Presidents Who Lost The Popular Vote

The United States’ election system can be described as flawed at best. While the voice of the people is often heard, there have been a handful of times throughout history where the candidate with the most “popular votes,” which is the amount of votes casted, actually loses. This is because the US uses an electoral college, which groups voters into different counties and counts votes on a county-by-county and state-by-state basis, as opposed to simply choosing the candidate with the most votes. While it is a rare occurrence, here are some of the presidents who won the election while losing the popular vote.

1.Donald Trump

Donald Trump took the country by storm with his “Make America Great Again” campaign, which was an extremely polarizing tactic that made Americans either love him or hate him. He won the electoral college relatively convincingly (304-227), but those numbers don’t tell the whole story. In terms of the popular vote, Trump lost to Hillary Clinton by over 2.9 Million votes. That is largely in part due to Clinton’s dominance in New York and California, where the extra voters she received didn’t mean much, as she won convincingly in places she would have won anyway. Trump’s campaign focused on swing states, and it showed.

2. George Bush

The 2000 election was a crazy one, as many people went to sleep on Election Day thinking that Al Gore was going to be the next president of the United States. This race was much closer than Trump/Clinton in many respects, as Bush barely won the electoral vote (271-266), though Al Gore “only” won the popular vote by 565,000 votes. Gore ordered a recount on certain balloting stations where no votes were recorded due to “hanging chads” (ballots that were not fully punched), but was not granted such. Due to this, Bush was declared the president despite losing the popular vote.

3. John Quincy Adams

If you thought the Bush or Trump elections were unfair, wait until you hear about how John Quincy Adams was elected president. Andrew Jackson won the popular vote and the electoral vote, but he did not receive the amount of electoral votes needed to win the presidency. So, the decision was in the hands of the House of Representatives, who voted Adams into office. This is a firm reminder that, even if a candidate loses both the electoral and popular vote, the presidential race is not over until a president is declared.

The Arguments For And Against Accepting Syrian Refugees In The U.S.

The political climate in the United States is horrendous right now. President Trump is doing everything he said he would do during his campaign. Unfortunately, most of what he promised to do are actions that alienate and enrage many of his followers as well as his opponents.

One such area is the question of Syrian refugees. The situation in Syria has been delicate for years, causing hardship for President Obama during his last term. President Trump, who was voted into office on a platform of not knowing anything about politics, has been unable to decide how to approach this delicate situation.

Why Should We Refuse Syrian Refugees?

There are several reasons people want to refuse refuge to people from a war-torn country. These reasons are espoused largely by the Republican party, though the logic is enticing to some on the left, as well.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), as one example, claimed that the United States is “paying [the Syrian refugees] to be here” during an interview on the Dale Jackson Show. He went on to state that the refugees get free health care and other social benefits, paid for by U.S. tax dollars. As a final point he stated that Islam is a fundamentally violent religion, stating he felt that “…terrorists are doing exactly what the Koran tells them to do”.

Of course, a less extreme reasoning suggests we have needs in our own country that must be addressed. They point to the estimated (as of 2013) 2.5 million homeless children or 58K homeless veterans from motorcycle accidents and state that the nation’s time, money, and resources should go to helping its own citizens first.

Why Should We Allow Refugees?

The major argument on the left is a moral one rather than one based on specific needs. That is, the Democrats argue that Syria is fleeing a civil war, their lives are being torn apart by the same terrorists the U.S. is trying to stop, and so we have a moral obligation to offer those people protection.

Even if the United States was not in direct conflict with those forces, the alternative for many refugees would be one of several refugee camps. Lastly, they show one of the multiple pictures of injured refugees, terrified for their lives and the lives of their children. For many, this is a powerful image.

Indeed, the arguments of the Republicans and the right make it difficult for the left to find numbers. It’s impossible to prove mathematically how many people aren’t terrorists, since that requires knowledge that’s impossible to find until they commit an act of terrorism.

What is possible is to point out that the United States spends $601B every year on military spending. Much of this money goes to the research and development of new equipment, but that equipment is of questionable use. The F-35, as just one example, went $165B over its budget and took an additional 7 years from it’s estimated time to completion and yet is not as functional as the F-16, which it was designed to replace.

