Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Barack Obama Re-elected President of the USA… Neofascism Held Back

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 On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama, the Democratic Party candidate, was re-elected to a second term, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a tightly contested and divisive race that saw the candidates and their backers pour an estimated 2.5 billion USD (78.3 billion Roubles. 2 billion Euros. 1.6 billion UK Pounds) into the campaign. However, control of the US Congress remained split between Democrats and Republicans after nationwide elections for seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate, meaning Obama could face continued fierce opposition to his legislative agenda in the Republican-controlled House, while the Senate majority remained in the Democrats’ hands.

Early Wednesday morning, in a spirited victory speech to a raucous crowd of supporters at his campaign headquarters in Chicago, Obama called for national unity, saying that with his re-election, “The task of perfecting our union moves forward. I’ve never been more hopeful about our future, and I ask you to sustain that hope”. Obama said he had spoken with Romney earlier in the evening and congratulated the former governor of Massachusetts and his running mate, Paul Ryan, on a “hard-fought campaign”, noting, “We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply, and we care so deeply about its future”.

Romney struck a conciliatory tone in his concession speech early Wednesday morning, telling supporters at his campaign headquarters in Boston that America couldn’t “risk partisan bickering and political posturing” at this critical point in the nation’s history, telling the crowd, “This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation. This election is over, but our principles endure”. He added that his belief in his vision for turning around the American economy remained unshaken.

Earlier in the evening, the American media projected Obama to capture the key battleground state of Ohio and its 18 Electoral College votes, which helped push him over the needed 270 votes in the Electoral College to put him back in the White House. Several major American TV outlets projected the incumbent’s victory shortly before 23.30 EST (08.30 MSK 7 November 04.30 UTC 20.30 PST 15.30 AEST 7 November) Tuesday night. Shortly thereafter, Obama’s official Twitter feed posted the following Tweet, “This happened because of you. Thank you”. The networks projected Obama’s re-election after the president notched a string of projected victories in several tightly-contested and strategically-important states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire… states that were seen as key for Romney to win in his bid to unseat Obama.

CNN projected Obama’s lead over Romney in the Electoral College at 303-206, with Florida’s 29 electoral votes still on the table in a state race widely seen as too close to call as of early Wednesday morning. NBC News reported that exit polls showed that white male voters, as well as older voters, favoured Romney, whilst women and younger voters backed Obama. Citing the same exit polls, it also noted that Obama received overwhelming support among Latino and black voters.

Romney had spent Election Day on Tuesday campaigning in Ohio, a state hit hard in the American economic downturn where the Republican candidate had hoped to convince voters he was the right person to get the economy back on track. In a campaign that centred on the economy, Obama attacked Romney as seeking to give tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans whilst slashing social programs aimed at the middle and lower classes. The president’s signature health care reform legislation, the Affordable Care Act, also played an important role in the 2012 race for the White House. Romney vowed to work to overturn the law on his first day in office, whilst Obama campaigned on the broadly popular aspects of the 2010 law, including a provision forbidding insurance companies from denying coverage to people due to pre-existing conditions.

Foreign policy largely took a backseat to domestic issues in the election, although Republicans repeatedly tried to paint Obama as a less-than-stellar friend of Israel and accused him of clumsy handling of American policy in the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings. Russia played a peripheral role in the campaign, though Romney notably called the Kremlin the USA’s “Number One Geopolitical Foe”, prompting Obama to accuse him of injecting a Cold War mindset into bilateral relations.

Arguably, the most significant wild card in the races was Hurricane Sandy, a massive storm that slammed the American East Coast just a week before Tuesday’s election, leaving more than 100 people dead and destroying property and infrastructure in states up and down the coast. Both candidates temporarily halted their campaigns in the storm’s deadly wake, but Obama took a hands-on role in the immediate recovery efforts, allocating federal emergency funds for states slammed by the storms and travelling to the frontline of the destruction to meet with victims of the hurricane. In the days following the storm, even New Jersey’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, a high-profile surrogate for the Romney campaign, whose state bore the brunt of Sandy’s wrath, repeatedly praised Obama.

The bitter campaign was also the most expensive in American history. The independent non-profit Center for Responsive Politics estimated the cost of the race at about 2.5 billion USD, with funds coming in from the candidates’ campaigns, the Democratic and Republican Party committees, and an array of outside PACs. This flood of cash came in the aftermath of the January 2010 US Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case, which allows corporations, unions, and issue advocacy organisations to spend unlimited amounts of money in support of or opposition to a candidate, as long as the spending is done independently of any candidate’s campaign.

7 November 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/world/20121107/177251397.html

Sunday, 4 November 2012

4 November 2012. Sergei Yolkin’s World. The Rage of Sandy

The Rage of Sandy

Sergei Yolkin

2012

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US President Obama said, “Hurricane Sandy is a dangerous storm. We don’t know which areas will bear the brunt of it or where there’ll be the most serious consequences. Therefore, it’s important for us to respond quickly, as soon as we receive information from the field”.

