Wednesdays Wars | Tom Callaghan: Ukrainian Upheaval – Can Obama and Putin do a De-Escalation Dance?

If Viktor Yanukovych, the Russian-friendly President of Ukraine and his dentist son had been satisfied with stealing millions of dollars from the Ukrainian people instead of billions, the US-Russian confrontation over Ukraine and its autonomous province of Crimea would probably never have happened.

Such, however, was not the case. The Yanukovych kleptocracy, enforced by brutality, reached a level of obnoxiousness that it was a close call if the dear leader could find somebody to pilot a helicopter to help him escape his loving subjects before they tore him limb from limb.

With his man Viktor defeated and hiding from his people, Putin had a problem. What would be Russia’s relationship with the new, hastily-installed leadership of Ukraine and, specifically, how would the change of leadership in Kiev impact the autonomous province of Crimea?

Crimea, which has a majority Russian population, was given to Ukraine by Russia (at that time, the USSR) in 1954. It is home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol. Continue reading………………

Jim Brown: Gov. Jimmy Davis brought us sunshine!

Thursday, March 6th, 2014
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

GOV. JIMMY DAVIS BROUGHT US SUNSHINE!

It could be the most recognized American song worldwide. Go to a small Asian community were little or no English is spoken. Then start humming “You Are My Sunshine.” More likely than not, the locals will join in singing along. Everyone knows the words to a down home tune written by a Louisiana country singer and movie star. And he was sworn in as Louisiana Governor seventy years ago this week.

Jimmy Davis was a popular country singer in the 1930s, and made a number of western movies including the likes of Cyclone Prairie Rangers, Mississippi Rhythm and Square Dance Katy. But throughout the world, he made his mark with “Sunshine.”

I was in Cambodia a few years back right at the Golden Triangle where Burma and Thailand converge. Breakfast at a rural village outdoor cafe’ with dirt floors, and a young waitress who knew as few words in English. “You American. I love America. I sing about America.” Then, with a big grim on her face, she broke out in song and danced around the dirt floor singing “You Are My Sunshine.”

After serving two terms as Louisiana Governor, Davis spent a lot of time at his farm in Northeast Louisiana, traveling back and forth from the state capitol in Baton Rouge. The Governor was friends with my senior law partner in Ferriday, and made it a habit of stopping by our office for a coffee break. I was a wet, behind the ears 26-year-old attorney, and often the only one in the office. So Jimmy Davis would talk at length about his life and gave me my initial political education. Continue Reading……..