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President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych signing de-facto capitulation agreement with opposition Date    21 February 2014
Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych
Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Ukraine with offers of $1 billion in loan guarantees (which would need to be backed by Congress) and technical assistance after the ouster of former President Viktor Yanukovych and the subsequent Russian takeover of Crimea:
The purpose of the loan guarantee is to support Ukraine’s efforts to integrate with the West and to help offset the reduction of energy subsidies from Russia, which has challenged the new government’s legitimacy and occupied the Crimean Peninsula.

The United States will also send technical experts to help Ukraine’s national bank and finance ministry, provide advice on how to fight corruption and train election monitors to help establish the legitimacy of Ukraine’s coming election.

American officials are offering assistance in recovering “stolen assets,” an allusion to the billions of dollars that are alleged to have been spirited out of the country by former President Viktor F. Yanukovych and powerful businessmen.

Russian President Vladimir Putin argued Tuesday that Yanukovych is still the legal president of Ukraine and that, in that role, Yanukovych asked Russia to move into the Crimean peninsula. Yanukovych was voted out of office by the Ukrainian parliament after he fled the country following months of anti-government protest and the killing of dozens of protesters by government.

7:31 AM PT: Here's a White House fact sheet on international support for Ukraine.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 06:56 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  the “stolen assets” to be the collateral for (5+ / 0-)

    the "loan?"

    Few Americans want the United States getting involved in policing the political turmoil in Ukraine, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds, even though a plurality say they think Russia's military incursion into the country qualifies as an invasion.

    Americans are more likely than not to say that the United States has no responsibility to get involved in Ukraine even under extreme circumstances, the new survey shows.

    Forty-six percent said the United States has no responsibility to protect Ukraine in the case of a Russian invasion, while only 18 percent said it does.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...
  •  Markets might have made Putin (7+ / 0-)

    think twice about further escalation. Putin feared that 11% loss on the MICEX more than a lot of people realized. Continuing escalation would have caused a further contraction on Moscow's exchange, which would lead to political destabilization/mass protests in Russia. The moment Russia's 5 AM local deadline passed with no shooting, the "manly" Putin blinked. A short time later, Putin was a quivering mess in his press conference, and complained that he could still use force while ordering his Western Military District troops along the Ukrainian border performing "exercises" back to their bases.

    •  It's a different world. The Mighty Russian Bear (6+ / 0-)

      beaten handily with a few clicks of a banksters mouse.

      That may be the historical geopolitical shift of this situation - Capital Sovereignty - or something like that.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:22:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  More like Obama (9+ / 0-)

        threatened to fuck Russia's economy up beyond all recognition with that 90 minute phone call. Add to that Obama teaming up with Merkel in calling Putin insane in front of the world, and everyone turned skittish, including the Moscow oligarchs

        •  That's one way to look at it. (8+ / 0-)

          The other way is to note that Moscow has already achieved its policy objective, although this will prove a strategic mistake for reasons that have nothing to do with the West.

          And that the selloff is temporary and this is just the rush by speculators. Value investors aren't losing nerve at all.

          And finally, Merkel is opposed military action, sanctions, visa cancellations and asset freezes. But she is making statements. lol

          •  Price of oil went up. (7+ / 0-)

            Since Russia doesn't sell its oil for rubles, they're probably making money on this farrago.

          •  What are your thoughts? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT

            On the policy objective that has been reached and how is that a strategic mistake.

            Not snark, interested to hear your thoughts.

            You can get animals addicted to a harmful substance, you can dissect their brains, but you throw their own feces back at them, and suddenly you're unprofessional. -Amy Farrah Fowler/The Big Bang Theory -7.50, -5.03

            by dawgflyer13 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:40:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Crimea and Eastern Ukraine will be difficult to (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, k9disc, Subterranean

              hold. Mainly because there is very little Russia can or will do for the people in these regions. They obviously can't promote it as an investment opportunity for Western investors. No way the Russian oligarchs are putting any money in there either. So it will either be the Russian government or bust. I predict bust.

              Once things settle down and blood cools, those folks are going to get right back to the pocketbook. Then they'll start to reconsider. Once this gets expensive and tiresome, Russia will realize its error and want out.

              •  And by expensive and tiresome (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                corvo

                you mean sanctions?

                Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                by k9disc on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:17:40 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No sanctions needed at all. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  k9disc

                  The fact that there is political instability and military activity is quite enough to scare away any real money. Either from private investors or European governments.

                  Keep in mind that any restructuring of Ukraine's economy will involve the IMF, and that means cutting services for people. How long will Russia pay for pensions, healthcare, food assistance and the like. Life on the Russian frontier aint exactly gravy.

                  Most importantly, they were this close
                  to getting European passports. Now that's shot. Just let it sink in and this whole thing will blow over.

                  •  The majority didn't want EU passports (5+ / 0-)

                    Which is why the pro-Russian parties consistently won even after protest movements forced elections again and again. The restructuring would probably be more harsh to get into the EU than to not. They've certainly seen what's happened to Greece, I don't know how that counts as incentive.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:32:12 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I think they want the passports without all (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AoT

                      the austerity, and yes, they were pretty close to getting a deal like that until we started meddling in their politics. Because Russia meddles, we must too apparently.

