World watch – Wednesday

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WorldWatch2

For posting on events, news, opinions and anything of interest from around the world.

20 Comments

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  January 17, 2018

        So with the first anniversary of Trump’s inauguration nearly here, it’s a good time to examine whether America really is experiencing the greatest economic revival in its history?

        The answer, in a word, is no.

        That’s because there was nothing to recover from. Jobs, stocks and GDP are rising under Trump, just as they did under Obama. In fact, by almost every measure, the performance of the economy under Trump is indistinguishable from Obama’s second term—save for one important metric that was disappointingly weak under Obama: business investment.

        http://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/trumps-economy-looks-just-like-obamas-except-for-one-important-thing/

        Thus far in his presidency, Trump has largely embraced economic numbers on growth and job creation that represent nearly seamless continuation of trends that began under Obama. The monthly jobs gains are slightly smaller now than they were at the same time last year. Economic growth is slightly faster but in line with analyst predictions for 2017 made well before Trump’s election.

        Economists and market watchers do credit Trump’s win and the hope for lighter regulation and tax cuts with big jumps in the stock market. But even using the market as an indicator, Trump’s performance lags that of Obama’s first year when markets raced ahead after the end of the financial crisis.

        https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/20/gop-tax-bill-trumps-economy-now-311024

        trump only started owning the economy after his tax package was voted in. He owns it now and will be judged on how America performs over the next several years, not on how he took the credit for the economic revival started by Obama.

  1. Pickled Possum

     /  January 17, 2018

    Don’t be fooled by all the talk of “fighting fake news.” It’s really all about one thing: Censorship.

      • Pickled Possum

         /  January 17, 2018

        It’s Not Just Fighting Fake News; Censorship Also Thrives under the Pretexts of Fighting ‘Terrorism’ and ‘Hate Speech’, and Being ‘Politically Correct’…

        Yet, as many have long been warning, few people, if any, ever bothered to define what the term [fake news] actually means. As a result, it’s incredibly vague, shifting, and devoid of consistent meaning. Do any news articles that contain false, significant assertions qualify? Is there some intent requirement, and if so, what is it and how is determined (does recklessness qualify)? Can large mainstream outlets such as the Washington Post, Le Monde, and Globo be guilty of publishing “fake news” and thus subject to this censorship, or is it — as one expects — reserved only for small, independent blogs and outlets that lack a powerful corporate presence?

        • Pickled Possum

           /  January 17, 2018

          Political correctness is nothing but censorship at the end of the day. It is intolerance disguised as tolerance. As George Carlin said, it’s fascism pretending to be manners. There is no right “not to be offended.” It is becoming more and more ludicrous as each year passes, with groups making lists of approved and non-approved terms and insisting that people using the non-approved, “politically incorrect” terms are therefore committing micro-aggressions against the people who hear them. How much more are we going to take before our range of “permissible” thought has been utterly diminished?

        • Missy

           /  January 17, 2018

          “Censorship Also Thrives under the Pretexts of Fighting …. ‘Hate Speech’…”

          This is one area of censorship that has been in the news a bit over here in the last few weeks, most notably censorship of media.

          There is a group called Stop Funding Hate, their aims are to close down two of the biggest selling newspapers in the UK, the Sun and the Daily Mail, because the guy who runs it doesn’t like the views in the papers.

          Just before Christmas a stationery chain came out and said they would no longer advertise in the Daily Mail after they were bombarded by liberals on twitter with threats of boycott if they continued to advertise in the DM, interestingly there were more tweets criticising their decision than they initially got.

          More recently, last week Virgin Trains announced they would no longer sell the DM on their trains as they did not agree with the editorial policy of the paper. This caused a number of media people to criticise for Virgin Trains trying to censor what their passengers had access to. The interesting thing about this is that apparently it is not economically viable for Virgin Trains to sell the DM (they don’t sell the Guardian for this reason), so if they had said that there would be no issue, but because they linked the decision to the content of the paper it raised the issue of censorship and who has the right to determine what is and isn’t a suitable publication to be sold. Richard Branson was even accused of doing it because the Daily Mail is pro Brexit (he is a Remainer). However, in a move that the anti censorship lobby are claiming as a victory, Virgin Trains have reversed their decision and will continue to sell the Daily Mail.

