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Politics

Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)

“And so the Adventure Begins...” | Jasmine Ramos' Senior Goodbye

If my 15-year-old self saw how far I have gotten in my college career, and just knew what was ahead, she would not believe it. To be honest, my 19 year old Jasmine would believe this life belonged to someone else.

Although I have a semester left before graduation, getting this far has been a huge accomplishment for me. There were times when the dream became distant, and I still have moments where they still exist. However, I have had such a strong support team helping me that I will never know how to thank you for putting up with me. But that will not stop me from trying now.

Mom and Dad: I want to thank you for doing everything you could for me. Only God knows of all the sacrifices you two have committed to give me such a bright future. Mom, without you making sure I would get to school on time with you only having minutes to get to work to making sure my homework got done even if you didn’t understand. You are my wonder woman, and I will forever be grateful. You are the strongest person I know, and I hope I gain at least half of that. Thank you Dad for making sure I was happy and being my shoulder to cry on when times would get tough, which we all know have been many. I hope I gain the qualities you guys have and instill them into my kids one day.

EOF Program: Without you, I would have never experienced the life I did here at Monmouth. You were a blessing in disguise for my family and I. You rook a weight of my shoulder and sixty of theirs.  I know I may have acted ungrateful but without this program, I would have never been able to grow as a person.

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“I’ll Make it to the Moon if I Have to Crawl” | Brendan Greve's Senior Goodbye

The end of my career at Monmouth University and the Outlook is approaching, leaving me scratching my head and wondering where time goes. This is my senior goodbye and thank you to The Outlook, an organization that has helped me accomplish many goals both inside and outside of the classroom during my time at Monmouth. As I reflect on my life and where it is today, I can’t help but think about where it was four years ago before I joined The Outlook.

I remember this one weekend about four years ago I was sitting in the back of my friend’s car and the topic of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” came up in conversation. I had asked myself that question countless times, never coming up with an answer. I said, “I think it would be cool to be a lawyer.” My friend looked at me like I had two heads and said, “Have you ever thought about doing anything else?”

I understood his skepticism. We were parked outside of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. I was staying with a friend of mine from the meetings who would let me sleep on his couch. The only thing I had going for me was a job bussing tables. I was suspended from school at the time, unsure of whether I’d be allowed back, and was doing a pretty good job at tarnishing my opportunity of getting an education at Monmouth University. It made sense that someone would think that I wouldn’t make much of my life.

Unlike many successful Monmouth students, I didn’t care much for the opportunities that our school provided when I first arrived. I planned on skating by like I did in high school but the habits I used to get away with came back to hurt me. It took me to almost lose my chance of graduating and taking advantage of those opportunities to realize how important they really are. After that night, I didn’t want to be told that I can’t or that I’m not allowed to do something ever again.

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Sean Spicer Makes Controversial Comments

White House press secretary Sean Spicer, in an attempt to criticize Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical attack, said that even Hitler did not use chemical weapons during World War II.

Despite the fact that Hitler killed millions of Jews using gas chambers, Spicer said during a briefing on April 11, “We had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”

When a reporter gave him the opportunity to clarify during the briefing on Tuesday, Spicer defended his remarks by differentiating Hitler’s and Assad’s actions, according to The New York Times.

“I think when you come to sarin gas, there was no, he (Hitler) was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing,” Spicer said. “He brought them into the Holocaust center I understand that. What I am saying in the way that Assad used them, where he went into towns, dropped them down to innocent, into the middle of towns, it was brought – so the use of it. And I appreciate the clarification there. That was not the intent.”

The comment came during the first day of Passover, which is the most widely celebrated Jewish holiday in the U.S., and during the Christian Holy Week.

Shortly after the briefing, Spicer emailed a different statement to reporters: “In no way was I trying to lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust. I was trying to draw a distinction of the tactic of using airplanes to drop chemical weapons on population centers. Any attack on innocent people is reprehensible and inexcusable.”

Spicer’s comment received criticism and outrage from various platforms, including House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who tweeted, “@realDonaldTrump, it’s time to fire @PressSec Sean Spicer,” and Senator Ben Cardin, tweeted, “Someone get @PressSec a refresher history course on Hitler stat #Icantbelievehereallysaidthat,” The New York Times reported.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum also shared its outrage – they tweeted a video of the liberation of the Buchenwald, Germany concentration camp by U.S. forces, according to the Washington Post.

Spicer additionally apologized on CNN, where he said, “I was obviously trying to make a point about the heinous acts that Assad had made against his own people last week, using chemical weapons and gas. Frankly I mistakenly made an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust, for which there is no comparison. And for that I apologize. It was a mistake to do that.”

Dr. Saliba Sarsar, a professor of Political Science, offered a clarification of the attacks that have occurred in in Syria, which is “in a conflict of war situation.”

He continued, “The chemical attack on Halabja in March 1988 on the order of Saddam Hussein, which killed and injured thousands of Kurdish civilians, was a genocidal massacre. Similarly, the chemical attacks…on Khan al-Assal in March 2013, in Ghouta in August 2013, and…the April 2017 attack are reprehensible and those responsible must be brought to justice.”

