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U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)

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Remius

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kkwd said:
I see, so "those" media reports have more truthiness that "those other" media reports.

What? You asked why some people get milpoints.  Some people can still have biases but don't let their own biases blind them.  To answer your question, yes some news reports are in fact more factual than others.

The rich part is when someone uses sources they discredit in other posts to prove their point and don't read more than the first two paragraphs and miss the point entirely. 
 

mariomike

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kkwd said:
If I were mining for Milpoints i would frequent this thread and take a Contra-Trump stance.

I read that this thread is "a Trump bukkake-fest."

I gave you 300 pity-points on 2017-03-02 so you wouldn't feel left out.  :)




 

kkwd

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mariomike said:
I read that this thread is "a Trump bukkake-fest."

I gave you 300 pity-points on 2017-03-02 so you wouldn't feel left out.  :)
Yes, thank you very much. Seems I called Fox fake news in a joke post.
 

PPCLI Guy

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tomahawk6 said:
We now see what new info Nunez took to Trump yesterday. A whistle blower came forward with 47 hard drives of recordings done under the Obama administration. Meanwhile the former Prez is soaking up the sun in Fiji.

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/03/intelligence-expert-obama-committed-surveillance-crimes-jailed-video/

http://www.ibtimes.com/where-michelle-obama-barack-obama-french-polynesia-monthlong-stay-without-wife-2509409

Dude,

He is either an evil mastermind running "the Deep State" and fomenting insurrection (as your first link would have it), or he is on vacation.  You can't have it both ways.
 

Lumber

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Remius said:
I think it's more about being accurate and non biased.  If someone points out the fallacy in Trump's line of thinking/tweeting, it doesn't mean he's anti trump.  Maybe he's just pro fact.  Facts are something this administration seem to be loose with.

Today I Learned I'm "Pro Fact"...  :'( that might be the best compliment I've ever received!  :cdnsalute:

 

Lumber

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Brad Sallows said:
Trump's detractors have an easy job: the literal interpretation of almost everything he tweets and much of which he says extemporaneously is demonstrably false.  Most people understand that Obama had not the power to directly order a wiretap on any of Trump's phones.

But those interpreting Trump's remarks more loosely have a case that someone should answer to.  How did "incidentally" intercepted information - including the identity of some of the "incidental" participants - find its way into the media during and after a controversial election?  Who gave the policy direction which set in motion the sharing of information, and who leaked it beyond the agencies authorized to share it?

When you hold such a high position, you shouldn't be excused for your lack of clarity and accuracy. Such things should be a part of the most basic tennants of your office.

I like to play devils advocate; I rarely express my true ideologies on this site. I call out BS when I see, it's just that the Trump's train is bringing fourth in the cow dung by the train load; it's just to easy.
 

The Bread Guy

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cupper said:
I guess the GOP just found out that health care reform is hard.

It's like they've been asleep for the last 8 years.
Republican President, Republican House, Republican Senate, and can't get 'er done?  And it's the Democrats' fault?  What a shame -- if only someone who was a great deal maker had been elected ...
PPCLI Guy said:
Dude,

He is either an evil mastermind running "the Deep State" and fomenting insurrection (as your first link would have it), or he is on vacation.  You can't have it both ways.
1)  :Tin-Foil-Hat: But that's his cover to keep people from becoming suspicious ... :Tin-Foil-Hat:
2)  :Tin-Foil-Hat: But Michelle isn't there - what might SHE be up to? :Tin-Foil-Hat:
 

The Bread Guy

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This just in -- two outlets must be off #POTUS45's "fake news" list ...
Before President Donald Trump spoke to the American people after the defeat of his proposed health care bill, he first reached out to two outlets he has previously referred to as "fake news."

Moments after Trump and GOP leaders pulled their "Obamacare" repeal bill off the House floor on Friday, Trump spoke to The New York Times over the telephone, where he blamed Democrats and predicted the Affordable Care Act, which he referred to as Obamacare, will "explode."

