October 21, 2017

"Putin is a good Russian president. Russia is lucky to have a president like him. If the country had someone weak as its leader..."

"... no one knows how everything would turn out for the country. The Russians have at least 5,000 nuclear warheads, and clearly, someone needs to keep an eye on the goddamned order. Putin has been good at it.... He is cool. Clearly, one has to get rid of someone at times, but I mean that the CIA also throws people under the bus, but, perhaps, they do it more accurately."

Said Dolph Lundgren, quoted in Pravda. I hadn't clicked on my Pravda bookmark in a long time. I'd had it squirreled away in a lesser folder — labeled "other news," as opposed to "main news," which are both under "news." I was surprised to find something bloggable (and new).

Lundgren was born in Sweden, and English is not his first language, but he's been living in L.A. for a long time. He's been famous in the U.S. since 1985, when he got to punch Sylvester Stallone in "Rocky IV":
"I walked in to a Westwood movie theater as Grace Jones' boyfriend and walked out ninety minutes later as the movie star Dolph Lundgren. I was shell-shocked for years from the mind-boggling and daunting experience of being a student-athlete from tiny Sweden suddenly having to live up a new action-star persona."
So he speaks English. I think he knows what he's saying. You see what he's saying here: "Clearly, one has to get rid of someone at times, but I mean that the CIA also throws people under the bus, but, perhaps, they do it more accurately." That implies: Sometimes the government must surreptitiously kill an inconvenient person, and the only difference between Putin and the CIA is messiness. 

And while I'm looking at Putin news, I found this in The Hill, something Putin said at the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi, Russia, on Thursday. Responding to a question, he talked about the disrespect for President Trump in the United States:
"Inside the country, disrespect is shown for him. This is a regrettable negative component of the U.S. political system," Putin said. 
He's right that disrespecting the President is an inherent part of the American system. Every President is disrespected. It's what we do in a democracy. Myself, I don't regret it or regard is as negative. I'm an American. It's what we do. I'm not going to disrespect the disrespect. I observe it. It's our culture. I'm a little blasé about it, because I've been observing it since I was able to get the gist of newspaper headlines and it took the form of saying all Eisenhower does is golf.
[Putin] continued, saying that "one can argue but one can’t show disrespect, even not for him personally but for those people who voted for him."
Of course, we can show disrespect, and we do. But he means one shouldn't show disrespect. And he makes something of a good point, and it's close to something I think: The people who preferred Trump won, a legitimate victory means a lot, and those who lost should try to understand their own country, not demonize their fellow citizens.
"Mr. Trump was elected by the American people. And at least for this reason, it is necessary to show respect for him, even if you do not agree with some of his positions," he added.
Trump is getting respect for this, just not complete respect and not from everyone. 
The Russian leader told his audience that those who ascend to the highest office in the U.S. possess a "certain talent" that allows them to survive America's bruising political process. "I believe that the president of the United States does not need any advice because one has to possess certain talent and go through this trial to be elected, even without having the experience of such big administrative work. He [Trump] has done this," the Russian leader said. "He won honestly."
I assume Putin knew those last 3 words were inflammatory, coming from him, and that he got a bang out of saying them, tweaking the Trump-disrespecters who jump at clues of collusion. Even as he's lecturing us about settling down and accepting the reality that our system produced President Trump, he's agitating the haters and resisters.

111 comments:

AReasonableMan said...

Trump is an embarrassment to our country, but not as big an embarrassment as Putin is to his. A skeevy little loser who has overseen his country's slide into third world status.

rhhardin said...

Dolph Lundgren tests attraction to action films. How long until you bail out.

Henry said...

Doesn't that Lundgren quote sound like something Trump might have said two years ago?

donald said...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TZR7IdJfx2I

David Begley said...

Ann Althouse wrote, "and those who lost should try to understand their own country, not demonize their fellow citizens. "

Good luck with that. The Democrat party and the MSM want to rule by fiat and tell us what to do and how to act. See, e.g., Paris Agreement and the whole global warming scam. That's why Trump must be discredited and destroyed on a daily basis, That's why they talk impeachment. It is the reason for the fake Russian collusion story. It is what CNN does 24/7. Democracy means nothing to the Democrats. If Hillary was smart, hardworking and believed in democracy she would have campaigned in Wisconsin instead of sending her idiot daughter.

Humperdink said...

ARM said: "Trump is an embarrassment to our country ...." And by extension, those who voted for him. Which is why he won. ARM, you will never understand it.

Putin: "He won honestly." I'll bet he said it with a wink and a nod.

Quayle said...

There are so many among us who love democracy as long as they, and not their idiot neighbors, get to decide what happens.

Otherwise, not so much.

Mark said...

Interesting fact that Lundgren studied at MIT and has an advanced degree in chemical engineering.

tim in vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

"and those who lost should try to understand their own country, not demonize their fellow citizens. "

No. Demonization of their fellow citizens is what Democrats do, Look at ARM's fist comment, concern trolling as if he actually cared about the people who elected Trump. Hillary Clinton was an embarrassment to America, putting out a "for sale" sign on the State Department, collecting 145 MILLION dollars from Putin's cronies. Putin knows what she was, and the haggling was all over the price. it started when she presented a "Reset" button, that actually read, in Russian, "Overcharge." I guess that's where the ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY FIVE MILLION DOLLAR figure came from.

