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Contexts and Consequences

Jan Maintain Cuban embargo, but allow Americans to send money. May Meet with Cuban leaders only with agenda of US interests. Feb Cuba: Loosen restrictions now; normalization later. Nov Invest in our relationship with Mexico. Aug Raids into Pakistan to kill high-value terrorists. Sep Must be tough on Iran, but talk to them too. Sep Learned privilege of being American by living in Indonesia. Jul China is a competitor but not an enemy. Dec U.

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Mar Europe Russia is in tatters because of our steady resolve. Jan Deal with Russia: no new missile defense in Eastern Europe. Oct Recent Russian actions in Georgia are unacceptable. Sep In Berlin: proud citizen of US; fellow citizen of the world. Jul Chairs European subcommittee; could hold Afghanistan hearing. Jul Engage Russia regarding nuclear proliferation. Aug Mideast Negotiations with Iran don't rely on trust. Oct I stand by "time for Mubarak to go" in Egyptian Revolution.

Vatican II Class: The Church & Social Justice: The US Experience

Oct Partner with Arab Spring countries to work toward democracy. Jun Hamas election void until they renounce violence. Jun Iran is more isolated and will face growing consequences. Jan Fundamental commitment to strong US-Israel relationship. Jan Kissinger agrees with me on meeting with enemy leaders.

Sep FactCheck: Kissinger opposes presidential meetings with Iran. Jul Appropriate for Israel to take out Syrian nuclear reactor. Jul Jerusalem should be capital of Israel, pending final status. Jul Jerusalem as joint Palestinian-Israeli capital is ok. Jul Palestinian people suffer-but from not recognizing Israel. Apr FactCheck: Palestinian suffering from stalled peace effort. Oct Resolutions At college, protested for divestment from South Africa. Oct Sponsored aid bill to avert humanitarian crisis in Congo.

Jan Condemn violence by Chinese government in Tibet. Apr Sanction Mugabe until Zimbabwe transitions to democracy. Apr Afghan law tolerating marital rape is abhorrent. Apr Pressure friendly Arab states to end Israeli boycott. Oct Barack Obama on Free Trade. Feb China is an adversary but also a potential partner. Oct Develop alternatives to importing rare earths from China.

Sep Skeptical on whether China feels bound by global trade rules. Jun Trade Enforcement Unit: inspections for safe imports. Jan FactCheck: Chinese tire import ban replaced by other imports. Jan Double our exports by ; starting with South Korea. Jan FactCheck: Yes, exports up; but not enough to double by Jan Enforce trade being reciprocal; not just a one-way street. Jan More exports means more jobs; double exports for 2M new jobs.

Oct Trade is here to stay; we have to compete. Aug Global trade is unsustainable if it favors only the few. Jul Assist workers who lose globalization's race to the bottom. Jun Strong labor, safety, and environmental standards on trade. Feb More Transition Assistance for displaced workers. Jan Enforce existing safety laws against Chinese products. Aug Reinvest in communities that are burdened by globalization.

Jun Fair trade should have tangible benefits for US. Jan TPP cuts 18, taxes on products made in America. Jan Trade agreements mean we sell "Made in America" to millions. Aug Insist on labor and human rights standards for China trade. Jul Extend trade restrictions on Burma to promote democracy. Jun Barack Obama on Government Reform. Don't expect government to solve all problems; just some. Nov Governing cannot work without compromise. Jan We've got to make it easier to vote, not harder.

Jan No one should wait more than a half-hour to vote. Jan Waiting 6 or 7 hours to cast a ballot betrays our ideals. Feb OpEd: Achieve via regulation what was blocked in legislation. Feb OpEd: federal pay freeze was all smoke and mirrors. Oct Open Government Initiative on first full day in office.

Apr OpEd: Broke promise to pay for every dime of new spending. May Used signing statements, like Bush, 17 times in Apr We face a deficit of trust, not just a budget deficit. Jan FactCheck: Yes, set up first reverse-revolving door policy. Jan Economic agenda builds new foundation for lasting prosperity. Feb Eliminate government programs that no longer work. Aug Cabinet members should hold national town hall meetings.

Jul Need a government that listens to the people again. Feb Give D. Feb Bad idea to over-classify information. Aug Registered , new minority voters in Chicago in Mar Filibuster has long tradition, but used to harm civil rights. Oct People are really ready for a message for change.

Jul Campaign race baiting works in both directions. Aug Ban insider trading by members of Congress. Jan Citizens United decision: major victory for Big Oil. Sep Only a few waivers on lobbyists in senior positions. Jan Post all earmark request online before each vote. Jan FactCheck: Yes, agreed to public financing, then declined it. Oct GovWatch: Promised public financing, and then retreated. Jun AdWatch: I opt out of broken public campaign finance system. Feb Ended corporate jet travel subsidized by lobbyists.

Feb Never took money from federal lobbyists or their companies. Jan No lobbyist money; no PAC money; fund campaigns instead. Jan Money is the original sin in politics and I am not sinless. Aug First law passed, , stripping legislator perks. Aug Used state money for seemingly political mailing. Jul FactCheck: no lobbyist money; yes from bundlers who lobby.

