Washington Watch: Trump Justifies Executive Orders with Exaggerations Grounded in Bias

Posted on January 28, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby By now, Donald Trump's penchant for exaggeration and self-promotion has become well-established. Whether born of a form of pathological narcissism or just plain hucksterism, his need to claim that everything he does is the biggest and best is unsettling and, at times, embarrassing. Most troubling is the concern that Mr. Trump may actually believe his non-factual boasts –that because his ego is so needy he cannot accept reality. This is clearly not a comforting quality for a Commander-in- Chief. During his first week in office, this weakness has been on full public...

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Washington Watch: What Will Donald Trump Do?

Posted on January 21, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby When Donald Trump shows up for work next week, it's anyone's guess as to what he will do. Over the past month, many reporters have asked me "what do you think Trump will do and what are you most concerned about?". My simple answer has been "I know what worries me most, but I have no idea what he'll do because I don't think he knows either".   During the campaign, Trump promised a boatload of dramatic initiatives and actions. After winning, many have been substantially changed or just disappeared. Hillary Clinton isn't...

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Washington Watch: Don’t Mess with Jerusalem

Posted on January 14, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby In just a matter of days, President-elect Donald Trump will have to decide on whether or not to make good on his promise to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. As we approach Inauguration Day, liberal and conservative commentators, alike, have offered a number of ideas as to how he can proceed. Ranging from "too cute by half" to just plain dumb, they should all be rejected. More to the point, all of the proposals I have seen focus exclusively on Israeli concerns, ignoring or giving short shrift to...

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Washington Watch: Iranians are Dissatisfied

Posted on January 07, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby In the lead-up to Iran's presidential elections, a new Zogby Research Services (ZRS) poll shows that the Iranian people are not happy with either their economic situation or their government's priorities and performance. The ZRS poll was conducted in the last quarter of 2016 for the Sir Bani Yas Forum (SBY) and involved face-to-face interviews with over 1,000 Iranians nationwide. The results of this year's survey established growing dissatisfaction among Iranians and stood in marked contrast to the findings of our 2014 and 2015 SBY surveys of public opinion in Iran.  

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Washington Watch: What Kerry Did

Posted on December 31, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Secretary of State John Kerry's valedictory speech on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict unleashed a firestorm of criticism from the very same folks who had just finished hyperventilating over the US abstention on a Security Council resolution a few days earlier.   The speech, itself, was divided into three parts. Kerry opened with an accounting of all that the Obama Administration had done for Israel in the past eight years. And he closed with a list of principles he said should serve as the basis for a future Israeli-Palestinian peace. The largest part, the middle, was...

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Washington Watch: Big Day at the United Nations

Posted on December 24, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby There was considerable drama leading up to the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 (UNSCR 2334) reaffirming the illegality of Israeli settlements.    It began with all hell breaking loose Thursday morning when it became clear that the Egyptians would submit their resolution on Israeli settlements for a vote at the Security Council and that the Obama Administration would support the effort, either by voting in favor or by refusing to veto it. On Wednesday, there had been a hint that something was up. The White House spokesperson appearing on...

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Middle East Perceptions of the Roles Played by Global and Regional Powers

Posted on December 15, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby The tumult that has rocked the Arab World, has contributed to dramatic changes in the Arab public's attitudes toward important global and regional powers. This is one of the findings of a recent Zogby Research Services (ZRS) poll of over 7,000 adults in six Arab countries (Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Iraq), Turkey, and Iran. The wide-ranging study, prepared for the annual Sir Bani Yas Forum, covered a number of topics asking respondents to identify: obstacles to stability and...

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Washington Watch: What Democrats Must Do

Posted on December 10, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby We went into this election cycle knowing that both political parties faced real challenges. Republicans had created and fostered a radical populist movement they had intended to use to oppose President Obama but which, in the end, turned on the GOP and devoured their establishment. Trump's victory may, for a time, serve to mask this internal crisis, but it will no doubt resurface in short order. As the Sanders' candidacy demonstrated, Democrats also faced an internal challenge. Many rank and file Democrats had lost confidence in their establishment and were looking for an...

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Washington Watch: Senate Passes a Dumb and Dangerous Bill

Posted on December 06, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Last week, without debate or an actual vote, the US Senate stealthily passed a disturbing and dangerous piece of legislation introduced by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Casey (D-PA). Called "The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016" (AAA), the Scott-Casey bill requires the Department of Education (DOE) to apply the State Department's (DOS) definition of anti-Semitism in evaluating complaints of discrimination on US campuses.  The DOS definition of and guidelines on anti-Semitism were designed to help US officials monitor anti-Semitism abroad. They were not intended to be applied to police speech on college...

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Washington Watch: Standing Rock and Palestine: The Struggle for Justice is One

Posted on November 28, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Last week, I joined several hundred protesters in a sit-in in front of the Army Corps of Engineers' Headquarters in Washington, DC. We were protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline designed to daily transport over 500 thousand barrels of fracked oil southward to be refined.   The DC protest was part of an international day of solidarity with efforts led by Native Americans at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. In all, demonstrations were held in over 300 cities worldwide. On one level, the issues involved are presented as complicated matters...

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