Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm


Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)

The Reality of Drone Warfare by the U.S. Military

Drone“I’m going to repeat one more time,” said President Barack Obama in a lengthy 2013 speech at the National Defense University in Washington D.C.

“As a matter of policy, the preference of the United States is to capture terrorist suspects. When we do detain a suspect, we interrogate them. And if the suspect can be prosecuted, we decide whether to try him in a civilian court or a military commission,” said the President.

According to the Monmouth University Polling Institute, 76 percent of American say law enforcement agencies should be required to obtain a warrant from a judge before using drones.

New documents leaked to The Intercept reveal that the President’s claims were at best intentionally misleading and at worst patently false.

The Intercept is an online start-up news site launched in Feb. 2014 by First Look Media— the news organization created and funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. The magazine serves as a platform for the documents leaked by former NSA cyber security contractor, Edward Snowden, and employs journalist Glenn Greenwald, filmmaker Laura Poitras, and author Jeremy Scahill as editors.

The response to the latest leak of classified military documents has been largely restrained but has provoked some outspoken critics, such as the Qataristate-funded media network, Al Jazeera, which said, “the U.S. drone program is imprecise and arbitrary and a grave risk to civilians everywhere. It is also a program over which the president exercises little control.”

The American-based Foreign Policy Magazine published that The Intercept’s reporting “is less one big ‘bombshell’ and more of a synthesis of over a decade’s worth of reporting and analysis, bolstered by troubling new revelations about what has become routine.”

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Presidential Candidates Take On College Affordability

As the national student debt plan continues to rise above $1.2 trillion, according to The Washington Post, many young voters have turned to the Presidential Candidates for the best solution when coming into office in 2016.

A couple of the candidates, such as Jeb Bush and Ben Carson, have said that tuition prices have doubled under President Obama’s two terms. Tuition prices have gone up 86 percent since he took office.

However, after the 2008 recession and the high amount of job loss, more and more students enrolled into college to ensure work. And with the rise of enrollment, comes the rise in tuition prices, according to Donald Heller, the Dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University.

Former Governor Jeb Bush wants to see students use for-profit and online schools be used more. He also wants more responsibility from the schools to ensure that students graduate in four years, and not see them as money suppliers.

When asked about this in an interview on C-SPAN, he said, “If kids can’t graduate with a four year degree in four years, there ought to be some pay back to them or their family. Or have some support for the loans they have taken out. We have to make sure a four year degree can be done in four years.”

Former Hewlitt- Packard CEO Carly Fiorina also believes that if the technology is available, online classes would help the debt situation. She wants the idea of government involvement to be non-existent to help college affordability.

When asked she said in a speech, “I would return the free market to the student loan industry. Secondly, I would enable as much choice and competition in higher education as possible. For-profit university do a very good job of educating a lot of people at a lower cost.”

Many have turned to see what Former U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has in plan for college affordability, since she has years of political experience. Her plan would not make college completely free for student, like her opponent Bernie Sanders plan, but would highly rely on federal state partnership. And for students who choice to stay in-state, they will not have to borrow loan money for in state college.

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Monmouth Debate Team Wins Team and Individual Awards at West Point Military Academy this Weekend

MU DebateThe Monmouth University Debate Team won a team and two individual speaking awards at the West Point Military Academy tournament this weekend (October 23-25).  Christopher D’Elia and Kevin Ospina made it into the playoff round before losing to a team from West Virginia University.  Victoria Esler also received the first place individual speaking award and Allison Ferraro received the second place speaking award in their division of 70 debaters.  They all received their awards in front of approximately 250 debaters and coaches from across the nation.  The awards banquet was held in West Point’s historic Officer’s Club that cradles and sits above the picturesque Hudson River. (see photo below).

Team Captain Michelle Grushko and Saliha Younas scored victories in the experienced division that includes debaters on debate scholarships.  Monmouth first year student James Hawke and Sabrina Saenger went 3-3 in the six round tournament, and narrowly missed making it into the playoff rounds.  The two person teams of Kaitlin Allsopp and Prachi Patel and Abdullah Rashid and Omar Moustafa also scored impressive victories in their debating debut.

