Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Radioactive: Presidential Kick Off


It is an understatement to say that many members of the Democratic Party were disappointed when Hillary Clinton was posed with a critical health issue earlier this year and stated that she would decline running simply because she could not “carry out the office of president at the capacity America needed and deserved.” However, it is appearing that the primaries might still not be very competitive for the Democratic Party. Current Vice President Joe Biden announced his campaign for president a month ago today, with an emphasis on the continuation of the current Obama Administration policies under the guise of a much more urgent and passionate tone. Biden has perceived as very likable figure in Democratic circles, and he has a policy base that tends to appeal to moderates without losing liberal support. In fact, in a recent Gallup poll, nearly 75% of self-described strong liberals who stated that they are disappointed with the Obama presidency believed that Biden would perform better. However, there are still a significant amount of Democratic voters who are concerned that fatigue of the Obama administration and his near lame-duck status since 2014 will push centrist voters away who are disillusioned and looking for change to get the federal government working again.

Not all Democratic voters are fully aligned with Biden, however, and a few other elected officials have thrown their name in the ring in hopes of steering the Democratic Party in a new direction. Perhaps the most high profile announcement yet has been from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. She was appointed in 2009 to fill the vacancy left by then Senator Clinton's promotion to Secretary of State. Aligned more with the so called Blue Dogs in the House, she became much more of a progressive star in the Senate. In her announcement, she also emphasized a new vigor, but laid out a much more liberal platform with equality in terms of gender in regards to pay, sexual orientation, and transgender rights. She also made statements about reforming the military in regards to size, veteran's care, and chronic sexual assault, which has been one of her chief issues as senator. She is very popular among the strong liberals of the party and is positioned to be Biden's main challenger from the left. Alongside Senator Gillibrand are Senator Udall and Representative Simena, who both called for a remotivation of the party. Udall set a very populist and environmentalist position, while Sinema, who surprised the party with her announcement, set a very liberal tone and made herself an advocate for equality through her personal experience in being bisexual and irreligious. Below is the polling as it currently stands: Biden stands out on top, but his lead is not without strong challengers.

Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware - 46%
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York - 21%
Senator Mark Udall of Colorado - 14%
Representative Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona - 3%
Other/Undecided - 16%

SEPTEMBER 13, 2015

This past week, the Egyptian people have yet again taken to the streets to protest their leadership. Thousands of Egyptians, most of whom were members of the Muslim Brotherhood, protested Sisi's recent policies that prevented the Brotherhood from publicly gathering as a measure to "protect Egypt from the dangers of extremism" with the recent incursions of ISIL to unite Sunni populations in Iraq and Syria that are even greater in intensity than the spike in 2014. Even though the protests began as a measure to prevent extremism, they quickly turned into a mass protest when Sisi deployed military forces to dissolve the protests after only the third day. The fourth day of protests saw secular protests join the Brotherhood ones against what Egyptians have began labeling an "autocratic dictator" due to his quick use of military to prevent protests.

In recent history, Egypt has been known to force its leaders out of office: Mubarak was ousted in 2011 during the Arab Spring, and then Morsi in 2013. The election that chose President Sisi was mired in controversy due to him winning an even greater percentage of the vote than President Assad of Syria, which held an election at the same period of time. President Sisi was popular for a time, being a very strong and secular leader, but his recent moves that forced groups like the Brotherhood to become weaker has earned him many enemies. Sisi has attempted to defend his decisions by pointing out that fundamentalist groups have slowly taken advantage of Syria and Iraq, countries wracked by sectarian violence, and he wanted to do something to send a message to stop these groups. Many leaders throughout the Middle East and the world have condemned his actions as promoting what he is trying to fight. President Obama has stated that the "constraints Sisi has placed on his people's liberties will only make the extremists more empowered." The situation in Egypt has quickly destabilized, and please remain tuned in to ANN to keep informed on the latest updates on yet another conflict that is plaguing the Middle East.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2015

Today, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has finally put speculation to rest by declaring his presidential candidacy today. The junior senator has been a star of the Tea Party movement ever since he has been elected to office, and his presidential ambition has been endlessly speculated since he was recognized as a rising star. He made his announcement in Forth Worth, Texas, where he spoke on the idea that America’s moral capacity is degrading through an overexpansion of government, and that his mission as president would be to reassert America’s place in the world and ensure the government does not intrude on the lives of Americans. His announcement has shaken up polling significantly: Cruz holds 20% of the support, which puts him in the lead of the GOP field, albeit within the margin of error. He has been a controversial figure in the Republican Party as well as the country as a whole due to his strong conservatism and heavy anti-establishment rhetoric, but these qualities have gained him a fervent group of supporters to match.

The senator’s announcement largely rounds out the Republican field of candidates. Sitting just behind Cruz is Governor Kasich of Ohio, who represents the more moderate establishment wing of the GOP. Many people have been surprised by his quick rise to the top over household names like Rand Paul, Scott Walker, and Chris Christie, but many credit this to many GOP members outside of Ohio perceiving him as a level headed moderate with little political baggage. Senator Paul, in third place, stands to represent the libertarian wing of the GOP. Even though he has stated on numerous occasions that he stands more in line with the Tea Party than the libertarian ideas, he has more and more moved to fit that mold as the Tea Party took Cruz to be their flag bearer. Senator Ayotte and Governors Walker and Christie have all appealed to moderates by describing themselves as sensible choices that could actually win a general election whereas Governor Brownback has touted himself as the equivalent of Cruz with more experience. The Republican field of candidates is clearly more crowded than the Democratic, and much closer. Many political analysts expect the primary season to become a battle between the three major wings of the party.

