Monday, December 10, 2018

Putin's latest Ukraine stunt may blow up in his face

With such rogue behavior, it is increasingly difficult for Germany’s Putin Versteher to argue that NS2 is simply a normal commercial deal. It should be increasingly clear that Gazprom is not a commercial business but an arm of Russian geopolitical policy.
Another twist: Russia purportedly supported the anti-immigrant AfD party, whose electoral successes crashed Germany’s stable political equilibrium and caused electoral disasters for the SPD, its most reliable ally in the NS2 saga. Was this another mistake by master strategist Putin? 
Yet another twist for Washington to consider: With increasing doubts about NS2, U.S. sanctions of the five European energy giants that are partnering with Russia on NS2 could frighten them into abandoning ship.

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Friday, November 30, 2018

Russia’s Re-Stalinization: Father of Nation or Mass Murerer?

Here’s how the Kremlin argument goes:  Stalin was a complex figure. Granted, he killed and imprisoned many innocent people, but in the process he eliminated a potent Fifth Column. Stalin had to use political terror to protect the world’s first socialist state from foreign agents, class enemies, and supporters of the old regime. He had no choice but to apply terror indiscriminately. Yes, Stalin’s forced industrialization imposed hardship – famine, work quotas, and extreme labor discipline – but his harsh measures toughened the Russian people for a war that was sure to come. The USSR could not have beaten Hitler without the Gulag camps that mined the resources of the godforsaken East and produced the tanks and airplanes that won the war. The death squads of political prisoners sent out into German minefields saved the lives of loyal Russian soldiers. Yes, Stalin did bad things, but he did them for the good of his nation – so goes the argument.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Putin Wags the Dog to Raise Sagging Popularity

Putin’s current ratings are almost identical to those leading up to the Crimean annexation and Russia’s invasion of Eastern Ukraine. The most significant threat to Putin came in December 2011 through March 2012, when Putin announced his return to the presidency, prompting mass demonstrations and a slogan: “Russia without Putin.” 

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Republicans Lost the House by Conceding Medical Care to the Democrats

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HR676 bill, also called “Medicare for All, would end the entire American health-care system as we know it, including its most popular features, such as employer health insurance. All medical services will be nationalized or provided by non-profits. Private suppliers of medical care must be converted into government or non-profit enterprises.  Seniors on Medicare must complete with 250 million other claimants of scarce medical providers.

Monday, October 29, 2018

One Person can (In)validate the Steele Dossier and No One Seems to Bother

By some odd circumstances, those “experts” who dissect every word of the Steele dossier have overlooked the fact that the dossier’s key source can be identified and questioned.
He (Let us assume he is male) is identified in the dossier as Source D or E or as an “ethnic Russian close associate of Republican US Presidential candidate Donald Trump.” Trump’s “ethnic Russian associate” is a sole or a corroborating source for the dossier’s most scandalous, incriminating, and salacious charges against Trump.

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Friday, October 26, 2018

'Medicare for All' is as scary as it gets

I  read the Democrat Medicare for All bill. It abolishes all private health insurance, allows only public and non-profit organizations to supply medical care, and it covers all "residents." Get ready to stand in line along with 330 million others for some bureaucrat to decide on your health care.

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

World Economic Forum confirms the US is great again under Trump

The No. 1 ranking of the United States as the world’s most competitive economy by the world’s elite shows that those who value productivity, innovation and growth may be coming around to Trump, despite his inflammatory tweets and rhetoric. Have they decided that what counts is results and not persona?

