Tag Archives: politics

Republican Party Members:

Republicans to Blame For Shutdown and Debt Ceiling Crisis

Republican Party Members:

Republican Party Members:

By: Joe Suszczynski

Congress thankfully opened the government back up by voting to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling, which did not let the country go into default. However this averted crisis should only get so much praise as funding for the government is only extended to January 15, 2014 along with the debt ceiling being extended to February, 7, 2014. The government is essentially doing what college student normally does when writing a term paper: puts it off and keeps procrastinating on when to start and complete it.

The insane part about all of this is that this whole government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis could have been avoided. Yes, the crisis was averted, which is great and I’m happy that we did not default, but that it is not the point. America did not need to be subjected to a government shutdown costing thousands of jobs for honest hardworking people along with coming down to the wire when making an agreement on the debt ceiling. Congress needs to get its head straight, because it’s currently in an orifice where it doesn’t belong.

Republicans should take a lot of the blame for this crisis. Although, it should be noted that 87 Republicans in the House and 27 Republicans in the Senate voted for the deal. They should get some credit because they played ball and put the country ahead of their politics. However 18 senators and 144 members of congress voted against the bill, all of whom are of the Republican Party. There was not one Democrat, in either house, who voted against this bill. Counting both houses 162 Republicans would have rather have the country default than voting yes on the bill.

That is an utterly despicable and unpatriotic thing to do. It is unpatriotic to let your country be financially destroyed because of your own personal politics being clouded of what needs to be done for the sake of the people you represent.

The problem with the Republican Party is a small sect within the party itself, the Tea Party, is causing all the issues in both Houses. You’d think that a small part of a bigger party would not be a problem, but it is.

After his 21 hour charade of a filibuster Senator Ted Cruz, a prominent member of the Tea Party Republicans, is still out to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. According to an aide, Cruz does not rule out another chance of a government shutdown in the future. I hope that he isn’t serious about not ruling out another government shutdown. The government shutdown cost America billions of dollars so what would possess the senator to do something like this again when it could create more resentment within Americans?

It is completely asinine to the point where even members of his own party are speaking out against him. Arizona Senator John McCain called Cruz a “wacko-bird.” Tennessee Senator Bob Corker criticized Cruz’s filibuster and has said, “I’m just asking the question, is it more important to the senator from Texas and the senator from Utah (Mike Lee) that the people around the country watch this vote, or is it more important that we have a good policy outcome from our standpoint?”

Cruz really needs to dial it back now that the government is back open for business and the popularity of Republicans have been going down. Pew Research Center currently has Republican disapproval rating at 72%. That isn’t very reassuring when nearly three quarters of Americans disapprove of the Republicans in congress.

It is time for the Republicans to stop obstructing the government and start working with it because if they don’t and keep staying the course then their popularity will go down and will potentially cost them seats in the House and Senate in future elections.

The modern Republican Party has been around over 150 years now and has boasted some great presidents like Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, but as of today they are beginning to show some signs of instability. The Tea Party has been driving the Republican base more and more to the right where even moderate Republicans cannot get elected. The moderates have either been thrown out of office or forced to keep moving right on the issues at hand.

The fringe elements of a political party should not be the place to set up the base of the party because it is so extreme there would not be any room for any type of compromise, which is essential to running a multi-party government. Republicans need to start moving and advocating more centrist or center-right positions in order to gain any favorability with the American people.

If the Republicans keep moving too far to the right, they just might fall off the cliff and the party will be no more.

Letter To The Editor Graphic

Letter To The Editor: Government Shutdown Harms Americans

To the Editor,

At 12:00 AM October 1st the Federal Government “shut down”. The federal Government’s fiscal year runs from October 1st to September 30th, and this year Congress could not agree on a budget, primarily due to the partisan divide on the issue of Obamacare. With no budget for the next fiscal year, federally run programs and jobs have been halted. House Republicans insist on passing any new spending bill that includes provisions to defund, derail or otherwise chip away at Obamacare. Senate Democrats are just as insistent that the spending bill will not.

