The gangster government of Vladimir Putin is depressingly common in human history. Someday, its end will be common, too. ladimir Putin has a problem: There…
The gangster government of Vladimir Putin is depressingly common in human history. Someday, its end will be common, too.
ladimir Putin has a problem: There is not really much of a retirement plan for gangsters.
In The Godfather, Vito Corleone pulls off an unlikely climax to his career as a mafia don: He dies peacefully in his garden. There was some real-world precedent for that. Don Corleone’s character was inspired in part by Carlo Gambino, who died of a heart attack in old age, as well as by Frank Costello, who retired to his penthouse in the Waldorf Astoria, and by Joey Bonanno, who lived to 97 before dying of natural causes.
But for every Frank Costello there is a Big Paulie Castellano, gunned down on John Gotti’s way to the top of the organized-crime pecking order; Francesco Cali, the Gambino family boss shot outside his home in Staten Island; Angelo Bruno, the “gentle don” whose head was ungently taken off by a shotgun in his car in Philadelphia; Carmine Galante, shot up over lunch in a Brooklyn restaurant; Bugsy Siegel, who took two in the head at his girlfriend’s house in Beverly Hills. Gangstering is a tough business.
Putin’s sham parliament has just approved something the Associated Press calls “a sweeping constitutional reform”— which is accurate if you are not very picky about the meaning of the words “reform” or “constitutional” — that will permit Putin to remain in power until at least 2036, at which point he will be 83 years old, just a few months north of where Joe Biden would be at the end of his first term as president, should that come to pass.
The vote was 383-0.