Saturday, December 10, 2011

4th period: Current Event due 12/16

Welcome to the last blog post of 2011! How did that happen so quickly?

For your last current event assignment of the calendar year, please find an article that relates to the Executive Branch. This can cover President Obama, the GOP primary race, the Cabinet, Governor Perdue or any other executive topic. This should be a fun week to post and grade! :)

Make sure to get those current events in before the new deadline (thanks to some important Honors C&E legislation and an executive signature). 

Have a great week!


  1. Nate Montano/ Pd. 4
    Title: Obama: Fixing economy likely to take 'more than one president'
    Author: CNN's Ashley Killough
    Date: December 10th, 2011

    President Barack Obama, said in an interview to air Sunday night that it could take years for the nation to reverse what he called structural problems. Obama said that it is going to take time. That it is going to take more than a year. It will might take more than two years. It is going to take more than one term. It probably will even take more than one president. With continued high unemployment and sluggish economic growth, Obama is widely expected to face a stiff reelection battle in 2012.

    The unemployment rate for November dropped to 8.6%, and is the lowest ever since March 2009. But that still leaves 13.3 million people remaining with no jobs. Almost fifty percent of the people has had no jobs for six months. I remember Obama saying that if we elect to be our president, he and his administration can pull the country out economy problem by the end of his first term. Well, its almost the end of his first term and the economy didn't make that much progress, just a sluggish ascent. I thought that the economy was getting worse since the government nearly shut down twice. I would like to see Obama get the country back on it's feet.

  2. Annie Wilcosky/ Period 4
    Obama makes his case for second term on '60 Minutes'/ Michael A. Memoli
    The Los Angeles Times
    December 11, 2011,0,1812048.story

    On a recent '60 Minutes' interview, President Obama discussed the upcoming presidential election, and his chances of being reelected. The president stated that he was not surprised about discontent among citizens; frustration with the economy the country in general have brought 54% of U.S. citizens to doubt that the President Obama will be reelected, a CBS/New York Times poll says. When asked about GOP candidates, the President said that he wasn't concerned with the presidential nominee as they “all [are] expressing the same core philosophy”. The interview ended with President Obama saying that he didn't initially overestimate the changes he would make during his presidency. He explained how progress in this country was going to take years, more than one term, and probably more than one president.

    I believe that criticism directed towards President Obama is unwarranted at times. As the figurehead of this country, citizens often place all their blame on him. However, he has made improvements during his term, and potentially would have made even more significant ones if it weren't for Congress. When compared to Gingrich and other Republican candidates, I personally believe that he is best choice for leadership of our country in the future (and not just because he did not divorce his wife while she was dying of cancer). I believe that Obama has much more to offer, and an overall good plan for the direction the United States should be heading in.

  3. Period 4
    Title: GOP Hopefuls slam Obama’s Mideast Policies
    Author: Carrie Dan and Jamie Novogrod
    Date: 12.11.11
    Source: MSNBC

    Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and Marcus Bachmann (husband of Michele Bachmann), all debated at a forum in Des Moines, Iowa, regarding veterans’ issues. Each candidate dichotomized Obama’s current Middle East policies and articulated their apprehension concerning the feasibility of Islam nuclear threats. GOP candidate Rick Perry called Obama’s policy “leading from behind” while Santorum compared Obama to Ron Paul, claiming that they are both accusing the United States for provoking Islamic terrorism. Only Marcus Bachmann expressed concern toward Obama’s health care law, saying legislation will constraint veteran’s availability to medical care. Newt Gingrich warned also about a possible nuclear threat in the future which would depict 9/11 to be “tiny” in contrast.

    The GOP candidates in this debate were too hard on Obama in my opinion. Obama has good reason to discuss his fear regarding Islamic nuclear terrorism because it is a contingency, and that’s why he shouldn’t be a scapegoat for “provoking” it. Overall the discussion solely blamed Obama for all of America’s panic toward Islam, when in fact he is trying to relieve the nation’s tension after the momentous predicament of the 9/11 attacks.

