TCG Weekly Digest – September 4th, 2015

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Week ending September 4, 2015


Weekly roundup about our democracy and The Common Good community


Polls



REPUBLICANS: Carson rising. Nationally, Carson polling 2nd with GOP voters.


#1  Trump  27.2%;  #2  Carson  13.2%  (Real Clear Politics average) [More])


 Carson beats Trump head-to-head match ups.  Carson 55%, Donald Trump 36%


Trump beats all other GOPers by double digit margins, except Ted Cruz.


(Monmouth University poll of Republican voters) [More]


 DEMOCRATS: Iowa Poll: Sanders moves closer on Clinton’s lead:


Clinton 37%; Sanders 30%; Biden 14%; O’Malley 3%; Webb 2%; Chafee 1%


(Des Moines Register & Bloomberg Politics poll) [More]



2016 Presidential Campaigns


Hillary Clinton – Too much on defense?: “She is still the prohibitive favorite to get the nomination, but we have yet to see if she can play offense. Campaigns do have to have some creative romance to them, an uplifting mood if not a new agenda. So far Clinton has not creatively defined a new field in front of the country. Instead, she’s left a void others are filling.” David Brooks, New York Times [More]


Trump has weakened his own standing with the pledge: “First, it shatters the independent image that is the key to Trump’s appeal, the idea that he isn’t beholden to anyone or anything, and will make a “great” president precisely because of this.  Second, rather than quiet the attacks against him, this gives the GOP license to amplify them tremendously without fear of repercussion down the road.” Joshua Green, Bloomberg Politics [More]


Biden still unsure: Biden maintained that political considerations like raising money and putting together an organization were not a factor….‘The factor is, can I do it…’ he said. ‘The honest to God answer is I just don’t know.’” Zeke J. Miller, TIME [More]


Former Clinton aide who helped set up her email server, Bryan Pagliano, pleads the 5th:  “The move…considerably raises the stakes in the Clinton email investigation. It confronts the Justice Department with a decision about whether to grant him immunity in exchange for his testimony – a move that could be taken only were the department to escalate the probe into a full-scale criminal investigation.”  Michael Isikoff, Yahoo News [More]


Trump proposing tax Increases: Warning to hedge fund managers and off-shoring for tax advantages. Trump “has vowed to change laws that allow American companies to benefit from cheaper tax rates by using mergers to base their operations outside the United States. Investment managers generally pay only a 15-20% capital gains tax on profits earned from their customers’ holdings, a treatment that Democrats often argue amplifies income inequality.” Alan Rappeport, New York Times [More]


Bruni: The case for Kasich: “He has plenty of experience, plenty of maturity. He’s now in his second term as the governor of Ohio, and that’s not just any state. He has expressed openness to some kind of path to citizenship for immigrants who came here illegally…Most strikingly, he broke with Republican orthodoxy and with most other Republican governors and accepted the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.” Frank Bruni, New York Times [More]


Trump smells fear: “Trump must expect Jeb Bush to find his dehumanization of illegal immigrants repulsive. But like any good bully, he can smell fear. He knows that Jeb, like most of the other Republican presidential candidates, fears the animal spirits he has awoken inside the GOP base.” Peter Beinart, The Atlantic [More]



The Economy


Employment growth slowed; stocks fell; but is the economy still strong enough for Fed rate rise? The American economy added 173,000 jobs in August, but well below the 220,000-job gain that economists had expected, while the unemployment rate fell from 5.3% to 5.1%, the lowest since early 2008. Nelson D. Schwartz, New York Times [More]


Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz released an analysis on how Federal Reserve policy affects and contributes to inequality of income in the United States.  Joseph Stiglitz, Roosevelt Institute [More]



Foreign Relations and National Security

Friedman: Our dangerous ally, Saudi Arabia: “Nothing has been more corrosive to the stability and modernization of the Arab world, and the Muslim world at large, than the billions and billions of dollars the Saudis have invested since the 1970s into wiping out the pluralism of Islam — the Sufi, moderate Sunni and Shiite versions — and imposing in its place the puritanical, anti-modern, anti-women, anti-Western, anti-pluralistic Wahhabi Salafist brand of Islam promoted by the Saudi religious establishment. And we, America, have never called them on that — because we’re addicted to their oil and addicts never tell the truth to their pushers.” Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times [More]


