Empty Chairs

Will Biden Really Share a Stage with Trump?

Empty ChairsI don’t think he will.

With less than a week to go before the first presidential debate, speculation as to how it will turn out is rising to a fever pitch. This isn’t especially unusual as the debates have been the centrepiece of US campaigns for many decades. What makes this debate unusual is that the conversation isn’t about who might win, it’s all about whether Joe Biden can remain coherent throughout, or whether he’ll even turn up at all.

Although the Biden camp dismisses claims of his cognitive decline as conspiracy theories, the instances of verbal fumbles and garbled, meaningless sentences continue to stack up.

Whilst it’s true that a lack eloquence alone is not evidence of dementia, it’s hard to avoid that conclusion when the Joe Biden from 2012 is compared with the version we have today. This is especially ironic as one of the early manifestations of Trump Derangement Syndrome was a whispering campaign surrounding the 25th Amendment and Trump’s mental fitness for office. It’s hard not to feel a frisson of schadenfreude as Biden’s problems pile up.

Any objective observation of Biden’s behaviour must lead to concerns over his mental health. The former Vice President is showing signs of dementia and everybody knows it, especially his campaign staff. Thus, it doesn’t take a tactical genius to figure out that he’ll be extremely vulnerable in a high-pressure debate environment. Why else would expectations about his performance be so low?

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Kanye West for President? Seriously?

clownOnce again Kanye West has put himself firmly in the spotlight with his unexpected and some would say bizarre announcement that he will run for president of the United States. To be clear, both his much discussed Twitter announcement and his #2020VISION hashtag leave enough ambiguity for a run in 2024 or perhaps even later. He’s still relatively young and he has plenty of time.

The only question that matters right now is whether he’s serious about challenging Donald Trump for the presidency come November. To be honest, it’s difficult to imagine him putting forward a viable presidential run this late in the day, but at the same time it would be foolish to dismiss West’s announcement as the empty daydreams of a vainglorious clown.

Kanye West has a plan, and it doesn’t involve becoming president of the United States in 2020. He’s a smart boy and he understands the media, just like the current occupant of the Oval Office.

In truth, Kanye is probably still figuring out whether he really has any interest in public office. In the meantime he’s got plenty of ground to break and money to make, so we won’t know where he really stands until sometime after 2030.

So why do it?

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Money Trap

The Curious Case of Ghislaine Maxwell

MoneyIt should be no surprise that the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell has lifted the Jeffrey Epstein saga off life support with a potent shot of adrenaline and steroids. Whilst it’s too early to know what she might or might not reveal in exchange for some sort of immunity or lesser sentence, the circumstances surrounding her capture are curious to say the least.

Bearing in mind that she’s facing some pretty serious criminal charges, we’re forced to wonder whether it’s really credible that the US authorities had no idea where she was hiding this whole time. The majority of people who live in the real world will raise an eyebrow when they learn that Ms Maxwell has been holed up in a million dollar mansion in New Hampshire the whole time, yet nobody was able to track her down until recently. If you or I wanted to go on the run we’d be forced to channel our inner Charles Bronson and vanish into blinking neon motel obscurity. Even then there would be no guarantee that the very capable and well-resourced FBI wouldn’t catch up with us eventually. After all, the Feds know that flophouse central is a likely place to look.

The idea that the US authorities were completely unaware that Ghislaine Maxwell was living a comfortable life right under their very noses is about as believable as the Pakistani government having absolutely no clue that Osama bin Laden was hiding just a stone’s throw from a military academy.

This does of course lead us to ask why the one person with the most direct knowledge of Epstein’s affairs made no serious attempt either to leave the country or disappear into some sort of serious hiding. The answer is obvious really; because although she needed to escape from the press and the public, Maxwell never seriously feared arrest or prosecution.

So what’s changed?

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Matryoshka doll

Who’s Behind Biden?

Matryoshka dollWow, it must really suck to be a Democrat right now; I mean, seriously!

With Super Tuesday out of the way it’s looking more and more like the party’s top brass has decided to throw its weight behind Joe Biden as the best and only hope of beating Bernie Sanders to the nomination. Of course there are plenty of delegates still to play for and anything could happen, but it’s clear that the DNC will not permit Sanders to clinch the nomination, even at the cost of running Joe Biden against a rampant and increasingly popular Donald Trump.

Even if Sanders manages to force a brokered convention, anyone but Bernie is now the unofficial party line and delegates will act accordingly. Letting slow Joe face Donald Trump in the general election might seem like a suicidal strategy, but when it’s the only available option the decision-making process becomes extremely simple.

The DNC top brass must surely know that backing yet another ageing neo-liberal who’s showing clear signs of failing health is not a way to win elections.

So why do it?

It’s mostly because they don’t really have much of a choice at this late stage; but that doesn’t mean they can’t yet pull something that resembles a rabbit out of the hat. Everybody in the world knows that forgetful Joe has no chance against the Donald, especially as Trump’s quite willing to go there when it comes to Hunter Biden and the whole Ukrainian gas thing. In fact it’s reasonable to wonder whether Biden can even make it to election day without his cognitive performance deteriorating rapidly.

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