American Daily: August 28, 2015

By Jonathan Bradley in Sydney, Australia

28 August 2015

In 1998, Toni Morrison wrote a comment for The New Yorker arguing that “white skin notwithstanding, this is our first black President. Blacker than any actual black person who could ever be elected in our children’s lifetime.” Last week the New York Times, implicitly cited Morrison’s piece, and claimed the author was giving Clinton “a compliment.” This interpretation of Morrison’s claim is as common as it is erroneous.

Indeed, politics is one area where the general science/tech nerd ethos has not exactly covered itself in glory (I'm looking at you, Larry Lessig). And it's a shame, because if tech nerds want to change the world — as they say with numbing frequency that they do — they need to figure out politics, the same way they're figuring out solar power or artificial intelligence, in a ground-up, no-preconceptions kind of way. They need to develop that tree trunk knowledge that enables them to contextualize new political information. Currently, they lack a good tree trunk, as Urban's post demonstrates.
Trump has certainly crafted an appeal to voters who like impractical ideas. But his true threat lies in the fact that Trump himself is crazy — not just ideologically, though he is certainly that as well, but in the sense that he lacks any rational connection between his actions and his goals, to the extent that his goals are discernible at all. That is also his downfall.

In 2011, Raquel Nelson was convicted of vehicular homicide following the death of her four-year-old son. Nelson, it’s crucial to note, was not driving. She didn’t even own a car. She and her three children were crossing a busy four-lane road from a bus stop to their apartment building in suburban Atlanta, Georgia. She’d stopped on the median halfway across when her son let go of her hand and stepped into the second half of the road. Nelson tried to catch him but wasn’t fast enough; she and her two-year-old daughter were also injured.

But the story of the ‘70s is much more complicated. Far from being an era of complacency and narcissism, the decade gave rise to social, political, and cultural debates that built on and even surpassed the era of Kennedy and King. Some issues, like civil rights, the sexual revolution, and Vietnam, belonged as much to the ‘70s as to the ‘60s. Others, like feminism, abortion, gay rights, busing, the tax revolt, and Christian Right politics, seemed altogether new.

Considered in this context, Bruce Springsteen’s phenomenal breakthrough in 1975 can only be understood against a backdrop of profound dislocation and urgent activism, particularly in the working-class communities that absorbed so many of the decade’s economic and cultural shocks.

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Going away and coming back

By Emily Serifovski in Sydney, Australia

27 August 2015

Emily Serifovski is an undergraduate student with the University of Sydney. In winter 2015, she will travel to Fudan University as part of the Centre's Shanghai Study Abroad Program. During her travels, she will be contributing to the Centre's blog.

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours.”

I stumbled across this quote by Terry Pratchett on my Facebook feed in the weeks before we left for Shanghai. At the time it caught my eye because it was accompanied by someone’s travel pictures but it has stuck with me over the last two months, resurfacing as I touched down in Sydney on Monday.

I didn’t go to Shanghai just to return Sydney with a fresh pair of eyes — I applied for the study abroad program in order to, as the cliché goes, "broaden my horizons"; to see a part of the world I had never seen, to try my hand at a new language, to make new friends, and to learn. Looking back on the past six weeks, I am confident enough to say that I have ticked all those boxes. The last three days of our exchange were tear-filled as we all returned to our own little corners of the world. I had forgotten how easy it is to make friends with people, and how much you can care for someone after such a short period of time.


The final week or so of the program was filled with everyone shamelessly trying to complete their Shanghai Bucket Lists (I unfortunately did not get a chance to relax at the Japanese Bath House), and I think we got pretty close. We sang our lungs out at karaoke until three in the morning, stocked up on Fudan merchandise, and consumed our last 18rmb Helen’s burger — and finally wrote our names on the wall!


There were a lot of mixed emotions as homesickness began to creep in, but the desire to appreciate every minute left grew stronger. In order to keep both at bay, we all gathered together, a family now of 25, to have a chicken schnitzel dinner. After days spent trying to find edible vegetables, my laoshi (Chinese teacher) let me in on a secret — just down from Fudan University was a hidden farmer’s market with the freshest produce at obscenely cheap prices. After I failed to follow her hand drawn map, she accompanied me arm-in-arm so I could gather all the required ingredients. It was the perfect opportunity to test out my newly acquired Chinese skills, and to see how the locals shop. The food was so fresh that the fish were still swimming. I was able to grab enough veggies and salad for 25 people for less than $20. Like a true Communist collective, everybody pitched in their labour and we were able to have one last dinner as group.


