Nick Autiello, Contributor
The notion that homosexuality is a sin and un-Christian is one that is less than a hundred years old. It is wrong, and has no basis in scriptural or historical reality.
James Sasso, Associate Editor
As the tumultuous 2011 comes down to its final day, this column could contain an obnoxious summary of the year’s extraordinary events. Rather than once again discussing the protests around the world, the death of Osama Bin Laden, Fukushima, America’s political ineptitude, Europe’s demise or the increasingly frightful weather patterns, here I attempt to predict what 2012 holds in store.
James Sasso, Associate Editor
For one of the first times in his tenure as Speaker, John Boehner has made a statement with which every American, Republican or Democrat, should fully agree; the two-month Senate bipartisan extension of the payroll tax cut fails to fix the nation’s problems sufficiently. Providing a short-term band-aid to a long-term dilemma contradicts what a responsible government should accomplish, but fits the pattern of contemporary American politicking.
Mitt Romney is guilty of serial hypocrisy, Newt Gingrich is guilty of being a public intellectual constantly scrutinized by the media and others, and Ron Paul never ceases to remind me about one of my favorite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Essays: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”
Josh Akman, Columnist
Jon Huntsman did not participate in the CNN Debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday night. Short of his family and small (and getting smaller) campaign staff, no one really noticed. In a bizarre and counterproductive effort to impress New Hampshire voters Huntsman skipped the debate to protest Nevada moving its caucus ahead of New Hampshire’s, which has always been the nation’s first primary. It’s bizarre because no one else skipped the debate. It’s counterproductive because right now, Jon Huntsman is polling 6% in New Hampshire.
For the past month a movement has grown out of Zuccoti Park in New York with the potential to grab at the very heart of America’s problems. “We are the 99%” is not simply a catchy phrase used by frustrated jobless Americans , but a commentary on the disgraceful economic inequality that has arisen in the United States since the 1970s.
James Sasso, Associate Editor
As the presidential primary season starts to take off, Republican candidates have latched onto the strategy of appealing to the “everyday voter,” or the “average” American. It is an interesting strategy, although not a new one. George W. Bush was seen as “a man of the people;” a President with whom an American would feel comfortable drinking a beer.
James Zilenziger, Contributor
The U.S Tax Code has become a central focus of recent debate in Washington, with both Democrats and Republicans claiming it needs to be revised because it isn’t “fair.” While the two parties fundamentally disagree on whom specifically the tax code treats unfairly, there is a consensus that a revised tax code is a necessary component to solving the debt crisis. But is that all a new tax code can solve? Consider this: Currently, 47% of Americans pay no federal income tax. Meanwhile, that bottom half of Americans who are not contributing any money to the upkeep of our national defense, public safety, infrastructure, and education are still receiving tax credits from the government and making a profit off of the U.S. tax code.
We can no longer stand for individuals who are just talking about renewable energy sources—we need action. Especially since many environmentalists believe that we have reached “peak oil,” the point at which the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline.
Tim Pawlenty quit. Based upon on an inability to compete in Iowa, culminating in a disappointing—if not altogether surprising—showing at the Ames Straw Poll, Pawlenty bowed out of the race this past Sunday. His explanation, much like his speeches throughout his brief campaign, was well-reasoned, safe, and wholly unsurprising.
Conor Rogers, Editor
Conor Rogers argues that if these 12 political phrases exited our discussion, we’d all be able to get along a bit better. The top phrase? “What the American people want…” The American people don’t 100% agree on anything.
If “T-Paw” cannot make Mitt Romney, a former pro-abortion, pro-gay, healthcare advocate from Massachusetts, look like a liberal-turned-hypocrite, the Republican Party cannot count on him to make President Obama look like a failure.
Donald Trump has been pressuring President Obama to release a long-form birth certificate. Releasing the long-form document, however, will solve nothing. The existing evidence that President Obama was born in the US is already incontrovertible, so birthers will find new and even more ridiculous reasons to rationalize their continued disbelief. More importantly, to surrender the long-form certificate will mean caving to racists and their wranglers who never would have questioned the birthplace of a white president.
The similarities between Mitt Romney’s healthcare reforms to President Obama’s controversial legislation exposes him to a powerful attack from the right in the upcoming Republican primaries. The best political path for Romney is to embrace his reforms as an assertion of states’ rights.
Ambrose Bierce defines politics as “a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.” The last two decades of politics have seen a bloated budget, crazed spending, diplomatic crises, a total change of hands in Washington, and … lots of politicians. The names have changed, but the expanding structure of our War on Drugs-ing, healthcare-reforming policies from bureaucrats on Capitol Hill have stayed very much the same. In recent history, the government has consistently spent far more than it has taken in. The far left and the far right both find common ground in a principle that allows for the government to legislate away too many tax dollars on pet issues. The only debates seem to circulate around which issue gets priority in the hemorrhaging of tax dollars.
Humans are naturally risk averse. America’s deified president is no different. The 2012 budget reveals no brave heroism or audacious stupidity — just political cowardice.
This Valentine’s day, President Obama needs to relearn how to inspire Americans before kicking off his reelection campaign. Perhaps David Plouffe’s recent appointment inside the White House will help.
As of November, 5th 2010 political pundits turned their sights from the “shellacking” taken by Congressional Democrats in the midterm elections to the impending presidential primaries. While most coverage focused on the unlikely possibility of a primary challenge to President Obama I was struck by the fact that not a single Republican candidate has formally announced a presidential bid.
Sam Bain, Columnist
Who is Barack Obama?
A few simple answers to that question is that he is the president, a Democrat, a leader; but when push comes to shove, do we really know who this man is; do we really know what he believes?