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Old 12th August 2015, 02:27
stepanstas stepanstas is offline
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USA Presidential Elections

During the first Republican presidential debate, Ukraine was apparently a non-issue. The topic was not directly brought up by moderators. I will give credit to two candidates who brought Ukraine up on their own.

Carson specifically mentions Ukraine giving up it's nuclear arms for a promise of protection.
Watch at 6:43 using this link: https://youtu.be/PxXNfAOfeFU?t=6m43s

The other candidate was Walker. He says he would arm Ukraine
Watch at 6:02 using this link: https://youtu.be/m538cJn5DJ4?t=6m2s

Some candidates, we still don't know what the would, or would not do.
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Old 13th August 2015, 00:32
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John Kasich: The US Should Be Providing Aid to Ukraine
Kate Scanlon THE DAILY SIGNAL August 12, 2015

DERRY, N.H.— During a campaign stop at a town hall in New Hampshire today, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said the United States should be aiding Ukraine against Russian aggression.

“For the life of me, I cannot understand why we are not giving the Ukrainians [the ability] to defend themselves against Putin and the Russians,” Kasich said.

He explained that the Ukrainians should get the help they deserve.

“They’ve been through hell over the course of their existence, and we’ve got to let them fight for themselves.”

Kasich, a Republican running for president, called for a balanced federal budget, strengthening the military, reducing taxes and “fiscal sanity.”

He also called for the end of “sanctuary cities” for immigrants in the country illegally, but said “folks” who are already in the country and are “law-abiding” should be able to pay a fine and stay.

Kasich said we should “wipe out ISIS once and for all.”

He believes foreign aid, applied correctly, “can help us win the battle of ideas,” and preserve America’s leadership role in the world.
John Kasich: The US Should Be Providing Aid to Ukraine
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Old 13th September 2015, 03:56
stepanstas stepanstas is offline
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Looks like Trump is on our side now. I was concerned about his earlier remarks about being respected by Putin.

Trump Ukraine Speech: Republican frontrunner billionaire sounds off about Russian aggression

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Old 17th September 2015, 21:33
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Lexington - Regicidal Republicans - The party faithful are keen to decapitate politicians with experience of politics
Sept 19th 2015 THE ECONOMIST

THIS is a humbling election season for folk who think they understand American politics. A rather hangdog mood duly hung in the air at the second Republican presidential debate on September 16th, hosted by the Reagan Library in southern California. The assembled strategists, spin doctors and journalists watched the field of 15 candidates variously flub their lines or deliver zingers and, as is conventional on these occasions, tentatively drew up rankings of winners and losers.

By conventional rules, the season’s shock front-runner, Donald Trump, had an iffy night. After months of climbing in the polls with a mixture of boasting, bigotry and abuse for rivals—a style The Donald referred to on debate night as “braggadocious”—he was floored by a withering put-down from Carly Fiorina, a former technology chief executive whose looks he had earlier slighted. Ms Fiorina, who used to run Hewlett-Packard, a computer firm, swatted aside Mr Trump’s claims that he had not meant to insult her with a brisk: “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr Trump said.” The billionaire property tycoon blushed a crimson red, and stammered that he thought Ms Fiorina “beautiful.”

Jeb Bush, a former governor of Florida who was once expected to be dominating the contest by this point in the cycle, also had a so-so evening. Mr Bush landed a couple of blows, but could not shake his habit of lapsing into wonkish jargon. A low point came during a long and emotional discussion of abortion, when Mr Bush (a devout Catholic) vowed to cut federal funding for abortion providers by restoring a Reagan-era legal interpretation of a budget line he named as “Title X of the HHS funding”. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida had a good night, countering Mr Trump’s nasty nativism with a touching tribute to an immigrant grandfather who spoke Spanish, and used that language to teach the young Marco to love America.

For the professional pundit crowd in the spin room and press tent where Lexington spent the evening, it was harder to reach a clear verdict about Ben Carson, a retired paediatric neurosurgeon and stern Christian conservative, who is in second place in many polls after closing fast on Mr Trump. Mr Carson’s style is low-key to the point of near-somnolence. He was anything but impressive when it came to explaining his plans for a flat tax (“It’s all about America,” he mumbled drowsily, before attacking progressive tax rates as “socialism”).

