Michael Barone - Brexit earthquake hits Britain

Earthquakes seldom hit the British Isles. But one did late Thursday night and early Friday morning, as the constituency returns started pouring in on the referendum to decide whether the United Kingdom would remain in or leave the European Union.

Most polls had shown a small margin for remain, and betting markets made it an odds-on favorite. Hedge funds went long on the assumption "Remain" would win. It had the support, after all, of Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, the leftist Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Bank of England President Mark Carney and the financial leaders of the City of London.

But as the returns came in, Brexit started running farther and farther ahead, toward its eventual 52 to 48 percent victory. If you look at the map of the results, you see that Scotland, which voted 55 to 45 percent against becoming an independent country in September 2014, was voting 62 percent "Remain." Northern Ireland, concerned about relations with the Irish Republic, voted 56 percent "Remain." London, with its large cosmopolitan immigrant population and rich financial community, voted 60 percent "Remain."

But in between London's M-25 ring road and the Scottish border, there were only a few splotches of "Remain" support. Manchester was pro-remaining, but Birmingham voted "Leave." The industrial North East, a Labour stronghold that Tony Blair represented in Parliament, voted 58 percent "Leave." So did the Conservative-heavy East Midlands, where Margaret Thatcher grew up.

On the doorstep of 10 Downing Street Friday morning Cameron announced he would resign by October and leave negotiating exit from the EU to his successor. That looks likely to be Boris Johnson, mayor of London for eight years until last month, who led the "Leave" campaign effervescently, with an appropriate pause after the horrifying murder June 16 of a pro-"Remain" MP in Yorkshire.

That decision will be made by the Conservative Party, most of whose MPs supported "Leave." Johnson, whose toffish self-mockery and humor masks a penetrating mind, would be an intellectually serious and widely popular leader. All the more so if Michael Gove, now justice secretary and "Leave" co-leader, becomes chancellor or foreign secretary. They are a definitive two-man refutation of the canard that only the stupid and racist supported Brexit.

The Labour Party is in worse shape. In May 2015 it lost all but one of its Scottish parliamentary seats to the Scots Nats. On June 23 "Leave" prevailed in the Labour Party's industrial heartland in the North of England. Its only faithful constituency is Corbyn's home turf, the gentrifying precincts of London. He looks likely to be voted out as leader, with no stellar alternative in sight.

On a visit to Britain in April, Barack Obama called on voters to remain and threatened that Britain would be "at the back of the queue" in any post-Brexit trade negotiations. Interestingly, the 48 percent constituency for "Remain" closely resembles the 51 percent Obama constituency of 2012.

Remain supporters were tilted toward the very highly educated and the uneducated, toward the metropolitan elite and racial and ethnic minorities, toward the very young — and away from the white working class and the relatively old. Both constituencies are geographically clustered, in central cities, sympathetic suburbs and university towns, where so many people drip with contempt for those without the good taste to live nearby.

Such people are quick to call Brexit voters racist, and clearly immigration was an issue on many of their minds. Britain has had record immigration, with many low-skill newcomers from Europe, while the EU prevents it from admitting more high-skill immigrants from elsewhere.

Angela Merkel's August 2015 decision to allow 1 million supposed refugees into Germany has triggered realistic fears of a flood of violently misogynistic Muslims. Johnson and Gove propose instead a point system like Australia's, to limit intake to those with high skills.

Something else motivated the 17 million who voted "Leave" — a healthy nationalism and demand for self-government. Most British laws are now passed by unelected EU bureaucrats in Brussels. You don't have to be a racist to prefer Britain's laws be passed by elected and removable members of Parliament.

Were the polls off? Not by much, and mostly because of one thing polls can't forecast — turnout, higher than May 2015 nationally, but more tepid in pro-"Remain" areas and especially high in the pro-"Leave" factory towns and English countryside. Could differential turnout be decisive here, producing a result most elites dread in November? Maybe. Donald Trump, who as votes were counted jetted into Scotland to promote a golf course, probably thinks so.

