As of this writing, President Barack Obama has less than a month left in office. Vacationing in Hawaii, he seems to be using his limited time well, pardoning or commuting the sentences of more than 200 people in December. He has also moved to protect the environment in ways that can’t be reversed by the incoming administration. And he has made some last-minute appointments of people who are likely to be extremely effective in their work. He has even had several talks with his successor, and while it is unlikely that the man who won the Electoral College vote has listened very much, Obama has clearly handled himself with the same dignity and grace that he managed throughout his eight year


We in these United States love to bask in the glory of our “exceptionalism”. We are great, we are wonderful, we dominate the world. Scholars who study “us” say that our exceptionalism is rooted in the fact that we have offered leadership in international affairs. We have committed more resources than other countries to the United Nations, to NATO, and to other organizations committed to international peace. But we do this with a sense of paternal largesse, as if we are the greatest, the most wonderful, the benefactor. But we have allowed our electoral system to be thrown into chaos because Vladimir Putin has a grudge against former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and he used his minions


When Donald Trump was running for President, he specifically targeted the “white working class”, telling them that he’d prevent their jobs from leaving the country, that he’d bring back manufacturing jobs, and that he’d revive the oil and steel industries. He hasn’t taken office yet, but he has already celebrated the fact that Carrier, a furnace manufacturer in Indianapolis, Indiana, has agreed to keep jobs in the United States, even though they had earlier announced that they would have moved jobs to Mexico. The Carrier deal that Trump has been crowing about is so deceptive, that some business writers describe it as a scam and a union leader accused Trump of lying his hind parts off. Trum


Professor Deva Woodly teaches Political Science at the New School for Social Research in New York. During a recent talk, she shared that trust in our nation’s institutions is at an all time low. That is, perhaps, why that man who currently holds the title of President-elect was able to prevail over someone far more qualified in the November election. Using Gallup Poll data from June 2016, Professor Woodly notes that the military is our nation’s most trusted institution – 73 percent trust them, while our Congress is the least trusted with only 7 percent support. Fifty-six percent of us trust the police, forty-one percent trust the church, just 36 percent support the President, and only 2

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