The problem for pundits is that opinion polls have proved conventional judgments wrong again and again this season, as Republican primary voters flocked to candidates whose merits are hard to identify. For several months, the key to the mystery seemed to lie in anger. Voters are angrier than ever before with Washington and the political class, it could be stated with confidence. According to this theory Republican voters in 2016 are a bit like the Tea Party in 2009 and 2010. They loathe Barack Obama and the Democrats with a passion and despise Republicans in Congress for failing to thwart him, despite controlling both the House of Representatives and the Senate. That rage is joined by seething suspicion of any promises made by politicians.

Off with their heads

There is some evidence for this theory. Polls show majorities of Republicans scorning political experience and saying they want an outsider to shake up Washington. Governors and senators and other grandees who thought they had worked out how to woo conservatives, by stressing their records of unyielding right-wing purity, found their years in office being held against them (while the same angry voters seemed willing to forgive Mr Trump any number of breaks with conservative orthodoxy, from his past donations to Democrats to his calls to whack hedge-fund bosses with higher taxes). So low-trust is the mood among Republican voters that several White House hopefuls, in an effort to pander to them, spent more time attacking each other than denouncing the Democrats. Standing at a podium in front of the gleaming airliner used by Ronald Reagan as Air Force One, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana cast caution to the wind, ignored Reagan’s “11th commandment” about never speaking ill of fellow-Republicans and declared: “I am angrier at the Republicans in DC than I am at the president.” Given the current mood coursing through his party, the remark made sense.

But even this theory needs revising. For while Republican voters are exceedingly angry and mistrustful, their lynch-mob rage is selective. Mr Carson could hardly be less fiery (though he primly disapproves of many things), yet he is surging. And the same conservative activists who disbelieve the establishment on all fronts are startlingly willing to give outsider candidates like Mr Trump, Mr Carson or Ms Fiorina, the benefit of the doubt. So highly trusting are rank-and-file Republicans that—to the despair of pundits and fact-checkers—they shrug when Mr Trump refuses to provide any details about how he would handle foreign affairs, breezing that once he is president: “I will know more about the problems of this world”. Nor do they seem fussed to be told that Ms Fiorina’s time as a CEO was marked by massive job losses, after a bungled merger. A fourth anti-establishment candidate, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, seems able to tap into this mood of strangely extravagant trust, by playing up his credentials as a serial rebel and critic of party leaders in the Senate.

Republican primary voters are not in a revolutionary mood, then, but a regicidal one. They think their rulers are corrupt, inept and mendacious, if not actually treasonous. But they are at the same time ready to swoon before new rulers promising to fix America in an instant. The key credential required to earn that trust is a lack of experience. Will those outsiders disappoint their followers in their turn, triggering a still deeper loss of public trust? Probably. This is going to be a bumpy year. Regicidal Republicans | The Economist
================================
I was hoping for a better performance from Kasich. He's probably the most sensible among the GOP field, but he lacks a message that can cut through the clamor.

Trump remains the most extreme example of the current zeitgeist. Yesterday his star had faded a bit. If we get serious, he is a bit "too braggadocios", but nonetheless fun to watch, if only for the moment.
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Last edited by Hannia; 18th September 2015 at 15:26.
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Old 19th September 2015, 04:35
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Crazy Talk at the Republican Debate
THE EDITORIAL BOARD NT TIMES SEPT. 17, 2015

Eleven presidential candidates had three prime-time hours on the national stage on Wednesday to tell the American people why they should lead the country.

Nobody forced them to be there. They were there freely, armed with the best arguments they and their policy advisers had come up with, to make their cases as seasoned politicians, business leaders and medical professionals — the Republican Party’s “A-Team,” as one of them, Mike Huckabee, said at the outset.

And that, America, is frightening. Peel back the boasting and insults, the lies and exaggerations common to any presidential campaign. What remains is a collection of assertions so untrue, so bizarre, that they form a vision as surreal as the Ronald Reagan jet looming behind the candidates’ lecterns.

It felt at times as if the speakers were no longer living in a fact-based world where actions have consequences, programs take money and money has to come from somewhere. Where basic laws — like physics and the Constitution — constrain wishes. Where Congress and the public, allies and enemies, markets and militaries don’t just do what you want them to, just because you say they will.

Start with immigration, and the idea that any president could or should engineer the mass expulsion of 11 million unauthorized immigrants. Not one candidate said that a 21st-century trail of tears, deploying railroad cars, federal troops and police dogs on a continental scale, cannot happen and would be morally obscene. Ben Carson said, “If anybody knows how to do that, that I would be willing to listen.” They accepted the need to “control our borders” with a 2,000-mile fence. Even Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, once an immigration moderate, endorsed the fence. Mr. Carson actually suggested two fences, for double security, with a road in between. Do these people have to be sent to the Rio Grande Valley to see how ludicrous a border fence — over mountains, vast deserts, remote valleys and private property — would be? And it won’t solve the problem they are railing against, which doesn’t exist anyway. Illegal immigration has fallen essentially to zero.

