TCG Weekly Digest – September 25th, 2015

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Week ending September 25, 2015


Weekly roundup about our democracy and The Common Good community


Polls



Scott Walker out – Rubio gains:  Scott Walker’s decision to abandon the presidential race appears to boost Senator Marco Rubio.  A recent CNN/ORC poll shows Rubio shooting to 4th place at 11%, by inheriting support from some of Walker’s backers in key states.  Ledyard King, USA TODAY [More]


GOP GAME CHANGE – Fiorina has rocketed to No. 2 behind Trump: Trump: 24%, down 8 from early Sept.    Fiorina:  15%, up 12      Carson: 14%, down 5    Rubio:  11%, up 8     Jeb 9% Cruz/Huckabee 6%      Rand 4%       Christie 3%     Kasich 2%      CNN/ORC Poll, page 55    [More]



2016 Presidential Campaign


Donald Trump’s slide in the polls is beginning to look real: A careful look at the average of the latest polls shows both Trump, Carson and Cruz in a downward trend.  Fiorina, Bush and rubio are trending up. Great graphic.  Philip Bump, The Washington Post [More]


Ben Carson said a Muslim shouldn’t be president:  About four in 10 Americans agree with the GOP candidate, a poll showed. Aaron Blake, The Washington Post [More]


RNC fundraising mostly donations under $200 each: Total raised by the end of August: $71.3 million.   Percentage of donations $200 and under  99%.  Average donation- $60. Mike Allen’s POLITICO Playbook [More]



The Economy


Global growth to slow in 2016?: Citigroup Chief Global Economist Willem Buiter (TCG Speaker) says global growth likely to decelerate by the middle of next year and the Fed may wait until Spring of 2016 to raise interest rates. Bloomberg [More]


Big Tech has become too powerful: We’re not creating the new businesses we should be. These giants have to be broken up. Robert B. Reich, New York Times [More]


CEO of Volkswagen resigns amidst scandal: The emissions scandal has wiped nearly $29 billion off its market value this week. With 11 million cars potentially affected, jobs may be in jeopardy and the company could be permanently damaged.  Kayleena Makortoff, Catherine Boyle and Philip Tutt, CNBC [More]


China’s banking system downgraded by S&P:  Growing bad debt and problems in the real-estate sector contributed to the ratings firm downgrading China’s banks. Mark Magnier, Wall Street Journal [More]



Foreign Relations and National Security



Obama and China’s Xi agree on cyber spying and climate change: “The two leaders agreed neither government would conduct economic espionage in cyberspace and outlined new steps to deliver on pledges to slash their nations’ greenhouse gas emissions.” Matt Spetalnick and Michael Martina, Reuters [More]

Defiant Putin is heading to the U.N.: “Russian President Vladimir Putin will storm into New York on Monday seeking to prove that he will not be isolated at his first appearance at the United Nations General Assembly in a decade. The sudden deployment to Syria of Russian warplanes and battle tanks has upended the West’s calculus of freezing out Russia and helped prompt a head-to-head meeting between Putin and Obama on Monday in New York that was unthinkable just weeks ago…In Moscow, Russian officials have declared that Russia’s call for a coalition against the Islamic State is gaining traction in the West.” Andrew Roth, Washington Post [More]

Russia leveraged its growing military presence in Syria, to start military-to-military talks with the U.S.: “But (Russia’s) deployment of air defense systems and fighter aircraft — weapons that can be used against a conventionally armed foe but that have little utility against extremist fighters — has spurred concerns that Moscow’s goal is also to establish a military outpost in the Middle East. …At the same time, the U.S. military admitted embarrassing failures in the effort to train Syrian rebels and was embroiled in an investigation into possible manipulation of intelligence reports to paint a false picture of progress against the Islamic State.” Michael Gordon and Eric Schmitt, New York Times [More]

