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Open Thread 4 - 12 June

by Bjinse Sat Jun 4th, 2016 at 07:43:22 AM EST

Here's looking at you, thread

A Canadian magazine on the Clinton campaign.
Inside the coliseum, which serves as the athletic centre for the inner-city satellite campus of the state university of the Garden State, there was a high-school marching band performing in 38-litre hats and white boots, and cheerleaders in gold lamé hot pants.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Jun 4th, 2016 at 11:34:46 AM EST
How to miss the point entirely

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 4th, 2016 at 01:23:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A couple of weeks ago I reminded my daughter, who is studying in Glasgow, that she could vote in the "well? make up yer friggin' minds" referendum. Not as an EU citizen, but as a New Zealand citizen, resident in the UK.

On condition that she bothers to enrol : closing tomorrow. So she just woke up to this, and I've gone home at lunchtime to scrounge up some documents (NZ passport, birth registration) to establish her citizenship.

Highly irregular, giving colonials a say in matters concerning Europe. The EU should look into it.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jun 6th, 2016 at 08:10:12 AM EST
Well, I suppose, it had to happen at some point.

The Remain campaign has had a good month, so there is a certain inevitability that the brexiters should have a good period. The last week has been good for them, they've had some good coverage lately, Farage has been kept in a box while the remain campaign have looked a little leaden.

Meanwhile Labour tried, but failed to make an impact. Sadiq Khan, newly installed London Mayor, appeared with Cameron which was a mistake because all people could ask was why Khan was sharing a platform with a man who'd recently accused him of being a terrorist symapthiser.

This culminated in the debates on Sky where first David Cameron, for Remain, faced a studio audience asking questions and then, a day after, Michael Gove, for Brexit, did the same.

Cameron got a bit of kicking by all accounts, wheras Gove looked assured and confident. This is because, before Prime Minister's questions, David Cameron's coach and prompter is ..... Michael Gove. Deprived of his usual debate team, he lost focus.

Cue an unlikely saviour; John Major, ex-Tory Prime Minister, last seen staggering into the distance in 1997, having been trounced by Tony Blair, muttering about the bastards in his own Cabinet who'd stabbed him in the back. And the front and where the sun don't shine.

In the course of a short interview, he gave a colossal kicking to Boris, Gove and IDS collective credibility, which was hilarious as he was immediately followed by Boris who resembled a freshly deflated balloon through the interview before scuttling for the exit.

After this, I suspect we might see more of him

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 6th, 2016 at 10:24:33 AM EST
Looking at the old HuffPo it is still 44 Stay, 42 Go, and 13 Undecided.  With these numbers the odds are Remain will barely win, maybe, and the arguments will continue.  It cannot be ruled out Leave will barely win as the demographic least likely to vote are the core of the Stay camp.

Over the long haul the Remain camp will be the winner but you'll have to wait until the old folks die off:

There is a huge gulf among young and older voters over the European issue - with seven in 10 young voters backing the European Union.

73 per cent of those aged between 18-29 want to remain in the EU, while 63 per cent of those aged over 60 want to leave.

The middle-aged population are divided almost evenly on the issue.  As older voters are more likely to vote, this could be good news for the "leave" campaign.

If the Leave camp wins the backlash will be something fierce.  It is certain there will be another Scottish reference and it is almost certain Scotland will vote to break-up the Union.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Jun 6th, 2016 at 11:16:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that, so long as the difference is in single digits either way, that absolutely nothing will be settled.

Leave will have to get above 50% of the electorate or a 10 digit majority for the remain side to accept it. However, I doubt that anything less than 60-40 will shut the leave side up.

Whatever happens there will be civil war in the Tory party.

A new Scottish referendum will only happen if the UK actually does decide to leave, but that will be won decisively by the Independence campaign.

I'm quite sure that N Ireland would like to stay in the EU come what may, but there will probably not be an independence campaign there as the idea of being a minor country on an island dominated by the Republic may be a step too far.

I've no idea about Wales really. Perhaps others might step in on that.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 6th, 2016 at 12:16:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At this moment, to me, it seems Stay will win by a small majority, say two or three percent.  For Stay or Leave to win decisively requires the 13% of Undecideds to swing almost en mass to one position and that isn't very likely.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Jun 6th, 2016 at 12:59:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, which means that there's gonna be a meltdown in the Tory party not too long after the result is announced.

Cameron is saying that everything will be ok afterwards and normal politics will resume. He may even have convinced himself that there will be an outbreak of kumbayah and all will unite in comity and united purpose. But nobody else thinks that. There is too much ambition and pride at stake.