Jul First bill ever passed was campaign finance reform. Apr FactCheck: no lobbyist money, yes from lobbyist spouses. Apr Hopefund PAC pushes government to honor sacred commitments. Nov Lobbyist influence comes from access, not money. Oct Earmark Reform Would love line-item veto, but start with earmark reform. Jan Freeze discretionary government spending for 3 years. Sep Google for Government: let public track federal grants. Jul Use technology to shine a light on spending. Jun Consistently in favor of more disclosure around earmarks.

Feb Created a publicly searchable database on earmarks spending. Aug Sponsored bill to disclose earmarks on Internet. Sep Voted NO on allowing some lobbyist gifts to Congress. Mar Election reform is 1 priority to prevent disenfranchisement. Jan Sponsored bill criminalizing deceptive info about elections. Nov Sponsored resolution rejecting photo ID for voting. Sep Sponsored bill to post earmarks on the Internet.

Jan Prohibit voter intimidation in federal elections. Mar Prohibit 'voter caging' which intimidates minority voting. Nov Barack Obama on Gun Control. Stricter gun rules, with or without Congress. Jan Gun violence victims deserve a vote. Feb I believe in 2nd Amendment, but not war weapons on streets. Jun Midwestern "bitter clingers" frustrated over broken promises.

Aug Opposed bill okaying illegal gun use in home invasions. Apr April "Bittergate" labeled Obama elitist. Apr Respect 2nd Amendment, but local gun bans ok. Feb Provide some common-sense enforcement on gun licensing. Jan cosponsored bill to limit purchases to 1 gun per month. Oct Concealed carry OK for retired police officers. Aug Stop unscrupulous gun dealers dumping guns in cities. Jul Keep guns out of inner cities--but also problem of morality. Oct Bush erred in failing to renew assault weapons ban.

Oct Ban semi-automatics, and more possession restrictions. Jul Voted NO on prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers. Jul Barack Obama on Health Care. Prioritize finding a cure for cancer. Jan All kids should get vaccinated, but not by law. Feb ObamaCare didn't crush jobs nor explode deficits. Jan Ebola teaches us how to prevent future pandemics. Jan FactCheck: Yes, 10 million newly insured last year.

Oct I don't think Medicare vouchers are the way to go. Oct Voucher system puts seniors at mercy of insurance companies. Oct Too many Americans skip preventive care due to cost. Jan OpEd: Incremental plan builds on patchwork system. Mar Allow prescription drug re-importation. Jul ObamaCare 18 millions people have gained health insurance. Feb 12 million covered; zero denied for pre-existing conditions. Oct ObamaCare says insurance companies can't jerk you around. Oct Ignored advice to postpone reform, because it was needed.

Sep They called ObamaCare "Armageddon", but no asteroids fell. Jan Medicare is major driver of our long-term liabilities. Oct No exclusions for pre-existing conditions. Oct Ban insurance companies from discriminating against the sick. Aug Include everyone who wants insurance in national pool. Jun Voluntary universal participation, like in Medicare Part B.

Feb Against enforcement mechanism for mandating insurance. Nov Tackle insurance companies on reimbursement system. Oct Government healthcare like members of Congress have. Sep Morally wrong that terminally ill must consider money. Sep Increase competition in the insurance and drug markets. Aug National Health Insurance Exchange for private coverage. Aug Give people the choice to buy affordable health care. Jun Employers are going to have to pay or play. Oct Health care tied to balancing costs and taxes nation wide. Jun must be national system; not state-level pilots.

Jan Lie of the Year: 'If you like your plan, you can keep it'. Dec ObamaCare and RomneyCare both expand private insurance. Oct OpEd: ObamaCare passed by constitutionally suspect tactics. Oct OpEd: No authority to micromanage citizens' healthcare. Jan OpEd: Obama's public responsibility for health is socialism.

Apr OpEd: Obamacare decides when life is worth preserving. Apr OpEd: authority to require private insurance purchases? Mar High-risk pool for uninsured, now in plan, was GOP idea. Jan Cross-state-line insurance leads to cherry-picking. Jan Didn't tackle healthcare for political benefit, it's needed. Sep End-of-life self-medication ok; euthanasia by others not ok. Feb FactCheck: Yes, Obama favored single-payer, despite denial. Jul Universal Coverage Shifting Medicaid to states means some people don't get help.

Oct Add 2, new primary-care residency spots. Nov Reduce premiums and uninsured get same coverage as Congress. Oct When your child gets sick, you don't shop for best bargain. Jul If we started from scratch, one-payer system would be best. Jul Universal health care means anyone who wants it can get it. Feb Adults will get health care as they can afford it. Feb No one turned away due to illness or pre-existing condition.

Jan Being poor in this country is hazardous to your health. Dec Added 20, children to Illinois healthcare. Apr Healthcare system is broken without lifetime employment. Oct Focus on the affordability of a broad healthcare plan. Jan Crises happen in our lives and healthcare is necessary. Oct Voting Record No need to mandate coverage; just let people afford it.

