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In story: The Brexit Negotiation Process

Re: The Brexit Negotiation Process
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ThatBritGuy:
and will be rapidly disabused of their delusions.
Rapidly?
From observation, and also from what your wrote above, it may take quite a bit of time for the delusions to dissipate, if ever.
by Bernard on
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In story: The Brexit Negotiation Process

Re: The Brexit Negotiation Process
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The spirit behind article 50 was that it was never to be used, thus it's useless.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on
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In story: The IMF and the Euro: Love's Labours Lost?

Re: The IMF and the Euro: Love's Labours Lost?
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Yanis Varoufakis Tweet:

"Time to demand the immediate firing of Poul Thomsen. No ifs. No buts. Exit stage left."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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In story: The Brexit Negotiation Process

Re: The Brexit Negotiation Process
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Frank - you seem to be under some kind of misapprehension that the Tories are essentially reasonable and rational people.

Not so. In the 40 years or so since we installed Thatcher, the British ruling class, and a good percentage of British voters, have drifted further and further away from reality.

I've posted about this earlier, but it's worth repeating: Britain is no longer capable of rational action.

There is no individual in the Tory party who is capable of genuinely understanding the current situation, or gaming the likely outcomes. After decades of neoliberal extremism, we've been reduced to rat-pack politics - vicious but stupid predators fighting over scraps of personal advantage.

Neoliberal selection has left us with plenty of corrupt chancers, but no one of even average strategic competence.

The UK no longer exists as a country that lives in the present. The shell is there, the institutions remain, but the spirit has retreated into senility and a fantasy world of nostalgia and unearned greatness.

I saw a Facebook post today which explained that many farmers were now outraged by Brexit, because they hadn't understood it meant their EU subsidies would end.

This is the level of insight the UK operates at now.  

So - my guess is WTO rules are the likely outcome.

This will be a crippling disaster for British businesses and the economy as a whole. The idea that the UK can make up the difference by trading with rest of world is comically delusional.

There's a slim hope Brexit will be stalled, and the referendum will be overturned. It's hard to see how that would be possible, but it's the only outcome that actually works for everyone - including those who want it least.

Otherwise, Little Englanders will try to negotiate with a much bigger and more powerful continent on hugely unequal terms, and will be rapidly disabused of their delusions. They will be extremely angry - with Europe, with each other - and Theresa May's brilliant cabinet will split into factions ruled by vicious backstabbing.

Right-wing voters will be demanding a suicidal economic break. Left-wing voters will be demanding that Brexit never happens.

If there's anything still standing by 2020 when the next election is due, we'll be extremely lucky.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on
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The Independent comments.
Mr Barnier will be well matched by the British Brexit minister, David Davis, who has an equally tough streak and is smart enough not be knowingly duped.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on
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And against him is Boris Johnson.

It's like throwing a fluffy toy to the wolves.

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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I don't think so. Reducing the number of branches is pretty much standard MO for large corporates. So, for Lloyds this was gonna happen anyway.

In a couple of months there's gonna be an announcement about Lloyds wanting to improve customer experience. they'll conduct surveys that tell them people want local branches, so they'll kiss that off and get another survey with different questions till they get the right answers

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: The Brexit Negotiation Process

Re: The Brexit Negotiation Process
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It was the ARM deal I had in mind when I wrote that passage. It was perhaps the only remaining major British owned strategically import IT business left. I'm not sure how brexit effects it's business model or what tariffs it might post brexit. I suspect it's one of the few cases where brexit makes little difference and devaluation sweetened the deal. But what's to prevent Softbank moving the IP offshore in any case?

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: The Brexit Negotiation Process

Re: The Brexit Negotiation Process
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Frank Schnittger :
Sure, some deals already in train will proceed, perhaps bolstered by the devaluation of the Pound.  But that is about buying existing assets on the cheap, not necessarily creating new ones.

Well:

SoftBank to buy UK chip designer ARM in $32 billion cash deal | Reuters

Japan's SoftBank  will buy Britain's most valuable technology company ARM for $32 billion in cash, an audacious attempt to lead the next wave of digital innovation with a chip designer that powers the global mobile phone industry.

[...]

While the drop has made British assets much cheaper for foreign investors, the chief of the telecoms and internet group played down any suggestion that this was an opportunistic deal.


