Monday, December 10, 2012

Like bungee jumping... without a rope

If you read my blog post about sequestration, you learned about a major election issue that many people haven't heard of.

Except you HAVE heard of it.

It's now known as "the fiscal cliff."  And if you haven't heard about this over the past month, here's what you're missing (it's a 7 minute video, but very informative and pretty interesting):

But the problem of the fiscal cliff isn't one that will be easily solved, and it's pretty alarming.  People are getting nervous... and I talked to two of them.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Grab your pitchforks! We're going on a witch hunt.

So it seems I'm sort of out-of-the-loop on something, which isn't a great way to start this post on a blog called "In The Know."  But as they say, honesty is the best policy.

My mom sent me an e-mail asking me to sign a petition.  Now is very reputable, but the petition seemed so outlandish, so ridiculous, so couldn't-possibly-be-true, that I had to do my own journalistic research to look into this issue.  After going through my rigorous Google searches, it turns out.. it is true.

The issue is Uganda's so-called "Kill the Gays" bill, and here's why you should know about it (if you don't already):

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Personal scandal in a political world


It's everywhere. Athletes, movie stars, politicians.  Heck, there's even a TV show now called "Scandal."

So I wasn't totally shocked when news recently broke about General Petreaus' affair, leading to him stepping down from his role as the Director of the CIA.  That resignation was accepted by President Obama.

Yes, I have already done a blog post about scandal, asking if we are too quick to judge.  But in the wake of recent events, I would like to amend my question.  I stand by my first post, but now I want to know... does it all even matter?

So let me break this down.  When it comes to scandal in politics, it absolutely matters.  I wrote an entire research paper about scandals in Congress since 2000, complete with statistical analysis.  It was actually very depressing spending months looking at horrible things people have done.

So when it comes to political scandal - embezzling tax payer money, buying votes, whatever - those are obviously fire-able offenses.  Those are times when people should step down from office because it directly impacts their professional responsibilities.

But here's the crux of it - should personal scandal (like an affair) cause professional ruin?

Now I know there are bigger issues at play here - i.e. was Petreaus giving up confidential information? (If you're not up-to-date on the scandal, I think the Global Grind gives a fabulous break down.)   But let's put that aside for just a moment.

When politicians do something morally, but personally, reprehensible, should it cost them their jobs?

For example, President Bill Clinton kept his position, but was impeached following the Monica Lewinsky trial.  He was impeached for lying about the scandal under oath. But why was he under oath in the first place?  Who gives a crap?  Did we literally just put the President under oath to ask him whether he had a totally inappropriate personal affair?  And then slap him with a pretty hefty professional impeachment when he lied about it?  Seems like a disconnect here...

Then think about Anthony Weiner.  Who posts pictures of naked online?  Totally stupid.  But again, personal.  He had the right to make that dumb mistake.  Then he was forced out of office.

So back to Petreaus.  If he was having an extramarital affair that did not impact the body of his work, no matter how morally reprehensible, should he be expected to step down from his professional role?

I honestly have no answers to these questions - I simply wonder... when do politicians have to give up their right to be human?

What do you think?  Should public officials have to step down from their jobs in the wake of a scandal?  Should professional and personal life remain separate?  Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Friday, November 9, 2012

A history of rights in post-election 2012

Since it was announced that Obama was reelected on Tuesday, a lot has been going on in the world of social media.  Some people are overjoyed.  Others... not so much.

This Tumblr, "White People Mourning Romney," has been making the rounds.  I thought I'd take a peek, see what all the fuss was about.  But instead of giggling at silly reactions of children falling on the floor or people caught on camera in unflattering ways, I was somewhat disturbed by some of the comments posted.

Many people posted about our country having no morals.  One post discussed the opening of a new "anti-gay" Chick-Fil-A restaurant as a sort of coping mechanism for sad Romney supporters.  Still other posts talked about how our country has been flushed down the toilet and how the United States is now going to be socialist.

From what is posted on this site, many people quote the founding fathers and the foundation that our country was built upon.  I encourage you to look at the site on your own.

 I started to think.... and this is what I've come up with...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why I love election night

I graduated from undergrad with two degrees - journalism and political science - and while everyone else is tearing their hair out and can't wait until this election is decided... I kind of wish it was always election season.

There's something exhilerating about a newsroom full of people milling about, no-nonsense, getting things done.  Sure, it can be stressful, but the payoff is huge.

So here is the shortest post I'll ever write.  I'm running a mile a minute, getting in scripts, updating social media and cramming our faces with delicious food.  But I just want to take a minute to enjoy this.  In the midst of the negative ads, crazy facebook and twitter posts, angry people and everything else... how wonderful it is to live in a country where we have this right to vote.  No matter who wins, I voted and I hope you did, too.

The damage... after our newsroom was let loose on our dinner goodies!  It was so delicious :) Plus, of course, election coverage!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What Hurricane Sandy means for election 2012

There has been a lot of speculation about the hurricane that hit the east coast Monday and what it means for the upcoming presidential election.  While I certainly don’t have the answer, I’m going to throw my hat into the ring of speculation.  I hope you do the same.

I want to start by offering my sincerest condolences to those struggling with the loss of power, property and, worst of all, life from Hurricane Sandy.  We must remember that an election, while important, is not as important as people.  There are a lot of things you can do to help with disaster relief – things as small as giving blood locally and as big as going out to help with clean up.   For information on how to help or to donate, visit the Red Cross hurricane page here.

Now when it comes to the election, many began to wonder if the election date would be moved.  This seems incredibly unlikely, although certain counties could change polling locations if your local site was destroyed.  Even some of the hardest hit places in New Jersey don’t seem to be phased.  The election has been placed on the back burner while officials are concerned with flooding and clean up, but in a recent CNN article, New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie (R) said “the election will take care of itself.”

In my opinion, there are two factors which could actually impact the election, and they’re things that BOTH parties should be worried about.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

When employment just isn't enough

One of the biggest issues this election cycle is jobs. Unemployment. But there is a whole category of the employed that is overlooked.