This New Yorker Cover Perfectly Explains the Problem With Donald Trump | Mother Jones( 17 )

Where to start? Teddy Roosevelt backed a racist imperial war and said white women using birth control were committing “race suicide” by turning their country over to less-fair-skinned hordes. FDR, the architect of Japanese internment, actually did the thing that people are calling Trump a fascist for defending—and kept the internment camps open long after they’d been deemed unnecessary in order to win a presidential election. I don’t know what else to say about JFK other than that his personal life makes Trump look like Ned Flanders, and he started a land war in Asia we’re still recovering from. George Washington owned people and bought an election by getting people drunk. All four were born into privilege. And Abe Lincoln—okay, let’s not speak ill of the dead; that man slayed vampires.

From: This New Yorker Cover Perfectly Explains the Problem With Donald Trump | Mother Jones

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Twitter: Roundtable on Authority & Rebellion( 36 )

https://twitter.com/WAWilsonIV/status/688826626818195457

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The Dark History of Liberal Reform | New Republic( 36 )

If Leonard didn’t have the quotes from prominent progressives to back up his claims, this would read like right-wing paranoia: The state’s most innocuous protections reframed as malevolent and ungodly social engineering. But his citations are genuine.

From: The Dark History of Liberal Reform | New Republic {via Jaybird}

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Dissecting Paul Krugman’s Bernie backlash: Being a Sanders skeptic doesn’t make you a hack – Salon.com( 25 )

They remember how critical Krugman was of candidate Obama in the 2008 primary; and they remember that he was the “anti-Obama” during the president’s first few years in office. But they also remember that Krugman ultimately came to write an influential Rolling Stone piece in the president’s defense. They believe that the Democratic Party establishment is in the tank for Hillary Clinton, Sanders’ chief opponent. They figure Krugman, now firmly back in the establishment’s clutches, is following suit.

Again, it’s not a wild or outrageous narrative. It doesn’t require imagining Krugman is part of a coordinated campaign, devised in some dark and shadowy conference room — perhaps the one the Springfield Republican Party uses — with elevating Clinton, and thwarting Sanders, as its goal. But it’s still wrong; and it misremembers (or misrepresents) not only Krugman’s positions in the past and today, but also, by proxy, the position of Sanders-skeptic lefties in general.

From: Dissecting Paul Krugman’s Bernie backlash: Being a Sanders skeptic doesn’t make you a hack – Salon.com

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Rod Dreher: Trump & the Conservative Intelligentsia | TAC( 10 )

{Via Mike Schilling}

But a funny thing kept happening. When I would go back to south Louisiana to visit my family, I often got into (friendly) arguments with people about conservative principles and policies. I noticed that we were at loggerheads over many things. It frustrated me to no end that reason was useless; “ideologically unmoored cultural passions” weren’t just something, they were the only thing. This was a tribal conservatism, one that had very little to do with ideas, and everything to do with nationalism and a sense of us-versus-them. To be a conservative is to agree with Us; to disagree with us means you must be a liberal.

I remember getting into it with my dad once after I moved home. I was driving him to the VA clinic for a check-up. This was during the Obamacare debate, and he started complaining about welfare spongers who expected the government to pay for their medical care. I pointed out that he was an avid user of Medicare and of veterans’ medical benefits, and that if not for those government programs, he would have died a long time ago.

From: Trump & the Conservative Intelligentsia | The American Conservative

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Insuring workers against lower wages is one of the Left’s better ideas | The Economist( 9 )

Mr Obama wants the government to provide workers with wage insurance. If a worker blamelessly loses her job and takes a new one which pays less—and less than $50,000 the government would make up half the shortfall for two years, up to a total of $10,000. An estimate from 2007 suggests this would cost $3 billion-4 billion a year. That means it could be financed with a tax, which supporters would describe as an insurance premium, of around $25 per year, per worker. The proposal is likely to remain theoretical for the foreseeable future; it has few takers among Republicans, who control Congress and therefore the budget. Yet as an example of how the American left is thinking about how to respond to globalisation and automation it is worth examining, not least because whomever the Democrats nominate as a presidential candidate in July is likely to borrow it.

The government already offers the same terms to workers over 50 who lose their jobs as a result of foreign competition. The logic of this proposal is the same: trade benefits all consumers by filling shops with cheap imports, but harms those whose jobs disappear overseas. Why, ask advocates of wage insurance, should this apply only to trade-related job losses? Is a factory worker replaced by a robot any less deserving than one who is displaced by foreign goods?

