Because it’s a slow day in America (I still don’t understand Thanksgiving but whatever), Zimbabwe’s still reeling and rejoicing from Mugabe leaving and Europe’s mostly focused on the Germans inability to form a government. So yeah, not a lot has happened today, the Tax Bill is still a maybe up in the Senate, both theirs and the House’s, Frankel has now got two more women accusing him of sexual misconduct. On one hand that means this is four times he’s been accused of this and that means we’re looking at a pattern of behavior, not one fuck up. On the other hand, they haven’t yet gone public with their identities and that means these claims can be refuted. The problem with anonymity at this present moment and with this sort of claim is that unless your pretty public with who you are and what they did, too many people will brush it aside as a political attack.
They can’t do that with Tweeden as she not only went public with her allegations but gave evidence. Menz in turn also went public and I’ve yet to hear anyone deny her allegations. But these two haven’t done that, and unfortunately it would be far too easy to simply say it’s an attack from the Right rather than consider what this means of Frankens character. But that’s just my take on it.
We’ll see how things look next week.
Presidents Trump and Macron appeared to be in good spirits during the Bastille day parades, appearing to attempt a reset of the French and american relationships that had been troubled in the wake of their previous meeting. Given the aftermath of that was Trumps departure from the Paris Accord, god knows where this will end.
Still if the attempt on Macrons part was to reestablish the relationship between the two nations it appears to have succeeded, and given his preoccupation with military advancement within Europe and NATO, there’s a fair chance there might be some cooperation down the line in Syria and beyond.
Wonder how the dinner went.
Politico: Macron and Trumps Mano-a-Mano becomes Tete-a-Tete
Despite Trumps latest twitter storm, and the provocation his administration did with China today, I do find today to be oddly dull. I’m sure CNN will have plenty to complain about later, but eh.
So, to sum up:
- Trump attacked CNN, labeled them the Fake News Network (FNN) on a video he edited and then posted to his own twitter account (cause subtlety is beyond this one)
- An American Navy Ship sailed near the disputed islands in the South China Sea, which naturally pissed off China. I wonder why.
- Senate Healthcare talks continue, though the moderates are still refusing to give their votes to the bill. Apparently Cruz and Lee are pushing for the law in the backrooms, we’ll see what happens there I guess.
This should be more dramatic but honestly, it’s Trump. Hissy Fits, Provocations and Republican Senate secrecy seems to be the norm here.
The Atlantic: Donald Trump is Testing Twitters Harassment Policy
The Atlantic: American Navy Ships Provokes China
In the aftermath of Britain’s election, with Mays fall from a majority and Labors rise as a credible party once more, with Corbyn proving a surprisingly good campaigner, another election was held beneath many peoples notice. That is, the French Parliamentary election.
Similar to the Presidential election there are two rounds, with Macrons Republique en Marche earning 31.5 percent of the vote in the first, potentially earning his party up to 400 seats within Parliament, an massive majority. While it should be noted that voters typically provide majorities to newly elected presidents to ensure their ability to lead and enact reforms, there were questions regarding French voters willingness to support a new party and an untested president. This is an impressive lead, though it bears repeating that two round system does mean that number could change, potentially in either direction. SO no massive response from me just yet.
In regards to Labors surprise growth, that of a 10% increase in parliament, in the end I can only wonder at Corbyns ability as both opposition leader and legislator. While the latter is unlikely to be seen in a Tory government, proposals and effective opposition and leadership could provide further strength to Labor given his new national profile (regardless of what much of the media and political establishment might want). As it is, I truly know little of his actual ability to do either so as above, I’m gonna wait and see.
It’s annoying this ambivalence I have right now. I like Macron, but until he begins making reforms I have no understanding of the impact or changes he can credibly make, or how that will affect French people and economy. I’m open to Corbyns success, but I know very little of the man and I’m hesitant to latch onto any British politician at this stage.
At this stage I’m just waiting for some new leaders to step up, and hopefully prove themselves nationally and internationally. Hopefully Macrons a signal of that change, but I feel that he’ll need to succeed for that to be worth focusing on.
Bloomberg: Macron Tightens Grip on Parliamentary Seats
There’s been a recent surge of interest in dystopian fiction, ‘1984‘ has peaked in sales for the first time in many years, ‘The Handmaiden‘ has recently released to rave reviews, numerous television shows, films and books are suddenly (terribly) relevant.
It’s not surprising of course, with recent political shifts in our known, predictable world and with certain directions societies in multiple countries are taking towards authoritarian politics, religious zealotry and anti-immigrant (read:outsiders/others) behavior it’s no wonder people are looking to fiction for potential outcomes. It’s always been good for reminding us how close we teeter to disaster, how democracy, freedom, common sense are not a guarantees.
(and they give you the best nightmares, don’t they)
With the coming French elections, and the possibility of a Le Pen election (and seriously have they forgotten what happened in the World Wars? Why they happened? Seriously France?) coupled with the shift in more western politics, Turkeys referendum, Brexit and so on, looking at these bits of fiction provides a strange sort of catharsis, and an example of what not to do. Let’s hope we can avoid any such interest in religious zealotry, Gilead looks like an awful place.
(but seriously, Stahp with the Crazy yeah?)
Nunes got kicked off of the house intelligence hearings
Trump authorized bombings of Syrian air bases
The republicans nuked the filibuster.
Remember when politics was synonymous with compromise? I don’t.
So long as this partisan brinkmanship continues, all we’re going to see is more and more conflict, challenges and difficulty. The more of that, the more extreme leaders the US is going to get, people like Trump who will lash it quickly and shortsightedly at anything and everything that they consider a threat.
Compromise. Remember it.
(but seriously can I?)
The healthcare bill failed, a Freedom Caucus secret pact cemented that, though plenty of other people share the blame (right wing media, White House lack of commitment, Ryan), Trumps approval is at his lowest yet (40.4%), Nune’s secret information leak seems to be an intelligence agent, or the White House, or Trump. And Gorsuch might not get the votes due to a Democratic filibuster, which Republicans are calling a terrible double standard. Cause Garland was never nominated in wonderland or something.