Monday, September 20, 2010

September 24th

Great job on your current events last week. We saw a myriad of topics that ranged from tax spending to salmonella to electronic cigarettes! This week in C&E we will be talking about the foundations of American government and the historical influences on our political system. The topic for this week's current event is American government. Look for any article that should not be too difficult. :)  Stick to the same format. Make sure to include YOUR opinion. Happy hunting and keep up the good work.


  1. Kendall Simms 6th period 9/21/10

    A motion to repeal the don’t ask, don’t tell policy was recently voted on by the Senate. The DADT law states that openly gay men and women cannot serve in the military. The law was created in 1993 and the Senate had the opportunity to throw it out on Tuesday, however the motion was not granted. The motion was four votes shy of the sixty it needed to pass. Despite this defeat supporters are remaining optimistic and holding onto to their belief that it’s only a matter of time until changes are made due to the fact that DADT is widely unpopular among the American public. However they feel that if any changes were to be prolonged then the chances of them actually taking place will grow very slim. This fear comes from the predicted shifting of power in the House of Representatives from the democrats to the republicans. A review is expected to be released by the pentagon arguing that having gays openly serve in the military would not cause any harm. There are those in the military that feel as if homosexuals were allowed to serve openly, that it would lower morale and cause disunion between units. Sen. John McCain claims that no immediate action should be taken until the result of the review is produced.

    There are decent points to be made on both sides of the DADT argument. The main part that causes me to pick a side is that majority of Americans feel that it should be repealed. Allowing homosexuals to openly serve in the military would create some unrest at first, but a person wouldn’t be kicked out of, potentially, their only job if they were to come out. However, I can’t help but think of how poorly some disgruntled people might treat these individuals. So I could also see one downside to having DADT repealed. This thought brings me back to the fact that recent polls have shown that a large amount of Americans are in favor of getting rid of the policy, and I’m reminded that the majority wants to grant gay men and women this liberty. On top of that, there is a large amount of political support for getting rid of this restriction and I trust our politicians to appropriately weigh in on an important subject such as this one and make the right decision.

  2. This article is about a potential shutdown of the government. Last Friday Lynn Westmoreland, a Republican representative from Georgia said that a shutdown of the government was possible. Making these remarks at a meeting of social conservatives he indicated that if the Republicans win the house of representatives (get a majority) in the upcoming mid-term elections a stalemate could occur between the president and the House of Representatives. If the Republicans get a majority in the house they would try to pass bills for spending that the president would probably veto. Although this could happen nobody wants it too. Many people are trying to avoid it. However, this has happened before. In 1994 during the Bill Clinton administration, parts of the government were shut down after feuds broke out over cuts in federal spending.
    I think that this is just stupid. The Republicans and the Democrats need to quit fighting over every little thing and work together to make our country better, like a good government should do. A shutdown of the government with troops still fighting overseas would be very bad. It would be in the middle of their attempted troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq. A government shutdown would put lives in danger. Also, people who rely on health care, and social security would be affected in a bad way too. Their checks might not come on time in the mail on time. These checks aren’t all that much to begin with but without them, what are they supposed to do? If I were the Republicans and Democrats I would try to find a way to work this out before resorting to extreme measures.

    -Zach Jansen 6th period 9/22/10


    Obama has been trying to tackle the health care problem that the 1994 Bill Clinton administration was relunctant to do so. Thursday marks the official anniversery of the signing of the bill that was 6 months ago. The republicans refuse to have this bill passed so they promised: if they win the senate then they'll repeal the legislation. Some democrates, like the republicans, are against the bill due to the lack of political benefits, but many agree with the positive outcome it will have on the community. Obama will recieve plenty of coverage on wenesday's event but even with all that coverage there isnt as much time to have the message stick with the voters.
    I believe that the republicans are greedy and don't care much for the American citizens. From my point of view they only care for the wealthy Americans and don't plan on doing much if anything, for the less fortunate. If they think this bill will have negative outcomes in the future they should at least have some kind of counter offer to give to the people so they'll have some kind of health coverage if anything were to happen to them. Kids, and senior citizens will have more benefits for example; kids are allowed to stay in their parents insurence plan until they're 26, and also there won't be a drop in coverage if they're sick either. It's also said that 30 million people who don't have health coverage will have health coverage once the health reform is passed


    As many Americans know, we are in a severe economic situation. The head of the $700 billion financial bailout program, Herb Allison, has recently resigned. He's the most recent in a chain of resignations from the President's economic team. Herb Allison will be replaced by a man named Tim Massad for now. The top economist will be leaving the White House at the end of the year. Many other economic empolyees will be leaving and have left the economy team. It is expected that Democrats will not get many votes in the upcoming congressional elections.

    I think it is a very bad thing for the economic bailout team to be losing so many people. How is our economy going to improve and our country come out of debt if there's nobody to fix it? I think we're just going to get more and more into debt and it will be very hard to fix. I don't, however, understand why so many people have decided to resign. It seems like the economic situation isn't exactly prime right now and I think some smart people should be working on it instead of resigning.

  5. Gavin Welch
    Per 7

    Current Event September 24

    The Government policy Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has been in effect for close to seventeen years now. In 1993 DADT made a law stating that there will be no gays or lesbians serving in the military. The policy says that gays in the military shouldn’t speak about their sexuality or be asked about it. This allows gays to serve in the military only if they conceal their sexuality. Overall the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has caused 13,000 military discharges. Many ground soldiers, combat troops, medical specialists and translators have been discharged. Millions of dollars have been spent to train these troops and pay for their replacements.

    Many American’s believe that the policy is discrimitory and counterproductive. I am among this crowd because I believe that we have wasted too much money on soldiers to kick them out because of their sexuality. On Tuesday the Senate was given a chance to get rid of the law preventing gays from being in the military. The law was four votes away from being thrown away


    The Senate voted against repealing the "Don't Ask, don't tell" policy on Tuesday. If the policy was repealed, gay Americans could join the armed forced. The outcome was said to be more of a result of the disputes of Republics and Democrats concerning legislative processes rather than concerning the rights of homosexuals and bisexuals. A study of the effects of the end of the policy is due on December 1. Senate measure will not allow the "don't ask, don't tell" policy until the study is conducted.

    In my opinion, the "don't ask, don't tell" policy should be repealed. Sexual orientation does not determine the behavior of a person. Gay teachers teach as well as straight teachers, so why would it make a difference in the armed forces? Regardless of sexual orientation, a person is still a person. We should not limit their rights because they are "different" from our established norm. Additionally, the study should be conducted before the vote for the bill is cast. With statistical data, the Senate can cast better and more intellectual votes because they have proof of any abnormal behavior. I would repeal the bill because personal life differs from professional life.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.


