Thursday, December 29, 2016

"Current Events" Discussions

Upcoming Discussion Sessions:

·        9am Monday October 23 at the North Shore Senior Center -
               Note: Irv Dorfman will be leading Monday's discussion

·        9:30am Wednesday November 1 at the JCC on Revere Drive

·       7:30pm Wednesday November 1 at The Lodge

·        10am Thursday November 2 at the Northbrook Library

Trump: "Ask Kelly if Obama called after his son was killed." Your thoughts about interjecting this tragic subject into the political arena, including tweets and disputes regarding what the President actually said in calling one Gold Star Mom. Where did this go wrong?

What benefit is there to the country for politicizing the NFL “kneel” issue? Should players be forced to stand, as the President is asking NFL owners?

Will the Harvey Weinstein scandal change anything? How big is this issue, beyond just one powerful pervert? How much hypocrisy are we seeing, with Liberals livid about Trump's behavior, yet having looked the other way with Weinstein?  

How will Trump discontinuing subsidies--and his flip-flopping  positions--affect Health Care?  Poor people lose subsidies. Healthier, younger consumers can enroll in cheaper plans with fewer services...while older, sicker consumers will likely see big rate increases.  Trump liked the bi-partisan deal fashioned in the Senate...then hours later said he can't support it. Will America blame Obama or Republicans if things get worse? 

Where are we now with Iran?  Trump will not certify the Iran Deal--but won't pull out--and asks Congress to "fix it" or he might then dump it.  What's the benefit of being perceived as not honoring our commitments?  How does it affect relations with our allies? Does it help Iran's hardliners? What message does it say to Kim regarding negotiating with America?

What are the chances that America will be at war in the next year or two? If so, why?

Will record low POTUS approval give Democrats the House?  History shows that if approval stays below 50% the GOP will lose more than enough seats to flip the House. On the other hand, Trump's approvals are higher than Congress, Republicans and Democrats.

Who is helped most by Bannon's war against Establishment Republicans?  Will Democrats benefit if Republican candidates are perceived to be totally off the radar? The special Senate race in Alabama is tied today--amazing in a state Trump won by 28%. 

Does Trump improve his standing by trashing Congress and establishment Republicans--so this is less about governing than winning again in 2020? By taking controversial stands that only shore up his loyal base, and differ with establishment Republicans, is Trump forming a viable "Third Party"? 

Is McCain right about "nationalism"? He warns us against turning toward "half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems." What does Europe's move to the Right mean to us? Austria picked a young, anti-immigration Far Right leader. Germany's Right Wing won more support than in decades. 

Is the President not receiving sufficient credit for the 25% increase in the stock market since his election?

Will Trump's Tax Reform with huge cuts for the super-rich sufficiently help Middle-Class Americans? Voter dissatisfaction with the status quo led to Trump's election. What has he delivered so far, economically, to these voters?

Are colleges becoming Liberal "anti controversy" zones, protecting students from ideas? AG Sessions: “Freedom of thought and speech on the American campus are under attack. Whereas the American University was once the center of academic freedom – a place of robust debate, a forum for the competition of ideas – it is transforming into an echo chamber of political correctness and homogeneous thought, a shelter for fragile egos.”

How reliable are reports that the White House is in constant chaos?  
Leaks appear to come from those close to the President.  How significant is this...or should we dismiss this as sour grapes from anti-Trump partisans?

How significant are Trump's comments: "It is frankly disgusting that the press is able to write whatever it wants to write."?  Trump says stories and sources are made up, and that we should consider pulling their licenses.

How do you feel about the Boy Scouts admitting Girls? The Girl Scouts don't like it.

Will Governor Rauner run again?  If he does, how does he measure up against Pritzker, who appears to be cornering the market with $$$?

Should Wonder Woman be disclosed as transsexual, in support of "diversity"?

Is Puerto Rico being treated as American? Millions are still without power or water.

How significant is President Trump's statement: "The Secretary of State and I have different views on North Korea...and my views are the ones that count"? 

How will Trump cut prescription drug prices "way down"? He says drug companies are charging Americans 3 and 4 times more than in other countries..."So Americans basically subsidize other countries". 

How does Hamas and Fatah signing a reconciliation agreement affect Israel?

The U.S. and Israel pulled out of UNESCO over alleged anti-Israel bias. Good idea? UNESCO is the world’s only independent provider of Holocaust education.

Are Trump’s newest, much tougher DACA/Immigration ideas supported by most Americans?  Trump  now asks for funding for The Wall, and big cuts to legal immigration. Democrats say it's a "non-starter". Where is this headed?

How does Trump's repeal of Obama's "Clean Power Plan" affect America's coal industry and clean energy alternatives?  

Has the Republican Party become a majority Party essentially through minority rule? Consider: partisan redistricting, U.S. Senate under-representing larger states, Electoral College out of sync with population distribution, the role money plays in skewing elections, and restrictive voter I.D. laws.

Your thoughts about Mike Ditka's comments.

How big a role did Russia play in Trump winning the election? How significant is the issue of Facebook and Twitter selling election ads to Russia?

Should ALL Media, including social Media, be forced to disclose who pays for ads??

Will NFL ratings bounce back?

Should Trump be given equal time? He took aim at late-night shows for "unfunny" and frequent anti-Trump routines. Says they are "dealing with Democrats" and suggested he and fellow Republicans should be given equal time under the FCC rules for political candidates.

Will Trump’s core supporters turn on him if he doesn’t deliver more against Immigrants as he promised?  Only 12% of Americans prefer deportation vs. "amnesty" alternatives. High profile Conservative Media is livid about "Amnesty Don". How will Trump handle the fact that his base want a real Wall…and most Americans don’t?

Do you agree with Hillary that it's time to abolish the Electoral College?

Is it a good idea that some cities are allowing non-U.S. citizens to vote in local elections?

Why is Trump generating an additional attack on immigrants? In the next six months, Trump will weigh whether to extend the “temporary protected status” designation for several countries whose immigrants have lived in the United States for as long as 20 years -- with a decision to end that status potentially upending their lives. More than 440,000 are protected by the program.

Is 'Artificial Intelligence" a danger to us?  "Competition for A.I. superiority at national level most likely cause of WW3" Elon Musk says. The dire prediction was in response to Putin saying " the future not only of Russia but of all of mankind. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world." 

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