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Presidential Candidate Jeb Bush Offers Alternative to Affordable Care Act

Jeb BushWith the upcoming Presidential election in 2016, candidates from both the Republican and Democratic side are taking a stance on current issues affecting the American people. In particular, Republican candidate Jeb Bush has taken a stance on an alternative to President Obama’s healthcare plan.

Recently, Bush has released a plan to replace Affordable Care Act if he is elected President in 2016. According to CNN, the plan entails having the individuals choose coverage with high deductible with less coverage, which will then lead to increasing the contribution to health savings account.

A big aspect of Bush’s plan involves reduction of government involvement. He believes healthcare can be improved if private sectors were the source of health IT systems.

Another component of the plan includes, full disclosure for the patient. The patient at any time has the right to take ownership of his or her own records.

This would then go on to force Medicare and Medicaid centers to publicly release claims data.  Bush claims he would like to go beyond the idea of just expanding health coverage. He would like to increase medical technology usage in order to provide more efficiency within the health care process.

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Social Security, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act Among Topics Discussed in Budget Deal

Obama and BoehnerA two-year budget deal in the nation’s capital foreshadows the uncertain future for retirees as lawmakers face choosing between benefits promised to the elderly and a shortfall in funding.

If approved by Congress, the deal hammered out between the White House and departing House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, would raise federal government spending by $80 billion over the next two years. It would offset some of that spending with tweaks to Social Security, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.

While the deal would avert a showdown over the federal debt ceiling by raising it enough to last past the 2016 elections, it punts on long-term fixes for the biggest drivers of government spending, the entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. Consequently, tens of millions of current workers face an uncertain retirement.

A key part of the deal involved Medicare and the Social Security Disability Insurance program, which provides income to workers who have suffered injury or illness before the official retirement age of 65.

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Debate: Is the Benghazi Controversy Still Relevant?

HillaryAfter getting through a tough eleven hours in front of the Benghazi panel without any disastrous gaff’s, Clinton supporters everywhere are claiming that Hillary has emerged victorious.  After months of uncertainty about the former Secretary of State, Democrats everywhere are eager to chalk up Mrs. Clinton’s performance in front of the Benghazi Panel as one in the win column. However, they should not get ahead of themselves and declare that Mrs. Clinton is out of the woods just yet.

One little detail that most media outlets are failing to report on is that it was that Hillary admitted to telling an outright lie. The biggest controversy over the Benghazi attacks in 2012 was not the lack of security or the tragic deaths of four Americans. Although the attacks were a horrific tragedy, this is not the first time an American embassy was attacked. What made this attack a scandal was the fact that the White House and the State Department– led by Hillary Clinton at the time– spread the lie that these attacks were a result of spontaneous protest over an anti-Mohammed video that surfaced on the internet.

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Is the Library of Congress in Need of Updating?

Library CongressContrary to the depiction of the Library of Congress in “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” with large secret compartments and elaborate designs– the library is actually on the decline. There is no question that the library has every book a political science major could ask for, but are they living in the past? 

According to Politico Magazine, the current Librarian of Congress, James Billington, has given the library a reputation for being behind the times in terms of technology. It is so far behind, that the library could not even calculate how many computers they have. 

Politico reports that Billington is stepping down, and the library is looking for a replacement to bring them to the 21st century. If the library fails to make this shift, collections could potentially become inaccessible, according to Library of Congress employee Daniel Schuman.

According to American Libraries Magazine, as time goes on and the Library of Congress continues to fall behind in the Internet Revolution, will become less relevant and not nearly as useful as it needs to be. 

Professor of English, Noel Bellinski said, “The Library of Congress needs to remain relevant in the digital age. It is not only important to preserve documents, but also to make them accessible as technology advances.” 

She continued, “Mr. Billington has been the Librarian of Congress since before the advent of the Internet. The Librarian of Congress should at least be comfortable and familiar with technology.” 

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Russia and Syria: Conflict Turned Into a Proxy War

Syria RussiaRecently, much controversy has been made over Russia’s air strikes in Syria. The target of these air strikes has been the Islamist extremist group, the Islamic State. 

According to Reuters, Russia’s planes had flown 64 stories, striking 63 targets, and destroying 53 fortified positions on Sunday Oct. 11. 

