Politics

politics

Access all of our programs about politics!

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FROM HUNGER STRIKES TO 'LYING FLAT': THREE DECADES OF STUDYING POWER AND RESISTANCE IN CHINA

Sharon Wesoky

August 18, 2021

How can recent protests and repression in Hong Kong, the oppression of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, and the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party be understood in relation to power and governance in China throughout its "reform" era? By offering a tour of examples of Chinese state-society relations and citizen resistance in the past three decades, including the speaker's research on feminism and women's organizations, this talk will examine Xi Jinping's rule in relation to the wider evolution of post-Mao Chinese authoritarianism.

 

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To watch this video on YouTube, click HERE!
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As America's Longest war comes to an end, what does the future hold for Afghanistan? 

Baher Ghosheh

July 28, 2021

President Biden is withdrawing the last remaining troops from Afghanistan by 9/11 of this year. The US, having spent 20 years, over $1 trillion, and sacrificed thousands of American lives and thousands more injured, is leaving Afghanistan to an uncertain future. Will the current government in Afghanistan survive? Will the gains achieved in education, healthcare, women's rights, and democratization be preserved or will they vanish with the departing foreign troops? Can the Afghan national army prevent the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and IS from using the country as a base for operations again? The program will address these issues and attempt to answer these and other crucial questions associated with the future of Afghanistan.

To watch this video on YouTube, click HERE

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POLITICS OF PIPELINES AND NORD STREAM 2

Lena Surzhko-Harned

July 14, 2021

As the Biden administration attempts to restore relationship with its European allies, Nord Stream 2 pipeline has become a point of stark division between the NATO allies. The $11 billion pipeline bringing Russian gas to Germany has raised major concerns over security and environmental issue, as voiced by Nordic and Eastern European allies.

Is this a purely economic project, as Germany and Russia proclaim it to be? What is the U.S. to make of this pipeline? Was lifting the sanction on the construction of the pipeline a mistake by the Biden administration?

This program answers these questions and addresses these issues.

To watch this video on YouTube, click HERE

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THE BIDEN-PUTIN SUMMIT IN GENEVA: CREATING A MORE STABLE AND PREDICTABLE RELATIONSHIP?

Lena Surzhko-Harned

June 22, 2021

In the last few years, the relationship between the US and Russia have hit the lowest point since the end of the Cold War. While other US presidents attempted to "reset" these relations or find ways to "get along with Russia," the Biden administration seeks to reach 'predictable strategic stability'. Did the Geneva Summit yield the desired results? What is the future of the Russia-US relations?

To watch this video on YouTube, click HERE

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THE WAR ON DRUGS: AN EPIC POLICY FAILURE

Dan Morhaim

June 16, 2021

Overdose deaths and drug abuse are at all-time high. Drug wars are ravaging our communities: rural, suburban, and urban. Costs to healthcare, education, families, businesses, and taxpayers continue unabated. Narcoterrorism is destroying our neighboring countries. The economics support overseas enemies while corrupting people and institutions domestically. How did we get here, and what can be done about this?

     

Dan Morhaim, M.D. brings a unique perspective to this compelling topic as a front-line emergency medicine physician for 40+ years, Maryland state legislator for 24 years, faculty at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health for 16 years, and author of The Better End (www.thebetterend.com).

To watch this video on YouTube, click HERE

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NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE BANK

Panel Discussion

April 22, 2021 

This panel discussion will help introduce the concept of a National Infrastructure Bank (NIB) as exemplified in legislation introduced into the last Congress, HR 6422. The proposed new bank will complement the Biden Administration's "American Jobs Plan Act" by creating a $4-plus trillion bank to invest in infrastructure only. This proposed new institution aims to: build all of the infrastructure needs of the nation, including those not covered by the Biden plan; create 25 million new jobs; and combat poverty in both urban and rural areas.

Speakers: Alphecca Muttardy elbaorates on the operation of the National Infrastructure Bank, and detail how this Public Bank will work to pay for all the infrastructure projects. Assemblyman Ortiz addresses the infrastructure needs of urban and other areas, compares how other nations actually build new infrastructure and how the United States must deploy this National Infrastructure Bank to end the shortfalls. Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski goes through the infrastructure shortfall besetting Pennsylvania and how the NIB will collaborate with the state to build all the projects, especially transportation. He also references state and local resolutions endorsing the federal legislation. Stanley Forczek focuses on Northwest Pennsylvania rail and infrastructure needs. He details the plans to link Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Erie with High Speed and conventional passenger lines. He also outlines the new jobs to be created in the northwest quadrant as a result of this massive investment program spearheaded by the NIB.

To watch this program on YouTube, click HERE

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THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF ERIE'S PAT LIEBEL

Panel Discussion

March 29, 2021 

One of Erie's most powerful women political leaders – the late Patricia J. "Pat" Liebel – is the focus of this program during Women's History Month. Join the region's most prominent female government leaders, three-term Mayor Joyce Savocchio and five-term County Executive Judy Lynch, along with Sheila Coon, Ed McKean, and the Jefferson's Ben Speggen and Pat Cuneo, in conversation about her legacy.

