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2018 Nov 11 - US Election Aftermath

20181111
This weekend marked 100 years since the end of the 1st world war and therefore it's also the end of 4 years of seeing the Sunday papers lazily padding out their pages with archive articles. Don’t worry though folks, it’s just one year until we start seeing 80 year commemorative articles about WW2. It's interesting, don't get me wrong, but it's not new. I guess a lifestyle and opinion journal calling itself a newspaper is a legacy thing, like the Carphone Warehouse, or SNP member swearing allegiance to the “United” Kingdom with the sort of honesty that I’d expect from a dodgy car mechanic or someone who says they were only visiting a strip club for the free buffet.

So what has happened in the news? Well last week I said that not a lot would happen in the US election and in many respects I was correct. Sure the Democrats took control of congress, but not by anywhere close to the margins that people were talking about. They also failed to take the senate and the Republican Party actually gained a seat in Indiana. There was no blue wave, Ted Cruz kept his seat and don’t forget that with Brett Kavanaugh installed and another 2 years of potential changes by the senate, the Supreme Court will likely be conservative leaning for the next 20 years or so.

Holding on to all parts of the US government is like trying to capture a shadow and the US system is purposefully designed to prevent legislation that isn’t agreed upon at all 4 stages. So be prepared for a year of nothing followed by a year of people running for president in 2020, something that actually sounds more tedious than the aforementioned ‘year of nothing’. Sure the house could go down the road of impeachment all it wants but they don’t have the senate so it’s a bit like 2 blokes in a pub discussing what car they’d buy if they won the lottery. In my mind the interesting thing to come out of the election, asides from local ballots like Michigan legalising marijuana, is that the new congressmen don’t actually take those seats until January so we might see the incumbents happily passing all sorts of crazy laws in the next month or two, safe in the knowledge that they won’t face any electoral consequences. Sort of like when David Cameron delivered the Brexit vote before heading of to the countryside to write a book and drink wine rather than doing any real work.
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2018 Nov 03 - US Midterm Election

20181103
It's a very exciting couple of days coming up in America. Asides from a National Sandwich Day and National Donut Day fast approaching it's also a massive mid-term election on Tuesday. I looked on Google and apparently Sunday 4th is actually "National Common Sense Day" but rest assured, that will all be forgotten when people on both the right and the left go to the polls to vote in a 2 party system where a brutal combination of districting, voter suppression and an electoral system about as hones ......

2018 Oct 28 - Pipe Bomb Attacks

20181028
Well it's halloween time but there's always someone who takes it too far and this year it was a 56 year old man in Florida who took it upon himself to scare politicians by sending them over a dozen pipe bombs in the post. The potential victims included the Clintons, former president Obama as well as actor Robert Deniro who having escaped a grisly death akin to Goodfellas or the Godfather, will now have many more years in which to murder his reputation with films like the Fockers series or that o ......

2018 Oct 20 - Jamal Khashoggi

20181020
A couple of week's ago Saudi Arabian journalist and prominent critic of the government Jamal Khashoggi disappeared but this wasn't a magic show and he didn't suddenly reappear on the other side of a stage. It turned out that this was more like the magic trick where they cut someone in two or make them disappear and it was Saudi spies running the show so it was less Houdini and more Whodunnit and they've stayed quieter than the one in Penn & Teller that doesn't say anything.

There are two storie ......

2018 Oct 13 - Stock Market Losses

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There's that old joke about what's black and white and red all over, to which the answer is either a newspaper, or the corporate balance sheet of a newspaper in the digital age. Nonetheless, the leaves are starting to turn red and so were a lot of stock markets this week with the FTSE 100 dropping below 7000 points. Not to be mistaken for dropping 7000 pints, which is what Peter O'Toole and Oliver Reed and used to call a "fun weekend."

Share prices have been going up for the past 10 years and t ......

2018 Oct 06 - Conservative Party Conference

20181006
Birmingham once gave us the band The Moody Blues so is seemed appropriate that moody blue rosette wearing MPs gathered in Birmingham this past week for the Conservative Party Conference. There were fever pitch levels of excitement normally reserved in Birmingham for a nill-all draw at Villa Park. But this wasn't football, it was politics and rather than a game of two halves, this was more like 8 full pints and a bottle of whisky into the night as scheming ministers gathered to see if Boris would ......

2018 Sep 29 - Labour Party Conference

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Well the US Supreme Court decision has delayed for a week. That's almost as long a delay as a Southern Rail train! So in the meantime let's talk about the Labour Party Conference which was held this last week in Liverpool. They were in Brighton last year which frankly always came as a surprise to me as there's not too many Bright'uns in the leadership right now

Anyway, there was much of what you'd expect, everyone out-doing each other with speeches about how much they hate money and why they sh ......

2018 Sep 22 - Theresa May in Salzburg

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Theresa May has had a fairly bad run of luck with her Brexit plans so when I heard that she was heading out to Austria, I half expected her to land in Melbourne after a miscommunication. Nonetheless, the plane touched down and she began a quick round of negotiations that turned out to be about as productive as a Venezuelan factory.

Mrs May had gone over to Salzburg in order to push her Chequers proposal again but whilst Salzaburg was once home to Mozart, this week it was more Like that John Cag ......

