10 things to know today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday:
AP Wire
Mar 3, 2014

1. 'WE ARE ON THE BRINK OF DISASTER'

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk put Ukraine's military on alert and appealed for international help after Russia tightened its grip on the Crimean peninsula.

2. HOW WEST MIGHT SEEK TO COUNTER RUSSIA

U.S. and European leaders say Moscow could face economic penalties and diplomatic isolation if it doesn't move out of Ukraine.

3. FIRST WIN ON OSCAR NIGHT

Jared Leto wins as supporting actor for playing a transgender prostitute on "Dallas Buyers Club". "12 Years a Slave" and "Gravity" are competing for best picture.

4. CLASSIC DARK BLUES AND BLACKS ON RED CARPET

Hollywood's "it" fashion darling of the year, Lupita Nyong'o, showed up for the Oscars in a goddess look of ice-blue silk Sunday night.

5. HERE ARE THE SNOWS OF YESTERYEAR

A storm was expected to dump several inches of snow on the East Coast before rush hour on Monday.

6. MURDER TRIAL FOR 'BLADE RUNNER' TO BEGIN

Oscar Pistorius says he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder when he shot her through his bathroom door; prosecutors say he killed her in a rage.

7. WHO'S BLAMED FOR CHINA KNIFE ATTACK

Authorities said separatists from the country's far west led the rampage that killed 29 people and wounded 143 in Kunming.

8. CONFLICTING VIEWS ON CAPTURED US SOLDIER

Some believe Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl deserted his unit in Afghanistan before being captured by the Taliban.

9. AN ULTRA-CONNECTED WORLD OFFERS PROMISE AND PERIL

The Mobile World Congress wireless show in Barcelona offers a future where everything is digitized — with all the privacy and security concerns that such a world entails.

10. IDITAROD SLED DOG RACE KICKS OFF

Standing between the mushers and the finish line are about 1,000 miles of unforgiving Alaska terrain.

Comments

Vladtheimp

#1 and #2. COMMUNITY ORGANIZING ON THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE

How did we get here?

Obama: http://youtu.be/XsFR8DbSRQE

OBAMA: "Governor Romney, I'm glad that you recognize that Al Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what's the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not Al Qaida; you said Russia, in the 1980s, they're now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War's been over for 20 years."

ROMNEY: "Excuse me. It's a geopolitical foe, and I said in the same -- in the same paragraph I said, and Iran is the greatest national security threat we face. Russia does continue to battle us in the U.N. time and time again. I have clear eyes on this. I'm not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia, or Mr. Putin. And I'm certainly not going to say to him, I'll give you more flexibility after the election. After the election, he'll get more backbone. Number two, with regards to Iraq, you and I agreed I believe that there should be a status of forces agreement."

Some stupid little woman: http://youtu.be/GhCh4wkYlCQ

Another stupid woman: http://youtu.be/9sudCmrAsF4

Secretary of State Monsieur Heinz-Kerry - “This is not Rocky IV,” he said, referring to the 1990 film depicting a battle between East and West, in which Rocky Balboa fights then-Soviet Union boxer Ivan Drago.
“Believe me. We don’t see it that way", he added."

And, of course, ThinkProgress on 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be Scared By The Plan To Downsize The Army http://thinkprogress.org/world/2...

echo5oscar

Most of the country will worry about 3 and 4.

Barry Soetoro

Yeah no doubt about that! I just saw where Amanda Bynes is back on Twitter so that's a relief for a lot of people. What's all this talk about Russia and Ukraine anyway???

Lanivan

Amanda back on Twitter? Get outta here! I'm all into the Meryl/Ellen retweet.....

Lanivan

ThinkProgress is right on with it's 5 Reasons for Downsizing the Army. You appear to be locked into a Manifest Destiny mindset, whereby the US has a right, a duty, an obligation to flex our control over the destiny of other countries through war or unilateral actions.

Those days are over. It's not WWII anymore. The US can not and should not have undisputed and total control over the actions of a country. Look where $7 trillion, hundreds and thousands killed and maimed, and 10+ years in Iraq and Afghan have gotten the US. As we pull our forces out, mayhem and tribal warfare move back in, in many cases worse than ever.