As Congress continues to be stuck in a stalemate; the American People Suffer. Over 800,000 people are not going into work today, while millions of others are, and are not sure of whether or not they will get paid. Congress has agreed that the Military will get paid for their work along with other “essential” staff, including Congress themselves.

This argument has to end. The fact that Congress cannot agree and will not compromise is utterly unacceptable. To quote a former United States President, “A house divided against itself cannot stand”. Abraham Lincoln was correct; these childish antics have to stop. Regardless of whether or not Republicans in the House believe what they are fighting for is just, they simply cannot win this debate. This shut down is weakening our economy, our political system and our image as the greatest democracy in the world. I encourage Americans to write letters to their elected representatives and remind them that they were elected for a reason, that reason being to better America.

Austin Swan, SGA Commuter Senator.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Taxes, Education Focal Points At First Mayoral Debate

By Taylor Skirvin and Eric Stadalnik

New Britain- Republican Mayoral candidate and CCSU graduate Erin Stewart continued to sell her youth as the right answer for the city during the first debate at Trinity on Main Saturday afternoon.

 

Stressing that the current administration’s tax hikes and wasteful spending was not sustainable for the future, the twenty-six year old GOP nominee asserted that the city needs change and deserves better than incumbent Tim O’Brien.

 

I’m different, I’m not a politician, but I’m sick of seeing our city leaders mismanage our future,” said Stewart. “With Mayor Erin Stewart, you’ll always get straight talk; I’m a New Britain girl.”

 

Stewart, a lifelong New Britain resident, believes that the city government has not been working for the people over the past two years while showing fiscal irresponsibility leading to debt growth.

 

In contrast, Mayor O’Brien feels that the future is bright for New Britain. According to the Democratic nominee, the deficits and social shortcomings left for him when he took office two years ago have been fixed under his administration.

 

There is so much possibility that New Britain has for a better tomorrow. We have accomplished, in my administration, so much in such a short period of time and we have such great possibilities to build in the future,” said O’Brien.

 

A surplus of $2.9 million in the general fund was announced this past week which O’Brien restated at the debate. The extra money was said to come from payroll reductions and department reconfiguration while not raising taxes, although many audience members jeered the Mayor when he made the statement and Stewart brought her car taxes to refute his claim. Along with the surplus, O’Brien proclaimed that he continues to create jobs in the city as well as supporting local businesses.

 

A city partnership with CCSU was also discussed in regards to helping the development of downtown New Britain, from moving programs to the Technology and Business Development facility to being a major stop on the CT Fastrak when it is operational.

 

I have made a very strong effort to make sure that our city’s arts are properly funded, turning around years of underfunding to be able to make sure that our city is going to be able to have the quality education that our kids deserve and that our city economy will need,” said O’Brien.

 

Stewart agreed with her opponent in regards to the importance of education as she has been serving on the New Britain Board of Education shortly after finishing school. She believes that she and her fellow B.O.E. members have made substantial changes to quality of life of students.

 

Although young, Stewart has been around politics much of her life, having been a legislative aide at the Capitol, and growing up with a father in politics. The eight years prior to O’Brien’s term as Mayor, Stewart’s father Tim Stewart was mayor of New Britain.

 

A second Mayoral debate is scheduled for Tuesday, October 1st at 7:00 P.M. at New Britain High School but O’Brien has turned down a third debate sponsored by the Citizen Property Owners Association, a group that has been highly critical of the Mayor’s policies over the last two years.

 

An additional debate is being discussed though, according to the Hartford Courant, which would take place at CCSU, jointly sponsored by campus Republicans and Democrats.

 

Thankful For The Debates

By Jonathan Stankiewicz

Two weeks ago my editor wrote about “a need for less debate” when it comes to the GOP and their debate schedule. He has a point in many respects, but I don’t agree with him.

