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Politics

Bernie Sanders Could Be The First Jewish President

Bernie Sanders JewishDr. Joseph Patten, Chair of the Political Science Department, said “not many people know that Bernie Sanders is Jewish.” Is this just a coincidence or is it more than that?

 It was only eight years ago when history was made in America with the election of the first African American, President Barack Obama. Now, for the upcoming 2016 presidential elections once again history can be made with either the first Female President, Hillary Clinton, or the first Jewish President, Bernie Sanders, who are both running for the democratic presidential nomination.

Both Jews and females have made giant strides politically in the U.S. throughout history, yet both have failed to get to the ultimate prize, the American presidency.

Joe Lieberman was the first Jewish person to run on a presidential ticket as Vice President for Al Gore in 2000 and then sought the presidential nomination in 2004, but failed and didn’t even end up running.

It’s important to note the role and inspiration these leaders display for African Americans and other minority groups in what they can achieve and accomplish.

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Donald Trump Threatens to Sue Ted Cruz Over Eligibility

Trump Sues CruzWith the 2016 election just around the corner, candidates from the Republican Party are suspending their campaigns and with only five candidates left, Trump has on numerous occasions gone after Ted Cruz for being born outside the United States. Trump has threatened to sue Cruz for running for President due to the issue of citizenship and eligibility. According to Trump, Cruz is automatically not a “natural born citizen”.

Considering Trumps definition of natural born citizen, Cruz would not be able to run for office due to Article two Section two of the United States Constitution.  It states “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.” The reason this requirement was put into the Constitution was to ensure that foreign influence would never impact or harm the American people. The debate and controversy with that part is with the term “Natural Born”.  Nowhere in the constitution does it define the exact terminology.

Professor Cathy Bartch of the Political Science Department shared some insight about the issue. She said, “As someone who has taught American Constitutional Development, I prefer to view the Constitution as a ‘living document’, one that can be interpreted according to the changing times. This does not mean the ‘original intent’ of the framers of the Constitution should be ignored, but I think their intent can be considered in the context of societal transformations and progress.”

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Beyonce Delivers Controversial Super Bowl Performance

Beyonce Super BowlOn Feb. 7, Beyoncé preformed the half time show at Superbowl 50, along side artists Coldplay and Bruno Mars. However, the performance quickly received backlash, for some thought the performance was a bit too controversial for television.

 Beyoncé preformed her new song, “Formation”, a song about being in touch with her black culture, with lyrics such as “I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros - I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils” and “ I just might be a black Bill Gates in the making”.

And to go hand in hand with the lyrics, her performance included a theme of black empowerment, featuring her and her dancers dressed in honor of the Black Panther Party of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Marni Senofonte, Beyoncé’s stylist for the halftime show, explained in an interview with Essence magazine, “It was important to her to honor the beauty of strong black women and celebrate the unity that fuels their power. One of the best examples of that is the image of the female Black Panther. The women of the Black Panther Party created a sisterhood and worked right alongside their men fighting police brutality and creating community social programs.”

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Nation Reacts to Passing of Supreme Court Justice

The nation is healing from the loss of Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, who passed away Saturday morning at the age of 79 years old.

Justice Scalia has served on the Supreme Court since he was nominated by Ronald Reagan in 1986.

President Obama addressed the nation on Saturday afternoon and said of Scalia, “He influenced a generation of judges, lawyers, and students, and profoundly shaped the legal landscape. He will no doubt be remembered as one of the most consequential judges and thinkers to serve on the Supreme Court.” He added, “Justice Scalia dedicated his life to the cornerstone of our democracy: The rule of law. Tonight, we honor his extraordinary service to our nation and remember one of the towering legal figures of our time.”

His passing was also addressed during the Republican debate in South Carolina Saturday night by the GOP presidential hopefuls. New Hampshire Primary winner, Donald Trump, said, “Justice Scalia was a remarkable person and a brilliant Supreme Court Justice, one of the best of all time. His career was defined by his reverence for the Constitution and his legacy of protecting Americans’ most cherished freedoms.” Senator Marco Rubio said, “Justice Scalia was one of the most consequential Americans in our history and a brilliant legal mind who served with only one objective: to interpret and defend the Constitution as written.”

Iowa Caucus winner, Ted Cruz, said, “Today our Nation mourns the loss of one of the greatest Justices in history - Justice Antonin Scalia. A champion of our liberties and a stalwart defender of the Constitution, he will go down as one of the few Justices who single-handedly changed the course of legal history.”

