say "the Braves are likely to win 85-95 games this year" and I say "the Braves are likely to win 95-105 games this year," one of us is wishcasting.

It's also worth pointing out again that while I recognize the reality of midterm demographics and the map, you want to assign meaning to your favorite pet narrative and make it a referendum about "Obamacare," which it's not.
   1422. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:30 PM (#4672167)
The Republicans need to be non-treatening to minorities, so they can pick off the socially conservative Hispanic and Asian voters, and have populist agenda to cement the support of the white working class.

Of course the snapper prescription for that is to restrict immigration, which will do wonders for the GOP support among Hispanics and Asians. It's funny how you can read so much "hatred" into one remark about religion and guns, and yet be so tone deaf about the nasty undercurrent of so much of the anti-immigration rhetoric.
   1423. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4672169)
Snapper is hewing pretty closely to Ross Douthat's "Wal-Mart Republicanism." Much like liberals who dream of the day the DLC breaks loose of Wall Street and pushes a real left wing populism, he dreams of a day that Republicans break loose of Wall Street and push a right wing populist agenda. Both ignore the fact that money is power, and that populists will always fail to win the day against Wall Street's campaign financing power. Neither is going to happen unless serious campaign finance laws are passed limiting extensively how much a candidate can spend. (Actual public financing, Euro-style.)
   1424. Morty Causa Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4672170)
If one doesn't think illegal entry into this country should be validated and whitewashed, and that our government shouldn't be ignoring it or minimizing it, if one thinks that only legal immigration should be ratified--indeed, even if one simply doesn't want any more immigrants except maybe high level types--how would one express that to meet with your strictures? Is it possible to do so?
   1425. Publius Publicola Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4672171)
I reluctantly give props to the Clintons, Chuck Schumer, Zoe Lofgren, and other Democrats who have managed to pry loose much of white-collar America -- including Silicon Valley and Wall Street -- from the GOP while not alienating *too* many traditional Dem constituencies.


I think you give too much credit to the Dems and not enough to Republicans, who seem intent on chasing them away with too much religion, anti-science, generalized bigotry and insulting of the intelligence.
   1426. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4672172)
If one doesn't think illegal entry into this country should be validated and whitewashed, and that our government shouldn't be ignoring it or minimizing it, if one thinks that only legal immigration should be ratified--indeed, even if one simply doesn't want any more immigrants except maybe high level types--how would one express that to meet with your strictures? Is it possible to do so?


The GOP can never make this case, because quite simply, minority populations don't believe them when they say it's about "legality." It has been about race and white panic for so long for the core demographic that drives the GOP, it's nearly impossible for them to convince anyone that race and white panic is not driving their immigration issues. (Hint: race and white panic is driving the GOP base's opposition to immigration reform, not some nebbish concern with legality.)
   1427. Publius Publicola Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4672173)
The Republicans need to be non-treatening to minorities, so they can pick off the socially conservative Hispanic and Asian voters, and have populist agenda to cement the support of the white working class.


That's the trick, isn't it? How to bend towards the minorities without alienating the conservative, racist base. Quite a dilemma. The two constituences are diametrically opposed to one another. Or at least the racist base is diametrically opposed to minorities.

OTOH, they have managed to hold together a constituency of poor southern whites and moneyed elites, who are screwing the poor whites six ways from Sunday with their tax agenda so maybe it can be done after all. Maybe by convincing the whites they'll all be a minority some day too.

No, that won't work. Too much history there.
   1428. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4672174)
2. Judicial appointments have gone nowhere since 2008. Barring Antonin Scalia choking on a spare rib - a man can dream - won't be a game changer.

I'm not interested in spending the rest of the afternoon debating which of the two parties in recent history has been more obstructionist regarding judicial nominees. As I pointed out, these were *minor* points.
Much like liberals who dream of the day the DLC breaks loose of Wall Street and pushes a real left wing populism, he dreams of a day that Republicans break loose of Wall Street and push a right wing populist agenda.

Given the choice, the GOP is far more likely to push a libertarian agenda than a populist one. (Here's hoping they never steer too far in either direction.)

   1429. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4672175)
1. A vote will be held on the Iran sanctions legislation immediately and enough Democrats will join with the GOP to override a POTUS veto.
by immediately, you mean no sooner than 10 months from now, right? because the deal with iran was only on a 6-month trial basis, and that period of time expires long before the republicans could take control of the senate.

i don't want to speak for the guy, but obama isn't against sanctioning iran, he's against using sanctions to torpedo a potentially landmark nuclear agreement with iran. if this thing falls through (which is definitely a possibility because republicans and iranian fundamentalists both want it to), i'm pretty sure sanctions will be right back on the table.

   1430. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4672179)
The GOP can never make this case, because quite simply, minority populations don't believe them when they say it's about "legality." It has been about race and white panic for so long for the core demographic that drives the GOP, it's nearly impossible for them to convince anyone that race and white panic is not driving their immigration issues. (Hint: race and white panic is driving the GOP base's opposition to immigration reform, not some nebbish concern with legality.)

So up until the mid-1990s, Sam, the organized labor movement in the United States was obsessed with "race and white panic?"
   1431. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4672180)
by immediately, you mean no sooner than 10 months from now, right? because the deal with iran was only on a 6-month trial basis, and that period of time expires long before the republicans could take control of the senate.

As of now, Steagles, the "interim" agreement will last for six months ... and then get renewed for another six months ... and then get renewed for another six months ... and then....
   1432. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 15, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4672181)
Dana Milbank losing faith in ObamaCare . . . or Millennials . . . or maybe both - Why Millennials Have Abandoned ObamaCare:
An army of 15 million voters under 30 swept Obama past Hillary Clinton and John McCain and to the presidency in 2008. More than 12 million helped him return in 2012. But now his presidency is on the line — and the Obama youth are abandoning him in his hour of need. The administration announced last week that only 1.08 million people ages 18 to 34 had signed up for Obamacare by the end of February, or about 25 percent of total enrollees. If the proportion doesn’t improve significantly, the result likely will be fatal for the Affordable Care Act.

