Articles chosen with care. Comments welcomed. Linked articles in bold purple
◆ The aftermath of Comey remains “He said. He said.” One he is Comey, the other is Trump.
Other than Trump’s foolhardy bravado in offering to testify under oath to Mueller, nothing really happened.
The newspapers generally covered the testimony honestly. The outlier was the New York Times. Here’s my blog post on that:
Comment on Conspiracy Theories: The Comey testimony and its aftermath underscore and reinforce a larger shift in public discourse that is very troubling: the rise of conspiracy theories.
America’s media in tandem with the Democratic party and progressives are now playing a constant drumbeat of conspiracy theories, mostly about secret collaboration between the Kremlin and Trump to throw the 2016 election.
We haven’t seen anything like that since Joe McCarthy.
Trump does not come to this with clean hands. His claims about Barack Obama’s birth certificate were a major conspiracy theory for years.
◆ Britain’s Tories face a trainwreck. Their call for a snap election has produced a hung Parliament and likely a shaky coalition government
The headline in The Independent: Theresa May tries to move on after humiliating result as critics begin to circle
A chastened Theresa May is attempting to move on from her botched election gamble, under intense pressure from members of her own cabinet and Tory backbenchers to dramatically improve her game. . . .
Ahead of what is promising to be a bruising meeting with Tory backbenchers next week, MPs publicly questioned Ms May’s position and her campaign, with one even branding it “madness”, while others demanded changes to her Brexit strategy and raised concerns about a deal with the Northern Irish DUP [Democratic Unionist Party] . –The Independent
May met with the Queen and said she intends to form a government. But there is considerable question about her future.
The Tories could toss her out before the next election, which is likely to come fairly soon.
Meanwhile, here are the main effects of the British election. It
- Requires Conservatives to partner with a small party (DUP) from Northern Ireland to form a government
- Shows the failure of Theresa May’s campaign; she was a bad candidate who ran on her personality, not future policy
- Rejects the Conservatives positioning themselves as mushy, big-state centrists, far away from Thatcher’s free-market policies.
- Gives Labour its biggest gains since late 1940s, even though (or perhaps because) the party is headed by a very, very far leftist.
- Labour’s huge gains under Jeremy Corbyn, an unabashed socialist who supports a number of terrorist regimes, mark a major political shift in the electorate.
The Spanish central government sees the vote as illegal, so this sets up a confrontation.
“There is not going to be any illegal referendum that goes against the Constitution,” the government’s spokesman . . . said after a weekly cabinet meeting. “We are facing an increasingly radical strategy that has less and less support.”[But Catalonia’s regional president] Carles Puigdemont said the decision to call for the vote was reached after more than 18 months of efforts failed to establish a dialogue with Madrid.
He also said the vote was nonnegotiable because Catalans backed his plan for secession by voting for his coalition of pro-independence parties at the end of 2015. –Washington Post
Comment: The region has a long history and its own language, Catalan, that is related to Spanish but different.
◆ Repealing Obamacare puts the Senate’s centrist Republicans in a bind. An example from Ohio, in his USA Today story:
The key problem: any cutbacks in Medicaid, which Ohio expanded as part of the ACA, would harm addicts’ ability to get care.
Comment: Repealing and Replacing Obamacare depends on solving very hard problems like this.
Comment: Staunchest opponents appear to be Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT).
Skepticism about the bill voiced by Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Tom Cotton (R-AK)
Republicans have 52 votes. They would need 50 votes plus the Vice President to pass a bill and send it to a reconciliation committee with the House.