The chancellor's reaction to SoftBank's takeover of ARM was ludicrous | Business | The Guardian

So this is what Theresa May's new industrial strategy looks like: the UK's most successful technology company of the past 20 years is being sold to a big Japanese buyer while the chancellor whistles, on the basis of no detailed scrutiny, that the £24.3bn deal is a fine thing. Apparently it shows that "Britain has lost none of its allure to international investors" since the EU referendum.

Philip Hammond's response to SoftBank's planned purchase of ARM Holdings was ludicrous, or at least grossly superficial.

by Bernard on
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In story: The Brexit Negotiation Process

Re: The Brexit Negotiation Process
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Frank Schnittger:
The German car industry may be important, but it has many other markets to target, and the UK has to get its vehicles somewhere.

We've often heard the claim from Brexiteers that Germany will push for a sweet deal, because the car industry needs the UK market. But how much? I did some quick research and this is quite surprising:

Germany's 2015 car exports WW: 4.4 M passenger cars
Single export country is... the UK with 810 K - about 18% of total exports, even ahead of the USA with 620 K.

After that: France and Italy (270 K each) and China (204 K). Other countries are below the 200 K mark.

by Bernard on
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Lloyds to cut 3,000 jobs and 200 branches amid Brexit uncertainty despite doubling profits | Business News | News | The Independent

Lloyds Banking is to cut 3,000 jobs and close 200 branches despite doubling its pre-tax profits, as the group lamented uncertainty following the vote to leave the European Union.

A statement from the group announced it had enjoyed a £2.5bn profit in the six months to the end of June, compared to £1.2bn in the previous half year.

The total number of jobs cut since the announcement of an efficiency drive in 2014 will stand at 12,000 by the end of next year. The latest 200 branch closures come on top of another 200 already earmarked for closure at Lloyds, which is 9 per cent owned by the Government.

Chief executive António Horta-Osório said: "Following the EU referendum the outlook for the UK economy is uncertain and, while the precise impact is dependent upon a number of factors including EU negotiations and political and economic events, a deceleration of growth seems likely.

"The UK, however, enters this period of uncertainty from a position of strength, following continued private sector deleveraging, significantly improved mortgage affordability and low levels of unemployment."

Brexit, convenient excuse to lay people off or actually a problem for Lloyds?

by Bjinse on
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I suspect Sanders entered for several purposes. He wanted to see how well he could do, he wanted to win, he hoped other left candidates might join, he wanted to push the discussion to the left, he wanted to build an organization that would be a political force on the left long after the election, and he was laying the groundwork for a stronger campaign by a left candidate in 2020 and/or 2024. No other truly left candidates really emerged and he didn't win the primary, but he accomplished most of the rest in an outstanding manner.

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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Donald Trump Again Praises Putin's Leadership, Saying It's Better Than Obama's - The New York Times

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Donald J. Trump called President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia "a better leader" than President Obama, offering the praise in an interview with "Fox and Friends" on Thursday, just a day after saying he hoped Russian intelligence services had successfully hacked Hillary Clinton's email.

Asked about comments he had made Wednesday at a news conference in Florida, where he said, "Putin has much better leadership qualities than Obama," Mr. Trump reiterated his views in slightly starker terms.

"I said he's a better leader than Obama," Mr. Trump said. "I said he's a better leader than Obama, because Obama's not a leader, so he's certainly doing a better job than Obama is, and that's all."

Mr. Trump also tried to walk back, in part, comments he made Wednesday about Russia hacking Mrs. Clinton's emails -- an extraordinary moment in which the Republican nominee basically urged Russia, an adversary, to conduct cyberespionage against a former secretary of state.

"Of course, I'm being sarcastic," Mr. Trump said in the interview taped Wednesday that aired Thursday morning. "But you have 33,000 emails deleted, and the real problem is what was said in those emails from the Democratic National Committee. You take a look at what was said in those emails, it's disgraceful. It's disgraceful."

by Bernard on
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Russia, Syria announce humanitarian corridors in embattled city of Aleppo - The Boston Globe

MOSCOW -- Russia and the Syrian government said they will open humanitarian corridors in Syria's embattled city of Aleppo on Thursday and offer a way out for opposition fighters wanting to lay down their arms, even as Syrian forces took another district from rebels in the city.

The Russian announcement by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu came as Syria's President Bashar Assad offered a general amnesty for rebels who give up their weapons and surrender to authorities over the next three months.

