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Open Thread 11 - 17 Sep

by Bjinse Mon Sep 11th, 2017 at 09:31:32 PM EST

Thread's but a walking shadow


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Activate : Gone before we had a chance to miss you

New Statesman - Anoosh Chakelian - The short life and brutal death of Activate, the Tory Momentum

After a difficult birth two weeks ago, the Tory youth organisation Activate is in hibernation. How and why did it fall apart so quickly?

When you open the homepage for Activate, a new campaign to engage young people in the Conservative party, you now face a pop-up full of caveats and denials.

It's a greeting that acts as a fitting goodbye to the shambolically short saga of the Tories trying to create their own version of Momentum, the Corbynite campaign that has built a new network of Labour supporters.

The sorry story began as all sorry stories do - on a Monday....



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 11:32:25 AM EST
Splinter - Hamilton Nolan - The Delsuional Elite

Let's set aside for a moment whether or not you "agree" with disheveled rich Archie Bunker figure Steve Bannon. Let's focus for a moment on the fact that: Steve Bannon, you are not living in reality, my friend!

Come join us in the real world Steve Bannon!

Of course many of us have "OUR DIFFERENCES" with Mr. Steven Bannon, who is an old racist right wing loon. But without stopping to litigate all of those differences here, can we, at the very least, request that as long as people like Steve Bannon are going to be afforded a prominent place in our national political dialogue, they be required to limit their rhetorical flourishes to those that can be justified by actual, agreed-upon reality?

From Bannon's 60 Minutes interview:

I was raised in a desegregated neighborhood. It-- it-- the north side of Richmond is predominantly black, OK? I went to-- I went to an integrated school, a Catholic school. I served in the military. I don't need to be-- I don't need to be lectured by a bunch of-- by a bunch of limousine liberals, OK, from the Upper East Side of New York and from the Hamptons, OK, about any of this. My lived experience is that.

Okay. Look. I know it's fun condemning the "elites" and all. But here, very briefly, is Steve Bannon's resume: ......



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 04:07:04 PM EST
The only place Steve Bannon has in my reality is someplace six feet under.
by rifek on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 11:39:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, but that is true of so many.

My allegiance to the human species ends at the California border.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 09:16:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If only the geezers really were dying off faster than fresh fascist snots were coming up.
by rifek on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 05:33:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a study there ... or maybe a fresh Ph.D. thesis.

My allegiance to the human species ends at the California border.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 08:39:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 10:14:09 AM EST
The WTO-option and what it means for the UK:

Best to read in whole - written by someone who actually voted to Leave and now appears... lightly rattled.

by Bjinse on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 11:54:30 AM EST
A shame he was so blase about the whole business when he actively campaigned for what he now admits is national self-harm.

I hope he was well-paid and landed a very comfortable campaign post to insulate him from the consequences of his idiocy

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 03:18:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks like he has a perfect CV to work at The Economist.
by Bernard on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 05:55:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Battlefield Casualties and Ballot Box Defeat: Did the Bush-Obama Wars Cost Clinton the White House? | SSRN
The data analysis presented in this working paper finds that indeed, in the 2016 election Trump was speaking to this forgotten part of America. Even controlling in a statistical model for many other alternative explanations, we find that there is a significant and meaningful relationship between a community's rate of military sacrifice and its support for Trump. Our statistical model suggests that if three states key to Trump's victory - Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin - had suffered even a modestly lower casualty rate, all three could have flipped from red to blue and sent Hillary Clinton to the White House.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 09:56:55 AM EST
I still think that all this talk of the odd percent here and there misses the point. The worst candidate in US history beat Clinton. Now, to my mind, Clinton would have been a great candidate in another time, indeed she would have beaten McCain and Romney if it hadn't been for Obama.

But, America is looking for different answers than the ones she provides, the old verities about Wall St and Big Business and Free Trade no longer ring true for many who desperately need a Democratic legislative programme. Yes, it's absolutely true that, whatever the political question, Trump is not the answer.

But the success of his insurgency demonstrates that the odd percent wasnt gonna cut it. Cos even if Hillary won the WH, the GOP won both houses, so she'd have been legislatively dead in the water but she'd have been blamed for the deadlock and the GOP would have won again in 2020.

At least, the Dems can look to 2020 with hope that they can utterly reverse the situation

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 11:38:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He was only the worst candidate if you deny that the US is a fundamentally racist construct and that the right have been moving towards openly endorsing this for a while. He was only a bad candidate if there hadn't been a black guy in the White House before him. Running a woman against him wasn't a great idea in practical terms (because it presses too many similar buttons), but there you go. Trump was the revenge of the white asshole. (Shit, does anyone remember how unhinged some white "lefties" became when Obama was running?)

The economic stresses don't help, but what we've learned is that running an openly racist misogynist  is a winning plan in the US. I'm sorry that  liberal American whites don't like that.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 11:49:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the result shows that "running an openly racist misogynist  is can be a winning plan in the US" -- Especially when the opposing party picks the worst possible candidate to oppose that probable opponent, which was what happened. Clinton was an establishment candidate in a change year. She carried a trainload of baggage from her previous career and had negatives that came close to precluding her victory - regardless of how dastardly the means by which she acquired those negatives. And all of these factors were known, even to her supporters, regardless of how strongly she and they tried to deny them. Despite all of this the position she had was given to her before the process really began by those in charge of the Democratic party. Judging by the number of Democratic Senators now endorsing Sanders 'Improved Medicare for All' proposal perhaps some have learned something. Let us hope that shows in 2018 and we get at least one house of congress as a check on Republican excess.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 02:18:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You err.
Conyers re-introduced H.R.676 - Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act 24 Jan 2017. It has 118 co-sponsors and published text.

