In the “War on Youth” the youth strike back for liberty

By Ralph Benko Politics is no country for old men. The left likes to lampoon the GOP as a party of grumpy old men. Wrong. A new generation is rising. The most striking display at the recent CPAC was a barrage balloon emblazoned with the words War On Youth. It was lofted over one of the most popular … Continue reading In the “War on Youth” the youth strike back for liberty

Not a New Cold War, but Great Game II

By Mark Galeotti Are Russia and the West about to revisit the ritualized competition of the Cold War? Not according to Mark Galeotti. A more useful analogy is the Great Game, that freewheeling 19th century struggle between Great Britain and Russia over Central Asia. Suddenly the talk is of a new Cold War between Russia and the … Continue reading Not a New Cold War, but Great Game II

Why Only Mark Zuckerberg Can Transform Immigration Policy

By Ralph Benko Problems caused by America’s broken immigration system are causing misery to America’s immigrant community (both legal residents and undocumented), and, for good measure, to the president, the GOP and American society. There may be only one person with both the intentionality and the resources to resolve America’s immigration predicament: Mark Zuckerberg, founder … Continue reading Why Only Mark Zuckerberg Can Transform Immigration Policy

London Mayor Boris Johnson For President? Welcome to the UKSA!

By Ralph Benko This columnist’s admiration for Senator Rand Paul is driven, in part, by Sen. Paul’s consistent and honorable stand against the “warfare/welfare state.” Rising-star national talk radio host, and columnist, Steve Deace astutely observes in a recent Washington Times op-ed, “he’s the only candidate running that is attempting to introduce an entirely new … Continue reading London Mayor Boris Johnson For President? Welcome to the UKSA!

U.S. Defense Policy in the Wake of the Ukrainian Affair

By George Friedman Ever since the end of the Cold War, there has been an assumption that conventional warfare between reasonably developed nation-states had been abolished. During the 1990s, it was expected that the primary purpose of the military would be operations other than war, such as peacekeeping, disaster relief and the change of oppressive … Continue reading U.S. Defense Policy in the Wake of the Ukrainian Affair

A Modest Proposal: Should Puerto Rico Consider Joining The Russian Federation?

by Ralph Benko Should Puerto Rico explore following Crimea into the Russian Federation? Puerto Rico’s biggest problem in dealing with Washington is of the same nature as that increasingly shared by too many Americans. Puerto Rico’s biggest problem in dealing with Washington is of the same nature as that increasingly shared by too many Americans. … Continue reading A Modest Proposal: Should Puerto Rico Consider Joining The Russian Federation?

Russia and the United States Negotiate the Future of Ukraine

By George Friedman During the Cold War, U.S. secretaries of state and Soviet foreign ministers routinely negotiated the outcome of crises and the fate of countries. It has been a long time since such talks have occurred, but last week a feeling of deja vu overcame me. Americans and Russians negotiated over everyone's head to … Continue reading Russia and the United States Negotiate the Future of Ukraine

Big Government Really Is Over

by Ralph Benko Crimea. Venice. Scotland. Quebec. Catalonia. Colorado. Crimea’s vote, a popular vote of no confidence in Kiev, to leave Ukraine (and rejoin Russia) is in some ways unique. In o ther ways it appears part of an emerging, worldwide, trend.Venice voted last week, in a nonbinding referendum, to secede from Italy.  89% in favor: a popular vote … Continue reading Big Government Really Is Over

U.S. Unemployment Will Remain High So Long As The Dollar Remains Wobbly

by Ralph Benko The Republican National Committee recently passed a resolution, by the unanimous vote of its National Committeepeople, calling for the creation of a national Monetary Commission.  This legislation is prime sponsored in the House of Representatives by Joint Economic Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Tx) and in the US Senate by Republican whip John … Continue reading U.S. Unemployment Will Remain High So Long As The Dollar Remains Wobbly

Chuck Hagel Propels Barack Obama Into History

By Ralph Benko With his thoughtful restructuring of America’s military, secretary of defense Chuck Hagel — a Republican — has cemented Obama’s signature  legacy: restoring America to a peacetime footing. Obama’s bringing  American troops home from two wars, and, now, reducing the military to a strong, but proportionate, peacetime footing, was not easy. Doing so … Continue reading Chuck Hagel Propels Barack Obama Into History

