February 22, 2007

The Judiciary Branch and its Future

By Victoria Rodriguez, Andrew Williams, Justin Grant, Jeanette Lindsay, and Nadia Chit-Montiel

The United States constitution provides protection for its citizens of the United States. As college students we must realize that almost every decision the Supreme Court makes affects us whether or not it is today or in the future. Using Social Security as an example, our generation’s children may suffer because of the lack of stability within the Social Security System. With two new Supreme Court justices sworn into the supreme court in the past three years the Supreme Court is rapidly changing.

As college students we should understand that the Supreme Court interprets the constitution which is the law of the land and whoever interprets the Constitution controls the law. The nine members on the Supreme Court are the some of the most powerful people in the United States and the World as well. Many articles can be found regarding the rivalries amongst the judges and certain agendas that the judges sometimes push because of a falling out with another judge. Although it is human nature to have arguments and disagreement as an American citizen, and we must have the utmost respect for the Supreme Court, we can not help but be fearful of the amount of power they have.

Another example of a very big issue regarding the Judiciary system is whether or not it should protect foreigners and/or allow them of the same "rights" American citizens hold. Guantanamo prisoners have lost their right to appear in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, and federal judges. There are about 395 detainees being held at the Guantanamo Bay military base in Cuba, with the first prisoner arriving more than five years ago following the attacks of September 11, 2001. Following the current situation of Guantanamo Bay detainees, the U.S. Appeals Court has decided to uphold with President George W. Bush’s reasoning behind the methods used to coerce those prisoners.

Barring detainees from the U.S. court system was a key provision in the Military Commissions Act, which Bush pushed through Congress last year to set up a system to prosecute terrorism suspects. The detainees appealed stating that foreigners held in the U.S. normally have the right to contest detention. However, the Justice department states that the United States’ Constitution does not protect foreign enemy combatants. The United States federal appeals court, on Tuesday, February 20, 2007, ruled to uphold a key provision in President Bush's anti-terrorism law. This ruling has become increasingly discerning considering what most of us know occurred within the Guantanamo Bay prison system. The ruling will most likely be appealed to the Supreme Court, which last year struck down the Bush administration's original plan for trying detainees before military commissions.

Considering that the law allows the government to indefinitely detain foreigners who have been declared as "enemy combatants" and authorizes the CIA to use aggressive but undefined interrogation tactics, civil libertarians and leading Democrats decried the law as unconstitutional and a violation of American values. The Supreme Court must now face the question as to whether or not these "American values" are valid across borders and cultures and should be permitted to determine who are our "enemy combatants." The question is one that seems to be growing in the back of everyone’s mind as our world becomes less personal on a daily basis. The Supreme Court must now decide whether it is the Supreme Court of America ensuring American’s civil liberties or if it is also a median that can be used on a global scale to provide the same liberties when foreigners are on US territory.

Another largely discussed topic within the Judiciary Branch, which concerns all Americans alike, is the relatively new Patriot Act. Respectively so, this act was implemented under the Bush administration in order to expand the FBI’s investigative powers. Many concerns have been raised over the fact that the act basically steps on and reverses many previous acts and provisions which were meant to protect the privacy rights of Americans. According to EPIC.org, EPIC standing for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Patriot Act includes, but is not limited to, amendments to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, the Immigration and Nationality Act , the Bank Secrecy Act, the Right to Financial Privacy Act , and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The courts influence on this act is stilted for many reasons.

While the Courts technically can make decisions which would weaken the Patriot Act in following suits, it is known that if the Judiciary branch were to go against acts created by the very people that gave them their positions it would create great havoc throughout the Government. In times like these most Government officials support the fact that a strong and seemingly stable government is increasingly important. Also, many of the FBI’s uses of the Patriot Act are difficult to track and produce strong factual evidence about. It is very difficult to argue against an Act which basically turns the courts up-side-down by giving such weight to the intentions of the FBI. What the Patriot Act does is give the FBI the ability to act on hunches and less than worthy tips from various sources. As long as the FBI can say that they’re intentions were for the good of the nation, they are protected by the act whether or not the disruption they placed in the lives’ of victims (suspects) caused can be fixed.

There definitely is hope for our Government and for our Judiciary system. Even though many of the decisions that courts make can be viewed as week, this hope can be seen in the occasions where the Supreme Court steps up big by demanding the government to produce overwhelming evidence towards their cases before approving of their actions or disproving of them. Also, hope can be seen in the fact that many of the organizations out there, like EPIC, which are fighting for our rights, are being heard. The times we are in right now are very sensitive and complicated. It is hard to decipher when our government is doing what is best for us and when it is not. There will be many decisions made which may seem erroneous to us but as a matter of truth, we do not have all the facts that the government has. We have to leave our safety in the hands of our Government and our Judiciary system.

