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Cuba hardliners, U.S. defenders battle over new Donald Trump policy

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Cuba’s best friends in the U.S. used to be a smattering of Washington policy wonks and leftists who sent donated school buses and computers to the communist-led island. Five months into the Trump administration, Cuba has a new set of American defenders: a coalition of high-tech firms, farming interests, travel companies and young Cuban-Americans thrown into action by the looming announcement of a new Cuba policy. On the opposite side, hardline members of Miami’s Cuban exile community who suddenly have…

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Darryl Paulson: In defense of politics

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Some readers may be incapable of getting beyond the title of this article. How in the world can anyone defend politicians and politics? It’s easy and, I would argue, necessary. One recent study found that Americans rank politicians lower than cockroaches. I hope Americans are expressing their frustration with politicians, but not their actual sentiments. Would you really prefer a houseful of cockroaches to a few politicians? For 35 years I would introduce my students to politics by claiming politics…

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GOP running out of time for legislative achievements

in 2017/Top Headlines by

President Donald Trump and his GOP allies on Capitol Hill have made it through nearly half their first year in power without a single major legislative achievement. If that’s going to change, it will have to start soon, a reality that Republican lawmakers will confront when they return to the Capitol on Monday from a weeklong break. “We just need to work harder,” the second-ranking Republican senator, John Cornyn of Texas, said in an interview with KFYO radio in Lubbock,…

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Joe Henderson: Sunshine law should remind leaders that people of Florida are citizens, not serfs

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The irony of the state Constitutional Revision Commission trying to avoid sunshine laws is almost too rich to describe. If allowed to happen, that would be a dark day indeed. But that’s exactly what CRC Chair Carlos Beruff is proposing, even as the commission continues a series of town hall meetings designed to take public input into the process. Beruff, who ran a bare-knuckles campaign for the Republican nomination in the 2016 U.S. Senate race but ultimately crashed when Marco Rubio…

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Charlie Crist calls decision to exit Paris climate agreement ‘immoral’

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Charlie Crist says the idea of President Donald Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accords would be “shortsighted, irresponsible, and immoral.” In the Kenwood area of St. Petersburg Wednesday morning, the St. Petersburg Democratic congressman made the comment during an extensive tour of an ongoing expansion at the Metro Wellness and Community Center. Reacting to reports Trump might pull the country out of the 2015 landmark pact to reduce carbon emissions, Crist says the president should know better.…

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Donald Trump’s cellphone diplomacy raises security concerns

in 2017/Top Headlines by

President Donald Trump has been handing out his cellphone number to world leaders and urging them to call him directly, an unusual invitation that breaks diplomatic protocol and is raising concerns about the security and secrecy of the U.S. commander in chief’s communications. Trump has urged leaders of Canada and Mexico to reach him on his cellphone, according to former and current U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the practice. Of the two, only Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has…

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Darryl Paulson: Will 2018 bring no change or a political tsunami?

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Sometimes political change comes slowly, one drop at a time. That was the 2016 Florida congressional election where Democrats gained a single seat, although the opportunities were everywhere. Sometimes elections result in a political tsunami, where the political landscape is fundamentally altered, and one party replaces the other party as the dominant political force. The 2010 and 2014 midterm elections created a tsunami where Republicans wiped out a substantial Democratic majority and won political control of the House. What will…

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