   1433. Publius Publicola Posted: March 15, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4672182)
More than 12 million helped him return in 2012. But now his presidency is on the line — and the Obama youth are abandoning him in his hour of need.


Think some of them won't vote for Obama in 2016, YC?

You might be right.
   1434. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 15, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4672183)
So up until the mid-1990s, Sam, the organized labor movement in the United States was obsessed with "race and white panic?"


1. Nothing I said suggested as much. The motivations of the traditional left with regard to Policy X does not indicate the motivations of the traditional right with regard to the same Policy.

2. That said, the labor movement, especially in the industrial Midwest/Rust Belt, has its fair share of racists and panicky white folk.
   1435. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 15, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4672188)
Some WonkBlog coverage of Individual Mandate Exemptions
But the GOP's exemption argument has the potential to be a little more disruptive. These exemptions are real – back in December, the administration spelled out 14 types. This week, the GOP has focused on two in particular. The first one has to do with canceled plans. The administration said in December that anyone whose individual health plan was canceled last year wouldn’t have to pay the penalty in 2014 if they remain uninsured.  Those people also have the option of purchasing cheaper catastrophic plans. Just last week, the White House extended that exemption for another two years. The GOP said the White House tried to sneak through that latest exemption.

The other focus has been on a vague hardship exemption. People can avoid any penalties if they “experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance.” This language is pretty broad. And those who claim hardship don’t have to provide documentation. So, doesn’t this mean anyone can just claim hardship and avoid the penalty for not having insurance? The GOP is arguing as much. But the administration says these exemptions are limited, and just applying for one doesn’t guarantee you’re going to get it. Each request is processed manually, and people could be asked to provide more information or be denied outright.
. . .
Washington and Lee University law professor Tim Jost, a supporter of the health law, agrees that the exemptions are supposed to be limited. Still, he said the confusion over exemptions could create a problem. “The administration is opening itself up to having to deny a lot of frivolous claims,” he said.

Not exactly clear what the exemption standards are.
   1436. Morty Causa Posted: March 15, 2014 at 05:47 PM (#4672191)
The GOP can never make this case, because quite simply, minority populations don't believe them when they say it's about "legality." It has been about race and white panic for so long for the core demographic that drives the GOP, it's nearly impossible for them to convince anyone that race and white panic is not driving their immigration issues. (Hint: race and white panic is driving the GOP base's opposition to immigration reform, not some nebbish concern with legality.)

So it can't be made to your satisfaction. A person can even be for upholding the law.

Then, why can't someone hold the position that we have enough of a certain class in this country? If you want to call that racism/ethnocentric, so be it, but at that point, as a matter of law and politics, why would holding this position be beyond the pale?
   1437. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 15, 2014 at 05:59 PM (#4672193)
So it can't be made to your satisfaction. A person can even be for upholding the law.


It can't be made to the satisfaction of the minorities in question. It's like why the GOP as currently aligned (post-Southern Strategy, et al) will never convince African-Americans that their policies are really about pristine supply-side economic theory rather than keeping the black man in his place. History matters.

A person can be fore upholding the law. But if that person is promoting the modern GOP, with its base of traditionally racist white southern men at its core, that person will never convince a significant portion of the *legal* Hispanic community that their concerns about immigration is about legalisms rather than anti-Hispanic racism. History matters.

Then, why can't someone hold the position that we have enough of a certain class in this country?


You can if you like.

If you want to call that racism/ethnocentric, so be it, but at that point, as a matter of law and politics, why would holding this position be beyond the pale?


Because history matters.
   1438. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 07:41 PM (#4672203)
It can't be made to the satisfaction of the minorities demagogues in question.

When all else fails, call a Republican racist, misogynistic, or homophobic, regardless of the merits. Welcome to the party, Paul Ryan.
   1439. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 07:49 PM (#4672205)
I miss HW's contributions in these threads. At least he's honest about the "qualities" of the people he's aligned with and voting for ...
   1440. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 08:06 PM (#4672210)
So who's the Primate responsible for introducing the term "wishcasting?" It was introduced to me in response to the relatively nice things I said about Joe Biden a few months back. Hardly a day goes by now without seeing the phrase, yet our interpretation isn't even found at Urban Dictionary, which only refers to wishcasting as an "[a]ct of "wishing" a storm, such as a hurricane, would come your way to "add excitement.'"
   1441. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 15, 2014 at 08:11 PM (#4672213)
When all else fails, call a Republican racist, misogynistic, or homophobic, regardless of the merits. Welcome to the party, Paul Ryan


I haven't called anyone a racist, a misogynist, or homophobic. I have merely pointed out that the base of the GOP as it is currently aligned, is racist, misogynist and homophobic. If you can't recognize this basic reality of the world, you're living in a dream world. I'm sure the the majority of the GOP buzzhive you know in DC are nice folks, urbane and witty and relatively entertaining at cocktail parties. Come down south sometime and I'll introduce you to some of the folks they wring votes out of.
   1442. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 15, 2014 at 08:12 PM (#4672217)
So who's the Primate responsible for introducing the term "wishcasting?"


Not sure, but I've been using "wishcasting" to mean throwing pennies in a well and making wishes. For a while now.
   1443. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 08:16 PM (#4672218)
So who's the Primate responsible for introducing the term "wishcasting?"


Is this an actual question?
   1444. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 08:19 PM (#4672220)
I'm sure the the majority of the GOP buzzhive you know in DC are nice folks, urbane and witty and relatively entertaining at cocktail parties. Come down south sometime and I'll introduce you to some of the folks they wring votes out of.

So you pal around with known racists, misogynists, and homophobes? If we're going to play that game, maybe the next time you're up here I'll introduce you to Maxine Waters, Alan Grayson, and Al Sharpton.
   1445. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 08:21 PM (#4672221)
Is this an actual question?

I am genuinely curious, CoB. I have never heard it used in this context away from BTF, perhaps even outside of the OTP thread.
   1446. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 08:25 PM (#4672224)
I am genuinely curious, CoB. I have never heard it used in this context away from BTF, perhaps even outside of the OTP thread.