          • Missy

             /  January 17, 2018

            Oops, my mistake, it is the Daily Maily and Daily Express that Stop Funding Hate want to close down.

          • NOEL

             /  January 17, 2018

            I dunno it appears its more likely the new decision making where you get rid of something that might by association taint your brand. They weren’t selling many copies.
            Bit like when a sports star falls.

          • Patzcuaro

             /  January 17, 2018

            @Missy in our democracies publishers have a right to publish within bounds set out by our democratically elected institutions. The inverse of this is the right of groups to disagree with what is being published and push for the boundaries on what is acceptable to be moved. In essence both groups can push for the boundaries to be moved in the direction they think is appropriate. To move the boundaries they have to persuade 50% + 1 person to support their view at the ballot box.

            Businesses make commercial decisions on what is best for their business, to stock a product or not. They may also take into account their own beliefs in making this decision, possibly to forgo profit because they don’t want to stock a product on moral grounds. Or to stock a product for no profit as a community service. Groups also, within the bounds of the law, have a right to protest against the stocking of a product they disagree with say on moral grounds.

            Currently the Daily Mail is owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust which is controlled by Lord Rothermere whose family founded it. Prior to WW2 the then Lord Rothermere was sympathetic to the Hitler, Mussolini & Mosley. He was quoted as saying “The minor misdeeds of individual Nazis would be submerged by the immense benefits the new regime is already bestowing upon Germany”.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daily_Mail

          • Griff

             /  January 17, 2018

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  January 17, 2018

      stocking up on popcorn as we speak … and awaiting yet another flurry of alt-right smoke-and-mirrors comments about the “Russian collusion hoax”. trump can crush Bannon in many ways, but he cannot control what Bannon will say to Mueller. My bet is that money laundering will get a lot of attention.

      Bannon’s currently meeting with the House Intelligence Committee but having seen Devon Nunes in action, that meeting will end up as just another rushed Republican hack to wrap up their probe and give the president political cover.

      • David

         /  January 17, 2018

        It doesn’t matter what Bannon say’s to Mueller. If you haven’t understood this, that popcorn is going to be soggy with confused tears.

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  January 17, 2018

          another specious comment.

          even Bannon’s secondhand knowledge could be used to draw a contrast with statements from people with firsthand knowledge whom Mueller has already interviewed.

          And Bannon was directly involved in a number of other major moments, including the decision-making around the firing of Flynn, after he lied to Pence about phone calls with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition.

          Bannon also helped run the transition after Chris Christie was fired as head of that team.

          And Bannon was the chief executive of the trump campaign in October 2016 when WikiLeaks began releasing the stolen Clinton emails.

          Moreover Bannon’s aware of trump’s money-laundering and that’s an area that Mueller was interested in from Day One, hence stacking his team of investigators with money laundering experts.

          Bannon’s testimony could be riddled with the sorts of lies he produced at Breitbart, but I rather think Mueller has enough evidence already to know if Bannon’s lying to him. And if the comments Bannon made to Wollf have a grain of truthiness in them then your Godhead in the oval office will be looking closely at a shithole of his own making.

          • David

             /  January 17, 2018

            “even Bannon’s secondhand knowledge could be used to draw a contrast with statements from people with firsthand knowledge whom Mueller has already interviewed.”

            Hearsay.

            “Moreover Bannon’s aware of trump’s money-laundering and that’s an area that Mueller was interested in from Day One, hence stacking his team of investigators with money laundering experts.”

            Statement of fact that has no basis. If Bannon has such evidence, why has it taken until now to call him? Why wasn’t in the book? Smoke and mirrors indeed.

            “Bannon’s testimony could be riddled with the sorts of lies he produced at Breitbart, but I rather think Mueller has enough evidence already to know if Bannon’s lying to him. And if the comments Bannon made to Wollf have a grain of truthiness in them then your Godhead in the oval office will be looking closely at a shithole of his own making.”

            You really are living the dream. You call him a producer of lies in the first sentence, and then expect truth in the second. Disconnect much?

          • Joe Bloggs

             /  January 17, 2018

            You might want to think about moderating your drug use David