Kansas’s ravaged economy a cautionary tale as Trump plans huge tax cuts for rich

Image result for KANSAS MAP TRUMP 2016

Take a look at this!


Kansas slashed taxes at the top to try to spur growth – but the plan crippled the state’s finances and proved disastrous for its Republican governor

by  in Topeka, Kansas



IDonald Trump about to turn America into Kansas? It’s a question some worried people who live in the state are asking as the Republican party pushes through the biggest tax overhaul in a generation – an overhaul that, they claim, bears an uncanny resemblance to a tax plan that left their midwestern home in disarray.

After a failed economic experiment meant to boost economic growth blew a holein the Kansas budget as big as a prairie sky (a $350m deficit in the current fiscal year and nearly $600m in the next) state jobs and services have been slashed.

Prison guards are sharing stab vests at the El Dorado maximum security prison in southern Kansas. At the end of a shift, the sweat-soaked vests, worn all day in a facility without air conditioning, are passed to the next person by guards, many of whom are coming off 12- or 16-hour shifts.

Jail cells designed to hold one inmate are housing three or four at Ellsworth correctional facility. Riots have broken out at other prisons. The family of one guard who recently killed himself told union reps stress and over-work were to blame.

Next year, the state faces a school shutdown after the supreme court found its educational spending was unconstitutionally low. Some of those schools have already had to shorten the school year in order to save cash.

To make ends meet, money that was earmarked for roads has been diverted to the general fund. A state that used to maintain 1,200 miles of road a year is now repairing 200 miles a year. Even in the capital, Topeka, potholes are everywhere.

The crisis follows the 2012 passage of a tax plan by Kansas governor Sam Brownback that he dubbed “the march to zero”.

Individual state income tax rates dropped from 6.4% to 4.9% – with the intention of getting rid of them altogether eventually. Taxes were eliminated on so-called pass through entities – businesses where taxes are collected at the rate of the business owner and not at the corporate rate. The plan would provide a “shot of adrenaline” to the Kansas economy, Brownback claimed.

Trump Approval Dips in Every State,

 Though Deep Pockets of Support Remain




 Though Deep Pockets of Support Remain

A comprehensive survey of more than 470,000 Americans finds Trump’s approval has fallen in every state since taking office

Morning Consult illustration / Getty Images
  • A majority of voters in 25 states and the District of Columbia said they disapprove of the president’s job performance.
  • Trump retains support from a majority of voters in 12 states ranging from the Mountain States to the South.

Fewer than nine months into President Donald Trump’s White House tenure, a Morning Consult survey in all 50 states indicates that voters have grown bearish on his performance in office.

Trump has failed to improve his standing among the public anywhere — including the states he won handily as the Republican nominee during the 2016 presidential election, according to the online survey, which was based on interviews of 472,032 registered voters across each state and Washington, D.C., from Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration to Sept. 26.

Trump’s Net Approval in All 50 StatesUse the slider to track how Trump’s approval changed month over month-50050Net Approval (approval minus disapproval)


OREGON(Net Approval)

The negative swings in net approval ranged from as high as 30 percentage points in solidly blue Illinois and New York to as low as 11 points in red Louisiana. But in many of the states Trump easily carried last year — such as Tennessee (-23 percentage points), Mississippi (-21 points), Kentucky (-20 points), Kansas (-19 points) and Indiana (-17 points) — voters have soured on the president in 2017.

A majority of voters in 25 states and the District of Columbia said they disapproved of the president’s job performance in September, including those residing in Upper Midwest states with large Electoral College hauls that were critical to Trump’s victory over 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton — and some of which are home to some of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats of the 2018 election cycle. Fifty-five percent of respondents in Michigan said they disapproved of Trump, as did 53 percent in Wisconsin and Iowa and 51 percent in Pennsylvania.

Fifty-one percent of voters in Nevada and Arizona, where the Senate GOP’s most vulnerable members are up for re-election next year, also disapproved of Trump’s handling of the presidency.