Dr. Sarsar also said that Spicer has since apologized for his comments.

During an appearance the following day at a Newseum sponsored forum, which was broadcast live by CNN and MSNBC, Spicer told anchor Greta Van Susteren, “On both a personal and professional level, yesterday was not a very good day in my history.” Spicer, the press secretary of the White House. continued, “No matter what you do, what you wear, it gets amplified to a degree that you couldn’t imagine.”

Dr. Johanna Foster, Director of the Sociology Program, expressed concern about the nature of Spicer’s comments: “I do think we should take such guffaws seriously from people holding a position as serious as press secretary as the very nature of the job requires him to be both knowledgeable and basic and not-so-basic facts of history,”

Foster said, “While it is true that the job of any press secretary is to communicate the President’s agenda and interests in a way that manages opposition and encourages consent for an administration’s policies, one cannot use that position to rewrite history, or to misinform the public.”

Sean Spicer Controversial CommentsThe Washington Post also reported that the Trump administration have faced criticisms of anti-Semitism before – Trump’s choice of Stephen Bannon as chief strategist has been opposed by the Anti-Defamation League in that Bannon is the former leader of the anti-Semitist Breitbart news site.

In response to Trump’s anti-Semitic pattern, Foster said, “Sociologically speaking, I think there is no other way to look at the evidence other than to interpret Trump as a president who is willing to support white nationalist and anti-Semitic interests when they suit his economic and political agendas, despite the rare instances when he has said otherwise.”

“To the extent that folks in his administration also support their colleagues with old-school segregationist-style agendas, or overt and unapologetic repurposed white nationalist sentiments, platforms, and policy initiatives, then they, too, would be complicit,” said Foster.

Katie Serkus, a sophomore anthropology student said of Spicer’s comments, “I do believe that he is trying to explain the evilness behind the chemical attacks and why we should not just sit back and let such terrifying events happen.”

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U.S. Launches Missile Strike Against Syrian Regime

US Missile Strike on Syrian RegimePresident Donald Trump launched a missile strike April 6 against Syrian weapon bases controlled by the Bashar al-Assad regime in response to their use of chemical weapons on civilians.

The attack consisted of 60 missiles, with only 59 actually hitting the target, going against the al-Shayrat air base, where the chemical weapons were set off to hit the town of Khan Sheikoun.

Trump briefed journalists hours after the attack and stated, “There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and ignored the urging of the U.N. Security Council. Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed and failed very dramatically.”

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Monmouth School of Education Hosts 'Special Education Reconsidered' as Part of MU Lecture Series

Special Education Reconsidered Lecture SeriesMonmouth hosted special education lawyer Lori Gaines of Barger & Gaines on Thursday, April 6 in the Wilson Hall Auditorium.

The goal of the lecture was to lead a timely conversation surrounding the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District as part of its lecture series called “Special Education Reconsidered.” The event was hosted by the Department of Education and was moderated by Dr. Stacy Lauderdale, Department Chair and assistant professor.

Dr. John Henning, the Dean of the School of Education, said, “The School of Education is split into four departments, with special education being one of those departments.”

This event was just one of numerous ways that the department recognizes special education. They have also taken part of programs such as the Autism MVP Associate and Autism Awareness month.

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Conservative Health Care Reform in Jeopardy

Conservative Health Reform JeopardyAfter deciding to pull the bill that aimed to repeal the Affordable Care Act from consideration on Mar. 24, President Donald Trump and House Republican leaders have reintroduced the American Health Care Act.

“Obamacare” is considered to be one of the Obama administration’s most memorable domestic accomplishments, and one that Trump, during his campaign, would be easy to repeal. However, the bill lacked the votes it needed to pass, as it was opposed by the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

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MU Poll Finds More Trust in News Than Trump

MU poll trump graphic 1A new poll published by the Monmouth Polling Institute on Mar. 29 found that the President of the United States, Donald Trump, is less trusted than the media. The national poll that can be found on the Monmouth Polling Institute website titled “POTUS Less Trusted than Media, ‘Fake News’ comes from all Sources” compared trust in Trump with three major news outlets— ABC, MSNBC, and Fox.

This poll comes at a time when the state of politics in the country is one of division. Monmouth’s last national poll published on Mar. 22 said that 75 percent of Americans felt that the country is divided on “our most important values.” Three weeks later, this still seems to be the case despite unification efforts by the Trump administration.

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Israeli Journalist Visits University

Israeli Journalist Speaks to MUStudents, faculty, and community members had the opportunity to attend a presentation held in Pozycki Hall on the future of Israel-U.S. relations by a famous Israeli journalist and political analyst, Michael Tuchfeld on Mar. 22.