The panel discusses the life and work of Pat Liebel, the longtime top executive assistant and business administrator for Erie's longest-serving public leader, six-term Mayor Louis J. Tullio. Liebel also served as Erie's acting mayor late in Tullio's tenure. After her more than two decades at City Hall, Liebel worked for 20 years in the Mercyhurst University Alumni Office.

To watch this program on YouTube, click HERE
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FOOD INSECURITY CRISES AT HOME AND ABROAD: WHY BIDEN MUST LEAD ON BOTH

Cailtin Welsh

March 15, 2021 

Food security forecasts project that the Covid-19 pandemic will have caused the most severe global food security crisis in recent history both nationally, with potentially upwards of 16 percent of the population becoming food insecure, and globally, with 270 million pushed into acute food insecurity in 2020 alone.

"How the Biden administration responds to each will affect food security—and the U.S. reputation as a global leader—for decades to come," writes Caitlin Welsh, director of the Global Food Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C.

In conversation with JES Vice President Ben Speggen, Welsh reviews impacts to domestic and foreign food security in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, update where both stand in 2021, and address why she calls for the Biden administration to not approach these challenges "either/or" but to understand how the U.S.'s "ability to lead globally hinges on our ability to address challenges at home."

To watch this program on YouTube, click HERE

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DEMOCRACY'S LONG ODDS

Dan Moulthrop

March 2, 2021 

If there's one lesson from the last election cycle and its aftermath, it's this: democracy in America is not as nearly resilient as we might like to think. So what does a truly functioning democratic republic look like -- and what is required of us to actually create it?

Dan Moulthrop is the CEO of the City Club of Cleveland, one of the nation's oldest free speech forums. One of their recent projects, Democracy Unchained, looked at these questions with the help of more than 100 different thinkers, writers, and elected officials. Join us for a conversation with Dan about what it will take to preserve democracy for future generations.

To watch this program on YouTube, click HERE

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THE FUTURE OF THE G.O.P.: WHERE WILL THE REPUBLICANS GO FROM HERE AT THE NATIONAL, STATE, AND LOCAL LEVELS?

Michael L. Coulter, Ph.D. & Caleb Verbois, Ph.D.

February 4, 2020

In the aftermath of the 2016 election Republicans controlled more federal and state office than at any point since the 1920s. Four years later, Trump was the first President since Herbert Hoover to lose the White House, the Senate, and the House in just one term. The party turned winning into losing in record time. The aftermath has left the Republicans with deep internal divisions and, combined with the fact that the Republicans have only one the presidential popular vote once in the last 38 years, substantial external challenges. How can the Republican Party keep and grow its coalition to potentially win back the White House in 2024? And how might these debates impact the party at the state and local level?

To watch this program on Youtube, click HERE!

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EXAMINING THE BIDEN INAUGURATION ADDRESS: WHAT HE SAID AND WHAT IT MEANS WHEN IT COMES TO THE AMERICAN STORY

Dr. Andrew Roth and Rev. Charles Brock

January 28, 2020

What roles do presidential inaugural addresses play in how we – as in, We, The People – see America and how we tell the story of America? What does it mean to have a shift in the narrator-in-chief? Join JES Scholar-in-Residence Dr. Andrew Roth and Charles Brock, Director of the Brock Institute, who have been researching and writing about the American Dream and American Story for years, as they unpack Biden's speech and its impact in conversation with JES Vice President Ben Speggen.

To watch this program on Youtube, click HERE!

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THE 2020 ELECTIONS: WHERE ARE WE? WHERE ARE WE HEADED?

Post Election Analysis with Ganon University

November 5, 2020

Drs. Jeffrey Bloodworth and Stephen Tootle offer an analysis of election results as they stand, voter turnout, and the Electoral College count, as well as what the results mean for both the Democratic and Republican parties. Students also weighed in, offering their reactions to the 2020 election. The discussion was moderated by JES Vice President Ben Speggen. This program is in partnership with Gannon University and the Jefferson Education Society

To watch this program, click HERE

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ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE 2020: EXAMINING POLLS, EXAMINING VICTORY, AND THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

David Kozak, Ph.D.

October 30, 2020

With the 2020 Presidential Election just days away, what are the paths to victory for the Republican and Democratic candidates – incumbent President Donald J. Trump, and his challenger – and former Vice President and Senator – Joe Biden? How can each get to the 270 Electoral College votes necessary to be inaugurated as President of the United States of America in January 2021? What do the polls tell us? How reliable are they? In this special Jefferson Educational Society digital program, JES Vice President Ben Speggen interviews Dr. David Kozak, professor emeritus at Gannon University and political scientist who’s studied and taught through 16 presidential elections.

To watch this program on Youtube, click HERE!