From: Creative compensation | The Economist

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Shadow of populism hangs over Davos – FT.com( 1 )

Shadow of populism hangs over Davos - FT.com

For the moment, the Davos mood on populism is more one of deep concern and uncertainty than full-blown panic. But the next 12 months will present a series of crucial tests.It is possible — if still unlikely — that when the WEF gathers this time next year, Mr Trump will be US president, the UK will have voted to leave the EU and border controls will have been restored across Europe. Those developments would turn the Davos world upside down.

 From: Shadow of populism hangs over Davos – FT.com

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Wojnarowski: David Blatt never stood a chance with LeBron James and Co. – Yahoo Sports( 2 )

Ultimately, Blatt had little staying power with the Cavaliers, because James had turned Blatt’s removal into an inevitability. As the games wore on, opposing players on the floor weren’t only watching James constantly wave off plays from the coach – but role players feeling emboldened to disregard the head coach’s instructions, too.

James had the Cavaliers existing in open rebellion for more than a season now, with no Pat Riley in the organizational shadows to scare everyone into compliance.

Despite winning 11 of 13 games – losing only to the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs – James had become increasingly vocal in his opposition of Blatt in recent practice sessions and game environments. Within the franchise, it was hard to hear anything else. LeBron James and Rich Paul never had to walk into the GM’s office and demand the firing of the coach. All together, they had the capability of making everyone’s life hell until the deed was done.

From: How David Blatt never stood a chance with LeBron James and his camp

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Politico: How Donald Trump defeats Hillary Clinton( 7 )

After winning the nomination on the first ballot, Trump unifies the party he has fractured behind him and reinvents himself as a pragmatic businessman and family man at the Republican National Convention. News of small-scale terror plots on American soil, foiled or successful, keep voters in a state of anxiety. Trump minimizes his losses with Hispanics by running Spanish-language ads highlighting his support for a strong military and take-charge entrepreneurial attitude, especially in the Miami and Orlando media markets. He draws the starkest possible outsider-insider contrast with Hillary Clinton and successfully tars her with her husband’s sexual history.

From: How Donald Trump defeats Hillary Clinton {Via Aaron David}

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Edward Feser: Possibly the Worst New Atheist Book Yet – First Things( 5 )

Biologist Jerry Coyne has managed to write what might be the worst book yet published in the New Atheist genre…

Coyne speaks repeatedly of “religion’s methods,” as if there were some common technique applied by scholastic logicians, Buddhist monks, and Appalachian snake handlers. The theology of Thomas Aquinas, Hindu nationalism, the cargo cults of Melanesia, Scientology—all of these and more are casually lumped together as examples of religion, as if the differences weren’t at least as significant as whatever similarities Coyne thinks he sees. This is like pulling random lines from a physics textbook, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and an episode of Star Trek and then putting them forward as equally typical illustrations of “science” and of “science’s methods.”

Coyne’s own method, then, is to characterize religion however he needs to in order to convict it of irrationality.

From: Omnibus of Fallacies by Edward Feser | Articles | First Things

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Washington Post: Why a looming storm makes us think we can eat all the junk food we want( 2 )

Thursday night, a day before the storm was due to pound us with blizzard conditions, American University students Miranda Oliver and Ashley Sillaro were casually wheeling out of the Columbia Heights Target with two six-packs of Blue Moon and hard cider. These were backups, said Oliver, 21, in case the beer she’d bought just a day earlier ran out.

On that trip, she added, “I got like three things of ice cream. And I don’t even really like ice cream.”

“We were going to get an ice-cream cake,” added Sillaro, 20.

From: Why a looming storm makes us think we can eat all the junk food we want – The Washington Post

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How To Drive In The Snow, In A Regular-Ass Car, Without Freaking Out( 7 )

Which brings me to the first thing you need to know in order to drive the hell home in the snow: You are not actually required to lose your goddamn mind just because snow is falling. It is not the apocalypse. Neither physics nor society have been cancelled by it. It is not sulfuric ash. There are no abominable snowpeople stalking through it. It will not dissolve your body if it touches you. It is frozen water. You can drive in it, you can walk in it, you can stand in it long enough to help a fellow motorist get the fuck out of your way, you can ball it up and throw it at people who treat it like it’s the end of the goddamn world. It is snow.

From: How To Drive In The Snow, In A Regular-Ass Car, Without Freaking Out

{via Maribou}

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@CathyYoung63: “Re Alt-Right…” ( 110 )

(CK: Double Content Warning: Linked Post Contains Highly Controversial Views AND (See “Updates” Note) Misuses the Word “Compliment” (as of this writing))

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Flint Water Crisis: The Not-So-Usual Suspects( 33 )

This is a huge public health disaster. And we Americans like our big, bad disasters in black and white. We want to blame it on one bad guy and reward one good guy. We’re not real good at nuance and chains of events … especially if they clash with our political beliefs.