                      •  They were never going to get a deal like that (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        corvo, Involuntary Exile

                        The EU might have been pitching that but they did the same thing with Greece and we see how that turned out. I think a lot of people understood that in Ukraine and that's why they rejectedthe deal.

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:43:17 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  What would a European passport do for them (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    k9disc

                    that a Russian passport wouldn't?

                    I don't know much about how that works..

                    You can get animals addicted to a harmful substance, you can dissect their brains, but you throw their own feces back at them, and suddenly you're unprofessional. -Amy Farrah Fowler/The Big Bang Theory -7.50, -5.03

                    by dawgflyer13 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:35:45 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  This assumes that blood cools (0+ / 0-)

                There are a quarter million Crimean Tatars in Crimea. Stalin deported the Crimean Tatars to Central Asia, and they weren't allowed back until Perestroika. Russians do not do well with enraged Muslim populations.

                Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                by Mokurai on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 03:58:48 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah...Mighty Obama threw the fear of Cod into the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Involuntary Exile

          man.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:01:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Obama moves markets? Really? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, Involuntary Exile

          C'mon. You can't be serious.

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:16:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You know, thinking about this... (4+ / 0-)

          There really isn't anything that America could really do to the Russian economy that is above board.

          I mean we could do sanctions, but sanctioning Russia for halting a dicey transfer of power on it's doorstep? I don't think those sanctions are going to do serious damage to the Russian economy because they won't be taken seriously globally, and there are many states to deal who have problems with America.

          I believe what you are implying is that Obama would release the banking and market hounds on Russia, which suggests a level of cooperation that would clearly be illegal and fraudulent and would give us a glint of truth at how the world operates today for the West.

          One could argue that this happened to America in 2008 and Uncle Sam blinked.

          I actually think this happened, BTW, the alignment of global capital against Russia...

          Not at the whim of Obama, btw, but by the general placing of bets on risk and on future profits for robber baron capitalism in Eastern Europe.

          The use of finance to cripple sovereignty is all the rage these days, and it won't always be in our favor. TPP will see to that.

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:35:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  No, Obama doesn't talk that way (0+ / 0-)

          and neither did Merkel. She said that Putin had a different view of the world, not that he was in a different world.

          Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

          by Mokurai on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 03:54:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Now you're talking. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, corvo, k9disc, Involuntary Exile

        It's the end of nationalism and the rule of law, globally and for good this time. Unless the Chinese decide they don't wanna.

        Those reprobates down in South America are a bit of a problem but we'll be able to clean them up handily if China plays ball. And don't worry, Max Baucus is going over there to get the job done.

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

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:50:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  He serves at the pleasure of the oligarchs. (0+ / 0-)

      "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

      by merrywidow on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:41:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why would he fear that? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TJ, AoT, Involuntary Exile

      Has Russian really become that vulnerable to the markets?

      I suspect they still have plenty of experience at running a large country with a currency that doesn't circulate and companies that nobody can buy shares in.

      They have all the oil and military gear they need to serve as hard currency, so...what's to fear?

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:00:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds like a good chance to get in cheap (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dinotrac, Involuntary Exile

        on energy stocks that are not going to go down in value. Anyone selling anything related to Russian energy stocks is doing so in a panic and not for any good reason.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:05:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Oh,please. Russia is retaliating already... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      using gas as a weapon: Gazprom Warns European Gas "Supply Disruptions" Possible

      AND from Reuters.

      Russia says it would retaliate for U.S. sanctions over Ukraine

      "We will have to respond," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement. "As always in such situations, provoked by rash and irresponsible actions by Washington, we stress: this is not our choice."

      "We have frequently explained to the Americans ... why unilateral sanctions do not fit the standards of civilised relations between states," Lukashevich said.

      Lukashevich did not describe any measures Moscow might impose in retaliation but said the Russian response would not necessarily mirror the U.S. sanctions.

      AND:
      Putin Advisor Threatens With Dumping US Treasurys, Abandoning Dollar If US Proceeds With Sanctions

      Germany and Britain are not going to agree to sanctions because they are staring a major recession in the face. You screw with Putin's markets and he will screw with yours. Do you think Obama and Kerry are ready to push gas and oil prices higher, because if you do I want to take the opposite position from you in all your trades.

  •  heh: (7+ / 0-)
    Russian President Vladimir Putin argued Tuesday that Yanukovych is still the legal president of Ukraine and that, in that role, Yanukovych asked Russia to move into the Crimean peninsula.
    I think that might be closer to the truth than not - and it's just so fantastically ironic.

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:25:33 AM PST

  •  $1 billion? (11+ / 0-)

    That'll last what, two weeks? Assuming most it goes to real services rather than ending up directly in the pockets of corrupt politicians and businessmen?

    And don't forget, Congress will whittle that down to $750 million or so. The Republicans have to remind Obama who's really in charge.

    And probably Ukraine will have to sign away 5% of its GDP for the next decade to the US just to qualify for this loan--and it is a loan, not a donation.

    I repeat, Ukraine is surrounded by predatory lenders--and shockingly, the least predatory might be the guy who sent troops!

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:30:37 AM PST

  •  They did that quick. Too bad they don't do the (7+ / 0-)

    regular job of governing in such an efficient and fast manner. Guess we know where the American public falls on the list of priorities. We are not first.

    "A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." Edward R. Murrow

    by temptxan on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:35:23 AM PST

  •  What about the offsets? (14+ / 0-)

    Because we don't want this to add to the deficit. Maybe cut another billion from food stamps?