February 21, 2007

Clinton and the Envrionment

By Jared Taylor

Concern for the environment should be a major topic in the 2008 elections, but will it be discussed among the candidates?

Global warming is occurring and who ever takes the presidency must address this foremost issue, because we only have one planet and we must take care of it. On the side of the Democrats, Hillary Clinton is considered the front runner and her position on the environment will in part make or break her run for the presidency.

As a New York State junior senator, Clinton worked on the Environment and Public Works Committee, where she fought to clean up New York’s air and water. Clinton has also worked on creating a balanced energy policy that would see more jobs created in the alternative fuel industry as well as create cleaner, more reliable energy.

Combating global warming requires that these steps are taken. The government must look to alternative fuels while at the same time spurring economic activity. Clinton’s energy policies while a senator have crafted a nice platform for her in her run to the presidency. She has created a solid foundation for her energy policy inthe White House. To quote from Hillary Clinton’s state senator website on climate change:

Given the scientific evidence that we have and the potential consequencesof continued warming, I strongly believe this nation needs to take sensible first steps to slow and ultimately reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that contribute to climate change.

Clinton goes on to say that she supports investment in renewable energy, but she also states that in order to reduce emissions we must allow the free markets to act and that the government should not interfere. Clinton offers promising ideas on fighting global climate change. If she was elected president, I believe that she would propose legitimate energy policies that would do the world some good.

Giuliani and McCain on Iraq and the Election

By Ben Volen, Gary Tiratsuyan, John Wayhausen, and Courtney Shannon

The Iraq War is sure to be a major topic of debate during the course of the 2008 Presidential election, and it has already taken center stage among the issues the candidates are discussing. The Republican candidates are likely to have slightly different opinions on how to go forward with the war as they try to distinguish their campaigns from their primary opponents. In some ways this has already begun. According to the February 14, 2007 New York Times article, "Giuliani's Iraq Views May Provide Cover," by Richard Perez-Pena, Giuliani has set himself apart from opponents John McCain and Mitt Romney by stating that the deployment of 21,500 additional troops to Iraq may not work, and that neither victory nor defeat in Iraq will determine our overall success in the war against terrorism. However, he does support the war itself. In contrast, front-runner Sen. John McCain has taken a very strong stand supporting the Iraq War in an attempt to gain the support of conservative Republican primary voters. According to the February 18, 2007 New York Times article, “No Retreat on Iraq Stance, McCain Insists,” by Adam Nagourney, McCain has been strongly emphasizing his support for the war while campaigning in Iowa for the caucus there. So while McCain has made the war a central part of his campaign, Giuliani has been focusing his message on the long-term war on terror. One thing is certain - new developments in the Iraq War will undoubtedly have a major impact on the campaigns of all of the Republican candidates.

Rudy Giuliani on Iraq

Rudy Giuliani strongly believed and still believes that the War in Iraq was necessary and right. He does not believe however, that President Bush handled the situation correctly. The former Mayor of New York City believes that a quick pulling of our troops from Iraq will result in more terrorist attacks at home and abroad. Rudy Giuliani believes that the liberation of the Iraqi people is something that all Americans should be proud of doing. Removing an evil dictator was the right thing to do. As we all know, Rudy Giuliani became the face of New York and some even say the entire nation for at least two to three days after the attacks of September 11th. Rudy Giuliani said he would personally execute Osama Bin Laden for the attacks. It is because of this attitude and the image that clung to him that Giuliani can gain the votes of the conservatives. If the main issue in 2008 is Iraq, then Giuliani can stress how it was he who took care of New York and it will be he who can successfully complete the mission at hand and bring home our troops. Giuliani favored the recent call by President Bush to increase the number of troops in Iraq. As the Presidential race for 2008 approaches, Giuliani is going to have a tough time proving that staying in Iraq is the right decision when all Democrats are going to stress is immediate withdrawal.

Rudy Giuliani and the Election

However, Rudy Giuliani faces a significant amount of difficulty in the up-coming election. His social policies are not inline with the majority of the Republican party, and are certainly too liberal for those who vote in the primaries. His extra marital affairs and three wives lead some to believe that he is immoral. He may be liked here in New York, and perhaps most of the North East, but how is he going to successfully appeal to Republican voters in the Bible Belt?

Secondly, he did a lot for New York City during 9/11 (especially considering the actions of President Bush), but many who were once grateful of Giuliani’s actions now see him as an opportunist. He is capitalizing on the events of 9/11. His approval and popularity rose significantly after the attacks, and now he is using the events of September 11, 2001 as his political platform.

Giuliani is going to have to put up a tough fight if he is even going to get past the Republican Primaries.

