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Week After The 2018 Mid-Terms

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The Mid-terms Are Finally Almost Over, With Only A Handful Of Races Still To Be Decided. However, The Political World Keeps Churning, With More Trump Foibles, The Impending Release Of The Mueller Investigation And Much More.

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By Karen Weil
Modern Times Magazine

Nov. 20, 2018 — Last week brought an election where Democrats pulled off astonishing wins and a president’s disastrous trip abroad. This past week had pundits speculating over a contentious debate on the Speaker of the U.S. House, one major elections where the GOP prevailed (and two where it may still), and a foreign policy nightmare.

The latest Modern Times’ Political Profundity podcast, Publisher John Guzzon and Karen Weil, editor at large, review these major topics:

Sinema's incredible win; is Arizona truly changing now?
In a state once thought of as a Republican stronghold and home to the late, venerated U.S. Sen. John McCain, voters chose Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, to replace outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake over Martha McSally. Despite her unconventional background, was Sinema’s centrist-themed campaign (which focused on health care) the key to defeating McSally, who voted last year to end the Affordable Care Act and closely aligned herself with Donald Trump? Along with Sinema’s win, does the Democratic Party flipping four House seats mean Arizona may indeed be turning purple? And what does the future hold for McSally, considering re-elected Gov. Doug Ducey still has to name an official replacement for McCain’s seat?

The Florida/Georgia election disaster
A week later, it’s still not clear (as of Friday) afternoon who will prevail in at least hotly contested races in Florida. A recount will determine if either Democrat Andrew Gillum or Republican Ron DeSantis become governor, and if Democratic Bill Nelson can keep his seat despite a strong challenge from outgoing Gov. Rick Scott. Between the numerous protests and some outrageous allegations, November has been a rough month for the Sunshine State.

Meanwhile, in Georgia, it appears as of Friday afternoon Republican Brian Kemp has emerged victorious over Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams, but not without considerable controversy over how he handled things. Florida’s current mess is a painful reminder of the 2000 presidential election, while the Georgia election is a reminder of serious institutional flaws.

Political Profundity: The Week After The 2018 Mid-Terms
The Mid-terms Are Finally Almost Over, With Only A Handful Of Races Still To Be Decided. However, The Political World Keeps Churning, With More Trump Foibles, The Impending Release Of The Mueller Investigation And Much More. — Nov. 16, 2018
Trump’s disastrous week and European trip
Between a strong rebuke by voters last week and falling approval ratings, Donald Trump’s embattled presidency could have used a boost -- but his miserable performance during Armistice Day events this past weekend in France wasn’t it. Along with an incoming Democratic House majority and the Mueller report (which may result in numerous hearings into his possible collusion with a foreign adversary and obstruction of justice), the strain on Trump is obvious -- and that mean even rougher days ahead for a nation already weary of Trump’s antics.

Minor Democratic drama with Pelosi/speaker job and why was Schumer chosen as minority leader again? Will Nancy Pelosi return as Speaker of the House in 2019? The answer seems obvious, but there are conservative Democrats who aren’t thrilled with the idea and speaking out, claiming it’s time for new leadership. Given Pelosi’s track record, are congressmen like Seth Moulton justified in their opposition to her? Meanwhile, in the U.S. Senate, Chuck Schumer was easily re-elected as minority leader, even though some of his decisions were widely criticized and Democrats lost three crucial Senate races.

Aftermath of the Khashoggi murder, and more foreign policy woes
A little over a month later after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Istanbul, the Saudi government has charged 11 people -- who they claim were acting in a rogue manner -- with killing him. (As of late Friday, the CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Sultan ordered Khashoggi’s death, according to reports.)

It’s unclear whether this action will result in true justice for the Khashoggi family, and the Trump administration’s reaction during the entire incident has been less than reassuring. Now the Turkish government, vocally critical of the Saudi government for its alleged role in Khashoggi’s death, wants the U.S. to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a cleric who Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames for a 2016 coup attempt. How will the Trump administration handle both issues without further eroding U.S. credibility?
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