  4. Danielle Bailey
    Pd 4
    Gov. Predue Signs Bill Aimed at Expanding Craft Brewery Industry
    Chris Mackey

    Gov. Bev Perdue today signed H796, which will help expand the craft brewery industry in North Carolina, creating new jobs and further improving the state’s overall business climate.
    The legislation will allow all breweries to offer tastings and sell their products on site, a change aimed at drawing new breweries – and new jobs – into North Carolina. In recent years, the state has seen a sharp growth in small craft breweries, and the new law will help attract new operations interested in opening breweries that also serve as tourist destinations.

    I think that this would be a great opportunity for the people who are jobless know. I definitely think this will be a productive bill! it will also expand the breweries and have more of a variety of them.

  5. *Bonus Blogger*
    a) Period 4

    b) George Washington
    Abraham Lincoln
    Rutherford B. Hayes

    c) In comparison with George Washington I shared his trait of excellence in vision and goal setting as well as moral authority. Abraham Lincoln and I were also similar for the same reasons and he was depicted as a philosopher. Rutherford B. Hayes seem to be a complete antithesis to my top two results as he was a below average goal setter and had low moral authority. Our lack of public persuasion skills did correlate as well as our crisis leadership. My outcome was not at all what I expected because in comparison to what the quiz resulted in I am not an adequate crisis leader, economic manager, or crisis leader. Overall my results were definitely unanticipated and easily contentious to me.

  6. *Bonus Blogger*
    a) Period 4
    b) Ulysses Simpson Grant
    Rutherford B. Hayes
    William Howard Taft
    c) Comparing Grant and I, we both have average persuasion skills.
    Hayes and I, we both have worse than average at vision and goal setting.
    Taft and I,we both have worse than average crisis leadership.
    The only I have in common with them is the pretty bad leadership and goal setting which what. But I am not 5'8". I am kinda surprise with my results though.

  7. Sean Dawson
    4th period
    “Perdue Talks to Victim’s Families” by Lynn Bonner

    Earlier this week, Governor Bev Perdue has been discussing the Racial Justice Act with others. She has talked to the families of murder victims. Some of them are for the law, and others are not. It states that death-row inmates are allowed to argue their sentences through statistical evidence of racial bias. Perdue had passed this law two years ago, when the legislature was Democratic-controlled. Two weeks ago, the current Republican-controlled legislature passed a bill which changes the Racial Justice Act. Perdue has until December 29th to decide whether or not she will pass the bill.
    In my opinion, anyone sentenced to death should have a fair chance, no matter what. I agree that one should be able to challenge their sentence if they have proof that they are being discriminated against. I know that if I were sentenced to death, I would want people to hear me out, despite what I looked like. This isn’t just a year in jail. It is a person’s life.

  8. Nakeisha R/4th

    Congressional Republicans Want to Hogtie Obama Agencies/ Jennifer Mueller December 11, 2011

    A new bill was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on December 7 that shut down Obama’s executive branch for new rules or regulations in Washington. The Regulations would require both houses of Congress to vote on any executive decision that might cost more than $100 million dollars in cumulative economic impact. The bill is targeting clean air and clean water coming out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Michelle Bachmann had promise that “EPA will have doors locked and turned off” if she is president. The Congress has already blocked different executive branch agencies regulation but, not with a simple majority vote. The Congress would need the rule to be veto by the president and if they wanted to override the president they would need two thirds in both congress and senate.

    David Goldston of Natural Resources Defense Council explains “The bill could, in effect, impose a slow-motion government shutdown, and it would replace a process based on expertise, rationality and openness with one characterized by political maneuvering, economic clout and secrecy.” The Executive Branch is what we are discussing in class because we just finished with the Legislative Branch and this article helps my understanding the job that the Executive Branch has. It’s hard for the executive branch to come up with ideals because the congress hasn’t been on their side throughout decades.