John McCain on Iraq

Senator McCain has taken the stance in his campaign very early on, that if we desire to have long-term success in Iraq, we must invest in more troops. McCain lists in his website,More troops are necessary to clear and hold insurgent strongholds; to provide security for rebuilding local institutions and economies; to halt sectarian violence in Baghdad and disarm Sunni and Shia militias; to dismantle al Qaeda; to train the Iraqi Army; and to embed American personnel in Iraqi police units." McCain seems to be a very "militarily aware" candidate as he specifically voices on his website. He discussed on the site that the military should create a better counter insurgency strategy, including the concentration of troops where there are the greatest populations of the citizens.

McCain also believes that we as the United States have the responsibility of strengthening the Iraqi military and police forces. He believes that, "Ultimately, Iraq's future lies in the hands of its people, government, and armed forces, and strengthening them is an essential requirement for bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq."

Recently during the 2007 "State of the Union" speech, President Bush asked Congress for the addition of 21,500 American troops to deploy to Iraq. Most of the Congressional members were highly critical and against Bush's new strategy. However, John McCain defended it, stating that it would be "difficult but necessary."

Senator McCain may be one of few political leaders who support the troop escalation, but he stands firm. In and interview with Larry King he boldly declared, "I would much rather lose an election than lose a war." Senator McCain believes that a triumphant win may not be an option, but success in Iraq is certainly not something he is willing to compromise.

John McCain and the Election

Is John McCain’s plan wise? Recent polling suggests that an overwhelming majority of Americans do not support a troop surge. Iraq is a very serious and significant issue, but Senator McCain is making it his only issue. He is isolating himself from swing voters and isolating himself from the GOP with his stance on other issues. He supported a state ban on gay marriage, but did not support a Constitutional amendment. He does not think that immigration laws should force illegal aliens to leave the country. He did not support a White House backed tax cut policy, and singed a campaign finance reform act many of his cohorts do not agree with. His moderate views do not appeal to the majority of Republicans, nor his opponents.

His critics now hold many political offices, particularly in Maricopa County. An article in the New York Times, by Jennifer Steinhauer says,

“Their passion about the immigration issue, their flirtations with other candidates and their persistent harping underscore the skepticism about Mr. McCain that already exists among many hard-line conservatives here and around the nation” (February 17, 2007).

Clearly, if McCain seeks to gain the full support of his party he is going to have to work much harder to dispel beliefs that he is too much of a centrist.

Current Items on the President's Agenda

By Jenna Steigerwald, Ben Ogden,Steven Parris Samuels, Dov Magit, and Matthew Martise

The President, as head of the executive branch, plays a significant role in creating America's laws. He approves the laws that Congress creates, along with approving bills which the Senate and the House approve. The President's role is quite extenuating, dealing with duties encompassing various sides of political topics. There is no doubt the role of the President is very difficult and his choices have very serious ramifications on both political and practical levels. The Presidential group therefore examines recent headlines pertaining to his agenda, these are: leakage of information, the threat of Iran's nuclear program, the war in Iraq, and the United States' military spending and nuclear treaty non-compliance.

President Bush authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to have the ability of listening to phone communications without a warrant. Americans have seemed to be divided on this subject. A survey conducted January 20-22, 2007, found that half of Americans believed this wiretapping with no court order, was wrong. However, for tests like these, answers could highly depend on the order in which the words appear, and how they appear (i.e. "average Americans" versus "suspected terrorists) With all the calls Bush has been making, is it wrong not to trust the Bush Administration to use good judgment with wiretapping of our digital communication system? Is it the cost of our civil liberties and privacy which we need to sacrifice in the name of freedom and safety? This is the Administration that has constantly lied about important matters of U.S. policy, including the infamous fear of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Could this wiretapping be a way of gaining information from unsuspecting citizens to for political purposes and power gains? All evidence points too the word, "Yes."

If we are to indulge the “yes” answer, and most would agree to one extent or the other, then let me explain how President Bush may be looking at this. The United States is the only one that seems to be pressing the issue of nuclear weapons in Iran. Why us, because the European nations are much too connected with Iran to force the hand and suffer the repercussions. They are connected in many ways. The first being the trading of oil, Iran’s biggest export. Also the imports of European goods into Iran. This would include raw materials for buildings (i.e. skyscrapers), technology to further the economy, ammunition for defense, and trained skills men with know how of all of these things. Also, the European nations have recently had an influx of Muslims into their territories. Even though they are still the minority, they are growing in number and well diverse across Europe. If certain European nations went to war with Iran over nuclear weapons, they would almost certainly have civil wars in many of their countries. This is why every now and then the European nations will agree with the United States and say they are worried about the nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, the only acceptable solution so far agreed upon is for Iran to come up with compromises to everyone, but this only prolongs the process, and gets us nowhere. They say they will stop making their nuclear weapons if all of the other nations stop and cease theirs. In fact, just this past weekend Iran said they announced they would discontinue their development of nuclear weapons if the western civilization stops their development of nuclear research as well. We all know this will never happen, and most importantly, Iran knows this will never happen as well.

