Shabbat Shalom!

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3 Responses to Shabbat Shalom!

  1. Brian Goldfarb says:

    Well, Anne, I’d love to reciprocate, but, now that it’s “aus shabbat” (out of the Sabbath to non-Yiddish speakers), I can note that my (rugby) team lost (though that wasn’t too unexpected – don’t ask, it’s a very long answer, and you can do without the answer, believe me). Even more importantly, it now appears that the FBI started investigating the current President of the US (yes, him: the guy who withdrew the USA from the Iran Treaty and declared that he would move the US Embassy to Jerusalem and has also withdrawn the US from funding UNESCO, and if you don’t know why, you haven’t been keeping up, and you’re giving me an opening for yet another boring comment), immediately after he sacked James Comey as the Head of the FBI, as a possible “undeclared agent of a foreign power”, that is, Russia.

    And if the response isn’t a wise nod of the head and a sigh, followed by a muttered yes we know, so just get on with it, you are giving me yet another shot at a further boring comment that you can do without.

    If you insist (and if you’re sensible, you won’t insist), I could explain the whole “Manchurian Candidate” syndrome to you, which I have been going on about elsewhere.

    Those still baffled should google “Manchurian Candidate” and read the book so entitled and/or watch the film of the same name starring the late Laurence Harvey.

    Gripping reading and watching!

    • anneinpt says:

      I find American politics almost incomprehensible, especially since Trump was elected.

      As an Israeli I can only approve of Trump so far- though his precipitous announcement of a withdrawal from Syria has not been very welcome here.

      But it is clear that he is extremely divisive in America. Is the bile dumped on him justified? I simply cannot tell. I’m just sitting back watching in appalled fascination.

      • Brian Goldfarb says:

        Anne, in comparison with some aspects of the US political system, the Israeli electoral system is crystal clear: as absolutely as possible, a proportional representation system. Thus, other things being equal, given that the Knesset consists of 144(?) seats, something like 0.14% of the votes cast should gain 1 seat. I know that’s no longer true (as it was at the beginning of the State: there is now a threshold of 3%(?) of the votes cast to gain any seats). Is that correct?

        It’s easy enough to understand the principle of the US system: whoever gets the most votes in an electoral district (as an ex-Brit, you will understand the notion of a constituency), gets the seat, even if it’s less than 50% of the votes cast.

        Easy enough to understand when we’re talking about a Senate seat, voted for in a whole state, but in the House of Representatives, there are serious gerrymandering issues. There isn’t, as in the UK, an independent commission charged with drawing electoral boundaries, so those in power in the state (Governor, both houses of the state) get to draw the boundaries.

        This says nothing of voter suppression, a whole other complicating issue that didn’t stop the Democrats sweeping back to control of the lower House of Representatives (the “blue wave”: where else in the democratic world is the left/liberal sector blue rather than red?).

        To further complicate matters, the Founding Fathers of the US Constitution didn’t trust the will of the people: they introduced the notion of the Electoral College: whoever gets most votes in a State, gets the Electoral College vote therein. BUT Hilary Clinton won the popular vote (by 2million+ votes) while Trump won the College vote by winning (by a total of 80,000 votes) 3 populous states that (without Russian interference) the Dems would usually (and usually do) have won.

        These aren’t, in normal times, “swing” (i.e., “marginal”) states.

        There you have the essence of the Mueller Special Prosecutor investigation.

        And I haven’t even started in on Trump’s inability to understand the nature of democratic politics. Indeed, he demonstrates many of the characteristics of the demagogue and potential dictator. Given his attitude towards Muslims and immigrants in general, he even demonstrates some of the characteristics of the fascist.

        I hope I have given you a grasp of the US system, maybe!

        As to his unpopularity…that’s a whole different story. Some of it is just above. But it is also in the tax cut that benefitted only the rich; his attempts to repeal the highly popular Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”); his indifference to any but his (shrinking) base; his attempts to undermine the prized US freedom of the press (“fake news”) etc…

        Enough already from me…

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