Building a wondrous straw man

It is a bewildering and alarming time to be a Jew, both because antisemitism is rising and because so many politicians are responding to it not by protecting Jews but by victimising Palestinians.

On 16 February, members of France’s yellow vest protest movement hurled antisemitic insults at the distinguished French Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut. On 19 February, swastikas were found on 80 gravestones in Alsace. Two days later, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, after announcing that Europe was “facing a resurgence of antisemitism unseen since World War II”, unveiled new measures to fight it.

Among them was a new official definition of antisemitism. That definition, produced by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in 2016, includes among its “contemporary examples” of antisemitism “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination”. In other words, anti-Zionism is Jew hatred. In so doing, Macron joined Germany, Britain, the United States and roughly 30 other governments. And like them, he made a tragic mistake.

Anti-Zionism is not inherently antisemitic – and claiming it is uses Jewish suffering to erase the Palestinian experience.

The claim isn’t that anti-zionism is inherently anri-semitic. It’s that many anti-semites disguise such under the cloak of anti-zionism.

And Obama never used the teleprompter, right?

New research into Donald Trump’s speeches reveal why the president’s scripted brand of populism doesn’t come easy

Donald Trump spent much of his presidential campaign mocking his rivals for relying on teleprompters – until, reluctantly, he was forced to do the same. “If you run for president you shouldn’t be allowed to use teleprompters,” he complained. “Because you don’t even know if the guy’s smart.”

But intelligence isn’t the only trait that politicians can fake by relying on automated scripts. New analysis suggests Trump struggles to express populist ideas unless he’s reading remarks prepared by his scriptwriters.

The research by Team Populism, a network of political scientists, analysed Trump’s speeches – both scripted, and off-the-cuff – looking for three core elements of populist discourse.

Anna Soubrys Electoral Math Lesson..

Anna Soubry must have been given maths lessons from Diane Abbott last night after claiming that 63% of people voted for remain (or rather didnt vote for leave..)

However, her own election in Broxtowe makes some interesting numbers itself…


A certain whistling noise here

‘You’re fired!’ America has already terminated Trump
Robert Reich
The Mueller report looms but the president is doomed anyway – no one who screws the people so blatantly can win re-election

Can’t say I’m entirely convinced here.

Not that I’m a great prognosticator. I only thought he might actually win a couple of hours before the count was announced. But I certainly think it’s possible that he will win in 2020. Writing him off certainly sounds rather more wishful thinking than anything else at this point.

I dunno

“I’m trying to figure out how I can best serve this country — where I can do the greatest good for the United States of America. So, yeah, I’m thinking through that and it, you know, may involve running for the presidency. It may involve something else,” O’Rourke said after being asked if he’s considering challenging Cornyn.

Get a job? Produce something that people only have to accept voluntarily?

How excellent

Three Conservative MPs who resigned to join a new independent group on Wednesday said Theresa May had allowed their former party to fall prey to hardline Brexiters and declared that the Tory modernising project had been destroyed.

In the latest evidence that Brexit is reshaping the political landscape, Heidi Allen, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston, all outspoken critics of May’s stance on Europe, said the Conservative party as they had known it under David Cameron was dead.

“I’m not leaving the Conservative party – it has left us,” said Soubry at a hastily convened press conference around the corner from the House of Commons. “The modernising reforms that had taken years to achieve were destroyed.”

If people wanted modernising reforms then they’ve vote for the Blairites. The gap in hte market does appear to be any actual conservatives to vote for…..

So she was indeed Pocahontas

Senator Elizabeth Warren was once again forced to address her past claims of Native American heritage on Tuesday, as the Washington Post reported the senator and Democratic candidate for president listed her race as “American Indian” on her registration for the Texas state bar more than three decades ago.

The yellow registration card, which is dated April 1986, was filled out in blue ink and signed by Warren, the Post reported. The paper said her office did not dispute the card’s authenticity.

Not as bad as her actual policies but still….

The Gang of Six

A group of disaffected Labour MPs is preparing to quit the party and form a breakaway movement on the political centre ground amid growing discontent with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership on Brexit and other key issues including immigration, foreign policy and antisemitism.

Not going to work, just as the Gang of Four didn’t.

Might keep Jezza out of office which would be one definition of working but not the one most politicians would use…..

Terrible indeed

Internal Zimbabwean police documents passed to the Guardian suggest the army has been responsible for murder, rape and armed robbery during the ongoing brutal crackdown in the southern African country.

Just goes to show what happens when you give the state lots of power.

This is interesting

It’s generally the left who insist upon the legitimacy of the international community. You know, binding international law and all that, we get to tell others what to do:

Venezuela’s political crisis was turned on its head on Wednesday as a succession of world powers declared they were recognizing the opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the South American country’s rightful interim president.

“The citizens of Venezuela have suffered for too long at the hands of the illegitimate Maduro regime,” Donald Trump tweeted as he announced what some believe could prove a game-changing decision.

Soon after, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Paraguay and Costa Rica said they would follow suit – although Mexico’s left-leaning government said there would be no change of policy for now and Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, attacked what he called an imperialist assault on South America’s right to democracy and self-determination.

Now that the international community is insisting that Bolivarian socialism is a crock, what’s a good lefty to do?

Side, as normal, with the international community? Or with socialism?

Yes, of course we know the answer. But fun to watch the squirming all he same.