Thursday, December 29, 2016

"Current Events" Discussions

Upcoming Discussion Sessions:

·        9am Monday August 21 at the North Shore Senior Center


·        9:30am Wednesday August 30 at the JCC on Revere Drive

·       7pm Wednesday September 6 at The Lodge


·       10am Thursday September 7 at the Northbrook Library

The American President's response to the horrible Barcelona Terrorist Attack: "Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!" The President related the debunked myth that Pershing dipped bullets in pigs blood, killed 49...and gave the 50th bullet to one survivor who was told to relate what happened. You may have seen the hoax email--it's very old.  So...did the President lie on purpose to change the subject? Or does our President believe this fake story is true? Which is worse?

Sen.Corker: "The President has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence to be successful. Have we reached a tipping point where key Republicans believe America is dealing with a President who is unqualified for the job? What can Republican leaders do about this?

Trump doubles down on "many sides are at fault", refuses to call it domestic terrorism, refuses to distance himself even from Neo-Nazis and the KKK. Trump is thanked by hate groups for "having their back". How can America see President Trump as having the moral authority to bring our country together...while legitimizing everything America stands against? Trump says he has no regrets. Is Trump's Presidency in trouble? Or is this a Left generated flareup, not shared by a majority of Americans, and not a big deal? 

No one should be surprised by Trump's radical actions. America knew exactly who he was when we elected him. Change happened in 2016 because our pain (Washington not working) exceeded our fear (taking a chance on a brash outsider).  Where are we now regarding "pain" vs. "fear"? What significant changes might we see in Trump? In who we are as a country? Did charges of Racism hurt other Republicans...including Trump in 2016?

Key Republican leaders remain silent for fear of offending Trump's base needed in the 2018 election. Will this diminish their brand even further? How does Trump's world views affect Republican ability to move forward on a Conservative legislative agenda? 

Is Domestic Terrorism and Islamic Terrorism essentially the same? In effect, both the Alt Right and Muslims harbor only a few evil persons whose actions taint their much larger, peaceful groups? How would Trump respond if a Muslim executed an attack like this? 

Is it unfair to paint Trump's base as racist? In the 2016 election, many White Males didn’t see themselves as racist...but did want to "take America back". Is it racist for Middle Class Whites to feel they are "losing the American dream" to Immigrants and Minorities? Trump appeals directly to this White group who feels disenfranchised and not helped by previous administrations. Trump continues to hold big 2020 campaign rallies even now, and clearly will do nothing to offend his base. 

How should Democrats try to win over this group that cost them the 2016 election? Steve Bannon: “The longer Democrats talk about identity politics, I got ’em” I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.” 

As more Civil War statues come down, are we likely to see more protests--and counter-protests as we saw in Charlottesville? Is "history" and "ancestral pride" a sufficient reason to keep the statues?  Where do we draw the line?  More Americans than not are OK in keeping the statues...as is the President.  Who is helped the most by this issue?


Are "White Supremacists " in any way just a Caucasian version of "Black Lives Matter"? Are AntiFa and "Alt Left" activists, who say they' battle authoritarianism on the Right, provoking the same kind of violence generated by the Radical Right?

Trump disbanded his Business Councils after 8 CEO's resigned in response to Trump's comments on racism. Trump also ended plans for an Advisory Council on Infrastructure. Is Trump risking his "jobs" agenda by essentially giving cover to hate groups? 

The Sinclair Broadcast Group is seeking approval from the FCC to purchase Tribune Media, making Sinclair one of the largest broadcast networks in America.  Sinclair requires stations to run selected programming--developed by a Conservative group to the Right of FOX. Your thoughts.

Trump warned Kim that "threats would be met with fire and fury". Kim then crossed Trump's red line threatening Guam. Trump doubled down, matching Kim’s threat. Kim now says he is delaying action. China does not want chaos on its border. But does China see Trump boxed in, knowing war is unthinkable? Who is holding the better cards--China in seeking concessions from Trump? Trump with economic pressure on China? Kim? Should Trump be given credit for bringing this crisis to a head, given that other POTUS failed? What about Bannon's comments that basically takes a military solution off the table?

What effect has Chief of Staff Kelly made on President Trump, so far?


Israeli police confirmed that Netanyahu is a suspect in cases involving fraud and corruption. Authorities said the prime minister’s former chief of staff had turned state’s witness. How serious is this? How might Bibi’s problems affect Israel’s relations with us?

Debt Ceiling debate will come up when Congress returns from recess. Will they pass a “clean” bill”? Or will we see provocative amendments calling for defunding social programs like Planned Parenthood, food stamps, Medicaid funding, and more?

Lawsuits have been filed claiming that soda is already being taxed with the sales tax, thereby making it a “tax on a tax.” Will this tax be repealed
Why would the President hint at possible military action against Venezuela?

Health care premiums will spike, insurers will exit the market, and deficits will increase if President Trump follows through on his threats to cut off government payments to insurance companies, according to a new Congressional Budget Office report. Your thoughts. 

What are some key accomplishments where President Trump should receive credit, but we don't see highlighted by Media?  Does Media ignore Trump's accomplishments...or does Trump himself push them into the background via his news-grabbing tweets?

The Stock Market has exploded since Trump's election. Is Main Stream America being helped as much as the North Shore? How much credit should Trump receive?

Sessions reversed an Obama DOJ ruling--and now allows Ohio to purge voters who don't vote regularly. Are GOP governors restricting voting rights that primarily affect Democratic voters?  Since they do this within the law, how can Democrats respond? Simply win more?

How harmful is it to America's security when private conversations between our President and other Heads of State become "leaked"? Your thoughts about the leaked transcripts of Trump's phone conversation with the President of Mexico and Australia.

Trump announced a new plan to cut the amount of legal immigration in half, “to help American workers”. Immigration requirements include speaking English, having a job, having some money, having skills we need. How might more pressure on immigration affect American businesses—particularly farming and minimum wage jobs? Does the benefit outweigh the negatives?


How will Illinois School Funding play out?

Why is Climate Change such a low priority for most Americans?

President Trump is looking at "privatizing" this war. Your thoughts. Is Afghanistan a lost cause?

How far should college administrators go in “protecting” students from controversy generated by guest speakers?

Trump "thanks" Putin for expelling American diplomats saying "It saves us some payroll". While the President was likely being facetious, how might Putin and our State Department interpret his comments? 

Why are some parts of the U.S. approaching the 8/21 Solar Eclipse as an impending disaster?

What's driving the dramatic increase in opioids? What should we do about this?

What should we make of Pence taking the same steps as someone running for President?

The administration is targeting colleges that support greater diversity via affirmative action, saying such actions discriminate against White and Asian applicants. Your thoughts.

What are the ramifications, good and bad, of so many Generals in this administration?

Rahm and Chicago are suing the administration for defunding Sanctuary Cities.  Your thoughts.


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