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Elections, Elections, Elections


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Seems half of Europe chose today to hold elections. In France, inofficial exit poll results seem to indicate Sarkozy will be replaced by Socialist candidate Francois Hollande; this will have repercussions for the Euro crisis management, which so far has been driven by the conservative Merkel-Sarkozy axis. While they were all about reducing public spending, Hollande wants to increase it, even if it means raising debts.

 

In Greece, both Conservatives and Socialists got punished with heavy losses for the financial mess they created in turn over the last decades; the Socialist actually fell to third place, with the radical leftist party prominent in the public protests of the last months coming in second; they, of course, want to renegotiate the cost-cutting plans forced upon Greece by the EU. Fourth party in parliament will be from the extreme right; it's currently not clear whether the two former governing parties will even have enough seats to form another grand coalition government.

 

Less surprises in Serbia, where President Tadic and his moderate party are expected to be re-elected; the controversial point is that communities in Serbian-majority Northern Kosovo again participated in the elections in defiance of Pristina's claim to sovereignity. The German-Austrian KFOR operational reserve battalion, deployed last year due to the unrest over the takeover of border checkpoints to Serbia by the Kosovo government and relieved only a couple weeks ago by an Italian force, has been redeployed in anticipation of heightened tensions, leading to complaints about bad planning by soldiers and the Bundestag's defense ombudsman.

 

Lower on the scale, the Northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein also held elections today, foreshadowing those in Germany's most populous state of Northrhine-Westphalia next week. Preliminary results are bearing out predictions that the rise of the Pirate Party (an outgrowth of the internet generation defying classic left-right definition, in many respects libertarian but also representing that generation's sense of entitlement) makes traditional coalitions within the left and right camp difficult, and grand coalitions might be the order of the coming years. 16 months from national elections, it appears likely that Angela Merkel will stay chancellor next year, but with the Social Democrats instead of the free-market Liberals as junior partner.

Edited by BansheeOne
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Hollande won, Sarkozy congratulated.

 

Serbia's Tadic party is less moderate, more stands for sweet F all and thus can form a coalition with both Jesus Christ and Lucifer at the same time. 1/4 total votes, about a single 1% in front of rival previously-Ultra-Nationalist-Nazi-Now-Pro-European-Centre-Right turned Ghandi crack pot.

 

Kosovo is independent, in that sweet F all depends on Kosovo and Prishtina.

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They just couldn't handle a month of austerity so they reversed course and headed back the way that brought them to the problems they now have.

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And in the UK local council elections have occurred, with the liberal party (currently in a rather unpopular coalition with the conservatives) sinking with all hands. The conservatives have made large losses as well, losing 405 seats - and although boris johnson kept the mayorship of london it was incredible close, with only 3% between him and the labour candidate after second preference votes were counted. Turnout was embarrassingly low throughout, estimated at 32% - the lowest in local elections since 2000.

 

Also, Israel may be going to vote soon. The prime minister has called for an early election, possibly as soon as september.

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FINALLY going in the right direction...shit, thought things were looking towards stability...looking like a good Summer. Now, if something gets pulled during the Olympics...agitation in SA...funny ass crap, nukes are not the issue - puppet Iraq in Irans hands letting good will ambassadors spread the word as from Tehran with localised logistic and HUMINT support to the local pop means only a cretin would leave Iran standing.

 

Now, lets get popcorn and see how MId East gets FUBAR's just that little bit worse...

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We can but hope, Mobius, we can but hope..."sigh" 50 years with fundamentalist Christians with their finger on the button and a belief in that wacky fire and brimstone ending and screwy Soviet Electronics going haywire and screaming pre emptive strike with Old Paranoid Bolsheviks making the call...Turkey, Cuba...

 

At time...felt like there was NO HOPE. Always dancing on the edge, too afraid to do more than peer like children into the void...might as well wait on an asteroid...now, maybe we get to the Main Event within my lifetime.

Edited by Typhoid Maxx
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Old Paranoid Bolsheviks making the call...Turkey, Cuba...

Swell, now we get neobolsheviks running the place.
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So between the Neo-Leninsists and the Neo-Reaganists, we could have a neo-Cold War. All you need now is neo-NewCoke. Of course it's a little different with much of NATO in deep economic malaise and social unrest.

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So between the Neo-Leninsists and the Neo-Reaganists, we could have a neo-Cold War. All you need now is neo-NewCoke. Of course it's a little different with much of NATO in deep economic malaise and social unrest.

 

Well, there is an upside to a reprise of the Bad Old Days;

 

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They just couldn't handle a month of austerity so they reversed course and headed back the way that brought them to the problems they now have.

 

You are kidding, right? The austerity doctrine after more than 2 years has already been proven a stark failure, as any student of 1929-39 could predict. The govt cutbacks, adding much to unemployment and lower output and bland consumerism, was supposed somehow to produce Confidence and the return of investors and a growth in the market. How much more do you want to wait?

 

Confidence is DOA as far as the finance industry is concerned, having already wrecked the train.

 

The apparent lack of any new tricks will cause either an admission that they were wrong, or a wholesale turnover in European regimes as they seek uncannily to tighten down even more.

