Lazy Thursday, May 11 edition

Eh, a bit slow today.

Further denouncements of the dismissal of FBI Director Comey, apparently getting rid of someone who’s investigating you looks bad. Imagine that.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos got booed at a school she was visiting Bethune-Cookman University, unsurprisingly people weren’t happy with the Historically Black College invitation to a member of the Trump Administration, including the NAACP.

Honestly not much has happened today, not that I’ve seen anyway. I have no motivation to recount Comey’s thing again, the need for an independent investigation or look at Macron, Hungary, or Russia. Or Turkey, or the Kurds.

Just waiting till things blow up again I guess.

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Comey’s Gone

Today, Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, allegedly informing the man by allowing a meeting from the Director to the FBI to occur before television screens behind Comey turned on with news of his dismissal. Only after did he receive his letter of dismissal.

James Comey is only the second FBI director to be fired from his position, the previous case was a bipartisan affair led by former President Bill Clinton, and was based on the Director William Sessions being accused of ethics violations and abuse of office, resulting in his removal. Again this was a bipartisan affair, whereas this has been referred to as Nixonian, a reference to then-President Nixon’s removal of a special investigator.

In no way is this okay. In now way does this not flout laws, procedure, norms and general decency and respect for the American system. By all rights this should be the beginning of a true impeachment campaign, an attempt to remove a man who has flouted the system in such a way that is truly unprecedented and a dangerous precedent to set. This would require a bipartisan effort with Republican stalwarts standing firm in opposition to the President and dedication to their duty.

We can assume this will not happen.

Objections will be raised, concerns levied and Democrats will issue a challenge and some may well attempt this path. But the Republicans won’t, they will do nothing substantial, unwilling as they are to lose their control of the White house and the electorate he represents, and they will do nothing.

This shouldn’t have happened. I don’t know what will happen next, or how this can be stopped. I really hope 2018 works out.

 

Citation:
The Atlantic: An act of Presidential Imperialism

Yates’ Testimony, and thoughts

So, today Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general for the US, completed her testimony to the Senate intelligence committee. There were certain predictable outcomes, the Democrats focused on Flynn, Russia and her concerns regarding possible blackmail. The republicans focused on leaks and her refusal to defend the Muslim ban, ignoring or trying to refute her claims that it was anyone other than Trump and his Transition teams fault.

So, what we gleaned form this was that the Trump administration was informed, didn’t do anything until they were caught, and got rid of Yates not only as fast as they could, but the second she was insubordinate. Because apparently it is not the role of the Attorney General to serve in the best interests of the people and the constitution. Except when republicans say otherwise of course.

I don’t know how far this moved anything. Didn’t change much from where I stand, though keeping the pressure on Trump is of course important.

Just doesn’t change much really, not unless they actually use this stuff to impeach Trump and that ain’t happening anytime soon.

Macron Wins French Presidential Election (oh thank f*ck)

In what has been referred to as a stinging rebuke of far-right nationalistic politics and an emphatic centrist victory, Emmanuel Macron has won the French Presidency at 66% to 34% besting even the best polls in his favor.

Europe breathed a sigh of relief, and so did I, for reasons I’ve mentioned before. 

Regardless this doesn’t suddenly mean that everything in French politics and economically will just work out. The Parliamentary elections are next month, and though he currently holds no seats with his En Marche movement, he has pledged to nominate a representative to all 577 seats in the house, potentially providing him significant leverage with the other leading parties in the aftermath.

Further, Le Pen has announced her intention to reform the party significantly, perhaps even taking a new name, to advance and grow her party for future elections. There’s no denying she has a voice in French politics now, and with her niece currently a rising star in the National Front and France these changes could be significant. Or amount to nothing, we’ll see.

Still, at least the EU’s likely to stick around for another few years at least. Merkel ain’t about to lose after all (and I don’t care what anyone says, Merkels too damn good to lose just yet).

 

Citation:
The Atlantic: Macron wins French Presidency
Reuters: Macron Wins French Presidency

Sonofa – It Passed

Well, with 216 votes the Obamacare repeal bill has passed! Yep, the AHCA bill is through and will most likely cost the US billions (if not trillions) of dollars, strip millions of their healthcare and maybe even collapse the insurance industry!

Sigh, it’s like their not even trying anymore. 

Though admittedly, it’s the Republicans, it’s not like anyone can expect them to actually make effective legislature.

Still given the nature of the senate, the concerns with a statewide election and the general, more moderate tone of the six year term members of that particular body it is likely that the bill will either be substantially changed (and therefore very unlikely to be passed again in the house, cause Freedom Caucus) or will just fail entirely. They might have been elected on getting rid of Obamacare, but no one wants be they one the state blames for costing millions their healthcare.

Well maybe Cruz and Cotton, and Paul but eh, I don’t know.

Still, I wasn’t sure it was gonna pass the house in the first place so certainly there’s no guarantee the bill won’t make it to Trumps desk. Also as I recall it has to be deficit neutral to pass reconciliation, right? Maybe it is dead in the water then.

 

Citation:
Politico: Obamacare repeal sqeuks past

Thursday Update, May 4 edition (cause meh)

So, FBI Director Comey had his public hearing today, which was interesting. He spent most of his time defending himself (from what i read) and responding to concerns over leaks and the investigations currently ongoing. Apparently the Clinton thing was a big deal to a lot of people given the coverage, but I don’t understand why this was news really. It came out during the election and the aftermath why he responded the way he did, the concerns over leaking within his department and the republican support for Trump and disdain for Clinton.

The point about Bill’s meeting with Loretta Lynch was interesting though, apparently the tarmac meeting convinced him he needed to intervene. Hmm.

Also Teresa May has lashed out at Brussels regarding there comments about the British snap election, which of course they’re not allowed to do. That and the European papers (which I haven’t read) apparent depiction of the British position on the EU talks is also problematic. Because clearly the Brussels papers are going to be on her side? Meh, fodder for the masses.

There’s other things, but the AHCA, Putin and Erdogans meeting, they’re…relevant. But they just reflect current realities, until something changes I don’t feel any need to comment.

Also they’re not interesting, so. Yeah.

AHCA: over it edition

The Obamacare repeal, the AHCA, is currently being contested among house republicans. It has not yet reached the voting period, so there’s no guarantee what exactly would happen or if it would pass. Especially because both sides, that is the house leadership and the opponents, are insisting that their side wold win if it came to a vote.

The reason for this dispute is unsurprisingly because the conservative members of the caucus, the Freedom caucus, and the moderates of the Tuesday group are opposed to each other. The Freedom caucus has managed to push the bill to the right in certain areas and accordingly the majority (though not all) have agreed to vote for the bill. In turn the Moderates then began to oppose the bill because it went to far to the right, and in many cases because it removed the requirement for insurers to provide healthcare to those with pre-existing conditions.

Moderates tend to come from slightly bluer areas within the States, and accordingly concern themselves with protecting a few provisions while rejecting the majority of Obamacare because Republican. Conservatives are solidly red and therefore are allowed to be let ideology dictate how they vote.

At this stage the bill doesn’t look likely to pass, and if it does the more moderate senate will most likely change it and in turn force the conservatives to vote against it the next time it goes to the house.

Honestly I just don’t understand why they haven’t just sucked it up and begun work on fixing the issues with the ACA. Trump could probably bullshit his way into making that look good if he/the republicans really tried.