What Facebook’s 56 New Genders Mean For Politics

by Ralph Benko Facebook very recently introduced a drop-down menu with 56 gender identity choices to embellish the classic Male and Female.  It includes arcane categories such as “neutrois” amd “two-spirit” and takes one over the 6-colored rainbow Gay Pride flag.  Facebook now takes us somewhere very far over the rainbow. This columnist fully shares … Continue reading What Facebook’s 56 New Genders Mean For Politics

The Asian Status Quo

By Robert D. Kaplan and Matt Gertken Arguably the greatest book on political realism in the 20th century was University of Chicago Professor Hans J. Morgenthau's Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, published in 1948. In that seminal work, Morgenthau defines the status quo as "the maintenance of the distribution of power … Continue reading The Asian Status Quo

Heritage Drafts Steve Moore, Supply Side Visionary, To Fight Team Obama

By Ralph Benko Will America start prospering again — as it has not prospered for over a decade? Likely yes. But not without a fight.  Now that Jim DeMint has raided Steve Moore from the Wall Street Journal that card might be Heritage Foundation vs. the White House. Could be big. John Holdren, now Obama’s … Continue reading Heritage Drafts Steve Moore, Supply Side Visionary, To Fight Team Obama

The American Public’s Indifference to Foreign Affairs

By George Friedman Last week, several events took place that were important to their respective regions and potentially to the world. Russian government officials suggested turning Ukraine into a federation, following weeks of renewed demonstrations in Kiev. The Venezuelan government was confronted with violent and deadly protests. Kazakhstan experienced a financial crisis that could have destabilized … Continue reading The American Public’s Indifference to Foreign Affairs

Has Brazil really entered recession? Then here is what to do

By Arnout Nuijt Positive news about Brazil’s economy is hard to find these days. In fact the bad news is piling up. A recent report by the Financial Times of London, quoting Brazil Central bank figures, suggests the country has entered technical recession more than 7 months ago by shrinking slightly for two consecutive quarters … Continue reading Has Brazil really entered recession? Then here is what to do

Rand Paul vs. Hillary Clinton: A Radically Transformational Presidential Election Fighting Over Peace and Prosperity?

By Ralph Benko Rand Paul vs. Hillary Clinton? In a context of emerging peace, prosperity, and human rights? This would be big.  Transformational, even.Peter Bein art, in the Atlantic Monthly (among many, many other political observers), has concluded that “Rand Paul is the 2016 Republican Frontrunner.”  And two of the Washington Post’s top political observers, … Continue reading Rand Paul vs. Hillary Clinton: A Radically Transformational Presidential Election Fighting Over Peace and Prosperity?

New Dimensions of U.S. Foreign Policy Toward Russia

By George Friedman The struggle for some of the most strategic territory in the world took an interesting twist this week. Last week we discussed what appeared to be a significant shift in German national strategy in which Berlin seemed to declare a new doctrine of increased assertiveness in the world -- a shift that followed intense German interest in … Continue reading New Dimensions of U.S. Foreign Policy Toward Russia

Memo To Janet Yellen’s Vice Chair Nominee Stanley Fischer: That Was Then. This Is Now.

By Ralph Benko Dr. Janet Yellen now has taken over the chair of the Fed. And President Obama, to great acclaim, recently nominated Prof. Stanley Fischer as Vice Chairman. Prof. Fischer may be the most distinguished and beloved central banker at work within the world financial system today. It is not often that central bankers … Continue reading Memo To Janet Yellen’s Vice Chair Nominee Stanley Fischer: That Was Then. This Is Now.

Why so much anarchy?

By Robert D. Kaplan Twenty years ago, in February 1994, I published a lengthy cover story in The Atlantic Monthly, "The Coming Anarchy: How Scarcity, Crime, Overpopulation, Tribalism, and Disease are Rapidly Destroying the Social Fabric of Our Planet." I argued that the combination of resource depletion (like water), demographic youth bulges and the proliferation … Continue reading Why so much anarchy?

