Interesting and amusing

The nationalist Alternative for Germany party (AfD) made sweeping gains in regional elections on Sunday, inflicting heavy losses on Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU).

Björn Höcke, a politician who has been compared to Hitler by German national television, led the AfD to second place in the eastern state of Thuringia with 23.8 per cent, according to initial projections.

This is the horror of course. Righties getting closet to power.

The AfD was held off by the Left Party of the current regional prime minister, Bodo Ramelow, which came first with 29.5 per cent.

Who are the left?

The result will be seen as personal vindication for Mr Ramelow, Germany’s first regional prime minister from the Left Party, a successor to the former East German communist party.

The commies. Who also slaughtered their way across East Germany in their time. But they are the saviours…..

OK then Owen

A healthy democracy depends on an active citizenry which is able to make informed decisions. That is, in theory, the role of the fourth estate: to help the public understand their own society and the world around them, to hold the powerful to account and to challenge myths and expose uncomfortable truths. You do not need to be a long-time critic of the British media ecosystem to see those basic functions are not being satisfied when it comes to Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal. Rather than detailed scrutiny being applied to the most important single political event since the second world war, it has been reduced to a spectacle, a pantomime, all framed on the government’s own terms.

Just as Theresa May’s “no deal is better than a bad deal” bluster collided with political reality, Johnson’s demagoguery was followed by his own capitulation to the EU’s red lines. Yet his embrace of a deal first offered by the EU 19 months ago – and rejected by May as something “no UK prime minister could ever agree to” – has been presented as an against-all-odds, critic-defying triumph. The consequences of a deal predicted to strip the country of £130bn worth of growth – making the average Briton £2,250 a year poorer over the next 15 years – should be front and centre in the debate.

So we should examine every proposal by you, McDonnell and Corbyn by the effects on GDP growth, should we? Never another matter to have a look in?

Or do things like democracy, the way we’re ruled, inequality, civil liberty and all the rest get a look in?

And if they do with the plans you like then why don’t they with other plans?

Amusing

Boris Johnson has told the EU that he is “not asking” for a “deeply corrosive” delay to Brexit, as he ordered a senior diplomat to send an unsigned photocopy of the request drawn up by MPs asking Brussels for an extension.

The Prime Minister phoned European leaders on Saturday night to declare that the letter MPs had forced the Government to send to Donald Tusk “is Parliament’s letter, not my letter”. A senior No 10 source said he was asking them to “invite Parliament to reconsider”, on the basis that “the best thing for the UK and Europe” is for Brexit to take place on Oct 31.

Obeying the letter of the law……fnarr, fnarr.

OK, boilerplate nonsense

This climate injustice is only one manifestation of the inequalities and injustices built into the capitalist powers’ imperial exploitation of the “under-developed” world. In the late Immanuel Wallerstein’s framework, the core capitalist powers compete with each other for dominance in exploiting the resources of the underdeveloped periphery nations.

Consequently, each of the capitalist powers is loathe to weaken its competitive position vis à vis the other capitalist economies. In a capitalist world, each economic unit must act to protect what it deems its own interests. The only counterweight comes from the public sector.

Yet in a capitalist world, each public authority — local, state or national government — is constrained by the fear that pushing public interests too far will cause capital flight, thereby undermining its viability. And, of course, corporations and the wealthy dominate the shaping of public policy — nowhere more than in the US.

Sigh. But then this is some kid, right?

Ted Morgan is emeritus professor of political science at Lehigh University

Sigh.

Give over Honey, seriously?

Hillary Clinton has said Russia, which interfered in the US election she lost in 2016, is “grooming” a Democratic candidate for a third-party run next year, signalling she believes congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard could fill the role.

The goal of this would essentially be to divide the US electorate and help Donald Trump win re-election, Clinton said. In the interview, Clinton also said she believes Russia had compromising information, or kompromat, on Trump.

“I’m not making any predictions but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary, and they’re grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” the former secretary of state told David Plouffe in his “Campaign HQ” podcast without providing evidence.

“She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”

You lost because not enough people wanted to vote for you. There was no grand conspiracy.

But you’re going to use that accusation to try to continue to run the Democratic Party. Retiring gently to the farm like Cincinnatus would benefit the Republic rather more.

The problem with this is?

The former US ambassador to Ukraine, whose abrupt departure has become a focus of impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump, has told congressional investigators that the president personally pressured the state department to recall her as part of a “concerted campaign” against her.

Ahem.

Ambassadors of the United States are persons nominated as ambassadors by the President to serve as United States diplomats to individual nations of the world, to international organizations, and as ambassadors-at-large. Their appointment needs to be confirmed by the United States Senate.[1] An ambassador can be appointed during a recess, but he or she can only serve as ambassador until the end of the next session of Congress unless subsequently confirmed.[2] Ambassadors serve “at the pleasure of the President”, meaning they can be dismissed at any time.

