So which stories / issues / topics have grabbed your attention, or seized your imagination, here at the end of the week?
So many stories, I don't know where to start.
Regrettably, both University of Delaware basketball teams make early exits from post-season tournaments. Barring some incredible alignment of the stars, it looked like the Blue Hen men would not be able to break the Hens' winless streak in NCAA Tournament games. Not with the Michigan State Spartans as the Hens' first-round opponents (picked by President Obama to win it all. By the way, should the President still be prognosticating the NCAA tournament?)
One wonders: Will the Blue Hens - winless after five tournament appearances - EVER be able to win one NCAA tournament game? Former U.D., now Notre Dame "Irish" coach Mike Brey apparently thought it to be exceedingly unlikely that the Hens would ever win the upset in the NCAA tournament.
Two William Penn High School students face felony charges after driving a stolen car to the high school as kids were arriving for class.
Some Delaware public schools will not have to extend their academic years to make up for all the days lost to winter weather. The Delaware Board of Education okays a plan to "forgive" up to six snow days. But state Secretary of Education Mike Murphy admonishes the districts to plan for such snow contingencies, presumably through more elastic schedules.
Police are still at a loss to explain what sparked a massive brawl in the parking lot at Dover Downs after Midnight Thursday? A number of Delaware State University students were apparently involved. At least three people arrested, but police don't believe any of the combatants used weapons.
State Senator Bobby Marshall (D-Wilmington West) introduces legislation to hike Delaware's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2016.
Once again, General Motors is on the ropes. Doubtless, new G.M. CEO Mary Barra is looking at the massive judgment against Toyota. But so soon after emerging from bankruptcy and a U.S. government bail-out, G.M. faces a crisis of liability and credibility for old Chevrolet Cobalts and other autos recalled for faulty ignition switches now linked to at least a dozen fatalities and 31 crashes -- inexcusably more than a decade after the first signs of trouble.
G.M. is caught in a real squeeze: Democrats will assail a company that seemed to sacrifice the safety of its customers for its internal needs, doubtless, to preserve its "credibility". And don't forget Democratic-backed trial lawyers, likely to reap big damage rewards. Republicans will doubtless exploit the G.M. fiasco as the latest example of the futility of government intervention in the private sector, taxpayers' financed bail-outs; etc.
An explosive new book puts the focus on continuing U.S. aid to Pakistan. The WRONG ENEMY: AMERICAN in AFGHANISTAN, 2001-2014 argues the largely unsuccessful U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan was the result of Pakistani duplicity, gladly accepting U.S. aid dollars while still covertly backing the Taliban and other extremist groups. Also, that elements of Pakistani intelligence, the I.S.I., were aware Osama bin Laden was squirreled away in that home in Abbottabad, in fact, continued to communicate with him.
Russian troops are amassing along the Ukrainian--Russian frontier, heightening concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin will order troops across the border into Ukraine proper. Ukraine's foreign minister Andrii Deshchytsia declares the world must reject Russia's 'anschluss' in Crimea.
Curious historic factoid from the first Crimean War of the 1850's which beautifully illustrates how wars and other historic events can produce unintended consequences halfway around the world: When Russia lost the Crimean War to an alliance comprising the Ottoman Empire, France, Britain, and Sardinia, with a "neutral" assist from the Austro-Hungarian Empire (and perfectly illustrating how Russians over history feel encircled despite the vast expanse of Russia itself!), Czarist Russia faced a gigantic war debt. This led to the demise of Russian America. Czar Alexander II grasped Russia would have difficulty defending Alaska - and anyway, as far as was known, Alaska was a vast wasteland, no valuable resources! - plus, to get a little cash, Russia sold Alaska to the United States in 1867 -- Seward's Folly! (Considering the abuse members of Congress aimed at Secretary of State William Seward, this was a classic example of members of Congress - only concerned about short-term politics - as nincumpoops. Later asked what he considered to be his biggest, lasting achievement as secretary of state, Seward replied: "The purchase of Alaska---but it will take the people a generation to find it out...")