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  10. Shelby Casabura
    BBC News
    Obama marks end of Iraq war at Fort Bragg
    December 14, 2011

    The last US soldiers are expected to withdraw from Iraq within days. The last group of combat troops departed in august last year. In Wednesday's speech President Obama owed his presidency in part to his opposition to the Iraq war. Praising the bravery of US troops during the nearly nine-year conflict. Republicans have been criticizing the pullout with concerns over Iraq's stability, but majority of Americans do support the move out. Some 1.5 million Americans had served in Iraq, nearly 4,500 had died and 30,000 had been wounded. The US president also promising returning troops he was committed to find them jobs and resources they need back home.

    My opinion on bring home the troops is that is long overdue. We have been in Iraq for to long with to many death, and troops wounded. Its time we back away and hope that Iraq can handle there country on their own.

  11. Alex Adams
    Period 4
    ‘Welcome home,’ Obama tells troops from Iraq
    By Tom Cohen
    Today, President Obama welcomed home troops returning from Iraq in Fort Bragg. Obama thanked the troops from their service and acknowledged the hardships that military families have had to go through for the past 8 years. He followed by saying that Iraq has been left with a stable government that has been elected by its people. The president continued by saying that America is and will remain the greatest fighting force the world has ever seen. This comes after Obama has promised to veto any bill trying to end the automatic spending cuts, even to the military budget.
    I’m we’re out of Iraq. We shouldn’t have been there in the first place and we have enough of problems of our own at home. People didn’t need to die for this war and we spent way too much money on helping a foreign country. This article relates to the executive branch because President Obama is the head of our executive branch. In the article, I don’t understand why John McCain cares how Obama looks. The war is over, stop complaining.

  12. Hannah Hodge/ Pd. 4
Title: Md. GOP readies for a long 2012 primary
Author: John Fritze
    Baltimore Sun
    Date: December 14, 2011


    The Maryland GOP 2012 Primary is coming up and the Republican candidates are campaigning for the caucuses that will happen over the next several months. Currently Newt Gingrich is in the lead by nine percentage points above Mitt Romney. It seems that different candidates are using different tactics in their campaigns when it comes to how they use their funds. Romney has been busy securing endorsements and he now has about 560,000$ which is considerable more than any others. Perry who has the second highest amount of contributions has only around a quarter of Romney’s. Gingrich has roughly 25,000$. The length of time that these caucuses will last can affect the candidates’ campaigns differently. It appears that if Romney’s campaign is to start working, it will be a longer-term success that wouldn’t kick in till the primary had drawn out quite a bit longer. This is one of the ways that different campaign strategies work in varying situations to either warrant immediate but possibly short lengthen success or kick in more slowly but on a solid platform that will ultimately hold the campaign in better standing. It’s debatable which of these, if any, work most effectively. Only time will tell as the GOP Primary plays out and we see who the Incumbent will be running against.
    The 2012 GOP Primary never ceases to fascinate me and worry me. The candidates in the primary are your typical white, upper class, Christian men that we’ve seen as presidents for hundreds of years in this country. Newt Gingrich is in the lead currently and although I don’t see him as an ideal candidate, he has displayed the least level of stupidity in the news. He has been lest focused on raising money as this article says and I think this can attribute for his early success. Romney has become a huge public figure but what I have seen of him has been disgraceful. However, Romney has raised a large amount of money from his campaign and this could be helpful later on. In my opinion, Romney is only compensating for a lack of competency by throwing money around. Although sometimes these elections and the candidates worry me, it is fascinating to watch what could determine the future of our country.

  13. A. Hannah Hodge
    B. Abraham Lincoln
    George Washington
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt
    C. I feel honoured to be compared to such great men. They were truly amazing leaders and I admire eachone greatly. I would hope that I was matched for being both philosophical and practical, striving to find the balance between strict, hard working and organized, and creative, free thinking and compassionate. I strive to be those things while I know that these men were prime examples for all these things.

  14. Laura Buczek/4th Period
    BBC News: Obama Marks End of Iraq War at Fort Bragg
    Author: N/A

    Obama recently made a speech at Fort Bragg in North Carolina to honor the soliders who fought and died in the Iraq war. The remaining soldiers are expected to return home from Iraq within the next couple of days. Although most Americans support the withdrawl of troops, some Republicans criticize it because of their concern for Iraq’s stability. About 1.5 million Americans have served in Iraq with 4,500 who have died and 30,000 that have been wounded. Obama also ensured the veterans find the jobs and resources that they need.

