Category Archives: Politics

The Brexit Boogie: A vote that shook the world

Is the world headed into another Great Recession even before that shockwaves of the last one have settled down?

When one of the world’s two major financial centers pulls out of its continental base, there’s good cause for concern.

But that’s just one of the issues raised by Thursday’s vote.

Here’s a roundup of rumbles. . .

British buyers remorse?

Even before the dust settled, Brits were flocking online to sign a petition for a do-over.

From Agence France-Presse:

More than two million people have signed a petition calling for a second referendum, after a shock vote to pull Britain out of the EU, an official website showed Saturday.

The website of the parliamentary petition at one point crashed due to the surge of people adding their names to the call for another nationwide poll following Thursday’s historic vote.

“We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60 percent based (on) a turnout less than 75 percent there should be another referendum,” says the petition.

The blame game begins

Guess who’s catching the heat?

Hint: He’s already resigned his job in disgrace.

From euronews:

Blame for the failure to convince British voters to remain in the European Union lies at the door of David Cameron, European Commissioner Günther Oettinger told Euronews.

The Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society told Euronews that the decision by the Prime Minister to “order” the Commission to stay “out of the game” was a mistake.

Asked whether Cameron was to blame, Oettinger responded: “ I think so, yes. What he did is not acceptable.”

The Commissioner insisted that Scotland and Northern Ireland, which both voted overwhelmingly for ‘remain’, could only rejoin the European Union as independent nations. He predicted that Scotland would “probably” split from the rest of the United Kingdom.

And fear runs rampant

Shrinks call it Separation Anxiety Disorder, and it’s an ailment running rampant these days, especially in Berlin.

From Sky News:

Germany fears France, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands and Hungary may follow the UK and leave the EU, a government paper says.

The finance ministry strategy paper expresses concern that the UK’s historic vote may trigger a Brexit domino effect across Europe, according to the German newspaper Die Welt.

It recommends that the EU enters into negotiations aimed at making the UK an “associated partner country” for the remaining 27 nations.

As it stands, the UK’s exit may cause Germany’s contribution to the EU’s budget to rise by 3bn euros (£2.44bn) a year, the paper adds.

And there’s good cause to worry, reports Reuters:

Britain’s vote to leave the European Union fired up populist eurosceptic parties across the continent on Friday, giving fresh voice to their calls to leave the bloc or its euro currency.

Right-wing and anti-immigrant parties in the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and France demanded referendums on membership of the union, while Italy’s 5-Star movement said it would pursue its own proposal for a vote on the euro.

Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch anti-immigrant PVV party, said he would make a Dutch referendum on EU membership a central theme of his campaign to become prime minister in next year’s parliamentary election.

“I congratulate the British people for beating the political elite in both London and Brussels and I think we can do the same,” Wilders told Reuters. “We should have a referendum about a ‘Nexit’ as soon as possible.”

After the jump, Boldness in Bratislava, a British downgrade, trillions in losses, the pain in Spain, grief in Greece, troubles in Tokyo, and a Schadenfreude alert. . . Continue reading

Brazil coup leader implicated in mega-bribe

If the allegation is true, Brazil’s acting president pocketed one of the largest bribes in history.

And the allegation would go a long way to explain why Michel Temer and his neocon compatriots were so eager to impeach President Dilma Rousseff.

From teleSUR English:

Brazil’s acting President Michel Temer allegedly received a bribe of US$296 million that Engevix company owner Jose Antunes Sobrinho paid through intermediaries, Brazilian magazine Epoca reported Saturday.

The report cited allegations by the executive in efforts to secure a plea bargain with federal authorities.

In his proposed plea bargain, Antunes alleges that Joao Batista Lima, owner of the Sao Paulo-based architecture firm Argeplan and a close friend of Temer, had received work contracts in exchange for granting bribes to the current Brazilian head-of-state.

Lima, a former military police colonel, has repeatedly been accused of being the “key person involved in the dirty work” between companies and PMDB politicians.

If his plea bargain request is granted, Antunes says that he can prove Temer received a bribe of US$296 million in exchange for a construction contract that was awarded to Argeplan to build the Angra III nuclear-generation unit, which forms part of Brazil’s sole nuclear power plant.

Headline of the day: Brexit healthcare fallout

Leave it to one of the architects of the Brexit to get right down to the neoliberal nitty gritty, a call to abolish Britain’s socialized National Health Service.

From the Independent:

Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance

Farage: ‘There is no question that healthcare provision is going to have to be very much greater in 10 years than it is today, with an ageing population, and we’re going to have to find ways to do it’

‘Yes Minister’ explained the Brexit. . . in 1983

Back in the early 1980s, Yes Minister, a genially cynical British comedy, explored the hypocrisies of governance in a faded empire.

In this clip, via Iceland Pirate Party founder Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Permanent Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby explains Britain’s policy stance vis a vis the European Union [AKA Common Market]. It’s eerily prescient, given the events now unfolding on the Continent:

Yes Minister — Why Britain Joined the European Union

Graphic representation: Brexpocalypse Now!

We begin with the editorial cartoonist of the Charlotte Observer:

Kevin Siers: Brexit wins

BLOG Brex Siers

Next, the Washington Post’s lead editorial artist weighs in with a sketch:

Tom Toles: Britain decides to take a hike

BLOG Brex Toles

And from the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Steve Breen: I coulda been a contendah!

BLOG Brex Breen

The Kansas City Star seeks resonance closer to home:

Lee Judge: Trump this!

BLOG Brex Judge

From the Miami Herald, the morning after the night before:

Jim Morin: Waiting to . . .

BLOG Brex Morin

The Chattanooga Times Free Press notes another departure:

Clay Bennett: Brexit

BLOG Brex Bennett

While the Washington Post looks at two New York natives with wild hair [former London Mayor and lead Brexit agitator Boris Johnson hails from the Big Apple]:

Ann Telnaes: Tweedle dee and Tweedle Donald

BLOG Brex Telnaes

And, finally, from the Sacramento Bee, California’s Governor Moonbeam gets an idea:

Jack Ohman: Calexit

BLOG Brex Ohman

Headline of the day III: Somebody’s celebrating

From Vocativ:

‘Europe Is Destroyed’: ISIS Celebrates Brexit Vote

“At a time when Muslims are uniting under the flag of the Caliphate, Europe is choosing to divide and split”

Map of the day: Illegal idrug injection rates

From the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s World Drug Report 2016:

BLOG Inject