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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-08-14 01:52 AM
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Forbes' World's Most Powerful Man-Putin
The Olympics are the reason that I am posting this now. It may explain a lot. Or explain nothing. I have no idea. Word is that Putin is putting a lot of stock in them in terms of solidifying his image in his own nation, though this Forbes articles must have helped considerably. He's not liked that Russia was allegedly the loser of the Cold War. You know, after "Red" China lost the Cold War.

I've posted before that, per Oxfam, 85 individuals own half of the wealth of the planet. Forbes tells us which, in its opinon, 72 people control the planet. That is one for every 100 million shlubs like moi. Surprising to me: Pope Francis is #4. (The Chinese head of the Communist Party is #3.) /

Whos more powerful: the autocratic leader of a former superpower or the handcuffed commander in chief of the most dominant country in the world? This year the votes for the Worlds Most Powerful went to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He climbs one spot ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama, who held the title in 2012.

Putin has solidified his control over Russia while Obamas lame duck period has seemingly set in earlier than usual for a two-term president latest example: the government shutdown mess. Anyone watching this years chess match over Syria and NSA leaks has a clear idea of the shifting individual power dynamics.


Newcomers: Among the 13 newcomers are Pope Francis (No. 4), Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-Hee (No. 41), Volkswagens Martin Winterkorn (No. 49), South Korean President Park Geun-hye (No. 52), IBM CEO Virginia Rometty (No. 56), and Janet Yellen (No. 72), nominated by President Obama as the next leader of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Rosneft CEO and Putin confidant Igor Sechin (No. 60) and Jill Abramson (No. 68), the executive editor of the New York Times, make a return appearance after dropping of the list in years past.


Women Moving Up In Numbers: This year there are nine women on the list, representing 12% of the worlds most powerful in stark contrast to being 50% of the worlds population. Both 2011 and 2012 featured six women leaders, and the inaugural list from 2009 included only 3 or just 4.4%. Recently elected Park of South Korea joins the other female heads of state German Chancellor Angela Merkel No.5), Brazils Dilma Rousseff (No. 20)and de facto head of India Sonia Gandhi (No. 21). Two of the worlds most important NGOs are run by women: Christine Lagarde (No. 35) leads the IMF and Margaret Chan (No. 59) steers the World Health Organization.

Billionaires: Worth a cumulative $564 billion. Sure theyre rich but many of these billionaires deserve special attention for their philanthropic work, including Warren Buffett (No. 13), Michael Bloomberg (No. 29), Li Ka-shing (No. 30), Charles and David Koch (No. 31), and Mohammed Ibrahim (No. 71).

Entrepreneurs like Zuckerberg and much more at

The list of 72 at /

Enjoy your gruel.

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-08-14 04:33 AM
Response to Original message
1. Thought I'd put this on this same thread-Olympics
Have you ever seen coverage of the start of an Olympics that labels the host nation with hubris and despotism? Focuses on the stray dogs of the nation? Isn't the purpose of the Olympics that nations put aside their differences and put all their battles on the sports fields? Oh, yes, and Russians actually had the nerve to be singing a song called "They're not going to get us." Since when do athletes team up and behave as though they're going to defeat the other teams?


What is going on? Are we back in the Cold War so soon? Or just a propaganda war? Not saying Russia is great, but have we just met? I could have sworn we were at least holding hands not that long ago.

What happened to Hillary pushing the re-start button on US-Russian relations? Okay, she got the Russian translation wrong, but Putin didn't seem to hold it against her.

Is about gays? I desperately want equal rights for everyone everywhere. But the US practically has sex with countries that kill gays. We're entering into the TPP with the Sultan of Brunei. I've used him as my prototype of a horrific ruler since Bushco flipped the Iraq invasion from WMD to bad Saddam, bad, bad, bad, bad Saddam.

Is this about Snowden? About Forbes knocking the US President out of its Most Powerful Person in the World slot?

Whatever it is, I do not remember this degree of negativity in opening night coverage. And all our media has been right on message, from Olberman to Engels to AP You'd think someone was co-ordinating the news.

Here's the hatchet job coverage of the Opening Night of the Olympics.

Feb 7, 5:53 PM EST

Russia kicks off Sochi Games with hope and hubris

Associated Press

SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- A Russia in search of global vindication kicked off the Sochi Olympics looking more like a Russia that likes to party, with a pulse-raising opening ceremony about fun and sports instead of terrorism, gay rights and coddling despots.