Sanders introduced S. 1804 - A bill to establish a Medicare-for-all health insurance program, 13 Sep 2017. It has 16 co-sponsors and no published text.

See Faux Accompli to follow progress of the two bills.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 03:58:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You quibble about process.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 07:10:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll have the last laugh, yo.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 07:28:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Dem establishment can't reverse the situation because it's totally vested in the situation.  And too many people know it, which is why the Obama coalition has not remained in play and why so many of the people Sanders mobilized went home.  2016 was a replay of 1968, and 2020 will be a replay of 1972, but with far more critical stakes.
by rifek on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 06:04:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Democratic Party's elected officials could well be a group of officeholders looking for a viable party with which to run and govern.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2017 at 01:17:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"WARNING: cdn.mathjax.org has been retired. Check https:/www.mathjax.org/cdn-shutting-down for migration tips."  MathJax.js:32:5


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 03:00:56 PM EST
Explains a lot.

Basic Laws of Human Stupidity.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 04:38:21 PM EST
Who would win in a fight, the US Congress or UK Parliament?
The UK Parliament has 650 MPs and 799 sitting Lords. Those numbers are nuts, but it's what a couple of thousand of messy years of constitutional history (plus a relative weakness of regional representation) gets you [...]

Is there any doubt that either side would be able to fight together effectively?

I cannot think of anything significant on the US side. Bipartisan splits are vast and getting vaster, but at times of war, such differences do tend to be put aside. And given the cross-party respect for the military, I would guess that they would quickly put themselves under the control of those with military experience and form an amateur but effective force.

On the British side, the same applies, with a small but significant exception. The seven Sinn Fein MPs may be well able to handle themselves in a fight, but I'd not be totally sure of them throwing themselves into a fight on the side of The Lords of the UK and Northern Ireland. In fact, I suspect they might see this as a superb opportunity to fight against them, and come in on the US side.

by das monde on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 05:17:38 AM EST
and of course, we have Paddy Ashdown, who is ex-Special Forces.

wheras the majority of the US are GOP 101st chairborne gutless wonders, weekend warriors at best.

Even if numbers were even, the British would wipe the floor with the yanks

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 05:48:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
GOP cadence count:

"I wanna be a Chairborne Ranger,
Live a life that's safe from danger.
CHAIRBORNE! RANGER!"

by rifek on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 05:42:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boris wrote an article in the Telegraph today, rescusitating the widely debunked and frequently disavowed £350 million a week for the NHS lie .

A response

All that is solid - Boris and Brexit

Timing is always an issue in politics. Boris Johnson's periodic reminder that he's tussling for the Tory crown raised an eyebrow or two, coming as it did on the evening of a terror attack on the tube. Still, such trifles are nothing when we're dealing with a historic personality of world importance. The latest phase in the BoJo vanity project is a return to the scene of his vainglorious disaster - Brexit - to double down on the pledge repeated ad nauseum throughout the campaign, that the money Britain saves from its European Union membership dues are going to be spent on the NHS.

The Telegraph's precis gives us a tour of his magisterial intervention. By magisterial, I do of course mean vapid and empty. As per the Johnson way it's all piss and wind with few insubstantial points and a heavy dollop of dishonesty, as Jon Worth's fisking establishes. Still, at least there is some consistency here. His pro-Brexit affiliations were entirely mercenary and obviously self-serving, and last night's Brexit intervention carries on in the same vein.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 07:41:11 PM EST
And an unusally trenchat condemnation from the Guardian

Guardian - Boris Johnston; a ludicrous fantasy

Her Majesty's secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs, Boris Johnson, is an accomplished confidence man. Like all conmen, he appeals to the larceny in the blood - the wish of the mark to get an impossibly good deal. Mr Johnson's 4,000-word job application (he wants to be prime minister) in last Saturday's Telegraph is a masterclass in doublespeak and smarm. Almost everything it says about the prospects of a deal is palpably false, but that hardly matters. It would be worrying in any other foreign secretary, but we know better than to expect this one to share the truth, even if he is in possession of it. However, it is enormously revealing about the state of opinion in the Conservative party. He smells the larceny in the party's blood; he knows how it wants to be seduced.

The members of the Conservative party who might still make him prime minister want to believe Britain is "the second-greatest power on Earth after America", or at least that it was that as late as "the early years of this century".



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 18th, 2017 at 10:49:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The undead centre. Or, what is a Macron? | Richard Seymour on Patreon -
Where the breakdown of the representative link elsewhere is encouraging exciting political upsets, Macron has temporarily secured a narrowing of the political agenda. The effects of this on the Left are clear, with the vote for La France insoumise dropping from seven million in the first round of the presidential election, to two and a half million in the first round of the legislative election. Melenchon had gained momentum because he had shown that victory was possible -- he had broken the compass of political 'realism'. Macron, by pulling off a victory in the face of widespread abstention, has for the moment restored those 'realist' coordinates.

Catching up with my backlog. In Austria we need no special maneuvers to discourage the left. We could have had a slight success with the communists but with the additional split off from the Green party we're back to hopelessness.

by generic on Mon Sep 18th, 2017 at 05:15:22 PM EST


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