If you want a quote, here's one from a "stupid little" man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q...

One can judge from your rhetoric that you remain stuck amongst the Cold War attitudes of the 60's, but it's a New World. War's ARE fought very differently, attitudes among leaders across the globe ARE different, and the US, while remaining the Leader of the Free World, is hardly the undisputed Master of the Universe. I realize blaming Obama every time a country has a rough patch is fulfilling and provides a warped sense of security for people like you, but it's time to get out that binky as a substitute. Either that or start recognizing the 21st Century global reality, and the US position within it.

Vladtheimp

Of course you are correct that leaders internationally are different - like Vladomir Vladimirovich Putin, Bashar Hafez al-Assad, Hassan Rouhani, Jalal Talabani, Nicolás Maduro Moros, Nouri Abusahmen, Xi Jinping, and Kim Jong-un, to name a few. They are virulently Anti-American, especially since our young Community Organizer/President instituted his "Smart Diplomacy." And they apparently didn't get the memo that the Cod War is over.

With the ideas you just expressed, maybe Barack Hussein Obama will make you Secretary of State after he throws Monsieur Heinz-Kerry under the bus. You have at least as much relevant foreign policy experience as Heinz-Kerry and Shrillary, even if you married neither a multimillionaire nor a philandering future President.

Actually, I clearly recognize the US position in the 21st century global reality - much reduced as a result of Obama's fecklessness. If he were to treat international law with the same disdain he treats U.S. laws and the Constitution maybe he would stand up to Putin and the Mullahs in Iran.

Vladtheimp

Just now saw what your friends at the Washington Post Editorial Board said - SURPRISE - I could have written it, but not as well.

Also ran into what your friend Theodore (Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick) Roosevelt said in a similar situation:

“Combining the unbridled tongue with the unready hand.” Thus did Theodore Roosevelt define statesmanship at its worst."

"Something like that has happened before. A hundred years ago Theodore Roosevelt had warned Americans that, if we wanted peace in the Pacific, we should either withdraw from the Philippines or build a navy that Japan must respect. We did neither. Instead, US policy consisted of sonorous moral commitments to peace and good order, coupled with an increasingly hollow military: the unbridled tongue and the unready hand. The American people paid the price in blood." http://www.libertylawsite.org/20...

Harry Kovaire

Do you refer to the WaPo editorial that begins: "FOR FIVE YEARS, President Obama has led a foreign policy based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality."?

You can judge from that rhetoric that they "remain stuck amongst the Cold War attitudes of the 60's."

Vladtheimp

Precisely! I thought I had provided a link to the editorial, but obviously didn't:

President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy http://www.washingtonpost.com/op...

Back to the Future?

Former Grandhavenite

I was struck by this article's complete lack of any alternatives to Obama's policy on Crimea so far. While it hasn't been generally very effective, Bush's response to the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict wasn't any different. He handled it pretty much the same way- by issuing a string of vague threats of consequences, while not actually doing anything beyond that. Convincingly acting tough without actually starting a war is a very fine line, and the Post editorial board has the luxury of throwing darts at the folks who are trying to solve problems and actually have to find ways of getting things done instead of just saying, "nah that'll never work" to every possible idea.

Ultimately Ukraine, the EU, and Russia are going to have to figure things out. The EU needs to step up if they ever want to be seen credibly as a military and political force on the world stage. This is their own backyard, and the whole conflict stems from whether Ukraine is eventually going to join the EU or the new Russian customs union with Kazakhstan and Belarus.

Lanivan

You men are either terrific armchair quarterbacks or as dumb as stumps. In your haste, Vlad, to smear your whipping boy, President Obama, the Leader of the Free World, who has kept us out of "stupid" wars for the last five years, you forget to plug in the link to your vituperations. And Harry is your water boy with his furtive reminder. Next year just might be yours on Oscar Night.

Meanwhile, just what do you think Obama should do? Be specific. I promise not to spew coffee all over the keyboard! Send those drones over to show Putie-Pute-Pute that Obama can look into his eyes and press the Red Button at the same time??

