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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Friday, April 18, 2014

When a bored president just ‘mails it in’ -- By Wesley Pruden, The Washington Times

Like it or not, the world is a dangerous place, and getting more so. None of the portents look good. Vladimir Putin not so subtly says, in ever louder voice, that he's in charge of events now, and the rest of the world should just get used to it. When Vlad roars, the rest of the world squeaks.

He was in louder voice than ever Thursday, reminding a televised forum in Moscow that his parliament has authorized him to use force "if necessary" in eastern Ukraine, which he called, for the first time, "New Russia."

Whether portent or not, leaflets were distributed at synagogues in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk ordering Jews over 16 to register with the Commissioner for Nationalities and pay a $50 registration fee by May 3. A leaflet is an unusual and unlikely medium to announce a such a bold government decree, and it was not clear where the leaflets were authorized, and by whom. But there they definitely were, enough to chill to the bone anyone who has ever read a history book. The more things change in Eastern Europe, the more things remain as they ever were.

The roaring of the master of the new Russia and the squeaking from the mice in the West mocks the brave talk from Barack Obama and his men, with the latest of the dozen or so warnings to Mr. Putin to behave himself. But the grim Russian and the rest of the world have his number, just when bold and imaginative leadership in the West has vanished.

"Whatever one may think of Putin's moral posture, which is deplorable," says Paul Johnson, the eminent British historian, "he is regarded as strong, decisive and vigorous, pushing Russia's interests at all times, with considerable success. In contrast, Obama is written off as weak and irresolute, with no clear short- or long-term aims. He gets high marks for rhetoric, but scores zero for action. In short, he's a windbag."

Tough stuff, and right on the mark. President Obama is what the ranchers on the plains call "all hat and no cattle." Mr. Putin continues to play him like a cheap guitar (or maybe a zither), and the president continues on his merry way, off nearly every day to raise money to elect Democrats who will applaud as he dismantles American arms, strangles the domestic economy with a growing tangle of red tape, and fritters away American influence.

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