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I read the news today (oh boy) - Current world events
4 October 2020
7.32pm
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QuarryMan
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I remember back in 2016 when Trump resoundingly crushed Clinton in the televised debates. He just ran circles around her and exposed her humiliatingly as the washed up establishment hack she is. He has undeniably sharp instincts in a live setting, and he's almost always able to sharply undermine whatever his opponent says with a cutting one-liner every time they conclude a point (remember 'because you'd be in jail'?). The reason he was able to do all this so effectively is because his talking points back then were a list of very legitimate criticisms of Clinton - how she supported the Iraq war, how she represented the status quo, how she was complicit in the outsourcing of American jobs overseas, how corrupt she was, and so on. 'Crooked Hillary' has to go down as one of the most effective political slogans of all time for how succinctly it encapsulates the grievances that millions of people had with the type of politics she represented. 

In 2020? Well, watching Trump handle the debate with Biden a few nights ago his performance was comparatively miserable. He's had four chaotic years in office, during which time his policy record has been a whole lot less outsider-ish than some initially thought, so the anti-establishment angle is no longer particularly viable (he attempted a few times to hit Biden on that line by saying he'd achieved nothing in 47 years, but I think Joe countered that quite effectively by bringing up the obvious defence that the Obama administration saved General Motors), and thus his range of available insults has been transformed from cogent criticisms of the American political system to a laundry list of half-baked conspiracies and personal attacks. He's spent quite a lot of time trying to paint Biden as a far-left radical or puppet of Bernie, whilst also simultaneously slamming him for writing the infamously authoritarian 1994 crime bill and for being a figure of the establishment and a 'Do-Nothing Democrat', a hilariously incoherent position that has probably left scores of voters more confused than anything else. The attacks on Biden's family were an optics disaster, too, it made him look childish and immature, as did his constant interrupting and bickering with the moderator. 

How Trump's positive coronavirus result will affect this remains to be seen, but it seems to me the discourse has split into two camps with one insisting that he's perfectly healthy and the other that he's on the verge of death. The overall effect, I think, is just utter confusion, which I don't think will benefit Trump much. After all, the longer Trump's health is the subject of public attention, the less focus there will be on Biden's own cognitive decline. 

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10 October 2020
11.59am
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Ahhh Girl
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Trump parade in a town near me. I just happened to see it when we stopped to wash the Beatlemobile.

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10 October 2020
8.32pm
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Dark Overlord
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A coronavirus vaccine can kill up to half a million sharks due to using their liver oil.

I stumbled across the article and found it very interesting.

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11 October 2020
11.05am
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lovelyritametermaid
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Dark Overlord said
A coronavirus vaccine can kill up to half a million sharks due to using their liver oil.

I stumbled across the article and found it very interesting.

  

"Nonanimal squalene's identical chemical nature to shark squalene should mean an indistinguishable effectiveness in vaccines, according to Shark Allies. However, the extraction of shark squalene has been a more attractive option for producers as it can cost less and yield greater quantities than nonanimal alternatives."

Those poor sharks 🙁

I do hope that alternatives are looked into.

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11 October 2020
3.32pm
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Ahhh Girl said
Trump parade in a town near me. I just happened to see it when we stopped to wash the Beatlemobile.

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OH MY GOD THEY"RE RIDING HORSES THAT'S GREAT

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12 October 2020
3.15pm
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Dingle Lad
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50yearslate said

Ahhh Girl said

Trump parade in a town near me. I just happened to see it when we stopped to wash the Beatlemobile.

Screenshot_20201010-115733_Gallery.jpgImage Enlarger

  

OH MY GOD THEY"RE RIDING HORSES THAT'S GREAT

  

I'm sure the horses didn't have a choice.

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What is happening? And tell me how you've been.

14 October 2020
5.58am
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I don't feel like I'm living in reality anymore

14 October 2020
4.46pm
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Vera Chuck and Dave said
I don't feel like I'm living in reality anymore

  

Quote of the year. 

This song sums this year up quite well

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15 October 2020
5.08pm
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Jacinda Ardern has said that if she loses the NZ election tomorrow not only will she resign from leader of the opposition, she will quit politics. 

For the love of all things holy (holey?), please put her back in New Zealand! 