The first part of his presentation focused on the major points and issues between Israel and the United States of America, including the Iran Nuclear deal, the possibility of Israel’s nuclear capability, settlements, and financial deals between the governments of the U.S. and Israel. He highlighted former U.S. President Barack Obama and his administration’s poor or unfair treatment of the State of Israel from an Israeli point of view. He then discussed the differences and the treatment that can be seen so far between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and newly elected U.S. President Donald Trump.

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Trump’s 2018 Budget Cuts Could End Federal Funding for Arts

Trump 2018 Cut Federal Arts FundingPresident Donald Trump recently unveiled his new 2018 budget proposal last Thursday.

Titled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again”, encourages hiring budgets spent on the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veteran Affairs. However, what people are worried about is what is being sacrificed in order for these budget increases.

While 15 agencies will lose part of their funding, such as Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department, and Department of Education, others agencies would be eliminated in this proposal.

These agencies are mostly art related, for example, the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Endowment for Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The world of public broadcasting is at stake in this new proposal, with many stations in rural and urban areas would lose access to PBS, NPR, and others, according to Paula Kerger, the president and CEO of PBS.

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U.S. Welcomes The Senator Freshmen Class of 2017

U.S Welcomes Senator Freshmen 2017Due to the clamorous presidential election, not much attention was put on the senate election and its results. The election resulted in the Republican Party having continued control over of the house, defeating the Democrats 51-48.

“This defeat gives the Republican party control over all three branches of government, creating a unified government,” noted Stephen Chapman, an assistant professor of political science. “Usually when our government is unified more laws and bills are passed, but with a preference to the party in charge.”

Most senators were able to uphold their positions, but there are seven new intriguing senators who make up the 2017 freshmen class.

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Medicaid Cuts in GOP Health Bill Could Reduce Services for Elderly, Disabled

Medicaid Cuts Reduce Elderly ServiceVital health care services for more than 17 million of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens could be on the chopping block if the Republican health care bill becomes law.

If Medicaid home and community-based services are cut for children with special needs and adults and seniors with disabilities, many would end up in costly nursing homes, require more assistance from struggling family members or simply do without the care that allows them to live independently.

Many of these low-income patients are functionally and cognitively impaired. They require home health aides, personal care attendants and day care programs to help with basic activities like eating, dressing, bathing and mobility.

Medicaid, the state-national health care plan for poor people and those with disabilities, is the largest public provider of these nonmedical services, covering 30 percent of working-age adults with disabilities like cerebral palsy, mental illness, and traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.

Unlike coverage for nursing home care, which is mandatory under Medicaid, home care services for the elderly and people with disabilities are optional.

Patient advocates fear that states will trim those optional Medicaid services if the program faces the 10-year, $880 billion cut in federal funding that the GOP health care bill proposes.

If the legislation becomes law, and states roll back their home and community-based services, many Medicaid patients with special needs and disabilities will end up in nursing homes, said David Certner, legislative policy director at AARP.

“This really threatens the ability of people to live independently in their homes,” Certner said. “We can take care of three people at home for the cost of one person in a nursing home, so it’s bad policy and it’s bad in terms of what people prefer.”

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Riots Erupt in Sweden as Refugee Debate Escalates

Sweden Riots Refugee Debate 1Riots broke out in Rinkeby, a district within Stockholm, Sweden — is largely populated by immigrants, late Monday, Feb. 20.

Participants threw rocks at police officers and set several vehicles on fire, the Swedish police department said.

The violence succeeded police attempts to arrest a citizen of the area on drug charges.

Swedish police also accredited the riots to “increased pressure on criminals in the area.”

Christopher DeRosa, the Director of the History Program, also said a “dimension of the unrest that should not be ignored is that it was preceded by an increase in aggressive policing.”

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Trump Cabinet Members: Qualified or Not?

Trump Cabinet 1

Secretary Of Defense:

Gen. James Mattis

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Advisor

Michael Flynn ResignationNational Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn resigned after misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials of the nature of his calls between the Russian ambassador to the United States on Monday, Feb. 13.

Flynn’s resignation surfaced less than a month after his tenure began when the Justice Department alerted President Donald Trump of Flynn’s innacurate recollection of his communication with the ambassador. The Justice Department also warned the administration that the former National Security Advisor was potentially vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.

In his resignation letter, Flynn wrote, “I inadvertently briefed the Vice President and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.”

He continued, “I know with the strong leadership of President Trump and Vice President Pence and the superb team they are assembling, this team will go down in history as one of the greatest presidencies in U.S. history.”

According to CNN, Flynn’s resignation makes for one of the shortest-serving senior presidential advisors in modern history. Representative Devin Nunes, a California Republican and Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said, “Washington, D.C., can be a rough town for honorable people, and Flynn — who has always been a soldier, not a politician — deserves America’s gratitude and respect.”

An administration official said of Trump’s reaction, “He’s moving on.”

However, the sudden departure of one of Trump’s closest and most senior advisors, who has assisted the President on issues of security and foreign policy since early in the presidential race, has been added to the list of tumultuous events in his first month in office.

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New Jersey: Highest Car Insurance Rates in the Country

NJ Car Insurance Rates 1For the fifth year in a row, vehicle drivers in New Jersey paid the highest amount of car insurance in the nation.