(Syndicated columnist Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.)

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Elizabeth Howard - The Only Emperor is the Emperor of Ice Cream*


A friend in New York, who gathers writers and illustrators for dinner, will often stop the noisy discussion at the end of the evening and ask: "Would anyone like an ice cream cone?" It might be a cold winter night in January and the last thing anyone is expecting is ice cream in a cone. Everyone smiles and for a few moments arguments are halted and quiet prevails as we devour the ice cream before it melts down the side of the cone.

Notwithstanding, in my mind ice cream cones are best enjoyed outdoors during the summer months. In fact, it wouldn't be summer without ice cream cones. Don't you agree?

According to the International Diary Association (ida.org) "The first official account of ice cream in the New World comes from a letter written in 1744 by a guest of Maryland Governor William Bladen. Apparently President George Washington "spent approximately $200 for ice cream during the summer of 1790" and "President Thomas Jefferson had a recipe for an ice cream delicacy that resembled a modern-day Baked Alaska."

We enjoy many ice cream options in the Lakes Region. Perhaps the closest is Happy Cow Ice Cream Shop on Union Avenue in Laconia. Not only a great variety of favors, you can even have your ice cream in a fruity pebble dipped waffle cone. What a treat!

Kellerhaus in The Weirs has been around since 1906 ... long before any of us were born. When we were growing up a trip to Kellerhaus for ice cream sundaes from the buffet with anything you wanted, strawberries, hot chocolate or butterscotch sauce, nuts, whipped cream, was usually planned around a special occasion. Now when I think about an ice cream sundae of that proportion, I think about how it relates to the number of hours it takes at the gym to work off the calories. A cone is just the right size.

Summer begins when Jordan's on Route 106 in Belmont opens. After an afternoon at the beach and a dinner that's been grilled, it's often off to Jordan's. My mother always requests a "children's portion" of her favorite, pistachio, and then finds even that is too much for her. "Yum, yum, yum" as my Grandfather Howard would have commented.

When you're in the mood for soft ice cream and a graceful swirl of chocolate and vanilla, there is always Dairy Queen. In Japan, the favorite soft ice cream is green tea, devoured with the same passion as Americans devour chocolate.

"Summer time and the living is easy" the aria composed by George Gershwin in 1934 for for the opera Porgy and Bess seems to capture the mood in July and August. It's lovely to meet your neighbors who have been hibernating through the winter.

Last weekend, when I took my bicycle out for early morning ride, I discovered the back tire was flat. After a few minutes I remembered there was a convenience store and gas station a few blocks away. When I didn't have 50 cents for the air pump, the gracious lady behind the counter opened her own pocketbook and handed me two quarters. When that didn't work, a kind man in a red truck offered to help and drove me home with the bike in the back of the truck. I owe them both ice cream cones and an enormous thank you for their generosity and kindness. Lakes Region Style!

Next weekend is Independence Day and during the long weekend of boating, swimming, and enjoying fresh strawberries, corn on the cob and other vegetables, I hope you will stop, have an ice cream cone and remember how fortunate we all are to be living in the United States. Happy Fourth of July.


*Title of a poem by the well-known American poet, Wallace Stevens.

Elizabeth Howard's career intersects journalism, marketing and communications. "Ned O'Gorman: A Glance Back," a book she edited, was published in May 2016. She is the author of "A Day with Bonefish Joe," a children's book, published by David R. Godine. She lives in New York City and has a home in Laconia. You can send her a note at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

06-30 Elizabeth Howard flowers

Enjoy the beauty of summer this Fourth of July with some ice cream. (Courtesy photo)


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Pat Buchanan- Has Trump found formula for beating Hillary?

