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‘Twas Austerity That Did It.

“Yes, the victorious campaign to leave the European Union won on the basis of xenophobia and the demonization of immigrants. For anyone of a cosmopolitan bent it’s a terrible outcome…But if you tell people you know what’s best for them for years and years while their prospects wither and their lives are immiserated, at some point you should expect some kind of reaction.”

In the Prospect, David Dayen explains how deficit-witch-hunting and hubris paved the way for Brexit. particularly David Cameron and the Tories’ “general belief in expansionary austerity, that you could cut your way to prosperity. For those that don’t recall, this led to the brink of a triple-dip recession, and terrible growth numbers for years and years…What Leave offers, a toxic stew of isolation and racism, isn’t any good either. But when elites spend this long doing nothing for large swathes of the population, they’re willing to listen to anyone with a different idea.”

Since the UK’s faceplant last week, there’s been some talk (and. for some, wishful thinking) that Brexit is the prelude to Trump, fact-free appeals and all, and lord knows we spent far too much time of late playing the austerity game also. But I’ll stand by my “nope, not gonna happen” prediction here: The UK electorate is 90% white, America’s is one-third non-white — That’s a big difference, and the same sorts of nativist appeals just aren’t going to play here anymore — which I am very thankful for.

Still, Brexit is another sterling example of how, when people are justifiably angry about being screwed over, many of them may not vote in their best interests. And it’s emblematic of one of the more insightful comments I’ve heard recently about 2016 (and unfortunately I can’t figure out where I first saw it): When you have Latin American levels of inequality, you’ll end up with Latin American politics.

Nessie, meet Dumbo.

A new theory by Glasgow paleontologist Neil Clark suggests the Loch Ness Monster was more circus elephant than pink elephant. “‘It is quite possible that people not used to seeing a swimming elephant — the vast bulk of the animal is submerged, with only a thick trunk and a couple of humps visible,’ thought they saw a monster, Clark said in an interview Tuesday.” Adding fuel to the fire is the 20,000 pound reward for Nessie’s capture put forward by circus impresario Bertram Mills, who may well have rested his traveling circus animals along the banks of Loch Ness, in 1933.

Ney-deep in corruption.

DeLay flunky and high-ranking GOP rep Robert Ney, whom the Washington Post earlier implicated in the Abramoff scandals, is subpoenaed by the grand jury examining Casino Jack’s shakedown operation. Apparently, Ney, among other likely misdeeds, allegedly took what appear to be several bribes from one of Abramoff’s clients, SunCruz Casinos, including $32,000 in campaign contributions and a golfing boondoggle to Scotland (with Abramoff, former White House procurement head David Safavian (already arrested), and former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed (clearly in deep himself).) “Abramoff stated in an e-mail to tribal officials that ‘our friend’ — later identified in Senate testimony as Ney — sought the Scotland trip after he agreed to help Abramoff’s Texas Indian clients…Ney’s official report to Congress listed a purpose of the trip as ‘speech to Scottish Parliamentarians.’ However, there is no record of Ney’s speech in the Scottish Parliament’s register of official visits. In addition, at the time of Ney’s trip, the Scottish Parliament was out for its August recess.”

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