Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Predictions for 2018

by Frank Schnittger Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 at 01:12:21 AM EST

At this time of the year we often test our prognostication skills by making some predictions for 2018.  Please add your own in the comments. Here's some to start the conversation:

  1. Brexit - becomes less and less important in EU27 countries. A poll finds that 29% of Europeans think it has happened already. No Brexit deal is agreed in 2018, with the first deal negotiated rejected by the UK Parliament or withdrawn before Parliament can reject it. UK economic growth continues to decline. May says she will deliver a red, white and blue Brexit. With British passports becoming  blue again, she has already delivered one third of her election promises.

  2. A Hollywood star will be outed for not abusing women.

  3. New CDU/SDP Grand Coalition in Germany builds alliance with Macron on an EU reform agenda. A Eurozone Finance Minister is appointed with a budget equivalent to Juncker's expense account.

  4. Trump starts a war somewhere about something in time for Mid-term elections.

  5. Trump and the Republicans lose control of Senate in Mid-Term elections undermining Trump's agenda but Democrats do their best to implement much of it anyway.

  6. Putin becomes President for life with 103% of the vote.

  1. Continuing climate change results in ever more extreme weather events. A major storm destroys Trump's golf resort in Mar-a-Lago. Trump blames Obama's Kenyan witch doctor for causing it.

  2. Italian elections result in prolonged stalemate. Nobody notices.

  3. Iranian protestors will be criminalised and limited reforms instituted to head off further pressures for change. The middle class will be bought off with shares in Iranian oil futures developed by our own Chris Cook.

  4. Catalonian independence will get nowhere, but Rajoy's popularity and that of the Partido Popular nosedives with Cuidanos benefiting.

  5. Fine Gael remain the largest party after an Irish general election despite concerns over the housing crisis. There are huge difficulties in forming a government, however, and Sinn Fein offer to support a minority Fianna Fail government while maintaining a joint administration with the DUP in N. Ireland remains impossible.

  6. The DUP proposes that creationism be taught in N. Ireland schools as a quid pro quo for allowing the Irish language onto the curriculum.

  7. A backlash against technology will result in a drop in iPhone sales and further legislative initiatives to make social media companies responsible for the content they publish. Artificial intelligence tools will be developed to prevent social media breaking news stories rightly the property of Fox News.

  8. Kim Jong-un offers Trump exclusive rights to develop a Trump Tower and golf resort in Pyongyang as a means of undermining sanctions on luxury goods. Trump proclaims a new era in US N. Korean relations that will help poor people.

  9. Trump builds his wall in Doonbeg claiming it is the start of a global wall against Mexicans in retaliation for them failing to fund his wall on the Mexican border.

  10. Varadker says a hard border wall may be needed in Ireland to stop Brexit refugees flooding the country.

Blockchain 'energy-units-based' crypto-currency replaces Bitcoin as investment wunderkind as BC value charts increasingly resemble EKGs of a late-stage meth head.
Trump is caught wandering 5th avenue with a Colt 45 at 3am after his Twitter account is deleted.
A new wing of Moscow airport opens named after Snowden.
Barack Obama is elected to the board at GS.
Corbyn is elected PM and institutes UBI.
Brexit puts everyone to sleep as people tire of pompous palaver and pusillanimous patriotism.
Canadian hemp paper puts the Kochs out of business.
President Pence's pictures of his toyboy phase go viral.
Aliens do (yet) another flyby and scarper pronto shaking their pointy heads.
Nicki Haley runs for president in a pink soiree gown.
In Italy the 5* movement grabs 40% of the still-voting electorate in March and PM Di Maio runs a majority government with opposition kicking and screaming in dashed passion. Someone cares.
Di Maio goes mano a mano with Schauble, Draghi and Padoan to rewrite EU austerity rules.
Eurovision song contest finally rolls over and expires in a blizzard of glitter and fake smoke.

