Politics

Isn’t this a surprising political editorial?

The Guardian view on the 2020 US elections
It’s time to dump Trump. America’s only hope is Joe Biden
Four years of deranged and unpredictable behaviour is proof that the current US president is uniquely unsuited to the job

I have to admit I just don’t know which way this is going to go. Yes, Dennis The Hot Rod Accountant Of Ohio tells us that it’s in the bag for Trump and the entirety of the international press tells us it’s Biden and we should all, of course, believe Dennis.

But I just dunno. Note that it’s the will I don’t know about, not the should.

Raise the voting age to 40

Millennials in democracies throughout the world are more disillusioned with their system of government than any young generation in living memory, a study has found.

A survey of nearly five million people showed that those in their 20s and 30s, born between 1981 and 1996, had less faith in democratic institutions than their parents or grandparents did at the same stage of life.

The collapse of confidence is particularly pronounced in the “Anglo-Saxon democracies” of Britain, the United States and Australia.

That’ll larn ’em.

Makes you wonder

Trump and Biden town halls: two channels, two candidates, two planets

If they’re really that different, the two sides, then perhaps one side shouldn’t rule the other. Either way.

They have already tried dividing into two nations and that didn’t work out well. So the only option would seem to be that government only does what it is absolutely necessary that government does and which can only be done by government. Everything else gets left to the peeps themselves.

That is the more you insist that the coastal wokerati really are an entirely different tribe from the Flyover deplorables then the more you should be in favour of minarchist government.

Not that it works that way of course but logic and politics were ever strange bedfellows.

I bet

The FBI is investigating whether the exposure of Hunter Biden’s emails was linked to a foreign intelligence effort to undermine the US election.
Agents seized a laptop and hard drive containing the emails at the end of last year, according to a subpoena issued by a US district court in Delaware. They are looking at potential foreign involvement, NBC News reported.
On Wednesday the New York Post published some of the emails, including one from an adviser to Ukrainian energy company Burisma, for which Hunter Biden worked while his father was vice president.

Because shouting about Russians is so much more effective than actually trying to answer the questions “Did you really do that, Hunter?”

Still, an interesting question for American journalists. Anyone doorstepped Hunter yet?

Actually, that is an interesting question. Son of a Senator won’t get Secret Service protection. Son of a serving President will. Son of a VP? Dunno. But it’s at least possible that Hunter had SS protection for years which could be interesting. And he might have it now too – son of a P candidate might get it. Which would make doorstepping him hard.

But still, interesting question. Has anyone even tried to ask, well, Hunter, those your emails or not?

You should do this

Today the Adam Smith Institute, along with our friends at the Taxpayers’ Alliance, launch our drive to get as many of you involved in the housing white paper consultation as possible.

It’s been an issue that has blighted Britain for decades. Scarce and irregular housing supply in the places people want to live, and an incentive structure that allows home owners to lock-out first-time buyers from the market, have left a whole generation priced out and our country less productive and poorer than we need or ought to be.

This could change though. In consultation is the Planning For The Future white paper. Its basic aim is to move England to a zoning-based system where local councils set out rules about what can be built where, but don’t take an active role in approving or rejecting individual applications for development. Rules over discretion. More micro-democracy. More beautiful buildings where people want to live.

It’s an issue we’ve been researching for a decade and its vitally important that the country gets these reforms right. So that’s why we want you sensible folk to join us in submitting evidence to the consultation.

Click the button below (or click here) to be taken to the page with our suggested answers to the questions being asked, click here to be taken to the full consultation page, and watch our video setting out how the housing crisis began and how we can fix it (and do like and share it with your friends).

Well, I agree, absolutely

Behind Cambridge Analytica lay a bigger threat to our democracy: Facebook
Jennifer Cobbe
More needs to be done to clamp down on big tech’s nefarious methods of influencing our politics and culture

Oddly, I don’t think Jenny means bans on articles which show a lefty in a bad light – like, say, buying the VP’s influence through oligarchs hiring his son.

But maybe I’m just being mean.

Idiot damn fool

We are particularly worried to see the figures for Pakistani workers – paid lowest, against other counterparts despite holding higher degree level qualifications,” she said. “The government needs to ask what are the underlying causes for this inequality? We can’t explain it away by degree qualifications or socio-economic factors or ethnicity. Therefore, this suggests that invisible factors are working against South Asians.”

Sigh.

