Thursday, May 12, 2016

Daily Links and Donald Trump Calls Hillary "Trigger Happy" on Foreign Policy

*Note: We're trying out a new format today. Instead of just focusing on a single article, we'll also provide a few quick headlines you might be interested in. Then to close, we'll recommend one longer story with our usual context (though probably not quite as long of a lead-in from us). The goal is to cover a bit more ground, and, if we're going to be totally honest, save some time as well. Let us know what you think in the comments here or wherever you got this link originally.

The Worst New Thing in the World Today Is...
Definitely the new police brutality video out of New Hampshire. At the conclusion of a high-speed chase across multiple states (granted, New England states, so it only half counts), the suspect finally stopped his car and surrendered himself to authorities. Said authorities then promptly made him regret this decision by sucker-punching the suspect as he was on all fours. Multiple police officers then proceeded to join in the fun in a good-old-fashioned group curb-stomp, which, fortunately for all of us, was captured on video by two helicopters. Seriously, you have to watch it to believe it. There are cases where reasonable people can disagree whether cops made the right decision on the use of force. Yeah, this isn't one of them.

(On the plus side, two officers have already been relieved of duty without pay.)

(Dis)Honorable Mentions

Will Work for Work
Zero Hedge reports that initial jobless claims have reached their highest levels in 15 months. And while some would have you believe this is just a temporary phenomenon, it should be viewed as another sign pointing to a looming recession. Of course, the strongest evidence that the US economy is in decline is the astounding popularity of Trump and Sanders.

More Pressure on The Most Transparent Administration to be Transparent
The Guardian is reporting that one of the US investigators for the 9/11 Commission is speaking out about ties to Saudi Arabia. Saying the report was never meant to be an "exoneration" of the Saudis, this is likely to put new pressure on the Obama Administration to finally release the redacted pages of the full 9/11 investigation. The sooner the better.

The Silver Lining Is...
New signs that Donald Trump is going to capitalize on Hillary Clinton's most critical weakness of foreign policy--namely, that she's a warmonger. Speaking at a rally in typical rambling, Trumpian fashion, the Donald pivoted from decrying the evils of Syrian refugees to decrying the temperament of Hillary Clinton. It seems an awkward segue at first, but in fact the two could scarcely be more directly related. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton championed regime change in Libya and doing more covert action against the Assad regime in Syria. Years later the Syrian Civil War continues, due in large part to the fact that the US and its allies in the region have been pouring weapons into the country on the side of (significantly radical) rebel groups. Tough to know whether Trump actually knows this (probably not), but for now, let's give him credit. Well played.

If You Only Read One (More) Thing Today...
Make it the Silver Lining about Donald Trump. The Intercept's write-up is very balanced and well-done. It gives credit to Trump where it's due while also noting his inconsistencies and some truly horrible stances he's taken on foreign policy. The reason this matters is because it's likely to emerge as a major theme in this campaign if we're lucky. Just as Trump scored points in the Republican debates when he said George W. Bush helped lie us into the Iraq War, he should discover that this is a winning issue against Hillary as well. For your average, run-of-the-mill Republican (i.e., neither of the Pauls), criticizing foreign intervention is off-limits. But this is one area where Trump's willingness to say and try anything could be a blessing. It's still depressing that the candidate who promotes torture is the voice of relative restraint in major party politics, but it's better his voice than none at all.

Here's the link to The Intercept piece:

Donald Trump Calls Hillary Clinton “Trigger Happy” as She Courts Neocons

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