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19 января, 13:00

Trump's New Foreign-Policy Direction

For generations, American presidents have vowed to use their power to spread freedom around the globe. But the president-elect is set to break with that precedent.

19 января, 13:00

Trump's New Foreign-Policy Direction

For generations, American presidents have vowed to use their power to spread freedom around the globe. But the president-elect is set to break with that precedent.

19 января, 12:34

Новый президент. Как отреагируют индексы на Трампа?

Инвесторы с опаской ждут инаугурации Дональда Трампа. Исторические данные говорят о том, что вступление в должность президента-республиканца чаще всего имело негативное влияние на индексы

19 января, 08:11

Адепт американской исключительности: чем запомнился Барак Обама

Уходящий президент США хотел подружиться, но в итоге в пух и прах рассорился с Россией.

18 января, 23:00

Clueless, Reckless, Graceless, Mindless and Heartless: Our President-Elect

There have been giants who served as president: George Washington helped found the country; Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves; Teddy Roosevelt established the national parks; Franklin Roosevelt pulled us out of The Great Depression and defeated fascism; Lyndon Johnson established Medicare; Bill Clinton gave the nation a budget surplus; and Barack Obama provided access to health insurance for all Americans. Now we await Donald Trump, and I am deeply concerned for our country and the world. He has demonstrated he is both dangerous and unfit for office. Does he understand the magnitude of the job? Did he just run for president to get even with President Obama who once made jokes about him at a White House Correspondents’ Dinner? Does he want to get rid of Obamacare just because of the name?  He doesn’t just bring economic policies I happen to disagree with, or an approach to healthcare funding that could hurt millions of people. This isn’t simply a matter of Republican versus Democratic. This is a man who, on record and often on video, disparaged or outright ridiculed women, immigrants, the disabled and others. He lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes, and yet cannot seem to grasp that the president’s obligation is to at very least attempt to unite and respect all Americans. I cannot respect a racist, xenophobic sexist who puts us all at risk with his behavior. I have great respect for the experienced politicians who have served our nation with sincere regard to improve and protect the republic, even those I have often disagreed with. I cannot, however, respect a racist, xenophobic sexist who puts us all at risk with his behavior. A series of studies by the Financial Times showed Trump was bailed out of bankruptcy by Russian entities more than once. This, we can only assume, is the real reason he won’t release his tax returns, as it’s proof that he is literally indebted to Russia. If Trump claims this isn’t true, he is welcome to release his returns, but I don’t think they will ever see the light of day or public scrutiny. There are now reports of possible Russian blackmail material on Trump, and that he and President Obama were briefed on this by our intelligence agencies. The Washington Post reminded us that his son,  Donald Trump Jr. — who is also an executive with Trump’s business — makes clear how the company in 2008 sought business from wealthy Russians. ‘In terms of high-end product influx into the U.S., Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,’ he said at a conference that year, according to news reports. ‘We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.’ It took Trump until the January 11th press conference to acknowledge our 17 intelligence agencies’ findings that Russia had indeed manipulated our election with their hacking. Trump’s siding with Vladimir Putin and Julian Assange over our expert intelligence officials is a dangerous harbinger for American democracy. He will not divest his assets or put them in a real blind trust. We can not see his charitable donations – if he has any. The head of the Office of Government Ethics said Trump’s plan to avoid conflicts of interests is “meaningless.” Experts say he will be in Violation of Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution on the first day of his presidency. His claim that he will never talk to his sons about his business is laughable. Meanwhile, FBI Director James Comey knew of the potential Russian blackmail on Trump and didn’t release it, because it was too close to the election. Yet he didn’t pause to release detrimental and unsubstantiated information on Hillary Clinton that likely cost her the presidency. Addressing allegations of Russia’s election hacking, Comey recently told the Senate Intelligence Committee,  I would never comment on investigations — whether we have one or not — in an open forum like this so I can’t answer one way or another.” Senator Angus King of Maine said it perfectly when he responded, “The irony of your making that statement, I cannot avoid. The irony is also unavoidable in Trump’s claims of “fake news” and a media “witch-hunt” against him. He refused to call on CNN at his press conference, blaming the station for factually reporting that he had been briefed about the potential Russian blackmail. The Russian and GOP operators along with Steve Bannon and Breitbart News helped to create fake news and true witch-hunts that didn’t just derail elections, but put people’s lives in danger. One month ago, a man who believed ridiculous, fake conspiracies against Hillary Clinton took an AR-15 rifle and .38 caliber pistol into a pizzeria and said he would sacrifice the “lives of a few for the lives of many”? While preparing to become the president of the United States, he finds the time to tweet ― seemingly without anything more important to distract him ― about all of the TV shows, magazines and newspapers that don’t bolster his ego enough or that dare to print the facts of his lies. He used the 9/11 anniversary in 2013 to address his “haters.” He did the same this year in a New Year’s greeting “to my enemies.” This is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Our presidents are usually magnanimous and have a sense of the gravity the office and our democracy. Meanwhile, he says he does not need to spend time sitting through intelligence briefings, but finds the time to start Twitter fights with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger over television ratings. I’m not the first to say it, and you need only peruse top ten lists of his most horrifying or childish tweets to see his own words as evidence. Donald Trump behaves like a petulant child.  How can we forget the endless “birther” conspiracy that Trump created around President Obama’s legitimacy as an American citizen and then claimed that he ended it? Back in 2012 he tweeted: “An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me [email protected] birth certificate is a fraud.” This, much like his secret plan to defeat ISIS or have Mexico pay for a border wall, is typical of Trump’s claims; no evidence, no names, made-for-reality-TV faux suspense, and absolutely no credibility. We can expect Trump, as Trevor Noah pointed out, to spend the next four years denying things he has said that are documented in print and on video. In other words, we can expect him to lie, and lie prodigiously. He projected on Hillary Clinton his own characteristics, “corrupt,” “crooked,” and “lying.” I lived through President Bush, who was elected even though he lost the popular vote. His administration also used the intelligence agencies to falsify evidence to justify war. That president led us into a war that still rages today, a decade and a half later, and gave rise to ISIS. I am terrified at what risks Trump poses to the world as well. I hope all our representatives and senators, hopefully even Republicans, will do all they can to ensure that some semblance of justice is served in America, and the world is not put at great, unnecessary risk. The rest of us must remain vigilant. Write your representatives and senators. Make donations to groups that fight for equal rights, civil rights, freedom of the press, anti-climate change measures, gun control regulation and healthcare mandates. Protest. Speak up. Help others. We are all in this together, and it is our right and responsibility to protect our freedoms and help our fellow citizens. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

