GOP Senate Tax Cut, Health Cut Bill in Trouble -- The Republican Party's working group in the US Senate finally revealed their version of the tax cut bill that is posing as healthcare reform. The House passed similar legislation pretending that giving the rich a trillion dollars in tax relief was going to improve the health of America some weeks ago. The Senate bill is in some trouble, however, because some Republican members of the Senate believe it doesn't cut enough in health spending to fund enough tax cuts, while some others fear it will harm their states in particular. The vote threatened for next week is in jeopardy. [23 June]
Jeh Johnson Warns Russian Hacking Will Happen Again -- America usually responds to a surprise attack with some vigor. Less than four years after Pearl Harbor, two Japanese cities were radioactive slag. Shortly after the Al Qaeda Murders of 2001, the Afghan government that had harbored the terrorists was removed by force. It is, therefore, shocking that the Russians launched a prolonged campaign of destabilizing America's electoral process in cyberspace and the president doesn't even acknowledge that it happened. Former Homeland Security Secretary (Heimatschutzminister in the original) Jeh Johnson noted in Congressional testimony yesterday that, since America is still asleep at the wheel, it is likely to happen again. [22 June]
Georgia's Special Election Was Expensive but Irrelevant -- The voters in Georgia's 6th Congressional District got to vote for a new member of Congress yesterday. The election came about because the man they had elected in November, Tom Price, accepted a job in President Trump's cabinet. The Republican seat stayed Republican after the Democrats spent $25 million trying to win it. With that kind of strategic brilliance, the Democratic National Committee would be better off if it were composed of baboons with attention disorders. [21 June]
EU Hands Britain First Brexit Defeat -- Yesterday, the EU and the UK opened negotiations on Britain's departure from the European Union. The discussions are to be completed in advance of the UK's withdrawal at the end of March 2019. Undoing more than 40 years of ever-closer ties will take more time than that, but in the end, the EU holds the cards, and if Britain wants a deal, it will simply sign off on whatever is offered. It will have a hard time improving on matters, especially after the fallout from yesterday when it had to concede that the future relationship could only be addressed after most of the heavy lifting on the departure was done. [20 June]
Macron Wins Large Majority in French Legislature -- The second round of France's parliamentary elections yesterday resulted in a huge win for President Emmanuel Macron. His LREM party, founded only a year ago, took 308 seats out of 577 in the assembly. His allies in the MoDem party picked up 42, giving the government a 350 seat bloc to work with. The Republicans won only 137, the Socialists a mere 44, the far left La France Insoumise enters parliament for the first time with 27 and the fascist Front National has 8. As any pro will attest, politics in France begins now. [19 June]
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