News & Features

The Modern Presidency: Wherefore Art Thou, American Legislature?

Adam Gravano

A flashpoint of this contention has been the executive order. Most notably, President Obama's statement that “I've got a pen and I've got a phone,” which covered more than actions requiring the secrecy and dispatch that other areas in which the presidency is accorded a freer hand, namely foreign policy: “Helping to make sure our kids are getting the best education possible, making sure that our businesses are getting the kind of support and help they need to grow and advance, to make sure that people are getting the skills that they need to get those jobs that our businesses are creating.”

How the Super Bowl Evolved From Football Game to Entertainment Extravaganza

Peter M. Hopsicker and Mark Dyerson

The NFL’s strategic marriage to television has also diverted attention away from the game on the field. In 1967, advertising rates for a 30-second commercial spot cost a modest $42,500. In the years since, they’ve escalated to become the most expensive advertising time in the history of television. After 1985, in response to the huge impact of Apple’s legendary “1984” commercial, advertising rates soared to over $500,000 for a 30-second spot. This trend sparked the emergence of the “Ad Bowl,” an unofficial but hyper-intense marketing competition to produce the most creative and memorable television commercial targeting the Super Bowl’s enormous captive audience.

The Ebenezer Baptist Church Has Been a Seat of Black Power for Generations

Jason Oliver Evans

From the pulpit of Ebenezer, King preached some of his more memorable sermons. In one of his sermons published in a collection titled The Strength to Love, King describes racial prejudice as indicative of “softmindedness,” a person’s tendency to uncritically adhere to unsupportable beliefs. In the same sermon, titled “A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart,” King argued, “Race prejudice is based on groundless fears, suspicions, and misunderstandings.”

Should the U.S. Enforce Stricter Libel Laws?

Angelo Franco

It wasn’t until the celebrated landmark case, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, of 1964 that completely redefined libel laws nationally. The case came up against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, when in 1960 the Times published an editorial ad sponsored by the Committee to Defend Martin Luther King Jr., which included details of brutality and abuses that Black students suffered at the hands of the police, particularly in Montgomery, Alabama. L.B. Sullivan, Montgomery’s police commissioner, sued the Times for defamation and demanded a retraction even though he was not mentioned by name.

We Believed Our Constitution Would Always Protect Us - Until It Didn’t

Wolfgang Mack

To sum up, some of the compromises that our Founding Fathers had to make may have been necessary at the time they formulated our Constitution but the reasons for these compromises simply no longer exist. As recent events have shown, these obsolete compromise provisions can be exploited by less-than-trustworthy politicians to undermine our democratic institutions -- a clear and present danger to the future of our republic.

The Uncertain Heavens: Christiaan Huygens’s Ideas of Extraterrestrial Life

Hugh Aldersey-Williams

Huygens then turned his attention to intelligence and technology. His planetary beings would surely have science, and especially astronomy, as this study was said to have arisen as a consequence of the fear of eclipses, which would also occur on other planets. They would doubtless have some of our inventions, “yet that they should have all of them is not credible.” In particular, Huygens could not credit that they would possess telescopes, since he considered those which he had used himself as being so fine that other intelligences would not be able to equal them. Instead, he invested the denizens of the planets with far superior natural eyesight.

Joe Biden and John Kerry Can Rebuild U.S. Global Climate Leadership

Dolf Gielen and Morgan Bazilian

John Kerry helped bring the world into the Paris climate agreement and expanded America’s reputation as a climate leader. That reputation is now in tatters, and President-elect Joe Biden is asking Kerry to rebuild it again – this time as climate envoy, a position Biden plans to include in the National Security Council. It won’t be easy, but Kerry’s decades of experience and the international relationships he developed as a senator and secretary of state may give him a chance of making real progress.

Why Was Someone Like Donald Trump Even Elected?

Spencer Critchley

On Election Night 2008, at an Obama campaign party, I had cried tears of joy. It wasn’t just because my side had won. It was because I believed the whole country had won, no matter how they had voted, because of the inspiring values Obama stood for and — as his campaign staff knew well — lived by. I cried in 2016 too, for very different reasons. But across the street, the Arizona Republicans were holding their election night party. From there, I heard a rising roar of exultation.

 

From the Fringe to the Mainstream: The Disturbing Rise of American White Supremacy

Angelo Franco

All of these seemingly random acts point to the fact that white supremacy isn’t just a “white is better” belief ingrained in misguided and stubborn opinions; but rather that white supremacy takes many forms. Some white supremacy groups are specifically anti-government; others don’t mind other ethnicities too much, but despise Jews; others are rooted in religious fanaticism (see Christian Identify above); while others still renounce the rigidity of religion (see Hitler and his ambivalent stance on Catholicism and religion in general).

What Joe Biden’s Victory Means for Race Relations, the Supreme Court, and U.S. Foreign Policy

Brian J. Purnell, Morgan Marietta, and Neta C. Crawford

One area that the Biden administration will surely address is policing and racial justice. The Justice Department can bring accountability to police reform by returning to practices the Obama administration put in place to monitor and reform police departments, such as the use of consent degrees. More difficult reforms require redressing how mass incarceration caused widespread voter disenfranchisement in Black American and Latino communities.

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