Putin served as Russia's President from 2000 to 2008 before being prevented from running for a third term by the Russian law. He served as Prime Minister as his Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, served as President since 2008.
Britain's Foreign Minister, William Hague, spoke out today to condemn Friday's Iranian parliamentary elections which put Islamic fundamentalists and supporters of the Supreme Leader Aytatollah Khamenei in the majority as not 'free or fair'. He noted that these were not elections for the people to select their representation, but a test of loyalty to the theocratic regime of Khamenei and the rest of the 'Mad Mullahs'.
US Intelligence reports are indicating increasing military assistance from Tehran to Damascus as Iran seeks to prevent the collapse of it's most important Arab ally.
The U.S. intelligence assessments are in line with recent reports by Syrian rebels, who say Iran’s involvement in the crackdown has escalated. Opposition leaders, citing high-ranking defectors from the Syrian military, say Iran has dispatched hundreds of advisers, security officials and intelligence operatives to Syria, along with weapons, money and electronic surveillance equipment.
“Iran has been involved in the crackdown by Assad on a much larger scale than previously thought,” said Ammar Abdulhamid, a Washington-based Syrian activist and a member of the Syria Working Group of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington think tank.
Several weeks ago, Turkish papers were reporting of efforts by Iran to transit Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Quds Force personnel through Turkey to Syria - and 2 Iranian warships made a transit of the Suez Canal to make a brief port visit to Syria.
Iran and Russia are both continuing their military assistance to Syria while Syrian opposition forces continue to request foreign assistance and intervention in order to help them maintain their fight against the Assad regime. Russia continues to block any international assistance in the United Nations for the opposition forces or to take more action against the Assad regime.
The International Red Cross is again trying to gain entry into the battered Homs district of Baba Amr - and remains blocked by Syrian government forces. They are being permitted entry into neighboring districts bordering Baba Amr - but only after being subject to numerous military checkpoints and searches. Reports continue to filter from Syrian opposition forces of major atrocities being committed by government forces in Baba Amr - and elsewhere in Homs. Syrian government forces are continuing their offensive as districts and small towns north of Homs are undergoing heavy artillery bombardment.
Progressive media elements, like the Los Angeles Times, continue to make the case that the US should avoid intervention into Syria as the situation there doesn't rise to the level of a 'genocide'. They cite an unwillingness to invest American blood and treasure to topple yet another Arab dictator - like Saddam Hussein...
Going to war is not a simple matter of identifying wrongdoers and confronting them at any cost. Remember that there was a wrongdoer in Iraq — Saddam Hussein, who imprisoned, tortured and killed hundreds of thousands of his countrymen — yet armed "regime change" in retrospect appears to have been a tragic misstep that came at great cost and yielded questionable benefits. Toppling the Taliban in Afghanistan seemed like a favor to the people of that country when the United States undertook it, yet it too is beginning to seem like a wasted effort. Some say the NATO mission in Libya was more of a success, but frankly, history has yet to judge it.No, no country can solve all of the problems of all of the countries in the world - but there is evil in the world - and evil needs to be confronted. There are ways that Western nations like the US can confront the evil that is Assad - and his Axis of Evil - without investing US ground forces. Burying our heads in the sand because the victims aren't Americans or trying to decide if the actions are 'evil enough' isn't the correct course. We are in a war of ideologies and values - and being selective about the application of our values does little to help us win.
War is not something to blunder into blithely, and no country — no matter how powerful — can solve all the problems of all the countries in the world.
Mitt Romney posted a strong double digit win in the Washington state caucuses yesterday, gaining 38% of the caucus vote. Ron Paul finished second, edging out Rick Santorum (25% to 24%), while Newt Gingrich finished last with only 11% support. This is Mitt Romney's fourth consecutive primary / caucus win and sets the stage for Super Tuesday.
Ron Paul, who has been focusing on a caucus approach, was hoping for a win in the Washington caucuses. He is declaring a 'moral victory' with his second place finish - but is also running out of caucuses to use for his strategy.
Ohio remains the most visible battleground state for Super Tuesday - and is reaching 'must win' status for Rick Santorum who held a 15-18 point lead in the polls as recently as mid-February. Quinnipiac and Rasmussen polls released on Friday showed Mitt Romney closing the gap to within the margin of error, and today's Reuters / Ipsos poll has Romney and Santorum
Mitt Romney's campaign picked up another boost as the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va) endorsed him while on NBC's 'Meet the Press' earlier this morning. Romney is favored to win Virginia's primary on Tuesday.
In Washington state, progressive Democrats made a major effort to pass a very progressive / partisan budget to leverage their majority and made a major miscalculation in the process. Their actions prompted three moderate Democrats to bolt and join with the GOP - passing the GOP written budget which cuts spending and balances the budget. If only that would happen in Washington DC...
Rush Limbaugh released a statement yesterday apologizing to Sandra Fluke for calling her a 'slut'...
For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.
I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.
My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.
As noted in my commentary regarding Fluke, Limbaugh, and the 'Contraception Debate' - it was wrong for Limbaugh to call Fluke a 'slut'. That pejorative wasn't needed and distracted from the debate. It's just as wrong however to consider Sandra Fluke a victim. She's no victim. She's a professional progressive liberal fascist who is a direct actor in the misdirection effort to mask the erosion of freedom that is being forced down our throats by progressives behind the facade of 'contraception' and a 'women's right'.
Her argument is laughable - that someone in her position, a 30 year old activist law student is unable to afford $9 per month (or visiting Planned Parenthood for free contraception) to support her 'right ' to have sex while using birth control. Then there is the position that her 'right' to enjoy herself requires me, a taxpayer, to pay for it. I apparently have no option in the manner - that is her demand. Her 'rights' are superlative to my 'rights'.
If someone can't afford something - then she should do what everyone else does when they can't afford something....either don't do it - or sacrifice something else in her own personal budget to able to afford it. $9 a month is the price of 3 latte's or 2 beers...a month. Not much of a sacrifice.
No, she's not a victim. She just thinks she's entitled - and arrogant enough to demand it with a vapid argument.
BTW, I'm sure that none of us are holding our breath waiting for apologies from those of the left, like the moronic Bill Maher, for their vile comments made towards conservative women - comments that make 'slut' a compliment.
On This Day in History
1789 - The first session of the US Congress under the newly ratified US Constitution took place in NYC
1861 - Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated for his 1st term as President of the United States
1933 - Franklin Roosevelt is inaugurated for his 1st term as President of the United States. In his inaugural address he said, 'We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.'
1944 - The US Army Air Corps 8th Air Force conducts its first air raid to Berlin