It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village is a reminder of Democratic Party values – especially the values of long time Democrats whose lives have been dedicated to helping people.

It Takes A Village…TGIF Edition!

 

Many of those who actually voted for real estate tycoon-reality show TV host Donald J. Trump for President last November now have “buyer’s remorse” over their decision.

What I find so ludicrous is that there are still morons in our country that support the ape acting like he’s presidential when that is far from the truth.

Most new Presidents use a “first 100 days” to define their Presidency.  Halfway through Trump’s first 100 defines a manic President out of control in a White House where the staff still has trouble finding light switches and the doors that lead into and out of rooms.

I join with many others who shake their heads and wring their hands over the incredible mess in our nation’s capital.If it’s not over Trumps narcissistic ways, chaos in the White House, the lies coming from nearly every spokesman in the WH or anyone associated with the conservatives, the turmoil created by the Trump-Russia connections and all too many people shrugging it off as nothing, the turmoil created by the WH in the far-east, and these are just the tip of the iceberg.

There are two things even more damaging to our country and the gov’t that we elect but can’t seemingly govern for the people.

The Republicans utter lack of showing any compassion for anyone but themselves and their partisan and prejudiced  policies is a large part of why we are where we are right now. While Trump isn’t who most wanted as their President they are seemingly fine with it now as long as they are given free rein pushing through their conservative dismantling of our societies forward progress and installing repressive policies meant to demean and dehumanize anyone they see as liberal and beneath their status in life. The one thing I think they are forgetting is that they are elected by the citizens and work for us and can be voted out, which we are all hoping every available voter is educated enough on their BS so they thrown to the gutter.

The other thing we should be looking at and fighting against is pseudo President Bannon’s dismantling of the gov’t apparatus. There are numerous slots within any administration that need to be filled to carry out the everyday workings of the gov’t and some are high level positions. As of now there are 512 posts which Trump has failed to put forth a nominee. For instance the State Dept. is lacking at 111 positions and DOD has 50 un-staffed positions. This article from the WaPo gives a good breakdown of this and why it’s an alarming catastrophe in the making…

 

 

 

GoGoGo Maxine….Love this woman!!!

As always I’ll end my thread with our champion and the woman that rightly our President…

This is your open for Friday….Have a great weekend!

 

 

Hide in your shadow.

It takes a village: The majority in red rules

 

Coretta Scott King along with a woman who has Trump’s number and is the spark we need when things get tough…. see if you can find her in this photo 😃

 

No need to comment…. sign says it all.

Clinton, Duckworth, Kelly. First three boxes i checked in my state twice were women. Robin Kelly enters year 4 as my house rep.

 

The buzz from twitter world.

HMMPH…….

Gabby inspires all of us…. thank you.

Women will continue to command the stage as she did on a cold Iowa night in January 2016

And….. she is the final word.

 

 

THIS IS YOUR THURSDAY THREAD

It Takes A Village: VNV Wednesday The Prisoner Resistance Primer

The Village News & Views March 8, 2017
Wednesday Get Over the Hump Free for All

In 1967 a television program aired called The Prisoner. Staring and in many ways the brainchild of actor Patrick McGoohan, who was directly off a 4 year stint on the espionage thriller Danger Man (seen in the US as Secret Agent), the show aired 17 episodes and became very possibly the literal prototype of the television cult classic.

Yes, there was a remake in 2009, but we are going to pretend that didn’t happen, because, well, it might as well not have.

There’s a massive amount of opinion and fan discussion both on the web and in published media about the original series and I will be shocked if very many Meeses are entirely unaware of it. It has been on my mind of late, for a number of reasons not the least of which was the name change that occurred in our original community over on the Daily K from the Village Under the Bus to simply, The Village. That renaming was an elegant effort on the part of one of our bedrock members to preserve the group in that location, however it struck me as both poetic and ironic that our fellowship should eventually end up with a name associate with one of the most extreme, and effective Resistors in all of fiction.

It was only a matter of time before I brought up the subject for consideration by my fellows and that is how we come to today’s post…

The Prisoner: A Resistance Primer

“If I could do it again, I would. As long as people feel something, that’s the great thing. It’s when they are walking around not thinking and not feeling, that’s tough. When you get a mob like that, you can turn them into the sort of gang that Hitler had.”

It Takes A Village – VNV Tuesday: Patriarchy Dismissed Us 3/7/17

A postcard from about 1910; imagine receiving this in the mail!