If that money had been spent on helping our own citizens, the Democrats argue, we wouldn’t need to worry about the additional cost of refugees.

The Full Ramifications.

If one piece of candy in a bowl of candy is poison, would you eat the candy? The Republicans argue no, that would be dangerous. The Democrats don’t argue about eating candy, but rather point out (100% correctly) that the same argument was part of 1938 Nazi anti-jewish propaganda.

This is the major political ramifications of the Syrian refugee issue. With neither side capable of deciding if we must make a moral judgement or an economic one, it’s difficult to find common ground. And with the moral argument being incredibly strong, it’s easy for those who think the economic viewpoint is more important to become defensive.

The end result is a major division in the U.S. political environment at a time when we most need unity.

Comparing Trump’s Health Care Plan To Obamacare: How Do They Stack Up?

There has been a lot of back in forth in politics about what a good healthcare bills and the debate over the current ACA (aka “Obamacare”) and the AHCA (aka “Trumpcare”) has been heated, to say the least. The trouble is that it can be difficult to cut through slanted points of view and to get some type of a read on what an un-biased comparison looks like. With anything as complicated as a national healthcare system there will always be unexpected consequences however we will compare these two health plans and the most likely results based on in-depth studies and past instances of similar healthcare plans being joined or dropped.

Is “Trumpcare” Going To Be Better Or Worse Than “Obamacare?”
This is a difficult question to answer for two main reasons:
1) Because there is no finalized version of the Trumpcare bill yet and as the old saying goes “The devil is in the details”
2) Answering this question depends heavily on an individual’s idea of what a good or better healthcare system should look like

In addition to this, as with all things in politics, there is often a difference between what the face of the bills (Trump, Obama) say and the details that actually make it into law. In situations where there is a contradiction or technicality, we’ll default to known text as being the overriding way the program works or will work.

The Major Differences
The ACA under Obama was seen as a first step towards socialized medicine, taking the idea of healthcare as a right but trying to create a privatized or capitalistic solution to providing the same universal or near universal coverage. For the first time people could not be denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions, there were no caps on lifetime coverage, and limits were put into place in regards to pricing so people with pre-existing conditions couldn’t be priced out of the market. The expanded coverage of the poor and high risk individuals was off-set by taxes mostly on very high income earning companies or certain types of investment income.

The AHCA appears to be returning to a more free market approach getting rid of things like the individual mandate, allowing states to decide what constitutes essential coverage, and allowing states to eliminate price checks for people with pre-existing conditions. The idea is that cutting down on regulations will allow for lower prices because of competition. There are very mixed assessments on whether or not that will have any major practical effect.

Major Potential Impact
The AHCA will reduce taxes for many individuals with investment income as well as some privately owned businesses paying more taxes on insurance and healthcare. While in theory healthcare under Trumpcare would still be accessible to everyone, the problem is with no price checks the reality indicates that likely over 20 million people would lose their health coverage, and the proposed multi-billion dollar pool for high risk cases wouldn’t come close to making up the nearly $600 billion in tax cuts from repealing ACA funding.

For individuals struggling to stay insured, the lack of penalty for not having insurance could theoretically be helpful, as long as they stay healthy and don’t need insurance coverage.

What’s The Overall Verdict?
If you believe in the lowest possible taxes and 100% capitalism, then Trumpcare is a huge improvement over Obamacare as many medical providers, pharmaceutical companies, and wealthy individuals will see tax breaks totaling an estimated $600 billion. However, if you are with the group that sees healthcare as a right or believes controls are reasonable to encourage lower pricing or access to coverage then Trumpcare is going to be a major step back from the ACA and Obamacare.

Impact Of NY’s Free Tuition On Other States

New York’s implementation of free tuition for students (or their parents) with a net income of less than $125,000 has had an impact on various components of American society. The visible impact has happened to students who are now provided with a tuition-free option if they choose to pursue it.

However, the next question is, “How does it impact other parts of America?”

Will it remain the same? Are things going to change so other states can start to catch up to New York with its free tuition setup?

Let’s take a look.

Impact on States

Let’s begin with the impact this decision has on other states. With Oregon and Tennessee already having tuition-free programs (two years only) there was a precedent for such an inclusion. However, New York is the first state to provide free tuition to all students for a four-year program.

