Posts Tagged ‘hard ball’

Putin Plays Hardball

November 20, 2014

The New York Times, Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Putin Plays Hardball, by Joe Nocera

…In July 2013, Russia put Bill Browder, a dispossessed billionaire, and his deceased–in prison–lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky on trial.  “The two men were accused of tax evasion going back to 2001–despite the fact that the statute of limitation in Russia for tax evasion is 10 years.  It was the first posthumous trial in Russia history…To the surprise of no one, Magnitsky and Browder were both convicted, one posthumously and the other in absentia.”

Bill Browder, with a nine-year sentence, has been put on “Interpol’s ‘Red Notice’ list–which is a kind of international wanted-poster for fugitives.  The idea is that when a person on the list is arrested in one country, he of she would be handed over to the country where he or she is wanted…

You would think that Putin’s government has enough to worry about these days, between the crisis in Ukraine, western sanctions, and the fall of oil, which could push the Russian economy into recession.  But, apparently, there is always time to attack Bill Browder.”

Putin is tough, as are his “cronies,” especially on people who try to expose Russian corruption. He plays hardball, but a different kind than that played by baseball players.

“Hardball Politics”

January 13, 2014

The New York Times, Monday, January 13, 2014

Adding to Christie’s Troubles, a Rift With a Former Mentor Widens, by Kate Zernike

“It is a sign of increasing trouble for Mr. Christie, then, that former Governor Kean–a man he frequently calls his mentor–has been leveling some of the sharpest criticism at him following revelations that Christie aides ordered lanes closed to the George Washington Bridge in September as an act of political retribution…

The first cracks (in the Governor Christie, former Governor Kean relationship) came after Mr. Christie’s reelection, when the governor worked to oust Mr. Kean’s son, Thomas Kean Jr., from his role as leader of the Republican Minority in the State Senate…

In his interview with the (Washington) Post, former Governor Kean said Mr. Christie’s treatment of his son has been typical of the hardball politics the governor had brought to his office. ‘If you come back at him,’ he said, ‘he’s going to come back at you harder.”

Skilled Politicians Playing Hardball

January 18, 2011

From a new novel, Scorpions, “The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Supreme Court Justices”, by Noel Feldman:

Chapter 5, Southern Pride, p. 51, 52

But the man who would become his (Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s) first Supreme Court nominee, Senator Hugo LaFayette Black, was someone Roosevelt did not meet until assuming the presidency of the United States in March 1933.  From the start, their relationship was competitive.

Roosevelt’s first order of business was to stimulate the economy and put people back to work.”  However, Senator Black had already introduced an economic recovery  bill himself in 1932.   Roosevelt’s advisors had  much more comprehensive ideas, but their ideas had not been made public.  “Black’s bill…was setting the agenda.  It sent a mesage to the newly elected president that Black was a man to be reckoned with, not a team player who would wait for an order before taking action.”

“Beneath the surface pleasantries, these two skilled politicians were immediately playing hardball.”

Team player is used all the time in sports, politics, and business to emphasize a group of people who play and/or work together to achieve a goal.   To play hardball in American sports usually refers to baseball, as the ball is quite hard and goes farther than in softball.  Playing hardball in sports, politics, and business denotes a tough approach to a goal.