18 января, 20:17

Obama's Legacy: Missed Opportunity As Educator-In-Chief

Part of the allure of Obama when he first ran for President was the prospect of an intellectual in the White House making progressive decisions, but also educating "low information" citizens about how the world works. This would be important, because his days in office would eventually end. A true legacy requires a leader establishing a path-breaking enduring record, but also an accepted ideological framework for understanding its rationale. That perspective can survive term limits. Franklin Roosevelt did this and the New Deal view of government action as a vigorous corrective to the anarchy and social disruption of capitalist development was unrivaled for almost forty years after his death. Ronald Reagan, although his economic policies were never as laissez-faire as his rhetoric suggested, launched an ideology that has endured nearly as long: government is the enemy; free enterprise the cure. Post-Reagan, even Democrats have often believed they had to be defensive about government action, not proud of it. President Obama had a golden opportunity to launch a powerful ideological counter-revolution when he took office during the Great Recession. Republicans and the most powerful corporate entities were back on their heels. The public was ready for a bold departure from the past. Unfortunately, those who placed such hopes on Obama were to be disappointed, accepting his very liberal 2008 campaign rhetoric as indicative of his deeper convictions on domestic policy. Obama is best viewed as a "Rockefeller Republican" or Clinton Democrat on economic and social issues. Even his signature health care legislation resembled what Mitt Romney had implemented as Governor of Massachusetts. Both originated in a proposal of The Heritage Society, a conservative think tank which develops free-market oriented policies to solve social problems. Obama's unwillingness to embrace left-wing populism, lay the groundwork for Donald Trump's bogus appeals to the white working-class component of his winning coalition. One area Obama appeared poised to radically depart from conventional thought was foreign policy. He was aware of its dark side under Democrat and Republican Administrations: anti-Communism and fear of any forms of populist nationalism, even if non-Communist, led to support for the world's most brutal dictatorships. His childhood in Indonesia under the murderous US- supported Suharto regime, which affected his step-family, and activism in the anti-apartheid movement, taught him lessons other U.S. presidents never learned. He could have punctured the myth of American "exceptionalism" and taught Americans that widespread anti-Americanism in the world is not primarily rooted in hatred of freedom and lack of gratitude for our generous foreign aid. Anti-Americanism, in fact, reflects our past and, to a lesser degree (Central and South American leaders are not our puppets these days), present global policies. We have long allied with and armed hated dictators. In addition, there have been numerous military interventions, heralded as serving "freedom," but often confusing it with our geo-political and economic interests. American foreign policy has primarily been "exceptional" in negative ways: invading a record thirty countries since the United Nations was founded. What about our generosity? It is largely an illusion. Our foreign aid for development, for example, is a smaller proportion of our Gross National Income than 19 other nations, including Portugal, and is just .19 percent. Moreover, though things have somewhat improved since 2012, when USAID modified its rules, foreign aid typically required recipients to purchase American-made products even if they were more expensive than alternatives. What is called "tied-aid" is still true of food products, motor vehicles and US-patented pharmaceuticals and is still the norm among non-USAID governmental agencies. To be fair, other countries provide tied-aid as well, but quite a few others do not. Unlike, domestic politics, where the President must deal with Congress, foreign policy is a realm of nearly total freedom. Obama has taken some important steps in dealing with Iran and Cuba and not sending more ground troops to entangle us more deeply in the perpetual Middle East chaos resulting from the century old efforts of European imperial powers to carve up the Ottoman Empire. On the other hand, while admonishing Israel for its continued illegal annexation of Palestinian land in the West Bank (though, not about its economic strangling of Gaza), he has continued to give it massive military aid. Ironically, despite the recent uproar over his abstention on a vote confirming a long accepted UN position on the illegality of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, his Republican predecessors have been more willing to actually vote in favor of resolutions condemning Israeli actions. They even threatened cuts in US aid at times, succeeding in curtailing Israeli actions. Obama has also made other avoidable missteps. He refused to prosecute those in the Bush Administration responsible for torture policies, accepted the legitimacy of the 2009 Honduras coup which overthrew an elected government, and aided and abetted the Saudi bombing of Yemen to appease the Saudis after his nuclear deal with Iran. Unfortunately, Obama's modest re-thinking of foreign policy stays largely within his own mind. He has made only feeble attempts to be Educator-in-Chief. He knows the Iranians will never forget the 1953 CIA-led coup against an elected leader, Mohammed Mossadegh, the installation of the autocratic Shah, our support for Saddam Hussein's invasion of Iran and our indifference, at best, to his use of chemical weapons against them. He is aware Iran abandoned nuclear programs as "un-Islamic" until the horrific chemical warfare made them feel acutely vulnerable. He knows, apparently, that the Saudis are the chief exporters of jihadist theology throughout the Islamic world. But he keeps that knowledge largely to himself, along with his awareness of Palestinian daily life under Israeli rule. This failure to systematically tell the American people about any of this means perpetuating their ignorance and making it more likely that inhumane and/or foolish policies will be pursued and supported in the future. When Donald Trump becomes President in a few weeks he will apparently be giving unqualified love to the Saudis, cheering Israel's expanding colonization efforts, and hugging friendly autocrats, especially if "friendliness" includes surreptitiously advancing The Trump Organization. Roosevelt had his fireside chats with all the citizens. Obama should at least have a foreign policy "teach-in" before he leaves office. It is now too late to "walk the walk," but he can at least "talk the talk." His Farewell Address, touching as it was, was another missed opportunity. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

18 января, 10:27

“Исраэль ха-йом”: что будет делать Дональд Трамп в первые сто дней своего правления?