30 October 2012

Sergei Yolkin

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/caricature/20121030/907886055.html

 

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Patriarch Kirill Offers Prayers for Those Injured and Killed by Hurricane Sandy

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Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias shall offer prayers for those killed and injured in the USA during the battering by Hurricane Sandy. In a message sent to US President Barack Obama on Friday, he offered condolences to the bereaved families and said that he foresaw a concerted American effort to fix the damage from the superstorm. The damage from Sandy was estimated at 50 billion USD (1.6 trillion Roubles. 39 billion Euros. 31.2 billion UK Pounds). Almost 100 Americans lost their lives, and about 4 million are still without electricity.

3 November 2012

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_11_02/Patriarch-offers-prayers-for-Sandy-casualties/

Editor’s Note:

Nothing up on oca.org on this. Either Lyonyo didn’t get the word in advance or he’s too busy trying to patch up the leaky Parma Sobor. Whichever one it is (I think that it’s a combination of the two), it’s not good news for the Syosset/SVS set. Some are saying that the damage in Syosset and SVS is God’s vengeance… that’s ridiculous. It was a natural occurrence, nothing more. It’s a natural result of living in a fallen world…

BMD

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Will “Sandy” Save Obama’s Campaign?

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Hurricane Sandy’s hitting of the US East Coast could play a crucial role in the presidential campaign. Analysts believe that the storm can benefit Obama even better than all the members of his campaign team. Sandy can help Obama get a “permission” to reassume the presidency. This could happen during the final and most important stage of the presidential campaign, when less than a week is left before the elections. Until recently, opinion polls showed Obama and Romney sharing almost equal chances to win.

The storm will save Obama’s election campaign. Sounds cynical, doesn’t it? However, being cynical is part of any American presidential campaign. The participants forget all standards of behaviour, given what a great prize awaits the winner at the end. Sandy is a good example. Actually, according to meteorologists, it wasn’t a hurricane when it reached the USA, but a tropical storm. Obviously, it wasn’t the strongest hurricane in a decade. Prominent Russian political analyst Gleb Kuznetsov believes that the Obama team overdramatized the situation, saying, “In advance, Obama turned this hurricane into a catastrophe. Referring to Sandy, the Obama administration used such terms as ‘unprecedented’ and ‘horrible’ as if trying to get people prepared for a possible outcome. Sandy couldn’t have brought Obama any good, only harm. This is what he focused on beforehand, trying to prevent harmful consequences”.

The superstorm offered Obama a chance to use his administration’s potential to its fullest, to prove himself an effective president and rescuer without confronting the risk of facing accusations of politicking. The Obama team seems to have learned a good lesson from the 2005 Hurricane Katrina. Then-US President George W Bush faced blame for his slow handling of the situation, which resulted in his approval rating going down sharply. Pavel Tarusin, analyst for Lomonosov Moscow State University, said, “Voters have already compared Sandy to Katrina. In 2005, the rescue operation was really too late as Mr Bush and the Governor of Louisiana debated for 5-6 days on whether to allocate federal money on the rescue operation or not. In terms of this, Mr Obama finds himself in a better position now… we must admit that he has been quite active in handling the situation”.

Barack Obama cancelled all his remaining campaign appearances, as he’s busy monitoring the rescue operation in the northeatern USA. His schedule for Wednesday, 31 October, features a visit to the worst-affected New Jersey areas. On Wednesday, Republican candidate Mitt Romney is touring Florida, a state that wasn’t affected by Sandy. Can there be a better contrast between the two candidates? One monitors the rescue efforts, whilst the other continues to campaign as the US East Coast is in trouble. Barack Obama declared the states of New Jersey and New York the worst affected by the storm. He ordered the allocation of federal money to help people in these areas to cope with the aftermath of the storm. Even Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie admitted that Obama’s actions were “outstanding”. This certainly placed Mitt Romney in the background of the current political scene in the USA.

Hurricane Sandy, which hit the US eastern coast and Canada, is losing force, but the death toll keeps growing. The raging elements claimed more than 60 human lives in Caribbean countries before making landfall over the US East Coast and Canada on Monday night. preliminary estimates put the overall damage cost is at 20 billion dollars, but Japanese economists feel the cost may well rise to 100 billion dollars and gravely affect American economic growth. The US National Hurricane Centre believes that Sandy was the biggest-scale tropical cyclone in the North Atlantic since tropical cyclones began to be recorded in 1851.