New Gallup polling: The biggest rationale for a Hillary Rodham Clinton presidency -- breaking the gender barrier.
An analysis in The Los ANGELES TIMES, I think, is spot on:
"UPBEAT SIGNS for G.O.P. BEFORE MID-TERM VOTE MAY MASK ITS LATINO PROBLEM"
Basically the article forsees Republicans roaring through the 2014 mid-term, Congressional elections, "because non-presidential elections draw lower concentrations of the kinds of voters that they have struggled to win over." Decisive Republican gains, the argument goes, would mask the G.O.P.'s longer-term demographic problems, which could very well keep the White House beyond reach in 2016. Republican strategist Steve Schmidt argues G.O.P. gains would "give you a false picture about the health of the party heading into a presidential election year." Further... "The long-term problem for Republicans is that in every demographic that is growing in the country, Democrats are gaining market-share." And, "in every demographic group in the country that is shrinking, Republicans are gaining market-share..."
Posted at 8:37am on March 21, 2014 by Allan Loudell
Sharyl Attkisson (who recently left CBS News) has started her own website to report the news CBS (and the other news outlets) won't report. Resisting undue corporate, political and other special interests."
Sharyl also highlights 11 stories that should be big news in 2014 if reporters did real reporting: Ten Plus One 2013 Stories That Should Make News in 2014
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 9:07am
You're right Allan, lots of interesting stories. Here's my spin on one of those stories:
Congrats to the University of Delaware team for making the playoffs; the Hens should feel very good about that, good job. You took on a very tough school, nothing to be ashamed about. Learn from this season and improve for next year. Having said that, there's also another aspect to look at in this topic.
The University of Delaware isn't of the same caliber as those larger schools, sort of like Delaware State taking on the University of Delaware each fall in their annual football classic. Del State gets its clock cleaned. Well, the quite often arrogant U of Del needs such a reality check. While they may be the "big deal" or shall I say "the cock of the walk" [kind of a Blue Hen reference] here in tiny Delaware, they are minor league when compared to the powerhouse sports schools around the nation. So the U of Del playing some of these powerhouse schools is like the Blue Rocks taking on the World Series champs, not really an even match.
But the experience is a valuable experience for those young men and women as they get to play at a higher level, and that can really open your eyes.
I remember when in high school, winning, through my audition, a seat to play in the All-State Band [back in 1968 and again in 1969]. These were all the top high school musicians in Delaware playing together in one large band. They brought a band director from various music colleges around the nation each year to lead the band. These directors were used to a higher level of play; they challenged and stretched us as we fast learned that while we may be the top of the pile in Delaware high school music, we still had much to learn. It was a very humbling experience, and gave us a glimpse of what we could achieve if we continued to work hard at our craft. This is the lesson our students from the U of Del should hopefully walk away with, not that they lost, but that they CAN achieve this higher level of play if they continue to work hard at their craft and learn from the experience.
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 9:07am
Actually, I tried contact Ms. Atkisson via that website in an effort to set up an interview.
But her site kept rejecting my e-mails. (Of course, I can't contact her through the network, as I used to.)
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 9:27am
Hopefully you can reach her for an interview...she is a very interesting person and one of the few real news reporters today.
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 9:40am
How long and how many millions (billions?) of dollars will be spent by dozens of countries looking for the Malaysian plane? If a Delta flight disappeared off the coast of Alaska would anyone besides the US search for it?
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 9:44am
Why do we need Hillary for president to break the gender barrier? Why can't a Republican woman provide the same effect? That's like saying Obama is the only black who can break the racial barrier (by the way, he's actually raised THAT barrier). Alan Keyes was running for president at the same time as Clinton, so they could have had their black president 20 years ago if that was really what it was about, which it wasn't.
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 9:47am
Arthur: Probably not. America tries to be all things to all people but when it comes time to help us they all high tail it outta there.
