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All Senate Democratic Leaders Signal Opposition To Obama Nominee Michael Boggs

All Senate Democratic Leaders Signal Opposition To Obama Nominee Michael Boggs | Gabby Huizinga's Current Events Scrapbook | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON -- All four Senate Democratic leaders have now signaled that either they will vote against President Barack Obama's embattled judicial nominee Michael Boggs or they have serious concerns with him.

During a Thursday press conference, Sen...
Gabby Huizinga's insight:

Quarter 4 Week 4 (May 12-16)

 

President Obama has nominated Judge Michael Boggs to the US District Court for Northern Georgia and the Senate doesn't like it.  The Senate currently has a majority Democratic party, which is President Obama's party, and Mr. Boggs is a Republican.  All four Democratic leaders in the Senate refuse to vote for Mr. Boggs because is Republican views are too radical.  It is highly unlikely that he will even make it out of committee for the full Senate to discuss.  As time goes on more and more Senate Democrats have stated that they will vote against Mr. Boggs.

 

 

The Senate is using their power of approving presidential appointments which is stated in the CHECKS AND BALANCES system.  What's strange is that President Obama appointed someone of his opposing party to a federal court.  The DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY PARTY in the Senate would obviously strike the appointment down due to the party differences.  Mr. Boggs is also a RADICAL REPUBLICAN, meaning that he has views that are completely exaggerated from the normal Republican.  For instance, he wanted to include the Confederate insignia on the American Flag. Newsflash buddy, the Civil War has been over for quite some time now.  I definitely agree with the Senate on this one.  He's too radical to be a judge.

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The US is an oligarchy, study concludes - Telegraph

The US is an oligarchy, study concludes - Telegraph | Gabby Huizinga's Current Events Scrapbook | Scoop.it
Report by researchers from Princeton and Northwestern universities suggests that US political system serves special interest organisations, instead of voters
Gabby Huizinga's insight:

Quarter 4 Week 2 April 21-27

 

A new study from Princeton and Northwestern Universities has found that a majority of the policies passed in the United States between 1981 and 2002 has been supported by the economic elite.  The economic elite gains their control through interest groups and lobbying.  This study shows that the government is dramatically influcenced by the economic elite instead of the majority middle class Americans.  Policies rarely favor the average citizen and instead favor the wealthy.  It doesn't matter if the majority of all Americans favor a policy change; if the elite don't like it, it won't happen.  The Supreme Court case of McCutcheon v Federal Election Commission spurred this argument because the Court ruled that the wealthy can give unlimited donations to political campaigns.  This ruling encouraged biased pluralism because the government will in turn favor those who give them money.

 

This article mainly centers on ELITISM which states that the government is controlled by the wealthy.  The wealthy hold political clout and the government recognizes their status.  Due to the fact that they have money, the government will favor them in order to continue funding.  The government is kind of like that friend that hangs out with the popular kids so they can go to all of the parties.  It's good for a while, but at some point it has to end.  BIASED PLURALISM can't go on forever.  Middle class Americans are tired of their legislation not being passed.  An OLIGARCHY is a form of government where the power is within the hands of a small number of people, usually the wealthy.  This is exactly what America has become.  The majority's voice is becoming smaller and smaller.  Unless the majority agrees with the elite, they won't get any special attention.

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Rachel Weaver's comment, April 22, 2014 8:51 AM
I agree with your statement here. I also believe America has been taken over by the elite. I think it's not a good thing because when our government is taken over by elites , we become less democratic and the voices of american citizens dwindles away. I think that IRON TRIANGLES play a major part in how the large and wealthy interest groups get their policy made. The U.S Government is helping these interest groups and in return they get financial and political support. The power of the people is disappearing and the few economic elites are taking over.
Andrea Tran's curator insight, April 23, 2014 9:40 AM

Elitism, in a jist, means that few people have the most power. The report was written by researchers from Princeton and Northwestern universities, suggesting that the US political system serves special interest organizations, instead of voters. The report says "when a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose.

 

Reading this article really made me think m ore about the US government. In the United Sates, you would think we should have a pluralist government, but unfortunately, we have an elitist one.  