I’ve decided to continue the exploration of the unspoken history of our country as seen through political cartoons and messaging. I’m not doing this as an exercise in hopelessness. It’s easy to fall into that trap when seeing so many of the same themes over and over. But along with the recurring issues, I see the battles that have been won, even when the “war” is ongoing. For me, remembering the past gives me courage to fight for our future. I hope it will do the same for our Village.

This week, I wanted to focus on the misogyny in our history, but the topic was so broad, it became unmanageable. Since I have no desire to do a dissertation, I chose the suffrage movement as the exemplar of the patriarchy in our midst. The images today are mostly postcards from the early 1900s, as well as political cartoons.

It Takes a Village… TGIF Edition

This whole mess we are having to put up with, concerning Trump and his collusion with Russia to subvert our Democracy, has been coming for quite a while. Thought I might  put up some of the back story today and explain just what Putin has been attempting with regards to Trump and our country.

According to NBC News, our Intelligence Community has “a high level of confidence” that Russia’s president ”personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used.” Putin’s motivation was revenge, according to unnamed senior IC officials, since he despises Clinton, plus the Kremlin sought to create confusion in the United States to make us appear an unreliable ally and an ailing global power.The Russian president grew up in the KGB and long worked in counterintelligence. To his core, Putin is a secret policeman, what Russians call a Chekist—a term worn with pride in the Kremlin. It’s an easy bet that Putin was briefed on this most special intelligence operation daily; it was very likely the first item in his morning briefing from Russia’s spy services, a quotidian event that Putin—unlike our president-elect—takes seriously.

The Kremlin has done this sort of thing many times to countries it dislikes or fears, indeed it’s old hat to a seasoned Chekist like Putin. But the Russians have never done anything quite this brazen to their “Main Adversary”—as they called America during the Cold War and today do again. To be clear, Putin ordered his spies to execute strategic Active Measures against the United States and top Democrats in 2016 because Moscow possessed enough stolen information to do so. He didn’t fear retribution.

Knowing this it can be ascertained that Putin cultivated Donald Trump over the many years and times they’ve come into contact regardless of what Donald Trump states as “fake news”. It’s been stated by Donald Jr on a number of occasions that the Trump family has had business dealings with Russia and DJT has a known associate Felix Sater who is a reported mobster and immigrant from Russia. After it was widely publicized that Sater had underworld connections Trump stated…

“If he were sitting in the room right now, I really wouldn’t know what he looked like,” Trump says in court papers from a 2013 law suit.

Yet, even as the Trump administration was preparing plans to ramp up deportations, the president’s longtime personal attorney sat down for coffee in a Manhattan hotel with this Russian immigrant.

According to The New York Times, Trump attorney Michael Cohen and Sater were party to some amateur diplomacy aimed at settling the Russian war on Ukraine with a plan to push Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko out of office.

We know the sordid story about Gen.(ret) Michael Flynn and his past dealings with Putin. His being photoed with Putin and Jill Stein in Moscow, and his taped conversations with Russian intelligence which untimely led to his resignation as head of the NSC.

Now we have Mister Hypocrisy himself Jeff Sessions the AG appointed by Trump, who should never have been confirmed in the first place, getting caught in taped conversations with the Russian Ambassador before and during the election. When he was questioned by the Senate during confirmation he lied about never having any contact with the Russians.AG Sessions is now being regarded as recusing himself and or resigning his post….As for the Russian

All of this is bad enough when taken alone but the one thing that is ticking me off is the disregard of everything regarding Trump and Russia by the not so distinguished Repukes in Congress. The two heads of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees,Repukes, Rep. Nunes and Sen. Burr that are ardent backers of Trump are acting like  it’s just hogwash and need to recuse themselves also. The partisan politics being played in Congress right now needs to be beat down with a stick and they need to get to the bottom of this. If it’s nothing, like the Repukes keep saying, then an investigation will tell everyone that. My take is that it’s something and they all know it and it will ruin their brand if it comes out.

On to the tweets regarding this travesty…

As always, I will end my diary with the woman that brought all of us here.

This is your open thread…Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

It takes a village: the backbone of civilization

When yesterday’s press reaction to a bigot’s speech can deflate the spirit, maxine’s fire wont let you quit.

I once again Thank Michelle for sharing Barack Obama with the world when she didn’t have to. Her presence, and her matter of fact down to earth attitude always brought a smile to my face.

 

One grammy away from hitting for the cycle! A oscar, emmy and a tony….. not bad for a south Carolina girl! Her story inspires countless people.

