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Saturday, March 20, 2021

Getting the Facts straight on Operation Warp Speed

Judged by its own benchmarks — regulatory approval and vaccinations by the end of 2020 and the accelerated delivery of 300 million doses — Operation Warp Speed is a rare private-public partnership that has met its performance benchmarks. The heavy lifting of ushering vaccines through clinical-trials, scaling-up mass production, and initiating the complicated process of distribution to the states were well on their way as the Biden administration took office. It should be emphasized that OWS was launched to almost universal skepticism and even scorn. At the time of OWS’s launch in Spring 2020, a strong consensus prevailed among media, public-health experts, consultants, and betting markets that regulatory approval by the end of 2020 and the accelerated delivery of 300 million doses were unrealistic goals.



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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Do Biden's 'tough new sanctions' give Putin Nord Stream 2?





Western media is greeting the Biden administration’s Russian sanctions as “signaling a tougher stance on Russia than under former President Donald Trump.” Vladimir Putin likely thinks otherwise.

It looks as if the Biden administration has blinked on Putin’s key foreign policy objective — the completion and operation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, delivering Russian gas to Europe. The sanctioning of a few Kremlin officials is petty change compared to the decade-long profitable effects of Russian pipeline politics.

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Saturday, February 27, 2021

"Woke" Amnesty International revokes the prisoner of conscience status of Russia's most "woke" political figure, Aleksei Navalny


Consider the irony of the unwoke Kremlin holding the feet of Western institutions to the woke fire. As a result, Amnesty International fell victim to the Kremlin's smear campaign — as did, perhaps, Navalny's chances for a Nobel Peace Prize. Putin could hardly ask for anything more.


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Friday, February 5, 2021

Navalny proves too hot for 'poisoner Putin'

Navalny offers a “Beautiful Russia of the Future” that can be gained, starting in September, by voting against any parliamentary candidate who sides with the Kremlin. The Kremlin has decided it can no longer ignore "the blogger" and "the Berlin Patient." These are significant victories.

The outcome is far from certain. It seems time for the Nobel committee to take note.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The Kremlin, FSB, and the 'Berlin patient's' underpants


The Navalny poisoning should remove any last doubts about the Kremlin’s routine use of political murder as an instrument of state policy. Navalny was scheduled to follow Boris Nemtsov, Anna Politkovskaya, Alexander Litvinenko, and many others to their early graves. Prior to Navalny, Putin and his Kremlin allies could always blame sinister false flag operations, lone mavericks, or ethnic gangs for these murders. With an exposed assassination squad, aided by military weapons labs and transportation coordinated by transport police, it would strain credulity to argue that the Navalny poisoning was not an operation of the Kremlin itself.

A conversation in Moscow:

Where do you work?

In the FSB.

What department?

The Department of Underwear.

 

They say that every morning before Putin puts on fresh underpants, he gives them to his guards to wear first.

 

Switching out jars of urine, washing other people's panties. The FSB still has many “wet” cases ahead. The whole world should tremble and fear!



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Wednesday, November 11, 2020

A new Putin worse than the old Putin?


In a word, the transfer of “the Putin system” to a successor should be a piece of cake. Immunity is another matter. Putin, as an “ex-KGB” surrounded by ex-KGB, seems bound to trust his immunity to security officials. Thus, Russia may end up with a “new Putin” from the already powerful security apparatus. The outlines of any transition will be defined by the Yeltsin precedent. We can anticipate an internecine battle royale among various interest groups of Putin’s inner circle; who comes out on top is anyone’s guess.

F.A. Hayek, in his 1944 “Road to Serfdom,” wrote that in political systems like Putin’s Russia, the worst rise to the top — namely, those most ruthless in using power. Thus, we might have to get used to a new Russian president who is worse than Putin.

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