US Opinion and Commentary

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Trump & Clinton: Holiday on the Hustings

Posted July 1st, 2016 at 3:02 pm (UTC-5)
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Heading into the 4th of July weekend, the U.S. presidential race is still relatively close. The Real Clear Politics average of political polls puts Hillary Clinton 4.8 percentage points ahead of Donald Trump.

While it’s still too early to put much stock in polls, it’s notable that a Fox News poll shows a majority of Republicans would prefer someone other than Trump as their party’s nominee.

Trump spent the week blasting the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, taking on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, usually a reliable backer of Republican policies. He also said his former Republican presidential rivals should “never be allowed to run for public office again” because they are breaking a pledge to back the party’s nominee. Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Jeb Bush have yet to endorse Trump.

Clinton spent the week fending off two issues that claw at her credibility. Wednesday’s report from a special House of Representative committee investigating the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya and a meeting between Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch as an FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server is still pending.

With party conventions scheduled for the last two weeks of July, Trump and Clinton are vetting possible running mates and trying to turn around what are still the highest disapproval ratings for any presidential candidate.

The Benghazi Report

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 5:50 pm (UTC-5)
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Benghazi. It’s one of those place names like Bhopal and Chernobyl that connotes death, horror and mistakes.

Benghazi has become a political flash point because the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission there was originally, and erroneously, blamed on reaction to an anti-Muslim video that had been circulated in the Middle East. Republicans say then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn’t do enough to prevent the deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others and then lied to the American public about the attack.

This week, results from an eighth congressional investigation into the attack was released. Some new details were revealed, especially about the lack of intelligence about potential threats and bureaucratic errors that failed to help those trapped in the mission, despite orders from the very top.

One investigation committee Republican called Clinton’s leadership during the situation “morally reprehensible.” Clinton said the report found “nothing to contradict” previous investigations, adding “It’s pretty clear it’s time to move on.”

But with Hillary Clinton running for president, Republicans won’t be moving on, using Benghazi for maximum political advantage.

Setting the Record Straight on Benghazi

Posted February 12th, 2016 at 12:24 pm (UTC-5)
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A closer look at Islamist politics in Libya reveals that this singular event was part of a larger plan to create an Islamic State within Libya after the fall of former leader Muammar al Qaddafi.

Democratic Party Drama

Posted January 22nd, 2016 at 3:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Benghazi. A private email server. Whitewater. All scandals with the name Clinton attached. Ever since the Clinton’s came to Washington more than 20 years ago, controversy has plagued the power couple, who have built a very loyal following right along side a long list of enemies. Now as the former First Lady, senator from New York, and former Secretary of State makes her case to be President of the United States, she faces an unexpectedly tough battle from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has attracted support from Americans who are tired of business as usual in Washington. It has widely been assumed that the Democratic Party nomination was Hillary’s to lose. But with polls showing more and more voters supporting non-mainstream candidates like Sanders (and billionaire Donald Trump on the Republican side), there are concerns that, despite her gravitas, Hillary’s credibility gap has weakened her hold on Democrats.

Why Republicans are Turning Hillary Clinton’s Old Friend into the Benghazi Villain

Posted October 23rd, 2015 at 10:54 am (UTC-5)
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Blumenthal was a hot topic at the Benghazi hearings not because he had anything to do with the attacks but because he’s a convenient villain. In the Republican imagination, Blumenthal exists more as a mythological figure than a real person.

Still Waiting for the Truth

Posted October 23rd, 2015 at 10:46 am (UTC-5)
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[Charles] Woods is the father of Tyrone Woods, a retired Navy Seal killed in the attacks on Benghazi on September 11, 2012. Shortly before the hearing began, I asked him what he hoped to learn from the hearing. “The truth, hopefully,” he said, not sounding hopeful at all.

Benghazi Panel Asks All the Wrong Things

Posted October 23rd, 2015 at 9:34 am (UTC-5)
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Congress should be asking: What is being done to bring to justice the terrorists responsible for the Benghazi tragedy? …. What, if any, U.S. diplomatic outposts remain vulnerable to attack?

Clinton Faces Congressional Query on Benghazi – Again

Posted October 21st, 2015 at 2:34 pm (UTC-5)
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17 months and $4.5-million. That’s how long — and costly — the Republican-led probe of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s role in the deadly 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The congressional committee will hear from her once again on Thursday. Critics say the hearings are simply a witch hunt against Clinton, who is now running for president as a Democrat. She is expected to be grilled about her assessment of the security needed for the high-risk mission, along with questions of transparency about exactly what happened and, of course, all those emails she wrote during her post on a private server in her home. Republicans say they want honest answers to their pertinent questions. Democrats see it as an opportunity to pile on Clinton, and hope she will come across as the victim of an overly-politicized panel intent on tarnishing her.