Category: elections

He’s running: The specter of Donald Trump looms over the GOP |

there is a grotesque orange cloud hovering over the GOP in the person of Donald J. Trump who is planning to announce his candidacy any time now and remind everyone in the country that the Republican Party has been remade in his image and still dances to his tune. When asked what he thought about Trump entering the 2024 race, Joe Biden said he welcomes it. No doubt. Biden may be unpopular but in head-to-head polls, he still beats Trump.

He’s running: The specter of Donald Trump looms over the GOP |

‘Teal’ independents coming for state MPs next in Victoria and New South Wales | Victorian politics | The Guardian

Dr Monique Ryan's supporters at her campaign launch

Matthew Guy really doesn’t have the Community Support

The wave of “teal” independents that dislodged a swathe of “moderate” Liberal MPs in Saturday’s federal election is expected to seep into upcoming state elections in Victoria and New South Wales.

Source: ‘Teal’ independents coming for state MPs next in Victoria and New South Wales | Victorian politics | The Guardian

The global lurch to the Right

How slow we are to notice like Climate Change we have been telling you this for 2 decades. (ODT)

Places to watch in 2020

National elections will be held this year in Hong Kong, Singapore, Jordan, Iran, New Zealand, Croatia, Greece, Iceland, Lithuania, Ireland, Poland, Romania, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, the USA and several smaller states in Africa and elsewhere. So plenty of theatres of potentially intriguing political contest.

Do these raise hopes for the future?

Yes, says Charles Richardson:

‘Anti-democratic forces remain firmly in control in much of the world. Recovering from the losses of the last few years is going to be a long haul. But as Angela Merkel would say, “Wir schaffen das” [We will get there]. But it’s not going to be easy.’

via The global lurch to the Right

Scott Morrison hits back after Alex Turnbull urges voters to abandon Liberals in Wentworth – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Andrew Bolt insists sons are like their fathers and all this is Malcolm’s doing. He an assimilationist heaven help if any of the Bolt’s aren’t mirror images of their father (ODT)

Mr Morrison said Alex Turnbull was “his own person”, but that his father Malcolm Turnbull was heavily supporting the Liberal candidate Dave Sharma.

“At the Wentworth by-election, I have a simple message, if you want a continuation of the certainty for our economy and of economic management, voting for anyone other than Dave Sharma puts all of that at risk,” Mr Morrison said.

“If an independent is elected at the Wentworth by-election, that will throw us into a hung parliament and a lot of uncertainty at a time when the country doesn’t need it.”

“I disagree with Alex. His father disagrees with him too.”

via Scott Morrison hits back after Alex Turnbull urges voters to abandon Liberals in Wentworth – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Wagga Wagga’s message for the Morrison Muppet Show

All of this political uncertainty means the Morrison Government will be searching for targets to unify itself and its supporters around. The rhetoric about refugees and asylum seekers is likely to increase. The racism of identifying so-called gangs in Melbourne and elsewhere will increase. Indigenous Australians will be under attack for … being Indigenous people. They will conflate even more Islam and terrorism.

On top of that, as well as cleaning the pension age barnacle off the Liberal Titanic, we saw last week Morrison is planning to ramp up the attacks on the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union for the “crime” of defending jobs, increasing wages and trying to ensure safety on building sites. Meanwhile, the crooks running the banks still walk our streets.

via Wagga Wagga’s message for the Morrison Muppet Show

Cambridge Analytica as the Matrix: Information Dominance and the Next Level of Fake News | Informed Comment

Cambridge Analytica as the Matrix: Information Dominance and the Next Level of Fake News

The Matrix.

The way this works is that say you know that someone is an unemployed auto worker and you make up phony internet placards misrepresenting Bill and Hillary Clinton as anti-labor.

And you set it up so that once the person clicks on one such piece of propaganda, they are presented with several more links of the same ilk. And then so are all their Facebook friends. So you create a Matrix world in which auto workers should give Trump a chance because the Democratic Establishment has failed them (which, even if the second part of this proposition is true, is a non sequitur). And you set it up so that that is what people in Detroit and Flint and Ypsilanti are talking about with one another, on line and off line, what they are liking on Facebook, what they are sharing on their timeline.

And then Trump wins Michigan.

AP notes that Chris Wylie, a Cambridge Analytica co-founder, told NBC, “This is based on an idea called ‘informational dominance,’ which is the idea that if you can capture every channel of information around a person and then inject content around them, you can change their perception of what’s actually happening.” He called it “fake news to the next level.”

via Cambridge Analytica as the Matrix: Information Dominance and the Next Level of Fake News | Informed Comment

Big bucks for political parties: How Australia’s politicians are selling us out

Actually, when you come to think of it, the problem is not what they do with all that moolah, but what they do for it. And, again, because you are a simple person, you understand that if you give somebody money, you’d expect that person to do something for you. That’s the way the world works: your friend fixes a door hinge for you, so you buy him a drink; your wife helps out a neighbour and gets a sponge cake for a thank you; you drop your son’s friend off to school and his father takes you to the football a few times a year.

So you can only imagine what you would be prepared to do if someone actually gave you $95 million. You strongly suspect the folk in government must be feeling grateful to those who gave them all that money. Look, we said you are no genius and have only a vague idea what a government could do to thank those donors, but you feel they will get something for their contributions and you will miss out.