RELATED: Charlottesville Violence Impacts Virginia Voters’ Views of Trump

“It’s always hard, though not impossible, for the president’s party to maintain or even gain ground in an election,” Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said in a Sept. 21 interview. He cited solid approval numbers in recent years for former Presidents Bill Clinton in 1998 and George W. Bush in 2002, when their parties bucked midterm trends.

But, Kondik said, those types of gains are made when the president has favorable numbers.

“Again, these presidents were all popular,” Kondik said. “Trump is not right now, and his weakened standing could threaten Republican chances to defeat Democratic Senate incumbents in dark red states.”

In three other states Trump carried during the presidential election — Florida, Georgia and North Carolina — voters were practically split on his job performance, with an even or nearly even net rating.

The president retained support from a majority of voters in a dozen states in September, all of which he carried in 2016. Trump is most popular in Wyoming, where 60 percent of Cowboy State constituents said they approved of his job performance as of September, followed by West Virginia, where 59 percent of Mountain State voters approved. Trump’s approval in the Deep South is highest in Alabama, at 59 percent, while 57 percent of Louisianans, 54 percent of Arkansans, 53 percent of Tennesseans and 51 percent of South Carolinians are still in his corner.

RELATED: West Virginia Voters Becoming More Critical of Trump; Support in Maryland Falls to 33%

Looking at the bigger picture, Trump’s national net rating was down 19 points from January, when 49 percent of voters approved of him and 39 percent disapproved. In September, 43 percent of respondents approved of Trump while 52 percent disapproved.

The president enjoyed a relative honeymoon period during his first three months in office, but the decline in his support was consistent into August before his numbers bounced back slightly in September amid bipartisan deals with top congressional Democrats on extending the debt ceiling and government funding. From April to August, the dips tracked with a number of controversies involving the investigation into whether any of Trump’s campaign associates colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election — particularly the circumstances surrounding his decision to fire then-Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey in early May — and his reaction to the violent events in Charlottesville, Va. Congressional Republicans’ at-times chaotic and secretive efforts to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama’s signature 2010 health law, also correlated with a loss of confidence in the president.

Democrats and independents accounted for much of the downward spiral: Trump’s net approval among Democrats is down 25 points (from -46 to -71) since taking office and he’s down 18 points among independents (from even to -18). Eighty-four percent of Democrats and 54 percent of independents said they disapproved of Trump as of September. Republican voters have also taken a dimmer view of Trump’s job performance as the months rolled on: His net approval rating among GOP voters has dropped 9 points, although 81 percent still backed him in September.

Perhaps more concerning for Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill ahead of the 2018 midterms — which typically serve as referendums on the presidency — is a growing enthusiasm gap among GOP voters and dissenting partisans.

From January to September, the share of Republicans who strongly approve of Trump declined by 10 points, from 53 percent to 43 percent. Meanwhile, the intensity of disapproval among Democrats and independents has risen. Seventy-one percent of Democrats said they strongly disapproved of Trump in September, up 16 points from January, and among independents, there was an 11-point bump in strong disapproval, from 26 percent to 37 percent.

Those figures may encourage the Democratic Party, which is hoping to harness that energy — and a lack thereof for Washington’s ruling party — to ride a wave similar to the one that gave Republicans control of the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014.

Nonpartisan political handicapper and former Roll Call columnist Stuart Rothenberg said in a Sept. 25 interview that while the growing enthusiasm gap doesn’t guarantee a wave election, “the potential drop-off in Republican turnout, along with independents behaving like Democrats in the midterm elections, create a significant risk.”

However, that risk is minimized in the Senate, where Democrats are defending 25 seats and Republicans are trying to hold just eight — and “even in the House, you have so few competitive races,” Rothenberg said.

The more immediate problem for Trump, according to Rothenberg, is that his declining numbers will reduce his influence with Republicans on Capitol Hill, whom he’ll need to help secure legislative victories.