Обозреватель издания “Исраэль ха-йом”, известный американист, профессор Авраам Бен-Цви, пытается предугадать, каковы будут первые шаги избранного президента Дональда Трампа после того, как он вступит в должность 20 января.

18 января, 03:48

Guest Contribution: “Looking Back on Barack”

Today, we present a guest post written by Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and formerly a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. A shorter version appeared on January 13th in Project Syndicate. At the end of his time in office Barack Obama merits an enumeration of some […]

18 января, 03:31

Trump's missing Cabinet secretary

The usually low-profile post remains the only Cabinet-level job without a Trump choice in the final days before he is inaugurated.

18 января, 02:10

The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Commuter in Chief

President Obama commuted the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, who was convicted of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks.

17 января, 00:03

Will Trump Be Presidential?

President Elect Donald Trump will be sworn in to office Friday as America's 45th president on the west front of the U.S. Capitol before thousands of supporters and millions watching on television around the world. The peaceful transition of power will symbolize the strength of the American democracy. Perhaps equally important will be what President Trump has to say in his inaugural address. The nation has been deeply divided for decades by partisan politics; the world has been roiled with regional conflicts and the growing threat of terrorism. Will the newly sworn in president speak of his genuine interest for uniting the country, which is rich with diverse cultures and beliefs? Will he clearly identify the legitimate threats, foreign and domestic, facing the nation, and assure even his most strident opponents that he has the temperament and character to lead the country? Many of his predecessors used their inaugural address to set a tone for their presidency. In his first address, President Thomas Jefferson said, "Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have been called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists." Following a great Civil War President Lincoln sought to heal the nation's wounds in his second inaugural address. "With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds," he said. "To do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." In his first inaugural address, President Franklin Roosevelt spoke to a nation crippled by the Great Depression. "This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself," Roosevelt intoned. "In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with the understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory." As the nation was still recovering from World War II, it elected a war hero as its president. In his first inaugural address President Dwight Eisenhower said, "We are summoned to act in wisdom and in conscience, to work with industry, to teach with persuasion, to preach with conviction, to weigh every deed with care and compassion. For this truth must be clear before us: whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America." President John F. Kennedy, who was elected in 1960 in a close election, sought to mobilize young idealistic citizens with his stirring oration. "Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans," he declared. "The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it--and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country." President Ronald Reagan was elected in a landslide in 1980 as the country was reeling from inflation, high unemployment and gasoline prices, and a crisis of confidence. "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem," he maintained in his first inaugural address. "We are a nation that has a government--not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the earth. Our government has no power except that granted by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed." President Barack Obama was the first African American elected to the nation's highest office. The deeply divided country was mired in two costly wars, was experiencing its worst economic recession in nearly one hundred years, and was split along party lines. A massive crowd of 1.8 million people attended his swearing in, which was watched by a record audience around the globe. "On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord." He continued, "On this day, we come to proclaim and end to petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for too long have strangled our politics." Despite the soaring rhetoric, many presidents were not able to achieve all of their goals. But President Trump's inaugural speech comes at an important time in this nation's history. He will face enormous challenges, domestic and foreign. The election is over, and while he finished second in the popular vote, he won the presidency. And while the Russians meddled in the election, he was the winner. The American presidency is the most powerful office in the world. Now it is time for President Trump to actually govern. Now it is time for him to end his personal insults, his impulsive and boorish behavior. Now it is the time for an end to his Twitter rants, or tirades against the press. Now it is time for him to praise U.S. intelligent agencies and their courageous employees, and to praise America's allies and support its alliances. Now it is time for President Trump to act presidential. Too much is a stake. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

