Tag Archives: U.S. Presidential Election

The Challenge of Looking Beyond The Islamic State: Trump’s Foreign Policy Inheritance

21 Dec


Is the Islamic State Worth Destroying?  From a moral standpoint, one can’t help but answer the question in the affirmative.  How can one sit idly by, as the world did when Fascism spread throughout Europe and Southeast Asia?  Then again, none of the major powers really became heavily involved until either a surprise attack befell them, and/or their treaty obligations with another major power required them to act.  Even then, the British merely sent an Expeditionary Force and the U.S. steered clear of major combat operations in Europe, until the enemy’s weaknesses could be favorably exploited.  Nonetheless, acting against modern-day fascists is a worthy cause.  And fascism is precisely the term to describe the so-called Islamic State and their ilk.

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Russian Hacking Accusations Sours Russia-US Relations

20 Oct

Russian Hacking Accusations Sours Russia-US Relations

In the age of cloud computing for everything from picture storage to banking, cyber security is one of the most important security issues on the international stage. The recent hacking allegations against Russia, not to mention the internet being used as a recruitment tool for ISIS terrorist cells, points to a new kind of war.
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Deep red state split over latest Trump allegations

19 Oct

Deep red state split over latest Trump allegations

Donald Trump continues to be barraged by ghosts and skeletons from his past. Happy Halloween, Mr. Trump. The truth of the allegations appears to be in the eye of the beholder. Dems love it. Reps think it’s nonsense … and so the wheel continues to spin along a fairly normal axis, even in this unusual year. Continue reading

GOP legislators fearing Hispanic blowback

7 Sep

150806123730-donald-trump-campaign-store-780x439GOP legislators fearing Hispanic blowback

One of the unspoken whispers fluttering back and forth in the back halls and byways of the GOP machine this election cycle is what will happen to the down-ticket vote. Republicans have been gaining with Hispanics in national polls in recent years, but Trump remains a polarizing figure in that voting bloc. Case in point: a top seller in South Texas? Donald Trump piñatas.

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Trump & Clinton Trade Blows in First Salvo of November Election

6 Jun

Clinton vs trump

He’s been teasing it for months now, through the tough primary contest, and now Donald Trump has begun to unleash on Hillary Clinton. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is hitting back. Continue reading

Public Opinion Analysis: Being a Committed Leftist is Linked to Disdain for Israel

3 Jun Wide gap between Clinton & Sanders supporters in their views of Israel chart

Over the past couple of years, I have been quietly building on a theory that what really causes the American Left, and perhaps their foreign ideological brethren, to favor the Palestinians over Israel is actually rather simple to understand.  The Left thrives on, and is obsessed with creating new categories of underdogs[1] (the poor, minorities, or anyone whose reduced power position is assumed to render them ‘oppressed’).  This usually requires a narrative fallacy, such as unarmed black males are unjustifiably killed by armed white police officers (“Black Lives Matter”), or that the Palestinians are the perpetual victims of the State of Israel (the BDS crowd).  The thing about narrative fallacies is that they can be rather attractive, particularly for people with a penchant for intellectual laziness.  Populist rhetoric seems to pay dividends for politicians, but there seems to be some limit to its policy effects. Continue reading

Holiday Inn Gets a Surprise Bump from Trump

13 May

Holiday Inn Gets a Surprise Bump from Trump

When presidential candidate Donald Trump tweeted his experience at a Holiday Inn Express, the missive set off a self-sustaining feedback loop that both lauded and lampooned the brand in question – both Trump and Holiday Inn.

On the surface, an “attaboy” from a hotel mogul is a strong endorsement for a hotel chain. They offered good service, Trump, and his entourage appreciated it … end of story, right? Chalk it up as a win.

Not so fast…

In the context, it’s tough to forget the constant commercials from Holiday Inn Express in which unqualified people unfamiliar with a certain job are suddenly able to do things like perform surgery or stop a nuclear cataclysm because they slept at Holiday Inn Express.

And, of course, political newcomer Trump wants to occupy the top political position on the planet…with exactly zero experience. You can see where this is going. And it got ugly fast.

Soon there was a cacophony of voices slamming Trump in various creative and some not so creative ways. Par for the course these days on social media, really … it’s what came of all that arguing that gave both sides some meat on the bone they keep chewing.

By the end of the night, not only was Holiday Inn Express trending on Twitter, but someone had unearthed another story about Trump many people have never heard before.

Trump has a connection with Holiday Inn that, according to his book “Art of the Deal” goes back decades. Back then, he was trying to get the Holiday Inn folks to invest in one of his casino projects, but construction fell behind. So Trump told his construction manager to bring in some heavy equipment and “look busy” … didn’t matter what they were doing as long as they were moving dirt. The ruse worked, and Holiday Inn invested in the deal. Trump supporters said, “well done, Donald, you got the deal and built something good.” But others took a more negative direction with their commentary.

Regardless of which side viewers took, the exchange gave them concrete history on which to base their position. On one side you have the folks who celebrate Trump’s ability to get the job done and get the deal made. On the other you have those who say it’s another example of how his campaign is all about smoke and mirrors.

David Firester is an intelligence analysis expert in New York.

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