Apr Establish a national childhood cancer database. Apr Barack Obama on Homeland Security. Don't pursue nuclear warheads with new military capabilities. Dec We spend more on military than next 8 nations combined. Jan Finish the job: it's time to close Gitmo. Jan Defense cuts bad; but non-defense cuts even worse. Feb Lasting peace does not require perpetual war. Jan Don't give military money that they're not asking for.

Oct Take money from war budgets and fund nation-building at home. Jun Called for space weapons ban, but with wiggle room. Jun Let gay people serve in military openly. Jan US has helped underwrite global security for 60 years. Feb Obama Doctrine: moral interest as well as national interest. Jan Human rights and national security are complementary.

Nov Judgment is as important as experience. Aug America must practice the patriotism it preaches. Mar Get first responders the healthcare and equipment they need. Mar Need to be both strong and smart on national defense. Oct Grow size of military to maintain rotation schedules.

Oct Give our soldiers the best equipment and training available. Feb Put forward a national service program. Jan Give year-old women opportunity to serve. Dec Register women for draft, but not for combat. Jun OpEd: walked away from missile defense of Eastern Europe. Mar Secure all world's nuclear materials by international treaty. Dec Goal is a world without nuclear weapons. Aug A New Beginning: seek world with no nuclear weapons. Aug Seek the peace of a world without nuclear weapons.

Jul With Hagel, introduced nuclear nonproliferation bill. Mar Pursue goal of a world without nuclear weapons. Feb Rebuild a nuclear nonproliferation strategy. Jan Obama-Lugar bill restricted conventional weapons. Oct Passed bill to reduce conventional weapon stockpiles. Aug Protecting nuclear power plants is of utmost importance. Jan Increase funding to decommission Russian nukes. Jul Terrorism OpEd: Did not prosecute official acts of torture.

Feb We have brought planners to justice. Sep OpEd: Failed promise to close Guantanamo loses left votes. Jun OpEd: torture ban just repositions torture to outside US. Jun No habeas right for detainees outside of US. May OpEd: treat terrorist threats as criminal; not acts of war. May OpEd: Promised to close Guantanamo but it's still open. Apr Hundreds of al Qaeda have been captured last year. Jan OpEd: accused of palling around with terrorist Bill Ayers.

Jul Go after al Qaeda but also shrink pool of potential recruits. Jul No torture; no renditions; no operating out of fear. Apr Al Qaida is stronger now than in as Iraq distracted us. Jan No presidential power for secret surveillance. Dec No holding US citizens as unlawful enemy combatants. Dec Congress decides what constitutes torture, not president. Dec Restore habeas corpus to reach Muslims abroad. Nov If attacked, first help victims then prevent further attacks. Oct America cannot sanction torture; no loopholes or exceptions.

Aug Close Guantanamo and restore the right of habeas corpus. Jun Homeland security must protect citizens, not intrude on them. Mar Personal privacy must be protected even in terrorism age. Mar Battling terrorism must go beyond belligerence vs. Jan Balance domestic intelligence reform with civil liberty risk. Jul Veterans Unacceptable to have veterans drive miles to a hospital. Aug Address the deficiencies in the VA system.

Jun The cost of the Iraq war should not shortchange VA benefits. Jun Make sure the outpatient facilities work for veterans. Jun Comprehensive plan for our veterans healthcare. Aug Voted YES on limiting soldiers' deployment to 12 months. Dec Voted YES on restricting business with entities linked to terrorism. Mar Sponsored bill for Iraq budget to be part of defense budget. Jun Improve mental health care benefits for returning veterans.

Apr Restore habeas corpus for detainees in the War on Terror. Jun Establish global strategy to defeat al Qaeda. Barack Obama on Immigration. Nov Executive action on immigration is well-precedented. Nov Common sense executive action: Deport felons, not families.

Nov Deferred-action: Let under-age illegals remain lawfully. Mar Since , deported a record number of illegal immigrants. Mar Comprehensive immigration reform including legal immigration. Feb I promised reform in , but economy took priority. Sep Focus deportations on criminals and those without US roots. Sep FactCheck: Fewer border crossings mostly due to economy. Jan Arizona's S. Oct Sent unmanned aircraft drones to monitor Mexican border.

Oct Comprehensive reform can't be done by president alone. Oct Stop expelling talented undocumented workers. Jan Send 1, National Guard troops to southern border. Nov Anti-immigrant bitterness stems from joblessness. Jan Crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. Jun We need comprehensive reform, like McCain used to support.

Jun Recognize the humanity of immigrants: Todos somos Americanos. Jun Encourage every student to learn a second language. Feb Need to look at different aspects of immigration reform. Feb Have border patrolled, surveillance, and deploy technology. Feb Deporting 12 million people is ridiculous and impractical. Feb Immigration raids are ineffective. Feb Immigrants are scapegoats for high unemployment rates. Dec OK to provide government services in Spanish. Nov Undocumented workers come here to work, not to drive.

