Why President Trump is Disregarding ‘Constitutional Norms’

Law professor Neil Siegel says the most troubling aspect of Donald Trump’s conduct during and since the 2016 presidential campaign is not any potential violations of the U.S. Constitution or federal law, but his disregard of norms that had previously constrained presidential candidates and his flouting of constitutional conventions that had previously guided occupants of the White House.

Read More from the New Zealand Law Society

Trump Call On Afghan Surge: Another Step Away From ‘America First?’

Trump is “having trouble sticking to the ‘America First’ approach to foreign policy that he advocated in the campaign, and there’s a reason for that,” says public policy professor Bruce Jentleson, a former State Department policy planning official. “He’s finding out that ‘America First’ is hard to do in a way that doesn’t leave you shooting yourself in the foot.”

Read More in The Christian Science Monitor

Reports Of Trump Sharing Classified Info Point To Growing Fear Of Him

“They’re truly frightened about him,” public policy professor Bruce Jentleson says of U.S. intelligence officials. Jentleson, who served as a foreign policy aide in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, notes that an inadvertent disclosure of classified information to Russian officials would demonstrate “incompetence, impetuousness” and “mania,” adding: “I’m scared, too.”

Read More at CNBC

We Must Root Out The Torturers In Our Midst

That’s why I agreed to support the NC Commission of Inquiry on Torture, a grassroots effort to build momentum for genuine national accountability. The federal government and courts won’t guarantee justice but people can if they insist on transparency and truth,” writes Robin Kirk, co-chair of the Duke University Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute.

Read More in Newsweek

Trump Team to Meet on Paris Again

Nicholas School biologist Stuart Pimm and colleagues are seeking to force the Interior Department to restore webpages on climate change through a provision in the Freedom of Information Act. “The public has a right to know important scientific information, particularly when it threatens to unravel the web of life we all depend on,” Pimm says.

Read More in Politico

On Israeli Airstrikes in Syria — Lawful and No Need for Transparency

“… The facts are scarce about what intelligence or legal theory the Israelis relied upon to launch their attack (assuming it was them).  However, my guess is that they knew there were Hezbollah weapons in the warehouses that were being transshipped to the Israeli frontier, and that for legal justification, they relied upon the concept of anticipatory self-defense,” writes law professor Charles Dunlap.

Read More at Just Security

What Will Kill Neoliberalism?

 Economist William Darity contributes to a commentary on the future of neoliberalism. Suppose, indeed, that the age of capitalism is actually reaching its conclusion — but one that doesn’t involve the ascension of the working class. Suppose, instead, that we consider the existence of a third great social class vying with the other two for social dominance. …”

Read More in The Nation

Venezuela: From Richest Country in Latin America to ‘Basket Case’

Venezuela is on the verge of implosion. Inflation has skyrocketed, shortages of food and other basic necessities abound, and Venezuelans are increasingly fleeing the country and relocating around the region. “A country that was once the richest in Latin America is now a basket case, and the Bolivarians are to blame. The scope of their failure, with the world’s greatest reserves of oil, is just astounding,” says professor Patrick Duddy, a former ambassador to Venezuela.

Read More on The Cipher Brief

NAFTA and Global Value Chains

“A winning way to view the world is through the lens of regional value chains competing with each other. North America is competing with Europe and East Asia, rather than the U.S. competing with Germany and China,” writes Gary Gereffi, director of the Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness at Duke. “The national approach is an outdated framework from the economic standpoint. Most industries today are organized into regional and global supply chains, which requires a new calculus of winners and losers involving both workers and companies.”

Read More at Brookings.com

Risky Brinkmanship With an Unstable North Korean Regime

“We should hope that the United States is not resolved to risk major catastrophe in an exchange in which a victory only produces marginal gains. In this case, an adage from another early 1980s movie, ‘WarGames,’ applies: ‘The only winning move is not to play,’ ” writes political scientist Kyle Beardsley.

Read More in The Cleveland Plain Dealer

French Voters Have Rejected The Establishment

Political scientist Herbert Kitschelt says the terms of political competition in France are shifting: Voters are increasingly gravitating toward either liberal positions on both economics and societal issues (immigration, LGBTQ rights, the place of Islam, etc.) or authoritarian positions on both sets of issues.

Read More in The Washington Post

U.S. Cyber Defense ‘Terrible,’ Former NSA Director Says

“Over the last decade cyber has become an element of national power used by us and by our adversaries. We need the defensive architecture that allows industry to defend itself long enough for government to (then) come in and help,” Gen. Keith Alexander, former commander of U.S. Cyber Command and former director of the National Security Agency said in a speech at Duke.

Read More on Duke Today