"The best thing that could happen is exactly what happened — watch," he told the Times. "It's enough already."

The Washington Post's Robert Costa wrote that Trump called his cellphone to inform him that the health care bill was dead ...
 

ModlrMike

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Isn't there an aphorism that says something about fools and rushing in?
 

Brad Sallows

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>When you hold such a high position, you shouldn't be excused for your lack of clarity and accuracy. Such things should be a part of the most basic tennants of your office.

I am perfectly comfortable with unsophisticated or downright crude people holding high office.  The more often it happens, the healthier our society overall will be.  People who shoot off at the mouth don't worry me, because they are transparent.  The people I distrust and want to see out of public office are the clever ones who issue finely worded excuses and maintain a false facade of decorum.

Trump's a braggart, a bullshitter, and a bit of a buffoon.  I figured that out quickly, long ago, and don't trouble myself over it.  The people who are violating regulations and throwing out customary practices in their zeal to bring down Trump do trouble me.  Trump will last at most 8 years, probably only 4, and I'm still guessing less than 4 (impeachment).  If there are people who will respond to idle musings about turbulent priests, governance will be much more heavily compromised than anything Trump is capable of achieving.
 

cupper

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milnews.ca said:
Republican President, Republican House, Republican Senate, and can't get 'er done?  And it's the Democrats' fault?

It's alternate math.
 

Kirkhill

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Brad Sallows said:
>When you hold such a high position, you shouldn't be excused for your lack of clarity and accuracy. Such things should be a part of the most basic tennants of your office.

I am perfectly comfortable with unsophisticated or downright crude people holding high office.  The more often it happens, the healthier our society overall will be.  People who shoot off at the mouth don't worry me, because they are transparent.  The people I distrust and want to see out of public office are the clever ones who issue finely worded excuses and maintain a false facade of decorum.

Trump's a braggart, a bullshitter, and a bit of a buffoon.  I figured that out quickly, long ago, and don't trouble myself over it.  The people who are violating regulations and throwing out customary practices in their zeal to bring down Trump do trouble me.  Trump will last at most 8 years, probably only 4, and I'm still guessing less than 4 (impeachment).  If there are people who will respond to idle musings about turbulent priests, governance will be much more heavily compromised than anything Trump is capable of achieving.

Nicely put Brad.

I don't want leaders.  They frighten the heck out of me and divide people.  I want a reasonably competent manager.

Leaders are forced to take positions and justify them.  In doing so they attract some people but they create other people that are either disinterested or actively opposed.  In a well managed country opposition is tolerated.  In a well led country there is an incentive to coerce the opposition, to define them as the other.

I want a country where you can believe anything you like.  Where you can believe that aliens are using Stonehenge to communicate with Trudeau's brain.  All that matters is that people rub along in civility, hypocrisy or ignorance so long as they maintain the peace.

It is also the reason that I am opposed to the rule of law and multilateralism.  Because every book requires an interpreter and sooner or later you end up with an Emperor, a Pope or a Supreme Court Justice - all claiming special knowledge.

The parliamentary system, as it has evolved in Britain, has got Sweet Fanny Adams to do with Truth, Right or Justice.  It is merely a pragmatic means of allowing the barons to resolve their disputes without resorting to blood in the streets.

I fear that after a lifetime of peace (70 years since WW2 when civilians were being slaughtered) we have forgotten that basic truth and we are reverting to the world that existed before the Reformation, a world of absolutes and absolutists directed by revelation.

I like a pragmatic, transactional world. I like diversity.
 

Kirkhill

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Further to my last:

This may be a drift too far in that it specifically references Brexit but given that Trump's voters and Brexit are often linked, in my mind justifiably on cultural grounds, then I think this article is relevant here.