Stripped of its excesses, Donald Trump's Wednesday speech contains all the ingredients of a campaign that can defeat Hillary Clinton this fall. Indeed, after the speech ended Clinton was suddenly defending the Clinton Foundation against the charge that it is a front for a racket for her family's enrichment.

The specific charges in Trump's indictment of Clinton: She is mendacious, corrupt, incompetent and a hypocrite. "Hillary Clinton ... is a world-class liar," said Trump. She faked a story about being under fire at a Bosnia airport, the kind of claim for which TV anchors get fired. She has lied repeatedly about her email server. She lied to the families of victims of the Benghazi massacre by implying the atrocity was a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Islamic video, not the premeditated act of Islamist terror she knew it to be.

Drop "world-class" and Trump's case is open and shut.

His second charge: "Hillary has perfected the politics of personal profit and theft" and "may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency."


Bill Clinton got $750,000 for a speech from a telecom company facing State Department sanctions for providing technology to Iran. The Clintons got the cash; the telecom company got no sanctions. "Hillary Clinton's State Department approved the transfer of 20 percent of America's uranium holdings to Russia, while nine investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation." Trump added, "She ran the State Department like her own personal hedge fund — doing favors for oppressive regimes ... for cash." Together, she and Bill have raked in $153 million since 2001 in speaking fees from "lobbyists, CEOs and foreign governments."

These figures are almost beyond belief.

Sherman Adams had to resign as Ike's chief of staff for accepting a vicuna coat from Bernard Goldfine, who had problems with federal regulators.

When ex-President Reagan, after brain surgery, visited Japan to receive that nation's highest honor, The Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, and got a $2 million fee from the media company that hosted his nine-day visit, our liberal editorial pages vomited out their revulsion and disgust.

Where are those media watchdogs today?

Rather than condemning the Clintons' greed, their conflicts of interest and their egregious exploitation of their offices, the media are covering for Hillary and digging for dirt on Trump.

To substantiate his charge of incompetence, Trump notes that Clinton as Senator voted for arguably the greatest strategic blunder in U.S. history, the invasion of Iraq.

She pushed the attack that ousted Col. Gadhafi and unleashed terrorists who took over much of Libya and murdered our ambassador.

She played a leading role in launching the insurrection against Bashar Assad that has left hundreds of thousands dead, uprooted half of Syria and sent millions of refugees to seek asylum in Europe.

Primary beneficiary: ISIS, with its capital in Raqqa.

And the hypocrisy charge?

Though Hillary and Bill Clinton profess to be the fighting champions of women's equality and gay rights, they have banked millions in speaking feels and tens of millions in contributions to the Clinton Foundation from Islamic regimes under whose rule women are treated as chattel and homosexuals are flogged, beheaded and stoned to death.

Why do major media let them get away with such hypocrisy? Because, ideologically, politically, socially, morally and culturally, the major media are with them.

While making the case for the indictment of Hillary Clinton, Trump also outlined an agenda with appeal not only to nationalists, populists and conservatives but working-class and minority Democrats.

If Trump is elected, an economic system "rigged" to enable big corporations to leave and take factories and jobs abroad, and bring their goods back free of charge to kill companies that stay in America, will end. "Globalism" will be replaced by "Americanism."

Trade and tax policies will be rewritten to provide incentives for companies to bring jobs and factories here. Was this not also Bernie Sanders' message? He stood against NAFTA in the 1990s when the Clintons colluded with Bush Republicans to impose it.

In his peroration, Trump spoke of what we Americans had done, how we had lost our way, but how we could, together, make her great again. His finale was surprisingly aspirational, hopeful, inclusive.

In the political year just ended, several unmistakable messages have been delivered. First, the record turnout for Trump and remarkable turnout for Ted Cruz represented a repudiation of Beltway Republicanism. Second, the amazing success of 74-year-old Socialist Bernie Sanders in keeping Clinton embattled until California, showed that the Democratic young have had enough of Clintonism.

A majority of the nation said loud and clear: We want change.

