Trump v Carson: Who answered it better?

We have gone from 16 to 8 in our '2016 Sweet 16' bracket! This one is between Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson on the topic of immigration. Listen and watch the video and then make sure to vote in the poll. The winner will advance to the next round!

Gilmore: “I've looked at the people that are in the race and I've concluded that I ought to run for the presidency.”

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore told viewers Thursday on “Special Report with Bret Baier”  that “I have looked at the race, I've looked at the people that are in the race and I've concluded that I ought to run for the presidency.”

Gilmore announced his candidacy Thursday, making him the 17th republican candidate to officially join the 2016 field. “I think the United States is in decline, “Gilmore said;  “it's in decline on its foreign policy, it's in decline on its national security, we're in decline on our economics. The report today was not good, I don't care what anybody says, we're not doing as well as we're supposed to do in economics. And I have the credentials to address these issues. “

Despite the already crowded field, Gilmore is undaunted by the challenge, noting that his resume sets him apart from the others, both at home and abroad: “I'm a former governor, so I'm in a position to address the domestic issues. We built jobs, we created economic opportunities in Virginia.

“But more than that, I have a background in foreign policy that the other governors do not have. I chaired the national committee on Homeland Security for the United States for five years. My degree is in foreign policy. I'm United States army intelligence veteran, assigned to NATO in Europe. I'm well-traveled around the world. I was the Governor of Virginia during the 9/11 attack. I know what needs to be done in order to reverse this decline and get America back on track again, and I believe that's why I should be the Chief Executive. "

Bush v Huckabee: Who answered it better?

We have gone from 16 to 8 in our '2016 Sweet 16' bracket! This one is between Governor Jeb Bush against Governor Mike Huckabee on the topic of abortion. Listen and watch the video and then make sure to vote in the poll. The winner will advance to the next round!

 

 

 

Death of a Kingpin

By Jay Boyd, Fox News Summer College Associate

News from Afghan officials of the death of Mullah Mohammed Omar is a huge coup for those fighting the war on terror.

The man who once called for “the extinction of America” has had a $10 million bounty on his head ever since the 9/11 terror attacks that shook the world. While there is a report from Afghan intelligence that he succumbed to tuberculosis two years ago, we aren’t completely sure as to how the terror kingpin died. Even though Taliban sources are currently denying his death, Afghan officials are confident of it. This is the most definitive statement on his death since reports of his death were merely floated around in 2011.

Mullah Omar, as he was known, was notorious for hiding incredibly well – we haven’t seen him since 2001. The details about his past before the 1980’s are sparse. For example, we can only get his birth year down to a 12-year margin, anywhere from 1950 to 1962.

Omar was a soldier for the Mujahideen during the war in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. While fighting in one of the battles, he suffered a shrapnel injury to one of his eyes, leaving him with only one functioning eye. This became the defining physical feature for the man that the west, specifically America, wanted so desperately to find.

After the war against the Soviets, Omar formed the Taliban, which started as a force of roughly 50 individuals. However, it would become a force whose power encapsulated the entire country of Afghanistan. The Taliban, in its infancy, started by capturing the Kandahar province, followed by Herat, and then, in 1996, it captured the Afghan capital of Kabul.

Mullah Omar became the 11th leader of Afghanistan, with his reign lasting for roughly 5 years. He was interviewed after the September 11 attacks, when he was still the leader of Afghanistan, and stated that his desire was for “[America] to fall to the ground”. Needless to say, he quickly became one of the prime targets of the war on terror. This only heightened when his regime was accused of giving shelter to Osama Bin Laden’s forces, who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks.

Early on in the war in Afghanistan, western forces bombed his house in Kandahar, but he was not there, and his son and uncle were killed in the attack. He was interviewed once again in 2004, this time by a Pakistani journalist via telephone, and said that the Taliban forces were “hunting Americans like pigs”. That was the last time we definitively heard from him, because all future communication with Omar would be through letters and statements.