  •  and they say this with a straight face? (9+ / 0-)
    The United States will also send technical experts to help Ukraine’s national bank and finance ministry, provide advice on how to fight corruption

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:37:00 AM PST

  •  The Russian People put Putin in power to defend (5+ / 0-)

    them after Bill Clinton and Larry Summers had let a few oligarchs steal everything not nailed down during the Yeltsin reign.

    The oligarchs here in the USA did similar looting when Fat Larry ran that 2009 Wall Street Bailout.

    So I don't know whether to fight Putin -- or urge him to emigrate to the USA and run for office.

    •  The experts the US is going to send (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TJ, corvo, bobdevo, PhilK, Involuntary Exile

      are probably the same one's that fucked Russia.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:01:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Calling Jeffrey Sachs! calling Jeffrey Sachs! n/t (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Involuntary Exile, katiec

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:13:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh come on: He's sort of in a half assed way but (0+ / 0-)

          not really apologized, what more do you want?

          Lowering the life expectancy of the Russian people was a minor miscalculation of my otherwise correct economic theories.

          •  Quite frankly, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            katiec

            if the Russians were to charge him with any crime, I'd want to ship him to Russia. :-)))

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 12:03:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  But what about bombs and fun stuff like that? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Farradin, GreatLakeSailor

    McCain needs to see us light up the sky on some country somewhere, just once more....it's on his bucket list.

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:40:59 AM PST

  •  Who's going to send assistance to us? (5+ / 0-)

    Clearly not our own government.

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

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:41:45 AM PST

    •  Loans cheaper than military support. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT

      "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

      by merrywidow on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:42:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Because your situation is equivalent (0+ / 0-)

      To what just happened in the Ukraine.

      http://callatimeout.blogspot.com/

      by DAISHI on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:11:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As if you have any clue what their situation is nt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, Involuntary Exile

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:14:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  So, it's OK to destroy people's lives (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, Involuntary Exile

        as long as you do it with money and corrupt political practices.

        Putin's problem is that he's doing it with military force. Silly man.

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

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:17:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  One little quibble... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo

          The Russians in Crimea want Putin's army and navy there. They want no part of the insurrectionists government in Kiev.

          •  As usual, the political details in such (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo

            Eastern European power squabbles are complex, with many competing groups occupying the same geographical space, while the bottom line of such squabbles remains depressingly simple:  the majority of people, who don't have lots of money, are going to get screwed regardless of which group wins.

            As you may have noticed, I haven't taken a side on the struggle in the Crimea except to say that I think we should probably stay out of it beyond defending NATO countries. And also to call out the incredible hypocrisy of advocating austerity while demanding "aid packages" for foreign squabbles half a world away.

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

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:52:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  That is to say, you may be right, but (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Involuntary Exile, corvo

            even if one were to take the (political) line that Kerry and others seem to be taking regarding the current incarnation of the Bear, it's hard to even maintain a straight face when hearing the moral indignation re: Putin's actions, in an age where morality itself has been dismissed from public discourse except when it's convenient.

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

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:54:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have Russian Ukrainian immigrant friends, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo

              Some from Crimea, some from Eastern Ukraine, who are very concerned for their families, and not because of Putin and Russia. They are extremely fearful of the right-wing nationalists and fascists in Kiev, and they have reason to be. I am confident I am right about the majority of Crimeans wanting Russia's presence as a buffer against Kiev.

              •  Understood; it's not like I'm not worried about it (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                corvo, Involuntary Exile

                Even if there are protesters in Kiev who are good-faith actors (which I'm guessing there probably are, certainly Global Rev. thinks there are) I have no trouble believing there's plenty of neo-fascists there. To say nothing of the fact that isn't the opposition leader an oil oligarch herself, or do I have this wrong?

                In any case, the rise of neo-fascism in Europe is both disturbing and a predictable reaction to repeatedly bashing large numbers of people over the head with a huge, spiked, economic club and leaving them nowhere to run. I wish human beings didn't resort to scapegoating so easily, but unfortunately, it's pretty well established that we do, and I've been worried about the rise of faux-populist far-right-wing activity across the pond for a while.

                Despite the bad things that have happened here, I'm actually rather proud of the American people that the majority of the people here haven't yet resorted to that kind of thing. We're still looking for a reasonable way out.

                Anyway, I hope your friends' families weather this storm well, and, if it did any good, would wish that whatever grimy financial motive is actually causing all this would go and live on, say, Mars.

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

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 12:12:25 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thank you for that. Many were in tears Sunday. NT (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SouthernLiberalinMD
                •  The American Revolution was a product of (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Involuntary Exile

                  oligarchs like George Washington (southern plantation), Ben Franklin (publishing and manufacturing) and Sam Adams (smuggling). It took us awhile to get down to that government by the people thing at all.

                  Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                  by Mokurai on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:13:13 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You can be a 1%-er and have democratic ideas (0+ / 0-)

                    It's rare, but it does happen. I doubt it was true of all of them, but I bet it was true of some.

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

                    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 06:24:00 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It was clear that Jefferson did not believe (0+ / 0-)

                      his own propaganda about all being equal. He and all the rest allowed only White male property owners to vote at all, and wouldn't permit elections to the Senate.