Over the past year the nation of Iran has been pushing the development of their nuclear program. This program has been questioned as to whether the nation is attempting to enrich uranium for a civil use or to create weapons of mass destruction. Soon after it became evident that Iran was working on a nuclear program the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Security Council have been asking Iran to halt there nuclear development program. Recently Iran has refused both organizations plea’s to discontinue there development.

On Monday, President Bush declared that force is not necessarily required to stop Iran from having nuclear weapons. Bush has said that his goal is to keep the Iranians from having the capability and knowledge to have a nuclear weapon. There have been reports stating that Bush and the United States government have plans for a military attack against Tehran, the capital of Iran. Bush and his administration do not refute that “normal” military planning is underway. Several reports claim that President Bush and his administration have been studying options of military strikes, one of these being the possibility of a nuclear strike against Iran’s underground nuclear sites. President Bush claims that the use of nuclear weapons is just a wild speculation, but left it at that. President Bush still supports his decision to include Iran in the Axis of Evil and is enthusiastic that many other nations have now come to the conclusion that Iran should not have the ability to posses a nuclear weapon. The Bush administration contends that additional weight of the Security Council would push Iran to be more cooperative with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and relinquish their nuclear program.

The debacle that is the Iraq War has taken another twist, as of Tuesday February 20th, 2007, British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has stated that he will be announcing benchmarks for gradual troop withdrawals from Iraq because he believes that the situation in his zone has improved enough to relinquish more control to the Iraqis. This decision is occurring as the U.S. is concurrently sending more troops over and debating about recalling the troops gradually this year also. The Iraq War continues to be extremely unpopular in the U.S. as President Bush continues to over exercise his executive powers by blatantly ignoring the will of his citizens to end the war as quickly as possible. Hopefully, the Congressional non-binding resolution, which advocates setting benchmarks for withdrawal (much like the British plan), will not be ignored by the President.

All nations must keep in mind is that it no longer takes a $700+ billion military and arms program for nations to destroy one another and cause a complete world catastrophe. This is not a matter that has been overlooked, however, by the United Nations (UN) and it is for this reason that the UN has created agreements such as the Nuclear Weapons: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Furthermore it is more than ironic that the United States uses agreements such as the latter and guidelines set forth by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), when the U.S. violates international law on this matter on a daily basis. If the U.S. was truly concerned about “weapons of mass destruction” making their way to the “axis of evil” maybe the U.S. should cease being the number one producer of nuclear weapons in the world. Or perhaps that would not fit the steller economic tract we are currently on?

On the issues stated in this paper President Bush's policy and action are clearly seen as lacking. An underlying theme to these issues seems to be one of mistrust on the part of the people and of an eagerness to fulfill the President's own agenda, sometimes forsaking planning and ethical judgment. It is not too late however, the President can still act in a more socially conscious way by first listening to the will of his citizens by detaching the U.S. from foreign affairs, secondly by reversing the policies of allowing the government's intelligence agencies to invade the privacy of ordinary citizens, and finally to honor the U.S.' commitment to peace by reducing military spending. After these things are accomplished the prestige lost during his term might return to a country that has lost its way.

February 20, 2007

Simulated Interview with Madame Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the 110th Congressional Agenda

By Kristina Longhitano, Antonella Leone, Jaclyn Bunch, and Tom Immich

With the current shift in power within Congress what will you, as leader of the House, do for the following two years to assure progress?

Nancy Pelosi: The time for change has arrived and with this change comes a new agenda. Over the next two years, the Democratic majority in the House will seek to fight for the people, advance science, reform the House, and keep our homes safe.

We have just begun our term in office and have already proven our dedication to the people. Recently we have pushed through a raise in national minimum wage. We remain true to our goals to benefit the common man. This raise in minimum wage will not only help those in needs but it will also stimulate the economy. This assistance is only the first out of many that we Democrats will push through. Among the other financial/ economic issues we plan to provide more funding for college tuition. It is essential that we provide for our future generations.

In the same vein of progress it is essential that we proceed in scientific research as well. Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body. They serve as a kind of “repair system” for the body and can divide to replenish other cells. They are beneficial to human life and can help to cure certain childhood diseases and cancer. However in the recent past there has been a lot of opposition to exploring this area of science.

Even though stem cell research has many benefits, President Bush has not approved the study of stem cells and consequently denies hope to millions of Americans. Therefore now that the Democratic Party has gained power in Congress, we will push through the study of stem cell research. We have come to this decision because our party feels that the research will be beneficial to society because it can in fact save lives and cure diseases, leading to healthy and productive citizens.

In order to make these necessary changes, we need a change within Congress as well. The House has fallen apart internally and has failed to adequately investigate issues regarding our own representatives. A well-known case of this failure is the recent findings of the Mark Foley scandal. Mark Foley was the chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children. Foley was caught e-mailing and instant-messaging pages and former pages. These messages were disgraceful and it is not how people in our highest ranks of government should be acting. This is a false representation of our people and changes need to be made. We aim not only to protect our pages, but to ensure that our representatives are not being distracted by matters that are not simply immoral, but extremely unprofessional as well.

