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pampango

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Hometown: Xenia, OH
Member since: Tue Sep 19, 2006, 04:46 PM
Number of posts: 17,309

Journal Archives

Politifact: Contrary to claims, the United States did not spend $5 billion to incite the rebellion

in Ukraine.

(In the December 2013 speech) She (Nuland) described how American taxpayer money has supported Ukraine’s democratic development despite the country’s challenges.

"Since Ukraine's independence in 1991, the United States has supported Ukrainians as they build democratic skills and institutions, as they promote civic participation and good governance, all of which are preconditions for Ukraine to achieve its European aspirations," she said. "We have invested over $5 billion to assist Ukraine in these and other goals that will ensure a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine."

Our ruling

Contrary to claims, the United States did not spend $5 billion to incite the rebellion in Ukraine.

That’s a distorted understanding of remarks given by a State Department official. She was referring to money spent on democracy-building programs in Ukraine since it broke off from the Soviet Union in 1991.

We rate the claim Pants on Fire.

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/mar/19/facebook-posts/united-states-spent-5-billion-ukraine-anti-governm/

The $5 billion was spent over 22 years in Ukraine as it has in many countries. It did not spend $5 just to "engineering a coup in Ukraine that overthrew the elected democratic government".

As is yours. Though I appreciate you not defending the "I'm leaving because I want to" coup.

on the first day, the new government initiated a political attack on Russian-speaking populations

Indeed the parliament passed a law eliminating Russian, Romanian and Hungarian (not just Russia) as an official languages in certain regions. Of course, the prime minister vetoed it and it never became law but the issue would never go away.

prompting the secession of Crimea a couple of weeks later.

Leader of the Party of Regions, Oleksandr Yefremov, travelled to Luhansk to meet with local leaders and law enforcement agents to discuss the possibility of the south-east of Ukraine declaring independence, and seceding from the state. The chairman of the Supreme Council of Crimea Vladimir Konstantinov traveled to Moscow where he announced that the Autonomous Republic of Crimea will secede from Ukraine if there would change of power.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Ukrainian_revolution#Opposition_leaders_meeting_with_President_Yanukovych

On February 20 Konstantinov got back from Moscow and announced that Crimea would secede if there were a change in power.

While Yanukovich was still in power the "recently-returned-from-Moscow" leader of Crimea warns that if there is a change in power, Crimea will secede. Surprise, surprise! Within 24 hours the "I'm leaving because I want to
"coup" happened and there was a change in power. Makes you wonder if Yanukovich did not receive a phone call from a Moscow area code at some point to let him know what Moscow and Konstantinov had worked out for what was going to happen.

The pro-Russian Ukrainian Front organisation announced a meeting to be held on 22 February among representatives from southern and eastern Ukraine. Andriy Kluyev is an organiser of the event and the group intends to discuss the federalisation of the country into semi-autonomous regions. Following the agreement with the opposition and measures made in parliament, President Yanukovych then flew from Kiev to Kharkiv to attend the Ukrainian Front congress; sources also indicated that Berkut forces had been amassed in Kharkiv in anticipation of the event. As Yuriy Lutsenko reported, past midnight on 22 February, the SBU opened criminal proceedings against Kharkiv governor Mikhail Dobkin and mayor Hennadiy Kernes for advocating separatism.

At the Congress of the Southern and Eastern regions in Kharkiv on 22 February, the deputies passed a resolution, declaring that they are ready to take responsibility for protecting constitutional order in their territory. They stated that the recent events in Kiev led to paralysis of the central power and a destabilisation in the country. They also signed a statement rejecting the authority of Parliament.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Ukrainian_revolution#Opposition_leaders_meeting_with_President_Yanukovych

I think it is safe to say that elements in Eastern Ukraine were working on secession while events in Kiev were still underway.

Sounds like fascism to me. From wiki:

Fascist movements shared certain common features, including the veneration of the state, a devotion to a strong leader, and an emphasis on ultranationalism and militarism. Fascism views political violence, war, and imperialism as a means to achieve national rejuvenation, and it asserts that stronger nations have the right to expand their territory by displacing weaker nations.

Fascism borrowed theories and terminology from socialism but replaced socialism's focus on class conflict with a focus on conflict between nations and races. Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky to secure national self-sufficiency and independence through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.

The Nazis said that homosexuality was degenerate, effeminate, perverted, and undermined masculinity because it did not produce children.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

Veneration of the state (Mother Russia) - check
devotion to a strong leader - check
emphasis on ultranationalism and militarism - check
politcal violence, war and imperialism - check
strong nations (Russia) have a right to expand their territory by displacing weaker nations (Ukraine) - check
focus on conflict between nations (Russia vs. US/EU) and races (ethnic Russian in Ukraine) - check
protectionist and interventionist economic policies - check
homosexuality is forbidden by the state - check.

