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What Comes After Putin?

Vladimir Putin Sunglasses

Vladimir Putin will easily win re-election, but some are beginning to wonder who or what comes after him.

Russia Barred From 2018 Olympics

2018 Winter Olympics PyeongChang

Russia has been barred from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics after an investigation uncovered extensive evidence of cheating.

On German Democracy

Angela Merkel

Negotiations over government formation is not a crisis.

Signs Of Russian Meddling In Brexit Vote

Russian Hacking

It appears Russia attempted to influence last year’s Brexit vote in the same manner it did the 2016 election in the United States.

Spain Moves To Take Over Catalonia In The Wake Of Independence Declaration

Catalonia Independence Protest

Things are heating up very quickly in Catalonia.

Bregrets, They’ve Had A Few: Brits Beginning To Regret Brexit?

British European Flags

At least some portion of the British public appears to be having some second thoughts about Brexit.

Xi Jinping Consolidates Power In China

Xi Jinping

While the President of the United States continues to create chaos, Xi Jinping consolidates his power in China.

Spanish Prime Minister To Remove Catalonia’s Government From Power

Spanish and Catalan Flags

Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy has said he will act to remove Catalonia’s pro-independence leadership from power.

Spanish Government Threatening To Take Over Catalonian Government Over Independence Bid

Spanish and Catalan Flags

The standoff between Madrid and Barcelona over Catalan independence appears to be ready to come to an end.

Catalan Government May Declare Independence Next Week, But It Will Be Meaningless

After Sunday’s referendum, the government of Catalonia says it may declare independence from Spain as early as Monday. However, it’s likely to be a completely meaningless act.

Catalonia Votes For Independence In Chaotic Vote Marred By Police Violence

Catalonia voted overwhelmingly for independence from Spain, but it’s not at all clear that the vote will amount to anything.

Catalonia, And All Of Spain, On Edge As Independence Referendum Vote Nears

People hold "estelada" flags, Catalan separatist flags, during a gathering to mark the Calatalonia day "Diada" in central Barcelona

Catalonia’s independence referendum is one day away, and nobody seems to know what to expect.

Angela Merkel Wins Fourth Term As German Chancellor, But Voters Also Send A Warning

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel was re-elected to a fourth term as German Chancellor as expected, but voters also sent a warning.

Tensions In Spain Rising As Catalan Independence Referendum Draws Near

People hold "estelada" flags, Catalan separatist flags, during a gathering to mark the Calatalonia day "Diada" in central Barcelona

As the date for Catalonia’s disputed independence referendum nears, tensions are rising between Madrid and Barcelona.

London Underground Bombed By Presumed Terrorists

travel-suitcase

The London subway was hit by a bomb during the morning rush hour. Authorities are treating it as a terrorist attack.

Catalan Independence Vote Set For October 1st, Propelling Spain Into Crisis

People hold "estelada" flags, Catalan separatist flags, during a gathering to mark the Calatalonia day "Diada" in central Barcelona

In less than a month, voters in the Catalan region of Spain will be voting whether to remain part of Spain or assert independence.

Racism and Nationalism Make you Dumb

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Via Politco:  Far-right German candidate promises to get rid of Arabic numerals Otfried Best, who is hoping to become mayor of Völklingen, near the French border, was asked by a member of Die Partei, a satirical party, during a debate earlier this week what he thought of Arabic numerals used in the town, Stern magazine reported.  ”Mr. Best … […]

At Least Thirteen Dead, Dozens Injured, In Apparent Terror Attack In Spain

Barcelona Attack

At least thirteen dead in an apparent terrorist attack in Spain.

Pence Endorses The Really Bad Idea Of Bringing Georgia Into NATO

NATO Georgia Flags

Vice-President Pence is advocating the admission of Georgia into NATO. That would be a bad idea.

German Parliament Approves Bill Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

German Flag

The German Parliament has approved a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the country, a somewhat surprising move ahead of Federal elections in this fall: BERLIN — When Sarah Kermer proposed to her girlfriend in March, she knew she was in love, but she did not know when, if ever, Germany would allow them to marry. The […]

Conservatives Sign Agreement with the DUP

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Via the BBC:  Conservatives agree pact with DUP to support May government Under the so-called “confidence and supply” arrangement, the DUP will line up behind the government in key votes, such as on the Queen’s Speech and Budgets, which would threaten the government’s survival if they were lost. They will also back Theresa May on […]

Helmut Kohl, Chancellor Who Reunited Germany, Dies at 87

German Flag

Helmut Kohl, who served as Chancellor of West Germany from 1982 to 1989 and then presided over the reunification with East Germany, has died at age 87: Helmut Kohl, a towering postwar figure who reunified Germany after 45 years of Cold War antagonism, propelled a deeply held vision of Europe’s integration and earned plaudits from […]

Macron’s Centrist Party Scores Big Wins In French Legislative Elections

Emmanuel Macron

The political party formed by French President Emmanuel Macron just about a year ago scored big wins in yesterday’s first round of legislative elections.

Web Censorship in Turkey

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More examples of growing authoritarianism in Turkey via the NYT:  Turks Click Away, but Wikipedia Is Gone Wikipedia is just one of 127,000 websites blocked in Turkey, estimated Professor Akdeniz, who has led legal challenges against the Wikipedia ban and other web restrictions. An additional 95,000 pages, like social media accounts, blog posts and articles, are […]

British Election Leads To Hung Parliament, Theresa May Forms Uncertain Coalition

British Parliament Building

A massive political miscalculation by Theresa May leads to an uncertain future in the United Kingdom.