According the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average New Jersey driver pays about $1,905 per car for auto insurance. Compared to the nation’s overall average of $907, New Jersey motorist pay nearly $1,000 more on car insurance than the average driver in the U.S.

Motorists in the state’s largest cities pay an average of $1,982, while those who live in more suburban areas pay an average of $1,304. Since 2014, the average cost of insurance in the state has gone up $642 according to the report.

New Jersey has infamously been known for being an expensive state, recently being ranked the 5th most expensive state to live in.

Along with auto insurance, the state also comes in first for highest property taxes, and also has one of the highest cost per pupil for public education as well.

Claude Taylor, Advisor-in-Residence for Academic Transition and Inclusion, believed that the cost of auto insurance in our state is “justifiable considering the volume of drivers and the number of accidents and claims filed.”

Considering that New Jersey has more people per square mile than any other state.

According to the World Bank Data’s World Development Indicators, “New Jersey’s 2008 population density of 1,168 people per square mile is more than ten times that of the country as a whole.”  More people results in more accidents.

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Betsy Devos Confirmed as Secretary of Education

After a 24-hour vigil held in the Senate that was dedicated to Democrat opposition and Vice President Mike Pence’s historic tiebreaking vote, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Trump’s Secretary of Education on Feb. 7 at 12:29 p.m.

This was the first time a vice president was called to break a tie in the Senate, which held firm at 50-50 with two Republican defections who denounced DeVos.

The Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska deemed DeVos unfit for the position due to her support of school vouchers and charter schools: “I have serious concerns about a nominee to be secretary of education who has been so involved in one side of the equation…that she may be unaware of what actually is successful within the public schools, and also what is broken and how to fix them,” Murkowski said at the time she announced her disapproval.

However, those who voted in her favor asserted that DeVos is first and foremost committed to what is best for children. In a New York Times report, Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said that Democrats opposed the Secretary of Education simply due to her political affiliation.

On Feb. 10 several protestors prevented DeVos from entering Jefferson Middle School Academy. ABC 7 news reported that DeVos remained in her sport utility vehicle as she was heckled. One demonstrator threw a cardboard sign at her, while another yelled, “Go back! Shame, shame.” She eventually was escorted into the school and said, “It was really wonderful to visit this school, and I look forward to many visits of many great public schools.”

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President Trump Introduces Neil Gorsuch as Nominee for Supreme Court Vacancy

SCOTUS Neil GorsuchPresident Donald Trump announced on Tuesday, Jan. 31, that he will nominate Neil Gorsuch, Judge from the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, to be the newest Associate Justice to the United States Supreme Court.

The vacancy in the nation’s highest court came almost a year ago when Justice Antonin Scalia passed away on Feb. 13, 2016. Scalia, a conservative and strict constitutionalist, was a very consequential loss because it threatened the conservative tilt of the Supreme Court. Gorsuch, the 49 year-old Harvard and Columbia alumnus, has similar conservative leanings in his jurisprudence as Justice Scalia. Johanna Foster, Director of the Sociology Program, considers him to be “extremely qualified, with exceptional credentials.”

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Deeper Look Into the Travel Ban

President Trump signed an executive order on immigration, banning Syrian refugees from entering the United States as well as citizens from seven Muslim majority countries, on Friday, Jan. 27.

The order prevented Syrian refugees from seeking asylum in the U.S. indefinitely. It also bans travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, and withheld all refugee admissions for 120 days, according to the New York Times.

As a result of the ban, those traveling to the U.S. were stopped in airports both in the United States and abroad – legal residents as well as visitors and students in Cairo, Dubai, and Istanbul were blocked; others were sent back after arriving.

President Trump considers the immigration ban a success: “It’s working out very nicely” Trump said the Saturday following the executive order’s signing, reported CNN. “You see it at airports. You see it all over. It’s working out very nicely and we’re going to have a very, very strict ban.”

The Department of Homeland Security also agreed to impose the president’s executive order. White House chief of staff Reince Priebus assured green-card holders from the seven banned countries that they would be able to return to the United States.

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MU Community Responds to the Future of Education Following Secretary Appointment

MU Community Betsy DeVos 1The nomination of Betsy DeVos incited controversy following her appointment as Secretary of Education on Jan. 31. .

Some of the areas of disagreement between parties includes her stance on guns in schools, the legal rights of disabled students, questionable positions on LGBTQ+ rights, or the future of public schools.  

On Jan. 17, DeVos attended her senate confirmation hearing in which she was consistently interrogated by senator after senator with questions that ranged from her tax returns, which previously have never been an issue for other nominees in the past, to her possible conflicts of interest and the debate on proficiency versus growth.

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Celebrities Stand Together at Women’s March

Celebrities Womens March 1On Jan. 21, according to Vox, half a million women marched in Washington D.C alone, which was said to be the largest rally in years.

