Fri09222017

Last updateWed, 20 Sep 2017 1pm

Politics

Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)

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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