Putin and Regular People: Is the Enemy of Our Enemy Our Friend?

This is admittedly dangerous territory.

But I’ve been trying to understand the intensity with which the mainstream American media has been demonizing Vladimir Putin. After all, that coup in the Ukraine that precipitated the events there was fomented by the U.S., not Putin.

I’m very much a class warrior. Billionaires, in my mind, are a destructive force in our society. They may be a positive force when they’re in the process of becoming billionaires, but, once they get there, they do far more harm than good.

And they’re far, far too powerful. Power corrupts.

In her book about today’s plutocracy, Chrystia Freeland observes, accurately I believe, that today’s global billionaires have far more common cause with one another than they do with the masses of their particular countries.

So, I wondered, where is Putin with the global billionaire class, particularly those from his own country? Could that be a factor in the demonization of Putin? I then did a simple Google search: Putin Russian Oligarchs. Here’s what came up as the first hit:

The Chilly Fallout Between Putin and His Oligarch Pals

Getting back to the question asked in the title, does that make Putin a friend of the masses? Hard to say. Putin may have an agenda that’s unfriendly to both regular people and billionaires.

Nonetheless, when we see a leader who’s cross-wise with the billionaire class taking in the teeth from the mainstream media, deep skepticism is the appropriate response.

And the American public has been anything but skeptical on this one. Gullible would be a more apt characterization.

The House GOP lawsuit against ‘ObamaCare’ sees some action this week

ObamacareIf you thought that the GOP was done with the disgraced and discredited Charles Murray’s call to use the judiciary to cripple the legislative and executive branches of the federal government, as he describes in his latest book By the People after the King v. Burwell decision, think again.

Remember the frivolous lawsuit that House Republicans filed against President Obama last year and couldn’t get any lawyer to represent them for that reason, until media whore Jonathan Turley stepped in? House Republicans Hire Third Lawyer For Obamacare Lawsuit. Yeah, this case is still in court and the parties filed pleadings this week.

The Hill reports, Clash over ObamaCare, use of executive power intensifies:

The Obama administration and House Republicans are clashing over the healthcare law in court, with the Justice Department blasting a GOP lawsuit as “unprecedented.”

House Republicans are suing President Obama over what they call executive overreach, saying Obama is unconstitutionally spending money on an ObamaCare program Congress declined to appropriate money for.

The Obama administration counters it does not need an appropriation because the funds were made permanent and mandatory by the Affordable Care Act. The funds in question are for “cost-sharing reductions” that help insurers lower out-of-pocket costs for low-income people.

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The GOP ‘Hunger Games’ Primary

In 2012 we went with a “Survivor” theme for the GOP presidential primary, based on the long running “reality” TV series.

In 2016 we will freshen things up a bit with a suggestion from President Obama. Obama likens GOP race to ‘Hunger Games’ :

the-hunger-games-kindle-featured-imagePresident Obama paid no tribute to the 2016 Republican presidential race Thursday, likening the extremely crowded GOP field to a real-life “Hunger Games” competition.

“We’ve got some healthy competition in the Democratic Party. But I’ve lost count how many Republicans are running for this job,” Obama said at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse.

“They’ll have enough for an actual ‘Hunger Games,’” Obama added to raucous applause, referring to the book and movie series of the same name. “That is an interesting bunch.”

The fiction series by bestselling author Suzanne Collins and adapted into Hollywood flicks with star Jennifer Lawrence portrays young adults fighting to the death for mass entertainment.

Obama’s remarks Thursday in Wisconsin during a speech on economic issues poked fun at the GOP field, which includes 14 candidates and is expected to grow to 16.

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Global economy on edge

It looks like fireworks are not going to be limited to the 4th of July in the U.S. this weekend.

I warned you about this . . . it’s Time to start paying attention to world economic news. China has been engaging in the same speculative “casino capitalism” that brought down Wall Street in 2008. There are market forces at play right now that are beyond the U.S. ability to do anything about it this time. We are part of a global economy, and when part of the global economy blows up, we all pay for it.

CNBC reports China stock rout worsens as CSRC opens market probe:

economy 1The bloodbath in Chinese equities extended into Friday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite plunging as much as 7 percent amid reports that the securities market regulator has launched a probe into suspected market manipulation.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) had set up a team to look at “clues of illegal manipulation across markets,” spokesman Zhang Xiaojun said in comments on the CSRC’s official Weibo microblog late on Thursday.

“Cases that meet legal standards will be immediately investigated, seriously cracked down upon according to law, and those suspected of a crime will be resolutely transferred to the police for investigation,” he said. Meanwhile, the China Financial Futures Exchange has suspended 19 accounts in the past month for short-selling, sources told Reuters.

The market is now down about 28 percent from its June 12 peak, firmly in bear market territory, despite intensifying efforts by authorities to shore up investor confidence. The market closed down 5.8 percent lower on Friday.

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Let Freedom Sing on 4th of July

July4thconcert

LET FREEDOM SING 2015

JULY 4th at 3:00 pm

UA CENTENNIAL HALL

From www.arts-express.org website:

Join us on Independence Day, July 4th at 3 PM as Arts Express celebrates the birth of our nation. The 31st annual patriotic spectacular“Let Freedom Sing” will be presented at Centennial Hall on the U of A campus at Park and University. The program will feature the Arts Express Choir, Orchestra and soloists under the direction of Dr. Joan Ashcraft, Co-Artistic Director of Arts Express. The production will highlight inspiring stories that demonstrate Americans’ commitment to country and freedom. The Davis-Monthan Honor Guard will post the colors, and each branch of the military will be recognized during a special Salute to the Armed Forces.

Arts Express Choir, Orchestra and Soloists

JOAN ASHCRAFT, Conductor and Artistic Director

with Special Guest, THE LARRY REDHOUSE TRIO

We hope to see you and your entire family on July 4th at 3 PM at Centennial Hall for Tucson’s long-standing tradition, “Let Freedom Sing” presented by Arts Express.

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Jim Webb for president? Seriously?

The Democratic field of presidential candidates expanded today with the announcement by former one-term U.S. Senator Jim Webb of Virginia. Former senator Jim Webb announces presidential bid. I share Ed Kilgore’s deep skepticism about Webb. Webb Jumps From Frying Pan to Fire:

JimWebbIn a pretty clear indication that he doesn’t care much for the advice of people like me, former Senator Jim Webb leapt into the 2016 presidential race without further clarifying his rather anachronistic views on the display of Confederate emblems, or for that matter, doing much of anything else in preparation. The announcement came via his own web page and social media promotion of same, unless I’m missing something.

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