The Secret Hillary Rodham Clinton, Part II

By Ralph Benko As recounted in the previous column, the record is clear that Saul Alinsky, about whom the young Hillary Rodham wrote her Wellesley honor’s thesis, was neither communist nor  conventional Big Government liberal. Hillary Rodham turned down a job  offer from Alinsky.  She turned aside from the path of  anti-establishment populist. Hillary Rodham took the … Continue reading The Secret Hillary Rodham Clinton, Part II

A More Assertive German Foreign Policy

By George Friedman and Marc Lanthemann The Ukrainian crisis is important in itself, but the behavior it has elicited from Germany is perhaps more important. Berlin directly challenged Ukraine's elected president for refusing to tighten relations with the European Union and for mistreating Ukrainians who protested his decision. In challenging President Viktor Yanukovich, Berlin also … Continue reading A More Assertive German Foreign Policy

The Secret Hillary Rodham Clinton, Part I

By Ralph BenkoForty-five years ago Hillary Rodham made a fateful decision. It has defined her life. Understanding that moment of decision is essential to understanding  Hillary Clinton’s life — the successes and the failures and, perhaps,  the future. It would explain the subtly discordant persona that causes  the media — even many elite Hillary sympathizers — to … Continue reading The Secret Hillary Rodham Clinton, Part I

Perspectives on the Ukrainian Protests

By George Friedman A few months ago, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was expected to sign some agreements that could eventually integrate Ukraine with the European Union economically. Ultimately, Yanukovich refused to sign the agreements, a decision thousands of his countrymen immediately protested. The demonstrations later evolved, as they often do. Protesters started calling for political … Continue reading Perspectives on the Ukrainian Protests

How The Republicans Can Win The Upcoming Battle Over Income Inequality

by Ralph Benko  Following President Obama’s lead, the Democrats are seeking to make  income inequality the wedge issue of the 2014 Congressional and Senate  elections. This unquestionably addresses an issue that — after forty  years of middle class family wage stagnation — resonates with voters. Yet the Republicans, thanks to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tx) and Rep. Kevin Brady … Continue reading How The Republicans Can Win The Upcoming Battle Over Income Inequality

Tōˌtaliˈte(ə)rēəns Among Us?

by Ralph Benko Possibly the most powerful, and dangerous, euphemism in politics today is “progressive.” This writer has many cherished progressive friends. He considers them beautiful… but, often, misguided. Yet perhaps they are more “guided” than he has supposed. Perhaps progressives, many of them, are precision guided. A pattern is emerging. That pattern is to … Continue reading Tōˌtaliˈte(ə)rēəns Among Us?

Elections Don’t Matter, Institutions Do

By Robert D. Kaplan Many years ago, I visited Four Corners in the American Southwest. This is a small stone monument on a polished metal platform where four states meet. You can walk around the monument in the space of a few seconds and stand in four states: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. People … Continue reading Elections Don’t Matter, Institutions Do

Can The Left’s “Mad Tea Party” Beat The Tea Party?

By Ralph Benko One year ago, between the re-election and re-inauguration of Barack Obama, the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy met and mapped out three major strategic goals.  These are designed to seize plenary control over the US government and, thereby, America. This is not “black helicopter” paranoia.  It was reported candidly in the pretty hard … Continue reading Can The Left’s “Mad Tea Party” Beat The Tea Party?

NAFTA and the Future of Canada, Mexico and the United States

By Marc Lanthemann The 20th anniversary of NAFTA's implementation on Jan. 1 has revived some of the perennial arguments that have surrounded the bloc since its inception. The general consensus has been that the trade deal was a mixed bag, a generally positive yet disappointing economic experiment. That consensus may not be wrong. The history … Continue reading NAFTA and the Future of Canada, Mexico and the United States

Government Gridlock, Saving America From Even Worse Laws

by Ralph Benko Many hands are being wrung among the elite governing class about Congressional gridlock. The Democrats have invoked the “nuclear option” — allowing the Senate majority in effect to prevail by simple, rather than 60%, majority. (This will come back to haunt them if majority control turns Republican in next year’s election.) Fortunately … Continue reading Government Gridlock, Saving America From Even Worse Laws