Well, okay, I'll take you at your word, but I don't think I can even count the places I've seen it used, in exactly the way it's used here, around the intertubes

Let's just say ... it's been plentiful (and, of course, *long* before it showed up on BBTF).

There are things I'd "credit" us for, but this isn't one of them ...
   1447. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 15, 2014 at 08:29 PM (#4672225)
So you pal around with known racists, misogynists, and homophobes?


I go home for holidays, yes.
   1448. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 08:39 PM (#4672227)
Here's an extended excerpt from a pretty good Walter Russell Mead analysis of Putin:
...Putin appears to be following the Adolf Hitler strategy manual pretty much to the letter.

Putin is no Hitler, and from the standpoint of power he isn’t even a Brezhnev. Still, his actions in Ukraine have been following Adolf’s playbook pretty closely. [Emphasis mine.] Adolf wanted to tear up the Treaty of Versailles. Putin is attempting to rip up the post-Cold War settlement in Europe and Central Asia. Like Hitler’s Germany, Putin’s Russia is much weaker than its opponents, so it can’t achieve its goal through a direct military challenge against its primary enemies. Like Hitler’s Germany, Putin’s Russia must be clever until it grows strong, and it must play on its enemies’ hesitations, divisions and weaknesses until and unless it is ready to take them on head to head.

“Keep them guessing” is rule number one. Nobody was better than Hitler at playing with his enemies’ minds. For every warlike speech, there was an invitation to a peace conference. For every uncompromising demand, there was a promise of lasting tranquillity once that last little troublesome problem had been negotiated safely away. He was so successful at it (and Stalin, too was good at this game) in part because his opponents so desperately wanted peace. French politicians like Leon Blum and British leaders like Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain were as hungry for peace (it was the Depression after all, and both countries had suffered immensely in World War One) as Barack Obama and Francois Hollande are today. Commendably and properly, they wanted to fix their domestic economies, create a more just society at home, repair their infrastructure and cut their defense budgets. They were not in the mood for trouble overseas, and so a cold blooded con man found them to be easy marks.

Putin has played on western illusions very successfully for a very long time. Remember all those ‘experts’ (many, alas, in government service) who thought that the Medvedev presidency represented a real shift in Russian politics? How shocked and disappointed people were when Putin stepped smoothly back into the top job? It is the oldest trick in the book: bait and switch. Humiliate John Kerry by making him cool his heels for three hours in the Kremlin, and then dangle hope of a cooperative relationship. Hold out a ‘helping hand’ when the Obama administration has gotten itself into an embarrassing predicament over its Syria red line, then kick Uncle Sam in the teeth at Geneva.

There was never a good reason to believe any of Putin’s talk of peace and cooperation. After the Cold War, America and its allies jammed NATO expansion down Russia’s throat. The European Union worked to expand right up to Russia’s frontiers while making it crystal clear that Russia could never be a member. Putin is no Hitler, but neither is he a Konrad Adenauer, determined to accept defeat and to cooperate wholeheartedly in building his country’s future within the lines drawn by the victors. And the US made Adenauer’s Germany a much better offer than it made Putin’s Russia. You would have to be living in what the Germans call das Wolkenkuckkucksheim, cloud-cuckoo-land, to believe that a man like Putin would passively accept the post-Cold War order.

But cloud-cuckoo-land is exactly where many westerners live, in a resolutely post-historical world where foreign policy is about development, human rights, non-proliferation and trade. If Putin tells us he lives there too, we are hungry to believe him. We don’t want to live in a difficult world. Our grandfathers and great-grandfathers were having a fabulous time in cloud-cuckoo-land back in the 1930s and many of them clung to their illusions until the last possible moment. We want to live in a stable and secure world order but we don’t want to make the sacrifices world order requires—and so we will gaze deeply into the eyes of anybody who is willing to tell us what we most want to hear.

Hitler’s situation was like Putin’s in another way. Like Russia now, Germany in the 1930s was weaker than its western opponents, but its leader had much more power to change course. Hitler’s Germany was an opportunistic predator; it could move quickly, change direction on a dime, and lay plans in secret. His western opponents ran democratic governments where everything moved very slowly, secrets were regularly published in the press and big foreign policy moves were telegraphed well in advance. Hitler used what he had, and took advantage of his supreme personal power and control of the press to make Germany a much more aggressive and dynamic international actor than his lazy, contented and slow-moving opponents. Hitler could move at speed that made his rivals’ heads spin and frequently left them gaping in flat footed amazement at his quick strikes and rapid changes of course. He knew that surprise was one of his chief advantages and he used it to the hilt.

President Putin is not a stupid man. He knows that Russia faces stronger but slower moving opponents. He knows that deception, misdirection and surprise are among his most effective tools. We must expect him to use them often and to use them well. The west ended up looking utterly flatfooted and clueless as Putin moved into Crimea just as it did in 2008 when he moved into Georgia. That is the way Russia wants it.
   1449. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 15, 2014 at 08:42 PM (#4672228)
A bit more on Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.VA) and his electoral difficulties:
Rahall trails Republican challenger state Sen. Evan Jenkins by a 54-percent to 40-percent margin. The poll was conducted by the Tarrance Group, a Republican firm which, like several Democratic and other Republican firms, has had a good record for reliability over the years. This is astonishing for several reasons. Rahall, first elected in 1976, is now the seventh most senior member of the House . . . Moreover, his district in southern West Virginia has historically been very Democratic; in its previous boundaries it voted for Walter Mondale over Ronald Reagan in 1984. Rahall won in 1976 by 46 percent to 37 percent over Ken Hechler, his predecessor in the seat, who after losing a Democratic primary for governor ran as a write-in candidate; the Republican nominee received only 18 percent of the vote. From 1978 to 2008, Rahall was re-elected with at least 64 percent of the vote, except in 1990 when he beat Republican Marianne Brewster by only 52 percent to 48 percent.

