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  1. U.S. Politics: From Russia, With Love

    This actually brings up something I've been wondering about. We know that Trump has already filed for reelection, but that could just be a financial thing. Or out of principle. But after just a 100 days, Trump must be the most hands-off president in history. He is frequently absent, he leaves a lot of the technical work to his administration, and his passion lies mostly with rallies and appearances. According to insiders, this is a man who is totally dependent on his inner circle to boost him psychologically, explain everything to him like he was 8 years old, and generally carry him through each day because he's so clearly out of his element. Which must be torture for a man who comes from a completely different background where he used to be in control and had complete freedom. Again, this is one hundred days down the line. Now imagine 1300 days later, provided nothing extreme happens. Trump is 74 years old. For the last four years, he's been legally prohibited from doing what he really wants to do with his life. Every single day has been a constant reminder of how incapable and ignorant he is in the world of politics. He's been mocked, opposed at every turn, boxed in by archaic rules that he doesn't and never will understand a fraction of. Now the primaries roll around. He might get satisfaction from the promise of another 1 on 1 fight against a Democratic contender. This is what he loves. Lots of rallies, lots of praise, lots of support. But after that ... it's another 1400+ days of the same thing. 1400 freaking days. So the question is - can this man, who just admitted to missing his old life and who is obviously ill at ease in his new one, stand eight years of this? How? Is this something that he even considers, or will he stumble through, day to day, until he's suddenly 78 years old and miserable as fuck? Because if he does think ahead, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him come up with some outlandish excuse to not run in 2020 ("Washington can't be fixed! I tried, but Democrats are impossible to work with!") and go back to what he lives and breathes for - his brand.
  2. French politics: houlala!

    This may be incredibly obvious, but does anyone have an impression of whether those ~60% / ~40% polls are generally taking likelihood of voting into account? A lot of articles seem to be talking about how Macron is poisonous to Melenchon voters because he basically represents what (in their view) has given them the populist surge in the first place. In other words, we could be talking about a lot of abstaining voters. How much do these landslide polls account for that?
  3. So! Trump has teased an announcement on Wednesday that'll have to do with tax reform and great, maybe the greatest ever, tax reductions for individuals and businesses. It will be financed by, among other things, "growth". I'm now taking bets on which preposterous financial acrobatics and clever phrases will be involved in defending this out-of-the-blue tax reform miracle.
  4. French politics: houlala!

    With apparently at least one more shooter on the loose and Paris in a state of emergency 72 hours before the election AND a record number of undecided voters, I don't see how this doesn't have an effect. Given how close the race already was, this could give Le Pen the push to first place.
  5. A more down-to-earth explanation for Chaffetz' behaviour.
  6. On the other hand, she's also peddling that Bernie Sanders is a Russian agent and that's why he wouldn't share his email lists with Clinton et. al. Her claim on Chaffetz is currently that the Russians are blackmailing him over money laundering and that the FBI know about it. Either the Russians are controlling damn near everybody these days, or Mensch lives in a John Grisham novel. Me and Occam's Razor want to hear more from official sources before we start believing anything from her.
  7. UK Politics Unexpected Election edition

    CNN isn't mincing words. Theresa May: A British authoritarian? Opinions? My knowledge of May is pretty limited, so my own opinion is pretty restricted to "but that classy British accent makes her sound so polite".
  8. The parallel to the Democrats is obvious, but I still think there's a stronger polarization going on on the right. I think the left can still, at least for an election or two, coalesce around either an establishment candidate like Biden or an outlier like Bernie, and get most everyone on board. At least enough that it doesn't seem like a lost cause from the start. The situation seems different on the right. The alt-right is a sizeable group now, and they share a strong sense of identity that is nurtured by aggressive smear attacks against not only the left, but equally against the "cucks". In fact, their opposition to the right-wing establishment seems just as important to their identity as their opposition to liberals. It feels like they're almost sworn to their own little community to abandon ship if they're not catered to from now on.
  9. Something I've been wondering about: Now that the alt-right has shown its face and gotten in the spotlight, and a populist has taken control of the Republican party, what are we going to see in the future when the time comes to pick a candidate? It seems clear to me that the Republicans can't realistically nominate a Romney / McCain-type politician anytime soon if they want to hold on to power. The alt-right / Breitbarters would rather stay at home than sacrifice their newfound sense of identity by voting for an establishment candidate. So that would be suicide. Looking at Trump's defeated primary opponents - Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio - it seems unlikely that these types can be viable candidates again. So has the Republican party now taken a permanent turn where only a nationalist, isolationist agenda can realistically unite the party? I suppose there must still be some fiscal conservatives out there who are into international trade deals, interventionism and so forth, but they seem pretty hard to find all of a sudden. I suppose the Republicans can try to compromise between the factions, find a candidate who is palatable to everyone and probably lose an election or two because their extremists don't like compromise. Or maybe go with the far-right flow from now on, embrace the notion of walling in the country and permanently reject the idea of US as the world's policeman? Or split into a center-right party that rejects the Trump era and a far-right party that builds on it?
  10. Alright. Slightly less fucked then.
  11. Oh, this is really fucked. Another Supreme Court vacancy likely this summer.
  12. This diagram is pretty good: (under #1). It shows how the currently Republican-held seats are distributed betweeb R-leaning and D-leaning districts, and where Georgia is placed. Given that Georgia was/is as close to a photo finish as you can get, I'd say that bodes well for all the districts in the same bracket, not to mention the more Dem-friendly ones. But again, this is provided that Dems don't grow too despondent too early, and continue to come together at the same level they did in Georgia.
  13. While I understand the psychology of your position, it's not rational. Kansas and Georgia were freebies, not battlegrounds. They were long shots that Dems were supposed to lose. Yes, it sucks that the special elections can't be turned into morale boosters, but the performance of the Dem candidates so far is good enough that, if applied to all House races in 2018, Dems would likely take control of the House. In other words, these results are only bad if they're considered actual losses and cause a decrease in turnout due to demoralization in the later House races that actually can be won. The narrative of what happened in Georgia and Kansas is really important here. As for Ossoff being sure to lose the runoff - why is that? He got 49% of the vote. Add the ~1% that went for other Dems, and you've got an almost exact split. Yes, republicans will now consolidate around a candidate and pour money into her. But at the same time, she's a candidate with baggage. As in quite extreme. While she'll gain new support, she will also certainly lose a percentage of the Republican voters who went for her primary competitors; in fact, a small share of those could even go to Ossoff. The polls have the runoff as a toss-up; these are the same polls that predicted Ossoff would land at 40-42% yesterday. If Ossoff hasn't run out of money and can prevent his supporters from getting hit by the same fatigue that you seem to feel, he's competitive. (I don't have time to address the notion that the first 100 days have been a defeat for the Democrats. Maybe it's because I had a really bleak outlook on things two months ago, but suffice to say that I disagree completely. In short, Trump has put the divisions in his own party on full display, and they're likely to become even more prominent when the time comes to discuss taxes, wall and Healthcare 2.0 (or is it 3.0 by now?). He's extremely unpopular for a new president, his administration is in disarray, and he has made a lot of enemies at various levels of government. But this is a discussion for a lengthier post.)
  14. Yeah, looks like it's not happening. Cobb coming in hard now.
  15. For those not following the GA-06 results coming in, I can recommend it. Looks to be a nail-biter.