On foreign affairs, there was a lot of talk about not talking with bad people. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said his first act would be to tear up the Iran deal, throwing the nuclear race back to the ayatollahs and rupturing global alliances — but making a point! Carly Fiorina said: “What I would do, immediately, is begin rebuilding the Sixth Fleet, I would begin rebuilding the missile defense program in Poland, I would conduct regular, aggressive military exercises in the Baltic States. I’d probably send a few thousand more troops into Germany. Vladimir Putin would get the message.”

We get the message, and it’s scary.

Jeb Bush spun a particularly repellent fantasy. Speaking reverently of his brother the president, he said, “He kept us safe,” and invoked the carnage of 9/11. Wait, what? Did he mean George W. Bush, who was warned about the threat that Al Qaeda would attack? Who then invaded a non sequitur country, Iraq, over a nonexistent threat?

When the A-Team got around to science and health, many of them promised to help Americans by killing the program that gives millions of them medical insurance. One candidate said he felt sure that vaccines had caused an autism “epidemic.” The two doctors on the dais did not seriously challenge that persistent, dangerous myth.

Let loose by the CNN moderators, the candidates spun their visions freely. Despite an abundance of serious issues to talk about, nobody offered solutions to problems like child poverty, police and gun violence, racial segregation, educational gaps, competition in a global economy and crumbling infrastructure. On looming disasters (the changing climate) and more immediate ones (a possible government shutdown over, of all things, Planned Parenthood), the debate offered no reassurance that grown-ups were at the table, or even in the neighborhood.

But we did hear an idea to put Mother Teresa — Mother Teresa, a penniless nun — on our money. Think about that.

“We were discussing disease, we were discussing all sorts of things tonight, many of which will just be words. It will just pass on,” one candidate said, wrapping up. “I don’t want to say politicians, all talk, no action. But a lot of what we talked about is words and it will be forgotten very quickly.”

Which was the smartest thing Donald Trump has said all year, and an outcome America should dearly hope for.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/18/op...an-debate.html
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Old 19th September 2015, 05:01
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America's dysfunctional politics - The prospect of a shutdown looms
Sep 18th 2015, 21:48 by J.A. | WASHINGTON, DC THE ECONOMIST

THE leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination include eight more or less distinguished politicians, such as Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, and two men, Donald Trump and Ben Carson, with no political experience and some odd ideas. Mr Trump wants to deport 11.3m people in two years; Mr Carson thinks being gay is a matter of choice and the Affordable Care Act the “worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery”. Polls suggest these greenhorn screwballs command more than half the Republican vote.

To understand why Americans are so fed up with politicians, it would be reasonable to start with the government shutdown of September 2013, when the failure of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to pass a budget led to about 800,000 federal employees being sent home for 12 days and the mothballing of numerous government programmes and services. This was estimated to have cost the economy $24 billion in lost output; it also hurt the Republicans.

At the time, almost half of Americans said the shutdown had cost them and most blamed the GOP—even if the nation’s disdain for Congress at the time was a lesson in bipartisanship. Only around a quarter of voters, Republican or Democratic, said they were satisfied with their congressional representative.

You might think the Republicans, now in control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, would want to avoid a repeat of that embarrassing, damaging episode. Yet the prospect of another shutdown looms. Lawmakers have only 12 days to pass a fresh budget for the fiscal year beginning on October 1st; or, if they cannot, to sign off on a stopgap agreement, called a “continuing resolution”, which would maintain the current rates of expenditure for three or four months. Their progress is discouraging.

An ambitious budget deal is out of the question. President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress want to increase spending on welfare, education and environmental protection; Republicans want to slash those budgets and hike defence spending. There is little appetite for compromise on either side. So far, so normal: Congress has not completed the full budget process, which involves passing a dozen separate appropriations bills, since 1994. More startling is a growing risk that opposition from conservative Republicans could block the anticipated compromise.

The main obstacle is a row over the half a billion dollars a year an organization called Planned Parenthood, which carries out abortions, draws from federal and state coffers. The group has been accused by anti-abortion activists of profiting from the sale of foetus parts. It denies the allegation. It also protests that it spends its government money on cancer screenings, treating syphilis and other services—the abortions are funded separately.