I am always at a loss in trying to explain how fantastic this program has been. Being able to learn about Chinese history and business practices and then combine and consolidate that learning with on the ground discussions in the boardrooms and factory floors of China’s most successful companies, as well as cultural visits to places like the Great Wall is truly invaluable. Spending hours together on buses and trains has ensured that fellow program participants are now family, and experiencing the cultural transition that is China with students from around the globe has provided me with a network of friendships that will last a lifetime.

I was never entirely convinced that travelling to China would alter my perception of Sydney, but after a day and a half on home turf, I’m already noticing my view has changed. Strolling through campus today I thought it was eerily quiet. It wasn’t until hours later that it clicked — the only reason it felt that way is because the cacophony of car horns was absent. There was something peaceful in the realisation that in a city of four million people, you can still find quiet and calm. I am grateful for our ease of access to information (I am yet to break the habit of connecting my VPN) and appreciate home comforts like bread more than I ever had before. But with each passing hour I miss Shanghai even more — the convenience store at the foot of our apartments, the thirty-seven degree weather and all the friends I have made — and I can’t wait to go back. So maybe we do go away to come back, but maybe we go away to have a new home to return to.

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Home from Shanghai

By Jessica Shannon in Sydney, Australia

25 August 2015

Jessica Shannon is an undergraduate student with the University of Sydney. In winter 2015, she travelled to Fudan University as part of the Centre's Shanghai Study Abroad Program. During her travels, she will be contributing to the Centre's blog.

Hangzhou mountain climbing

Looking back, it seems as if my time in Shanghai went incredibly quickly.

Exams finished up miraculously well, especially considering we didn’t pass up any tourism opportunities. One of my favourite excursions we did was a weekend trip to Hangzhou, where our activities included walking around the beautiful lake in the centre of the city and climbing a mountain in 40-degree weather. (Talk about accomplishments!)

There are a number of things I’ll miss about Shanghai, the first of which is the people. Not only did I make some amazing friends from USyd, but I also made friends from China, England, Scotland, Canada, America, and Mexico — just to name a few. I look forward to seeing them all again; hopefully it will be in one of their home countries next time!

I’ll miss various food items, like being able to buy a whole steamed sweet potato, a cob of corn, or a steamed bun from a street vendor any time you get hungry. Being able to buy dinner for $2 was also a major plus.

I’ll miss my Chinese teacher, and how patient she was with me as I tried my best — often to no avail — to master the pronunciation of various Chinese words. Lastly, I’ll miss karaoke being a common social activity, because it turns out that it’s kind of fun to belt out Beyoncé, 50 Cent, or Eminem in a room with 10 to 15 of your closest friends. Who knew!

Ultimately, the past six weeks have been an amazing experience that I will never forget. I feel fortunate to have participated in the program, and hope that I’ll be back in China soon!

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Storms over Shanghai

By Emily Serifovski in Shanghai, China

24 August 2015

Emily Serifovski is an undergraduate student with the University of Sydney. In winter 2015, she will travel to Fudan University as part of the Centre's Shanghai Study Abroad Program. During her travels, she will be contributing to the Centre's blog.

The Shanghai city skyline disappeared from my bedroom window as the threat of Typhoon Chan-hom loomed ever closer. At the time I was handwashing my clothes for the first time on the trip, because I made the wise decision to bring my most delicate clothing along and nothing else. Since we arrived I’ve been saying that Shanghai feels like home, in two particular ways. Firstly in the way that Shanghai always felt more comfortable than Beijing (mostly because our apartments lie just out of the way of the hustle and bustle of the city) but more importantly in the way that it feels like Sydney.

This shone though as the typhoon condition settled in. The afternoon sky turned almost black as the air grew more humid — as if that were even possible — with strong wind gusts. It felt just like those classic summer storms that have ended some of our hottest days. It made me long for a Sydney summer, while leaving me glad that I’m not home to experience one of our coldest winters yet. Some of us went into full survival mode, whilst others decided to bunker down in Helen’s and weather out the storm. For Shanghai, Typhoon Chan-hom ended up being little more than some wind and some rain despite hundreds of thousands being evacuated from southern China. While I was mildly disappointed that the largest typhoon in 40 years decided to pass over us, I always welcome an excuse to spend a night at Helen’s.

