Vladimir Putin Is All About Authoritarianism And Cronyism With Corruption Thrown In For Good Measure

There is no way to deny the analysis by Orlando Figes, Professor of History, Birkbeck, University of London is spot-on when it comes to Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Putin’s return is a non-event in the sense that he never went away. Russia has been ruled by Putinism for the past 12 years.

It looks set for another dozen years of authoritarianism, cronyism, systematic corruption, and dangerous political drift at a time of mounting problems for Russia.

The demonstrations don’t yet represent a serious challenge to Putin’s political authority, let alone a revolutionary situation.

The opposition is neither large nor organised enough to force real change. But there is a widespread feeling that things cannot go on as they were.

It is especially strong among the professional classes. This is an important psychological turning-point, which could lead to a revolutionary situation if the system fails to introduce reforms.

The new Putin government will continue to be jittery about possible “Orange Revolution” scenarios.

Chris Rickert At Wisconsin State Journal Needs To Get Facts Lined Up Before Writing

The role of journalists and columnists in newspapers is something that often gets attention on Caffeinated Politics.   There is often plenty of reason to applaud their work.  At times however, there is also reason to call attention to lapses in judgment, or just plain errors in reporting.

Such is the case with Chris Rickert who writes a column for the Wisconsin State Journal.  One of my readers to this blog was irritated enough with the inaccurate writing to send a letter to Franklin, the managing editor of the paper, and Johnston, the publisher.

Dear Mr. Franklin and Mr. Johnston,
Your paper, with outstanding investigative journalists, has its credibility harmed when you have lazy writers.
Not long ago, Chris Rickert was writing inaccurately that President Obama said every young person needs to go to college – quoting a mis-truth by Rick Santorum.
Falk was the first Democrat to enter the race, on Jan. 18, and is the choice of those who launched the recall, public sector unions.”Yes, the public sector unions were involved, but the public sector unions are not the group who launched the recall. The organization that launched the recall and gathered the signatures did not endorse in the primary and its founder endorsed Barrett.

For a subscriber that appreciates your paper’s good investigative journalism, such as the article yesterday about the DNR or your reporting the caucus scandal, this inaccurate journalism is disappointing. And, it hurts your reputation and credibility.

AP Finally Apologizing For Wrongly Firing Correspondent

Why it took this long for the ‘wrong’ to be publicly righted is something that seems equally crazy about this story.  That the issue at hand had everything to do with politics, and not the actual war or combat is what made the firing wrong in the first place, and should have then made an apology from AP occur long before now.

Sixty seven years later, The Associated Press is apologizing for the way it condemned and then fired one of its correspondents for reporting “perhaps the biggest scoop in its history.”

Edward Kennedy was among a small group of reporters taken by Allied military officials to witness the May 7, 1945, surrender by German forces at a schoolhouse in Reims, France.

Military censors swore the journalists to secrecy, saying they couldn’t report the surrender until given the OK by Allied commanders.

But German officials went ahead and announced the news. So Kennedy took action.

“He used a military phone, not subject to monitoring by censors, to dispatch his account to the AP’s London bureau” the wire service says. “Notably, he didn’t brief his own editors about the embargo or his decision to dodge the censors. The AP put the story on the wire within minutes.”

For taking that initiative, Kennedy was expelled from France by Allied forces. The AP condemned his actions. And Kennedy was fired.

Now, AP CEO Tom Curley says that was “a terrible day for the AP. It was handled in the worst possible way.”