                      We have definitely evolved. 1%ers who propose $1, one vote, now get extensively laughed at.

                      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                      by Mokurai on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:07:03 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  The majority of Russians in Crimea want Putin (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Involuntary Exile

                Ukrainians and Tatars greatly fear Putin, but in Crimea are outnumbered, as a result of a deliberate and expensive Tsarist and then Stalinist program of Russification. Pretty much like the Chinese in Tibet. Also Putin is annoyed that Khrushchev gave Crimea to the Ukrainian S. S. R. so that it went with Ukraine when it became a country.

                Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                by Mokurai on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:10:35 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Besides, who the fuck cares if it's equivalent (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, Involuntary Exile

        or not?

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

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:17:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The point is, what should we be spending our (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, Involuntary Exile, katiec

        money on? Apparently the answer is:  in dick-measuring games with Vladimir Putin.

        Certainly the answer isn't:  in binding up the wounds the Republic has sustained after a horrendous financial attack on its well-being.

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

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:19:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The people of Ukraine might ask Joseph Stiglitz (7+ / 0-)

    -- Nobel Economist and formerly chief economist at the World Bank -- what happens when Washington comes bearing "market reforms":

    https://www.progre...0901/...

     (scroll down to "Q: How did U.S. Russia policy develop?"

    and then to
    "Q: What effect did the policies pushed by the United States and the IMF have on the Russian people?" )

  •  Meaningless Nonsense... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Involuntary Exile

    It's nothing but moral support stuff.

  •  Borrowed (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Deward Hastings, corvo, slinkerwink

    Wouldn't it be more efficient to have the Ukraine deal directly with a lender than going through the U.S as a middle man?

    Why are we borrowing a billion dollars we don't have to give to the Ukraine?

    Just set them up with the Chinese and save the American tax payer the interest payments.

    •  We create dollars out of thin air, then "borrow" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Involuntary Exile, limpidglass

      them back.  More or less.

      And only sort of.

      Mostly we create dollars out of thin air, and also create bonds, so that the markets have a guaranteed income, ie, they get to earn interest on the dollars they hold, which the U.S. creates out of thin air  --  first.

      •  Though in this case, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BelgianBastard

        We're not creating or borrowing any money at this time. We're guaranteeing the loans, not actually lending money.

        The Empire never ended.

        by thejeff on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:05:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You realize that just printing money... (0+ / 0-)

        causes inflation, right?

        I realze you are oversimplifying to be brief and understandable, put printing more money than the economy (and for reserve currencies of which the dollar is king, foreign demand requires) leads to runaway inflation. Ask Zimbabwe. Or Argentina, Turkey or Brazil. Or the Weimar Republic. Higher inflation means higher interest rates, and so less borrowing, which hurts investment, both by individuals (principally in homes and in the U.S also education) and businesses. That means less jobs. Guess what the 1% won't be the ones out of work.

        On top of that the dollar is the dominant reserve currency. This effectively provides a subsidy to the US paid for by everyone who holds or uses dollars. And they hold and uses those dollars in the expectation that they will keep their value. If that is no longer the case, they will get rid of their dollars, which would worsen inflation further and reverse the subsidy. Britain abused the role the pound had as a reserve currency last century, and it cost them.

        So, 'creating dollars out of thin air' is basically true, but it only works if you don't abuse the trust people have in the currency, i.e. overdo it.

        I ride the wild horse .

        by BelgianBastard on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:23:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then why don't we have runaway inflation (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, River Rover, Involuntary Exile

          Because rinting money is pretty much what quantative easing was. When you look at the ballooning size of our debt that's all money. If what we've done so far isn't over doiing it then I don't know what it will take. Essentially the dollar is fine because everyone in the world needs it to be fine.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:34:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •   Because: (0+ / 0-)

            A) Deflation + Inflation = 0, a bit more inflation = +whatever.

            B) The world was terrified and hungry for dollars. The US and Germany actually borrowed at negative interest rates for a while. In laymans terms people paid the US to borrow their money.

            C) Oh, you don't know? No problem. Read up on Weimar Deutchland or Argentina etc etc.

            D) The dollar is fine because everyone needs it to be fine. Umm what? You think money is a confidence scheme? I think a finance minister in a developing - or formerly developing - country has a job for you.

            I ride the wild horse .

            by BelgianBastard on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:15:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "You think money is a confidence scheme?" (0+ / 0-)

              To some extent yes. If people have confidence in money then said money has value. Certainly, there's more than just confidence, but the dollar retains it's value to a large extent because everyone needs it to, as you point out in point B.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 05:53:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  So? "Printing more money than... leads" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, Involuntary Exile

          Printing more money than the economy, what?

          More money than the economy can absorb, or use effectively?

          But we have idle resources, so nothing to worry about now.

          Right?

          Since we have unemployment, it's obvious we have too few dollars running about.

          •  One of the key problems that contemporary economic (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, katiec, Involuntary Exile

            theory doesn't seem to want to address is the incredible devaluation of labor. Because of automation and industrialization labor value is incredibly low, the demand just isn't there like it used to be. Under capitalism we should expect exactly what we're seeing now, a new descent into mass poverty and a return to the world of big business owning everything.