Not only are there issues with our representatives, but with lobbying groups in Congress also. During 2006 Jack Abramoff involved some big-name Republican representatives, like Tom Delay and Bob Ney with lobbying schemes that allowed for them to make easy money. We must change lobbying regulations and clean up our Congress people. With these changes and more we can create a better Congress that listens to the people and keeps our citizens safe.

In order to keep our citizens truly safe though, we must implement the recommendations put forth by the 9/11 Commission. We recently wrote legislation that will cover key areas in relation to the report. The major parts of the bill are to “scrutinize all air-borne cargo (within three years) and all ship-borne cargo (within five years), send more federal aid to areas of the country at the greatest risk of a terrorist attack, improve emergency communications, fight nuclear proliferation overseas, and strengthen a civil liberties watchdog board” [Congresspedia (source)]. However, though not all areas of the report are covered in this legislation, the heads of the 9/11 commission are in agreement with our actions. This bill was passed in the House on January 10, 2007, but it is still expected to receive some opposition in the Senate.

These promises I back with my word. The Democrats of the House will provide for the people, for the time of change has come.

President for the People

By W. Michaels

Let me begin by first not making any promises about when & where things will be changed, but however giving you my word that I will do my very best to grant Americans & others peace & prosperity within my terms in office and for our future generations. With my number one objective being to take control of the situation over in the Middle East, mainly dealing with Iraq/Iran and Israel, and to bring home the soldiers that have supported the United States and have fought in our name.

Though we have had several incidents within our own homeland, which were act’s of “Terrorism” we cannot hold an entire country or religion responsible for such acts! So we need to open our arms an embrace other countries that need assistance with famine and disease and other natural disaster’s. Building the support with our allies & making new bonds with other nations should be an imperative part of our country's foreign policy. Further, it is important to protect our national security, but give people back their basic rights of freedom (tapping of phones/questioning without lawyer).

The following issues are important, and I would like you, the American public to know my stance on them, so that you may make informed decisions as citizens of this nation.

TAXES: Tax cuts for the working & middle class, with an (+) increase of taxes on the Big Businesses & the rich. Education within the inner cities and tax cuts for those that need assistance sending their children to the proper institutions.

SOCIAL PROGRAMS: Medicare & Social Security need to be reformed with the importance of taking care of the elderly and sick, long term. Assistance from local & state government to help those affected by the devastating Hurricane Katrina; rebuilding the state of Louisiana, and helping those that lost property and all of their belongings.

CLIMATE CHANGE: This administration has ignored this issue of climate change. Global warming is a fact, and as responsible global citizens we need to address the issue of global warming!

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: The criminal justice system also needs to be corrected! There are a lot of innocent people incarcerated within the prisons that need there just due a fair and bias justice system.

These are just a few of the improvements that I would work on if appointed into office as your next president, eventually to be re-elected for the following term and continue in making America a major impact in decision making throughout the world.

Thank you and good night!

February 13, 2007

America’s Long-Awaited Community Conversations

By Nadia Chit-Montiel

My fellow Americans, today I am announcing my decision to run as a candidate for the 2008 presidential elections. I feel that the time has come to get a different perspective of our great nation and we need to give ourselves the opportunity to find different solutions to our problems. I am asking you to join me, not solely as Americans, but as members of a great community that embraces the benefits our nation reaps on a daily basis. It is time for change and although some say not all change is good; I like to say you never know until you try.

We need to look at our issues at hand on a macro and micro-scale. Something we have been avoiding to admit and do for the past six years. We must evaluate the gender gap that is becoming wider on a daily basis. We must look at the values of our nation and the American Dream, because last I checked it is slowly dying.

Our future generations are growing up in a world that older members may say is impersonal and their generation calls freedom. We are “witnessing the Creolization of media” and with this we are loosing the traditions that we pride ourselves on. At the same time we are all gaining information at a speed we never imagined. The growth in technology is causing us to loose sight of the summer days in July playing baseball and catching fireflies while we wait for the ice cream truck. At the same time we are capable of finding multiple solutions in a matter of seconds, it’s taking the time from our hectic lives to find these solutions which now seems to be the problem.

We are submersing ourselves into being a nation that watches life on the sidelines instead of going out and experiencing it. We are loosing the battle against fear, fear that has been imposed upon us in the name of national security and patriotism. We must reevaluate these situations and find a way to regain the sense of community on a local and national level.

There is a growing disparity among our population in many sectors.

