US Opinion and Commentary

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The Day the Next Greatest Generation Was Born

Posted October 19th, 2016 at 2:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Wednesday is more to me than just another useless debate…October 19 represents something much more to my family because it was the day that my husband — and hundreds of other soldiers — parachuted into Afghanistan 15 years ago….This date marks when the next greatest generation was born: the Frontline Generation..

Rigging the Election?

Posted October 18th, 2016 at 4:51 pm (UTC-5)
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Two bedrock principles of United States elections that makes American democracy a model others try to emulate are “one man (person), one vote and the peaceful handover of power.

Donald Trump is sowing seeds of doubt in both by claiming the election is “rigged” during campaign appearances, interviews and on social media.

The last close election in 2000 ended with Al Gore winning the popular vote, but losing the state of Florida when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of George W. Bush in a disputed recount of votes. Gore conceded in the name of national unity.

Trump’s unsubstantiated claims are being called dangerous, undermining and flat out wrong by his opponents and some Republicans. But Trump supporters point to various holes in laws and enforcement of laws that can open the door to voter fraud, and say they will be watching the polls on November 8.

America’s Middle Class Battlelines

Posted October 12th, 2016 at 4:30 pm (UTC-5)
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For most Americans, a middle class life looks like this: Home ownership; a yearly vacation; college for your kids; a secure, debt free retirement.
That’s what’s been spun as the “American Dream.” And, according to the political rhetoric, trying to achieve it is a nightmare.
The Pew Research Center recently reported the share of middle class households have dropped in 9 out of 10 metropolitan areas. Some of that erosion is due to income growth. But more of the drop can be attributed to income declines.
Presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are offering both reasons and remedies for the middle class slippage. But can a manufacturing jobs plan, or an investment or middle class tax cut close the fissures that seem to be splintering American society?

Clinton v. Trump: Foreign Policy & National Security

Posted October 11th, 2016 at 4:29 pm (UTC-5)
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Beyond questions about Donald Trump’s sexually salacious dialogue on an 11-year old videotape; beyond accusations about the role Hillary Clinton may have played regarding her husband’s salacious dalliances, was there any substance to chew on during Sunday’s presidential debate?

Foreign policy and national security issues were touched on ever so slightly, mostly regarding Syria, Islamic State, Russia and Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims coming into the country.

So much of the 2016 presidential campaign has been about what the two candidates have done in their past. Americans have 28 days left to find out more about what Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton propose to do in the future.

The Political Power of Muslim Women in the Time of Trump

Posted October 11th, 2016 at 12:29 pm (UTC-5)
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[T]he Gold Star mother sounded hopeful that if more Muslim women start speaking out it will help dispel negative stereotypes and myths. “We have all type of activities that we participate in, why not in politics now?,”

Trump Doubles Down on His Bromance with Putin

Posted October 10th, 2016 at 3:40 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin Throughout a long and dispiriting campaign, Donald Trump has been consistent on at least one topic: his admiration for Vladimir Putin and unwillingness to blame Russia for provocative and aggressive actions against the United States and others. During Sunday’s second debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump continued to try to minimize or deny […]

Why Does the Vice Presidential Debate Matter?

Posted October 4th, 2016 at 4:16 pm (UTC-5)
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Attack and parry — that’s what most experts expect in the vice presidential debate between Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine.

The duo have multiple responsibilities as they face off: vigorously exploit their opponents’ vulnerabilities on policy and character; deftly defend their presidential candidate from those attacks; and demonstrate that they are suitably qualified to become president if the circumstances demand.

That last responsibility may be the best reason to watch the debate. At age 70, Donald Trump would be the oldest person elected president. The 68-year old Hillary Clinton would be the second oldest, if elected. What we know about their medical histories is limited to what they want us to know.

As well, the debate may give us a glimpse into the possible political futures of Kaine, a U.S. senator from Virginia and Pence, the governor of Indiana.

If nothing else, we will see how they do for 90 minutes in the spotlight before they fade back into the shadows of the campaign.

Round One Clinton vs. Trump: Who Won?

Posted September 27th, 2016 at 5:26 pm (UTC-5)
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Unlike most sporting events, where the scoreboard tells you who won and lost (or whether it’s a draw), winners and losers of political debates rest more in the eyes of the beholder.
Polls taken after Monday’s first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump seem to vary depending on the poll’s methodology. A collegiate debate coach used pure debating terms to grade the event in favor of Clinton. And renowned pollster Frank Luntz measured a focus group of undecided voters through the entire debate. Their consensus: Clinton won, although they are still unsatisfied with their choices in this election.
There’s a wide range of perspectives from America’s political pundits.

First Presidential Debate Ignores Syria

Posted September 27th, 2016 at 2:37 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin Assuming Donald Trump agrees to show up for the next two presidential debates after his uneven performance on Monday, moderators should raise an urgent issue neglected in his first encounter with Hillary Clinton. As the two candidates exchanged barbs about trade, the economy, crime, Trump’s alleged business acumen and treatment of women, […]

Previewing Trump v. Clinton Debate One

Posted September 26th, 2016 at 4:34 pm (UTC-5)
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After months on the campaign trail, making their cases on why they should be president — and why the other should not — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump appear on the same stage for the first of three scheduled presidential debates.
Monday’s 90-minute question and answer session comes 43 days before Election Day, and at a time when the polls show a near-even race, with Clinton holding a two percentage point lead in the Real Clear Politics poll average
The three overarching themes for the debate — America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity and Securing America — should highlight the deep policy disagreements between the two candidates.

Clinton v. Trump – The Electorate

Posted September 19th, 2016 at 4:55 pm (UTC-5)
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One week from today, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will face-off in the first of three presidential debates. It will be the next data point for millions of Americans who are trying to decide which way to vote in one of the most contentious presidential elections ever.
The political divisiveness in the U.S. is reflected in many places: the immigration debate, the “Occupy” movement, Black Lives Matter, gun rights vs. gun control, a media that has splintered into philosophical orbits.
Now, it has produced candidates from the two major parties who are historically disliked, leaving many voters deciding who to vote against rather than who to vote for. And its
How did this happen?

Ukraine, 25 Years From Now

Posted September 15th, 2016 at 11:10 am (UTC-5)
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Russia’s false narrative of the history and destiny of the eastern Slavs as one in which all others must resign themselves to living under Muscovite hegemony must be constantly challenged and rebutted, especially in the West.

Full Disclosure on Candidates Health

Posted September 13th, 2016 at 10:38 am (UTC-5)
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[B]oth major party candidates…are past the nation’s customary retirement age. And while submitting health records is not a requirement for the job, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would be doing American voters a great service by furnishing a much clearer picture of their physical health than the abbreviated and sunny reports provided so far.

The U.S. Election Through European Eyes

Posted September 9th, 2016 at 3:59 pm (UTC-5)
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Seen through the eyes of a European, it has been more than interesting. It has been, in turn, riveting, appalling, and at times frightening. Assumptions we have long taken for granted, assumptions central to the foundations of the U.S.-European alliance, have suddenly become open for discussion.

A Debate Preview for Clinton & Trump

Posted September 9th, 2016 at 3:55 pm (UTC-5)
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American voters got a preview of the presidential debates this week.
During Wednesday’s “Commander-in-Chief” forum, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump appeared separately for 30 minutes each, taking questions about military, national security and veterans issues that the next “commander-in-chief” will face.
Clinton was grilled about her handling of email and her 2002 vote supporting the Iraq War. Trump was asked about his plans to defeat ISIS and his admiration for Vladimir Putin.
If the reaction by political pundits are any gauge, style will be as important as substance in determining who won the debates.