If you just have to blame a president, perhaps you should look in the direction of Reagan. Remember - "Mr. Gorbachev - Tear down this wall"! I can just imagine Putin quaking in his KGB knickers over that manly show of strength.

Back to the Future?

Harry Kovaire

While it seems desperate that you need to crowdsource ideas on behalf of your affirmative action president, I'll bite.

I think he should resign.

Lanivan

I'm pleased you stepped up, Harry, and took the bait. (My ploy worked!) First of all, crowdsourcing ideas is both an American and entrepreneurial action, of which I am both. Secondly, President Obama, who I'm sure you know was the only president since Ike who was re-elected with a majority level of support of 51%, was not exactly hired via affirmative action.

Besides, you do know, don't you, that Obama is about 50% Irish, is a wily fighter for which the Irish are known, is a very clever politician, and much smarter than Putin in his own understated way, and the chances of him resigning - or being impeached - are zero to nil.

Ah - the scent of that new fragrance....."Desperation"!

Barry Soetoro

Don't feed the trolls, Harry.

Harry Kovaire

I know, I know. It's like teaching pigs to sing and playing chess with pigeons.

Lanivan

Repetition much? Just like a conservative - glob onto some nonsensical verbiage and rinse and repeat, ad nauseum.

Vladtheimp

1. Freeze assets of Russia and Russian oligarchs in the United States; convince EU to do the same in their respective countries;

2. Work with other Western countries to boycott the G8 meeting in Sochi and announce with that coalition if Russian troops are not withdrawn, Russia will be expelled from G8;

3. Working with other democracies, cut off Russia from borrowing and other banking transactions with the West, including credit and loans;

4. Send Navy ships and Air Force planes to Ukraine with humanitarian aid, as George Bush did in Georgia before Putin pulled back from Georgia proper into the breakaway area of Upper Ossetia;

5. Announce that the U.S. is restarting the abandoned plan to place a Missile Defense Shield in Poland and Czechoslovakia (with their agreement)and start sending materiel there to jumpstart of process;

Although I believe Putin will annex the Eastern part of the Ukraine, necessary to keep Russian navy access to the Baltic, I also believe the important thing now is to keep Putin from attempting to add the whole of Ukraine to the Russian sphere of influence, and to make Putin hurt domestically to curb his fever for future adventurism.

I fully expect Obama to nothing of substance, unless pushed to sanctions by a bipartisan bill in the Congress, but to continue to draw meaningless red lines, and stern warnings, with a strong letter to follow.

Maybe if he were convinced that Putin is aligned with Obama's most serious threat (in his mind), the Tea Party, he might do more, like sik the IRS on any Russian assets in the U.S., and sik the EPA on Russia drawing worldwide support from the Global Warming Nazis that Putin's sale of hydrocarbons represented about 30 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and half of its GDP growth since 2000, and hydrocarbons provided at least half of the state's budget revenues last year.

If he really wanted to hurt Putin, Obama would open up oil and gas production on public lands throughout the continental and outer shelf of the U.S., drive the cost of international oil down while removing our dependence on foreign oil, and offer the oil cheap to Putin's clients.

It's pitiful that you are so full of ignorant hatred that you don't recognize that Reagan didn't just talk, like young Barack Hussein Obama, he took actions that resulted in the end of the Soviet Union and the bifurcation of Germany.

Harry Kovaire

While at face value these ideas are good for a powerful president, I would not be in favor of this one doing ANYTHING that would possibly escalate the situation.

We absolutely do not want to go to war with this incompetent commander in-chief and the weakling populace who elected him.

Vladtheimp

No Mas?

Lanivan

As a fiscal conservative, I find your argument for escalation this early on to be promoting the US as the Global Welfare Policeman. After all, the US does not have a big dog in this fight - let the EU belly up to the bar. Escalation costs money, and we're in a debt crisis after the Iraq and Afghans Wars the last time I checked.