Various other states will look to mimic this option as it has been received well.

It is expected adjustments would be made to how the program is rolled out in those states. Similar to most changes at a state-level, some are going to adapt it while others are not. In general, the average state is going to implement some form of this program to get it on the ground.

This should have a profound impact on the educational landscape moving forward.

Federal Government

What about the federal government? How will they react to this program?

The federal government continues to fund students and provide multiple pathways for students to manage their fees. It is important to note various other states have built-in programs to help students even if they’re not as robust as the one passed by New York.

The federal government will be eying how well the program does and might end up promoting it in other parts of the nation, like they did with legislature regarding personal injury. This is a change which will happen gradually and shouldn’t be expected right off the bat. The positive is both sides in the house of representatives are in agreement with the value of this option and what it brings to the table.

This might pave the way for future allowances when it pertains to education in the nation at a federal level.

Impact on Student Loan Debt

Before looking at the impact this decision will have on student loan debt, it’s important to recognize how the program works. It will provide tuition fees for all students who qualify but will not provide assistance with room or food expenses. All of those are the student’s responsibility.

Keeping that in mind, the student loan debt will start to deplete. Most students study in the region and will take advantage of this program for all it has to offer. This is critical as it provides students with an excellent launching pad once they graduate and enter the working world.

New York’s free tuition program will take three years to implement and is going to be rolled out in September 2017. The goal is to ensure students who are wishing to pursue post-secondary education can do so without worrying about fees. This is a significant change and something that has been in the works for a while. Its impacts on neighboring states and the federal government remain to be seen, but there will be movement one way or another. New York might become a leader in this regard and set things into motion for a wholesome change across the board.

A lot of focus is being pushed towards the state, but many are looking at this as a new way of life for students.

What Countries Don’t Have An Embassy in The US?

Embassies are a declaration of mutual acceptance and play a major role in international politics.

The US is home to countless embassies, but it’s important to recognize the nations who don’t have an embassy in the US. The reasons vary with each nation, but it provides an incredible look into the world of politics and how various heads of state don’t see eye to eye.

Let’s break down each nation that doesn’t have an embassy in the US and why that is the case.

1) Iran

Iran and the US have butted heads for years.

The US hasn’t openly stated it refuses to house Iran’s embassy, but the nation states it is unnecessary and something it refuses to accept. Iran has often stated the US has “illogical” attitudes when it comes to Iran and that region of the world meaning Iran’s embassy doesn’t have a place in the country.

Both nations have also shown signs of displeasure with each other at various times over a range of issues. It is important to note both nations used to have diplomatic relations at one stage, but these were eradicated after Iran made its declaration to avoid housing a US embassy within its borders.

2) North Korea

North Korea and its dictatorship are situated in a political position where they’re in disagreement with most of the world. Their poor relations with the US have been evident since day one. The US has looked to isolate North Korea due to its poor policies, and North Korea has often shown signs of aggression by developing nuclear weapons.

This illustrates why both nations don’t see eye to eye when it comes to embassies.

Still, it is important to note both nations continue to talk and figure things out but nothing has come to fruition.

3) Bhutan

This is a tiny kingdom situated in the Himalayan Mountains.

It doesn’t have diplomatic relations with the US and doesn’t hold such relations with any of the UN’s security council members.

4) Guinea-Bissau

The next entry on this list would be Guinea-Bissau.

This tropical West African nation has gone through several decades of political turmoil with raging civil wars and coups. Due to this reason, the US has never been able to have settled political relations with the region. However, in present time, they have a democratically elected leader, and this has helped initiate talks between both sides.

This may lead to changes in the current setup.

5) Caribbean Islands

What about the Caribbean Islands? These are the tropical regions of Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda; Grenada, and St. Lucia. The reason these islands don’t have an embassy in the region involves not being able to come up with an agreement.

The diplomatic relations are present between the US and these islands, but the final details still have to be etched out. These embassies have been in the work for a while. Experts believe it is a matter of time before the islands have an embassy in the United States of America.

These are the five regions of the world that don’t have an embassy in the US. Some of these nations don’t have embassies due to political reasons while the rest are still figuring things out. In general, the US does have good relations with most of the world and continues to grow its reach.

