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    London, UK (Australian though)

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  1. I read Slouch Witch on your recommendation, and really enjoyed it. The twist on the last page was a cracker. I've since read the second and third books. The second one was also strong, the third one suffered from a lot of WTF moments, where the main characters became obsessed with their own greatness (i.e. they didn't get any help in some circumstances that were crying out for it). But it was still fun.
  2. Given the article seems to indicate he's had some pretty big flair ups in the past with his parents because he's conservative and he's not, any work the psychiatrist is doing is probably already done. Not sure how this is really news.
  3. I don't know what our projected GDP and deficit/GDP ratios are, but the deficit to GDP ratio has increased by 3.3 points pa. the last four years (i.e. has increased from 27.8% to 41.1%). I am not aware of any plans to cut spending or increase taxes (quite the reverse). 5 year government bonds are at a touch under 2.5% return, and 10 year ones a touch under 3.0%. We also have a problem in Australia that although our national debt to GDP ratio is (relatively) quite good, our private debt to GDP ratio is pretty terrible. Although that does mean the economy is extremely sensitive to changes in interest rates.
  4. The issue in Australia isn't so much the current level, but how fast its growing. It was 10% in roughly 2008, pre-GFC. Most (smart) people don't mind it increased post GFC (indeed, Australia didn't go austerity and was one of the only countries not to go into recession), but its still growing now, and given the current economy's strength that is a bit more concerning. We got used to living off high mineral prices, and those probably aren't coming back. On the other paragraph, this would be easier if OECD countries actually had any inflation. People forget when talking about inflation being good for borrowers, that governments are big borrowers.
  5. And when that happens we should give them hell for it. There are absolutely heaps and heaps of things to give the Republican party and their supporters hell for. However, that doesn't mean when tarring them that we should bring up ridiculous little things, that only represent the most fringe of elements. When you do so, you're cheapening your main arguments, and making yourself look like a bad actor. Both sides have fringe crazies, moreso on the right. A great example of one (partially) on the left is the anti-vaxxers. We don't want them (or the example you give if her statements are truly crazy) being portrayed as what the Democrats stand for. We shouldn't do the same for the Republican party either. Especially when they present plenty of ammunition from the bulk of the party already. Sure it does. For the things that the Republican Party has done (or wants to do). Which is a bloody long list. But where even they don't want something (such as the Illinois Nazi) then they shouldn't be portrayed as such.
  6. Sorry to quote when others have responded, but I'm not sure how to get the above out of my multi-quote. Another piece of evidence would be the opinion polls on the ACA. Time and again polls found that Republican voters were in favour of the principles and ideas behind the ACA. However, they were also against "Obamacare". This indicates that there was a difference between what they wanted and what they understood was happening. i.e. they were getting what they wanted, but because of the right-wing media they thought they were getting something terrible. This quite clearly shows how there can be a very distinct split between what supporters of the Republican want/believe, and actual policy. Because effectively they're being fed a distorted truth (or outright lies). And to be fair, if you honestly believe abortion is mass-murder, voting for the party against it may be the morally correct decision. Regardless of what other things that party will do. As bad as election rigging, racism and sexism are, I can understand someone believing mass murder trumps them.
  7. Um, not to nitpick. But that isn't a perceived loss of preeminence. It is a real loss. I'm not saying that 100% it's a zero-sum game, but they are certainly losing power and position due to this. I think most would say that's a secondary effect to our primary goal of making things fairer, but it is an effect. One we don't really talk about much on the left. To be clear, I think taking them down and making it fair is totally right. Stopping them being able to stomp over minorities and make people second class citizens is all good in my book.
  8. But its not really guys like these who have driven the Republican party crazy right. It is people like the tea party and primarying seats that are already Republican that has had the big impact. A guy running in a seat the Republicans will not win, because nobody could be bothered to run for the Republicans, is not shifting the dial right or representative. Someone running in a primary for a seat where they replace a moderate certainly is. If you want to criticise those who have got in - go for it. The idiots that represent the Freedom Caucus and its ilk certainly deserve it, and clearly are representative of the party. On the state representative, obviously he did get in, and I have no idea of the circumstances behind that. But he's one representative out of probably 1000's across the USA. Now, if the party comes out and supports them, or at least tolerates them, then sure, sink the boots in. At that point, its not an outlier but is representative of the party. But when the official state party machine is declaring the candidate a racist Nazi that they don't want near the ballot or the party, then acting like the guy is representative is pretty disingenuous. I don't think that first statement is fair at all when you have a two party system. If there are only two parties, then by nature the extremists have to choose one of them if they want any chance to influence anything. Given the USA is also a country which was partly created by groups going off and starting their own extremist groupings, the idea that you might have enough extremists in one place to get a state legislator up is hardly surprising. On the left, you've had people in these threads quite happy to incarcerate people for what they say, and other extreme notions. The left has had its share of dictators and failures of government across the world. I don't think either party wants to be measured by what the extreme elements in their party say. Yep, I should have made clear I didn't mean everyone.
  9. When making posts like these, it really should be pointed out that they are about individual loons, not the republican party as a whole. The top one the Republican party had actually sued to keep the guy off the ballot last time, and has no options this time. They said publicly that they don't want a nazi representing them. On the bottom one, it is a single state republican making the call. I know most here dislike (hate) the Republican party, but posting articles without any context about minor officials idiocy is not healthy for debate. We certainly wouldn't (and don't) like it when obscure one-off democrats get brought up as if they represent the entire democratic party.
  10. I thought the last one was the final book.
  11. Really quality series. Been some good books recently. A new cast book, a new grave witch book, a new imp book and relatively recently a hidden library book. All were lots of fun.
  12. It actually sounds like rubbish.
  13. With 24 hours: First, rush to buy food and drink. Ain't nobody manning the shops/working for the last day on earth. But I want snacks! Go to my flat. Try calling some family/friends, but no real expectation of getting through. Make sure the kindle is fully charged, and charge backups. Sit in with a good book and lots and lots of snacks. I'd think about going out, but assuming power is/will go out, I'm not walking 22 floors. And I assume with nobody working, including police and bar staff, its going to be a bit of a nightmare out there.
  14. I think this was a good move from the Democrats. At the end of the day, they have until March to get the DACA changes through, and they need to do it in the way that best supports them both short and long term. This deal gives the Republicans three weeks of funding. For that the Democrats get: An improved messaging position as they remove the argument that "their" shutdown was hurting children due to CHIP An improved messaging position that Three weeks to establish what the bipartisan deal is on DACA, so that if Trump/the house turn it down it is Republican's fault and intransigence. Have the message "we have a deal, why won't they vote?". Three weeks to make sure any shut down doesn't get 50 votes in the Senate this time due to Democrats, which strengthens the arguments the Republicans caused any shut down. This deal seems to significantly strengthen the Democrats messaging for any prolonged shut down, and focuses all the attention if one occurs on the single topic at its heart, DACA. I do find it ironic however how many people on this site deplored the Republicans for not putting through clean funding resolutions under Obama and attaching what the opposition considered poison pills, but its fine now its our side doing it.