Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Article from Tevi Troy

How Donald Trump Broke the GOP's Music Curse

February 7, 2016  •  Politico

Donald Trump has been blowing up the old traditional GOP certainties left and right, and this week he overturned another one. In what seemed like an embarrassing rebuke, on February 1, Adele told the Republican front-runner that he didn't have her permission to use her songs at his massive campaign events. Adele might just be the world's most popular singer at the moment, and any normal candidate would have folded his tent, chastened. Not Trump. At his rally in Little Rock, Arkansas two days later the crowd of thousands listened to Adele's "Skyfall" before Trump's helicopter landed. A day after that, in Exeter, New Hampshire, Adele's "Rolling In the Deep" could be heard blaring behind the candidate when he made his entrance.

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Latest Article from Jonathan Schanzer

Nuclear Deal: Impact on Iran-Turkey Economic Relations

February 2016  •  Roubini Global Economics

The recent implementation of the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) will have a profound impact on the Middle East. From heightened tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia to Iran's ability to finance terrorist proxies with sanctions relief, there are many reasons for Iran's neighbors to worry. But not every country is fraught with concern. Turkey has hailed the deal as a diplomatic success.

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Latest Article from Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Is ISIS good at governing?

February 3, 2016  •  Brookings

Will McCants: ISIS-claimed attacks in Paris, Beirut, and Egypt indicate the organization wants to take the fight to its enemies abroad. One reason might be that all is not well in ISIS-land. The nascent state in Syria and Iraq has lost around 25 percent of its territory and tens of thousands of fighters in the year since America and its allies began to their campaign to defeat it. While the state still endures for now, it's under tremendous pressure because of the costs of ceaseless war.

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Latest Article from Clifford May

The Islamist wears Dolce & Gabbana

February 3, 2016  •  The Washington Times

In the "culture" section of the venerable Atlantic magazine last month, there was a news item I wouldn't want you to miss: "The Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana has just launched a line of hijabs (headscarves) and abayas (cloaks) in the label's signature playful, theatrical aesthetic."

The article's author, "fashion historian" Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, goes on to wax enthusiastic about how these "pieces" are being "accessorized," including with "oversized sunglasses, cocktail rings, stilettos, and statement bags." She saves for the last paragraph, her analysis of the deep meaning of these stylistic innovations:

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Latest Article from Soeren Kern

Germany's Migrant Deportation Plan: "Political Charade"

February 1, 2016  •  Gatestone Institute

After three months of political infighting, Germany's coalition government has announced new measures aimed at making it easier to deport migrants who are convicted of committing crimes.

The measures emerged in response to voter outrage over the sexual assaults of hundreds of women by migrants in Cologne and other German cities on New Year's Eve — and alleged attempts by the government and the news media to cover up the crimes.

Known as the Asylum Package II (Asylpaket II), the draft law was announced by the cabinet on January 28 and must now be approved by the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament, for it to come into effect.

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Latest Article from Michael Rubin

No Bare Breasts, Please, We're Iranian

January 31, 2016  •  Newsweek

So the Italian government has covered up statues and paintings depicting nudes or nude figures for the visit of Iran's President Rouhani. So much for mutual tolerance and that dialogue of civilizations.

The episode not only highlights the cravenness of European leaders, but also shows just how divorced Rouhani and Iran's other clerical leaders are from the traditions of Iran and Persian culture. After all, Iran (called 'Persia' before 1935) is the inheritor of a great civilization that dates back millennia and has a rich artistic and literary tradition.

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Latest Article from Ilan Berman

The Kremlin's Selective Counterterrorism

January 27, 2016  •  National Review Online

To hear President Vladimir Putin tell it, his government is the proverbial tip of the spear in the global war on terror. For months, Kremlin officials have taken great pains to style their intervention in Syria in grandiose terms — not simply as a ploy to prop up a key strategic ally, but as a broader campaign against Islamic extremism. To hear them tell it, Russia has been forced to lead because of Western fecklessness in the face of gathering Islamic radicalism. Yet this bluster belies the fact that Moscow's counterterrorism policy is both flawed and selective in the extreme.

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Latest Article from Michael Freund

Bring home the Subbotnik Jews of Ukraine and Russia

January 27, 2016  •  Jerusalem Post

Last week, amid subfreezing temperatures in a Ukrainian city founded by Cossacks, I saw living proof that the Jewish spark can truly burn brightly even under the most unlikely circumstances.

Indeed, while the snow in Krivoi Rog may be kneedeep, blocking roads and turning thoroughfares into slippery escapades, that doesn't seem to deter the small local community of Subbotnik Jews from faithfully trudging to their modest synagogue, where they continue to turn their hearts and their hopes toward Zion.

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Latest Article from Asaf Romirowsky

Anti-Israelism and the Jewish community

January 25, 2016  •  Jerusalem Post

Over the course of Jewish history, the idea of survival has become essential to understanding the Jewish community. Such understanding has run highest at times when Jews were powerless, such as the end of World War II, and produced at these times a certain amount of world sympathy.

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Latest Article from Judith Miller

America on Edge

Winter 2016  •  City Journal

America was on edge during the holiday season. The mass shooting in San Bernardino by an Islamic married couple, which killed 14 people, was the deadliest terror strike in the United States since 9/11. It followed the dramatic suicide attacks in Paris, the downing of a Russian plane in Egypt, and an assault on a hotel favored by Westerners in far-flung Bamako, Mali. In mid-December, Los Angeles shut down its 1,087 schools for a day, after receiving a terror threat.

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Latest Article from Jeff Stier

Cut meat consumption to combat climate change? Bah, humbug!

December 24, 2015  •  Tribune News Service

Climate change activists are disappointed with the Paris agreement because, in the words of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, it doesn't go "far enough."

High on their list of policy goals is a tax on meat, akin to tobacco and alcohol "sin taxes."

The theory is that meat, especially beef, is disproportionately responsible for greenhouse gas emissions and if we were able to change how people eat, primarily in wealthier countries like the U.S., we could take a significant bite out of climate change.

A blueprint to achieve the meat tax is laid out in a November report by Chatham House, a London-based think tank. The group concedes that the issue is "complex."

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