Friday News Analysis — October 26, 2018: Suspected Letter Bomber Arrested; An Alternative to INF Treaty Withdrawal; Space Force Update; The Bavarian Election, Merkel’s Future, & Transatlantic Leadership; and Stories You May Have Missed

Pipe Bombs Paint an Unhappy Picture of American Politics

Michael Stecher

Package Bomb sent to CNN (ABC News photo)

An Alternative Approach for the INF Treaty

Dan Mahaffee

From the Cold War Archives: a BGM-109G Ground Launcher (U.S. Air Force photo)
Chinese Ballistic Missile Ranges (Department of Defense graphic)

The Growing Inertia behind Space Force

Joshua Huminski

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and USAF commanders look on as Vice President Mike Pence sends a command to a GPS satellite at Schriever AFB, Colorado. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Merkel’s End is Coming—Who Will Speak for the Transatlantic Community When She’s Gone?

Erica Ngoenha

Photo credit: Olaf Kosinsky, Wikipedia

Stories You May Have Missed

President Trump signs bipartisan legislation to combat opioid crisis

Katherine Atherton

Despite Attention to Midterm Politics, Reform Efforts Gain Steam

In this piece at Real Clear Politics, contributor Mort Kondracke highlights how a range of citizens groups across the country are gaining momentum to reform redistricting, implement ethics laws, and push for open primaries. CSPC has been also tracking these groups’ efforts as part of the Commission on Civility & Effective Governance, which seeks to highlight reforms that address the incentives for partisan rancor in American politics.

President’s Economic Council Issues Report Slamming “Socialism”

Rarely does the White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) make waves, but this week’s 72-page report entitled “The Opportunity Costs of Socialism” was one of the more unusual reports issued by the CEA. In this report, the CEA goes after a range of policy proposals that are popular among the Democratic grassroots by comparing them to historical examples of socialism. Many quickly mocked comparing “Medicare for All” or proposed reforms for corporate oversight to Lenin’s attacks on the kulaks or the brutal mismanagement of the Venezuelan state, but a more sober analysis, unfortunately behind FT’s paywall, discusses how the elephant in the room is stagnant wage growth.

World’s Longest Bridge Opens, Connecting Hong Kong & Macau to Chinese Mainland

Though there was little traffic on the record-setting Hong Kong-Zuhai Bridge, it was opened to much fanfare. While private vehicles’ use of the bridge is strictly regimented, Chinese leaders heralded the bridge as a major part of an effort to tie together China’s southern cities. At at time when Hong Kong politics has been especially restive, the imagery of a physical connection between Hong Kong and the mainland can’t be understated.

WhatsApp is New Battlefield in Contentious Brazilian Politics

With Brazilians going to the polls on Sunday, with controversial right-wing leader Jair Bolsonaro in the lead, the popular messaging service WhatsApp has become a controversial tool for spreading political messages in Brazil. Questions abound about privacy and data tracking as campaigns, political consultants, and activists have used group chats to spread propaganda and news of the real and fake varities.

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Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress

Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress

CSPC is a 501(c)3, non-partisan organization that seeks to apply lessons of history and leadership to today's challenges