FROM Scott Keeter
Are Polls Trumping Political Reality? In a speech in South Carolina today, Donald Trump gave out the personal cell phone of Lindsay Graham, that state's US Senator and a fellow candidate for President. Trump also called Graham a "lightweight" and "an idiot." The Des Moines Register's editorial board has called Trump a "feckless blowhard" and asked him to drop out of the presidential primary. Today's Washington Post/ABC News poll shows Trump leading the field of 16 candidates—with 24%, the biggest showing any candidate has made so far this year. Yet the same survey shows that Republicans don't share Trump's views — even on immigration — and 54% say he doesn't reflect Republican values. Other surveys show the same contradiction. Is it all about saturation news coverage, or is something wrong with the polls? The question's especially important this year when the first debate will include only the ten candidates with the biggest numbers.
Is the United States losing its moral authority in the world? American support for human rights has often been criticized as more about words than it is about action. President Trump is creating more skeptics than ever. What are the consequences for America's role in the world?
Trump's Russia ties intensify with Comey firing Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe contradicted the Trump White House today, insisting the Bureau had not lost faith in former Director James Comey. He promised to notify the committee of any interference into investigation of the Trump campaign's contacts with Vladimir Putin's Russia. What do we know about those contacts… and how they relate to Trump's business interests and those of his family?
A New York Times op-ed on climate change sparks uproar The New York Times is embroiled in a public furor over a new columnist, who wrote that scientific uncertainty is reason for debate about climate change. Many conservatives are delighted. Is America's leading liberal newspaper fostering climate denial? This is the latest in our series, "The Emotional States of America."
Should we 'hack the climate' to fight global warming? The Paris Agreements won't be enough to reverse global warming, whether President Trump pulls the US out or not. Is it time to try altering the atmosphere by what's called "geoengineering?" We hear about unintended consequences, international relations… and ethics.