    The House Republican leaders are already preparing themselves for if they win control of Congress in November. They have created a 21-page document entitled, “Pledge to America,” of what they plan to do with their regained power. This plan focuses mostly on jobs and spending. One of the things this includes is to extend the tax cuts that were supposed to expire at the end of the year permanently, make the Congress review all federal regulations that add to the national debt. Many republicans said that they had no intent on addressing social issues because the document mainly deals with the economy and employment. For example, the arrangement calls for a permanent veto of taxpayers paying for abortions. Other bits of the document include not spending the remaining amount of money left in the stimulus bill, and to abolish the health care reform bill that had been passed in March. This would be bad for a great deal of people because they would once again not have the health care they need. There was a very similar document to this, written in 1994 called “Contract of America,” which contained ten items. It was rolled out on the steps of the Capital Building and signed by the republican members of Congress and other candidates. This new updated edition has more than 20 items with precise legislative suggestions, and changes to how the Congress works and goals such as tougher authorization over Iran. The previous plan and the current plan were both brought about around the same time. Some House Democratic leaders are saying that the republicans are just trying to bring back ideas that didn’t work in the past. The republicans are well aware that voters are not happy with either party, so they figured that calling it the “Pledge to America,” would make people think that their issues are being a taken seriously, so they should vote for the republicans.

    I think it’s good that the Republican Party already has a plan for if they win control of Congress, however I don’t agree with all their plans. For example, if what the House Democratic leaders said was true about them bringing back ideas that didn’t work before, then they need new ideas. There was already a plan like this in the past, but they just took those same ideas and added more, then changed the name of it. I think the republicans need new ideas that could help more people in the future. It seems like most of their policies won’t benefit the majority of the population in the United States. For instance, they want to take back the health care reform bill that was passed in March even though they know it will leave many citizens without health care. If these are the republican’s plans for our country, then I think they need to make some changes so that everyone will profit from it not just the rich people.

    Laura Musalem
    Period 6th

    The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy restricts the US military from efforts to reveal closeted gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members, while preventing openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual applicants from joining the military service. The DADT policy was brought about by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Many military, political, and religious leaders strongly opposed Clinton’s policy, resulting in a compromise policy which permits homosexuals to serve in the military as long as they don’t talk about their sexual orientation openly and do not engage in homosexual activities. Jonathon Hopkins, a young man who was one of the 14000 discharged service members always told people when talking about the military that “it makes everyone better, teaching us all important values like teamwork and selflessness.” But he has come to realize that for a gay man, it is not true. Some gay members of the military suffer from depression because they try so hard to mask their identity, that they are unable to live a happy, carefree life.

    I have a lot of sympathy for Jonathon Hopkins and the other gay men and women who feel ashamed for something they cannot change, no matter how badly they may want to. Not being allowed to embrace the fact that you are homosexual would take a great emotional toll on a person. I believe that the DADT policy should be repealed because if homosexual individuals can hold any sort of office job, they should be able to join the armed forces if they desire. If someone is against working with homosexuals, then maybe the military isn’t the place for them.

    Cerys Humphreys
    7th Period


    Michelle Obama is planning on campaigning for at least nine Democratic candidates and two Democratic committees for the closing weeks of the midterm election. Starting on October 13th, the first lady will be heading to 5 different states starting in Wisconsin and ending in California on October 27th. She will also visit Colorado, New York, and Washington. Her schedule is not concrete yet and she may add a few more stops for more campaigning. Sixty-nine percent of women have a positive opinion of Michelle Obama, making her an extremely valuable asset on the campaign trail. Some say that she planned this trip due to the grumbling of fellow democrats who say that she hasn’t been doing enough politically to help them.

    This event is important because it shows that the president isn’t the only political figure in the white house. The first lady is definitely in a position of power and she has the ability to influence people’s decisions on a very large scale. This relates to what we are studying in class because Michelle Obama will be using her power to try to get people to vote democratically. Pericles, John Locke, and Thomas Jefferson, among other political figures of the past, have tried to persuade people to go along with their ideas the same way Michelle Obama is trying to get people to go along with her ideas. Persuasion is a recurring theme in politics and it is not one that is going to stop anytime soon. I think that its important that people with power let the public know their opinions on political issues. This informs the public and creates more informed voters.

    Andrew Cohen
    7th period


    The passage of the landmark health-care overhaul legislation, has fallen flat with voters. This has caused much distress for the congressional Democrats. The Democrats plan to make their idea work, is to keep promoting it. Obama was recently at a suburban house in Washington DC, promoting the idea. He talked to real people, people that would be effected by this legislation. The president and congressional Democrats are reminding voters that a number of popular provisions of the legislation take effect Thursday. Starting this week, insurance companies will no longer be able to impose life time limits on coverage. Also, insurers also won't be able to deny coverage to families with children who have pre-existing conditions. People are saying that the Democratic party is spending too much of their time and money on health care, and not enough on the ever dwindling economy. President Obama has been sticking to his plan and is working ever so hard on health care. But somehow, everything that the Democratic party promotes seems to end with our worsening economy.

    I think health care is important to our country. Many Americans are not getting the health care that they need to make a full recovery. Some have never gone to the dotor. So, yes, I agree it is important, but the people of America need to be willing to make the change. Speeches, yes they will work, but the people they are attempting to reach out to, may not own a television. Some may not even care. I think if President Obama was serious, he would reach out even more. Making speeches in local areas and in different parts of America, would help increase the number of voters. Americans are upset that he is spending too much time and money on this problem. I think he needs to also focus on the economy. If a man doesn't have a job, he may not have a television, and he may not be connected to the outside world. If the health care problem keeps ending up with being about the economy, why don't we just focus on the economy before getting ahead of ourselves?

    Maggie Evans
    6th period

  12. Stewart 'Saddened' by Obama

    Many supporters of Obama are very frustrated, and this does not exclude celebrity John Stewart. Stewart commented on the Bill O’Reilly show saying that in 2008, he had voted for Obama under the impression that he was getting a lot more from his president than he has gotten. Stewart made an analogy saying when Obama went in to office, it was like believing Jesus was going to walk on water, but instead he is just treading water. John Stewart is a known Liberal and displays his views on his television show, which makes it that much more evident that Obama is losing support from his original fan base. Although his announcement of his dismay in the president’s job, John still says he does not regret voting Obama into office in 2008. Stewart elected Obama under the impression things would be done differently in office, but to his and many other’s unfortunate surprise, this was not the case.
    The way I see it, Obama has performed well below expectations. However, there are two key factors that will aid Obama in his own defense. First, During Obama’s campaign, he built up so much hope in the American people that anything short of a miracle in office would have been a disappointment. Secondly, the president did not exactly enter office while America was in ship-shape. A large mess of the economy was left from the former president that made and immediate turnaround near impossible, along with the war in Iraq not getting any better with time. Making things absolutely worse was the oil spill during his term that did not only leave a mess in the ocean, but a mess on the president’s desk. In a manner of speaking, the president is doing the best he can with what he has. Doing things he promised during his campaign were outside of the president’s power because he was restricted in his position.

    Original Article:

  13. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
    In American Government right now, there is much turmoil concerning the “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” law. The don’t ask, don’t tell policy pertains to homosexuals serving in the military. This law basically states that as long as you don’t tell anyone about you sexuality, no one will ask you and there won’t be any problems. If a gay does express his or her sexual preference, they are immediately discharged from the army. Over the past 16 years, 13,000 men and women have been ejected from the army over this law. This had had detrimental effects on our military. Many of the people who were dismissed had vital skills and would provide important services in the war including counterterrorism, medicine, and fluency in Arabic. Furthermore, these soldiers were then replaced with convicted felons who were given “moral waivers”. Replacing soldiers is very expensive, so a large amount of tax payers money was spent on enforcing this law. Recently, people and organizations have started speaking up about the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Groups such as the Log Cabin Republicans and certain judicial personnel are standing against this law and have been quoted saying that it is unconstitutional.
    I agree with these people. I believe that no one should be discriminated against and that this law is the definition of discrimination. It is also the description of stupidity. Instead of focusing on the success of our army, this law is removing beneficial soldiers from troops. This law is outdated and exudes homophobia. I hope that the Obama administration will remove this law for good.

