Wednesday, March 27, 2019

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Latest Political Developments

Special prosecutor Robert Mueller, after 22 months, has filed a lengthy
report to U.S Attorney General William Barr, and found no evidence of
crime or collusion on the part of President Trump, his family, or top
staff in regard to alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election
---  according to the attorney general’s own public summary of the report.
Although numerous Democrats, many in the mainstream media, and a
few remaining “never-Trumpers” in he GOP have decried the report, it
has been widely received initally as vindication of the president and
those closest to him. Details of the report have yet to be released.

Two-term Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Udall of New Mexico
has announced he will not run for another term in 2020. His seat had
been considered a safe one in the next cycle. Two long-time Republican
incumbents, Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Pat Roberts
of Kansas had previously announced their 2020 retirements, but unlike
Tennessee and Kansas, New Mexico is a considered more of a
battleground state between the two major parties. Nevertheless, lacking
any announced candidates for the now open seat, Democrats would be
favored to retain it. All current New Mexico members of Congress are
Democrats, although current state GOP chair Steve Pearce was, until
2018, a Republican congressman from this state.

The U.S. House of Representatives, voting almost identically as they
had to oppose President Donald Trump’s recent declaration of a
national emergency on the U.S.-Mexican border, failed to reach the
required number of votes necessary to override the president’s veto
of their action. It was Mr. Trump’s first veto since taking office in 2017,
and his executive order remains in force.

The finalization of the departure (popularly known as Brexit) of the
United Kingdom (UK) from its membership in the European Union
(EU) has run into bureaucratic, political and procedural delays that
threaten fulfillment of the earlier British voters’ decision to leave the
continental alliance. UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative
Party is divided over the issue, and the House of Commons has
repeatedly rejected her negotiated arrangements with EU member
nations for the departure. The biggest, but not the only, obstacle to
parliamentary approval is the relationship of Northern Ireland, a
part of the UK, with the Republic of Ireland and other remaining EU
member states.  Mrs. May has obtained a delay of the formal April
separation on the condition that parliament agrees to it, but she has
already conceded that she lacks the votes even for that. At the same
time, parliament has voted that the British cannot leave the E.U.
without a negotiated plan for separation. This “no exit” scenario
threatens not only to provoke the prime minister’s resignation, but
even might precipitate, Brexit opponents claim, a new national vote
on Brexit itself.

Mayor Peter Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, a hitherto unknown
seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. president, reportedly is
drawing some crowds and attention as he travels across the country
to introduce himself to voters. At 37, he would be the youngest person
elected president if he won, the first openly gay president, and the
first sitting mayor elected. (Presidents Cleveland and Coolidge served
as mayors early in their careers, as did presidential nominee Hubert
Humphrey.) A former Rhodes Scholar, he was deployed by the navy in
Afghanistan, and is currently a lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve,
He received earlier notice when he unsuccessfully ran for DNC chair
in 2017.  Buttigieg graduated with honors from both Harvard and
Oxford Universities. A polyglot, he is reportedly fluent in Italian,
Spanish, French, Arabic, Maltese, Norwegian and Dari.

Copyright (c) 2019 by Barry Casselman. All fights reserved.

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