On corruption, Putin insisted there had been no systemic graft during the preparations for the Games, and said all allegations to the contrary were not backed up by solid facts... Previously the official figure for spending on Sochi had been put at about $51bn (£31bn), four times the planned cost and more than either the London or Beijing summer Olympics. One critical report puts the corruption estimate at $30bn – a figure greater than the GDP of more than half the world's countries.Or it could have ended in laughs when we learned the press corps' lazy handling of facts is universal:
The Chinese television reporter present told Putin he was very popular in China and suggested he should consider playing "tough guys" in action movies when he retired.Or he could just move to Malibu and eventually run for governor of California. Cut out the middle-career. But the laughable is determined to become the tragic.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered new assurances to gay athletes and fans attending the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics next month. Yet he defended Russia's anti-gay law by equating gays with pedophiles and said Russia needs to "cleanse" itself of homosexuality if it wants to increase its birth rate.Vlad Putin, on his way to becoming a FoxNews talking head, after all he believes in the power of myth...maybe paired with his old neighbor/peeper Sarah Palin?
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]