As to your conservative talking points, some are a bit premature, some make sense. However, your point regarding the possible expulsion of Russia from the G8 has been nixed by Germany, and that's not all bad. Directly isolating Putin at this juncture might be playing right into his hand, and allowing him to ride the grizzly bear without accountability to his European neighbors.

I will await further instructions from my Master, but until then, don't get your jockeys in a bunch with your "pitiful full of ignorant hatred" quip.....I voted for Reagan both times, you know.

Barry Soetoro

No one can say they weren't warned this was coming. Thank you Sarah Palin.

Lanivan

I agree. She is right for the US on so many levels - thank you Sarah Barracuda for being the Grizzly Mama we all can respect, admire, and emulate!

Barry Soetoro

That doesn't sound very sincere.

Lanivan

I think it's wonderful she provides so much political entertainment for you conservatives - you guys need to loosen up! Listen to some Buddy Guy, for Pete's sake! And that she has managed to use her skills to become a multi-millionaire, which with all sincerity, I am not.

Vladtheimp

Escalation woman? who the hell do you think escalated the Ukraine? That aside is just lunacy, and I never considered you to be a lunatic - Reset Button required.

From your apparent perspective the U.S. didn't have a "big dog" in the fight in World War II. If the progressives were in charge in the 1940's we and our children would be speaking Deutsch, driving Volkswagons (which you enjoyed), and sig heiling on the beach. http://www.foundingbloggers.com/...

If you are a fiscal conservative, I'm Miley Cyrus - how does cutting off our Capitalist banking benefits to Communists and their Oligarchs translate to "Global Welfare Policeman"? Actually, that's Obama's title.

I'm so impressed that you think our national interests should be controlled by the Germans (see 1st paragraph), and, as I've said before, my Tidy Whiteys are in fine order - but I understand that you can't verify that just like I can't verify your votes for Ronaldus Maximus. . . .

Axelrod is not going to be happy that you haven't stepped up your game.

Lanivan

Republicans were initially isolationist prior to Pearl Harbor, after which they closed ranks behind FDR. And I am a pragmatic and balanced fiscal conservative - my reference to the US being the Global Welfare Policeman had to do with your outdated and outmoded ideas that the US should take the lead (read $$$) in the hawkish strategies of current conservatives, who used to be isolationists, who cry about the Federal Debt, who....

Anyway, I cut and paste a comment from a favorite commenter from another forum; his approach to the Crimea situation is at a slightly different angle. Interesting. Your thoughts?

"We engineered a second Color Revolution in the same country, this time against a properly elected government, having already openly bragged about how we did it the first time. Then this says the Russians should just accept that because "the moment on a nationalist high, new presidential elections are not far off." Wow, elections! Those really worked out didn't they? That's like telling the Muslim Brotherhood to accept the military dictatorship's coup because they'll have an election eventually.

Russia didn't "invade" anywhere. It was their main base, and they were there already. They asserted security over it, including its nuclear storage sites. No forces moved.

What the Russians did is like the FBI asserting jurisdiction over a local matter, no matter how the locals may dislike it, and even when the Feds then start shooting the locals as they have many time including the extreme embarrassments at Waco and Ruby Ridge.

If there was civil disorder near the equivalent US base in Hawaii, the Feds would be all over the Pacific Fleet's nuclear weapons storage, Pearl Harbor, the airport, Schofield Barracks, and the Pacific HQ. The State would have nothing to say about it. With the Russian Fleet there by agreement, they are the Feds in that scenario for security of their base.

None of this justifies an actual invasion of Eastern Ukraine. However, that hasn't happened. None of it justifies more than security control of Crimea, but that hasn't happened yet either".

Vladtheimp

WTFO?

1. What does "Republicans were initially isolationist prior to Pearl Harbor, after which they closed ranks behind FDR." have anything to do with the Ukraine?

2. What does "And I am a pragmatic and balanced fiscal conservative - my reference to the US being the Global Welfare Policeman had to do with your outdated and outmoded ideas that the US should take the lead (read $$$) in the hawkish strategies of current conservatives, who used to be isolationists, who cry about the Federal Debt, who...." have anything to do with my response to your question about what I would do about Ukraine?

