President Putin's ultimate ambitions are not known, though it is clear he is using the seizure of Crimea and threats against Ukraine in part to strengthen his position at home. Russia's economy is struggling, and government is riddled with corruption and cronyism.
The classic macaroni and cheese that Americans know and love is made simply with a sharp cheese, usually cheddar, grated and melted over elbow pasta and milk, for a cheesy and creamy texture that is just right.
The key to getting Russia to back away from any potential invasion of Ukraine is what it has always been, to ensure that Ukraine, just a few hundred miles from Moscow, does not become a leading outpost of the West and NATO.
Unlike the bloodless annexation of Crimea earlier this spring, a Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine may lead to a full-blown war between the countries, which neither Kyiv nor Moscow can afford to wage.
Easter is one of the holidays I have always looked forward to the most. Perhaps even more so than Christmas, which is still not as festive a celebration in the former Soviet Union as New Year's Eve.
Everyone remembers the 2008 campaign when, in the exhilaration of Obamania, the advertising slogan "no-drama Obama" had a fair amount of success. This reflected a common misunderstanding of politics, for personalities matter much less than the force field of conflicts between the various powerful sectors in oligarchic democracies.
Putin's Russia again resembles its fascist predecessors. By starting this war, Putin has ensured that the fate of those regimes will be his and Russia's, too.
The West has not given defensive arms to Ukraine. Instead, it imposed meaningless sanctions and despite its rhetoric it appears to be leaving Ukraine to its own devices to deal with the pro-Russian secession movement.
Beyond economic aid to Ukraine and other Eastern European nations, we have identified four overarching themes that should be reinforced and reaffirmed by Congress and the administration.
The leadership in Beijing must be secretly delighted watching the struggle between Russia and the West. The Ukraine mess can seriously poison Moscow's relations with Washington and Brussels for a long time to come, thus reducing their mutual ability to coordinate policies on the major issues in world politics. One such issue, perhaps the most important, concerns geopolitical risks associated with China's rise and its impact on the global economic and military balance. The Western push to "isolate" Russia may prove self-defeating. Rather than forcing Moscow to withdraw from Ukraine, it will draw it closer to Beijing.
If you haven't heard of Lavabit or Levison, then you've certainly heard of Lavabit's most famous user -- Edward Snowden. America's notorious whistleblower used Lavabit to invite reporters to Moscow, which caught the attention of the Feds.
Russia's recent annexation of the Crimea, its ongoing policy of destabilizing Ukraine's eastern regions by actively supporting separatists, and the Kremlin's energy blackmail, reiterate that without Ukraine Europe will never be truly "whole and free." That is why we cannot repeat the mistakes of the past.
Some people, particularly in Washington, say we should use natural gas exports to support U.S. foreign policy objectives. I disagree. That's not our fight. I believe we should use our natural gas to support Americans, not Ukrainians.
That history repeats itself is a known truth borne from both philosophical reminders and from experience, for humanity has a way of forgetting its most important lessons, even those from fewer than three decades ago.
Obama: Hello? Hello, Vladimir? I can't hear you very well. Is that a bear? Um... can you possibly get rid of the bear? Oh -- sure, I can wait. (Obama waits several seconds) Hello, again. You what? You wrestled the bear to the ground?
The Green News Report is also available via... ...