16 января, 12:49

Байден на Украине: не только подбодрить

Противники Дональда Трампа ведут в Киеве свою игру

16 января, 01:49

Phillip Roth's 'The Plot Against America' Is Fast Becoming Reality

In 2004, Philip Roth published an all too prescient novel titled The Plot Against America. Roth's premise was that the pioneer aviator, isolationist and Nazi sympathizer, Charles A. Lindbergh, won the Republican nomination in 1940 and defeated Franklin Roosevelt. Roth goes on to imagine what life would have been like, both in the Roth household and in America, as Lindbergh keeps the country out of World War II and makes a tacit alliance with Hitler. As the Roth family comes to Washington on Inauguration Day, Philip's mother catches a glimpse of the White House and begins to cry, "It isn't like living in a normal country anymore." It isn't like living in a normal country anymore. Lindbergh goes on to steer America into a kind of soft fascism. The opposition still functions, but is vulnerable to arrest. Jews are not exterminated, merely herded into rural re-education camps. Roth writes, evoking the 9-year old-who he was in 1942, "The relentless unfolding of the unforeseen was what we schoolchildren studied as 'History', harmless history." But now, as history unfolded in real time, it was far from harmless and citizens felt helpless. Roth, not primarily a political novelist, brilliantly skewered Richard Nixon and his thugs in Our Gang (1971). He offered a devastating early warning about Israeli Likudniks and their American enablers in The Counterlife (1986). His novel, The Human Stain (2000), which takes place during the summer of the Lewinsky/Clinton/impeachment mess, has some wicked asides about politics and sex. In I Married a Communist (1998), Roth creates a story of marital breakup and betrayal against the backdrop of McCarthyism. Roth denied that The Plot Against America was intended as a comment on current political events. Yet on the eve of the book's publication he wrote in the New York Times Book Review, in an essay on how the novel came to be: "And now Aristophanes, who surely must be God, has given us George W. Bush, a man unfit to run a hardware store let alone a nation like this one, and who has merely reaffirmed for me the maxim that informed the writing of all these books and that makes our lives as Americans as precarious as anyone else's: all the assurances are provisional, even here in a 200-year-old democracy. We are ambushed, even as free Americans in a powerful republic armed to the teeth, by the unpredictability that is history." History is indeed unpredictable and democracy precarious. But even Philip Roth, as brilliantly inventive as he is at creating the gargantuan and the grotesque, could not have invented a character like Donald Trump. And even Roth could not figure out how to make things come out right after his fictional Lindbergh threw in with Adolf Hitler. So Roth resorted to a deus ex machina. In October 1942, President Lindbergh is providentially killed in a plane crash. Martial law is briefly declared, a new presidential election is called for November -- and good, old FDR wins a third term! Democracy is restored, America enters the war, and Hitler unconditionally surrenders in 1946, just a year behind schedule. History unfolds, pretty much as before, after all. We should only be so lucky. So where is Philip Roth, now that we need him? How, pray tell, do we escape American fascism this time, now that this is no fantasy? As it happens, Roth, 83, retired from writing and from public life in 2014. His last public appearance was a reading at New York's 92nd Street Y, that May. Last year, Roth donated his entire, 4,000-volume literary library to the Public Library of his beloved Newark, where it all began, as recounted in Roth's first novella Goodbye Columbus. Before he retired, Roth wrote a flurry of late, elegant short novels, including an agonizing one in 2009 titled The Humbling. The premise is that an aging actor realizes that he is losing his power, and one day he just can't do it anymore. ("Going on stage became agony. Instead of the certainty that he was going to be wonderful, he knew he was going to fail.") The novel -- spoiler alert -- ends with a