Shanghai skyline

Located just down the road from our apartments at Tonghe, Helen’s is an international student bar with a doona for a door and stairs so steep that they rival the Great Wall. I love Helen’s for many reasons: cheap burgers and pizza, the abundance of late '90s pop music, and their commitment to garnishing my drinks with fancy straws. More than anything Helen’s has been a great location for people watching. We often discuss the impact that China’s booming economy has on rural communities and migration — like we did at our site visit to the Dandelion School, a school for the children of migrant workers that provides each student with housing, clothing and food on top of their comprehensive education — but we rarely give much thought to the youth of the emergent middle class. It has been absolutely fascinating to watch groups of 20-somethings dripping in designer labels flash their cash, buying crates of beer and passing out on tables. Always loud, always drunk, always friendly, the local Chinese students that inhabit Helen’s have provided me with hours of entertainment and a deep insight into the way youth culture has developed in China over the last decade.


Our classes have well and truly begun. I can finally order pork buns for myself – in Chinese – without the use of an app, so things must be going well.

Zàijiàn for now!!

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American Daily: August 24, 2015

By Jonathan Bradley in Sydney, Australia

24 August 2015

Unlike most presidents, Carter didn’t kick the can down the road until after the next election (and there is always a next election). He did something about the nation’s biggest problem, even though it cost him a second term.
Campaign Zero
  • Would the GOP be talking about immigration even if Donald Trump weren't running?

Immigration is not only one of the most contentious issues, it's also one on which top contenders Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker each has vulnerabilities. So it was always likely that another candidate — they can all read polls — would select immigration as a good battleground for differentiation. That's exactly what Mitt Romney and others did in 2012 when former Texas Governor Rick Perry was a top-tier Republican candidate with a record of deviating from conservative orthodoxy on the issue. Romney proved his bona fides by condemning Perry as soft on undocumented immigrants.

  • One thing candidates in 2016 have in common? Unpopularity.
The 2016 elections certainly aren't going to be a popularity contest.
In fact, the current crop of White House hopefuls is among the least liked by voters in recent history, with many starting out with very high negative ratings.

During the 1830s, a French intellectual named Michel Chevalier imagined that the romance language-speaking people living in this part of the world constituted a Latin race that could align itself with European countries that also spoke a romance language. This idea of joining Latin America with Latin Europe was an example of Eurocentricity at its finest, but also part of a movement for pan-Latinism that continued for several more decades.

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Update from LA

By Cathy Bouris in Los Angeles, California

21 August 2015

Cathy Bouris is an undergraduate student with the University of Sydney. In winter 2015, she will travel to California as part of the Centre's UCLA Study Abroad Program. During her travels, she will be contributing to the Centre's blog.


Cathy Bouris

Hello everyone!

My blogging was meant to be a regular thing, but I've been so busy over here that I've hardly had any time to myself! Since my last post, I've started — and almost finished — summer school at UCLA, and visited San Diego, Santa Barbara, Solvang, Hearst Castle, Palm Springs, Salvation Mountain and Disneyland.

Cathy Bouris

I've done all the usual things here in LA: walked alongside Venice Beach and people watched, visited Hollywood Boulevard and immediately remembered why no locals ever visit Hollywood Boulevard, spent a lot of time in Beverly Hills (specifically at Sprinkles Cupcakes), eaten In-N-Out so many times I now don't want to eat it ever again, enjoyed margaritas the size of my head, been stuck in traffic on Sunset, climbed up to Griffith Observatory and then back down in new sandals, enjoyed a frozen banana at the Farmers Market, taken a photo amongst the lampposts in front of LACMA, and had the most expensive fish and chips of my life at The Ivy.

Cathy Bouris

But it's the more unique experiences that have really made my trip amazing: accidentally booking a getaway to San Diego during Comic Con, where I ended up meeting one of the stars of Pretty Little Liars and enjoying all of the free things set up to entertain convention attendees; shopping at the Echo Park Time Travel Mart where they sell things like robot parts, food pills, travel machine parts, and bottled famous last words to support the non-profit organisation that runs it, 826LA; visiting Solvang, a Danish town in the middle of California, on the way to Hearst Castle, which was extravagant and amazing; enjoying an exhibition of the wildest shoes I've ever seen at the Folk Art Museum (the shoes pictured above were inspired by the Sydney Opera House!); and taking a weekend trip to Palm Springs where I ended up driving us 350km through the California desert to see some roadside dinosaurs, Joshua Tree, and Salvation Mountain.