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 9:52am
You miss the irony that Mr. Obama beat Mr. Keyes for that U.S. Senate seat from Illinois... the first time BOTH major party candidates for a U.S. Senate seat were African-American.
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 9:56am
"Republican strategist Steve Schmidt argues G.O.P. gains would "give you a false picture about the health of the party heading into a presidential election year." Further... "The long-term problem for Republicans is that in every demographic that is growing in the country, Democrats are gaining market-share." And, "in every demographic group in the country that is shrinking, Republicans are gaining market-share..."
I think this analysis is true for the G.O.P. but not so much for the Tea Party...Rand Paul just got a warm welcome and standing ovation at the University of California BERKELEY!! How many G.O.P. Republicans could do that?
If the G.O.P. does well in 2014, I think the Republicans will nominate a Jeb Bush/Chris Christie--type candidate and will hand the presidency to Hillary R. Clinton.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 10:04am
If G.M. is truly on the ropes again, so quickly after being bailed-out by us the taxpayer [Did we get all our money back? Hope so!], then the government SHOULD NOT bail them out again. They should have to do the chapter 11 or 13 thing. We've gave them a second chance; now they need to stand on their own. So maybe the union will have to make concessions, maybe the CEO and the higher-ups will have to take some serious pay cuts, etc., etc., to keep G.M. afloat. Too bad, so sad, that is how business works; you gamble that your business will do well as you take risks in the marketplace, and if it does well, do well, if it doesn't do well, then you don't. This time, let's allow G.M. to fight its own battles.
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 10:05am
Check out two articles suggesting Rand Paul - as a candidate or even as a nominee - would be a flash in the pan.
Then, I'd love to get your reaction/rebuttal:
From POLITICO Magazine: "Ready for Rand? Americans hate Rand Paul's weird ideology. They just don't know it yet"
By Kevin D. Williamson (Roving correspondent, NATIONAL REVIEW)
Also from POLITICO Magazine: "Rand Paul's Foreign Policy is a Mess: The 2016 hopeful is trying to play the hawk and the dove. And it's not pretty"
By Will Marshall (President, Progressive Policy Institute)
By the way, I happen to believe Rand Paul WOULD draw some 20- and 30-somethings, attracted to his libertarian views on foreign policy and drugs.
But, I think Rand Paul would otherwise do little to address the G.O.P.'s aforementioned demographic problem: Women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, plus older folks fearful of losing their Social Security / safety net benefits!
Now, let me suggest something intentionally provocative: With regard to (not) offering U.S. lethal aid, let alone military intervention in Ukraine, is not President Obama's foreign policy approach not somewhat similar to Senator Rand Paul's (although neither man would admit it)? I'm not alluding to drones and intelligence surveillance; in these areas, the two men are clearly poles apart. But with regard to first Syria, and now Ukraine?
It reminds me of this headline in NATIONAL JOURNAL: "In Ukraine as in Syria, the 'Obama Doctrine' Rules: No Military Aid"
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 10:38am
Ms. Atkisson's stories all seem to be middle-of-the-road. I can see no partisan lean one side or the other; I would venture that what is under attack is actual reporting.
Her leave of CBS could be the equivalent of a honest journalist being kicked out of North Korea's News Organization.
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 10:41am
Rand Paul is no flash in the pan. I would argue that like his dad, he will continue to have strong followers forever, just not enough to make a difference...
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 10:48am
For Republicans to gain inroads, they need to attack big business. The Democrats, by coddling up to Wall Street and disassociating themselves from labor unions, have given Republicans a lot of opportunity to become the populist party.
But I seriously do not see Republicans taking that opportunity. On the only two wedge issues they have, N.S.A. and Common Core, they are as divided as the Democrats; nationally they are all on the side of big business; locally when they run, they all run against big business.....
They seriously have no hope.