But this is coal country, and Rahall's margins have gone down after President Obama was elected president. In 2010, Rahall won by a reduced margin of 56 percent to 44 percent, and in 2012, his margin was only 54 percent to 46 percent. Obama's unpopularity surely cost him: John McCain carried the district within its then-boundaries by a 56-percent to 42-percent margin in 2008, and Mitt Romney carried the current district 65 percent to 33 percent in 2012.
   1450. Publius Publicola Posted: March 15, 2014 at 10:56 PM (#4672243)
But this is coal country, and Rahall's margins have gone down after President Obama was elected president.


Talk about misdirected blame. Coal country's problem is fracking, not Obama.

Maybe North Dakota will turn blue as compensation.
   1451. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 15, 2014 at 11:28 PM (#4672256)
Here's an extended excerpt from a pretty good Walter Russell Mead analysis of Putin:
interesting.

but the main difference between hitler and putin is the potential endgame. when hitler lost, he shot himself in the head. if putin was backed into that same corner, he has his finger on the trigger of enough nuclear weapons to make the earth glow orange for the next thousand years.
   1452. tshipman Posted: March 16, 2014 at 02:19 AM (#4672274)
The problem for me with the comparisons to Hitler is that Putin's motivation is trade. Hitler never really cared about trade, so it's really weird to compare Putin to Hitler.

I think looking at Napoleon or Bismark or any number of other figures is more instructive than looking at Hitler. Sanctions were never going to bring down the Third Reich. But they could actually be an effective deterrent against Putin's adventures if the EU would set them.

This is the biggest reason why the Putin/Hitler comparisons make me tetchy. (nothing aimed at you, JE).
   1453. Publius Publicola Posted: March 16, 2014 at 07:44 AM (#4672289)
Putin only cares about power. Trade is important in this case because it's a lever to exert power, or to drain power away. He went after the gas facility to prevent Ukraine from using the same lever.

Really, if he was only concerned with trade, he'd join the EU. Trade would be much easier for him from that alignment. But he harbors dreams of empire glory and can't do that.
   1454. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 16, 2014 at 08:09 AM (#4672290)
Trade is just another weapon for Putin; it isn't remotely an end in itself.
   1455. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 16, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4672329)
The amount of internet psychology going on here is amusing. I am positive Putin will not be a problem, Bush looked into his eyes and judged the soul of the man. What more do you need?
   1456. Morty Causa Posted: March 16, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4672335)
Some here keep pretending Putin is this cold-eyed super-rational Machiavellian. It should be worrisome when the reflexive response of any leader to the possibility of not getting his way is force and violence. That inclination is not a comforting attribute in the leader of a country especially given the weapons that leader has at his disposal and the powder keg region he's asserting himself in. It's not just what he's objectively doing; it's what it shows about his mindset. That's what's scary. A way short of military action needs to be found to come down hard on him. That means the concerted effort of an entire panoply of nations ignoring the short term and relatively trivial economic consequences to them. But, clearly, a short term sacrifice now could save a huge one later.
   1457. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 16, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4672338)
I am just really disappointed that this OT thread has not devolved into crazy speculations about what happened to that Malaysian flight. I mean, guys, it's a ####### crazy story!
   1458. Publius Publicola Posted: March 16, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4672340)
I mean, guys, it's a ####### crazy story!


Not so crazy once you realize it's a clear case of alien abduction.
   1459. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4672347)
I am positive Putin will not be a problem, Bush looked into his eyes and judged the soul of the man. What more do you need?

Sigh. At least W bolstered our regional allies, Mouse, not turned our backs on them. Even after being presented with overwhelming evidence that Putin was no responsible actor, Obama and Hillary* still went ahead with the reset.

* With her recent comments regarding Putin, it's clear that Hillary has had the good/political sense to wake up and smell the coffee.
   1460. Publius Publicola Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4672371)
At least W bolstered our regional allies, Mouse, not turned our backs on them.


He did? How does removing valuable troops from eastern Europe and redeploying them for an unnecessary invasion in Iraq bolster our regional allies? Here's a list of countries with their troop commitments:

Romania: 730 peak
Estonia: 40 troops
Bulgaria: 485 peak
Moldova: 24 peak
Ukraine: 1,650 peak
Czech Republic: 300 peak
Bosnia and Herzegovina: 85 peak
Latvia: 136 peak
Poland: 200 invasion—2,500 peak
Armenia: 46 troops
Georgia: 2,000 peak
Lithuania: 120 peak
Hungary: 300 troops
   1461. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4672383)
Pew survey confirms massive drop in social trust in millennials (from previous generations), and in all generations since 1987, when question first asked. A mere 19% of millennials agree that most people can be trusted, as society becomes ever more atomized and narcissistic.
   1462. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4672386)
Even after being presented with overwhelming evidence that Putin was no responsible actor, Obama and Hillary* still went ahead with the reset.


The 'reset' lasted all of two years, and it accomplished everything it was supposed to do; it was only ever meant as a short-term policy.

Putin is not Hitler or Machiavelli; I am not sure he is even Mussolini. Since we're all psychoanalyzing him, here is what I see:

Putin is a nationalist: he believes in robust defense of Russian national interests, by force if necessary. He perceives the period running-up to his assumption of power as one in which Russia's neighbors took advantage of its weakness, to the detriment of Russian economic and political interests. He wishes also to push back against a West that he sees as overly meddlesome and aggressive in its backyard, such as bringing the Baltics into NATO, holding out the promise of NATO membership to Georgia, developing close military ties with Russia's neighbors, and invading countries with which Russia has had close ties (Iraq, Syria). The West generally throws its weight around without taking Russia into consideration, and he wants that to change. In Georgia, he reacted to what he saw as Georgian interference in South Ossetia, an interference that was prompted by a disregard for Russia as a regional power. After disrupting what had been a cold peace in South Ossetia, Georgia then outright invaded South Ossetia, a territory that was under Russian protection. Putin could not disregard this; he needed to show that Russia could protect its allies and that it was not going to be bullied by its neighbors. So it invaded Georgia, compelled a cease-fire, and withdrew, having demonstrated that it would act aggressively to protect its interests.

