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pampango's Journal
pampango's Journal
September 26, 2016

Trudeau: what we found in Canada was that people are better than divisive politicians think they are

“By appealing to people’s better angels, by drawing people together rather than stoking fears and anxieties, we were actually able to create a government that is focused on strengthening the middle class, to allay those fears and anxieties and demonstrate a positive engagement with the world,” Trudeau told reporters on Tuesday evening.

“Last fall, we had a political campaign that featured Islamophobia and divisive personal attacks, pandering to fear and insecurity like we do see elsewhere around the world these days,” Trudeau said. “The point that is so important to emphasize is that what we found in Canada was that people are better than divisive politicians think they are.”

His message is similar to that of U.S. President Barack Obama, who defended globalization, denounced walls between nations and argued for policies that allow working people to experience the benefits of the global economy.

“In Canada, we got a very important thing right. In Canada, we see diversity as a source of strength, not weakness,” Trudeau said. “Our country is strong, not in spite of our differences, but because of them.”


Canadians embraced diversity and a focus on strengthening the middle class last fall over politicians who pander to fear, anxiety and insecurity. I hope Americans do the same this fall.

September 4, 2016

Trudeau criticizes Trump and ‘divisive, fearful rhetoric’ of anti-globalization forces as leaders

gather for G20.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used his first appearance at the meetings around this year’s G20 summit Saturday to criticize the anti-globalization sentiment on the rise in places like the United States and United Kingdom.

During a B20 event Saturday — a gathering of business associations from G20 economies — that also featured the presidents of South Africa and Argentina, Trudeau advocated for international trade, openness and pushed the theme of “inclusive growth” for the middle class.

In what seemed an overt reference to U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, he said “building walls” is not an avenue for growth.

Trudeau also cautioned against the protectionism that fuelled in part the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union.


Let's hope that Trudeau, Canada and the rest of the world don't have to figure out how to survive a President Trump.

September 3, 2016

Angela Merkel and Marine Le Pen: one of them will shape Europe’s future

Two very different women hold Europe’s future in their hands – and neither of them is Theresa May. The battle for Europe’s soul is being waged between Angela Merkel and Marine Le Pen. This is a clash of personalities and visions: Germany’s chancellor v the leader of France’s Front National, the largest far-right party in Europe. As Britain prepares to leave the EU, the Franco-German dimension of the continent’s destiny has arguably never been so important since the end of the cold war.

It is only partly reassuring to say that Le Pen has little chance of becoming president next year (the French electoral system makes that difficult). The trouble is, in recent months, her brand of anti-Muslim, xenophobic and nationalistic politics has spread across the French mainstream right like wildfire. Le Pen is fast capitalising on this summer’s burkini episode and on the national trauma left by jihadi terrorism.

Marine Le Pen’s single most powerful opponent is to be found outside France: Angela Merkel. Le Pen hates Merkel, and Merkel despises Le Pen. They confront each other in a fight of European proportions. Le Pen has often attacked the chancellor – once describing her as an “empress” imposing “illegal immigration” on the whole of Europe.

These two women have one thing in common and one thing only: the depth of their political conviction. Angela Merkel has been unwavering in her message that welcoming refugees is the right thing to do; Le Pen fumes against “rampant Islamisation” of the continent. Merkel wants to save the European project; Le Pen is fully aligned with forces that want to dismantle it (she recently said on CNN that France had become an EU “province”). Merkel nurtures the transatlantic link; Le Pen admires Putin’s Russia – her party sits at the heart of pro-Kremlin networks in Europe, financial ones among them.


The anti-immigrant, anti-refugee mentality on the right seems to be a growing phenomenon on both sides of the Atlantic. The battle must be waged to defeat it.

August 31, 2016

How Trump or Clinton could kill Pacific trade deal (if it passes under Obama)

Between the voluminous TPP text and the “fast-track” trade promotion authority law passed last year, there are a pair of provisions that allow the president to slow-walk or even kill the landmark 12-nation pact. The next president could refuse to verify that other countries have implemented their early commitments under the pact. Or he or she could simply delay sending the paperwork to inform other TPP members that the United States has completed its own implementation.

