Storm In A Populist Teacup

For a few long moments on Thursday it seemed as if the government of Miro Cerar drew its last breath. The issue at hand was an agreement between the minister of health Milojka Kolar Celarc and the FIDES, the medical doctors’ trade union (not to be confused with Victor Orban’s Fidesz) which ostensibly put an end to the MDs’ week-long strike. The thing is that at the same time the other public sector unions were negotiating with the government on rolling back austerity measures and getting what they see is their due. On top of that the doctors, unusually, weren’t getting a pass by the public opinion which normally forgave their antics regardless of how baseless they may have been (because doctors and shit). All of this while the government was about to unveil a much-anticipated draft of health-sector reform, a move which by definition makes a lot of players with plenty of vested interest, mighty nervous. But in the end, it all amounted to nothing.

The Three Amigos (source, source and source)

Namely, while Karl Erjavec of DeSUS and Dejan Židan of SD were raising hell in the last couple of days on account of minister Kolar Celarc supposedly agreeing to exempt the doctors from a mechanism that regulates wages across the entire public sector, the true reasons for the entire circus were purely political and aimed at obscuring the fact that both junior coalition parties can ill afford parliamentary elections right now, for reasons both political and financial. And this, more or less goes for all political parties with the possible exception of the SMC.

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Safespacing AF (thoughts on Jonathan Pie)

Dear Mr. Pie. I realise that in writing this I’m addressing a fictional character or at the very least an on-stage persona, but since this is the post-truth era, what difference does it make, right?

Angry Jonathan Pie is Angry (source)

In your post-US elections video (below) you want the audience (in this case, me) to engage you. So I am. And while I enjoyed your delivery I should probably start by calling it what – in my opinion at least – it is. A very clickable load of bullshit. Well, not all of it, you make some very good points but on the whole it’s not unlike the Hillary Clinton campaign. Well-produced, highly compressed hot air. Not unlike this blog, which is why I’d like to think I can relate. Swear words included. So here goes.

First of all – Bernie Sanders? Why wasn’t he on the ticket? Because he lost the fucking primary, that’s why. I mean for all the fire of the Sandernistas and all the talk of the revolution the guy lost the vote by every measure. And if Hillary is such a shit candidate (and you’re right, she should have done better) and can still get more votes than Bernie…. well, you do the math.

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Dear Lord, Please Let It Be A Landslide

As the voting in the US presidential elections is coming to an end so is – one hopes – one of the ugliest campaigns in recent memory. OK, it’s true that the past eighteen months have brought us a couple of valuable lessons. Pengovsky wrote on those recently for domestic consumption but suffice it to say it boils down to infosec for seniors and learning the difference between a cunt and a pussy. But on the whole there’s this uneasy feeling that this could turn ugly yet.

270 to win. (source)

On the whole, the arsenal deployed in US elections is by far more diverse than anything we’re used to this side of the pond, let alone this sorry excuse for a country. Take this legal challenge of The Donald‘s campaign in Nevada where voting was extended on account of long lines. Sure, the judge threw out the suit post-haste, but that wasn’t really the goal. What the campaign aimed to do is to force his opponent’s campaign into making a stupid move of their own and possibly profiting on it one way or another. Of course the Clinton campaign is much too good a machine to fall for that, but the general rules of political engagement state that the enemy must be buzzed at all times. So, nothing wrong with that.

What is wrong with this Trump move however is the same thing that was wrong with his entire campaign from the very beginning: that it employs barely disguised dog-whistle politics, overt racism and wants to win by complaining about the rules rather than finding a way to use the rules to his advantage. In doing this he probably changed US politics forever but not for better.

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In Politics, A Week Is A Long Time

As weeks go, the last one has been pretty bad for The Donald. It started with him tanking in the first presidential debate and ended with a revelation (presumably, the first of many) about his agressive tax avoidance. In between he managed to insult women, Latinos and fat people all in one go, had a 3 AM Twitter meltdown, brought up the Lewinsky scandal (which boosted Hillary‘s image in the 90s), has seen an investigation of his fundation expanded, and was venting publicly over his campaing people conceeding he lost the debate. You’d be excused for thinking that he’s over and done with. Only you’d be dead wrong.


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Melania’s Speech (The Art Of Trolling)

Melania Trump‘s first (only?) major political speech of her career obviously made waves in the country of her birth as well. And not just because she plagiarised Michelle Obama quite audaciously. Or maybe precisely because of that, but from a different perspective. Sure, it looks bad enough from the US point of view. A would-be First Lady ripping off the, well, incumbent comes across as either too eager, inexperienced, brazen or shallow to pass the most basic of musters. After all, FLOTUS is an office (if one can call it that) one is married into rather than elected to. Which makes it all the more necessary to tread carefully lest accusations of usurpation of power be made. Just ask Hillary Clinton.

Melania Knavs Trump giving her first and possibly last major political speech (source)

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