    Maria Miggs


    In the months before the November elections for house and senate seats, the pace of legislation has picked up as incumbents try to prove that they have made progress during their terms. President Obama recently tried to get a bill passed that would force contributors to campaigns to disclose how their money was spent and where they got it. Although he warned that inaction would cause a "corporate takeover of our democracy", the bill was blocked in the Senate. His party had more success with a small business loan bill, which would set 30 billion dollars aside to be loaned out to small enterprises. After passing through the Senate, the House of Congress also gave the bill the go-ahead today. Many Republicans, however, were strongly opposed to the plan, saying it was "just another bail-out bill".
    I feel that both of these measures are trivial and pointless, particularly given the country's current economic status. Although locking up another 30 billion dollars may seem trivial given our current national debt of over 13.4 trillion dollars, it is absurd that our government should even propose spending more money when our national debt is so large. In addition, although it is unfortunate that it is hard for some small businesses to get loans right now, I don't think that it's the government's duty to interfere. Loans should be an issue between banks and businesses; I don't think that the government needs to step in.
    The impetus for the campaign finance bill is more understandable. Because there is undoubtedly much corruption in campaign spending, it makes sense in a way to require that spending be revealed. However, I believe that this is impractical because of the amount of bureaucracy involved. Requiring campaign donors to fill out additional forms documenting the intent and origin of all donations undoubtedly creates thousands of unnecessary and wasteful government jobs, while giving the government the ability to approve or disapprove campaign donations - effectively screening unwanted (by the administration) candidates out.

    Shane Sater
    Pd. 7

    (Additional) Sources Cited
    "The Debt to the Penny and Who Owns It." US Department of the Treasury, 22 Sept 2010. Web. 23 Sept 2010.


    Today at the UN general assembly, Obama gave a speech encouraging the countries of the Middle East to support the already fragile Middle East peace talks. He also warned Iran to discontinue their nuclear weapons program, or face international pressure to do so. Obama told urged Israel to extend the delay on building Jewish settlements in West Bank, an act which has angered many Palestinians. Obama also spoke out about North Korea for violating nuclear nonproliferation treaties and for being "a regime that enslaves its own people" as he put it.Concerning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama said that the tactics being employed against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan were going well and that the withdrawal from Iraq was also going well, though he failed to address the political issues going on in Iraq.

    This is an important step in Obama's pledge to take American leadership and cooperation on an international level to new extremes. Many Americans feel dissatisfied and underwhelmed with Obama's performance so far. If he can manage to fulfill this promise, then American confidence in Obama, his political party, and in their own nation will increase. Not only is this important in a spatial politics sense, its also important at any time for any leader to attempt to be diplomatic with nations and better American relations with the outside world, and lessen characteristic American isolationism. If the right steps are taken in this political minefield then the Obama Administration may be able to promote world peace and good relations with the rest of the world for years to come.


    Small Business Jobs Bill
    Eric Plevy - P6 - 9/24/10

    This morning, a bill which intends to create jobs for small businesses was passed. The bill was outvoted 237 to 187 and will make an attempt to help our economy. The details of this bill include aiming to create 500,000 jobs for small businesses and even create around $12,000,000,000 in tax breaks! While it saves small businesses money, president Obama claims that it will not even add to our country’s deficit. A form of this bill was originally proposed around three months ago. The Republican Party strongly disagreed with the ideas included in this bill, so the bill was debated upon. After months of much debating, most Republicans did not like the ideas in the revised bill either, but there were enough people that agreed with the bill to get it passed. Our country is still in an economic crisis, so in a time of desperation, our country has to devise plans to get our economy jump started again. Since President Obama supports small businesses, this bill may not be exactly what some people were looking for, but for Obama and most of the other voters, this appeared to be a legitimate plan to help our economy. It is claimed in the article that small businesses are a good target because with funds, they can buy new equipment, create more jobs, and may inspire other people to start small businesses. This will not only create more jobs overall, but also has the potential to give our economy a boost due to more jobs and innovation. As mentioned, the bill was passed this morning, but it is planned to become official (signed by the president) on Monday.
    To me, the logic supporting this bill makes complete sense. I believe that very few people may think that they have the potential to start a large company or business. I do not think it would do nearly as much to fund large businesses as it would to fund small businesses. Funding large businesses may create a few jobs, but it would only spark, if any, innovations by the slightest bit. If people become more inspired, more people would create smaller businesses. This could potentially create more money and help our economy due to an increased production rate, increased businesses, increased jobs, and increased product consumption rates which would give money to other business due to the need for necessary supplies. From this information, I have come up with a possible outcome. That is that this could create a cycle that would start with the creation of a business. This business would need supplies so they would look at other companies to buy supplies to get their business started. With a different variety of businesses, people would have more options as to where to invest. These businesses will earn money and will create more jobs due to the money that would make the businesses larger. People would realize that they could do the same exact thing and set up even more businesses. From here, the cycle would repeat thus creating multiple businesses that would bring in more income to help our economy. Overall, I highly agree with this new bill and strongly believe that it could help us out of this economic crisis. This relates to what we are studying because this bill was passed through the legislative branch of our government. The legislative branch we have today would not exist without the brilliant idea of separation of powers. Since each branch only focuses on one topic, the legislative branch only has one duty, to make laws. With this, they were able to put the time into thinking about ideas that could really help our nation instead of having to focus on other tasks. Because of the separation of powers, it was possible for the legislative branch to devise such a well thought out bill to help improve our nation.

  17. Dannel Malloy is a Democrat running for governor of Connecticut. Malloy visited Yale and talked to some of their students in undergraduate programs. He was telling the students that the last time a democrat was in office in Connecticut was before any of them were even born. This is surprising because in Connecticut there is a pretty large gap between Democratic and Republican votes with Democratic votes winning over. The last democratic governor in Connecticut was in office in 1986, but all of their Congressional seats are Democrats, and also their senator is a Democrat. Many believe that there is a curse upon Democrats that run for governor, but others just believe they have bad luck. Mr. Foley, Mr. Malloy’s Republican running mate, states that he believes Connecticut votes for Republican governors because they want Republican governors not because of some curse.

    All of this seems somewhat confusing to me. I don’t understand why Connecticut is a primarily Democratic state but they have had a Republican in the governor’s seat since 1986. Even though some may say it is a curse I don’t believe so. I think that Mr. Foley is correct by saying that it is what the people want if this is what they have been voting for. Truly if you think about it’s not necessarily true that the people are choosing a Republican candidate due to a curse. Therefore I think that the people in Connecticut might be mostly Democratic but there might not have been a great Democratic governor candidate, so the Republican candidate might be a better choice for the state. Also even though people claim to be Democrats many can and do vote for Republicans, but it all depends on which candidate has a better platform for becoming a governor.

