Sunday, September 25, 2011

Putin For President: You Can't Keep A Good Dictator Down

I wouldn't profess to know a great deal about Russian internal politics, but I am told that the Ivans do like a strong leader. Well they have that alright.

Let me correct that, I know enough about Russian internal politics to know that Vlad won't have lost his touch for things presidential.

Don't Fuck With Vlad. Cancel that, see below.

Putin's return as Russia's president appears set

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday proposed Vladimir Putin as presidential candidate for 2012, almost certainly guaranteeing Putin's return to the office four years after he was legally forced to step aside.

Medvedev made the proposal in an address to a congress of United Russia, the pro-Kremlin party that dominates Russian politics.

Putin, who currently serves as prime minister, took the rostrum immediately after Medvedev and launched into a lengthy lecture on changes and policies he saw necessary for Russia. That included a surprising suggestion that Russia's wealthy should pay higher taxes than average citizens.

The flat income tax that came into effect during Putin's 2000-2008 presidency has been widely praised as improving tax collection. But Putin's proposal for higher taxes for the wealthy appears to reflect growing discontent over the wide gaps between the grandiosely rich and the millions of Russians who continue living in poverty or marginal circumstances.

The congress must formally nominate its candidate, which appeared to be a foregone conclusion judging by the heavy applause that greeted Medvedev's proposal.

The proposal appears to end months of intense speculation over whether Medvedev would seek a second term or step aside in favor of his powerful predecessor.

Putin became prime minister in 2008 after two terms as president, stepping aside because of constitutional term limits, but as Russia's most powerful and popular politician he had been widely expected seek a return to the Kremlin.

Medvedev had been widely seen as simply a caretaker figure. As president, he has struck a reformist posture, calling for improvements in Russia's notoriously unreliable court system and for efforts against the country's endemic corruption. But his initiatives have produced little tangible result.

Medvedev on Saturday said he would continue his reform efforts and implied he would aim to stay in government after the presidential elections, for which a date has not been set.

Under constitutional changes, the presidential term in 2012 will be six years instead of four, putting Putin, if he wins, in a position of nearly unchallengeable power.

Putin, who built his popularity on the back of strong economic growth, told the party congress on Friday that salaries and pensions would continue to grow, and he promised increased funding for education, health care and housing.

But he also cautioned that the government may need to take unpopular steps to cope with the global financial turmoil.

"The task of the government is not only to pour honey into a cup, but sometimes to give bitter medicine," Putin said. "But this should always be done openly and honestly, and then the overwhelming majority of people will understand their government." CBS


The Cost of Britain's Thaw With Russia
By Alan Cowell
September 16, 2011

LONDON — Almost five years ago, on Nov. 1, 2006, Alexander V. Litvinenko, a former K.G.B. officer and self-exiled dissident, ingested a rare and highly toxic radioactive isotope, polonium 210, from a teapot at a hotel in Grosvenor Square.

Three weeks and one day later, he was dead after an excruciating decline. Almost to the last, investigators and physicians had no idea what killed him. And by the time the cause emerged, Mr. Litvinenko had died, never knowing what took his life. In a contentious, deathbed testament read out by a friend, Mr. Litvinenko laid the murder firmly at the door of the Kremlin and its boss, Vladimir V. Putin, who was then president.

“You may succeed in silencing one man, but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr. Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life,” the declaration said. On Dec. 7, 2006, Mr. Litvinenko, who had acquired British citizenship weeks before the poisoning, was buried at Highgate Cemetery in London, just across the way from the tomb of Karl Marx.

The British authorities demanded the extradition on murder charges of Andrei K. Lugovoi, a former business associate, and ex-K.G.B. bodyguard, who had been with Mr. Litvinenko on Nov. 1 in the Millennium Hotel. When Russia refused, Britain expelled four of Moscow’s diplomats. Russia kicked out four Britons. A chill settled, reminiscent of the Cold War.

It is worth recalling some of the detail, the drama and the flavor of those days because, just this week, it seemed as if another kind of burial — political, diplomatic, pragmatic — was under way when Prime Minister David Cameron visited Moscow and seemed to signal readiness for a thaw.

True, Mr. Cameron made clear that the British legal system did not permit Britain to drop its demand for the extradition of Mr. Lugovoi, who has long proclaimed his innocence.

“But at the same time,” he told Russians, “we have a responsibility to recognize the many ways in which we do need each other, to end the old culture of tit-for-tat and find ways for us to work together to advance our mutual interests.”

And in case anyone failed to understand the nature of those mutual interests, contracts were signed for business deals worth £215 million, or $340 million — hardly a high price for the British offer to step around the central question: could a British citizen be murdered with impunity in Britain at the whim of hostile outsiders? (The answer so far: yes.)

On a note of disclosure: I wrote a book about the Litvinenko affair. In recent days, however, I have been struck not so much by the memory of a particularly gruesome murder, but by what this saga says about the remarkable long game played by the Kremlin, the limits of British influence and the distinctive nature of British foreign policy under Mr. Cameron.

That style began to emerge earlier this year when — in what seemed a remarkably dissonant signal — Mr. Cameron toured the Middle East, then aflame with the first crackling fires of the Arab Spring, leading a delegation packed with defense contractors who had sold their weapons to precisely the kind of autocratic leaders under attack by pro-democracy forces. more NYT

h/t Maren


Anonymous said...

"The task of the government is not only to pour honey into a cup, but sometimes to give bitter medicine," Putin said. "But this should always be done openly and honestly, and then the overwhelming majority of people will understand their government." CBS

"You may succeed in silencing one man, but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr. Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life." (declaration Alexander V. Litvinenko)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Himself said...