Russia also sought to increase its influence in Ukraine. When Yanukovych was elected, Putin saw an opportunity for closer ties with a country that was already closely connected economically to Russia. The EU, again muscling in with no regard to Russian interests, sought its own connection with Ukraine. Yanukovych was in a delicate situation, but Russian pressure won out, and the EU deal was rejected. The West responded by fomenting a revolt against the legitimate government of Ukraine, arming radicals and providing moral support. After fighting in Kiev, Yanukovych was obliged to flee to Russia. Once again, Russia had the choice: abandon an ally, and show weakness, or support the legitimate President of Ukraine and aggressively defend Russian interests. But what could Russia do? A gesture was required, but what ought it to be? The Crimea, strategically situated, largely Russian ethnically and home to Russia's Black Sea naval base was under potential threat from the anti-Russian government in Kiev. A move into the Crimea would serve. The West's aggression would be countered and a statement of Russian power made. A plebiscite would ratify the outcome.

Note that I am not endorsing these decisions, but they flow logically from Putin's nationalism and his perception that the West has been acting against Russian interests and that Russia has been lax in defending its national security. There is no 'grand plan' -- each Russian action has been in response to clearly perceived threats to Russia. What follows in Ukraine is not clear. Putin probably feels that what's good for the goose is good for the gander: If the West is going to destabilize the legitimate Ukrainian government, Russia can play the same game. At the very least it prevents the new Ukrainian regime from getting its feet under it and provides incentive for it to come to an accommodation with Russia, which probably would involve Yanukovych returning as President. The Baltics are not a concern, unless there should be further provocation against Russia.

   1463. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4672390)
Note that I am not endorsing these decisions, but they flow logically from Putin's nationalism and his perception that the West has been acting against Russian interests and that Russia has been lax in defending its national security. There is no 'grand plan' -- each Russian action has been in response to clearly perceived threats to Russia.

Oh please. We've seen the same "Grand Plan" since Muscovy managed to defeat the Golden Horde.

Every Russian regime, Tsarist, Soviet, or post-Soviet (with the sole exception of Boris Yeltsin) has sought to expand its sphere of dominance over Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

This is the same playbook we've seen for 500 freaking years. Imperialism is not a legitimate Russian national interest, no matter what the Russians think.
   1464. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4672392)
Imperialism is not a legitimate Russian national interest, no matter what the Russians think.


Wait, imperialism is not a legitimate Russian interest, but it is a legitimate Western interest?
   1465. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4672394)
Of course the snapper prescription for that is to restrict immigration, which will do wonders for the GOP support among Hispanics and Asians. It's funny how you can read so much "hatred" into one remark about religion and guns, and yet be so tone deaf about the nasty undercurrent of so much of the anti-immigration rhetoric.

Illegal immigration. I never said anything about restricting legal immigration. We probably have the right amount of legal immigration, the mix should just be shifted to be more skills based.

BTW, illegal immigration is very bad economically for all the working class Hispanics and Asians who are here legally. Whose jobs do you think illegal immigrants compete for most directly? The previous wave of immigrants.

If you're an immigrant, here legally, and have a job in construction or a restaurant making $125-150 a day, the last thing you should want is an unlimited stream of immigrants willing to work for $75-100 a day.

   1466. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4672396)
The goal is to appeal to a braod cross-section of voters, Snapper, not shrink the party by preaching protectionism and the closing our doors to legal immigrants. I reluctantly give props to the Clintons, Chuck Schumer, Zoe Lofgren, and other Democrats who have managed to pry loose much of white-collar America -- including Silicon Valley and Wall Street -- from the GOP while not alienating *too* many traditional Dem constituencies.

I'm talking about broadening the GOP's appeal, by class. Again, I have no desire to restrict legal immigration.

Jason, we're not going to win back the socially liberal white suburbanites; they're too invested in the liberal/secular social agenda at this point.

The GOP needs to appeal to the socially conservative working class voter, who doesn't like the leftist agenda, but view the Republicans (largely correctly) as a bunch of WSJ elitists, who only want to bolster corporate profits by off-shoring, outsourcing, and variously screwing American workers.

BTW, a lot of the Hispanic and Asian immigrants are socially conservative working and lower-middle class. They're part of the group the GOP needs to reach.

Just like on abortion, the Republicans need to evince strong principles on immigration and trade, without demonizing immigrants or foreign workers. e.g. any illegal immigration crackdown should start with serious penalties on the employers.
   1467. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4672399)
Wait, imperialism is not a legitimate Russian interest, but it is a legitimate Western interest?

What countries is the US/NATO/EU invading? What regions of countries are we trying to annex?

Helping a country fend off foreign aggression ain't imperialism, outside the wackadoo leftist mindset where everything the US does is imperialism.

We're acting (or should be acting) to help a Ukrainian Gov't that seems to be freely choosing to associate with the West over Russia.
   1468. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 16, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4672403)
Wait, imperialism is not a legitimate Russian interest, but it is a legitimate Western interest?

Possibly. The West and its values and societies, are better than Russia. So at least in theory it could be legitimate for the West, but not for Russia.
   1469. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 16, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4672405)
I'm talking about broadening the GOP's appeal, by class. Again, I have no desire to restrict legal immigration.
that's a neat little trick. the severe restriction of legal immigration has driven waves of illegal immigration, so by saying you have no desire to further restrict it, you're just taking the piss.
   1470. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4672408)

What countries is the US/NATO/EU invading? What regions of countries are we trying to annex?


Let's see: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria (nearly), and our client Georgia invaded Russia. We didn't annex any of them because we couldn't even pretend that a majority wanted us there (unlike ethnic Russians in the Ukraine), but we are still in Afghanistan 12 years later and our government openly announced it wanted to keep an occupation force in Iraq for 50 years or more.

We're acting (or should be acting) to help a Ukrainian Gov't that seems to be freely choosing to associate with the West over Russia.


From Putin's viewpoint, the current government in Kiev came to power via violence and street thuggery, and is a minority that has been backed by outside powers.
   1471. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 16, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4672409)
that's a neat little trick. the severe restriction of legal immigration has driven waves of illegal immigration, so by saying you have no desire to further restrict it, you're just taking the piss.