The Women’s March sent a strong and bold message to our new government, and to the rest of the world that women’s rights are important. Both women and men from all over the country marched to have their voices heard in the support of women’s rights, immigration reform, LGBT rights, racial justice, health care reform, among other issues.

The crowds were enormous and marches took place in Washington D.C., New York City, and Chicago, and other cities around the world. Additionally, the terror and anger that came from President Donald Trump’s rise to presidency resounded protests all over the world in places like Paris and London.

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President Trump’s First Executive Orders in Office

Trump Executive OrdersSince taking office on Friday, President Donald Trump has been working hard to fulfill some of his promises to “Maker America Great Again” and signed several executive orders that affect both national and world wide situations.

The first 100 days of a new president’s term is crucial to the term. What the president does, or does not do, set the standard of how they are viewed by the public. Yes, first impressions do matter.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt took office, he reshaped the decline of America’s economy, passed 76 laws and 9 executive orders. Since then, ghost of “100 days” has lingered through all presidential terms.

The first executive on Trump’s agenda was to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade negotiations, which was one of Obama’s signature trade deals. Although the trade deal had not been fully approved by Congress, the fact that President Trump scratched it off completely suggests that his administration is staying true to taking a more aggressive stance on foreign competitors.

President Trump heavily criticized the partnership several times during his campaigns last year and claimed it was a bad deal for American workers.

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45th President of the United States: Donald J. Trump

45th President TrumpAfter over a year and a half of hard fought political campaigning, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.

The forecast called for rain. Thousands of people from across the country gathered in Washington D.C. on Friday morning, clad in rain jackets and rain boots. Vendors were selling plastic ponchos among their memorabilia inauguration merchandise. The weather did not bother the adamant supporters, who were determined to watch history – rain or shine.

Trump commented on the suspected rain the day before, welcoming the potential waterworks, “It may rain, it may not rain. It doesn’t matter. I don’t care. If it pours, that’s okay because people will realize it’s my real hair, and that’s okay. It might be a mess, but they’re going to see that it’s my real hair.”

A rather unusually warm day for the month of January, the weather seemed to hold up. During the swearing in of Vice President Mike Pence, rain drops began to drip down. The crowd didn’t seem to mind. Minutes later, Trump stepped up and then the rain suddenly began to stop.

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Cuban Leader Fidel Castro Passes Away At 90

Death Fidel Castro 1On Nov. 25, Cuba’s former president and one of the world’s longest-serving leaders, Fidel Castro, died at the age of 90.

Castro’s younger brother, Raul Castro, and successor announced to the world that the man that survived over 600 assassination attempts, had passed away of natural causes.

He ended his announcement with the revolutionary slogan that became the battle cry for most leftist movements across Latin America, “Towards victory, always!”

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Trump Secretary of State Pick Under Scrutiny

Trump Secretary State PickPresident-elect Donald Trump is in the process of choosing the members of his new administration but the process has not been without infighting and division among the Republican party and the members of his transition team.

The most highly contested position in the Trump’s transition process is for who will become the next Secretary of State, the most powerful foreign diplomat in the United States. Former GOP nominee for President in 2012 and outspoken critic of Trump during the Republican primaries for president, Mitt Romney, and former New York City Mayor and Trump loyalist, Rudy Giuliani, are viewed by many as the top two contenders for the position.

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FBI Special Agent, Alumnus Speaks to Hawks

FBI Special Agent Visits MUMonmouth University alumnus and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent Brian Cotter attracted over 60 students when he spoke at a Guardians Club meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 9 in Magill Commons.

Cotter graduated from the FBI Academy this past February and now works for the Counterterrorism Task Force in New York City. He shared how his experiences at Monmouth prepared him for his future in the FBI.

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Monmouth Debate Team Wins Awards at Liberty University and MU Tournaments

MU Debate Team Wins LUThe Monmouth University Debate Team won awards at debate tournaments held at Liberty University last weekend (Nov 4-6) and again this weekend at Monmouth’s 6th annual Jersey Shore Invitational (Nov 12-13). At Liberty University, MU debaters Kaitlin Allsopp and Emely Diaz made it to the octa-final playoff round by compiling a four and two record in the preliminary rounds— before losing in a close decision to a team from James Madison.

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NJ Voters Make Choice on Election Day Ballot

Voters of New Jersey were asked to vote on two state-wide questions during the election. The questions dealt with casino gambling and the gas tax. The two yes or no questions were located on the November 8, 2016 ballot.

Question one on the ballot was about allowing casino gambling in two other New Jersey counties besides Atlantic County and 78 percent of the New Jersey voters chose no on this issue.

Over twenty groups were against the measure and based on the ballot it seems many New Jersey residents agreed. If this amendment was voted in, two more casino locations would be allowed to open in Northern New Jersey.

The amendment would take away a great deal of power that Atlantic City has had over the years. Many people note that this measure would halt the monopoly Atlantic City casinos have had in New Jersey since 1976. The amendment noted that the casinos would have to be at least seventy-two miles away from Atlantic City.

