Much of the political world scoffed at Donald Trump’s visit to Scotland to open a new golf course as a waste of time that would be better spent in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania.
Nonetheless, that bit of wholly private business in the middle of a presidential campaign put the presumptive Republican presidential nominee on the scene of a massive diplomatic earthquake, as Brits voted 52 to 48 percent to leave the European Union, with its immigration and financial woes. Trump was quick to draw the parallels to his own “America First” efforts. From a BBC report of the press conference:
The US billionaire answered: said: “I think it’s a great thing that’s happened. It’s an amazing vote, very historic.
“People are angry all over the world. They’re angry over borders, they’re angry over people coming into the country and taking over and nobody even knows who they are.
“They’re angry about many, many things in the UK, the US and many other places. This will not be the last.”
“Basically, they took back their country,” Mr. Trump said Friday morning from Scotland, where he was promoting his golf courses. “That’s a good thing.”
…Even as the European Union began to grapple with a new and potentially destabilizing period of political uncertainty, the British vote also will inevitably be seized upon as further evidence of deepening public unease with the global economic order. Globalization and economic liberalization have produced winners and losers — and the big “Leave” vote in economically stagnant regions of Britain suggests that many of those who have lost out are fed up.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned. Financial markets are wavering, and whether you agree with Trump could well depend on whether your 401(k) holds up over the next week. Trump said he’ll do fine. From MSNBC:
Asked about economic turmoil and the degree to which the Brexit results are undermining the value of the British pound, Trump relied that the market decline is good news – for him.“If the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly,” he said, referring to the location of his resort. “For traveling and for other things, I think it very well could turn out to be positive.”
Yet while he was on the right island, in speaking from Scotland, Trump perhaps chose the worse venue possible from which to offer his congratulations.
Read your Shakespeare. Scotland has always had stronger ties with the European mainland. Centuries’ worth of political leverage were found there. On Thursday, 62 percent of Scottish voters wanted to stick with the European Union, compared to 47 percent in England proper. And “taking back their country” means different things to different people. From the Washington Post:
Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the Scottish National Party, said that a second referendum on Scotland’s membership in the United Kingdom was a possibility in the immediate future.
“We will begin to prepare the legislation that would be required to enable a new independence referendum to take place if and when parliament decides,” she told reporters in Edinburgh.
Just two years ago, pro-E.U. Scottish voters rejected independence and opted to remain united with England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Drip, drip, drip. One more chapter in the story that never quits:
An Associated Press review of the official calendar Hillary Clinton kept as secretary of state identified at least 75 meetings with longtime political donors, loyalists, Clinton Foundation contributors and corporate and other outside interests that were not recorded or were listed without the names of those she met.
The missing entries raise new questions about how Clinton and her inner circle handled government records documenting her State Department tenure — in this case, why the official chronology of her four-year term does not closely mirror other more detailed records of her daily meetings.
At a time when Clinton’s private email system is under scrutiny by an FBI criminal investigation, the calendar omissions reinforce concerns that she sought to eliminate the “risk of the personal being accessible” — as she wrote in an email exchange that she failed to turn over to the Obama administration but was subsequently uncovered in a top aide’s inbox.
You know that state Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, chairman of her chamber’s Health and Human Services Committee, has recently posited that Georgia needs to re-examine its opposition to Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
We now have the first pushback, from state Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, who has penned an op-ed for use in newspapers across the staff. A few paragraphs:
While I have great respect and admiration for the legacy-building work of State Senate Health & Human Service Chairwoman Renee Unterman (R-Buford) for championing policies to advance justice for child sexual abuse and human trafficking victims, I believe her recent change of heart to reconsider Medicaid expansion in Georgia is concerning.
It appears that this prominent state senator will be forming alliances with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce to push for a Medicaid expansion model similar to that which was implemented in the state of Arkansas called the “Private Option.”
Instead of working for Arkansas taxpayers, this program, which is now known as “Arkansas Works,” has done anything but work effectively for the state’s taxpayers. Supporters of this model believe that a Section 1115 Medicaid Waiver that Arkansas received will give the state of Georgia the ability to expand Medicaid under our terms, not those of Obamacare. That is just not true, and the disastrous experiment in Arkansas is proof.
In Arkansas, the state’s experiment with a customized, not your average Medicaid expansion program, has been a terrible boondoggle that has left Arkansas taxpayers on the hook for nearly $800 million in cost overruns, pushed the truly needy to the back of the line and left the future of Arkansas’s budget in doubt.
Democrats have pounced on the latest sign that Georgia could be competitive in November: Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball declaration this week that the state had shifted from “Likely Republican” to “Leans Republican.”
That was reason enough for Democratic Party of Georgia spokesman Michael Smith to again declare Georgia in play and the party “is taking full advantage of this moment.” More from Smith:
“We’ve expanded our presence across the state, placing dozens of boots on the ground with our new field program. We’ve acquired some of the strongest talent from traditional battleground states. This election cycle has proved to be the perfect storm for Georgia to become a swing state. Our party infrastructure is in place, Trump’s campaign is an unmitigated disaster, and a majority of Georgians are realizing that it is the Democratic Party who will fight for our shared values and interests.”
We will be convinced when Hillary Clinton puts Georgia on her calendar.
Sounds like Jeff Roe, Ted Cruz’ campaign manager and a consultant to Jack Kingston during his Senate run, is not a fan of Newt Gingrich:
Speaking of Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican has endorsed state Sen. Mike Crane’s House bid in the Third Congressional District, per Erick Erickson’s The Resurgent.
Erickson himself has also backed Crane, who is tangling with dentist and former West Point mayor Drew Ferguson in next month’s GOP runoff. The conservative talk show provocateur is helping Crane fundraise at a dinner in Fayetteville next week.
Fulton County Sheriff Ted Jackson nailed down the endorsement of Hank Aaron in the July runoff to keep his post.
Hammerin’ Hank recorded a robocall for Jackson that went out to Fulton County homes this week. Aaron said Jackson has “kept his word and protected our community” and that he’s the clear pick for the job.
Jackson faces former Fulton Sheriff Richard Lankford, who forced a runoff after finishing second with 36 percent of the vote. Lankford lost the sheriff’s seat more than two decades ago after becoming a target in an FBI extortion case, and his 1990 conviction of income tax evasion and extortion was later overturned on appeal.
(Another wrinkle in the race: Lankford avoided a retrial by cutting a deal with the U.S. attorney not to work in law enforcement again, but says the agreement was illegal and unenforceable.)