British Voters Head To The Polls In The Wake Of Campaign Marred By Terror Attacks

British Parliament Building

Great Britain heads to the polls today.

Six Killed, Dozens Injured, In Late Night Terror Attack In London

London Attack June 2017

Another night of terror in the United Kingdom.

Polling and the French Election

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Since a lot of people have had their faith in polling shaken by Brexit and the Trump win (which was not the error some have made it out to be, btw), I recommend the following from Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight: Le Pen Is Just A Gargantuan Polling Error Behind Macron. Macron’s advantage over Le Pen has been […]

Macron Scores Decisive Win Over Le Pen In French Presidential Election

Marine LePen Emmanuel Marcon

Centrist candidate Emmanuelle Macron scored a decisive win over the far-right Marine Le Pen in today’s runoff round of the French Presidential election.

Macron Holds Decisive Lead Over Le Pen As French Election Heads Into Final Hours

Marine LePen Emmanuel Marcon

Emmanuel Macron holds a decisive lead over Marine Le Pen as the French Presidential election heads into its final hours.

Today in “Asked and Answered” (French Election Edition)

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Ross Douthat asks:  Is There a Case for Le Pen? I answer:  no, no there isn’t. That concludes today’s edition of “Asked and Answered.” Side note:  because one can tease out things a politician has said that might be reasonable, or that one could see raising legitimate issues worthy of debate is not the same […]

Macron and Le Pen Advance To Runoff In French Presidential Election

Marine LePen Emmanuel Marcon

French voters face a stark choice in the May 7th runoff for President. Hopefully, they’ll make the correct choice.

France: Electoral Rules Matter

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While the final numbers are not in, it would appear that Emmanuel Macron will win the plurality of the vote in the first round of of France’s presidential elections and Marianne Le Pen will come in second.  Due to the use of a two-round system that requires an absolute majority of the vote to win the […]

British Prime Minister Calls For Snap Election On June 8th

British Parliament Building

A political surprise in Great Britain as Prime Minister Theresa May calls a snap election for June 8th.

Changes in Turkey

Turkey-flag

By a narrow margin, Turks voted for some significant changes.

French Presidential Elections on the Horizon

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A week from today the French hold the first round in their presidential elections. See Matthew Shugart at Fruits and Votes for some France 2017 presidential scenarios.

U.S.-Russian Relations Hit a New Low

Two powers

It’s been a bad week for U.S.-Russian relations.

Explosions At St. Petersburg Subway Stations Kill At Least Ten

St Petersburg Subway Bombing

An apparent terrorist attack in Russia’s second largest city.

The French Elections and the Russians

travel-suitcase

Via The Economist is an interesting piece on the French presidential campaign:  France’s presidential race is a clash of worldviews.  The first paragraph raises an interesting point on the current state of world politics: WHAT did Marine Le Pen, the head of France’s National Front, expect to gain by visiting Moscow on March 24th? Her core […]

Britain To Trigger Beginning Of Brexit Process On March 29th

British European Flags

British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that she will formally invoke Article 50 of the European Union treaty on March 29th, thus officially beginning a Brexit process likely to take years.

Scottish First Minister Calls For Another Scottish Independence Vote

Scotland and UK flags

Scotland’s First Minister is calling for another independence vote in the wake of the beginning of the Brexit process, but she’s unlikely to get it.

That Moment when you Realize the Best Picture is Selected more Democratically than is POTUS…

Actually, I already new that (indeed, even the older FPTP system is more democratic than the electoral college) but I was listening to a podcast yesterday that mentioned the Oscar’s voting procedure and it hit me that that was a good way to bring, in at least small measure, some attention to how voting rules […]

Mattis Right on NATO

mattis-nato

My latest is out at RealClearDefense.

Speaker Of British House Of Commons Says No Address By Trump

British Houses Of Parliament

When she came to visit President Trump during his first week in office, British Prime Minister Theresa May invited Trump to visit the United Kingdom. It has since been reported that such a visit, which apparently has not been scheduled, would be a formal state visit that would include an audience with Queen Elizabeth II […]

British Prime Minister Theresa May Aiming For A ‘Hard Brexit’

Brexit Puzzle Pieces

British Prime Minister Theresa May made it clear that she intends to move forward with Brexit.

Another Example of Growing Nationalism (and the Putin Connection)

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Via the NYT:  Austria’s Far Right Signs a Cooperation Pact With Putin’s Party The leader of the Austrian far-right Freedom Party has signed what he called a cooperation agreement with Russia’s ruling party and recently met with Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the designated national security adviser to President-elect Donald J. Trump of the United States. […]

Apparent Berlin Terror Attack Kills 12, Injures Dozens

Berlin Market Attack

Another attack in what has been a bloody 2016 for Europe.

Russian Ambassador To Turkey Assassinated In Ankara

Russian Ambassador Turkey Assassination

The situation in the Middle East just potentially became much more complicated.

French President Francois Hollande Won’t Run For Re-Election

French Flag And Ballot Box

French President Francois Fillon announced today that he would not run for a second term as President of France: PARIS — President François Hollande stunned France on Thursday when he announced that he would not run for a second term in next year’s presidential election. In a televised address from the Élysée Palace, Mr. Hollande […]

French Center-Right Party Picks Presidential Candidate

French Flag And Ballot Box

The players are almost completely set for France’s 2017 Presidential elections, and the choice seems likely to come down to center-right candidate Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen, France’s Donald Trump.

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