Narendra Modi’s landslide reelection is good news for America. It means that India will continue its slow but significant movement towards economic modernity and will support the evolving architecture of U.S. global order.
While the final results aren’t yet in, it’s clear that Modi has won big. The prime minister’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is likely to secure a majority of around 300 seats in the 543-seat Lok Sabha Parliament, beating out its closest rival, the Indian National Congress, by a ratio of 6 to 1. That will enable Modi to advance his reforms over the resistance of the INC-led progressive alliance and consolidate India’s footprint as a major global power.
Modi’s reforms have stagnated recently, so we can hope that this new mandate will give him new energy to push through the vested interests and turn India into a dynamic free-market economy.
That economy, in and of itself is in America’s interest. After all, with a young, increasingly wealthy population, India offers a major new market for higher-value U.S. exporters. Firms like Apple, Google, Microsoft, and medical companies will be beneficiaries here, as will the U.S. economy at large. In the interest of consolidating India’s trust in a U.S. economic alliance, President Trump should push for a near-term trade deal. That will give Modi the means of a new job surge in export markets. But it will also set the groundwork for U.S. exports in the decades ahead. Free trade can benefit us all.
Modi’s victory is also important for U.S. security. The world’s most populous democracy, India can become the keystone partner to U.S.-led international order in the 21st century. The challenge of China looms large here.
Fortunately, thanks to Xi Jinping’s immeasurable penchant for ill-advised arrogance, India is recognizing that China is no friend. And in recent months, Modi has escalated India’s naval capability and his support for the U.S. military. This offers a geostrategic linchpin against China’s domination of the Indian Ocean and gateway to the Arabian and Mediterranean seas. If that sounds like a very ambitious Chinese aspiration, it is. But remember, the Chinese think in terms of decades and generations, not two- or four-year election cycles. To beat them, we need a long-term partner.
Modi is helping shape that partnership. In the prime minister, we have a pro-American partner who shares our values and our concerns. We should double down on India with haste.
The day after President Trump was elected, teachers canceled classes and rescheduled exams, Hillary Clinton voters cried, and some apparently began to worry about their mental health.
It’s been strangely en vogue for liberals to say the 2016 election messed them up, emotionally, spiritually, or mentally. In March 2017, the Atlantic ran a piece chronicling the sadness felt by Trump detractors following the election. The story begins: “Every time Genevieve Caffrey hears the words President Trump, ‘I feel like I was physically punched in the stomach,’ she says.”
But as much as it would signal solidarity to say your struggle with depression began on Nov. 8, 2016, most Democrats just used claims of mental health struggles as a form of “partisan cheerleading,” according to new research.
In a study published by the peer-reviewed journal SAGE Open, researchers found that mental-health-related online searches didn’t spike for Democrats after 2016. They wrote:
Significantly, Spanish-speaking Latinos did start searching mental health terms more. Considering both Trump’s rhetoric about the demographic and the media’s exaggerated fear of it, this shift makes sense. It should be concerning, whether or not you believe it to be valid.
But it’s also important to note that white Democrats who cried after the election and took mental health days off work probably didn’t suffer any real mental health problems. Nevertheless, “a full 72% of Democrats reported that the presidential election outcome was ‘a significant source of stress,’ as compared to 26% of Republicans,” the study reported.
Saying Trump makes you depressed or anxious, or was the reason you finally signed up for therapy, is one way to send a message about your beliefs and party affiliation. Another way would be to wipe off your tears and campaign for someone else.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., decries big money in politics, but her presidential campaign treasurer embodies it, The Center for Public Integrity is reporting.
“Corruption, the influence of money, touches every decision that gets made in Washington,” Warren said at a campaign rally last week in Virginia. “Whatever issue brought you here today, I guarantee if there’s a decision to be made in Washington, it’s been touched, pushed, massaged, tilted over, just a little, so the folks with money do better than everyone else.”
But a headline for a 2007 profile in The Boston Globe dubbed her now-treasurer, Paul Egerman a “personal PAC man.” The profile noted Egerman, a self-made millionaire, and his wife Joanne, had donated more than $1 million to support numerous election campaigns, including Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign.
