Sergei Grits, Associated Press
Ukrainian border guards have a break in their training at a military camp in the village of Alekseyevka on the Ukrainian-Russian border, eastern Ukraine, Friday, March 21, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed bills on Friday making Crimea part of Russia, completing the annexation from Ukraine.

March madness – that’s where a former superpower attacks a sovereign nation and the United States responds with tough sanctions against the Kremlin’s chief butler.

Moscow responded to U.S. sanctions by banning visits to Russia by U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and Sen. John McCain. This was a major blow to President Obama. Two of those people are Republicans, and he had hoped to one day exile them to Russia.

Confused Ukrainians, taking their lead from the United States, are trying to load sanctions into the guns on their meager tanks.

Meanwhile, the good news is Russia still has not imposed travel restrictions on Dennis Rodman, so it’s not too late to send him.

Scientists have discovered remains of an ancient chicken species that was about 5 feet tall at the hip, 11 feet long and weighed about 440 to 660 pounds. Its natural habitat was on a basketball court, as a mascot.

The fact that this thing went extinct says something about how effective ancient cows were at holding up signs urging people to eat more “chikin.”

A number of recent reports say the Obama administration has become hostile toward freedom of the press. The president denied this and reportedly promised to hunt down whoever was responsible for publishing it.

The group Reporters Without Borders issued a report last week that ranked the U.S. 46th in terms of press freedom, just ahead of Haiti. Maybe the Founding Fathers should have put press freedom higher up in the Bill of Rights.

Twitter apparently has been banned in Turkey, where the government prefers that people “gobble.”

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he was going to “eradicate” Twitter. “Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic," he said. At least he kept his message to less than 140 characters.

The prime minister was attacking Twitter as part of his re-election campaign, also known as pandering to elderly voters.

Erdogan is upset because people were using Twitter to criticize alleged corruption within his government. The Obama administration was said to be studying this tactic.

Actually, given the enormous response to his ban, Erdogan may just have been seeking an effective way to go viral.

Jay Evensen is the senior editorial columnist at the Deseret News. Email him at For more content, visit his web site,