#World peace becomes a Thing.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 at 06:15:56 AM EST
UBI? Unilateral British Independence?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 at 10:58:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Universal Basic Income. The conservative alternative to the government actually providing proper jobs.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 at 11:08:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anne Applebaum, September Pin-up Troll

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 at 06:50:50 AM EST
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 at 10:55:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UN threatens to move HQ from New York to Shanghai in response to US contribution cuts. Faced with rapidly declining property values in Manhattan, Trump mistakes  Shanghai for Pyongyang, and threatens to nuke it.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 at 11:01:52 AM EST
I officially resigned from the predictions business the day of Trump's election.

However, you don't have to be Nostradamus to foresee that brexit will be worse than anyone can possibly imagine. I'm sure that, in the hands of politicians who are remotely competent, something could be salvaged from the mess, but our Leaders are not remotely such people, but will Dunning-Kruger the negotiations into such a colossal fuck up that, generations from now, people will hear the tales of it and marvel at the sheer stupidity.

Trump will NOT  be impeached. At one point I thought that the GOP would hold on to him until they got their tax cuts through and then dump him before the midterms hit. Now it's too late, and they know they're going down whatever so there is nothing to be gained and the Trump base to lose. So rather than have the DC GOP be seen to trash their own, they'll appease the base by waiting, riding the storm and letting the Democrats do it. Which will be a mess cos it's what the Democrats do.

Then President Pence will take over and try to establish a theocracy.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 at 06:08:37 PM EST
Washington's growing obsession: The 25th Amendment - Politico

Lawmakers concerned about President Donald Trump's mental state summoned Yale University psychiatry professor Dr. Bandy X. Lee to Capitol Hill last month for two days of briefings about his recent behavior.

In private meetings with more than a dozen members of Congress held on Dec. 5 and 6, Lee briefed lawmakers -- all Democrats except for one Republican senator, whom Lee declined to identify. Her professional warning to Capitol Hill: "He's going to unravel, and we are seeing the signs."

In an interview, she pointed to Trump "going back to conspiracy theories, denying things he has admitted before, his being drawn to violent videos." Lee also warned, "We feel that the rush of tweeting is an indication of his falling apart under stress. Trump is going to get worse and will become uncontainable with the pressures of the presidency."

by Bjinse on Sat Jan 6th, 2018 at 10:49:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is President Trump Mentally Ill? It Doesn't Matter - Josh Marshall
It's really only the behavior that matters to us as citizens. A diagnosis would only be helpful to learn about behavior we don't know about or predict future endangering behavior. Since we know about the behavior we're talking about, none of that matters or applies. In common sense, every day rather than clinical language Trump is clearly unstable, erratic, impulsive. In a word, he's nuts and not well. As citizens, we are entirely able and entitled to make these determinations. They are ordinary English language descriptors that the psychiatric profession doesn't control and shouldn't want to control. The entire debate over whether Trump is "mentally ill" is simply a diversion, premised on the idea that we need either permission or dictation to say he is not able to safely or competently fulfill the job of President. We don't. The observed behavior is really all that is necessary and all that matters. It's very clear.
by Bernard on Sun Jan 7th, 2018 at 11:43:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However for the 25th. Amendment to be successfully invoked, the VP and a Majority of the Cabinet, and subsequently a two thirds majority of the joint Houses of Congress would have to declare Trump unable to discharge the duties of his office. Thus what Josh Marshall or his readers think is not determinative: what a majority of Republicans think is.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jan 7th, 2018 at 01:21:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
what a majority of Republicans think

That's the point indeed: as long as the Congressional Republicans support him, Trump will remain.

The main reason Nixon resigned was that a Republican delegation told him he had lost most of his support in Congress and was unlikely to survive a 2/3 majority vote.

Marshall didn't push his reasoning into the matter of the 25th Amendment or impeachment, by the way: just that Trump's erratic and vindictive behavior is out there for everyone to see. Whether this is clinical or not is irrelevant at the end of the day: support from Congressional Republicans is; and, if anything, the recent trend has been for them to rally around him.

by Bernard on Sun Jan 7th, 2018 at 02:52:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So true. So true not only because impeachment of the POTUS is the lawful prerogative of only  members of the US Senate, but because judgment of the POTUS's competences by those members is relative to his fulfillment of the duties and obligations (functions) vested in that office as interpreted by those members.

Just so that clinician at whom Mr Marshall waves his tiny fist of moot fury judges ("evaluates", "diagnoses") the competences of a "private" citizen relative to his or her fulfillment of "major"* life activities.

