Sunday, January 8, 2017

Week 55: 'Ethics' (January 8, 2017)

Dear Readers,

The Trump inauguration is a couple of weeks away, and politics is just as important as ever. A reminder that all newsletters (and more) are available at

Upcoming Dates
Inauguration Day of our 44th* President: 12 days from today

* Why 44th? Isn’t Trump the 45th president? Well, I find it ridiculous that we count Grover Cleveland twice just because he lost and got elected again four years later. He doesn’t get to be two separate people. If we’re measuring individual terms, then Trump is number 58, which makes just as little sense. But we’re not (except in Cleveland’s case apparently), so it’s 44 or 58. Your choice.

Swearing In Of Congress and Most Governors

Our new congress is present in Washington. And guess what, hijinks have ensued. On January 2nd, at the very end of their term, the good people of the House GOP voted to severely cut down the Office of Congressional Ethics. What could go wrong? Well, surprisingly, president-elect Trump released a tweet against the House GOP’s actions, and they agreed to do away with the plan. The plan, even before Trump’s tweet, was notably opposed by Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy, members of the Republican House Leadership. Trump’s decision is an odd one, but I see it as a message to the House that he’ll be checking their work and keeping them on their toes.

In the North Carolina governor’s seat, albeit with slightly less power, Roy Cooper (a Democrat) has already signed a large increase to Medicaid that will give healthcare to hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians and possibly oppose President Trump’s future rulings. Of course, the Republicans in the legislature are fighting it already (even though most of those helped by the bill are Republican voters).

Boris Johnson?

Recently spotted in New York is Boris Johnson, who is reportedly talking with Trump’s team about foreign policy. Johnson is the British Secretary for Foreign Affairs, so this does make some sense, especially coming hours after Trump tweeted that he looks forward to meeting Theresa May, but considering that Johnson is also known for his xenophobic demagoguery, it is amusing to see them both as great leaders of foreign policy.

Trump Supporters Don’t Care About Russia Hacks
The New York times recently published a collection of interviews with Trump supporters in Indiana and Louisiana. The findings are that these Trump supporters don’t find the big deal in the Russian election hacks. And while, yes, it may not have made a discernable difference, the idea that any foreign power can creep into our free elections and do whatever they want should give anyone a slight amount of fear. These reports indicate more than anything that some Trump supporters will believe Trump and fake media more than the news and facts. So to any Democrat who thinks we can hold Joe Donnelly’s Indiana Senate seat in the midterm elections, I’d want to be careful.

Thanks for reading! Sorry that this one was short - things are about to get interesting, though. Feel free to comment!

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