Thu04262018

Last updateWed, 18 Apr 2018 5pm

Politics

What Prevented a Hillary Clinton Presidency? Robots

What Prevented Hillary PresidencyProfessors at the University of Oxford have found that voters who have been exposed to automation were less likely to vote for the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 Presidential Election.

Carl Frey, Thor Berger, and Chinchih Chen at the University of Oxford studied how robots in the workforce influenced voters who worked in those factories.

In their study published last month, they found that workers exposed to automation were less likely to vote for Clinton than for Donald Trump.

Clinton lost key Midwestern states on Election Day—namely Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. These states had been reliably blue in previous general elections; however, Clinton lost them to her opponent in the race: now-President Trump.

“This finding is not surprising considering that Donald Trump successfully emphasized economic nationalism in his campaign,” Joseph Patten, Ph.D., an associate professor of political science, said.

“[This] pulled votes away from Hillary Clinton in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania,” he added.

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Results of MU 2017 Gubernatorial Election Straw Poll

Nearly 400 students voted in the 2017 NJ Gubernatorial straw poll. The students in the University’s Political Science Club ran the poll Oct. 27 and sent their results into The Outlook last week.

The poll spanned across the entire university, asking undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff/administration, to participate.

Thank you to Emma O’Rourke and Anastasia V. Giannakakos from the Political Science Club, and to Carolyn Lau from the Polling Institute for their hard-work and participation in making this poll possible. The results are as follows:

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Tensions Rise Within Party Factions

Tensions Rise Within Party FactionsThe 2016 elections resulted in the Democrats without the White House and with 71 fewer seats in Congress, giving Republicans the majority.

Consequently, Democrats are eager to find a new image for the party—while many Republicans are trying not to get lost in the shuffle of a vast right-wing movement.

After decades of wavering from left and center, the party’s division culminated in the 2016 Democratic Primaries.

With former-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, representing the party’s center and Bernie Sanders embodying its burgeoning left, the party endured a battle over which faction would hold regency.

“[Bernie] didn’t get into the race to make sure a Democrat won the White House. He got in to disrupt the Democratic Party,” Clinton aptly says in her book, What Happened.

With more than a third of Senate Democrats co-sponsoring Bernie’s “Medicare for All”, and over half of Democratic representatives supporting the House version, it is becoming more evident that Congressional Democrats are walking a very thin line toward the left.

Although the Democrats should not falter in the middle of tepid centrism, these kinds of impractical, half-baked proposals cooked up by Bernie Sanders et al are not substantial alternatives—especially not for something as sacrosanct to Democrats as healthcare.

Dr. Katherine Parkin, a professor in the History Department and Vice President of the Faculty Association, explains how pivotal former-President Bill Clinton was in reshaping not only the Democratic Party, but also the landscape of modern-American politics—lending way for candidates, who would otherwise not be considered, to run for President.”

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New Proposal to Increase Entrance Fees in National Parks

Proposal Increase Fee National ParksThe National Park Service has announced their proposal to increase parks fees during their peak seasons at some of the nation’s most popular parks, on Oct. 24.

The proposal raises the entry fees of 17 parks, including Yosemite in California, Shenandoah in Virginia, Acadia in Maine, Grand Canyon in Arizona, Zion and Bryce in Utah, and Yellowstone in California, among others.

The price hike would be used to tackle maintenance and infrastructure, including roads, campgrounds, and bathrooms, which contribute to the quality of visitor experience, according to the New York Times. The National Park Service asserts that there exists an $11 billion accumulation in repairs that need to be addressed.

Many of the anticipated prices could go into effect as early as January 2018, as with the case of Joshua Tree National Park. For 12 other parks, May 1, 2018 determines the change in price; and June 1 for four others – Acadia National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park among them.

The proposal increases the single noncommercial vehicles entrance fee to $70; motorcycles would pay $50; pedestrians and cyclists $30. This is nearly triple the entrance fee at Joshua Tree National Park, which charges $25 for noncommercial vehicles. Currently, entrance fees are charged at 118 of the 417 parks.

A trip to a national park could now be comparable in price to visiting Six Flags amusement park and Busch Gardens, according to the Washington Post.

The 17 affected parks are considered “the top revenue parks” said the National Park Service, which “collect 70 percent of the total of all entrance fees throughout the country.” Uber serves as the contemporary precedent of the model in which prices rise as demand increases.