3. "Anyway, I cut and paste a comment from a favorite commenter from another forum; his approach to the Crimea situation is at a slightly different angle. Interesting. Your thoughts?

"We engineered a second Color Revolution in the same country, this time against a properly elected government, having already openly bragged about how we did it the first time. Then this says the Russians should just accept that because "the moment on a nationalist high, new presidential elections are not far off." Wow, elections! Those really worked out didn't they? That's like telling the Muslim Brotherhood to accept the military dictatorship's coup because they'll have an election eventually." What have you been drinking?

4. "Russia didn't "invade" anywhere. It was their main base, and they were there already. They asserted security over it, including its nuclear storage sites. No forces moved." That's just ridiculous - they leased the base from Ukraine - you're suggesting that a tenant can take over their apartment by force and no harm no foul.

5. "What the Russians did is like the FBI asserting jurisdiction over a local matter, no matter how the locals may dislike it, and even when the Feds then start shooting the locals as they have many time including the extreme embarrassments at Waco and Ruby Ridge." Boy Howdy, don't you know that the FBI set up Randy Weaver over a shotgun, and shot his wife and child and dog? Don't you know that Janet Reno killed all the Branch Dividians over trumped up child abuse charges?

6. Don't you know that Hawaii, unlike Ukraine, is one of the 50 (not 57)States of the sovereign country of the United States?

7. I guess the Russian troops, tanks, war planes in Ukraine are a figment of a free press's imagination http://www.washingtonpost.com/wo...

If you have not been dipping your beak into the Old Coot beer, or something stronger, I feel terrible that I may have contributed to your obvious stress and detachment from reality. Just say the word and I will try to ignore Barack's contributions to the deterioration of our country both internally and internationally.

You need to regroup and get a grip, my friend!

Lanivan

Whoa - steady there, pardner. While, yes, it was something stronger, if you must know, I am about as stress-free and attached to reality as I usually am, so please don't feel terrible on my account. And yes, I would like to take you up on your most gracious and generous offer to ignore Barack. Bloody good show Vlad!

Let me just say this about that. In July 1969, I spent the day in Prague, Czechoslovakia. There were Soviet soldiers at every street corner, bearing machine guns. The previous August, the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslavakia, sending in tens of thousands of troops.

What kind of response did this crisis elicit from the US and NATO? Can you remember that far back? No? Well, that's because there was NO RESPONSE.

Nothing. Western Europe and the US basically turned a blind eye to the evolving situation. Neither LBJ nor Nixon responded in any seriously intrusive way. Fast forward to 2014: Seems you conservatives have terribly itchy trigger fingers when it comes to Obama and Putin.

Thank you for your concern regarding my grip. My response to you? Perezagruzka!

Vladtheimp

Ah,the incomprehensible response is explained - hope it was good scotch, although in my experience good bourbon keeps one more centered.

The experience in Prague has to be both scary and memorable; I guess I'm not certain what lessons were learned (not by you) about how to deal with that kind of naked aggression. I guess Monsieur Heinz-Kerry would have said that it represented 19th century thinking rather than 20th. . . .

Nothing I said would indicate an "itchy trigger finger", certainly not firing an ICBM in the midst of the crisis - if you read and reflect on my suggested responses, they all focus on making Putin and the Russian Mafia pay economically for their transgressions.

May I suggest you Google "Budapest Memorandum" to see how egregiously Putin has acted (and no, I don't think it rises to the status of a treaty or forces the Western signatories to militarily defend it's violation).

I would really be interested in your specific responses to each of the suggestions I made regarding what we should do about Putin's aggression, since you requested my thoughts on the issue.

If I "overcharged" this is your opportunity to explain how. Somehow I think that you would not have made Hillary's Perezagruzka blunder if you were in her position.

Na zdraví! Croi follain agus gob fliuch!

Lanivan

Since you must know, it was moderately priced gin, but the days of wine and roses are about to come to an end, at which time I will take you up on your offer to respond with more specificity (this word is a killer to pronounce at certain times of the day) to your itemized conservative talking .....uh, bullet points. Thanks for the toast! I need all the toasts I can get...and the Same to you!

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