Florida city commissioner resigns


The city commissioner of Madeira Beach, Fla., resigned this week after receiving criticism from complaints that she had allegedly groped her male co-workers and licked their faces during work events and meetings. Nancy Oakley had been the city commissioner of Madeira Beach from 2007 to 2013 and also from 2017 to 2019.

Oakley submitted her resignation letter on Tuesday, in which she denied the claims. She wrote that she was resigning to “still the controversy” and also wrote: “I maintain my innocence and am pursuing the paths of appeals available.”The complaint was filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics in February 2017 by former Madeira Beach City manager Shane Crawford. He said that Oakley had made “unwanted sexual advances” toward him and director of the city’s public works department and the city marina, Dave Marsicano, at a fishing tournament in 2012.

According to the report by the ethics commission in response to the complaint, Crawford said that Oakley had “grabbed his crotch, and slowly licked him from his Adam’s apple all the way up his face.”

The report also include details of an incident between Oakley and Dave Marsicano. Marsicano said that during a meeting in 2012, Oakley “hung on his neck, grabbed his crotch, and licked his face.” He also said that Oakley had hugged him and tried to kiss him on numerous other occasions.

According to a press release, the Florida Commission on Ethics found at a meeting on Jan. 25 that Oakley violated the state’s ethics code by “misusing her position by exhibiting inappropriate behavior toward city staff.” The press release also states that it was recommended that Oakley be fined $5,000 and publicly censured by the governor. A Madeira Beach spokesperson confirmed that Oakley’s resignation was accepted on Wednesday night.

Muslim inmate executed in Alabama


ATMORE, Ala. — Muslim inmate Dominique Ray was executed by lethal injection under the order of the U.S. Supreme Court after requesting to have an Islamic spiritual mentor in the execution chamber on his day of death.

According to sources, shortly before the case was brought to the U.S. Supreme Court, Ray argued that his Atmore Prison did not accommodate Muslim inmates in that a prison-employed Christian chaplain stayed in the chamber to offer comfort during lethal injections. However, his prison along with the state refused to grant for an imam to be present. Due to “security reasons,” Ray’s imam, Yusef Maisonet, was only permitted to view the execution in the next room, separated by glass.

Ray gained the attention of the nation when he challenged this decision at the federal appeals court. On Wednesday the court granted him a stay of execution, while they decided if Ray’s case violated Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by “preferring one religion over another.”

However, less than 24 hours later in a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court allowed for the commencement of the execution on Thursday. His imam was not in the room.

Ray was sentenced to death after he raped and murdered a 15- year old, Tiffany Harville whose body was discovered in a cotton field. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall called Ray’s execution a “long-delayed appointment with justice.”

Conservative justices claim that their abrupt decision was due to the “last-minute nature” of Ray’s appeal. Whereas, liberal justices find the ruling to be inevitably wrong.

Ray’s case brings to question if the Establishment Clause was actually violated. Many argue that Christian prisoners have been granted the right to have a religiously affiliated leader by their side during execution so, why is Ray’s case different?

As Alabama’s first execution of 2019, Dominique Ray’s case is still being reviewed. Although he was not granted his religious rights, the conversation about church and state will continue.

Trump to meet Kim Jong-un in Vietnam


U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam, a country chosen as a neutral location for their second nuclear summit meeting, on Feb. 27-28.

“Kim and I will meet again on Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam,” he said, but did not say where in Vietnam.

Trump made the announcement in his annual State of the Union address to Congress, confirming rumors about Vietnam being chosen as the venue for their second meeting, saying it was part of “a bold new diplomacy” that has already yielded potential results.
Mr. Trump expects the meeting to improve a diplomatic effort that has seemingly stalled since their last meeting in Singapore.

“If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea. Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong-un is a good one.”

“I like him. I get along with him great. We have a fantastic chemistry,” Mr. Trump said. “We have had tremendous correspondence that some people have seen and can’t even believe it. They think it’s historic. And we’ll see what happens. Now that doesn’t mean we’re going to make a deal. But certainly I think we have a very good chance of making a deal.”