“He wants to have clout, and to the extent that he is deemed to be a drag — an albatross — on Republicans running around the country, it just lessens his influence on the Hill,” he said


Hmm, maybe we should try “2nd Amendment” “buttressing” with Propping Up “bump-start”, and ADDING, automatics, silencers, bazookas, and grenades to “open carry” for a 90 month trial (for “home protection, of course”).
I’m all for protecting home-locked-up hunting guns with safety devices and other enhancements., but maybe if we went in the Other direction for 3 months we could get a Real spectacular that would return the NRA to the sane organization it once was. A terrible price to pay but it wouldn’t take long for the 500 to trigger legislation that would eliminate some of the 12,000 deaths by gun each year (and that’s down 40% from 1995).
Maybe if FIVE HUNDRED people were lost, we’d take a second look at Australia and sensible gun policy. As with so much, we are becoming an international freak-show (how many “are hearts go out to…. and to our brave first “responders”) are we going to go though.
Hello!–it’s not just a mental health problem Or a flood of guns, some of which were illegal until fairly recently (I.e.. banned by federal law). IT’S BOTH.

A Second Korean War Could Quickly Spread Across All of Asia

Not sure I agree with this yet but it’s a chilling scenario.

Brendan Scott


Adrian Leung
August 21, 2017, 5:00 PM EDT August 22, 2017, 12:51 AM EDT
  • Northeast Asia’s geography reveals the peril of any strike
  • Great powers risk being drawn into escalating conflict
Burns Says War With North Korea Is Not Imminent

Nick Burns, professor at Harvard Kennedy School, discusses Trump administration dealings with geopolitical events. He speaks with Bloomberg’s David Westin on ‘Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas.’ (Source: Bloomberg)

Follow @bpolitics for all the latest news, and sign up for our daily Balance of Power newsletter.

A recent survey commissioned by the New York Times found that people who could find North Korea on a map were more likely to favor talks over military action. A glance at North Asia’s geography explains why.

More than six decades after the Korean War ended without a peace treaty, the peninsula remains bisected in a perpetual stalemate, with the U.S.-backed South Korean military lined up against more than a million North Korean troops. While tensions have occasionally flared — such as after Kim Jong Un’s weapons tests or threats of “merciless revenge” over American-led military exercises that began Monday — the two sides have so far staved off another devastating conflict.

The 250-kilometer (160-mile) border defined in a 1953 armistice lays bare one obvious peril of any confrontation: The demilitarized zone sits on the doorstep of the Seoul metropolitan area, where about half of South Korea’s 51 million people live.

North Korea has spent decades concealing hundreds of artillery batteries along the frontier that could wreak havoc in the southern capital, according to Joseph Bermudez, an analyst for the 38 North website run by the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Those weapons could kill thousands of people and damage scores of factories in the time it took the U.S. to project “fire and fury” across the border, as President Donald Trump has warned.

“If all of a sudden artillery rounds started plopping down in the middle of the city, hitting those high-rises, there would be panic like you would not believe,” Bermudez said. “Not only are people killed by direct explosion, they’re killed by all the debris, and they’re killed by accident. You don’t need much artillery to do that.”

After an initial exchange of fire, the danger could quickly engulf the rest of South Korea and neighboring Japan, countries that have been American allies since World War II. More than 80,000 troops are based across the two countries and the U.S. territory of Guam, which would provide key staging areas for any American-led attack.

Those U.S. bases were within reach of Kim’s bombs long before his first successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4. Even if Kim still lacks the capacity to outfit those missiles with miniaturized nuclear warheads, he could cause plenty of damage with conventional and chemical weapons.

Kim would probably seek to maximize his advantage against more powerful foes by striking softer civilian targets in places like the greater Tokyo area, which is home to almost 40 million people. At the same time, North Koreans might look to escape the allied onslaught by flooding across the Yalu River to China. The region might also face environmental threats should the U.S. strike Kim’s heavy-water reactor north of the capital Pyongyang, scattering radioactive debris into the atmosphere and groundwater.