David Begley said...

Tim in Vermont is correct. From CNN, ""We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?" she asked Lavrov, laughing.
“You got it wrong," said Lavrov, as both diplomats laughed.“It should be “perezagruzka” [the Russian word for reset]," said Lavrov."This says ‘peregruzka,’ which means ‘overcharged.’”

Hillary had her top person on this project. He's either an idiot or it was intentional. He worked on the campaign, Phillipe something.

Ray said...

Putin has played a poor hand he has very well. During the Obama administration he ran rings around the us. His basic policy was anything that would embarrass the us. One of his projects was to discredit the us elections, which the democrats, media, and other members of the resistance turbocharged.

Oso Negro said...

You're a European - who would you rather have leading YOUR country? Putin? Merkel? That pretty boy from France? I would go with Putin. At least I am likely to still have a country in a few decades.

tim in vermont said...

Talk abut embarrassments to the United States:

In 2010, the FBI arrested ten Russian spies as part of "Operation Ghost Stories." According to a top FBI official, the agency had to act quickly because the "deep cover" agents had come very close to "a sitting US cabinet member." They had already infiltrated then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton´s inner circle, befriending a Democratic fundraiser close to Clinton. Clinton´s Russian connections have attracted more scrutiny following recent revelations of an FBI investigation into Russian company Rosatom, which gained control of 20 percent of U.S. uranium in the 2010 Uranium One deal

And of course Hillary was in charge of any negotiations to repatriate those spies to Russia in a prisoner exchange, and she made sure it happened before they could be interrogated. That was an embarrassment. But thank you ARM, for your concern for the interests of the American people!

tim in vermont said...

The only reason they are protecting Hillary, is that the Clintons corrupt everything they come in touch with, and if Hillary goes down, it will be extremely hard to protect Obama from the fallout. Otherwise, I am sure the Democrats would be more than happy to toss this albatross over the side with an anchor tied to it for enhanced certainty.

rehajm said...

Nobody’s obligated to show ARM any respect.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Poor ARM, his corrupt loser lost. boo hoo.

AReasonableMan said...

Ray said...
Putin has played a poor hand he has very well.


This is nonsense. His country could have been well integrated into the EU economy by now, doing as well or better than Poland, not the oligarch riven shit-hole that it has become.

Rob said...

It’s okay to disrespect the President, unless it’s President Obama. Then to disrespect him is racist. I know this because I’ve read it so often.

Darrell said...

Nobody’s obligated to show ARM any respect.

That's why few do.

AReasonableMan said...

Not sure why I am being bad-mouthed here. I acknowledge that Trump is better than Putin. That's not nothin'. Trump has had high praise for Putin as a leader.

Rusty said...

Just think about how embarrassed you'd be if Hillary had won, ARM.
Dodged a bullet.

AReasonableMan said...

Didn't vote for her or support her. In fact was a persistent critic. Not my problem.

Lot of Trump voters here, however, and let's be honest, it's not going that well.

Rusty said...

I get a kick out of people who are concerned about how the rest of the world sees us. Got news for you kids. The world has always looked askance at us. No matter whos in office we've always been the object of international ridicule. Until somebody gets their tit in a wringer and we have to send in the Marines. Then they love our ass. So. No. I don't give a mountain of shits how the rest of the world views the United States and neither should you.

AReasonableMan said...

If the only argument you have is that Trump is better than Hillary, you are acknowledging that you are fucked. Even that argument, which I might have agreed with before seeing Trump in action as President, is looking pretty shaky at this point. It's a dumpster fire boys, you can warm yourself by the flames but don't get too close or you will get burnt.

Amadeus 48 said...

A few Hillary/Obama voters here. Let's be honest: it's not going that well.

Here's a start: take responsibility for your own well-being and that of your family.

How are you doing, ARM?

David Begley said...

ARM

Look at the substance of what Trump has actually done and is trying to do. Ignore his rhetoric and manner. Dumping the Clean Power Plan and pulling out of Paris saved the American people billions. And even if Hillary would have won, the EPA wrote that the earth would have only avoided a 0.053 temp increase in 2100. 2100! CAGW is a scam.

AReasonableMan said...

No armor, no overhead surveillance, no quick reaction force on standby - and it took TWO DAYS to find Sgt. La David Johnson's body after ambush in Niger

President-Mom-Jeans said...

I think that Unreasonable Bitch is just salty that Trump is going to take away his tax deduction for the state and local taxes on his long island shitbox.

I'm sure the lefties he votes for will be sure to cut spending and reduce his local tax burden to compensate though, so he shouldn't be so upset.

tim in vermont said...