 

Thank our USAian dumb luck that we did not follow this course, as even the Bush II Regime was loathe to deep-six the finance industry, although why Lehman Bros. had to be sacrificed remains a deep mystery.

 

Mr. Confidence will remain dead & buried until Europe remembers Mr. Keynes. The EU rules - especially for the EuroZone - were designed only for the good times, as in 'housing will never go down.' Time to loosen up!

 

 

Edited by Ken Estes
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They just couldn't handle a month of austerity so they reversed course and headed back the way that brought them to the problems they now have.

 

You are kidding, right? The austerity doctrine after more than 2 years has already been proven a stark failure, as any student of 1929-39 could predict. The govt cutbacks, adding much to unemployment and lower output and bland consumerism, was supposed somehow to produce Confidence and the return of investors and a growth in the market. How much more do you want to wait?

Paul Krugman? America's worst economist! The Noble and NYT is proof enough. No mention of steps taken by the government's effort to open up their economies to freedom of employment. Austerity without economic freedom is worthless. You know it takes a judge's order to fire someone in Spain? Yeah, lots of free enterprise there. Then Krugman has the nerve to say the US attempted austerity. HA ha. Warren Buffet said this morning anytime the government spends more than they take in is "stimulus". You can call it austerity, cars for clunkers, investing in green jobs or anti-stimulus but it still is stimulus. The US is spending 8% more than it takes in.and has not stopped for 10 years. Stimulus has failed, not austerity.

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You are kidding, right? The austerity doctrine after more than 2 years has already been proven a stark failure, as any student of 1929-39 could predict.

 

Austerity? 1929-39?? If anything that period proved that keynesian stimulation and over-regulation didn't work. Just like it's not working now.

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And in which way has austerity succeeded?

 

 

Look up the depression of 1920. It was the last time in the history of the US when an economy was allowed to reset on its own. And it did so spectacularly. Before the gov't decided it was its job to "fix the economy" (and royally screwed it). Strangely enough, Harding and Coolidge are now as well known as James K. Polk, while FDR is a demi-god.

 

 

You expect the effects of decades of careless spending to be cured with very timid cuts in a couple of years? And in the US - When is the austerity going to begin, because I am yet to see any signs of it. Slowing the rate of growth in spending is not austerity.

Edited by Mikel2
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The US is discussing the possibility of austerity. 5 billion dollars has been spent on Oxy for the masses to kick the can down the road. What has not happened is a meaningful discussion of a medical services delivery framework that users are responsible for maintaining. The single payer and third party payment models create a lot of overhead. I have lived in a system where individuals are responsible for paying their own medical costs. The government provides a basic level of coverage based around A&E and preventative medicine as well as medical coverage of remote areas. Government medical specialties are generally associated with teaching universities and all doctors have to serve a certain period in government service (which is not as well paid as private practice) to get their credentials.

 

Health insurance is primarily designed to cover emergencies and not chronic or elective medicine.

 

One of the main reasons that health care costs are manageable is the direct payment allows practitioners to scale their fees etc. An example of this would be my uncle, a leading oncologist who charges his patients according to their means for his consultations. He has done plenty of pro bono work. He will often shop for meds & services to make it as affordable as possible for the patients on a budget. Sometimes he will even cover some costs out of his own pocket or find sponsor for the patient. It is rare for him not to find someone to do so.

 

Keeping it personal means much less overheads. He is not alone. Doing the right thing and personal charity has traditionally been the way things are done.

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Timid cuts? Unless your in the banking business (that seem to have an almost god given right to bonuses) the cuts are very real at least here in Europe

Nonsense. They raised the retirement age from 60 to 62 in France and raised some other taxes. Revenues were up but spending was up year over year. There were no cuts in this severe austerity. The Germans, who seem to be the ones, that are going to be stuck with the bill have a retirement age 5 years higher. I guess the Germans will have to raise their retirement age to 70 to pay for France and the others. The French can change their government but can't change the laws of mathematics. Edited by Mobius
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The US is discussing the possibility of austerity. 5 billion dollars has been spent on Oxy for the masses to kick the can down the road. What has not happened is a meaningful discussion of a medical services delivery framework that users are responsible for maintaining. The single payer and third party payment models create a lot of overhead. I have lived in a system where individuals are responsible for paying their own medical costs. The government provides a basic level of coverage based around A&E and preventative medicine as well as medical coverage of remote areas. Government medical specialties are generally associated with teaching universities and all doctors have to serve a certain period in government service (which is not as well paid as private practice) to get their credentials.

 

Health insurance is primarily designed to cover emergencies and not chronic or elective medicine.

 

One of the main reasons that health care costs are manageable is the direct payment allows practitioners to scale their fees etc. An example of this would be my uncle, a leading oncologist who charges his patients according to their means for his consultations. He has done plenty of pro bono work. He will often shop for meds & services to make it as affordable as possible for the patients on a budget. Sometimes he will even cover some costs out of his own pocket or find sponsor for the patient. It is rare for him not to find someone to do so.

 

Keeping it personal means much less overheads. He is not alone. Doing the right thing and personal charity has traditionally been the way things are done.

 

My primary care doc just told me the same thing.

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