Informed Weekend: 10 Links I Learned From This Week (Vol. 16)

Here are the ten(ish) links I learned from this week:

  1. Presidential Election Update
    1. Clinton wins Arizona, Sanders wins Utah and Idaho (Vox)
    2. Trump wins Arizona, Cruz wins Utah (Vox)
    3. Jeb Bush endorses Ted Cruz (FiveThirtyEight)
    4. Why the Republican Establishment Doesn’t Like John Kasich (The New York Times Magazine)
  2. Terrorist attacks in Belgium
    1. What social science can tell us about the terrorist attacks in Belgium (The Washington Post)
    2. U.S. Politicians React to the Attacks in Brussels (The Atlantic)
  3. Obama goes to Cuba!
    1. Obamas historic trip to Cuba: a brief guide to what it means and why it matters (Vox)
    2. Raul Castro, Obama spar on human rights, Guantanamo, views of U.S. and Cuba (The Washington Post)
  4. The Supreme Court hands down it’s First 4-4 Ruling (The Atlantic)
  5. After the political science relevance revolution (The Washington Post)
  6. The Purpose of on-line Discussion (Digital Pedagogy Lab)

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"Old Havana Series" by Nick Kenrick (CC BY 2.0)

“Old Havana Series” by Nick Kenrick (CC BY 2.0)

12 thoughts on “Informed Weekend: 10 Links I Learned From This Week (Vol. 16)

  1. I think it’s interesting that when the supreme court is only 8 members, their decision doesn’t make “law of the land” when it’s tied. As far as I read, it confirms the lower courts decision and holds for that court. It’s also interesting that if the US has 5 democratic and 4 republican justices with a republican senate, the senate can continue to deny justice confirmations in order to halt the supreme court. Let’s say a gun law comes into the supreme court, the republicans can deny any democratic nominations to break the 4-4 tie and effectively leave the ruling to the lower court.

    • Nick, thanks for your comment. It’s important to understand that Supreme Court justices are not Republican or Democratic. They have liberal, conservative, or moderate ideologies, but they do not (and according to the Founders, should not) claim or take a party label. The Judicial branch is supposed to be the branch of government least associated with “politics”. Supreme Court justices aren’t elected by the public and their life-time tenure aims to keep them insulated from public opinion. Now, that does not mean that politics doesn’t creep in, as we have seen from the nomination battle for the Scalia replacement. The appointment of a Supreme Court Justice can be very political, though once they are on the bench, they are supposed to be insulated from it.

  2. The “Washington Post” article “What social science can tell us about the terrorist attacks in Belgium” is pertinent for this discussion both in Western Europe and for the U.S.

    The article shows that there is not really “je jure” segregation in Europe (more of “de facto” segregation) as there are laws to prevent anti-discrimination (plus Muslims too receive the nation’s social welfare benefits). It was stated that many Muslims feel a part of their country (example: “75 percent of French Muslims say they feel French”).

    It is stated that there is still discrimination, and it is implied that this will increase because of the terrorist attacks. Throughout history similar situations usually provoke a backlash (as a similar example of anti-Asian and Japanese laws in the U.S. after Pearl Harbor in 1941 and the rise in popularity of nationalistic far-right parties in Western Europe).

    De Facto feelings are showing as some European Muslins are voluntary self-segregating and becoming radicalized.

    • Paul, are you arguing that self-segregation leads to radicalization? Also, keep in mind that segregation can also be forced, as happens among races in the U.S. over time due to zoning laws, school districts, and etc.

  3. “Trump wins Arizona, Cruz wins Utah” – quite interesting. Partially shows the diversity of voters (stating that Hillary Clinton won big in Arizona as the DEMs there had a large non-white population, and B. Sanders won big elsewhere).

    The difference in the REP results (Trump/Cruz) with Trumping winning huge in Arizona and Cruz’s huge win in Utah. Again the types and demographics of voters (with the issues) took hold here. Utah’s Mormon population does not like Trump (plus Mitt Romney, a Mormon himself who endorsed Cruz and is speaking out against Trump) was a boost to the Cruz campaign.

  4. Election 2016 results

    As the votes for primaries are casted a clear pattern seems to emerge. Continuously specific candidates have managed to attract majority vote, Donald Trump leading for the Republican party and Hillary Clinton for the Democratic party. Not only are these two candidates winning majority vote but they seem to have categorized the “type” of vote won by each candidate. While Trump hold tightly to the “White” votes, Hillary manages to diversify to the “Nonwhite” votes.The pattern is supported in the Arizona Primary. Trump winning the state by a whopping 47 percent of the vote to Ted Cruz’s 25 percent. As estimated he will continue to earn more delegates, adding to his already big win in Arizona. Arizona being a winner-take-all state will assist Trump in reaching his goal of 1,237 delegates, therefore winning majority vote. The same pattern is mirrored on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton winning 58 percent of the vote to Sander’s 40 percent. She as well recieve the winner-take-all advantage, increasing her chances of winning the democratic nomination . However, the Utah caucus seems to skew the pattern due to the large quantity of Mormon population in the state. In the Utah caucus, Ted Cruz took the victory pushing Trump down to third place. This surprisingly overturn took effect on the Democratic side as well, Sanders overwhelmly winning over Hillary with 80 percent of the vote to her 20 percent. While the runner up candidates success for both parties seemed like a pleasant occurrence, it is simply not enough since the both of them are far behind in number of delegates.

