Archive for the ‘international politics’ Category

marcon inauguration live

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

emmanuel macron becomes france’s president.  live on France 24 live in english:

trump’s impeachment march begins

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

in the USA congress, the chairman of the house oversight committee has asked the justice department to investigate the firing of FBI director james comey. when the richard nixon white house fired the special prosecutor archibald coxspecial prosecutor archibald cox investigating the  watergate breakin in 1973, they too were within their rights legally. but this began the slow drum beat of scrutiny.

trump opens pandora’s box

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

US president donald trump opened pandora’s box by firing FBI director james comey. for those of you who are X-Files fans it sounds like a mystery for scully and mulder. we here at a blog about whatever initially thought that the obama administration tried to tie the incoming trump administration to manchurian candidate type stuff relating to russia for partisan reasons. this would sew doubts in the minds of the electorate about a president entering office with less than 50% of the popular vote. so essentially a man without a mandate. –thereby helping to ensure that trump would not win re-election in 2020. we don’t necessarily think that the obama administration thought they would find all sorts of gummi bears and lollipops.  we don’t think comey’s firing one day after an old quote from 2014 surfaced from eric trump saying the trump organization had all the money they needed from russia for their golf courses, was a coincidence.

former national security adviser mike flynn was an obvious target, given that obama had previously fired flynn and it was public knowledge that he had been to russia and appeared on the russian government owned channel Russian Today (recently rebranded as RT). just go on youtube and have a look.

we think the aim of the DEMs was to distract trump for the next 3.5 years. but now the perception is that the trump administration is hiding something. and like the washington posts writes, even republicans who have consistently been willing to stand up for trump are now reluctant.

all US politicians know the history of the watergate scandals. as do all americans with a high school education. a seemingly innocuous office break in that lead to the first resignation of a sitting US president. along the way a special prosecutor was fired by nixon flunkie robert bork–who came to regret this about 10 years later when he was nominated for a lifetime seat on the US supreme court. robert bork’s congressional hearing and failed nomination proved that just because your boss tells you to do something, doesn’t mean you actually should do it.  consumer rights activist ralph nader filed a lawsuit challenging the firing of the special prosecutor who was investigating US president nixon and what became known as watergate. the courts ruled the firing illegal. we wonder what is waiting in the wings for donald trump. we’re pretty sure it’s president mike pence.

macron 65% wins in france

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

macron at 39 years old is the youngest head of state of france since napoleon bonaparte in 1848.

blogging the french election 2

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

at 5pm france’s minister of the interior announced that turnout was at 65.30%. in 2012 it was 71.96%. the polls close at 7pm and 8pm (in some areas) CET time or (GMT + 1). according to reuters an unofficial poll by a belgian organization predicts emmanuel macron will win the presidency with 61% – 64% of the vote. you can watch the first round of results live at 19.05 (7:05pm) france time
in english or french on france 24:

blogging the french election

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

according to france 24 turnout at noon was 28.23%, only 2 percentage points behind 2012. in 2012 80% of the electorate voted in the second round of the french presidential election.

US prefers to put blacks in jail than school

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

donald trump and the trump administration is considering de-funding historically black colleges in the USA. as a bit of background information, these universities were set during a time when the united stated had laws banning blacks from attending universities. apparently a fund set up for the universities in 1992, under the george h.w. bush administration provides some support for assisting with infrastructure. the schools are not specifically for black students, and the students come from a wide range of backgrounds. anyone can apply and be accepted to the universities. but it is good to know and understand why these schools existed. it was only until perhaps the mid-to-late 1960s when blacks in all states were allowed to attend mainstream universities. state (public) universities across the united states receive federal funds as do some private institutions in forms of access to providing federal grants to students attending their schools. so we are not sure why trump would single out these schools, which have black, white and brown students for possible defunding. is this a nod to the far right who voted for him during the last presidential election. would these voters prefer to re-divert the money towards policing and away from education? one could argue that providing better access to education black, brown and white americans this would help lower the crime rate in the USA and help the country save the 30K plus per year per person the US spends on prisons.

