John Oliver on the Trump-Comey exchange and the British elections

In addition to reviewing James Comey’s testimony and Donald Trump’s bizarre response to it, he also gives his take on the British elections and the complicated nature of the upcoming Brexit negotiations that begin this week. Theresa May said that she called elections three years early in order to be in a stronger position to negotiate. But now May’s failed gamble makes her weaker since her loss of a majority means she will need to get the approval of the DUP for her positions. He explains the difference between what is being called ‘hard Brexit’ and a ‘soft Brexit’. We also learn a lot more about Lord Buckethead who challenged Theresa May for her seat.
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Fighting the Trump shock agenda

Naomi Klein is one of the most astute observers and analysts of the American political scene. She is the author of the book Shock Doctrine and has just released a new book No Is Not Enough that discusses how the newly energized protest movement can be more effective. I was glad to see that The Intercept has snapped her up as a columnist. In her recent piece she warns us that the circus-like atmosphere surrounding the Trump administration should not distract us from the fact that he will use any major event on the global scene to ram through his substantive actions.
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Another victim of the UK elections – Donald Trump’s visit

News has leaked that Donald Trump, who loves to boast about how tough he is, has decided to put his state visit to the UK on hold because of the real possibility of large-scale protests, buoyed by the Labour party’s strong showing in the elections (they got 40% of the vote to just 42% for the Conservatives) and by Jeremy Corbyn’s socialist agenda that is everything that Trump opposes.
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50th anniversary of the day Israel attacked the USS Liberty

Miriam Pensack provides new information about an event that has been sent into the media memory hole. (I wrote about this incident back in 2010.) The media loves to commemorate anniversaries of major events but the 50th anniversary of the day that Israeli warplanes attacked a US navy vessel has been ignored. The NSA continues to keep the details secret but Pensack reports on two documents that were revealed by Edward Snowden.
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Ice Cube schools Bill Maher on his use of the N-word

Bill Maher got in trouble last week for gratuitously using the N-word on his show. Ice Cube does an excellent job of explaining why it is never a good idea for people who are not black to use the word, except in very narrow circumstances, such as where there is an academic discussion about the word, its history, and its effects and even then only when its use is unavoidable. I have had long discussions about racism without ever having to use the word even though its presence hung in the air and was almost palpable. The fact that you have close friends or intimate partners or even spouses who are black does not give you a pass. Discussions about whether Maher is a racist or not obscure the important point that Ice Cube is making.
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A ‘Coalition of Crackpots’ being formed in the UK

Theresa May is desperately trying to cling on to being prime minister despite having lost her parliamentary majority by running a campaign that has been widely criticized, even within her own party, for being poorly run and having a lousy message. Since her party now has only 318 seats but requires 326 to have a majority in the 650-seat parliament, she has turned for support to the Democratic Union Party that has 10 seats in her efforts to cobble together a slim majority. The Liberal Democrats who once formed a coalition with David Cameron and were severely punished by the voters in 2015 clearly were not going to make that mistake again. In fact, their leader Nick Clegg who was deputy prime minister in that coalition lost his own seat yesterday.
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Labour surprises in UK election

I continue my almost unbroken record of being wrong when it comes to predicting the results of elections but in this case I am really pleased by it. Theresa May and the Conservatives were expected to increase their majority to between 50 and 100 seats. Instead, they have lost their majority altogether and now have just 318 seats, which while eight short of a majority still makes itthe single largest party. Jeremy Corbyn has surprised the pollsters and pundits by hugely increasing his party’s vote. The Conservatives now have 318 seats, while Labour has 261 seats, the Scottish National Party has 35 seats, the Liberal democrats have 12, and others have 23 seats with one still undecided (In 2015, the Conservatives won 331 seats with just 36.9% of the vote, while Labour won 232 seats with 30.4% and the Scottish National Party won 56 seats with 4.7%. The remaining 28% of the vote garnered just 31 seats spread over nine other parties.)
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Trump and the L-word

The hearings before the US Senate Intelligence Committee with former FBI director James Comey have ended. The Republicans on the committee tended to try to find ways to minimize the damage to Donald Trump. What was surprising to me was that Comey flatly said that Trump was lying when he described the conditions at the FBI as deplorable and morale low as the justification for his firing.
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Background to today’s hearing with fired FBI director James Comey

Seth Meyers explains the background to the testimony that will be given today before a senate committee where Comey will be asked about his conversations with Donald Trump. Comey released a seven-page document yesterday that described five of the nine conversations he had with Trump and that seemed to suggest that Trump was leaning on him to stop the investigations into Trump and his associates.
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