Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.
Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, leader of the fascist National Front party, won’t be the next president of France. Instead, French voters elected the centrist, ex-investment banker Emmanuel Macron by a landslide.
And while any blow against literal fascism is a victory–one that American pundits loudly praised as a rejection of Trump’s brand of right-wing populism, because all things are equal–France’s resurgent right-wing isn’t going away.
Le Pen’s party remains the third-largest in France, and she garnered nearly 34% of Sunday’s vote. Le Pen seized on a populist wave of Islamaphobia and anti-immigrant sentiment that, as Donald Trump, who all but endorsed Le Pen, knows all too well, doesn’t dissipate just because the election is over.
Now Macron has to deliver on promises to make life materially better for the French, or embittered voters could likely turn to a law and order-pushing strongman (or woman) the next time around.
And as Axios pointed out this morning, just as Le Pen inherited the National Front’s legacy of anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, and xenophobia from her father, Marion Marechal Le Pen, Marine’s 27-year-old politician niece, is already positioning for her own eventual run at the presidency.
- The White House is expected to announce 10 of Trump’s nominees to fill federal court vacancies today. It’s the latest in the president’s efforts to transform the judiciary faster than any other executive of the last 25 years, as BuzzFeed News points out.
- Sally Yates, the deputy attorney general under President Obama who resigned over the enforcement of Trump’s first Muslim ban, is expected to testify in a Senate subcommittee today that she warned the administration that former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s misled the vice president about his talks with the Russian ambassador.
- Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt has dismissed at least five members of a major scientific review board, sending shockwaves through an agency already rocked by Pruitt’s climate change denialism and the rollback of environmental protections during his first months in office.
- Here are some things Donald Trump tweeted to greet the day this morning:
WHAT FRESH HELL