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President Trump's Executive Order on Healthcare

President Trump Executive Order HealthcarePresident Trump issued an executive order on Thursday, Oct. 12 which he believes will help mitigate adverse consequences of the PPACA— Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- such as the high premiums and deductibles, and the minimal options in selecting plans.

This follows the unsuccessful efforts to “repeal and replace” the PPACA by Republicans in Congress.

The promise to overturn the PPACA has been a Republican cornerstone, and the Democrats have been steadfast in their opposition.

Vertiginous squabbling and partisan gridlock has led to no compromise in our Congress.

As a result, no substantive measures have been made to improve the PPACA and bring costs of healthcare down; instead, many Republicans have called for scrapping it altogether and a third of Democrats have advocated for opting to a single-payer “Medicare for All”. Until the PPACA can be improved, the President has issued an executive order interim.

According to the Office of the White House Press Secretary, the executive order allows small-business employers to buy into association health plans, which would allow them to collectively self-insure or purchase group insurance—spreading the costs and allowing for lower payments for individuals within the group. Additionally, the executive order enables individuals to purchase health insurance “across state lines”.

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Environmental Protection Agency Pulls Scientists from Conference

EPA Pulls Scientists from ConferenceThe Environmental Protection Agency canceled the scheduled appearances of three scientists from the agency who planned climate change discussions at a conference in Rhode Island on Monday.

According to the New York Times, officials from the EPA did not divulge the reason for pulling the scientists from the conference. However, the latest development has become a major concern for scientists who feel as though the EPA has avoided climate change topics during President Trump’s administration.

The three scientists – Autumn Oczkowski, Rose Martin, and Emily Shumchenia – contributed significantly to the 500-page report being presented at the State of the Narragansett Bay and Watershed program, located in Providence. The conference is centered on analyzing the health of Narragansett Bay, in which one of the cut speakers was to give the keynote address.

The report details the effect of climate change on the bay, including warming temperatures of the air and water, changes in precipitation, and rising sea levels, according to Slate. The removed speakers intended on focusing on these climate changes issues. However, the replaced address is listed as “Narragansett Bay as a Sentinel Estuary.”

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Las Vegas Shooting Evokes Gun Control Debate

Las Vegas Gun Control DebateIn the wake of the Las Vegas mass-shooting, many have called for improving the regulatory measures that surround the purchase and ownership of firearms.

Stephen Paddock opened fire from his hotel room onto the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada last Sunday, Oct. 1—terrorizing concert-goers, and leaving 58 dead and nearly 500 more injured.

Last Thursday, Oct. 5, the Clark County Coroner’s office released the identities of the victims who were killed in the attack: 36 women and 22 men, as old as 67 and as young as 20. The devastating calamity has been confirmed as the worst mass shooting in modern-American history. 

Limiting gun ownership is not an unfamiliar initiative, and the topic of gun control has long been a torrid and poignant discussion. “[The Las Vegas shooting] isn’t the first time we’ve heard about these tragic events,” Dr. Sue Stark, an associate professor in the Department of English, says, “I think it’s absolutely horrible; unfortunately, it probably won’t be the last time… If we didn’t do anything after the shooting at Sandy Hook, I didn’t think we would do anything at all.”

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Pence Leaves Football Game after Team Protests

Pence Leaves Football GameAt President Trump’s request, Vice President Pence left a football game after players kneeled in protest during the National Anthem on Sunday.

The game took place in Pence’s home state of Indiana, between the San Francisco 49ers. Nearly two dozen of their players kneeled, an action Pence tweeted “disrespects our soldiers, our Flag” and “our national anthem.”

The San Francisco team has been among the most active in the N.F.L. protest, which sparked controversy when, on Sept. 22, Trump, in response to Colin Kaepernick’s protest last year of police officers killing black men, urged owners to “fire” those “sons of bitches” who took a knee.

“While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and out National Anthem” Pence tweeted in a full statement.

Trump also took to Twitter to clarify that he asked Pence to leave the game, and his opinion on the issue: “I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.”

Pence posted a picture of him and the Second Lady at the game before leaving, as well as one standing during the anthem with the caption, “We were proud to stand – with all our @Colts – for our soldiers, our flag, and our National Anthem.”