Vietnam, which has diplomatic ties with both Washington and Pyongyang, offers advantages for both leaders. Vietnam is an easy flight for Kim’s shorter-range aircraft, and for Trump, it offers a symbolic nod to a communist country that has improved relations with the United States since the end of the Vietnam War.

The U.S. President visited Vietnam for the first time in 2017 when he attended Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s annual meeting. I think the location of this upcoming meeting is chosen because of two reasons.

The first is that Vietnam is the setting of the United States’ last major war, a possible reminder of the devastating and long-lasting effects on the country. The second reason is to show how a Communist country can rise up from international isolation and establish a booming economy in a short time.

Fact-checking Trump’s SOTU address


President Trump delivered his second State of the Union address to both chambers of Congress Tuesday night. In his speech, Trump made calls for unity and bipartisanship. However, along with many of his hopes for the future of the country, he discussed and reflected on matters pertaining to immigration, the economy, and foreign policy among others.

Throughout his speech, Trump made a number of claims that I, myself, wanted to make sure were correct. Therefore, when I went to read different news outlets reactions to the speech, I found some interesting pieces about examining the accuracy of Trump’s claims. It is quite unnerving that different news media outlets have to “fact-check” our president, someone who we trust to tell us the truth.

I applaud these different news media organizations to go through the president’s speech and check for falsities. We live in a country where we are bombarded with falsehoods and so-called fake news. However, we rely on these presidential addresses to hear about the state of our current affairs. But, now we are left thinking, what are we supposed to believe?

I particularly enjoyed The New York Times piece titled, “State of the Union Fact Check: What Trump got Right and Wrong.” Today, our news media landscape has become very partisan, making unsubstantiated claims about our government. However, in this piece, a number of reporters came together to detect falsehoods and exaggerations in the president’s speech by presenting data and information that disproves what he said.

When Trump spoke about immigration, he said, “The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the entire country, and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities. Now immediately upon its building with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is on the safest cities in our country.”

However, New York Times reporters prove that this statement is false by showing that El Paso has never been one of the most dangerous cities in the United States and prior to the building of the border fencing in 2008, the city’s crime rate had already been decreasing.

If the story had failed to provide the evidence for which Trump’s claim was false, I would be less likely to believe it. As we know many say Trump has lied previously; however, many of those claims have lacked support. These reporters tracked the accuracy of these claims through extensive research and that is what you call good journalism.

It is through strong reporting like this that a democracy flourishes. The press or the Fourth Estate helps U.S. citizens stay well informed and holds officials accountable. The advent of the free press was grounded in the idea that it serves as watchdog of government and this piece serves as a tool for citizens to track the progress of our country under President Trump for the last two years.

Booker joins list of 2020 candidates


With the next presidential election only one year away, many have been wondering who is going to take on current president Donald Trump in 2020. At this point, Americans are insisting to know who they will be looking as candidates in election before hand. Since President Trump was elected, people have been making assumptions about who will be running against him and who won’t be. We even have had talk about music artist Kanye West running for president.

Although the next election is more than a year away, there are very few things the public knows for sure, but slowly but surely we will start to receive confirmations of who is officially running.

So, what do we know for sure? Cory Booker, a 49-year-old New Jersey senator, finally  announced that he will officially be running for president as a Democratic candidate in 2020. Booker, who is a Stanford University graduate and Yale Law School alumni is more than certified for the position.

The announcement of Booker running for office is no surprise being there has been talk about him running for over a year now. Booker’s platform has always been one of love and unity and plans to stick with that message throughout the campaign.

“The lines that divide us are nowhere near as strong as the ties that bind us. When we join together and work together — we will rise” is the message the senator attached to the video announcing his presidential campaign.

This video shows clips of the civil rights movement and the most recent movements we’ve had like March for our Lives and the Women’s March on Washington. Through showing support for group protest and coming together as Americans, peacefully, to make change, Booker is hoping that the stark contrast between his message and our current president’s message is what will lead him to winning the 2020 election.  

CBP makes record fentanyl bust


U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in Arizona announced on Thursday that border officers have made the largest fentanyl bust in U.S. history.