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 11:43am
As one might expect I look at the same information as Mr. Williamson and Marshall and see something completely different. I actually think that if people bother to look at issues, and Rand Paul’s positions on them, he could do quite well in 2016. People in our country are tired of war and starting any new wars… Paul’s use of “soft force” for Ukraine IMHO is the best solution, much better than U.S. boots on the ground. Hillary, Jeb Bush, Romney, etc., would probably agree with neo-cons like McCain and Graham.
(BTW, I was for sending troops into both Iraq and Afghanistan and now look at both wars with very different eyes…)
“What we don’t need right now is politicians who have never seen war talking tough for the sake of their political careers.” Those who invoke Ronald Reagan to justify their bellicosity, he added, should remember that some similarly overzealous hawks called the Gipper an appeaser for negotiating nuclear arms accords with Soviet leaders.”~Rand Paul
The difference between 0bama and Rand’s position on Syria and Ukraine is that Rand would not have painted the “red line” he knew he would not cross. That mistake in Syria (plus Kerry’s blunders) strengthened and emboldened Putin to go for Crimea/Ukraine.
Consider Paul’s ideas for punishing Russia, which are so inconsistent they sometimes cancel each other out: Paul the geopolitical hardliner calls for re-starting work on American missile defense systems in Eastern Europe that were suspended as part of Obama’s unsuccessful “reset” of U.S.-Russian relations. But Paul the skinflint insists that “the Europeans pay for it”—which means the missile shields probably won’t go up. In one breath, Paul calls for more vigorous U.S. action to punish Russia for its rogue behavior; in the next, he bemoans the fact that America is “broke” and can’t be the world’s ATM or policeman.
Again I see sound logic where the writer sees inconsistency… IF the Europeans wish to protect themselves from Russia, then let them pay for their own “insurance policy”. Paul supports their right to build the missile defense shield, but also supports us not footing the bill… that looks like a sound geopolitical position to me. Rand supports my Second Amendment right, but would not make other citizens pay for my own protection…
Most Americans want to strengthen our own country and our own economy before attempting to rescue other nations with our armed force, or spending billions of dollars that we simply don’t have.
And to address the demographic problems supposedly facing Rand… I think that if people in these groups would actually bother to listen to his policies, they would like him better than any of the current Republicans and more than Hillary. His stances on marriage and many other topics discussed in the two Politico pieces actually solve the problems rather than producing more. Treat everyone equally… justice FOR ALL… not treating certain groups to special privileges/rights. His comparison of the bakery dispute and the Duck Dynasty story summed up well how to solve the problem.
But, 2016 is still quite far away in the political world, so we shall see how Rand fares against the many others contending to be the president of the United States of America. It wasn’t that long ago that Rubio was the front-runner for 2016…and look at him now.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 11:49am
"IF Europe wishes to protect themselves from Russia then let them pay for their own “insurance policy”.
I say, AMEN.
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 11:50am
Thank you for your in-depth, thoughtful, nuanced response.
I have one question: As you understand Senator Paul, would he still believe the United States were obligated to come to the aid of a NATO member (i.e., Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) under attack, lest the alliance be a paper tiger?
Or would he race to yank the United States OUT of NATO precisely to avoid such an obligation (while some would argue that would only increase the likelihood of Russian moves into those former Soviet republics)?
That is the dilemma...
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 12:16pm
Mr. Loudell: I would lean towards scenario #1 but must confess I do not know with 100% certainty what Rand Paul would do in that situation. Maybe that question will come up in the 2016 debates, or maybe you can snag an interview with Rand and ask him.
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 1:21pm
I'd love to interview Rand Paul. Unfortunately, with Delaware not looming large in Presidential politics, we often can't access all the candidates, unless that candidate has made a special commitment to Delaware.
And given that none of the candidates who stuck out their necks for Delaware (Phil Gramm, Steve Forbes, Lamar Alexander, Newt Gingrich, Joe Lieberman) got very far (with the exception of Barack Obama campaigning here, but that came after the parties' boycott because Delaware's primary was being held within a week of New Hampshire's), we'll have to see what happens in 2016.