 

Women everyday stand up and fight to make voices heard. Kamala is a new powerful voice in the senate, fighting for dreamers and all Americans. We Thank her!

 

From a back Porch in Mississippi to building a billion dollar empire that reshaped daytime tv, Oprah planted her flag and slayed the powerful Phil Donahue to open doors for other women in the business.

That ceiling is about ready to go…. She’s pounded on that damn glass since 1969… tomorrow she goes home to where her political career began: the college she attended. I thank her personally for taking so called identity politics and not going the safe route, being bold and in folks face. Hillary has nothing else to prove …. but still so much to do! This Clinton rider will be watching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women are the fabric of our existence, thank you for being society’s  north star when all hope sometimes seem lost.

 

 

This is your Thursday  Thread

 

It Takes A Village: VNV Wednesday What Cats Can Teach Us About Resistance

The Village News & Views
Wednesday Get Over the Hump Free for All 

Did you #BLACKOUTTRUMP last night? Since I’m writing this before the actual speech, I’m sure there will be a number of blogs and news stories about it by Wednesday morning, however I’m going to give you the fun of finding them yourself and talk about something else.

What Can Cats Teach Us About Resistance:

“Never try to outstubborn a cat.”
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

Not everyone loves cats. Since I respect everyone’s freedom to their own preferences, I suggest that if you aren’t a fan of the cat, when reading this diary, every time you see the word “cat”, you insert the name of your favorite animal.

It Takes A Village – VNV Tuesday: Genocide and Slavery Shaped Us 2/28/17

Moral Map of the U.S. (about 1847) with caption, “It is a dark spot on the face of the nation; such a state of things cannot always exist. – LaFayette

Warning: This post contains offensive, racist images. They are hard to see. They are included not to perpetuate racism, but to challenge the privilege which allows us to ignore our own history.

This post is the result of two intersecting lines of thought. First was the accidental discovery of the political cartoons of Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) last week, which illustrated that everything old is new again. The second is a line of thought that has been percolating since Election Night. If one ascribes to the belief that our country was built on the evil foundations of genocide and slavery (as I do), should the post-Obama whitelash surprise us? And if it does, what does that say about our knowledge of our own past? Most importantly, what will we do for our future?

British Breakfast

Hi everybody, and welcome to another miscellany of European sense and nonsense. I’m focusing this week on how POTUS*’s various foreign policy initiatives are being perceived, and the verdicts are decidely mixed.

As is becoming usual, Patrick Cockburn has words of wisdom.

Donald Trump is often compared to Vladimir Putin by the media which detects ominous parallels between the two men as populist nationalist leaders. The message is that Trump with his furious attacks on the media would like to emulate Putin’s authoritarianism. There is some truth in this, but when it comes to the effect on US status and power in the world, the similarities are greater between Trump and Yeltsin than between Trump and Putin.

Trump does not drink alcohol, but his incoherent verbal onslaughts on Australia, Mexico and Sweden since he became President are strongly reminiscent of Yeltsin’s embarrassing antics. Both men won power as demagogic anti-establishment leaders who won elections by promising to reform and clear out corruption in the existing system. The result in Russia was calamitous national decline and the same thing could now happen in America.

It will be difficult for the US to remain a super-power under a leader who is an international figure of fun and is often visibly detached from reality. His battle cry of “Fake News” simply means an inability to cope with criticism or accept facts or views that contradict his own. World leaders who have met him say they are astonished by his ignorance of events at home and abroad.

This cannot go on very long without sizeably diminishing American global influence as its judgement and actions become so unpredictable. Over the last three quarters of a century, countries of all political hues – dictatorships and democracies, republics and monarchies – have wanted to be an ally of the US because it was the most powerful player in world affairs.

The election of Trump brings with it another negative but less tangible outcome that is already eating away at American primacy: the US will be not only divided but unable to focus on for the foreseeable future on anything other than the consequences of Trumpism. When US politicians, officials and media look at Russia, China, Ukraine, Iran, Israel or anywhere else in the world from Sweden to Australia, they will view them through a prism distorted by his preconceptions and fantasies.

Once it was smaller European countries like Ireland and Poland that were derided for an exaggerated and unhealthy preoccupation with their own problems. A Polish joke from the 1920s relates how an Englishman, a Frenchman and a Pole competed to write the best essay on the elephant. The Englishman described “elephant hunting in India”, the French wrote about “the elephant in love” and the Pole produced a lengthy paper on “the elephant and the Polish Question”. These days the Englishman would undoubtedly write about “the elephant and Brexit” and an American, if he was allowed to enter the competition, would write interminably about “the elephant and Donald Trump”.