Obama secures support on Iran deal for now: “Wednesday’s endorsement of the agreement by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D, Md.) means that even if Congress passes a resolution aimed at undercutting the deal later this month, Mr. Obama has the votes in the Senate to sustain a promised veto.”  Kristina Peterson and Carol E. Lee (TCG Speaker), Wall Street Journal [More]


Syrian boy drowned 1.jpg


Heartbreaking picture of drowned Syrian boy brings migration crisis into focus. Migrant crisis in Europe growing worse.  “The mayhem in Hungary reflected the divisions in Europe over how to respond to the migration crisis: Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain said on Friday that his country would take in thousands more Syrians, while Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary said that migrants could turn Europeans into a minority on their own continent, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said that Europe was responsible for every migrant death.” Dan Bilefsky, New York Times, [More]


Inside the secret drone campaign targeting senior Islamic state leaders: “The CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) are flying drones over Syria …The clandestine program represents a significant escalation of the CIA’s involvement in the war in Syria, against a militant group that many officials believe has eclipsed al-Qaeda as a threat.” Greg Miller, Washington Post [More]


Zakaria: GOP rhetoric on China not constructive: “In 2016, it is quite possible that the (Republican) party’s nominee will be populist, nativist and protectionist.  The consequences of this new climate of China-bashing could be serious. ‘It might turn out that over time we determine that it is not possible to cooperate with China,’ Henry Kissinger (TCG Speaker) said. ‘But we should exhaust every effort to have a serious, constructive relationship.’”  Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post [More]


Chinese economic downturn also tests the relationship between Putin and Xi: “The once-vaunted relationship between the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, and Russia’s leader, Vladimir V. Putin, has come under strain as the economies of their countries have faltered…Beijing will be unable to provide the ballast that Mr. Putin has sought against economic sanctions imposed on Russia by Europe and the United States after its annexation of Crimea, not to mention plummeting oil prices worldwide.
Jane Perez and Neil MacFarquhar, New York Times [More]


Arctic icebreakers: US has fallen behind other nations, especially Russia:Obama speeds up acquisition of a new icebreaker and will ask Congress for money to build additional ones for the Coast Guard.” Steve Mufson, Washington Post [More]

Domestic Affairs


Polls show common ground among Americans on some stronger gun laws, in wake of spate of deadly shootings: “Take three specific proposals: Adding background checks to private gun sales, banning people with mental illnesses from buying guns and creating a federal database to track gun sale. Public support for these changes range from very strong to overwhelming, according to a Pew Research Center poll.” Mark Berman, Washington Post [More]


Kentucky clerk who wouldn’t marry same-sex couples jailed, will not resign: Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis rejected a deal on Thursday that would have allowed her to leave jail if she would agree to give her deputy clerks authority to issue the licenses. Nick Gass, POLITICO [More]


Obama in Alaska urging global action on climate change:  “In a state heavily dependent on oil. Obama capitalized on a backdrop of “melting glaciers, crumbling permafrost and rising sea levels to illustrate the immediacy of the issue he hopes to make a central element of his legacy.” Julie Hirschfield Davis, New York Times [More]



More from the TCG Community


TRIBUTE: Amelia Boynton Robinson noted as fearless, tireless leader. TCG members who traveled to Selma for the celebration of the movement that led to the Voting Rights Act were privileged to see Amelia Boynton Robinson, wheelchair bound, but still lively and still inspiring. “A newspaper photo of a woman who was beaten unconscious by law enforcement during a march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, revealed to a wider audience the struggles and violence black people faced while fighting for the right to vote. Fifty years after the beating, the activist in the photograph, Amelia Boynton Robinson, held hands with the first black president of the United States as she was pushed across the bridge in a wheelchair, trailed by many others including some who were also attacked on March 7, 1965. Boynton Robinson, widely considered one of the mothers of the civil rights movement, died in a Montgomery, Alabama, hospital at age 104.” Philip Lucas, Washington Post [More]


Archive of Past Digests


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