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THIS WEEK'S ARTICLES
Turkey to Let U.S. Military Use Its Bases to Launch Strikes Against Islamic State
By Funding Self, Trump Gains Edge
In Kenya, Obama Uses His Story to Push for Economic and Political Progress
Appeal of Populists May Portend Political Shift
Bush Drawing Big Bucks From GOP Establishment

Turkey to Let U.S. Military Use Its Bases to Launch Strikes Against Islamic State
by: Dion Nissenbaum, Emre Peker, and Ayla Albayrak
Jul 24, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com
Click here to view the video on WSJ.com WSJ Video

TOPICS: Syria, Terrorism, Turkey

SUMMARY: Turkey, reversing its position, is now allowing the U.S. to use its Incirlik and Diyarbakir Air Bases to launch strikes against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in Syria. Turkey's decision, which increases their risk of further attacks from ISIS, came after months of negotiations and ISIS threats. Turkey had been accused of allowing Islamic State fighters to cross its borders, an accusation that they have denied. Prior to this policy change, Turkey has restricted U.S. operations out of Incirilki to unarmed surveillance drones. Turkey has pressed the U.S. to focus on the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. With treats from ISIS, Turkey has allowed the U.S. to train moderate Syrian rebels on its soil. Beside threats from ISIS, Turkey has been fighting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union. Nonetheless, the U.S. has cooperated with a PKK affiliate in fighting the Islamic State.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Dion Nissenbaum, Emre Peker, and Ayla Albayrak report on Turkey's decision to allow the U.S. to fly out of its Incirlik and Diyarbakir Air Bases to strike Islamic State forces in Syria. The class can cite reasons for this decision, which occurred after months of negotiations and attacks by ISIS forces in Turkey. Why do students believe that Turkey has been reluctant to allow U.S. forces to fly out of Turkey's bases? A complexity to the decision is that the U.S. has worked with an affiliate of the PKK in Turkey, which has presented a threat to Turkey's government for many years. What is the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) and the basis of their fight with Turkey can be reviewed. The PKK leader in jail in Turkey had agreed to a cease-fire with the Turkish government, but now Turkey has arrested a number of PKK supporters. In order to arm moderate rebel forces fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Turkey had requested that the U.S. establish a no-fly zone near the Turkish border. It doesn't appear that the U.S. agreed to this as part of being allowed to fly air strikes out of these two bases in Turkey. Possibly Turkey did not press this because Assad has become weaker and appears to be holding less territory. The class can also discuss the immense problem that Turkey now faces with Syrian refugees fleeing into their country..

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) What advantage does the U.S. gain in being able to fly air strike missions out of two Turkish airbases?

2. (Introductory) What has the Islamic State done recently that may explain Turkey's decision to allow the U.S. to use two of its airbases?

3. (Advanced) What is the refugee problem that Turkey is facing?

4. (Advanced) Explain the basis of Turkey's fight with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and how this relates to the fight against the Islamic State?

Reviewed By: Edward Miller, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

RELATED ARTICLES: 
Turkey Launches Strikes Against Islamic State in Syria
by Emre Peker and Ayla Albayrak
Jul 24, 2015
Online Exclusive


By Funding Self, Trump Gains Edge
by: Rebecca Ballhaus
Jul 25, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com
Click here to view the video on WSJ.com WSJ Video

TOPICS: Campaign Financing, Presidential Election, Republicans

SUMMARY: By uniquely financing his own campaign, Donald Trump gains advantages over others who rely on donors and political action committees. The second quarter report shows that of the $1.9 million raised by Trump, 94% came from himself. Much of the campaign spending goes to Trump affiliated firms, such as his airline and hotels. Donors to other campaigns are limited in how much they can give to the candidate's campaign fund. However, the candidate is not limited and a self-funded candidate such as Trump can give as much as his wants. Thus he does not have to rely upon super-PACs where donors can give unlimited contributions, but the candidate cannot not coordinate the campaign with the PAC, thus losing control over the message and strategy. A further advantage is that campaign organizations receive lower prices for campaign advertising under the campaign finance laws, but PACs do not. Without being dependent on donors, Trump will be able to remain a candidate as long as he likes, not being forced out by an inability to attract sufficient financial backing. Despite the financial advantages that a billionaire like Trump is, he still has to convince voters to support him.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Rebecca Ballhaus writes about the advantages that Donald Trump has by self-funding his campaign. While self-funding a presidential campaign has not occurred, it does occur for other offices, especially notable in congressional races. Former Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin is an example of a self-funded candidate. To cope with this, the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform allowed candidates completing against "millionaire" opponents to have a higher limit on contributions, but the Supreme Court nullified this provision. The class can first review why Trump can give an unlimited amount to his campaign. The reason traces back to the case of Buckley v. Valeo that allowed it based upon the First Amendment's freedom of speech clause. While Ballhaus' article focuses on the advantages to Trump, the class can cite disadvantages. The leading one possibility is that without large donors, the candidate also lacks the support that comes with donors' organizations, which magnify what the candidate's own organization can provide. Further, Trump's organization will sponsor all ads. Thus he will not be able to distance himself from negative ads that are often run by PACs. More generally, the class can discuss why Trump has risen in the polls so quickly while the last time he ran this was not the case. While polls suggest that his view of undocumented immigrants may differ from the general electorate, his charges may be resonating with a segment in the Republican Party. It is interesting that while he leads in several polls, a large percent of Republican voters say that they could not support him for president.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) Why is a candidate not restricted in how much the candidate can give to their own campaign?