Nov Immigration system is broken for legal immigrants. Sep Reform must include more border security, and border wall. Sep Sanctuary cities show that feds are not enforcing law. Sep Pathway to citizenship, but people have to earn it. Aug Do a better job patrolling the Canadian and Mexican borders. Jun Give immigrants who are here a rigorous path to citizenship. Jun Immigrant Benefits Kids who think of themselves as Americans--they should stay.

Sep Let foreign students stay after graduating college. Jan Increasing the legal fees on immigrants is not helping. Jan Health plan: not enough resources for illegal immigrants. Oct Extend welfare and Medicaid to immigrants. Jan Voted YES on continuing federal funds for declared "sanctuary cities". Mar Voted YES on comprehensive immigration reform. May Comprehensive immigration reform without amnesty. May Sponsored bill paying fair prevailing wage to guest workers.

May Provide funding for social services for noncitizens. Dec Barack Obama on Jobs. End federal contracts if employer mistreats employees. Jun Need retraining programs for workers who lose jobs. Oct Best employment growth since ; the crisis is past. Jan FactCheck: Yes, unemployment down; but many stopped looking. Jan New ladder of opportunity into the middle class. Jan No assault on unions: don't denigrate public employees. Nov FactCheck: Yes, K manufacturing jobs since , but Feb Make America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing. Feb We were losing , jobs each month when I started.

Oct Change offshore tax rules to bring back outsourced jobs. Jun FactCheck: Yes, wants to limit secret balloting for unions. Oct End incentives that move jobs overseas. Sep Small towns get bitter over long-term joblessness. Aug Supports Fair Pay Act: equal pay for equal work. Jul Expand paid sick days to seven per year. Jul Employee Free Choice Act: right to organize harassment-free.

Jul s: Opened first city job center in South Chicago. Feb Focus farm programs on family farms, not giant corporations. Dec Give public safety officers collective bargaining rights. Aug Pres. Jul Make the minimum wage a living wage. Jun Burdens of globalization are placed on the backs of workers. Oct Working full-time should mean enough to support a family. Oct Overrode federal overtime rules and raised the minimum wage. Sep Make sure that African-American men have access to jobs. Jul Fund Trade Adjustment Assistance for service workers too. Jun Tax cuts for the rich do not create jobs.

Apr Job Stimulus US economy is strong: , new jobs in the past 6 years. Jan We've cut unemployment in half during my term. Jan FactCheck: Yes, 8M new jobs, but net 1. Jan Create , jobs in the natural gas industry. Oct Wind energy jobs are not imaginary jobs. Oct FactCheck: Jobs increasing, but still lower than in Jan OpEd:Believes Keynesian theory that government spurs economy. Sep Four million jobs created or saved by recovery program.

May Recession job losses more severe than anticipated. Jan Jobs must be our 1 focus in Jan FactCheck: Economic plan may create only 2. Feb Solution to financial crisis is more job creation. Aug Voted NO on terminating legal challenges to English-only job rules. Mar Voted YES on restricting employer interference in union organizing. Jan Match minimum wage increases to Congressional pay raises. May Extend unemployment compensation during recession. Goal of transition to Trump: grace and dignity.

Nov Michelle Obama has no intention of running for office, ever. Nov America is defined by innovative spirit: it's in our DNA. Jan Put nation's interests before party. Feb If all Americans get opportunity, we're all better off. Oct Letters from Americans: This is who we are fighting for. Sep OpEd: Offered a third way; but hid left-of-center agenda.

Jun OpEd: Many blacks voted for Obama only because he's black. Feb American exceptionalism is same as any other exceptionalism. Sep Loyal opposition is not just valuable, but a necessity. Jan Hard times test us, like we have been tested in the past. Jan OpEd: Comfortable with differences; downplays separations. Jul OpEd: Master of values-laden over outcome-laden language.

Jul OpEd: Unflappability comes from Methodist grandparents. Jan OpEd: Combines clergy oratory with intellectual eloquence. Jan "Obama Messiah Watch": Keep eye on media gushing hyperbolic. Jan Ordinary people found the courage to keep the promise alive. Aug Measure progress by observing how ordinary people are doing.

Aug Our government must keep the promise of America. Aug The American promise is our greatest inheritance. Aug OpEd: Themes of "hope" and "change" has numerous antecedents. Aug We have to demand more from ourselves. Jul Michelle: My husband demands you move out of comfort zone. Jul The Clinton years were undeniably better than the Bush years. Jan Criticizes voter cynicism from decades of disappointment. Oct Posts politics more about moral attitude than issues. Oct Americans dislike partisanship--not solution like Dems think.

Oct Enlist the American people in the process of self-government. Jan Guilt is a luxury that not everyone can afford. Aug Campaign Themes Equality is an American value that motivates us. Jul Opportunity is who we are: let's restore that promise. Jan I want to build on our strengths; invest in America. Oct This election about vision of restoring middle class values. Jun Effective citizenship means listening to opposing views. Oct OpEd: Transformative from individualism to collectivism. Apr Campaign slogan: "Yes, we can". Mar We've had lots of plans; but a shortage of hope. Yes, we can!.