The 254 pounds of powder and pills that were confirmed to be the synthetic opioid was found hidden inside of a floor compartment of a large truck trailer filled with cucumbers. Officials valued the drug at $3.5 million. This bust is a large step for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, but a small step for the opioid crisis in the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 70,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2017. This record breaking number has much to do with the out-of-control opioid overdose crisis in America. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that more than 130 people in the United States die from opioid overdose every day.

So what does this monumental fentanyl bust mean for the United States? The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has referred to Mexican cartels as “the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States.” These cartels are known to smuggle narcotics across the Southwest border of the U.S., often hidden in trailers similar to the truck trailer filled with cucumbers and 254 pounds of fentanyl that was just busted. This fentanyl seizure was more than double the amount of the previous record that was found in Nebraska in 2017. This national security concern is constantly on the radar for Customs and Border Protection officials, and this bust was an important victory for them.

We often hear President Trump preaching about his proposal for a border wall, which he claims will reduce national security concerns such as drug trafficking. However, U.S. Border Protection officials have expressed that, according to their data, the majority of hard drugs such as fentanyl and other opioids are seized from vehicles that attempt to cross the border by driving through official entry ports. It is unclear if a border wall would have much of an impact on the drug trafficking and opioid crisis in the U.S., but this major bust will hopefully act as a warning for all other drug traffickers looking to cross the border into the United States.

The Left moves further to the left


This past Sunday, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris announced she is seeking the Democratic Party nomination for president in 2020. She is one of many men and women seeking the position. Just this past month we’ve seen Sen. Kristen Gillibrand and Sen. Elizabeth Warren announce their exploratory campaigns and former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke have shown clear signs of interest.

As the race begins to pick up steam, we can see these figures, who once came together to oppose President Trump, start to fire shots at each other. It will be interesting to watch as candidates who once seemed to agree on every issue convince the public that they are different and, more importantly, better than their opponents.

So how will they do this? So far it seems to be a competition for who can move furthest to the left on every issue. We have watched as opinions that were once considered radically socialist views become the foundations of these campaigns. Policies such as universal health care, free college tuition and guaranteed federal employment, have each been wholeheartedly embraced by the Democratic Party.

So how are we going to pay for these ambitious social programs? Each candidate seems to have their own plan, but the more radical the tax, the more popular it seems to be. First, Warren introduced her ultra-rich tax, an annual two percent tax applied to the ultra-wealthy’s net worth. Then, Harris came out in support of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “New Deal,” which includes a seventy percent tax on the ultra-rich’s annual income.

Some may have thought Democrats would choose the centrist strategy, whereby electing a moderate candidate such as Joe Biden or Michael Bloomberg in the hopes of bridging the division and bringing people from both sides together. As we watch Howard Schultz, a self-proclaimed centrist, get berated and attacked by the left, it is clear they have rejected this possibility.

It seems the polarization, which became so prominent in 2016, will prevail in the next election as Donald Trump likely faces off against a candidate with a radically left agenda. The two will presumably disagree on most issues and in all probability be at polar opposite ends of the political spectrum. Unfortunately, the American people will once again be forced to take a radical stance on their opinions and embrace one candidates full agenda.

Covering the State of the Union address


CNN issued a report on Monday morning regarding the fate of Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. The article, which was written by Devan Cole and Kevin Bohn, has several key features that I find interesting.

First of all, the topic is extremely relevant to current situations. In the aftermath of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, many people online have been wondering about Trump’s upcoming State of the Union address, especially after Nancy Pelosi advised him to give his speech in writing. This article will certainly gain the attention of many who have been following these recent events.

The story involves confirmation that Trump will not be giving the address on Tuesday through an aide of Nancy Pelosi. It is interesting that the name of the person who confirmed this information has not been disclosed. It is possible the person did not want their name to be made public and preferred to remain anonymous. This is also an example of a news network taking advantage of having an exclusive source.

I also applaud the reporters behind this article for not injecting their own personal opinions. One of the problems I have with many cable network reporters nowadays is that they tend to sensationalize the news and try to manipulate the audience into feeling a certain way. This article just tells the news like it is. It also clarifies Pelosi’s role regarding the State of the Union so that the reader has a stronger grasp of what is happening. Overall, this was a simple but great example of excellent reporting

Broward County struggles with recount


Following the Nov. 6 midterm elections, Broward County found itself in the midst of a ballot crisis.

