This One Paragraph Explains the (Partially Self-Inflicted) Tragedy of Ukraine

A Ukrainian soldier retreats. (AP)

The situation in Ukraine right now is pretty grim. The European-brokered “ceasefire” is joke, even if the Obama administration continues to hold out hope. Russian separatists launched an offensive against the town of Debaltseve, forcing Ukrainian troops to retreat. The State Department, for its part, boldly affirmed the Ukrainian government’s “sovereign right” to surrender their territory to foreign aggressors. How comforting.

Obviously, Putin deserves most of the blame for the carnage in eastern Ukraine. If he wanted to the fighting to stop, it would. But the Ukrainian people are also suffering from the corruption and incompetence of their own government and military. This one passage from a riveting Washington Post report on the Ukrainian battalion charged with defending Debaltseve captures the depravity of the situation:

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Nine Fun Ways to Buy Access to The Clintons

Gotta get paid. (AP)

Reports that the Bill, Hillary, & Chelsea Clinton Foundation has been raking in donations from foreign governments and billionaires have raised serious ethical concerns with respect to Hillary’s forthcoming White House run. The foundation has defended the practice of accepting foreign donations, which had been put on hold during Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State at the request of the Obama administration.

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Neill Blomkamp Presents: Illegal Alien

Neill Blomkamp, immigration skeptic (AP)

I was intrigued to hear that Neill Blomkamp, the director of District 9Elysium, and the upcoming Chappie, claims that his next picture is going to be a movie set in the Alien universe:

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Obama Administration Affirms Ukraine’s ‘Right’ to Surrender Territory to Putin

Bros gonna bro. (AP)

Despite a European-brokered “ceasefire,” the war in eastern Ukraine rages on. Russian separatists continue their assault on the city of Debaltseve, forcing the Ukrainian army to withdraw its troops. And yet, the U.S. State Department continues to hold out hope that the ceasefire will work. “We don’t consider it dead,” said spokeswoman Jen Psaki. “We still need time for the agreement to work through.”

But that’s not even the most outrageous aspect of the Obama administration’s position on Ukraine. This is:

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Hillary Doesn’t Care What You Think, Liberals (And For Good Reason)

AP

Hillary Clinton does not care what liberals think. And who can blame her? Since quitting her job at the State Department, she has shown far less interest in promoting the causes liberals care about than she has in getting as rich as humanly possible.

Clinton has hobnobbed with Wall Street executives, given paid speeches hosted by foreign banks accused of fraud, charged public universities $300,000 to hear her speak, lifted her foundation’s ban on accepting donations from sketchy foreign governments—all things liberals would find outrageously offensive if done by Mitt Romney or the Koch brothers.

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The Clintons Just Can’t Help Themselves

Hillary Clinton courts a prospective donor. (AP)

Add this to the list of things that would elicit a nuclear reaction among liberals if a conservative did it. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation has been raking in donations from foreign governments ahead of her presumed presidential run, raising some serious ethical concerns:

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Senior Rand Paul Confidante Posits Insane 9/11-Related Conspiracy Theory

Ron Paul

BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kacyzinski notes that Ron Paul, a long-serving confidante of potential presidential candidate Rand Paul, recently stated the United States was not interested in capturing Osama bin Laden following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 because doing so would have limited the ability of the George W. Bush administration to wage unlimited war in the middle east:

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Marie Harf, Barack Obama, and ‘Legitimate Grievances’

Marie Harf / Facebook

The State Department’s Marie Harf got herself into trouble yesterday by employing a Bush-era talking point about the inability to “win this war by killing” the terrorists, adding, before being cut off by an incredulous Chris Matthews, that “we need in the medium- and long-term to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether its lack of opportunity for jobs…”

The ridicule rolled in swiftly. Harf, defensive and confused, seemed to conclude that she was witnessing an irrational backlash driven by pure partisanship, and took to the Twitters to point out that all she was doing was recycling a point made in the past by men like Mike Mullen and George W. Bush, among others.

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Hot Takes I Read Today, Ranked

THE TAKES! THEY'RE TOO HOT

I’ll be honest, you guys: There was A LOT of good stuff on the Internet today. So much good stuff, in fact, that I was overwhelmed by it all. I felt bad keeping all this goodness to myself, so I give it back to you … the people.

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Wall Street Banks Rated Most ‘Risky’ Are Big Hillary Clinton Donors

Too big to fail? (AP)

Banks evaluated as having a high “systemic risk” to the U.S. financial system have contributed millions to Hillary Clinton over the course of her political career. A recent study by the Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Research assessed the institutions that, due to their size, complexity and interconnectedness, posed the greatest financial risk. As it turns out, four of the six riskiest banks are big donors to Hillary Clinton:

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Hilary Clinton Is a Terrible Politician, Explained

AP

Hillary Clinton is still nowhere to be found, and in her absence some are beginning to question her inevitability. Others, including VOX DOT COM fashion editor Matthew Yglesias, are starting to worry that Clinton may waltz to the Democratic nomination without any serious opposition. That would be a big problem, Yglesias writes, because it would leave Clinton “dangerously unprepared” for the general election against whoever emerges from a deep field of GOP contenders:

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General Marie Harf Through History

antonyharf

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf suggested that “we cannot kill our way to victory” against ISIS on MSNBC last night. This flies in the face of literally the entirety of human history, through which, time and again, we have seen people killing other people lead to victory in armed combat.

But her dorm-room philosophizing did get me thinking. What if Marie Harf had access to a time machine? How would she have solved the world’s military conflicts?

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SNL40: On Saturday Night Live and Its Anniversary Special

snl-40-800

There’s a line that perfectly explains the appeal of Saturday Night Live, the venerable sketch comedy program that celebrated its 40th anniversary last night in a star-studded program. It goes something like this: “It doesn’t matter how old you are, your response to SNL will always be, ‘Well, of course the show sucks now, but when I was growing up it was great.’”

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The Controversial ‘Kingsman,’ Continued (Spoilers)

Always bring a gun to church; you'll never know when it'll come in handy

Spoilers for Kingsman: The Secret Service below.

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Hillary Clinton Pens New York Times Op-Ed, Offers Preview of Clinton Presidency

Former Senators Hillary Clinton and Bill Frist. (AP)

Hillary Clinton has co-authored a New York Times op-ed with former GOP Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, and in doing so has given us a preview of what her poll-tested, K Street approved presidency would be like.

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