With regard to your impassioned position that only if people "would actually bother to listen" to Rand Paul's policies... just remember that folks in some or many of the aforementioned demographic groups might never take that step, or else, assume the worst about the candidate because the organizations claiming to represent them castigate Rand Paul.
But I do believe some libertarian ideas may be anathema to folks who just don't believe government is usually evil in contrast to corporate America. Just like Steve Forbes with his flat tax. Very little chance of persuading average people that a flat tax wouldn't benefit the very wealthy compared to the middle-class and poor people.
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 5:21pm
Allan: I would consider the fact that Obama beat Keyes in the Senate race to be irrelevant. That race was decided by Illinois voters, and Chicago ones at that.
Also, I cite the timeline here. It was 2004 that Obama beat Keyes, but Keyes has been on presidential primary ballots as far back as 1992.
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 6:15pm
I agree; it was obviously an Illinois election, not a national election.
I just found it ironic that you mentioned Alan Keyes, so I thought it might be worth reminding people of the history.
By the way, it was more than Chicago that won that election for Barack Obama. Obama carried 92 of Illinois's 102 counties; Keyes carried ten. Popular vote: 70% to 27%.
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 6:17pm
Allan: I correct myself slightly here. In 1992 Keyes ran against Mikulsky for the Senate seat in Maryland and lost 71% to 29%. He ran for president in 1996 and basically got kicked off the Republican ticket because he was the only one who would touch the abortion issue.
I do think if you're a Republican and want to carpet bag, you should at least go to a red state. In any event, Keyes was out there running for president long before anybody ever heard of Obama and so the fact that it took "so long" to elect a black president is not due to racism but rather "Uncle Tom-ism."
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Mar 22, 2014 10:05am
This is Why 95% voted YES in Crimea
A USA Today article explains why 95% of Crimean’s voted to be annexed by Russia. The Russian government promised to boost pensions and rebuild the infrastructure on this dilapidated Black Sea peninsula. Sevastopol, once was a favored resort of the former USSR’s elite, but since becoming part of the Ukraine has fallen on hard times. The Crimean’s get about half the pension of Russian citizens, and this formerly beautiful resort is a crumbling city that doesn’t have running water at night. Russia has promised to spend, literally Billions of Rubles, reviving Crimea and bringing their pensions up to Russian standards, including building two bridges between Russia and Crimea which will make access to the resort area easier.
Sounds like Crimea has been neglected by the Ukraine. Now we better understand why 95% voted to join Russia. Even in Russia, voters will vote for their wallet‘s best interest. Whether or not Russia lives up to their promises, only time will tell.
Sat, Mar 22, 2014 1:04pm
Thanks for finding that story on the infrastructure of Crimea. If we can think in similar terms of working for a small company that can't meet our needs, we'd too be happy that big company was buying it, providing hope and change for a brighter future than the status quo.
With Crimea, the only question is what is Putin going to do next? Because even Sudetenland would have been a non event if Hitler had stopped being aggressive at that point and turned his attention on domestic policies and strengthening the economy of Germany...
Btw, does anyone know the portion of the population in those overtaken countries supporting Hitler's early takeover or Sudetenland?
Crimea has caused me to see that German takeover perhaps in different eyes; prior I only had the West's take on that, and saw it through the eyes of hindsight past WWII.
Since we don't know Putin's intentions, we have to take the logical choice: which is since we don't know, we should prepare for the worst. Back in WWII, if Allied troops had been in Poland upon the attack, perhaps Hitler would have thought differently? Or had the West been there, a Western counter-Invasion would have occurred immediately and Germany would be in dire straits at the beginning. Paris would never have fallen; London would never have been bombed, and Russia would never have been invaded....
Therefore we should ratchet up our troop strength in Ukraine with its primary goal to prevent the outbreak of war... Making the cost of attack so great, the attack never comes.