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Rebels and residents of Aleppo said they were deeply skeptical of the offer, and there was no immediate sign of people massing to leave the besieged parts of the city.

by Bernard on
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In story: 25 - 31 July 2016

Re: Living On the Planet
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`Terrorism threat is waning': figures put Europe's summer of violence in context | World news | The Guardian

The scale of violence in western Europe to date this summer has shocked Europeans and the world alike. But when put in a global and historical context, the figures and headlines quickly give us a different perspective on the global proliferation of terrorism and its victims.

Figures from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) show that since 2012 there has been a dramatic rise in the number of deaths from terrorist attacks across the world. In western Europe, however, the figure has decreased since the early 1990s.

David Miller, professor of sociology at the University of Bath, says: "The figures would tend to suggest that there is much less of a threat from terrorism overall now than there was then.

"I think we pay more attention to it because it's happening here [western Europe] and not there. People point to the fact that there are many more people dying outside the west and we just don't think about them as they're not `worthy victims'.

The greatest number of deaths from terrorist-related attacks in the 1980s and 1990s in western Europe were often localised, focused attacks by groups like the Irish Republican Army (IRA) or one-off incidents with high death tolls, like the Lockerbie bombing in 1988.

Today western Europe is typically experiencing a higher number of attacks with lower death tolls.

Other than atrocities like those in Paris in November 2015, where 136 people lost their lives in a series of coordinated attacks across the French capital, the acts of violence that have flared up across Europe have usually resulted in fewer deaths than the mass killings seen during the 1980s.

by Bernard on
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Real and imagined threats: the shared past of AKP and the Gülen movement | World | DW.COM | 27.07.2016

To Western ears, especially those accustomed to media attacks on Erdogan's authoritarianism, the Gulenist plot may sound like a fabrication and conspiracy. In Turkey, nearly two-thirds believe Gulen was behind the coup, according to a survey by pollster Andy-Ar.

In self-imposed exile in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999, Gulen runs a vast global enterprise of schools, businesses, media apparatuses and charities encompassing millions of followers.

While most active in Turkey, Gulen-affiliated institutions operate from Africa and Central Asia to the United States and Europe -- most notably through thousands of schools.

The Gulen movement presents itself as a voice of Sufi Islamic moderation and tolerance in a world with competing ideologies from the likes of the so-called "Islamic State" and al-Qaeda.

Turkey's watchers suspect the impending Gulenist purge in the military triggered a last ditch effort by officers to overthrow Erdogan. Once the coup was underway, the putschist were likely joined by some other anti-government commanders and other units who thought they were following orders.

Much remains uncertain about the coup and more details will roll out as the investigation continues. One key piece of evidence that will need to be proven is whether Gulen himself gave the order for a coup attempt or if rogue sympathizers within the military hatch the plot.

No doubt, the coup attempt's failure was a victory for Turkish democracy. But it may be a Pyrrhic victory if the coup attempt is turned into a witch hunt against opponents of Erdogan with no direct ties to the coup, Gulenist or not. Erdogan's turn toward authoritarianism over the past couple years inspires little confidence he will not use the coup attempt to consolidate further control over state and society.

by Bernard on
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Merkel thinks ′we can still do this′ | Germany | DW.COM | 28.07.2016

"We can do this" ("Wir schaffen das"), Angela Merkel said one year ago when she took the stage at her traditional summer press conference in Berlin.

It was her controversial declaration that Germany, in her opinion, was able to cope with the huge influx of refugees that came to the country that summer - and the start of her so called "welcome policy."

In total, more than one million refugees arrived in the country in 2015. Merkel has been criticized for her comment ever since by right-wing populists and members of her own coalition alike.

After the string of recent attacks in Germany (three carried out by refugees), the pressure on Merkel is growing stronger. The populist AfD is attacking her policies of "uncontrolled immigration" as irresponsible; her sister party, the Bavarian CSU, has also sharpened its rhetoric.

But those, who expected a turn-around of her policies after the recent violence were persuaded otherwise at her press conference on Thursday. As calm and collected as ever, Merkel took the stage and emphasized: "We can still do this. We can manage this historic challenge."

This time her optimistic comment did not only refer to the migrant crisis, but also to Islamist terror. "Let me be clear, we are at war with Islamic State; we are not at war with Islam," she said.

by Bernard on
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Juncker puts veteran French politician in charge of Brexit talks | Politics | The Guardian

A veteran French politician and experienced Brussels insider who has repeatedly clashed with the City of London over financial services reforms is to lead talks on Britain's exit from the EU.