    I think that this is a very important and great decision that Obama made. Although some Republicans disagree I think this was a good choice because the troops have been in Iraq long enough and deserve to return home before Christmas. Also, George Bush had agreed on the same date (end of 2011) as the date that all US troops would leave Iraq. I disagree with the Republicans that Iraq may become unstable because the article states that although the government in Iraq may not be perfect, Obama stated that "a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people".

  15. Anna Baynes Period 4
    Democrat Finds a Welcome Distraction
    Jeff Zeleny
    The New York Times
    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    In December in Washington, there have been long confrontations between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, two Republicans. Many believe this is good news for President Obama. However, some believe that these discussions will get the attention of the Republicans and Republican citizens will be more involved in voting. President Obama has been getting ready for his debates and believes it will be Gingrich who he will be running against in the final election. President Obama is concerned that less people are excited and involved in this election than previous years. According to Mr. Axelrod, President Obama’s advisor, women, independent voters, promoting middle class equality and being against income equality are key to winning the election. This article is important because the presidential elections are less than a year away and the candidates are trying to convince citizens to vote for them.
    I think the discussions between the two Republican candidates are good for President Obama because the Republicans are saying bad things about each other. This way President Obama has fewer problems when the Republican candidates are finding everything bad about each other to share with the people. “Just remember, the higher a monkey climbs on a pole, the more you can see his butt,” Mr. Axelrod said. I like this quote because as Mr. Gingrich becomes more popular in the polls the more we hear about his negative aspects. In class we are learning about the executive branch and the president is the head of the executive branch. I hope that taking the troops out of Iraq will help President Obama be re-elected.

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  17. Justine Lockhart
    Period 4
    Obama makes the case for a second term
    CBS News
    By: Lucy Madison
    Date: 12/11/11

    Obama is preparing for his possible second presidential term for 2012. According to polls he has over 40 percent approval ratings among Americans. This percentage isn't that high, because some people think he isn't handling the economy issue well. Obama hopes that the voters understand that our country is going through a difficult time and he's trying to manage. A recent CBS News poll noted that 54 percent of Americans think that Obama doesn't have what it takes for a second term. However, according to a "60 Minutes" interview Obama says he's just focusing on helping the economy get back on track and he's not worrying about polling numbers or criticism. His goal for his term is to lead America to a new, global economy that is based upon skills and knowledge.

    I think that people should look into the economy's situation a bit more. The economy is suffering right now, but it was suffering before Obama became president. He's doing the best he can to try to turn it around, but it's not going to change immediately. People shouldn't accuse him of being a bad president or not good enough for second term just because of the economy's current status.

  18. Casey Molina
    period 4 WRAL
    Perdue vetoes repeal of death-row racial bias bill

    Perdue has vetoed a bill that would repeal the Racial Justice Act of 2009. The Racial Justice Act establishes the importance of non prejudice judges when declaring the death penalty. The bill made it possible to prove that a judge acted based on racial prejudice in order to serve life in prison as opposed to the death penalty. Some feel strongly opposed to Perdue's actions saying that it is not respectful of the people's support of the death penalty and closure to the victim's families.

    I think it is interesting to see how Perdue is treating this bill. The two subjects of racial discrimination and the seriousness of the death penalty are very touchy. If Perdue decides to veto or pass the bill she runs the risk of being accused as racist or not trusting in the seriousness and justice of the death penalty. Perdue's actions may be handled in a way, which guarantees no win but in the end I'm not sure that she could pick a better way to address her views on the bill.