After the gubernatorial, U.S. Senate and Secretary of Agriculture races were deemed too close to call, counties across the State of Florida began its recount efforts.

The recount process, lengthy and somewhat complicated, raised many questions as Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes reportedly mixed bad ballots with good. In addition to the mixing of ballots, several provisional ballots were ruled invalid by the county’s canvassing board.

The turmoil in Broward county led to attacks from both parties involved.

Republican candidate for Senate Rick Scott sued to Broward County Election Department for the refusing to publish details regarding the tabulation of election ballots.

“The people of Florida deserve fairness and transparency, and the supervisors are failing to give it to us,” said Scott.

Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum is pushing for Broward to count every vote received, including the provisional and mail-in ballots.

“I am not here to ask for votes. I am simply here to say that for the votes that have been cast they ought to be counted. Every last one of them. What a notion,” Gillum said at a rally in Fort Lauderdale.

The deadline for machine recounts concluded at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15. While Broward met the deadline with minutes to spare, the count was not marked valid. Shortly after, officials began a manual recount of the ballots. The deadline for manual recounts is at 12 p.m. on Nov. 18.

Jimmy Carter 2020? Probably not


Former President Jimmy Carter has recently become more open about his views on current political events.

In addition to this, he was on a book tour earlier this year. Sitting and former politicians tend to release books before announcing presidential runs, creating some (seriously doubtful) speculation that Carter may run for president in 2020 although he will be 95.

Carter served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. A Democrat, he previously served as a Georgia State Senator from 1963 to 1967 and as the 76th Governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975.

Carter was a one-term President and was succeeded by then California Gov. Ronald Reagan. Contrary to popular belief, a former president that lost re-election can in fact run again and this happened to Grover Cleveland, who was the 22nd and 24th president.

Carter was asked about running for president in 2020 when answering questions at a public event in Philadelphia.

“I believe I am qualified to run, but I am not going to run,” Carter said.

When on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Carter was also asked about a possible 2020 run and received a massive applause from the audience.

“I think there’s an age limit to being president,” Carter said.

Colbert then handed the former president a “Carter 2020” T-shirt in case he changes his mind. Not a single mainstream news source of any kind has taken the possibility of Carter becoming the 46th president seriously.

Despite the fact that Carter has stated he does not plan to run in 2020, many of the most commonly talked about potential candidates have also denied they plan to run for president.

Television personality, actress and entrepreneur, Oprah Winfrey has said again and again that she will not run for president, yet countless news sources won’t accept her answer. They continue to talk about a President Oprah as if she’s announced she will run in 2020.

For some reason, nearly every news source has consistently been pushing Winfrey, Corey Booker, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and several other incredibly bad Democratic Party candidates for 2020 that stray too far from the mainstream Americans and would all but guarantee a second term of the Trump presidency.

This is very sad because the lack of coverage on these potentially strong candidates will hurt their chances of becoming their party nominee, while the weekly coverage of Oprah Winfrey, Corey Booker, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren from CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and The Boston Globe are essentially campaigning for these bad candidates.

If most news sources continue to ignore good candidates such as former Vice President Al Gore, Gov. Steve Bullock (D) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R) and constantly promote terrible candidates because they draw in audiences, they should talk about Jimmy Carter potentially running for president in 2020. This would draw in large audiences and he would still be a much better candidate and president than Booker, Harris, Warren or Kirsten Gillibrand because he actually cares about his country more than just gaining the “young liberal vote.” The constant coverage of Jimmy Carter would take away attention from the bad candidates and make room for the better candidates.

News media: Forgive, forget and repeat


Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned among the request of former host of “The Celebrity Apprentice”-turned president of the United States, Donald Trump.

Trump felt that Twitter was the most appropriate place to name the acting attorney general until a replacement is named and confirmed. The acting attorney general is Matthew Whitaker.

Sessions was an early supporter of Trump, as he publicly endorsed him during the presidential primaries. At the time, Sessions was a U.S. Senator from Alabama.

