Never mind that Republicans in the Senate decided to stall the vote on sanctions for the better part of the week, and it appears that the House Republicans are about to do some more hostage taking before they'll approve any legislation on Ukraine -- the producers over at Fox continue to give neocon John Bolton one opportunity after another to call President Obama "weak" and complain that he's not doing enough on his own to send a message to Putin.
From Fox's blog: Bolton: 'Obama Admin's Sanctions Against Russia Are Meaningless':
Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton reacted to the latest on the Ukraine standoff during today’s America’s News HQ.
He called the sanctions put forth by the Obama administration against Russian officials “essentially meaningless.”
Bolton criticized the Europeans for also being weak, noting that this gives Russian President Vladimir Putin the confidence to continue on his path.
“If you’re concerned about the use of armed forces to dismember a sovereign country on the continent of Europe in the 21st century, then you’ve got to respond in a serious fashion,” Bolton said, adding that he would prohibit all Russian financial institutions from participating in the American financial services market.
As Steve Benen noted in the link above, House Republicans are apparently more worried about protecting the Koch brothers and their ilk from having the IRS scrutinize their political activities than anything happening in Ukraine:
The Senate will vote, probably this evening, on an aid package that includes changes to the International Monetary Fund to expand loans to developing countries, including Ukraine. Republicans have balked the IMF overhaul, but the legislation may pass the chamber anyway.
As is often the case, the real trouble is in the Republican-led House.
If the Senate, controlled by Democrats, approves the aid legislation, it will go back to the Republican-led House. Republican leaders there have said they would be willing to support the legislation with the I.M.F. language if the administration agreed to delay Internal Revenue Service regulations that would restrict the activities of tax-exempt political organizations. Members of both parties have criticized that proposal, arguing that Republican leaders are holding urgent aid to Ukraine hostage on behalf of conservative donors like David and Charles Koch.
What do IRS limits on tax-exempt political organizations have to do with Ukraine? Nothing, but House Republicans have an instinct – taking hostages is easier than traditional governing – that they just can’t seem to shake.
It offers quite a contrast when it comes to U.S. foreign policy. The Obama administration sees the aid package as an important diplomatic tool during a tense crisis. Indeed, the aid package is necessary, the White House argues, to help curry favor with Ukraine and strengthen Ukrainian officials sympathetic to the West.
House Republicans, meanwhile, see an opportunity, effectively asking Democrats, “What’s it worth to you?”