            One of the things people forget when they call this a return to fuedalism is that the worker was central to the feudal system. Labor was one of the most valuable resources available. That's why the noble class had obligations to the peasant class as well as vice versa. with the current system the ruling class as zero obligation to the working class.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:41:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, this turns out not to be the case (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT

              The devaluation of labor was deliberate policy going back to Ronald Reagan, who suckered the Reagan Democrats, northern blue collar workers, into supporting the 1%. It has been the weakening of unions and of financial regulation, and cutting taxes on the rich but not the poor, that allowed stockholders and top management to appropriate all of the gains from rising productivity since the 1980s to themselves, with nothing for workers and lower management. Also Alan Greenspan, the great inflation fighter, treating rising wages as the worst kind of inflation.

              Everything for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.
              Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

              Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

              by Mokurai on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:21:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I meant the sort of economic theory (0+ / 0-)

                that claims to help people. Certainly, the devaluation of labor has been an economic policy goal.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:33:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ah, you mean the real economists (0+ / 0-)

                  like the Keynesians. Stiglitz, Krugman, Sen, and so on. It's easy to find their works, including current columns in prominent newspapers.

                  Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                  by Mokurai on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:00:59 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I haven't seen any of them (0+ / 0-)

                    put forward solutions to the devaluation of labor that is a consumer economy.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 05:51:16 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It goes back to Adam Smith (0+ / 0-)
                      Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer.
                      The whole point of The Wealth of Nations is that wealth is not money, but the ability to produce what is needed, and get it to those who need it. This is not at all the notion of the consumer society organized to maximize corporate profit by spending on things that nobody actually needs.

                      What this country needs most in order to address the devaluation of labor is a good labor shortage, which is only possible with full employment, which is only possible with a serious jobs/infrastructure/education stimulus investment program. So we are back to Keynes.

                      Stimulus is only possible when we can overcome the obstructionism of the austerians, which means the filibuster on legislation in the Senate; the blue slip veto of judicial nominations to Federal courts in Red states; the gerrymanders of House districts and state legislatures; and the frequent Conservative majority on the Supreme Court. We know how to do all of those things, since there is a Progressive majority in this country, measured by positions on the issues, not by party identification.

                      What is missing on the Left is organized intensity. If we all voted all the time, our current logjam would be over. Well, we know how to do GOTV too. And some of us are on that in a way that Democrats have long failed to do.

                      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                      by Mokurai on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:10:14 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That is not what is meant by a consumer economy (0+ / 0-)

                        and you know it.

                        The stimulus based economic "solutions" are based on an infinite growth model that is fine short term but will kill us all in the medium to long term. Keynes will kill us just as sure as the Neocons.

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:13:41 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Ah, no wonder you can't find economic solutions (0+ / 0-)

                          You don't believe in economics. No, I was not suggesting permanent stimulus. But never mind.

                          Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                          by Mokurai on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:47:30 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't believe in Capitalism (0+ / 0-)

                            Because capitalism is an unsustainable system built of oppression, slavery, and genocide.

                            And if not permanent stimulus, then what were you suggesting? Because Keynes suggests stimulus every time the economy falls into a recession or depression, and that is inevitably going to happen, which means that there will always be another stimulus down the road, be it a year, or a decade, or two decades. Keynesian economics requires growth just like every other capitalist economics.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:04:12 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Not the case (0+ / 0-)

                            Proper economics would prevent asset bubbles, which were long thought to be part of an inevitable "business cycle". If we pop bubbles before they get out of hand, or better still prevent them from starting, then we only need one, count it, one stimulus to get out of this, the last crash-induced recession.

                            I have a plan for an Unbalanced Budget Amendment to do precisely that.

                            I also have an outline of a plan for a sustainable Buddhist economics.

                            But you have so far dismissed everything I have suggested, which suggests to me only that you are not listening and don't care about anything but your preconceptions.

                            Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                            by Mokurai on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 05:59:09 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  "a sustainable Buddhist economics" (0+ / 0-)

                            I would be very interested in seeing that.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:20:59 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Not true, not true at all (0+ / 0-)

              Go to any - any - traditional economy and labor is worth much less.

              For a long time the West, including the middle clas, benefitted from the fact that 80% or more of the world's population was cut off from the world ecinomy. India with it's self-sufficiency drive, China with Maoist nonsense, the Soviet Bloc,  Africa under colonialism or barely recovered from it, Latin America with it's own societal problems compounded by ideology abd malevolent influences from outside. Even countries like Spain and Portugal didn't plug into the world economy until the '80's.

              That's not to say that capitalism has no failures. It does. Let's fight to correct them. In Europe, in North America and everywhere else.

              But if you are just going to condemn capitalism, fine, I'll hear you out, but tell me what we should do, not just what's wrong. I want to hear an alternative.

              PS. REAL communism was never tried is not going to fly.

              I ride the wild horse .

              by BelgianBastard on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 11:31:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  No. Idle resources do not indicate printing money. (0+ / 0-)

            Quite the contrary.

            An expanding economy requrires more paper money and coins.

            Idle economies need deficit spending by government. That's my opinion, but that of Paul Krugman too.

            Anyway, back to your post: Simplified there are categories of money M0(zero) to M3.

            M0 is basically cash: bills and coins. You need enough to let an economy function. You may laugh, but there are quite a few places where you get say sweets instead of coins.  

            M1 is M0  + immediatedly accessible bank deposits. An example: a current account would be M1 but not M0.

            M2 is M1  + deposit that would generally require a slight delay. Example: A savings account.