Professor of Political Science, Dr. Saliba Sarsar said, “Russia’s military activities and buildup in Syria are designed to prop up the embattled Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, fight against Islamic extremists, including ISIL and the al-Nusra Front, and protect its assets that consist of, among others things, an air base near Latakia and a naval supply and maintenance base at Tartus.”

He continues, “This enhanced Russian presence comes at a time when the United States is shying away from a deeper involvement in the Syria crisis, limiting its actions to air strikes against ISIL, funding and arming elements of the Syrian opposition, and assisting Syria’s refugees.”  

According to Reuters, the strategy of the Obama Administration, which has led a separate bombing campaign against the Islamic state for a year, failed to establish strong ties with the fighters on the ground. Washington, and Moscow have the same enemy in the Islamic State, but have differing viewpoints on where the conflict should see an end. 

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Debate: Have We Become An Armed Society?


In the wake of several campus shootings, the most deadly being the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech University, states are increasingly considering legislation about whether or not to permit guns on college campuses. 

For some, these events point to a need to ease existing firearm regulations and allow concealed weapons on campuses. Others see the solution in tightening restrictions to keep guns off campuses.

In 2013, at least 19 states introduced legislation to allow concealed carry on campus in some regard and in the 2014 legislative session, at least 14 states followed up and introduced similar legislation. 

In 2013, two bills passed, one in Kansas that allows concealed carry generally and one in Arkansas that allows faculty to carry.  

At the University of Colorado at Boulder, a dormitory was commissioned for students who wished to covertly carry their guns around on campus by day and safely tuck them into a safe in their room at night. 

In 2015, Texas became the most recent state to allow concealed carry weapons on college campuses. 

On the other hand, recent shootings also have encouraged some legislators to strengthen existing firearm regulations. 

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The Daily Show 2.0: Trevor Noah Takes Over

Daily ShowComedian Trevor Noah took over the infamous seat of Jon Stewart, as the host of The Daily Show on Sept. 28.  The anticipation of his arrival as host started shortly after Stewart decided it was time to give up his position after hosting for 14 years. 

Noah opened his first episode by talking about the other people who were asked to host the show by saying, “Comedy Central tried and those people declined. And so once more, a job Americans rejected is now being done by an immigrant.” 

Noah has been a comic for about a decade now, but did not make his political vocal on screen debut until he became a political correspondent on The Daily Show in 2014. With this, Comedy Central had many reasons on why to choose him as the new host. 

Michele Ganeless, President of Comedy Central said, “He is a student of our culture. But he looks at it from a very different perspective. [Noah] really understands our audience, because he is one of them.” 

Noah comes from a different background than the audience is use to, which could really impact the show greatly, but he does not lack experience.  Growing up in South Africa, Noah was able to host different events such as the South African Film and Television Awards, and had his own stand- up special. 

GQ describes Noah as a “quick-minded South African guy marveling at American culture and being astounded by what he finds.” 

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Will the Clinton Email Controversy Effect Her Campaign?

Hillary ClintonIn the heat of the 2016 presidential race, Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton has been involved in an email controversy involving the use of a private email accounts. It was first brought to attention in 2011 by Ann-Marie Slaughter, the State Department’s Director of Policy Planning.

Slaughter suggested Clinton release a statement regarding how the, “State’s technology is so antiquated that no one uses a State-issued laptop and even high officials routinely end up using their home email accounts to be able to get their work done quickly and effectively.”

According to The New York Times, Clinton had used her personal email account, “,” to contact General David H. Petraeus and the commander of the United States Central Command. These emails were said to have been sent in January and February of 2009, the first two months of her term as Secretary of State.

According to CNN, it seems the emails between Clinton and Petraeus do not contain any classified information, but an official decision has not yet been made. Clinton told NBC that, “There was a transition period. You know, I wasn’t that focused on my email.”

The New York Times has stated that thirty thousand emails have been deleted, and 30,000 have been sent to the State Department for archiving. CNN gathered that Clinton willingly turned over her work related emails but kept the ones she deemed private, however the FBI has been able to recover the personal emails from Clinton’s private server. The FBI is currently working to recover the emails that have been deleted to determine whether or not classified information was put at risk.

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Contact Information

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

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

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151