Keep in mind that I am an independent and that I love the debates.

What I do agree with is the media frenzy over the presidential election that has started earlier and earlier. Having GOP debates a year and a half before we vote for our next president seems a bit irresponsible, but it may have a purpose.

We should be weeding out the people we don’t want running our country. Two weeks ago in Las Vegas, the country saw it’s most exciting debate yet.

The debates are being overshadowed by Herman Cain’s situation, where women and others are coming forward about sexual harassment allegations against Cain from his time spent at National Restaurant Association. Cain, who is currently at the top of the recent polls, is calling the claims “baseless” and has and will continue to campaign.

As Proch said in his column, the debates will be, on average, every 10 days until March once they start up again this week on November 5th. Yes, the bickering will start up again. Yes, the finger pointing will start up again. I can’t wait.

The bickering helps bring out the worst in people. That will only help voters decide for themselves who it is they will choose a year from now.

Many have asked what must other countries must be thinking when they see the quality of Republican candidates. I say, ‘Who cares?’ Isn’t this why we are having all of these televised debates? Let’s see who has what it takes to act under pressure amongst a group of people who are fighting for the same job. We need to have them prove themselves now.

When we look at previous campaign years, the number of debates is less than what we have had.

“By this point in 2007, Republican candidates had participated in 10 debates, two more than have been held in 2011. (For Democrats, there had been 13.),” said Dylan Stableford and Chris Moody from The Cutline on Yahoo! “Right now, there are 13 more debates scheduled for the Republican presidential primaries, for a total of 21. There were a total of 26 Democratic primary debates and 21 for the Republicans in the 2007-2008 presidential election cycle.”

The debates also allow for certain candidates to have a national voice that otherwise couldn’t. The last presidential election had Mike Huckabee, who America liked so much he now has his own show on Fox News. And this year we have the likes of Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul to voice their opinions. Their ideas may appeal to some people that agree with them and not the top tier candidates this time around.

Ultimately, all of this is fodder for Obama. All our current president has to do is sit back and watch what’s unfolding in front of him. The race has gotten too combative for some and if Obama is taking notes from the debates he should already be one step ahead of the Republican candidates. Right?

Republicans have the ability to take over the presidential campaign soon enough. Obama’s rating is steady, but below the 50-percent mark. And hopefully with a chance to spice up the upcoming debates even more, Republicans may try to find the most electable among them.

Editor’s Column: AAA Politics

By Nicholas Proch

“A little to the left. Too far. Your left. That’s not left.”

Sweat is beading down both of our foreheads. I, standing in my khaki pants and button down shirt, have now become a dictator from the other side of my car.

The person I’m yelling instructions to is clad in dark blue scrubs and a yellow reflective work vest. We’re standing in the sun in the parking lot of Hebrew High School of New England.

The glass and steel box that is a Jeep Wrangler is a statement of simplicity in a vehicle. The only thing they didn’t skimp on was the door locking mechanisms.

Over an hour earlier, I was late for teaching my second class at HHNE. I decided to put my cell phone in the glove box, so I would not be one of those administrators whose phone rings after they expect you to not have one yourself.

In the process of putting my phone in the glove box, something that I never do, my subconscious was overly concerned with getting to my class on time. It also may have also gotten confused about what my hands were doing.

The usual process of getting out of a vehicle is as follows. Park. Turn the car off. Take the keys out of the ignition. Put said keys in your pocket or bag. Lock the doors. Shut the doors. Walk away.

Somewhere in that process I got distracted. Possibly by the aggravating schedule I keep or just the simple fact that I threw my brain a curveball by reaching for the glove box. Sorry for adding an extra step and throwing us so far off course!

As I walked away from the car I realized I didn’t have my keys in my pocket. I also remember that I had locked my trunk the previous night when I went to the movies. My trunk is always unlocked, but I thought it would be foolish to let it sit unlocked in the Loews’ parking lot in Plainville for several hours.

