US Opinion and Commentary

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Finally, Voters Speak

Posted February 1st, 2016 at 3:18 pm (UTC-4)
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We’ve heard the speeches, watched the debates, read the polls. Today, the Iowa caucuses take place and the first votes in the 2016 U.S. presidential election are finally cast. Tonight’s exercise in democracy is not tidy, requiring detailed explanation for even the savviest political junkie. But it is the start of a process to determine who will represent the Democrats and Republicans in the race to be President of the United States. The polls show the race in Iowa tightening. But it’s not just about who finishes first. Exceeding expectations can be just as important, creating momentum for next week’s primary contest in New Hampshire.

Debate About the Debate

Posted January 15th, 2016 at 4:14 pm (UTC-4)
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Smackdown. Fight Club. Nasty. Ugly. Surreal.

The stinging words used by pundits to describe for Thursday’s Republican presidential debate hat most observers say shrunk the 11-person field to a likely two-man race between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.Cruz seemed to effectively shut down Trump’s attempt to cast doubt that he is constitutionally qualified to serve as president, because Cruz was born in Canada to American citizens. And by dramatically recounting his 9/11 experience, Trump countered the “New York values” tarring Cruz used to question Trumps conservative credentials. The other four candidates on stage were left to try to claw their way into the fray, cast aside as the two frontrunners slugged it out.

Now, many political observers predict a two or three man race for the Republican nomination.And despite an air of resigned acceptance that Donald Trump may indeed become Republican nominee, it is important to remember this: not a single vote has been cast in the race for the White House.

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.

The G.O.P. at a Crossroads

Posted December 17th, 2015 at 12:54 pm (UTC-4)
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[I]f the race came down to the three men currently leading in the national polls, Republican primary voters would be facing their most ideologically consequential choice since 1980. Unlike many G.O.P. campaigns, in which terms like “establishment” and “populist” are mostly about affect and rhetoric, this time the Republican front-runners offer three very different visions […]

World View: Cruz-Rubio Debate Important

Posted December 17th, 2015 at 10:21 am (UTC-4)
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The Bush Doctrine of regime change (pursued by Obama reluctantly and often in the breach) has failed repeatedly. At this point, it may be impossible to remove Assad for the foreseeable future, something the Obama team is beginning to recognize.

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.

The Republican Obama

Posted October 20th, 2015 at 2:09 pm (UTC-4)
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In many important ways, of course, Marco Rubio is the Republican Obama. Each man is the best communicator in his party. Each has a life story—the son of poor anti-Communist Cuban refugees and the son of a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya—that proves the American dream isn’t dead…

Rubio Wins the Main Event

Posted August 7th, 2015 at 9:51 am (UTC-4)
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Marco Rubio consistently gave strong and substantive answers that at times emphasized the compelling story of his family and at others demonstrated his depth of knowledge on the subject matter discussed…. If the debate had a winner, it was Rubio.

Poor Judgment

Posted June 10th, 2015 at 4:29 pm (UTC-4)
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An attack on Rubio’s personal spending is as likely to help the Florida senator as hurt him. Rubio is a former working-class kid, and his money problems are as much a chance to connect—he understands how hard it is to be broke, or navigate boom and bust times—as they are a burden.

Marco Rubio: A Rags to Riches Republican

Posted June 10th, 2015 at 4:16 pm (UTC-4)
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In the second of our series of the 2016 presidential candidates, we turn to Republican Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants with a quintessential American story. Having worked his way up from humble beginnings, Rubio has risen to become a Florida senator and a serious presidential prospect.

Revisiting the Patriot Act

Posted May 11th, 2015 at 12:06 pm (UTC-4)
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A federal appeals court in New York ruled last week that the National Security Agency’s mass collection of Americans’ phone records is illegal. The key provision of the Patriot Act, Section 215, is set to expire in at the end of May, and Congress must decide whether to end or amend that program.

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