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The Jehoshua Novels

Makings of a Deal?

It seems I was wrong: Obama (and Putin) apparently do want a deal: 

Top diplomats meeting here on the Ukraine crisis Thursday agreed that all parties, including separatists and their Russian backers, would stop violent and provocative acts, and that all illegal groups would be disarmed.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry said those steps must begin within days to be taken seriously, and President Obama was openly skeptical of Russian intentions.

The potential diplomatic breakthrough, which Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov referred to as “a compromise, of sorts,” came after nearly seven hours of negotiations among Lavrov, Kerry, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

This is genuinely good news. The Nelson Reports’ reaction is after the jump for those inclined. One note: wouldn’t it be interesting if at some point in the near future people start talking of Finlandizing the Ukraine? While that’s not an optimal long term solution it sure as hell beats a civil war in the Ukraine.

Continue reading Makings of a Deal?

Gabriel García Márquez | 1927-2014

Exuberant Master of Magic Realism

NYT -Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian novelist, whose “One Hundred Years of Solitude” established him as a giant of 20th-century literature, died on Thursday at his home in Mexico City.

Oops- Another obit posted previously by Raja in Newswire.


Edward Snowden apparently got tired of the lack of attention and decided to shove his foot deeper in his throat: Continue reading Schadenfreude

City by City, Town By Town in the Ukraine

The Guardian has a city by city guide of pro-Russian takeovers in the Ukraine, here.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainians “have a good message” for the diplomatic talks in Geneva. Yay! They have a good PR team. Such awesome:

“We are going to talk, and we probably will have a good message,” Mr. Deshchytsia said about consultations with Mr. Kerry.

In the same article, it appears as if Kerry and Lavrov while talking about substance, don’t have much of a desire to reach an agreement:

But the four-way meeting began with an enormous gap between the Ukrainian and Russian positions. Ukrainian officials planned to present their ideas on how to decentralize authority so that the Russian-speaking population in eastern Ukraine would elect their own leaders and have more control over local budgets.

But Russia has advocated a far more extensive version of federalism, one that would make Ukraine’s eastern provinces largely autonomous regions that could wield veto power over national issues like foreign policy, in effect increasing Moscow’s influence.

Continue reading City by City, Town By Town in the Ukraine

ACLU to File Lawsuit on Behalf of 250,000,000 Americans

From the wishful thinking department:

In light of a study which indicated congress is not responsive to the people of the United States, but is only responsible to the Wealth and Corporations, the ACLU filed a class action lawsuit today in Federal court. Their legal theory will be “If you are not represented in government as shown by the preponderance of government decisions, you are not represented in fact, and therefore owe the government no taxes.” They will cite various historical events during the American Revolution in support of their argument, along with examples of European majority government.
Continue reading ACLU to File Lawsuit on Behalf of 250,000,000 Americans

Hey Agonistas, stop whining and agonizing

According to the 1%, civilization in 2025 will be cleaner, richer and decentralized.

So predict CEOs and world leaders at Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s invite-only summit.

The future is oh-so-very-elusive for those tasked with predicting it. Assemble your best team of analysts, collect the latest data, run the most sophisticated algorithms, extrapolate endlessly from the past, and still what you’re left with can only speak to the present moment. “One of our biggest challenges,” Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Nat Bullard lamented recently, “is that there’s no data about the future.” Just an informed guess about the shape and texture of what lies ahead. Source

However, the 1% is not perturbed by challenges and inadequate data. Not when optimism is good for the bottom line.

Ukraine: Is Anyone Playing This “Crisis” Straight?

Reader Supported News

Maidan East

Whether it’s a real crisis doesn’t matter as long as you’re afraid

Just when the U.S. Defense Secretary was in Japan giving indications that the Ukraine “crisis” was over as far as the U.S. was concerned, Ukrainians of all sorts, other Washington officials, and even the Japanese government all pitch in to keep the “crisis” alive, at least as a threat meme.

How much of a Ukraine crisis is it, really, when pro-Russians Ukrainians seize Ukrainian government buildings, calling for Russians protection/intervention – and the Russians don’t come?  They don’t even threaten to come. That’s been true for several days as this is written. Maybe it won’t be true as you read it, since writing about Ukraine these days is like leaving a message in the sand without knowing where the tide line is on the beach.

Continue reading Ukraine: Is Anyone Playing This “Crisis” Straight?

When David Cay Johnston Writes . . .

. . . especially about matters of high finance we are obligated to read. All of it.

Bad Faith

ABC News has been a bad actor for a while in the media games we have going on in America, especially Brian Ross. Seems ABC wants a piece of the Pulitzer action without having to do any of the work, too.

The Center for Public Integrity is having none of it and has the goods to back it up. Read the whole story, as they say. It’s worthwhile to get a better idea of just what goes in to producing the news. Guess what: it takes more than just an arrogant reporter from ABC with a camera swooping in to take credit.

Just Making Too Much Sense

Matt Taibbi makes too much sense. Just watch.

How’s That R2P Taste Now?

Look: innocent people are going to die. There will be more violence in the Ukraine. It could turn into a civil war. A portion of that blood will be on the hands of the regime running the Ukraine presently. Another portion of that blood will be on the hands of Vladimir Putin. And the last helping of blood will be on the hands of the United States of America in conjunction with its NATO allies.


Simple: we could prevent this. If Obama wanted peace in the Ukraine he’d send Kerry to Moscow today and tell him to get a deal done.

But that would require real concessions to Russia. Exceptional America doesn’t make concessions.

So, innocent people will die because Americans are exceptional.

How’s that R2P taste now?

In a Shock to No One…

…Joe Biden got out in front of the White House and shamed them into a policy change: Continue reading In a Shock to No One…

Not news to me.

Various versions of this are all over my facebook feed today: The USA is not a democracy, its an oligarchy.

When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.

from “Testing Theories of American Politics.”

The pdf is here.

I don’t think anything will change. The promise in 2008 was tainted.

Pulitzer Prize Goes To . . .

. . . the Guardian for doing real journalism. More like that, please. I look forward to Glenn Greenwald’s new venture to get its first Pulitzer.

The Absurdity of the Terrorism Excuse

Today’s Nelson Report lays bare the utter absurdity of the word “terrorism.” It is now virtually meaningless, but still powerful enough to conjure up atavistic emotions in people. We live in a bizarre world.

SUMMARY: The Ukraine crisis is bubbling along with what looks like the US still trying the threat of really deep economic sanctions in hopes of persuading Russia’s Putin not to complete the military take-over of Eastern Ukraine which seems to be underway.

At State today, the briefing danced around efforts to get the US to declare the Russian troops “terrorists” and to agree that the situation now is a “civil war”, but Jen Psaki did say while that Pres. Obama is looking at a full menu of new sanctions, nothing will be announced before Thursday.

Russian troops are terrorists? What useful purpose would that serve? The obsession the media has with this word is mind-boggling. Nelson continues:  Continue reading The Absurdity of the Terrorism Excuse