As we know, the Trump campaign has been under investigation since 2016 over suspicion of Russian collusion. When Sessions was asked about whether or not he was in contact with Russian officials he denied it, which later turned out to be false. Sessions recused himself from the investigation, which angered Trump.

Since then, Trump has complained about Sessions on what seems like an hourly basis.

“Sessions should have never recused himself and, if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News.

Even though this story is currently a big deal, I am all but certain that news sources will stop talking about it within one week.

No news source that I have ever seen has pointed out that Trump and his administration are not acting like innocent people.

Whenever Trump says or does anything controversial, every news source covers it then quits talking about it one week later.

In 2015, Trump essentially called Mexican people criminals, drug dealers, rapists and “assumed some were good people.” It made all headlines, then news organizations, especially CNN, began to cover his campaign on an hourly basis and would dissect every word he said. By doing this, they added a level substance to everything he said. In addition to this, CNN constantly speculated that there was “a method to his madness” and that everything he said and did was all a part of a brilliant scheme.

CNN and other cable news organizations never once brought up the idea that had zero government and or military experience and continued to dissect everything he would say and do, creating the illusion that Trump knew precisely what he was doing.

Despite the fact that Trump frequently lies, nobody seems to mind. Whenever anything good happens, such as the improving economy, Trump gets 100 percent credit. Whenever bad things happen, such as the increase in hate crimes and mailing of bombs to people critical of Trump, nobody ever seems to even partially blame him.

Media cover Fox News star at rally


President Trump held a rally in Missouri on Monday Nov. 5. Per usual, each news outlet had something to say regarding the event, but the points covered vary dramatically.

In The Hill’s article, “CNN’s Camerota questions ‘news organization’ status of Fox News after Hannity appears at Trump rally,” the sole focus of the piece was Sean Hannity’s presence and CNN’s reaction.

Following explicit statements that he wasn’t going to campaign with Trump, Fox News star Hannity did the exact opposite.

The piece includes quotes from CNN show host Alisyn Camerota and excerpts from Hannity’s supportive words toward Trump and his campaign during the rally.

In Fox News article, ‘Crowd at Trump rally sings ‘Amazing Grace’ after woman collapses,’ by Benjamin Brown there is not one mention of Hannity. Instead, the focus is on, what Brown paints as, Trump’s heroic gestures toward a woman who collapsed at the event.

The article covers Trumps five-minute delay to pray for the women, the crowd breaking out into singing “Amazing Grace,” and a brief history of the song itself.

Once again while both pieces contain factual information regarding the event, its the parts of the event they chose to cover that make all the difference.

Curbelo meets man who threatened him


U.S. Congressman Carlos Curbelo of Florida’s 26th district recently met with a constituent of his who threatened to kill him on Twitter. Homestead teenager Alejandro Verges-Castro was arrested by the FBI after tweeting a threat to the congressman on Oct. 24.

Instead of staying away from the teen who threatened him, Curbelo appeared with the teenager today in an attempt to forgive the young man.

Our country is dealing with an immense amount of violent political  speech from both sides of the aisle that is sometimes orchestrated through biased news media coverage. Instead of putting fire to the flame, Curbelo instead accepted the teenagers apology and used him as  an example that words have actual meaning, even on twitter.

These threats came around the same time that an Aventura man was sending bombs in the mail to top democratic leaders.

The Miami Herald covered the incident extremely well, focusing on the idea that there can be political discussion in this country while also being civil, something that seems to be lost among today’s population, young or old.

Although this is one small example of political violence with words impacting a young mans life, it is great to see a congressman express remorse and compassion while also trying to steer the political discussion to civil discourse, not threats.

Bolsonaro wins election in Brazil


After significant strife and controversy within the presidential election, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro is Brazil’s new president-elect.

While news media outlets may remain unbiased through their use of language, the angles and topics they cover regarding this election clearly convey the publication’s stance.

An article published by Fox News, “Brazil elects anti-establishment candidate Jair Bolsonaro as president,” by Frank Miles, chooses to only highlight certain aspects of the candidate and election.