Cathy Bouris

No two trips to Los Angeles are ever the same, and as I'm approaching the end of my second stint at UCLA's summer school, I'm awed by how many fantastic new things I've experienced and seen, and how many new friends I've made. And, don't worry, teachers, I've also learnt a lot: my two subjects this summer were Political Violence, which was primarily about terrorism, and Intro to Afro American History, which was by far my favourite subject, and one that complements my American Studies major nicely.

Cathy Bouris

I'll be returning to Sydney broke, sunburnt, and with mixed feelings about commencing my final semester as an undergraduate student, but content and with many new stories to tell.

[more photos after the jump]

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American Daily: August 20, 2015

By Jonathan Bradley in Sydney, Australia

20 August 2015

All of these seemingly sudden changes were a result of a little-known part of the American civil rights story. It involves a largely Republican countermovement of ideologues and partisan operatives who, from the moment the Voting Rights Act became law, methodically set out to undercut or dismantle its most important requirements. The story of that decades-long battle over the iconic law’s tenets and effects has rarely been told, but in July many of its veteran warriors met in a North Carolina courthouse to argue the legality of a new state voting law that the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School has called one of the “most restrictive since the Jim Crow era.” The decision, which is expected later this year, could determine whether the civil rights movement’s signature achievement is still justified 50 years after its signing, or if the movement itself is finished.

Schumer is a strong tactician. Before making his decision to oppose the accord at the time he did, he almost certainly calculated how it would affect his prospects in the leadership election, in 2016. He must also have given thought to the long-term ramifications of this vote, and how it will affect the fortunes of the Party he plans to lead. At this point, what no one but Schumer (and perhaps AIPAC) seems to know is whether he wants to do all he can, albeit quietly, to kill the deal. If he does, will he try to persuade Harry Reid to join him in opposing it? And what effect might that have on senators, perhaps up for reëlection, facing threats, who are wavering?
The official history of Japanese food in the United States says that Americans didn’t get a taste of raw fish and vinegared rice until the late 1960s, when groovy Hollywood stars and trendy Buddhist humbugs began turning the squares onto the best thing since sliced bologna: sushi.
But that’s wrong. The truth is that two generation earlier, in the first two decades of the 20th century, Americans knew all about Japanese food and enjoyed it so much that labor unions and American restaurant owners conspired to run the Japanese out of business and out of the country. Worse, these angry agents of change were mostly successful in that effort, launching a thirty-year-long campaign of hysteria, intimidation and misinformation, one that ended in 1924 with the passage of the Japanese Exclusion and Labor Act.
  • Multiple states have had to replace their 420 mile highway markers with 419.9 markers.
In a story published at 4:20 p.m. this afternoon, the Associated Press reported that Idaho officials recently had to swap out the state's "Mile 420" signs because people kept stealing them. Now, if you drive along U.S. Highway 95 south of Coeur d’Alene, you'll find mile markers that read 419.9 instead. Several other states that extend long enough to have mile markers that reach 420 have started memorializing the underappreciated mile 419.9. These states just happen to have legalized marijuana recently.

Brady Olson is 15 years old. He filed to run for the President of the United States with the FEC on July 26 as Deez Nuts.

According to a Public Policy Polling survey released Wednesday, almost one in 10 Tar Heel State voters would vote for him in a race between Nuts, Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton.

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American Daily: August 17, 2015

By Jonathan Bradley in Sydney, Australia

17 August 2015

[T]he long, sequential process in presidential nominations — with week after week of scrutiny and time for party actors to react — prevents those fluky winners from coming close to being nominated. The politicians, campaign and governing professionals, formal party officials and staff, donors and activists, and party-aligned interest groups and the partisan press — the people who care the most about nominations — have plenty of opportunities to repel someone if they reach a consensus against him or her.

The clear factor is the Affordable Care Act’s push for coverage expansion, which kicked in almost two years ago. I spoke about the ACA’s role with several experts back in June, and you can easily see the law’s effects on the chart.

  • Fareed Zakaria on Chuck Schumer's "illogical case" against the Iran deal.