It's a dumpster fire boys,

I don't think so. But I don't believe every opinion I read in The Wall Street Journal or the New York Times either, like some people who think that critical thinking ends with "reading comprehension," you know, the most important thing is to understand the opinions that you are supposed to adopt without further question.

It's not a dumpster fire in any case. Right now the major problem facing the United States is the corruption of our power elite, you know, the same guys who write all of those anti-Trump editorials. So, once again ARM, thank you for your concern, and it is pretty funny how not one of you trolls voted for Hillary!

AReasonableMan said...

Video Shows Wilson Didn’t Brag About Funding FBI Building, As Kelly Claimed

tim in vermont said...

So ARM. is now on board with the criticisms of Hillary's actions at Benghazi, except in Benghazi, there were rapid reaction forces available, and they were ordered to sit on their hands.

tim in vermont said...

"Squirrel!" - ARM

tim in vermont said...

This is the same ARM who thinks that Althouse's writing on Harvey Weinstein, Democrat bundler and supporter to the tune of millions of dollars, was "concern trolling" because, sexual assault by a powerful Democrat is not really all that bad, right ARM? Nobody could be genuinely outraged by it? Right ARM?

AReasonableMan said...

Just another day in paradise:

Bannon blasts Bush for 'embarrassing himself' by criticizing Trump and tells Republicans to defy the GOP in blistering Anaheim speech

Robert Cook said...

"I think he knows what he's saying. You see what he's saying here: 'Clearly, one has to get rid of someone at times, but I mean that the CIA also throws people under the bus, but, perhaps, they do it more accurately.' That implies: Sometimes the government must surreptitiously kill an inconvenient person, and the only difference between Putin and the CIA is messiness."

There is nothing controversial about Lundgren's remarks...unless one wants to dispute whether Russia is more messy or just more purposely brazen than the CIA when they do their killing of persons with whom they're unhappy. One might argue the Russians want their actions to be an open secret, their responsibility known but unproven, as a warning to others against incurring the government's displeasure.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Have you noticed how many lefties are now saying they didn't vote for Clinton.

Are they finally tired of the Clintons' embarrassing circus of corruption.

Gahrie said...

If I believed that the CIA actually killed people "with whom they're unhappy" I don't think I would accuse them of it on a public forum.

Gahrie said...

Have you noticed how many lefties are now saying they didn't vote for Clinton.

Probably affected by all the Russian meddling.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

One might argue the Russians want their actions to be an open secret, their responsibility known but unproven, as a warning to others against incurring the government's displeasure.

Boris Nemtsov.

High ranking Russian opposition politician who was gunned down walking away from the Kremlin and Red Square. That was a huge message and the opposition still in disarray a couple years later.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Probably affected by all the Russian meddling.

True. Most of the Russian money was spent after the election.

Sebastian said...

"I assume Putin knew those last 3 words were inflammatory." Not sure. Could have been a joke. Considering that with little effort he had already inflamed lefty TDS about as much as he could.

Rusty said...

" you are acknowledging that you are fucked. "

Not really. He's done a lot of good so far. Just seeing how much of a hypocrite you really are. Not that it's news to anyone here.
You voted for Bernie.
Even better.

Michael K said...

Did I just accidentally hit ARM's blog ?

"A skeevy little loser who has overseen his country's slide into third world status."

It's amusing to see what a fool thinks.

Talk abut embarrassments to the United States:

In 2010, the FBI arrested ten Russian spies as part of "Operation Ghost Stories." According to a top FBI official, the agency had to act quickly because the "deep cover" agents had come very close to "a sitting US cabinet member." They had already infiltrated then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton´s inner circle,


The huge scandal hiding in plain sight.

And ARM is concern trolling about how the world thinks about us.

narciso said...

And mist recently he played a Russian mob boss on arrow.

tim in vermont said...

Russia is a rival to be watched closely, but not our enemy, and if we want to have a free society, we can't protect our democratic process from foreign influence, and,if like Wikileaks, they confront our elites with uncomfortable truths,shutting them out isn't even desirable.

Ray said...

It’s all what you measure with Putin / Russia.

He has made Russia into perceived major power by his actions.
- Influenced the US elections per Democrats
- Got Russia into the Middle East
- Showed Russia can be trusted not to abandon friends through intervention in Syria
- Treated by US as an equal
- Stopped Ukraine from joining EU
- Huge and successful information power in Europe and US
- Good relations with far left and right in Europe.
- enriched friends and family
- he has increased Russian power in the stans and other neighboring countries with frozen civil wars. Georgia, Armenia, country next to Romania, etc.
- Influence of US and Israeli Iran options

Negatives:
- Oil price collapse, go fracking, has had a huge impact on Russia,
- Sanctions have hit Russian economy
- Corruption has hurt economy
- Destroying of free press
- loss of rule of law / freedom / democracy / civil rights
- loss of Russian private industry competiveness
- hurting of US Russia relations
- Loss of Russian influence in Ukraine. He should have stopped at Crimea
- creation of a dictatorship/ oligarchy/ one party state

Crazy Jane said...

Here's a thought: Let's stop taking political cues from celebrities.

pacwest said...