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President Obama Issues Executive Order in Response to Cyber Attacks

On Monday, February 8, the contact information of 20,000 FBI employees were published when FBI computers were hacked— according to CNN. Names, titles, email addresses, and phone numbers of the federal employees were among the information released. The hackers posted the information on Twitter, via the account of @DotGovs. It read, “FBI and DHS info is dropped and that’s all we came to do, so now it’s time to go, bye folks! #FreePalestine.” They also posted, “Well folks, it looks like @TheJusticeDept has finally realized their computer has been breached after 1 week.” The Justice Department is investigating the security breach. Justice Department Spokesperson, Peter Carr, told CNN that it does not appear to be sensitive information — such as social security numbers— that were compromised. The hackers continued their Twitter communication and posted, “When will the US government realize we won’t stop until they cut relations with Israel.”

Monmouth University’s Professor Yessir Gallagher previously worked for the State Department, and commented on the United States’ relations with Palestine, “I am most pessimistic about the long-term future of Palestine. The Israelis have allowed more than half-a-million settlers to move into Palestinian territory in the West Bank despite repeated pleas by American presidents and the United Nations that they not do so.” He continued, “I can’t imagine how they could ever peacefully move those people out of their settlements.  I have little hope for a positive resolution of this problem in the near future.  Continued violence - including more cyberattacks - is likely.”

This has become a concern for the federal government, and has prompted President Obama to take action. The White House has informed the press over the week that they are working to increase the security of federal computer systems. Last Tuesday, President Obama signed an executive order to establish a federal privacy council that will ensure all federal branches of government are using the best security practices when protecting employees’ information, in addition to classified government information– according to White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest.

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Debate: Should the University Rename Wilson Hall?

Renaming Wilson HallAFFIRMATIVE


When analyzing the morality encapsulating the particular actions of past influencers, should the context of the era in which they exist be considered? Or are some forms of thought so outdated that they can no longer be reconciled with a modern generation?

An ongoing series of conversations “on race and inclusion” hosted by Monmouth University aims to answer these questions and more.

While not explicit in their purpose, these conversations will be used to gauge student interest in changing the name of Wilson Hall, named for President Woodrow Wilson, who rented the original Shadow Lawn Mansion and gave speeches from the front balconies during the election of 1912. 

Although Wilson was Governor of New Jersey at the time, he was born in Virginia, and later became the first President from a secessionist state in almost fifty years and the first since the end of the Reconstruction Era.

With the memory of the Civil War still prominent in American society, racial inequality was an unfortunate commonality of Wilson’s administrations. Despite the passing of the Pendleton Act in 1883, which stipulates that government jobs are to be awarded on the basis of merit and made it illegal to fire or demote an employee for political reasons, President Wilson mandated that all applicants for federal jobs be photographed before they were hired.

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Iowa Caucus Has Unusually High Turnout; Clinton and Cruz in the Running

Iowa Voter RegisitrationThe 2016 election officially kicked off on Monday, as Iowa voters went out to cast their votes in the caucus, resulting in Ted Cruz as a big winner for the GOP, and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders ending it in a draw.

According to ABC News, more than 180,000 Republican Iowans voted in the first 2016 caucus, compared to the previous record of only 121,000 people in 2012.

Cruz won with 28% of the votes with Donald Trump right behind him with 24%, while Marco Rubio received 24%. On the Democrats side, Martin O’Malley received less than 1% of the votes.

This is the first time actual voters can weigh in in the presidential nomination. Dr. Stephen Chapman, Assistant Professor of Political Science, said, “The Iowa Caucuses are so important simply because they come first. The media plays this up mainly because it is the first taste of actual votes being counted towards the presidential nominations. This causes increased ratings for media outlets.”

However, the time consuming process of the caucuses results in a lower turnout. According to the Iowa Caucus Project, on average one out of five registered voters shows up, Democrat or Republican, which is why it was surprising to see such a huge turnout this term.

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Patterson Cop’s First Amendment Case Taken to U.S. Supreme Court

On Jan. 19, former Patterson cop, Jeffery B. Heffernan, plead at the Supreme Court. According to NorthJersey.com, the officer was tried for “overt involvement in a political election.”

In 2006, Officer Heffernan was spotted obtaining a political lawn sign supporting a mayoral candidate, Lawrence Spagnola, who was trying to unseat the current Patterson mayor, Joey Torres, by another Patterson officer. This eventually spread to the chief of police in Patterson, who was a Torres supporter himself. Heffernan was then demoted to foot patrol.  As a result, he sued the city for monetary damages.

