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Winterfell is Burning

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  1. Actually, Hayward himself references the fact he got the job because he was the only option left. Probably everyone else got blipped or quit.
  2. AD had the problem it couldn't have all his cast together because some of the actors had other commitments. That said, yeah, this looks like a cash grab.
  3. And worrying for those of us that live in Brazil and had elder relatives vaccinating- since I wasn't present, I don't know for sure that didn't happen. And of course there's the risk that a few months from now, some of these people that got air vaccines and didn't realize die from COVID, people will begin to use that as proof that they don't work. I'm pretty sure this is happening in a lot of places, it's just that people haven't been caught- or in authoritarian regimes, it was caught, but suppressed.
  4. The Health Minister of Argentina has resigned after it was revealed he set up a VIP vaccination scheme, to give powerful people who wouldn't be in eligible access to early vaccinations. Meanwhile, in Brazil, there's been dozen of cases reported of people getting shots of air, meaning the health professionals only pretend to give the vaccine to the elderly, but not actually giving them, presumably to sell those vaccines in the black market and/or to give them to family and friends.
  5. That looks like a good idea until Russia decides to annex Alaska or China decides that, what the hell, let's just annex all of the South China Sea, Good look trying to get 50 different countries to agree on a strategy there.
  6. Hardly appropriate to compare this to the Civil War- first, because all it took there was the Democrats to lose one election. Second, there was more regional division- the North was overwhelming pro-Lincoln, but in the South he didn't even run in most states. Meanwhile, every state today has Republican and Democratic areas. Also, Republican officials might continue to publicly support him, but he lost a good chunk of support since the election- candidates who are not from safe Trump areas have a massive risk of losing if they don't disavow him, and eventually they'll realize that or keep losing.
  7. Speaking as someone living in Brazil, for the many, many (many, many, many...) problems of Bolsonaro's government, it's just non-sense to say it's an authoritarian regime, or comparable to Hungary, and most of this talk about "Brazil is now fascist" is just left-wing hysteria . His methods of keeping in power are the same as previous governments, right or left-wing- bribing Congress with government funds and attempts to stop corruption investigations against everyone to keep them happy, and trying to buy votes with social programs and spending money the government doesn't have. In fact, just yesterday the Supreme Court arrested a Bolsonaro-lite Congressman who talked about violence against the SC and it's members, and he hasn't said a single word, because he knows he can't afford this fight, something an authoritarian regime wouldn't ever have to worry. And for all his talk against the press, he did less against them than Lula and Dilma Rousseff, whom for years tried to push for a "social control of the media", which is as Orwellian as it sounds. There's also the matter that Brazil has two things the US doesn't- popular vote to choose the president, and a second round of voting in which the candidate with the highest rejection usually loses.
  8. The problem with radicalizing is that if you keep losing, eventually most people will walk away, either forcing your party to move closer to the center or going to the fringe and being replaced by a new one. What makes the US democracy unique is that since the 1850's, the parties always went with the former and kept existing. And Trump already lost his mystique to many followers because he lost, is now out of social media (much harder to keep your following interested), and his popularity is in all-time low when leaving office. Demographics, lack of social media for the main leader, and some donors walking away don't favor Republicans at least in the short-medium term. In the long term (if not sooner), Trump is dead, and it's unclear what happens to his following, most likely split due to in-fighting.
  9. Regarding point 2- this "secession" thing is just sour grapes from some small groups- Texas in fact is on the path of becoming a swing state, and probably will see the Democrats winning it at some point in the next few elections, maybe even the next one (Dubya won it by more than 30 points, Romney ny nearly 20, Trump by 5). The future of the US depends a lot on whether the Republican party can remain one party or will split, with Trumpists or more moderate ones leaving. If the latter happens, it will be Democratic dominance, winning all but the most conservative states. If the former happens, then there's still a scenario in which Trump backers easily win primaries, but get trounced in general elections in most places. Mind you, there's still a scenario in which Republicans get back in power if they don't split- a weak economy and presidential candidate for the Democrats might still will the popular vote, but lose EC, thought that likely won't happen in 2024 (economy recovery due to vaccine availability will tend to favor incumbents not just in the US, but worldwide). And if Trumptards can't pull a coup being in power and having the Senate, they won't do it next time being out of power. So, the most likely scenario seems to be the Democrats continuing to win for years because of internal division of it's opponents and being out of touch with the general population's ideas- and that happened before between 1932 and 1968 (with only Eisenhower winning, but he would also win if he ran as a democrat, and differed significantly from some of the standard Republican views of the time) or Democrats barely winning between 1860 and 1932, and even then often when the Republican party was divided itself). But there is a bigger than zero chance of a Republican winning by only taking the EC, and then using majorities in Congress to try a coup, so of course there's still bound to be a lot of tension in the next years, or maybe decades. I think nearly all the problems of the US derive from it's age- it was not built for the people to actually have a voice, because even what it built in 1789 was already far more democratic and open than most places. By contrast, democracies that were designed or rebuilt after WW2 already had the ideas of full democratic representation for all it's citizens in mind, so something like the Electoral College or rules designed to keep voters out would be unthinkable. .
  10. The character might be someone from the X-men- either Xavier or Magneto, or both- played by a big actor. That said, both McKellen and Stewart are past 80, not to mention using them risks associating this show and the MCU with Brian Singer, and no one there wants that. Of course, it could just be Cumberbatch and they are overhyping it.
  11. This is true, and the Capitol Hill coup attempt reminded me of Sula's troops invading Rome during the war with Marius, when was previously a cardinal sin to have the army within the city limits and installed himself as dictator for life (when previously, the office only existed for at most 6 months). Sula himself was a conservative that wanted to restore order and after 6 years, resigned his position and retired from public life, and installed provisions to make sure that never happened again. However, you can't put the genie back in the bottle, because afterwards the ambitious men of Rome realized that nothing was taboo anymore, and why resign the power of dictator for life when you can remain as dictator forever? Why limit yourself to not use the army for naked political gain when it works? And it wasn't just a conservative view anymore, because the next dictator for life was Caesar, Marius' nephew and political heir. Trump's coup attempt didn't work, but seeing as he likely won't be punished for this and still managed to retain most of his base, there's no reason an ambitious, corrupt politician won't try again, but not repeating his mistakes (being more competent, more subtle, etc).
  12. Cuba isn't on the list, probably because, not being a democracy, it's unclear how reliable their data is. Also, from the last 12, 8 are in Latin America, with the 3 most populous being the worst, in order of their population. Sadly, yeah, that fits.
  13. I really don't know anything about Rwanda and Malta's responses to answer that. Though of course in nearly all rankings the middle part is more debatable than the top and the bottom, and that seems to be the case here as well.
  14. It's still below a lot of poorer places, like Kenya, Ethiopia, Serbia, etc. Regarding Italy and Canada, the former seems to have improved after it's disastrous start.
  15. Australia's Lowy Institute has now a ranking of the best and worst countries in dealing with the pandemic. To no one surprise, the best is New Zealand, with a 94.4 rating. The US is 94 out of 98, with 17.3. The worst is, of course, Brazil, with 4.3.
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