The Clintons may be corrupt, but as ARM notes above President Trump had some bad press today. There is nothing worse than bad press.

Ray said...

US has special forces in more than a 100 nations per this 2014 article in the Nation
https://www.thenation.com/article/us-special-forces-are-operating-more-countries-you-can-imagine/

There is not always going to be a quick reaction force ready. The Green Berets mission is improve local forces.

There is a balance of risk and opportunity when deploying soldiers.

I see Democrats and anti Trumpers as trying to use this against Trump. To smear him as incompetent and wasting military lives. Same playbook that happened in Yemen, sigh.

officiousintermeddler said...

I assume Putin knew those last 3 words were inflammatory, coming from him, and that he got a bang out of saying them, tweaking the Trump-disrespecters who jump at clues of collusion. Even as he's lecturing us about settling down and accepting the reality that our system produced President Trump, he's agitating the haters and resisters.

Why would you assume that Putin was speaking to Americans at all? The premise of The Hill's article -- that he was "calling on Americans" to do something -- is actually rather absurd. He was answering a question during Q&A at "the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi, Russia." If he wanted to get a message to the American people, that is certainly not a very effective way to do it. He was making a few observations, not issuing a call, just as you or I might make observations about Russia if asked, without expecting the Russians to make any changes in their behavior.

If there was any real news in The Hill's article, it was that the idiot Nikki Haley once again accused the Russians of committing "warfare" against the United States by running a few thousand dollars worth of advertisements on Facebook. She doesn't understand, apparently, that this undercuts her and Trump's position that the Democrats' "Russian interference" accusations are a hoax. It also implicitly states that the United States has been engaged in warfare against Russia by spending billions -- not thousands -- of dollars fomenting anti-Putin protests in Russia and anti-Russian coups in Ukraine.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

Dolph suggesting that the CIA is more competent than the FSB is the real absurdity here.

Rance Fasoldt said...

Actually, Putin has ushered his country from the third world status to which it had dropped after the Soviet Union collapsed back onto the world stage. This is true whether you dislike Putin or not.

Michael K said...

Ray, all those negatives existed prior to Putin. I think he has done a pretty good job with a weak hand.

The guy that really destroyed Russia is Jeffrey Sachs, who has spent the last ten years explaining that he didn't really give them all that bad advice.

There is considerable misunderstanding of my role as an economic adviser in Russia in the early 1990s. Therefore, I offer this summary of my personal involvement with Russia’s economic reforms for anyone who might be interested. I begin with some background on my work in Latin America and Central Europe to help explain my approach to economic advising and the nature of the recommendations that I made with regard to Russia’s economic reforms.

If Bill Clinton had wanted to destroy Russia , he could not have done a better job, It was a bit like the German Army sending Lenin to Russia in a sealed train in 1918.

pacwest said...

I've been pondering for awhile:
Why hasn't Putin and company done more to help the notion that Trump was in direct collusion with him. If turmoil in the USA is his goal nothing would help more than impeachment proceedings I would think. Given the current climate it wuld be pretty easy for him to do.

Michael K said...

"Given the current climate it wuld be pretty easy for him to do."

Maybe Soros is his conduit. $ 18 billion is real money, even for Soros.

I have been trying to understand Soros' motives for all he is doing. How is he going to make money from it like he did with his attack on the Pound ?

Maybe Putin is funding him and paying a commission. Might not be a bad strategy what with the crazy left in this country Take us down.

Obama even admitted it.

Ray said...

Michael,

I believe crony capitalism has grown since Putin became President. Ukraine hurt the Russian economy a lot since it woke up the EU to the Russian threat / mischief making and resulted in sanctions that hurt the Russian economy greatly. Putin’s main focus seems to have been doing the opposite of what the us wants under Obama.

If not for Fracking and the resulting collapse of natural gas and oil prices, Russia would be doing much better.

Chile vs Russia - amazing the different results of Western economic advice. My guess is a huge difference was rule of law / property rights / corruption.

Ray

pacwest said...

"I have been trying to understand Soros' motives for all he is doing. How is he going to make money from it like he did with his attack on the Pound ?"

I don't think Soros has enough economic power to do in the US what he did in the UK. Plus I think you can only pull a stunt like that once. 18B can do some damage though. I believe his actions are idealogical. He believes by pulling the US down the one world order is closer to fruition.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
I think he has done a pretty good job with a weak hand.


But that is because you are both an idiot and a know-nothing, combined with pompous obliviousness. Other than that, of course, I highly value your opinion.

Robert Cook said...

"If I believed that the CIA actually killed people 'with whom they're unhappy' I don't think I would accuse them of it on a public forum."

Don't be so grandiose, Gahrie. Do you think the CIA gives a shit about a bunch of keyboard malcontents on a blog, some of whom say bad things about them? They're only going to take action against those they see as dangers to them or their agenda.

Sebastian said...

"Why hasn't Putin and company done more to help the notion that Trump was in direct collusion with him."

