Once again, back again this near-mid-day Tuesday here in California’s Central Valley — expecting some rain this afternoon, but this is drought infested lands, so I don’t expect much.
Despite not feeling real good, at least I don’t feel real bad. The cold/flu/whatever/maybe COVID I’ve been experiencing the last 10 days or so has become a routine situation as much doesn’t change day-to-day, but for some reason I feel better in the afternoon and evening, only to have a shitty sleep, weird-as-shit dreams, and waking feeling like the before-mentioned shit. Only to go stream through the whole cycle again during daylight, a close, though insanely convoluted, ‘Groundhog Day‘ plot, only this time it’s energy-sapping humanity and the nowadays.
Hence, I really hadn’t felt like posting anything much at all, now more than a week into this particular scenario. And it seems, too, the entire universe is also feeling like shit in a wire basket. The news cycle has become way-disheartening, and it’s not just crazy-ass Vlad Putin’s T-Rump-like ravings, either, but a smorgasbord of crap from all directions, though, a good number of them can be directed at Republicans. They are a peoples of nasty, cruel intentions and, maybe worse-of all, incredibly self-centered dumb ad incompetent. Not only bad for everyone and everything but way-horrible at being really, really bad.
However, maybe the total crazy in this mix is the assholes are out in the open about their agenda, which in governing is non-existent — unless you include pure-Florida asshole Rick Scott’s sideways-cruel self-agenda to force all Americans to “have skin in the game” via the old-fashioned way of being the wealthy class. Piece of shit whining from a piece of shit.
So horrible they don’t give a shit about hypocrisy, and/or lying, which makes them self-blind to the horror:
without a shred of irony! pic.twitter.com/wAu0fnocCp
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 22, 2022
However, beyond even the shit from Republicans, the entire world appears to be sitting on the precipice of a terrible war-like environment boiling/festering break-out convoluted conflict of sorts in Ukraine — Joe Biden sized-up the state-of-affairs just a bit ago: ‘“Who in the Lord’s name does Putin think gives them the right to declare new so-called countries on territory that belong to his neighbors? … This is a flagrant violation of international law and demands a firm response from the international community.”‘
In addition, to Putin's speech, demands, and recognition of the LNR/DNR, there have been several very ominous signs over the past 24 hours. No signs of de-escalation but plenty of an impending escalation. pic.twitter.com/OcyotxZDot
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) February 22, 2022
A good overview of the happenings in an op/ed from Daniel Treisman, professor of political science at UCLA, a fellow at the Center for Advanced Research in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and co-author of “Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century,” at CNN this afternoon — concluding note:
The Russian president’s angry speech Monday contained a sweeping view of Russia’s past, told from an oddly 19th century perspective.
Some accuse Putin of wanting to rebuild the Soviet Union. Yet, the blistering attack on Lenin and his colleagues in Monday’s speech laid that illusion to rest. The Bolsheviks, in Putin’s view, created the artificial republic of Ukraine. What he dreams of rebuilding is not the USSR but the pre-1917 Russian Empire.
Turning to the present, Putin accused Kyiv of seeking to develop nuclear weapons and integrating its military command with NATO’s.
These fears will hardly be assuaged by the two republics’ secession. Nor will this satisfy Putin’s persistent demands to Western leaders over the past months for a written commitment to end NATO expansion and a withdrawal of all forces to their deployment as of 1997.
Even if a full-scale invasion does not occur immediately, Putin is unlikely to give up on his efforts to undermine Ukrainian statehood and roll back NATO. And Russian tanks may not stop at the line of contact.
Instead, they may seek to take over the whole Donetsk and Luhansk administrative regions. Or perhaps they will continue all the way to Kyiv, aiming to destroy military bases, purge Ukraine’s elite, and impose a proxy government.
The challenge for the West could not be clearer. If Putin succeeds in undermining Ukraine, he is unlikely to stop there. His distrust of the West and expansive view of Russia’s destiny are by now deeply entrenched. Our policy must raise the cost of eroding the international order.
At a reception in 2015, I had a chance to ask Putin about his planning for the occupation of Crimea.
“I was even surprised at how well it went!” he told me with a smile.
The West must make sure he does not find it so easy this time.
One especially grateful point in all this shit — no Republican in charge. Biden and his team appear to be doing about as good a job on Putin’s crazy bullshit as can be done under the circumstances.
Biden hit hard this morning:
Mr. Biden said the United States is imposing “full blocking” on two large Russian financial institutions and “comprehensive sanctions” on Russian debt.
“That means we’ve cut off Russia’s government from Western finance,” he said. “It can no longer raise money from the West and cannot trade in its new debt on our markets or European markets either.”
He also said that the United States would impose sanctions on Russian elites and their families, an effort to ensure that those closest to Mr. Putin do not escape financial pain that is expected to hit hard for average Russian citizens.
Mr. Biden delivered his speech less than a day after Mr. Putin issued a decree sending troops into two separatist-held regions in Ukraine.
Russia’s Parliament authorized the use of military force abroad on Tuesday, taking another step toward what Western officials fear could be an full-scale assault against Ukraine.
Western leaders said Russian troops have already entered Ukraine in what the president labeled an “invasion.”
But as the tough global response takes shape, Mr. Biden and his counterparts have struggled to balance the need to take swift and severe action while preserving the possibility of even greater sanctions on Russia if Mr. Putin escalates the conflict by attempting to seize the entire country — a war that could kill tens of thousands of people.
Mr. Biden said that he would ratchet up sanctions against Mr. Putin if Russia went further than it had already.
“Russia has now undeniably moved against Ukraine,” he said.
“Today, I’m announcing the first tranche of sanctions to impose costs on Russia.”
He added: “We’ll continue to escalate sanctions if Russia escalates.”
This doesn’t look like it’s going to play out well at all.
Yet Republicans and the T-Rump are where? Weird-ass turn-around from history:
Incredible Stuff here https://t.co/fuXr7vBRNZ
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) February 22, 2022
MAGA-hatters are pointed in the Russian direction — crazy as T-Rump crazy be and this morning he acted the role, loving him some Vlad (Raw Story):
“I went in yesterday and there was a television screen, and I said, ‘This is genius,'” Trump recalled.
“Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine — of Ukraine — Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful.”
“I said, ‘How smart is that?'” the former U.S. president continued.
“And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper. That’s the strongest peace force… We could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re gonna keep peace all right. No, but think of it. Here’s a guy who’s very savvy.”
Trump added: “But here’s a guy that says, you know, ‘I’m gonna declare a big portion of Ukraine independent,’ he used the word ‘independent’ and ‘we’re gonna go out and we’re gonna go in and we’re gonna help keep peace.’ You gotta say that’s pretty savvy. And you know what the response was from Biden? There was no response. They didn’t have one for that. No, it’s very sad. Very sad.”
Yet once again, here we are…
(Illustration out front: M.C Escher’s ‘Three Spheres II,’ found here).