"Severe restriction"? As of a couple years ago, the U.S. was admitting more legal immigrants per year than all of the other countries on the planet added together.
   1472. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4672410)
Romania: 730 peak
Estonia: 40 troops
Bulgaria: 485 peak
Moldova: 24 peak
Ukraine: 1,650 peak
Czech Republic: 300 peak
Bosnia and Herzegovina: 85 peak
Latvia: 136 peak
Poland: 200 invasion—2,500 peak
Armenia: 46 troops
Georgia: 2,000 peak
Lithuania: 120 peak
Hungary: 300 troops

Holy moly, Mouse. So the supposedly unilateralist POTUS had enough support from these nations bordering Russia to contribute to our undertakings in Iraq, not to mention Afghanistan, and somehow this is evidence that they got weaker under Bush?
   1473. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4672419)
Dana Milbank caught these amusing assessments of the Sink-Jolly special election, both from GOP Congressman Greg Walden:

Greg Walden on March 11, 10 A.M. (election morning): "Whether we win it or lose it, the special elections aren't too predictive for either side going forward. If there's any advantage of a special election, it's that you can test messages, and you can test strategies, and you can test sort of your theories on voter turnout and ID. So, I mean, that's kind of the takeaway... far more than 'Is it indicative of what's going to happen 239 days from now? ...[It's about] what matters to the people in that district, wherever that district is. That's how you're going to win a race."

Greg Walden, 10 hours later (after the result): "David [Jolly] proved that Pinellas County voters are tired of the devastating policies of this administration. Tonight, one of Nancy Pelosi's most prized candidates was ultimately brought down because of her unwavering support for Obamacare, and that should be a loud warning for other Democrats running coast to coast." The following morning, Walden was working the morning shows, saying Democrats "should be pretty panicked."
   1474. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4672422)
Let's see: Iraq, Afghanistan,

As misguided as Iraq and Afghanistan were, they don't fit any normal definition of Imperialism. There was nothing for us to gain economically or power-wise there, and we didn't even make an attempt to gain from it. e.g. we could have forced the Iraqis to sign a long-term oil deal with the US, selling us their oil below market price, bu we didn't. Those were attacks on what we viewed as enemy nations to disarm their ability to hurt us. Ill-advise preemptive wars, yes. Imperialism no.

Libya,

We acted to help topple an unpopular, anti-Western ruler, who was massacring his people. What did we gain from it? We thought it was the right thing to help the rebels.

Syria (nearly)

This is a bad joke. We don't have a single soldier on the ground, or really, any influence at all. If that's Imperialism, it's the most feckless Imperialism ever.

and our client Georgia invaded Russia.

Now you really tip your hand. No one outside of the worst of Putin's paid apologists even claims Georgia invaded Russia. Russia provoked unrest in a region it coveted, and when the Georgians tried to maintain order and control in their country, the Russians invaded. Pure, unprovoked aggression.

Why do you sympathize more with foreign tyrants and bullies than your own country? There's some really sick anti-US/Western self-loathing going on when someone claims "our client Georgia invaded Russia".
   1475. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4672423)
From Putin's viewpoint, the current government in Kiev came to power via violence and street thuggery, and is a minority that has been backed by outside powers.

Almost missed this beauty.

The guy who ordered his police to gun down civilians in the street is the victim of "violence and street thuggery"?

What are your applying to be Putin's press secretary, or Gauleiter of the new Obalst formed out of Eastern Ukraine?
   1476. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4672424)
"Severe restriction"? As of a couple years ago, the U.S. was admitting more legal immigrants per year than all of the other countries on the planet added together.
and yet here you are, still complaining about illegal immigration.

the fact is that you, like many generations of natives who have come before you, just don't like immigrants. natives didn't like protestant immigrants when they came here, they didn't like the chinese, they didn't like the germans or the irish or the jews. legal or illegal has absolutely nothing to do with it, and this conversation is just not worth having until you are willing to acknowledge that as a fact.
   1477. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4672426)
and yet here you are, still complaining about illegal immigration.

the fact is that you, like many generations of natives who have come before you, just don't like immigrants. natives didn't like protestant immigrants when they came here, they didn't like the chinese, they didn't like the germans or the irish or the jews. legal or illegal has absolutely nothing to do with it, and this conversation is just not worth having until you are willing to acknowledge that as a fact.

Too dumb for a reply. Steagles gonna Steagles, I guess.
   1478. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4672427)
I don't care for the Polish immigrants.
   1479. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4672428)
Why do you sympathize more with foreign tyrants and bullies than your own country? There's some really sick anti-US/Western self-loathing going on when someone claims "our client Georgia invaded Russia".


I'm not claiming it, Putin claims it -- the whole exercise is to look at affairs from his standpoint.

As misguided as Iraq and Afghanistan were, they don't fit any normal definition of Imperialism. There was nothing for us to gain economically or power-wise there, and we didn't even make an attempt to gain from it.


We deposed leaders that were unfavorable to us and replaced them with leaders who were more favorable. That's what Putin would say.

We acted to help topple an unpopular, anti-Western ruler, who was massacring his people.


Right, we deposed a leader we didn't like. Much like Putin believes happened in the Ukraine.

This is a bad joke. We don't have a single soldier on the ground, or really, any influence at all.


We are supporting the rebels, and from Putin's perspective we held back from invading only at the last moment, due to Putin's intervention.

You may think it's a bad joke, but conducting diplomacy without trying to understand the other side is only going to lead to frustration.


Now you really tip your hand. No one outside of the worst of Putin's paid apologists even claims Georgia invaded Russia.