A cosy oligarchy has taken control of the West. And political parties are part of the problem
DOUGLAS CARSWELL
26 MARCH 2017 • 10:13PM


Blame the Davos men for this new wave of populism

Something extraordinary is happening to politics across much of the Western world. Donald Trump, who launched his campaign by declaring most Mexicans living in America to be criminals, has been elected to the White House. Marine Le Pen looks certain to reach the final round of the French presidential elections. From the leftist Podemos in Spain to the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) in Germany, angry, insurgent voices, which would not even have found an audience a generation ago, can be heard. Why? What is going on?

The answer is that we are seeing the emergence of an oligarchy – rule by a few – and a populist reaction against it. The economy, notionally free market, has become increasingly rigged to serve the interests of various vested interests. Cheap credit and easy money economics have increased the value of assets – from houses to hedge funds. The “haves” have done well simply by having. Those without feel left out.

There is a strong sense among many voters that politics has become a cartel, with elites ensuring that no matter who you vote for, one of them will always be in charge
This new economic elite is doing so well financially precisely because they are accumulating power politically. In many Western democracies, politics has ceased to be properly competitive. Parties like Labour or the US Democrats, which once served sectional interests, now represent instead the interests of career politicians. There is a strong sense among many voters that politics has become a cartel, with elites ensuring that no matter who you vote for, one of them will always be in charge.

Nowhere is this cosy feedback loop between politics and business more visible than in Davos, Switzerland, where every year thousands of of officials, executives and bigwigs get together at the World Economic Forum. They listen to each others’ alks, recycle one another’s clichés as easily as they swap business cards, and pat each other on the back for being so well-connected and clever. These delegates and lobbyists, said the late American political scientist Samuel Huntington, "view national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing, and see national governments as residues from the past whose only useful function is to facilitate the elite’s global operations." Policy in Western states is increasingly made for, by and on behalf of these people.

Against this uber-connected elite, we are starting to see an anti-oligarch insurgency; from Trump to Le Pen, Ukip to Geert Wilders. The trouble is that these mew radicals run the risk of playing straight into the elite’s hands.

It’s happened before. Throughout history, a sudden new flow of wealth into a society can create a concentration of power. Once tribute flowed from the provinces into the Roman republic, it allowed the emergence of a new upper class. When the Venetian and then the Dutch republics acquired overseas possessions, new money meant the rise of a new few. Each time, the emergence of oligarcy led to an anti-oligarch reaction; in the late Roman republic, the Gracchi brothers advocated a radical redistribution of land and action against cheap foreign labour. In Venice, the emergence of a few powerful families prompted a revolt by Bajamonte. In the Netherlands, Johann de Witt rose to office opposing the elite.

But far from preventing the emergence of oligarchy, these insurgents paved the way for its triumph. De Witt proved so hopeless in office that he opened the way for the return of a strong Stadtholder. Bajamonte’s inept uprising provided a few powerful families with a pretext to create a new executive body, the Council of Ten. Established to safeguard the republic for six weeks, it ended up ruling the city state for the next six hundred years. And in Rome, the chaos of the social wars led to the eventual emergence of a military strongman, Augustus – the first emperor.

So large banks and Western governments have entered into an alliance, with the latter getting cash to spend now in return for giving banks and bond holders a guaranteed slice of future tax revenue. Britain and America have both doubled their national debt in this way in the past eight years. France last ran a balanced budget in 1973. This is ultimately incompatible with representative democracy. And this, rather than the election of any upstarts or populists, is why our democracy is in trouble.

If our liberal democratic order is to survive the twin assaults of oligarchy on one side and angry populists on the other, we need radical reform. I have a few ideas.

First, we need radical changes to banking law to stop banks conjuring too much credit out of thin air. How much they can extend should be contingent on what their depositors are willing to risk. Our current system privatises profits while socialising any losses; my reform would ensure that those who owned shares in banks became liable for their customers’ deposits – as used to be the case before banks lobbied to make the taxpayer pay. I also propose changes to corporate law to stop executives behaving like those that once ran the East India Company, enriching themselves at shareholders’ expense. Shareholders should be given greater powers to decide who sits on corporate boards, and veto excess pay.