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas - 20%
Governor John Kasich of Ohio - 18%
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky - 14%
Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire - 12%
Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas - 7%
Fmr. Governor Scott Walker - 6%
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey - 5%
Other/Undecided - 19%

Monday, June 2, 2014

Radioactive: Prolouge

Atoms have a 50% chance of decay within one of its half lives. As these half lives become more and more frequent, the atom stands less and less of a chance to remain cohesive. This natural pattern follows exponential decay, so one might expect all else to. However, man seems to fit himself outside of this paradigm: We function all too much like a sine wave. We decay but never fail to come back just as strong or stronger. How man acts remains an enigma, and this is certainly apparent in the construct we call politics...


July 4, 2076: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Address by President Liu of the United States of America

“Good evening, to those of you who stand here in front of me, and to those of you streaming this in your homes across America and the world.

We gather here this evening to celebrate a truly monumental occasion in American history: our nation's tricentennial. Few countries have survived completely intact for this long, fewer remain with the same governing document for nearly 290 years and still abide by the basic principles that Thomas Jefferson delineated in his Declaration of Independence, signed 300 years ago this day in Independence Hall that sits behind me.

I think you all know well the story of this building that lies behind me. From infancy to university, you all learned how this room contained the foundations of our country. Within its stern faded red bricks, John Hancock signed his famously gregarious signature. These windows, encased in elegant white woodwork, kept in the hot air of Constitutional Convention delegates during the famously hot Philadelphia summer so that the document’s secret would lay safe for time being. In front of this √©difice, which stands tall and takes a barrage of visitors into its arms every single day to this day, has stood the test of time. It has weathered over 350 years since the first brick was laid in the fertile Pennsylvania soil in 1732.

We are a nation of resilience. This building's very being has been fundamentally altered three times: first an update in the 1830’s, restored to its 1776 roots in the 1950’s and finally saved from the wretches of time and malice in the 2030’s. The bell twice, too: first from simple use, sporting a crack in the middle, and second from an act of pure malice, which sports deep fractures. We do not pretend that these fluctuations represent merely the coincidental act of weather and time, but we do recognize that this stands as an √©difice of the spirit of America. This country has weathered deep political and cultural divides, as well as foreign and domestic wars, that we have rebuilt ourselves from. From houses divided of the Democratic-Republicans and Federalists, Union and South, Democrats and Republicans, and challenges and devastation coming from America’s foreign wars, we have always rebuilt and come back as a stronger nation.

Standing here, we are reminded that we are a nation not so different from those who gathered here in 1776 to write our Declaration of Independence. We have grown from sporting a flag of 13 stars to a grand one of 53, and our Founding Fathers could hardly imagine the importance and influence America has grown to have over these 300 years. However, we still fight for those basic principles that the first 10 amendments to our Constitution embody, not to mention the others that brave and active Americans have added to extend voting rights to all 16 or over and ensure the equality of the law regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or genetic makeup. We also still make sure that those countries around this green Earth still provide a basic sense of humanity and liberty to each of its citizens.

In the Preamble of our Constitution, our founding Fathers stated that a purpose of our government was to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. Posterity has deemed it imperative that not only the blessings of liberty maintain to be secured, but the blessings of others and the well being of those in this country are continually maintained. As a government, we have waivered on occasion in providing to ourselves, and those in need globally, but as a people, we have always maintained strength in our values and in goodwill towards every human being.

In our tricentennial, we celebrate our foundations and our past that we build on as propulsion into our future. We have made strides in eliminating nuclear weapons that plagued our world for the latter half of last century, and reminded us of their malicious presence over 40 years ago. We have helped aid the people of the former North Korea, the Congo, Sudan, China, and many more who faced grievous humanitarian offenses. We celebrate our strides, along with eliminating world presence of fusion energy and weapons, the discovery and widespread implementation of safe and powerful fission energy with the help of the UN and scientific colleagues around the world. Partly because of America, the world no longer acts like an atom undergoing nuclear fission, pushing its constituent components apart and spewing dangerous particles like a bomb that slowly went off. Now this world is much more akin to the fusion of molecules, with people of every nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and genetic makeup colliding together to produce something far greater and brighter than fission ever could have.

I know that America will continue to persevere to reach further in space as well as further into our own minds and hearts to help people across the street and the ocean. I have seen America transition from a bloated hyperpower to a force for the global good, and I want to continue to see our country work in synchronization with our brothers in all 7 continents.

As a final lead up to our fireworks display, American musical geniuses from Honolulu to Boston have been working together since the beginning of the decade to produce a musical masterpiece that commemorates this massive tricentennial celebration: Libertas Eternum, which is being performed by some of our best musicians from symphony orchestras across the country. These artists exemplify some of the truly great aspects of this nation, and I have fallen in love with this piece just as much as I know all my fellow Americans will.

Happy 4th of July America! May America and the rest of this sacred Earth and her inhabitants remain blessed!”