NorthJersey.com reports that Heffernan retired in 2011, but his case did not end there. The former officer has been consistent in his claim that he was in no way active in the Spagnola campaign, and that he was simply picking up the sign for his mother, who was bedridden.

 It is due to him claiming he was not exercising his right to free speech that he appeared in front of the Supreme Court last month. Heffernan had no platform to exercise his first amendment rights, therefore had no reason to sue the city for damages.

Heffernan’s attorney spoke to NorthJersey.com about the case. Attorney Mark B. Frost said, “If a police officer can constitutionally be demoted because his supervisor incorrectly believes that the officer supports a candidate for mayor, then any public employee could be demoted or even fired because her supervisor incorrectly believes that she is a Democrat or a Republican,”

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Hillary Clinton’s Email Controversy Still Lingering During Iowa Caucus

Democratic front-runner candidate for the presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton, has been dealing with an email scandal that is just not going away.

For the last year, the FBI and Department of Justice have been probing into Clinton’s emails that were on her private server during the time she was Secretary of State.

According to an article written in the New York Post last week by Jamie Schram, “Over the past year or so, investigators have flagged dozens of Clinton’s emails marked as confidential or classified — and recently it was reported that her private server contained intelligence from the government’s most highly classified programs.”

Last week, former House majority leader, Tom Delay, said, “I have friends in the FBI and theysay they’re ready to indict her.” Delay continued, “They’re ready to recommend an indictment and they also say that if the attorney general does not indict, they’re going public.”

Then on Jan. 29th, Steven Lee Myers of the New York Times wrote an article saying that, “The State Department on Friday said for the first time that “top secret” material had been sent through Hillary Clinton’s private computer server, and that it would not make public 22 of her emails because they contained highly classified information.”

Brian Fallon of the Clinton campaign said this story, “appears to be over-classification run amok.” Then said, “We understand that these emails were likely originated on the State Department’s unclassified system before they were ever shared with Secretary Clinton, and they have remained on the department’s unclassifiedsystem for years.”

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Monmouth Polls Show Surging Sanders and Indomitable Trump

A recent national survey conducted by the University’s Polling Institute that was released on Jan. 19 shows a surging Bernie Sanders cutting into Hillary Clinton’s share of the most likely liberal voters.

The poll, which questions the popular perception of Hillary Clinton as the inevitable Democratic nominee for president, was mostly completed prior to the latest Democratic Primary Debate held in Charleston, SC on Sunday January 17.

According the poll’s latest findings, Clinton has the support of 52% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters nationwide, down from 59% in December. Sanders received 37% support, which is up substantially from his 26% support level last month and narrows Clinton’s lead to 15 points.

Just last month, a Monmouth poll suggested Sanders lagged behind Clinton by 33 points nationally. In Iowa Tues., where polls reported the two in a statistical tie, Sanders asserted that he’s confident he can win.

“When we started, we were in three percent in the polls,” said Sanders. “We were fifty points behind. Today, the inevitable candidate does not look quite so inevitable as she did eight and a half months ago.”

This marks the first time Clinton’s lead has dropped below twenty points in a national Monmouth poll.

“Clinton has lost ground with nearly every major Democratic voting bloc since December,” according to a report paired with the release of the poll’s results, with her biggest drops recorded among “self-described liberals,” from a 57% – 31% advantage over Sanders one month ago to a 42% – 51% deficit in the current poll.

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Detroit Public School Teachers “Sickout” Protest

On Jan. 20, 88 schools closed in Detroit, Mi., due to a teacher “sickout” protest against the underfunding of public schools. 44,790 students were unable to attend school that day.

The first “sickout” started with the closing of five schools, led by Steve Conn, the ousted president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers Union, who was expelled in August after the local’s executive board found him guilty of internal misconducted charges.  This affected over 6,730 students ability to attend school.

Owing 3.5 billion in outstanding debt, Detroit public schools system could be insolvent, or unable to loans by April of this year. This could affect a recovering city trying to overcome bankruptcy; without a good standing education system, new families are not likely to move in and support the economy of the city.

 Enrollment numbers are down, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. In 2006, only 20% of students attended charter schools, and since 2014, this number has gone up to 55%. Other parents have opted to send their children to other public schools in suburbs.

Detroit has also come last in education every year since 2012, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress Exam. 

When aware of the protest, Mayor Mike Buggan ordered district wide school inspections. He came across a dead mouse in an elementary school.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication 
and Instructional Technology (CCIT) Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey 07764

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