US of Ed

An Insider Eye on US News and Politics

Ed Blakely has served in different capacities under a succession of presidential administrations, has guided government policy on urban planning and is a widely cited academic. My name is Sean Britten, and each week, Ed and I have a chat about what’s the latest news out of the United States, talking everything politics, planning and policy from sea to shining sea.

"The more these things stack up the more Republicans, as a party, have to get behind [Trump], and the more they get behind him the more votes they lose in 2018." 

The shortest ever US government shutdown, only six hours, took place this week but does it say some big things about Republicans' fiscal responsibilities? Besides debt, another thing Trump and Republicans don't seem concerned about is Russian interference. Looking at these, as well as the Stormy Daniels alleged affair, Florida shooting, the return of Barack Obama, and the run-up to the 2018 mid-terms.

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"Trump is no longer president of the United States, the United States is being run by a troika which includes the Secretary of State, the Vice President, and the Secretary of Defence, they're running the country."

The Nunes memo that promised to take Washington by storm turned out to be more of a light drizzle yet President Donald Trump claims it vindicates him totally in the Russia investigation. Other Republicans have not been so effusive, so what about the contents of the memo itself and what will the FBI response be? Meanwhile, the stock market takes a plunge, talks of another shutdown, and Trump wants a parade to show off American military might but conjures some unfortunate implications.

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"It was the first presidential speech we've heard."

Donald Trump has given his State of the Union address this week, sounding a great deal more presidential than the content of his Twitter account. When it comes to substance, Ed and Sean pick through key claims on taxes, immigration, environmental protections and a boost to the US military, including Guantanamo Bay. Not mentioned in the speech, Russia sanctions, the continuing rise of China and FEMA to quit sending food and water supplies to Puerto Rico.

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"The long game is this, November 2018, the Republicans want a program they can put before the people, they're stumbling... The Democrats on the other hand better come up with something, because if DACA goes through what else do they have to offer?"

As promised last week, Democrats allowed the American government to go into shutdown but has much been accomplished? The Russia probe and Mueller investigation continues but the Republican party seems more concerned with protecting their president than uncovering the truth. Also, Jared Kushner's security concerns, Trump goes after Palestine and the rest of the world continues to think less and less of the Trump agenda.

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"We are now seeing the unravelling of the America epoch, where the United States won by force of ideals, and replaced by this kind of repugnant, awful, racist leadership that has corroded the American politic."

Another week, another controversy from the Trump White House, but if Trump's base and the rest of the Republican party don't care, should any of us anymore? Plus, the surprising upside of the Hawaiian false missile alert crisis, Steve Bannon subpoenaed by Robert Mueller, and the fate of the 800,000 Dreamers and a government shutdown hanging in the balance.

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