International politics provide intriguing insight into those who have good relations and those who don’t. Embassies are an extension of this and can often provide significant value while figuring out those who are on the same page and those who are not.

List Of Impeached Presidents

Impeachment involves the allowance of formal charges against any standing civil officer (i.e. President) for crimes against the law that they’ve committed.

It’s important to note the impeachment does not include the actual trial for alleged crimes. The House of Representatives can remove the civil officer without a conviction once the vote goes through. Both American examples have displayed this version of impeachment rather than one requested after conviction.

So, what does American history have to suggest about impeachments in its history? There are two examples of successful impeachments in the US.

1) Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson was the 17th US president and remained in office from April 15, 1865 to March 4, 1869.

His impeachment involved the “Tenure of Office Act” after he removed Edwin McMaster Stanton as the Secretary of War. The premise of this act was to ensure the President didn’t hold additional rights for removing civil officers in key positions such as the one Edwin McMaster Stanton held.

Andrew Johnson was hoping to bring in his preferred choice by the name of Brevet Major General Lorenzo Thomas. Once the news went through, eleven articles of impeachment were pushed against Andrew Johnson in a bid to remove him from office.

It was on March 2, 1868, when the vote went through as intended. It was the first successful impeachment in American history.

2) Bill Clinton

The next impeachment involved President Bill Clinton who remained in office from January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001.

His impeachment involved obstruction of justice and perjury during his sexual harassment trial. All charges began with the charges laid against Bill Clinton while he was in office. He was accused of having an extramarital affair with a White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. He was also accused of firing White House travel agents, displaying signs of misconduct during the trial, and misuse of FBI files for personal gains. These accusations were placed after an independent counsel investigated the claims.

Two charges against the President (perjury and obstruction of justice) were accepted and became the reason for his impeachment. The house of representatives was able to get two-thirds of the votes needed to impeach him for his actions.

As for the trial, he was able to get acquitted on all charges including the sexual harassment claims made by Monica Lewinsky at the time.

3) Richard Nixon

The final case of impeachment is one which didn’t go through as the previous two.

Richard Nixon was president of the United States and served in office from January 20, 1969 to August 9, 1974.

HIs impeachment stemmed from what began on February 6th, 1974, where he was charged with high crimes and misdemeanors. The “Watergate Scandal” became a popular subject and one which became the reason for his potential removal at the time.

He was accused of managing the break-in at the Watergate office complex (Washington) where the Democratic National Committee sits. He was also accused of attempting to cover-up the details that came out during this scandal.

However, multiple additional cases of abuse of power came to light due to his actions. This meant Richard Nixon knew it was time to resign or he would be impeached from his position as president of the United States.

These are the three leaders in American history who were accused and had to be removed from office due to their alleged actions. While none were convicted, these individuals had elongated investigations against them, and that led to the series of events that occurred.

It is important to note impeachment processes take awhile to unfold, and each one comes with its own nuances.

Political Ramifications Of Removing Political Funding From Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood has seen considerable air time since the beginning of America’s recently concluded elections.

The topic arose due to the warring opinions between both sides on whether or not the non-profit organization’s motives were appropriate. With political funds being put through the organization, it becomes a hotly debated topic and one that might see a change in how things are done.

Democratic Point of View

Planned Parenthood has seen support from the Democratic side as it emphasizes a woman’s rights over her body. This has led to countless appeals to maintain political funding and ensure the non-profit organization can help those who need it the most.

The political ramifications might be seen through the amount of support provided to this organization. With the funds being removed, it might leave the organization in a poorer state even if it is not currently included in the Federal budget.

It is important to note only 3% of all cases with Planned Parenthood are abortions (key sticking point between both sides) while the remaining 97% include STD checkups and general sexual health cases. The political ramifications could also be seen through other bills that are passed by the Republicans. Those bills will be challenged aggressively by the Democrats, and that is an opinion held by most. If Planned Parenthood becomes a major sticking point and goes down the route of “defunding,” it might lead to consequences in other parts of the legislation.

This is a point that will be heavily debated over the coming days, weeks, and months while both sides try to come up with something that’s less harmful to their cause.