    Leah Whitney
    Period 7

  18. Stacey Cutrell
    Period 7

    This Tuesday, the Senate voted to try to end a policy called “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which is a law dealing with the debate of gays being allowed to enroll in the military. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is a law that was made in 1993 that means if your sexual orientation is not talked about, it is not a problem. Voting to end this law will allow the homosexuals to serve openly in the military. There won’t be a conclusion until there is another vote later in the year. For repealing the policy, it was a 56 to 43 vote, where the Democrats came a little short of 60 of keeping this law. It has come down to the Democrats verses the Republicans over legislative process, not privileges of a homosexual or bisexual person.
    I think that this law should not be revoked from the right of the gays in the military, and the law should be repealed. It is one thing to have freedom of your sexual orientation, but this is discriminating against a group who wants to help protect our country. It is wrong for that to be held against people and not allowing them to fight for the United States. People should be able to be open about their sexual values with others. I agree with the words of Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut. He said, “It’s un-American. It’s inconsistent with our best values of equal opportunity, who can get the job done, not what your private life is about.” This means that everyone has a chance to fight in the army. It matters who can be the best at their job, not what their background is.

  19. Ryan Rainey
    6 period

    The "Pledge to America" came out today. It is a twenty-one page agenda that the Republican party will use as a platform if the win in November. The pledge focuses on getting jobs and on the struggling economy. The house republicans said that the big point was to extend all tax cuts due at the end of this year. They are banning earmarks which is a notorious staple of the republican party. The document also calls for permanently prohibiting taxpayer funding for abortion. Republican leaders ended on a line that says, "We pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values." I think that this so called pledge is capable of winning the Republicans the seat in November. I am just wondering how many people will read it. If the Democrats win then I am unsure if it will just be dropped or if the democrats have some similar ideas.

  20. Norman Archer
    6th Period, Civics
    This article highlights the recent activities of President Barack Obama. Over the past couple of week President Obama has traveled around the United State having “backyard conversations” with ordinary citizens. During these casual encounters the president and the typical American discuss topics such as healthcare and the economy. One could tell through the real life stories and tough questions that these discussion unscripted, for they dealt with very serious and honest ideals. Of course, as with any action our president take, critics came from both sides. While some democrats thought that Obama was too professional, some republicans state that our commander-in-chief is distant and disconnected from the American people.
    All in all, I think what the president is doing is beneficial to the country. It is important to show the American people example of their tax money going to work. By displaying positive examples of economic stimulus and healthcare bills, Obama insures that progress is being made. As for the naysayers, I think that they are just looking for a reason to criticize. Whether they (certain republicans) question his faith or his citizenship, pundits like Glenn Beck will always have something to say. The truth of the matter is that all the dirt on Obama has been dug, there is really nothing more to know. Everything now is just lies and slander. It’s frustrating but hey, this is politics.

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    Obama is scheduled to give a speech in New York to update the public on the oversea plans for the Obama administration. However, there is speculation that another speech focusing on foreign policy could potentially harm the support for the Obama administration’s plans for economic recovery. The unemployment rate in America is approaching 10%. Nearly half of the Americans surveyed think that the economy in America is as bad as it was two years ago, when Obama was running for president. Almost 60% of Americans surveyed don’t approve of the Obama administration’s handling of the economy. Another poll said that the Republicans could do a better job handling terrorism. “Traditionally, presidents who have faced problems in their domestic agenda have turned to foreign policy to shore up their standing with the public,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland notes. Obama is in fact doing this however, next week he will return the focus of his energies to America’s economies when he travels throughout the country.

    I think that Obama, overall, is doing all that he can with the power and workforce that he has given. However, I am inclined to side with those who disagree with the Obama administration’s handling of the economy. I think that we should maintain a presence overseas but I don’t think our presence has to be as strong. Obama is withdrawing troops from Iraq, but he is just moving them to Afghanistan. I think that we should significantly decrease the number of troops overseas and bring them home. If the Obama administration did not have to worry so much about overseas, then they could focus on America’s economy. America leads the world in its defense budget. I think that these funds, instead of funding wars, would be spent much better on lowering America’s debt and improving the economy.

    Zach Visco
    September 23, 2010
    Period 5

  23. Riley Hutchison
    7th period

    In New York the race for the govenor position is a topic that is getting alot of coverage. Andrew M. Cuomo (who is a democrat), and Carl P. Paladino (who is a republican), are running against each other for this position. Just a few days ago one poll showed the odds as 1 to 1, but now a new poll states that Cuomo is leading Paladino 57% to 24%. Another poll shows that Paladino is leading Cuomo 60% to 32%. This really showed how the election process isnt always accurate. Different polls use different methods, and calculate in different statistics. The polls show that Paladino has momentum but that Cuomo is still in the lead. Paladino has time to catch up, but he is still 33 points behind. Paladino has picked up points since the last poll was taken, and although he is still far behind he could still come back. Paladino's campaign manager says "Today’s Siena poll has questionable results". He is trying to make it seem like Paladino isnt as far behind as the polls say he is.

    The main thing that i am confused about is how two polls can have different percentages for the same canidates. This showed me that just because one poll will have a certain canidate in the lead, another poll could have a different oppinion. New York is a Democratic state so it makes sense that the democratic canidate Cuomo will be in the lead. The article made it sound like Paladino still had a chance to win. I don't understand how if the polls show a vast difference between the canidates, the losing canidate can still come back and win. Overall this article helped me see how the election process isnt just about what goes on the month of the election, and how it involves lots of preperation.

  24. Last week, senate passed a multi-billion dollar bill in favor of small businesses. Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass along the bill to President Obama. According to the Senate's summary the bill would be creating five hundred thousand jobs. Obama stated that this bill will, "help provide loans and cut taxes for millions of small business owners..." This bill would not be adding to the country's deficit. Last week in the Senate the bill was passed with a 61 to 31 vote, and this week passed in the House with a vote of 237 to 187. Part of this bill is a 12 billion dollar tax break. Some key breaks include; exclusion of capital gains, "carry back: provision extended to five years, increase of section 179(which allows capital expenditures"future benefits" to be written off immediately thus producing quick cash), and help for starting up. It should also be said that this bill was proposed 3 moths ago but because of republican opposition.

    I wrote about the senate passing this bill last week, but I thought it would be interesting to follow-up on this topic. I think it is a wonderful idea to give a boost to small businesses. It will help the local and global economies. I do, however, see the down sides to the President potentially passing this. This is a multi BILLION dollar bill that could be passed. We are in a recession, and spending billions of dollars is never a good thing. Paying off this small jobs bill will be a long-term project, but I think the revenue earned from the small-jobs may certainly help.

    Jessica Batson
    7th Period


    60% of all people surveyed voted YES to renew tax cuts for all taxpayers. These tax cuts were set standard during the Bush administration and are to rise even more on December 31. The Obama administration has come up with their plan as to how to approach this situation. They agree to continue the tax cuts for everyone but end those for the richest 3% of taxpayers. Many of the interviewed economists, however, are disagreeing. THey believe the tax cuts should be extended for everyone, and no one should be left out.

    I do not agree with what the Obama administration is trying to do right now. By extending the tax cuts for only 3% of taxpayers, they are purposely targeting the richer people and making them pay more proportionally than the rest of us. I feel that all tax cuts should either be renewed or ended for everyone. There should not be a certain group of people, outstanding from the rest, who are treated differently. Money and income is a very touchy topic, and many people will not agree with this when they here they may have to lose their tax cuts while other people continue theirs. No matter if the tax cuts are shortened or extended, i feel this change should be universal for all tax payers.

