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genferei's Posts

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Stop with the useless airport security theatre. Every pointless minute spent by a person in a security queue is a minute this person is neither producing nor consuming. Every pointless security job is being done by a person who could be doing something else than almost literally telling people to dig holes and fill them […]

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The Uniparty and Its Discontents: French Lessons

 

Emmanuel Macron, the recently re-elected president of France, faces a bit of a challenge in gaining a majority in the upcoming legislative elections. Readers will recall that when he burst onto the scene in the previous presidential election it was as a young, dynamic communicator with a good line in soaring if empty rhetoric and a strange spouse, and was something of a blank canvas upon which the chattering classes could project their own desires. Unlike Obama, who was a creation of his party, Macron created his own.

A vast array of “centrist” or “moderate” politicians, seeing which way the wind was blowing, flocked to join his creation, abandoning the traditional parties. Macron appointed ministers using a mixture of stunt-casting, rewarding treachery, and an eye for style over substance. It is now clear that he has all but succeeded in destroying the (French version of) the center-left and center-right institutions, absorbing those members of the political class more interested in power than principle – that is, most of them. Seizing the historical moment, he created the Uniparty. Mission accomplished?

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As predicted, the first round of voting for President of France has led to a runoff between Emmanuel Macron, the incumbent, and Marine Le Pen, the perennial extreme ‘right’ candidate, to be held on April 24. Macron finished with some 27.6% and Le Pen with 23.4%, ahead of the lefty candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon on 22%. […]

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France votes in the first round of the presidential election on Sunday. The top two candidates then go into a runoff on 24th April (unless someone wins an outright majority). Last time around the strong conservative candidate was taken out by well-timed – and completely true – revelations of the usual French political corruption (which […]

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A Putin-Stopping Speech

 

Donald Trump obviously didn’t write his own speeches. And he was pretty bad at delivering them. But they are also clearly his – no one else would have dared to say the things he did. Because the speeches came, if not from his pen, from his heart, they were received as not mere words but an indication of what he, as President, would actually do, would have the US do, and would have his allies do.

So when Donald Trump stood in front of the monument to the Warsaw Uprising in Krasiński Square and said:

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You see them everywhere – content producers for such sites as The Federalist: ‘Such And So is an intern, currently pursuing a degree is Poli Sci with a minor in journalism’. Why? Why would someone with conservative instincts, inclinations or convictions study journalism? (I leave for another time the question of political “science”.) I could […]

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There seem to be two main hypotheses about what happened in the recent Presidential election. One is that an incumbent President with a largely successful domestic and foreign policy motivated his base to turn out in unprecedented numbers and increased his support among groups that have historically overwhelmingly supported the opposition party candidate, while the […]

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Politics, as Paul Begala said, is showbiz for ugly people. Fanfic is fictional writing written by fans. Political journalism, therefore, is fanfic about ugly people. What formulation could more accurately describe political journalism? What could more accurately capture the controversies, so unmoored from any objective reality, of most political discourse? What could more accurately capture […]

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Conservatives like institutions. They can incarnate ideals in a way flawed individuals cannot. An institution, at its best, can be better than the sum of its human parts. Institutions can endure beyond the (effective) lifetime of any person. Institutions can also inculcate values, making people better. Institutions can, in a deep way, be good. The […]

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When the ruler is incompetent by reason of age or mental state (or, in Joe’s case, both), someone else makes the decisions. That can be a relative, a group of counsellors, or an ever-shifting constellation of power players. Regencies – unless formally constituted – tend to be unstable, because they don’t fit the established constitutional […]

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With the corporate media already preparing the battlespace, a hostile intelligence community, a senior officer corps on the woke side of patriotic, a Chief Justice who would rather compromise than confront, a local mayor and surrounding governors whose attitudes to the incumbent range from mild distaste to virulent hatred, the rent-a-mobs already active and the […]

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Michael Anton has written book that sums up much of what I wanted to say. You should read it, too. You won’t necessarily agree with everything he says. I didn’t. But he says it pretty well, and it needs saying. It is almost too late for America as we knew it. It may be too […]

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The philosophical theme of President Trump’s remarks to the UN was the universality of patriotism. The passion that burns in the hearts of patriots and the souls of nations has inspired reform and revolution, sacrifice and selflessness, scientific breakthroughs, and magnificent works of art. Preview Open

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Following Through

 

For an administration that lurches from crisis to crisis, sowing chaos throughout the settled international order and threatening us all with imminent Armageddon, the Trump foreign policy is awfully predictable. Exhibit 1, candidate Trump’s speech of April 27, 2016. You might not agree with it, but you can’t say he didn’t warn you.

He begins with a brief tour of history, and where things went wrong:

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Paul Manafort, convicted sleazeball, was manager/chairman of the Trump presidential campaign for just shy of two months, between 20 June and 19 August 2016, an interregnum between the Corey Lewandowski period and the final Steve Bannon/Kellyanne Conway reign. Manafort had been suggested by Tom Barrack, the Colony Capital billionaire who had been Deputy Undersecretary for […]

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In “‘Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones’. Considerations for an ethical discernment regarding some aspects of the present economic-financial system” of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, 17.05.2018 the Vatican takes a look at modern finance. It recycles some agency problem theory, implies that all borrowers are weaker than […]

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I think he did fine. His remarks can be seen here, or read here. Nothing new: it’s the sales job on America that was promised, the unsubtle sales job on his own performance that is to be expected, and the stepping on his best scripted lines that is the trademark of his delivery. But some […]

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You can find it here (PDF). Accept no substitutes. (Unless you are in a position to read the full, classified, National Defense Strategy, of course.) It’s short, punchy, and deeply Mattisian: the repeated theme of lethality is particularly delicious. Peace through strength. Innovation. Interagency integration. Partnerships and alliances. Competition. Strategic predictability but operational unpredictability. Winning. […]

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genferei

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