Monthly Archives: April 2009

Polisci Students’ Opinion on Government’s Attempt to Fix the Economy

In one of our recent polls MPSL students were asked their opinion on how much the government is spending to fix the economy. 68% think the government is spending too much; 10% think they are spending too little; while 22% think the government is  spending just the right amount in their attempt to fix the economy. In a similar poll by AP-Gfk, 49% of Americans chose increasing  government spending on education, health care reform, and the development of alternative energy sources as a higher priority over reducing the federal deficit. For the full poll result visit Results were retrieved on 4/26/09, 8:00 PM PST.

While most Americans believe that the government should do more to solve the economic crisis, there is no agreement on how much taxpayers money should be spent on this effort. What factors do you think account for this seeming contradiction?


Swine Flu Fears Close Schools in NY, Texas, Calif.

Cleaning crews spent the day scrubbing down every desk, chair and classroom at a New York City high school. Infected students wore surgical masks as they recovered in their beds. Anxious parents woke their children at night to check their temperature. (4/26/09 Associated Press, Karen Matthews) … Read Article

1. Discuss the apparent connection between the swine flu incidents in the U.S. and Mexico.

2. Who is the Homeland Security Secretary? What action has the federal government taken to address the swine flu outbreak?

Obama’s First 100 Days Report Card

Barack Obama approaches the 100-day mark with rising economic hopes, the best job approval rating at this point in 20 years, the broadest personal popularity since Ronald Reagan and half of Americans now saying the country’s headed in the right direction. (4/26/09 ABC News, Gary Langer) 

1. Discuss Obama’s approval rating among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Why the differences in opinion?

2. Discuss Obama’s approval rating on the economy and international affairs.

U. Missouri Faculty Council Opposes Concealed Carry On Campus

The Faculty Council of the University of Missouri  met Thursday to discuss several issues, including a House bill that would allow concealed weapons to be carried on campus at public universities. (4/24/09 The Maneater, U.Missouri, Angela Case) … Read Article

1. Discuss the debate over the minimum age for conceal and carry permits.

2. “Some supporters of the bill believe banning concealed carry is a violation of their personal rights.” Discuss the constitutional right referred to in this statement.

Americans Cutting Back On Necessities

A new study finds that Americans are downsizing their list of things considered essential. (4/26/09 CBSNewsOnline, Charles Osgood)

1. Discuss the difference in the proportionof Americans who say a cell phone is a necessity in 2006 and 2009.

2. Discuss the factors responsible for Americans cutting back on what they consider as bare necessities. 

Crisis in Pakistan

Taliban forces have seized a considerable amount of power in Pakistan, which has sparked international fears due to that nation’s access to nuclear weapons. (4/25/09 CBSNewsOnline, Lara Logan)

1. Discuss the key aim of the Taliban fighters according to the video.

2. Discuss the different opinions of Pakistanis on the Taliban.

Miss California Gets Heroine’s Welcome

Miss California Carrie Prejean, who became the bombshell of the Miss USA pageant by saying gay couples should not be allowed to marry, said Sunday that her state sponsors urged her to apologize afterward but she rejected the advice. (4/26/09 Associated Press, Lisa Leff) … Read Article

1. Discuss the controversy surrounding Prejean’s answer to Perez Hilton’s question.

2. Some believe that her answer to the gay marriage question may have cost Miss California the Miss USA crown. What do you think?