    Cole Shoup
    Period 7

  26. Jay Htut
    6th Period

    On Tuesday, Senate rejected the enactment of a major military bill that would repeal the "dont ask, dont tell" policy, which disallowed those who were openly homosexual or bisexual from entering military service. However, there will be a likelihood of another vote later in the year. The outcome of this vote was affected by the occurence of the midterm elections, and was heavily influenced by the dispute between democrats and republicansover legislative process.

    In my opinion, the "dont ask, dont tell" policy should be repealed. These bisexual or homosexual men and women should have the oppurtunity of joining the military and serving their country. They should not be judged on the sexual views, because they are risking their lives to serve their nation. I do not believe the moral of fellow American soldiers would be affected, because a person is a person regardless of their views and beliefs. In addition, one of the foundations of American thinking is that all men are created equally, regardless of other factors.


    Republicans have written an agenda called the "Pledge to America." It outlines their goals and plans for the country. It includes repealing the health care bill and many tax and spending cuts. A lot of it is just reversing changes the Obama administration has made. They say the country is acting without the consent of the governed, and the Republicans want to 'take back the country.' They want to give tax cuts to small business owners, along with keeping Guantanamo Bay open.

    While there are some good ideas in this document, for the most part I disagree with the values expressed in it. It seems kind of backwards to reverse all these changes Obama has made. A lot of the language used in the document is hateful, such as "Our Plan to Reform the Job Killing Health Care Law and Put in Place Real Reform." I don't believe this is the way to get something done. They also discuss trying to keep in place "traditional families", which almost always refers to a heterosexual couple with several children. I don't believe in that, and don't think it should be a focus of the government. While they do say they would replace the health care reform, I don't believe they actually would after repealing it.

    -Kate Boyd (7th pd)

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.


    Recently, the Senate voted against taking up a major military bill to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. President Obama, among many other important people in our government, has said that he would like to see this policy repealed. The House has approved a legislation that would let the Pentagon repeal it, but the fight in the Federal Court carries on. Even with all of this, Senate Republicans voted (unanimously) to block all debate on the bill. Any further attempts to pass this bill are expected to be blocked in the same way.

    I believe 100% that this bill should be passed. It is unconstitutional and cruel to keep lesbian and gay men and women out of the military, only on the basis of their sexual orientation. I find it truly hard to believe that in our time this is even an issue. People are not kicked out of the military for their race or gender, so why should sexual orientation be any different? Anyone who wants the opportunity to fight for our country completely deserves the right to do so. I don't understand how people could be so unfeeling and cruel as to keep this bill in place. I hope, with every bit of my heart, that this bill gets past as soon as possible, making our military forces constitutional and genuinely American once again.

    Kim Rubish
    6th Period


    Thomas Nguyen
    Period 7

    "A pledge to America" was set by the GOP for midterm elections; the pledge includes a set of goals that the GOP wants to achieve. John Boehner, a representative from Ohio, also the Republican leader, unveiled the plan today from a lumber warehouse in Virginia. Goals in the "Pledge to America" includes permanent tax cuts for all taxpayers, decreased federal spending, repealing the health-care plan,decreasing the federal deficit, and stopping government control over Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The GOP also wants to stop any left over money from the $787 billion plan from being used. The Republicans say that these plans can help create jobs and make small businesses grow. President Obama's aides began attacking the plan; they said the GOP's agenda made the US fall into the recession.

    I understand that the GOP is trying to follow the path President Ronald Regan's tax cuts. I think tax cuts are a good idea because people end up with more money in their pocket. My only concern is that will the GOP's plan work and the duration of time it takes for America to be out of the recession. The road to recovery will be a long path to follow. I think the government should spend less, but still have the same technology and programs. I think the government should research technology that increases efficiency and uses less money to operate and perpetuate.


    The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was created in 1993 and prevents gays and lesbians from openly serving in the military. The policy asks that gays and lesbians keep their sexuality private in return for the promise that the government will not ask them to tell or disclose their sexual orientation. While running for president, Barack Obama promised to bring the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to an end; however, the task is proving harder than expected. This past Tuesday, the Republican Senate voted unanimously against a defense spending bill that included the repeal of the seventeen-year-old ban. The vote was 56 to 47, not meeting the required 60 votes for the bill to pass. However, many Republicans have stated that they may be open to the repeal later this year, after the results of a study of the effects of repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” are revealed.

    I believe that it is time for the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to end. Since 1993, around 12,500 gay and lesbian service members have been discharged under “don’t ask, don’t tell” when their sexual orientation became known. 400 of these men and women have been discharged under the Obama Administration alone. Everyday we work to eliminate any laws or policies that may bar us from moving forward towards equality. Although “don’t ask, don’t tell” was put in place to eradicate violence and hostility, it has only been a backwards, unconstitutional step. The ban has been costly and extremely discriminatory, reinforcing the overwhelming prejudice against gays and lesbians already present in America. Gays and lesbians are granted the same rights as anybody else, and this includes serving openly in the military.

    Maria Yao, 6th

  32. As of yesterday long anticipated changes on healthcare came into affect, comvering an additional 72000 and also children 26 and younger under their parents plan. President Obama appeared revived in his struggle with congress and many democrats used this as backup to their voting to push back voting on tax cuts. Recently republican congressional leaders have been campaining to repel the act and today Mr. Obama silenced them with the question of, how can you complain about a law that is projected to cover 32 million uninsured and reduce a deficit by 143 billion dollars? Mr. Obama agrees with the political strategy of republicans but he fights to remain loyal to the people of america by continuing on with "It just doesn’t make sense in terms of actually making people’s lives better."

    I think that if a law passed six months ago can stir up this much commotion then politicians focus to much on having there job as long as possible and instead of focusing on whats right for america. America dosent really care who is in which seat, but 14 million Americans who buy policies on the indivdual market do care about what they are paying and what they are getting. With so much debat happening between republicans and democrats, is it possible to reach a decision without drawing theoretical blood? Today many americans gained healthcare but the main focus was on how this effected the mid term elections.

    Ian Hill

    In Delaware the primaries wielded an odd result. A Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnel won the republican nomination for senate rather than the actual republican candidate. This was very surprising because the other candidate that she beat out had a very good chance at winning the election. It's also surprising because the Tea Party isn't a party with a very good reputation, especially since they're new. She said that if she is elected that politics as we know them will change. The republican that she beat out for the nomination had been in the senate for nine terms which means he has lots of experience in the government and lots of public support.
    Over i believe that this was a bad decision to nominate her. If the republicans had nominated Mike Castle he would have easily beat out the democratic candidate. Christine O'Donnel doesn't have anywhere close to the experience that Mike Castle has nor the reputation. She is also a member of the Tea Party which has very little support right now due to their radical political views and the fact they haven't been around very long. The biggest problem with her is the fact that she has had financial problems in the past with her campaign. She appearently used campaign funds for her own personal use, which doesn't she exemplary leadership like leaders should. This also shows a shady side which we dont need more of in politics. I believe that the republicans should have nominated Mike Castle and taken the easy win
    Alex Grosskurth
    6th period


    Thursday marked the 6 month anniversary of the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This act allows children with pre-existing health problems to be added to their parents heath care plan, and allows people to get preventative procedures, such as mammograms and immunizations, without having to pay a co-pay. The White House says that now 72,000 people will now be able to get health care.

