Was this the natural buoyancy of an out-of-power party in a purple-turning-blue state or did the GOP drubbing there and elsewhere signal a deeper anti-Trump backlash that could build into a 2018 Democratic wave?
Start with the bottom line: Democratic House candidates are raising money, lots of it. Politico’s Elena Schneider reported last month, when the latest batch of campaign finance reports were released, that at least 162 Democratic candidates in 82 Republican-held House districts had raised over $100,000.
“That’s about four times as many candidates as House Democrats at this point before the 2016 or 2014 elections and, and it’s more than twice as many as Republicans had running at this point eight years ago, on the eve of capturing the House in the 2010 wave election,” she wrote.
And Republican lawmakers are starting to get out.
Source: The Virginia Election and the Coming Trump Democratic Tidal Wave | The Report: Opinion | US News
The problem for Trump is that the American public doesn’t give him the credit he seeks, with only 44 percent rating Trump positively on handling the economy while 53 percent saying he hasn’t done well in this area, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. Overall, 37 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s job performance and 59 percent disapprove. This is the lowest approval rating of any president at the nine-month mark in 70 years.
Both parties seem to understand that the politician or party that captures the economy issue will come out ahead. That’s usually the case in American politics.
The Democrats, seeing that Republican Trump is attempting to outmaneuver them, strongly dispute Trump’s assertions. They argue that the economy is improving in some respects but it’s because of policies that Democratic President Barack Obama put in place during the eight years before Trump took office.
Source: Trump Clings to Good Economic News | The Report | US News
ObamaCare is emerging as a top issue for Democrats as they seek to gain control of Congress in next year’s midterm elections.
Democrats say the results show the Republican votes this year to repeal ObamaCare are coming back to haunt them.
.. ObamaCare is no longer the Democratic liability it once was.
Source: ObamaCare becomes political weapon for Democrats | TheHill
A retirement wave has hit House Republicans, emboldening Democrats who have become increasingly bullish about their prospects of winning back a majority in 2018.
All told, 29 Republicans will not seek reelection to their House seats, compared to only 11 for Democrats. Fifteen Republicans are retiring outright, rather than seeking other political offices or positions. Only two Democrats are doing the same.
Source: Mounting GOP retirements threaten House majority | TheHill
In Donald Trump, America has a rogue president who has a 30-year track record of opposing key elements of the order, including free trade and alliances. Vladimir Putin wants to overthrow the order because he believes it poses a direct threat to his regime. Xi Jinping’s China benefits from the open global economy but he would dearly like to replace the United States as the preeminent power in East Asia.
Paradoxically, as Trump gains more control over his administration, he will become weaker on the world stage. America’s strength is rooted in its predictability.
Trump’s defining characteristics are an indecisiveness born out of ignorance and an inability to learn quickly and a weakness born out of insecurity.
He seeks the trappings of strength but like Kaiser Wilhelm II, he is prone to rash decisions and like Napoleon III, he is easily manipulated by foreign powers who know what buttons to push.
It is this intrinsic weakness that creates further openings for Xi and Putin.
Source: Trump, Xi, Putin, and the axis of disorder
The latest changes include raising the limit on foreign ownership in joint-venture firms involved in the futures, securities and funds markets to 51 percent from the current 49 percent.
They will take effect immediately following the drafting of specific related rules, Zhu told a news conference, adding China is “formulating a timetable and roadmap for financial sector reform and opening up”.
The foreign business community gave a cautious welcome to the news.
Source: China widens foreign access to its giant financial sector
Employment policies tend to focus on unemployed people, but evidence indicates that many people who are economically inactive also have labor market potential.
This report examines groups within the inactive population that find it difficult to enter or re-enter the labor market and explores the reasons why. It maps the characteristics and living conditions of these groups, discusses their willingness to work and examines the barriers that prevent them from doing so.
The report also looks at strategies being implemented by Member States to promote the inclusion of those outside the labor market. It highlights that many inactive people would like to work in some capacity, particularly students and homemakers.
Source: Reactivate: Employment opportunities for economically inactive people | Eurofound
The company’s lab-grown mosquitoes, which it calls ZAP males, are infected with the Wolbachia bacteria, naturally occurring in many insects, but not in Aedes aegypti, a vector for viruses such as yellow fever, dengue and Zika.
When bacteria-infected males mate with uninfected females, the females produce eggs that don’t hatch. In addition, infected mosquitoes are less likely to spread disease.
Source: The EPA has approved the release of weaponized mosquitoes in 20 US states — Quartz
There has been a hopeful but ungrounded optimism among many thinkers and practitioners in the last few years, with them believing that technology can fix all the problems that we as a country are facing.
The proponents of this belief system, especially around digital technology, think that problems of agriculture, health, nutrition, gender injustice, education, and governance can all be solved expeditiously if the country embraces the digital revolution; that digital will awaken the country from the slumber that it is in.
I have my own grave reservations, and I believe that there is a limit to what technology can do …
Source: Technology is great—but it alone won’t solve all of India’s development problems — Quartz
While thinking about needed reform while writing my book Transforming Government from Congress to the Cubicle, I created a list of what I call silent killers.
These orientations, actions (or the lack thereof), decisions, and approaches can kill or diminish the effectiveness of reform.
- Lack of Capacity
- Loss of Focus
- Inappropriate Workforce Actions
- A Narrow View of Reform
- Misguided Accountability
- Poor Communication
- Incomplete Data
- Lack of Focus on Culture
- Ineffective Procurement Practices
Source: The Top 10 Silent Killers of Government Efficiency and Effectiveness – Management Matters – Management – GovExec.com