Table of contents

Jun Life experiences taught me how to bring people together. Feb People understand we must bring the country together. Feb End politics of division; make it about addition. Jan Hope is the bedrock of this nation. Jan Resounds with American theme of overcoming burden of history.

Nov Cultivates comparison to Jack Kennedy. Nov Campaigns assiduously in black churches. Sep People have an urgent desire for change in Washington. Jun Washington can change if we say: Yes we can. Mar Replace partisan bickering with politics of hope. Feb Progressives should recognize common morality with religion. Oct Seek common ground, not a moral crusade.

Jul Greatness based on Declaration of Independence, not military. Jul We are one people all defending the United States of America. Jul Want common-sense solutions, not liberal-conservative labels. Jul Community Organizing OpEd: greatest talent is chairing balanced meetings.

May HQ phone greeting: "What can you do for us? Apr Required email list from every candidate event he attended. Jan Headed "Project Vote! Aug Obama worked in same community as Saul Alinsky. Aug OpEd: Obama implements Alinsky's ideas of radical change. Aug Used community organizer skills as State Senator. Aug Organizer's method: from issue to action to power. Apr s: Registered , voters in Chicago "Project Vote". Feb Poverty of political organizers was proof of their integrity. Oct OpEd: Black father abandoned him, yet identifies with him. Nov Father had wife in Africa when he met and married Ann Dunham.

Aug Father left family for Harvard education. Aug Father's upbringing was Muslim, although never religious. Aug Father had 3 or 4 wives; Barack has at least 5 half-siblings. Aug Many attribute mother's marriages to being anthropologist. Aug Lived with grandparents in Hawaii over mother in Indonesia. Aug Would be first president to have extended family abroad. Jul Greatest mistake: absence from mother when she died. Apr Father's family from the Luo tribe of Kenya. Apr Related to both Vice Pres. Cheney and Pres. Apr Mother described as "the original feminist" at college.

Apr In his 20s, searched for his identity, absent both parents. Apr Father was first African exchange student at U. Feb Greeted as hero on visit to ancestral Kenya. Feb Father died in car crash before Barack got to know him. Aug Congressional loss: "I got my rear end handed to me". Apr Campaigning on change from the bottom up that King stood for. Jan Elected Law Review president with conservative support. Aug Lost Congressional primary in to Bobby Rush. Feb Personal History Met Michele when both worked as interns at law firm.

Nov Being president doesn't change you--it reveals who you are. J" Erving. Aug In no other country is my story even possible. Nov First major politician of the post-Baby Boom generation. Oct Most decisive moment: transition from high school to college. Aug High school jock--played football as defensive lineman. Aug Goal as youth: Leave the world a better place. Aug Planned on presidency since well before Convention. Aug Favorite authors: E. Aug Met Michelle Robinson at law firm; married in Aug A reformed smoker but occasionally burns one. Mar Personal story is basis of political desire to unite.

Feb First black president of the Harvard Law Review. Oct OpEd: Elections of underclass occurred in many countries. Jan Am I somehow responsible for fate of entire black race? Jan OpEd: March "race speech" reminder of ongoing struggle. Jan March speech on race began with "We, the people". Jan Speaks about racial anxiety from personal experience. Aug Participated in Million Man March. Aug Apocryphal story: race awareness began with skin-bleach ad. Aug Taking a black candidate for granted is measure of progress.

Jun Epiphany at age 21 settled his racial identity. Mar Intertwined search for father and racial identity. Dec Rooted in African-American community but also more than that. Dec In college, rejected multiracialism for black identity. Dec Fans see Obama as opportunity to vote for redemption. Aug There is some hope of eventual reconciliation between races. Jan OpEd: installed secularism as America's state religion.

Oct OpEd: Wrote glowingly of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's first sermon. Nov First American president not raised in a Christian home.

Catholic, Pro-Life and Voting for Barack Obama

Aug Religious Left calls Obama "called" and "anointed". Aug Grandmother raised as strict Methodist, but saw hypocrisy. Aug Mother raised in Unitarian Church with secular values. Aug Mother declared herself an atheist during high school. Aug Obama's Trinity Church is based on black-liberation theology.

Jul GovWatch: never a Muslim, but school listed him as Muslim. Apr I am a person of faith; and I reach out to people of faith. Apr Religion is foundational; not clinging nor elitist. Apr Rev. Jeremiah Wright helped bring me to Christianity. Apr Exposure to Islam taught me that Muslims can partner with us. Apr Father was raised Muslim but became an atheist. Apr I am a proud Christian who believes deeply in Jesus Christ.

Dec Grandfather converted from Christianity to Islam. Dec Uses prayer to take stock of his moral compass. Oct Reach out to faith community;faith has role in public square. Sep Active in the Trinity faith community. Aug Embrace Christ as an ally. Feb Raised secular, but with working knowledge of world religion. Oct Religious concerns ok, if translated into universal values. Apr Spent time in both Muslim and Catholic schools. Aug Scandals Neighbor Bill Ayres admits s violent radicalism. Aug Tony Rezko helped Obama buy home in prestigious neighborhood. Aug Segments of Wright sermons were "caricatures of the church".