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Americans won't vote for socialism once they know what it is

When challenged to differentiate himself from traditional socialism, Sanders claims that he is a Democratic socialist, not just a socialist. Sanders does not want to acknowledge that Democratic socialism is an oxymoron. Once people have seen what socialism is, they will not vote for it, but by that time, they may have no choice. 
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Friday, August 24, 2018

A nuclear option for Vladimir Putin

Mr. Trump’s many critics claim that he has gone easy on Mr. Putin because Mr. Putin has something on him. In my view, the “something” is Mr. Putin’s ability to sink the Trump administration in a constitutional crisis via a false admission of collusion. Mr. Putin would find in the U.S. media and among Mr. Trump’s many enemies on both sides of the political aisle willing accomplices.
Yes, Mr. Putin has the leverage. Thank you, political class. Remember my words when Mr. Putin pulls this rabbit out of his hat and paralyzes the U.S. political system for months and perhaps years.
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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Distrustful Kim Should Look at Ukraine not Libya

Ukraine, the holder of the third largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, agreed to give them up in signing the Budapest Memorandum of 1994. In return for de-nuclearizing, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Russia assured Ukraine’s territorial integrity. When Russia annexed Crimea contrary to international law and Russia backed an invasion of Eastern Ukraine, neither the United States nor the United Kingdom fulfilled its obligations under the Budapest Memorandum to protect Ukraine’s territorial integrity. In its hostile actions against Ukraine, Russia broke the foundation of postwar peace; namely, the sanctity of existing national boundaries.

I find it strange that, in the discussion of the de-nuclearization of North Korea, reference is made mainly to Libya’s Gadhafi giving up his nuclear program, as an example of the untrustworthiness of major-power guarantees. Gadhafi voluntarily allowed in inspectors who oversaw the dismantling of the Libyan weapons program, but he received no guarantees of personal safety or territorial integrity from the major powers.

The Ukraine case, on the other hand, constituted a clear abrogation of treaty obligations on the part of the United States and the United Kingdom, and, of course, Russia. If General Secretary Kim of North Korea has doubts about entering an agreement with the United States that would leave him without nuclear weapons, he should ponder the case of Ukraine. 

A nuclear Ukraine would likely still be in possession of Crimea and not have Russian troops and equipment in its East.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

My War With Russian Trolls by Paul R. Gregory

Putin bases his legitimacy on high approval ratings. To counter the Russian people’s sense that they have no say in how they are governed, Kremlin propagandists must sell the story that Western democracies have it worse. Downtrodden Americans, they say, face poverty, hunger, racial and ethnic discrimination, unemployment, and they are governed by corrupt, inept, greedy, dysfunctional, and feuding politicians who sell out to the highest bidder on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley. This brings us to how the ballyhooed Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election has given Putin a gift that keeps on giving—a paralyzed federal government, incapable of compromise, in which a significant portion of the governing class questions the legitimacy of a new president.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Overlooked in Putin's Reelection: The Kremlin's Challenge Is From The Left

Stalin famously remarked that "the people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything." Under Putin, voters are nothing compared to those who decide who can be on the ballot. Indeed, Putin’s Central Electoral Commission rejected Putin’s main liberal rival (Navalny) on a technicality. Other potential contenders have been assassinated (Boris Nemtsov) or subjected to death threats (Mikhail Kasyanov). There should be no talk of a Russian “election” when the sitting president chooses his opponents, controls mass media, and has all the instruments of power behind his campaign.

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Monday, March 5, 2018

Putin's nuclear posturing part of effort to win back displeased public

Putin’s message to the West: “Do not mess with us. If you do anything that threatens the Russian state (namely me), you will be subject to devastation. Russia’s nuclear arsenal can defeat any missile defense system that the U.S. and NATO can deploy.”
Putin enjoys needling his opponents. He surely has not missed the fact that the U.S. can do little against a weak and dysfunctional North Korea, whose deliverable nuclear arsenal is scarcely measureable compared with Russia’s.
Whereas Kim Jong Un threatens nuclear retaliation if attacked, Putin threatens nuclear annihilation if his enemies meddle with his regime, and he decides what, how and when.

go to The Hill

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Did The FBI Vouch For The Crazy Russian Deal From The Steele Dossier?

Given that the Steele dossier is unverifiable, by design, and the Sechin-Carter deal bordered on the crazy, the only conclusion left is that FBI officials were guided by their hatred and fear of Trump, rather than by adherence to the law. If we cannot trust federal law enforcement agencies – the IRS, the FBI, and the Justice Department—we face a significant domestic crisis.

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