Hillary Clinton's vulnerability is that Americans distrust her; no one believes she represents change; and she has no agenda and no vision. Her campaign for president is all about her. As Trump noted, even her slogan is, "I'm with her."

Rough and raw as it was in parts, Donald Trump's speech on Wednesday contains the elements of a campaign that can win.

(Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He won the New Hampshire Republican Primary in 1996.)

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E. Scott Cracraft - Fatal mistakes

Recently, this writer was talking with a friend who is a Republican. This man is too much of a gentleman and has way too much class to "like" Donald Trump. Like many in the GOP, he is worried about the direction his party is taking. Still, he will probably vote for Trump as the GOP's choice. He believes that while he might seem extreme, he's just "ull of hot air and will become more moderate once elected.

This writer cannot help but think this dangerous thinking. After all, in 1933, a German became chancellor and many Germans believed that once in office, he, too, would "moderate" his position away from the crazy things he said.

Although the Nazis became the biggest party in the German parliament, they never held a majority of seats. Of course, they disrupted the parliament and walked out en masse when they did not get their way. But, to get support for Hitler as chancellor the Nazis had to appeal to other conservative and militarist groups that thought they could use the Nazis as their own road to power. A big mistake. A fatal mistake.

These groups included conservative Germans, nationalists, old-styled monarchists, the old German aristocracy, and Germany's "military-industrial" complex, who saw Hitler's saber-rattling as profitable to them. Many simply stood for "traditional German values" and only wanted to "make Germany great again."

Many did not particularly like Hitler. In fact, many, especially those members of the old German nobility and Prussian officer corps, detested him but thought that his ability to mobilize a mass movement might benefit their own interests.

Quite a few did not take Hitler seriously. Like some who say they detest Donald Trump but are committed to voting for him, many Germans were certain that Hitler's more extreme rhetoric would soften once he achieved power. A fatal mistake. Even after he took office, many German Jews held out hope that Hitler's anti-Semitism would "blow over." "After all," thought many German Jews, "Germany has gone through periods of anti-Semitism since the Middle Ages and it never got THAT bad." A fatal mistake.

By Der Fuhrer's time, most German Jews had assimilated into the larger German culture. They usually did not look or dress differently from other Germans. Always a minority, they were an educated and successful one with many representatives in business, medicine, law, and even the military. In fact, around 100,000 Jews fought for Germany in WWI. Even so, the Nazis appealed to angry people who were looking for simplistic solutions to very complex problems. They were out to play the "blame game" and since the Jews were a minority the Nazis could do without, they made a convenient scapegoat for Germany's problems.

What about those Germans who did take Hitler seriously and adored him? The Germans who cried when he came on stage and shouted "Sieg Heil?" Many were sincere, patriotic Germans, "true believers" who were mesmerized by Hitler's platitudes, Some, at least, were hoping for Hitler to "moderate." Others saw his methods as necessary for "making Germany great again." Another fatal mistake.

Those who follow populist demagogues, whether it is Hitler, Mussolini, or Trump, should never be written off as "stupid." The demagogues themselves know exactly what they are doing. A high I.Q. or a degree does not confer immunity from brainwashing by any cult, political or religious. The fact that the Germans were among the best-educated, most creative and technologically advanced people in Europe shows that what happened in German could happen anywhere. People in crowds or manipulated by unscrupulous politicians often behave very differently than they might as individuals.

Like Hitler and Mussolini, Donald Trump is a master manipulator who knows how to appeal to his "base," largely angry, disaffected white males. They feel that the country no longer represents their values and many would like to impose these values on other Americans.

Many who both like and dislike Trump are not taking him seriously. Many are confident that, even if he wins in November, he will "moderate" or at least our Constitution and our other two branches of government will keep him in check. Let us hope they are right. If not, can we afford such a mistake?

(Scott Cracraft is a citizen, a taxpayer, a veteran, and a resident of Gilford.)