Aug Photographed without hand over heart during national anthem. Apr FactCheck: Yes, refused to wear a flag pin, last year. Apr Mar. Wright's anti-US sermon. Feb Voted with Democratic Party Sep Biggest mistake was intruding in Terri Schiavo case. Sep Member of Congressional Black Caucus. Jan Reject Bush's Florida electors due to election fraud. Barack Obama on Social Security. MyRA: new savings bond for retirement. Jan No new promises we can't keep; but keep promises we've made.

Feb Entitlements don't make us takers; they free us to take risk. Jan Tweak Social Security like Reagan did, but keep entitlements. Apr Good health care and tax reform will save entitlements. Oct Raise income cap to avoid future shortfall. Rest assured, Midwest JSAers: cabinet has the future of our beloved organization well in hand, and that future is nothing short of brilliant.

Chapters around the Junior State are gearing up for the first overnight convention of the year, Fall State. There are many things that chapters have to do before conventions. They have to register their delegates, sign up for debates, train their members, but oftentimes, arranging transportation is the most daunting aspect of the process. Buses can cost thousands of dollars and take many hours on the phone to arrange.

To alleviate possible difficulties, here is a How to Guide for transportation to conventions to make this burden easier. You have to shop around! When I was arranging busing for the Northeast State, the first company said the bus would be dollars, 6 bus companies down the road I got an offer for dollars. Shopping is important.

I would recommend calling companies. When you are choosing a bus company, you need to keep in mind that the companies will charge you for how far they have to travel from their lot to the pickup point. If you are in New York, do not choose a bus company located out of Boston, it is not cost effective! We promote discussion of the issues that affect the world and us; we teach the youth of America about current events; and we train the next generation of leaders in this country. These are all great things to share with the bus companies.

Bus companies will be much more likely to give you a sizable discount if you explain what JSA is. Also, make sure to mention that the Junior State of America is a nonprofit organization. The bus companies will not charge you tax if you do. Plus it is a great way to meet other JSAers! Chances are you will need a bus for Winter Congress and Spring State as well, so promise them your business for those conventions. You will likely see a reduction in your quote. Also, promise to recommend the bus company to other JSAers. They would be happy to give you a discount if it means more net business for them!

Those are my tips for how to get a great deal on a bus for conventions. If any chapters need help getting to conventions or have any questions feel free to e-mail me at aostro northeastjsa. Due to dissatisfaction in the two major parties, it comes without surprise that third parties are rising, and currently the Libertarians have over , registered voters. Gary Johnson was born in the small town of Minot, North Dakota. During his college years, he He was advised by Republicans to run for state legislature in , but instead he decided to run for New Mexico governor.

Johnson bankrolled his entire campaign, spending , dollars of his own money. His platform included a com-. After narrowly winning his primary, he moved on to face Bruce King, the incumbent governor. After two very successful terms, Johnson faded away from politics, until , when he decided to run for president as a Republican.

After being excluded from three consecutive debates, he was unable to gain traction in the Republican Party and ended up dropping out. The Libertarians quickly wanted him to be the Libertarian candidate, and he won the bid in May of Since then, he has done campaign work, mostly through Youtube and Facebook, but he also holds charity events and things of that nature. In kindly giving the nation a more fully-developed plan, he looked better than he has in months. The Internet community is running with the Big Bird and PBS bit, but beyond that he delivered a surprisingly gaffe-less performance.

This leads me to the issue of. I found the first presidential debate interesting and slightly worrying. No, it was not the earthshaking performance touted by the GOP. What last night characterized serves as an intriguing observation about the current state of American politics. The man can tions in recent history, we have a speak and speak well. We know candidate praised for specificity. What a welcome es and McCain debates serve as a change from the vague, ideological pontifications that had marked testament. Even as he vacillated wildly not alone in expecting a rollicking verbal drubbing.

Yet, ninety minon issues he is supposed set on, utes later, I was left unsatisfied. There were multiple instances or does he? The Romney campaign finally decided to step up to in which Obama could have gone the plate instead of commentating on the offensive, with Romney mistakes and pronunciations from the bleachers.

Where was In fairness to the GOP candidate, he performed strongly. Now, I believe some bang had accelerated. He was ag- of this was meticulously planned out by the Obama camp. It was Junior State of America. Thus, we received a viewing of a subdued Obama, simply defending the goal, but never pushing the ball forward. What can we expect to see in the later debates?

The second debate, on October 16, is a townhall style forum. Here is where we will see the Romney blunders exposed. The final matchup, on October 22, is a foreign policy debate. This, a mere two weeks before the election, may be a big win for Obama. In short, props to Mitt Romney. The debate last night did what the Republican National Convention should have done: provided an actual plan for America, and not a vague moralistic argument based on the hate-Obama club.