Other reforms could give back to the people what states have monopolised. Money should no longer be issued by unaccountable cliques of central bankers in the interest of the banking industry. We must rescue capitalism by redefining capital with competing and non-state currencies (digital currencies such as Bitcoin are just the start of this process). I also advocate giving each of us new rights as citizens. Rather than leaving it to politicians squander what we pay in tax, we must allow individuals to self-commission certain services if they choose to. Everyone should have a legal right to claim their share of the local education or healthcare budget and spend it on rivals, letting citizens decide who can best serve them.

Finally we must break the political cartel in Westminster. I joined Ukip in the hope that they were going to do this, but I now realise that political parties – whether long-established or insurgent – are part of the problem. All of them are guilty of peddling the big man myth (it usually is a man): the idea that a single god-like leader is the answer to everything. They assume a single person can make the world better – and the world doesn’t work like that, so they always disappoint.

Yet we can do politics without parties – or rather, without parties as they are currently constituted. Parties exist to aggregate money and resources to get candidates elected, which once required big instutitons. Now digital technology can bring together campaigners without the danger of any small clique running the party in its own interest. We already have platforms like Crowdpac, created by David Cameron’s former staffer Steve Hilton, which allow independent candidates to raise money online. No longer dependent on rich donors, campaigns might finally free themselves from the vested interests that today dominate policymaking behind the scenes.

The fundamental insight behind Western liberalism since the Enlightenment is that human social and economic affairs aren’t the product of some grand design. They emerge naturally from the complex interactions of many actors. The systems we form together serve our needs far better than any dictator can. So the answer to both oligarchy and populism is to revive true radical liberalism: to challenge the presumptions of elites to organise the world for us, and start organising it for ourselves.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/26/cosy-oligarchy-has-taken-control-country-now-finally-have-chance/

I can take or leave Carswell's prescriptions but I think he is on a reasonable starting point with his diagnosis. 

The biggest problem is distance.  A uniform code administered by a central authority will always be seen as too distant for 7 Billion people.  Tip O'Neill had it right.  All politics are local.  And what ever system we come up with has to be able to tolerate and manage a multitude of small, disparate communities, each with their own sense of self and their place in the universe. 

This is a bureaucrat's nightmare because it means talking to people and negotiating rather than just referencing the rule book.
 

Kirkhill

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More on the Managerial Class:

All sorts of old ideas coming out of the woodwork for my edification. 

James Burnham’s Managerial Elite

I have never heard of James Burnham before today but I recognize his "Managers": people who risk neither their capital nor their lives instructing those that do on how to do it.  Control without responsibility.

Clerks.

Burnham argues in The Managerial Revolution that the managerial economy is specifically differentiated from entrepreneurial capitalism because “the position, role, and function of the managers are in no way dependent upon the maintenance of capitalist property and economic relations (even if many of the managers themselves think so).” More precisely, the motive force behind managerialism’s internal logic and historical development is the peculiar dynamic arising out of the separation of ownership and control, which Burnham called “the mechanism of the managerial revolution.”

Whereas in entrepreneurial capitalism the owners are the managers, in managerialism the owners rely upon the technical expertise of the managers and over time cede to the managers effective control of the economy. The most obvious illustration of this trend is the gradual withdrawal of the large bourgeois owners from active business management, to the point where the major corporations are nominally owned by passive shareholders but actually controlled by technically trained and credentialed professionals who own a trivial percentage of stock.

So, do I want a manager or don't I?  Do I want a leader or don't I?  That is the problem with words they are inadequate vehicles for expressing ideas.

I don't want a leader for the reasons I gave above.  They tend towards division and coercion.  I do want a manager - but I want a manager who remembers who he works for and is keenly aware that he can be fired by his clients.
 

