UK Supreme Court Says Parliament Must Enact Brexit Legislation -- The government of Teresa May lost an appeal to the highest court in Britain and is now required to get an Act of Parliament passed in order to begin the British exit from the European Union. At the same time, the court held that the devolved legislatures have no say in the matter. This means that the March 31, 2017, target date for invoking Article 50 of the Brussels Treaty, by which a member can leave the EU, remains in place. The decision addresses process and not politics. The Tory government has the votes to ram through the needed legislation. While it may be viewed as a waste of taxpayer money, the case settles serious constitutional matters. [24 January]
Spicer's Lies Tell Journalists to Do Their Jobs -- Sean Spicer, the new White House Press Secretary, went in front of the media Friday, told them a bald faced lie, and took no questions before leaving the podium. This marks the end of what has been reporters taking dictation in the press room on behalf of previous administrations. The Trump Press Secretary lied to the world, and it is clear that the press cannot accept anything he says as truth. This forces the press to do some digging to get the news, as opposed to reporting propaganda. And it's about time. [23 January]
Trump Administration May Suffer from Incompleteness, Inexperience -- The Trump administration begins today, and it will hit the ground doing the opposite of running. The transition has not gone badly so much as it has not really happened. Mr. Trump has some 4,000 political appointments to make (a ridiculous number to be sure), and 690 of them are significant enough to require Senate confirmation. He has nominated just 30. Meanwhile, he has fired all the ambassadors and many top level officials effective as soon as he takes office, including the man responsible for his inauguration ceremony's security. The people whom he has nominated are, often, sorely lacking in experience. The nation will be run by empty desks and rank amateurs for several months. [20 January]
History Will Judge Obama's Foreign Efforts Mostly Successful -- The eight years during which Barack Obama was president were truly difficult both at home and abroad. Yesterday, this journal assessed his domestic legacy, which has largely been successful. Today, it turns to foreign affairs where the president's track record is beset by critics who largely don't understand the paradigm shift in global affairs that occurred shortly before his presidency. As a result, his accomplishments and failures are judged more harshly today than they will be in days to come. [19 January]
Obama's Domestic Successes Improved America -- Barack Obama becomes a private citizen in about 50 hours, and it is more than timely to assess his eight years as President of the United States. His domestic agenda was ambitious without being a fantasy, and by and large, he succeeded at what he put his hand to. His domestic policies and their implementations were imperfect to be sure, but the results have made America a better country for most of its citizens. As Vice President Biden described the Affordable Care Act, these were big f*cking deals. [18 January]
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