Posts tagged ‘Obama’

November 19, 2012

President Obama’s push for cleaner environment is a wise choice

Obama through the years

Media Design by Krista Brooks

By Krista Brooks

Published Monday, November 19, 2012 – The Daily 49er

In President Obama’s first campaign, he vowed to end the war in Iraq, provide health care coverage to all Americans and take action against the potential global climate change.

All promises have been kept, but since Hurricane Sandy, the climate change has been a main focus by the Obama administration.

Their efforts have been redirected to develop cleaner sources of energy and improve fuel efficiency in vehicles.

Obama addressed this last issue in his recent acceptance speech: “We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”

Friday, the Department of Interior ceased development in oil shale (a type of rock that contains kerogen, a low-grade fuel) from 1.6 million acres of federal land in the west.

This can be extracted to produce oil by heating and cooling, which is a less cost-effective method compared to hydraulic fracturing with oil shale.

Other venues for clean energy have been initiated by Obama and his administration.

This October, he has announced an initiative for 96,000 acres of water near Delaware to provide alternative energydevelopment.

Also, they announced expansion of wind power development in Wyoming which alone can provide 3,000 megawatts of power.

Lastly, the Obama administration has announced alternative energy initiatives to take place in Arizona. This utility-scalesolar energy will be accessible to neighboring states through transmission lines.

These initiatives are only stepping stones to the Obama administration’s plan to use alternative methods to generate clean energy, reducing negative impacts on our environment. Finding a source for clean energy is one part and dealing with the energy and fuel that we have available is the second.

Obama has cooperated with auto companies to create a 54.5 mile-a-gallon fuel standard, a goal to achieve by 2025.

This long-term plan will lower America’s reliance on off-shore oil as well as reduce carbon emissions from our vehicles. This will reduce the costs of vehicles and their fuel for American drivers.

In lieu of his second term, Obama is also pushing for the renewable-energy tax credit to be passed this year in Congress. This is an initiative to give back to those who make an effort to use cleaner energy and alternatives to fossil fuels.

With more land to create in-state energy alternatives and car companies willing to go green, our country has jump started a mission to clean our air and cool down the climate.

Despite the campaign and possibly your candidate losing, recognize that Obama has stuck to his word and respect the move towards a healthier environment.

Regardless of political parties, our Earth should be first priority, and Obama has shown us that he cares.

Krista Brooks is a junior journalism major and the assistant opinions editor for the Daily 49er.

October 17, 2012

Pizza Hut political stunt may lead to more debate viewers

By Krista Brooks

Published Tuesday, October 15, 2012 – The Daily 49er

Topics for debate: education, the economy, health care … meat toppings on pizza?

Last week, Pizza Hut announced that they’d reward a brave soul who would ask the presidential candidates what their favorite toppings are at tonight’s debate.

The company was criticized for its unnecessary involvement in the political campaign, and making a mockery of the presidential candidates for the thought of wasting their time.

“Sausage or pepperoni?”

Pizza Hut had offered one free pizza per week for 30 years or a check for $15,600 to anyone who asked this simple question at the debate. The rules did not specify whether or not the contest winner had to receive an answer from the candidates.

The contest attracted several outlets: those willing to ask the candidates and those slamming the political stunt.

Comedy Central talk show host Stephen Colbert was amused by the situation. He laughed at how the prize of a pie a week could kill you within the 30 years of free pizza. Colbert asked his audience, “What could be more American than using our electoral process for product placement?”

Gawker website ran a headline that read, “Want Free Pizza Hut Pizza for Life? Just Make a Mockery of the American Democratic System on Live TV.” The New Jersey Star-Ledger referred to Pizza Hut as “knucklehead of the week.” The restaurant chain has now altered their contest to question their customers rather than President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney. With just an email and zip code to enter, one lucky contestant who answers will be selected at random to win free pizza for life.

“The anticipation and buzz around this question proves that this debate should be taken to the people,” Pizza Hut executive Kurt Kane announced. “We’re no longer asking a few hundred attendees at the town hall presidential debate on Oct. 16 to pose the question, rather we’re bringing the question — Sausage or Pepperoni? — to millions ofAmericans.”

Food industries and politics just don’t mix. Chick-fil-A was recently given a national day from a politician who agreed with the owner’s political views but received negative feedback from customers who just don’t agree. Recently, Papa John’s pizza announced it would raise its prices if Obama’s health care reform law goes into full effect.

All in all, I respect Pizza Hut for creating a competition to encourage people to the watch the debate without choosing and promoting a certain candidate.

Still, the stunt was poorly executed, and the company could have gained support and sales had it gone another route. Through the competition, Pizza Hut may have encouraged many to watch the debate regardless of who is the target of the competition. The first debate between Romney and Obama earlier this month earned about 67.2 million viewers. The viewership should rise, and Pizza Hut may have gained some extra eyes with its ridiculous political stunt.

Krista Brooks is a sophomore journalism major and the assistant opinions editor for the Daily 49er.

September 5, 2012

Olympic medalists should not be taxed on winning incentives

English: President George W. Bush poses for a ...

By Krista Brooks

Published Wednesday August 15, 2012 – The Daily 49er

The summer season is winding down and the U.S. Olympians will now travel back home after two weeks of competition in London.

The Summer Olympics were successful from an American point of view, with their several medals coming back to the States.

These extraordinary athletes can finally rest easy, knowing that their hard work and determination was worth it.

Until they have to pay the piper.

The athletes will be welcomed home by their American fans and family, but at the same time, face a tax on the accolades they acquired.

American medalists from the Olympics will return decorated in gold, silver and bronze, but they will have to pay for their prizes individually.

Each medal will be awarded an honorarium from the U.S. Olympic Committee based on the level of honor.

The amounts are $25,000 for each gold medal, $15,000 for each silver medal and $10,000 for every bronze.

These prizes for medalists are an incentive to strive for the best, and the best that the USA can be, but does taxing the athletes for winning seem fair?

Both presidential candidates have embraced a measure in Congress to diminish this tax, and allow the Olympians to keep their well-earned prize money.

Rep. Aaron Schock and Sen. Marco Rubio created the Olympic Tax Elimination act to exempt the winners from paying the taxes on their winnings.

This would only exempt the prize winnings from taxes, not the athletes’ endorsement earnings or salaries.

According to Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, a gold medalist will pay up to $8,986 of the honorarium to the IRS, when the cash value of the gold in the medals is worth much less.

There is only about 1 percent gold in these flashy medals, composed mostly of silver.

Based on the metal weight, the gold medals are worth about $655, the silver medals are worth about $335, and the bronze medals are less than $5 each. After the taxes and prizes, Olympians still benefit from the training and hard work that went into the games.

Many are supported by sponsors to pay their way, as well as endorsements from companies and supporters.

In my opinion, these American Olympians who travel all over the world for four years waiting for their chance to shine, should be taxed less than NBA players and other American athletes.

Heroes in war aren’t taxed for their Purple Hearts and war medals; they are honored and glorified.

Not that Olympians put their lives on the line like war heroes, but they still commit their lives to representing their nation.

Taxes for the lottery and other winnings should be viewed differently under tax provisions.

These Olympic medalists should come home decorated in medals and welcomed with support and love — not a huge tax for their accomplishments.

%d bloggers like this: