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Elections and Peace By Cynthia Brian

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Elections and Peace By Cynthia Brian

   
Every Tuesday at NOON PT, the talented teens of Be the Star You Are!® bring you an exciting, informative, mind-boggling program with fresh ideas from youthful minds. Join the fun!
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Hosts Brigitte Jia and Zahra Hassanian as well as reporter Joven Hundal offer a full hour of youthful insights on today’s national election and how peace can be attained in the world.  Joven provides an historical perspective on the political mudslinging of campaigns. Polls of millennials indicate disillusion with this “R-rated election.”  An avid student of Latin, Zahra digs into the ancient wisdom of peace, providing correlations between the past and present. Artist Brigitte paints a picture of peace through the visuals of art,  cartoons, and the Impressionist movement. It’s a lively, peaceful discussion with very bright and informed teens who care deeply about who is in power and how peace can be attained.


Listen at Voice America Network :  https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/95668/peace-and-election-coverage
View Photos, Descriptions, & More at Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio: http://www.starstyleradio.com/expressyourselfteenradio

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WILL THE PARTIES LINE UP BEHIND TRUMP AND CLINTON? by Rebecca Costa

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WILL THE PARTIES LINE UP BEHIND TRUMP AND CLINTON? by Rebecca Costa

As we near the end of the primary season and the reality of a national contest sets in, the question on everyone’s mind is whether voters will come together to support their party’s nominee. Romney and other GOP leaders have publicly stated they will not support frontrunner Donald Trump. On the other hand, polls show that many Bernie Sanders supporters would rather sit the election out than cast their vote for Clinton.  In short, both leading contenders face serious obstacles when it comes to unifying their parties, let alone the country.

First, Trump.

Though he won three states on Super Tuesday and has secured roughly half the delegates needed to win the GOP nomination, last week party leaders secretly gathered to block Trump from the general election. Politico obtained a copy of an invitation sent to Republican leaders which read, “Please join other conservative leaders to strategize how to defeat Donald Trump for the Republican nomination, and if he is the Republican nominee for President, to offer a true conservative candidate in the general election.” According to political insider, Roger Stone, the Republican Party has, “cooked up a strategy…to steal delegates from Trump so that he’ll fall below 1,237 on the first ballot, and then, before the second ballot, to present one of their (own) group … as the Savior of the Grand Old Party.”

Given opposition from the most powerful members of his party, can Trump bring the GOP together?  He can if he follows these 3 simple steps:

For openers, make certain his competitors join forces with him.  Though Trump is widely known for his deal-making skills, pundits were completely caught off guard when Chris Christie and Ben Carson aligned with the frontrunner.  If he’s successful at negotiating similar support from Rubio, Kasich, and later, Cruz, the GOP starts to come together right then and there.

Second, redefine who the GOP voter really is.  This week on The Costa Report, cofounder and Executive Editor of The Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes, explained how the demographics of the GOP is changing. “A major reason for Trump’s emergence as the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination is his appeal to these overlooked (working class) voters. While the RNC was concentrating on appealing to its five “demographic partners,” (Hispanics, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, African Americans, women, and youth) Trump was studying Rick Santorum’s book Blue Collar Conservatives.”  Even GOP leaders opposed to Trump can’t deny the fact that he’s engaged a previously untapped voter – recruiting record numbers of discontented, frustrated working class Americans to vote in the primaries.  Can the GOP afford to alienate the new recruits by circumventing their newfound hero?  Doubtful.

Lastly, to unify his party Trump will have to soften his language on controversial topics, and grow vocal on issues on which ALL voters agree – issues such as lowering taxes and abolishing the IRS.  Last year the Pew Research Centerfound that 59 percent of Americans feel “there is so much wrong with the federal tax system that Congress should completely change it.” Any candidate who appeals to 59 percent of voters is likely to experience success similar to Ronald Reagan, whose entire presidential campaign was based on tax cuts.

Next up, Clinton.

Whereas Clinton has the support of the Democratic establishment, she hasn’t been pulling the kind of primary numbers needed to win a national election.  Not like Trump or Sanders. What’s more, 95 percent of all Democratic voters say they don’t want Sanders to throw in the towel and support Clinton.  And over one third of Sanders’ supporters say they will not vote for Clinton if she is the nominee.

Recently, a number of online petitions have begun appearing on websites such as Change.org, where over 10,000 signatories have promised not to vote for Hillary if she is the party’s choice.  Samantha-Jo Roth reported in theHuffington Post, that Sanders voters see Trump as a better option than Clinton because they want a non-establishment, Washington outsider. According to Calvin Priest, political organizer with Socialist Alternative, “If Bernie does not run all the way through November, the field will be left open to Trump to tap into the massive (Democratic) anger at the establishment. This can cause lasting damage, as many people who could have been won over to Bernie’s platform will be repelled by Clinton’s establishment politics, and won over instead to Trump’s right-wing, anti-immigrant, anti-worker message.”

When it comes to unifying the Democratic Party, it looks as if Clinton has as rough a road ahead of her as her Republican counterpart.  So, what, if anything, can she do to pull her party together?

First, she needs Sanders to join her.  Sanders supporters are urging him to run as a third party or ‘write-in’ candidateshould he lose the nomination and a defection would deal a deathblow to Clinton’s chances.  While one third of Sanders supporters claim they will not vote for Clinton, that still leaves two thirds up for grabs. Two thirds that Clinton will need in a contest against Trump.

Second, Clinton must leverage the Democratic establishment to assert influence inside and outside the party.  That means securing endorsements from popular Democrats who have large followings – such as the current President of the United States.  The unanimous support of influential Democrats will go miles toward unifying the party.

Finally, Clinton must put distance between claims that she, and her husband, have been the victims of an “organized right wing conspiracy,” and that she has been unfairly scrutinized for her use of a private email server, her handling of Benghazi, and sizable speaking fees to financial institutions. To win Republican crossover voters, Independents, and those who are frustrated with “partisan politics as usual” and don’t want 4 more years of gridlock – Clinton will have to refrain from partisan rhetoric and prove herself capable of conciliation and compromise. Along these lines, she needs the endorsements of prominent Republicans and Independents with whom she has worked well with in the Senate and as Secretary of State. And similar to Trump, it would serve Clinton well to turn her attention to issues on which the vast majority of Americans agree, steering gently away from serving the special interests of specific demographic groups.

And there you have it.  Three tactics each of the Presidential frontrunners can deploy to bring unity to their parties, and the country at large.

Those concerned that the primary season has done irreparable damage to each party’s nominee’s ability to bring voters together can rest easy.  With more than seven months before we line up to cast our final decision – any doctor would tell you, that’s plenty of time for paper cuts and black eyes to heal.

 

JOB NUMBER ONE FOR THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES by Rebecca Costa

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JOB NUMBER ONE FOR THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES by Rebecca Costa

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As of today, there have been 12 Republican and 9 Democratic primary debates, with more to come.  In each exchange the candidates have been asked to explain their priorities. Donald Trump listed border security at the top of his list.  Sanders said an equal economic playing field for all Americans was key.  Kasich claimed the $12 trillion deficit was a national emergency. And Cruz promised he would devote his first 100 days in office to repealing the Affordable Care Act, the Iran nuclear agreement, Common Core, and every other measure Obama put forth. From job creation, terrorism and immigration, to tax and education reform, the candidates have offered an impressive list of “top priorities.”

But are these issues really job number one for the next President of the United States?

Probably not.

And here’s why: none of candidate’s plans, intentions, or detailed programs matter if the impasse between the two parties persists.  Think about it: would Clinton or Sanders have better luck getting the Senate to confirm a Supreme Court nominee than Obama?  Would they be more successful at getting anything through the current Congress?  And how about Cruz or Trump?  Cruz’s track record of bringing members of the Senate together is on par with Trump’s claim that he can unify Hispanic, Muslim, women and black voters.

This week on The Costa Report, former Senator from Arkansas, Mark Pryor, compared the standoff between the Congress and Executive Branch today with similar conditions eleven years ago.  As Bush was preparing to submit his court nominees, the Democratic leadership announced they would filibuster all of the President’s nominees.  To which the Republican establishment fired back threatening to change the filibuster rules to stop the Democrats.  And for a while we faced an irresolvable stalemate – with neither side willing to back down.

Recognizing that holding up confirmations for partisan reasons was not good for the American judicial system, seven Democrats and seven Republicans – later known as the Gang of 14 – bypassed powerful party leaders in order to broker compromise. According to Pryor,  seven Democrats agreed to keep the party from filibustering so long as the seven Republicans promised not to change the rules.

So is a similar compromise possible today?

Pryor says it’s unlikely.  When asked if there are seven Democrats and Republicans who could come together Pryor said, “I was counting the other day… and there probably would be 14 that could come together today, but let me tell you, it was hard… the Republicans lost elections over that… because they were accused of working with Democrats.” In an interview with the Associated Press, Pryor expressed even more skepticism, “We thought it was a fairly toxic political climate then, but it’s worse today. There aren’t as many moderates.”

