US Opinion and Commentary

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Sizing Up the U.S. Election’s Opening Round

Posted January 15th, 2016 at 10:18 am (UTC-4)
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If you find America’s presidential election campaign puzzling, you probably have a better grasp of it than those who are willing to predict an outcome. At this point, with both major parties set to choose their nominees in state-level primary elections or caucuses, there can be no predictions, only informed (or uninformed) guesses.

Barack, Hillary and Bernie

Posted January 13th, 2016 at 2:24 pm (UTC-4)
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Keeping with tradition, President Obama is traveling to the American heartland to sell his State of the Union message. That message — the country is in better shape than the presidential campaign rhetoric makes it out to be — seems to be aimed helping his party continue to occupy the White House and burnish his legacy. As most of the media attention is focused on the fractious campaign among Republicans, the race between democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders is getting closer and more contentious. How unscathed either can emerge will go a long way to determine how shiny the Obama legacy will look.

Photo Essay: President Barack Obama

Posted January 12th, 2016 at 5:15 pm (UTC-4)
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America’s first African-American president begins winding down the last year of his second term after delivering his final State of the Union speech. Here’s a look back.

Look for America’s Enemies to Take Advantage of Obama’s Last Year

Posted January 7th, 2016 at 1:09 pm (UTC-4)
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China, with impunity, has fortified seven newly created artificial islands located in the hotly disputed Spratlys archipelago. … Will Beijing seek to push the envelope even more in 2016, fearful that the next president in 2017 — whether Hillary Clinton or a Republican — could be more like Truman or Reagan than Carter or Barack […]

Our World in 2016

Posted December 31st, 2015 at 10:09 am (UTC-4)
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Predicting what the future holds is nearly always a risky pursuit. We can examine and dissect events past, trends and patterns, but do we ever really know what is to come? We do in one case: America will elect a new president in 2016, ending President Barack Obama’s second term. And experts agree overwhelmingly that the world will continue to be plagued by the threat of terrorism. But what about the global economy? Gun violence? The Iran nuke deal? Europe’s migrant crisis? Some of the world’s most pressing issues will be stubbornly familiar and hard to remedy; others are likely to emerge as new challenges in a new year.

Can Ted Cruz Actually Win?

Posted December 29th, 2015 at 9:46 am (UTC-4)
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Cruz and his strategists have an answer for doubters. With effective outreach to conservatives, he can gain the votes of the four million conservative voters who supposedly stayed home in 2012…. Republicans did just that in 1964 with Barry Goldwater as the nominee. He lost to President Johnson by 486 electoral votes to 52

“Trump-ing” the Holidays

Posted December 23rd, 2015 at 2:50 pm (UTC-4)
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Christmas means family time and in many homes across America, the talk will turn to the upcoming presidential election. And there’s lots to talk about. The latest polls show Hillary Clinton building a commanding lead for the Democratic nomination over two other contenders. In the 12-person Republican field, Donald Trump has increased his lead despite more controversy over his remarks, this week directed at Clinton. But it is another five weeks before the first votes are cast in the Iowa caucuses, and historically, voters don’t make up their minds until they have to. Trump’s rise to the top dominates the American political conversation. It has the country’s top political thinkers questioning conventional political wisdom. And it has some prominent Republicans questioning the survival of their party.

GOP Candidates Gang Up on Trump as Terror Threat Dominates 5th Debate

Posted December 16th, 2015 at 2:08 pm (UTC-4)
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Some political pundits say last night’s fifth Republican presidential debate revealed two things: Donald Trump’s polling dominance may be waning, and the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino forced the candidates to engage in a substantive discussion about US foreign policy and national security. Republican Senator Ted Cruz trended upward along with former Governor Jeb Bush, who many agreed gave his best performance yet. Other observers noted that Trump appeared to pull back from the spotlight as others united to attack his controversial proposal to ban all Muslims from the entering the United States. Still others clalim Trump won the debate nonetheless; others say it was a draw. Either way, the race to win the nomination of the party is moving into a new and more serious phase as the Iowa caucus beckons.

The Politics of Fear

Posted November 23rd, 2015 at 2:29 pm (UTC-4)
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Famed former President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” That aphorism is timeless, particularly in these times. The wave of deadly attacks across Paris by Islamic State militants has understandably frightened many. Are we next? That is the common questioned being asked by the United States and other, more vulnerable targets, like Germany. IS is exporting their war from its base in Syria. Meanwhile, Republican presidential hopeful — and frontrunner – Donald Trump is calling for government database to track Muslims in the United States. That is what fear can do to any of us.

Who Is Lying? The Media or Republican Front-runner Ben Carson?

Posted November 10th, 2015 at 3:15 pm (UTC-4)
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As the Republican presidential field prepares for its fourth debate, Ben Carson and the media are having a knock down drag out fight over “the truth.” It began last week when an article questioned Carson’s oft told story of being offered a full scholarship to the very prominent military academy West Point. The article went on to assert that his campaign admitted to fabricating the story. Other news outlets began digging around for biographical blips, and still other publications came to his defense, scrutinizing word by word the claims of lies. What does all this have to do with winning the Republican presidential ticket? It’s called the “vetting” the candidates’ records, thereby holding them to a very high standard of truthfulness. The question is, does it help educate American voters? Or is just a lot of noise?

Rubio Overshadows Jeb – and Trump – in Republican Debate

Posted October 29th, 2015 at 5:12 pm (UTC-4)
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Wednesday’s third Republican debate was a reminder that the race to become the next President of the United States is still in the early stages. Oddly, the candidates with the most support and/or money seemed to fade into the background. The night belonged to Florida Senator Marco Rubio, thanks to a badly executed jab by Jeb Bush. The clash lit up Twitter and diminished Bush, who was expected to be the party’s frontrunner. Senator Ted Cruz had a glittering moment too, according to some pundits. Neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who was ahead of businessman Donald Trump in the latest poll, kind of disappeared along with the usually loud-mouthed mogul. But as we said: it’s still early.

Who Won in Vegas? Depends On Who You Ask

Posted October 14th, 2015 at 12:20 pm (UTC-4)
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If you believe the majority of the pundit class, it is apparent that Hillary Rodham Clinton won Tuesday’s night’s premier showdown among the Democratic Presidential Candidates. It was also clear why Clinton, despite being criticized for her own arguably poor decisions, her loss to Barack Obama in 2008 and a near constant barrage of conservative vitriol has been so successful. With panache’ and polish she navigated the criticism and took a star turn in Las Vegas. But pundits aren’t voters, and in the online world of non-scientific post-debate polling, Bernie Sanders is proving the big winner.

Joe Biden, The Realist, For President?

Posted September 28th, 2015 at 9:42 am (UTC-4)
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While many Democrats might be worried that a Joe Biden candidacy might further divide an already fractious party, one group is certainly hoping that he jumps into the race—foreign-policy realists. If the vice president decides to sit it out, interventionism will retake the White House in 2017.

Joe Biden Can Rescue the Democrats

Posted September 24th, 2015 at 9:18 am (UTC-4)
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Here’s an idea: Biden should run to rescue the Democratic Party from the fringe. Much has been made of Donald Trump’s candidacy and what his brand of politics says about today’s Republican Party. Much less has been said about the changes taking place with the Democrats.

Six Ways GOP Candidates Are Failing

Posted September 21st, 2015 at 10:11 am (UTC-4)
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Sometimes it looks as if the Republican nominating contest was hacked by an outside power, one seeking to show that democracy is not a very good system of government or that it doesn’t work very well in the United States.