Good question. But 1. the notion is crazy and Putin doesn't want to be seen as crazy; 2. everybody in their right minds knew he wanted Hill, but as weak as possible; and 3. insofar as dividing America is good for Russia, the US left does his bidding without much help.

buwaya said...

Putin has indeed done well with a weak hand.
And it is reasonable to think that his government is the best Russia can expect under its circumstances.
This is Russia, not Sweden, not Germany, not Poland.
You aren't dealing with one man alone, but a population, a society. The nature of power and the means of getting it and keeping it are not the same because the risks are not the same.

I recall the anecdote from the 1970's, of when the Shah of Iran was conversing with old King Faisal of Arabia. Iran and Saudi Arabia were quite friendly at the time. The Shah was talking of reforms, about how things were done in Sweden.

The King replied "Ah, but your subjects are not Swedes".

Indeed not. Faisal had a reputation for wisdom.

AReasonableMan said...

buwaya said...
Putin has indeed done well with a weak hand.


Pro tip: Just saying the same stupid thing over and over doesn't make it true.

Michael K said...

ARM with another inanity.

If not for Fracking and the resulting collapse of natural gas and oil prices, Russia would be doing much better.

Anybody else wonder why Hillary and Obama were so opposed to fracking ?

I used to dismiss a lot of this as conspiracy theory but the recent history has me wondering.

We have the most corrupt governing class in our history. To quote Gibbon, "In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again."

Sobering thought but the left reminds me of "The Masque of the Red Death."

Dancing while the plague approaches.


Ray said...

Buwaya- Wise comment!

Which is why the Shah lost power and died in exile, and Faisal did not.

Amazing how many useful idiots died after the revolution.

buwaya said...

You could, if you like, try to make a point with Russian economic statistics over the course of the Putin regime.
If so those would not support an anti-Putin argument very well. One could assume these merely reflect high oil prices and other commodity prices, where Russia lucked out, but extracting the effect of serendipity versus everything else would be difficult to say the least.

The other avenue you could take is Russian public opinion, which anecdotally and statistically are strongly pro-Putin. You could dismiss the statistics as unreliable due to the nature of the regime. However the fact remains that even Russian emigres as a population seem quite friendly to Putin, there is no significant anti-Putin emigre movement in spite of the fact that it would be well-supported by opponents of Russia.

So this is really an impossible argument to make, other than impressionistically. Based on some experience with emigre oppositions in other cases (and we have, as a family, a near-genetic background in political exile and political disaffection!) Putin does not seem to be hated by his people.
Yet.

AReasonableMan said...

If Trump hadn't had is tongue up Putin's ass for so long I doubt anyone here would be arguing that Putin is anything other than a third world dictator with nukes that he inherited.

Lucien said...

Lot of Trump voters here, however, and let's be honest, it's not going that well.

What's your metric? It couldn't be the performance of investment portfolios or 401ks. Not the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border or the number of federal regulations ruling on every aspect of people's lives (unless you want that number to be higher, which admittedly may true for you). Number of cities and acres of territory controlled by ISIS? Help me out here.

If your metric is number of inflammatory tweets by a President I'll give you that one.

buwaya said...

There are third world dictators and there are third world dictators. The category encompasses the range between Lee Kwan Yew (his nation WAS third world when he started) and Pol Pot.

Putin is somewhere in that range. Where, precisely, and by what metric?

Michael K said...

ARM sounds sane about electric cars, no doubt something he actually knows about.

On Putin, he sounds ridiculous. Try to do some reading ARM. It would be good for you.
Math is also good, just as a hint.

tim in vermont said...

f Trump hadn't had is tongue up Putin's ass for so long

So tell us again why Putin met Clinton privately at his home, paid him a half a million dollars for a speech immediately after, and gave Hillary and Bill's foundation ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY FIVE MILLION DOLLAR$$$$

tim in vermont said...

Pro tip: Just saying the same stupid thing over and over doesn't make it true.

And if anything, ARM is a pro at saying the same stupid thing over and over.

AReasonableMan said...

Putin had a clear choice, join Europe and experience the prosperity that Poland has experienced or become a third world economy dominated by corrupt oligarchs. Clearly it worked out much better for Poland than for Russia even though Russia started out in a better place in terms of educated workforce and technological mastery. Disastrous mismanagement.

Russian GDP vs Poland GDP. Russia has begun its terminal decline. It won't have the economy to defend itself from China in twenty years time.

tim in vermont said...

Why did Hillary do Gazprom's bidding and try to kill Keystone XL and promise to all but end fracking in the US? it has been said that Russia is basically a gas station with an army, that has been hurt deeply by the surge in North American energy production, and the resulting collapse in energy prices. Why the fuck did her campaign manager end up with something like 75k shares in Russian Oligarch crony capitalist company stock?

tim in vermont said...

My suggestion to you, then ARM, is to vote against Putin in the next election. One of the big blows to Russian GDP has been the emergence of the US as self-sufficient in energy, and even soon an exporter of natural gas to Europe to threaten Russia's stranglehold on Europe in that commodity. These are all problems for Putin that Hillary was determined to fix for him, and Trump, with his "drill baby drill!' energy policies, only makes worse for Russia.

tim in vermont said...