Mao Zedong’s decision to back China’s communist neighbors in North Korea was a key reason the U.S.-led United Nations forces were never able to achieve a decisive victory in the Korean War. China’s concern then — that a unified Korea could provide a springboard for attacks on its own territory — remains largely unchanged. And the world’s most populous country would be hard-pressed to remain on the sidelines if a full-fledged conflict erupted on its border.

Unlike his predecessor, Chinese President Xi Jinping commands a nuclear power with one of the world’s most advanced navies and air forces. Should China join a second Korean conflict, that firepower would make it harder for Trump to ensure the safety of the U.S. homeland — much less its bases and allies across Asia.

And don’t forget Russia, which shares borders with China, Japan and North Korea. Russian President Vladimir Putin is already challenging the U.S. in hotspots around the world.

The U.S. is constantly engaging with China and Russia to explain what it would do in a conflict to minimize the chance of an escalation, Bermudez said.

“It’s certainly possible to prevent superpower escalation,” he said. “Communication is the key here.”

Recess just started for Congress, and it’s not going to be much fun for Republicans



Recess just started for Congress, and it’s not going to be much fun for Republicans

 August 3
The Senate left town for the rest of the summer Thursday, bringing a historically unproductive period of governance to a close for Republicans, who failed to produce any major legislative achievements despite controlling Congress and the White House.

The Affordable Care Act they vowed to undo stands untouched. The sweeping tax overhaul they pledged has not materialized. A worsening relationship between President Trump and congressional Republicans threatens to create new roadblocks in September, when a looming funding crisis could shut down the government.

By their own accounts, Republicans have failed to enact the ambitious agenda they embarked upon when Trump and the GOP majorities swept into power in January. The president has fallen well short of the legislative pace his two predecessors set in their first six months on the job.

The lack of a signature accomplishment Republican lawmakers can highlight at home this month has given rise to a new level of finger-pointing and soul-searching in a party that stood triumphant eight months ago after winning back full control of the federal government.

“I think there’s a level of frustration,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said in an interview. “It’s more like a football team that knows that it can be good but is fumbling and committing too many boneheaded errors.”

On Thursday, Trump took another parting shot at lawmakers for failing to pass a health-care bill. “Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can’t even give us HCare!” he tweeted, a day after he grudgingly signed an international sanctions bill that the Senate passed 98 to 2.

The Senate conducted a flurry of business on what was effectively its final workday of the summer, confirming dozens of executive-branch nominees to the State Department, the Treasury Department and other agencies. In addition, two bipartisan pairs of senators unveiled legislation to prevent Trump from firing special counsel Robert S. Mueller IIIwithout cause, and a group of Republican senators released a border security plan.

But as they wrapped up their work this week, Republican senators were eager to turn the page on the sharp political and policy disagreements and constant White House chaos that stalled their endeavors.

“I think we can spend time thinking about what didn’t happen,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). “[But] I don’t have enough hours in my day to do that. I’m just focused on what we’re going to be doing going forward.”

Many GOP lawmakers are still numb from last week’s failure to repeal and replace the ACA. While the House had earlier worked through painful disagreements and false starts to pass a health-care bill — and cheered with the president in a Rose Garden ceremony afterward — the Senate failed in a dramatic early-morning vote last Friday.

The breakdown of the effort to fulfill a seven-year promise left a particularly bitter taste in the mouths of Republicans departing from both sides of the Capitol. Some blamed Trump, saying he did not sell the plan aggressively enough, or Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for failing to deliver. Others were critical of Murkowski and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who were adamant in their opposition to the health-care proposals that McConnell put together in secret. The two joined with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to kill a last-ditch bill to keep talks alive.

