At first it was baffling. There seems no upside for Putin. He risks crippling sanctions and nasty diplomatic problems for years to come from the rest of the world, not to mention the real risk of civil war in the Ukraine that would be hideously expensive and tax his relatively small military – it’s no “Red Army”.
So.. why. you ask, is he doing this? Substitute “Bush” for “Putin” and you’ll have your answer.
The news this morning had Angela Merkel saying Vlad’s lost his marbles, on an endless loop, and I began to wonder how Pravda covered Iraq…and then I realized, holy fuck, this was us ten years ago.
America should be asking itself: When we decided to be the world’s policeman and go into Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya (albeit with NATO on those last two), did we think that it would stop there? Did we believe that Russia (and I’m sure, China soon) won’t harbor similar ambitions but will more directly use their might for their direct benefit? It would be one thing if we had a consistent rule: If a government is slaughtering its people, the rest of the world has to stop it, and a country’s leadership should be decided by internationally monitored elections. We could at least argue that position regardless of national interest, but yeah we gave up all the high moral ground with Iraq.
We just need to go to our highlight reel from the Chimpy years: calling a government “illegitimate” because we don’t like its leader and then bombing the country back to the stone age while racing toward the capital, etc. It is kind of awkward (and oh so boring), watching John Kerry tell Russia that they can’t just invade a country simply because they want to - I hope Russia doesn’t have cable teevee or the internets or soundbites to replay in response.
In any case, we should just give them Dick Cheney.
Tomorrow night is the most exciting night of the year, the Annual Santa Anita Jockeys vs. Holy Angels School Students Charity Basketball Game!
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Over the last couple of months I’ve been compulsively watching coverage of #Bridgeghazi, analyzing Chris Christie as he explains and, well, lies. Something struck me when he was talking about the accusations, and about the friends and staff members he was throwing under the bus. It was like a poker “tell”. I’ve seen this before, the needless specificity to add credibility to what one is about to tell you. I remembered two compulsive liars I’ve known, how they looked when they were making it up as they went along, like Christie. The nervous restless eyes, the “micro expression” (see: Richard Nixon), the constant verbal vomit of of information, the absolutely sure, often dismissive tone when they were proclaiming someone else to be at fault. And how as the liar’s story changes, spinning it as the truth, without shame or regard to the previous–different–story he told.
Christie’s 2-hour long, at-times incoherent #Bridghazi press conference meandered on without revealing conspicuous malice. His long, labyrinthine explanations offered up an abundance of information and specific details that had nothing to do with the question of his guilt as a way of validating his claim of innocence. He indicated nine separate times that he was “interviewing his staff “and would continue to interview them. He details conversations with people he said are not involved – why take up valuable time talking to us about your talking to innocent people? If you want to find who is guilty, talk to those you know are guilty. At one point, he said:
“And so now, having been proven wrong, of course we’ll work cooperatively with the investigations. And you know, I’m going through an examination, as I mentioned to you, right now. That’s what I’m doing. I’m going through an examination and talking to the individual people who work for me, not only to discover if there’s any other information we need find, but also to ask them: How did this happen? How did, you know, how did this, you know, occur to us?”
Christie gave the appearance of being cooperative by offering up details, but the details he gives lead to no real information except to tell us how serious he is about interviewing.
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Open Investigation into Judging Decisions of Women’s Figure Skating and Demand Rejudgement at the Sochi Olympics
please sign the petition at change.org
Despite the institutionalized cheating, incomprehensible scoring system, the canned music, the toothy smiles, the figure skating at the winter Olympics is the most magnificent spectacle that international sports has to offer. I was a child figure skater, subjected to my own ugly skating costumes and cruel coaches, so I know a little of what I speak when I say, figure skating remains a mystifying holdout of monumentally bad taste in sports, with athletes competing in presentations that favor bugle beads, massive amounts of rhinestones, dip-dyed chiffon and frosted hair. The costumes preferred by figure skaters often seem designed to invoke a Moscow Circus send-up of a Las Vegas act. Year in and year out, figure skaters demonstrate the weird truth that, seemingly alone among winter sports, skating seems trapped in the style frost of the 1980′s, a sartorial dead end that – unlike snowboarding and skiing – has less than zero civilian fashion impact, it is even less cool. It’s the street wear equivalent of nude pumps and suntan pantyhose.
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This story may make you laugh or make you want to kill yourself/others. “What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society”, by Kevin Roose in the New York Magazine, exposes the creepy secret fraternity, Kappa Beta Phi Wall Street Chapter, which involves an incredible list of some of the most gobstoppingly rich and powerfulAmericans acting out dumb skits in drag, the usual mocking of poor people and liberals, and making fun of the global financial crash that has devastated the savings of billions of people around the world.
One-Percent Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society
Members of Kappa Beta Phi include, from left: AIG CEO Robert Benmosche, muni bond queen Alexandra Lebenthal, and Mike Bloomberg.
Read the entire fascinating article from NY Mag. Read on an empty stomach.
Humanity and most everything else that walks or crawls, swims of flies loses. The Planet and its evolution then take another stab at life and possibly some hundreds of millions of years down the road the next” intelligent” life form finds us in the fossil record.
That Ham guy, even more than Bill Nye, delivered the decisive answer in that stupid debate: no, creationism is not science. It is a belief system based on a literal reading of select parts of a scientifically inaccurate book. Nothing less and certainly nothing more.
Living Treasure Evgeni Plushenko Drops Out of Olympics.
Beautiful tribute video to him on Jezebel