Romney came out of the gates impressively, and Obama simply coasted. The Obama camp should take note. Only time will tell if Romney can capitalize or Obama can regain his forgotten form. The demographic that is most important for the future development of America is often excluded from political processes and omitted from election ballots; this is the youth population.

As a result, it is easy for them to make the flawed and inadequate assertion that they will simply become informed once they are eligible to vote. However, developing solid understandings and opinions on governmental issues takes longer than a single election cycle, especially in the current age of political jockeying, which consistently generates misconceptions of candidates and legislation.

Citizens must begin to develop their respective opinions as soon as possible in order to ensure that they vote with a strong basis of political understanding. Early engagement in politics for more Americans would also promote greater participation in elections. In , only 46 percent of citizens under thirty years old voted in the presidential election, according to the Census Bureau. If young Americans were to previously acquire interests in the political process, they would be yearning to vote and express their voices well before their first elections.

After turning 18, Americans would Democracy can only fulfill its entire purpose when each citizen assumes an equal role in setting the priorities of government. Therefore, although the youth cannot vote, they must attain equal representation through participation in other aspects of the political process.

And now is the best time to do so. As the presidential election approaches, America stands at a pivotal point in its history, withdrawing from a severe economic downturn, facing contentious social issues and more. Young citizens must begin to fulfill their duties as Americans by deciphering and advocating on behalf of their own political stances.

When the American youth does break its substandard rate of involvement in the political process, it will not only gain better representation for its own demographic, but also advance its nation as a whole. The Junior Statement October Goyal has traveled around the world and spoken about possible reforms to the American educational system, and his newest publication consolidates these ideas.

Our dialogue can be read below. Kayruz: What was your motivation behind writing a book pertaining to the educational system? Goyal: My motivation behind writing this book was to offer a unique student perspective on how we can revolutionize American schools. My goal is for this book to drive such a change in mentality. Kayruz: When did you first begin to notice the flaws of our modern educational system?

Goyal: I began noticing the flaws when I was in third grade. I hated taking standardized tests. I loved doing experiments and exploring the world. Kayruz: Out of all the problems you noticed, which one is the most menacing to our youth? Goyal: Our generation is being set up to fail. This is absolutely serious. A generation is a terrible thing to go to waste. Media Lab, I experienced a true education. Professors and students alike were collaborating on spontaneous projects.

The space was open and sleek. I was in tune with the environment. Learning needs to be about what kids can do and create. As many of the pundits and experts opined after the vice-presidential debate, this matchup was as much a showdown of style as it was of substance. Enter stage right a blue-collar, thirty-six year veteran of the Senate renowned for his feistiness and uncompromising stances.

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Opposite him strode out a young policy wonk, known for crafting the Republican budget and effective back-room negotiation. This debate was very much an affirmation of why the respective parties had chosen their vice-presidential candidates. Joe Biden was experienced, witty, and passionate while Paul Ryan was measured, sure, and more contained.

The vice-presidential debate is always a bit of an odd situation.

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Two candidates must both extol the virtues of the their presidential partners, and provide anecdotal evidence of their own experience. The two candidates sat at a table, rather than standing on opposing lecterns, which inherently made the back-and-forth less one of dueling sermons and more of a general discourse. Unfazed and informed, Raddatz took the reins and confidently steered the Her asking for specificity and follow-ups when she felt the question had not been answered led to a far more controlled environment.

As this was the only meeting between the two men in a. The central irony of the exchange shone through as Paul Ryan attacked the administration at every turn, running against his own adopted mantra. In fact, Ryan seemed to magnify his perfect twenty-twenty hindsight. By constantly discussing what should have been done, he detracted from his own message of what his ticket would do differently. Raddatz was quick to catch this pattern, and attempts to goad Ryan into providing a plan were unsuccessful.

Likewise, Ryan seemed deeply unaware at times. His anecdote about a car-crash was perhaps unintentionally crass The Junior Statement October The point the average independent may have swung to Biden was in the discussion on abortion. The question, which seemingly took both of them by surprise, asked for the candidates to discuss how their Catholicism had affected or established their views on abortion.

Congressman Ryan provided an anecdote about seeing the ultrasound of his first child, which, while touching, he did not extrapolate well into a cogent point. The Vice President, on the other hand, spoke about how Catholicism had led to his personal pro-life beliefs, but that he could not project these views onto the nation.

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Biden had chosen to give a genuine, sincere answer to a difficult question that transcended politics, while Ryan seemed to simply fall in line with his party and was reticent to go into detail for fear of providing a damaging sound-bite. As the debate wrapped up, he had proven himself. From the moment the backand-forth commenced, the two men made their individual natures apparent. Ryan won his biggest laugh line of the night by stating that Biden was familiar with not always saying the right thing at the right time.

There were even instances where I was calling for the Vice President to simply let the Congressman answer, which I think did detract from his message. In general, Ryan was far more reserved, careful to stay in line with the agenda and to keep the debate on his prepared talking points. Thus, while Ryan delivered many of the same points that his partner had included a week ago, like the fivepoint economic plan, he sounded like a low-volume broken-record.

