Who controls the White House and Congress? His Republican Party.
Has he repealed Obama Care? No – and he’s now not going to.
The Senate voted against a scaled down (skinny) repeal bill with three Republicans crossing party lines in a 51 to 49 vote. They included Senator John McCain who, despite suffering from a brain tumour, defied doctors’ orders to fly into Washington from Arizona.
Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act provided health care to millions of previously uninsured Americans. However, some insurers pulled out of the Obamacare markets, others doubled their rates.
Mr Trump is left with not a single major legislative win after 6 months in power. He appears to be circling the wagons around the White House and shooting out at everyone via Twitter. More on which later…
In other news –
Turkey’s President Erdogan spent two days in the Gulf trying to mediate the worst row among Arab states for years… There was no breakthrough.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar in June, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants, something Qatar denies.
After Erdogan left, the four Arab nations added more names to a blacklist of people and organizations they accuse of associating with Qatar in an unacceptable manner. This one will run and run…
As may the contract between the Syrian and Russian governments for Russia to lease its airbase in Latakia Province for another 50 years. This week the deal was signed off by President Putin after being approved by the Russian parliament. The base is central to Moscow’s military campaign in Syria.
Speaking of campaigns, the Palestinian efforts to force Israel to remove newly-installed security measures in Jerusalem were successful. Extra cameras and metal detectors had been installed at the holy site known as Haram al Sharif to Muslims and The Temple Mount to Jews. Israel introduced them, they said, to prevent further loss of life after two police officers were shot dead nearby. The Palestinians argued that it was an attempt to exert control over the complex.
Following days of violence the devices were removed. This was a clear climb-down by the Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, one for which he has been severely criticized in the Israeli media.
But the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas also took some flak. It was noticeable during some of the demonstrations against Israel that chants were also heard against Abbas.
This week brought further signs that Venezuela may be approaching a violent end game.
Amid continuing demonstrations against President Maduro’s Socialist government the USA ordered family members of embassy workers to leave the country. American government employees were also authorized to leave if they choose to so do.
Dozens of people have died in unrest in the past 6 weeks amid a brutal crackdown on dissent. The country is running out of money. Hospitals and supermarkets have been looted, troops are on the streets, and military courts are now overseeing civilian cases.
Several international airlines have now suspended flights into Caracas. Colombia and Brazil have condemned government-sponsored violence, and Peru has called for Venezuela to be expelled from the Organization of American States.
The Presidential response? – To increase the levels of repression and attempt to create a new assembly to rewrite the constitution and effectively terminate the current parliament. The situation looks as if it will deteriorate further.
Finally, back to the White House, from where, as you’ll recall, President Trump is busy firing tweets at the outside world. The problem is that inside the House his senior staff are busy firing at each other in a bid to get each other fired.
The newly appointed White House Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci, has launched an astonishing attack on the Chief of Staff describing Reince Priebus as a ‘bleeping paranoid schizophrenic!’ Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is, apparently, a ‘bleep!’
What the bleep is going on in there?