Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Let’s Make Fun of the President Before He’s Elected

On March 15, 2011, Comedy Central aired their next installation of a series of roasts.  In the past, roastees have included the likes of Larry the Cable Guy, William Shatner, and the ever-so-lovable David Hasselhoff.  This one was different.  This time, Comedy Central decided to take on one of the largest businessmen in history, The Don, Donald Trump.

When this news came out, it seemed a bit odd.  The question becomes when was the last time Donald Trump was even relevant in popular culture?  The last thing that he really publically succeeded in was his television show, “The Apprentice”.  But that show has not even been interesting in the past couple of years.  It is true that Trump does have business ventures constantly going on.  But do people really pay attention to what he’s doing?  Not really.  But then reality set in.  Donald Trump is anticipating running for Republican candidate for the 2012 election.  While this may have made a bit of sense, surely the roast was not just for publicity.  That statement is truly false.

Every roaster there made some comment about Donald Trump’s adventure into politics.  These comments usually came at the end of their roast, leaving it fresh in the minds of the viewer.  At the end of the roast, Donald Trump had his moment to speak.  It was soon blatantly obvious why Trump was there.  He ended his speech with the statement “America is going through tough times and we all need to laugh.  True.  I know that better days are ahead.  If we believe in ourselves, and the way I believe in myself, and I really do believe in myself, then come June, if I decide to run, you’ll have the great pleasure of voting for the man that will easily go down as the greatest president in the history of the United States.  Me.  Donald John Trump.  God bless America, and good night.”  For those who are aware of what a typical campaign speech sounds like, this sure seems like the prototype.  His full roast speech can be found on YouTube.

The true question here is whether using a roast as a platform to gain publicity for his campaign was a good idea.  The answer could be no.  Roasting truly puts everything out on the line, and shows a more vulgar side of a person.  On the other hand, all publicity is good publicity.  Will this roast make a dent in the long run?  Probably not.  But this is a simple example of how politics is continually infiltrating into pop culture.

Trevor Kurtz
Communication Studies 
Wilkes 2013

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Think It's Time To Grow Up

Every year, we the American people elect politicians that we believe are going to represent us in a responsible, adult way. We figure that they are going to handle crisis situations in a mature manner. However, this does not seem to be the case anymore in politics. Most recently, Democrats and Republicans have been butting heads over the current budgets. While the Democrats are proposing that a lot of money be cut out of the budget, the Republicans are demanding that the more money be cut. So the Republicans do not think the Democrats are cutting enough, and the Democrats think the Republicans are cutting too much. What ends up happening is yet another complete divide in the system with nobody trying to be civil about it. It even looked like there could have been a freeze for a while.

It seems that this political divide keeps on growing larger. While President Obama had recently called for unity in his Arizona speech and State of the Union address, the two sides keep fighting like crazy. What is really going on here is despicable.

Let’s take the state government in Wisconsin for example. Republican Governor Scott Walker proposed a bill that includes debt refinancing that would save taxpayers $165 million in 2011. However, this bill would end collective bargaining rights for nearly all of Wisconsin's public workers. Instead of the Democrats discussing this bill, they completely left the state. These do not sound like politicians, they sound like a teenager fighting with her parents and storming out when they did not get her way.

What we need in this country now more than ever are politicians who are willing to act like adults and work together. President Obama had it all right when he talked about unity. However, there is such a political divide in this country that something more needs to happen. In his State of the Union address, President Obama stated, “What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow.” Well, it looks like they sat together that night, but they cannot work together now.

Trevor Kurtz
Communication Studies
Wilkes 2013

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Privatized Health Care System

Picture this scenario: your house is burning down, but the local firefighters will not put out the fire because you don’t pay high premiums for a certain insurance plan. You have to choose between going into debt because you were not enrolled in a plan or letting your house burn down.

You may have a less pricey plan for fire protection, but that department is an hour away from you and will only pay for firefighters to quell the blazes for half an hour. If you want better than that, you’d better start digging in your pockets.

Sounds ridiculous, right? Welcome to the privatized health care system of America.

President Obama is trying to solve the major problem of 32 million Americans who are in this absurd situation, only it’s their lives and well-being that’s at stake. According to, all Americans would be able to receive the same quality health insurance as members of Congress, premiums from insurance companies will be controlled to keep them low, citizens with pre-existing conditions will no longer be discriminated against and the deficit would be reduced by $100 billion.

So why are so many people against it? According to The New York Times, most republicans argue that it is giving the government too big a role in the health care system. Also, they claim it would kill jobs.

The Center for American Progress disagrees, since they found in a study that the health care reform would create 2.5 million-4 million jobs in the next 10 years. I wonder where the GOP is getting their facts?

Yet with all their complaints, opponents to the reform can’t seem to offer a solution for all the Americans left without coverage. Maybe they don’t think it’s a problem. Maybe they think they don’t deserve health care.

I’d like to end with a quote from our Speaker of the house, John Boehner, from Nightly News:

“While, yes, not every American had fair access to affordable health insurance, every American had access to the best health care delivery system in the world.”

You’re right, Mr. Boehner, they did have access – that is, if they wanted to spend the rest of their lives paying off the bill. And if we have the best system in the world, why is Sarah Palin running over to Canada to get her treatment? Canada has a socialized health insurance system that provides equal care to all citizens. But we all know that’s evil.