    I think it's very important that these people are now able to get health care, especially since many of them are children who have a serious medical condition. I think it's terrible that so many children would have to live without it, and I believe that it's a very good thing that now many preventative procedures are co-pay free. Things being co-pay free means many people won't have to go through the traumatic experience of cancer, and the expenses that go along with it. I think it's terrible that they haven't had this health care before.


    The American Medical Association, the nation's largest physician organization, has now switched its long held stance on marijuana from being criminal to being very useful. Some uses are not only the smoking of the weed for medicinal purposes, but extracting tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-a rich hemp oil that some claim can cure cancer. The federal government has not reacted to the AMA's urging for the study of the plant, although the Obama administration has ordered federal narcotics agents to cease prosecution of medical marijuana users in states where it is legal. This is a major shift in trend from previous administrations' strict opposition to usage and enforcement of violations, even in legal states.

    I think marijuana should be given a chance because it has no harmful effects. It is one of the Five Sacred Plants Of India and was used medicinally in ancient China. In America however, the Marijuana Transfer Tax Act was passed which prohibited the production of hemp as well as weed. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics claimed that fields with hemp were also used as a source for marijuana dealers. I don't know, maybe they were trying to knock two birds out with one stone.

    What I think was really going on was corruption, particularly in Andrew Mellon, Randolph Hearst and the Du Pont family. With the invention of the decorticator, hemp became a very cheap substitute for the paper pulp that was used in the newspaper industry. Hearst felt that this was a threat to his extensive timber holdings. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury and the wealthiest man in America, had invested heavily in the Du Pont familie's new synthetic fiber, nylon, which was also being outcompeted by hemp. The two, with their political connections, completely demonized marijuana and hemp, creating a smokescreen and leading attention away from their original business interests.


    Current event 3

    Logan 6th

    Connor Randolph

    Recently the Republican Party has launched a plays with voters anger to use it to their advantage mainly republican house. At the center of the document was modeled after “Contract with America” that helped the republican s when control of house in 1994. The pledge promises “to do away with old politics “and “reform congress and restore trust”. Republican just recently launched the pledge at the virgina hardware shop at an attempt to hostage politics in Washington.

    I think that this is not a way to win the house and get majority vote. I do have to say that this probably work if this worked before in the Contracrt of America. To place a pressure on the existing congress should not be done. This is a good strategy that is used in a bad way to take an advantage of the voters. Id the people want to voice there option they should not make a pledge to pressure the voters.


    On Tuesday US economic adviser Lawrence Summers announced he would resign at the end of the year. The official reason for his departure is he wants to return to Harvard University. He was president of Harvard from 2001-2006. Before that he was Bill Clinton’s Treasury secretary. Some are glad he’s going others are not. He is the third top economic official to resign this year.
    However, his resignation has come when the US is in a big financial mess. Critics said that he was too conservative and too tied to Wall Street. Some say it’s his fault that the US is in this mess. Others say, however, that he did a great job helping Obama guide the US through the economic crisis. Whatever you believe, this country’s got a long way to go before we get out of this mess.

    Mark Stouffer
    Period 7


    There was a recent poll about what congress should do in terms of taxes. In that poll 60% of the people voted that the tax cuts should be the same as when Bush was around and have tax cuts apply to all taxpayers. The Obama administration does not agree, instead of all the taxpayers getting tax cuts they’re saying that tax cuts will go to
    everybody who isn’t in the top 3% in terms of salary. The article later has some interviews with a couple experts. Many experts/economists do not agree with what the administration is doing and are saying that everyone should have tax cuts. Some state that if the Obama administration’s plan follows out , the economy will go into a double-dip recession.

    I personally do not like that the Obama administration is not including the 3% of the wealthiest taxpayers in the tax cuts. I think that everyone should get tax cuts, much like the majority of the people who voted in the poll. It isn’t fair that richer people are singled out of the group that gets tax cuts. Either everybody should get tax cuts or nobody should.

    Basirul Haque
    7th period


    The GOP has released a 21-page “Pledge to America” which consists of things the GOP promise to do if they gain control of the House. This document is an update of the “Contract with America” that was written in 1994. The GOP plans to permanently extend Bush-era tax cuts and reverse health care reforms that were recently made. They are planning on having the Congress look over every new regulation that could potentially raise the national debt even more. They believe that the current government is spending too much money and that they aren’t listening to the people. However, the House Democratic leaders are arguing that the GOP are just trying to bring back a policy that has failed us in the past. The Democrats are also saying that the Republicans are pledging to the rich, while the recession and debts continue on for the rest of us.

    I personally think that cutting taxes and reversing the health care reform is flat out dumb. The only way we are going to get out of debt is with taxes helping us to pay for things to provide jobs for the people. People in the middle class can’t pay anymore taxes. A lot of them are already unemployed. However, many of the super rich people out there are complaining about having to pay the higher taxes. Why can’t they just spend less money for themselves and spend it on something worthwhile like saving our economy. Just because they aren’t affected by the recession doesn’t mean that they should just sit and watch it affect others around them and complain that the government is trying to take all their money. Reversing the health care forms made is a dangerous decision. Without that reform, many people won’t be able to get the health coverage they need. Just because all of the politicians get free health coverage doesn’t mean that they should just ignore the health care needs of the others. This has to do with what we are doing in class because the “Pledge to America” was written to draw people into the voting booths and vote Republicans. Our right to vote for people who we want to represent us came from many different influences throughout history.

    Jenny Jin
    7th period

  40. Barack Obama arrived at the headquarters of the United Nations on Thursday morning to give a speech about how we need the voices of other countries to speak out and support efforts to establish international peace and democracy worldwide. While he stated that America hopes for and is continually working towards building a peaceful, democratic world, he reminds us that the United States can’t do it alone. He speaks of the countries that emerged from tyranny in the latter half of the last century, and how they inspired the world. He claims we cannot just stand by while other countries are suffering. "Part of the price of our own freedom is standing up for the freedom of others. That belief will guide America's leadership in this 21st century." He claims war, global terrorism and economic crisis have made it difficult to pursue an unwavering, moral society. There are leaders that, due to these issues, have abolished term limits, crack downed on civil society and been corrupt which restrain good governance and entrepreneurship. Obama restated his belief that a free and open society is the only resolution. "Democracy, more than any other form of government, delivers for our citizens."

    I agree with Barack Obama in that democracy is the best form of government and that the US cannot improve the world on our own, everyone needs to help. Recently in class we’ve been discussing the roots of our government and the historical influences on our political system, and this article relates because the idea of democracy of which America and other countries is still trying to spread goes all the way back to Ancient Greece. Although the form of democracy in Ancient Greece was direct and our current form of democracy is representative, we owe appreciation and recognition to Pericles, and his early outline of democracy.

    Julie Wulforst
    6th period

  41. Congress voted on two different bills related to finance this week. The first was a bill that would help small businesses. This was passed by the Senate and has been passed on to President Obama for signing. The other bill was not passed. It would have forced organizations that participate in political campaigning to disclose all of their donors who contributed more than $1000. It would also have made any political commercials produced by these organizations to have a message at the end in which the creator says, “I approved this message,” like the advertisements from the candidates. Parties that would be greatly affected by the outcome of the vote, like businesses receiving bailout money, would not be able to spend money on campaigns.