Cough:

An ambassador may be a career Foreign Service Officer (career diplomat – CD) or a political appointee (PA). In most cases, career foreign service officers serve a tour of approximately three years per ambassadorship

And:

Marie Louise Yovanovitch (born 1958)[1] is a member of the Senior United States Foreign Service who served as the 9th United States Ambassador to Ukraine. She was nominated to the post on May 18, 2016, to replace Geoff Pyatt;[2][3] was sworn in on August 18, 2016;[4] and was recalled as of May 20, 2019.

Looks like she served her 3 years in post. And it is, even for a career officer, still at the pleasure of the President.

But, you know, Orange Man.

That’s the end of that

Yes, I know, a heart attack isn’t what it used to be.

Bernie Sanders had a heart attack, campaign says as senator leaves hospital

But social attitudes usually trail behind medical advances. I’d say that’s the end of Bernie’s campaign. Purely my reading of the American public – something subject to very large error bars – but the required imagery of forceful vitality just won’t be there.

Can’t say it breaks my heart that Bernie won’t be running the world but there we are.

What’s that about organisations not expressly right wing?

As secretary of the think tank the Centre for Policy Studies, under Hugh Thomas — later Lord Thomas of Swynnerton (obituary, May 9, 2017) — she relished being at the heart of political debate during the Thatcher era, and held the organisation together as Thomas steered it away from the right-wing policies of its founders, Keith Joseph and Alfred Sherman, towards the centre ground. At a critical point, Thomas succeeded in ousting Sherman from his office. “Do you think we should change the locks?” he asked Brooke. “I already have,” she said firmly.

This is just going to sweep those Northern seats, isn’t it?

Jeremy Corbyn will scrap controls on immigration and hand foreign nationals the right to vote in future elections and referendums if Labour wins power.

The Labour leader will head into the next election promising to extend freedom of movement to migrants around the world, along with abolishing detention centres, under plans approved on Wednesday.

TBP doesn’t have to do a Tommy Robinson to be able to appeal to that voter base either.

But Joe and Hunter should be investigated

Donald Trump is to face a formal impeachment inquiry as Democrats claimed he violated the US Constitution.

Mr Trump has accused Democrats of another political “witch hunt”.

So what happens next?

What are the allegations against Donald Trump?
A whistleblower in the US intelligence community has made an internal complaint.

He – it is a man – alleges that Mr Trump, in a July 25 phone call, urged the leader of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden who sat on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

Why have the Democrats launched impeachment proceedings?
The Democrats claim Mr Trump’s alleged actions show he violated the Constitution by inviting help from a foreign power in a domestic election.

The thing being that Hunter’s up to his neck in it as is his father. They should be investigated.

Still, partisan politics, eh?

Seems reasonable

Donald Trump has fired his national security adviser, John Bolton, in a pair of tweets in which he laid bare searing internal divisions within his inner circle, saying he had “disagreed strongly” with his top aide.

If you don’t agree with the adviser then you need a new adviser.

You friggin’ what?

Natalie Louise Bennett (born 10 February 1966) is a British politician and journalist who was born and raised in Australia. She led the Green Party of England and Wales from September 2012 to September 2016.[1][2][3] Bennett was given a peerage in Theresa May’s 2019 resignation honours.

Jeebus.

Leading the Greens gets you a peerage and leading Ukip doesn’t?

Is this the plan?

Amber Rudd quit the Cabinet and the Conservative Party on Saturday night, attacking the “short-sighted” ousting of pro-EU MPs and saying she believed Boris Johnson was now aiming for a no-deal Brexit.

In a letter to Mr Johnson, the Work and Pensions Secretary insisted she had joined the Cabinet in “good faith” but said she was no longer convinced that “leaving with a deal is the Government’s main objective”.

Ms Rudd’s resignation, on the eve of Mr Johnson’s second attempt to secure an election, will fuel an already seismic row in the Conservative Party over its stance on Brexit, with sources claiming more MPs are preparing to quit on Monday.

Get the Remoaners to resign the whip, the government falls, no one else has a majority, election time!

Idiot

Boris and Donald: two leaders afraid to do the hard work of running a country
Richard Wolffe

BoJo is at least attempting to have the power – by taking it back from Brussels – to be able to run a country.

Isn’t it nice of the Times to translate it for us?

Mr Cummings struck a defiant note at the regular Friday meeting of the special advisers in Downing Street last night.

He reportedly told the group that he was “p***** off’ about people briefing ‘bull****’ about spad pay and the lack of gender balance among advisers. He added: “If you don’t like how I run things, there’s the door. **** off.”

He told advisers that if they had a problem with his style they knew where the door was he said they could talk to him in private if they had concerns, The Times reported.

How’s Alberto’s life insurance looking?

Argentines were stunned in mid-August when the centre-left candidate Alberto Fernández won the national primary elections for the presidency, surpassing all predictions with a whopping 15-point lead over the incumbent Mauricio Macri. The primaries, known as the “PASO”, serve to winnow down the number of presidential candidates, with a 1.5% vote share required to progress to the general elections on October 27.

Fernández’s victory on August 11 came just three months after Argentina’s former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s shock announcement that she would run as his vice-president, having asked him to lead her electoral ticket.