It said there were double-digit pay gaps for four groups of ethnic minority employees – 16% for people of Pakistani descent, 15% for white and black African, 15% for Bangladeshi and 13% for white and black Caribbean.

The ONS added that some ethnic groups had consistently earned more than white workers since the series began in 2012. In 2019 median hourly earnings for employees of white Irish ethnicity were 40.5% higher than those for other white employees at £17.55, while workers of Chinese ethnicity earned 23.1% more at £15.38 an hour and workers of Indian descent earned £14.43 an hour – a negative pay gap of 15.5%.

Indians are South Asians, Y/N?

We should probably call this what it is

Or at least is close to:

But with an emphasis on productive national capitalism, as opposed to global capitalism, the populist right could very well coalesce the GOP around a figure whose platform resembles the “social” nationalism of Europe’s radical right, marrying industrial policy and a moderately expanded welfare state with conservative social values and an anti-immigrant agenda.

Proper fascism probably requires the uniforms even if not the invading places – Ethiopia, Poland etc. But that is a reasonable enough pencil sketch of fascism-lite…..

Much to my surprise the American Prospect even manages to call that right as well……

Just not getting it

“Pack” the Supreme Court? Absolutely 100% yes — it’s the only way to save democracy

The point of the Supreme Court is to be anti-democratic.

It’s also been more than 20 years since Republicans represented a majority of voters in the Senate, making the condition of minority rule even more extreme.

That’s also the point of the Senate, to be at least a brake upon majoritarianism.

Fair enough

The data watchdog has closed its investigation into Cambridge Analytica, concluding that the controversial data company did not directly misuse data to influence the Brexit referendum.

Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner, said her team also found no evidence Cambridge Analytica aided Russian intervention in the UK political process.

The VP debate

Well, sure, this could be what happened:

There was no real contest in the vice-presidential debate between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence. Harris wiped the floor with him. Pence ignored, patronized and talked over the two women in the room. Her strategy was cool competence. His was sexist entitlement.

I don’t know. I didn’t watch it. But that report here is brought to you by Jill Filipovic. Strong and independent woman beats off challenge by sexist patriarch. Sure, it could have happened that way. But then Ms. Filipovic would review Winnie the Pooh by claiming strong and independent woman beats off challenge by sexist patriarch so I’m not entirely sure whether to believe her.

How very official this is

The world’s biggest tech companies must not be allowed to compete with rival businesses on their own platforms and may even need to be broken up, an investigation from US politicians has concluded.

Gosh!

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel published a series of proposals to curb the monopoly power of Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook. It follows a probe into the tech giants that lasted more than a year.

Ah. Not all that official then. Sorta equivalent to the Labour members, and Labour members only, of the Select Committee on Employment saying that unions are lovely.

Frank Bruni is worried

A destructive, dangerous exclamation point, too, which is why the commission isn’t going far enough. It should cancel the coming Trump-Biden debates altogether.

Worried that at some point the true Joe Biden will shine through so therefore don’t allow the possibility.

Entirely fascinating

At one end of the scale were voters who were considered to be sympathetic to the Trump campaign; at the other were those who were regarded as hostile.
However, a key audience was categorised as "Deterrence", voters whom the Trump campaign wanted to dissuade from participating in the election.
According to Channel 4, 3.5 million African Americans were classified in this group.
They were targeted for negative adverts designed to weaken support for Hillary Clinton, including a video in which the former First Lady and Secretary of State referred to black youths as super predators.

So, the way to dissuade people from voting is to tell them truths about your opponent? Or, actually, with Hillary remind them who your opponent is? With a piccie?

Dastardly, eh?

Err, Honey?

Keir Starmer’s ‘new management’ will cost Labour minority votes. Does he care?
Nesrine Malik
By pandering to red-wall voters with a Tory-lite agenda, the party risks losing its core support and, ultimately, its soul

The 13% or so of the country that is BAME is not enough to win an election.

The 30 to 60% (depends upon your measure of what is being measured of course) that is working class is.

Labour’s recent problem was that it forgot this and so lost the workers as it gained BAME. Which ain’t, as recent events have shown, the way to win an election.

Sure, you can bitch and moan about this but this is the way democracy works, the majority rules.

Well, quite

Trump is pushing nationalist myths. But Democrats indulge lavish patriotism, too
Cas Mudde
Democratic politicians are constantly trying to ‘prove’ they love the US. Yet actual Americans seem more realistic about their country’s failings

Try running on a platform of hating the place.