Old habits die hard and none are more evident than the American habit of either wanting to blame or save the Russians for or from the same problems that they themselves have. A good example would be the the recent concern for Russian democracy shown by this link that my friend Mark at Norwegianity felt compelled to bring to attention.
Now I would not deny that Vladimir Putin has consolidated and centralized power as much as possible, but criticism coming from a country where the ruling party has cleansed, purged, disenfranchised, gerrymandered, and otherwise screwed with the electoral process to the point that no country in their right mind would look to them for guidance rings more than a bit hollow.
One of the recurring themes of this intermittant excercise I call a blog is the bizzaro parallel universe quality of Russian-American relations. It is interesting to think that the largest and most dangerous nuclear powers in the world are both potential economic basket cases on any given day. I probably don't need to go into detail about America's amazing weakness in this area, however this article in the Exile shows an uncanny likeness to what Madeline Albright liked to call the world's "Indispensible Nation" and its citizens on the verge of insolvancy. Nukes apparently don't make the house payments. For further information I highly recommend americanempireproject.com to see what the future probably holds.
Russia America or Both