Kirstin Cook
Communication Studies
Wilkes 2013

Friday, March 11, 2011

Palin 12' You 'Betcha'

Sarah Palin has no problem making the news, but neither does Lindsay Lohan. Does that necessarily make her a good candidate for the 2012 Presidential election? I sure hope not. “No publicity is bad publicity,” but seriously I think we can make an exception for Palin. Sarah Palin has consistently been making the news ever since the 2008 election, but only a portion of it has been political. When she isn’t hyping up her new joke of a reality show, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” which will probably have the same intelligence level as Jersey Shore, we have to put up with her failure of a daughter prancing around on Dancing with the Stars.

The worst part is it’s not over. We may have to suffer seeing her face and hearing her irritating voice throughout the 2012 election. Honestly, they need a “Palin filter” on TV’s. It’s hard to take her seriously when her voice sounds like something out of a cartoon. I’d rather have a root canal then suffer through one of her mindless speeches.

That’s right, pathetically enough Sarah Palin may still be a top Republican candidate for the 2012 election. Palin told ABC she was “seriously considering running for President” and also said she believes she can beat President Obama in 2012. Palin said, “I’m looking at the lay of the land now,” which I am guessing isn’t too hard for her since her view consists of nothing more than flat plains of snow all the way to Russia.

If Sarah Palin runs, does she actually have a shot? I highly doubt it. Sarah Palin has had countless shots over the past two years to show the American people that she is worthy enough for a nomination. But time and again she has proven that she is more concerned about being a clown for amusement on television, than a leader for our country.
Matthew Singer

Runnin with Romney

Former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney appears to be one of the front-runners of the 2012 presidential campaign. After losing to John McCain in the 2008 primaries, he immediately founded the Free and Strong America PAC, a political action committed whose goal was to help raise money for other Republican candidates and to promote Republican policies.

Romney kept much of his committee’s money to pay for salaries and fees for his existing political staff, which ultimately paved his way to run in the 2012 election.

Initially, Romney was registered as an independent up until his 1994 U.S. Senate campaign. However, as time progressed his policies began to lean more on the fiscal conservative side. He opposes elective abortion, same-sex marriages and medical marijuana. He strongly supports rebuilding America’s education system by increasing standards and quality; he also supports charter schools, school vouchers and home schooling. In favor of Bush’s tax cuts, he is not open to an increase in federal gas taxes. He focuses on creating more jobs for America and wants America to steer in the direction of becoming more independent of foreign oil sources, using alternative sources of energy.

A controversial issue that Romney is directly involved with is his past signing of the Massachusetts health care reform, which is fairly similar to the current health care reform that President Obama is trying to pass. Massachusetts’s health care reform provided near-universal health insurance access through subsidies and state-level mandates.

Romney is opposed to a national individual mandate and believes that decisions, such as a health care reform, should be left up to the states. In The New York Times interview, he said, “People ask me if this is conservative or liberal, and my answer is yes. It's liberal in the sense that we're getting our citizen’s health insurance. It's conservative in that we're not getting a government takeover.”

Romney prides himself upon his business and financial success. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he entered as a CEO at Bain & Company, ultimately leading it out of fiscal crisis and turning it into one of the more profitable firms in the nation. In 2002 he saved the Winter Olympics by revamping organizations leadership and policies, reducing budgets and boosting fund raising. An event that was running $379 million short before Romney stepped in ended up earning a profit of $100 million.

A nation that is slowly recovering a numbing recession, may find Romney candidate to help pull the country out strong.

Amanda Leonard
Communication Studies Major
Wilkes 2013

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Corporations Rebuttle

With the Supreme Court’s decision to grant corporations and big companies individualistic rights relating to donating money to political campaigns, they were finally legally given the Constitutional rights that all other Americans are given.  If big corporations want to support a particular candidate, they should absolutely be allowed.  It is their money.  Why not use it in a way that they see fit?

Corporations, in this specific instance, should be allowed to be viewed as an individual person.  It is a group of people coming together to form one individual being.  Prior to the most recent ruling, corporations were already allowed to contribute campaign money.  The only difference now is that there is no cap to how much they can contribute.  Beyond this cap, not much has changed.

Many people would argue that major corporations giving money to political campaigns thoroughly sways an election.  But it is important to remember instances in which financial support backfired on the corporation.  In July of 2010, store giant Target donated $150,000 to a Political Action Committee that supported Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.  One thing that Emmer opposed: marriage equality.  The man did not want gay people to get married.  It was not long until Target realized that they had made quite the mistake.  People everywhere boycotted Target for supporting the anti-gay politician.  Not only did they irritate the country with their donation, they proved that they were complete hypocrites.  Target was listed as Number 40 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity and received a 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index. 

What people have to realize is that with individualistic freedom, the corporations have to deal with possible negative consequences.  By supporting a certain politician, it includes supporting the morals they have, which not everybody will agree with.  If the majority of the nation disagrees with the morals the corporation is supporting, boycotts will ensue (like the Target boycott), causing the corporation to actually lose money.  Consequences will have to be dealt with.

If corporations want to contribute money to a campaign, I see nothing wrong with it.  If voters are serious about their votes, they will be looking at the morals and issues that the politician campaigns, not the businesses and corporations that are supporting them.