April 6, 2017

The news from Trump World:

The split between Donald Trump and fellow Republicans keeps getting wider. Traditional conservative Republicans have long favored open markets, favoring extensive trade with other countries, and have opposed federal spending on infrastructure projects which threaten to increase the national debt. Trump has a more isolationist trade policy, which has brought him support among many traditional Democratic blue-collar workers, and Trump supports spending money on America’s crumbling infrastructure. On the other hand, Trump is at odds with many of the Republicans who form the House “Freedom Caucus,” who oppose any new health care plan that does not go far enough in dismantling Obamacare.

The recent failure of the Republicans in the House of Representatives to agree on a promised plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, despite President Trump’s active support, has brought Trump’s poll numbers to a new low. According to a Quinnipiac University survey, only 35 percent believe Trump is doing a good job.

Evidence keeps mounting that members of the Trump campaign had numerous questionable contacts with Russian spies and Russian banks during the 2016 election. It is difficult to keep up. Every day new revelations emerge. There are presently three ongoing investigations (in the House, the Senate, and the FBI) into charges that Russia actively sought to disrupt the election by planting false stories which were detrimental to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and which were echoed by Trump and his campaign. Meanwhile, Trump and conservative commentators charge (with no evidence) that the Obama administration spied on Trump, and subsequently leaked incriminating stories about him and his associates to the press. So far, the only leaks that have been traced back to their source were from the White House itself.

Grim news: In the ongoing Syrian Civil War, Assad’s government forces used chemical weapons against civilians, killing scores of people

China’s President Xi Jinping will visit Washington and will meet with President Donald Trump. What will they talk about? Trump wants China to rein in North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, who is threatening to launch a missile attack on the U.S. Other possible things to talk about: trade, China’s construction of military bases in the South China Sea, and China’s human rights policies.

The rules of the Senate currently require a two-thirds majority vote to confirm a Supreme Court justice, but Republicans will change the rules this week to allow Neil Gorsuch to join the court with only 50 percent of the Senators voting to confirm him.

What do Bill Cosby and Bill O’Reilly of Fox News have in common? Both have been accused by multiple women of sexual improprieties. Fox News has paid $13 million to O’Reilly’s victims of sexual harassment. There is no amount of money that will get Cosby out of a trial for using drugs to rape women.

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