Corker claims free speech when it looks just like a case of abuse of power. Corker used the power of his elected position to create a timely news release that was meant to sway a close election. That is more than free speech, that is interfering in the democratic process…and it was ugly!
Corker can back and fill all he wants, but the deed is done and his true character has been exposed. Remember the tasteless ad he ran against Harold Ford? We now know the true measure of this short man...not tall at all when it comes to low in-fighting. When he takes the gloves off…on go the brass knuckles.
Under the polish, there is a mean dirty streak.
Hart is indeed a humorist and not very talented at that. This unfunny tale about Ukraine is so agenda infected that it will have to suffice to say that if you want to know the deep geopolitical story about Ukraine, you will need to source it elsewhere. This is garbage.
Only two countries on the planet have the logistical capacity to invade the US. Those would be Canada and Mexico. Other countries or groups can launch a single attack, but not invade. Geography alone offers the US a huge security advantage over would-be adversaries.
Instead of using the military as a defense force, the US has garrisoned the whole world as an armed extension for foreign affairs, a bully state that does not hesitate to interfere in affairs of other countries. US foreign policy has descended into armed mercantilism and has damaged Brand USA while creating wide-spread ill will. Traveling with a US Passport is no longer a badge of honor, far from it. The US has traded respect for fear and hatred.
Most Americans now sense that the US military should be based within the confines of the US unless provoked into a declared war or as part of a UN peace-keeping mission. Of the millions who hate and want to harm the US, the vast majority are driven to that hate by US meddling in the internal affairs of other countries. For fifty years the US has demonstrated that the hearts and minds of people cannot be won on the battlefield or with the receiving end of a missile. Seemingly, the US has learned nothing. The geopolitical black-ops continue from Ukraine to Syria, from Iran to Venezuela, and now to 35 African countries.
China knows, Germany knows, Brazil knows, South Korea knows that the real war, the real power, is economic. While the US was building the most powerful military in the history of the world, she could have been spending that same money on an infrastructure that would have been the envy of the world. Instead, the US infrastructure has become second rate, the US has fallen behind in almost every competitive category. US debt threatens credit down-grades. US dollar hegemony hangs in the balance.
The Emperor has no clothes! The US has to get out of the fear business. The US needs to close overseas bases. The US should set out to become an ethical model for the world…and then a different kind of power and leadership could return to the United States of America.
The US military should be sized and equipped for defense of country, not for widely despised world domination. This new proposed military "downsizing" doesn't begin to address the true needs of a country in trouble.
You are right, IM, but that is not how geopolitics is played. Wouldn't it be nice if we had a world of smaller countries, none powerful enough to to want to assemble an empire. Imagine a whole world of Denmarks, Singapores, Irelands, New Zealands, and Switzerlands. When you get over 8-10 million people you break in two…keep them all small.
I'm not singing Russia's praise, but I do try to acknowledge reality. Russia is an energy powerhouse in a world starved for energy. They are leveraging that strength into building a stronger country, to no one's surprise. The Ukraine is the Russian heartland, they will not let the eastern part slip away without WWIII, count on it.
What has happened in the Baltics and the rest of Eastern Europe was the reversal of an uncomfortable arranged marriage, post-WWII. Russia knows that and is very unlikely to challenge that new reality. Putin is a geopolitical chess player and a very good one. The West fomented this dust-up and now will have to scramble to avoid yet another embarrassment, JMO.
PT, you are right that the average Russian outside of Moscow still has life pretty hard. That doesn't change the fact that Russia bottomed in 1989 and has made substantial progress since. Perception often lags reality and we in the West don't want to acknowledge that our old cold war adversary has stepped up her game, but she has. Witness the two recent negotiations with Syria and Iran. Russia showed real leadership skills while the West rattled sabres.
If we were to make a geopolitical guess about future winners, probably China, Germany, and Russia would top the list of countries that are likely to be world leaders in another decade. The US will almost assuredly have lost it's place as world hegemon. That is probably a good thing because the US needs to focus on the US, not solving/creating problems throughout the world.
toejam, you may be past enlightenment.
My guess is that the already rebellious factions in Western Ukraine were emboldened by cash and encouragement from black operations from the EU and the US. This is not new. By one report the US has spent up to $5 billion over a period of years on this and other efforts in Eastern Europe. We all saw the cell phone exchange between the US Ambassador and the Assistant Secretary of State directly interfering in the internal affairs of Ukraine.
I doubt that this rebellion would have happened without that interference. The people knew that new elections were only a year away. The fringe Social Right party in Western Ukraine is basically hard right nazi. They took over what might have remained a peaceful movement and provoked the debacle that the world witnessed. Now the law of unintended consequences is at the feet of the US and EU.
Empires just don't know when to back off it seems. Syria wasn't spontaneous. Neither was Libya. Those that aren't pliant client states are targeted for upheaval. The US and the West are desperately trying to hold it together in these last days of empire. They have bought a little time since 2008, but the clock is running down fast.
Freedom didn't have a damn thing to do with this whole mess…that's the propaganda line…nothing more, IMO. The Catholic half of Ukraine probably yearned for the higher standard of living in Western Europe, but lack of freedom wasn't the complaint. Orthodox Eastern Ukraine is basically Russian and wants to stay that way.
What we don't see here in the West is that Russia is an ascending country. Oh, she still has a long way to go, but she is ascending while the West is descending. We don't like to admit that, but that is what is happening.
So what would have been worse: enduring the utter corruption of Yanukovych until the next election or the inevitable chaos and probable further bloodshed in a now strongly divided country that likely cannot be put back together again?
One way or another Russia will end up with either outright control of, or a tight relationship with, eastern Ukraine. That is the economically healthier part of Ukraine. Should western Ukraine opt to align with Europe, Europe would get Chernoble and the poor fractious part of Ukraine with millions of hungry people. The western mutineers would likely become similar to disastrous Greece, an economic basket case, because the EU is not going to be more generous with part of Ukraine than with other needy countries in Europe.
The US and the EU helped orchestrate this disaster with their geopolitical gamesmanship and dirty under-the-table intervention, now what can they salvage from this ugly mess?
VW has a long history of working with unions as partners to accomplish mutual goals.
Unions in the US came about because of horrendous working conditions imposed by greedy employers. I say that because my great-grandfather was one of the larger employers in the US and real ball-buster. If ever a company needed to be unionized, it was his. He fought the unions all the way to the Supreme Court, winning his case, but losing his business to a union boycott of his products. A Pyrrhic victory if ever there was one.
If the workers at VW feel well treated, chances are good they will vote down unionization. If there are serious issues that need to be addressed, the union may prevail. Unions have their place when working conditions and compensation swing too far in favor of the employer.
Over the past few decades management compensation has exploded to the upside while worker compensation has been flat. That ratio needs to improve for the worker.