Salient to Investors:

Author Chrystia Freeland said Putin is playing the classic authoritarian leader’s playbook and is chiefly concerned with what is good for Putin, not Russia.

Julia Ioffe at The New Republic said on the one hand Russia wants to be part of the West and seen as an equal partner, and on the other hand wants to be seen as different and unique and immune from the West superimposing values that are foreign to Russia.

Author Conrad Black said:

  • American justice is in a terrible condition. 99.5 percent of US prosecutions are successful versus 60 percent in Canada and 50 percent in Britain: and not because US prosecutors are better but because the system is too one-sided. The US has 5 percent of the world’s population, 25 percent of its incarcerated people and nearly 50 percent of its qualified lawyers.
  • The plea bargain system is simply the extortion of incriminating perjury with an immunity for perjury in exchange for not being prosecuted or for a reduced sentence. It has made a shambles of America’s claim to being a bastion of human and civil rights and has put the Bill of Rights through the shredder.
  • What makes a great leader is courage when you need it, a sense of a ruse and an ingenuity within limits and getting things done, plus a vision of the country, of what it can do, where it can go, what its moral imperatives are, and a sense of innovation, a sense in the case of a great nation like the United States, a sense of grandeur.
  • The US has had a leadership problem for most of the time since Reagan. In 1968, Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Robert Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon were all qualified to run for president. The best Republican candidates did not run in 2012, which has never happened before in US history. Many Americans felt instinctively that the national media and the political establishment had unjustly destroyed a distinguished administration in Nixon’s first term, scuttled the effort in Vietnam and had never ceased to congratulate themselves for doing it. This is why Rush Limbaugh has 30 million listeners and the network newscasts have declined.
  • The US is fundamentally a very powerful and rich country with nothing wrong that leadership could not fix. When American needed leadership, it historically found it. Very few people expected great things of Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Truman and Reagan.
  • All that is needed is for the president to say we have a serious crisis, and he is not.

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