2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, In the World, Uncategorized

Brexit is a Variable More Than an Indicator

June 24, 2016

A bit of an earthquake from the other side of the pond. Britain is out. At least that’s what they voted for. Voters in the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union after 40 plus years of becoming increasingly enmeshed in the pseudo-United States of Europe.

The actual mechanism for leaving will take some time. Once the U.K. triggers Article 50, they have two years to negotiate their exit. They’ll need new trade agreements with the EU. They’ll be able to negotiate new ones on their own with other countries and trading blocks. That sort of thing takes time and often doesn’t go well. So far, the world markets aren’t excited. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, In the World, Uncategorized

Obama Weighs In

June 14, 2016

The current and prospective presidents have all said their thing. Among the things Donald Trump said was that President Obama should resign if he couldn’t bear to refer to radical Islamic terrorism. That was just the beginning. He also used the either he’s stupid or hiding something from us argument. All in a day’s work, and perhaps not even noticed by many, given all the other conversation flying around.

Hillary Clinton said stuff. Sober, thought out stuff. The sort of thing she’s supposed to say, even when not trying to contrast herself with the unprecedented Trump. She spoke about limiting/preventing assault rifle access. She pledged to specifically work to limit the risk of “lone wolf” attackers. Hillary being Hillary. Either presidential or useless depending on point of view. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, In the World, Trump, Uncategorized

The Week of the Dog Whistle is Upon Us

June 12, 2016

Almost fifteen years ago, a terrorist attack temporarily united the country. Today’s will not. It’s hard to imagine a better blueprint for creating strife (possible, but I don’t wish to.) The assailant/perpetrator/murderer/terrorist Omar Mateen used an AR-15 rifle (among other weapons) to kill a minimum of 50 people in a gay club, after calling in to 911 and linking the atrocity to ISIS.

If you think gun control is the paramount issue here, there’s plenty to work with. The killer was using a military assault rifle he legally purchased. The FBI apparently interviewed him in both 2013 and 2014, but he was still able to acquire the weapon. He had a carry license.

If you think this has little or nothing to do with gun control, you’ll point out similar weaponry was used in the Paris attacks and France has very restrictive rules. While Mateen acquired his AR-15 (and other firearm used) legally, there’s always the ability to get a gun another way, whether using a friend, like the San Bernardino terrorists, or whatever methods were used in Paris and Brussels.  Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, In the World, New York, Strategy, Uncategorized

Five Minutes With the Pope

April 16, 2016

Bernie Sanders got his meeting. It was touch and go for a while. Pope Francis was unable to meet with any of the conference attendees on Friday and was leaving today for Greece. It appeared Bernie flew across the Atlantic to give a truncated version of his usual speech to a new audience who can’t vote for him.

Deliverance came in the form of a five minute chat with the pontiff this morning. Now  he can fly home having checked all the boxes on his list. If Bernie falls just short in New York, some will point to this excursion as the culprit. Normally you don’t duck out on campaigning in a must-win state the weekend before the vote. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, In the World, Trump, Uncategorized

NATO is Trump’s Next Winning Issue

March 29, 2016

Love him, hate him, or wind up in the increasingly shrinking middle, you have to concede Donald Trump has driven the conversation on the GOP policy side. As Bernie Sanders has yanked Hillary Clinton to the left, Trump has moved some Republican candidates in his direction and forced all to deal with his issues.

He claims he’s the only reason immigration is an issue. That’s false, but he’s right Cruz is mimicking him when he talks about building a wall and deporting illegals. Interestingly, Trump’s first signature issue is the least popular with Republicans.

In some surveys, more than half of GOP voters are in favor of a path to citizenship for those who are here without invitations and have not committed any crimes (beyond their arrival, or visa overstay.) Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, In the World, State of the Race, Uncategorized

AIPAC, Brussels and Cuba

March 22, 2016

Yesterday, four of the five remaining presidential candidates addressed the AIPAC convention in Washington D.C. Yesterday, President Obama and Fidel Castro’s brother gave a joint press conference in Havana, Cuba.

Today, ISIS-affiliated terrorists set off bombs at the airport and a subway station in Brussels, home of the EU, and a traditional attack point for those seeking to subjugate Western Europe. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 Republicans, In the World, State of the Race, Uncategorized

State of the Race: Saudi Fallout

January 6, 2016

News from the Middle East brings word of 47 executions in Saudi Arabia.  The dead are all Shia Muslims, including a prominent cleric.  The Saudi ruling family and most of the populace are Sunni.

Iranians attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran.  The Saudis broke off diplomatic relations with (majority Shia) Iran.  So far the Obama Administration hasn’t done much.  It’s tempting to say pox on all their houses.  This is why it often seems there’s no hope in the region.

Particularly on the GOP side, national security has vaulted up the list of campaign issues.  Unless this all goes away very quickly and is not a precursor of anything else to follow, things just got a bit more complicated.

Since figuring out an easy solution is almost impossible, let’s focus on how it impacts the domestic presidential campaign.

The candidates are not affected equally: Continue reading