Tomgram: Rajan Menon, The Iranian Connection in the Age of Trump

Tell me if this sounds familiar: the leadership of a distant nation has its own ideas about whom you should vote for, or who should rule your country, and acts decisively on them, affecting an election. Such interference in the political life of another country must be a reference to... no, I’m not thinking about Vladimir Putin and the American election of 2016, but perhaps the Italian election of 1948, or the Japanese election of 1958, or the Nicaraguan election of 1990 -- all ones in which the U.S. had a significant hand and affected the outcome. Or what about an even cruder scenario than just handing over suitcases of cash to those you support or producing “fake news” to influence another country’s voting behavior?  How about just overthrowing an already elected democratic government you find distasteful and installing one more to your liking, as in Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, or Chile in 1973? Read more

'The last 100 days': How a lame-duck Obama presidency might play out

Amid apparent snubs in Asia, Obama 'doesn’t have any leverage' left but can lay groundwork for Clinton

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The following article was originally run by http://www.cbc.ca/; written by Matt Kwong, Reporter

Spare a thought for U.S. President Barack Obama. Being commander in chief isn't what it used to be.

The past week saw him being cursed at by the leader of the Philippines, leaving empty-handed on a Syrian ceasefire deal with Russia, and apparently being snubbed by China in a lapse of protocol.

It's hard to say when, over the course of his second term, Obama changed from lion of democracy abroad to a lame-duck head of state. To scholars on presidential powers, though, a level of perceived discourtesy afforded to him during last week's G20 summit in Asia was the clearest sign yet that his global authority is waning.

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