nytimes gets it wrong about english

Saturday, May 6th, 2017

jean-claude juncker, president of the european commission jokingly (?) said that the english language was headed for the doors in europe. the nytimes defends the use of english and the new york rag erroneously states that english will still be the language of choice in the EU because it is the official language of malta and ireland. but when countries join the EU they have to pick 1 language as their official language. when malta joined, they picked maltese and ireland picked irish. so juncker is actually right. as the brits head for the doors the english language will officially go with them as there will be no other country in the EU whose stated official language is english.

marine accused of 5M EUR fraud by EU

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

the european commission has accused presidential candidate of putting her bodyguard and chief of staff on the payroll for he mep gig in parliament. the initial 300k-ish calculation now looks more like 5M-ish.

populism vs. marine le pen

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

the allure of populist rhetoric is that populists offer simple solutions to complex problems. it is this type of rhetoric that seperated donald trump from the pack of 16 presidential candidates during the marathon debates that lead up to the US GOP presidential primaries in 2015 and 2016.

populism works well when ideas are asserted with a bit of a wink and a double meaning. then one’s audience member can walk away feeling as if he (and it’s usually a he) knows what the populist really meant. with marine le pen, these sort of double entendres are absent.

le pen and the far right national front party’s support for a frexit is based on le pen’s assertion that “they” (whomever they are) said that brexit would destroy the EU and the UK economy. there are those in the UK that asserted that this could happen and given that the pound is trading at about 1 pound to 1.28 USD and had been hovering around 1 pound to 1.80 USD since probably the late 1990s, it’s  great for exports but not for imports and brits who like to travel. and there has been a tick up in inflation in the UK. and given that the UK is mostly a service-oriented industry and has a slim manufacturing base, it’s not totally clear who a weak pound is really helping in great britain. there’s the famous story of david cameron traveling to china and trying to figure out what the UK actually made that china needed. because china doesn’t really need the UK’s financial services.

getting back to marine le pen. there is no parallel argument between frexit (france leaving the EU) and brexit (the UK leaving the EU) . for one thing, france was a founding member of the EU in 1957, having collaborated (dare we say collaborated) with the germans, luxembourgians, dutch, italians and the belgians to create what was initially called a lot of things, including the common market (prior to being called the european union). france also shares the same currency, the euro, with 19 out of the current 28 EU members, while countries such as the UK, denmark and sweden, do not. the UK joined the EU in the early 1970s prior to margaret thatcher becoming prime minister.

therefore an unraveling of france from the EU would not only be messy, it would throw the entire world into chaos, if not a depression. although joseph stiglitz wrote a nice little screed in 2016 about how to de-couple the euro. he even admited that how messy it might be is a big unknown. but his argument is that it would be better to do this sooner than later otherwise the eurozone countries have doomed themselves to endless decades of slow growth.

but given that emmanuel macron, the centrist candidate from the party en marche! (who, unlike jeb bush is making successful use of an exclamation point) is polling at 25% (up from 22.5% from the beginning of the week) and from the last poll numbers we’ve seen marine le pen is at 21%. we think that jean-luc mélenchon(the eurosceptic and far left candidate) will land in second place. mélenchon has managed to peel some of the national front’s voters away by appealing to youth and workers who support le pen with nonsense like free stuff and wealth redistribution. but we we predict that emmanuel macron and mélenchon will secure a second place slot in the run off. which will create a type of chaos for the CAC, french bonds and the world for the following 2 weeks, if not the next 5 years.

the french presidential election takes place in 2 rounds. in round 1 the french people send the political class and the elites a message. which is why when cnn and hala gorani run around paris trying to determine why there are so many undecided voters, it is because the journalists at cnn (fake news?) don’t understand france’s political system. it’s tough to drop a non-french speaker in the middle of france and sort out its political culture in a weekend. but in the end, the reason why almost 33% of french voters are undecided is because they have not determined which message they would like to send to the political elites. it could be that le pen’s number is too small and that these 33% could decide to thrown their votes behind le pen. that would really be the only way that le pen, like trump, could become the accidential french president.