“A Trump administration would use all available options to ensure the TPP will never be implemented, even if Congress betrays the American public and votes for it in a lame-duck session,” Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro said when asked whether the Republican nominee would use the provisions to block the deal.

Clinton's campaign did not respond to an email asking whether she would block implementation of the agreement if Congress passes it in the lame duck. But the Democratic nominee has been equally forceful about her opposition to the deal on the campaign trail, although she supported it as a member of the Obama administration.

Right now, of course, there’s plenty of reason to believe Clinton or Trump won’t have to make the decision to use executive authority to put the pact on ice. Just last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell again said Congress would not vote on the deal.


This is the first I have heard of these provisions.

August 30, 2016

Is the past or present better for people like you? Trump/Clinton supporters differ.

Overall, voters remain divided over whether life for people like them in the country today is better or worse compared with 50 years ago: 36% say that life today is better for people like them, 47% say it is worse and 13% say it is about the same.

But these perceptions are starkly different among supporters of the two major party candidates: About eight-in-ten (81%) Trump backers say that things have gotten worse for people like them compared with 50 years ago. Just 19% of Clinton supporters say the same. A 59% majority of Clinton supporters say life is better for people like them; only 11% of Trump voters think this.

As was the case earlier this year, there are significant demographic differences in these views. About half (51%) of black voters say life is better today for people like them and just 20% say it is worse (23% say it is about the same). By contrast, white voters are more likely to say life has gotten worse (52%) than say it has gotten better (33%); 12% say it is little different. Hispanics are divided on this question: 40% say life is better for people like them than it was a half-century ago, while about as many (39%) say it is worse (17% say it is about the same).

Overall, voters’ opinions on this question are little changed since March, but a wide partisan divide has grown wider: In March, 66% of Republican and Republican-leaning voters said that life was better for people like them 50 years ago; today, 72% express this view. At the same time, Democrats’ assessments have become more positive: In March, 48% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters thought that life is better today compared with 50 years ago; currently 55% say this.


Given that the republican party is largely white, it is not surprising that Trump supporters are the most negative when comparing their status now compared to 50 years ago. Since Democrats are more diverse, it is not surprising that their attitudes are different.
August 24, 2016

"Trump's deal was straight up: He would secure the government programs — Social Security, Medicare —

that benefit older, whiter tea party voters while chasing younger, browner Americans away from the public trough. He would even clear out of the country anyone who failed to prove citizenship."

The tea party has gone to meet its maker

The tea party is now indistinguishable from the Trump Party. Liberals have had a rollicking good time watching Trump peel the Indian paint off the erstwhile rebels. Brian Beutler of the New Republic routinely responds to racist outbursts among Trump supporters with a mock lament for the "economic anxiety" purportedly driving their allegiance to Trump.

Competing arguments that Trump supporters are motivated by declining economic prospects versus racial resentment are not mutually exclusive. But a deep analysis of Trump supporters released last week by Gallup shows that the economic angle is the more convoluted and uncertain one.

The evidence "is mixed as to how economic hardship affects Trump's popularity," wrote economist Jonathan Rothwell. "Racial isolation and lack of exposure to Hispanic immigrants raise the likelihood of Trump support. Meanwhile, Trump support falls as exposure to trade and immigration increases, which is the opposite of the predicted relationship."

That last part was the bomb. Trump's signature issues are trade and immigration. Yet his supporters appear less exposed to negative effects from trade and immigration than people who don't support him. Rothwell's findings didn't eliminate economic anxiety as a factor in support for Trump.


So there is an inverse relationship between a person's exposure to trade and immigration and their support for Trump. Even though trade and immigration are key elements of Trump's spiel, the more a person is exposed to them - the LESS likely they are to support Trump.

It makes one think that other factors explain the support from tea party types for Trump.
August 23, 2016

Pew: repubs worry most about immigration and terrorism. Dems - inequality and the environment.

On the list of seven issues, immigration and terrorism stand out as especially serious problems among Trump supporters; nearly two-thirds cite each as very big problems in the country (66% immigration, 65% terrorism).

Clinton supporters express far less concern about both issues. Just 17% describe immigration as a very big national problem; 40% say it is a moderately big problem, while 42% say it is either a small problem or not a problem at all. In addition, only about a third of Clinton supporters (36%) say terrorism is a very big problem in the country.