Every Democrat in the country is calling for Gov. Snyder’s head and blaming it purely on the Republican governor and his emergency financial manager law. And not only are they ignoring the guys in the black hats who actually caused the problem, they’re really ignoring the victims. Worse, they’re using them as a tool to gain a political advantage. And that’s even larger tragedy.

That’s not what Flint’s children need right now. People need to focus on them, and not on their hatred of all things Republican.

Greg Branch- The Real Tragedy in Flint

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Bitter Empire: The Presidential Candidates Ranked By Their Usefulness In A Bar Fight( 2 )

4. Chris Christie

Again, Christie is not going to be one of the best physical fighters you’ve ever seen, but it’s a good bet that the guy knows how to throw a punch. Plus Christie has the intimidation factor. He knows how to be mean, loud, and carry menace. And he’s a powerful man from New Jersey, which means everyone is going to assume he’s mobbed up. That’ll make people think twice, and you may not have to have a bar fight at all.

From: The Presidential Candidates Ranked By Their Usefulness In A Bar Fight – Bitter Empire

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Obama comments to Southern U student set off debate on president and black colleges( 1 )

Every HBCU is different, and some are quite good. The question of what to do about the others is… fraught.

Obama also said that “some HBCUs are having trouble with graduation rates. And that is a source of concern. And what we’ve said to those HBCUs is we want to work with you, but we don’t want a situation in which young people are taking out loans, getting in debt, thinking that they’re going to get a great education and then halfway through they’re dropping out.”

The president acknowledged that one reason some black colleges have lower graduation rates than other institutions is that “HBCUs may be taking chances on some kids that other schools might not. And that’s a positive thing, and that has to be taken into account.” But Obama added that “we also have to make sure that colleges — any college, HBCU or non-HBCU — take seriously the need to graduate that student and not load them up with debt.”

From: Obama comments to Southern U student set off debate on president and black colleges

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National Post: Could your past life nix a Senate spot? Liberals appoint hypnotherapist, singer to selection panel( 2 )

One of the panelists named by the Liberal government to a board that will select new senators tries to recover the past lives of people she treats using a largely debunked psychological technique.Manitoba folk singer and hypnotherapist Heather Bishop is one of nine “eminent Canadians” who will help choose candidates to fill the 22 vacancies in the Senate, Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef announced Tuesday.But for a government that prides itself on evidence-based policy, her addition to the Senate advisory board may raise a few brows.

From: Could your past life nix a Senate spot? Liberals appoint hypnotherapist, singer to selection panel | National Post

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Buzzfeed: You’ll Be Able To See Five Planets If You Wake Up Early Enough For The Next Month( 0 )

“This is what I call eyeball astronomy,” Beatty said. “It’s just being in the moment. You don’t need to wait for your eyes to adjust to the darkness, or have a telescope or binoculars. Just go out and appreciate the clockwork of our solar system playing out right in front of you.”

From: You’ll Be Able To See Five Planets If You Wake Up Early Enough For The Next Month – BuzzFeed News

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Full Text Of Sarah Palin’s Trump Endorsement Speech – BuzzFeed News( 20 )

We are ready for a change. We are ready and our troops deserve the best. A new commander-in-chief whose track record of success has proven he is the master at the art of the deal. He is one who would know to negotiate.

“Only one candidate’s record of success proves he is the master of the art of the deal. He is beholden to no one but we the people, how refreshing. He is perfectly positioned to let you make America great again. Are you ready for that, Iowa?

“No more pussy footin’ around! Our troops deserve the best, you deserve the best!

“He is from the private sector, not a politician, can I get a “Hallelujah!” Where, in the private sector, you actually have to balance budgets in order to prioritize, to keep the main thing, the main thing, and he knows the main thing: a president is to keep us safe economically and militarily. He knows the main thing, and he knows how to lead the charge. So troops, hang in there, because help’s on the way because he, better than anyone, isn’t he known for being able to command, fire! Are you ready for a commander-in-chief, you ready for a commander-in-chief who will let our warriors do their job and go kick ISIS ass? Ready for someone who will secure our borders, to secure our jobs, and to secure our homes? Ready to make America great again, are you ready to stump for Trump? I’m here to support the next president of the United States, Donald Trump.”

