Monday, September 26, 2022

Last Call For The Nice Italian Fascist, Con't

With a big win in Italian elections on Sunday, right-wing Italian nationalist Giorgia Meloni is expected to be named the country's next Prime Minister, and as I warned about last week, the first thing to go will be most of Italy's refugee and immigration policies.

For years, Giorgia Meloni has railed against Italy’s migration policies, calling them overly lenient and saying they risk turning the country into the “refugee camp of Europe.”

Now that she is Italy’s presumed next prime minister, migration is one of the areas where Meloni can most easily bring in sweeping change.

“The smart approach is: You come to my house according to my rules,” Meloni, of the far-right Fratelli d’Italia party, said earlier this month in an interview with The Washington Post.

Her ideas, taken together, figure to significantly tighten the doors to one of the European Union’s front-line destinations for undocumented immigrants.

While in other areas — like spending and foreign policy — Meloni would be more constrained by Europe, E.U. countries have plenty of leeway to handle their external borders, and she has long made it clear that halting flows of people across the Mediterranean is one of her priorities.

But that doesn’t mean it will be complication-free.

Efforts to block humanitarian rescue vessels from docking at Italian ports could prompt legal challenges. And if Meloni chokes off pathways to Italy, the volume of crossings would probably increase to other Mediterranean countries such as Spain — as happened three years ago when Italy was briefly led by an anti-immigration, populist government.

“You can do stuff relatively quickly [on migration] that is draconian, symbolic and sends a clear message: We’re here, we’re doing something. But there’s trouble in store,” said Andrew Geddes, director of the Migration Policy Center at the European University Institute in Florence.

“When you stop the crossings and divert them [elsewhere], that is where you get into conflict with the E.U.,” he said. “It will breathe life into an old conflict.”
The previous conservative government tried this, and got sued to kingdom come and back. We'll see if Meloni is this dumb.

Dudebro Defector Drafted?

You know the funny thing about life is in the end, you get exactly what you deserve good and hard.


Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted former NSA contractor Edward Snowden Russian citizenship, according to an official decree published on the Russian government portal Monday.

Snowden, who admitted to leaking information about US surveillance programs to the press, has been in Russia since 2013. He is facing espionage charges and up to 30 years in prison in the US.

In November 2020 Snowden and his wife applied for Russian citizenship. He had been already given permanent residency in Russia.


This of course means Snowden is now eligible to be called up to fight for Russia on the front lines in Ukraine.

Good luck with that, Ed.

In Which Zandar Answers Your Burning Questions, Con't

Long-time friend of ZVTS and generally awesome human Steve M. asks:

If "partisanship," with no party label attached, is the reason unlikable Republicans are competitive in races against more likable Democrats, then where are the examples of the opposite phenomenon? Where are voters embracing Democratic jerks rather than nice, likable Republicans in competitive races

And of course, that's the point. The examples of the "most extreme Democrats" are usually The Squad, and while they sure love to be spoilers in the House, Nancy Pelosi has got them handled, and the examples of their "extremism" is "Palestinians are actual human beings that deserve rights" and "We shouldn't spend $650 billion on the Pentagon." 

Whereas Republican extremists like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and Thomas Massie really don't think we should spend money on anything, and that anyone who isn't a white, straight, "Christian" male maybe shouldn't have any rights at all. Oh, and they are going to impeach Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, most if not all of Biden's cabinet, and then demand resignations while shutting down the government until they win.

The difference, as Steve M. says down the page:
But Republicans also seem to have much more party loyalty than Democrats. It's not hard to see why: Their favorite media sources have engaged in pure cheerleading for their party (and relentless demonization of the other party) for decades. The rest of the media is described as "liberal," but it's always ready to shiv a Democrat. (Was there a single positive news story published about Joe Biden between the fall of Afghanistan and the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act?) The entire political world hits the fainitng couch when a prominent Democrat issues a blanket condemnation of Republicans, while Republican politicians call Democrats treasonous Marxist America-haters every day.

So it's not surprising that Republican jerks can be competitive. They're Republicans. There's simply more Republican partisanship than Democratic partisanship.
Which is true, OH-9 is the best current example of this. Kaptur has been redistricted out of her Democratic stronghold and into a Republican one, and she should have been a guaranteed loss, excep for in the primaries, Republicans ran the most extreme candidate possible in J.R. Majewski, a January 6th terrorist, election denier, and now military service liar.

Kaptur on the other hand is pulling a Sherrod Brown to stay in Congress.

Being a brand name in northern Ohio helps Kaptur a lot. She's been a recognizable and present figure here for four decades. 
But she says being a midwestern Democrat in a party increasingly run with big city sensibilities on both coasts is a growing challenge for her. 
"What coastal people, God bless them, don't understand, is that we lost our middle class," Kaptur said. 
"We lost so many people who've worked hard all their lives, including in many of these small towns. I understand that. We feel their pain. We went through it together." 
Kaptur is relying on voters like Joe Stallbaum, a member of the sheet metal workers Local 33 Toledo district, a union that endorsed both Republican Gov. Mike DeWine and Kaptur this year. 
Stallbaum has been working on a massive renovation of Toledo's convention center for nearly two years and says helping revitalize his hometown fills him with pride. But he also says a lot of his friends and colleagues still feel forgotten. 
"I think there should be a lot more focus on working class people and what we do," he explained. "It just seems like we always get left behind." 
A second-generation construction worker, Stallbaum says he watched a lot of his fellow union members abandon the Democratic Party in favor of Trump in 2016 and other Republicans since then. With union households making up close to 20% of the vote, it helps explain Democrats' struggles in Ohio and other parts of the Rust Belt. 
But Stallbaum believes that Kaptur is different than the national Democratic Party -- she's someone who appreciates and understands blue collar workers. 
"I always felt that Marcy listened to working class people. That's one of the things I like about her. I think she's very approachable. She doesn't seem distant to me. I feel I could have reached out to her anytime I had wanted to." 
A longtime Kaptur supporter, he plans to vote for her again. 
"She's never given me a reason not to support her. Everything she's always done is for Toledo and for our region," he said. "I trust her."

You might think telling Democratic voters in Ohio that coastal Democrats don't give a shit about them, but that she does, is insulting and even a bit racist, and it is.

The alternative is a guy who lied about being in Afghanistan, whose response is "It was classified, I'm a hero", and is sworn to destroy protections for the free press in America.

I'm hoping people side with Kaptur.

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