ISIS "has spent most of the past 18 months avoiding actually fighting the Syrian government,

concentrating instead on destroying its rivals, the Jabhat al-Nusra (Succor Front), other radical groups, and the more secular-minded Free Syrian Army."

When IS comes after its rivals among the rebels, it is vicious, mowing them down without conscience. Even classic al-Qaeda under Ayman al-Zawahiri has condemned IS and kicked it out of al-Qaeda.

Abu al-Miqdad of the Islamic Front, which has fought both the regime and IS, said he supported the American intervention against IS because of the latter’s bloodthirstiness. “They don’t distinguish between civilians and combatants and they kill people with knives,” he said. “Who kills people with knives?” He said he hoped the US bombed every last one of them to smithereens. “They are not Muslims,” he said, “but infidels.” He said that real Muslims would never have done what they did to civilians and to the Free Syrian Army.

Jaber, head of the Islamic Front’s ad hoc military police in Aleppo, agreed that the US air strikes would be welcome. He said that fighters were facing a de facto alliance of the regime of Bashar al-Assad with IS, since the two avoided fighting each other and concentrated on the other rebels.

Meanwhile, the UN has issued a report condemning both the Baath and IS/ ISIL for war crimes.

http://www.juancole.com/2014/08/welcome-strikes-terrorists.html

Syria jets hit Islamic State targets in Raqqa

Regime planes bombard Islamic State positions as fighters close in on Tabqa air base in northern Raqqa province. Activists say Syrian jets have bombarded positions of the Islamic State group in the northern province of Raqqa as the self-declared jihadists close in on the last army base in the region.

Government forces have previously held off from targeting the Islamic State group, formerly known as ISIL - a strategy that has aided the group's battle against other rebels such as the Islamic Front coalition, the Free Syrian Army and al-Qaeda's affiliate in the Syrian war, the Nusra Front.

Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, has long painted the uprising in Syria as a foreign-backed conspiracy and his enemies say he has allowed the Islamic State to grow to promote that idea.


The attacks come after the Islamic State group on Thursday captured the headquarters of Syria's 17th Division, based in the Raqqa area. It posted a video online of its operation.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/08/syria-islamic-state-raqqa-201481812135189335.html

I suppose the John Birch Society, Pat Buchanan, WorldNutDaily, Rand Paul and Marine Le Pen

qualify as RW nutz? "Real" RW nutz seem to want the US out of the UN, the WTO, the IMF, the World Bank and trade agreements.

The John Birch Society opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, claiming it violated the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and overstepped individual states' rights to enact laws regarding civil rights. The society opposes "one world government", and it has an immigration reduction view on immigration reform. It opposes the United Nations, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), and other free trade agreements. They argue the U.S. Constitution has been devalued in favor of political and economic globalization, and that this alleged trend is not accidental. It cited the existence of the former Security and Prosperity Partnership as evidence of a push towards a North American Union.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Birch_Society

Poll: conservative and moderate republicans oppose fast track (for the TPP) by a ratio of 85 percent or higher.

On the question of fast-track authority, 62 percent of respondent opposed the idea, with 43 percent “strongly” opposing it. Broken down by political affiliation, only Democrats that identify as “liberal” strongly favor the idea. Predictably, a strong Republican majority oppose giving the president such authority, with both conservative and moderates oppose it by a ratio of 85 percent or higher.

http://www.ibtimes.com/trans-pacific-partnership-tpp-poll-only-strongest-obama-supporters-want-him-have-fast-track-1552039

With Boehner’s decision to support Obama on TPP, the Republican Party appears ready to ignore concerns raised by GOP conservatives and various tea-party groups that the 12-nation deal further undermines U.S. sovereignty. The opponents argue it places major sectors of the U.S. economy under a new dispute-regulation mechanism that takes precedence over U.S. judges and courts.

The TPP is the first part of a two-ocean globalist plan the Obama administration is working quietly to put into place. The goal is to follow up the passage of the TPP with the finalization of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the United States and the European Union.

Advancing the NWO (New World Order) agenda

The globalists advising the Obama administration appear to have learned from the adverse public reaction to the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP, during the administration of President George W. Bush. Obama has avoided the leader summit meetings that exposed to a critical alternative news media the international “working group” coordination needed to create international free-trade agreements. The Obama administration has shut down the Security and Prosperity Partnership website, SPP.gov.

http://www.wnd.com/2014/01/gop-set-to-fast-track-new-world-order-pact/

Tea Party members absolutely despise "free trade" agreements ...