Jacqueline Dolce's comment, May 30, 2014 8:01 AM
A more in-depth analysis is needed.
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New Michigan laws governing abortion insurance, Medicaid and BYOB wine take effect this week

New Michigan laws governing abortion insurance, Medicaid and BYOB wine take effect this week | Gabby Huizinga's Current Events Scrapbook | Scoop.it
More than a dozen new laws are set to take effect this week in Michigan, impacting everything from abortion insurance to wine.
Gabby Huizinga's insight:

Quarter 3 Week 8 March 10-March 16

 

On Friday, a set of new laws hit Michigan legislation.  These laws were approved on the last session of 2013 and were implimented 91 days later.  The delayed implimentation gave businesses the opportunity to prepare for the changes. These new laws cover everything from abortion insurance to bring-your-own-wine laws.  On Friday, insurance companies are no longer allowed to include abortion as a standard feature in health plans.  A policy "rider" has to cover abortion.  Medicaid expansion and reform started on Friday, but will not take full effect until April 1.  Restaurants with liquor licenses must now allow customers to bring their own wine.  Businesses may charge corkage fees and you will not be able to take your bottle back home unless the waiter re-corks it.  There are new civil and criminal penalties for blight cases, including additional fines and misdemeanor charges.  

 

The Michigan government is using their RESERVED POWERS.  Nowhere in the Constitution does it state that abortion insurance must be regulated or Medicaid has to be expanded.  The state of Michigan took the matters into their own hands.  The court has approved these laws and they have been carried out.  I found it interested that because there was no set date for them to be implimented, the day was scheduled 91 days after the final session of 2013.  Why 91 days?  What's significant about that?   I'm sure businesses appreciate the 91 day warning in order to change any policies as needed, but it's just a little strange.  

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Jacqueline Dolce's comment, March 23, 2014 11:21 AM
I would love for you to make a connection to the women's rights issues discussed in Chapter 4. Do you see this abortion law as a violation to Roe v. Wade or is it a constitutional limitation?
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Lesbian couple called 'heroes' by lawyer fighting gay marriage ban

The fate of Michigan's gay-marriage ban is officially in the hands of a federal judge, who this morning heard opening statements in a case that will decide what marriage means in Michigan, and whether voters have a right to exclude gays and lesbians from forming that union and raising a family.

Gabby Huizinga's insight:

Quarter 3 Week 7 March 3- March 9 The state of Michigan has the potential to be the 18th state to legalize gay marriage. The case of DeBour v Snyder is currently in the state court in attempts to overturn the 2004 vote that prohibits gay marriage in the state of Michigan. The legalization of gay marriage would ease another social issue. 2600 children are currently in foster care just in the state of Michigan. Two moms, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are fighting for gay marriage and gay adoption. The couple is currently raising three children together. After many experiments, a conclusion has been found that children raised in gay households and children raised in straight households are no different. It is unfair to deny a couple the right to adopt because they are gay. Attorneys opposed to gay marriage stand by the vote that decided the gay rights case in 2004; gay marriage is prohibited. Supporters of same sex marriage argue that the ban is unconsitutional and that voters shouldn't be allowed to pass discriminatory laws. Protestors outside of the courtroom claim that they don't hate anyone, they are just in support of traditional marriage over gay marriage. The trial is expected to last two more weeks. In my APGoPo class, we have just talked about ENUMERATED POWERS and RESERVED POWERS. ENUMERATED POWERS are stated in the Constitution and are given to the national government. RESERVED POWERS are powers that are not given to the national government and not prohibited, but are reserved to the states. Marriage is one of these reserved powers. It is up to the states to decide what to do with gay marriage as it is not stated in the national Constitution. I believe that at some point the national government will have to intervene. This issue is different than interracial marriage because this focuses on gender. Obviously is born with their skin color, but some people do not believe that you are either born gay or straight. They believe it is a choice. All of the psychological and anatomical evidence must be brought to the supreme court. As soon as a majority of states pass gay marriage laws, I believe the United States as a whole will as well. I will be very disappointed in the state of Michigan if this ruling does not go in favor of DeBour. Discriminatory laws should not be passed by the common voter at all, much less be passed in general. This trial is being held in a FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT which means that there can be trials and testimonies. Many sociologists are TESTIFYING in favor of DeBour because, as stated, there is no abnormal psychological difference between kids with gay parents and kids with straight parents. The fact that this case is being held in a district court is huge because this case could set a PRECEDENT for gay rights cases to come.