Republican Point of View

The Republican point of view has been clear when it comes to Planned Parenthood.

The funding began under the Democrats while the Republicans have long been against the idea of abortions. This is why they have stated the importance of defunding and removing any backing provided to the organization due to its current actions.

The political ramifications of this move might come through the pressures put on the average person and their sexual health. The organization itself cannot be removed, and it will continue to serve the nation, but the payment will have to be made by the average citizen.

This might put the Republicans in a bad light with their voter base. Donald Trump has attempted to help things along by stating the funding could continue if it doesn’t get used for abortions. This leads to a flimsy situation where the funds have to be tracked, and that might make it a useless exercise as a whole.

The Republican side continues to work on the details and does wish to pursue a solution where it works out well for the political angle being played. Will it work or not is something the eventual decision is going to uncover.

The political ramifications of removing political funding might be something neither side can handle. It is essential to pay attention to what key politicians on both sides are stating because a lot of focus has gone towards Planned Parenthood rather than the external consequences of such a move. Politicians on both sides will be hoping to reduce the fire and make sure things are done appropriately. While a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood has stated this would become a national disaster since 20% of all American women visit Planned Parenthood’s clinics during their lifetime. All of these women would have to pay out of their pocket if political funding was eliminated.

How To Describe Trump In One Word: Covfefe

At 12:06 am, The President Of The United States of America tweeted his most dynamic union assembling tweet: “Despite the contact negative press covfefe.”

As the world watched, waited with baited breath and hook, finally six hours later the tweet was deleted and replaced with “Who can figure out the true meaning of “covfefe” ??? Enjoy!”

As hilarious and embarrassing as this is, with the recent departure of the head of communications for the White House, and Spicer’s inability to hold a press conference that isn’t a train wreck, this isn’t a good look for Trump who’s approval ratings are at a record low, according to an article in Newsweek.

Although, this might be a clever ploy to throw people off what’s happening with this son-in-law Jared Kushner who is currently being investigated for his involvement with Russia, who may or may not have had some sort of influence over the 2016 election.

What’s your opinion?

US – Russia Relations

During the late 1980’s, a great change was taking place within the borders of the USSR. Under Mikhail Gorbachev, the power of communist rule seemed to relax, and several nations once under its rule found themselves pulling away and becoming their own sovereign nations. It was during this time period that the long stretch of history between the United States and the Soviet Union also officially came to an end. Under President George H.W. Bush and Gorbachev, the Cold War was declared ended at the Malta Summit in 1989. Just over 2 years later, the entirety of the Soviet Union had dissolved, and the successor state – the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic – came into existence, with Boris Yeltsin as its first President.

As Yeltsin reached out to both Presidents Bush and Clinton during their respective administrations, Russia and the United States initially had amicable relations with each other despite the tenuous history of the Cold War that had existed just a few years past. Several pieces of joint legislation were signed in mutual cooperation; an exchange of intelligence between FBI and KGB files was initiated for the sake of locating POW’s and MIA’s from the Cold War. Under Clinton, the United States had committed several billion dollars to aid Russia in various aspects, including medical and governmental assistance, even providing funds for Russian entrepreneurs. Russian and the United States enter into discussions over mutual nuclear disarmament. The two countries even came to share resources dedicated to energy and space technology development.

Beyond the bilateral partnership that seemed to benefit both countries greatly, the United States and Russia under Clinton and Yeltsin also tended toward offering similar support toward other world events. They both condemned terrorist attacks in Israel that took place in 1996, and they both supported progress toward peaceful resolutions in the Middle East. The two countries attended several summits of varying purpose. To say that the countries had established a rapport with each other might well have been an understatement.

By the time George W. Bush had been inaugurated nearly alongside Vladimir Putin, relations began to deteriorate. While many events took place that showed a mutual way of thinking between the United States and Russia, it should also be noted that Russia became more aggressive in international affairs. After the events of September 11, 2001, the United States and Russia had significant, though not malicious, disagreements about policy. Russia criticized the United States for the war in Iraq that began in 2003. They criticized the United States’ withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in order to establish a defense system. Russia also became more guarded in its sphere of influence, interpreting United States interest in Central Asian resources to be an affront. An increased United States presence in Eastern Europe lasting up through the late 2000’s, particularly with a United States missile defense system installed and staffed in Poland, caused Russia to take further caution when dealing with the United States. It appeared relations had become severely strained between the two nations.

