The only statement anyone needs to make about Roy Moore

Donald Trump has backed Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore remaining in the election race despite multiple claims of sexual harassment of teenage girls.

Mr Trump believes that “Alabama should take the decision” about their next senator and that Mr Moore should only quit if the allegations are proved.

Weird that it’s The Donald making it but still.

The important concept under discussion is “democracy.” That means that it’s the voters who get to say. There are no – barring actual proved criminal activities – preconditions upon who they may decide among. Because that’s what the system is, the voters getting to decide. Maybe they do care about a bit of ephebophilia, maybe they don’t – as with the Ten Commandments stuff for which he was rightly fired as a judge, not a politician – but it is up to them what they care about.

Maybe, maybe

Several loud explosions echoed across central Harare in the early hours of Wednesday after troops deployed on the streets of the capital and reportedly seized the state broadcaster.

The developments in the Zimbabwe capital fuelled speculation that a coup was under way against president Robert Mugabe, after the head of the armed forces threatened to “step in” over the sacking of an influential vice president.

Although if it is then this is the generals getting their retaliation in first.

Single Party systems always do end up this way

A former special adviser to the Welsh first minister, Carwyn Jones, who is facing an independent inquiry over the death of a sacked minister, Carl Sargeant, has claimed that a “toxic” atmosphere of “fear and loathing” existed within the Welsh Labour government.

If elections aren’t going to change anything then the competition has to take place inside the ruling party, without those elections, doesn’t it?

I don’t think so Joe, really

Joe Biden knew he could beat Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination but decided not to run because he feared a “stop at nothing” smear campaign by her supporters, he reveals in a new memoir.

The Clintons had such a lock on that nomination. Plus, of course, Joe Biden?

So says the man with an offshore pension

The revelations in the Paradise Papers leak have showed, once again, that our economy is rigged to the benefit of the powerful, the wealthy and giant corporations. While most of us are expected to – and do – pay the taxes that are due from us, a tiny minority operate under different rules. If you’re rich enough, you can join the same exclusive club – a world of offshore trusts and secretive tax havens, administered by offshore specialists like Appleby’s, the firm at the centre of current revelations. It is one rule for the super-rich and another for the rest of us.

Thus this should read:

The revelations in the Paradise Papers leak have showed, once again, that our economy is rigged to the benefit of the powerful, the wealthy and giant corporations. While most of us are expected to – and do – pay the taxes that are due from us, a tiny minority operate under different rules. If you’re rich enough, you can join the same exclusive club – a world of offshore trusts and secretive tax havens, administered by offshore specialists like Appleby’s, the firm at the centre of current revelations. It is one rule for the nomenklatura and another for the rest of us.

Well, I guess you gotta find something

I lived in the Soviet Union for two years in the 1970s, at the height of the cold war, under the dead hand of Leonid Brezhnev’s rule. It was a state that isolated itself from the world, in which the Communist party attempted to exercise total ideological control. It believed that central state planners could organise the economy more efficiently than the market. In fact, the planned economy turned out to be barely controlled chaos, further muddled by everyday corruption and sheer bloody-mindedness. If a shop assistant was more interested in painting her nails than in serving you, there was little you could do about it.

Yet somehow the memory I retain most strongly is not of oppression and empty shops, but of a society that thrived on something that was missing in our hectic western lives – a sense of togetherness and sharing, by which Russians contrived to beat the system.

Interesting

Former US president George H W Bush voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election and called Donald Trump a “blowhard” who was driven by “a certain ego.”

His son George W. Bush left his ballot blank and said about Trump: “This guy doesn’t know what it means to be president.”

A certain wisdom there, no? Myself I was always “Not Hillary” rather than pro-Trump.

Ah, so, it’s not actually about the election, is it?

President Trump’s former campaign chief has been charged with running a money-laundering conspiracy that moved $75 million from pro-Russia political groups through a labyrinth of offshore accounts.

Paul Manafort surrendered himself to the FBI yesterday after a special counsel investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the US election yielded its first criminal charges. He was accused of dodging taxes, illegally working as an unregistered agent of a foreign government and making false statements to federal investigators.

That a bloke associated with Trump did these things – if proven of course – still doesn’t show that the Russians stole the Presidency from Hillary now, does it?

This is not a surprise

The Hillary Clinton campaign helped to fund research that led to the infamous dossier on Donald Trump’s Russia connections, it was reported on Tuesday night.

Christopher Steele, a former British spy, compiled the salacious 35-page dossier on Mr Trump’s alleged campaign ties to Russia.

Marc Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) used the Washington-based private intelligence firm, Fusion GPS, to conduct the research, the Washington Post reported citing unnamed sources.

Fusion GPS is then said to have employed Mr Steele, a former MI6 officer, who produced the dossier. The report did not state how much Fusion GPS was paid for the work.

The dossier includes unsubstantiated claims that Russians possess videos involving prostitutes, filmed during a 2013 visit by Mr Trump to a luxury Moscow hotel for the Miss Universe contest, supposedly as a potential means for blackmail.

Really not a good idea

The Lords, in contrast, should represent vocational democracy. There should be people elected from each sector, whether that be electrical or academic, medical or administrative. Doctors should vote for a peer, as should nurses and cleaners. It would give an incentive to the organisation of carers, builders and gardeners, who would each select a representative from within their organisation.

The biggest point about a market economy is that, over time, it’s the best way of managing sectoral change. At one point coal mining was absolutely essential to this sceptered isle. Today it’s of no importance at all. That it was government owned is a major reason the rundown of it was so difficult.

