Thursday, January 29, 2015

Remember when? Right wing Putin Loving

Over the past summer and fall months leading up to the 2014 elections there were endless examples of the right wing nuttery carrying on and on and on about how great a leader Russia’s Vlad Putin was.

He made quick decisions, he got things done, blah blah blah.   Why couldn’t No-Drama-Obama be more like Putin, blah blah blah.

We saw the Obama-bashing Putin-praising from the whole range of right wing media and punditry, including the Popsie Palin:

And that ‘the real leaders get it done’ line was then used to prop up the failures of Republicans, like Christie using it to promote Republican governors, who really do NOT have a good track record of accomplishment. It was the 2014 THEME du campaign.

From a CNN interview:
CHAIRMAN OF THE REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION, GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-New Jersey): You have Bruce Rauner win in Illinois, Charlie Baker win in Massachusetts, and Larry Hogan win in Maryland, that’s a really good night for Republicans to win in those blue states, and as a blue state governor myself, and as a Republican, I was particularly gratified.
CNN: So, to what do you attribute that success particularly in the blue states for governors?
CHRISTIE: Well, I think that they’ve seen Republican leadership in other states, and it’s been enormously effective. We had a lot of folks last night who said a lot of Republican incumbents were going to lose, but Rick Scott won in Florida, Rick Snyder in Michigan, Scott Walker won in Wisconsin. So I think they saw — they like governors who get things done and you saw that across the country. If you’re a governor who gets things done, the voters rewarded you.
But here’s the thing; NONE of those leaders, not Putin, not the Republican governors, are ‘getting things done’, or at least, not getting things done WELL, that benefit their respective jurisdictions.

Not a peep about Putin’s great leadership out of Popsie Palin while she was rambling along incoherently in Iowa, warming up crowds of the indifferent to her intention to run for president in 2016.

Wonder why that was?

Could it be because like the many downgrades of state credit ratings under right wing nut bullying leadership, Russia just had their credit rating reduced to JUNK status? All while Obama is basking in higher approval ratings (double those of Republicans, double those of Congress) and while Obama is getting well deserved credit for GOOD economic outcomes under his less-confrontational more-measured leadership?

Here’s what you WON’T hear from the whole range of right wingers, from Christie and the more serious RWNJs, to the totally foolish Palin. That style of leadership is all macho shine without substance; it’s bluff and bravado. Bottom line hard reality: it’s rubbish, it is ineffective, it produces negative outcomes; it is nothing but bullshit and bullying to look tough and to fake competence they don’t have.

From Bloomberg:

Russia Credit Rating Is Cut to Junk by S&P for the First Time in a Decade

(Bloomberg) — Russia’s foreign-currency credit rating was cut to junk by Standard & Poor’s, putting it below investment grade for the first time in a decade as policy makers struggle to keep economic growth alive amid sanctions and falling oil prices.
S&P, which last downgraded Russia in April, cut the sovereign one step to BB+, according to a statement released on Monday, the same level as countries including Bulgaria and Indonesia. The ratings firm said the outlook is “negative.” Russian stocks declined and bonds fell for a second day following the announcement, which came after the close of equity trading in Moscow.
The world’s biggest energy exporter is on the brink of a recession after oil prices fell to the lowest since 2009 and the U.S. and its allies imposed sanctions over President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine. The penalties have locked Russian corporate borrowers out of international debt markets and curbed investor appetite for the ruble, stocks and bonds.
“Russia’s monetary-policy flexibility has become more limited and its economic growth prospects have weakened,” S&P said in the statement. “We also see a heightened risk that external and fiscal buffers will deteriorate due to rising external pressures and increased government support to the economy.”
Ruble, Stocks
The ruble, which has weakened 19 percent against the dollar since S&P first put Russia’s rating on review on Dec. 23, gained 1.4 percent at 2:18 p.m. in Moscow, after closing Monday at a record 68.799. The dollar-denominated RTS Index of stocks fell 0.8 percent following Monday’s 4.8 percent decline. The yield on five-year government debt climbed 16 basis points to 15.41 percent.
Some investors are prevented from owning debt rated speculative grade. Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings still have Russia as investment grade.
“The ruble weakened only modestly as the market anticipated such a decision following an explicit warning from the rating agency at the end of December,” Piotr Matys, an emerging-market strategist at Rabobank International in London, said by e-mail. “The odds that a full-scale financial crisis could unfold in the coming months has increased, given that S&P’s decision will undermine the Bank of Russia’s efforts to stabilize the ruble.”
“We believe that Russia’s financial system is weakening and therefore limiting the central bank of Russia’s ability to transmit monetary policy,” S&P said. “The central bank faces increasingly difficult monetary policy decisions while also trying to support sustainable GDP growth.”
Russia’s wealth funds are “puny” given the challenges the economy is facing, S&P’s head of sovereign ratings Moritz Kraemer told Bloomberg TV Tuesday. Increased interest rates may prevent capital outflow, which reached $151.5 billion in 2014, he said. That compares with $61 billion of outflows a year earlier.
While policy makers spent $88 billion in interventions last year to prop up the currency, President Vladimir Putin last month scolded the regulator for not reacting to the crisis more quickly. The central bank replaced its head of monetary policy in January, selecting Dmitry Tulin to take on Ksenia Yudaeva’s role in the biggest leadership change since Governor Elvira Nabiullina took charge in June 2013.
Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service both downgraded Russia to their lowest investment grades this month.
Investors often disregard ratings companies’ credit grade and outlook changes. France’s 10-year yield, which was 3.08 percent when S&P removed its top rating in January 2012, tumbled to a record-low 1.339 percent on Aug. 15 this year.
“The trend of deteriorating ratings is more important than the rating cut itself,” Aleksei Belkin, chief investment officer at Kapital Asset Management LLC in Moscow, said by e-mail. “The cut was rather widely expected and for all practical purposes was well telegraphed and discounted. I am afraid we will see more selling, not panic selling, but positions will be trimmed again.”
It’s not just Russia. All those Republican policy states, with Republican policy leadership — they’re in the giant governance toilet just like Russia, going around and round and down.

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