2. (Introductory) Reports show that while campaign for Donald Trump is mostly based upon Trump's own funds, other candidates, especially Jeb Bush, lead him in total campaign funds. What disadvantages does Trump have in comparison to other candidates who have been recipients of significant campaign contributions?

3. (Advanced) What advantages does a candidate, such as Bernie Sanders who has received most contributions in small amounts, have?

4. (Advanced) Every candidate certainly needs a minimum amount of funds to run a credible campaign. Beyond this, what does a huge amount of money buy?

Reviewed By: Edward Miller, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

RELATED ARTICLES: 
Donald Trump Is With the GOP, for Now
by Reid J. Epstein
Jul 23, 2015
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In Kenya, Obama Uses His Story to Push for Economic and Political Progress
by: Carol E. Lee and Heidi Vogt
Jul 27, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com
Click here to view the video on WSJ.com WSJ Video

TOPICS: Africa, Obama

SUMMARY: President Barack Obama visited Kenya, his father's homeland, and indicated the willingness of the U.S. to help African nations confront terrorism. Although Obama had visited Africa four times since being elected president, Africans have been disappointed with his administration, which has implemented two programs, 2013 Power Africa to double electrical access across the continent and Feed the Future. This was fewer African initiatives than his predicator, President George W. Bush. Obama said that African nations need to confront terrorism and corruption and expand human rights, especially the inclusion of girls and women. While the president pressed for gay rights, President Uhuru Kenyatta pushed back, saying that it was a nonissue to Kenyans. The U.S. is challenged in African by China, who has committed large sums for infrastructure construction. Large crowds greeted the president, who will also visit Ethiopia and be the first U.S. president to address the African Union.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Carol E. Lee and Heidi Vogt report on President Obama trip to Kenya. The class can first discuss how the president sought to relate his personal life story to the Kenyans and the purpose for doing so. The difficult task of balancing human rights issues with the sensitivities of the Kenyan government can be analyzed and related to the issue of inclusion of girls and women and of gay rights. The latter was especially conflictual given Obama recently articulated position in the U.S. and violence against gays in Kenya and other African nations. Kenya is particularly challenged by al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda affiliated group, which is especially focused in neighboring Somalia but has attacked in Kenya. The class can examine activities of al-Shabaab in Kenya and Somalia why the U.S. has given less attention to al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups in Africa than terrorist groups in the Middle East. Obama emphasized the importance of democracy. While after the African colonies were liberated and the hope for democracy was strong, it has clearly faded in many African nations. Students can try defining democracy and applying that definition to Kenya.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) What is the group al-Shabaab and how has it impacted Kenya?

2. (Introductory) What have the Chinese been doing in Africa? Why do you believe they have been involved in this continent?

3. (Advanced) What is the opposition to President Obama calling for gay rights in Kenya and other African nations?

4. (Advanced) Why was there violence in Kenya in 2007 to 2008 where an estimated 1,000 people died? What ultimately happened?

Reviewed By: Edward Miller, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

RELATED ARTICLES: 
Obama Addresses Human Rights Concerns on Visit to Ethiopia
by Carol E. Lee
Jul 27, 2015
Online Exclusive


Appeal of Populists May Portend Political Shift
by: Gerald F. Seib
Jul 28, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com
Click here to view the video on WSJ.com WSJ Video

TOPICS: Political Parties, Presidential Election

SUMMARY: Reflecting a populist strain in both political parties, Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, neither of whom had been expected to be significant in the 2016 presidential election, have resonated with voters. Trump is leading in polls of Republican candidates, and Sanders is drawing the largest crowds at his rallies. Strangely the billionaire Trump, who has often contributed to Democratic candidates, is appealing to the blue collar, working class voters in the Republican Party by espousing populist ideas. Similarly, Sanders, who sees himself as a Democratic socialist, has support of a growing percent of Democrats as he advocates positions such as a $15 minimum wage and breaking up the large banks. Conceivably the election could be a "critical election, " as identified by political scientist Walter Dean Burnham, as many on the right and left are dissatisfied with big money in elections, the unresponsiveness of the political system, and the influence of Wall Street. The election will take place with no incumbent or vice president, unless Vice President Joe Biden does enter the race, as a candidate. The electorate itself is changing with a decline in percent of white voters, a rise in the percent of minority voters, and for the first time the millennials will equal the baby boomers as a percent of the electorate. The millennials grew up after Ronald Reagan, have less attachment to traditional economy and institutions such as the church, have a significant student debt, and are less attached to political parties. The two forces-populist appeals and a changed electoral base-could make 2016 a critical election.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Gerald F. Seib in his Capital Journal reflects on the attention given to Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, two candidates that had not been expected to be significant contenders. The class can first lay out the context of the election that could be root causes of dissatisfaction. Wage stagnation, continuing wars, growing economic inequality, and a gridlocked Congress lead to dissatisfaction among voters. Students can suggest whether given this context a significant number of voters are looking for an alternative to a Bush or a Clinton and prefer a candidate that vows to upset the system as both Trump and Sanders claim to be focused on doing. However, it is rather early in the march to the presidency. In this vein, students can give their views whether those voters who are attracted to a Trump or a Sanders are only a small portion of the electorate with the vast majority paying little attention at this time. The caucuses and primaries will not take place until next year. Much had been written on the emergence and influence of the baby boom generation as it replaced the depression and World War II cohorts. The class can suggest whether the millennials will have as dramatic impact. As baby boomers where influenced in their formative years by television, which the previous generation had not, the millennials may be impacted by interactive technology, especially the rapid expansion of social media.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) Compare the job market when baby boomers graduated from high school or college to that when the millennials graduated. Do you believe this difference could impact their political views?