Despite what appeared to be a genuine attempt during the Obama/Medvedev administrations to reestablish relations between the United States and Russia, Putin in the election for his third term in office accused the United States of interfering with the electoral process after Vice President Biden had called for Putin to refrain from running for reelection. Putin began his third term in March 2012, and the United States and Russia, despite criticism of Obama’s performance, worked jointly with each other, although the personal relationship between the two leaders was marked as severely uncomfortable. Relations continued to deteriorate: the Snowden incident, the Ukraine crisis, Russia’s intervention in the Syrian Civil War. Russia also faced criticism by the United State for interfering in the 2016 Presidential election.

During the current Trump administration, relations initially appear to remain strained. Although Presidents Trump and Putin have often appeared to hold a relatively high regard for each other in public, discord among policy still existed. Sanctions were placed on Russian companies discovered to be involved with North Korea, Syria or Iran. Trump called for Russia to cease support of “hostile regimes” and Putin had forced over 750 diplomatic personnel under the United States to leave Russia, supposedly to balance diplomatic representation in both nations.

US – North Korea Relations

In the modern day, one of the greatest international threats that citizens of the United States face originates in the east Asian country of North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Under an administration led by Kim Jong-un, North Korea has become globally recognized for its persistent testing of nuclear capabilities as well as developing long-range armaments that threaten the safety of the United States population.

While relations between the two nations have not always been so strenuous or hostile, the United States and North Korea have failed to find much common ground since the country first received any diplomatic recognition after its inception in 1948. Kim Il-sung, the founding leader at the time, had a strongly negative opinion toward United States policy, viewing the country as spiritual successors to Japan for capitalist policies and other policies viewed as imperialist in nature. This opinion predates the separation of Korea along the 38th parallel and the formation of the Democratic People’s Republic in its entirety.

Initial relations between the two countries date back to the mid-19th century, when Korea  (as a unified nation) denied all trade with the United States after the General Sherman incident of 1866. A United States gunship had illicitly crossed Korea’s sovereign borders, provoking Korea to destroy the ship. Since that point, relations had been tenuous at best. While trade relations were reestablished in 1882, it was a short-lived relationship as the United States looked on while Korea was annexed as part of Japanese territory in 1905 after the Russo-Japanese War, despite Korea imploring the United States to act on their behalf.

Since this point in history, Korea’s (and particularly North Korea’s) opinion of the United States has been consistently unfavorable, many times even hostile. They directly opposed United States forces during an effort to invade South Korea (the Korean War), a technically unresolved conflict that led to the formation of the Korean Demilitarized Zone maintained along the 38th parallel and perspectives that still consider North and South Korea to be at war to this very day due the absence of any peace treaty despite the ratification of the Korean Armistice Agreement.

After the conclusion of the Korean War, the United States and North Korea have engaged in little in the way of major hostilities. While incidents have occurred sporadically through the decades to pass since, no official military conflict has been conducted between the two forces. However, the United States have intervened in North Korea on several occasions, primarily regarding the manufacturing of nuclear armaments as well as imprisoning American citizens.

During the Clinton administration, North Korea was suspected of violating the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty by manufacturing atomic bombs with processed plutonium. Then-President Clinton is quoted as saying that he would’ve risked war to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear arms. In 2009, North Korea had imprisoned two known American journalists and sentenced them to hard labor. Only after a diplomatic mission by former President Clinton were the two journalists pardoned and repatriated back to the United States.

This brief reconciliation was interrupted by an alleged attack on a South Korean ship (the Cheonan) by a North Korean torpedo, straining relations between the North and the South as the United States were provoked into participating in joint military exercises.

Since these incidents among others as well as the death of Kim Jong-il and the installation of Kim Jong-un as ruler, North Korea has openly demonstrated progress of a ballistic missile program that has currently shown evidence of reaching the west coast of the United States mainland and farther inland. They have also resumed conducting tests of their nuclear arsenal. The United States have since responded in kind with sanctions implemented under the Obama administration in 2016, severely limiting the growth of the North Korean economy.