In Switzerland’s NZZ, Eric Gujer considers how Trump’s confusing rhetoric about foreign affairs may run into difficulty because America’s long-term strategic interests don’t actually change all that much whover is in the White House:

The new American government considers NATO to be a useful thing, it keeps its distance from Russia, and it conforms to the status quo in Asia. While the administration is pursuing an ideologically impregnated agenda in domestic policy, it appears to have less fixed views on diplomatic and military matters. This gives the ministerial bureaucracy the opportunity to play out their experience and to continue proven traditions.

The presidential advisors to the Interior are on a crusade that has just begun. The foreign policy team consists of pragmatists who think in the pathways of Orthodox politics.

The attraction of election campaigns is that everyone can demand everything. Once in the government offices, the actors then quickly notice that some wishes are mutually exclusive. Someone who supports aggression towards Iran will find a deep friendship with Russia difficult. After all, Moscow and Tehran are allied combatants in Syria, and the Iranian military would like to intensify this cooperation, for example, through armaments deals.

Anyone who perceives North Korea and its missile tests as a threat cannot be completely aggressive with Beijing. After all, the Chinese are the only ones who can influence the Korean regime. And someone wanting to form an alliance with the Arab-Sunni states against the Islamic state does not do itself many favors by being Netanyahu’s poodle in the Palestine issue.

The new government has not yet formulated its priorities. Surprises can not be ruled out. But the expectation seems justified, that many answers will be rather conventional. Especially since an apparatus which is constantly busy dealing with its boss’s mental flashes develops only little impact.

Having no idea is not a sufficient prerequisite for a successful foreign policy. And even those who have an idea, still have to implement it. The Obama administration developed the concept of a turn to Asia with a lot of noise, but it remained largely at the level of announcements. There are enough pitfalls for ambitious strategists. Therefore, the probability of Trump’s team changing very little is not small. In foreign policy this would be an orderly result.

Not everyone thinks that would be a good idea. Giampaolo Rossi thinks that would just show how the military-industrial complex runs everything anyway. (Warning: this is a very odd piece.)

When politics (ie the Government and Parliament) is strong, legitimate and sovereign, the Deep State is kept at bay, under control and may even have a positive function of stability…
When politics is weak, the Deep State prevails over it, the conditions and blackmails becoming a sort of “shadow government” .. and it may even happen that the Deep State becomes itself the government.

When we complain of why governments change but never change anything in a country, it is because we do not perceive the immense power of the Deep State.

The Michael Flynn political elimination, the man that Donald Trump had put in charge of the National Security Council the right to reshape American foreign policy, is proof of the violent offensive that the Deep State is mounting against the US President.

The Deep State is the true Donald Trump enemy; the axis of the corrupt media system and the Soros-funded activist violence to scare the public, keeps America in the hands of ruthless elite.

We’ll see if Donald Trump will be able to resist the offensive that the Deep State has unleashed against him and against American democracy or whether he capitulates. If he can go down in history as a President or will become a mere puppet in the hands of the War Party as was Obama and Clinton would have been. Whether thanks to him America will again be a model of democracy for the world or the nation will remain the hostage of a criminal elite that in these nine years has produced humanitarian chaos and wars all over the Middle East to feed the geopolitical games and financial economic interests of Washington lobbies.

Gabriel Elefteriu thinks that the new National Security Adviser will have a significant effect:

Towards the end of his speech, the General also mentioned the need to “think in competitive terms again”, citing a recent essay by Nadia Schadlow that warned of the “serious political competitions underway for regional and strategic dominance”. This may turn out to be the most significant indicator of the change in American grand strategy which is likely to follow. A wider problem with Western strategic thinking has been at play: put simply, after the Cold War we stopped thinking about our adversaries in competitive terms, and switched to a “risk” or “threat-based” model; they did not.

Great power competition never stopped. We just chose to ignore it as the “unipolar moment” dawned and as the West – America especially – basked in its “peerless” status. We mothballed the sophisticated ability we had acquired during the Cold War for calculating military balances – or, as the Soviets called it, the “correlation of forces” – and for understanding the true “power” of our adversaries, in all its manifestations.

In conjunction with other fallacies of the kind enumerated by General McMaster, this has proven highly detrimental to America and the West’s strategic “performance” over the past fifteen years. Any risk-based formula is by definition un-strategic: among other drawbacks, such  neat categories of risk oversimplify a complex landscape; it takes a passive, short-term approach rather than dealing with underlying causes; and it struggles to consider threats in their full context. It is not difficult to see why such a way of looking at the world would blind Western strategists to the emergence of things like: “hybrid warfare”; the resurgence of Russian conventional military capability; or the expansion of Iran’s military footprint across the Middle East.