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How Florida’s Top Elections Official Just Made It Harder For College Students To Vote

How Florida’s Top Elections Official Just Made It Harder For College Students To Vote | Gabby Huizinga's Current Events Scrapbook | Scoop.it
University of Florida students will have to travel several miles off campus if they want to vote early this year.
Gabby Huizinga's insight:

Quarter 3, Week 3 

Feb 2-Feb 9

 

The University of Florida has been denied to become an early voting site for college students, thanks to Ken Detzner, Florida's Secretary of State.  Detzner claims that the University of Florida does not meet the requirements of early voting sites like convention centers and government-owned community centers.  Local officials refute by saying that the Reitz Union, a part of the University of Florida, qualifies as a government-owned community center because it is part of a public university.  Due to the denial, students will have to travel 5 miles off of campus to vote in the March elections and more elections to follow.  This trip is hard for students who do not have a car.  Florida is not the only state that has had troubles with making it easier for students to vote.  Many Republican lawmakers have attempted to restrict student voting and have made it harder for students to obtain residency while they're in school. 

 

This article is very important to me as I will be attending college in less than two years.  It doesn't seem fair to make it harder for students to vote as students aren't the main voters anyway.  DEMOGRAPHICS, the study of population changes, and SURVEYS show that young people are the least likely to vote.  I believe that it is important for young people to vote, especially while they're in school.  Making it harder for students to vote will most likely make them not vote in the future.  It should be easy for everyone to vote, no matter how old they are or what school they attend.

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Virginia Attorney General Makes Huge Shift On Gay Marriage

Virginia Attorney General Makes Huge Shift On Gay Marriage | Gabby Huizinga's Current Events Scrapbook | Scoop.it
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Following a seismic political shift in Virginia's top elected offices, the new attorney general has concluded that the state's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional and he will no longer defend it in federal lawsuits, his...
Gabby Huizinga's insight:

Quarter 3, Week 1, January 20-16

 

Mark R Herring, Virginia's Attorney General, has made his claim to support marriage equality.  He believes that Virginia's ban against same sex marriage is unconstitutional and violates the 14th amendment (No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.)  Only seventeen states allow same sex marriage currently, and none of those states are from the South, making Virginia the first possible state to allow same sex marriage.  After the November election, Democrats have begun to get a little more power in Virginia's state government.    The demographics have clearly shifted and there is a new approach to this state's culture war.  In 2006, a majority of Virginia residents opposed same sex marraige, but in 2013, a majority of the residents supported same sex marriage.  The outcome of Virginia's same sex marriage ban could institute a domino effect for the entire country.  However, Virginia won't see results immediately.  The earliest they could see an amendment to the ban would be in 2016.

 

This relates to our class in many ways.  We have recently been studying CULTURE WARS, DEMOGRAPHIC changes, and the results of polls and elections.  Same sex marriage is one of the many issues America has gone into a CULTURE WAR over.  Also, the DEMOGRAPHICS of Virginia's goverment are changing.  Before the last election, Republicans held the power, but lately, Democrats have been filtering in.  However, Rupublicans are still the majority.  Demographic changes have also been shown in the polls.  With a random sample and a low margin of error of 3.1%, currently more people are in support of gay marriage.  In just 7 years, the majorities switched completely.  Personally, I believe that Virginia is taking a step in the right direction and I support Herring's statement.  The same sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.  Some people may like the same sex marriage ban, and that's okay.  Some people liked the separation of races, but look at our schools now.  We are more of a melting pot than we were before, but we won't be complete until all people can get married.

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Democrats Condemn Progressive Outside Group For Fundraising Off Of Benghazi Investigation

Democrats Condemn Progressive Outside Group For Fundraising Off Of Benghazi Investigation | Gabby Huizinga's Current Events Scrapbook | Scoop.it
In a move that may undermine some of the Democratic Party's outrage over Republicans fundraising off of the newly-created Benghazi special investigative committee, a progressive advocacy group sent a fundraising appeal criticizing Republicans for doi...
Gabby Huizinga's insight:

Quarter 4 Week 3 May 12-16

 

In 2012, the tragic Benghazi attacks killed four Americans.  In order to figure out what really happened, Republicans in Congress are fundraising.  Democrats oppose this movement, saying that Republicans are exploiting deaths for their own personal gain.  Republicans in Congress have also created a select committee to investigate how the State Department dealt with the attacks.  Speaker of the House John Boenher says that he believes that the Democrats are fundraising just like the Republicans. He also compares the accident to Hurricane Katrina because of all the fundraising.  Republicans claim that they just want to get to the truth, but fundraising definitely isn't the way to do it.