Here is a great tool Ukraine maps from the bbc.
From one of the maps it appears that two more provinces will likely follow suit after Crimea, primarily for the reasons Mike gave above. If they do and the elections take place not under armed invasion, then that is fine. They have the right to self determination.
Logic dictates that the US put troops there to insure no more invasions occur, and that those elections will be deemed fair in the eyes of world opinion....
It will take the US to lead. Europe can't lead by itself, it's members are so divided, and has always fallen back on the path of least resistance when exercising any military or diplomatic endeavor. Obviously that won't work against a major threat... , such as the one now presenting itself.
The primary threat is not military action, but the shut-off of gas supplies... Though that threat has always been present, now it is dependent upon Western Europe's actions whether it gets turned off or not.
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Mar 22, 2014 3:09pm
Kavips: Pat Buchanan explains what he believes to be Putin's motive in Crimea, it is rather interesting. Here is an excerpt with the link so you can read the entire piece.
"Was it not predictable that Russia, a great power that had just seen its neighbor yanked out of Russia’s orbit by a U.S.-backed coup in Kiev, would move to protect a strategic position on the Black Sea she has held for two centuries?
Consider the world Putin saw, from his vantage point, when he took power after the Boris Yeltsin decade.
He saw a Mother Russia that had been looted by oligarchs abetted by Western crony capitalists, including Americans. He saw millions of ethnic Russians left behind, stranded, from the Baltic states to Kazakhstan.
He saw a United States that had deceived Russia with its pledge not to move NATO into Eastern Europe if the Red Army would move out, and then exploited Russia’s withdrawal to bring NATO onto her front porch.
Had the neocons gotten their way, not only the Warsaw Pact nations of Central and Eastern Europe, but five of 15 republics of the USSR, including Ukraine and Georgia, would have been brought into a NATO alliance created to contain and, if need be, fight Russia....Putin's approval is now at 72 percent because he is perceived as having stood up to the Americans and answered our Kiev coup with his Crimean counter coup.
America and Russia are on a collision course today over a matter — whose flag will fly over what parts of Ukraine — no Cold War president, from Truman to Reagan, would have considered any of our business."
How would the U.S., react if next week Panama took a vote and 95% decided that they wanted to abandon their government and wanted the U.S. to annex them and the canal into our nation; and the Russians reacted by threatening sanctions against us? Would we tolerate Russia having some say about this? We would tell the Russians it's none of their business, and we don't take orders from them. Yet we are surprised that Russia has the same reaction to the US/EU over this Crimea annexation?
The Europeans seem to always be clamoring for the US to take the lead, pay the money, and risk American lives to resolve their problems. Europe hasn’t been a bombed out ruin since the 1940’s. So maybe it should no longer be our job to subsidize Europe. Let the Europeans build up their own military, spend their own money, and get their people killed in another senseless conflict. If it’s their money and their lives being risked maybe they’ll not be so fast to want to pick a fight with some nation. Crimea is in their back yard, not ours. So that makes it their problem. If this is such a big deal to them, then let them resolve it. Frankly, it sounds like the Crimean’s would be better off with Russia than with the Ukraine.
Sorry I just don't see the urgency in jumping into the middle of this. Now if the Russians try moving into the Ukraine, and those folks don't want them there, unlike the Crimean's, THEN you've got a case. We've got our aircraft carriers near by in the Mediterranean that can move into the Black Sea pretty easily if need be, so I think cooler heads need to prevail at this point. Further hurting Russia's economy with these sanctions might cause them to throw caution to the winds and get very aggressive.
Kind of scary that the Neo-Cons like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, etc, and Barack Obama are on the same side. My guess is Obama doesn't want the Neo-Cons to label him as weak, so he's rattling his sabers, but that should only be done when there is a real need to do so. The Red Line thing. Someone just might call you on it, and we really don't want to get into a 'watering' contest with the Russians needlessly.