No matter: around 40 conservative lawmakers in the so-called Freedom Caucus (as well as Ted Cruz, a senator from Texas whose narcissistic showboating was chiefly to blame for the 2013 shutdown and who is now seeking his party’s presidential nomination) have sworn to “defund” Planned Parenthood. Yet if the House seeks to do so in a budget agreement, this would probably be shot down in the senate, and otherwise vetoed by Mr Obama. The result, yet again, would be the government running out of cash.

Republican leaders in the House are appalled. They do not want to be blamed for that; the Republican speaker John Boehner, a staunch Catholic, may also fear the reputational damage this could do to the pro-life lobby he passionately supports. He has three possible solutions, none of which looks especially tempting.

He assayed the first on September 18th, when the House passed a freestanding bill to defund Planned Parenthood for a year; Republican bosses plainly hope this will convince the Freedom Caucus to back a straightforward continuing resolution. This ploy may not work, however. The new bill is doomed to fail, because the senate will not pass it, and Mr Obama would anyway veto it.

Another option for Mr Boehner would be to circumvent the hard-liners in his own party by instead persuading House Democrats to support the required continuing resolution. They are willing: “We want to be cooperative,” Nancy Pelosi, their leader in the House, said on September 17th. But this would be damaging for a Republican leadership that, having failed to sabotage Mr Obama’s administration as many hardliners want, is already derided by many in its own camp.

A third possibility would be to give the Freedom Caucus the conflict its members want, by simply failing to pass a budget, and thereby allowing the government to be shut down; but only for a day or two, before hurrying through the necessary compromise. For sure, that would be less costly than last time around. It would be shameful nonetheless. America's dysfunctional politics: The prospect of a shutdown looms | The Economist
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Old 19th September 2015, 23:38
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Trump: I was not obligated to correct questioner who called Obama Muslim
THE GUARDIAN Martin Pengelly in New York 19 Sept 2015

Republican frontrunner responds on Twitter amid controversy after he failed to correct audience member’s comment about president at rally

Donald Trump on Saturday commented on his failure to correct an audience member at a campaign rally who said Barack Obama was a Muslim.

On Twitter, the Republican presidential frontrunner said: “Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him? I don’t think so!”

At a campaign event in Rochester, New Hampshire, on Thursday, an audience member said: “We have a problem in this country, it’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one.”

Referring to Trump’s previous support for those who have questioned whether Obama was born in the US, the audience member said: “You know he’s not even American, birth certificate man.”

The audience member then seemed to advocate the forceable removal of Muslims from US soil, saying: “But anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question. When can we get rid of them?”

In response, Trump said: “We are going to be looking at a lot of different things. A lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We’re going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.”

Criticism of Trump’s failure to challenge or contradict the questioner was immediate and widespread.

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner, used Twitter to say: “Donald Trump not denouncing false statements about POTUS & hateful rhetoric about Muslims is disturbing, & just plain wrong. Cut it out.”

During his daily briefing on Friday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest asked: “Is anyone really surprised that this happened at a Donald Trump rally?

“The people who hold these offensive views are part of Mr Trump’s base … It is too bad that he wasn’t able to summon the same kind of patriotism that we saw from Senator [John] McCain, who responded much more effectively and directly when one of his supporters at one of his campaign events seven years ago raised the same kind of false claims.”

In response, a Trump campaign statement said: “The media wants to make this issue about Obama. The bigger issue is that Obama is waging a war against Christians in this country. Christians need support in this country. Their religious liberties are at stake.”

On Saturday, Trump continued his response in a number of tweets.

“This is the first time in my life that I have caused controversy by NOT saying something,” he said. “If someone made a nasty or controversial statement about me to the president, do you really think he would come to my rescue? No chance!

“If I would have challenged the man, the media would have accused me of interfering with that man’s right of free speech. A no win situation!”

After two Republican debates in the long primary contest, Trump maintains a double-digit lead in the 16-strong field. Another outsider candidate, the much more softly spoken retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, is in a clear second place.

In conclusion on Saturday, Trump returned to the theme of US Christians needing protection – an increasingly common line among Republican presidential contenders, particularly regarding the June supreme court decision which made same-sex marriage legal across the country.

“Christians need support in our country (and around the world),” Trump said. “Their religious liberty is at stake!

“Obama has been horrible, I will be great.”Trump: I was not obligated to correct questioner who called Obama Muslim | US news | The Guardian
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