suicide. Roth is nothing if not unflinching. One can read aging actor as a proxy for aging novelist. Roth is such a perfectionist that it's wholly understandable -- admirable -- that's he'd want to call it a day at the top his game, before serious and even disabling horrors set in that maybe he was starting to lose his powers. Still, I wish Roth were still writing, both to shed light on the human folly and foible that brought us Donald Trump, and maybe to invent a more plausible deus ex machina to get us out of today's plot against America. Alas, the magic that Roth conjured to restore Roosevelt exists only in literature. Trump is far more of a menace than Roth's invented Lindbergh. Getting rid of him will take strategic focus, courage, and no small measure of luck. Besides re-reading Roth, I've been obsessively reading and re-reading books on fascism. One clairvoyant classic, which I read at the time, is Bert Gross's 1980 book, Friendly Fascism. Gross wrote this book before Ronald Reagan's election. But as early as the 1960s and 1970s, democracy was getting weakened, the economy was becoming more dominated by giant corporations, the imperial presidency had too much power, the military was too strong, and there was too much government surveillance of citizens. America dodged a bullet when Nixon was impeached, but the underlying power shift was still there. A corporate/militarist state, Gross warned, was a vulnerable democracy. With the rise of all these anti-democratic forces, he believed explicit fascism was not even necessary. But Gross, it turned out, was an optimist. The fascism now approaching is far from friendly. American democracy is far more fragile and impaired after decades of assault than we assumed. We now have a president-elect with no regard for democratic norms, one who views the mythic people as a malleable mob. He has no patience for absorbing real information, but is possessed of a feral political intelligence that his opposition has yet to comprehend, much less effectively resist. In Roth's fictional America under Lindbergh in 1942, there is still a free press, though he does describe the assassination of a leading media critic. Trump, by contrast, is assassinating the difference between fact and lie in the entire media, and to an appalling degree he is getting away with it. Too few Democratic politicians have displayed the requisite courage. In The Plot Against America, Roth imagines that in 1942, liberal leaders fight back. Eleanor Roosevelt, Roger Baldwin of the ACLU, and New York Mayor LaGuardia rally forces of decency. LaGuardia talks of the "sheer derangement that is threatening the nation's sanity." [315] Speaking of derangement, Donald Trump actually described John Lewis, who bled for civil rights, as "all talk, talk, talk, and no action." There is nobody alive less deserving of that slander. The Sunday New York Times account of the Trump/Lewis episode notes in passing that Lewis was not attending the Inaugural, one of five Democratic members of the House to boycott. Five! Others on that honor roll include: Barbara Lee of California, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Katherine Clark of Massachusetts and Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois. In fact, according to other sources, there are 17 Democratic House members all told who will be boycotting. But why are the rest going to Trump's party? John Lewis was right that this president has no legitimacy, just as Philip Roth's imagined mother was right to feel that "it isn't like living in a normal country anymore." This time, the plot against America is real. Not a single Democratic Member of Congress should be attending Trump's inauguration, much less the Clintons. It is an illusion to believe that if Democrats respect norms of comity, Trump will somehow reciprocate. He will just see it as more weakness, to be rolled over. If you are wondering what to write your Member of Congress, start with that. -- Robert Kuttner is co-editor of The American Prospect and professor at Brandeis University's Heller School. His latest book is Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility. Like Robert Kuttner on Facebook. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