I told myself I would deal with my car afterwards. So here we are, back to the parking lot with the burly Latino man from the American Automotive Association, or AAA (Triple-A).

As he worked to get the door open for me, I stood there and thought about how ridiculous it was that this was even happening. It also occurred to me that this is just another example of what we should be doing as a country.

AAA was founded in 1902. It got its start because of a demand for service and repair on the nation’s growing road infrastructure. It was created due to the fact that roads and streets were literally damaging cars. The association was formed as a club. This club would take care of its members and help them get to their destinations safely. They provided, and still do, maps, road side services, driver training and the list goes on.

What struck me was the fact that we did this without waiting for the government to do so. The painful stretch of time that we now call the ‘Obama Administration’ has turned us into dependent lumps. We are waiting to be saved. There was once a time when Americans would take it upon themselves to fix a problem.

Because of AAA, and their vast amounts of members behind them, the departments of transportation around the country had to listen to the voice of the motorist. It’s time we did that with politics. We may have been founded on this basis, but we certainly have lost it.

“You’re really close. Just a little to the left.”

Click.

“You got it!”

At this point, this service agent and I were now jubilant and yelling. It may have taken a half hour, but victories like this make you really appreciate a system that works.

Higher Ed Deal Aims to Preserve University Missions

By Matt Clyburn

A deal to reorganize the governance of Connecticut’s higher education institutions was reached yesterday after a week of discussions between the Office of Policy and Management and Higher Education Chairperson Roberta B. Willis.

The agreement contains many elements proposed by Governor Dannel Malloy during his budget announcements in February, including the creation of a single Board of Regents overseeing the four Connecticut state universities, twelve community colleges and Charter Oak State College.

The agreement also calls for the creation of an advisory commission reporting to the Board of Regents. The commission would design and implement a strategic plan for the state’s higher education system, including the University of Connecticut.

A press release from Malloy’s office stressed that state universities, community colleges and Charter Oak would remain separate entities with distinct missions. Each of the three groups will have a “lead individual” serving on the Board of Regents, presumably to advocate for policy and governance policies while a member of the body.

“I’m pleased that we were able to tie up loose ends and formalize this proposal on behalf of our state’s students who choose to attend our community colleges, regional universities and Charter Oak,” said Mark Ojakian, deputy secretary of the Office of Policy and Management in a statement. “In the end, it’s the students who win. By flattening our administrations costs and overhead, we can direct more money to our student and classroom instruction.”

“This proposal will help make these schools more functional to those who attend them,” Ojakian said.

Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Laura Tordenti spoke to the SGA senate about the agreement at their meeting last week, saying that the plan will be in place by July 1.

“I think that Central will continue to thrive with the reorganization,” Tordenti said.

In the statement from the governor’s office, Rep. Willis of the Higher Education Committee said that she was originally concerned about the individual institutions’ missions.

“They serve a critical and defined need in our communities, one that must be maintained even as we seek efficiencies and savings,” Willis said.

“The commitment to a strategic plan is important,” Willis added. “The Advisory Commission will have an ongoing and permanent role, needed for us to be able to adjust to changing needs in Connecticut and responsive to student needs and workforce development needs in the state that our higher education system can address.”

Back in February, Malloy called for an annual report from the Board of Regents that identifies retention and graduation rates, resource allocation figures, cost-benefit analyses and an “affordability index” tied to Connecticut’s average family household income. The report is expected to include information related to enrollment and completion figures sorted by program of study, credit transferability across institutions and employment outcome data provided by the Department of Labor.

Rep. Willis said that more specifics need to be worked out, but that the plan is based on a need for change and improvement.

“In the end, we can improve student learning, help close the achievement gap, prepare student for 21st century jobs our state will need to move us forward, and make higher education more efficient and effective.

If passed out of the General Assembly, the plan would take effect in tandem with implementation of the state budget for Fiscal Year 2012.

[Updated May 2]