American Right Loses Its Mind, Catalans Escalate Legal Fight

Fox News is freaking out. Catalonia sues a Spanish judge. Portugal may not be a role model for social democrats.

Radio and television host Sean Hannity speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015
Radio and television host Sean Hannity speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015 (Gage Skidmore)

Mocking a survivor of the Parkland, Florida school shooting for failing to get into several colleges. Calling Robert Mueller the head of a crime family. Comparing the FBI to the Gestapo. Leading with a story about sex-crazed pandas on the day President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is served a search warrant by the FBI.

Fox News is losing its mind.

The reasons are obvious:

  • Republicans are expected to lose badly in November’s midterm elections.
  • Robert Mueller is closing in on the president, with a report on his attempts to obstruct justice expected as early as next month.
  • James Comey, whom Trump fired from the FBI when he refused to protect the president from the Russia investigation, has a book out on Tuesday. Politico has its main takeaways.

It’s easy to dismiss Fox’s antics, but remember: there are millions of Americans who watch — and only watch — this channel, including the president. They don’t know any better.

Catalan parliament speaker sues judge

Roger Torrent, the speaker of the Catalan parliament, is suing Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena for blocking the investiture of Jordi Sànchez as regional president, ACN has learned.

Llarena ruled on Thursday that Sànchez could not be released from pre-trial detention to attend his inauguration in Barcelona.

Sànchez is accused of sedition for organizing mass protests in Catalonia ahead of the October 1 independence referendum.

Even if he were released from jail, it’s unclear if Sànchez could win a majority. The Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), the smallest and most radical of the three separatist parties, maintains that Carles Puigdemont is the only legitimate candidate. He was removed from power when Spain suspended Catalan home rule last year.

Puigdemont is currently in Germany awaiting a court’s decision on whether or not to extradite him to Spain. German judges have refused to extradite him on charges of rebellion, which, under German law, would require proof of violence. El País reports that Spain has handed Germany new evidence to support its allegations.

Portugal may not be a role model

The Economist cautions against reading too much into the success of Portugal’s António Costa.

The social democrat has formed an unusual alliance with the far left to keep the right out of power, but that experiment will be difficult to replicate elsewhere. Portugal’s far left has so far been pragmatic and Costa is reaping the benefits of liberal economic reforms enacted by the last government.