Oh yeah, and Trump un-killed Keystone, another serious blow to Putin.

tim in vermont said...

But ARM is a "know-nothing" when it comes to any facts that might serve to undermine his stupid arguments.

Humperdink said...

ARM said: "If Trump hadn't had is tongue up Putin's ass .... "

If Hillary didn't have her hands in Putin's pocket .....

buwaya said...

Poland is not Russia.
Poland was always (per capita) better off than Russia, and this goes back to the 18th century, re the observed standard of living of the Polish peasantry (low) and the Russian peasantry (lower).

Using World Bank numbers for per capita GDP, PPP basis, Russia and Poland are very similar - (2016)
Poland - $26K
Russia - $24K

And this, note, is after four years of economic sanctions.

Now, you could complain of Russian GINI coefficients and etc. (all those corruptocrats hogging the $ perhaps), but this is a very questionable statistic without reliable income data in Russia - because its Russia of course.

tim in vermont said...

“The Clintons were just doing what the Clintons do: cashing in on their ‘public service.’ The Obama administration, with Secretary Clinton at the forefront but hardly alone, was knowingly compromising American national-security interests. The administration green-lighted the transfer of control over one-fifth of American uranium-mining capacity to Russia, a hostile regime — and specifically to Russia’s state-controlled nuclear-energy conglomerate, Rosatom. Worse, at the time the administration approved the transfer, it knew that Rosatom’s American subsidiary was engaged in a lucrative racketeering enterprise that had already committed felony, extortion, fraud, and money-laundering offenses.”

"This is not the collusion you are looking for," we get it!

If they had this kind of stuff against Trump, they would be frog marching him out to Lafayette Square for a good old fashioned beheading! But it's the golden boy, Obama, so, well, "Circulez, rien a voir!"

AReasonableMan said...

buwaya said...
Poland is not Russia.


This is my point, Poland has been much more shrewdly governed. Poland had a tiny fraction of the intellectual capital that Russia had at the time of the break up the USSR. Poland is an economic success because of its association with the EU, a choice which was also available to Russia.

The economic sanctions are a symptom of misgovernance, certainly not an excuse.

buwaya said...

Polish people are not Russian people, the cultural priors are vastly different, and who says that Poland did not have Russian levels of intellectual capital? Just because Russia had concentrated talent from a vastly larger population?

I know development economics is a tricky business, having been mixed up in it in the 80's. There is no rule or expectation possible based on prior conditions or societal models.

And most of the Russian talent pool seems to have emigrated in the 1990s - I have employed a good number!

buwaya said...

The economic sanctions are a consequence of political conflict. Whether the conflict is a consequence of misgovernance is a matter of where you stand on the conflict.

tim in vermont said...

By this rough tally, 57 percent of Russia's GDP already depends on oil. But we also need to factor in the direct influx of petrodollars that is converted into investments and spending in other sectors of the economy and additional consumption. It is hard to put a number on this, but by various estimates it has ranged between 10 and 13 percent of GDP in recent years. So our overall figure is now up to 67—70 percent. - Carnegie Endowment for Peace

http://carnegieendowment.org/2015/09/14/just-oil-company-true-extent-of-russia-s-dependency-on-oil-and-gas/ihtg

Bad Lieutenant said...

and who says that Poland did not have Russian levels of intellectual capital? Just because Russia had concentrated talent from a vastly larger population?


Indeed, arm, WTF? Been reading too many Polack jokes? You've been thoroughly wrong this entire thread, so one wonders what you're getting at.

AReasonableMan said...

tim in vermont said...
By this rough tally, 57 percent of Russia's GDP already depends on oil. So our overall figure is now up to 67—70 percent


Tim is assiduously making my point for me. Thank you TIm. Russia is a resource dependent third world country, Poland is a now a first world country, their fates are set in stone for the foreseeable future.

Disastrous mismanagement.

AReasonableMan said...

Not knocking the Poles, they have been vastly shrewder than the Russians in the post-USSR world. But, Russia was an intellectual and technological powerhouse, like Brooklyn it could have been a contender even post empire, but it was balefully mismanaged, not only by Putin but certainly by Putin. It won't survive now. China will pick its bones.

Michael K said...

"Poland has been much more shrewdly governed."

I'm sure that ARM could do a better job, I think it is very stupid for the Russians to ignore your potential as their leader. Fuhrer, so to speak.

I can't imagine what they were thinking of.

I suspect Jeffrey Sachs had a bit to do with the Russian distrust of the west.

Even The Nation doesn't like him.

At the recent U.S.-Russian Investment Symposium at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Yuri Luzhkov, the Mayor of Moscow, made what might have seemed to many an impolite reference to his hosts. After castigating Chubais and his monetarist policies, Luzhkov, according to a report of the event, “singled out Harvard for the harm inflicted on the Russian economy by its advisers, who encouraged Chubais’s misguided approach to privatization and monetarism.” Luzhkov was referring to H.I.I.D. Chubais, who was delegated vast powers over the economy by Boris Yeltsin, was ousted in Yeltsin’s March purge, but in May he was given an immensely lucrative post as head of Unified Energy System, the country’s electricity monopoly. Some of the main actors with Harvard’s Russia project have yet to face a reckoning, but this may change if a current investigation by the U.S. government results in prosecutions.