And according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of Center for Responsive Politics data, Egerman and his wife have now given more than $8.4 million to various Democratic candidates and PACs since 1995.
Egerman donated $920,000 during the 2017-2018 election cycle to super PACs Planned Parenthood Votes and Senate Majority PAC, Public Integrity said, citing Federal Election.
In 2014, Egerman hosted a Democratic fundraiser attended by then-President Barack Obama, Public Integrity said. Each person was charged an entry price of $32,400, according to The Boston Globe.
Egerman declined to answer specific questions when reached by Public Integrity. But he said: “Elizabeth doesn’t do high-dollar fundraisers or call time, but I encourage anyone who supports her to help in any way they can.”
Source: NewsMax Politics
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., continued to make the rounds on T.V. Thursday morning about the meeting he and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had at the White House on Wednesday that was cut short by President Trump.
“I said yesterday we came out a lot the better than he did. And, as I said, I think the show wears thin, I think the lack of accomplishment, the do-nothing presidency sinks in. That’s going on the number — all the things people don’t like about Donald Trump, his bullying, his ego, his dishonestly,” Schumer told MSNBC.
Schumer said voters ultimately want a president to get things done and they pay a heavy price if they are unable to do anything that benefits the country. He said Democrats will keep trying to push for infrastructure legislation.
Schumer recalled when Trump called him after the 2016 election to ask what Republicans and Democrats can work together on, which Schumer said infrastructure, to Trump’s agreement.
After the White House meeting ended shortly after it began, Pelosi said, “I pray for the president of the United States and I pray for the United States of America.”
Though I’ve written about the signs that Congressional Democrats and President Trump have both reached the conclusion that any impeachment effort would backfire and actually boost Trump’s reelection chances, there are also ways that it could work out in the opposite direction.
To be sure, polls have consistently shown that more Americans oppose impeachment than support it. And taking the action would likely distract House Democrats from being able to do anything else they’d want to do to improve their 2020 prospects.
Yet much of the conventional wisdom on impeachment is rooted not only in the public polling, but in the experience of Bill Clinton’s impeachment, which is widely viewed as a major miscalculation by Congressional Republicans. Clinton remained popular after his impeachment, and even used it to his advantage.
At the same time, however, it’s worth remembering that Democrats lost the 2000 presidential election. And all of the investigations and scandals contributed to what was known as “Clinton fatigue” which polling showed dragged down Al Gore and spurred George W. Bush’s pledge to restore “honor and dignity” to the White House.
So, while impeachment in and of itself may be unpopular, creating the constant cloud around Trump, and reinforcing the sense that he’s a polarizing figure that will always bring drama to Washington, could increase public weariness over the Trump presidency. This would certainly complement Joe Biden’s current case, however delusional, that once Trump is out of the picture things could go back to normal and Republicans and Democrats will be able to work together.
This scenario even assumes that Democrats don’t find anything damaging on Trump over the course of the impeachment process, which of course is always a possibility.
As the 2020 election grows near, voters in Central Pennsylvania, the 12th Congressional District, voted for new representation in a special election. The district elected former Rep. Tom Marino in the November 2018 midterm elections, but Marino quickly resigned for health reasons, triggering yet another special election in the Commonwealth. The district is solidly red and was not of large concern to the Pennsylvania or National GOP, but the overwhelming margin of victory for Congressman-Elect Fred Keller can be seen as a foreshadowing for the future electorate in Pennsylvania, which will be a huge player in 2020.
After a long process of candidate selection by the party, former State Rep. Fred Keller emerged as the victor among a field of 14 candidates. Keller is in good standing in Harrisburg and holds a pristine Conservative voting record, earning a 90 percent approval from the American Conservative Union. He is solid, mainstream Republican who will be an excellent ally for President Trump in the polarized House of Representatives, as the President said himself on Monday night.