I believe that the agreement is flawed. But it is the most intrusive, demanding and comprehensive set of inspections, verification protocols and snapback measures ever negotiated. Compare the detailed 159-page document with the United States' 1994 accord with North Korea, which was a vaguely worded four-page document with few monitoring and enforcement provisions.

Sanders is many things, but he is not perfect, or close to perfect, or even anything other than a politician. In fact, Sanders and his plan to save blacks through redistributing wealth to narrow the wealth gap are deeply flawed, because the principle which serves as the scaffolding for his plan is deeply flawed. Sanders—like many other liberals of his race and age—believes that capitalism is inherently evil, and so that all evils can be ascribed to those of capitalism, and so in the idea that economic injustice is the root of all injustice. Racial injustice, in this reading, is treated as a side effect or function of economic injustice; concomitantly, racial inequality is treated as having the same causes and therefore the same solutions as economic inequality. If wealth is redistributed, the idea goes, then poor people of all races will have more money; then something else will happen; then racism will not matter or be healed altogether. I, and many in Black Lives Matter, and other people, too, believe that this line of theorizing has things backward.

That Bush even chose to focus a much-ballyhooed foreign policy address on Iraq is notable. In fact, the two most memorable foreign policy moments of the Bush campaign were both about his brother's war — the Reagan Library speech and his painful inability to say whether he would have invaded Iraq, knowing what he knows now.

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The Iran deal: signed, but not sealed or delivered

By Karen Tong in Sydney, Australia

17 August 2015

The blog is currently featuring posts written by post-graduate students from the USSC 6903 Foreign and National Security Policy class, taught by Centre lecturer Sarah Graham. You can see more of their posts here.

The Iran nuclear deal has been dealt a few blows from both sides of US politics of late.

From the Democrats, Senator Chuck Schumer announced he would vote to disapprove the agreement and backed a strengthening of US sanctions.

Schumer’s statement was released during the GOP presidential debate, which meant that at exactly the same time, Republican candidates were lambasting the deal on live television. Taking a hard line, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said he would “terminate the deal on day one.” Donald Trump was more ostentatious in his criticism, calling the deal a “disgrace,” made by a president who “doesn’t have a clue.” Senator Rand Paul showed the most restraint with this relatively mild criticism of President Barack Obama: “[he] gave away too much, too early.”

Any hope for bipartisan support is also fading with Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, seen by many as the Republican most likely to support the deal, formally announced his opposition to the agreement.

Yet despite these attacks, and the odd Democratic senator rattling the party’s solidarity behind the agreement, it’s unlikely that Congress has the numbers to kill the deal.

President Obama has pledged to veto any attempt to disapprove the agreement, which means that opponents would need to gain the support of two-thirds of each house of Congress to override him. According to the current congressional profile, and assuming the Republicans stand united on this issue, opponents would need to secure at least 44 House and 13 Senate Democratic votes. Taking into account support from key Democrats, including Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders, and the fact Schumer has not explicitly stated he would vote to override a presidential veto, it will be highly improbable — but not impossible — to achieve the required numbers.

Historically, the odds are also in the Iran Deal’s favour. Fewer than 10 per cent of presidential vetoes have been overridden in the history of Congress, and the last time a veto was overridden on a matter of foreign policy was almost 30 years ago.

Looking further ahead to the US presidential election, and the possibility that a Republican may occupy the Oval Office in 2016, all bets are off. Every GOP candidate has decried the deal and indicated that they will get rid of it, although some more immediately than others.

When asked on the GOP stage about what he would do with the Iran Deal, Walker said:

“Iran is not a place we should be doing business with. To me, you terminate the deal on day one, you reinstate the sanctions authorised by Congress, you go to Congress and put in place even more crippling sanctions in place, and then you convince our allies to do the same.”

Jeb Bush has offered a slightly more moderate approach. At a campaign event in mid-July he said:

“One thing that I won’t do is just say, as a candidate, ‘I’m going to tear up the agreement on the first day.’ That’s great, that sounds great, but maybe you ought to check in with your allies first, maybe you ought to appoint a secretary of state, maybe secretary of defense. You might want to have your team in place, before you take an act like that.”

While all of the GOP candidates have been heavy-handed in their criticism, they’re light on real alternatives. Let’s take a moment to consider the implications of reneging on the Iran deal and reimposing, or strengthening, sanctions against Iran.