            M3 is M2 +  longer/larger term deposits. Despite what you see in the movies you can't go into a bank and withdraw say $100k cash, even if you have that amount in your account.

            Bank-runs are a problem because, even if there is no real problem, M0 is much smaller than M2 or M3.

            Don't worry, I know you were snarking. Still, someone might read this or google it and learn.

            But seriously, just printing money (M0) has ruined more economies than I can count using my fingers and toes. Don't believe me? Good for you, do a search and read a bit. Then make a joke.

            I ride the wild horse .

            by BelgianBastard on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 11:09:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Why? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, AoT, Involuntary Exile

      So the "American advisers" can collect their "service fees".

      Just like here, where you pay the "bank tax" on every credit/debit card purchase you make.

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:10:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is in fact the plan (0+ / 0-)

      The US is not brokering the loans, just offering to guarantee them.

      The IMF is different.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:14:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Crimea will be Putin nutcracker (0+ / 0-)

    This is like bailing out one mobster for another one, The Ukraine still have not dealth with the crumbling structure  at  Chernobyl ,which is on the verge  of  crumbling  an leaking radiation into the  enviroment,years of neglect  will undue the work of all their  comrades ,that risk their lives  sealing it in the first place

  •  "United States will also send technical experts (10+ / 0-)

    to help Ukraine’s national bank"

    Memo to Ukraine:  Hold on to your fucking wallet - the bankers - the worst assholes on earth, are gonna help you.

    Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

    by bobdevo on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:49:00 AM PST

  •  They're joking, right? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ, AoT, Deward Hastings, corvo

    One billion? One? The government in Kiev claims they're going to need something like 20 billion euros in two years if they're going to avoid bankruptcy. And that's not taking into account the possibility that Eastern Ukraine splits/is split off, since it happens to be the industrial centre of the country...

    Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

    by Dauphin on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:49:12 AM PST

  •  That won't even cover their arrears to Gazprom. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dauphin, corvo

    $1.55 billion.

  •  I see that Putin has reunited (0+ / 0-)

    with his old band, The Delusional"

    Band members include, Paranoia, Schizoid, Narcissist, and Unstable.

    The band played on!

  •  Now we know (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ, corvo, whizdom

    I 've always wondered how much President Obama actually runs this country.
    The FBI. DEA, NSA and SEC do what they want.
    Now we find out  neocons in the State Department are running foreign policy.
    I always believed that the 200 election wasn't stolen because the armed forces refused to back a coup (again) I was wrong.
    We never got rid of Cheney.

  •  part of me... (3+ / 0-)

    Feels really bad that we're sending our highest paid criminals cough  er, uhm, bankers over there to corrupt their systems from the ground up.

    Part of me wonders if we can send them ALL...

  •  Oh lovely, we know how this will go down (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, GreatLakeSailor

    Congress will force offsets for this aid.  So the American people will likely suffer yet more austerity/domestic spending cuts to prop up an unelected government of highly dubious credibility in Kiev.  That's just great...

  •  Just to get this straight . . (6+ / 0-)

    we're offering taxpayer guaranteed loans to folks, including violent neo-Nazis, who just staged a coup d'etat:

    As Assistant Secretary Nuland and Sen. McCain cheered the demonstrators on, the street protests turned violent. Police clashed with neo-Nazi bands, the ideological descendants of Bandera’s anti-Russian Ukrainians who collaborated with the Nazi SS during World War II.

    With the crisis escalating and scores of people killed in the street fighting, Yanukovych agreed to a E.U.-brokered deal that called for moving up scheduled elections and having the police stand down. The neo-Nazi storm troopers then seized the opening to occupy government buildings and force Yanukovych and many of his aides to flee for their lives.

    With these neo-Nazis providing “security,” the remaining parliamentarians agreed in a series of unanimous or near unanimous votes to establish a new government and seek Yanukovych’s arrest for mass murder. Nuland’s choice, Yatsenyuk, emerged as interim prime minister.

    Yet, the violent ouster of Yanukovych provoked popular resistance to the coup from the Russian-ethnic south and east. [emphasis added]

    So Kerry is now carrying water for the neo-cons? WTF is going on?

    Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

    by bobdevo on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:16:14 AM PST

  •  Banksters... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, TJ, River Rover

    ...advising Gangsters. That should work well.

  •  Loan guarantees and technical assistance?!? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreatLakeSailor

    Why, this is just like Honduras 1956 all over again.

    US OUT OF UKRAINE!!!1!!11

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:26:20 AM PST

  •  This thread is hilarious. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BelgianBastard, PorridgeGun

    A certain class of people really lose their shit when they see the word "bank."

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:30:00 AM PST

  •  Just the (0+ / 0-)

    Illusion and concept of offering that much out side, while our people suffer the repercussion of the intentionally politically delaying recovery of the recession, is astounding to me.

    It's almost as hard for me to grasp as it is the concept of shared sacrifice where only the people experience the hardship of sacrifice and no others.

    Yeah and add the concept of fair and free voting by citizens... whooo hooo... spins my mind to places I have not traveled!

    I hope it all works out well, for the people of Ukraine, I truly do not want to imply my displeasure in assisting them.