Cap on refugees to be raised to 100,000 in 2017: Under the plan, the limit on visas for refugees would be increased to 85,000 in fiscal year 2016 from 70,000 now, Secretary of State John Kerry (TCG Speaker) said.  Syrians would be among the beneficiaries. Michael R. Gordon, New York Times [More]


Graph depiction of tragedy in Syria: More than 200,000 people have been killed in the four-and-a-half-year Syrian civil war. An arresting illustration shows where and how they died. Karen Yourish, K.K. Rebecca Lai and Derek Watkins, New York Times [More]


Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records.  Joseph Goldstein, New York Times [More]



Domestic Affairs


Boehner calling it quits: “House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), faced with a constant conservative rebellion, told Republicans Friday morning that he will resign at the end of October…The likely successor is House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the No. 2 GOP leader who has been in office less than 10 years, who has wide support in the Republican Conference but who many believe lacks the political and tactical gravitas to be a force in the House.” Mike De Bois and Paul Kane, The Washington Post [More]


DC/NY in thrall over papal visit: Pope addresses Congress in historic speech and appears at the UN:  Pope Francis challenged America to embrace “the common good”. He asked the U.S. to accept millions of undocumented immigrants, join the fight against global climate change and poverty and push back against extremism. At the UN Pope Francis emphasized the need for a fairer world economy, the abolition of the death penalty, the protection of ethnic and religious minorities, the outlawing of the global “blood” trade in arms, and the protection of the family in a speech sure to please liberals.” Stephen Collinson and Daniel Burke, CNN [More]


Ahmed Mohamed, an inventive Muslim high school student from Texas, shot into international fame after he was handcuffed when his homemade clock set off bomb fears. Mr. Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, M.I.T., Twitter and even Stephen Colbert reached out to him. “Dude, I’m still trending,” the amazed 14-year-old told a reporter. Mandy Fernandez and Christine Hauser, New York Times [More]


The black family in the age of mass incarceration: “American politicians are now eager to disown a failed criminal-justice system that’s left the U.S. with the largest incarcerated population in the world. But they’ve failed to reckon with history. Fifty years after Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report ‘The Negro Family’ tragically helped create this system, it’s time to reclaim his original intent.” Ta-Nehisi Coates, the Atlantic [More]



More from the TCG Community


Jeffrey Sachs: Making drug more affordable and accessible: “Corporate lobbyists and their friends in the media spout free-market platitudes about why the sky-high prices are necessary to promote innovation. It’s time for a serious understanding of the policy issues.” Jeffrey Sachs, The Huffington Post [More]


Books


Review: “Unfinished Business” by Anne-Marie Slaughter: “Aware that many people found the “having it all” mantra offensive because of its unrealistic, selfish connotations, Slaughter now regrets that it was the title of her piece, even though she recognizes that it “undoubtedly sold more magazines.” She was also attacked for being a plutocrat feminist, concerned only with the high-class problems of affluent women. She has taken pains in her book to be more inclusive of service-economy and lower-skilled workers, though “Unfinished Business” still mainly speaks to the highly educated and affluent.” Jill Abramson (TCG Speaker), The Washington Post [More]


Review: “Kissinger: 1923-1968: The Idealist” by Niall Ferguson:  Ferguson’s book deal with the years of Henry Kissinger’s rise to power. “Ferguson is particularly convincing in arguing against the popular view that Kissinger  (TCG Speaker) is the ultimate pragmatic realist, a polar opposite to those whose ideals shape and infuse their actions.” Chris Patten, Financial Times [More]


Archive of Past Digests


TCG Weekly Digest – September 18th, 2015


TCG Weekly Digest – September 11th, 2015


TCG Weekly Digest – September 4th, 2015


TCG Weekly Digest – August 28th, 2015


TCG Weekly Digest – August 21st, 2015


TCG Weekly Digest – August 15th, 2015


TCG Weekly Digest – August 7th, 2015


TCG Weekly Digest – July 30th, 2015


TCG Weekly Digest – July 24th, 2015