Now imagine that coal miners got to elect, as a constituency, members of the legislature. That change is going to be even more difficult, isn’t it?

That is, vocational democracy sets in stone the current distribution of vocations. When entirely the point of economic management is to ease changes in that distribution as desires and technology change.

Well, actually you know

So it was just her in the beam of Norton’s irresistible curiosity. And while she has a book to promote – What Happened – there was still this pressing incongruity of her normality. She arrived on stage wearing a surgical boot which she explained in an anecdote neither interesting nor uninteresting, just ambiently pleasant to listen to, like cicadas. “I was running down the stairs in heels with a cup of coffee in hand,” – a break for a short homily on how unwise it was to run with coffee – “I was talking over my shoulder and my heel caught and I fell backwards”. She broke her toe. She had excellent medical care from our “English medical system” (little shout out for the NHS, thoughtful and serendipitous). Well. You sound perfectly … nice. How come nobody ever mentions that you’re perfectly nice?

It’s one of the commonplaces of American political commentary that one on one she is perfectly nice. And her aides have been tearing their hair out for decades at her total inability to be so en masse. It’s actually one of the main stories about her in fact.

So they really are clearing the nutters out of the search engines then

Liberal and progressive sites appear to be among the victims of a policy Google announced on April 25, designed to boost “reliable sources” of information, after Google and other technology companies were criticized for allowing low-quality and even fraudulent websites to proliferate during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Utilizing tools from Google, a web analytics company called SEMrush and other methods, Damon calculated that since April, search result traffic to the World Socialist Website has dropped 45 percent as of Sept. 16. He found similar declines at several other left-leaning sites, including AlterNet, Democracy Now!, Common Dreams, and Truthout, all of which have editors who review articles before they are published.

WSW is owned by the International Trots so that seems like a good set of nutters to down play.

But, of course, that’s not what the snowflakes have been calling for. We want the other set of nutters banned, not us!

This is nothing

A Florida politician hoping to be elected to Congress in next year’s election has claimed that she was abducted by aliens.

Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, 59, a Republican former member of Miami’s city council, said that she was taken by extra-terrestrials when she was seven.

Given what some in Congress already believe this would make the place saner. And it’s true, there’re a lot of nutters in the country who believe this very thing and they too deserve representation.

Well, no, worse

The EU must recognise the forces that drove Brexit and reform accordingly, the billionaire frontrunner to become the next Czech prime minister says.

Andrej Babiš, leader of the “anti-establishment” ANO party, told The Daily Telegraph that the EU is chasing the wrong priorities as it eyes deeper integration.

“I’m not a Eurosceptic,” the Czech Republic’s second richest man said during a campaign stop in Nachod – a small town on the Polish border, ahead of elections on Oct 20-21.

“Europe is a great project,” stressed Mr Babiš in an interview following a 10-hour stint of handshakes and book signings. “But European politicians should seriously ask why the UK is leaving. They are dealing with the wrong issues in pursuing further integration.”

Pragmatic but unpredictable, Mr Babiš is often compared to Donald Trump due to his wealth, populist agenda, and Teflon-like ability to brush off financial scandals and coarse outbursts.

Babis seems to know what he wants, more than just to be the top guy that is. Makes him much more worrying. A proper looting of the State is possible….

This is how it works Grant

Grant Shapps has told Conservative colleagues that he has been subjected to an unprecedented level of “abuse and bile” since being outed as the ringleader of an attempted coup against Theresa May.

If you win then you’re a hero, bright new dawn and party united behind you. If you lose you’re abused.

That’s just how it works, has done since the first king looked nervously at the plans of his brother.

Good timing

The current prime minister of Iceland sold almost all his remaining assets in a major Icelandic bank’s investment fund on the day the government seized control of the country’s collapsing financial sector at the peak of the 2008 crash.

According to leaked documents, Bjarni Benediktsson, then an MP on the parliament’s economy and tax committee, sold several million króna of assets in the Glitnir bank’s fund in the final days and hours before an emergency law placed Iceland’s failed financial institutions under state control.

Apparently no laws were broken so that’s good then.

Erm, yes Hills

Others believed Monday was precisely the correct time to start the conversation. Mr Trump’s challenger in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton, said it was essential that America confronted the NRA and demanded the regulation of weapons. “The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots,” she wrote on Twitter. “Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get.”

I know little of weapons but doesn’t a silencer significantly reduce range? Hmm, maybe that wouldn’t make much difference at 700 to 800 metres but…

I don’t think so really. I just don’t think so

Amber Rudd, the home secretary, has hired the pollster Sir Lynton Crosby to help to craft her next election campaign in a move that will fuel speculation she is preparing a leadership bid.

Ms Rudd must convince Tory MPs that she can hold on to her seat at the next election if she is to emerge as a serious candidate to replace Theresa May. Her majority in Hastings & Rye fell from 4,796 to 346 in June.

She has engaged Sir Lynton’s firm, CTF Partners, to shore up her defence of the seat, The Times has learnt.

There is that matter of saving her seat of course. But as PM? Sirsly?

The glory of coalition politics

A deal with the FDP and the Greens is Mrs Merkel’s only realistic coalition option, but the parties disagree on issues including energy, taxation, Europe and migration, complicating the path to a so-called “Jamaica” coalition – a reference to the parties’ respective colours: black, yellow and green.

On Wednesday, the Green Party said it would refuse an “upper limit” to the number of refugees entering the country.

A massive shift in voting against immigration. Leading to government allowing more immigration.

Doesn’t coalition politics reflect the will of the people so much better?