From Wikipedia:
On 7 August, Georgian and Ossetian forces agreed on a ceasefire. However, in the first hours of 8 August 2008, Georgia launched a massive attack. According to a report prepared by the Georgian government, the Georgian army acted after a large number of Russian troops and around 150 armored vehicles and trucks entered the South Ossetia territory through the Roki tunnel on the night of 7 August. Allegedly the Russian military and Ossetian militia started a heavy artillery bombardment of the Georgian populated village Tamarasheni located on the outskirts of Tskhinvali at 9pm on 7 August. However, an OSCE monitoring group in Tskhinvali did not record outgoing artillery fire from the South Ossetian side in the hours before the start of Georgian bombardment, and NATO officials attest to minor skirmishes but nothing that amounted to a provocation, according to Der Spiegel. Georgia's claim that it responded to a large-scale Russian invasion has received little support from Georgia's allies, the US and NATO


Apparently NATO is now a paid Putin apologist.
   1480. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4672429)
Too dumb for a reply. Steagles gonna Steagles, I guess.
let me rephrase then:

you are not worth having a conversation with.
   1481. bobm Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4672432)
Pew survey confirms massive drop in social trust in millennials (from previous generations), and in all generations since 1987, when question first asked. A mere 19% of millennials agree that most people can be trusted, as society becomes ever more atomized and narcissistic.

Why should we believe you without a link? :-)
   1482. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4672434)
I'm not claiming it, Putin claims it -- the whole exercise is to look at affairs from his standpoint.

Why? Why do I care what a neo-fascist thug, KGB murderer, with Soviet Imperial ambitions claim? Even he doesn't believe that bull #### he's peddling.

Looking at things from the other side's perspective only makes sense if they have legitimate claims and interests. Not when they are engaged in unprovoked aggression.

On 7 August, Georgian and Ossetian forces agreed on a ceasefire. However, in the first hours of 8 August 2008, Georgia launched a massive attack. According to a report prepared by the Georgian government, the Georgian army acted after a large number of Russian troops and around 150 armored vehicles and trucks entered the South Ossetia territory through the Roki tunnel on the night of 7 August. Allegedly the Russian military and Ossetian militia started a heavy artillery bombardment of the Georgian populated village Tamarasheni located on the outskirts of Tskhinvali at 9pm on 7 August. However, an OSCE monitoring group in Tskhinvali did not record outgoing artillery fire from the South Ossetian side in the hours before the start of Georgian bombardment, and NATO officials attest to minor skirmishes but nothing that amounted to a provocation, according to Der Spiegel. Georgia's claim that it responded to a large-scale Russian invasion has received little support from Georgia's allies, the US and NATO


Pardon? All this fighting happened inside Georgia. Even if there were no Russian troops present at all, it's still Georgian territory. Even a completely brutal and unprovoked attack on the separatists (and there was plenty of provocation) wouldn't be an invasion of Russia.
   1483. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4672437)
let me rephrase then:

you are not worth having a conversation with.

Physician, heal thyself.

If I hated non-whites half as much as you think, I probably wouldn't have moved from lily-white upstate New York to Miami, and then from Miami to Mexico.

It was a good try, though — especially for someone of your limited abilities.
   1484. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4672439)
Why? Why do I care what a neo-fascist thug, KGB murderer, with Soviet Imperial ambitions claim?


Because it's part and parcel of securing our national interests. We need to know what the likely actions of other powers are, and even more importantly, what the reactions to our actions are likely to be.

Even he doesn't believe that bull #### he's peddling.


That is a very, very serious mistake to make. I think my summary of Putin's beliefs is relatively accurate. He may not believe the most hyperbolic claims put out by his media, but he probably believes in their essential truth, in part because there is some truth to them. There are ethnic Russians in the Crimea and the Ukraine who feel threatened by the new government in Kiev, and who would welcome Russian intervention.


Looking at things from the other side's perspective only makes sense if they have legitimate claims and interests. Not when they are engaged in unprovoked aggression.


You see to equate "looking at things from the other side's perspective" with "have sympathy for the other side's perspective", when that's not the case at all. If the other side is behaving in an aggressive and/or erratic way, then looking at things from their side is even _more_ important, as it is a situation that is far more dangerous.

And I think Russia has legitimate claims and interests in the Ukraine. Claiming it doesn't is a recipe for perpetual conflict.


Pardon? All this fighting happened inside Georgia. Even if there were no Russian troops present at all, it's still Georgian territory.


That's certainly not Russia's point of view. From Russia's point of view, Georgia was invading an autonomous territory that Russia had vowed to protect, and which was under a cease-fire agreement (that last, at least, is held to be true by both Russia and the West).

Now, you're free to disagree with that. But failing to take that into account in this situation led to military conflict.

Contrast that with US policy towards Taiwan. China considers Taiwan a breakaway province, we have a different view, but we've managed to keep the peace despite the disagreement. That comes from understanding the other side and taking it into account.


   1485. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4672443)
Holy moly, Mouse.


Wrong address, 1460 was not me.
   1486. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4672445)
Wait, imperialism is not a legitimate Russian interest, but it is a legitimate Western interest?


Possibly. The West and its values and societies, are better than Russia. So at least in theory it could be legitimate for the West, but not for Russia.

You know what they used to say: "The Sun never sets on the Empire of Legitimate Values."
   1487. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4672447)
You know what they used to say: "The Sun never sets on the Empire of Legitimate Values."

The conversation turned to philosophies, hypotheticals, and first principles -- and Andy got confused.

Film at 11.
   1488. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4672450)
That's certainly not Russia's point of view. From Russia's point of view, Georgia was invading an autonomous territory that Russia had vowed to protect, and which was under a cease-fire agreement (that last, at least, is held to be true by both Russia and the West).

Now, you're free to disagree with that. But failing to take that into account in this situation led to military conflict.


It's one thing to hate America and the West -- they certainly aren't perfect -- but exalting Russia in their stead to the degree we've seen here is downright degenerate.
   1489. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4672451)
Physician, heal thyself.
huh? are you having a stroke?
If I hated non-whites half as much as you think, I probably wouldn't have moved from lily-white upstate New York to Miami, and then from Miami to Mexico.
i don't really care whether or not you think you're a racist. i'm sure that some of your best friends are very well-spoken.

what i care about is that the debate around illegal immigration is almost completely focused on the illegal aspect, but as the 200+ year history of america has demonstrated, it's not the illegal part that riles people up, and contrary to your response, the immigrants race doesn't really matter either.

it is, as it always has been, about the wave of immigration itself. immigration is an important issue; "illegal" immigration is a red herring.
   1490. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4672452)
It's one thing to hate America and the West -- they certainly aren't perfect -- but exalting Russia in their stead to the degree we've seen here is downright degenerate.