     :)

  •  Just a few general comments: (0+ / 0-)

    1) Congress controls the purse-strings. Obama doesn't. It's not his fault a bunch of feckless whack-jobs control the House. Also, too, the US can afford SNAP, better benefits for veterans, UE extension and a bunch of other stuff. But the sausage-making process of checks and balances CHOSE not to fund these things. Not giving a billion or ten or fifty to Ukraine won't mean a billion more for headstart or whatever. It just won't.

    2) One billion dollars is roughly two and a half hours worth of the annual US budget. Two and a half hours out of a year.  In ontherwords 1/3500th. This isn't even peanuts, it's a flake of peanut skin.

    3) Yes, EU countries should contribute proportionally if not more than that.Probably quite a bit more. That shouldn't be allowed to obscure the fact that a viable and free Ukraine is in the interest of America too.

    4) I'm kind of disappointed by the general air of "Screw them, think about us" attitude of many. Firstly it's short-sighted. For the the forseeable future the US will export more to the Ukraine than the othe way round. Last year it was about 2 to 1. A collapse of the Ukrainian economy would cost jobs in the US. Secondly, the left is supposed to be about solidarity, but when it comes to this or FTAs, it's all about solidarity for 'us', no solidarity for you. To be clear: can one argue about this or that provision - emphatically yes. But there is such a general antipathy towards trade and free trade (i.e. without quotas and tariffs) here, it's frankly frightening. Go to Africa and explain to a farmer or small businessman why the meagre fruits of his or her labours should be taxed. For that matter why should we Europeans accept American goods? You clearly have insufficient minimum wages, unreasonable restrictions on unions, worse environmental and health standards. Why? Because as messy as it is, trade is good for everyone in the long run, at least if it is done moderately right. It's a human endeavor so of course it can be done wrong too.

    I ride the wild horse .

    by BelgianBastard on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:00:32 AM PST

    •  #4 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      "it's all about solidarity for 'us', no solidarity for you"

      When the 'you' is fascists, yeah, I'm comfortable with that.

      Also note: the US has invested $5billion in destabilizing Ukraine to date, so the total bill is actually bigger than just the $1billion additional.

      http://www.democraticunderground.com/...

      Lobbyist, PAC, SuperPAC - a bribe by any name is still corruption

      by GreatLakeSailor on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:52:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are not facists (0+ / 0-)

        That is an Issa-worthy lie.

        You might disagree with their goals, methods, whatever but to call them facists is just wrong.

        Peaceful protesters were gradually goaded into throwing molotov cocktails and the gunned down in the street, including by snipers.

        Oh, and even if your five billion were true, Russia spent at least ten times that.

        Another thing, who was in power when the leader of the opposition, Viktor Yuschenko, was poisoned with a mysterious substance later found  to be dioxin? Yanukovych. Not dissimilar from the infamous Polonium-posoning of Aleksander Litvinenko. Or the poison ball-bearing fired from an umbrella to assassinate Georgi Markov by Bulgarian secret agents. No, not at all like that. And it's not as if Putin were an ex-KGB man. Not at all. Certainly not a trained killer who learned to disregard the value of human life.  Absolutely not.

        Now move along, nothing to see here.

        I ride the wild horse .

        by BelgianBastard on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:12:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did you follow the link provided? (0+ / 0-)

          I'm comfortable with Robert Parry as a source.  He cites quite well.

          Also, I never claimed there was a good guy in the mix.  Your defense of the coop on moral grounds is hollow.

          here's Parry in prose instead of an interview if that suits you better.
          http://consortiumnews.com/...

          Invoking Issa - that's just sad.

          Lobbyist, PAC, SuperPAC - a bribe by any name is still corruption

          by GreatLakeSailor on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:44:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I did followed the link. (0+ / 0-)

            Also, it was not a coup; it was the equivalent of Impeachment in the US

            The majority of the parlament were from pro-Yanukovych parties. Still the parliament voted to depose a dictatorial and weirdly absent President [come on, they guy is a chickenshit. When his country needed leadership he went AWOL... pretending to be sick]. They did not do so at gunpoint.

            Things worked differently in The New Crimea, of course, because they are truly leftist, like Putin. The true saviours of the people all refuse to say who they are, who they work for and wear Balaklavas purely because it's culturally appropriate.

            Do you really believe there are a few million facists in Ukraine? Maybe we should round them up into camps. Two legs bad, four legs good, right up until Snowball is worth more dead than alive...

             Feel free to respond to the Yuschenko poisoning any time you feel ready. Any day now. Just like the Russian paradise. Any day now. Any day.

            I ride the wild horse .

            by BelgianBastard on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 05:29:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your framing closely follows the arguement (0+ / 0-)

              pursued by pro-war folks during the Syria dust-up.  Like Syrian warmongers, you have a need to build up and back a 'good guy' and tear down and attack a 'bad guy'.  The tactic is silly and simplistic.  People employing it often do it blindly.

              $5billion is well cited.  US has been messing in Ukraine's affairs.
              Fascists involved is well cited.
              There are no good guys in this mix.

              The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.

              The Common Good, by Noam Chomsky, Odonian Press, 1998

              Lobbyist, PAC, SuperPAC - a bribe by any name is still corruption

              by GreatLakeSailor on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 06:12:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well if that $5b is well cited, cite it. (0+ / 0-)

                What is clear is that Russia and Putin have long employed money to buy Ukraine. I don't need links because anyone with access to a search engine can type in "Russia Ukraine gas subsidies".