  19. Garrett Young-Wright
    Period 4
    Paul's serious challenge in Iowa could rock the GOP race
    CNN News
    By: Shannon Travis

    If GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul wins the Iowa caucuses, he could really "rock the political establishment." Although Newt Gingrich, according to polls, is ahead right now, Paul is not too far off. And with uncertainty on how committed the support of Gingrich is, there is a real possibility of Paul getting the upset. A win could give Paul a bit of momentum going into the New Hampshire elections and some of the other early elections. Although supporters of Paul as well as Paul himself said they're not sure if Paul can win a general election, a win in the Iowa caucuses could definitely shake up the front runners battling for the GOP nomination.

    I think that competition for Gingrich (as well as Romney) is very good for the upcoming elections because it will make the battle more fierce. The republican party seems to be very unsure on who they like the most and a win by Paul would just prove this. I'm not sure which candidates I like the most because all have some things I disagree with. If I had to vote now for a GOP candidate I think it would be Romney because he is from MA and loves Israel.

  20. Annie Wilcosky/ Period 4

    Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt.

    I think this quiz is accurate in some ways, but definitely not reliable. (The test said that I had an 100% match with Abraham Lincoln). I believe that I have some leadership skills and moral authority, but I don't consider myself to be an extrovert or philosopher. I generally manage things well, but I don't have any special skills as a goal setter.

  21. Charles Wang / 4th Period
    Romney adviser blasts Gingrich's 'arrogance'
    Peter Hamby
    December 16th, 2011
    Newt Gingrich is one of the Republicans in the GOP presidential debate. He is currently the Republican frontrunner head and was criticized by Mitt Romeny’s advisors during the GOP debate. He was called arrogant because he has been very rash to other people. Some people state that being arrogant will be bad with the people because of his manner of speaking. Others say that it will be better because he will not go back and instead go forward. He will stop lurking in the past and become one of the better Republican presidents. Gingrich is now loosing voters because people from other states have realized that he was partially responsible in the Freddie Mac incident.
    I feel that Newt Gingrich shouldn’t be so arrogant. If he is, he probably won’t take criticism well and will just do what he wants. I know that the Democrats aren’t being nice to him and insulting him in the debate but other people think he is being very arrogant as well. There has also been news about Gingrich earning money from Freddie Mac which is linked to the collapse of the U.S. housing market. He is to blame for some things that will have happened. Many people probably won’t like him because of it.

  22. Gabrielle Pura/ period 4
    Dec. 16, 2011/ The Jerusalem Post
    Obama, pushing back at Republicans, vows support for Israel

    At the Union for Reform Judaism event in Maryland, President Obama defended his policies towards Israel against the Republicans. He emphasized the fact that no other US administration has been as supportive than his. The Republicans candidates he indirectly referred to included those who have been offensive to cut into his support with Jewish voters. A specific candidate was Mitt Romney who quoted Obama has "repeatedly thrown Israel under the bus". Near conclusion of his speech, Obama stated that America's commitment and his commitment towards Israel's security is unshakable and that they will continue to be there to support the country.

    I am glad that Obama plans on continuing to support another country, as a leader of a nation should do. In addition, he did well to defend his policy against the certain Republicans that viewed Obama's actions differently. I find it confusing that Romney would make a statement like when Obama received eight out of every ten Jewish votes in the 2008. If everyone knew, especially the Jews, that Obama constantly threw Israel "under the bus", then it would have been likely that Obama's votes from the Jewish population would have been minimal.

  23. Max LeMoine/Period 4
    Romney adviser blasts Gingrich’s ‘arrogance’/Peter Hamby

    I read this article about one of Mitt Romney’s advisers who was commenting on Gingrich’s “arrogance”. He commented on Gingrich’s photos on the Newsweek magazine saying, “his posture said I’m smart and you’re dumb”. The adviser, Stuart Stevens, said that Romney is going to when because Gingrich represents the past, which people want to leave. Gingrich’s polls have been slipping so even though it sounds crazy Stevens may be right. Finally Mitt Romney has many advisers but this one may be the odd one out.

    I think that Stevens is being a little over accusing. He makes good points but he should be talking about Romney’s good traits instead of just Gingrich’s bad traits. In the end I think Stevens is a good man to have but he need to concentrate on putting Romney up and less putting Gingrich down.