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Trump 'Towers’ Over Clinton: A Businessman Becomes President

President Trump 1Donald J. Trump has been elected as the 45th president of the United States of America on Nov. 8th 2016— performing a surprising victory as many polls and political pundits doubted his ability to gain the votes necessary to win the presidency.

This year, Trump was able to tap into the anger and frustration of the voters in a way that no candidate has been able to do in many years. Assistant Professor of Political Science at Monmouth University, Dr. Stephen Chapman, said, “In an increasingly polar political climate, he’s run a populist campaign that rings true to many Americans.”

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FBI Reverses Course on Clinton Email Investigation as General Election Arrives

FBI Director James ComeyFBI Director, James Comey announced on Sunday that there will not be criminal charges brought against Democratic Presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton over handling of classified information over her private email server. This comes as somewhat of a surprise as he just wrote a letter to Congress late last month that he would re-open the investigation. The latest developments are attracting much controversy and scrutiny because they are coming out so close to the election.

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Clinton Ally Donates Over $500,000 to the Senate Campagin of Dr. Jill McCabe

News has surfaced that Clinton’s longtime ally, Governor Terry McAuliffe, of Virginia, donated money to the Senate campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe.

Over a period of time, donations exceeded over $500,000. Many wonder if this is somewhat politically charged since Dr. McCabe is the wife of an FBI official who was later set to be in charge of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.

Democratic Presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton has been centered in many scandals during the 2016 presidential campaign. Granted, it is near impossible for any political campaign to be free from some sort of corruption or scandal. Throughout history there have been contentious political debates, campaigns and elections. Many would not find a donation to a political campaign from a political action committee (PAC) to be problematic, yet this donation was a large sum of money. Andrew McCabe is the Deputy Director of the FBI. Over 1/3 of the campaign funds raised for McCabe’s campaign came from this source.

Associate Professor of political science, Dr. Joseph Patten said, “Terry McAuliffe is an old friend of the Clintons. There is always the suspicion of wrongdoing when candidates receive campaign contributions from people that want favors from them.” Then said, “It only becomes a violation of law if prosecutors can establish the bribery standard, which links to a quid pro quo of money for public favors, which is difficult to prove. No one has ever been convicted of bribery for receiving campaign contributions to my knowledge.”

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Political Science Club Straw Poll Displays Conflicting Outcomes

MU’s Political Science Club Adds to Political Awareness Through Latest Straw Poll


Straw Poll 1Monmouth University’s Political Science Club conducted a non-scientific straw poll this week to create excitement about the upcoming election, which is only six days away.

The straw poll turnout in the Monmouth community included 1,244 participants. Full-time faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and staff members were all able to express their opinion on the 2016 election through the poll.

The Political Science Club members have been working diligently to raise awareness in the Monmouth community by expressing the importance of each vote and how people can contribute their voice to America’s great democracy through the act of voting.

Areebah Zia, a political science student, said, “I think its great what the Political Science Club is doing, it’s raising awareness and informing people who would not otherwise take part in politics, and bringing light to their constitutional right to vote.”

 

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Special Guest Visits Monmouth Political Science Class

Special Guest Melissa SherryStudents in Professor Reinhart’s Constitutional Law class last Friday, Oct. 21, were fortunate to receive a visit from Melissa Arbus Sherry— a former clerk for the Supreme Court Justice, John Paul Stevens, who was hired as Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States by Supreme Court Justice, Elena Kagan. Stevens has argued ten cases in front of the Supreme Court of the United States. Reinhart, a lawyer himself, specialist professor, and Director of the Kislack Real Estate Institute at Monmouth, was able to get the high profile lawyer to visit campus.

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Is It All Just About Attitudes In The World of Politics?

This upcoming November, citizens will face a choice of, perhaps, the most unique presidential election in the entire history of the United States. What makes this election so unique are the attitudes, both of the candidates, as well as the attitudes voters sport in reaction to each candidates’ policies.

The first Presidential election of this cycle was the most ever tuned and watched debate. Many different media outlets and news agencies claim that one candidate won over the other in the debate. However, what is it that really matters to voters and what’s more important to voters? Is it their attitudes and feelings towards the potential presidential candidates or do voters put more of an emphasis on the presidential candidates’ agenda and/or policies?

Some even believe that third party candidates may play a major role in this election and should be allowed to partake in the widely publicized and televised presidential debates. However, Katharine Dix, a junior political science student, believes “this is not the election to vote third party.”

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The Race to the White House 2016: What is It Truly About?

The 2016 general election for president of the U.S. has been at the center of news media and social media; a definitive change from prior elections. With mass media and social media at the forefront, the polls can be easily swayed since information is so vastly available.

Nearly two weeks away from the general election and many voters do not know much about either candidate except for the negative attacks being thrown from each side. Some have thought this election would prove to be advantageous for the Republican establishment since a Democrat has held office for eight years. However, with the election coming closer it seems both candidates are ready for the final push.

