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Question of the Day
Oh darn, here comes that pesky Ukraine matter again. So how’s the White House doing with it all? Grade-wise, pollster John Zogby awards President Obama a “D” in his dealings with Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent days.
“The president visited the pope. Thus ends the positive portion of our report. Mr. Obama spent the week trying to reassure U.S. allies and bolster NATO over Russia’s grab in Ukraine, but no real bolstering or reassurance happened,” Mr. Zogby observes, then offers a litany of policy woes.
“U.S.-led sanctions have been imposed. But Putin is laughing at them. Congressional leaders are saying the U.S. must get tougher but offer no road map as to how we are supposed to do that. Boots on the ground? Drone strikes? Special forces? Slow boats with natural gas that will get to Europe in 2017?” the pollster asks.
“Mr. Obama has no good options except to slowly and ploddingly follow former President George H.W. Bush’s model of building a global coalition to isolate Mr. Putin. That will take lots of time, a lot of horse-trading, including spending, and a cooperative Congress. Good luck,” Mr. Zogby declares.
PUTIN’S BORDER PATROL
There are also some subtle observations of note about the Russian president.
“Large-scale land acquisitions are occurring across much of the globe. Vladimir Putin just grabbed a whole country and accomplished dual land and labor needs at once. That’s real ingenuity,” says Cornell University development sociology professor Charles Geisler.
“We should view Putin’s annexation as a de facto immigration strategy. Russia has an acute labor shortage but is allergic to non-Russian worker-immigrants. Just across its southern border are Crimea, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transnistria — national gray zones with sizable Russian enclaves loyal to Russia,” the professor notes.
POLL DU JOUR
• 63 percent of Americans say people exaggerate how busy they are in order to “look better”; 64 percent of Republicans, 58 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of independents agree.
• 59 percent of Americans overall consider themselves to be “a busy person”; 66 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of independents agree.
• 53 percent overall say being a busy person is “neither a good nor bad thing”; 47 percent of Republicans, 52 percent of Democrats and 56 percent of independents agree.
• 37 percent overall feel “guilty or anxious” when they are not busy; 41 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of Democrats and 34 percent of independents agree.
• 35 percent overall say being a busy is “a good thing”; 44 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of independents agree.
• 6 percent overall say being a busy is “a bad thing”; 4 percent of Republicans, 5 percent of Democrats and 7 percent of independents agree.
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