Monthly Archives: November 2010

WikiLeaks to Release Diplomatic Documents

With the website WikiLeaks set to release a new trove of sensitive information, the U.S. government is already bracing for the worldwide fallout, pre-emptively warning allies in the hope of lessening the blow once classified documents go public. What are the potential impact of Wikileaks’ action on U.S. foreign policy and national security? This article reveals the pre-emptive action taken by the U.S. government and the potential consequence of WikiLeaks’ action. (11/26/10 ABC News, Jonathan Karl and Bradley Blackburn) … Read Article

1. According to the article, what is WikiLeaks’ source of access to the diplomatic documents?

2. What measure should the U.S. government take to fix this weak link in intelligence communication?


Rahm Emanuel: The Residency Challenge

Chicago mayoral hopeful Rahm Emanuel has put out many fires in Washington, but now he faces one in his own backyard that could present the biggest obstacle in his candidacy so far. A Chicago attorney has filed a legal challenge questioning Emanuel’s residency. Does this law suite have the potential to scuttle Emanuel’s candidacy? This article shed’s light on the residency politics in Chicago. (11/26/10 ABC News, Huma Khan) … Read Article

1. What is the legal residency requirement to run for mayor of Chicago? What is the exception and why does this exception not apply to Emanuel according to Odelson?

2. According to the article, what are the challenges ahead of the candidate won wins the Chicago mayoral election?

Can Facebook and Twitter Predict Election Results?

In November’s elections, the candidate who more people “liked” on Facebook won in 71 percent of Senate elections. Twitter was even more accurate, with the candidates with more followers winning in 74 percent of elections. Could social media set the new trend in election prediction? This article provides an analysis of  the effect of social media in the November election. (11/25/10 ABC News, Jennifer Schlesinger) … Read Article

1. According to Andrew Gellman, what is the consensus on the role of money in election; and how much money is a predictor that a candidate is likely to win?

2. How does Facebook compare to Exit poll as a predictor of the winner of young vote?

Is Gridlock Good or Bad for Legislation?

While the phrase customarily is taken as a negative, this ABC News/Yahoo! News poll finds that Republican registered voters in fact divide evenly, 42-43 percent, on whether gridlock is a bad thing because it prevents good legislation from being passed — or a good thing, because it blocks bad laws. Is it possible that gridlock can actually produce an effective government? This article sheds light what Americans expect for the next Congress as a result of the impending gridlock. (11/23/10 ABC News, Gary Langer) … Read Article

1. Why are gridlock fans happy about the result of the November election as they anticipate the impending gridlock in Congress?

2. Of Democratic and Republican voters who see gridlock as negative or positive? Why?

(Video)Home-Grown Terror Increasing in the U.S.

Terry McCarthy reports on an alleged bomb plot in Portland’s Pioneer Square that was planned by a Somali-born U.S. citizen, 19-year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud. What is the motive behind Mohamud’s bomb plan? This video sheds light on the mind set of Mohamud. (11/28/10 CBSNewsOnline)

1. According to the reporter, how did the FBI first became aware of Mohamud’s plan in 2009?

2. What, according to the reporter, is the apparent backlash to Mohamud’s plan?

(Video)WikiLeaks Releases State Dept. Documents

WikiLeaks posted thousands of classified State Department documents revealing the world of international diplomacy. David Martin reports the startling new trove of classified documents. Does WikiLeaks’ action pose any serious threat to U.S. national security? This video reveals some of the documents that might pose a danger to U.S. diplomatic efforts. (11/28/10 CBSNewsOnline)

1. Why did the leaders of Arab nations demand that the U.S. stop Ahmadinejad from building a nuclear weapon?

2. What was President Obama’s initial foreign policy approach toward Iran? What other measures were later added and why?

(Poll)Polisci Students’ Opinion on Airport Security

In one of our recent polls we asked MPSL students their opinion on the new body scanner and pat-down by TSA officials at the nation’s airports. The result: about 56% said they increase security; about 31% said they violate privacy; about 7% said they neither increase security nor violate privacy; while about 7% was not sure of what effect the body scanner and pat-down by TSA officials would have on travelers. In a similar nationwide poll by USA Today/Gallup Poll, 71% of Americans think any loss of personal privacy air travelers may experience from going through a full-body scan or a full-body pat down is worth it; 27% think it’s not worth it; while only about 2% is unsure what they think about the full-body scan and the full-body pat down.

Recently some citizens refused to go through the body scanner or the pat-down at the airport by TSA officials claiming it is a violation of their privacy. What do you think?