President Obama has positioned the deal as a choice between diplomacy and war. This is one of his recent tweets in response to Iran Deal naysayers:

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This theme also cropped up in his recent speech at American University:

But we were able to convince [our allies] that absent a diplomatic resolution, the result could be war, with major disruptions to the global economy, and even greater instability in the Middle East.

While he has been accused of fear-mongering, mostly by Fox News but also by others, his rationale is sound. The Atlantic’s James Fallow explains it well here, but to summarise: a full-blown war may not be foreseeable in the near future, but it is reasonable to suggest that, without the deal in place, the United States has limited options to monitor Iran without the use of military force, and frustration with the United States will escalate from both Iran and its allies. 

It is also unlikely that the United States will be able to bring all the players back to table to agree on a "better deal," or even discuss the reimposition of sanctions, when the international community has already accepted this one. The UN Security Council has already signed off on the agreement with a 90-day buffer period before implementation, and the European Union has already started to lift sanctions. A high-ranking German official, Philipp Ackermann, says: "the option of getting back to the negotiating table is close to zero.” The United States reinstating sanctions unilaterally would not work.

Meanwhile, many US foreign policy experts and commentators view the deal as, essentially, not the best, but not bad. Take for example James Lindsay’s description of the deal at a Lowy Institute talk in Australia: “[The Iran Deal is] decent and narrow, not great and transformative.” This highlights one of the major criticisms of the deal: that it was negotiated from a position of weakness and resulted in less than satisfactory outcomes. That the deal only limits Iran’s nuclear capability for 10 to 15 years and it fails to achieve “anytime, anywhere” inspections are some of the oft-cited examples.

But the deal is done and, looking forward, perhaps this perceived weakness could in fact be the deal’s strength.

It pushes the United States and its allies to remain vigilant about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, as well as other threats and challenges posed by Iran in the region. It also forces the United States to devise innovative and diplomatic ways to deter Iran from acting on these ambitions and threats. The deal may have its imperfections, but rather than tossing it into the scrap heap, it’s actually not a bad starting point for a new story of US engagement with the Middle East.

In his testimony on the Iran deal before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kenneth Pollack said: “we are more likely to regret turning it down than we are to regret having accepted it.” So perhaps the best course of action is for Congress to consider approving the deal, and for any future president intending to nix it to think twice.


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American Daily: August 11, 2015

By Jonathan Bradley in Sydney, Australia

11 August 2015

  • St Louis police shot a man at protests marking a year since Michael Brown's death.
A peaceful day of protest and remembrance dissolved into chaos late Sunday when a man fired multiple shots at four St. Louis County plainclothes detectives in an SUV. The detectives fired back and the shooter was struck, said county Police Chief Jon Belmar. He was in critical condition.
  • Erick Erickson uninvites Donald Trump from his Red State conservative gathering.

His comment was inappropriate. It is unfortunate to have to disinvite him. But I just don’t want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal. It just was wrong.

  • It's still OK not to take Trump seriously.

Of course, if a nationwide first-past-the-post primary election were being held tomorrow, this would be irrelevant. Trump is polling ahead of any of the real politicians, and he would win. But there is no nationwide first-past-the-post primary, and the voting in Iowa and New Hampshire won't start for months. Between today and the settlement of the nomination, lots of these candidates are going to drop out — Bush and Walker and Rubio and Kasich and Christie and Jindal and Huckabee and everyone else have their differences, but none of them wants to see the GOP nominate a fatally weak general election candidate who'll lose to Hillary Clinton and endanger the party's grip on the US Congress.

The second reason we’re stuck in a defensive mode is that too many pro-choice people are way too quiet. According to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly one in three women will have had at least one abortion by the time she reaches menopause. I suspect most of those women had someone who helped them, too — a husband or boyfriend, a friend, a parent. Where are those people? The couple who decided two kids were enough, the grad student who didn’t want to be tied for life to an ex-boyfriend, the woman barely getting by on a fast-food job? Why don’t we hear more from them?

At the 1995 World Universities Debating Championships in a packed Princeton University auditorium in New Jersey, 24-year-old Cruz and his Harvard Law School teammate graced the stage with supreme confidence, dressed in dapper suits and ties.

Wearing jeans and T-shirts nearby for the semi-final clash were their University of NSW opponents, law students Jeremy Philips and James Hooke.

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