Boris wants Dave's job and will bring down the party to achieve it. And he might have to.

Gove was practically Dave's bestie, but there will be a reckoning and there will be blood. It helps that Gove's wife is a senior journalist at the Daily Mail, who will doubtlessly be writing fair and balanced articles about Dave's prospects.

IDS is a poisonous puff adder who will happily do for Dave just for the fun of it.

Which means that Dave's got two chances for peace, slim and none. Slim will be leaving town on the 24th

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 6th, 2016 at 01:30:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What happens if the vote is a narrow Leave victory?

Given the recent polling, a distinct possibility.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 09:00:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect they'll start the negotiations.

 Dave is toast, so they'll need to elect Boris as leader. Boris will then supposedly begin the negotiations, but won't. Largely cos he's a lazy wotsit, so it'll be delegated to Gove. Gove can't negotiate, he's an all or nothing kind of guy. So he'll come back from Brussels with a truly terrible deal that will be voted down in the Commons.

Meanwhile, Scotland will demand to leave the Union, triggering a constitutional crisis.

There will be a vote of confidence which will prevail. the government will have to resign. A Labour/SNP coalition will walk the election and the referendum result will be quietly forgotten.

Boris will be led into a quiet room at the Commons where there will be a bottle of Scotch and a loaded revolver. He will be left alone with his conscience. Several hours later he will emerge from his drunken sleep, hunt down Dave and attempt to shoot him. Osborne will be wounded in the scuffle but will re-grow his tail and carry on.

Or something like it anyway

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 11:22:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I always assumed it would be Scottish Referendum Part II - a very close race, and then a fairly close but unexpectedly convincing win for the status quo.

This is because I'm utterly cynical about the process, not because I believe that's how voters will vote.

Unfortunately for Dave, this time there's no longer a status quo to return to. He offered a referendum as a vote winner, and it worked - but at the cost of tearing his party in two and killing his government.

This is just as well, because it means we've narrowly avoided five years of unspeakably psychotic nastiness.

Whatever the outcome the Tories will devolve into a pub brawl, and there will probably be an election before the end of the year.

Even if there isn't, the Tories will effectively lose their majority, which will make it much harder for further psychotic legislation to pass.

Not even Boris can save them. Boris has made as many enemies as Cameron has, and even if he gets the top job he'll find he won't necessarily be any better off for it.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jun 6th, 2016 at 07:34:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, I think it will be the psychotic nastiness aspects of Tory policy that have most chance of passing due to being supported on all sides. It's the sensible stuff that will die in a ditch.

But, I suspect that Boris will be the leader come the party conference as I'm sure thee will be a challenge over the summer.

Sadly, I don't think there will be a General election this year. The tories are a machine designed for power and they will not readily abandon it. But, Boris will be about as good a PM as Brown because he has the identical problem. Which is that he has all the ambition to be leader, but no ambition of what to do with the power once he attains it.

But it will a chaotic government, forever in crisis.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 03:28:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New Statesman - Laurie Penny - The EU is undemocratic and run in the interests of business. But it's our least-worst option right now

``Brexit" is an ugly, embarrassing word for a ugly, embarrassing debate. After months of bad arguments in bad faith from bad actors running campaigns of confusion and fear with both eyes on their sordid political career, I don't want to write about this any more than you want to read about it. Yet here I am, about to try to persuade you to vote for Britain to remain in the EU, even though we'd all rather stay indoors and stare into the abyss until it starts staring back. I know I would. Still, I'm going to drag myself out on 23 June anyway, because more than anything, I don't want to be stuck on an island with Boris Johnson.

I could tell you a story about Europe that might tug the sails of your heart, driving you to the polls on a clear day with the wind in the right direction. I could tell you a story about noble ideals of unity across borders and cultures, dreamt up in the ruins of two world-ravaging wars - but those ideals are currently burning in the banlieue of Paris and drowning in the Mediterranean. The truth is duller and more dispiriting: the EU, rather like the British government, is a structurally undemocratic institution that is run in the interests of business. And the more terrible truth is that it is the best option we have right now.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 11th, 2016 at 01:35:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
HuffPollster Poll-of-Polls has Remain and Leave in a statistical tie 44.1 to 43.2 and 12.7 Intellectually Dead Undecided.

Euro-skepticism is not limited to the UK.  Pew Research - the gold standard here in the States for Public Opinion polling - is reporting:

a new multi-nation survey from Pew Research Center finds that Euroskepticism is on the rise across Europe and that about two-thirds of both the British and the Greeks, along with significant minorities in other key nations, want some powers returned from Brussels to national governments.