Through labeling Bolsonaro as an “anti-establishment candidate” and “political outsider” and referring to his “rebel image,” Miles paints the candidate’s stance in an almost positive light.

The piece does address the reservations some had regarding Bolsonaro, but only in reference to how his supporters overcame them. Additionally, it only contains direct quotations from those who voted for Bolsonaro.

Per usual, CNN’s coverage differs dramatically from Fox’s.

In a piece headlined “Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro wins presidential election in Brazil,” by Flora Charner and Marcia Reverdosa, Bolsonaro’s campaign and subsequent election are portrayed as detrimental to Brazil and the world at large.

The article details how Bolsonaro plans to open parts of the Amazon rain forest to development, “the Women Against Bolsonaro march,” and parallels to Trump through their shared habit of indulging in oppressive rhetoric.

CNN’s piece, however, does include sources from both sides of the election, although the intention of the piece is clear: that Bolsonaro’s election is not a good thing.

Florida man arrested in mail bombs case


The arrest came after authorities responded to two more devices on Friday — one in Florida, the other in New York — pushing the total number of packages found by law enforcement officials to 12. None have detonated, but all have put leaders on high alert as they worried about additional devices being delivered and potentially going off.

The coverage on this story has been top notch by all outlets, from the breaking story of the first package sent earlier this week all the way to finding the individual responsible late Friday morning.

Authorities haven’t yet released his name or any sort of motive as officials are continuing to work around the clock to iron out details and piece all of the story together.

All of the bomber’s targets have opposed piercingly with Trump at different times, and this news of dangerous packages popping up around the country aggravated the already full-throated political fights under two weeks before congressional elections.

Trump condemned the bombs on Wednesday before going on to blame the news media for the anger seen in American society.

He has also ruffled at commentators who have highlighted his rhetoric when discussing the explosive devices, tweeting shortly after 3 a.m. on Friday that CNN was “blaming me for the current spate of bombs.”

Trans model attacks Trump agenda


The Trump Administration is making plans to lawfully define gender “as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth.”

Today, Vogue decided to cover the advent of this leaked government information through the eyes and voice of transgender model and author of the article Teddy Quinlivan.

Instead of just quoting Quinlivan, having her write the actual article better conveys the drama of such a shocking and backwards-thinking potential law. For example, Quinlivan writes, “I’m 24 now, I’ve met dozens of other trans and non-gender conforming people and I know I’m not alone. I no longer feel threatened by the bullies in school and the establishment that protected them and reinforced their prejudice. Now I feel threatened by the United States government.”

Quinlivan lives her own reality of what it means to be a transgender woman in a world that is just beginning to accept them. Her tone sounds serious and dire – and reading this article gives just as broad a picture of what the Trump administration is trying to do as any hard news story you would find on CNN or The New York Times.

In my opinion, this narrative actually provides information in a much more readable, more relatable format. People are often drawn to personal stories that act as nut graphs for wider issues, rather than the sometimes-boring news briefs you see on major news sources.

Quinlivan describes her personal struggle and then segues into the broader implications of trans rights and Trump’s prejudices. The article’s passionate tone in portraying the gravity of the issue makes it all the more appealing to a reader.

Students get look at world of politics


The Beacon Hill Project launched on Friday, Sept. 21, which plans to provide opportunities for students to get a glimpse into the real world of politics.

The project involves monthly trips to Boston where students will meet with legislators, government officials and advocacy groups, while also gaining important insights into the arena of policy-making.

This project is one of the star attractions for students in master’s programs at the School of Public Policy. The school’s mission has always been to prepare students for public service, but this year the school is trying to implement programs to make the degrees offered more interesting for students who desire a future in government.

Raija Vaisanen, director of research at the Commonwealth Corporation and a panelist for the first event, described the project with great appreciation.

“The small-group format allows students to ask questions and have robust conversations with panelists,” she said. “It also allows students the opportunity to see people in different roles and occupations throughout the public service realm. This can help them envision themselves being in these jobs one day.”

The project will be taking another trip on Oct. 19 to visit experts at UMass Boston and the Kennedy School at Harvard. The project aims to connect students who want to do public service with people who actually engage in policy-making. The School of Public Policy hopes to expand this project to more places with a larger set of students getting the exposure they need to create a future in public policy.

