The Weekly Read #3: Oh America, How You Wound Me So

What is the Weekly Read? It’s where I give you my take of the news of and share other things that have caught my attention the past week.

America keeps people shaking their heads in despair, the boxing match between Sturgeon and May leaves May in the lead and the Dutch and Angie Merkle give us hope for the future. 

(Photo by Owen Williams @ Unsplash)

Sturgeon v May: May Wins…for now

On Monday Nicola Sturgeon announced a second Scottish Referendum. No surprise there. If Westminster didn’t see this coming they clearly turned a blind eye to the fact that Scotland overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU. And with Brexit turning harder every day…nothing surprising. Perhaps what shocks is the refusal of Theresa May to give Sturgeon what she and her party wants.

Is Theresa May being a control freak or is she right? A part of me says that her argument makes sense. We don’t know yet what deal the UK – and thus Scotland – would get out the EU. So perhaps it is better to wait until after an agreement has been ironed  out. But I can’t help but think this might massively backfire….

May 1 – Sturgeon 0, but the fight is far from over.

If you want to read a real good analysis on this Philip Sim of the BBC does the job.

Let’s play  a game. Let’s make 24m people loose health insurance

The Congressional Budget Office (AKA CBO) estimates that Ryancare or Trumpcare, or whatever you want to call the American Health Care Act would lead to 24million people losing health insurance in 10 years (Check the Summary by the CBO here). That sounds rather disastrous for a bill Republicans promised would lead to lower premiums, more people insured, and better coverage. WOW.

Some have argued that we shouldn’t put too much faith into the CBO Score, as done by Sally Pipes for Forbes. But I think that almost doesn’t matter because I’m pretty certain there is outrage over these figures and I wonder whether Republicans have the political will to pass what could be a suicide mission with elections coming up in 2018. And let me not get started on the Republican constitutuents who will be hurt by this new healthcare bill.

If you’re keen to get a breakdown of the CBO report without reading the whole thing Vox’s Sarah Kliff has gone through the trouble of explaining it.

And let’s not even talk about Trump’s budget. I actually don’t feel like saying much about this now, just that it really begs the question about what winning really means for Donald Trump. I reckon that winning for him means very much that even his constituents lose for the sake of creating an America that is stronger militarily but an empty shell of its former glorious liberty loving self.

Congress might completely ignore the budget, but it is significant because it tells us what really matters to the Trump administration: making America the macho nation.

“American First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again” should be renamed America Last: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Weak Domestically and Globally Forever”. But that could be a subject of a whole blog post, which ties in nicely with what power actually means on the global stage.

Here’s the take of the Data Team at the Economist on this budget.

Here’s the Telegraph take on it as well.

Go Dutch might have a whole new meaning now.

So the Dutch Election happened and by some miracles the anti-Islam populist Mr Wilders did not win the election. I have to say that I was shocked he did not win. After the upset of Brexit and the Donald Trump victory for us children and believers of cosmopolitanism and such, anything is possible.

As the Economist article says, there’s no straightforward lessons from this election considered the fragmented nature of politics in the Netherlands. But here are my two takeaways:

1.There is still hope for France. Maybe.

2.National identity need not be hostile and to what is different, as the Leader of the GreenLeft party Jesse Klaver stated in his description of

“… a vision of national identity centred on tolerance, openness and internationalism that he claimed was under the siege from the right.”

The Economist

Angela Merkel….our only hope for the free world?

It appears so. Since the guy in charge of the US seems to not want this responsibility, Dr Angela Merkel is our only hope.

Politico think so. And so does the Independent. What says you?

Highlights of the Week

(Not enough Miscellanious Content this week)

Simone de Beavouir’s political philosophy resonates today – Aeon

A new wave of feminist manifestos address women and power – New Statesman

Podcast of the Week


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