My fellow citizens, as members of any group, it is said that we are only as strong as those who lead us! In which case I ask you, what problems will our future generations face? What resources are we leaving behind to aid them? What happened to our fireside chats and learning from our elders? Then again when did our elders stop listening to the needs of our future? We have become an irresponsible, negligent, and unapproachable nation. We must learn that we cannot meddle in everyone’s business until we figure out what we have done wrong at home and fix it. Once we fix it, then and only then can we decide to help other nations reach our caliber. And if we do make that decision, then we must make a conscious effort to help them in the long run not just up until the point it is convenient to us.

I know I have said that we are a nation, the American community, but I would like to remind you that we are also part of a global community and our acts both on and off shore have long-term consequences. We must begin to re-educate ourselves on the issues that affect our nation and our global communities, and we must begin to foster a healthy dialogue between the different groups that represent our world. I’m not saying I can satisfy everyone’s needs alone, but I know I will try and I know that it will take your active participation on addressing your concerns that will help me better understand you.
A great American literary figure once said “the future becomes the present, the present becomes the past, and the past turns into everlasting regret if you don't plan for it!"

On that note America, let us make a deal with each other! Let us agree that the more we learn about each other, the better understanding and capability we have to solve the problems that need reparations. Let us agree that I will take time getting to know you as long as you give yourselves the opportunity to see things not only through my eyes but also through those around us. Let us allow ourselves the opportunity to look back and observe the lives of our neighbors and try to understand them. Let us work together and plan for the OUR future!

America I will walk in your shoes if you promise to do the same. I will pick you up when you’re tired. Let us talk America, let us talk and get to the root of things! Let us not blame others for the bad things in life! Instead let us take action, discuss the issues, find solutions and fix the problems!

Thank you.

February 10, 2007

The People's Candidate, Tom Immich

I am happy to announce that I will be running as a candidate for the 2008 election, and I will represent the Republican Party, however my goal for this election is to represent you, the people! I will try to reach out to everybody and make this presidency the presidency of and for the people, as promised so many years ago! Many people do not know who I am but I am a student at Pace University. I am a political science major and I feel I can lead this country. I may be young, but I am sure I can fix the mistakes of our past presidents.

Now I know our party has heavy abortion policies, however I want to find a middle ground where an abortion can be considered acceptable, at the same time protecting the feelings of those who believe it’s unjust to abort a child for any reason, as many of my supporters would say. For this I will need to do some research within the scientific community and I will strive to make a solution that will work, but I cannot promise that immediately.

I would also like to work on our energy situation. This is very important as many people know because we are having trouble maintaining our energy standards. I will champion using alternative fuels. I will push for advancements in research and I will put more resources into this project. This is a major crisis facing the country that demands immediate attention because the consequences of inaction would be disastrous.

Another thing I want to address is our national debt. We have so much trouble with this we need to control its unprecedented highs. It is becoming too much of a burden and we need to cut costs for some government programs or raise more money. I encourage people to not to worry, this will not result in a tax increase. I want to try and maintain current tax standards, and maybe even lower them if we can.

Our current foreign policy is shattered. There are problems and we have to solve them, now! We have made a huge mistake going into Iraq, and I want to fix this situation. We need to get our troops out of there in a timely fashion, and admit that we cannot win against the Iraqi extremists. What we need to do is simply pull out and admit we were wrong. There is no more hope for Iraq. We must abandon those who want to see democracy thrive in their country. There are too many sects and cults in that territory that they will fight until every last person is dead. This is a harsh reality, however it’s the truth. Staying in there will only further anger the opposition and we will sacrifice American lives. It is not our job to create democracy, but to maintain it. We cannot force change, especially when they feel their system has worked for centuries.

I hope you agree with me. I am very open to suggestions from all people and I will do my best to make this a presidency that works directly for the people, not for myself and personal vendettas. I ask that you nominate me to be the headlining presidential candidate for the Republican Party to lead our country!

Vote for Me 2008: Courtney Shannon

“Good afternoon America. Today I would like to announce that I have formed an exploratory committee for the 2008 Presidential Campaign. This committee will be a grassroots committee, and I personally am calling for your support. Together we can work towards unity, for progress, strength, and courage. We can protect the values that strengthen America and ensure that every American is guaranteed their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

This country has patriotically united many times to overcome many obstacles it has faced. Now we must unite with the same enthusiasm with our global allies to overcome challenges.

As part of my announcement to run for President of these United States in 2008, I would like to bring attention to something my opponents are not talking enough about, climate change and global warming. We must bravely resolve the energy crisis, and adapt to climate change, through implementation of current technology, and development of new innovations. We must provide economic incentives to both companies and individuals who use sustainable development practices. We must break our addiction not only to foreign oil, but end our dependence on oil, and invest in our future, by investing in viable alternative solutions. By assuring a healthy planet, we assure a healthy home for the world’s 6.6 billion people.

Further we must fight for human rights and strengthen our commitment to foreign aid, specifically in Darfur, Sudan. We must empower world leaders with the ability to bring an end to the genocide. As a world leader this country must use its power to fight more than terrorists. It’s about time we use our resources to gain respect of the rest of the world.