                I in no way wish to limit debate. But debate means - ummm well - debate, and not just parroting The Tooting Popular Front's talking points. And when someone talks shit, be it you or Noam Chomsky, well I'm going to call it as I see it. If you think that is limiting debate or keeping people passive, to put it politely, you are wrong. Cough* bullshit *Cough.

                The hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who risked life and limb in the Maidan and elsewhere were not fascists. Even 95% of the people who would like to punch me in the face because of my opinions on the Ukraine would say you are talking nonsarse, I mean nonsense. One obscure website is not 'well cited'.

                And again you have no comment on Yuschenko and his poisoning. Inconvenient facts must be ignored.

                As for Syria, what would you do? Nothing? The protests there started peacefully. Against a murderous dictator.Then the government started shooting. The artillery and airstrikes came a bit later. The chemical weapons, well we had to wait a while for that.

                The self-deception required for you to think of yourself as a progressive almost impresses me.

                I ride the wild horse .

                by BelgianBastard on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:50:05 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  citation (0+ / 0-)

                  Robert Parry and Consortium News obscure?  Small horizon you got there.

                  http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/...
                  Discount gas ain't the same as $5B "helping to build democratic institutions".  
                  How is the $5B funneled?  Look up NED or read
                  http://www.democracynow.org/...

                  In terms of cheap, exploitable labor Ukraine is to Europe as Mexico is to the US.  This whole thing is about the IMF getting its claws into Ukraine so it can suck it dry for Industrialists, Bankers and Empire.  West Ukrainian Fascists just happened to be the readily available sell-outs that NED/CIA was able to buy on the cheap to foment the masses.  The US is working essentially the same plan, though for slightly different reasons, in Venezuela.

                  As for Syria, how 'bout we stop sending them more war and pressure UAE, Saudis, Qatar to do the same, tell Israel to stop bombing them and address the core issue - their farmland dried up and they are hungry.  Things get dicey when people are hungry.

                  Syrians are tired of war: "70 percent of Syrians support the Assad regime. Another 20 percent were deemed neutral and the remaining 10 percent expressed support for the rebels." That's nato data.  You can look up that one yourself.

                  And before you start, this does not mean I think Assad is a good guy.

                  "The self-deception required for you to think of yourself as a progressive almost impresses me."
                  That's a mirrored opinion.

                  Lobbyist, PAC, SuperPAC - a bribe by any name is still corruption

                  by GreatLakeSailor on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:46:48 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Who shot at whom? (0+ / 0-)

                  Lobbyist, PAC, SuperPAC - a bribe by any name is still corruption

                  by GreatLakeSailor on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 04:58:54 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  In re: "Screw them, think about us" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      you're mistaking the sentiment. It's about the fact that we just cut billions from food stamps. So it's not screw them, it's screw the people who will fund other countries but not food stamps.

      A collapse of the Ukrainian economy would cost jobs in the US.
      I very much doubt there would be a significant cost to the US economy if Ukraine was in a depression.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:07:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re "Yes, EU countries should contribute (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      proportionally if not more than that.Probably quite a bit more"

      ha ha ha.   US Asst Secretary of State Vicky Nuland is caught on tape saying "Fuck the EU!" while handpicking the next ruler of the Ukraine --and you now want to hit the EU up for MONEY?

  •  One more thing... (0+ / 0-)

    The problem is not banks and bankers, the problem is deregulation, lack of oversight, (for want of a better word) Anglo-saxon banking practices and the few 'banksters' at the top who abuse the former three to metaphorically rape the system.

    Most people - the vast majority - who work for banks are decent, hard-working people.

    I ride the wild horse .

    by BelgianBastard on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:07:23 AM PST

    •  Deregulation happened because of bankers (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, River Rover, katiec

      They lobbied for it and designed it. The two aren't separable.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:08:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's ridiculous. (0+ / 0-)

        It happened because of money politics and politicians with no spine/conscience and voters to dumb to care or too ignorant to know.

        I ride the wild horse .

        by BelgianBastard on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:36:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, and where did the money come from? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, GreatLakeSailor, katiec

          For the money politics?

          And it was more than just ignorant voters, it  is apathy induced through powerlessness.

          And again, the banker applied a lot of money to the problem of getting money to be such a powerful force in politics. It certainly wasn't just the bankers, but I stand by what I said, deregulation of banking law and bankers are not two separate things, just like deregulation of telecommunication law and telecommunication companies are not separable. The two went hand in hand.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:47:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  "The lamps are going out all over Europe, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, corvo, GreatLakeSailor

    we shall not see them lit again in our life-time"
    Sir Edward Grey, August 1914
    While none have yet gone out, quite a few are flickering.
    The belief that the 21st century is inhabited by people who have out grown the greed, savagery, and tribalism of the past is dangerous.

    Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

    by River Rover on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:23:04 AM PST

  •  Ukrainians Have the Money (0+ / 0-)

    Most Ukrainians don't have much money, and probably not enough to live on. But some Ukrainians are billionaires. They mostly made that money from government corruption, like direct graft from Yanukovych and probably his predecessor who was jailed for it.

    The richest Ukrainian has $12.5B. The next richest made his $billions off of gas and oil.

    Ukraine should pay for its own defense before you and I do.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 12:33:59 PM PST

  •  Screw 'em. (0+ / 0-)

    We're not the world's Sugar Daddy.

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