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Monday, April 3: Free Choice (No GB Meeting)
Kris Ahn advises on articles that provide insight on the recent disappearance of fourteen black girls.
There was a huge uproar on social media last week over the devastating occurrence of fourteen Black girls going missing in the Washington DC area in a matter of 24 hours. When I saw the number, my heart sunk and I felt shocked. I had the same reaction a lot of people had, ‘Why am I just now hearing about this?’ Over the next few days, continued coverage showed that the number was incorrect, and that fourteen girls had not in fact gone missing in 24 hours (this Buzzfeed article attempts to separate facts from fiction). Although the exact number was incorrect, the number of missing children in the DC area disproportionately affects Black children and the media coverage is often weak or lacking in these cases, in contrast to cases of white children going missing. The second article, by Clinton Yates, goes more into the deeper, systemic issues that cause the higher rate of Black girls going missing. The blow up of the falsely reported case brought two things to mind for me: first, why it takes an inaccurate and disgustingly high number for missing person cases surrounding Black people to get the amount of coverage that is needed for effective searching, and second, the implications and consequences of citizen journalism, especially on social media. Fake news has obviously been a hot topic, and with cases like these, it becomes harder and harder to differentiate fact from fiction. Sensationalizing things for the sake of bringing attention to problems harms more than it helps. It did work to mobilize people towards action, and opened a conversation of why no one talks about missing Black girls, but the false facts that brought the story to attention in the first place may shut down that conversation before it even picks up steam.
Rosie Moss suggests a series of articles that respond to the recent Republican defeat in the attempt to repeal Obamacare.
As many Republican leaders in Washington are faced with defeat in their attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, several news sources offer their opinions on why the repeal failed and what it means for the future.
Contributors for NPR make the argument that this failure was not only embarrassing for the Republican Party, but will make it much more difficult for Republican leaders to gain support in future attempts at policy change, especially tax reform.
An economist from The Washington Post suggests that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act failed because Republicans did not fully understand the act, the proposed replacement would have caused too many people to become uninsured, and there was too much dissent within the Republican Party.
According to The Hill, Dan Rather, former news anchor for CBS News, claims that the failure of Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act was a defeat of significant importance, as such a loss so early in a president's term is unprecedented and will likely have lasting effects on future policy-making efforts.
CNN provides us with Vice President Pence’s thought’s on the failure, which are that the fight by the Republican Party to repeal Obamacare is not over yet and that the administration’s tax reforms, which are next on its agenda, will be successful.
Juan Jacobo Muñoz recommends articles that reflect the current diversity of opinions regarding Brexit.
With Theresa May’s invocation of Article 50 this last week, the United Kingdom is officially on the path to Brexit. Commentators from all sides are taking part in speculation about the potential outcome of EU-UK negotiations and their implications. From Ian Duncan Smith’s optimistic outlook in the Telegraph, to the Economist’s dire predictions here is a selection of articles showing the different perspectives on the issue.
Daniel Gros, Brexit in a Brave New World (https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/brexit-trade-negotiations-uk-costs-by-daniel-gros-2017-02)
The Telegraph, Britain will get money back from the EU instead of paying to leave under plans being considered by ministers (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/02/britain-will-get-money-back-eu-instead-paying-leave-plans-considered/)
The Economist, Britain’s Brutal Encounter with Reality (http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21719793-time-be-honest-about-trade-offs-ahead-britains-brutal-encounter-reality)
'Britain's biggest Brexit problem will be the French because they're, well, French': Chopper's Brexit Podcast Episode 5 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/31/britains-biggest-brexit-problem-will-french-french-choppers/)
Jim O’Neill, Trade Truths for Trumpians and Brexiteers (https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/trade-truths-trump-brexit-by-jim-o-neill-2017-03)
Sam Ackerman contextualizes America’s low-turnout rates during elections.
An oft discussed trope about American politics is that turnout in the United States is low compared to its highly developed peers. This in fact rings true (see: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/08/02/u-s-voter-turnout-trails-most-developed-countries/ ). However, there is more nuance to the situation than initially apparent. For one, as a function of the many levels of government in the U.S., the average American votes more in a ten-year period than the average Japanese or British citizen does in their life. There are also other explanations to explain the low turnout phenomenon. One aspect is the comparatively restrictive voter registration requirements in the U.S. Here are two articles regarding voter registration laws. The first, is a look at the different registration laws that may vary by state: http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/voter-registration.aspx. The second, is an article regarding the innovation automatic voter registration process put in place in Oregon: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/02/us/politics/oregon-voter-registration.html?_r=0. Finally, it is essential to examine early voting, which has recently expanded in many states: http://www.npr.org/2016/10/28/499492832/5-questions-about-early-voting-answered. Overall, the United States is unique in that its states dictate the majority of election laws that are not explicitly dictated by the U.S. Constitution (i.e. the 15th, 19th and 24th amendments), not the federal government.