Most importantly, a risk-based approach makes it difficult to see the whole picture of an integrated enemy strategy which uses propaganda campaigns, proxies and other forms of power  alongside conventional forces. It is therefore of limited use in proposing effective counter-measures or preventing unwelcome surprises.

Dan O’Brien in the Irish Independent worries a lot about trade:

With the solitary exception of a period around the Iraq invasion, when elements within the first George W Bush administration contemplated a divide-and-conquer strategy vis-a-vis Europe, the US has encouraged European integration since its inceptions. It has done so because it believed a strong, coherent Europe was in its best interests – whether as a bulwark against the Soviets in the past or as a natural supporter of most US positions in global affairs today.

Trump is very different. His ‘America First’ vision of relations with other countries is based on one-to-one dealing, rather than on messier multilateral arrangements. His logic appears to be that because the US is more powerful than any other country, conducting relations bilaterally will mean he always has the upper hand. There is certainly a logic to this, but most scholars of international relations argue that exclusive bilateralism, even for a superpower, won’t work in a world as complex and interconnected as ours.

That Donald Tusk, the pro-American Pole who is president of the European Council, has publicly listed the Trump administration as a threat to Europe as great as Russia and terrorism speaks volumes about the concerns that exist. But it is not just multilateral-type structures that Trump has railed against. In speeches and tweets, he has aggressively lashed out against how the international economy functions, despite the US being one of the greatest beneficiaries of it over decades. Rather than believing that freely flowing trade and investment can result in gains for all, he takes a zero-sum game view of economic relations – what one country gains another must necessarily lose.

The longer term damage to the rules-based global trading system could be even more serious. For those who believe that the world needs global institutions and global governance structures to deal with global issues, the World Trade Organisation is pivotal. Unlike many other toothless international organisations, the WTO has a full-scale court structure whose rulings members accept. That includes the US, which is a regular litigant and complainant at the WTO in Geneva.

If the US were to reject an adverse finding by the WTO against a border tax or signal early in the process that it did not accept the jurisdiction of the body (Trump last summer described it as a “disaster”), then the linchpin of the entire international trading system would be in question.

One month into the Trump presidency, there is almost as much reason to believe that Ireland, Europe and the rest of the world will suffer negative consequences as there was on the day of his election. Hopes of a Trump-lite presidency have all but evaporated. Tumultuous times are ahead.

We are led to believe that Trump’s foreign policy is largely driven by the exciting Steve Bannon, so this piece from the Frankfurter Allgemeine by James Kirchick is particularly interesting. Helpfully, it’s in English already:

The defining ideological battle of our present moment can best be understood as a competition between two individuals: White House Senior Counselor Stephen Bannon and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The fate of the Western world as we know it may very well depend on whose worldview succeeds.

Bannon, President Donald Trump’s most influential and powerful advisor, sees Western civilization locked in an eternal struggle with Islam. “We’re at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict,” he told a conference of conservative religious leaders assembled at the Vatican in 2014. “If you look back at the long history of the Judeo-Christian West struggle against Islam, I believe that our forefathers kept their stance, and I think they did the right thing.” Bannon is obsessed with war; references to battle a constant refrain of nearly every speech he’s delivered and interview he’s granted. “There is a major war brewing, a war that’s already global,” he said in 2014, “we’re in a war of immense proportions,” a “global war against Islamic fascism.”

Unlike Bannon, who casually conflates the religion of 1.7 billion practicing Muslims with a radical variety of that faith bent on violence and subjugation, Merkel believes that Islam is compatible with Western democracy. In 2015, at the height of protests organized by the Dresden-based People Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA), the Chancellor expressed her conviction that “Islam belongs to Germany” and that those joining the weekly demonstrations had “hatred in their hearts.” Later that year, in a move that would earn her the undying enmity of Bannon and the right-wing nationalist website he used to run, Breitbart.com, Merkel opened Germany’s doors to some 1 million mostly Muslim migrants. Whatever one thinks of that decision (and for what it’s worth, I believe it was misguided), it sprung from the best of intentions, namely, a belief that the democratic West has a duty to help those in need regardless of their religious affiliation.

