Keep Your Friends Close, But Your Frenemies Closer
Next up is strongman Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who has become Obama's friend on a variety of issues, writes Norm Ornstein:
Putin saved the president from a huge embarrassment with the intervention to resolve Syria’s chemical-weapons stockpile, just before the Senate would have voted down his request for authorization to use force to punish Assad for using the weapons repeatedly against Syrians. Russia is a key player in the delicate negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. Moscow can make the U.S. transition out of Afghanistan more painful and disruptive, and can be a positive or negative player in negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Obama and Putin have had something of a falling out over Ukraine, which doesn't want to hand over big and vital chunks of its territory to Moscow. Obama is also opposed. Moscow, however, does want Ukraine to hand over big and vital chunks of its territory. At the time of this writing, Crimea was holding a referendum which will almost certainly ratify, with 106% in favor, Putin's recent fait accompli in seizing that big and vital chunk of his neighbor. While the American president hasn't drawn any red lines, he has set a Monday deadline for Russia to pull back, which at the time of this writing is looking about as firm as an ♡bamaCare!!! deadline.
Putin chose… actually, he chose pretty darn well. Too bad new Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk can't say the same thing.
The last comes to us from the Washington Post's Dana Milbank, who frets that "fickle" millennials have abandoned the president over ♡bamaCare!!!. He writes:
The administration announced last week that only 1.08 million people ages 18 to 34 had signed up for Obamacare by the end of February, or about 25 percent of total enrollees. If the proportion doesn’t improve significantly, the result likely will be fatal for the Affordable Care Act.
There is much handwringing by Milbank over Gen Y being "disillusioned," and "less patriotic," and "less trusting." Poor President Obama, stuck with such unreliable allies. Of course it could be that millennials took one look -- if that -- at ♡bamaCare!!!'s prices and policies and decided they were the ones getting screwed over by their one-time friend.
They chose… poorly.