Merkel Wins Saarland as German Super Election Year Begins -- The Saarland in Germany held its state election yesterday, and Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union won handily. Whether this is an indication of how the lander of Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia will vote in May, or how the federal election in September goes, is not entirely clear since it is the smallest of Germany's lander by population. Had the CDU lost, it would have been a shot across the bow of the rational right in Germany. As it is, this was a vote for stability that will hold up as long as the stability does. [27 March]
Repeal of Obamacare Runs into Trouble -- The House of Representatives is a very simple place. The Speaker decides what bills come to the floor. Bills on the floor need 218 votes to pass. The Republican Party has more than 218 seats. It should be easy for the party to ram through anything it wants. The Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act and have vowed to repeal it. Yet last night's vote to do exactly that had to be postponed because there were not enough votes to pass the legislation. In the last Congress, the Republicans voted to repeal it 50 times. This is what comes of having a three-party system in a two-party structure. [24 March]
Congressman Nunes Adds Farce to Trump-Russia Drama -- The ties between the President of the United States, the Republican Party and Russian mobsters are serious threats to the Republic. In this equation, the mobsters are ruthless and highly effective. Fortunately for the future of the United States, the president and GOP are bungling fools whose chief talent appears to be incompetence. As of this morning, they don't even have the votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act; something the previous House managed 50 or so times. However, the cake-taker in all of this is Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who violated just about every norm in government yesterday by running up to the White House in front of the cameras to warn Mr. Trump about something no one quite can figure out. They are the gang that can't govern straight. [23 March]
Manafort is Link Between Putin and Trump -- The Trump administration continues to suffer from its ties to the Putin regime in Russia. The world has learned that Russian intelligence worked to discredit Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign to the benefit of Mr. Trump. Many of Mr. Trump's confidantes have had close ties to Russian interests, not least of which was short-time NSA Director Michael Flynn who resigned over payments from Russian entities. Now, the Associated Press has revealed that Paul Manafort is the main link between Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump. This will likely get much worse. [22 March]
FBI Director Confirms Investigation of Trump-Russia Links -- FBI Director James Comey confirmed in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee what many have suspected for a long time. "I' ve been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election," Mr. Comey testified. "That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts." Criminal charges are possible. Two questions arise. How high up did this go? What can be done to prevent similar actions in the future. [21 March]
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