How the presidential candidates weigh in


Chelsea Ratterman

Editor In Chief 

How the presidential candidates weigh in

Now that we have passed the convention stage, the candidates will be out in full force campaigning. The question most often asked is, how do they line up against each other? How they answer this question may be the deciding factor come November 6.

Graphic courtesy of MCT Campus.

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Obama addresses trade enforcement, energy and education

The State of the Union is an annual address given by the President to Congress. It is an opportunity for the President to outline his agenda for the year, as well as give the condition of the country. The address is required of the President based upon Article II, Section 3 in the United States Constitution which states that “He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” The tradition of formally addressing the Congress was discontinued by Thomas Jefferson, who sent formal missives, but was reestablished by Woodrow Wilson.

President Obama delivered his third State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, January 24. He made many points throughout the speech, some with applause and some with loud boos from the audience. Obama touched on many of the issues facing our country in the past years, and those we will be facing in the future.

Special guests who were invited to sit in the First Lady’s box at the address included Steve Jobs widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Warren Buffett’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek. She was in attendance as a result of the tax debate and billionaire Buffet’s complaint that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. The guest list for the State of the Union has become a sort of ritual, with the list often reflecting the themes of the address.

One highlight of the speech came when Obama revealed that an EPA regulation from over 40 years ago, which regulated dairy farms at the same level as petroleum and forced dairy farmers to spend money to prove they were capable of containing a milk spill, that had been eliminated. “With a rule like that, I guess it was worth crying over spilled milk,” Obama said.

Obama called for the implementation of the “Buffett rule,” where if a person makes over $1 million annually, they should be taxed at a rate no less than 30 percent. Sen. Tom Coburn was referenced in this part of the speech on the opinion that Washington needs to stop subsidizing millionaires and offering them tax deductions.

Jobs were a big topic for this address. The President called for the country to help train Americans in skills that will lead directly to jobs. Obama wants to give community colleges the resources they need to be community career centers to teach skills that are in high demand.

One major announcement that Obama made was the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit. The unit was formed to investigate unfair trade practices in countries around the world, with inspections of goods crossing the border in order for counterfeit and unsafe goods from entering the country.

Another unit was announced, this time being for the financial sector. The Financial Crimes Unit would serve to crack down on fraud, and implement penalties for a fraud count. This is to help protect people’s investments and the institutions following the laws.

A third unit in the works is for the protection of homeowners against abusive lending and packaging of mortgages. It would also help get assistance to homeowners, as well as a plan to help them save up to $3,000 a year on their mortgage.

In relation to schools around the country, Obama requested that the mandatory school age be upped to 18 or until graduation. He called for Congress to prevent the hike in student loan interest in July, when they are expected to double, as well as an extension of the tuition tax credit and an increase in the number of work-study jobs.

In the wake of the rejection of Keystone XL pipeline, Obama introduced the clean energy initiative announcing that the department of the Navy will make a large renewable energy purchase of one gigawatt and requesting the Department of the Interior to permit for 10 gigawatts of renewable projects by the end of the year, enough to power nearly three million homes.

The 2012 State of the Union was followed by The Republican Response, which was delivered by Indiana Governor, Mitch Daniels.

Identifying Anonymous: An idealistic enigma

Logan Pierce, editor-in-chief

For more than five years the quasi-group Anonymous’ unique brand of hacking has left an indelible mark on Internet culture. Portions of their influence eventually seeped into the real world.

While Anonymous boasts no formal organization or leadership, it has adopted certain

one of the many Anonymous icons

icons, including the image of a faceless business suit and the Guy Fawkes mask, (made famous from the film “V for Vendetta”). Anonymous’ mantra is “We are Anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”

The mysterious nature of Anonymous, coupled with the imagery, paints a picture of a 21st century Robin Hood; an unstoppable, faceless force of nature.

Hidden Agenda

Anonymous has no official position regarding controversial issues such as abortion, health care, taxes, global warming, or Occupy Wall Street. Anonymous aficionados, known as Anons, can disagree on these and other issues while still being part of Anonymous.

This is not to say that Anonymous is not without ideals. In fact, ideals are what unites Anons. According to analysis from the Extra Credits series, Anonymous stands for:

1. Freedom of Information

2. Freedom of Speech

3. Unregulated Internet

4. Generally only attacks groups that either directly attacked them, or infringes on their core ideals

5. Does not engage in criminal activity for the financial benefit of Anons

6. Believes in mischief for the “lulz” (i.e. kicks and giggles)

Secret, but fun

Anonymous’ first major act of defiance was against the social networking game, “Habbo Hotel,” where people create avatars and socialize in a virtual hotel setting. In 2005, rumors spread through 4chan, (online message board used by Anons), that Habbo’s social moderators were abusing their ability to ban people, targeting black-avatar users.

At this notion of inferred racism, Anons began flooding the game with black-avatars, dressed in suits and Afro wigs. Their avatars blocked doorways and walkways, cutting off access to certain features in the game, most notably the swimming pool.

“Pool’s closed” became the rallying cry for the operation, culminating with a mass raid July 12, 2006, where hundreds of Anons swarmed the game, eventually causing Habbo Hotel to go offline for a while.

Anonymous’ most recent planned attack is against the social network goliath, Facebook. On Nov. 5, Anons plan to shut down Facebook, accusing them of selling their users security information.

According to an Anonymous press release, “Facebook keeps saying that it gives users choices, but that is completely false. It gives users the illusion of [choice] and hides the details away from them ‘for their own good’ while they then make millions off of you. When a service is ‘free,’ it really means they’re making money off of you and your information.”

Anons Response

Anonymous responded to the threat against Facebook, denouncing it. Citing, in a tweet, that “Operation: Facebook” will be carried out by “rouge” Anons, and is not endorsed by the majority of Anonymous. “We don’t “kill” the messenger,” Anonymous said, “That’s not our style.”

By 15th Street News Posted in News Tagged abortion, , “V for Vendetta, ” Guy Fawkes, freedom of information, freedom of speech, global warming, Habbo Hotel, health care, lulz, , Operation: Facebook, Pool’s closed, , unregulated Internet