According to RealClearPoltics polls from various pollsters, one candidate is up by anywhere from 1-20 points over the other. Some polls note a tie. There are variations in the polls based on the news outlet or poll conducting the research. A tight race has ensued leaving each candidate trying to secure their spot in this election. The problem with this election is that each candidate has ardent supporters or they are loathed. This factor is one that makes this election rather heated since each candidate has many negatives against them.

Regardless of each candidate’s flaws, many people note that this election has been dirty. It has not been centered on policy or the American people. At this stage in the race, Clinton is touring the country with supporters, such as First Lady Michelle Obama.

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Trump and Clinton Go Head to Head in Second Debate

debateOn Sunday night, 66.5 million eople tuned in to watch the second debate between presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

A part of the election cycle since 1992, the second debate has a town hall setting. The candidates were away from the podium and have the ability to answer questions from audience members. Other questions were taken from social media, or asked by the moderators, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC News’ Martha Raddatz.

Lorna Schmidt, Director of Advising, said, “I felt that the two of them were trying to convince each other of their point, and those are the last people they should be arguing to. They should be arguing to the audience. You never going to convince the person you’re debating, its those people our there you have to convince.”

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MU Polling Institute Named in Fake Memo

An apparent fake, leaked polling memo that was intended to spin polling results in favor of Democratic Presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, surfaced in the media late last month from the Monmouth Polling Institute— and left the polling institute members answering angry social media users.

On Sept. 21, a website called Real True News published a story claiming that a leaked Monmouth polling memo surfaced that urged the poll to change the narrative of the election. The website claimed that the accomplished pollster from fivethirtyeight.com, Nate Silver, had sent the memo. However, the name on the memo was blacked out.

The story came out shortly after the polling institute released its latest numbers, showing Clinton regaining momentum in Florida and criticizing them because they had published two polls that favored Donald Trump the week before.

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Bridgegate and Impeachment: Politics or Corruption?

On Sept. 9, 2013, two toll lanes were closed to the upper deck of the George Washington Bridge. Many officials such as police and emergency medical workers claimed not knowing of the lane closures during the morning rush hour was an extreme threat to the public safety of the city.

Many wonder what the true intentions were behind this potentially dangerous act. Several theories swirl throughout the media and internet.

However, the prevailing notion is that the closures were to be a form of rebellion and attack against the mayor at a hefty price tag to locals. In the scandal, many of Christie’s employees resigned in fear of backlash. Port Authority Director, Patrick Foye required the lanes be reopened and they were finally reopened after much struggle on Sept. 13, 2013. Members of the Fort Lee community note that people could have very well died in this dangerous attempt to be cynical for a political statement.

The motives of officials have always been questioned throughout the trial; namely Gov. Christie. Time and time again, people speculate whether or not the New Jersey governor had any inclination that this would occur on a Monday morning rush hour. Legal implications and charges were set against Christie’s former Chief-of-Staff, Bridget Anne Kelly and Port Authority employees appointed by Chris Christie; Mr. Baroni and Mr. Wildstein. All three people were charged with conspiracy of fraud for political motives. Eventually, they all resigned.

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Sparks Fly at First Presidential Debate

First Presidential DebateLast night was the first of three presidential debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton held at Hofstra University and aired on CNN— where more than 80 million people tuned into the debate between the two candidates, making it the most watched televised presidential debate in United States history.

Sparks flew early and often during the debate but the candidates did not spar as hard as many would have thought. Dr. Stephen Chapman, a professor of political science, said that this wasn’t unusual because “the first debate is usually about feeling each other out.”

He referred to President Barrack Obama’s performance in the first presidential debate against Mitt Romney in 2012. He said, “Many people have said that Barrack Obama came out flat and lost the first debate but he took that debate to feel out his opponent and come up with strategy.”

Nonetheless, Chapman concluded that the first debate is still important. He commented, “I think it’s crucial since it was the first time they are on the stage together after all of this campaigning.”

The debate included multiple topics and issues that were important to the candidates who are still trying to reach out to undecided voters. Both candidates were expected to be able to answer tough questions.

For Trump, the Director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute and specialist professor Peter Reinhart said, “There are several lines of questions that may prove difficult for Mr. Trump.”

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‘Rock the Vote’ at Monmouth

Rock The VoteOn Sept. 26, Monmouth held the first of its three “Rock the Vote” events in front of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center on campus where students quickly and easily registered to vote in this year’s presidential election while enjoying live music from “Band Not Scared.” The event was hosted by the University’s political science club and was sponsored and received help from the Student Activities Board (SAB) and many other on campus clubs and organizations.

Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Joseph Patten said, “We are having a lot of success drawing people [to register] in between classes.”

According to Patten, the club encouraged roughly 50 students to register within just one hour.

Patten also said that this would be the first of three Rock the Vote events. He said that they will be hosting two more before the Oct. 18 voter registration deadline.

According to Patten, the events registered about 170 student voters last semester. He aspires to do even better this semester.

Students from the political science club that participated in helping with the event stressed the importance of the University assisting its students with voter registration.

