Sunday, December 18, 2016

Week 52: Faithless (December 18, 2016)

Dear Readers,

The election may have passed but there’s always more news. If at any time you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, feel free to reply and let me know. A reminder that all newsletters (and more) are available at

Tomorrow: The Electoral College Vote
Tomorrow, the electors from the electoral college will gather to cast the real votes for president. Don’t get ahead of yourself, however. The official, official results will not be known for a couple of weeks. Why does this matter at all? Well, there is still a chance that an election could go “faithless” by voting for a candidate other than that which won their state. Now, there have been just 2 of these in the past 6 elections, and the last time there was more than one was over 100 years ago, in 1912. However, this election has been so crazy on both sides that anything could happen. I doubt there will be any faithless electors in the end, but you never know.

North Carolina Republicans Curb Governor’s Power

For absolutely no reason at all, the Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature have decided to strip the governor’s chair of some power. Directly ignoring the will of the voters who chose Roy Cooper over incumbent Pat McCrory, most famous for telling people what bathroom to use, they have decided to make sure the victory was meaningless. Meanwhile, in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Missouri, where Democrats lost governor’s seats, nothing similar is happening. Hmm....

Meet Secretary of State Nominee Rex Tillerson

The past five Secretaries of State (including Tillerson) have held the positions of:

-Senator from New York and First Lady
-Senator from Massachusetts and Democratic presidential nominee
-National Security Advisor
-Chair of the Joint Chief of Staffs
-Leader of the Boy Scouts of America and Chair of Exxon Mobil

Tillerson, the last one, certainly has interesting credentials for an important job. He also has worrying conflicts of interest and a strange connection to Vladimir Putin. He is the former architect over an oil deal with Putin. He has been given the Russian Order of Friendship, an award given to KGB double agent George Blake and Steven Seagal. Now, it isn’t bad to be liked by another country, but it’s disconcerting for the Secretary of State to be connected to a country that may or may not have hacked our election results.

This Week In World Elections
Canada: Prime Minister Trudeau is coming under fire for failing to meet his promises he made during the election. He cut taxes on the rich, rather than the middle class, and didn’t deliver a schooling grant he promised to First Nations Canadians. Polls, though infrequent, have continued to tighten. His approval rating has fallen significantly. Neither the Conservatives nor the NDP have selected their party leader for next election, so polls are mostly meaningless now, but Trudeau should start to worry soon.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment.

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