    I think that it is fortunate that the small business bill was passed. Unemployment is high right now. This could help provide many more needed jobs for Americans. I think that the second bill should be revised. I think that it would be a good idea to prevent corporations from funding campaigns. Otherwise, our government would end up being run by the large corporations who could give lots of money to politicians. I do not think, however, that organizations should have to report donors who give $1000. This seems like too small of a sum to have to declare publicly. Maybe the amount should go up a little. I agree with having ad creators having to put a message at the end of commercials. Some people might otherwise think that candidates had presented them, which could lead to confusion among voters.

    Chiara Salemi


    This article is about Barack Obama’s full name: Barack Hussein Obama. Apparently Sarah Palin has been using President Obama’s middle name in a derisive tone. She specifically did this in a speech on Wednesday. Critics say that using Obama’s full name is not a racial slur, but the way people are using it is suggestive.

    I think that it is fine to use Obama’s full name, but the fact that it is being used in a joking manner is racist and disrespectful. People suggest that it is bad that Barack’s middle name is Hussein. This is suggesting that people think that having a Muslim name is a bad thing. When most Americans think of terrorism they think of the Middle East. The truth is that not all middle easterners are terrorists and it is just uneducated and ridiculous to think that the name Hussein has anything to do with terrorism. I think that Barack Obama’s full name should be used; there is no need to be ashamed of it, but it should be said without a smirk or joke behind it.
    (Politics is American Government….I know I’m stretching it a bit…)


    The senate is delaying the vote on Bush’s tax cuts until after the elections. Jim Manley, a spokesman for the majority leader of the Democrats, said that Republicans were to blame for the delay by insisting on an extension of all tax cuts. . Democrats are saying that the republicans are wasting a lot of money by giving tax giveaways to millionaires and huge corporations that work overseas. The Republicans think the tax rates should remain the same for all incomes, and not just give tax cuts to people who make under $250,000 a year.

    If I had to choose a side on this argument, I think I would have to agree with the Republicans. People who make more money than others shouldn’t have to pay higher taxes to the government. Everyone should be treated equally, which means everyone should pay the same taxes. I also believe the two parties should stop fighting and come to an agreement though. All of this bickering back and forth is just wasting the time that our government could use to fix the problems with our country and progress.

    Chris Barth


    The Dont Ask Dont Tell policy is basically the United States military way of keeping the military strictly heterosexual. If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual you are supposed to keep it to yourself. This includes not coming out about it, talking about past relationships or anything. It was put into place in 1993 and scene then over 14,000 non heterosexual service members have been discarded for breaking this policy. More controversy has recently come up when a 31 year old man whom has spent over nine years as a high ranked officer was found to be gay. He talked about how paranoid his everyday life was because he had to worry if anyone suspected him to be gay. He says “ The paranoia is sickening, and it just eats you from within”. This man went through a tough everyday life and decided he could not take it anymore. When word got around that he was gay he was very surprised. He was accepted as a gay man and many service members said that they didn’t care because he was one of the best officers they had ever had. Even though this man was accepted not all are. This police has as he said eaten away at many other service members and many think it needs to be changed.
    I am one who defiantly thinks that this police should be taken away. The D.A.D.T policy seems to me to be very discriminative and inappropriate. I don’t understand how this police has been in effect for so long and I find it amazing how many lives it has affected. I think that as this mans story showed that if you are a good solider and you are respected it will not matter if you are gay. I feel that the “masculine” image of the army does not appear to have gay men because of the tough guy image it projects. The world has become, I feel much more open about gay and lesbian people so this police should definitely be done away with.

    Jack Haskins
    7th Period


    This past Wednesday, Obama took the time to leave his professional setting to visit the ordinary families of America. His "backyard drop-ins" have led him to Virginia, and many others states are on his list for visits. His main focus was to hear the ordinary American's view of the health care bill and the current economy, though he stressed casual conversation throughout. Half of the people he talked to were picked by the Obama administration, and they happened to be people whose lives have been significantly better because of the health care bill and tax rebates. President Obama said he enjoyed these casual visits, and they reminded him of a time when he did not have to travel with a large entourage.

    I am very moved by the action the president has taken to feel ordinary citizens included. It is an important step from life at the podium and in the office to the lives of the people he governs. We discussed in class the influential people such as John Locke who believed that the government should serve its people, and what better way to serve them than to discuss matters directly with them? I was surprised at the poignancy of each story, of individual person who could now pay their bills, afford their medication, and receive health insurance. These personal stories added a touch of emotion to the endless chain of politics.

    Jessica Gao
    6th period


    House Republicans put out a “Pledge to America” today, that list the tasks which they want to do if they regain control of the House of Representatives. The pledge is forty-five pages long; however half of it is just pictures of national monuments and symbols. The pledge excludes social security, Medicare, and eliminating any federal departments. What it does include is divided into jobs, government reform, spending, national security, and health care and under each topic are four or five proposals. The problem is many of these proposals have already been introduced to the House. The Republicans have seemed to put together this bill in a hurry and even they were vague when questioned about the bill.

    The problem with this document is it really doesn’t put us in the right place to discuss and make decisions. Our government has been quick to jump the gun on many recent topics and has not truly sat down and thought things through. The house throws together pointless bills just to make people think they have a hand on what is going on. Our debt has now skyrocketed through the many stimulus packages that were really barely any use to the every day American and we are still spending millions everyday on the Iraq war. The American government needs to stop trying to win votes and start focusing on our problems.

    Jenny Vaughn
    6th period

  47. The most recent attempt to get rid of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was blocked in the Senate on Tuesday. This seventeen-year-old policy prevents men and women from being openly gay and serving in the military. Despite having a majority vote in favor of the repeal, a filibuster by all 46 Republicans in the Senate, along with three Democrats, kept the bill from getting the necessary 60 votes to pass. Some senators claim to have voted against the bill due to a "dispute between Democrats and Republicans over legislative process," what with midterm elections drawing near. There is the possibility of another vote within the year, especially due to the fact that Obama is highly opposed to the policy.

    I personally believe that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" needs to go as soon as possible. It is, as Independent Senator Joseph I. Lieberman from Connecticut said, “It’s un-American. It’s inconsistent with our best values of equal opportunity, who can get the job done, not what your private life is about.” I am in agreement with Lieberman, because I don't know how a person's sexual orientation could affect his/her job performance. While I have great respect our country's requirement of 60% for a majority vote, the future some of the more controversial bills (like this one) shouldn't be completely in the hands of Congress, or any political power for that matter.

  48. My article this week was about President Obama’s conversation with the China’s prime minister, giving a warning that the Chinese currency needs to be revalued. The prime minister wasn’t excepting Obama’s message too well though, barely persuaded him at all. The Democrats are speaking about passing a legislation that would put a more expensive tariff on things being imported from China. Obama is trying to gradually threaten the Chinese with the tariff without causing a trade war. The U.S. has been trying for many years to try and get China to ease up on its strict control on its currency.