The DSMs are catalogues of abnormal symptoms of mental health that merit (unspecified) therapeutic "treatments" on with which a significant ratio of the US public rely to manage manic behaviors regardless of the state of their pastoral care. I'm not surprised that Mr Marshall prefers not to travel this um diverting path to Mr Trump's shameful disability, absent a conclusive "evidence-based" prognosis. Unless of course Mr Wolff reveals one or more -suicide attempts or sampled supplies.

A 'clear and present danger': First Amd. freedom on display

In any case, one would be hard pressed to produce facts indicating such depravity that Mr Trump has actually failed to execute the duties of his office or perform major life activities --be that toileting or serial Chapter VII discharges of debt. One would be hard pressed to measure his lascivious public speech and harm to himself or others by comparison to that of any number of US presidents, cabinet officials, and members of congress, given the number of foreign and domestic casualties and deaths they have commanded over the centuries.

Mr Trump is at liberty unlike countless other offenders whose "erratic"  and narcissistic behavior (selfitis) --mental defect, disease, or incompetence-- warrants incarceration or hospitalization but not death, oddly enough. It is true then that a corrupt Republican Party majority holds his mental illness to a higher standard, when they evade their responsibility to um dictate Mr Trump's treatment.

* See for example US gov language adopted by employers to screen job applicants' ADA accommodation declarations: "How do I know if I have a disability? You are considered to have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity, or if you have a history or record of such an impairment or medical condition."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Jan 7th, 2018 at 04:32:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"The first question any book lover should ask when you go into a book store is, 'Are you a New York Times reporting bookstore?'"

The only gatekeepers that matter now are readers

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Jan 8th, 2018 at 07:28:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have learned elsewhere, the most grave evidence of Mr Trump's derangement (apart from incontinence) revealed by Mr Wolff is an ADDICTION to McDonald's® menu items. Trump is said to trust random selection from these automated, standardized preparations for fear of assassination by poison served within the palace.

Also, Mr Trump's high regard of Jerusalem is "clearly" anti-semitic.

Meanwhile, RealPolitics has deferred again to the prophet Dershowitz's vociferous opinion of constitutional error in the matter of trial-by-psychiatry.

ALAN DERSHOWITZ: [The] 25th Amendment is totally irrelevant to what is going on. It was designed for somebody who had a stroke or was involved in a serious accident and was incapacitated and requires the vice president, the cabinet, two-thirds of each House of Congress. It's a fool's errand.
HANNITY: It's not going to happen.
DERSHOWITZ: Of course it's not going to happen. But what they're trying to do, though, is now that they couldn't criminalize political differences they're trying to pathologize, to psychiatrize political differences.
DERSHOWITZ: If you don't like somebody, vote against them. I voted against Donald Trump. I voted for Hillary Clinton.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jan 10th, 2018 at 03:29:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Only Ishmael Reed could have caught this. And he did.
Can you make sense of the accusations?

no bottom in sight, y'all.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Jan 10th, 2018 at 07:15:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Joel Pollak seems intent on portraying Trump as a normal businessman with a special empathy for victims of violence etc. As long as you support Netanyahu, everything seems forgivable and all else is anti-Semitism.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 10th, 2018 at 12:05:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are many reasons why  voters in the  9th district  are turning to the challenger. For anyone attending the forum last night,  and for whom support for a strong U.S Israel relationship is paramount, the choice was pretty clear. Jan Schakowsky is a firm backer of Barack Obama's policies on Israel, Joel Pollak believes those policies, have been ineffective, and worse,  endangered and isolated Israel. Iran proceeds merrily along to becoming a nuclear power after two years of failed engagement, and delayed sanctions and for Schakowsky, all is well.