Real Conservatives Oppose NAFTA

Here are some examples from Tea-Party outlets,

Daily Paul:

Trans-Pacific Partnership – Sign The Petition to OPPOSE

Sen. Rand Paul fights Obama’s Fast-Tracking Attempt w/ TPP, the Trans Pacific Partnership! (Another Corporatist ‘Free Trade’ BS)

Others:

Trans-Pacific Partnership: Secret Surrender of Sovereignty

Is Obama Negotiating A Treaty That Would Essentially Ban All Buy American Laws?

Trans Pacific Partnership Could Nuke New Balance

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Obama’s Globalization Agreement (Part 1) (Part 2)

Trans-Pacific Partnership __ The Next (Secret) Step Toward A New World Order?

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Bigger and More Dangerous Than ObamaCare

Jerome Corsi attests to the persistence of globalists in the Obama administration ... new “free trade” pacts between the United States and other nations must be stopped and existing ones, such as NAFTA, repealed.

And from China:

The Chinese take on why the TPP is bad for China and why it is talking so long to negotiate

France's Front National leader Marine Le Pen will meet other far-right and eurosceptic leaders on Wednesday in an attempt to create a powerful bloc in the European parliament.

Le Pen insisted the party's score was an unqualified victory despite an abstention rate of 57%. She demanded that France call a halt to talks between the European Union and the United States to create a vast free market, known as the Transatlantic Trade Treaty.

"I clearly call on the president of the Republic, firstly the dissolution of the Assemblée Nationale, because you know it is no longer at all representative of the French people," Le Pen said.

"I also demand that he does three things to take Sunday's vote into account: firstly, France halts the transatlantic treaty, secondly, France states its veto of Turkey's entry into the European Union and, thirdly, he nationalises Alstom, contrary to the rules of the European Union, to save this strategic company."

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/27/marine-le-pen-met-far-right-leaders-eu-bloc




These links are all 6 months or more old. I haven't updated it since the last time I updated it. I know some of these folks are really out there on the right-wing lunatic fringe, but you did ask for RW nutz.

What the UN Millennium Development Goals Have Accomplished

Today, fewer people go hungry. There are more children attending school. Fewer and fewer people are dying unnecessarily from easily preventable and treatable diseases. Yet with only 500 days until the end of the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, criticism remains that many countries will be unable to reach what can be considered arbitrary global targets.

At the beginning of the new millennium, the world decided to make tackling global poverty a top priority. The MDGs attempted to address this through a set of eight specific goals and 21 targets. The framework focuses on economic poverty, communicable diseases, gender equality, education, environmental issues, and global partnerships. In an unprecedented manner, developed nations rose to the challenge of addressing the key issues facing humanity by instituting innovative programs and significantly increasing funding.

While valid criticisms surround the current MDGs, their success in reducing poverty is difficult to ignore. It is thus worth reflecting on some of the countries that have not achieved overall MDG success but have nonetheless managed to improve the lives of millions of their citizens despite large challenges. This column takes a look at the great progress nations have made toward four specific MDGs.

Pulling back from these notable victories and continuing challenges, the global community must now look toward the next 15 years with lessons learned and should feel a great sense of accomplishment in the number of lives saved and improved—even if targets and goals are not fully met in 500 days’ time. It is, and will always be, a challenge to apply a uniform set of targets and goals to all nations, but with continued, focused efforts, we may see a world without poverty by 2030.

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/security/news/2014/08/18/95805/what-the-millennium-development-goals-have-accomplished/

Much has been accomplished and much still needs to be done. Neither should be ignored.

It does help explain why the republican base wants the US out of the UN and to slash US foreign aid. Their concern for poverty - domestic or global - is negligible.

Hey the John Birch Society seems to be the source of most of Paul's policy positions.

The John Birch Society (JBS) is an American political advocacy group that says it supports anti-communism and limited government. It has been described as radical right. The organization claims to identify with Christian principles, seeks to limit governmental powers, and opposes wealth redistribution, and economic interventionism. It opposes collectivism, totalitarianism, and communism. It opposes socialism as well, which it asserts is infiltrating U.S. governmental administration.

The society opposed the 1960s civil rights movement and claimed the movement had communists in important positions. In the latter half of 1965, the JBS produced a flyer titled "What's Wrong With Civil Rights?", which was used as a newspaper advertisement. In the piece, one of the answers was: "For the civil rights movement in the United States, with all of its growing agitation and riots and bitterness, and insidious steps towards the appearance of a civil war, has not been infiltrated by the Communists, as you now frequently hear. It has been deliberately and almost wholly created by the Communists patiently building up to this present stage for more than forty years." The society opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, claiming it violated the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and overstepped individual states' rights to enact laws regarding civil rights. The society opposes "one world government", and it has an immigration reduction view on immigration reform. It opposes the United Nations, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), and other free trade agreements. They argue the U.S. Constitution has been devalued in favor of political and economic globalization, and that this alleged trend is not accidental. It cited the existence of the former Security and Prosperity Partnership as evidence of a push towards a North American Union.

