Thursday, November 22, 2007

Extra Credit: No post REQUIRED this week. Comments on the following?

Michigan Court OKs Early Primary
By KATHY BARKS HOFFMANThe Associated Press Wednesday, November 21, 2007; 3:38 PM

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan's Jan. 15 presidential primary can go forward, the state Supreme Court decided Wednesday, keeping alive the state's bid to be one of the 2008 campaign's first contests.

The court decision should make it easier for New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner to schedule that state's primary, which New Hampshire law requires to be the nation's first. Gardner has been waiting to see what the Michigan courts would do.

The high court's decision should clear the way for the Republican and Democratic parties to take part in the Jan. 15 primary. Both have already filed letters with the secretary of state saying that's their plan.

However, by holding its primary so early _ in violation of the national parties' rules _ Michigan stands to lose half of its delegates to the Republican National Convention, reducing the number to 30, and all of its 156 delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

N.H. Primary Set for Jan. 8

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Opinion: What do you think Paul's impact will be on this election, if any, and what will it mean for the other candidates?

Presidential hopeful Ron Paul is bieng called "the political phenomenon of the 2008 White House race". As a conservative libertarian he supports "decriminalization of marijuana and expresses tolerance for same-sex unions but fiercely opposes abortion". He does insist "on a strict interpretation of the US Constitution" and is a stauch supporter of the second amendment, however, he "[rejects] the idea of the United States as the world's policeman".

Also, he calls for the "immediate withdrawal of US soldiers deployed in Iraq but also those stationed in South Korea, Japan and Europe." He even "wants the United States to quit the United Nations, NATO and the World Trade Organization.""[Paul] argues for a return to the gold standard and eliminating the income tax.

"Though his views are so radical, he holds 5-6% of the Republican vote and polls show he is attractive to both Democrats and those who are not affiliated with either party. He has even raised "8.1 million dollars" and "raised 4.2 million dollars via the Internet from about 37,000 donors."Paul is certainly one of the most unorthodox and radical candidates of the presidential race, however he seems to be drawing support from both sides.;_ylt=Au5yJB6oWab43RwvPvQtBZOyFz4D
(Question contributed by Joanna Z)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Opinion: Should issues related to immigration play a big role in the 2008 presidential election?

The Issue the Democrats Dread
By E. J. Dionne Jr.Friday, November 2, 2007; Page A21

More significant than Hillary Clinton's supposed gaffe at the end of Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate is the subject around which she tiptoed so delicately: immigration.

Democrats fear the issue because it could leave them with a set of no-win political choices.

Examined on its face, Clinton's statement on New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's proposal to let illegal immigrants obtain driver's licenses was careful and reasonable.

While acknowledging that current law on immigration is inadequate, she defended Spitzer's idea by noting that if illegal immigrants are going to drive anyway, licensing them would protect all drivers.

Yet Clinton eventually cut into the debate to amend her statement: "I just want to add, I did not say that it should be done." Her opponents jumped all over her. John Edwards accused her of saying "two different things in the course of about two minutes."

In the short run, Clinton's exquisite calibration of her positions was the issue. But her debate dance reflects a deeper worry among Democrats that Republicans are ready to use impatience with illegal immigration to win back voters dissatisfied with the broader status quo.

The issue is especially problematic because efforts to appease voters upset about immigration -- including a share of the African American community -- threaten to undercut the Democrats' large and growing advantage among Latino voters. For Republicans, the issue is both a way of changing the political subject from Iraq, the economy and the failures of the Bush presidency and a means of sowing discord in the Democratic coalition.
--This opinion piece continues at: