Morning Must Reads: February 28

In the News: Ukrainian President Holds Press Conference in Russia, Clinton Library Releasing Documents, Obama partnering with more Tech Companies, and Yellen on Bitcoin

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  • Armed men take positions at two airports in Crimea [NYT]
  • Clinton library to release previously sealed records: “About 4,000 to 5,000 pages will be put online at 1 P.M. Friday, with paper copies becoming simultaneously available at the library in Little Rock, the spokeswoman said. More releases are expected in the next couple of weeks.” [Politico]


Ousted Ukrainian President Speaks at Press Conference in Russia [Associated Press]

  • “Conservative activists said Thursday that they will continue to press for additional legal protections for private businesses that deny service to gay men and lesbians, saying that a defeat in Arizona this week is only a minor setback and that religious-liberty legislation is the best way to stave off a rapid shift in favor of gay rights.” [Washington Post]
  • Software firms donate $400 million to Obama’s tech-education initiative [The Hill]
  • Joe Biden in Winter [Politico Magazine]
  • Rare Supreme Court outburst video Shows inside the High Court [NYT]
  • “Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said the central bank doesn’t have the authority to regulate bitcoin.“The Federal Reserve simply does not have authority to supervise or regulate bitcoin in any way,” Ms. Yellen said Thursday in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. “This is a payment innovation that is taking place entirely outside the banking industry and to the best of my knowledge there is no intersection at all” between bitcoin and banks that the Fed can oversee.” [WSJ]
  • “Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is looking for senators who would allow her military sexual-assault bill to pass even if they don’t vote for it directly. The New York Democrat’s controversial bill—which would take away commanders’ power to decide which sexual-assault cases are prosecuted—has been granted a vote by leaders of both parties and could come to the floor as soon as next week. Gillibrand has 55 publicly declared supporters for her legislation, and if she could convince 60 members to vote yes on a procedural vote to take up her bill, it could pass with a simple majority using the votes she already has racked up.” [National Journal]
  • A Call to Arms on Vermont Heroin Epidemic [NYT]
  • ICYMI: Watch Obama and Biden jog around the White House for ‘Let’s Move’
1032 comments
nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

It's official: Genealogists have traced JLaw's ancestry to that of Gerald Ford.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Russia tightens its stranglehold on Ukraine and Crimea - GOP makes sure it undermines any effort we can do (not that we can, but I digress).

Putin sure have some real friends in the 'wingers.

notsacredh
notsacredh

OT, but we're taking our cat in tomorrow to have him put to sleep. The vet said it was time. It will be 7 years to the day since our dog Abbey died.

notsacredh
notsacredh

I just won my own little war. I was out doing our neighbor's driveway and our driveway and the MIL kept raising up a window and telling me to hurry up and bring the Sunday paper in. I kept yelling that I'd get it when I was finisihed. She did it three times and I kept telling her that I'd  get it when I was done. It's 22 and windy. My electric bills are enormous. On the fourth time, I pulled my pants down and mooned her. The road plow going by blew his horn a few times.

fitty_three
fitty_three

Weeeel, it's pretty much all over but the huffing and the puffing and turning red with apoplexy.

As expected, NATO is showing the strain of membership beholden to Russian gas, the Russians are cementing their hold in Crimea, and have officially sucked it into the Federation.  

Having no cards to play, we're probably going to kick them out of the G8 which will hoit Vlads' feelings, but with a stolen Super Bowl ring, and a couple countries, he don't care.

He's flopped it on the table and the West just doesn't measure up.


A word of waring to the hypocrites: Don't blame Obama for this. It's a function of the Proximity and Power law of geopolitics, just like the Cuban Missile Crisis.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

Star Wars veteran author Aaron Allston has died of a heart attack while appearing at a convention.  He was 54.  Very funny author who created a vast stable of diverse, complex and interesting characters.  Most recently, he was part of the rotation working on the books that hopefully lead up to the movies (their rotation actually got frozen just prior to the Disney buy presumably because there might be movies in the works).

notsacredh
notsacredh

OT, but we've got 3 inches of snow now. We're getting about an inch an hour. I'm going to have to use the 4WD to go and pick up lunch in a few minutes. The roads are covered and they're not going to send the plows out until it's over with.

fitty_three
fitty_three

Ukrainian bases in Crimea have fallen in Simforopol.

collioure
collioure

@fitty_three  

Well, whaddaya know, we do have some tools to adjust his behavior.

Now freeze his personal bank accounts . . .

TyPollard
TyPollard

@sacredh  

So sorry to hear. Pets are one of best and most reliable happinesses.

notsacredh
notsacredh

Ziggy died in March two years after Abbey. I don't think I like March anymore.

notsacredh
notsacredh

To be fair, most people knew how Son of God turned out. Spoiler alert.

TyPollard
TyPollard

@fitty_three  

I'm just glad the Republicans are presenting a unified front in the best interest of the United States as is our tradition, said the sarcastic unsurprised poster.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@fitty_three,

From the article:

 "The center-right is the vast majority in this state, so you can register all the voters you want," said Republican Party Chairman Steve Munisteri."

But the Texas GOP is extreme right. There's nothing "center" about it.

outsider
outsider

@forgottenlord  

That's unfortunate - but i hope his ideas are part of the movies. It would be a nice tribute/thank you to him. 

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@fitty_three Don't underestimate the fact that a large portion of the Ukrainian military is actually composed of Eastern Ukrainians who favor Putin and Yanukevich over what they see as an illegally installed government in Kiev.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@fitty_three, I bought the final season of The Outer Limits (newer ones) yesterday. We're going to start watching them shortly. Some of them were pretty good.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@TyPollard, I have to admit, I'm not nearly as attached to the cat as I have been to our dogs. There's just something about dogs. But thank you.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TyPollard

From one sarcastically unsurprised poster to another, I wholeheartedly agree, or would, if Cheney hadn't swiped the damned thing already.

hivemaster
hivemaster

Texas was one of the first state where whites were no longer a majority, an it happened years ago. If Steve is so confident, why are they still F'ing with the voter laws? They're scared, that's why.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh 

He's secure in his Gerrymandered throne, apparently.


Maybe, just maybe:

"We are all Texans!"

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@outsider

I would be very surprised if any of his original characters ended up in the movies.  He worked with a lot of major characters but his original characters were all tertiary characters - the area where he really got to demonstrate his abilities was the X-Wing books where the biggest named character is Wedge Antilles (Red 2 in Episode IV - the one who had to bug out of the trench run - Rogue 3 in Episode 5 - the one who took down the walker - Red Leader in Episode VI - the one who lead the Falcon into the heart of the Death Star) - and he focused on Wedge's *secondary* squadron.  So when I say tertiary....yeah.

When you work on the main branch of the "current" timeline (AKA: Skywalkers/Solos running linearly from the original trilogy), it's very rare that you get to create non-one offs since it is a very shared space - generally, lasting characters are imports from secondary branches.  The only carried original character from the last series on the main branch was Vestara Khai and they actually delayed introducing her past Allston's first book in the series so he could focus on properly setting the stage and the next book could properly focus on exploring Vestara's previously-unmentioned society (and she I do hope will be in the movies).

That said, I think some of the more defining elements of Ben Skywalker's (son of Luke) personality were Allston and it's hard to not give him heavy credit for Jagged Fel (husband of Jaina Solo, daughter of Han and Leia) - the Fels were created by the X-Wing authors (Wedge Antilles is actually Jag's uncle and Allston wrote a duology early in Jag's development that I think properly turned him into a complex character).

fitty_three
fitty_three

@mantisdragon91  

The gas situation might even hamstring NATO from any activity (sending military aid) to Western Ukraine.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@mantisdragon91 

I'm not, if Putin decides to do it, there's nothing any of the west, including the US, can do.  

He had these plans in place, I'm sure, because of how rapidly the script played out.  It was just  bam bam bam thank you mam and go home.

That's one thing that @colliouredoesn't get: no matter how good or bad any POTUS would be right now, we, the US, really is pretty much powerless, short of an idiotic military move, to do anything about it.

We could sanction, but because of the gas situation in Eastern Europe, that won't have enough kick.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@nflfoghorn

I don't remember the Indian head but I do remember that carrier signal and the flat line.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

@sacredh The poor man's Twilight Zone.  It was cool in a quirky sort of way.

TyPollard
TyPollard

@sacredh @TyPollard  

I watched an interesting movie last night called "Dean Spanley"

It's about a Vicar that waxes poetic about his previous life as a dog after drinking a special wine.

He agrees with you about cats as do I.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@outsider  

Actually....I just realized two that might show up.

First is Syal Antilles, Wedge's eldest daughter (not to be confused with Jag's mother).  Family lines is a favorite for much of the LucasArts world and she's a pilot and Wedge was a fairly popular character - if for no other reason than because he notably survived all three of the aforementioned battles.  And she followed Daddy's footsteps which would play well.  Younger sister Myri is far less likely, I think, since she went into Intelligence and ended up in an Intelligence group.

The other person who might show up is Garik "Face" Loran who was last head of Galactic Alliance Intelligence and succeeded Wedge as head of that secondary fighter squadron (which became an intelligence team ... which happens to be where Myri now works)