Coverage of Trump rally in Texas varies


Unsurprisingly, following a somewhat-controversial Trump rally at the Toyota Center in Houston, news outlets varied drastically in the ways in which they covered the event.

CNN’s coverage focused mainly on Trump dubbing himself as a “nationalist,” in its article, “Donald Trump used a word he’s ‘not supposed to.’ Here’s why.” by Chris Cillizza. The piece solely focused on Trump’s use of such a label, why it was problematic, and the dangers it presents.

While CNN did have other coverage on their website regarding the rally, this piece was undoubtedly front and center.

The antithesis of CNN, Fox News, covered the event quite differently. Instead, they focused on Trump’s backing of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, for whom he previously has expressed vehement distaste.

Furthermore, the piece entitled “Trump, at Texas rally, backs Cruz, slams Democrats for ‘assault on the sovereignty’ of US,” by Nicole Darrah expanded upon Trump’s extensive aggression towards democrats and his belief that they’re responsible for the “caravans” of migrants at the U.S. border.

Lastly, the Washington Examiner‘s piece, “Trump, the Republican Beyonce, rocks Texas,” by Tiana Lowe may have had the least-biased coverage, regardless of the humorous title alluding to the fact Trump filled the same stadium Beyonce once did.

Lowe’s piece quickly and somewhat neutrally covered the main points of the rally without expansion upon any one component or point of view. She simply covered Trump’s statements of nationalism and his newfound support for Cruz.

Swift post leads to registration spike


As the deadlines for voter registration approached in many states, voter registration sites noticed an uptick in traffic. Late registrations? Maybe. Forgetful teens? Could be. Voters who follow Taylor Swift on Instagram? Absolutely.

On Sunday, pop star Taylor Swift announced on her Instagram her support for two Democratic candidates running for Congress in her home state of Tennessee.

“I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country,” Swift wrote in the Instagram posts.

Swift’s Instagram post on October 7th lead to unprecedented numbers of young voter registrations (Photo courtesy of @taylorswift).

Swift has notoriously remained apolitical throughout her almost 12-year career. Many speculated that Swift’s silence on political controversies alluded to her support of President Trump.

Following Swift’s Instagram post, Vote.org reported unprecedented numbers of voter registrations.

“We have never seen a 24- or 36- or 48-hour period like this. This is leaps and bounds beyond what we typically see,” Vote.org spokesperson Kamari Guthrie, said in an interview with the New York Times.

It is reported that since Sunday, 6,200 new voters have registered in the state of Tennessee alone. That number alone surpasses the total number of registrants in the state of Tennessee from the months of May to September.

When asked about the comments, President Trump was quick to attack Swift’s music.

“I like Taylor’s music about 25 percent less now, O.K.?” he said.

West visits Trump in Oval Office


Arguably our most controversial president, Donald Trump has brought many mixed emotions to many people from lower class to middle class. But this weekend he has reunited with an entertainer who some people are calling “his best bud.”

Yesterday Kanye West, rapper and music producer, met with the president for what was supposed to be a luncheon. Many reporters were there snapping always with pictures and recording their meeting together, where the conversation grew deep.

“I love this guy,” said the multiple Grammy award winner as he walked up to hug the president. “It was from the soul, I just channeled it in.”

West goes on to talk about how he is motivated by the president and the great feeling he gets when he puts on that red MAGA hat.

“I love Hillary. I love everyone, but the campaign ‘I’m with her’ just didn’t make me feel … as a guy … it was something about this hat that made me feel like Superman,” he explained.

With all the love and attention Trump is receiving from the self proclaimed Ye, West, on the other hand, has received a lot of backlash from many celebrities that used to be good friends with The talented musician.

Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, as well as Clifford “T.I.” Harris, made it known via social media that they are not supportive of West’s meeting. “Not Black Excellence” was hashtagged in a tweet by P. Diddy while T.I. went on a huge rant on Instagram explaining that he has given up on his friendship with Kanye.

Does Superman risk his image and friendship with others with something or someone he supports?