US Opinion and Commentary

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Donald Trump: Pro & Con

Posted November 4th, 2016 at 3:38 pm (UTC-5)
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Donald Trump and his supporters say he is the only candidate able to change a broken political system in Washington and make it work for the American people.

He promises to cut taxes across the board; renegotiate trade deals to make them more favorable for the United States; create 25-million new jobs over the next 10 years; and grow the U.S. economy by an average of 3.5 percent per year.

Trump vows to abolish Obamacare and replace it with health savings accounts; increase the size of the U.S. military; end the strategy of nation-building and regime change and militarily crush the Islamic State.

And then there’s the “impenetrable” wall along the U.S. southern border Trump says he will build, and make Mexico pay for it to stem the tide of illegal immigration.

Critics say Trump is a narcissistic, misogynist demagogue whose admiration of Vladimir Putin is disquieting, if not disqualifying.

With fewer than 100 hours to go before polls open on Tuesday, can Donald Trump pull off one of the most improbable victories in American political history?

You’re Probably Tired of the Presidential Race, but Long Campaigns Are a Good Thing

Posted November 2nd, 2016 at 3:04 pm (UTC-5)
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This year’s nominees, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, have been making national headlines for decades — but there was plenty of new information voters needed to learn about them, too.

Voting Rights vs Voter Fraud

Posted November 2nd, 2016 at 2:53 pm (UTC-5)
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Donald Trump’s claims of a rigged election has put a spotlight on the intricacies of the process of voting in the United States.

There is no centralized governance of American elections, except the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which enforces the 15th Amendment, affirming the right to vote no matter “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” And the 26th Amendment sets 18 as the minimum voting age.

Otherwise, it’s left up to individual states to establish its own rules for such things as registering to vote, methods of voting, and challenging voter credentials.

Republicans and Democrats will have official poll watchers deployed across the country to look for voting irregularities. But Trump has urged supporters to do so on their own to ensure the election “is not stolen” from him. Democrats are concerned that will cause voter harassment and suppression.

The rhetoric about rigging the election and suppressing the vote is adding stress to an already emotionally-chargbed campaign.

Rise of the Bullies: Trump, Erdogan and Putin

Posted November 1st, 2016 at 4:35 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin In these nail-biting days until U.S. presidential elections next week, it is easy to fall into despair about the state of American democracy. Following disclosure that the FBI is taking a renewed look at emails possibly connected to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s private server, polls have narrowed, suggesting a still-plausible path to victory […]

Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump & the Gender Gap

Posted November 1st, 2016 at 4:02 pm (UTC-5)
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Once Hillary Clinton announced her intention to seek the Democratic presidential nomination, gender was going to be a central issue in the 2016 presidential campaign. During the primaries, one story line was why is Clinton losing the women’s vote to Bernie Sanders, especially young women. Once the match-up with Donald Trump was set, the gender gap became […]

Another Trove of Hillary Clinton Emails

Posted October 31st, 2016 at 3:16 pm (UTC-5)
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Hillary Clinton’s email issues will apparently haunt her well beyond Election Day. FBI Director James Comey told Congress Friday that new emails have surfaced that need investigating. It’s unlikely the investigation will be completed by next Tuesday.

The emails in question were on a computer owned by disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin. They surfaced during an investigation of Weiner sending explicit messages to a 15-year old girl.

In July, Comey publicly recommended closing the probe of Clinton’s use of a private email server while Secretary of State, without bringing charges. At the time, he said Clinton and her aides were “extremely careless” handling classified information, but no prosecutor would recommend charging her.

Now, the FBI director is accused of violating Justice Department policy and precedent by commenting on an investigation, especially a politically-charged one so close to the election.

And Clinton has eight days to conduct whatever damage control she can before most Americans cast their vote for president.

Irreverent Political Art Is a Sign of the U.S.’s Health

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 10:36 am (UTC-5)
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The U.S. is better than this race, many people I’ve met in my travels have told me, and I agree with them. One reason is Americans’ anarchic, irreverent creativity, which rises up to fight the indignities of a political process gone badly wrong.