The president of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said he had wanted an experienced politician for an "important and challenging job" as he announced the appointment of Michel Barnier, a former EU commissioner. Barnier would "help us develop a new partnership with the UK", he said.

A member of France's centre-right Les Républicains (formerly UMP) party, Barnier, a former French cabinet minister, will take up his post on 1 October.

Jacques Lafitte of the Avisa investment advisory group said Barnier's appointment sent a very clear message of intent to Britain. "After all these years that the City has demonised Michel Barnier, often unjustly, the commission could not have sent a firmer message to the English," he told Agence France-Presse.

But Mark Boleat, the policy chairman at the City of London Corporation, said: "Michel Barnier will bring a wealth of European political experience to the table. Financial markets are inter-connected across Europe. It is important that they are stable but also that they have clarity as soon as possible on what happens next to ensure they continue to serve customers and businesses."

by Bernard on
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This is true, being British, the choice of Bernie or Hillary is neither here nor there. There are flesh eating parasites that would be a better President than Trump, so Hillary is fine.

I've duscussed this before, but a quick repeat. Much tho I always preferred Bernie's policies, it was quite obvious that he only entered the contest to keep Hillary honest rather then her have a procession. To win the Presidential primary you have to get down and dirty with the rubber chicken circuit almost from the summer after the previous inaugural. It also helps if you have the baking of other senior figures within the party. It helps if you have the goodwill of power brokers within the party.

Hillary had all of these. Heck she's been eating rubber chicken all over the country since before 1990. She is a considerable figure within Democratic circles, most State organisations are beholden to her in some way. The national organisation is beholden to her in many ways. Heck, you think the rules were tipped in her favour, she helped write the damn things, you betcha they were tipped in her favour. And she could do that because she has been doing this since 1990.

Thems the rules. If Bernie wanted bettr rules he could have been a democrat for longer than a year. He could have built the alliances, but he didn't. He wanted his own path. that's fine and good, everybody respects him for his stance. But he doesn't get to change his mind at the last minute and then expect the same preferential treatment Hillary got. You don't get that for asking, you have to earn it, day after day, month after month, year after year.

So, it has been obvious from early March that Bernie wasn't winning enough to overcome the Super Delegate deficit. That was sad, but it was democracy. there are rules in most democratic elections that tend to favour one side or another, no system is perfect. You can look at the systems within the Democratic party and question them, many have and you got to hope they'll be fixed. But they were within the rules and the rules were set long before Bernie became a member. But those were his choices, since 1980.  If he wanted different ruls, then he could have joined the party 35 years ago.

Beyond that, I refer you to my original answer to Democratic Ramshield. This ain't dating, it's politics.

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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Because you are a lot more sanguine about a Clinton presidency than me.
After all no one really gets worked up about process unless he or she dislikes the outcome.

by generic on
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which to me is still a whole lot of nothing.

And even if it was, what's it got to do with anybody outside the democratic party?

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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All of us are more susceptible to propaganda than we would like to suppose. This also applies, especially, to elites. I hold to blame not so much the suffering people, in the US, the UK or Europe as I do the elites and their publicity organs, which masquerade as 'The Press' and who so routinely abuse with self serving acts the lofty purpose with which their own propaganda endows them. We all want to feel good about ourselves, billionaires can do so more effectively than can the bottom three quarters of the population. Reporters and presenters who can see the problems of the rest of the society are caught in a bind between the views of their superiors and the needs of the people. Too often they succumb to blaming the victim. It is hard for a man to understand something when his income depends on him not understanding.

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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What always amazes me about many Americans discussing politics is the way they have of turning everything into a discussion of "Character" where the object of their devotion/hatred is either all evil or all good.  Thus Hillary is demonised and Sanders is deified or vice versa. Trump is idolized or hated. Any change of tactic by an admired leader is a personal betrayal.

You simply don't get this to the same degree in Europe, except perhaps among the very young or the very uninvolved. In Europe most political discussion is far more about policy, processes, negotiation, demographics, economic interests, shifts in the balance of power.  It may be about who is gaining or losing power or who got the better deal out of a negotiation, but the leaders associated with various policy positions are often almost incidental.