2. (Introductory) Both Donald Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders are described by Gerald Seib as populists. To what extent are their messages similar?

3. (Introductory) Gerald Seib asks whether the Obama coalition will persist or whether it was limited to President Obama. What is your view? Why?

4. (Advanced) The Republican Party has a number of white, male, blue collar voters. It would seem that their economic interest lay with the Democrats. Why are they Republicans?

5. (Advanced) If millennials are less attached to political parties than older voters, do you believe this is age or generation related?

Reviewed By: Edward Miller, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

RELATED ARTICLES: 
Donald Trump Tops GOP Field in New Hampshire, Second in Iowa: Poll
by Reid J. Epstein
Jul 26, 2015
Online Exclusive

Bernie Sanders's Record Shows Knack for Voter Appeal
by Siobhan Hughes
Jul 21, 2015
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Bush Drawing Big Bucks From GOP Establishment
by: Beth Reinhard and Christopher S. Stewart
Jul 29, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com
Click here to view the video on WSJ.com WSJ Video

TOPICS: Campaign Financing, Political Parties, Presidential Election, Republicans

SUMMARY: Campaign finance data show that Jeb Bush and his super PAC Right to Rise have raised considerable funds from establishment Republicans. Each member of the executive committee, of the super PAC, led by Mitt Romney's former finance director Mason Fink, has either donated or raised at least $1 million in support of Bush's candidacy. As other presidential candidates extol the percent of their contributions that are $200 or less, the Right to Rise noted in its July fundraising summary that 95% of its 9,900 donors gave $25,000 or less. The prior $1 million self-imposed donation limit was lifted. Many of Bush's contributors have been from those connected for decades to the Bush family and their prior campaigns. The super PAC has already spent $5 million, including sponsoring negative ads against Hillary Clinton. Donors who contribute huge amount are said to do so because they believe in the candidate, they like to be included in the club, and/or they are seeking favors, such an ambassadorship. Complaints have been filed with the Federal Elections Commission against Bush, former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for delaying officially declaring their candidacies so they could raise unlimited donations for their PACs, which they are not permitted to do once a candidate.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Beth Reinhard and Christopher S. Stewart discuss Jeb Bush's super PAC and the establishment donors that are giving to his campaign. The class can first debate whether Bush and several other candidates violated federal election law by delaying their official announcement of candidacy so that could raise money for their super PACs, which they could not do once declaring their candidacy Given their campaign activities, there was no difference in what they were doing before declaring their candidacies than after. Several even indicated that they were running for president. . Given the political infighting at the FEC, do students believe that they will exert any regulatory authority? Jeb Bush is considered the establishment Republican Party's candidate while all the others, besides self-funded candidate Donald Trump and Ohio Governor John Kasich, are more strongly backed by very conservative Republicans, especially those belonging to the tea-party wing. Although entering the race later than the others, Kasich, who is the current governor of Ohio and had been chair of the House Budget Committee, may also appeal to the establishment wing of the Republican Party. Given this, students can compare his espoused policies to that of Bush's and assess who could be more acceptable to the establishment wing of the party and which one has a greater chance to win in November if nominated,. Further, the motivations of large contributions can be discussed as well as the effect of large donations on the American political system.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) What are the election rules regarding the involvement of the candidate with his or her super PAC?

2. (Introductory) How is Jeb Bush planning to use his super PAC Right to Rise, which differs from how super PACs have been traditionally used?

3. (Advanced) Many of Jeb Bush's large donors have contributed to the campaigns of other Bush family members. Assess the advantages and problems that may beset Bush from being from a family where his father and brother had both been president.

4. (Advanced) Which policy positions would you say that Jeb Bush has changed in an effort to appeal to Republicans outside the establishment wing?

Reviewed By: Edward Miller, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

RELATED ARTICLES: 
On Republican Hopefuls' Checklist: A Super PAC and Lots of Money
by Patrick O'Connor and Reid J. Epstein
Jul 19, 2015
Online Exclusive


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