So again I urge being cool and just watching what is happening. Obama should talk less and keep his cards closer to his chest. Neo-cons want to go in guns a blazing and that's a recipe for WW3.
Also this isn't 1939, Russia has nukes, I believe even more than we, so treading cautiously and lightly is probably a smart thing to do, lest we start something we might not be able to finish.
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 11:02am
MFD: Two things. First, Putin has sold Crimea the same bill of goods that Obama sold America, although I would give Putin's promises a better chance of working for the people rather than against as Obama's has.
Second, there were Russian troops stationed all over the place during that referendum, so of course 95% voted for Russia out of fear they may be shot if they didn't.
I've traveled to that part of the world many times, know people from that part of the world, and know quite well how they exert power over the people. This is why I've been so adamant about getting the Democrats out of power, because if left unchecked, the same thing will eventually happen here.
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 11:06am
Allan: You're so right about 92 counties in Illinois. Even conservative southern Illinois voted for him. It makes perfect sense. He had to deceive Illinois first before he could deceive the rest of the country. Interestingly, most of the rural Illinois counties that sent Obama to the senate were carried by Romney in 2012, an indicator that Illinois wised up ahead of the rest of the country.
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 3:40pm
Pizza, you should stay away from bashing the best president in our lifetimes, where your assertions are baseless and border ridiculousness, and instead stick to your observations on the Soviet Bloc nations where they are dead on.
Barack is a constitutional lawyer. He has been more respective of the constitution than any other president since Gerald Ford, but Jimmy Carter and HW Bush come close. Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and W Bush all overstepped the Constitution and you give them a pass.
It is ironic that those mentioned, all who seem to use the balance of powers as given to them by our founding document, tend to be portrayed as among our weaker executives. And those to whom people say, "now that's a real president", seem to act like kings and ignore the balance of powers holding them in check by that piece of parchment.
Mike brings up something that ties in with our general discussion now going years on this blog... America's preoccupation with itself at the expense of the world in general...
Mike states that sentiment through his comparison showing that the US would certainly act differently if we were performing the actions instead of Russia doing it now.. In other words, we as the United States, would be doing close to the same actions as would Russia were roles reversed....
The US media is only seeing it from its own point of view which is: Russia is attacking Ukraine. Yet, very little was said by us, quite opposite the world media, when we attacked Iraq... our papers and televised personalities were being embedded into the operation, and they were very careful not to lose that coveted spot by criticizing anyone in power or questioning our motives or thoughtfulness of our behavior.
So. it would be wise for us to assume that Russia is seeing it from their own point of view as well. Just as we would. And that they would "tsk tsk" the US and Europe's objections, jokingly like we dismissed France's lack of support by naming a potato dish,.. Freedom fries? Remember that Republican meme now 11 years ago? "Don't call them French Fries; call them Freedom fries".. The Russians are no doubt equally dismissive of us, and just as stupid to be sure, because face it: we were very stupid back then... weren't we?
And Republicans are still stigmatized by that disaster.
Therefore the US needs to take a logical view based on what we know and what we don't. In logic you draw diagrams. There are four choices.
1) One we don't react and Putin stops advancing.
2) Two we react and Putin stops advancing.
3) Three we don't react and Putin doesn't stop advancing.
4) From we do react and Putin doesn't stop advancing...
So if we don't react... by putting 20,000 troops on the ground in Ukraine, what are the possibilities?
If we put 20,000 ground troops in Ukraine we have a one in four chance that Putin will advance upon our troops, and a 2 out of four chance that Putin will continue gobbling up nations ....
Since any force started in motion continues unless stopped by another opposing force, the idea that Putin will on his own volition simply not continue at what has so far been highly successful,can probably be discounted out of hand as being unrealistic.
Likewise that he would be willing to commit national suicide by attacking the US troops in Ukraine, would also be safely discounted out of hand...
