Wednesday, October 27, 2010

MP 2 HW# 2

The videos I watched explained the Electoral College. It happens to be the way we elect presidents. It works by simplifying the voting process by making electors who are the people who really vote for the president. The amount of electors for each state is determined by the amount of Congressmen a state has. When we vote we actually vote for electors who we want to support our candidate. They in turn vote for the President. This process is the only one we can come up with to give equal power to each state but there are certain rules that make this seem unfair. For example if a candidate wins the electoral college he doesn't exactly need to win the popular vote which is the one we participate in. Although that might seem unfair on the other end of the spectrum there is another rule that counters it, in some states if a candidate wins the popular vote all electors must vote for that candidate. Even though this system might have its quirks to the point in which you could play certain factors to win it still is the only system we have to ensure equality.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

MP 2 HW # 3

In the news story "Story of the Midterms, Told Through 5 races" there isn't exactly a specific viewpoint the reporter is trying to make. The point and main attempt of the story was to convey the fact that Democrats are in danger in the coming election. You see in it it states that the Republicans who are made out to be encroaching predators which are going to swallow up seats this coming election. And, the Democrats are made out to be in an Alamo of sorts holding out against the Republican onslaught. Certain candidates that the story revolves around are Mr.Scott, Raul Grijalva, Ryan Frazier, John Murtha, Mr. Critz, Mr. Shuler, Mr. Obey, Barney Frank, Ike Skelton, John Spratt, Julie Lassa these mostly Democrats who are fighting for or trying to protect their political status. In short its trying to act as a wake up call for Democrats outlining Republicans as shakers who will upset the current equilibrium.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

MP 2 HW # 1

So the video stated the way a law can become a bill. This law was formed in the minds of the people then sent to a congressional representative. In this case he created a Bill that stated that buses should stop at railroad crossings. He then sent it to Congress where a select group of individuals form a committee to review the bill and then vote on it. Here it can be killed but if it is passed it goes into a near never ending cycle.
This process starts in the House of Representatives where they argue over it and vote on it. If they vote no it dies if they vote yes it moves on to the Senate where the same process is repeated. Finally the bill gets on line for the president to sign. There he can say yes and it becomes a Law or he can veto it where it goes through committee and congress all over again with the possibility of editing or death.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Current Events 5

In “What’s so bad about elites?” Clanrence Page discusses some would-be politicians’ use of the word “elite” as a way to put down their opponents. Anyone who is their opponent is labeled as elite or else they say they are the better elite.

Chrisine O’Donnell has called her opponent Chris Coons an elitist because he graduated from Yale and she didn’t. She is hoping to gather support from those who con’t consider themselves elite. Whereas Carly Fiona, who was a CEO of Hewlett Packard, says she’s a better candidate than others because it apparently takes one to get rid of the bad elites currently in power. Clarence Page concludes that this kind of electioneering wil dummy down the candidates.

I agree that if the politicians continue to rail against elites, meaning the well educated, then we will soon not have candidates that can do the job. But I don’t agree that all the candidates using the elitist argument are not intelligent. Mr. Page wondered what the impact on our children will be. Would they lose heart in striving for excellence if the candidates least qualified get elected? I certainly hope that the more qualified win and if not the next crop of candidates will rectify the situation. Not only that but we have to consider that what they might be saying isn't true as well it's hard to say if someone went to Yale but that they dropped out means that they are unqualified. I believe that we have to look at the stats concerning their actual work before we jump to conclusions.

In “Deficits and Depression” by Victor Davis Hanson the author explains four resons why voters are enraged and depressed by the deficit. The deficit has grown during 8 years before Obama from $3.3 trillion to $6.3 trillion, but under Obama in just one year it has grown $2.5 trillion! This enrages the voters because money is being given out without thought to whose it was originally. They feel that increases in taxes won’t cover the debt (as it did under Clinton when he balanced the budget), that explanations don’t help pay their bills, and they fear something worse it to come.

I, too, am angry over the huge deficit because the “stimulus’ spending has potentially ruined my future. But I don’t’ necessarily blame Obama just as much as if I would blame a kid for not knowing what Schroedinger's cat is.

If the U.S. needs to borrow more money to pay its debt it may do so from China, a country that has a lot of cash on hand from trade surplus with the U.S. What would it mean to the world if China, a Communist country, if funding a democracy? It would raise the status of China and its policies.

Current Events 3

In “Obama’s Arrogance Starting to Get Noticed” Jonah Goldberg wrote about the way President Obama is portrayed by the media: liberal and conservative. He gave several examples of quotes from Obama, Mark Halperin, Keith Obermann, Marion Berry and Rahm Emmanuel. These quotes depicted the recent history of how the media and the politicians have portrayed Obama. At first they gave glowing reports or refrained from saying anything negative, but now almost all are starting to see that he thinks too highly of himself compared to his actual job performance.