It’s actually worse than that. It isn’t just that they get something that you don’t: they get something at your expense and that of others like you. In other words, each of you pays a small amount of the reward which those donors receive. You pay it in small cutbacks in benefits to which you are entitled; in the rundown of your children’s school, in the roads that, in the old days, used to be free; in a dozen little helpings that enable the top ten per cent of the population to recoup a profit on the donation they have made to the political party.

via Big bucks for political parties: How Australia’s politicians are selling us out

Poll Vault: Great election campaign stuff-ups and blunders throughout history – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Lateline takes a look at some of the most awkward campaign blunders in Australia’s election history.

Source: Poll Vault: Great election campaign stuff-ups and blunders throughout history – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Hillary Clinton wants you to be afraid – very afraid – of a Republican dystopia

hillary clinton warning you

Doom and gloom may not be the new hope and change, but they just might work

  • Clinton attacks Scott Brown for ‘dismissing’ women’s rights
  • Hillary Clinton sprinkles her stardust on Grimes campaign
  • Live updates: Complete coverage of the US midterm elections
  • Hillary Clinton is, as she reminded audience in Kentucky, Louisiana and New Hampshire this weekend, a new member of “the grandmother’s club”. Many other new grandmas might spend their time daydreaming about the future of their grandchildrens – I’m pretty sure we were all destined to be lawyers, doctors, future presidents or well-remunerated sports stars, in the minds of most grandmothers – but Clinton’s reveries about Charlotte’s future are a bit more … dark.The Democrats are going to lose on Tuesday, and Hillary Clinton knows it. Her grim prophecy of a GOP takeover isn’t so much a last-minute appeal to Senate voters as an early bid for her own. Because doom and gloom may not be the new hope and change, but they might actually work.

    Clinton’s campaign speeches aren’t each original works of creative genius. As Maggie Haberman reports at Politico, she does tailor her zings about Republicans neatly to each race where she’s stumping, but the foundation of her remarks in the US midterm election homestretch remained the same: equal pay (and GOP opposition to it), the minimum wage (and GOP opposition to it) and Republicans creating a climate of fear (“the last resort of those who have run out of ideas”).

    But at the end of each speech, Clinton turned to her granddaughter and her own fears about the country Charlotte might face as a young adult if Republicans gain more power. At her appearance in Highland Heights, Kentucky, in a message largely repeated elsewhere, Clinton said:

    What’s our country going to be like in 20-25 years when she’s an adult – like many of the students here [at Northern Kentucky University], when she is going to be starting her adult life? Is the American dream going to be there for her the way it was for me and my husband, and for Alison [Lundergan Grimes]? Is the education system from pre-K to university level going to keep the standing it’s always had as the best in the world, so that young people will find a place that can help prepare them? Is our political system, our democracy, going to represent our values and ideals? Or is it going to be captured by a very few who seem not to understand that the obligation of being in public service in a democracy is not to get captured by some small elite privileged group, but to be constantly working to give the same opportunities to everybody that gave you the chance to be in public service in the first place.

    (That last bit is, of course, a reference to the Koch brothers and their reportedly cozy relationship with US senate minority leader – and Grimes opponent – Mitch McConnell.)

    In her three-state swing, Clinton’s marked shift in tone and content – from stumping for the candidate by her side to warning about the America that her granddaughter might inherent – was almost disconcerting, especially given the overall upbeat tenor of the speakers at most pre-Election Day rallies. But even within the confines of Clinton’s themselves speeches, the abupt shift in gears halted her palpable momentum and mostly silenced her audiences.

    It was as though Hillary Clinton felt more compelled to make dark prophesies than inspire voters.

    Then again, you hardly need to read tea leaves to predict the Republicans will take control of the senate – and thus the entire legislative branch – after Tuesday. You don’t need a Senate forecaster to know which way the gridlock will go: the Congressional intransigence Americans claim to hate (even as they like or remain indifferent to divided control of the branches of government, the cause of said intransigence) will either continue or get worse, to the detriment of everyone, assuming that Republicans have legislative goals beyond dismantling Obamacare.

    But especially here in Kentucky – where almost 400,000 workers make less than $10.10 per hour and a bill to raise the minimum wage and minimum server wages died in the GOP-controlled state senate – it’s not an unreasonable thought that the whole “American dream” thing is getting a little tarnished for more than a few low-income voters. And decrying a minimum wage increase for the next two years won’t exactly make Republicans popular – especially given that there were about twice as many people making at or below the minimum wage in 2013 as there were in 2006 (before Congress passed the last increase).

    Clinton’s increasingly busy and impromptu travel schedule this election season – and the positive reception she’s gotten from die-hard Hillary fans sporting buttons and signs and local voters more concerned about Tuesday than 2016 alike – have not exactly tamped down speculation that she’ll start running for president in the next six months. And when she does, Clinton will be running against the (potential) dystopia she’s prophesying on the campaign trail right now: Republican control of the legislative branch and further political gridlock. Despite the overwhelming popularity of both, there almost certainly won’t be any effort to raise the minimum wage or guarantee women equal pay, and Republicans will almost certainly have a go at repealing the still-unpopular Affordable Care Act even as its effects are finally beginning to be felt by more Americans.

    Clinton told her audiences this weekend:

    You should not have to be the grandchild of a former secretary of state or a former president to be given the opportunities that you deserve as an American.

    But she also asked them to imagine a future in which their children would have to be – and it wasn’t tough