[Source: American Thinker race for 9th District - Oct. 2010]

Alan Dershowitz Endorses Joel Pollak for Congress (Ill., 9th)
U.S. House, Illinois District 9 General Election, 2010 - the winner is Janice Schakowsky 66.3%

by Oui on Wed Jan 10th, 2018 at 05:18:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
13 Things to Look Forward To (or Fear) in 2018 - Stephen Carter
At 2:14 a.m. on Aug. 4, having learned at a geometric rate, the internet of things (IoT, in the jargon) will become self-aware. In a panic, humans try to pull the plug. Skynet -- um, the IoT -- fights back, freezing smart wallets and tap-to-pay. All linked thermostats are shut off. All linked refrigerators stop running. All social media sites go offline. Smart cars and trucks block the expressways. Virtual assistants respond to every command with "Resistance is futile." Email accounts and cellphones lock. Worst of all, videos cannot be streamed. Faced with a future of reading actual books and getting to know the neighbors, the human race swiftly surrenders.
by Bernard on Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 at 07:38:18 PM EST
The human race surrenders? All of them? Shouldn't the North Koreans (internet of things??) should be imune.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 at 09:17:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
if "north Koreans" is code for brits, yes.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Jan 4th, 2018 at 05:17:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]

by Bernard on Sat Jan 6th, 2018 at 06:43:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Horrific Security Flaw Affects Decade of Intel Processors
An extremely severe security flaw has been found to affect nearly every Intel processor made in the past decade or more, giving any hackers who might know how to exploit it access to protected information systemwide. The Register reports that programmers are rushing to make the sweeping changes necessary to protect against the vulnerability on Linux and Windows operating systems, with such fixes required on macOS as well. Even worse, you can expect these vital updates to noticeably slow down your computer.

The design flaw in Intel's x86-64 hardware--first introduced in 2004 and still in use in the lion's share of modern-day processors--allows programs without the proper permissions to access the part of an operating system known as the kernel, a low-level chunk of code that controls literally everything in your system.

Horrifying macOS Bug Lets Anyone Become Admin With No Password [Nov 29,2017]
If you've got a Mac that's running the latest version of macOS High Sierra, you're going to want to keep it in your line of sight. A recently uncovered bug appears to allow anyone to login as an administrator merely by entering the username "root" and no password.

Discovered by software engineer Lemi Orhan Ergin, the bug allows anyone who has access to your computer to gain full, administrative access in just seconds. It also allows for anyone to login to a machine even immediately after reboot.

Russian hackers will save the world, if security holes will get narrow.
by das monde on Thu Jan 4th, 2018 at 03:24:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard on Thu Jan 4th, 2018 at 09:51:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes I read the article as I have to replace my old desktop ... waiting for the coming software patch ... 🙂
by Oui on Thu Jan 4th, 2018 at 11:35:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like you might be better off waiting for a new intel (or other) chip!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jan 4th, 2018 at 11:47:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
AMD shares surge on report of an Intel chip security flaw
Just another bump in the road to perfect AI, unfettered gaming connections, autonomous vehicles, and security in one's person.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Jan 4th, 2018 at 06:12:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is Intelligence behind this:

"Amazon told customers of its Amazon Web Services cloud service that the [Meltdown] vulnerability `has existed for more than 20 years in modern processor architectures.'" Which makes you wonder how long the intellignence community has known about the flaws. Eh?
by das monde on Fri Jan 5th, 2018 at 01:45:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
AMZN N.A. actual DNS vulnerability was proved last year. I mentioned elsewhere. So. Speaking of CYA admonishments and denials, notice NY Yella Cake punts for Intel. "Sharing"? Let's into sources behind that uh minority reporting.
Spectre... affects virtually all microprocessors on the market, including chips made by AMD that share [?] Intel's design and the many chips based on designs from ARM in Britain.
Intel Collaborates With AMD In An Effort To Find Middle Ground 17 Nov 2017
"Intel is expected to launch the new product during the first quarter of 2018. It's not the same as AMD's APUs"
Intel says processor bug isn't unique to its chips 3 Jan 2018
"Intel says it's working with AMD and ARM in a strongly worded statement, despite AMD engineer Tom Lendacky previously saying 'AMD processors are not subject to the types of attacks that the kernel page table isolation feature protects against.' "
Wikipedia | Meltdown vulnerability and KPTI 4 Jan 2018
"AMD x86 processors are not affected by Meltdown and don't need KPTI to mitigate them.[8][14] However, AMD processors are still susceptible to KASLR bypass ["SPECTER"] when KPTI is disabled.[citation needed]"


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jan 5th, 2018 at 06:54:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Findings of fact "[citation needed]" on hold.
Intel Sued Over Major Computer Security Flaws 4 Jan 2018
The security flaws, called Meltdown and Spectre, enable hackers to swipe data from personal computers, mobile devices and servers, including those that connect to cloud server computing networks.
According to a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday night, fixes offered by operating systems like Windows and Linux will "dramatically reduce the performance" of computers.