2018 Sep 15 - Hurricane Florence & 2 Russian Spies

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It's once again tropical storm season with Hurricane Florence crashing into America's east coast like Mel Gibson in the parking lot outside a liquor store. In addition to the loss of life and the economic impact of the storm, the property damage alone is estimated to be $170bn and you have to remember that that's just the initial quote the repairman gave. So bear that in mind when you look at the pictures of mobile homes and trailers which have been for whatever reason, remained firmly in place ......

2018 Sep 08 - Trump's Traitor

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I tell you what I don't trust: stairs, because they're always up to something. But talking of not trusting people, President Trump woke up this week to discover that one of his loyal inner circle had anonymously written a column in the New York Times that was the editorial equivalent of Gordon Ramsey going berserk in a badly run kitchen. This came just one day after scathing excerpts were published from yet another anti-Trump book, this one written by Bob Woodward who was of course famous for r ......

2018 Sep 01 - Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party

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Ok, Frank Field and possibly others are finally quitting the Labour Party so it's time to get round to talking about anti-semitism and Jeremy Corbyn's purposeful woeful attempt to eradicate it. Until a couple of years ago the Labour Party was run by Ed Miliband, someone who claimed to be not just jewish but a modern sort of jewish where you get to eat bacon sandwiches and have your own set of ten commandments carved up except instead of Judaeo-Christian laws they're actually vague promises about ......

2018 Aug 25 - Manafort and Cohen Guilty

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America has given us baseball, jazz and just as importantly (and depressingly) a culture in which top lawyers are treated like Babe Ruth and Louis Armstrong rolled into one and this past week saw more legal drama than a whole series of Perry Mason as the investigation into the 2016 election cracked up a notch.

Paul Manafort, the president's campaign chairman was found guilty on 8 counts consisting of tax fraud, bank fraud, hiding foreign bank accounts, and now faces 240 years in jail. That's a ......

2018 Aug 18 - Aretha Franklin & Trump's Military Parade

20180818
This week saw the loss of music legend Aretha Franklin after her final major hit turned out to be morphine. I imagine that she's up there singing, RESPECT while recently deceased Barry Chuckle follows the line "you know what it means to me" with "means to you" Aretha passed away on the 16th which was also the same date that Elvis died and the same date that Pete Best was kicked out of the Beatles, thus loosing out on a lot of money, but at the same time avoiding having to ever spend time with Yo ......

2018 Aug 11 - Boris, Burkas and the Space Force

20180811
Two stories this week and just like spellings of the word Colour, one is from the UK and one from America.

Let's first talk about Boris Johnson was embroiled in a row after making comments about women wearing the Burka resembling a postbox, a row possibly inspired by the thought that the next tory leadership election will involve sending out thousands of postal ballots to the party faithful. The comment or joke or hate speech or leadership stump, depending how you view it, attracted support fro ......

2018 Aug 04 - Zimbabwe Election

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Whenever you have a vote to decide something, the losers generally try to undermine and question the result, whether it be something like the EU Referendum result, or a more contentious issue like when work colleagues go for lunch and the one person who doesn't drink decides that they'd sooner admit to selling company property on eBay then have to split the bill evenly.

This takes us onto the topic of the recent election result in Zimbabwe which is being contested by the opposition, who in this ......

2018 Jul 29 - Fires

20180729
The news has been a bit quiet this week in the world of politics although former cricketer Imran Khan won an election and will be in charge of Pakistan if such a thing were in any way possible. But this is the age of celebrity of course where sportsmen become politicians, tv reality show host Donald Trump became the US President and the UK has a prime minister who frankly wouldn't look out of place on Countdown's Dictionary Corner, managing to somehow still misspell things and insist that her an ......

2018 Jul 21 - Trump and Putin

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This week started off with a press conference between President Trump and Vladimir Putin in which Mr Trump fully exonerated the Russian president before saying that he in fact meant to say the opposite. Just like when Theresa May claimed that Brexit meant Brexit.

Since then, there's been talk about Vladimir Putin visiting the US, ideas thrown around about exchanging people for "questioning" and right now Sylvester Stallone is finishing up the 8th instalment in the Rocky franchise so maybe he'll ......

2018 Jul 14 - Will Theresa May Survive?

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Lots of Theresa May news week. I don't think there's been this much activity at Westminster since that time Cyrill Smith discovered it was possible to clear his internet search history. Over last 7 days, MPs had had a bit of time to read the details of the Brexit paper that Theresa May put out last weekend and was about as popular as a rattlesnake in a lucky dip

David Davis resigned, as did Boris Johnson along with a number of lesser known ministers and it's currently a case of seeing whether e ......

2018 Jul 08 - Theresa's Latest Brexit Plan

20180708
If you wanted a great visual analogy for Theresa May's premiership then you could do worse than watch a news report on those kids stuck in a cave in Thailand. They're trapped, in the dark and at risk of not making it to the end of the month, and that's just the Prime Minister. Mind you, because those kids have been living under a rock for the last week so they haven't had watch the round-the-clock build-up leading to a football match. Very similar to those other football matches you get most Sat ......

2018 Jun 30 - New Supreme Court Justice

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Wow, summer's here and it is hot out there, call me Sylvia Plath, because it feels like my head's in an oven. But with spring gone it's not just the weather losing it's cool, the internet is all up in arms because Donald Trump is going to be electing a new judge to the US Supreme Court.

Justice Anthony Kennedy is stepping down after several decades on the bench, although at 81 years old who can blame him. When I'm that age the only bench I'd want to be on would be in a nice park somewhere. I sa ......
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