 

With Congress's SELECT COMMITTEE, they are participating in LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT.  The select committee has been created for one purpose and one purpose only.  Benghazi is still a controversial topic in our society and the HEARINGS that the State Department will go through will be lengthy.  I believe that the Republicans shouldn't fundraise for Benghazi because there's really nothing for them to fundraise for.  All of the money would really go to their CAMPAIGNS.  Getting to the truth should be the number one priority, not making money.  

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Utah Gay-Marriage Appeal Seen as Supreme Court Rehearsal

Utah Gay-Marriage Appeal Seen as Supreme Court Rehearsal | Gabby Huizinga's Current Events Scrapbook | Scoop.it
Gay-marriage bans struck down in Utah and Oklahoma are the first to come before a federal appeals panel since a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling set off a string of challenges to limits on same-sex marriage.
Gabby Huizinga's insight:

Quarter 4 Week 1 April 7-11

 

Although many same sex marriage cases have had victory in district courts, a case determining same sex marriage as constitutional has yet to be heard by the Supreme Court.  Many say that this case is coming soon and it might be from the state of Utah.  The ruling last year in US v Windsor overturned part of the Defense of Marriage Act and was close to declaring same sex marriage constitutional.  That case inspired many same sex couples to take their cases to court.  Same sex marriage is constitutional in 21 states and is currently at the court of appeals in 4 states, Utah and Michigan included.  Many say that if a court of appeals rules in favor of same sex marriage the Supreme Court will have to take a case to make the laws the same nationwide.  Both parties in the cases say that the Windsor decision is on their side of the argument, but it's up to the court to decide that.  

 

In my APGOPO class we just discussed the Judicial System and this story relates to that.  I believe that no matter what the outcome is at a COURT OF APPEALS ruling, the SUPREME COURT will issue a WRIT OF CERTIORARI calling the case to be heard.  One of the reasons to be heard is a dispute between lower court rulings and many district courts decisions are not in agreement with appeallate court decisions.  Although the Windsor decision does not offer a full PRECEDENT, it clearly shows favor towards gay marriage, and I believe the Court will stick with that decision.

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Trial concludes in challenge to Michigan's gay marriage ban

Trial concludes in challenge to Michigan's gay marriage ban | Gabby Huizinga's Current Events Scrapbook | Scoop.it
U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman heard closing arguments Friday in a case that could topple Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban.
Gabby Huizinga's insight:

Quarter 3 Week 6 February 24-March 2

 

On March 7th, the nine day testimony over Michigan's same sex marriage ban came to a close.  The ban became law in 2004 after a vote with a 54% support.  Along with banning same sex marriage, the ban also prohibits same sex adoption.  April DeBour and Jayne Rowse, the plantiffs in the case, are challenging the ban over same sex adoption.  DeBour and Rowse raise three special needs children together, but the state only recognizes DeBour as the mother to her daughter Ryanne and Rowse as the mother to her sons, Nolan and Jacob.  If something should happen to either of the women, the other would have no parental claim over the other's child(ren).  When the case was first presented, Judge Friedman, a District Court judge, urged them to not only tackle the adoption ban, but the same sex marriage ban as well.  Michigan attorneys are focusing their arguments on the well being of children.  However, three witnesses for the defendants have been dismissed due to implied bias and unqualifications.  The plantiffs' witnesses have not been dismissed and are backed by the American Psychological Association.  Judge Friedman hopes to have a decision made in two weeks.

 

In my APGoPo class, we are talking about the judicial system.  This case takes place in one of the two Michigan DISTRICT COURTS.  Personally, I believe that because seventeen states already allow same sex marriage and other states have recently overturned their bans, Michigan should follow their PRECEDENTS.  It doesn't make sense to have something as simple as marriage only legal for same sex couples in only certain parts of the country.  I also found it interesting that the judge urged them to tackle both parts of Michigan's same sex marriage ban.  I understand that there are a number of JUSTICES on the court, so it's not one making the decision, but it seems a bit weird.  However, if this case goes in their favor, I salute Judge Friedman.  I also appreciate the court dismissing witnesses that are not qualified and biased.  I didn't know the court could do that.