14 января, 15:53

Inauguration forecast: Partly sunny with a chance of protests

The weather outlook for Donald Trump's swearing-in is promising.

14 января, 01:45

What FDR Can Teach Us About Comey, Putin, And National Unity

In the wake of the most divisive national election in modern memory, President Obama has stressed that the president-elect and others in positions of power must send out "signals of unity" to maintain "the norms of a functioning democracy," including the norms of "civility, tolerance, and a commitment to reason...facts and analysis." But evidence of electoral interference by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and hackers working for the Russian government has raised important questions about our ability to adhere to these norms and even about the health of our democracy. Roughly three quarters of a century ago, when the United States faced similar divisions about the extent to which dissension at home and fascism abroad threatened America, Franklin Roosevelt observed that the words "national unity" should never be allowed to become a mere "high-sounding phrase," because in a very real and deep sense, national unity is "the fundamental safeguard of our democracy." Indeed, he went on: Doctrines that set group against group, faith against faith, race against race, class against class, fanning the fires of hatred in men too despondent, too desperate to think for themselves, were used as rabble-rousing slogans on which dictators could ride to power... This is the danger to which we in America must begin to be more alert. For the apologists for foreign aggressors, and equally those selfish and partisan groups at home who wrap themselves in a false mantle of Americanism to promote their own economic, financial or political advantage, are now trying European tricks upon us, seeking to muddy the stream of our national thinking, weakening us in the face of danger, by trying to set our own people to fighting among themselves. We must combat them, as we would the plague, if American integrity and American security are to be preserved. We cannot afford to face the future as a disunited people. All Americans should be deeply concerned about the growing evidence that the 2016 election might have been swayed by the politicization of a criminal investigation and/or the actions of a hostile foreign power. Yet the response among those in positions of leadership has been anything but unified. It is now widely acknowledged, for example, that the unprecedented decision of FBI Director James Comey to release a letter announcing that the Bureau was reopening its probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server just 11 days before the election had, as the highly respected pollster Nate Silver recently put it, "a large measurable impact on the race" and "almost certainly" cost Secretary Clinton the election. Comey's defenders insist that he had no choice but to release this information. But, as the noted FBI historian Douglas Charles has written, Comey's dilemma was largely of his own making. He could have followed Justice Department policy and the past FBI practice of not commenting on the nature of a criminal investigation. Instead, he made frequent public references to the case and took the highly unusual step of offering his own opinions, characterizing Secretary Clinton's actions as exhibiting "great carelessness." It was this politicization of a criminal investigation--coupled with the ongoing leaks that plagued his department in the fall--that led Comey to conclude he must send his October letter to Congress, even though it represented a clear violation of Justice Department policy and there was no indication--as the release of the FBI warrant in the case yesterday demonstrates--that the so-called "new evidence" would contain any information that might alter the FBI's previous judgment. The majority of Americans who supported Hillary Clinton are justifiably upset by these revelations, and if the past were any guide, one might expect that this outcry would generate an equally determined effort on the part of Congress to try to ensure that such a development would not happen again. This brings us back to FDR. It was the perceived political influence of a federal agency--the Works Progress Administration under the leadership of Harry Hopkins--in the 1938 midterm elections that led Congress to pass the Hatch Act in 1939. Sponsored by a Democrat and ultimately signed into law by FDR, the Hatch Act not only stipulates that persons working below the policy level in the executive branch of the government must refrain from political practices that would be illegal for any ordinary citizen, but also stipulates that they must abstain from taking "any active part" in political campaigns. Even though this legislation was sponsored by the conservative opposition to FDR--and as such was not particularly welcomed by the president--he eventually came to recognize its value and, when signing it into law, expressed the view that it would prove an "effective instrument of good government." Unfortunately, there is no evidence to suggest that today's Congress might follow the example of past leaders. This same lack of leadership is evident in the shocking revelation that the Russian government ran a covert operation to help install Donald J. Trump as our next president. As The Economist recently observed, in the past any disclosure that a foreign power was engaged in an attack on the U.S. electoral process would elicit "powerful, bipartisan immune responses" generated by "love of country." Yet again, there has been no unified reaction by those in power. The president-elect has dismissed the CIA's analysis as "ridiculous," and senior Republicans such as House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have signaled that they favor a far less aggressive examination of the issue than their Democratic counterparts. This must be regarded as further evidence of the extent to which the poisonous political climate has eroded the fundamentals of American democracy. This can also be seen in the reaction of the American public to these developments. As President Obama noted in his last press conference, well over a third of Republican voters approve of President Putin in spite of reports from the American intelligence community that he was personally involved in the cyber attacks. This lack of respect for expert analysis and scientific inquiry--which has been encouraged by the tendency of the president-elect to substitute opinion for fact--represents an even greater threat to our democracy than the covert intervention of a foreign power and, as FDR said decades ago, must be guarded against as if it were a plague. It is for this reason that Congress should launch an inquiry into both these developments as soon as possible. Not so much for the purpose of overturning the election, but rather as an exercise of leadership, as a means to restore and maintain the credibility of our nation's key institutions, and in so doing, the public's faith in the sanctity of the democratic process. It is the height of irresponsibility for members on either side of the aisle not to join hands to do so. As President Obama recently said in words that echo those of FDR, we should never forget "that what makes us American is not where we come from, what we look like, or what faith we practice , but the ideals to which we pledge our allegiance. It's about our capacity to live up to the creed as old as our founding: 'E Pluribus Unum'-- that out of many, we are one." Cross-posted from Roosevelt Forward -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