From: So, Uh, Here’s The Full Text Of Sarah Palin’s Bizarre Trump Speech – BuzzFeed News

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The Atlantic: Ta-Nehisi Coates on Bernie Sanders and Reparations( 27 )

Sanders’s anti-racist moderation points to a candidate who is not merely against reparations, but one who doesn’t actually understand the argument. To briefly restate it, from 1619 until at least the late 1960s, American institutions, businesses, associations, and governments—federal, state and local—repeatedly plundered black communities. Their methods included everything from land-theft, to red-lining, to disenfranchisement, to convict-lease labor, to lynching, to enslavement, to the vending of children. So large was this plunder that America, as we know it today, is simply unimaginable without it. Its great universities were founded on it. Its early economy was built by it. Its suburbs were financed by it. Its deadliest war was the result of it.

From: Ta-Nehisi Coates on Bernie Sanders and Reparations – The Atlantic

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Southern White Women Are Apparently in Pretty Bad Shape These Days( 0 )

I think that’s wise. For one thing, if you slice the data in a different way, you might get a different result. What’s more, as I’ve mentioned several times, the increased mortality affects the young too, not just the middle aged. So if you spun some brilliant theories about why middle-aged whites are so damn depressed these days, you might want to rethink things. Your new theory needs to explain why the young and the middle-aged are dying in greater numbers, and you also need to explain why it’s affecting primarily women in the South. Good luck.

From: Southern White Women Are Apparently in Pretty Bad Shape These Days | Mother Jones {via Zic}

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Schuler on Immigration: A Few Distinctions( 0 )

As I suggested in the post linked above, the European countries have a choice to make but it’s their choice. Whether we accept more migrants and whom we accept should be our choice, too. Recently, it hasn’t been. It’s been the choice of our elites who like lots of new immigrants because they keep wages down and they (the elites) can just retire to their gated communities and estates if they don’t want to put up with the problems.

From: A Few Distinctions

And: More from Schuler…

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Daily Beast: Pentagon May Demote David Petraeus( 64 )

The Pentagon is considering retroactively demoting retired Gen. David Petraeus after he admitted to giving classified information to his biographer and mistress while he was still in uniform, three people with knowledge of the matter told The Daily Beast.

The decision now rests with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, who is said to be willing to consider overruling an earlier recommendation by the Army that Petraeus not have his rank reduced. Such a demotion could cost the storied general hundreds of thousands of dollars—and deal an additional blow to his once-pristine reputation.

From: Exclusive: Pentagon May Demote David Petraeus – The Daily Beast

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Donald Trump Is Really Unpopular With General Election Voters( 69 )

We’ve got an unpopular set of presidential candidates this year– Bernie Sanders is the only candidate in either party with a net-positive favorability rating — but Trump is the most unpopular of all. His favorability rating is 33 percent, as compared with an unfavorable rating of 58 percent, for a net rating of -25 percentage points. By comparison Hillary Clinton, whose favorability ratings are notoriously poor, has a 42 percent favorable rating against a 50 percent unfavorable rating, for a net of -8 points. Those are bad numbers, but nowhere near as bad as Trump’s.

From: Donald Trump Is Really Unpopular With General Election Voters | FiveThirtyEight

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Black hole sun could support bizarre life on orbiting planets | New Scientist( 0 )

The energy of light is proportional to its frequency. This means that when light from the CMB hits Miller’s planet, and its frequency is increased by this time dilation, its energy increases. With a time-dilation factor of around 60,000, Miller’s planet would be heated to nearly 900 ?C.

In the film, the planet is swept by huge tidal waves of water, but Opatrný says his calculations mean molten aluminium would be more likely. Conditions would be cooler if the planet were slightly further out from the black hole, lessening the effects of time dilation and making it more hospitable to life. “It’s interesting that [the analysis] suggests the microwave background would be disastrous for observers on the planet, making the movie once again less realistic,” says Lawrence Krauss of Arizona State University.

From: Black hole sun could support bizarre life on orbiting planets | New Scientist

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Alexandra Petri: An unbiased look at the Best Picture nominees of 2016 – The Washington Post( 0 )

Alexandra Petri: An unbiased look at the Best Picture nominees of 2016 - The Washington Post“The Big Short”: Toast The Knowing, The Splendid Angharad, The Dag, Furiosa, Capable and Nux are all names of characters in “Mad Max: Fury Road.” With this information under your belt, why would you choose to see any other movie on this list? I saw this movie four times in theaters. I would see it again right now.

