Saturday, October 15, 2016

Last Call For The King And Thai

Thailand's popular King Bhumibol has passed after reigning over the country for an impressive seven decades, reaching the status of world's longest serving monarch before his death on Thursday.  Now Thailand looks to the future under Bhumibol's son, Vajiralongkorn.

The head of Thailand's royal advisory council will stand in as regent while the country grieves over the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and awaits for his son to formally succeed him, the government said.

Mourners lit candles and recited prayers before dawn on Saturday outside Bangkok's riverside Grand Palace, where the remains of the king will lie for months before a traditional royal cremation, and thousands joined them during the morning.

The world's longest-reigning monarch, King Bhumibol died on Thursday in a Bangkok hospital, at the age of 88.

The government has said Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn wants to grieve with the people and leave the formal succession until later, when parliament will invite him to ascend the throne.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said in an interview broadcast on state television late on Friday that there was no uncertainty about the succession but, in the interim, the head of the powerful Privy Council would have to step in as regent.

"There must be a regent for the time being in order not to create a gap," Wissanu said.

"This situation will not be used for long," he added, without mentioning by name Privy Council head 96-year-old Prem Tinsulanonda, a former army chief and prime minister.

Prince Vajiralongkorn does not enjoy the same adoration his father earned over a lifetime on the throne. He has married and divorced three times, and has spent much of his life outside Thailand, often in Germany.

The king's remains were taken in a convoy on Friday through Bangkok's ancient quarter to the Grand Palace, winding past thousands of Thais dressed in black, many of them holding aloft portraits of a monarch who was revered as a father figure.

And I thought I have big shoes to fill compared to Zandardad.  We're talking about a man who ruled since the end of World War II and achieved near deific status among his people.

Meanwhile, Thailand's military government remains running the show, now without King Bhumibol as a mitigating voice.

The king stepped in to calm crises on several occasions during his reign and many Thais worry about a future without him. The military has for decades invoked its duty to defend the monarchy to justify its intervention in politics.

Military government leader Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said after the king's death that security was his top priority and he ordered extra troops deployed around the country.

Thailand has endured bomb attacks and economic worries recently while rivalry simmers between the military-led establishment and populist political forces after a decade of turmoil including two coups and deadly protests.

The junta has promised an election next year and pushed through a constitution to ensure its oversight of civilian governments. It looks firmly in control for a royal transition.

And so a king passes.

Doctored T And The Women

If you want evidence that the greatest failure humanity possesses is the near-infinite capacity for self-delusion in the pursuit of political power, look no further than the millions of women who are more than happy to vote for Donald Trump in a few weeks. Five Thirty Eight's Clare Malone reports:

“Locker room talk” has been the national buzz phrase of the last week; in the 2016 campaign, it’s not just videos that go viral, it’s talking points too.

“Do you have men in your family?” Mary Anne Huggins asked me when I brought up the now-infamous Donald Trump “Access Hollywood” tape. Huggins is the GOP chairwoman for Gaston County, North Carolina, and we were speaking in the county headquarters about the close race in her neck of the woods. “I hear that’s a lot of locker room talk,” she said. “Don’t you think that’s minor?”

People on Twitter and television and many in the Republican Party’s national leadership do not think the tape a minor issue, but most rank-and-file party members do; according to a Morning Consult/Politico poll conducted the day after the video’s release, 74 percent said that party officials should continue to support their nominee. That number, of course, includes Republican women — 73 percent of them said the party should still back Trump. Another Gaston County Republican I talked to, Lou Armstrong, has supported Trump since the primaries and said she didn’t like the tape, but it didn’t make a real difference because “everyone messes up and makes mistakes, and when you get in the public eye, they bring all that stuff up just because they’re making jabs.”

The strength of partisanship has proven more powerful than many could have imagined, as Republicans, including Republican women, decide that the agenda of their party matters above all else this election. That Morning Consult poll found that support for Trump was about equal between Republican men and women. And 82 percent of Republican women and 84 percent of Republican men are still supporting Trump, according to SurveyMonkey data from October 3-9.1

It doesn't matter to them.  Trump Uber Alles.

These are the folks in America that put Trump in the nominee's position, these are the folks who look the other way because all they care about is winning.  They truly believe that as bad as Trump is, that it is his enemies that will suffer, and you, me, all the rest of the non-Trump folks out there in America?

We're the enemy.

It's A House Afire

The latest Cook Political Report analysis of the House shows Democrats assured to pick up a handful of seats, with more than a dozen additional GOP seats vulnerable to flipping as toss-ups and a dozen more in play on top of that.

The total number of seats in play is astonishing: 11 Democratic seats and only one is in real jeopardy,  retiring Rep. Gwen Graham is leaving as Tallahassee's congresswoman and at best 7 seats are really in play.

On the GOP side however there are 46 seats up for grabs in total, at least five are lost and a wave election could cost them more than two dozen more.  The Dems need 30 to flip the House and put the gavel back in Pelosi's hands, and kick Paul Ryan out of the Speaker's office.

And I think Donald Trump might be the key to doing just that.
Related Posts with Thumbnails