In 2014, when America traded 5 senior Afghan prisoners for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, Omar reportedly praised their release. Later that year, Omar’s aide, named Abdul Rahman Nika, was killed in an attack by the Afghan army. Nika was responsible for many of the Taliban’s attacks in western Afghanistan, we are told.

The death of Mullah Muhammed Omar is one of, if not the most significant death for the western cause in the war on terror since Osama Bin Laden was killed in a raid in Pakistan in 2011. Whether this death will be trumpeted by the Obama administration to the level of Bin Laden’s remains to be seen.

The death of Omar represents a significant boost in morale for those of us fighting the war on terror, where notable gains and victories are becoming more difficult to come by as we progress.

Cruz v Christie: Who answered it better?

Round 8 of our '2016 Sweet 16' bracket goes to Senator Ted Cruz versus Governor Chris Christie on the topic of ISIS. Watch the video below visit our blog to vote in the poll. The winner will advance to the next round!

 

 

 

Ben Carson weighs in on Planned Parenthood video

Dr. Ben Carson, Republican presidential candidate, weighed in on the controversial Planned Parenthood videos on "Special Report with Bret Baier" saying "We, as a society, have allowed our sensitivities to gradually be dulled to the point where it takes something of this magnitude to begin to shock us when all along babies were being slaughtered."

Doctor Carson referred to the third sting video made public by the pro-life group Center for Medical Progress that purportedly showed a buyer inside a clinic discussing pricing for fetal tissues after abortions.

He is among a growing republican chorus calling to defund Planned Parenthood with more videos expected to be released in the coming weeks, and said the mother-infant bond as "sacred" during pregnancy, "Many women believe that that's an inconvenience for them and that that child is their enemy and that child can be destroyed. "

And that anybody who doesn't agree with that is engaged in a war on women, " Carson continued. 

George Washington University announces students no longer required to submit SAT/ACT scores

By Emily Cyr

On Tuesday, George Washington University announced that students applying there will no longer be required to submit SAT or ACT scores. But the question arises: is this aimed to help applicants or help a university still reeling from admissions scandals?

On the Test-Optional Policy page on their admissions website, the university states it has developed this rule in contingency with its “admissions philosophy of holistic review”, by encouraging students who would otherwise not apply, out of fear their test scores would hinder them. With this policy, the decision to submit test scores is in the hands of the applicants, who can decide whether or not their scores accurately reflect their academic abilities.

In the announcement, the university also sites efforts to broaden the student body as a reason for the change in policy:

 “The test-optional policy should strengthen and diversify an already outstanding applicant pool and will broaden access for those high-achieving students who have historically been underrepresented at selective colleges and universities, including students of color, first-generation students and students from low-income households,” said Laurie Koehler, senior associate provost for enrollment management and co-chair of the access committee.

Though the university has garnered a great deal of attention for this new policy, they are certainly not the first to drop test scores. American University, Wesleyan University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Hamilton College are among the schools who have adopted the test optional policy. However, this does not mean fewer students are taking the tests. 

For the 2014 year (2015 not available yet), College Board reported there was an overall increase in SAT participation, including minority students whom GWU hopes to attract. College Board has also implemented a fee waiver program, granting more than 78 million dollars so that the college application process is more accessible to lower income students.

Some of these test takers will still be George Washington hopefuls.

Not all prospective students can opt out of the tests for GWU: students applying to their accelerated seven- year BA/MD program, homeschool students, recruited NCAA Division I athletes and students who come from secondary schools with only narrative evaluations (instead of grades), all must submit test scores in their applications.  

In the last couple of years, George Washington University has seen some hiccups in its admissions department.

 GWU was penalized for inflating its 2011 freshman class statistics, saying 78% of the incoming class were in the top 10% of their high school when the number was actually 58%.  It was the university itself that noticed the error and reported the mistake to U.S News & World Report, who then changed the university from a No. 51 ranking in their “Best Colleges” list to unranked for the year. They are currently ranked 54th on U.S. News & World Report National Universities list.