From: An unbiased look at the Best Picture nominees of 2016 – The Washington Post

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Politico: FDR’s Nate Silver( 0 )

Anxiety about this populist brushfire led Democratic Party chairman James A. Farley to commission a secret poll gauging Long’s prospects. After a dinner with Roosevelt and several top aides, Farley and the pollster reviewed the survey results alongside a “greatly interested” president. The numbers were surprising: In a three-way presidential race, FDR still won, but Long took 11 percent of the vote, faring especially well among the economically distressed. The poll showed that Long’s popularity was far-reaching, confined neither to the South nor to rural areas. He polled strongly in western states (32 percent in Washington) and respectably in midwestern industrial cities (16 percent in Cleveland). Long, Farley concluded, could “have the balance of power in the 1936 election”: A strong showing could peel off enough FDR voters to elect a Republican. Worse still, the poll showed the president to be weaker than at any time since his inauguration.

From: FDR’s Nate Silver – POLITICO Magazine

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Ted Cruz taunts Donald Trump over his slipping lead and Twitter habits – POLITICO( 0 )

“In terms of a commander-in-chief, we ought to have someone who isn’t springing out of bed to tweet in frantic response to the latest polls,” Cruz said.

The Texas senator, who has dismissed Trump’s conservative credibility by accusing him of having “New York values,” unpacked that line in more depth, noting that Trump himself used the phrase in a 1999 interview in which he also described himself as supporting abortion rights and not ruling out partial birth abortion, among other more liberal positions.

“Donald’s explanation, not mine, is because he’s a New Yorker, he’s from New York,” Cruz said.

From: Ted Cruz taunts Donald Trump over his slipping lead and Twitter habits – POLITICO

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How Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and Coca-Cola Broke the Arab Boycott( 0 )

Our mission was to convince American businessmen to ignore the Arab threat to seal off their much larger market from any company that did business with us. We also tried to drum up foreign investment in Israel, another move that would trigger the boycott. We asked Jewish-American importers to pressure their foreign suppliers to sell to Israel by warning that they would offend their customers if they refused to do business with Israel.

Japanese automakers especially were targeted with the threat of losing their growing American market, but they had already figured out a way around the boycott. Back in Japan the manufacturers carved up the Middle East market and designated only one company, Subaru, to sell to Israel while the others sold to the Arabs. We wanted all of them to sell in Israel, not only for political reasons but to encourage competition, which has never been a high priority for Japanese industry.

I soon realized that my mission had another important goal: convincing large American companies that by boycotting Israel they were not only missing an important foreign market but endangering their sales at home. Before I arrived, a number of American Jewish organizations led by the Anti-Defamation League and its vociferous General Counsel Arnold Forster had established a Boycott Committee. One of its goals was to bring Coca-Cola to Israel.

From: How Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and Coca-Cola Broke the Arab Boycott – Tablet Magazine

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The Donald isn’t Teflon- we’re just doing it wrong( 59 )

A billionaire real estate developer might make for an odd working class political (anti-)hero, but he has always projected the over the top caricature of what a working stiff might think being rich would be like. And his outer borough accent conveys a disarming familiarity that impossible to fake.

So how do you chip away at this rapport? You start by shattering the illusion that Trump is a friend of the little guy. To his credit, Trump possesses an uncanny ability to perceive, identify, and harness the wants and needs of the average Joe. The problem is that Trump takes this unique insight into the middle class and exploits it for his own gain.

From: You Can Stump the Trump

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David Brin: Star Wars’ Dubious Lessons Live On – Nautilus( 27 )

What do you think was the result of the exchange you had in Star Wars on Trial?

Absolutely freaking nothing. Does entertainment have to have an outcome? We were doing it for fun. Fortunately, Lucas’ propaganda for evil is completely ineffectual. Almost none of the viewers who have enjoyed his films, and count me as one of them, even notice his sneering contempt for democracy and the common man. Though it appears that it has not gone unnoticed in China, where many commentators have spoken about the core lesson of Star Wars—that democracy is futile. But much simpler moral lessons are absorbed by kids: be brave, defend your friends, try to be nice. Those simple messages from the first and second films could not be washed away and they are the ones that kids take home. So while I have fun poking at the deeper moral lapses, I can sleep well knowing that almost nobody is listening when George Lucas vamps for evil. All they notice is the fun.

From: Yoda Is Dead but Star Wars’ Dubious Lessons Live On – Nautilus

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This is the Pentagon’s new strategy to defeat ISIS( 3 )

This is the Pentagon's new strategy to defeat ISISThe new plan calls for fighting the terror group like a conventional enemy, relying on traditional military tactics such as maneuver-style warfare and attrition. This has replaced last year’s approach, dubbed the “Iraq First Strategy,” which was widely criticized as ineffective, especially after ISIS fighters seized the city of Ramadi in May. Instead, the U.S. and its allies now intend to confront the extremist group and its force of about 30,000 fighters, targeting their strongholds and resources across Iraq and Syria simultaneously.

From: This is the Pentagon’s new strategy to defeat ISIS

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