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Crafty Vlad, Millionaire Doctors, and the Red Line's Return

Good evening, TAI readers! We hope you’ve had a restful weekend. As you gear up for the week ahead, take the time to look back on what you may have missed over the last seven days:

Turning the tables on Putin won’t be easy. Vlad is in a far better position than many in the West seem to realize. Crimea was the latest attempt by Moscow to push the world in a direction Washington doesn’t like.

Medicare is making millionaires out of doctors. Some doctors are gaming the fee-for-service system and getting rich off of Medicare. This is symptomatic of a system in dire need of real reform, but health care guilds are getting in the way of meaningful change.

When in doubt, follow the money. A closer look at the numbers shows that a sharper crackdown on Russian assets in response to the invasion of Crimea would be felt more keenly in Ukraine and the EU than in Russia.

Is a French Intifada brewing? Outbreaks of anti-Semitic violence are only the most visible signs of an unstable situation in France, home to Europe’s largest Muslim and Jewish communities.

Obamacare manager Sebelius leaves in disgrace. There may have been a slight delay, but someone finally lost their job over the amateurish rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

An Egyptian-American relationship reinvention? Egypt has long been an important partner for the US in the Middle East, but the relationship has been on the rocks recently. Former ambassador to both Egypt and Israel Daniel Kurtzer outlines some steps that might help the two countries develop a “serious strategic relationship.”

Invade a little or invade a lot? It would have been unthinkable even a month ago, but it’s time to start thinking through different scenarios for a further Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Return of the “red line?” The Assad regime allegedly used chemical weapons again. If true, it means that the chemical weapons agreement was a farce, and that the Obama administration’s threats and warnings carry very little water these days.

Pipelines and dragons and bears, oh my! A senior Russian official believes Moscow could sign a long sought-after natural gas deal with Beijing as soon as next month. We’ve been hearing talk like this for more than a decade, but the agreement makes sense for both parties now more than ever.

Rahm Emmanuel stabs in the dark for a pension fix. The Chicago mayor wants to raise taxes to help fund the blue city’s massive unfunded liabilities, but it isn’t clear that these steps—which would raise hundreds of millions of dollars—will be enough to fix its pension mess.

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