Ironically, many Europeans would find much to like in Bannon’s economic philosophy, characterized as it is by a reverence for “enlightened capitalism” over “crony capitalism.” In his Vatican address, Bannon criticized the “state-sponsored capitalism” of Russia and China as well as the “Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism”, both of which, he argued, have enriched “the party of Davos” while leaving the majority of “working men and women” behind. Though his protectionism is anathema to devotees of the world’s greatest free trade zone, the European Union, Bannon otherwise advocates the sort of system embraced by the broad consensus of German politicians, business leaders, and regular citizens, the “social market economy”.

If Bannon is basically a Christian (or Social) Democrat on economics and an anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist like Frank Gaffney on the question of Islam, he’s a Pat Buchanan-esque paleoconservative when it comes to national identity.

In the wake of Trump’s election, much has been said and written about how Germany in general, and Merkel in particular, are now the last remaining guardians of the liberal world order, a sentiment that Senator John McCain appeared to endorse over the weekend at the Munich Security Conference when he praised “the absolutely vital role that Germany and its honorable Chancellor, Chancellor Merkel, are playing in defense of the idea and the conscience of the West” and not so subtly chastised his own president for “flirting with authoritarianism and romanticizing it as our moral equivalent.” Talk of Merkel being “leader of the free world” is rather simplistic and self-flattering; Germany does not possess anything near the military means necessary to assume such responsibility and the scandalous prosecution of a comedian for insulting Turkey’s authoritarian president undermines its commitment to free speech. But in the emerging confrontation between Bannonism and Merkelism that characterizes the struggle for the soul and direction of the Western world, there can be no question of which Weltanschauung must prevail.

And that’s all I’ve got about POTUS*. I’ve been much more interested in the two by-elections in Britain this week, in which the main opposition party lost a seat to the governing party — the first time that has happened since 1982 — and Labour held off the challenge from UKIP in the constituency said to have voted most heavily for Brexit, the UKIP candidate being the newish leader of the party Paul Nuttall.

Both by-elections are held, amongst the commentariat at least, to have been catastrophic for the parties coming second. Labour losing Copeland means that Corbyn’s got to go, and UKIP failing to gain Stoke shows that they are completely irrelevant now that we’ve had the referendum (and of course Corbyn and the Corbynistas regard their holding the seat as evidence that Corbyn should stay).

My take is that Corbyn may be completely useless, but that ditching him won’t do Labour much good because they have no idea what to do. British politics is now Brexit, Brexit, Brexit and fuck all else. Big city Labour were Remainers, small town and rural Labour Leavers. Big city Labour is pro-immigration, small town and rural Labour massively anti. Labour face annihilation outside the big cities, and there aren’t enough seats in big cities for them to get anywhere near a majority. In fact, there aren’t enough seats in big cities for them to maintain even their present position. Prime Minister May keeps making speeches about the awfulness of corporate fat cats and how the economy has to be made to work a lot better for the people who make just about enough to get along: one may doubt the sincerity (although, actually, I don’t), but the problem there is that Brexit is so all-consuming that the government haven’t got time to actually do anything about her rhetoric. But while she is saying that sort of thing, what do the Labour Party say which isn’t the same, given that in order to reconnect with voters, they need to offer proposals which make the economy work better for the people who are just about getting along?

Which is also UKIP’s problem. They’ve achieved the Brexit vote they wanted, but since that was the only thing uniting them in the first place, they have no idea at all. And repellent though Farage is, he at least has a personality. Without him, UKIP are a pretty uninteresting bunch. Such policy as they have on non-Brexit matters is a ragbag of unconnected proposals on a range of issues: one can easily imagine that it was drawn up by a conference at which various obsessives each got up and talked convincingly about their one issue and nobody else knew enough to argue against them and so that’s what they all went along with. So they want rainbows but not unicorns (which give you cancer anyway) and to cut welfare spending overall but spend more on each component of welfare spending.

The Lib Dems are virtuous Remoaners and are getting no traction, and the SNP are psyching themselves up to fight another independence referendum on the interesting argument that because Scotland’s major trading partner is about to leave the EU, it will benefit the Scottish economy to join the EU and put up tariff barriers with England and Wales, and leave the sterling area for the eurozone, when the euro is still a weaker currency than the pound.

Which means there’s no coherent opposition to the Conservative government, which is waking up to the horrible realities of how incredibly difficult Brexit is going to be and the fact that if you divert half the Civil Service to sorting Brexit out, that leaves half the government’s other work not getting done.

And pics of Mother Theresa holding Donald’s tiny hand because he’s afraid of stairs aren’t really a substitute.

Heigh-ho.