 Play Video 2:49
The Fact Checker’s guide to the debt ceiling
With a deadline of Sept. 29 looming and Congress nearing their summer recess, the debt ceiling is primed to be a big issue when they return. Here’s what you need to know. (Video: Meg Kelly/Photo: Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

“We had three chairmen who went rogue on the Republican caucus and cost us this vote,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), a Trump ally. Of the failed-health-care effort, he said: “That’s a problem. We spent a lot of energy on that. And we’re not done yet.”

Now, there is a tension about the way forward. Trump and some conservatives have said they are determined to keep prioritizing the repeal-and-replace effort. But Senate Republican leaders have moved on to a tax overhaul, the next big GOP target, with some planning more-modest fixes to the ACA on the side.

The tax effort, which lawmakers hope to dive deep into next month, could prove to be another tricky venture. Republicans must resolve intraparty disagreements and juggle other pressing deadlines as they pursue a broad overhaul.

McConnell is especially proud of confirming Neil M. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, a feat widely hailed in the Republican Party. Congress also passed a slate of regulatory changes under the Congressional Review Act, rolling back Obama-era rules.

But when it comes to the core policy issues they campaigned on, Republicans foundered.

“I think we’ve had one of the busier legislative years,” said Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). “We just have not had a successful year as it relates to the large items.”


From the EIN new service: what more need be said!?


July 24, 2017

By Joe Rothstein

An uncommon reservoir of courage and fortitude was required for Republican Senators Shelley Moore Capito, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins to jointly announce their opposition to the Republican Senate health bill.

Yes, there was ferocious opposition to the bill from constituents and health organizations in their home states. But weighing against that was the prospect of retribution from the angry god in the White House, from fellow senators who could tank legislation they cared about, from disappointed campaign contributors, and threats that they would face well-financed opponents in their next Republican primaries.

No matter what happens from here in the health care repeal-and-replace saga, you can be sure that radical right wing Republican voters and contributors will not forget or forgive Capito, Murkowski, or Collins.

That should make it easier for these three Republican senators to take the logical next step—to leave the Republican caucus, become independents, and to provide the votes needed to flip control of the Senate to the Democrats.

Far fetched? Not really. It makes sense as both a matter of principle and political self-preservation.

Let’s start with the politics.

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and the Alaska Republican party have never been a good fit. She won reelection in 2016 with only 44% of the vote, heavily supported by Democrats in a multi-candidate race. In 2010 she actually lost the Republican primary to a right-wing radical and kept her Senate seat only because Democrats voted for her as a write-in candidate that November. She could much more easily win in Alaska as an independent without a primary than as a Republican with one. She’s already proven that twice. And, it’s worth noting that Alaska’s current governor won election as an independent, defeating an incumbent Republican.

Maine Senator Susan Collins won her last Senate election by 40 points. She doesn’t run for reelection until 2020. That is, if she decides to remain in the Senate. Collins is seriously considering bailing out of the Senate in 2018 to run for governor of Maine. There’s little political risk for her to announce her independence from the Republican Senate caucus, where she’s forced to go along with a far right agenda that she wears uncomfortably. If she were to run as governor in 2018 she could do it as a Republican or as an independent. Angus King, the other Maine senator, is running for reelection in 2018—as an independent.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito announced her opposition to the Republican health bill by saying she didn’t go to Washington “to hurt anyone.” Reaction from her constituents in West Virginia has been heavily supportive. In 2016, the state voted for Trump, and on the same ballot elected a Democratic governor. Clearly, fidelity to a political party is not a lock step requirement in West Virginia.

Which brings us to principle.

These three Republican senators have demonstrated time and again that they see politics not just as a contest to win but as an opportunity to govern. All must be appalled at Trump’s attacks on our system of justice, his egregious budget that they soon will be asked to approve, his bizarre appointees who, as Republicans, they are required to confirm, and other legislation flowing from the White House and the U.S. House that have radically altered the definition of “Republican.”

Each of them comes from a state that leans heavily on financial support from Washington and would suffer severely if the current Republican agenda were enacted.

When Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter left the Republican party in 2009, Senator Chuck Schumer supported his bid to maintain his seniority and chairmanships with the Senate majority. As Democratic leader, Schumer almost certainly would do the same for Murkowski, Collins and Capito if they were to caucus with the Democrats. That precedent was set by then Democratic majority leader Tom Daschle, when Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords switched from Republican to independent in 2001, tipping the Senate balance from Republican to Democrat.

By leaving the Republican caucus, declaring their independence and doing it as a group these three could immediately transform the national debate and political direction of Washington. They could put a brake on the worst excesses of the Trump administration and the Republican House. They could insist on changes in health care legislation that improve what we have, not degrade it. They could help craft legislation to redeem what Trump’s voters expect—legislation to help restore economic opportunity to those left behind.

West Virginia’s Senator Capito said she didn’t come to Washington to hurt anyone. That’s admirable, but it’s a low bar. The people’s Congress should exist to help as well as not hurt. She, Murkowski and Collins are in a position to do that. But they need to do that together, and soon.

(Joe Rothstein is a regular columnist for USPoliticstoday.com and author of the acclaimed political thriller “The Latina President and the Conspiracy to Destroy Her.” Mr. Rothstein can be contacted at joe@einnews.com).

Kellyanne Conway mocks Reince Priebus to reporters during Washington party

Just a big, happy family looking to stab each others’ eyeballs out at the first opportunity.

Want a bit of pointless fun? Horrible Trump “counselor” Kellyanne Conway, known ’round television-land for her furious defense of Trump and her demands that all these people leaking bad things about the White House to reporters stop right now or face Bad Person Jail Time or whatever was caught blasting her White House co-workers in an off-the-record conversation with reporters at a Washington party.

‘She had a good/cruel riff mocking @Reince45 in WH staff meetings. “No leaks guuuys” she said, mimicking him in a dopey voice,’ Conway was heard saying, according to the alleged insider.’He should just be honest: “I’m upset because there’s someone working on a story who pronounces it RAYNSE instead of REINCE”.’ […]

‘So @KellyannePolls held court for awhile. Along with knocking @Reince45, she also made jokes about the ineffectiveness of his RNC world,’ a tweet read.

‘At one point @KellyannePolls said “Honestly, what the f*** does Marc Short do all day?”‘

While it’s important to be skeptical of anonymous Twitter accounts purporting to leak insider information about what so-and-so is doing at a Washington party (in this case, at the British Embassy), the tweeter included pictures of Conway engaged in the conversation and Politico was able to confirm her remarks. Possibly because, you know, she was speaking to multiple reporters at the time.

In response, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer emerged from his hiding place to tell Politico that no, no, she was totally making fun of the press, not poor put-upon Reince Priebus, because reasons.

Thank god that’s settled. If you can’t trust Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway to tell you the truth about potentially embarrassing situations like this, after all, who can you trust? Those are two names synonymous with prodigious truth-telling. No fibbers here. No sir. Wouldn’t dream of it.

French President Macron Wins Big in Parliamentary Vote

Something’s really happening EN FRANCE!

French President Macron Wins Big in Parliamentary Vote

Last Updated: June 12, 2017 12:25 PM

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron pick up ballots before voting in the first round of the two-stage legislative elections in Le Touquet, northern France, June 11, 2017.

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron pick up ballots before voting in the first round of the two-stage legislative elections in Le Touquet, northern France, June 11, 2017.

The fledgling party of France’s new centrist president Emmanuel Macron is set for a landslide victory in parliamentary elections, as results from Sunday’s first round of voting showed it taking 28 percent of the vote.

That result for La République en Marche and its ally MoDem, which had 4 percent of the vote, puts the pair within reach of an overwhelming majority in the National Assembly with more than 400 seats in the 577-seat lower house if their success carries through a final round of voting next week.

