The election may have been three months ago, but there’s still a ton of political news. Reminder that newsletters and more are always available at http://www.electreport.blogspot.com
McMaster: A Very Good Choice
To replace Michael Flynn, the corrupt advisor with ties to Russia, Trump named his new National Security Advisor - Herbert Raymond McMaster, a very smart longtime lieutenant general, who is widely known as competent and intelligent. He was noted as a very good pick by John McCain and others, and is known as anti-Moscow. He was once described by Politico as “the U.S. Army’s leading warrior-intellectual.” This, coupled with his less pro-war nature and his statements against the term “radical Islamic terror,” make him an odd choice for Trump. He may be a useful check on power in the Trump White House, and at the very least is a surprising sign in terms of ideology for a Trump advisory pick.
States’ Rights? A Week of Trump Policy
Sean Spicer, Trump’s press secretary, has announced that Trump will start using DOJ power against states with legalized recreational marijuana, a measure 71% of Americans are opposed to. Spicer cited the opioid addiction crisis as a reason to not encourage recreational marijuana - though Trump remains okay with medical marijuana, it seems.
This is odd because, in a defense of the administration’s new policy on bathrooms for transgender students, Spicer called Trump a “firm believer in states’ rights.” The new policy is to leave decision on accommodation of transgender students up to the states. So states can decide on some issues, but not others. Hmmm...
The Obama-era policy on this issue was to encourage schools to allow students to use the bathroom that matches their identity. Trump has wiped that, and is encouraging a symbolic policy that shows that he has no interest in defending rights for LGBT youth.
Trump’s Expensive Vacations
In Barack Obama’s 8 years in office, he spent an average of $12 million in taxpayer dollars per year on vacations. After one month, Trump’s three trips to Mar-a-Lago in Florida have already cost taxpayers $10 million. Trump used these trips as an excuse to oppose Obama back in 2012, but now he seems to not care. And this doesn’t include the payment for Secret Service guarding Trump Tower in New York, which is also costly. In 2012, Trump called it “unbelievable.” I doubt he holds the same position today.
And Moving Internationally...
This Thursday is the Northern Irish assembly election. The most recent one was held only ten months ago, but this election will have 18 fewer seats, and comes after the resignation of Martin McGuinness, leader of the second-biggest party in Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin. The only poll shows a decrease in the vote held by the large Dublin Unionist Party, making it competitive with Sinn Féin. The other half-dozen parties should finish well behind those two.
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