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16 October 2020
5.01am
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QuarryMan
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She's ahead in the polls, so fingers crossed. 

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The Hole Got Fixed

¡No pasarán!

 

17 October 2020
8.59am
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Ron Nasty
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A landslide victory for Jacinda Arden in New Zealand; Labour on 49% of the vote and projected to take 64 seats, which would give them the first majority government since NZ changed to its current form of proportional representation in 1996.

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The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

17 October 2020
11.03am
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QuarryMan
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Amazing news, if you include the vote share of the Green Party too that leaves it with progressive parties having well over 50% of the popular vote... something I wish we could achieve here in the UK. 

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17 October 2020
1.20pm
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Dark Overlord
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At least you're not here in the US, where even Tories like Piers Morgan and Andrew Neil would be considered far-left by a good chunk of the population.

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17 October 2020
1.32pm
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QuarryMan
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Perhaps... but in the US at least you have the knowledge that far more people are Democrats than Republicans. In the UK it seems like at this point there's at least a 40% chunk of the electorate who will show up and vote Tory no matter what, and in our electoral system that makes them pretty much unbeatable. 

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17 October 2020
3.18pm
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50yearslate
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What do you mean, far more people are Democrats than Republicans? Is that true? It doesn't really feel like that :/

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17 October 2020
3.58pm
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Dark Overlord
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QuarryMan said
Perhaps... but in the US at least you have the knowledge that far more people are Democrats than Republicans. In the UK it seems like at this point there's at least a 40% chunk of the electorate who will show up and vote Tory no matter what, and in our electoral system that makes them pretty much unbeatable.

According to the most recent Gallop poll, it's about the same, with 28% identifying as Republicans, 27% as Democrats, and 42% as independents, as well as 44% leaning Republican and 47% leaning Democrat.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/1.....ation.aspx

Also, the Democratic party is basically the American version of the UK's Conservative party, so even with that unfortunately large block of voters that only vote Tory, the UK still has the fortune of having a politically balanced 2 party system, with Tories on the center-right and Labour on the center-left, with UKIP and the Greens for the far right and left respectively.

Meanwhile, us Americans are stuck with the center-right Democrats and the far-right Republicans, leaving a huge portion of Americans feeling unrepresented and voting for people they despise because they despise the other candidate even more.

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17 October 2020
6.02pm
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50yearslate said
What do you mean, far more people are Democrats than Republicans? Is that true? It doesn't really feel like that :/

  

While maybe using the words 'far more people' is an exaggeration, if you look at this link you can scroll down polls on this topic dating back to 2004 and see that polling for Republican affiliation is typically in the mid-20s percentage wise whereas for Democrats it's usually high-20s, low-30s. There are some outliers, but I think that's generally the case. Of the two occasions in recent history when the president lost the popular vote but won the electoral college, both times Democrats won the popular vote. Furthermore, this poll shows that independents tend to lean Democrat, by about 17% to 14% as of 2019. That's not even counting all the recent polls which show Biden absolutely crushing Trump, sometimes by a margin of up to 15%, even among Trump's core base such as older voters. 

Also, I think it's pretty clear that if the electoral college were to be abolished, Republicans would have far less chance of winning in Congress, given that votes in Republican leaning states like Wyoming are worth far more than votes in typically Democrat-leaning states with larger populations, like California or New York. 

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17 October 2020
8.38pm
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Ron Nasty
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The real problem with American democracy at the moment is the lack of participation. While true that Clinton won the popular vote in 2016, the deeper truth is that with around 40% of the population not voting, those not voting had a bigger majority than either the Democrats or Republicans. If you were to look at the 2016 electoral map taking into account those who did not vote, the Democrats and Republicans would have won two states each, every other state would have gone to those who did not vote.

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17 October 2020
9.09pm
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50yearslate
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^Which states would they win?

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18 October 2020
1.34am
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@50yearslate said

^Which states would they win?

If “Did Not Vote” Had Been A Candidate In The 2016 US Presidential Election,  It Would Have Won By a Landslide – Brilliant MapsImage Enlarger

 

Another map you might find interesting:

 

2016 US Presidential Electoral Map If Only [X] Voted – Brilliant MapsImage Enlarger

 

And this one:

Nothing Divides Voters Like Owning a Gun - The New York TimesImage Enlarger

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