Sachs' interventions, at the behest of Clinton, led to the warlord economy that has strangled what might have been. The KGB made off with the spoils but Russian nationalism does not permit the people to blame them.

Poland threw off communism and had the Catholic Church as an ideological bulwark. Russia was totally atheist except for peasant women and the Orthodox Church had sold out long before.

Pope John Paul II is the reason why Poland is doing better.

Robert Cook said...

"Anybody else wonder why Hillary and Obama were so opposed to fracking?"

I wasn't aware that Hillary Clinton was opposed to fracking, at least to any noticeable or sincere degree, and Obama, as well, was lukewarm in his attempts to limit it.

Here are some reasons rational people oppose fracking.

tim in vermont said...

Disastrous mismanagement.

I have to agree with you though. It's amazing how quickly communism can convert to fascism though, isn't it? Converting communism to a free market society is a daunting project though, but to get from "polar opposite" communism to fascism, it seems, takes little more than a change of letterhead, same thing in China, and assignment of new titles to the same power players.

However; Russia has been deeply hurt by the policies that Hillary vowed to end, and Trump has vowed to continue, if not accelerate, so my only point is, Why the fuck would a country that depends so heavily on high oil prices want a president who will make oil prices worse, from a Russian point of view, Trump, to one who would make things a little better, Hillary.

Why didn't the "intelligence agency finding" that Putin preferred Trump to Hillary even address this point? The whole purpose of the press seems to be to pour warm piss on us and call it sunshine.

tim in vermont said...

And here comes Robert Cook carrying Putin's water for him!

tim in vermont said...

“By the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place,” she[Hillary Clinton] added.

AReasonableMan said...

Here is a telling number

Exports:
Poland: $188.3 billion (2016 est.)
Russia: $285.5 billion (2016 est.)

Population
Poland: 38,523,261
Russia: 142,355,415

Poland has a internationally competitive economy, Russia, not so much. Curious to know how these export numbers would stack up without resources, unlikely to make Russia look better.

buwaya said...

Per capita PPP is the way to go ARM.
Thats what most economists prefer.
It avoids exchange rate problems, which Russia has in spades due to sanctions.

pacwest said...

ARM, I'm glad you used Poland as your point of comparison. Their choice of sound economic policy after escaping from the evil empire drew large amounts of foreign capital, which is a big reason for their success. Recently relaxed social policies (free stuff) along with an outdated and failing infastructure threatens 26 years of economic growth. There might be a lesson for us somewhere in that. You do admit to cherry picking on this though right?

Re Putin: He inherited a disaster from Yeltzin and by centralizing government and instituting market reforms Russia had a very high growth rate for the first half of is run. Probably the reason for his high approval. After the 08 crash the Russian economy tanked far worse than most. That is the point he became much more heavy handed as far as I can tell. And you are right. It has obviously been a big mistake to base so much of the Russian economy on commodities. The swings are much wider. I think that was an outgrowth of the ogliarchy. I'm pretty neutral on Putin. If the Russians are happy with him to the tune of 80% who am I to say.

The Russians and the Chinese people, from what I've read, would like friendlier relations with the US. I think we should exploit that. But I guess that might work to Trump's favor, so let's not.

AReasonableMan said...

No, these export numbers are telling you the likely fate of the two economies, not just the current transient state. One economy, competitive the other in terminal decline. They are two people passing each other on a staircase, one fated to go up and one to go down.

Drago said...

ARM: "like Brooklyn it could have been a contender even post empire, but it was balefully mismanaged,..."

Hilarious.

The Russians are the Russians. They have been this way for a thousand years. They will never become anything else.

Take your pick: Communist/fascist dictatorship and kleptocracy or communist dictatorship and kleptocracy or fascist dictatorship and kleptocracy or pumpkin pie dictatorship and kleptocracy.

The "good news" is that all the lefts greatest ideas migrated to Venezuela where they have taken full root!

Drago said...

Its a good thing that obama and the lefties denied defensive systems to the Poles in the face of Russian threats!

Gee, I wonder why the brilliant and god-like obama would do that, penalizing the Poles and, once again, as always, delivering policies which help Putin and the Russians.

If ARM claims that Trump has his tongue up Putin's orifice, that would mean all of obama was up there, including his shoes.

pacwest said...

OK ARM. Other than nitpicking a few items I agree with your last statement. What can we learn from this? Free market economies do much better than ones controlled by centralized planning? And what does it say about the trend in the USA towards a more socialistic society? Note Poland s present problems.

I repeat: The Russians and the Chinese people, from what I've read, would like friendlier relations with the US. I think we should exploit that. This is the problem I have with our sudden swing against Putin. As Drago notes the Russian psyche is not going to give you the preferred option of Russia adopting our economic system.

pacwest said...