    My opinion about the currency issue is that we have to keep pushing until what is needed is received. It seems like to me that the Chinese prime minister is too comfortable with the way things have been being handled the past few years, and it is now time for some change. This change will not only impact America but China also. In order for these changes to take place though, someone is going to have to budge and take a chance on a new idea. Either way a change must be made to make a difference, someone just has to be willing to initiate the first steps much like President Obama did.


    Earlier today, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran made a couple of serious accusations against the United Nations General Assembly. He said that certain segments of the American Government were responsible for coordinating the attacks on September 11, 2001. Ahmadinejad said that these American Government workers were trying to rescue America's declining economy, to reassert its weakening grip on the Middle East and to save Israel. The United States Mission to the United Nations then quickly replied by accusing Iran's President of "spouting vile conspiracy theories," and being as predictable as he is delusional. Many of the representitives think Ahmadinejad is crazy because he also tried to prove that the Holocaust never occured. He was also quoted in saying that the majority of America and other nations agree with his view. Analysists then reasearched and interviewed and came to the conclusion that 84% of Americans do indeed beleive our government was behind the attacks.

    Personally I'm not sure what my opinion is. In
    one way, I can see Ahmadinejad's logic and reasoning for how American Government Officials could think they were benefitting America. On the other hand, I still think that he's just trying to look for a way out of this mess and a way to clear his name in America. I could really go either way with my opinion, but if I really had to make an educated decision, I would research the attacks and Ahmadinejad's background. I also think that the American Government should look into this possibility too. They keep accusing Iran and never bother to check if the Government could have assembled the attacks. Ahmadinejad also suggested that the United Nations create a fact-finding panel to investigate his claim. As silly as a 'fact-finding' panel may sound, it could come in very handy if ever established. The panel might even be able to dig up something to help clear up this misunderstanding. Ultimately, I can't decide what to beleive right now, because I dont know enough about the previous events that occured.

    Geoff Thomason
    Period 7

  50. Leila Doerfer

    On Tuesday the United States Senate failed to repeal the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. This policy allows homosexuals to serve in the military as long as they are not open about their sexuality. This law was created in 1993 by, Bill Clinton, and it prohibited the military from asking the soldiers about their sexual orientation. Some believe that this is an issue because if a gay soldier can't trust the soldier to his side to protect him no matter what, then the safety of both soldiers has been put at risk. This policy negatively impacts homosexuals. as this article says, "the military is inherently a personal affaire." The soldiers normally know a lot each other. This means that is you are homosexual you have to isolate yourself from this close-knit organization, and cover up where you socialized.
    I agree with the law that was passed in 1993, but i do not agree with what it's become. I feel like if someone wants to serve in the military and risk their life for their country, it should have no relation to their sexual orientation. I can't even begin to imagine the emotional strain that a soldier would go through if they weren't allowed to talk to other soldiers in the army about pretty much anything personal. These are people that are choosing to defend their country, and this is preventing them from doing so. I can't see the connection between why it even matters if one is homosexual. I understand that it might cause problems in military units but i think the other soldiers should just deal with it. The majority of them probably wouldn't have a problem with it anyway. Personally i can't believe that this is even an issue of discussion.

  51. ask dont tell senate&st=cse&adxnnl=1&scp=1&adxnnlx=1285326657-M0ZpNdYSCXo+tI3dLrqWtA
    On Tuesday, the senate voted down a military bill that would allow the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy, the policy that prohibits openly gay and lesbian people from participating in the armed services. The vote was 56-43, falling four short of the sixty votes needed to overcome a filibuster and bring the bill to the floor. President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, and Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have all said they support the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy, but senate Republicans voted unanimously to block debate on the bill. Many Republicans say that they might be in favor of this bill later in the year after the military has completed a study on the possible effects of the proposed policy shift. An immigration measure, called the Dream Act, allowing certain illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children a path to citizenship, had been pledged by democrats to be attached to the bill. Most Republicans were not in favor of this either, calling it a political ploy. There is said to be great likelihood that another vote will be brought up for this proposed bill later in the year.
    I feel that this bill should be brought up to the floor and passed. Someone’s sexuality shouldn’t matter if they are willing to put their lives on the line for our country. Everyone knows that gays and lesbians have been serving in our military for years, and nothing bad has happened because of it. Why should it matter if they are openly gay? Many people say that this should be a decision made within the military, and that the government shouldn’t make this decision for them, but prior to 1948, blacks were segregated in the military, and it wasn’t until President Harry Truman stepped in and made an executive order to integrate the military. It could have been several more decades before the military made that decision themselves. Many other first world countries allow openly gay and lesbian people to serve in their military, and they have had no large problems because of it. I hope this bill is brought up again and passed.

    Brady Strine
    6th period

  52. Tensions between Iran and the United States have been rising steadily. The United Nations General Assembly has started, and everyone was crossing their fingers that it would be a productive meeting. However, when President Ahmadinejad of Iran spoke last Thursday, he accused the US government of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks in order to save our economy, help Israel, and have a better foothold in the Middle East. At this, the representatives for the US left the room, as did the representatives of more than 33 other delegations. President Ahmadinejad has a history of making wild accusations and theatrical speeches. His accusations contradicted statements earlier in the week that Iran was ready to talk rationally with the US. Mr. Clegg, Britain’s deputy Prime Minister, worried that President Ahmadinejad’s bizarre statements would overshadow the very important, very serious matters that need to be discussed in the General Assembly.

    Keep in mind this is the same president who believes that the Holocaust is a hoax. His statements are often ridiculous and are not supported by facts. I hope there aren’t more attention-getters at the General Assembly because then nothing will be accomplished. I hope the US government remains reasonable. They should take advantage of the ridiculousness of President Ahmadinejad’s statements and use them to gain support among other UN members. The US has been working very hard to have reasonable and effective discussions with Iran, but President Ahmadinejad’s crazy attitude is making it hard to have a real conversation. It’s like talking to a little kid hyped up on sugar. They just don’t listen.

    Hannah Blackburn

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Thursday rejected assertions that an internal debate had hobbled policy for Afghanistan, expressing full confidence in the strategy and saying that he expected no major shift in direction when the Obama administration completed a review of the war effort in December. Mr. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defended the contentious, administration-wide debate last year that produced a new strategy for Afghanistan approved by President Obama. It called for a substantial buildup of forces, to be followed by a withdrawal beginning next July. The pace of the withdrawal is expected to depend on the ability of Afghan forces to start taking over security responsibilities.

    There are a lot of ways in which this plan is good, but its not very tactful. Gates is simply sending in more soldiers and he hopes that these numbers combined with the Afghanistan military will be enough to win. He has some good strategy but its certainly in my opinion not the best possible plan for this situation.
    Sam Freedberg 6th period

  54. Jose Bonilla

    In this article, President Barack Obama is returning troops from iraq. But in the process iraqi millitiants still have attacks on the troops and camps. American Soldiers don't hesitate to fire at will. Soldiers still have gone raiding houses and caves that they find. At the same time, they say they are confident the Iraqis can handle what the remaining insurgents can throw at them, with Americans in the background."This is their country," Mitchell (american soldier) said. "They are capable, they are willing and they are able to take the lead."

    I think that all these expenses and shipments and reasons for military troops are very unecesarry and unreasonable. Military troops are giving there lives to "protect" the country but from what? There are still many troops still in iraq and bahgdad.