As the U.S. faces a third wave of coronavirus cases and some cities and states prepare for another round of shutdowns, thousands of households are continuing to face economic hardship and food insecurity. Earlier this year, the Trump administration finalized a proposed rule change that would have blocked nearly 700,000 people from getting essential food assistance, one of three of the administration’s efforts to overhaul the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The new rule would have affected the eligibility criteria for able-bodied adults with no dependents, limiting states’ ability to waive existing work mandates and requiring individuals to be employed to receive benefits. It was struck down last week by a federal judge after Pennsylvania and California residents sued Trump’s Agricultural Department. Critics say that this proposal is yet another attempt by the Trump administration to continue its deregulatory war on existing safety net programs, even as businesses struggle and the number of newly unemployed households remains high as a result of the pandemic. “The Final Rule at issue in this litigation radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving States scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans,” explained D.C Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell, in a 67-page opinion.
Normally, Christianity and liberalism don’t blend well in this country, if at all. But in one of the oddest interviews in my recent memory, a Cornell alumnus and a green mayor from South Bend, Ind. engaged in a whole new debacle on the issue. On one side was the casually smug Bill Maher ’78 hosting an episode of the Bill Maher Show on HBO, and on the other was the newest rising star of the Democratic party Pete Buttigieg (pronounced Boot-Edge-Edge), dressed in a toned down outfit that gave the vibe of suburban dad getting off from work more than presidential hopeful. Buttigieg’s resume has landed him on voters’ radar — Harvard educated, Rhodes Scholar, Afghanistan veteran, speaker of seven languages and mayor of a rebounding Midwestern city — but it’s his down to earth demeanor, wide smile and most importantly, a laser-like ability to lay out his thoughts that has had him surging in recent polls.
Last week, Isaac Schorr ’20 wrote a pretty divisive letter to the editor concerning the Class Council gala fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. In the space below I’m going to discuss both Isaac’s letter and the campus response it received. Saying that Planned Parenthood is a divisive organization isn’t a novel claim. Nor is the claim that the Class Councils, who purport to represent the interests of their corresponding classes, shouldn’t plan events fundraising for divisive organizations. I can only imagine what would’ve happened if the gala were raising money for the NRA …
This Tuesday, voters across the country will cast ballots for candidates running for a broad number of federal, state and local offices in the United States government, including 435 U.S. House and 35 U.S. Senate seats. This is an important opportunity for Americans to take stock and to evaluate, based on the merits, where the country stands since the last election. At a university like Cornell, most already have their minds made up. The faculty have contributed overwhelmingly to liberal Democrats, and 2018 has proven no different. The student body, if Sun polls and surveys are any indication, largely subscribe to the same ideology.
As President Trump announced the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as Associate Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court this past July 9, protesters gathered at the Supreme Court with placards communicating their opposition to the nominee. But because the announcement had not yet been made, these placards included all but the name of the actual nominee, which was left blank. Markers in hand, the protesters waited. Then, slightly after 9:00 p.m., as Trump uttered the name “Brett Kavanaugh,” they promptly filled it in and began their demonstration. It raises an interesting question: what would they have done if the President had nominated Merrick Garland?
Abortion is among the most contentious and controversial of subjects in modern political discourse. We have drawn lines and given ourselves pejorative titles of “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” I, personally, understand and sympathize with both sides of the aisle on the issue (though, at the end of the day, I tend to side with the pro-life movement). But in labeling themselves “pro-life,” I find that many, particularly those on the right, are only pro-life when it comes to issues of conception and pregnancy. In effect, they have defined pro-life as a term that only applies to when a baby is inside the womb. Once the child has passed through the birth canal, however, many of conservatives’ attitudes towards that infant can be described as anything but pro-life.
The reason that American politics is so divided today, according to Allie Stuckey, “The Conservative Millennial,” is not just because of disagreement over individual social issues, but because the nation disagrees fundamentally over “what America is and what America should be.”
“The University, through its current policy — intentional or not — imposes additional financial and administrative costs on groups wishing to host conservative speakers,” said Troy LeCaire ’17, president of the Cornell Political Union.
In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson launched his famed War on Poverty, declaring: “This Administration, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty.” From the time that Johnson made this declaration, the federal government has spent an estimated $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs — and the level of success of these programs is highly debatable. Certainly, Johnson’s war had a major effect on senior citizens, as the poverty rate for the elderly declined nearly 18 percent between 1964 and 2015. However, total poverty rates declined less than three percent between 1964 and 2015. Today, 14.5 percent of Americans (nearly 47 million people) live below the poverty line, while the youth poverty rate has reached a stunning 20 percent.
What these numbers do not tell is the story behind America’s poor.