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By Robert A. Vella

Theresa May resigns

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has announced her resignation over the prolonged impasse of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.  The ruling Tories will probably choose a more radical replacement increasing the likelihood of a hard, no-deal Brexit which economists fear would cause havoc on both sides of the English Channel.

From:  Theresa May to resign, make way for new prime minister, after Brexit failures

Theresa May on Friday announced a timetable for her departure. This is what we know so far:

  • She will resign as leader of the Conservative Party on June 7.
  • The Conservatives will then pick a new leader, who will become the next prime minister.
  • Her resignation comes after she tried — and failed — three times to get lawmakers to pass the Brexit withdrawal deal she negotiated with the European Union.
  • Former foreign secretary and Brexit hard-liner Boris Johnson is leading in opinion polls and betting markets.

[…]

Last month, she turned to opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to help break the Brexit impasse. Those talks collapsed last week. Corbyn said he could not negotiate with a leader on her way out.

Today’s U.S. political news

From:  Trump’s ghostwriter calls “Art of the Deal” the greatest regret of his life

President Trump’s former ghostwriter says writing “The Art of the Deal” is the biggest regret of his life and wishes the 1987 bestseller “weren’t even in print.”

“I knew this was a bad guy when I did the book,” Tony Schwartz told CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett for this week’s episode of “The Takeout” podcast. The pair sat down for lunch at New York’s ViceVersa restaurant.

“Trump is not only willing to lie, but he doesn’t get bothered by it, doesn’t feel guilty about it, isn’t preoccupied by it,” Schwartz said. “There’s an emptiness inside Trump. There’s an absence of a soul. There’s an absence of a heart.”

From:  GOP challenger turns up heat on Trump: ‘He would prefer an Aryan nation’

President Donald Trump’s lone Republican primary challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, ratcheted up his attacks on the president Tuesday night.

Speaking at the first in a series of Kennedy Institute events focused on the 2020 election cycle, Weld levied a number of his harshest verbal jabs yet, saying earlier this week that the president preferred an “Aryan nation.”

“I celebrate that America has always been a melting pot,” Weld said at the speaking event on Tuesday. “It seems he would prefer an Aryan nation.”

From:  Trump administration rolls back health care protections for transgender patients

The Trump administration Friday scrapped an Obama-era policy that prohibited health care providers from discriminating against transgender patients, in its latest rollback of federal protections for transgender people.

The health department is rewriting an Obamacare regulation that barred health care discrimination based on sex. The Obama administration had issued a rule asserting that the provisions covered gender identity, but a federal judge blocked those protections in 2016 following a lawsuit from religious groups.

The new rule says HHS will repeal the Obama-era definition of sex protections in order to make its regulations “more consistent” with other agencies. This week the Department of Housing and Urban Development moved to allow discrimination against homeless transgender people.

From:  Senate overwhelmingly approves $19.1 billion disaster relief package

Senate lawmakers on Thursday overwhelmingly voted in support of a $19.1 billion disaster aid package after months-long delays that stalled critical federal funding in aid for farmers and parts of the country still recovering from a brutal onslaught of natural disasters over the last two years.

The final tally was 85-8.

Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Sen. David Perdue, R-Georgia, secured the president’s commitment to support the multi-billion dollar disaster package even though it doesn’t include additional funding for the U.S.-Mexico border, which the White House had requested.

From:  USDA to shift some inspector tasks to pork plant workers — in everything but name

The proposed new inspection system transfers some responsibilities that traditionally have been handled by USDA inspectors to employees of pork plants. The USDA says it has studied the new inspection system for 20 years and that pork products from the test plants are at least as safe as those produced by traditional inspection. They say federal inspectors will spend less time visually assessing pork and more time ensuring sanitary conditions are maintained throughout the plant.

Several food safety lawyers, Democratic members of Congress and a former agriculture official say that the USDA is using sleight-of-hand tactics to get around legal mandates that have been in place for more than a century. Those mandates require federal regulators to inspect — and either pass or condemn — every live hog that arrives at a slaughterhouse and every hog carcass on the slaughter line.

“They are playing these linguistics games,” said Rena Steinzor, a food safety expert who teaches law at the University of Maryland. “What they are doing is illegal. If they have a problem with the statute because they think it’s a waste of energy for federal inspectors to eyeball every single animal, they could go to Congress. . . . The Constitution requires them to do that, not gut the law by regulation.”

Today’s other stories

Assange Indicted Under Espionage Act, Raising First Amendment Issues

Global Climate Strike: Record number of students walk out

How San Francisco broke America’s heart [how unrestrained capitalism and gentrification destroyed a unique and adored urban culture]

13 thoughts on “Theresa May resigns increasing likelihood of hard Brexit, and today’s other news

    • He can’t “block” the bill in the House. There is no such legislative mechanism in that chamber. What he’s doing is delaying the bill from immediate passage. From the article:

      (CNN) A disaster relief bill was prevented from advancing in the US House of Representatives on Friday after Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas objected to passing the bill, meaning the more than $19 billion in aid may not go to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature before June.
      Lawmakers had hoped to advance the bill using unanimous consent [emphasis by me] which would quickly pass it out of the chamber. But it only takes one person to object to unanimous consent.
      With Congress now in recess until June 3, it appears unlikely a vote would happen before then.
      Roy cited the lack of money for the border — which Trump had sought — and the $19 billion price tag as two reasons for his objection. He also objected to approving a bill for $19 billion without all members getting the chance to vote on the measure.

      Liked by 1 person

        • No, it isn’t semantics. The word “block” is used in the parlance of Congress to describe a variety of procedures (particularly those in the Senate) to exact concessions from the majority on legislative bills and nominees. “Blocking” something is typically perpetual until the issue is mutually resolved.

          Chip Roy is doing nothing more than grandstanding. The only consequence of his vote is to slightly delay disbursement of the relief funds. This disaster relief bill will pass the House soon after it returns from recess, and President Trump has already agreed to sign it.

          Like

      • It’s hard to say. Thus far the Brexiteer narratives have all fallen into the deceptive propaganda category. The timing means the next PM is the one who’s going to face the music. I don’t think any of the candidates are even remotely up to the job.
        My guess is the political crisis is going to get much worse, and there will be no solution except for some sort of limbo status for the UK. Everyone will be unhappy and the markets seriously shaken.

        Liked by 1 person

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