I'll bet he was a bit of a fucker when he was KGB!

No more Mister Nice Guy.

Himself said...

Whereas I don't agree with his policies, I think for reasons of global security, the world needs a strong Russia.

It's bad enough as it is, what with the US riding rough shod over . . . well you name it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Himself said...

Not the smartest move Putin ever did, putting them on the world stage.

Anonymous said...

Himself said...

Good morning Maren, it's a funny old world lass.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Himself said...

It's a funny old world lass.

New follower.

Anonymous said...

All’s well that ends well.

guten Morgen Verb√ľndete


Anonymous said...

God has strange boarders.

With God all things are possible; but with money all things are probable. And with a good accountant, they're all deductible.

Himself said...

Good morning Maren.

Indeedy, I Think to talk of looted art, would display a level of hypocrisy normally only associated with the Yanks.

Never knew Merkel was East German.

Anonymous said...

Just shows how stupid he is. Ever heard of the British Empire?!
- Hannahb, Swindon, United Kingdom

Reports alleged Peskov had described Britain as “a little island no one listens to,” following diplomatic talks on Thursday evening regarding Syria.

Peskov quickly addressed the reports, dismissing them as rumors and stressing that Russia had very “positive relations with the UK.”

In response, Cameron said that he had been informed that Dmitry Peskov had not made any such comments. In spite of this, the PM proceeded to mount a heated defense of the UK, citing its achievements and “proud history.”

Anonymous said...

Himself said...

A very good Saturday afternoon to m'darlin'

My dad's got a bigger willy than your dad, so there.

That's just what he sounds like, only he doesn't realise who the biggest prick of all, really is.

"Britain has invented most of the things worth inventing."

Whereas I can't agree with such a sweeping statement, British inventiveness in the early days, moved the world forward in great leaps and bounds.

Whether purely out of self interest or not, it's not for me to say.

But much of the "progress" in those years, was down to the Royal Navy; the banking system, mass production et al.

Still, I guess we had to do something; we were after all, fighting the Dutch.

And the French, and the Spanish, and for that matter, anybody else that got in our way.

"You can't beat a good scrap" should I think, have been our national motto.

Anonymous said...

Light touch: Joseph Swan's 1880 light bulb is crucial to everyday (and night) life

If you showed this list to a Yank they wouldnt believe you. I work with them in Iraq and they honestly believe they invented everything. Well done GB.
- Freddy.Johnson, Pennan Aberdeenshire,

Himself said...

Thanks Chuck.

Perhaps the most glaringly obvious, is that we re-invented concrete. which is now the final comment.

Romans made concrete.


A great many of the devices listed were invented by Scots. - The Doctor

A great many of the devices listed were invented by Scots - The Montrose

I choose those as examples of how I myself feel.

We are all supposed to be British first and national identity second. But the reality is far from that. (Belgium lol)

All, I notice, invented by MEN! Not bad for people who "only ever think about one thing" - Grumpy old man.

Grumpy old man, Whereas Women can think of that AND the ceiling needing painting. - terminator

And then we get into Empire. lol

Himself said...

I don't see much of him, but there is a tweeter that does "best of the Mail comments."

Let me find him.

Here you go.

Daily Mail Comments

And some of the more imaginative that I follow.

The DM Reporter

Daily Mail Watch

Cunt of the Week

Hitler Edits

By the by Maren, do you click the "Notify me of replies" box, or whatever it's called, when you place a comment?

I never know if you get things like this, a follow on comment.

Anonymous said...

Good morning H

Never heard of the "Notify me of replies" box. I "prove I'm not a robot" by typing the two words of which one word is a number by the way.

Possibly a misconception on my part, hopelessly tech illiterate, partly due to disinterest and laziness, so called mitigating circumstances.

Well, not of our time of course. In a nutshell: Whereas Women can think of that AND the ceiling needing painting. Just an example, but some true.

It's actually a kind of miracle that I can/do post comments, fascinating, really. Someone must have hit a nerve.

Thanks again for sharing interesting things worth knowing.

I just hope it's not the cause of the spamming thing which is also beyond my comprehension.

We still have a long way to go.


Himself said...

'Tis not you that is tech illiterate, 'tis I that didn't think it through properly.

For email notification, you must be registered, Google, Facebook or whatever.

And knowing how much that appeals to you, pretend I never asked.

It's actually a kind of miracle that I can/do post comments, fascinating, really. Someone must have hit a nerve

How bad? Sometimes we all need a catalyst to give us the motivation to venture forth into new ground. And I thank you greatly for saying it.

Five little parcels arrived this morning, so apart from writing this, I'm doing a little research on those specific.

To say it is what it is, there are an awful lot of does and dont's.

And thank you too for for sharing interesting things worth knowing.

But as the darling Oscar said:

That which is worth knowing, cannot be taught.

Regards dear lady.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Angela Merkel is still seen as “the girl from the east” by many of the men who used to dominate her party. She is an outsider who never worked her way up through the party system. She has no grassroots base. “She is respected, not loved,” says Langguth. “The day she loses as chancellor, she will probably be pushed out as party leader very quickly.”

But for now, she is the Machtfrau, but with an acute sense of the limitations of her power. “Power is relative in Germany’s political system,” she says. “Everything is based on the power to convince others. I have to constantly convince citizens, my party and my coalition partners.”

December 14, 2012

“She thinks further ahead and works out what the options are, much more than other politicians. She really tries to be prepared for all possible options. I don’t know any male politicians who work like this.” (Margaret Heckel)

Anonymous said...