Which leaves the only good option: us putting troops on the ground so more nations will not be gobbled up.
Logically, we do our best by putting 20,000 troops on the Ground in Ukraine.
That is simple pure logic with no extemporaneous outside influences. Diplomacy would be one of those. Sanctions would be another. People in the other Russian speaking provinces rather being in the Ukraine could be a third. In all those cases, having 20,000 troops in Ukraine, enhances the effectiveness of each of those being fruitful.
So saying we should not become involved and then offer a list as to why, mandates that if for any reason Putin is not a saint who will voluntarily stop acquiring territory for Russia, we will still be fighting him at some future point, just be doing it on his terms as to when and where, and not ours....
A peacekeeping force of 20,000 would send the right signal. This time we should use the Chinese... Putting 20,000 Chinese into Ukraine would diffuse the Cold War polarity based simply on our two nation's historical past,... and create more global clout for solving all future issues by non-military means....
That is what I mean when I say logic dictates we put 20,000 Peace keeping troops on the ground in Ukraine.
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 5:00pm
Kavips: Sure, I've got no problem with the Chi-Coms or the EU putting 20k troops in the Ukraine. I believe it's some one else's turn in the barrel. But the problem: power is addictive & Prez Obama wouldn't want to take a back seat & have the EU or the Chi-Coms running the show, so instead he'll send in our troops at our expense. I'm against that.
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 6:14pm
Fortunately for all of us, it looks like the adults are going to be taking over the Senate soon and adding members to the house, and not a minute too soon because a Reagan-era military buildup is going to be necessary if there's going to be any semblance of peace in the world for the foreseeable future. Once we send the dictator Obama back to Chicago, Harry Hitler back to the desert, and Pelosi driving a cable car in San Francisco, then we can go about the business of rebuilding the land of the free and the home of the brave.
And by the way, let's see if we can find Boehner a factory job in Youngstown.
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 6:53pm
MFD: I just left a response on the previous post with regards to a vs. pre-millenial. Please check it out.
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 7:58pm
Pizza, if you are calling the party that shut down our government, costing the economy $24 billion dollars, and then when nothing happened, said: we know it wouldn't work anyway... if you are calling them the "adults" in the room, then you had better get yourself checked in somewhere soon....
Even kindergarteners are more responsible.
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 8:11pm
Kavips: You become more irrelevant as each day passes. Keep digging yourself deeper into the hole and don't forget to cover yourself up once you fall in.
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 10:26pm
By the way, Kavips, I included the current Republican Speaker of the House on my hit list because he doesn't speak for my house. So don't say I didn't throw you a bone.
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 10:29pm
Allan: I have no objection the president prognosticating on sports. If we can occupy more of his time with such trivial stuff, then maybe that will help limit the damage he does to the country.
Mon, Mar 24, 2014 5:53am
Two points: Other "Russified" territories detached from former Soviet republics, although not formally annexed by Russia as The Crimea was (Trans-Dniester, South Ossetia), remain basket cases.
Pat Buchanan does an excellent job explaining the world through Russia's prism. But who would have imagined that the old cold warrior, Pat Buchanan, would emerge looking like such an apologist for Russia?
Mon, Mar 24, 2014 10:15am
mrpizza: I think your Senate/House prediction is indeed going to happen...and agree (as you said) the Tea Party candidates should do quite well in 2014. If the Tea Party does do well...Boehner is history.
kavips: No one (other than die-hard Progressives) even remember the government shutdown...the rest of the country is focused on the multiple failures of 0bamaCare and how ACA is hurting them and their families. $24B is a drop in the bucket compared to the economic costs related to epic fail of ACA.
Mon, Mar 24, 2014 7:16pm
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Mar 25, 2014 8:14am
To change the subject, Delaware comes in as the 10th worse state to retire in.
They claim not good enough access to medical care. Maybe Lower Delaware is the reason for that.
They claim higher-than-average crime. Probably the City of Wilmington accounts for that.
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