Junior political science student Angela Ryan said, “I think this event is great and that we had support from many different clubs and organizations. It’s really good that we’re getting students to register to vote. It will help them to be make informed decisions when they vote in November.”

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Election Polling Update 9/28

9/19 Sienna College
Florida Poll:

Trump: 43

Clinton: 43

9/19 Loras College Illinois Poll:

Clinton: 47

Trump: 33

9/18 Minneapolis Star
Tribune Minnesota Poll:

Clinton: 44

Trump: 38

9/18 Sooner Oklahoma Poll:

Trump: 51

Clinton: 36

9/17 Morning Call/ Muhlenberg Pennsylvania Poll:

Clinton: 47

Trump: 38

9/15 Emerson College Arkansas Poll:

Trump: 57

Clinton: 29

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Politics and Terrorism: How Does It Affect Elections?

Ronald ReganAfter the weekend of many terrible tragedies throughout the country, citizens have turned to the people we have elected in our moments of crisis. But what exactly do we look for in these public figures in our times of need?

One of the most iconic speeches to be delivered in a time of crisis was in Jan. 28, 1986, when President Ronald Regan addressed the nation of the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

It was the day President Regan was to prepare for his State of the Union address, but instead delivered a speech that would be one of the highlights of his career.  “The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them.”

He honored the lives that were lost and made the country feel united. Former House of Representatives Tip O’Niell wrote in his book, “it was a trying day for all Americans and Ronald Reagan spoke to our highest ideals.”

The nation looks for comfort in the people they vote to put in office and that is what they should be getting.  Once a tragedy takes place, people expect that politicians know the details of the occurrence and do what they can for everyone to be safe. 

According to The Hill, “Civilans need to know if they are safe, if this is or is not an attack, and what they should do to stay out of harms way.”

With the election only 50 days away, how a politician, or a candidate, reacts to an attack or a tragedy can effect how the public perceives them.

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Election Polling Update 9/21

9/19 Sienna College Florida Poll:

Trump: 43

Clinton: 43

9/19 Loras College Illinois Poll:

Clinton: 47

Trump: 33

9/18 Minneapolis Star Tribune Minnesota Poll:

Clinton: 44

Trump: 38

9/18 Sooner Oklahoma Poll:

Trump: 51

Clinton: 36

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Debate: Opening Weekend of the NFL Gets Political, Against the Protest

NFL Gets PoliticalLast Sunday was significant to many Americans as it was the opening weekend of NFL football, and more importantly, the fif-teenth anniversary of the attacks on our nation suffered on September 11th, 2001. However, perhaps what was getting the most at-tention from the fans this year were the actions of the players before the game and not during– due to the symbolic protest of not standing during the national anthem because of racial inequalities started in the preseason by San Francisco 49’s quarter-back, Collin Kaepernick, that has caught on with players from around the league. These protests represented the controversial topic of race that has especially consumed the nature of the media and politics of the nation over the last year and a half and the topic is much bigger than football. However, it is my firm belief that some of these NFL players are demonstrating on this issue the wrong way.

To be fair, there were some players that showed strength and symbolism in noncontroversial ways. For example, there were ru-mors swirling around the media that the entire Seattle Seahawks team would kneel during the national anthem. However, they in-stead chose to all link arms for the anthem. By doing this, the Seahawks took the high road by showing respect to the flag on the an-niversary of a great tragedy, while showing unity among their players– white and black.

It was upsetting to me that many players did not stand for the national anthem, especially on the anniversary of 9/11. Although race relations in our country have improved a great deal in the past few decades, there is no denying that racial tensions still exist. However, disrespecting our nations flag isn’t going to help the cause. First, demonstrating frustration in that way just adds fuel to the fire. The NFL players that didn’t stand are not the only people in the country that have used irresponsible rhetoric in response to this problem.

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Debate: Opening Weekend of NFL, For the Protest

NFL Gets PoliticalFootball is America’s favorite sport, and millions tune in to watch during the season, let alone opening weekend. So when Colin Kaepernick decided to not stand up during the National Anthem, it caused a huge discussion of the nature of protests.

Something that I have always found astonishing about American history is that some of the greatest social developments have been advanced with the help of protests. Women, racial and even animal rights have had their breakthroughs in society because brave men and women have voiced their opinions and stood for what they believed was right, sometimes even when the consequences could have been deadly.

And of course, this is the “Land of the Free” and the very first amendment that our founding fathers wrote was the freedom of speech. It sets America apart from other countries, and is the reason why the progression of the quality of life and people’s rights has been what it is and I hope that never changes.

Having Kaepernick take a stand by not standing because of the racial inequality in America has sparked a conversation of the issues at hand. He knew he had the platform to get the nation’s attention and he went for it. He risked his career and having his peers look at him differently for something he believed deserved to be looked at. And now other people have fallen in his footsteps.

Many people, however, have disagreed with the actions of these players, deeming it disrespectful to the country and to the men and women that fight for our rights.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
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Monmouth University
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Phone:(732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu