Nancy Pelosi May Be the Most Powerful Person in America | US News


Pelosi, as leader of the opposition party, arguably will become the most powerful person in the country.

Not only will Pelosi head the House chamber that is expected to investigate President Trump and possibly impeach him, but she can thwart the president’s legislative wish list as well, experts note. Even before she had tied down the final votes she needs to become speaker, Pelosi was adamant to Trump in an extraordinary, combative public negotiating session Tuesday that he would not get the border wall he had promised during his campaign.

She never said it out loud, but the implication was clear: Pelosi might be ascending to a third-ranking post – behind the president and vice president – but she holds much of his fate in her well-manicured hands.

Source: Nancy Pelosi May Be the Most Powerful Person in America | The Civic Report | US News

The argument over Pelosi as House speaker misses the point | Reuters


Pelosi remained the strong favorite by masterfully playing different factions of opponents against each other, co-opting potential challengers like Marcia Fudge of Ohio by giving them important positions, and through a media campaign touting her record of accomplishment and her very solid credentials, all of which made it harder for liberal Democrats in Congress to oppose her.

For Pelosi the fight was all but won when progressive critics realized that if the liberal Congresswoman, who has been in Congress since the Reagan administration, was deposed as leader, it would be from the right of the party. Once that occurred, Pelosi was able to offer progressives more power in the Democratic caucus in exchange for their support.

Source: Commentary: The argument over Pelosi as House speaker misses the point | Reuters

Evangelical Christians Helped Elect Donald Trump, but Their Time as a Major Political Force Is Coming to an End


Since the 1970s, white evangelicals have formed the backbone of the Republican base.

But as younger members reject the vitriolic partisanship of the Trump era and leave the church, that base is getting smaller and older.

The numbers are stark: Twenty years ago, just 46 percent of white evangelical Protestants were older than 50; now, 62 percent are above 50. The median age of white evangelicals is 55.

Only 10 percent of Americans under 30 identify as white evangelicals.

The exodus of youth is so swift that demographers now predict that evangelicals will likely cease being a major political force in presidential elections by 2024.

Source: Evangelical Christians Helped Elect Donald Trump, but Their Time as a Major Political Force Is Coming to an End

Flurry of Democrats expected to enter 2020 White House race in coming weeks | Reuters


Democrats are riding a wave of enthusiasm after taking control of the House of Representatives in last month’s congressional elections, which were viewed as a referendum on Trump. But the party has no clear presidential front-runner for the first time since the 2004 campaign.

Party insiders expect between six and 10 candidates to launch exploratory or formal White House bids next month, with the eventual field of Democratic contenders swelling to as many as 20, according to interviews with nearly a dozen senior Democratic strategists.

Source: Flurry of Democrats expected to enter 2020 White House race in coming weeks | Reuters

The BJP No Longer Looks Invincible in 2019 Indian Elections | Time


It also now seems that two policy steps the Modi government took in the name of reform also resulted in economic distress. The first was demonetization in Nov. 2016, which was billed as an anti-corruption measure. Under that policy, almost 90% of the country’s currency notes by value were taken out of circulation.

For a party that had staked its national presence on economic performance, there simply wasn’t a terrific story to tell the voters.

In addition, voters did not seem to find the BJP’s return to a more religious nationalism-based agenda compelling.

Source: The BJP No Longer Looks Invincible in 2019 Indian Elections | Time

Inside Trump’s Judicial Takeover | Rolling Stone


What unites these judges is the radical legal doctrine of originalism — that the text of the Constitution should be understood only as it was intended when written more than 230 years ago.

Originalism was long seen as a fringe philosophy; taken to its logical extreme, an originalist reading of the Constitution could mean a country without same-sex marriage, federal child-labor laws or the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Today, however, originalism is the dominant legal philosophy on the right and the litmus test for any judge appointed by President Trump.

Source: Inside Trump’s Judicial Takeover – Rolling Stone

Election landslide in Armenia as revolution comes full-circle | EURACTIV.com


Armenia confirmed journalist-turned-politician Nikol Pashinyan as prime minister on Sunday (9 December) as voters handed him a landslide victory and banished the former ruling party from parliament, after nearly two decades in power.

Pashinyan’s anti-corruption-focused political bloc, My Step, secured 70.43% of the vote, while fierce rivals the Republican Party went from heroes to zeroes, losing their majority and failing to reach the 5% threshold needed to enter the parliament.

Source: Election landslide in Armenia as revolution comes full-circle – EURACTIV.com

Factbox: Germany’s CDU elects new leader to succeed Merkel | Reuters


Merkel, 64, is not seeking re-election to the post but wants to stay on as chancellor for the remainder of the parliamentary term. The next federal election is due by October 2021.

Here are key facts on the candidates seeking to succeed Merkel as leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and details of the party’s voting process.

Source: Factbox: Germany’s CDU elects new leader to succeed Merkel | Reuters

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Mueller investigation has gotten closer to Trump | Vox


Robert Mueller’s investigation has turned up a lot so far. Thirty-three people have been indicted or pleaded guilty. That number now includes five former advisers to Trump.

And recent news developments suggest that the probe is coming even closer to the president. Already, a leaked draft charging document conspicuously alluded that Roger Stone was in touch with Trump when Stone urged associates to try to get hacked material from WikiLeaks.

Source: Mueller investigation has gotten closer to Trump – Vox

‘Wake up, dudes’ — gender gap confounds GOP women | TheHill

Republican men and women are deeply divided over how to confront the results of a brutal midterm election that decimated the ranks of female GOP lawmakers in the House.

Most House Republicans have so far shown little appetite for performing an autopsy on the 2018 election cycle and publicly identifying the root of their tough losses, which were stark among female voters, particularly in the suburbs.

Source: ‘Wake up, dudes’ — gender gap confounds GOP women | TheHill