So, it turns out, number one for the next President isn’t building a wall or fixing the economy.  It’s not terrorism or creating jobs or getting rid of the IRS.  Every one of these issues is a nonstarter if the next President has a greater polarizing effect than Obama. This year, voters would do well to take a look at the field of candidates in this light: which candidate will make the current impasse worse?  Who is going to be able to work with the Senate and House?   Who can get something done?

According to Trump, the same skill set he uses to bring parties with differing agendas together in business is transferrable to the political realm.  And while that might sound theoretical, he isn’t the first to make this assertion.Herbert Hoover, George Bush, and Mitt Romney all had strong business negotiating skills they believed would benefit government.  But according to The Washington Post, presidential candidates with business backgrounds don’t have an advantage when it comes to running the economy: “The startling bottom line is that the nation’s GDP has grown more than 45 times faster under presidents with little or no business experience than it has under presidents with successful business careers. And on average, when there has been a successful businessman in the Oval Office… GDP growth has been negligible. On average, under presidents with successful business experience, GDP has increased 0.12 percent. And under presidents with little or no business experience, GDP has grown 5.46 percent.”  The same skills business leaders use to get deals done don’t seem to produce the same results in governance.

On the other hand, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, doesn’t show any proof of being able to unify the two parties to get legislation through.  She says Republicans “don’t like her” and has spent two decades claiming the “right wing conspiracy” is persecuting her and her husband. She calls the email and Benghazi scandals “partisan” and has gone so far as to say that the enemy she is proudest of having made are “the Republicans.”

Yet former Senator from Mississippi, Trent Lott, recently told The Hill that after she is elected Clinton “would be much better about reaching out and actually trying to work with the Congress.”  According to Lott, Clinton would take a page from her husband’s playbook and begin reaching across the aisle to get deals done. And he has a point.  To this day, Bill Clinton is admired for his mediation skills with legislation like the Welfare Reform Act and the most comprehensive national deficit reduction plan in recent history.  But that was Bill.  Hillary is not Bill.

At the turn of the century, John Adams, was also concerned with the damage political gridlock could cause his country.  Adams wrote: “Presidents must… unite the two parties, instead of inflaming their divisions. They must look out for merit, wherever they can find it; and talent and integrity must be a recommendation to office, wherever they are seen, though differing in sentiments from the president, and in an opposite party to that whose little predominance brought him into power.”  Senator Pryor agrees. “Unfortunately our society is very divided right now… we need leaders who can bring us together instead of divide us.”

Ex HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros says urgan investment critical to robust economy

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Ex HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros says urgan investment critical to robust economy

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EX-HUD SECRETARY HENRY CISNEROS SAYS URBAN INVESTMENT CRITICAL TO ROBUST ECONOMY

by American sociobiologist, Rebecca D. Costa

The largest migration of humans in history is currently underway. According to the Census Bureau, the population living in U.S. metro areas grew by 2.3 between 2012 and 2013, with approximately 270 million residing in or around American cities. A similar phenomena can be observed in the rest of the world, as humans are on the march from rural to urban areas in greater numbers than previously seen.

“People are coming for the jobs,” said Henry Cisneros, former Secretary or Housing and Urban Development in the Clinton administration, on The Costa Report. “The question is: Will this be better for mankind? Is it possible to imagine an urban future where people can work, live, trade, worship, gather, and recreate in places that are conducive to good, quality human lives? That’s the challenge before us. We have to make this moment of
urban opportunity and demographic change into a positive thing all around the world.”

Cisneros the engine behind the urban migration includes jobs in hospitality, international trade, new media, bioscience, and technology. He points out that currently 65
percent of the U.S. population lives in the 100 largest cities – cities that are responsible for 75 percent of the GNP and also where 78 percent of all research, patents, and
technological breakthroughs originate. These figures indicate the vital connection between urban investment and the overall economic prosperity of the U.S. economy.

Cisneros cites struggling cities like Detroit, Cleveland, New Orleans and Youngstown, Ohio, as strong opportunities for growth and progress.
“What is Detroit’s principal argument for economic activity today? Land, space,
buildings, low rents … those are reasons to come locate your business in Detroit. And lo and behold, it’s actually happening: Quicken Loans, and other companies, recently bought 50 buildings in downtown. There are incubators sprouting up in old factory space. Young people who can’t afford rent in New York or Silicon Valley are gravitating to Detroit.”

Cisneros concluded, “Whether they’re on the East Coast, West Coast, or in the heartland, all of our major cities are going to have better days ahead.”

To hear the full interview with Henry Cisneros listen to The Costa Report

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