  5. “U.S. Politicians React to the Attacks in Brussels” – exemplifies how political candidates react differently to current situations. Donald Trump (R) and Ted Cruz( R) had similar views as they offered a more direct response. Trump stated that we need to have stronger regulations on who we allow into the country, but did not specify as to who. He stated, “There is a certain group of people making life impossible.” Cruz also has a resilient image of terror and blames Obama for acknowledging the attacks as the works of “Islamic extremist.” He says that the only way to defeat the enemy is to name it. On the other hand, John Kasich (R ), Bernie Sanders (D) and Hillary Clinton (D) called for unity. Clinton stated, “Today’s attacks will only strengthen our resolve to stand together as allies and defeat terrorism and radical jihadism around the world.” Sanders stated, ” We stand with our European allies to offer any necessary assistance in these difficult times. Today’s attack is a brutal reminder that the international community must come together to destroy ISIS.” Kasich also mourned the dead and offered assistance to European allies. Overall, this article shows how candidates go about tackling different issue. It is interesting to me how people react and deal with certain situations. Whether one view/solution is better than the other depends on a persons stance on the issue. Maybe the best solution is a combination of all the views- we should offer assistance to our European allies but also be more careful on who we let into our country until we can finally identify and name the real enemy. All I know is we need to do something different to end these terrorist attacks.

  6. Concerning the piece, “Why the Republican Establishment Doesn’t Like John Kasich,” I find the points they rise very evident of the direction that the republican party wants to take. John Kasich is definitely a more “middle of the road” republican and the republican party seems to want a very right sided candidate, such as Ted Cruz or Donald Trump. Their initial comments align with this theory; however, the second half of the article focuses on Kasich’s demeanor around people and how this is also an obstacle he faces in his efforts for the nomination. I feel that Donald Trump has a worse demeanor with respect to what the author was discussing, yet Trump is performing much better in the polls, which leaves me confused as to the quality of this argument.

    • Trump does have a much worse demeanor, you’re right. However, Trump has no political experience and has not worked within the political system like Kasich. I believe the article that discusses Kasich’s demeanor discusses it in the context of his colleagues in Washington, D.C. and in Ohio that also work in politics.

  7. Obamas Historic Trip To Cuba

    Obamas trip to Cuba is a big step for both America and Cuba. It could be the start of removing a trade embargo that has stood between the two for over 50 years. One thing that really struck me was the image of Air Force One flying in. You can see that the plane is probably worth more than the entire town that its flying over. It really draws a contrast between the two countries.
    While Obama’s visit doesn’t include lifting a trade embargo or making Cuba a state, the mere fact that he is visiting Cuba is a big statement as we haven’t really been on the best terms with Cuba in the past. It signifies a decrease in hostility between the U.S. and Cuba. Cubans are in high support for Obama as they feel he can help them to escape the represivenss of their country. They also feel that the officials should be punished for the restrictions they have placed on citizens for so many years. If not it will seem as if Island authorities would be getting off the hook.
    The end of the hostility between the countries could prove to be very good for both Cuban and U.S. businesses. It will allow companies to open and operate in Cuba. Also, it will encourage more travel to Cuba, allowing businesses to bring in more customers, especially tourists.
    Obama wants people to feel less like the U.S. is making the change in Cuba and more like helpers, aiding the people of Cuba to bring about change.

    • Thanks for your comments, Josh. President Obama can do a lot to open the country to Cuba, but he cannot lift the embargo on Cuban goods. Only Congress can do that. Separation of powers and checks and balances is as important today as ever before. The American public may support lifting the Cuban embargo, but it will be up to Congress to do so officially and more permanently. The next president, for example, could come in and reverse what President Obama has done. Just something to think about…

  8. I was interested by the articles about President Obama’s visit to Cuba. I was specifically interested in the comments made about how Obama’s visit seemed like a “normal” state visit. I would argue that the baseball game played between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban National Baseball Team was abnormal due to the amount of promotion it received outside of mass media outlets. While it did receive coverage in mass media outlets the game also featured heavy advertising on ESPN, increasing the reach of the audience that could hear about President Obama’s state visit due to his being heavily featured in the game’s broadcast.

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