US Opinion and Commentary

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Optimism Is the Third Rail of American Politics

Posted March 15th, 2016 at 1:37 pm (UTC-5)
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More than twice as many Americans believe the country is on the wrong track as on the right track. That’s a subjective judgment, but it rests on facts people often get wrong.

What’s Going On?

Posted March 14th, 2016 at 4:46 pm (UTC-5)
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Donald Trump can take that leap to presumptive Republican presidential nominee with victories in Tuesday’s primaries. But will rising tensions and violence surrounding Trump campaign events have any impact on those results — and the general election to come? Civil discord and acts of violence have surrounded the Trump campaign over the past few days. Wednesday a protester was sucker-punched by a Trump supporter. Friday, Trump supporters and protesters pushed, shoved and yelled at each other after a Trump rally in Chicago was cancelled due to security concerns. Saturday, Secret Service agents surrounded Trump when a protester tried to rush the stage in Dayton, Ohio. Republican challengers Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and John Kasich have all blamed Trump for confrontational atmosphere, as have Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Trump has denied any violence at his events, saying at one point today that they’ve been “love fests.” The question many are asking: Is Donald Trump tapping into anger that’s been festering in many Americans or is he feeding it?

Trumpism: From Arab Spring to Western Winter

Posted March 14th, 2016 at 10:47 am (UTC-5)
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So Donald Trump’s iconoclastic views and his in-your-face style are not only far from unique; they may simply be an American version of the fears and anger that are currently sweeping through Europe. And what sparked those?

Trump Breaks Out the Red Meat and Wine

Posted March 9th, 2016 at 1:42 pm (UTC-5)
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Donald Trump celebrated his three state victory Tuesday with a smorgasbord of Trump-branded steaks, wine and water for the assembled at his post-primary press conference. Contrast that to Bernie Sanders, who talked to reporters in a dimly-lit room in front of hastily stapled-together campaign posters following his biggest victory of the campaign. Sanders defied the pundits and exceeded expectations by narrowly beating Hillary Clinton in Michigan, where his anti-free trade mantra resonated in a state hit hard by job losses in the manufacturing sector. However, because Clinton beat Sanders so handily in the Mississippi primary, she finished the evening with more delegates, strengthening her position as presumptive nominee. Trump was a clearer winner, picking up 60% of the delegates at stake in the four contests Tuesday. Trump won Mississippi, Michigan, and Hawaii while Ted Cruz won Idaho. Victories in next Tuesday’s primaries in Ohio, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and Missouri will put Trump on track to clinch the nomination.

The Risk I Will Not Take

Posted March 8th, 2016 at 11:47 am (UTC-5)
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[W]hen I look at the data, it’s clear to me that if I entered the race, I could not win. I believe I could win a number of diverse states — but not enough to win the 270 Electoral College votes necessary to win the presidency.

Netanyahu Bet the Future of the U.S.-Israel Relations on the GOP. Now He Has a Trump Problem

Posted March 8th, 2016 at 10:57 am (UTC-5)
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Trump, alone in the modern Republican Party, has tacked away from unconditional support for Israel. He has said he would take a “neutral” stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and suggested that if negotiations fail it might well be Israel’s fault

Donald Trump’s Dangerous KKK Game

Posted March 3rd, 2016 at 3:43 pm (UTC-5)
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The truth is Trump himself is probably not a hardcore racist. Instead, he is something worse than a racist. He is a racial opportunist… he has figured out a way to use racists to advance his quest for power. And in doing so, he is playing with the worst kind of fire.

The Trump Effect on China

Posted March 3rd, 2016 at 12:34 pm (UTC-5)
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Nationalism through populism can be transformed into xenophobia – as we know so well from bitter experiences in Europe and see currently in the United States with Trump. If the Chinese believe that they are being thwarted from getting their due place in the global sun, popular anger may boil over.

5 Facts About Mexico and Immigration to the U.S.

Posted March 2nd, 2016 at 1:47 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. immigration from Latin America has shifted over the past two decades….over the past decade, Mexican migration to the U.S. has slowed dramatically. Today, Mexico increasingly serves as a land bridge for Central American immigrants traveling to the U.S.

Was Tuesday Super?

Posted March 2nd, 2016 at 1:23 pm (UTC-5)
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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton each won 7 of the 11 Super Tuesday state primaries. But the outcomes for each mean different things. Here’s why: Presidential primary elections are more about collecting delegates to each party’s convention than winning states. And in Super Tuesday primaries, delegates are allocated proportionally according to the raw vote. Trump won Virginia, but he only got one more delegate than runner-up Marco Rubio. And the number of delegates Ted Cruz got by winning Texas is more than what Trump got in his best two victories. Hillary Clinton’s overwhelming victories in Southern states enabled her to take a commanding lead over Bernie Sanders in the delegate count. What does this all mean? Republican votes will continue to be split three ways among Trump, Cruz and Rubio, while John Kasich and Ben Carson continue to hang on through the March 15th winner-take-all primaries. And Hillary Clinton can start honing her general election strategy.

Tuesday Is Super

Posted March 1st, 2016 at 3:59 pm (UTC-5)
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Super Tuesday is usually the day when a presidential hopeful can morph from frontrunner to presumed nominee. Both Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are poised to take that step once polls close across a total of 12 states. While it’s unlikely Clinton will sweep the 11 states holding Democratic primaries today, polls show she will do extremely well against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, walking away with the lion’s share of delegates.As usual, Donald Trump is sucking up most of the oxygen, as supporters and concerned establishment Republicans wait to see if the outspoken mogul will trounce his opponents Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio — making the reality of Trump much more than just a television show.

Chris Christie Is Now Ruined

Posted March 1st, 2016 at 3:43 pm (UTC-5)
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Trump has rendered Christie an isolated, pathetic object of scorn. Other Republicans should take note.

Not-so-Super Tuesday

Posted March 1st, 2016 at 1:59 pm (UTC-5)
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The Party of Lincoln has reaped what it sowed: All these years of anti-government, anti-immigrant, anti-establishment and often hateful, venomous rhetoric and dog whistling attacks on President Barack Obama have produced that strategy’s uber-candidate, someone who embraces all of it without the niceties — or even intellectual consistencies.

Why Hillary Clinton Could Easily Lose to Donald Trump

Posted March 1st, 2016 at 1:36 pm (UTC-5)
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A strong opponent would leave him in the dust. But Hillary Clinton is not a strong opponent — against Trump, or anyone else.

Trump ‘Foreign Policy’ Unnerves American Allies

Posted February 29th, 2016 at 1:23 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin The battle for the Republican presidential nomination this year has made many Americans squirm as they watch grown men fling potty-mouthed playground insults at each other in lieu of serious discourse.  Overseas, however, concerns are mounting at the prospect of a possible presidency by New York real estate magnate Donald Trump, whose […]