Friday, August 21, 2015

Death Penalty Ruling May Pave Way for National Abolitionists

ABC News -- PAT EATON-ROBB Associated Press

Connecticut Court Strikes Down State Death Penalty

A sweeping decision this week by the Connecticut Supreme Court that found the death penalty no longer meets society's evolving standards of decency could be influential across a nation that is increasingly questioning the practice, legal experts said.

What the pundits miss about Donald Trump

Most of the media have recognized that those who are being supported in the Republican primary polls are outsiders, such as Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina. This is understandable, when Congress has an approval rating of much less than 20%.

What is not generally recognized is that almost all of Trump’s policies whether on immigration or the Middle East are someway tied into improving the economy and increasing jobs. This is also the major concern of the voters in the presidential election.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

North Korea

WP -- Blaine Harden -- Can we believe all the horrors described by North Korean escapees?

“Perhaps the greatest value of these new memoirs is to show the nuttiness of life under a family dictatorship that survives by spying upon, terrorizing and imprisoning its 24.9 million people, many of whom are chronically malnourished.”

Yahoo News -- North Korea threatens imminent strikes against South, warns US

“North Korea on Saturday threatened South Korea with "indiscriminate" military strikes unless it halts cross-border propaganda broadcasts, and issued fresh nuclear weapons warnings against the United States.”

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Donald Trump has published his immigration policy

Donald Trump has published a white paper outlining his immigration policy.

It can be viewed or downloaded here.

This is one of the more aggressive policies to on issues related to immigration and it will surely be a center of discussions in the primary election campaigns and debates.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

John Kasich

A lot of attention has been paid to the remarkable success of Donald Trump in the polling for the Republican primary election. I think that the best explanation for this success is to simply look at not only the approval rating of the policies of President Obama with the Republican primary voters, but also the dismal approval rating of the Congress, which is often in single digits, with all of the voters.

I think that the ability of Gov.john Kasich to make it into the top 10 in the polls for the 1st debate, however, should also be receiving more attention. I think that Gov. Kasich will climb in the polls and do well in the initial primaries the better he and his policy positions are known. His experience and the success of his record both in Congress and as Governor of Ohio can match or exceed that of all of the other contenders. He general approach of pragmatism and a goal of just making things better and going in the right direction should resonate with a lot of the electorate and especially with the independent voters and even some Democrats. This is true at least in Ohio. The demographics also indicate that the Republicans cannot win the national presidential election without winning both Florida and Ohio. I would predict that Governor Kasich will be one of the last ones standing in the Republican primary elections and that he will be on the Republican ticket for 2016.

Turkey and the Kurds

Spiegel Online- By Maximilian Popp and Christoph Reuter
Erdogan's Cynical Game: Is Turkey Creeping Toward Civil War?

“Turkish President Erdogan claims to be battling the terrorist Islamic State, but in reality he is mainly fighting against the Kurdish PKK militia. By doing so, he has shown that he is willing to derail the peace process in his country for the sake of clinging to power.”

“But Erdogan's true intentions quickly became clear. He wanted to use the opportunity to fight what he and the other hardliners in his party felt was the greater evil: the PKK. This has created an absurd situation in which Turkey is now striking at both IS and its most effective and toughest opponents.”

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Why Is Obama Going After the Kurds?

Real Clear Politics -- By Caroline Glick Obama Strikes Again

Erdogan has connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. He is sectarian and thus in opposition to the Kurds and Israel. He has aspirations of changing the Constitution to give him more authoritarian power.

“The YPG’s victories similarly enhanced the Kurds’ standing inside Turkey itself. In the June elections to the Turkish parliament, the Kurdish HDP party won 12 percent of the vote nationally, and so blocked Erdogan’s AKP party from winning a parliamentary majority.”

“Without that majority Erdogan’s plan of reforming the constitution to transform Turkey into a presidential republic and secure his dictatorship for the long run has been jeopardized.”

“Then, too, Erdogan has called on AKP lawmakers to begin criminalizing their counterparts from the HDP. Kurdish lawmakers, he urged them, must be stripped of their parliamentary immunity to enable their arrests.”

“As Erdogan apparently sees things, by going to war against the Kurds, he will be able to reestablish the AKP’s parliamentary majority. Within a few weeks, if the AKP fails to form a governing coalition – and it will – then new elections will be held. The nationalists, who abandoned the AKP in June, will return to the party to reward Erdogan for fighting the Kurds.”