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Michael Barone - Trump pivoting away from tabloid campaigning

Donald Trump is the latest proof that the campaign always reflects the candidate and that the candidate is a product of his experience over the years. So, as Trump, after clinching the Republican nomination, reshuffles and rejiggers a campaign that has fallen behind Hillary Clinton, it's instructive to look at his political ground zero.

That would be New York and its tabloid politics. I first encountered this in summer 1961, on a family vacation to New York City. As a teenager I was allowed to travel on the subway (15 cent fare, a dollar gets you six tokens and a dime change) and arrange my own meals (a pizza slice — exotic food back home — for a quarter).

That was the summer of the primary between two-term Mayor Robert Wagner and a challenger supported by bosses who had backed Wagner twice before. You could watch the campaign in the headlines of the tabloid newspapers on the kiosks outside subway stations.

In those days, circulation of the easy-to-read-on-the-subway tabloids was "yuuuge": over 1 million for the Daily News and Daily Mirror, about 800,000 for the then-liberal New York Post. This was the media environment in which Donald Trump grew up.

Politics was part of the family business. His father, Fred Trump, was well-connected with machine Democrats in Brooklyn and Queens, which helped him get favorable zoning, land assembly and Mitchell-Lama subsidies for the giant apartment towers he built there.

The young Donald Trump was drawn to politics early on. At 19, he wangled a spot among the bigwigs at the ceremonies opening the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. In his 20s he capitalized on Trump contributions to the mayor and governor to make his first real estate deals in Manhattan.

In the years that followed he was an interested observer of New York's tabloid war campaigns. John Lindsay versus Nelson Rockefeller, Pat Moynihan versus Bella Abzug, Ed Koch versus Mario Cuomo, Al D'Amato versus Chuck Schumer: conflicts fought out in the morning and afternoon editions of the tabloids every day.

I remember watching David Garth, media consultant to Mayors John Lindsay, Edward Koch, Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, phoning tabloid reporters like Deborah Orin and TV anchormen like Gabe Pressman to feed them storylines and suggest headlines for their next edition or broadcast.

Sensational headlines were especially effective, dominating the front pages visible on kiosk stands. The Daily News' "FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD!" helped Jimmy Carter carry New York in 1976. The New York Post's 1983 classic "HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR" epitomized the feeling that the city was being overwhelmed by violent crime.

It is commonly said that today's political campaigning, with blogs and Twitter feeds, with never-ending news cycles over every 24-hour period, is something entirely new. Well, up to a point.

Compressing your thoughts into 140-character tweets is not unlike attracting news kiosk browsers with a couple dozen ENORMOUS CAPITAL LETTERS on a tabloid front page. Sitting in your office giving phone interviews to selected media outlets is not all that different from what David Garth used to do.

Derogatory epithets — "Lyin' Ted," "Little Marco," "Crooked Hillary" — were the argot of tabloid headline writers, and insults got you on the front page. D'Amato's characterization of Schumer as a "putz" had lamentable echoes in the primary campaign.

There are limits to the effectiveness of tabloid-style campaigning. The tabloid wars were unique to New York for the obvious reason that no other city has anywhere close to as many subway riders and therefore as many tabloid buyers. And even there the tabloid wars seem a thing of the past. In New York's subways today you see more people reading their phones than staining their fingers with tabloid ink.

Moreover, even in the years of tabloid wars, New York candidates did other things — such as raising money, running television ads and drawing on experts and their own in-depth knowledge of government to come up with serious public policy proposals.

Until this week, Donald Trump has done very little along these lines. And having won the Republican nomination, he seems to have taken the view of many election winners: If his critics are so smart, how come their candidates lost and he won?

Now, firing his campaign manager and speaking with some seriousness about policy, he seems to have decided that updated-for-the-internet tabloid war politics, sufficient in the primaries, aren't enough for the general election. Let's see if he sticks to it.

(Syndicated columnist Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.)

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