In 2013, the George Washington University school paper, The GW Hatchet , broke a story saying the university’s need-blind admission policy was false. The university reportedly placed students on the waitlist because they could not pay the tuition, demonstrating a need-aware policy.   

After problems like these, current students may feel uneasy.

I reached out to current George Washington student, Christian Schaeffer, to see how he felt about the new policy. Schaeffer, a junior in the School of Media and Public Affairs, said “I’m skeptical. We've yet to see how it will impact GW's selectivity, and by extension the value of my degree." 

This skepticism of the university is reflected in its admission statistics, where applicants were down following the previously described incidents. For the class of 2014, GWU saw a major decline in applicants: from 21, 789 for the class of 2013 to 18,950 that year. For fall of 2015, the number was 19,781 applications, a clear increase but still significantly smaller than the years prior to the scandals.

So is GWU trying to regain the trust of its applicants and repair its tarnished reputation? Or do they truly believe that college entrance exams are on their way out of college admissions?

The Office of Admissions at George Washington University could not be reached for comment. 

What do you think? Should schools require SAT/ACT scores?

Paul v Kasich: Who answered it better?

Round 7 of our '2016 Sweet 16' bracket goes to Senator Rand Paul  versus Governor John Kasich on the topic of national debt. Watch the video below visit our blog to vote in the poll. The winner will advance to the next round!

Huckabee v Perry: Who answered it better

Round 6 of our '2016 Sweet 16' bracket goes to Governor Mike Huckabee versus Governor Rick Perry on the topic of taxes and the economy. Watch the video below and vote in the poll to tell us who you think handled the question better. We will announce the winner of the round after the poll has been open for 48 hours.

Politics and Trust

By Jay Boyd, Fox News Summer College Associate

Politicians on both sides of the aisle are experiencing problems with favorability as the primary season approaches.

According to a recent Gallup poll, Republican candidates are a lot more likely to be known than liked among the Republican voters. The candidate with the most familiarity among Americans is Donald Trump, but he also has one of the lowest net favorability ratings. Jeb Bush is the second best-known candidate, but he barely cracks the top half of Republicans in terms of favorability. The top favored Republican candidates are Marco Rubio and Ben Carson, but they’re both below 65% in familiarity.

On the Democrat side, one candidate is experiencing a boom in favorability, while the other is encountering the exact opposite. Another Gallup poll shows Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ favorability rating doubling since March, from 12 to 24 percent among Americans polled. At the same time, the percentage of people who view him unfavorably has risen from 12 to 20 percent. These numbers come from Americans becoming more aware of the Senator, with his familiarity rating going from 24 to 44 percent.

Those numbers could be directly correlated with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s fading favorability. In the same poll, Clinton’s favorability has plummeted to 43%. For reference, her favorability was just short of 60% as recently as 2014. However, she still holds the highest “absolute” ratings of Americans who view her favorably, when compared to her Democratic competitors. No other candidate on the Democratic side can touch her familiarity rating of 89%, as well.

What could explain the low net favorability ratings across the board? The poll numbers for trust in the government could.

A Fox News poll from June found that 61% of Americans do not trust the federal government. And this is not a new trend. In 2011 and 2013, 62% of Americans didn’t put their trust in Uncle Sam. Lack of transparency in the government could be the culprit of these numbers, with only 29% of Americans saying the federal government is appropriately transparent.

When the general consensus is that government is untrustworthy and opaque (or at the very least, translucent), the likelihood of the American people trusting anyone running for President is bound to be pretty low, regardless of party.

Americans could be looking for a candidate who sweeps them off their feet; someone who is smart, yet charismatic. Think Bill Clinton on the Arsenio Hall Show type of charisma. Think Ronald Reagan hearing a loud bang and saying “you missed me” (after being shot earlier in his presidency).

Faith and trust in government have hit near rock bottom levels in the 2000s-- and we will have to wait and see if a candidate emerges that can change that.

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