The US Flag Doormat

In case you didn’t notice, not much is open today nor is there very much news. Slim pickins as the saying goes. Given that Blanche has found some interesting tidbits to report on.

It seems Putin and many other Russians don’t like the United States very much.
No surprise there. What is a tad on the surprising side is the lengths to which they will go to show the world their disdain.

A shopping mall in central Moscow put down U.S. flags as doormats at its entrance for customers to wipe their feet. This they are saying, is a show of defiance against U.S. policies towards Russia. Nice, eh? This is also a direct response to Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine and the fact that the US didn’t think it was such a good idea.

On an American Airlines flight yesterday, the flight attendants were wishing every a merry you-know-what. One grumpy passenger, who appeared to be traveling alone, barked at the woman, “You shouldn’t say that because not everyone celebrates ‘the’ holiday.” The flight attendant asked him (stupidly by the way), what she should say and of course he had no answer.

Once on the plane, he was warmly greeted by another flight attendant who also wished him the “merry business.” That was the last straw. He flipped his lid and was booted off the plane to the cheers and hoots of the rest of the passengers.

In the here-we-go again category, a Missouri police officer shot and killed a teenager Tuesday night in Berkeley, Missouri, just 2 miles from the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, where Michael Brown was killed by police.

Surveillance video appears to show a person pointing a gun at an officer in a gas station parking lot in Berkeley right before the officer fatally shot the teen. Certainly not the same as the Ferguson business, nonetheless there was some rioting. One thing we can say for certain, the situation is still extremely volatile down south between the police and many segments of their population.

Guess which is one of the world’s worst-performing currencies this year? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist for this one. It’s the ruble in Russia. So how bad is it? So bad that Putin scrapped this year’s holidays for government ministers because of the unfolding economic crisis.

Russian company employees throughout the country are entitled to holiday from Jan. 1 to Jan. 12 when Russians celebrate the New Year, the main holiday in Russia. In a televised government session, Putin told the Cabinet ministers that this was not the time to take a vacation. Battered by low oil prices and Western sanctions, Russia is set to enter a recession next year for the first time in six years, while the ruble is now worth less than half of its value. Watch this story carefully. Putin’s job is on the line and he knows it.

Hillary Clinton is quietly shoring up support in case she decides to take a run at the presidential nomination. Of course she’s not tipping her hat one way or the other to say if she’s actually in the run, but if she’s not then why work during the holidays?

While you may be basking on a sun chair somewhere south, she’s busy running around trying to dig up like-minded liberals in hopes of tamping down a serious challenge from the left in the battle for the 2016 nomination. At 67 years old, she doesn’t have too many years left to run from one end of the country to the other – five times in a month. Remember what she looked like after her stint at Secretary of State? Awful. Planes wreak havoc on one’s body and skin.

In case you’re looking for a job, we may have something for you. Driving in the president’s motorcade. Yes, Blanche,  you too can be a part of that special group of people who tie up traffic for hours on end.

Volunteers with no special training are a link in the middle of the fastest, and most high-profile, chain of vehicles in the country. And they are cheaper than the Secret Service or local police officers . So who are they driving? Lowly staff members and reporters.

Of course you want to know what the qualifications for this job are. Here ya go: A driver’s license, a clean criminal record and knowing someone at the White House. Don’t say we didn’t tip you off.

Good Shabbos,

We’ll talk…

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