Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

“Right Wing” Party Wins in Poland

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

This seems to be a week for cracks in the EU’s facade of democratic unity to start appearing all over the place. First Portugal finds out that they’re not allowed to have democracy when it conflicts with EU mandates, and now Polish elections have thrown a spanner into the works.

The Law and Justice Party has won 38% of the vote, and looks to have won enough seats (232 seats out of 460) to form a parliamentary majority without including any other party, marking the first time since Democracy was restored in 1989 that no left-wing party will have a role in the ruling government. Law and Justice is described as “Euroskeptic” and “Right Wing” because it opposes the EU’s current pro-Muslim immigration policies and seeks closer ties to the U.S. (among other reasons), but is also “promising to raise the minimum wage and increase welfare spending,” which is hardly a “right wing” (or smart) policy.

But the area where Law and Justice could have the biggest influence is in wrecking the EU’s global warming policies. “Law & Justice generally opposes wind and solar energy and favors an energy policy that emphasizes tariffs targeted at Russian natural gas.” Poland also generates 90% of their electricity from coal, which bodes ill for meeting the EU target of 27% “green” energy by 2030.

Law and Justice is also markedly more wary of Germany, and less willing to appease Russia, than their centrist Civic Platform predecessors, almost as if they had some sorts of historical reasons for their views.

One wonders where the next EU crack will appear…

Portugal Decides EU Mandates Trump Democracy

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Portugal has decided that EU economic mandates trump that pesky Democracy:

Anibal Cavaco Silva, Portugal’s constitutional president, has refused to appoint a Left-wing coalition government even though it secured an absolute majority in the Portuguese parliament and won a mandate to smash the austerity regime bequeathed by the EU-IMF Troika.

He deemed it too risky to let the Left Bloc or the Communists come close to power, insisting that conservatives should soldier on as a minority in order to satisfy Brussels and appease foreign financial markets.

I’m not entirely unsympathetic to Silva’s plight. As in Greece, the anti-austerity movement is an economically illiterate coalition of looters who insist that the welfare state gravy train can never come to an end, ever, even when the country is dead broke. (Though note that author Ambrose Evans-Pritchard never once mentions “welfare state” in his piece.) Remember that Portugal has never practiced real austerity (cutting budget outlays to match receipts), never once having balanced its budget in the last decade. And if the commies (who are, thankfully, only a minority coalition partner) had actually promised to set up a dictatorship of the proletariat, I’d be cheering Silva’s intransigence.

But Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. If Portugal thinks they can take cues from Greece’s anti-austerity tantrum and somehow not get slapped down just as hard, let them try. And in fact the leftwing’s coalition’s promises “to abrogate the Lisbon Treaty, the Fiscal Compact, the Growth and Stability Pact, as well as to dismantle monetary union and take Portugal out of the euro” are entirely rational and in Portugal’s self-interest.

The EU has always been an explicitly antidemocratic union, one designed to prevent mere voters from overruling their bureaucratic betters. The fact that this time they’re opposed by idiots who think they can keep voting themselves goodies from other people’s wallets doesn’t change the problem of the EU’s deficit of democracy.

Two of modern Europe’s central foundations (a monetary union and a cradle-to-grave welfare state) are not only unsustainable, they are incompatible with each other, and corrosive to both stability and democracy. And the EU leaders have no idea what to do about it.

LinkSwarm for October 23, 2015

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

Another Friday, another LinkSwarm, heavy on Benghazi and Presidential race news:

  • Seven revelations from the Benghazi hearing.
  • You know who wasn’t happy about Hillary Clinton’s latest Benghazi testimony? The families of the Benghazi victims. Funny how that “absolute moral authority” the MSM bestowed on Cindy Sheehan doesn’t apply to families of the slain when they criticize Democrats…
  • China vs. the United States: a tale of two economies.
  • Longshot GOP Presidential contenders are running out of money. “Any burn rate over 100 percent is considered dangerous by campaign finance experts. Pataki’s was 226 percent, Graham 188, Paul 181, Jindal 144, Huckabee 110 and Santorum 101.”
  • Speaking of Presidential fundraising, here’s why Rick Perry had to drop out: “Perry spent more than a million dollars during the last reporting period – July through September – while raising only $252,000 in contributions. And the former Texas governor, who exited the race in mid-September, had only $45,000 cash on hand at the end.”
  • “When you vote in your first Presidential election, please remember which political party decided to make your lunchtimes a living Hell for a decade. Spoiler warning: it wasn’t the Republicans.”
  • Some people Hillary Clinton listed as endorsing Hillary Clinton have not, in fact, actually endorsed Hillary Clinton.
  • Ohio Senate race update: “Incumbent Rob Portman (R) raised almost eight million this year, with eleven million in the bank, while former governor Ted Strickland (D) raised about two and a half, with about a million and a half in the bank.”
  • Turkish opposition leader accuses Erdogan’s Islamist government of protecting the Islamic State.
  • Criticize Islam in your blog in Bangladesh? That’s an arresting.
  • Heh:

  • Alvin bond update: “Firm in cracked stadium debacle funds pro-bond propaganda.”
  • Texas Democratic trial lawyer Mikal Watts indicited over fraud related to the BP oil spill case.
  • Arthur Miller — Communist. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Bernie Sanders is “paying” bloggers.
  • Emus on the loose in Round Rock.
  • Lincoln Chafee Stops Pretending to Run for President

    Friday, October 23rd, 2015

    Former Governor, Senator and Republican Lincoln Chafee announced he was dropping out of the Democratic Presidential race. Like Jim Webb, Chafee’s campaign was all but invisible anyway.

    Biden Not Running

    Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

    Vice President Joe Biden has announced he’s not running for President in 2016.

    So it’s Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, the crook or the socialist, as your 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee.

    God help us all.

    Jim Webb Dropping Out of Democratic Presidential Race; Independent Run?

    Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

    Or so read the tea leaves. Of course, that suggests that he was ever truly in the Presidential race, when all appearances suggests otherwise.

    Will he run as a Independent? Given that the three most recent posts on his campaign news page are “Jim Webb, Independent,” “Jim Webb Considering Independent Run for Presidency, Campaign Says” and “Jim Webb to consider independent presidential bid,” I’d say it’s a strong possibility. (Or perhaps a disgruntled soon-to-be-unemployed campaign staffer is just trolling us all.) Then again, given his previous lack of campaign activity, maybe an independent run would be just as invisible…

    How SNL Fluffs the Hillary Campaign

    Monday, October 19th, 2015

    Saturday Night Live did a skit on the Democratic Presidential debate:

    On the surface it’s a skit that ostensibly takes a shot at everyone equally (and even touches on Hillary’s email scandal). However, take a look at one central visual fact:

  • Hillary Clinton, who is 67 years old (68 on October 26) is played by Kate McKinnon, who is 31 years old.
  • Bernie Sanders, who is 74, is played by Larry David, who is 68.
  • So Sanders is played by someone Hillary Clinton’s age (old), and Hillary Clinton is played by someone half her age (young). The skit is constructed to reinforce the false Sanders old, Clinton young impression, which suggests the reason why SNL choose non-cast-member Larry David to play Sanders. David did write for the show during the 1984—1985 season (where he worked with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who he would later cast in Seinfeld); to put it another way, David worked on SNL the same year McKinnon was born.

    LinkSwarm for October 16, 2015

    Friday, October 16th, 2015

    Enjoy a complimentary Friday LinkSwarm, on me!

  • Kentucky ObamaCare exchange goes out of business, the fifth one to do so nationwide.
  • Or maybe the sixth, since Tennessee’s is pining for the fjords as well.
  • Why Hillary’s email scandal (still) matters: “Ignoring the fact that ordinary people are deciding that Hillary Clinton is an untrustworthy liar won’t actually make that issue go away for the Democrats.”
  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz continues to work her special brand of magic at the DNC. “I’ve begun to deeply question whether she has the leadership skills to get us through the election. This is not just about how many debates we have. This is one of a series of long-running events in which the chair has not shown the political judgment that is needed.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Bernie Sanders supporters are shocked to find their pro-Sanders/anti-Hillary comments being deleted from CNN.
  • A majority of American Muslims want Sharia law, and 60% of young Muslims are more loyal to Islam than America.
  • You’re a Muslim scholar who lost to a Christian in debate. Do you: A.) Shrug, B. Practice, or C.) Kill the Christian?
  • Has the Obama Administration noticed that Iran’s parliament has actually rejected the text of his treaty? (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Obama withdraws last U.S. carrier group from the Middle East. Evidently even pretending to fight ISIS has just gotten too hard for him…
  • Why does does the town of Alvin, Texas (population 25,000) want to put it’s property holders on the hook for $1 billion to build the most expensive schools in the state?
  • Another anti-gay hate crime turns out to be a hoax. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Journalists continue their lazy, inaccurate reporting on #GamerGate.
  • LinkSwarm for October 9, 2015