Amidst enormous efforts to get back to normal life, New York City authorities are taking measures against a crime wave that could spill over the city. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg promised “a very heavy police presence” in blacked-out city areas. According to reports from the crippled city, police vans and patrol cars with their roof lights on are all over the streets. Although there’s been little sign of a crime wave so far, officials said that police made multiple arrests in the city on Monday and Tuesday. Charges included burglary, criminal mischief, and trespassing. Media reports say that New York began beefing up police patrols in the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s landfall, which triggered a rise of crime and violence in the city. Some hundred police were deployed to Coney Island to protect looted stores and banks, whilst residents of several blocks in Chelsea in Manhattan hired private security guards. Media reports say that New Yorkers fear that the storm could lead to a spike in crime amidst the power outages.

Russian air-carriers Aeroflot and Transaero cancelled their flights from Moscow to New York due this Wednesday because of Hurricane Sandy. Delta Airlines took similar steps. The situation is extremely involved at John F Kennedy Airport in New York. One runway is non-operational, since its navigation systems are flooded. Most of New York’s alternate airports have been closed. On Monday, Sandy made landfall over the US East Coast, killing more than 50 Americans to date. Some 8 million people are suffering from power outages. The damages are estimated at 20 billion USD. Earlier, the hurricane hit some Caribbean countries, so the overall death toll is about 120. The cyclone is currently moving towards Canada.

Life in New York is getting back on track after Hurricane Sandy hit the US East Coast on Monday night. The authorities said that the after-effects of the hurricane are unprecedented. Water in worst-hit lower Manhattan has receded, so housing and municipal services crews got down to repairing the storm damage. Groceries, cafés, and restaurants have reopened in downtown New York, with owners jacking prices up for top-selling goods.

Officials say the death toll from Superstorm Sandy has reached 50. There are widespread power outages in lower Manhattan. Utility officials say it could be days before power is restored and the subway system is running again. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said there was “no timeline” for when the subway would restart, but he hoped buses could begin running again on Wednesday. All New York area major airports were closed as their runways are flooded, but John F Kennedy Airport and Newark Airport in New Jersey are due to reopen at 06.00 EDT on Wednesday, with reduced service. Bloomberg said that it’s likely to be two or three days before power is restored to most of the city. Storm-caused deaths were reported in Connecticut, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. A Toronto resident, a woman, also fell victim to the hurricane.

According to the UN press service, the United Nations Headquarters in New York remains paralysed for the third day, as does the city itself after being hit by hurricane Sandy last Tuesday night. On 31 October, all meetings at the UN were cancelled and the UN’s website is also down. According to the authorities, Hurricane Sandy killed at least 16 people in New York and over 600,000 households were left without power. The restoration of power and public transport may take several days.

US President Barack Obama pledged to do everything possible to quickly deal with the effects of Hurricane Sandy. He stated that the difficulties were felt by the entire country and said that assistance would be provided free of red tape and bureaucracy. Obama also called on US citizens to be generous and donate aid to the victims of the hurricane through the American Red Cross. President Obama noted the courage of rescuers and authorities in New York, the city that suffered the most severe consequences of the storm. On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama cancelled all campaign events due to Hurricane Sandy making landfall on the East Coast. Obama was to hold a meeting with voters in Ohio, but decided to stay in Washington to coordinate the actions of the government forces in the aftermath of the disaster. Obama said his priority now is the early transfer of resources to local authorities. Meanwhile, rival Mitt Romney, said that his campaign will resume on Wednesday in Florida. According to his press office, the Republican is in Ohio, where he opened an endowment fund to victims of the hurricane. Earlier, Romney said that he considered it necessary to cut funding for the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Television reports said that Hurricane Sandy killed more than 30 people in seven northeastern American states. According to New York Mayor Michel Bloomberg, New York City was the worst hit with at least ten people reported dead. The total storm-related death toll in the state of New York is 17. Three people were killed in Pennsylvania and three in New Jersey. One of the reactors at the Salem 1 nuclear power plant in New Jersey was shut down because of the storm after four of its six coolant pumps stopped working.

31 October 2012

Vitaly Radnayev

Andrei Fedyashin

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_10_31/Will-Sandy-save-Obama-s-campaign/

Editor’s Note:

One of the more fluky “October Surprises” on record fatally damaged Willy’s campaign. There’s nothing that Willy can do of it… nothing. All that Barack Obama has to do is to attend to his duties and look “presidential”… and that will tilt most “undecideds” his way. After all, he made George W Bush look foolish, and everyone knows that Willy is nothing but Bush Redux. At present, Romney’s call to reduce or eliminate FEMA looks ridiculous. There’s nothing to do, the money of his fatcat supporters can’t help him. Barack Obama came across as cool and dispassionate… he hasn’t made a wrong move yet.

In short, the Romney campaign is going full-tilt for the abyss… it’s no horse-race. Most statistical researchers give the Prez a 70 to 80 percent chance of re-election. He has to fuck up royally to lose… and he’s not a gambler like John McCain was. The hurricane was an “act of God”… in more ways than one…

BMD  

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