And that's just the way Russian President Vladimir Putin wants these Winter Games to be.


But watch out for those Russians on their home turf. A raucous group of Russian athletes had a message for their nearly 3,000 rivals in Sochi, marching through Fisht Stadium singing that they're "not gonna get us!"

Superlatives abounded and the mood soared as Tchaikovsky met pseudo-lesbian pop duo Tatu and their hit, "Not Gonna Get Us." Russian TV presenter Yana Churikova shouted: "Welcome to the center of the universe!"

Yet no amount of cheering could drown out the real world.

<snip> {suspected hijacker supposedly aboard plane from Turkey}

The show opened with an embarrassing hiccup, as one of five snowflakes failed to unfurl as planned into the Olympic rings, forcing organizers to jettison a fireworks display and disrupting one of the most symbolic moments in an opening ceremony.

That allowed for an old Soviet tradition of whitewashing problems to resurface, as state-run broadcaster Rossiya 1 substituted a shot during from a rehearsal with the rings unfolding successfully into their live broadcast.

Also missing from the show: Putin's repression of dissent, and inconsistent security measures at the Olympics, which will take place just a few hundred miles (kilometers) away from the sites of a long-running insurgency and routine militant violence.

And on and on and on, including that the migrant workers who constructed the site were poorly paid. Really? Did we look into how much England paid people to build their Olympic venues? And, of course, our own migrant workers have been rolling in dough forever.

Something like this kind of puts me in the position of defending things that I would prefer to attack. But I am finding it bizarre and I don't like attempts to brainwash Americans, either.

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-08-14 04:39 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. But wait, there's more!
Jay Leno compares Sochi Olympics to Nazi Germany. /

Really? 12 million people gassed and/or incinerated?

I wonder if the actual Nazi Olympics got coverage this bad in the US.

Isn't the right the sector that gets the most exercised over comparisons with Nazi Germany?

Seriously, folks, :wtf:
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-08-14 05:21 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. I share Jay's love of old cars and motorcycles.
But that is all. I've never been a fan. But recently he seems more wrong than usual. My wife asked me if he was sick. I fear he might be sick.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-09-14 04:09 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. I don't even drive and I would die for his car collection.
Then again, I imagine that I am not alone in that.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-08-14 05:31 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. We watched the opening ceremony.
I thought the Russian history segment was quite impressive. I thought Matt Lauer was a bit condescending.

It would be nearly impossible to carry off such an enormous ceremony without a glitch or two. These minor transgressions don't bother me nearly so much as the anti-gay thing and the dog thing.

I was embarrassed by the USA chants, flags on the clothing and general ultra nationalism on display by the American team. Jesus Christ, can't we just tone it down for a minute. We already look like the big bully to much of the world. This is not an image I want for my nation.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-09-14 04:23 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. As best I can determine, they displace poor people to build the Olympic venues.
And the displaced people left the dogs behind. They are roaming the area and therefore, I imagine, present a potential danger, especially if they go feral. Maybe the original sin was the displacement of porr people, but what are they supposed to do about the dogs now? Allow them to roam and bite, if they choose? We put down abandoned dogs, don't we?

The story turns my stomach anyway.

I hope to heaven the displaced people were helped with relocation.

The gay rights issue and political freedom get me, too, but that does not explain the coordinated brainwashing to my satisfaction. For one, we are a long way from equality ourselves, even though Obama came out for gay marriage as he was campaigning for re-election.

For another thing, we seem in love with countries where inequality for gays (AND women) and repression is much worse. Hell, we've been in charge of Afghanistan for over a decade and there is no tolerance for gays or women there, is there? When we were the only govenment in Iraq, we allowed adoption of a Constitution that incorporated Sharia law by reference.

For another thing, I thought the whole point of the Olympics was putting aside all differences. But, if we didn't want to do that, we should have boycotted the Olympics. This mean girl in between position is stupid. And coordinating the snark and backbiting is scary.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-08-14 05:39 AM
Response to Original message
5. I wonder how much validity this actually has.
If these people are the more powerful, most influential, they should get with the program, try to unite and find solutions for a ever more desperate world. I feel they have failed us.
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