    Friday, October 9th, 2015

    If you want to attend tomorrow’s blogshoot/meetup/tweetup, try to drop me a line (lawrenceperson at gmail dot com) so I’ll know how many will attend.

    Now the LinkSwarm:

  • ObamaCare co-ops are going bankrupt.
  • Thanks to The Magic Power of Socialism™ and an estimated 800% inflation rate, Venezuela is now the most expensive place to live in the world, at least going by the official exchange rate. “Depending on which exchange rate you use, Venezuela can either be one of the cheapest countries in the world, or the most expensive.”
  • Democrats last year: “All those gun-toting white racist redneck freaks from Jesusland will be lining up to vote for Hillary!” Pollsters this year: Not so much.
  • Hillary Clinton now totally opposes the very Tran-Pacific Partnership she helped negotiate.
  • “Let’s take Malcolm Turnbull at his word that it’s only “a very very small percentage of violent extremist individuals”. What is the actual percentage? In the aforementioned Malmo, where up to a thousand mostly young male “refugees” arrive each day, suppose the “very very small percentage” is two per cent. That’s 20 brand new “violent extremists” per day. During the Northern Irish “Troubles”, MI5 estimated that there were no more than a hundred active members of the IRA at any one time – that’s to say, people actively involved in shooting and killing. So Malmo is taking in the equivalent of the entire IRA every week.”
  • How spree killers get their weapons. Or, once again, the New York Times twists facts to fit the narrative.
  • Speaking of the Times, this is what happens when the professional editors and proof-readers edit and proofread professional writers.
  • Wendy Davis thinks the reason she lost is she didn’t talk about abortion enough. Sure, Wendy, that’s it. Go with that… (Hat tip: Perry vs. World).
  • The Nairobi mall attack revisited. If this report is to be believed, armed civilians actually contained the threat, then army and security forces showed up and promptly managed to start shooting each other.
  • “In zombie world, the man who relies on the government for his safety will be zombie chow in short order…In zombieland, there are three kinds of people: those who know how to use guns, those who learn how to use guns, and zombies.”
  • Remembering the Yom Kippur War.
  • LinkSwarm for October 2, 2015

    Friday, October 2nd, 2015

    How about a short LinkSwarm to get the Friday LinkSwarm back on Friday?

  • Bernie Sanders roughly matches Hillary’s fundraising total. Man, she’s going to need to start raking in a lot more foreign bribes…
  • This just in: Jeb Bush’s poll numbers suck.
  • “So we know that 99% of the data has been adjusted, and we know that over 80% of the reported warming in the lower 48 States over the entire 20th Century was due to adjustments – the raw data simply do not show this warming.”
  • Mark Steyn offers another dispatch from post-Jewish Europe. Bonus: Facebook is going to “do more” to suppress anti-“refugee” posts.
  • Islamic State fighters start defecting because ISIS can’t make payroll. Time to consider marrying Len Trexler…
  • Obama Administration grants asylum to 1,519 foreigners with terrorist ties.
  • Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says he’s no longer bound by Oslo Accords. Because why should you let a little piece of paper get in the way of the all-important task of exterminating the Jews?
  • Dear Brookings Institute scholars: Please note that you’re not allowed to have opinions different from those of Elizabeth Warren. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • The Oregon shooter was a mixed race skinhead who targeted Christians. By the time the media gets done, he’ll be an “angry white man.”
  • Five benefits from owning guns. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll on Instapundit.
  • Eight members of Iran’s women’s soccer team are actually men.