Romney’s Money Men, Obama’s Revolution & Outsourced War: June 12, 2015

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RadioWhoWhatWhy: The Future of Outsourced Warfare
By Jeff Schechtman
Blackwater may have become a symbol of all that can go wrong when government contractors outnumber trained military personnel, but what really happened in the killing fields of Iraq and Afghanistan? WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman sits down with Blackwater founder Erik Prince to discuss the history and future of “outsourced” warfare.

What is Mitt Romney Up To? 
By Dan Engelke
For the fourth consecutive year, Mitt Romney is hosting a summit of GOP political figures, money men, and right-leaning theorists. Some of these bigwigs include Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, and Lindsey Graham. Read More.

WHO

Obama Overseeing Reagan-esque Political Transformation
Ronald Reagan’s election was a transformative event. By minting a generation of “Reagan Democrats,” Ronnie broke the Democrats’ hold on White blue collar voters, drove a stake into the heart of the Union movement and turned “Liberal” into a political epithet. But, according to NBC News, the Reagan Era is coming to an end… and President Obama is the driving force for a radical realignment to the Left, as evidenced by hard shifts away from social conservatism on a range of issues.

Fewer in US View Iraq, Afghanistan Wars as Mistakes
They say that hindsight is 20/20, but it looks like Americans didn’t get that memo. Over the last year the number of Americans who see the two wars as a mistake has dropped rather sharply, from 57% to 51% on Iran, and 49% to 42% on Afghanistan. And Democrats are part of that trend… which bodes well for Hillary Clinton and the question of her support for Iraq.

The Kingdom and the Caliphate: Inside Saudi Arabia’s fight against the Islamic State
Global Post goes deep into the growing divide between the Saudis and their ideological offspring, the Islamic State. In some sense, their chickens are coming home to roost—the Saudis have arrested 1,059 men in a broad crackdown on Islamic State “terror cells” and the Kingdom has suffered a string of attacks its Shia communities. Meanwhile, their war on Yemen goes mostly unnoticed in the West.

WHAT

The Iowa Straw Poll is dead
Once seen as a way for ultra-conservative candidates to make an early splash, the Republican Party of Iowa voted unanimously on Friday to cancel the straw poll. This move eliminates a process that muddied the waters for the GOP establishment by elevating unelectable candidates like Michelle Bachmann and forcing others to move hard to the Right. And political insiders in both parties are tiring of the entire Iowa Caucus system and its track record of producing skewed results and political extremism.

WHY

Despite Hurdles, Solar Power in Australia Is Too Robust to Kill
Aussie PM Tony Abbott really likes digging up coal and shipping it around the world. And he doesn’t care much for renewables or climate science, in spite of his nation’s deadly heatwaves and violent weather. And that puts him out of step with his fellow Aussies who are installing residential solar at an increasing rate. Currently, one in five homes are powered by Australia’s abundant sunshine. That’s 1.4 million homes, and counting….

Tiger Numbers Growing in Russia—But Will It Last?
Say what you will about Vladimir Putin, but the West’s big boogeyman is a big friend to big cats. He likes them, and his government’s crackdown on poaching and illegal wildlife trade has contributed to a three-fold increase in the number of these highly endangered animals.

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