Brazil’s 2014 elections already face headwinds

By Fernando Dantas As Brazil prepares for election year 2014, economic uncertainty is pervasive. It is likely that 2014 will not be as spectacular as 2010, but forecasts of what will actually happen vary considerably. On the negative end, Brazil would encounter a perfect storm that might combine one or more downgrades of its sovereign … Continue reading Brazil’s 2014 elections already face headwinds

Ukraine: On the Edge of Empires

By George Friedman The name "Ukraine" literally translates as "on the edge." It is a country on the edge of other countries, sometimes part of one, sometimes part of another and more frequently divided. In the 17th and 18th centuries, it was divided between Russia, Poland and the Ottoman Empire. In the 19th century, it … Continue reading Ukraine: On the Edge of Empires

How the US Will Amend the Constitution To Rein In A Power Drunk Washington DC

by Ralph Benko On December 7th, nearly 100 state legislators, many distinguished, representing 32 states, assembled at Mount Vernon. They gathered at the homestead of George Washington, 15 miles from the capital city named for him. The purpose? To discuss how, safely, to revive an overlooked, but invaluable, provision in the United States Constitution to … Continue reading How the US Will Amend the Constitution To Rein In A Power Drunk Washington DC

Letter from Kurdistan

By Reva Bhalla At the edge of empires lies Kurdistan, the land of the Kurds. The jagged landscape has long been the scene of imperial aggression. For centuries, Turks, Persians, Arabs, Russians and Europeans looked to the mountains to buffer their territorial prizes farther afield, depriving the local mountain dwellers a say in whose throne … Continue reading Letter from Kurdistan

Is Paul Krugman the architect of permanent slump?

by Ralph Benko Public intellectual Paul Krugman recently consigned to Hell, in a New York Times op-ed column entitled A Permanent Slump, the world economy. He wrote: [W]hat if the world we’ve  been living in for the past five years is the new normal? What if  depression-like conditions are on track to persist, not for … Continue reading Is Paul Krugman the architect of permanent slump?

Israel’s new strategic position

By George Friedman Israel has expressed serious concerns over the preliminary U.S.-Iranian agreement, which in theory will lift sanctions levied against Tehran and end its nuclear program. That was to be expected. Less obvious is why the Israeli government is concerned and how it will change Israel's strategic position. Israel's current strategic position is excellent. … Continue reading Israel’s new strategic position

Chairman Hensarling’s Promise To Tackle the Fed

by Ralph Benko House Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling, after his introduction by Cato  Institute vice president Mark Calabria at a panel of the 31st annual Cato Monetary Conference, had effusive praise for his host: I do want to thank the Cato Institute for everything they  stand for and everything they have meant to … Continue reading Chairman Hensarling’s Promise To Tackle the Fed

The Democratic Alliance and South Africa’s 2014 elections

By Arnout Nuijt With less than six months to go, South Africa’s national elections already fuel many speculations. As I wrote earlier, the big game changer may be Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters. The EFF may grab up to 10% of the national vote (one poll put them even at 12%), mostly votes previously cast … Continue reading The Democratic Alliance and South Africa’s 2014 elections

Will a cabinet reshuffle save the Polish government?

By Remi Adekoya Prime Minister Donald Tusk has seen his popularity tank in recent months. The party he leads, Civic Platform (PO), is hardly in better shape. The latest TNS Polska poll showed the ruling party trailing its biggest rival opposition Law and Justice by 9 percentage points. Recent weeks have seen financial scandals come … Continue reading Will a cabinet reshuffle save the Polish government?

Israelis, Saudis and the Iranian Agreement

By George Friedman A deal between Iran and the P-5+1 (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) was reached Saturday night. The Iranians agreed to certain limitations on their nuclear program while the P-5+1 agreed to remove certain economic sanctions. The next negotiation, scheduled for six months from now depending on … Continue reading Israelis, Saudis and the Iranian Agreement

How to Stop Elite Republican Plans to Take the GOP Down The Way of the Whigs

by Ralph Benko Amidst the Democratic Party meltdown might elite Republican Party  operatives snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?  Don’t rule it out.   Many elite Republicans lust to steer their party the way of the Whigs. The Whigs?  This month a candidate of the Whig Party, long believed extinct, won an election for the … Continue reading How to Stop Elite Republican Plans to Take the GOP Down The Way of the Whigs