I do understand terrorism is a serious issue; and as an individual who lost some one in 9/11 I fully understand how overpowering the need for retribution can be. However, our country is in a war that does not have the faith of the American people behind it. When elected, I will ensure that I do not leave a mess for future generations. I will work as hard as possible to get your brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors-our troops, home.

In addition, we must ensure that every American citizen is granted his or her rights and liberties. We must guarantee a decent and affordable education, so that this country can continue to continue to be an economic leader, full of educated and able citizens. We must be able to guarantee healthcare by providing a national health insurance plan. We must develop and strengthen emergency action plans for disaster management, so that horrors like the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina do not occur again.

I have great plans for this nation. I urge you to join my campaign. Together, we can unite America.”

Vote for Me 2008: Olivia T. Grey

Good Evening,

It has been a terrible trend of the recent decades for politicians to be masters of the word. The image of a politico talking their way out of a paper bag is one that fills all of our minds. It is for this reason that I will keep my words today short, for I can not prove my dedication to this nation simply through my voice, but it is my actions on which I should be judged. America has for too long been ushered into the phase of the filibuster, it is time that someone in Washington stand up and not speak, but act. Today I am announcing my candidacy for president of these here great states of America. I believe the existence of a strong president who will act upon their word is long over due, and I seek to fill this vacancy. I have spent the last five months traveling to each and every state. I do not plan to play the numbers game, I will not, like past candidates, simply visit those states who have a large number of electorate, because I feel that every person in every state is not only an important, but an essential part of why America is great. We are a country based on the individuals, and it is for every individual that I will run.

It is upon this basis that I seek to reform the way in which Washington works. For too long we have come down to a nation in a culture war. Red states, Blue states…aren’t we all just purple? A nation with individual views and individuals needs requires a president who may cater to all individuals and not be beholden to a rigid party platform. It has come time that we as a nation refuse to vote down the party line, but instead vote for the candidate who can best serve YOU. It is for this reason that I have developed my own platform, aside from that of the party under which I fall, The GOP. My platform may be found on my website.

I urge you all to become educated on the candidates, and I will be seeing you all soon as I continue my trek across this beautiful nation.

February 09, 2007

A New Day in America by Steven Samuels

Dear friends, today we live in uncertain times. The world today is full of problems, uncertainty, and violence. Currently, our position in the world as leaders is being challenged by many and rightfully so. Our leaders in Washington have failed us and in failing us have failed those who look to America as a pillar of the international community.

However, there is still hope, the policies of failure are not irreversible there is still a chance for America to reclaim its position in the world as a champion of democracy, justice, and morality. To do this, we will need a leader that is wise and capable of making hard decisions that will benefit American citizens and will maintain our commitments to our allies. I can be this leader that America needs.

The war in Iraq has been a debacle for the U.S. and I believe that we must rectify the situation as quickly as possible in order to regain the prestige we lost when we started this war. We have long been champions of the international process mainly through the work of the United Nations; I believe that we must once again work within the international community to find the best solution to our problems. Once we rejoin the international process we can begin to heal the divisions caused by our illegal war and reclaim the position we once had amongst nations.

In our age of interdependence we cannot afford to undertake selfish unilateral actions that could lead to destabilization of countries and regions. As responsible global citizens it is our duty to work democratically within the global community towards peace. I thank you, and hope you will vote for a better tomorrow for America.

February 08, 2007

The New Republican Face of America

By Ben Ogden

Good evening America, I am here tonight to inform you that I am running for president of the United States under the Republican Party. I plan to follow many of the current projects and policies made by the current Bush administration. I know that the current administration is not extremely well liked, but our nation needs a new president who will continue what the Bush Administration has proposed.
Our nation went to war in Iraq to destroy Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, yet none were found. However, intervention was needed in the area due to the terrorist cells that continue to be found. I propose to continue our war in Iraq until we are successful. A clear definition of success has yet to be determined. However, not only must we continue our war in Iraq, but we must continue our search for terrorists in Afghanistan. We have had troops deployed in that nation since shortly after the September 11th tragedy, and they will continue to be deployed there until we have assured that any terrorists who want to do harm against the United States have been detained and if necessary, killed. Also nations like Iran and North Korea, nations the U.S. believes have the capability of producing nuclear weapons, need to be addressed. For the past year or so we have attempted to speak to the North Koreans about the termination of there nuclear weapons program, unfortunately they have not complied. We need to assure that these nations will discontinue their nuclear developments. If they do not comply we will use some sort of pressure to ensure that they do as asked. Terrorism against the United States is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by my administration.
Another important issue is that of illegal immigration. At this time there are far too many illegal immigrants entering the United States. We need to develop better border protection, especially along our southern border with the nation of Mexico. This should be done by continuing the project to build a massive wall, continuing to leave National Guardsmen on duty along the border and hiring of private companies to assist the Nation Guardsmen to protect the border. We should allow immigrants into the nation, and allow them to work and receive education, but we must limit our intake. We need these immigrants to work for us to ensure that jobs that Americans do not want to do are fulfilled. These workers should be give permission to work and sent home after a set length of time as to allow all immigrants to work in our fine country.
The new energy program announced by President Bush, although very vague is an important aspect. Although some people, including myself, do not agree that global warming exists we still need to find cheaper forms of energy. Another important program is the health care program for self employed Americans. I like President Bush’s idea and will continue to work based on what he has already put forth.
As I said at the beginning of this announcement I plan on following as much as President Bush’s policy as possible. The ideas I just brought forth are my main plans for our nation under my administration, if elected. I would just like to thank those of you who plan on supporting me. Thank you and goodnight.