A median of just 51% across 10 EU countries surveyed have a favorable view of the European Union. A median of 42% in these 10 nations want more power returned to their national capitals, while only 19% favor giving Brussels more power and 27% favor the status quo.

Even so "a median of 70% in the nine EU nations surveyed that don't get a vote June 23 believe it would be bad for the EU if the UK decided to depart."

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 11th, 2016 at 02:00:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Joanna Castle Miller; stolen from dKos-

"Almost all of Hillary's volunteers (approx the same number as were at Bernie's office that same day) were women, of varying age and race. And her supporters did not clamor for the camera. It was the opposite. They wanted to be interviewed, but they debated it for what seemed like forever. They got quiet and asked questions like, "Will my name be used?" "Where will this be seen?" and "Can I wear sunglasses?" Some of them thanked me and said no, and they looked really sad about it. When I pressed them, they told me they were terrified of the online threats they might receive, and in some cases had already received. Even lead organizers admitted they hadn't put up a yard sign or bumper sticker for fear of retaliation. When women walked in to volunteer for the phone bank, they were assured they wouldn't have to give their names if they were afraid.

Hillary's office was tucked away in a dying mall, with little hand-drawn posters taped up, cheerleader-style. It was cheery, but quiet and nearly invisible. A lot like those volunteers.

This is not to generalize all women as Hillary supporters or as timid - of course not! But I personally believe there's a correlation between her largely female volunteer base (as of now), her unexpected voter turnout, and the fear so many women have of expressing themselves online, or on the street, or in the board room.

A lot of people on social media have wondered where all of Hillary's votes came from, because there was no signage, no outpouring of love on Facebook. It shouldn't surprise us that when we fail to listen to women's voices well in the public sphere, we mis-calculate what women are actually thinking and doing in private. We didn't know where Hillary's votes were coming from because they didn't feel it was safe for them to tell us in the first place

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 11:09:58 AM EST
Women have no agency in US culture and they get smacked around (literally & figuratively) when they exhibit any.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 01:15:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is easy to wish for much more, but the US political culture has often been far ahead of European norms. Women had a right to vote in some US states up to 1807. Voting rights were lost, but industrialization needs gave women much economic agency soon.
by das monde on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 09:21:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That would explain a lot of the 'lack of enthusiasm' from women of which the media complained. It is wrong and it goes to show how little a 'first woman presidential candidate' has brought to other women. This needs to change, but I doubt Hillary will be any real agent of change for women in this regard, especially in the upper reaches of corporate management where the problem is found.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 03:49:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The irony for Clinton as a "self-made", breakthrough woman chief is her husband, still. Would she really be in this position now without 1992-2000?
by das monde on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 09:22:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
John Oliver Just Forgave $15 Million in Medical Debt - The Atlantic
John Oliver, the comedian and host of HBO's Last Week Tonight, dove into an investigation Sunday on how easy it is for predatory companies to purchase peoples' debt from a bank and hold it over their heads. To demonstrate how easy it was, Oliver bought $15 million of medical debt for pennies on the dollar, and then announced he'd forgive it all.
by Bernard on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 04:02:53 PM EST
His researcher liaised with the Occupy organisation, who have been doing this quietly but to a far greater extent for months. However, at the last moment, Oliver's team decided not to give Occupy any credit and did their own thing.

It's good, but there's a taint in the attitude that was unnecessary.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 04:48:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IRS is then a nuisance.
by das monde on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 09:44:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
USA TODAY exclusive: Hundreds allege Donald Trump doesn't pay his bills

Trump's Doral golf resort also has been embroiled in recent non-payment claims by two different paint firms, with one case settled and the other pending. Last month, his company's refusal to pay one Florida painter more than $30,000 for work at Doral led the judge in the case to order foreclosure of the resort if the contractor isn't paid.

Juan Carlos Enriquez, owner of The Paint Spot, in South Florida, has been waiting more than two years to get paid for his work at the Doral. The Paint Spot first filed a lien against Trump's course, then filed a lawsuit asking a Florida judge to intervene.

In courtroom testimony, the manager of the general contractor for the Doral renovation admitted that a decision was made not to pay The Paint Spot because Trump "already paid enough." As the construction manager spoke, "Trump's trial attorneys visibly winced, began breathing heavily, and attempted to make eye contact" with the witness, the judge noted in his ruling.

That, and other evidence, convinced the judge The Paint Spot's claim was credible. He ordered last month that the Doral resort be foreclosed on, sold, and the proceeds used to pay Enriquez the money he was owed. Trump's attorneys have since filed a motion to delay the sale, and the contest continues.

by Bernard on Sat Jun 11th, 2016 at 04:18:04 PM EST

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