Will this be seen as a game-changer, or a turnaround for the Democrats? However, this was a true exposition of whom the parties had chosen, and serves to somewhat rebalance the election heading into the home stretch. Young adults from all demographics come together to participate in interesting debates and compelling thougt talks, all aimed towards combating political ignorance. For more information about the largest solely-student run organization in the nation, visit jsa.

To vote, to choose-No more--and by a choice to say we end The headache, and the thousands of biased opinions That a voter is heir to. The drives were a great success, and many new voters will be casting their ballots in this upcoming election. For more than two hours on the afternoon of September 30th, students from Carnegie Vanguard High School stayed at the crowded Discovery Park. Equipped with voter registration cards, pens, and posters, the students carried signs and urged citizens to vote.

Many unregistered voters gladly accepted the voter registration cards. Even those who could not vote yet To die, to sleep-No more--and by a sleep to say we end The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to. At San Marcos High School, students set a booth up during lunch to register their fellow high school seniors. The students encouraged the seniors to vote and get involved in the political process. The Carnegie and San Marcos chapters ask other chapters to organize similar events, since political activism events are a fun and productive way to spread the message of JSA.

Being involved in the community is also a vital component of JSA. As Election Day quickly approaches, President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney have a challenging next couple of weeks as they try to gain voters and sell their presidential platform to undecided voters. The first presidential debate of was nail-biting and critical. Romney and Obama faced off in their first of three debates at the University of Denver in Colorado with the country watching as they took their places on stage.

Both candidates hold promising plans for the next four years and hope to make the necessary improvements and reforms that will propel America into a better and brighter future. The debate focused on domestic policy and was divided into six sections of 15 minutes each and moderated by Jim Lehrer. The three critical domestic issues that were discussed were the economy, healthcare, and the national debt.

Governor Romney responded by listing his 5 point plan to job creation: strengthen the energy industry, open up trade, strengthen education, maintain balanced budgets, and champion small businesses. Taxes are crucial to stimulating the growth and development of the American economy, and both President Obama and Governor Romney believe that lowering tax rates are important to the American people.

Governor Mitt Romney plans to improve the tax system by instituting tax cuts for all Americans to create long-term economic success. He emphasized that he wants to provide tax relief to the middle class especially. His plans for economic growth include eliminating huge tax discrepancies between the upper and lower class taxpayers to create a flatter, lower tax that will benefit each individual.

Each candidate promised to create a stable economy for American citizens to ensure long-term economic success and stability. Another issue that was up for debate was the issue of healthcare. Affordable healthcare for all citizens is an important issue in the Presidential Election of The candidates argued back and forth about the right kind of healthcare that is beneficial to Americans.

Governor Romney promises to repeal ObamaCare when elected. The first presidential debate was a success that made Americans restless and anxious for Election Day. According to cnn. Her experience as a Chapter Affairs and Expansion Agent proved incredibly valuable as she strategically decided to run a campaign based on reaching out to as many delegates as possible. Arnela was the Golden Gate Region Mayor and organized an amazing Regional Conference that was triple the size from that of the previous year.

She is a Georgetown Summer Program Alum as well. She attends Leigh High School in San Jose, and her favorite subjects are international relations and history. Jordan says that JSA is the one thing that she knows she will be able to reflect on without any regrets because of what an amazing and life-changing experience it has given her.

She would like to pursue a career in political science and business. Kathryn was convention coordinator for the school year. JSA has become her true love, and she is grateful for this leadership position because it is the greatest honor a person can have in JSA. She is the eldest of four girls and has a dog named Peanut Butter. Her platform focuses on grassroots activism, involvement, and technology. Julianna is deeply interested in foreign policy, reads newspapers avidly, and cannot wait to continue the upward growth of her state. In the past, she has only had the experience of working with the New Jersey Region as its Vice Mayor this year and a Director of Chapter Internal Affairs the year before.

Other than that, she enjoys watching Parks and Recreation and eating frozen yogurt. As a sophomore, he even served as the National Director of Publications. He also has a strong passion for the weather, and even updates his own weather website for the area to keep everyone informed and prepared for whatever weather issues are in the near future. Prior to his election he served as a cabinet officer and Chapter President. Outside of JSA, he is active in the political community as a social media consultant for political campaigns.

He is also a regular guest of a local radio station as a correspondent. Griffin aspires to become a medical doctor or a lawyer and then become involved in public service. Midwest: Summer Wu Summer joined JSA at the beginning of her high school career and was immediately captivated by the organization.

Since then, she has devoted herself to furthering the cause of the organization by promoting civic engagement through political debate amongst high school students. She looks forward to promoting an environment where everyone can feel confident voicing their opinion. The Council of Governors create a cabinet of seven positions and appoint individuals that apply who they feel will best serve the Junior State in its goals to unite the states, create publicity, and further legitimize the organization.

The members of National Cabinet will be working diligently throughout the year to carry through all national goals and have a real impact on the future of this organization.