February 07, 2007

Vote for Me in 2008: Kristina Longhitano

As many other candidates prepare to announce their plans to run for the presidency in 2008, I feel that I will be the one candidate that stands out amongst the fray. Like Martin Luther King Jr. said once before, “I have a dream,” I too have a dream to try and fix the many problems that we have in this great country of ours.

Some of the ideas and issues that I truly care about and want to fix are the institution of universal health care and universal education, including providing college to graduating high school seniors. I care about fixing environmental issues, curbing global warming, and establishing Fair trade. I will work towards repairing the problematic exportation of U.S. jobs and the difficulty of the U.S. becoming a service economy.

I grew up in a middle class family in New York State, I feel I’ve had a good life and I would like to extend this to everyone in the country. Nowadays, it seems like the lower class and middle class has been forgotten about by the elites, and I intend to change this.

For the last six years George W. Bush has led our country in the wrong direction, but if I’m elected president I will steer our course back on track and restore the integrity of America to the world. I will accomplish these goals by listening to the views of the American people, if they truly feel that something is wrong then we will fix that problem, and not ignore your wishes. In the real U.S., we have a melting pot, not just of cultures but beliefs as well and my issues appeal to everyone whether you are Democrat, Republican, or Independent because these are humanistic values that we all share.

By Kristina Longhitano

February 06, 2007

Speech to the Nation: An International Approach

By Kristina Longhitano

Thank you Mr. President, I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to speak to my country. I do enjoy the rights afforded to me in this great country, the most important being the freedom of speech.

Though, in these times it will suffice to say that freedom of speech has been greatly limited because of the fear of terrorism. The United State’s international policy in my mind has become warped. The War in Iraq has become the main focus of our attention. Too much focus is put on fighting an enemy that we are blind to. Instead, we should focus our foreign policy on humanitarian aid. Right now the situation in Iraq is dismal at best. There is no end in sight, Iraq has become this generations’ Vietnam. My proposal is to redirect our international policy back to its original intentions, where we helped countries in need.

A horror that is occurring as we speak is the dire situation in Darfur, Sudan. It has been called genocide by many people, but yet we have done nothing to truly stop these atrocities.

Why are countries like Iraq more important than places like Sudan? It is because of profit and location. Instead of truly trying to help people, this country is focused on publicity. The government has convinced Americans that is is justifiable to fight in the Middle East against terrorism. Yet, the American government has nothing to try to justify fighting for peace in Sudan.

We cannot become protectionists and close ourselves off from the world. We established a precedent with World War I that we have to uphold. Previously, our policy was to help those in need. Now our aid policy is much more politically selective. Instead of this, the USA needs to fully support the UN, and help all those in need. Furthermore we have to examine each situation more closely than we have in the past and look at our mistakes in order to fix the problems instead of making them worse. We need to learn from our mistakes, not repeat them.

Speech to the Nation: Support Our Troops!

By Ben Ogden

Thank you Mr. President. Good evening America. As you all know, America has been involved in a war against terrorism for the past four years. We currently have troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq who are fighting for safety and security for our nation, and the rest of the world. I, as with most of this government’s administration, know that many Americans do not agree with the war in Iraq at this time. However, when we began the war there was a strong support from our nation as a whole. I am not here to preach to you that it is your job as the American public to support the war. You, the people, have a right to be against this war.

I am here, though, to ask you to regain the levels of patriotism we had after the attacks on September 11. After these horrendous terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the American public had a revived level of patriotism that remained strong, even when we first deployed troops to the Middle East. But, with the increasing disapproval of the war, there has been a decrease in support for our troops and a decrease in patriotism. You may not agree with the war, but our fellow Americans are in Iraq fighting, and loosing their lives, to help make America and the rest of the world a safer place. They deserve every ounce of our support.

We need to support and pray for our troops. And, next time you see someone who serves in any branch of the U.S. military, thank them for what they do for your country. They deserve it. Once again, I would just like to state that the United States needs a strong increase in patriotism and support of our troops, even if you do not agree with the war. We should be proud to be Americans and we should show this.

Thank you America, and Goodnight.