What posts in this thread exhibit hate for America and the west OR exalt Russia?
   1491. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4672455)
What posts in this thread exhibit hate for America and the west OR exalt Russia?


You have to understand, for SugarBear, any position which isn't actively rah-rahing for western expansion into Russia's traditional "near abroad" is "appeasement." Anyone who so much as considers that there may be some underlying *rationale* for Putin's rabidly nationalistic actions hates America and is probably a Communist infiltrator. Basically, if you're not fer us, ur agin us and all that.
   1492. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4672458)
Wrong address, 1460 was not me.

Thanks.

Holy moly, Kevin.
   1493. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4672461)
i don't really care whether or not you think you're a racist. i'm sure that some of your best friends are very well-spoken.

what i care about is that the debate around illegal immigration is almost completely focused on the illegal aspect, but as the 200+ year history of america has demonstrated, it's not the illegal part that riles people up, and contrary to your response, the immigrants race doesn't really matter either.

it is, as it always has been, about the wave of immigration itself. immigration is an important issue; "illegal" immigration is a red herring.

Oops, Steagles is being Steagles again.

As I pointed out above, the U.S. admits more legal immigrants per year than all other countries added together. Only in the (small) minds of race-obsessed liberals is the immigration debate entirely about race rather than legal vs. illegal, low-skilled vs. high-skilled, chain vs. skills-based, the effect of mass immigration on U.S. wages, etc., etc.
   1494. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4672465)
It's one thing to hate America and the West -- they certainly aren't perfect -- but exalting Russia in their stead to the degree we've seen here is downright degenerate.


Is someone confusing this thread with watching "conservatives" on Fox News?
I know for a fact that they hate America (with their mom-jeans-wearing leader) and exalt the power and authority of Russia (and the nigh-homoerotic praise of their shirtless leader). The fact that they are almost drooling while praising Putin's "strength" makes you wonder if the cable channel has switched the Fox News channel with the RT one.
   1495. GregD Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4672467)
As far as I can see, I see it this way:
Russia is a large country that has always had its eye on its borders
Unless Russia's economy collapses--a serious possibility though not one at present--it will always be so
Putin has been in charge of Russia since 99/2000. We know who and what he is. Someone looking to build up Russia's power however he can but someone who is also worried about undercutting himself by foolish overreach
A strategy that aims to get them to forget about expansion is one that will either fail or be incredibly costly (Japan 1945 accomplished this but not many others have)
Enforcing ethics in International Relations is virtually always impossible. And our acts of the last decade haven't made it easier.
Ukraine's pro-Russian (and democratically elected) government was toppled by an anti-Russian uprising that surely included elements of democratic activists and hardcore anti-Russianists, liberals and scary dudes
Most regional powers get antsy when a friendly neighboring government is overthrown--it may not be "right" but is totally predictable as a response
Russia has peculiar legal rights and interests in Crimea, akin to ours in Guantanamo or something along those lines

I suppose I am just a boring Realist.

In that context, I don't think we will do anything that will make Russians not want to be more powerful. I don't think we will "teach" Putin a lesson. I also don't think there are many examples of people who have played the game skillfully and aggressively but not foolishly for 14 years, as Putin has, and suddenly launched wild invasions of every single place on the planet, as the Hitler analogies suggest. Stalin is a much better comparison. Or Peter the Great.

So I think it comes down to:
1) What can realistically be accomplished in Crimea? And at what cost? Is it worth it us to put pressure to maintain Crimea as an independent country instead of as a province of Russia? Even if we know that Crimea will be a puppet state? We can probably accomplish that and that could be worthwhile. Is it worth the cost? I don't know.

2) How can we defend Ukraine without cementing a dictatorship there?

3) How can we over time decenter Russia's economy from its role in the West? Weakening Russia's economy, not teaching them a lesson, is the way to limit these events, if that is the goal.
   1496. Lassus Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4672468)
Jason, we're not going to win back the socially liberal white suburbanites; they're too invested in the liberal/secular social agenda at this point.

Treating people not like us as actuals humans who have the same rights? I know, horrible. We're just beyond hope.
   1497. greenback calls it soccer Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4672469)
Fred Phelps is on his death bed. I wish there was a better version of Maryland's old "Amen Chorus" on YouTube.
   1498. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4672472)
what i care about is that the debate around illegal immigration is almost completely focused on the illegal aspect, but as the 200+ year history of america has demonstrated, it's not the illegal part that riles people up, and contrary to your response, the immigrants race doesn't really matter either.

It is, as it always has been, about the wave of immigration itself. immigration is an important issue; "illegal" immigration is a red herring.

Illegal immigration didn't become a national issue until the 1960s and a burning one until perhaps the 80s.
   1499. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4672473)
Treating people not like us as actuals humans who have the same rights? I know, horrible. We're just beyond hope.

Unless those rights don't involve sex in some way, in which case they're totally illegitimate.
   1500. GregD Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4672475)
Illegal immigration didn't become a national issue until the 1960s and a burning one until perhaps the 80s.
?? Chinese immigration was one of the 3-4 major political issues from the 1870s-1910s. Mexican immigration has been a big issue though not as big an issue as now from the mid-1870s. Comanche crossing back and forth of the border--not quite the same thing but not wholly unrelated--was a huge deal in the 1840s-1870s. Illegality is confusing in the 19th century, but claims that stowaway eastern and southern Europeans were sneaking in or lying about their criminal past or hiding terrible diseases or plotting revolutionary overthrow were always shaded with questions about their legality. And there were always scares that immigrants from Europe were going to Canada and crossing over. Admittedly that's a different legal regime than now, so you can get into knots over what exactly was "illegal" back then, but certainly people were arguing vociferously that the immigrants were getting here improperly.
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