Keller’s opponent, Penn State assistant professor Marc Friedenberg, could not be more staunchly different from the district’s new Congressman-Elect. Friedenberg, who ran against former Rep. Tom Marino in November and lost by over 30 points, aligns himself with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the growing wing of radical leftists within the Democratic Party. He endorsed Medicare-for-All, the Green New Deal, debt-free college, repeal of President Trump’s tax cuts and abortion on demand in his first Congressional bid; even after his landslide defeat by Marino, Friedenberg
hardly altered his platform.
Source: The Washington Pundit
Undertaker and candidate for town councillor at the municipality of Sykies, Konstantinos Baboulas, greets locals next to his family’s funeral parlor in Thessaloniki, Greece, May 17, 2019. Picture taken May 17, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
May 23, 2019
By Renee Maltezou
THESSALONIKI, Greece (Reuters) – Printing campaign leaflets that look like funeral announcements and handing out coffin-shaped car fresheners, a Greek undertaker is using gallows humor to win votes in a city council election.
Konstantinos Baboulas has also written a slogan for the May 26 vote that plays on his surname which means “Bogeyman” in Greek, telling voters: “To support Baboulas, means to win life, otherwise … “
“The way to demystify death is with humor,” said Baboulas, who is seeking a seat on a municipal council in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second biggest city.
“We should all try to face our biggest fear, and humor is the best way to deal with it,” he said.
Despite his light-hearted approach, the 31-year-old father said his campaign was no joke. “All my life I complained about local government and then the moment came where an offer was made to me to quit moaning and do something,” he said.
Baboulas, who runs the funeral business started by his father, said he wants to bring entrepreneurial spirit to a public institution so it will better serve residents.
“We should view our municipality as a non-profit business … with the best interests of people in mind,” he said.
As for his name, Baboulas said it suited the family trade but success depended on delivering a good service. “Otherwise, it would have become our gravestone,” he said with a grin.
(Writing by Michele Kambas; Editing by Edmund Blair)
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah arrives at the party headquarters after learning the initial election results, in New Delhi, India, May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis
May 23, 2019
By Sanjeev Miglani
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – With India’s ruling Hindu nationalists headed for a stunning election victory on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s powerful right hand man, Amit Shah, could reap his reward as a potential home minister, an analyst and a party official said.
Shah, who has long been Modi’s backroom strategist, helped run one of India’s most divisive election campaigns over the past six weeks to rouse the Bharatiya Janata Party’s nationalist base and overcome the loss of key state elections in December.
Their efforts blunted voter discontent at lack of jobs and farm distress by portraying the opposition as weak and indecisive at best and at worst, appeasing minority Muslims and arch foe Pakistan, to deftly exploit national security fears.”Modi and Shah work in tandem,” said a BJP official who has worked closely with the steely-eyed 54-year-old Shah.
“There is no doubt that Modi is India’s most popular leader and national figure. Translating his personal popularity into a political victory…requires planning and execution to the last detail. Shah has done that to near perfection.”
Vote-counting trends suggest Modi’s ruling alliance could win an even bigger parliamentary majority than in 2014, showing that the BJP not only held the northern heartland but made huge gains in the east, a political strategy that Shah launched.
Now his reward could be a top government post, probably the federal home, or interior, ministry, bringing vast powers over security forces and domestic intelligence, said political analyst Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay.
“From a backroom guy who was a bit diffident about all the charges pending against him, Amit Shah’s transition is complete. He is now the legitimized inheritor of Modi’s legacy.”
Modi ran the government for five years with unquestioned authority while Shah, a Hindu hardliner who also hails from the prime minister’s western home state of Gujarat, presided over the BJP with an iron hand, as its chief.
For more than a year, he focused propaganda efforts on the eastern state of West Bengal, which is ruled by a firebrand regional leader supported by the state’s Muslims.
Shah fueled nationalist sentiment by accusing his rivals of appeasing Muslims with funding for clerics and religious schools that turned the state into a replica of neighboring Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority country and source of illegal immigrants.
“The BJP may just have cracked open the formula to winning over Bengali votes, and the credit is Shah’s,” said Sandeep Shastri, pro vice chancellor of Jain University in the southern city of Bengaluru.