The Brexit debate was perhaps a slight departure from this norm, with the characters of Farage, Boris, Gove etc. becoming a larger part of the discussion.  But few people believe that politics is a morality play, with some leaders much more moral than others.  It is generally assumed that politicians are almost all more or less equally venal, and that those who aren't are probably very naive, impractical and unrealistic in what they think they can achieve.  You look at the interests and parties a politician serves and take it for granted that they will act in such a way as to promote those interests - unless they are totally incompetent, that is.

Now I know it's hard to discuss Trumpian politics without discussion the character of the man, if only because his policy positions seem to change from day to day and it his his character traits which seem more consistent.  Take for interest his love affair with Putin and penchant for all things authoritarian.

However would Trump even be a player in US politics if a lot of people hadn't embraced him with an almost messianic fervour and identified with him viscerally and emotionally?  You expect that with some socially inadequate or intellectually diminished personalities, but with intelligent, educated, or otherwise sane people?  The sort of racists who need others to hate on and blame for all their own troubles?

What is disappointing is to see this mirrored on the left and by people who are otherwise very capable.  Feeling the Bern was never much more than a politically adolescent crush.  At least Bernie doesn't have the narcissistic and messianic character traits of a Trump and realized it wasn't about him but about policy and influence and power within the next administration. Some of his "followers", not so much.

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: RIP: Finbarr Flood 1938-2016

Re: RIP: Finbarr Flood 1938-2016
( / )
Yea, but the course was more to do with international relations etc.! My thesis was on Apartheid and a major focus was Northern Ireland (pre- Peace process).  However conflict resolution at both the macro and micro level has always been a key focus for me, and yes, it had more relevance to the workplace environment than might have been obvious to others at the time.

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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Which really just tells us that we have different filter bubbles. It tells us that the DNC was an arm of the Clinton campaign. Which was obvious of course but still highly denied.

by generic on
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In story: Bernie Benedict Arnold booed by his own supporters at the DNC

Re: Bernie booed by his own supporters at the DNC
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I have said for months that it would be presumptous for me or other supporters of Sanders to attempt to dictate what he should or must do. That is infantile. Merge with the object of your affection, rage when it doesn't do what you want. Sanders has always said that his campaign was not about him and was intended to build a movement. He wants the movement to go on into the future. For that to happen, given his role and station in life, it must be done by others. He has shown the way and shown what can be accomplished. It is up to the mature amongst his supporters to take it upon themselves to carry the fight forward. The infantile will have their tantrums. Enjoy, Ram.

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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She might do something about Nuland, but I doubt it, and Kagan is a professor at Yale, though she might appoint him to her NSC, I hope not. Her tendencies ARE interventionist. I can only hope she controls them in the interest of accomplishing something at home. That she won't is probably the biggest single downside risk to her being POTUS.

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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In story: RIP: Finbarr Flood 1938-2016

Re: RIP: Finbarr Flood 1938-2016
( / )
"I was given time off in lieu of overtime to pursue a Masters in Peace Studies with half my fees paid, on the strength of a somewhat tenuous connection between the course and my work..."  Tenuous?! Well, they wouldn't want war in the work place, now would they?

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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... hopefully. Disappointed narcissists can of course find refuge with St. Jill. But time and energy would be better spent working on downticket candidates. Congress and the Senate are the real battlefields.

Because in the end, the Ramshield will get his wish. It's very likely that Clinton will remain a one-term president. There's is just not a lot anyone can do to change that. So if Congress and the presidency fall to the tea people in 2020 then it's pretty much game over. Feel the Bern will just be a nostalgic memory then.

BTW curious how the Trumpian "crooked Hillary" rhetoric was swallowed wholesale. But at least the Ram is not a sellout, right?

by epochepoque on
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the contents don't add up to a hill of beans from what I've heard. Not that it would stop the republicans whose ability to cry wolf again and again surely would try the patience of a saint

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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News and Views

 25 - 31 July 2016

by Bjinse - Jul 25, 18 comments

Your take on today's news media

 18 - 24 July 2016

by Bjinse - Jul 18, 62 comments

Your take on today's news media

 Open Thread 25 - 31 July

by Bjinse - Jul 25, 21 comments

Thread, for lack of a better word, is good

 Open Thread 18 - 24 July

by Bjinse - Jul 18, 28 comments

Keep your friends close, but your threads closer

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