Lumber

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Maybe it's just my German ancestry seeping out, but I like the idea of having a strong leader at the helm...  >:D

Anyways, I have a lot of comments to make on both your positions (Brad and Chris), but I'm quite busy at the moment.

If I can summarize my arguments, it's that we can all three of us have the "head of government" that we want, whether it's a leader, a manager, or some other term; however, I believe that no matter the scope of that person's duties and powers, that we are better served by a person that is both knowledgeable and intelligent.

What's the saying, "the best form of government is a benevolent dictatorship"?
 

Kirkhill

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Security over liberty then?

I'd rather ragged in a cabin than swaddled in a palace if it meant being free to live my own life.  I don't want everyone marching in lockstep.  I volunteered to do that for a bit if it was necessary.  But I didn't want to make a habit of it.
 

Lumber

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Chris Pook said:
Security over liberty then?

I'd rather ragged in a cabin than swaddled in a palace if it meant being free to live my own life.  I don't want everyone marching in lockstep.  I volunteered to do that for a bit if it was necessary.  But I didn't want to make a habit of it.

No no, not at all! I'm definitely not in the "Security over Liberty" group, but I definitely believe in the rule of law. As the great William Adama once said, "It's not enough to survive. One must be worthy of survival."

All I'm saying is, whether you have the type of government you want, or the type of government I want, we are better served by a competent, intelligent, knowledgeable and professional leader.
 

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Lumber said:
No no, not at all! I'm definitely not in the "Security over Liberty" group, but I definitely believe in the rule of law. As the great William Adama once said, "It's not enough to survive. One must be worthy of survival."

All I'm saying is, whether you have the type of government you want, or the type of government I want, we are better served by a competent, intelligent, knowledgeable and professional leaderChairman of the Board.

And while I agree the need for laws I believe that laws must accord with will of the public.  Which is why I put my "faith" in a sovereign and supreme parliament made up of neighbours that I trust to have a good head on their shoulders - not necessarily any particular competence or credential.
 

Brad Sallows

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>I believe that no matter the scope of that person's duties and powers, that we are better served by a person that is both knowledgeable and intelligent.

Add "lazy" (rather than "industrious") and I might generally agree.

But I still regard it as a statement of preference, not necessity.
 

Kirkhill

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Brexit again.... but democracy.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/29/brexit-britains-chance-show-europe-really-liberty-democracy/

Brexit is Britain's chance to show what Europe is really about: liberty, democracy, and true national diversity

Allister Heath 29 MARCH 2017 • 6:39PM

It ought to come as no surprise that one of the great Brexiteer heroes is actually French. I’m referring, of course, to Charles de Gaulle, who as France’s president twice vetoed the UK’s bid to join what was then the European Economic Community. When de Gaulle said “Non” in 1963 and again in 1967, the British were outraged: given that the UK did so much to make Le Général who he was, harbouring Free French troops and tolerating his many conceits, how could he possibly repay us in this way?

Yet he was doing Britain a favour: we were the wrong country seeking to join the wrong club. Signing up to the project would eventually require the UK to accept a vision that was incompatible with Britain’s internationalist island mindset, its own successful, evolved institutions and its view, not disproved by the horrors of self-imposed fascism or Nazi or Soviet occupation, that democratic people power wasn’t to be feared.

A proud man, de Gaulle remained bitter about his wartime experience. But his sojourn in this country allowed him to understand the British better even than they understood themselves. It’s a French knack: Napoleon Bonaparte was right that we are a nation of shopkeepers, or at least of mobile, aspirational business-minded individualists, and Voltaire, during his London stay in the 1720s, grasped our constitutional monarchy far more profoundly than many domestic observers.

The UK today is a modern, multicultural society but its philosophical essence has barely changed. It isn’t a 52-48 nation – it’s a deeply Eurosceptic country where around 65 per cent want no or less EU, and 35 per cent want the same or more.