And per Lundgren, Putin is keeping an eye on the nukes. In this regard we are probably lucky a strongman is in charge.

AReasonableMan said...

pacwest said...
Free market economies do much better than ones controlled by centralized planning?


National socialist systems like we and the europeans have had since the depression seem to be the most stable and equitable economic systems humans have devised to date.

tim in vermont said...

I guess if you define "national socialist" to mean market economies where their is a safety net, and human freedoms are generally respected, then sure. That's not what the Nazis had though, or the Italians, but if you get to changed the meaning of words, then sure, you win.

National Socialist economies are dirigiste, even if the state doesn't nominally own the "means of production" it has complete control over it. The big difference between commies and Nazis is this distinction without a difference of ownership, vs control. Change of letterhead, marketing materials, and job titles mostly.

pacwest said...

That's a glib answer and you know it arm. It would be like me replying 'So you believe in socialism, so you're a communist. Or, so, you're a nationalist.' My fault for letting the s word into the conversation to begin with. The word socialism needs a modifier like S-1, S-2, S-max or something. Another time maybe when you are willing to discuss my main points.

cubanbob said...

ARM focuses on one item and misses the main thing. The join the EU is to subordinate to Germany and to a lesser extent France. Even he (if he thought of this) could not possibly believe for moment that Putin or any Russian leader would ever subordinate Russia to a condominium of Germany and France.

AReasonableMan said...

I am not being glib, since FDR we have had a national system that is quite socialist in broad outline. I am a supporter of free markets and all things being equal favor free markets, but unregulated free markets are not stable, as the US economy showed in the years leading up to the Great Depression. Things have been better since then. But, I have no problem believing our system has become increasingly sclerotic, although much of the blame here lies squarely with the health care system, which is an expensive mess.

Michael K said...

Our economy has only been "national socialist" since Johnson.

FDR did go that way but Eisenhower, and Truman to some degree , dialed it back.

Lyndon Johnson is the worst thing that has happened to our country since the Civil War.

I wonder how many know that Life Magazine had a full issue ready to go to press on Johnson's corruption the week of the assassination of Kennedy ? It would have hit the newsstands the following Monday.

pacwest said...

ARM,
My main points, I guess I made them poorly, we're about Putin, Russia and our relations with them. The optimum amount of regulation (socialism if you will) on free markets is another discussion entirely. Healthcare beyond the scope of this thread. Enjoyed it nonetheless.

Robert Cook said...

Tim in LaLa Land said:

"And here comes Robert Cook carrying Putin's water for him!"

Yep! Studies showing negative effects of fracking are all "fake news" created by Putin and promulgated to the West to hoodwink us and make us "less competitive."

Boy, capitalist propaganda has really erased your ability to view, think and appraise the world and what is happening in it outside very primitive, limited, and distorting premises.

If someone had said decades ago that the Russians stood to gain by destroying the cigarette industry, you'd be asserting to this day that linkages between tobacco use and lung cancer and heart disease served to "carry water for the Russians," and you'd still be believing the lies the tobacco executives knowingly told at the time.

Howard said...

Robert Cook: Opposition to fracking is defacto environmental racism. Of course there are risks to fracking like all the risks to oil exploration in general. Apparently, environmentalists don't want it in the USA with world-beating engineering and environmental controls, but it's OK for peoples of colour to be exposed to oil exploration and production without serious safety and environmental regulation.

Fracking is so far down the list of impact sources and has features that add positive environmental externalities. The facts show that fracking has killed coal (the CPP was never implemented) thereby making the USA the only industrial nation to hit the Kyoto Proctocol goals.

If environmentalists were truly concerned with water quality, they would be supporting conjunctive use projects with groundwater recharge components. You might not be aware how severe the groundwater mining problem is in the western US ag lands that feed a large portion of the world. Second, environmentalists would be pressing for stricter nutrient loading and mandating tertiary and beyond municipal wastewater treatment. Instead, they blame ag and human waste nutrient induced ocean dead zones on global warming because it sells donations to democratic lobbiests disguised as the Sierra Club, NDRC, GreenPease, etc.

If environmentalists were truly concerned with human health, they would call for boycotting Chinese and Indian imports until they install air scrubbers and industrial waste treatment.

But they don't. Real environmentalism is not sexy, spiritual or political, it's science and engineering. That's too much work, it's much easier to point fingers.

Rusty said...

FDR had a lot to do with starting "The Great Depression" and having it last as long as it did.
Free markets work amazing well and are ,for the most part, self regulating.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Howard said...
Robert Cook: Opposition to fracking is defacto environmental racism. Of course there are risks to fracking like all the risks to oil exploration in general. Apparently, environmentalists don't want it in the USA with world-beating engineering and environmental controls, but it's OK for peoples of colour to be exposed to oil exploration and production without serious safety and environmental regulation.


Howard, I must hand it to you, sometimes you are a fuck, but at other times you definitely keep it real. I offer you the compliment of having no idea where you stand.