I agree with Jonah Goldberg. Obama had campaigned as almost a messiah and instead has not lived up to it. He was even begging black voters to not “’make me look bad’ by staying home from the polls.”. I believe that he really needs to pull a Washington and step back and let the more experienced help him lead because his lack of humility really hinders his ability to function in an office that should put the needs of the people before his own.

Goldberg quoted Mark Halperin from Times: “With the exception of core Obama administration loyalists, most politically engaged elites have reached the same conclusion: the White House is in over its head, isolated, insular, arrogant and clueless about how to get along with or persuade members of Congress, the media, the business community or working-class voters.” This means that or President is all talk.

Current Events 2

"Mining for men: C.lean miners who were nearly a half mile underground since August 5 – over two months. They were brought to the surface one by one in a man sized capsule. Each one felt as if they were reborn with a new life to live.

I, too, rejoiced over the rescue of the miners. It was good to hear how they spent their time underground praying and singing. It bothered me that they wanted cigarettes, and that one had a mistress but they seemed to forge a bond and came out strong after their ordeal.

The engineering needed to pull off this feat proves that miners trapped alive could be rescued. This expertise will be shared with others especially since an American engineer figured out how to make a 5.5-inch drill hole wide enough for a human. Unfortunately these miners will be bombarded with offers for interviews, movies, and book deals which will tarnish the joy of their rescue.

Current Events 1

“Don’t Try Terrorists, Lock Them Up” by Jack Goldsmith is an article about the terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay. He discusses whether we should use military or civil court systems to try terrorists. Mr. Goldsmith refers to one detainee, Mr. Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani who has been there for twelve years. The quandary is that even if the terrorists are tried and found guilty, the United States does not feel comfortable in releasing them until the conflict with the terrorists is over. In the end, he concludes that perhaps indefinitely holding terrorists until the conflict is over is the best solution; that trying them in court is not actually permissible or in our best interests.

My opinion is that the Obama administration can barely stomach war and want to focus on the image trying the terrorists in Federal court will make. But I feel that in the end trying them in court will humanize the enemy and give voice to his reasons rather than reject his methods; ultimately supporting the terrorist mission. It is better to only try high value targets such as the Time Square Bomber or upper echelons of Al Quaeda where evidence is clear and the consequences of letting them go free is dire.

Trying the terrorists in court will help our nation vent its anger and frustrations over the entire problem. If the military courts try the terrorists most likely they won’t convict them since their rules of evidence are different and a little lax, but mostly because the terrorists probably haven’t broken the rules of war under which they would be tried. If the Federal courts try the terrorists then the classified information might come out in public, they won’t allow aggressive interrogations, and they won’t let them go even if acquitted because they would do it again and the conflict is not over. In the end the whole world will be watching what will do and they will act accordingly.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

HW # 13

Have you ever wondered about bag searches? You might think hey this is against the 4th amendment you know the one about unlawful search and sezisures it might surprise you but it is legal. You see the Supreme Court ruled that it was nessessary to help prevent terroism. On a similar note certain police groups have started to do random stops where they put your name in a database. I agree with what they're doing but not for the same reasons. They say its meant to prevent crime but if someone is going to do such a thing little will prevent them. I say it helps solve crimes and it provides for a database for future cases.

Monday, October 11, 2010

HW# 12

Federal Powers

-Coin money

-Regulate interstate and Foreign commerce

-Declare war, make peace, provide for national defense, and mantain armed services
(ex. Foreign Policy)

-Pass nationalization and Immigration laws
(ex. pass laws concerning Immigration)

States Powers

-Provide Education
(ex. Manage and fund Board of Education)

-Conduct Elections
(ex. Presidential)

-Provide for local governments
(ex. Pay upkeep for NYC government and manage budgets)

Concurrent Powers

-Make and Enforce the law
(ex. mantain police force)

-Collect Taxes
(ex. Collect annual taxes)

-Mantain the Courts
(ex. Pay for and manage court system)

HW# 11

Congress would amend the Constitution in order to create a change in the law of the land. Something that is supreme and identified as such which would be a mark in our nation forever. But how can we change or implement it in the first place you ask? Its simple its a two step process that begins the proposal. This proposal can be done in one of two ways as well, one it can come about via a 2/3 rds vote of Congress, or two 2/3 rds vote of a congressional convention. The second part ratification also comes in two forms, one a 3/4 ths vote in the country's combined state legislature, or two a 3/4 ths vote in a state convention. note that conventions have only been used once. On that same topic a convention is a gathering of important people to vote on something so they could be politicians or not. An important fact to know is that you can only repeal or nullify an amendment is with another amendment.

HW # 10

Federalism to begin with is a sound idea. It promotes a solid government and is more uniform than every state fighting to be on top. It also makes the separation and management of power easier. In addition things like money can be regulated better. We might forget but Federalism still called for good maintained states which didn't mean that they would be neglected. So in closing it is a great political choice for early America.