Why Future Supreme Court Picks Will Be Hardliners

Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, will be confirmed, but probably not without an unusual step guaranteeing that many future nominees to the highest court by presidents of both parties will be far more partisan than in the past.

Gorsuch, known as a powerful writer who prefers to interpret the Constitution as he thinks its authors intended, was unanimously confirmed by the Senate as a circuit judge. Under ordinary circumstances, he would easily win confirmation to the Supreme Court.
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Will Trump and Putin Be Buddies?

Donald Trump’s first 100 days will feature plenty of speculation about the president making nice with Russia. Indeed, there are already rumblings about a potential nuclear summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, the same city where three decades ago Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev started negotiations that would eventually bring the Cold War to a peaceful conclusion. Trump has also hinted at the possibility of lifting sanctions on Moscow should the Kremlin prove a valuable ally in the fight against Islamic terrorism.

But don’t expect the new president to make any bold moves right away. Developing a coherent foreign policy takes time. Despite the infamous “reset” photo-op, it took several months for the Obama administration to devise its Russia strategy, according to Michael Kofman, a senior fellow at the Wilson Center. For Trump, this task will be made extra difficult by a number of factors. Continue reading “Will Trump and Putin Be Buddies?”

Trump’s Cybersecurity Challenges

Among the biggest questions facing President-elect Donald Trump: What will be the new “norms” of cyberspace in a rapidly changing technological and geopolitical landscape? The answer is far from clear. Moreover, there is very little precedent for tackling some of the thorniest problems the president must confront.

Expect Trump to favor firm retaliation for any major cyber-breaches, especially if China is the culprit. He has already voiced his intention to take a harder line against Beijing on a range of issues, including trade. China, meanwhile, will be more inclined to challenge the U.S. if it feels its vital interests, such as Taiwan and the “One-China” policy, are truly at stake. Continue reading “Trump’s Cybersecurity Challenges”

What Will Obama, Trump Do About Russia?

President Obama will almost certainly deliver a forceful response to Russia’s cyber-meddling in the 2016 presidential election before his term expires next month and Donald Trump moves into the Oval Office.

What that response will look like is hard to say, though sanctions are much more likely than harsher measures. Cyberdefense remains a weak spot for the U.S., and questions about the best way to respond to acts of online aggression have largely gone unanswered during Obama’s time in office, according to Claude Barfield of the American Enterprise Institute. Continue reading “What Will Obama, Trump Do About Russia?”

Will Trump’s foreign policy upend the post cold war consensus?

With his victory in the U.S. presidential election, Donald Trump has the potential to upend the consensus that has governed American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War.

Will he? The short answer: Probably not. There’s an old saying about presidential candidates and foreign policy: “Where you stand depends on where you sit.” In other words, Trump the president will take a far different approach than Trump the Republican nominee, much as Barack Obama did after he was elected in 2008.

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Trump’s Agenda and Challenges

Now comes the hard part for Donald Trump – turning the rhetoric of one of the most divisive campaigns in decades into the reality of governing.

When Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20, 2017, Republicans will hold power in the House and have narrow control of the Senate. In normal circumstances, that’s a huge advantage when it comes to implementing an agenda. But these might not be normal circumstances.

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Kiplinger Extra – Election 2016

With the presidential election just days away, editors from the Kiplinger Letter sat down to take stock of the race and offer Kiplinger’s forecast.

The bottom line: Hillary Clinton has an easier path to victory than Donald Trump, but the race is close. Kiplinger’s David Morris and Matthew Housiaux talk about the forecast, key states and what to expect when the votes are counted — all in just 12 minutes.

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Should You Prepare for Post-Election Violence?

Will America experience an outbreak of post-election violence? It’s a strong possibility. 2016 has been arguably the ugliest election year in recent memory, marred by allegations of corruption and sexual misconduct and fears that talk of “rigged” elections is undermining faith in the country’s political system.

Unfortunately, it’s likely to leave even more ugliness in its wake. Domestic terrorism experts are warning of a potential uptick in violent incidents associated with the result of the presidential election, regardless of who ends up winning the White House.

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Can This (Political) Marriage Be Saved?

When I was a kid, a regular feature in a magazine my mom subscribed to was called “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” That headline, which I hadn’t thought about in decades, popped into my head Sunday night as I watched Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton slog through the mud of their second debate.

The marriage I was thinking about is between Trump and his supporters and the mainstream wing of the Republican Party. Clearly, his supporters are much more fired up about Trump’s presidential campaign than the party regulars are. In fact, some of the regulars have already separated from Trump, deeming the White House unwinnable and deciding to focus on trying to keep the Senate and House in Republican hands as a last line of defense against a Clinton presidency.

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How Ballot Initiatives Might Skew November’s Election Results

Voters in many states will decide more than just the next president when they head to the polls on election day. They’ll also consider more than 160 ballot measures, which allow ordinary citizens to bypass their elected officials and enact laws directly.

That number is pretty low by election-year standards; 180 is more typical. But according to Justine Sarver of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, this year’s crop of ballot measures is significant for two reasons.

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