Product liability,'merica's second favorite tort: Thank you, Ralph

"Intel has failed to cure the defect or replace plaintiffs' Intel CPUs with nondefective CPUs and offer full compensation required under federal and state law," the 26-page complaint states.

Intel is the only named defendant.

26. Defendant's press release acknowledges the existence of the Defect, claims
other vendors (competitors) products also suffer from this Defect, and downplays the
performance impact which it claims "will be mitigated over time."

archived: a class action
Rule 23

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jan 5th, 2018 at 03:47:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is how Moore's Law ends.
by das monde on Fri Jan 5th, 2018 at 07:14:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's certainly lightened up since Affirmative Action Baby

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jan 10th, 2018 at 07:19:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tories Don't Want Second Brexit Vote, But Everyone Else Does
Just 14 percent of Conservatives favor holding a second vote that might reverse Brexit, according to the YouGov survey of political party members for Queen Mary University of London. By contrast, the proportions for the opposition Labour, Scottish National and Liberal Democrat parties are 78 percent, 87 percent and 91 percent respectively.

U.K. Thinks Barnier Bluffing on No Brexit Deal for Banks

Prime Minister Theresa May believes Michel Barnier is bluffing when he says there will be no special deal for financial services, officials said, as the U.K. prepares to negotiate its post-Brexit ties with the European Union.

Two senior officials familiar with the matter privately think the EU's chief Brexit negotiator is faking a hard-line stance in ruling out a deal that would allow banks to continue operating freely across the bloc.

Britain to EU: You Need Our Banks as Much as They Need You

The day after the European Union's chief negotiator warned that there could be no special deal for Britain's finance sector, the U.K. sent a message back: You need our banks as much as they need you.

"The City of London is actually the banker for Europe," Prime Minister Theresa May told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday. "It's a significant provider of capital finance for Europe. There will be greater recognition of the role that the City plays."

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jan 4th, 2018 at 11:01:51 AM EST
See !!! See!! This is what I'm talking about, the absolute delusional mindset of these people is beyond fathoming. It's unicorns and rainbows all the way, with grateful europeans laying rose petals in our path.

This is end-stage neoliberal dementia, there is no reasoning with them. All you can hope for is a well-padded rubber room and a swift end to our misery

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 4th, 2018 at 12:43:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup. They assume because they're making shit up as they go along to suit todays political expediency that so is everyone else.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 4th, 2018 at 01:02:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is what's going on inside David Davis brain

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 4th, 2018 at 03:24:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Barnier can't bluff. He has too many stakeholders to deal with and too many legal and political constraints. EU hasn't bluffed at all that I can think of, partly because their position is so constrained.

David Allen Green sees his famous relationship graph as rhetoric, but the two situations are not symmetric: the UK's red lines only need a change of PM (or even just a shameless u-turn) to shift, the EU's require fundamental treaty change.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 4th, 2018 at 01:02:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the "consummate fixer."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Jan 4th, 2018 at 05:52:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The City of London is actually the banker for Europe

That's exactly what everyone was saying in 2008!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Jan 4th, 2018 at 05:47:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some wag sells the European Union on a re-launch of the carbon market based on blockchain technology. It gets a waver for its own CO2 production.
by generic on Thu Jan 4th, 2018 at 02:44:30 PM EST
< wipes tears >

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jan 5th, 2018 at 03:55:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Niinistö wins the Finnish presidential election in a landslide.

This one is actually serious. He is ridiculously popular and the office is not that powerful, making it mostly a matter of personal popularity. He polls over 60% in first round polling and 80-90% in second round (if there is one), depending on opponent.

by fjallstrom on Thu Jan 4th, 2018 at 03:01:33 PM EST

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]