There\’s two ways to read this:
This might seem an odd thing to write with the polls showing Labour 11 points ahead. But I haven\’t met anyone who actually believes these figures. Pundits have hunches about these things, and hunches matter in politics.
After all, what we call the sixth sense is really an unconscious amalgam of what the other five are trying to tell us. So pause, for a moment, and look beyond the polls.
One is what he means: implicit knowledge and all that. The other is what you can read into it. Politics is all about damn the evidence and go with gut feel. Which is why, of course, politicians do so many things that fly directly in the face of the evidence.
My gut feel is that 99% of the problems we have with politics comes from that latter. Simply no connection with reality.
Who are these cretins that rule us?
Sending refugees from Darfur back to Khartoum? WHAT THE FUCK?
I\’m ashamed of this government and of everybody who voted for it.
Are they actually human? Are they even an intelligent life form?
Vladimir Putin has announced that he intends to return as Russia\’s prime minister after stepping down as president next year.
Doesn\’t he have to win an election first. Oh, wait….
I might have to start thinking so:
Late last night, to the amazement of refugee advocates, the Senate approved by unanimous consent an amendment by Senator Kennedy to a defense bill that will make it easier for America’s Iraqi friends to be admitted as refugees to the United States. The Administration lobbied against it this week—the talking points included complaints about infringement on executive-branch authority—but Kennedy’s office agreed to a number of compromises, and won the support of holdout Republican senators.
The amendment raises the number of Iraqi interpreters and U.S. government employees (with at least one year of service) who can be admitted under a special immigrant visa program from five hundred to five thousand each year for the next five years. It creates a special category (“Priority 2”) of persecuted Iraqis—including U.S. employees, people working for American news and nongovernmental organizations, contractors, and members of religious minorities, and their families—whose refugee applications can be heard directly by the U.S. government without a United Nations referral, which should speed up and streamline an extremely sluggish process. And the bill allows for these applications to be reviewed at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, so that Iraqis don’t need to flee the country and become refugees elsewhere first (though the language on this point is vague, and there will have to be continuous pressure to make it happen).
But then it\’s not exactly been a difficult moral decision to make now has it? Even the US Senate, not known anywhere outside its own hallowed halls as a centre of wise reasoning and moral decision making was able to see the correct path here: unanimously indeed.
So, what\’s your excuse, and what\’s yours?
Look, if the rum soaked bloviate can get it, why can\’t you? Or do you really want to go down in history as having less moral sensibility than Teddy Kennedy?
To repeat, less than Teddy "Chappaquiddick" Kennedy!
Relatedly, the meeting at Parliament is next week.
Well, that depends.
If it\’s a Theresa May speech we\’re talking about it\’s probably a rather good one to have achieved.
It\’s looking like Hillary vs. Rudy. Consider this:
Brad DeLong: "… I think it is the two cents\’ worth of everybody who worked for the Clinton Administration health care reform effort of 1993-1994–is that Hillary Rodham Clinton needs to be kept very far away from the White House for the rest of her life".
Daniel W. Drezner: "… Despite the fact that this collection of individuals would likely disagree about pretty much everything, there was an airtight conensus about one and only one point: A Giuliani presidency would be an unmitigated disaster for the United States."
El Gordo is toast. At least, that\’s the implication of this research by Daniel Finkelstein (pbuh).
How could I have missed this? The heavy influence of Bob Shrum on Gordon Brown\’s speech. How could I have missed it?
First of all there are plenty of phrases pretty directly lifted from speeches made by Shrum clients, many of which he admits he wrote.
Now my reaction might be thought a little extreme but you see there\’s a precedent here. El Gordo is copying the speeches of Democratic party hopefuls (Shrum\’s record at 0/7 means that all of his cleints remain hopefuls). OK, unh hunh.
But, we have the case of Senator Joe Biden to guide us. He made a speech in which he copied the words of Neil Kinnock. When this was revealed, Biden left the race to be the Democratic nominee.
Now, we also know that as a Son of the Manse El Gordo has rather more probity than a US Senator (there is pond slime with greater probity than a US Senator so that\’s not exactly a ringing endorsement but…) so, if plagiarism means withdrawing, El Gordo should indeed withdraw.
What an excellent result: he waits 10 years for the top job and then gets the shortest time in office for centuries. Couldn\’t happen to a nicer man.
Good God! Has this man no manners?
A decision by Rudy Giuliani to answer a mobile phone call from his wife while delivering a presidential campaign speech threatens to damage his bid for the White House.
Or is it that there\’s one rule for Rudy and another for the hoi polloi? You can, for example, imagine what he would say if someone in his audience answered such a call, can you not?
I know I have no vote (nor influence, thank the Lord) in the US election but that one incident would make me abandon any support I might have had for the man.
Gordon Brown\’s should capitalise on his popularity among women and put female cabinet ministers centre stage.
So because El Gordo is popular with women he should stand aside and make way for female ministers, who may or may not be popular with women? Fun logic, eh?
The Mayor of London:
"It\’s quite clear we have deliberate manipulation or total neglect or wilful incompetence on the part of the owners and drivers," Mr Livingstone said. "The Cab Drivers Club is a small reactionary clique who have opposed everything I have done as Mayor for six years. If they want to chance their arm they should start suing me for libel because I am saying they falsified the tests." Mr Fleming said that was an "outrageous suggestion".
Such a nice man to have running the major city of Europe, don\’t you think?
This is fascinating. I really think that Lynsey Hanley is on to something here:
It\’s daft to expect that it might, given that there has never been a party of the truly poor, but it set me thinking what such a party might look like.
The annual conference of – let\’s call it – the Ten Per Cent party (10% being roughly the percentage of the population termed the "core poor") would need to be sponsored by Special Brew, for one thing. Nothing like being permanently drunk to take your mind off the fact that, in the last 30 years, you\’ve become increasingly likely to be isolated in areas of concentrated poverty and where your likelihood of being murdered has shot up, while everyone else has been getting "richer", "more confident", and safer.
Its chief spokesperson would have to know what it\’s like to have avoided most of secondary school without anyone noticing, and to enter adulthood without being able to spell, count, or communicate effectively. They would have to have raised their family in sub-standard accommodation. They\’d need to know what it\’s like to live in an area where they are in constant danger of attack from peers and neighbours. A criminal record, though by no means a universal characteristic of absolute poverty, would confer further authenticity.
It\’s a very reasonable set of rules that. Stay sober, stay out of jail and don\’t rely upon the State supplied sink estate for your housing nor the State supplied educational system for your literacy and numeracy and you won\’t be part of the bottom 10%.
More than reasonable in fact, eminently sensible. It\’s just odd to see it in The Guardian.
Headline at CiF:
Republicans in the US Senate are prepared to use all its powers to block a resurgence of liberalism
The only problem with this is that no one, no one at all in the US Senate, is actually proposing anything liberal. You\’ve got cultural Statists on one side and economic Statists on the other. There are no liberals there.
Gordon Brown received his most enthusiastic applause before he had spoken.
We will send out a clear message that drugs are never going to be decriminalised