The 13-point difference between the two Eurosceptic numbers can be accounted for by risk-aversion, tribalism, an issue about timing (it’s too soon), a hope that the EU may still improve or a genuine belief that the economic integration part of EU membership cancels out the high cost of the rest. Very few people buy into the full dream, with just 11 per cent of UK voters saying they want more Europe, including a trivial 3 per cent who want a full EU government. Yet that, by definition, is what believing in ever-closer union entails.

Euroscepticism also began in France, where I grew up, even though I was a real liberal and never a Gaullist. In 1992, ahead of the Maastricht referendum, the French government printed tens of millions of copies of the treaty and delivered one to every home; some of us actually read ours, or tried to (the paper was horribly cheap and the font extraordinarily small). In my case, it was hate at first sight: it was a blatant power grab.

Before then, being European made loose sense, as a secondary or tertiary overarching identity similar to “Western-ness”: I spoke English and French at home, and lived in Alsace, a few miles away from Germany and Switzerland, where we frequently went shopping and where many of our neighbours worked every day, even before free movement.

But Maastricht formalised a different interpretation of Europeaness, one promulgated by Jacques Delors, François Mitterrand, Valery Giscard d’Estaing and Helmut Kohl: the idea of a new citizenship, of a new government, currency and even in time an army and foreign policy.

It was anti-American and intended to divide the “West”; it was anti-capitalist, with the internal market seen as a shield against globalisation. There would be free-ish trade between member states, but only because goods always move about freely within a single country. The plan was to leverage economics to construct a new empire, run by enlightened bureaucrats.

The Eurocrats had misread history: they saw harmonisation, centralisation and the eradication of any distinctiveness as the answer to every question
I despaired at the fact that this model didn’t respect or treasure Europe’s strengths: its beautiful differences, its genuine multiculturalism, it’s extraordinary diversity, the fact that it pioneered political competition. Europe wasn’t great because it built monolithic empires: it thrived when the Greeks and the Italians became city-traders, and when people were allowed to think, pray, invent and work freely. Libertarian fragmentation is conducive to economic, social, scientific and artistic progress; collectivist conformity breeds stagnation and decline.

Yet the Eurocrats had misread history: they saw harmonisation, centralisation and the eradication of any distinctiveness as the answer to every question. Everything had to be exactly the same, from your tiniest French village to your Polish city; an ahistorical, made-up political culture was to be created to pretend that there was a country called Europe.

The positive rationale was to avoid another war, but I feared that it wasn’t the right answer. My part of France had been, in quick succession, Swiss, French, Prussian, French, German and then French again. There were horrific shrapnel holes in the trees in the garden – many of them still containing the original pieces of jagged metal. One would discover empty bullet cartridges when gardening. I didn’t know anybody who ever wanted any of this again, young or old. But I feared that by trying to force countries together and by abolishing the only kind of democracy that could possible work – one based on a real demos and real, shared group identity – fresh tensions would be stoked again. The launch of the euro made this worse, and the proposed move to full fiscal union will lead to the ultimate destruction of the project, regardless of our own departure. The EU is a classic case of what FA Hayek called a “constructivistic” folly, a “fatal conceit”.

Brexit’s mission must be to fight back for the true European – and now universal – enlightenment values
Year after year, treaty after treaty, directive after directive, the EU gained ground and my side was annihilated. Yet what cannot work won’t. Suddenly, we have won, and the Brexiteers must rise to the occasion. Now is no time for silly celebrations, for the task ahead is awe-inspiring.

Brexit’s mission must be to fight back for the true European – and now universal – enlightenment values of democracy, equality in front of the law, tolerance, classical liberalism, individual liberty, competition, responsibility and openness. We need to remind the world that the West isn’t a top-down construct dreamt up by elitist bureaucrats: it was a bottom up, spontaneous order.

Theresa May’s task is therefore to show the rest of Europe that there is a different way forward, one that is rooted in national democracies and the continents’ diversity, yet which achieves the peace and prosperity that all of us so dearly want. It’s a monumental task, but one for which she is clearly ideally suited.
 
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