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AMERICA'S MOST CORRUPT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: 1876

George Deutsch

October 29, 2020

America’s Most Corrupt Presidential Election: 1876, featuring Mr. George Deutsch, Executive Director of the Hagen History Center

To watch this program on YouTube, click HERE

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PRE-ELECTION DISCUSSION – WHAT ARE THE HIDDEN ISSUES IN THE 2020 ELECTIONS

Panel Discussion

October 28, 2020

A special joint program by the Public Policy Fund at Penn State Behrend, the Institute of the American Dream at Penn State Behrend, the Brock Institute for Mega Issues Education, and the Jefferson Educational Society.

From foreign affairs to the Affordable Care Act, from militias to authoritarianism, moderator Rev. Charles Brock discusses these issues and more with panelists Mr. Paul Gambill, Dr. Lena Harned-Surzhko, and Dr. Robert Speel.

To watch this program on Youtube, click HERE

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ISRAEL-U.A.E.-BAHRAIN ACCORDONE MORE STEP FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST?

Dr. Baher Ghosheh

October 6, 2020

With much fanfare, the Trump administration hosted leaders from Israel, the UAE and Bahrain at the White House to sign this "historic" peace agreement, called the Abraham Accords. President Trump insists 6-9 other Arab/Muslim countries will normalize relations and sign peace agreements with Israel before the November elections.

What is the significance of the agreement? Does it advance the cause of Peace in the region – or, will it result in more polarization and conflict in this highly unstable region?

To watch this program on Youtube, click HERE!

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ELECTION 2020: VOTING HABITS OF GENERATION Z

Audrey Henson, Founder and CEO of College to Congress

August 26, 2020

Join College to Congress CEO and Founder, Audrey Henson, for a lively discussion on the importance of voting through the eyes of her demographic group of young people born in the late 1990s through early 2010s.

She also addresses estimations of where #civicengagement stands now, provide a snapshot of how Generation Z has voted in the past, and predictions for the 2020 presidential election. Generation Z is the demographic group succeeding Millennials and preceding Generation Alpha.

Henson founded College to Congress to provide low-income students with pathways to public service. She has spearheaded the recruitment and training of hundreds of students who are passionate about our government through her online platform, C2C-U, registered dozens to vote, and has placed nearly 40 students directly into congressional offices.

You can visit the College to Congress web page by clicking HERE!

To watch the program on Youtube, click HERE!

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THE SEDITION ACT OF 1798: SOURCE OF DOMESTIC TURMOIL AND RUNAWAY PARTISANSHIP

Richard Arthur, M.A.

August 12, 2020

Watch Richard Arthur, M.A., 23-year Army Veteran and lifelong history enthusiast, discuss the Sedition and Alien Acts of 1798.

In the last two years of the 18th Century, the new country of America faced threats to its shipping by pirates, threats to its trade from tariffs, occupied forts on its frontier, and the possibility of a war with revolutionary France. 

President John Adams wanted to be prepared to fight but preferred a diplomatic approach. War hawks in his emerging Federalist Party were eager for war and seemed equally intent on crushing domestic opposition from Jefferson's Republicans. 

In 1798, the Federalist Congress passed four laws that became to be called The Alien and Sedition Acts. These measures became a source of domestic turmoil and an example of runaway partisanship. They eventually changed the course of history. 

To watch this program on YouTube, click HERE!

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PA DEMOCRATIC DEBATE: PA STATE SENATE DISTRICT 49

Democratic Candidates

May 21, 2020

The Jefferson hosts a debate with Democratic Candidates for PA State Senate District 49. Watch to find out these candidates' platforms and goals as we all prepare for election day on June 2, 2020.

To watch this program on YouTube, click HERE!

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THE UKRAINE-RUSSIA CONFLICT IN TIMES OF COVID-19

Dr. Lena Surzhko-Harned

April 29, 2020

The conflict in the Donbas region in Ukraine's east is still very much alive. COVID-19 has not spared this war-torn region and it adds extra hardship to an already vulnerable and underserved population.

Prof. Lena Surzhko-Harned explains the mechanics of this conflict, and the challenges of managing the coronavirus crisis properly because of migration, difficult access to healthcare, and armed conflict. Dr. Surzhko-Harned is an Assistant Teaching Professor of  Political Science and a Faculty Affiliate of the Public Policy Fund at Penn State Behrend. Her primary research interests are in the field of comparative politics.

To watch this program on Facebook, click HERE

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AFGHANISTAN: WHEN AND HOW WILL AMERICA'S LONGEST WAR END?

Dr. Baher Ghosheh

March 18, 2020

Afghanistan has been dubbed the graveyard of empires. Many have tried to conquer but all have retreated in defeat. How will our longest war end? What does the future hold for Afghanistan and her long-suffering people?  

To watch this program on Facebook, click HERE!

This lecture was originally scheduled to be presented at the Edinboro University as a part of the Jefferson's Satellite Programming. This event had to be modified as state regulations currently prohibit live audiences at public events.