Another Spectacular Sharapova Implosion

They say she's one of the most beautiful women in the world but . . .

They say she’s one of the most beautiful women in the world but . . .

What happens when the world’s best American female tennis player meets the world’s best Russian? It’s not pretty, we can tell you that.

In the semi-finals of the WTA tour event in Miami, Florida last week, so-called “Russian” tennis player Maria Sharapova, the #3 seed, should have had to face the #6 seed, Angelique Kerber. But not only did Kerber get eliminated from Sharapova’s half of the draw before Sharapova could face her, so did the #11 and the #15 seeds, meaning that in her semi-finals match Sharapova only needed to beat the lowly #22 seed, journeywoman Jelena Jankovic, which she easily did. To reach the semis, Sharapova only needed to beat the #8 seed.

By contrast, American Serena Williams needed to beat the #4 seed, Agnieszka Radwanskaya in her semi-finals contest, and she had to beat the #5 seeded player to reach the semis.

After lucking into the finals with Williams, Sharapova’s dumb luck continued as she raced out to an amazing lead against the American.  In the middle of the second set, she was up set and a break and then . . . she spectacularly and completely fell apart. She lost every single game after that, dropping the second set 3-6 and getting bageled in the third 0-6.  By the time the smoke had cleared, Sharapova had lost a stunning ten games in a row.

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Showing Magnitsky’s Memory the Money

Hermitage Capital has issued a report documenting where the money involved in the fraud uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky went. For his trouble, Magnitsky was arrested and murdered by the malignant Russian Kremlin, which should have pinned  medal on his chest.  We republish it in full after the jump.

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Russia’s Frozen Soldiers

Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported [Russian-language link] on August 17, 2012, that the Russian military is 600 million rubles in the red to its gas and electric suppliers, and as a result thousands of military personnel and their families will go without heat this winter — including those in frozen wastelands like Murmansk where plunging temperatures can be fatal.  The Secretary of Housing for the Moscow Region Herman Elyanushkin is quoted as stating that 40% of  Moscow-based soldiers and their families had no heat last winter, and the situation was likely to be repeated this year.

The reason for the frozen soldiers is, according to the military, frozen funding in Moscow.  In addition to a lack of money to pay for fuel, there is also a lack of funds to maintain heating equipment, so boilers are breaking down and not being repaired or replaced.  The military claims it needs the whopping sum of an additional 70 billion rubles to properly heat the residences of its soldiers and their families.  The Kremlin, it seems prefers to devote funds to building new and better nuclear weapons, and is prepared to watch Russian soldiers and their families freeze.  The question of why Russia’s supposedly booming economy doesn’t have enough funds for both projects remains unasked.

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The Horror of “Life” in Putin’s Russia Exposed

According to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, if you live in Moscow, one of the world’s most expensive cities, and have an income of $250 per month (that’s less than $10 per day), you are NOT living in poverty, but are well above that level.

According to Putin, if you are a Russian your income must be below 6,369 rubles (i.e., about $200) per month in order to claim poverty.

Putin claims that since the number of “poor” people has fallen from roughly 40 million to roughly 20 million since he took power, he is entitled to credit as a economic genius.  There are four gigantic problems with this “logic.”

First, the poverty data is being reported by Putin’s own government. Could they be trusted to report facts that were adverse to Putin? Unlikely.

Second, nobody can live on $200 per month in Moscow or any other cosmopolitan area of Russia, it’s an absurd and bizarre fantasy to suggest that someone who earns $210 per month is “not poor.”

Third, any changes in Russia during the Putin years are due to just one factor:  The rising price of crude oil.  Were it not for this factor, over which Putin has no control whatsoever, Russia would be in stasis.  If anything, Putin’s lack of experience with economics and business has only meant that Russia has reaped far fewer benefits from the rising price of oil than it would have if it had been led by a more competent ruler.

And fourth, most importantly, the notion that someone who moves from $190 per month to $210 per month has now experienced a life-changing alteration of living conditions is literally insane.  The fact that 20 million people have done this in Putin’s Russia, even if true, means absolutely nothing.

As has always been the case in Russia, because the people of the country demand nothing more, the Kremlin prefers to spew forth lies and disinformation rather than to pursue real reform that would actually make Russia a better country.

Shame and Disgrace for Sharapova at London 2012

In order to make it to the gold-medal game at the London 2012 Olympics, American superstar Serena Williams needed to defeat Jelena Jankovic in the opening ground.  Jankovic is a former world #1, currently ranked #18. She has appeared in three grand-slam semifinals matches.

In that same round, so-called “Russian” Maria Sharapova only needed to defeat Shahar Peer.  Peer is currently ranked #58 in the world and has never ranked higher than #13 in her career. Peer has never once in her life been in a grand-slam semi.

This pattern continued throughout the tournament.  Williams then had to defeat current #13 and former world #2 Vera Zvonareva, who has appeared in two grand-slam finals.  Next was former world #1 Caroline Wozniaki, followed by current world #1 Victoria Azarenka, both current top-10 players.

And Sharapova?

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If We Were Writing Romney’s Acceptance Speech

Here’s what presidential candidate Mitt Romney would say as part of his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention if we were writing it:

My fellow Americans, for the last four years President Obama has been telling you that a man called Medvedev was the ruler of Russia. He had cheeseburgers with him, and told you Medvedev was his partner in democracy.  That was a lie.

Medvedev never had real power in Russia, and he was never interested in democracy, and Barack Obama knew it.  Ever since the late 1990s, only one man has held real power in Russia, and that man is a proud KGB spy named Putin.

Putin used Medvedev as a figurehead so he could continue to rule Russia without violating the Russian Constitution. And Obama used him too, used him to claim he was “resetting” our relations with Russia, transforming an enemy into a friend. During this election, he’ll claim credit for doing that and ask for your votes because of it. That will be another  lie. And every single day he tells it, I’ll be there to tell you so.

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