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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Putin’s Reaction To Sanctions Is Destroying The Economy And China Won’t Help

Things are not going well for Vladimir Putin. The price of oil and the ruble continue to fall. Top Russian officials admit that the economy is in big trouble, despite Putin’s denials. Likely presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, has declared that Putin must be contained. Putin’s counter sanctions are making things worse. The most ominous sign, however, is that Putin is weakening the foundations on which his power is based. He is cutting off foreign investment by bailing out his friends, and he is breaking the social compact on which his KGB-Mafia state is founded.

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Republican Senate Can Help Send U.S. Weapons to Ukraine

Congress, unlike the president, has understood and been shamed by the lament in Proroshenko’s speech to Congress: “One cannot win a war with blankets – or peace.”  Maybe our so-called dysfunctional Congress can actually do something. Poroshenko understood that Congress was Ukraine’s only chance. He thanked the U.S. Congress for its support of Ukraine, notably leaving out the president.


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Monday, October 6, 2014

Putin's and Xi Jinping's fear of Maidan -- fear of the "rule of the corner."

Hong Kong will answer the question: Can a dictatorship operate according to a strict rule of law? These examples show the answer is no. Under a dictatorship, the dictator is the law. Hence there can be no rule of law. It is as simple as that.


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Thursday, October 2, 2014

As Russia Intimidates Europe, Obama Fiddles On Energy Policy

Vladimir Putin watches the evening news from his Sochi villa: “In an election move, Barack Obama approved the Keystone pipeline and opened offshore public land to drilling. Mexico’s Pemex announced a 50 percent increase in production. Five LNG tankers docked at European ports today, including Riga and Klaipeda. Poland and Lithuania announced significant discoveries of shale gas. In a surprise move, Germany renounced its Energiewende and reopened three nuclear power plants. Russia’s Gazprom competed today with five other suppliers at the annual auction of natural gas contracts in Rotterdam.”

Vladimir Putin awakes in a cold sweat. His gymnast girl friend assures him: Vova: It was just a bad dream. Vova  retorts in a foul mood: No, it

is not a dream. They can crush me if they get their act together.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ukraine is fighting on its own with little or no help from its feckless allies. Those who stand next in the line of victims understand the urgency of the situation. Others do not, if Obama’s remark at a recent fund raiser is accurate: “Geopolitically…what happens in Ukraine does not pose a threat to us.” That remark may go down in history along with Chamberlain’s “peace in our time” statement.


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Sunday, September 14, 2014

As The Sanctions' Noose Tightens, China Grabs Russian Energy Assets At Bargain Prices

When I wrote on August 28 that “Western sanctions are strangling the Russian economy,” I had second thoughts about using such strong language. Events of the last two weeks convince me, however, that I understated the case, especially with the introduction of new sanctions on Friday. The Russian economy faces a severe liquidity crisis, collapsing investment and a severe recession. Putin has jeopardized his “safe” European gas market and faces legal problems that he cannot avoid. His sanctions against the West have simply made his own people worse off.

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