Voter turnout, however, hit a record low, as an estimated 52 percent of the population stayed away. That’s being blamed on voter fatigue, after a long and divisive presidential campaign that saw Macron elected last month.

Macron’s spokesman Christophe Castaner called the low turnout “a failure of this election”.

“We have to take note, we have to restore trust,” Castaner, who is also minister for parliamentary relations, told France 2 television.

Still, the result is seen as a strong endorsement of President Macron. Many of those who voted for him in the presidential election, particularly left-wing voters, said they were doing so only to keep Marine Le Pen out. At the time, many of them, and those who abstained, promised to vote against the new president in the parliamentary elections. However, it is clear that a large percentage of them changed their minds.

Making his mark

In the 28 days since his inauguration, Macron has made his mark on the international stage: playing President Donald Trump at his own handshake game and winning; criticizing Russia’s Vladimir Putin while standing beside him; and jumping in with new proposals after the U.S. announced a U-turn on climate change.

Macron's La Republique en Marche party members react after the announcement of the first partial official results and polling agencies projections are announced, in Paris, June 11, 2017.

Macron’s La Republique en Marche party members react after the announcement of the first partial official results and polling agencies projections are announced, in Paris, June 11, 2017.

That has had an effect at home. After five years of Socialist Party rule, in which former president Francois Hollande failed to meet his objectives of reducing unemployment and giving a boost to the flagging economy, the French were depressed and downbeat.

Seeing the new president widely acclaimed and admired on the international stage has made voters at home sit up and take note — and decide to give him a chance.

The president needs a strong majority in order to push through his promised reforms of France’s strict labor laws, and its ailing social security system.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the result is a clear signal that the French support Macron’s plans. “France is back,” he said, noting that the president, in his first month in office, “has embodied trust, willingness and audacity.”

He continued: “Next Sunday, the National Assembly will embody the new face of our republic: a strong republic, a unified republic, a republic that listens to everyone, the French Republic.”

Unknowns headed to government seats

LREM, formed just a year ago to get Macron elected, fielded an unprecedented number of unknown candidates. Most had never held elected office and just five percent were outgoing parliamentarians. The few non-politicians who were known to the public included a woman who used to be a bullfighter, a former anti-corruption judge and a video game magnate.

“It is neither healthy nor desirable for a president who gathered only 24 percent of the vote in the first round of the presidentials and who was elected in the second round only by the rejection of the extreme right should benefit from a monopoly of national representation,” said Socialist Party leader Jean-Christophe Cambadelis as results flowed in.

A woman leaves a polling station in the first round of parliamentary elections in Pau, southwestern France, June 11, 2017.

A woman leaves a polling station in the first round of parliamentary elections in Pau, southwestern France, June 11, 2017.

Cambadelis later confirmed he had been eliminated from the competition for his Paris seat, one that was previously a safe one for the Socialists.

It had been expected that the conservative Les Republicains (The Republicans) would be mobilized to form the largest bloc in the National Assembly. But Macron’s impressive performance in his first month, coupled with astute moves, including naming an LR deputy as prime minister, took the wind from their sails. The party is still expected to form the second largest bloc, with a predicted 95-125 seats.

The big losers in this first round were the Socialists, with less than 10 percent of the vote. That would give the PS and its allies just 10-25 seats in the new Assembly.

The far-right National Front party failed to capitalize on Marine Le Pen’s record score of 33.9 percent of the presidential second round vote. It scored just 14 percent Sunday.

A second round of voting takes place next Sunday. Prime Minister Philippe urged French voters to improve on Sunday’s turnout, stressing the importance of going out to vote.


Federal conservation funding is on the chopping block. The Administration’s budget proposal slashes funding for the air we breathe, water we drink, and our nation’s natural places. Tell Congress to protect federal conservation funding.

Will you join us and stand up for federal conservation funding?
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