The Weekly Read #4: The World is a Basket case

Asta Diabaté
5 min readMar 27, 2017
(Photo by Ming Jun Tan @Unsplash)

What is the Weekly Read? It’s where I give you my take of the news of and share other things that have caught my attention the past week.

London showed strength in the face of terrorism, America continues its candidacy to become the laughing stock of the world and Brexit is becoming from fiction to reality.

London Under Attack

Plenty of news outlets have covered what has happened on March 22nd. I was in Moorgate when I found out about the attacks among frantic missing calls from my parents and messages from friends asking how I was. My thoughts and prayers go to the families of those who were affected by this tragedy.

My thoughts also go to the people around the world who are suffering because of terrorism. I’m talking about attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, and many other countries where people do not have any choice but to go on with their lives. They don’t get to indulge in divisive politics.

I was proud of the resilience that Londoners have expressed. We in the West are put in front of two choices, two different paths. One will let the terrorists win. That’s the path where we start pointing fingers and make massive generalizations which will turn in even more alienation. That’s the path the likes of Donald Trump and others like him are taking.

The other, is to take the higher ground. Fight terrorism by not allowing fear to do the talking. I’m choosing the second, and I hope you will too.

Article 50 is coming, Mate

It was announced that Article 50 will be triggered. The May government seems to have forgotten that the Referendum, although “won” by the Brexiters who seem surprisingly still awesomely bitter despite their victory, was 51% to 48%. That seems hardly ground for a really super harsh Hard Brexit. But I guess some people do believe in the tyranny of the majority.

What is next for Britain we do not fully know, and I’m pretty certain not even politicians really know — e.g. Brexit secretary a couple of weeks ago not caring.

What we do know is that Remainers are upset about what it’s going on and rightly so. They, after all, represent 48% — not 20% of the elegible voters who went to the polls, but their voice seems completely irrelevant. And we also know that the public is torn about the terms of Brexit as the Economist showed.

We also do know that Brexit is likely to become a messy divorce, with the EU ready to drag the UK to the International Court of Justice if it refuses to pay for its liabilites (£50bn) — according to a leaked document. Sounds fun.

It’s definitely worth reading the Observer editorial on the triggering of article 50.

The quick death of the AHCA — the Republican Waterloo

The Republicans killed the AHCA, all by themselves. No vote was required. They pulled the bill from the House floor.

OMO. First thing first. LOLS.

The GOP should should now stand for to Grand Obtuse Party.

The fact that the AHCA is dead — I’m not going to lie — has made me incredibly estathic. I mean, who would have thought that Speaker Ryan would say that Obamacare is the law of the land after spending 7 years bashing it and hoping and working to repeal it. But it also makes me quite upset at the state of politics, for three main reasons.

First. This is unified Government. Republicans can’t complain that they don’t have majorities. The President is Republican and so are the House and the Senate. Surely they should be able to pass a bill about healthcare through. The fact that they failed showed how terrible this bill really was. Obamacare is in no way perfect, but the fact that this billl was found abhorrent by pretty much everyone, Democrats, centrists and Republicans alike is saying something.

Second. Donald Trump is jokes. This man ran on this whole “I know how to make deals” platform, and at the first hurdle he falls like a sack of potatoes. Not only he put himself behind a bill that contradicted everything he had promised his core constituents — lower deductibles; healthcare for all. He also must have realized that governing is no piece of cake. Go figure. Governing takes grit and grinding teeth and procedures, but first and foremost it requires someone to actually read the bills they are backing.

And who he blames for this failure? The Democrats. Why he blames them? Because they didn’t want to work on this bill.

Which brings me nicely to my third point. Democrats could not work on this bill even if they had wanted. First thing, the Donald Trump brand is too toxic to be touched even with a pole. Any Democrat who will cooperate with the Orange Man risks being labelled a traitor in the future, and I can see why.

Even if they wanted to cooperate on this bill, the guerrilla tactics used by the Republicans — i.e. Speaker Ryan, oh how you annoy me so — to get this bill on the table were frankly irresponsible. Who wants people to vote on a bill before you get information about how much it would cost and how many people might lose their insurance? It was just a badly designed bill. The carelessness is spectacular.

What makes me mad is Paul Ryan. I trusted the guy to be better. I believed that he actually cared — so much so that I bought his book (which I technically never finished, but still). I genuinely believed he cared about people in his own way. But does he? His attempt to pass the AHCA in such a hazy shadowy manner as well as the content of the bill make me question whether he and his people genuinely care about people’s lives.

If you fancy reading more about this kudos to Frum for the Atlantic for an article titled The Republican Waterloo.

Also worth reading Vox’s Ezra Klein on the lessons of AHCApocalypse.


1.Terrible things are happening in America.

The week saw a GOP politician stating that rape and incest are the will of God. I’m shaking my head and I’d like that guy to keep God’s name out of his mouth.

2. We also had 30 dudes discussing the future of maternity care, abortion and birth control with Trump, no woman present at the table.

I guess we’re still not comfortable with women making decisions about themselves. Thank you.

3. Black women and girls are missing, and no one seems to care. A powerful opinion piece.

4. Trump associates may have collaborated with Russians to sink Clinton. This is bad.

Highlights of the Week

How a congressional race in LA offers a glimpse into the future of elections in Trump’s America — Fusion

Hasan Piker is the Woke Bae Invading Your Facebook Feed — Galore

I posed for Maxim and I’m Running for Congress. It Shouldn’t Be That Shocking — Cosmopolitan

Podcast of the Week

(This post first appeared on my blog



Asta Diabaté

Sharing my two cents about tech, biz & sometimes policy. Oxford & Sciences Po Paris Alumna