The Rust Belt Lost Clinton the Election, and Free Trade is Why


Photo Credit: Bob Jagendorf

By: Jessica M. Rose

America and the world are staring down the barrel of a Trump presidency – and it’s because Democrats failed to execute a principle they are supposed to be known for.

The states that gave the election to Trump were Rust Belt states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. These states were part of what were called the Clinton firewall, that she needed – and expected – to win in order to go on to win the presidency. I am of course not making the claim that xenophobia, islamophobia, racism, and sexism among other issues played no terrifying role in the election. The crucial states in question, however, were blue for Obama and have been for decades; Pennsylvania and Michigan haven’t been red since 1988, and Wisconsin hasn’t been red since 1984.

Michigan and Wisconsin, according to the best pollsters out there at Five Thirty Eight, were not supposed to even be in play this time. Their best information had her chances for Wisconsin at 83.5%, for Michigan at 78.9%, and for Pennsylvania at 77%. To be fair, if she lost them, she lost them by a tiny margin: at the time of writing, Trump had 47.9% of the vote and Clinton 46.9% in Wisconsin with 95% of the vote in, and Michigan was still too close to call with a 0.3% difference between the candidates. But these states weren’t supposed to be margin-of-error states; Clinton was supposed to have them in the bag.

Continue reading The Rust Belt Lost Clinton the Election, and Free Trade is Why

In Case You Missed It: Last Week’s International News, Today: October 31st

Article 31

Following the lead of his predecessor, Australia Prime Minister Turnbull and his Immigration Minister Dutton proposed a law that would ban refugees and asylum seekers from ever applying for a visa if they attempted entry illegally on a boat. Many have said this will explicitly violate Article 31 of the Refugee Convention which disallows discriminating on the basis of how a refugee enters the country.


The Central London Employment Tribunal ruled that Uber drivers are entitled to minimum wage and holiday pay as employees, and not self-employed contractors. Uber has been trying to settle a case with similar issues in the Northern District of California in the U.S. This marks a huge legal loss in the so-called global “gig economy.”


The offense on Mosul continues. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes and reports of ISIL using civilians as human shields have been reported.


On Sunday, the European Union and Canada signed a trade deal to open markets to increased competition. The deal would cut tariffs on industrial goods and food items while opening other service sectors.


Renewed violence in the Central African Republic has led to over 20,000 people retreating to a UN base. This number adds to the nearly 1 million people who have been internally displaced or  who have fled to nearby countries since the 2003 coup.

145 Child Soldiers

Armed opposition groups in South Sudan released 145 child soldiers according to UNICEF. The children may have been recruited by the rebel faction of former Vice President Riek Machar.


In Case You Missed It: Last Week’s International News, Today: October 24th


Despite UN estimates that 80% of Yemeni people are in need of humanitarian assistance, Yemen’s civil war did not even get a mention by the candidates in the last U.S. presidential debate prior to the November 9th election.

State of Emergency

The government in Ethiopia declared a state of emergency on October 8th in response to growing protests stemming from plans to annex parts of the Oromia region around Addis Ababa. The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and UN human rights experts have expressed concern over the total media blackout and arrests.


Iraqi forces began a fight to retake Mosul from ISIL. Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, fell to ISIL in 2014.


Citing concerns over tampering with the U.S. elections, the Ecuadorian embassy in London currently housing Julian Assange has cut of his access to the internet temporarily.


UN Human Right Chief Zeid Raad Al Hussein described Aleppo as a slaughterhouse. Nearly 500 people have been killed and many more injured since air strikes by Russia and government forces launched their assault a month ago.


France began its forced evacuation of refugees and migrants in the notorious camp in Calais. Almost 2,000 were bused out in the first day.


It’s a new technology that could simplify secure financial transactions, but also is posed to open up legal and regulatory issues. A deal between an Australian bank and China is the world’s first global transaction using blockchain.


South Africa’s Justice Minister announced that the country will leave the International Criminal Court, following Burundi’s announcement to leave a few days earlier. The announcement comes after South Africa was pressured to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir when he was in the country last year on his outstanding arrest warrant with the ICC. The ICC has faced criticism that it has disproportionately targeted African leaders.