Trump supporters also are more likely than Clinton backers to say that crime (52% vs. 42%) and the availability of good-paying jobs (48% vs. 33%) are very big problems.

Far more Clinton supporters (70%) than Trump supporters (31%) view the gap between rich and poor as a major problem in the country. And while 43% of Clinton supporters rate the condition of the environment as a very big problem, just 16% of Trump supporters say this. While 43% of Trump backers say the condition of the environment is a moderately big problem, 38% say it is a small problem or not a problem.


Trump supports see immigration as our greatest problem followed closely by terrorism. Clinton supporters see inequality and the environment as the biggest issues. None of that surprises anyone here but it is good to see it confirmed by the Pew study.
August 20, 2016

Thanks for posting this, Eugene. "There is growing frustration in rebel-held Aleppo that grief

at the plight of Omran has not been accompanied by rage at those who dropped the bomb."

The image brought renewed global focus to the suffering of civilians in the eastern part of Syria’s largest city, living under near-siege conditions and a constant bombardment of barrel bombs dropped from government aircraft and more targeted Russian airstrikes.

Civilian casualties from Russian bombings have overtaken civilian deaths at the hands of Isis for the first time, the activist group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said last week.

By ignoring the political and military context of Omran’s plight, they are cheapening his suffering and that of all the people who have chosen to stay on in opposition-held areas of Aleppo, or have not had an opportunity to leave.

“We don’t want the world to know we are dying as civilians here, that is not enough. We want the world to know who is killing us, who is targeting us,” said an English-language professor at the university, whose six-month-old daughter was born in one of the city’s few remaining hospitals. “If people in Britain and United States know that Russia and Assad are doing this, they will help us, they will do something with their government to help us. But if they don’t know, what kind of help can we get?”
July 24, 2016

Trump blasts EU and NATO; praises Brexit.

Donald Trump: EU was formed 'to beat the US at making money'
The US presidential hopeful has renewed his criticism of the EU and defended his attacks on Nato allies

Donald Trump has claimed that the European Union was created to “beat the United States when it comes to making money” in an interview with NBC News. Speaking to Chuck Todd, whom the Republican nominee has repeatedly berated as “sleepy-eyed”, Trump also said of the EU “the reason that it got together was like a consortium so that it could compete with the United States”.

The European Union was founded as the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952 in an effort to promote strong cross-border ties in Europe and avoid future wars. It has since evolved to a customs union and eventually to the transnational entity devoted to removing internal trade barriers, building a common market and a fiscal union. Its development and growth has been repeatedly supported by the United States under presidents of both parties.

Trump’s anti-European statements come after the Republican nominee repeatedly praised Brexit, the vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, including in a press conference in the day after the referendum held at a Trump golf course in Scotland.

Trump also called both the World Trade Organization and Nafta “disasters”.

July 5, 2016

Trump's and Obama's Views on Globalization Reflect Broader Gap

Donald Trump's vow to rip up free trade agreements and return America to "economic independence" is not only a strident counter to President Obama's calls for a more interconnected world, but an illustration of a broader debate between advocates of globalization and those who oppose it.

"You can look at Trump's campaign as one big push-back against globalization, and the Britain vote too," said Daniel Cox, director of research at the Public Religion Research Institute, a non-partisan group that analyzes cultural, religious and political trends in the U.S.

In a speech last week, Trump criticized a "leadership class that worships globalism over Americanism." ... a backlash, particularly on the right, to a long-held belief by party elites in the U.S. and Europe that open borders, pro-immigration policies, increased trade and overall international cooperation are the best ways to improve the global economy. ... The next day, Obama, in a speech following a meeting with other North American leaders in Canada, warned that pulling out of trade deals "is the wrong medicine for dealing with inequality."

Obama seems aware that his side is not winning the globalization argument. Even as he continually criticizes Trump, the president is acknowledging the concerns of voters here and abroad who have doubts about globalization. ... He added, "And politicians — some sincere, and some entirely cynical — will tap that anger and fear, harkening back to bygone days of order and predictability and national glory, arguing that we must rebuild walls and disengage from a chaotic world, or rid ourselves of the supposed ills brought on by immigrants — all in order to regain control of our lives."


Interesting to see the difference of the Obama and Trump worldviews.

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