Two More Weeks

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 4:42 pm (UTC-5)
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14 days and counting before most Americans vote in the 2016 presidential election. While most polls have Hillary Clinton ahead of Donald Trump, predictability is among the casualties in this election.

And there is still time for events to make an impact. Such as Monday’s word that Obamacare premiums will rise by an average of 25 percent. Republicans jumped on the news with a chorus of “I told you so.” Trump promised to replace Obamacare “with something much less expensive.”

Clinton is spending the campaign’s final two weeks encouraging supporters to get to the polls, and if possible, cast their ballots early as a way to rebut Trump’s assertions that the election is rigged.

Listen for familiar story lines from both candidates as they make their closing arguments for votes. Trump and Clinton will concentrate their efforts on handful of competitive states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada and Iowa. Traditionally Republican Texas, Georgia and Arizona are now considered toss-up states, opening the electoral map for Clinton and the possibility of a third party candidate picking up momentum.

Will Clinton Resist Her Inner Hawk?

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 3:14 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin The Washington foreign policy establishment is salivating at the thought of a Hillary Clinton presidency, which promises to be more interventionist than Barack Obama’s administration and more open to elite views than a Donald Trump White House would be. Think tanks are churning out papers on a variety of topics and pushing them […]

WikiLeaks Is Exposing Clinton’s Duplicity, but It’s No Hero

Posted October 24th, 2016 at 3:14 pm (UTC-5)
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These conservatives seem to have forgotten that before Assange was revealing Clinton campaign emails, he was serially leaking stolen, classified national security information that has endangered the United States and its allies across the world.

For Clinton, Practice Makes Perfect on the Debate Stage

Posted October 24th, 2016 at 10:05 am (UTC-5)
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Clinton knew firsthand the value of practice and sacrificed time away from the campaign trail and donor circuit to ensure the most optimal performance.

How The Once Pro-Women GOP Ended Up The Party Of Trump

Posted October 21st, 2016 at 4:05 pm (UTC-5)
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In the 1920s, it was Republicans who first took the amendment to Congress, and, two decades later, made it an official part of the party’s platform — beating out Democrats, who would follow suit.

Nice People Really Do Have More Fun

Posted October 21st, 2016 at 9:28 am (UTC-5)
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From this year’s ghastly presidential race, to the reality entertainment that spawned it, to the open sewer backing up from your Twitter feed, it looks like the worst behavior is being publicly rewarded, doesn’t it?…Wrong. Nice people, rejoice…

After the Debates

Posted October 20th, 2016 at 4:47 pm (UTC-5)
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Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump a “puppet” of Vladimir Putin. Trump said Putin has “outsmarted” Clinton “every step of the way.” She said Trump “choked” when he didn’t tell Mexico’s president that his country will pay for the wall. He suggested the recently launched offensive in Mosul was timed to advantage Clinton.

Trump called for a repeal of Obamacare. Clinton said payroll taxes will rise for the wealthy to replenish Social Security. Trump refused to say whether or not he will accept the outcome of the election. She called that “horrifying.”

In between, the third presidential debate in Las Vegas was peppered with the candidates positions on gun rights, abortion, immigration and growing the economy.

How will what we have heard from Trump and Clinton impact the election on November 8, and afterwards?

Trump v. Clinton: Round 3 in Vegas

Posted October 19th, 2016 at 2:33 pm (UTC-5)
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Las Vegas has been home to some of boxing’s most famous prize fights. It makes all the sense then that the final Clinton-Trump debate should take place there.

Since the previous debate, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have more to answer for: emails WikiLeaks says was hacked from Clinton’s campaign chairman that include potentially embarrassing conversations about political strategy and texts of Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street bankers; and sexual assault accusations against Donald Trump by 10 women who came forward after Trump said his 2005 video recorded Access Hollywood conversation was just words, not actions.

Sitting ringside in Trump’s corner will be mother of a NAVY Seal stationed at the Benghazi embassy, who blames Clinton for her son’s death. President Obama’s Kenyan half-brother, Malik, will also be there at Trump’s invitation. Clinton invited a pair of titans of business, Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman and NBA team owner Mark Cuban, both vocal critics of Trump.

The two candidates come into this debate bloodied, but unbowed. This is their final chance to land a knockout blow.