13 января, 12:55

Трамп не будет форсировать санкционный вопрос

До вступления Дональда Трампа в должность осталась неделя. На фоне этого дискуссии о векторе его будущей политики обостряются. Не последнее место занимает вопрос — будет ли при новом главе Белого дома пересматриваться санкционная политика в отношении России и не попытается ли республиканец в положительную для Москвы сторону скорректировать заданный уходящим президентом США Бараком Обамой курс. Вместе с тем чем ближе день инаугурации, тем более аккуратным старается быть Дональд Трамп в своих высказываниях о России, пытаясь успокоить вашингтонский истеблишмент.

12 января, 15:17

Конфликт между Америкой и Россией – это противостояние свободы и рабства

Американский писатель и критик Пол Берман убежден, что конфликт между Америкой и Россией определен не политикой, где интересы превыше идеологии, а философией. Суть этого конфликта – извечная борьба свободы против рабства. Именно поэтому он шокирован избранием на пост президента США человека, выступающего в защиту «русских врагов»The post Конфликт между Америкой и Россией – это противостояние свободы и рабства appeared first on MixedNews.

12 января, 15:17

Конфликт между Америкой и Россией – это противостояние свободы и рабства

Американский писатель и критик Пол Берман убежден, что конфликт между Америкой и Россией определен не политикой, где интересы превыше идеологии, а философией. Суть этого конфликта – извечная борьба свободы против рабства. Именно поэтому он шокирован избранием на пост президента США человека, выступающего в защиту «русских врагов»The post Конфликт между Америкой и Россией – это противостояние свободы и рабства appeared first on MixedNews.

12 января, 15:17

Конфликт между Америкой и Россией – это противостояние свободы и рабства

Американский писатель и критик Пол Берман убежден, что конфликт между Америкой и Россией определен не политикой, где интересы превыше идеологии, а философией. Суть этого конфликта – извечная борьба свободы против рабства. Именно поэтому он шокирован избранием на пост президента США человека, выступающего в защиту «русских врагов»The post Конфликт между Америкой и Россией – это противостояние свободы и рабства appeared first on MixedNews.

12 января, 12:50

What Happens to the Democratic Party After Obama?

The outgoing president narrowed the party’s appeal in ways that helped the GOP. Democrats may need to widen it again if they hope to recover power.

03 февраля 2016, 17:23

Нацистские связи семьи Буш

Прескотт Буш, дед Джорджа Буша младшего, и Джордж Герберт Уолкер, его прадед, в честь которого был назван его отец, сотрудничали с нацистами, и которых должны были судить за государственную измену. Прескотт Буш – дед Джорджа Буша младшего и отец Джорджа Буша старшего. Джордж Буш старший или Джордж Герберт Уолкер Буш получил имя своего деда Джорджа Герберта Уолкера.