The society has been described as "ultraconservative", "far right", and "extremist". The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the society as a "'Patriot' Group". Other sources consider the society as part of the patriot movement. Fred Koch, founder of Koch Industries, was one of the founding members.

The society continues to press for an end to United States membership in the United Nations. As evidence of the effectiveness of JBS efforts, the society points to the Utah State Legislature's failed resolution calling for United States withdrawal, as well as the actions of several other states where the Society's membership has been active. Since its founding, the society has repeatedly opposed United States military intervention overseas, although it is strongly supportive of the American military. It has issued calls to "Bring Our Troops Home" in every conflict since its founding, including Vietnam. The society also has a national speakers' committee called American Opinion Speakers Bureau (AOSB) and an anti-tax committee called TRIM (Tax Reform IMmediately).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Birch_Society

Krugman: It’s not just facts that have a liberal bias; so does careful, open-minded analysis.

Here’s how it works: If you believe that we’ve spent the past six years suffering from a huge overhang of excess supply, that inadequate demand is the whole story — as Yellen does, I do, and so should you — you do have one slightly awkward question to answer: while inflation has been subdued, why hasn’t it turned into deflation? If labor is in huge excess supply, why are average wages still rising, albeit slowly?

Doves like me have taken that question seriously, and placed a fair bit of weight on downward nominal wage rigidity. If wages don’t fall except in extreme cases, you can explain average wages continuing to rise by the combination of sticky wages for some workers and rising wages for those workers who, for whatever reason, face better-than-average prospects.

What’s notable, then, is that you hardly ever see this kind of thing on the other side. Inflation hawks never lay out any specific model of how inflation is supposed to take off in a depressed economy; nor do they talk about testable implications of their view, or for that matter offer any explanation of why they’ve been so wrong for so long.

It is, in other words, an asymmetric debate from an intellectual point of view. Doves are doves because their analysis leads them to believe that rates should stay low, and they make a point of explaining that analysis, addressing its implications even if they don’t lend support to their policy case, and suggesting what information might lead them to change their mind. Inflation hawks know what they want, and don’t feel any need to explain clearly why or how they might be wrong.

If this reminds you of other debates these days, it should. It’s not just facts that have a liberal bias; so does careful, open-minded analysis.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/25/yellen-wages-and-intellectual-honesty/

Just goes to show that even in discussions of economics (just like with climate change denial, cutting taxes for the rich), conservatives "know what they want, and don’t feel any need to explain clearly why or how they might be wrong." Liberals believe what they believe "because their analysis leads them to believe" it "and they make a point of explaining that analysis, addressing its implications even if they don’t lend support to their policy case, and suggesting what information might lead them to change their mind."

Conservatives never, never suggest "what information might lead them to change their mind" because the policy choice comes first and now amount of facts or evidence will "lead them to change their minds."

Ouch! "Some less evolved populations deserve a dictator to keep law and order." Got to admit

that I never thought I would see that here at DU.

Now there is a liberal foreign policy. We support dictators in some countries because frankly you folks are just less evolved than those of us in the West.

Or would any of those "less evolved populations" that would benefit from a dictator be in North America or Europe?

Krugman: new study shows Americans think income is much more equal here than in Europe. The opposite

is true.

Inequality Delusions

Via the FT, a new study compares perceptions of inequality across advanced nations. The big takeaway here is that Americans are more likely than Europeans to believe that they live in a middle-class society, even though income is really much less equally distributed here than in Europe. I’ve truncated the table to show the comparison between the U.S. and France: the French think they live in a hierarchical pyramid when they are in reality mostly middle-class, Americans are the opposite.



As the paper says, other evidence also says that Americans vastly underestimate inequality in their own society – and when asked to choose an ideal wealth distribution, say that they like Sweden.

Why the difference? American exceptionalism when it comes to income distribution – our unique suspicion of and hostility to social insurance and anti-poverty programs – is, I and many others would argue, very much tied to our racial history. This does not, however, explain in any direct way why we should misperceive real inequality: people could oppose aid to Those People while understanding how rich the rich are. There may, however, be an indirect effect, because the racial divide empowers right-wing groups of all kinds, which in turn issue a lot of propaganda dismissing and minimizing inequality.

Interesting stuff.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/20/inequality-delusions/

At other times, Krugman has said that the US would have to adopt European fiscal, tax, regulatory, labor and social policies in order for us to achieve European levels of income equality. That seems a long way from happening.

It is interesting that Americans say they want a degree of income equality similar to what Sweden actually has, but we are not willing to adopt the taxation, labor and economic policies that Sweden has used to accomplish this.
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