Does Trump’s slashed Foreign Aid Budget give China the Advantage?

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The US foreign aid budget is not mainly about helping the poor.  It is an instrument for buying influence in countries important to the US.  The poorest countries in the world do not get much help from the US. Israel, which is a wealthy country, gets over $3 billion a year, some of it going to Israeli civilians!  Egypt is a relatively poor country, but most US aid to Cairo goes to the Egyptian military.  In fact, they don’t need or know what to Continue Reading...

Selling Purim to Progressives in the Era of Trump

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It has been my custom to reproduce this “Selling Purim to Progressives” post occasionally on Purim.  The last time was in 2015, when we were in the midst of the Iran negotiations. Well, since then the world made a deal with Iran.  Trump may say that it's a lousy deal, but he doesn't plan on changing it soon, certainly not to Bibi's liking.  And as for the guy who's running Trump, forget about it; Putin is telling Bibi to move on. That's the Continue Reading...

Russia Scandal Math: How The President Called Trump Can Be Brought Down Hard

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Everything, as they say, is now perfectly clear.  Except what still isn't clear at all.  If you, like many millions of Americans, are praying that the Donald Trump presidency crashes and burns, the clearest path not involving a Caine Mutiny moment in which he gets frog-walked from the Oval Office in a straightjacket as he clutches his smartphone and madly tweets is to follow the scent of the smoking guns in the Russia scandal.  There are several Continue Reading...

The Sadism of Racist Exclusion: Courts Temporarily Block Trump

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Picking on immigrants and refugees is the act of a sadistic bully, since they are the one fairly large group of residents of the United States whose constitutional rights are disputed.  The executive order Trump signed late on Friday suspending entrance to the United States for citizens of seven countries and canceling the US refugee program for four months is probably illegal.  The 1965 immigration law forbids discriminating against immigrants Continue Reading...

Triumphant Trump and American Foreign Policy

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President Barack Obama, in his last official overseas tour to Greece, Germany, and Peru, reassured Europe that there would be continuity in American foreign policy under President-elect Donald Trump.  While Obama tried to convince his interlocutors about continuity in US policy, Trump’s statements during the campaign brought alarm and concern to America’s allies.  Obama himself had called Trump as ‘unqualified’ to be President and a peddler of Continue Reading...

Israel/Palestine: Relegating the One State/Two State Debate to the Dustbin of History

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Following Secretary of State John Kerry's speech on Israel-Palestine, Professor Corey Robin pointed out the following on Facebook: "There's something so surreal about the state of the Israel/Palestine debate in this country.  John Kerry makes a speech today, warning that if we don't act soon, the two-state solution may be in jeopardy.  Liberals swoon: Unprecedented!  Conservatives seethe: Unprecedented!  Meanwhile, on April 18, 2013, John Continue Reading...

Why Trump & his Cabinet’s Jihad against “Political Islam” will Fail

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Several members of Donald Trump’s new team, including National Security Adviser Mike Flynn and proposed Secretary of Defense Mike Mattis have expressed themselves troubled about “political Islam” (or in Flynn’s case, just “Islam”).  Mattis seems to have confused Daesh’s (ISIS, ISIL) idea of a neo-Caliphate (bringing back a medieval papacy-like institution to Islam) with “political Islam” in general.  He wants Americans to ask the question of Continue Reading...

Trump’s First Steps on Israel/Palestine

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Again, the Republican candidate in the U.S. presidential elections lost the popular vote but won the election.  Such is a function of the mechanics of the U.S. flavor of democracy where not every vote matters; only votes in key states matter.  Nevertheless, billionaire Donald Trump is heading to the White House. Continue Reading...