Shah kicked off a campaign last month against Muslim immigrants, likening them to termites, while backing citizenship measures for Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs from neighboring countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Then he mocked Rahul Gandhi, the chief of the biggest opposition Congress party, for choosing to run from a Muslim-dominated constituency in the southern state of Kerala.
“When a procession is taken out there, it is difficult to make out whether it is an Indian or a Pakistani procession,” he said, sparking renewed accusations that Muslims were not seen as citizens.
Critics have long accused the BJP of a deep-seated hostility against India’s 180 million Muslims. The party denies any bias but says it opposes appeasement of any community.
“Amit Shah represents the sinister face of muscular politics that has zero respect for communal harmony, institutional integrity and fair play,” said Congress spokesman Sanjay Jha.
Shah’s office did not respond to a request for an interview or comments. But party spokesman G.V.L. Narasimha Rao said the opposition had built its campaign on charges against Shah that had not stuck.
“The election is a slap for the abusive opposition that made baseless charges and spread lies,” he added.
Both Modi and Shah emerged from the cauldron of politics in their western home state of Gujarat.
A relentless politician, Shah has himself run 29 elections from municipal bodies to parliament and lost none. He traveled 150,000 km (93,200 miles) to address 161 public rallies during the election, he said last week.
“They have been political associates for 30 years-plus,” said a Gujarat state official. “They know each other’s secrets, theirs has been a relationship of mutual trust, and gains from the association.”
Both have been exonerated over concerns about their conduct towards Muslims.
In 2002, Modi faced accusations of looking the other way when mobs attacked Muslims in revenge for the burning of Hindu pilgrims in a train in the worst sectarian bloodletting in independent India. But a special investigation ordered by the Supreme Court absolved him of complicity.
Shah himself was acquitted in 2014 of charges leveled in 2010 over the extra-judicial killing of Muslims accused of terrorism, when he was the home minister in Gujarat. Shah could be a potential replacement once Modi bows out when he turns 75 in 2025, a rule the prime minister adopted to edge out older party leaders who had sought to resist his rise.
“It’s some time off, but at the moment he is best placed to succeed him,” added Mukhopadhyay, who has specialized in studying the BJP and right-wing groups allied to it.
Shah was not gunning for any post, said the official who had worked with him, but added that he would be ready for any government responsibility as Modi’s “man of the match”, using the cricketing parlance beloved of millions of Indians.
(Reporting by Sanjeev Miglani; Additional reporting by Neha Dasgupta and Shounak; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway said on ‘Special Report’ Wednesday night that Democrats are in a difficult situation following the release of the Mueller report. Hemingway said the base wants President Trump impeached after they were whipped up in a frenzy by the party that claimed they had concrete proof of Russian collusion.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS: Mollie, you know, after this meeting this morning with House Democratic caucus Nancy Pelosi came out and said essentially they’re not going down the impeachment road. They’re going to continue the investigations. And then after the Rose Garden, she gave what she just said there suggesting, well, maybe we are.
MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, THE FEDERALIST: Right. It was interesting to watch both of those people. Adam Schiff is someone who claimed in the previous two years that he had evidence of treasonous collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election which obviously is not true because we just finished the Mueller report and Mueller who had all the same capabilities and more than Adam Schiff did not find treasonous collusion.
You have Nancy Pelosi claiming that the obstruction is right in front of us and you can see it with your own eyes. And I think what they are really trying to say is we’re very frustrated that Donald Trump is president and we really wish he were not the president and we really have an angry base who would very much like to see him go. That’s fine. Impeachment is a political process. If they think they have a political case to make for removing him they should go forth with that. But, really this is a difficult situation for them because they have a base that got whipped up into a frenzy through false reports that they participated in and now they are wondering what happened. They put all their cards on this Mueller probe and came up with nothing and it’s very difficult for them to deal with.
Source: Real Clear Politics
If the Democrats are really tempted by impeachment, bring it on. Since the day after the 2016 election they have been threatening this, placing their chips on the Russian-collusion fantasy and then on the phantasmagoric charade of obstruction of
Source: Real Clear Politics