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Trump Promotes Tax Reform Proposal in Indianapolis

Trump Tax Reform Proposal Indianapolis 1President Trump traveled to Indianapolis to promote his proposal of reforming the American tax system in order to lower the tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent on Wednesday, September 20.

Trump has long been advocating for reforming the American tax system.

The president’s speech took place at the Indiana State Fairgrounds at around 3:30 p.m., where he explained his tax reform plan, which many still considered to be vague, according to The Oakland Press.

“To protect millions of small businesses and the American farmer, we are finally ending the crushing, the horrible, the unfair estate tax, or as it is often referred to, the death tax,” Trump said during his speech.

“Today, our total business tax rate is 60 percent higher than our average foreign competitor in the developed world,” he continued.

The president traveled to the city due to the fact that winning the bipartisan support for a tax bill is receiving the support from Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly, since he proves to cross party lines more often than other democrats.

Trump’s first significant speech on his tax reform proposal occurred in Missouri in August. He and Pence also visited North Dakota and West Virginia, respectively.

The trip was Trump’s second since he won the presidential election.

Currently, there are seven federal-income tax brackets, and the president wants to bring that down to three: 12%, 25%, and 35%. He states that by doing this, it will stimulate the economy. This was accomplished by former-President Ronald Raegan during the 1980s. Many today still advocate for Raegan-like tax cuts: “As someone who believes in capitalism, I think that the economy will improve with tax cuts to corporations and high-earning individuals,” Alexis Borrino, a sophomore primary-education major at Monmouth, stated.

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Puerto Rican Citizens React to Trump’s Tweets

Puerto Rican Citizens Trump TweetsPuerto Ricans fight back on Trump’s assertion that the island’s citizens “want everything to be done for them when it should be community effort,” in regards to Hurricane Maria, on Sept. 30.

This follows President Trump’s criticism of Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, who was also skeptical of the U.S. president’s lack of initiative in sending aid to the devastated region.

“The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump,”

Trump tweeted, according to The New York Times. “Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and other of Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help.”

Cruz, who told Anderson Cooper on Saturday that she is not a democrat, said, “He is looking for excuses for things not going well. I have no time for small politics or for comments that do not add to the situation here.”

The Puerto Ricans who supported the mayor’s efforts and called for additional relief, were contacted by CNN.

“I’m amazed that he has the gall to say Puerto Ricans expect everything to be done for them,” Griselmarie Alemar, of Stratford, Connecticut, said.

“They are working exhaustively to lift themselves up. We are citizens. We pay taxes. We serve in the military,” he continued.

President Trump has asserted that Puerto Rico should be less dependent on the federal government for aid, reported The New York Times:

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Pope Francis Urges Trump not to End DACA

Pope Francis Urges Not End DACASenator Bernie Sanders introduced his “Medicare for All” bill on September 13th and plans to go state-to-state in order to promote his bill—his first stop was in San Francisco at the “California Nurses Convention” on Sept. 22.

In 1965, then-President Johnson established the Medicare program in order to provide healthcare to Americans 65-and-older. Eligibility for the program’s benefits was extended to Americans with certain disabilities in 1972. The program provides a variety of covered medical treatments at certain prices, and subsequently reimburses doctors and hospitals whenever a beneficiary uses those services.

The Medicare “trust-fund” is dependent on its enrollment, and how many medical services recipients use. Sanders hopes to significantly increase the program’s enrollment by expanding it to every American, which would render most Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges obsolete.

According to Sanders, his plan would eventually lower prices of healthcare because of the single-payer system’s simplicity. However, getting subsidy for the program would require reducing doctors’ salaries and/or the number of professionals in hospitals, as well as eliminating some medical treatments that are currently offered. Sanders also suggests cutting spending in pharmaceuticals to save expenses. However, doing so could potentially limit access to new, and otherwise expensive, treatments—as well as reduce investments in new technologies. Moreover, “the perks of staying in an American hospital, such as having a private patient room” could be jeopardized—the Times reports.

Many countries have single-payer healthcare systems, yet all of them pay substantially less for healthcare than the U.S. would. This is because Sanders’ plan would cover extensively more than usual insurance plans do in both the U.S. and abroad. According to research from The Urban Institute, Sanders’ healthcare plan would cost double than what his 2016 campaign initially estimated.

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