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Rachel Weaver's comment, May 16, 2014 8:51 AM
I agree with your opinion 100% I don't think it is fair that same sex marriage is allowed in certain states. America is a united nation so we all should follow the same precedents in each state. I am really worried for the couple in the unfortunate event that one of them is not there anymore and the other can not take custody of the other children that are rightfully there's. This ban needs to be taken down. It's the twenty first century and people should be able to marry whoever they want and anybody should be able to adopt a child.
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A Hand Up Is Not a Handout

A Hand Up Is Not a Handout | Gabby Huizinga's Current Events Scrapbook | Scoop.it
Americans love the notion that we can all pull ourselves up by the bootstraps. Yet in this time when millions of jobs have vanished in the United States, supports for struggling Americans are crumbling, and education budgets have been squeezed and sl...
Gabby Huizinga's insight:

Quarter 3 Week 4 February 10-February 16

 

Americans love the fact that they have the opportunity to climb the social ladder, but many Americans oppose the programs put in place to assist them.  Opposers of government programs like food stamps and Medicare say that the programs promote dependency and they discourage people from working.  These programs don't discourage people from working, in fact, people use these programs because they are looking for work and cannot find it.  Some people use benefits as hand-outs instead of hand-ups, which makes the entire population of those who use these programs look bad.  Let's face the facts. Unemployment insurance lifted 2.5 million families out of poverty in 2012 alone.  Every $5 billion in food stamps brings back $9 billion into the economy and food stamps helped 4 million people get out of poverty in 2012.  The Affordable Care Act expanded the coverage of Medicaid, which provides healthcare to low-income adults.  Every dollar spent on quality Pre-K programs saves $7 in the long run.  America's economy currently shows how easy it is to fall into poverty and how hard it is to climb out.

 

This relates to my APGoPo class because in our last unit, we described the differences between LIBERALS and CONSERVATIVES.  LIBERALS support government programs like food stamps, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act.  They believe that government aid is necessary and should be encouraged in order to get people out of poverty, no matter how they got there.  CONSERVATIVES, on the other hand, do not support government programs and believe it is the individual's responsibility to get out of poverty, no matter the reason.  I believe that government assistance should be available to those who need it.  If an individual loses his/her job and has no way to support their family, he/she should be able to ask for help for the time being.  Once he/she finds a new job, the government assistance is no longer required and they can be taken off.  Too many people that can work are taking advantage of the government, and that makes our country look bad.  When you look at who really needs the assistance and how they are making it work, you see things from a different point of view.

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Rachel Weaver's comment, February 23, 2014 2:44 PM
I agree with your statement about how people should be taken off of government assistance after they are able to find a job and support themselves. I think that we should always try to help out the less fortunate and the people who have lost their jobs and need a little time to find a good and sufficient job. I also think that many americans are taking advantage of the goverment programs, like you said. People who are willing and able to work should find a job and not rely on government assitance for the rest of their lives. It really does make our country look bad because it is showing that we are the type of people that don't want to work and get everything handed to us. Most of us are not like that and we wanted to be seen as hardworking people. This issue has been really talked about in the news aswell because, as you said, it's a major debate between the liberals and conservatives. This issue affects the views canditates in different elections will display and how they will want to solve this problem. It will interesting to see how government programs in upcoming years.
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'Red' States Have Higher Divorce Rates Than 'Blue' States, And Here's Why

'Red' States Have Higher Divorce Rates Than 'Blue' States, And Here's Why | Gabby Huizinga's Current Events Scrapbook | Scoop.it
It may seem counterintuitive, but divorce rates are higher in religiously conservative "red" states than "blue" states, despite a Bible-based culture that discourages divorce.
Gabby Huizinga's insight:

Quarter 3, Week 2, January 27-February 2

 

In a recent study, divorce rates are higher in conservative "red" states than in liberal "blue" states.  Jennifer Glass, a demographer, has researched and come to a conclusion on why this is: Social institutions decrease marital stability.  A society that pressures people to marry young and says that sex before marriage is frowned upon forces couples to marry sooner.  It used to be said that religion was completely against divorce, but this study shows that it's not.  Her study also shows that people that lived in more conservative Protestant counties had a higher divorce rate.  

 

This study essentially goes back to CONSERVATIVES and LIBERALS. CONSERVATIVES are tradition and often religion based.  Most of the time, they oppose topics such as divorce, abortion, same sex marriage, ect.  LIBERALS favor change and believe that individuals should be able to control their own personal lives, leading to open stances on divorce, abortion, same sex marriage, ect.  What's interesting about this article is that Conservatives are taking Liberal viewpoints.  They are beginning to stray away from the no divorce tradition in their Bible-based culture and instead making divorce more socially acceptable.  The DEMOGRAPHICS, or the way the population is made up, has not changed, but rather, their viewpoints.  The states are still very Republican; their views on divorce have just changed.  

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