  24. Maddie Mesaros
    Period 4

    Title: GOP criticism of Newt Gingrich is mounting
    Source: USA Today
    Author: Martha T. Moore
    Date: 12/16/11

    Newt Gingrich; a former House speaker, that is running for the 2012 elections,
    had a rise in his future voters. Fellow Repubilcans are criticizing him. Other
    Republicans are frantically trying to end Gingrich’s lead in votes so he won’t be the
    party’s nominee. Some Republicans that worked alongside Gingrich in the House are
    even more against him winding up as the party nominee. "I don't think he has the mental
    discipline, the consistency or the ego control to be a good nominee or a good president,"
    says Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. Some people even referred to him as a sober Charlie Sheen
    saying he “shouts stuff out”.
    I think that it’s normal for there to be competition between people running for the
    party nominee. Some arguments aren’t mature but other’s are valid. I think that the
    amount of pure criticism is unnecessary but if it’s constructive and could possibly help
    him then it’s fine. Newt for the most part should just ignore what his fellow Republicans
    are saying and do what he thinks is right. This relates to what we are talking about in
    class because the possible party nominee will be running as a canadate for the next
    President of the United States, which is part of the executive branch.

  25. Samantha Joy Straughan
    4th period
    Iowa Debate: Republican winners and losers
    by Lucy Madison

    This article gives a quick overview summary of the “winners” and “losers” in last night’s Iowa debate. The winners are listed to be Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry and Ron Paul. The losers were Rick Santorum and John Huntsman. While all the candidates had points to say and things to address, it is easily stated that the most memorable quote of the night came from Rick Perry who compared himself to Tim Tebow. It’s also said that the losers of the night were primarily in the position because they did not stand out and made little to no impression in the debate.
    I did not only reading this article, but I also watched the debate myself, and I have to disagree with it. I would have probably put Rick Perry in the losers as well, seeming as he had almost not screen time for the entire first half of the debate. The only reason we all recognize him as being worth our time is because America is just waiting to see what he will say next for all the wrong reasons.

  26. Marc Ordronneau

    Bachmann labels Gingrich 'memory challenged'
    By Gabriella Schwarz
    December 16, 2011

    Michelle Bachmann said that fellow GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, talked down to her at
    the GOP debates Thursday night. She also accused him of being memory challenged. She didn’t like
    how she was talked to like his student, and said he’s just not true. She wasn’t sure if his comments were
    sexist or not, but she doesn’t think they were befitting a fellow candidate.
    At the debate, Gingrich told Bachmann that sometimes she doesn’t get her facts right. She was also
    disappointed that she didn’t get support from Governor Nikki Haley who backed former rival Mitt
    Romney. But she thinks she will still be victorious in South Carolina without her support because of the
    cannon-shot they got off to in Iowa.

    I picked this article because, as you can see from my past current events, I am very interested in the
    GOP race. I want to see if any of them have a chance of winning the election over Obama. In my opinion,
    Romney has the best chance but I don’t think he will become president because of republican split
    voting with Ron Paul. But also, is it really a surprise to see GOP members getting into fights with each
    other? I can see why Bachmann is mad: being lower than Gingrich….EMBARASSING!!!! And I didn’t add
    that last part of the article into my summary because I thought it had nothing to do with the rest of the

  27. Diego Lewis, Pd. $4
    Senate Leaders Agree on 2-Month Extension of Payroll Tax Cut
    Jennifer Steinhauer
    Dec 12th, 2011

    The senate has recently voted on the extension of the patrol tax cut. Senate leaders had been vying to get a year extension on this cut, but nobody else would agree. Finally a compromise was made to extend it for two months. This will allow for further discussion, while still extending the tax cut. This will allow unemployed workers to continue to receive unemployment benefits for two more months.

    I think it is good that congress has been able to come to a compromise, something that we haven’t seen in quite a while. On the other hand, I really think that the tax cut needs to end. We are deep enough in debt already, and our government is in clear need of more revenue. We can’t hand out money to people forever. Again, it is good to see that these politicians do know how to compromise; I just think it should be applied elsewhere as well.