A brief look at the complex issues facing the US and the world.


The 25th Amendment (and presidential succession)
October 5, 2020

With recent, concerning reports about the medical condition of President Trump, the U.S. has a number of safeguards in place to protect the office of the presidency in the case of his inability to serve.

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Amy Coney Barrett's Record
September 28, 2020

Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals was recently nominated to the Supreme Court after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing. Barrett’s opinions reveal a concerning lack of compassion for the powerless in front of her court, as well as a propensity to favor excessive bureaucracy that disadvantages these powerless.

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Democracy Reform
September 21, 2020

While the American Experiment has represented a good first draft of a democratic system, it has become clear in recent years that our political system has serious flaws that endanger the execution of the will of the people.

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The Obama Pandemic Plan
September 14, 2020

While the Trump administration gravely mismanaged its coronavirus response starting in February, it turns out that they were not completely unprepared for such a situation. In fact, President Obama had left an extensive set of recommendations and a dedicated pandemic response team for Trump upon leaving office, the latter of which was partially dismantled in 2018.

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The Hatch Act (and RNC 2020 ethics violations)
September 7, 2020

When the 2020 Republican National Convention featured speeches set at the White House and by a sitting Secretary of State abroad on official business, it was widely panned for its violation of the Hatch Act and the shattering of ethics norms.

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Stochastic Terrorism
August 31, 2020

For the past decade, our news headlines have been dominated by incidences of unrest - often racially or religiously motivated - across the country and across the world. Many such hate crimes have been characterized as stochastic terrorism, acts by “lone wolves” who are inspired by the public, high-profile demonization and dehumanization of chosen outgroups.

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The Hong Kong National Security Law
August 24, 2020

After the United Kingdom handed Hong Kong over back to China in 1997, it received an assurance that the territory could keep its independent and free economic and political system until at least 2047. In 2020, however, that assurance seems to have come in vain. With its new national security law, Beijing has brought its heavy-handed attempts to stifle criticism to Hong Kong.

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The Postal Service
August 17, 2020

The postal service, a longtime mainstay of American democracy, is under attack by President Trump and his postmaster general, Louis DeJoy. Trump strongly believes that voting by mail disproportionately helps Democrats, a claim that is unfounded, and he has defunded the postal system as it makes further changes that slow down mail and otherwise hurt its quality of service.

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The Politics of the Census
August 10, 2020

When the fledgling government of the US took its first census in 1790, its formalized count of every single resident was unprecedented. While such a count should in theory be strictly about information gathering, its operational details soon became highly polarized. Many argue that the debate over the details of the census has come to a head in 2020.

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Regulatory Capture (aka "Swamp Politics")
August 3, 2020

When President Trump took office in 2017, one of his signature campaign promises had been to “drain the [Washington] swamp.” In other words, he planned to replace career politicians serving in cabinet roles, whom he portrayed as corrupt, with outsiders that could more efficiently run these executive agencies.

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Racial Disparities in Education
July 27, 2020

A public school system ideally ensures equal access to education and equitable enrichment for all its students. Yet, in the United States, several systemic factors prevent the achievement of this goal.

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The Dark Side of Chinese Tech
July 20, 2020

Recently, China has invested significantly in its tech industry, and Chinese conglomerates have in turn started to invest in foreign tech companies and game studios. Unlike within the US and other, freer nations, Chinese businesses must continuously acquiesce to the will of the Chinese government, including handing over data they collect and suppressing dissent.

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The Chinese Surveillance State
July 13, 2020

While mainland China has never established a democratic or free society, both in modern and historical times, the election of president Xi Jinping combined with the proliferation of technologies such as facial recognition and mass data collection have helped the country increase its grip on the lives of its citizens.

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July 6, 2020

One of the most complex and nuanced topics in the housing debate today is gentrification, which occurs when wealthier residents move into an urban area that was previously home to lower-income residents. While this can lower crime and improve development, the process often economically and culturally displaces existing residents from an area.

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Affirmative Action
June 29, 2020

Affirmative action is a vital tool that businesses, universities, and the government use to maintain diversity of backgrounds and perspectives in the workplace and the classroom.

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Voter Suppression
June 22, 2020

It's often far easier to tell someone to "just vote" than it is for that person to actually take your advice and go to the polls, particularly if they're poor or are a racial minority.

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